• Unhinged

    Unhinged

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    A few alternate titles for 'Unhinged':

    'Makin' Movies, Makin' Songs and Fightin' 'round the Road!'

    'Unhinged: Russel goes Off-Crowe-ding'

    'My Name is Glutenous Maximus, Father to... No One, Husband to a Murdered Wife... that was my bad though.'

    '... And I'm Javert, Don't Honk Your Horn at Me'.

    So yeah... I was surprised a film with such a dumb premise actually wound up being as damned entertaining, effective and actually good as this. There were plenty of subtle and effective…

  • Kuso

    Kuso

    ★★½

    I could bathe in bleach twice a day for the rest of eternity, and I'll still never feel clean again...

  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

    Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

    ★★★

    A 2.5 star movie which is elevated wonderfully by:

    1. Dan Stevens

    2. Pierce Brosnan

    3. Multiple uses of Sigur Ros music

    4. The voice of Molly Sanden as Rachel McAdams singing dub

    And particularly for those actually familiar with Eurovision, and perhaps the most important point:

    5. How ridiculously accurate literally ALL of the songs in this film are to songs that you would actually see performed at Eurovision. Songs which strike the perfect balance of being legitimate bops,…

  • Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    ★★½

    I liked when Ewen Mcgregor disarmed a would be assassin using his mad fly-fishing wizardry.

  • The Fall

    The Fall

    ★★★★

    "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" - The short film.

  • The Night of the Hunter

    The Night of the Hunter

    ★★½

    Well... this is clearly going to be a controversial opinion... but...

    I really struggled to make heads or tails of this one for a sizeable chunk of its runtime. Throughout, the set design, lighting and staging are absolutely impeccable, crafting some truly memorable and breath-taking visuals, and the key narrative concepts in play are endlessly fascinating. Where this film utterly falls apart for me however, is its complete tonal confusion. Throughout much of the first half, the editing could both…

  • The 4th Man

    The 4th Man

    ★★★★

    For round one of my '5 x Directors; 5 x Unseen Films' challenge.

    Director: Paul Verhoeven.

    I have seen a few people refer to this as Verhoeven's Dutch prototype for 'Basic Instinct', and while certain elements do carry over between films, that is a rather surface level and only partially accurate representation of either film. Both films definitely deal with a sort of black-widow femme fatale type, though where 'The 4th Man' differs greatly is in its themes and execution.…

  • Dressed to Kill

    Dressed to Kill

    ★★½

    For round one of my '5 x Directors; 5 x Unseen Films' challenge.

    Director: Brian De Palma.

    Brian De Palma demonstrates fantastic uses of cinematography coupled with perhaps his most technically strong applications of split-focus shots to create a truly stylish and visually pleasing aesthetic, though 'Dressed to Kill' unfortunately has some extremely dated ideas regarding sexuality, some very uncomfortably sleazy voyeurism, and a plot twist that was [I think] supposed to be a shock, but was anything other than a revelation. Like... were we really not supposed to realise that the killer was [SPOILERS I guess... if you're blind] Michael Caine in a wig?

  • Lost Highway

    Lost Highway

    ★★★★

    For round one of my '5 x Directors; 5 x Unseen Films' challenge.

    Director: David Lynch.

    "I like to remember things my own way […] How I remembered them. Not necessarily the way they happened."

    This is a quote from the main character in 'Lost Highway'; a quote which really encapsulates the tone of much of Lynch's work, primarily 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me', 'Twin Peaks: The Return', 'Mulholland Drive', and this, where it also acts as a summation…

  • Red Beard

    Red Beard

    ★★★★★

    For round one of my '5 x Directors; 5 x Unseen Films' challenge.

    Director: Akira Kurosawa.

    This is quite probably the most beautifully shot of Kurosawa's black and white era film-making, utilizing its staging, blocking, lighting, set design, costume design and framing to subtle perfection. There is never anything overtly stylised about any of these elements, though with each shot it is more than apparent how much thought has been put into each of these elements without anything feeling forced.…

  • Dersu Uzala

    Dersu Uzala

    ★★★★½

    For round one of my '5 x Directors; 5 x Unseen Films' challenge.

    Director: Akira Kurosawa.

    Akira Kurosawa's second colour film 'Dersu Uzala' is a remarkable tale of friendship and survival which makes fantastic use of widescreen cinematography to capture the vast beauty and danger of the Siberian wilderness from the snowy tundra, to the humid jungles. It primarily follows the real world friendship between the titular Dersu Uzala, a tracker who seems to live his life in this wilderness,…

  • The Black Dahlia

    The Black Dahlia

    For round one of my '5 x Directors; 5 x Unseen Films' challenge.

    Director: Brian De Palma.

    'The Black Dahlia' was sadly a rather frustrating watch. It featured many of the stylistic flourishes that I have grown to love from this director, though it was all in service of a narrative which felt entirely incoherent. The dialogue, the acting, the lighting and the plot were all extremely derivative of 40s film noir in a way which often made the film…