BFI London Film Festival 2014: Mommy

by Maryann O'Connor 16 October 2014

French Canadian director Xavier Dolan (Tom at the Farm, 2013) likes to delve into difficult scenarios and Mommy most definitely contains a difficult scenario or two. Set in the very near future in Canada, Diane (Die) played by Anne Dorval, is struggling to make ends meet and keep her son Steve (Antoine-Olivier Pilon), who has ADHD, […]

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BFI London Film Festival 2014: Monsters: Dark Continent

by Daniel Goodwin 14 October 2014

Gareth Edward’s Monsters (2010) was an evocative delve into a beast-ravaged land, focusing mainly on a young couple and their evolving relationship while the magnificent creatures lurked in the background. The overall effect was rather striking and this sequel takes a similar approach but is massively hindered by a badly paced, skeletal plot and appalling […]

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In Review: The Maze Runner

by Daniel Goodwin 10 October 2014

Dystopian teens in peril continue to transfer their literary success to the big screen with this hyperbolic adaptation of the best-selling novel by James Dashner. Following the tepid Divergent (2013), director Wes Ball’s The Maze Runner is an adolescent sci-fi of a similar mould. Despite being loaded with action, B-movie staples and an intriguing central […]

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In Review: The Calling (2014)

by Maryann O'Connor 9 October 2014

Susan Sarandon is tough, liquor-swilling small town cop Hazel Micallef, who faces the challenge of her life when it comes to light that a serial killer with a difference is plaguing their usually mild-mannered [and snow covered] environs. In usual small town tough cop style, her health problems and issues with senior management threaten to […]

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BFI London Film Festival 2014: ’71

by Daniel Goodwin 9 October 2014

Despite sensationalising events in Northern Ireland at that time, director Yann Demange’s ’71 remains an uncompromisingly tense and breathtaking thriller; blending unsettling, heart-pounding suspense with exhilarating action. Demange conveys an electrifying energy and genre synergy, fusing the traits of Ken Loach, John Carpenter and Gareth Evans with thrilling results, while merging mainstream sub-genre elements and […]

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BFI London Film Festival 2014 Opening Night: The Imitation Game

by Maryann O'Connor 8 October 2014

Geek is chic and gay marriage is now a reality so it was only a matter of time before this high profile Cumberbatch-ed, unlikely war hero film arrived to supplement Derek Jacobi’s TV portrayal of Alan Turing (Breaking the Code, 1996). The Imitation Game celebrates mathematician Turing’s contribution to ending WWII early but also focuses […]

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In Review: Annabelle

by Daniel Goodwin 8 October 2014

The scary doll subgenre has certainly evolved since the Ealing horror Dead Of Night (1945). Several Child’s Play sequels later and it’s become a familiar source of cinematic fear; Chucky sitting straight-backed alongside the likes of Magic (1978), Dead Silence (2007) and the outright preposterous Trilogy of Terror (1975), Demonic Toys (1992) and Dolly Dearest […]

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In Review: Still the Enemy Within

by Maryann O'Connor 3 October 2014

Still the Enemy Within is a collection of personal accounts from those miners involved in the mother of industrial disputes in 1984; their experience of the undeniably mission-like efforts of Margaret Thatcher to dismantle an entire industry and the lives of those dependent on the livelihood of mining. The film is a living antithesis and […]

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In Review: Restless on DVD

by Amanda Keats 2 October 2014

In a world of two-part films making the big screen, it’s odd that ‘Restless’ didn’t quite make the cut and was only shown on TV. With an incredible cast, including Hayley Atwell, Rufus Sewell, Michelle Dockery, Michael Gambon and Charlotte Rampling, this is a spy story with charm, as a young woman in the 1970s […]

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In Review: Gone Girl

by Daniel Goodwin 30 September 2014

It is easy to imagine Gone Girl being something of a pot-boiler without David Fincher; there are so many of the director’s inherent characteristics that enrich and empower the content, wringing metaphors from the text and performances. Without his prowess, or in the hands of a lesser visionary, an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel […]

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In Review: The Equalizer

by Daniel Goodwin 26 September 2014

Director Antoine Fuqua’s remake of the 80s Edward Woodward series is, on the surface, a glossy, revenge thriller with gritty, urban staples but the overall effect is Expendables-like: randomly interjected clichés siphon the drama with banal action silage.

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