Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Why Haven't You Seen...? Closet Land (1991)

Posted by Sam Inglis

What's it all about? 

In an unnamed country under a totalitarian government a children's writer (Madeline Stowe) is questioned, eventually under torture, by an interrogator (Alan Rickman) who believes her as yet unpublished book Closet Land is intended as propaganda against the government.

Why haven't you seen it? 

Because even if you've heard of it, it's not easy to find. I first saw it on TV in the late 90s. I never saw a VHS copy, which leads me to believe they were at best relatively rare and there has been no English language DVD release. The subject matter may also be a sticking point for some, this isn't an early entry in the 'torture porn' sub genre of horror, but it is a film about torture, about cruelty. That probably goes some way to explaining why this film has never gained a mass audience.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming by Jon Watts

Review by Andy Zachariason

The double entendre title of the new Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, speaks to the film taking Peter back to his teenage roots as well as Spider-Man returning to Disney/Marvel (previously owned by Sony). The newest web-slinger is Tom Holland (seen in Civil War). His interpretation of Peter has a naive, but earnest enthusiasm and youthful energy that immediately makes him among the most likable and dimensional characters in the MCU.

Scribe By Thomas Kruithof

Reviewed By Linda Marric 

Despite lacking the compelling narrative arc of Tell No One (Guillaume Canet, 2006) or the playful familiarity of Little White Lies (Guillaume Canet, 2010), the new Francois Cluzet vehicle is every bit as exhilarating as any Hollywood thriller worth its salt. Directed by Thomas Kruithof from a script by Yann Gozlan, Scribe manages to surpass all expectations by offering its audience a genuinely gripping story of political intrigue and state secrets which will keep them guessing till the very end, all the while throwing in the odd red herring along the way.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Why Haven't You Seen...? Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966)

Posted by Sam Inglis

What's it all about? 

A family: Dad (Harold P. Warren), Mom (Diane Mahree) and their young daughter (Jackey-Raye Neyman) get lost while driving to their holiday destination and end up in a mysterious house maintained by weird caretaker Torgo (John Reynolds) and inhabited by a cult led by The Master (Tom Neyman).

Why haven't you seen it? 

You've probably heard it's awful, had that confirmed by seeing the classic Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, and therefore decided to give the original version a miss.

Friday, 7 July 2017

War For Planet Of The Apes By Matt Reeves

Reviewed By Linda Marric

Returning for a third Instalment and what is largely understood to be the final film in the franchise, the new Planet Of The Apes movie or to give it its full name War For The Planet Of The Apes, is set to be the best reviewed film of the summer, surpassing even Wonder Woman in the hearts and minds of some critics. Directed and co-written by Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Let Me In, Cloverfield), the film does a great job in tying the narratives of its predecessors together all the while paying homage to a number of classic favourites. With shades of Apocalypse Now, Stagecoach, The Searchers (and I can't be the only one who saw even a bit of Schindler’s List in it), the film is a rather touching tale of triumph of good over evil, and features some of the best performances of the summer, with the return of the always brilliant Andy Serkis as the legendary Caesar.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The Midwife By Martin Provost

                                         Reviewed By Linda Marric

Martin Provost’s The Midwife’s original title “Sage Femme” , while meaning midwife, also literally translates as Wise Woman. This play on words goes a long way into conveying the story at the heart of this thoroughly enjoyable and deeply moving, if not entirely convincing story. Staring Catherine Frot and the legendary Catherine Deneuve, the film manages to have an indie French cinema sensibility all the while dealing with universal themes relating to love, loss and redemption.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Why Haven't You Seen...? Nice Girls Don't Explode (1987)

Posted by Sam Inglis 

What's it all about? 

April (Michelle Meyrink) is 18 and she wants to start dating, like a normal girl. Unfortunately she's not a normal girl; when she gets excited, especially around boys, fires break out around her. This becomes a serious issue when her childhood sweetheart Andy (William O'Leary) comes back into the picture and begins to suspect that April's condition may have more to do with her mother (Barbara Harris) than any actual problem.

Why haven't you seen it? 

You could spend years trying to see as many 80s teen movies as possible (trust me, I have) and still only scratch the surface. This seems to have attracted only minimal notice at the time, and it's just fallen through the cracks rather than building a cult following in the years since it was released.

Monday, 3 July 2017

The Death of Louis XIV By Albert Serra

Reviewed By Stuart Houghton

One the first day of September, 1715, Louis XIV died of gangrene, ending his record 72 years on the throne. This film by Albert Serra (The Story Of My Death, Birdsong) gives the audience an intimate, meticulous view of the Sun King's final days, as courtiers and physicians fuss over his frail body and the ailing monarch attempts to maintain both dignity and regality.

A Change In The Weather by Jon Sanders

                                Reviewed by Linda Marric 

Set in the heart of the French Cathar region, and directed by Jon Sanders (Back to the Garden, Painted Angels), A Change in The Weather is a rather curious little production which mixes improvised as well as rehearsed material to depict the complicated relationships between its deeply flawed protagonists. Featuring Sanders’ longtime collaborators Anna Mottram and Bob Goody as well as German actress and singer Meret Becker, the film makes a decent enough attempt at philosophising the intricacies of a failed relationship between two people who still care deeply about each other. With a realistic dialogue and fairly organic performances, A Change In The Weather manages to convey the devastation felt by the loss of love and intimacy, but is ultimately let down by a an overly wordy screenplay and theatrical style.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

FrightFest 2017 To Open With Cult Of Chucky

By Linda Marric

Now in its 18th year, Horror Channel FrightFest will be back at the end of the summer with yet another exhilarating and gore-heavy programme which is set to thrill the festival’s diehard fans who keep on coming back for more year after year. After a short stint at Shepherd’s Bush in 2016, the festival is thankfully back to its rightful place at the heart of London’s West-End and will take place at the Cineworld Leicester Square and The Prince Charles Cinema between Aug 24 and Aug 28.