Michael Ewins

In Review: Streets Of Fire (1984) on Blu-ray

by Michael Ewins 15 November 2013

A long-standing cult favourite, Walter Hill’s Streets Of Fire is a formalist exercise in the language of movie cliché, a mélange of 1950s and 1980s aesthetics designed to fulfil the director’s boyhood dreams. “Kissing in the rain, neon, trains in the night”… Hill’s list, taken from the original 1984 press kit, lays down the blueprint […]

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French Film Festival UK 2013: The Man Who Laughs (2012)

by Michael Ewins 15 November 2013

Handsomely crafted by writer/director Jean-Pierre Améris, whose last film was the Capra-esque confectionary comedy Romantics Anonymous (2010), this Victor Hugo adaptation about an adopted family of circus travellers is a unfortunately prosaic and dull fantasy.

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French Film Festival UK 2013: Tonnerre

by Michael Ewins 11 November 2013

Struggling musician Maxime (Vincent Macaigne) returns to a cold winter in his hometown of Tonnerre in writer/director Guillaume Brac’s evocative and engaging debut, whose grainy visual texture, off-the-cuff naturalism and unpredictable plotting make it feel like a lost Maurice Pialat classic.

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French Film Festival UK 2013: Paulette

by Michael Ewins 9 November 2013

Starring New Wave legend Bernadette Lafont [Le beau Serge (1958) La maman et la putain(1973)] in her last leading role, Paulette is an uproariously non-PC baking-and-drugs farce from director Jérôme Enrico, and if that hasn’t sold you, what will?

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In Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trilogy on Blu-ray

by Michael Ewins 25 October 2013

The highest grossing independent film of its time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles now high-kicks onto Blu-ray as the headliner of a trilogy box set. A true relic of early 1990s cinema, Steve Barron’s franchise starter is a tonal imbroglio, with the Turtle’s bald innuendo and surfer slang an incongruous match for cinematographer John Fenner’s noirish […]

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In Review: Holy Motors on Blu-ray

by Michael Ewins 13 February 2013

Jean-Luc Godard once said of cinema, “it is the most beautiful fraud in the world.” What he’d make of Holy Motors remains unknown, but the film – a glorious return to the avant-garde fold for Léos Carax – is surely one of the medium’s most delightfully outré frauds to date; a dizzying, meta-textual carousel of […]

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In Review: The Big Boss on DVD

by Michael Ewins 7 April 2012

One of the bloodiest, most brutal films of Bruce Lee’s career, The Big Boss (aka Fist Of Fury) was actually conceived as a star project for co-star James Tien, but the pair swapped roles when director Ng Gar Seung was replaced with Lo Wei. Unfortunately, due to this mid-production switcheroo it’s obvious that some scenes […]

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Lars von Trier: “I’m a Nazi!” But Should Anyone Care?

by Michael Ewins 19 May 2011

By Michael Ewins I often find myself, oddly enough, at the starch defence of Danish provocateur Lars von Trier, whose sensibilities have been shocking the world since 1996’s divisive drama Breaking The Waves.

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In Focus: Deception and Distraction in The Informant! (2009)

by Michael Ewins 22 April 2011

By Michael Ewins “Every edit is a lie” – Jean-Luc Godard. For years before I saw Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! (2009) I wondered what Godard had really meant by that quote. I concluded that it was about the moments occurring between frames, meaning that the edit isn’t so much a lie as a deception which […]

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The most important Vietnam film ever made?

by Michael Ewins 9 April 2011

In the wake of the Vietnam War (1955 – 1975), which shattered thousands of families and killed Americans as young as 16, the United States was experiencing a turbulent period. Whilst trying to regain America’s trust after the Watergate Scandal, President Nixon’s resignation and the presidential pardon he had granted Nixon for the Watergate Scandal […]

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