Monthly Archives April 2013

Film Review: I’m So Excited

Im-So-ExcitedDirected by Pedro Almodóvar
Starring Javier Cámara, Carlos Areces & Raúl Arévalo

Set almost entirely on an airplane, I’m So Excited tells the tale of a motley collection of passengers and their flamboyant flight crew who come face to face with danger after a technical failure on their plane. They find themselves without the luxury of technological distractions such as smartphones or iPads, they must turn to each other for support and relief in this tense time.

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Sundance London Review: Upstream Color

Upstream ColorDirected by Shane Carruth
Starring Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth and Andrew Sensenig

In 2004 one-man film crew Shane Carruth perplexed and astounded audiences with his overtly experimental and frugal debut Primer. It went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and now, nearly a decade later he returns with his follow up. Upstream Color is in the same vein as its predecessor with Carruth starring, directing, writing, producing, shooting, composing and distributing. But with a plethora of different themes and a variety of locations this is a much more ambitious piece of work.


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Sundance London Review: Mud

MudDirected by Jeff Nichols
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland and Reece Witherspoon

Whereas Matthew McConaughey’s characters are becoming more bedraggled and gaunt with every recent film he’s appeared in (see Killer Joe, The Paperboy and Magic Mike), his acting abilities are blossoming. Jeff Nichols’ successor to 2012’s Take Shelter sees him as Mud; an escaped felon who’s in hiding on a small island and hellbent on winning back the heart of his lifetime love Juniper (Witherspoon). With the help of two bold youngsters he hopes to escape the island and protect his damsel from the sinful hands of other men. Neckbone (Lofland), who looks eerily similar to River Phoenix in his early years, is wary of the tattooed stranger, but Ellis (Sheridan) looks up to him as a role model and will do what he can to lend a helping hand. From here on in the film becomes a coming of age tale about the pangs of adolescence and the search for true love.


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Sundance London Review: Blackfish

Blackfish_poster_300_209_85Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite

If Free Willy didn’t make you think that Seaworld was a barbaric phenomenon then wait til you see this. Gabriel Cowperthwaite’s documentary centres around Tilikum, a gigantic and short-tempered orca whale responsible for the death of three people, two of which being Seaworld’s own killer whale trainers . It takes the death of 40 year old trainer Dawn Brancheu in 2010 as it’s focal incident and traces back to the day that Tilikum was snatched from the wild. With a blend of emotional talking head interviews with ex-trainers, animatic recreations and disturbing stock footage the film calmly presents the evidence in a way that is involving and insightful from its very first moments.


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Sundance London Review: In a World

In a WorldDirected by Lake Bell
Starring Lake Bell, Fred Melamed and Ken Marino

Does anyone else think that Lake Bell is an annoying and less talented version of Amanda Peet? Bell writes, directs and stars in this “quirky indie comedy” about trailer voice over artists. Carol (Bell) is the daughter of a popular voice over artist (Melamed) who berates his daughter by telling her that she does not have the talent to be a voice over artist as the world isn’t looking for a female voice. She is then forced to move out from his house and live with her sister (Michaela Watkins) but things perk up when she books a job and suddenly becomes the hottest voice in town but in an industry dominated by men, will she ever belong? (more…)

Film Review: Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3Directed by Shane Black
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley & Guy Pearce

Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) is back on his own again after last years Avengers Assemble. This time he’s fighting a more down to earth threat than the Chitauri, though just as dangerous in the form of the Mandarin (Kingsley), a terrorist who has a love for the theatrics, taking over all US TV networks after attacking the country. When he is personally attacked by the Mandarin and thought dead by the world, it’s up to Tony to save us all.


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Film Review: The Look of Love

Look of LoveDirected by Michael Winterbottom
Starring Steve Coogan, Imogen Poots & Anna Friel

The Look of Love is a deceiving name for Michael Winterbottom’s Paul Raymond (Coogan) biopic. Previously titled” The King of Soho”, it allows a peep show into the life of the porno pioneer and how his antics in the 1970s changed the heart of London’s west end forever, but it’s certainly devoid of the charm that its title might suggest.


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Film Review: Oblivion

OblivionDirected by Joseph Kosinski
Starring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough and Olga Kurylenko

Wall-E, Moon and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Oblivion should be mentioned alongside these great science fiction motion pictures. Not due to it being as good as them in any way (far from it) but because it shamelessly borrows plot points from them. In the distant future, Jack Harper (Cruise) is a tech maintenance operator on a dead earth. He lives with his wife (Riseborough) in a sort of space station and soon they are to rejoin the rest of humanity in space after their work is complete. Though all is not as it seems, as we discover when the droids that are meant to protect human life start attacking some crash-landed earthlings.

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