Quote Of The Week:

"I'll be out back. I'm going to find a tree to chop down." - Walt Bishop, MOONRISE KINGDOM

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Hidden Gem: THE MAN ON THE TRAIN (2002)

According to Monsieur Manesquier, one half of THE MAN ON THE TRAIN’s central duo, there are two types of people: planners and adventurers. The difference between these two categories can be summarised easily. A planner will always keep a spare toothbrush to hand; whereas an adventurer will run the gauntlet of picking one up as and when it is needed. Manesquier, a retired poetry teacher played by Jean Rochefort, is a planner; he has three tooth brushes. But Milan, the rootless, nomadic gangster played by Johnny Hallyday, is an adventurer. The two men are polar opposites. They are ying and yang. But when their opposing lifestyles collide in Patrice Leconate’s THE MAN ON THE TRAIN, the unexpected consequences make for a truly charming filmic experience.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Five Films To Get You In The Mood For The Summer Holidays

The summer holidays: a chance to re-invent yourself, see another part of the world or just sit back and get some much need ‘R&R’. Marking the end of an era or the start of something new, those wistful, carefree days represent a separation from the norm giving rise to fairy-tale like adventures unthinkable in the more middling months. As such, whether it’s Spielberg tormenting Amity Island holidaymakers or Spike Lee turning up the heat on racial tensions, it’s easy to see why filmmakers have so often been drawn to the mythology of the long hot summer. So before you pack your bags or break out the barbeque, here are five films imbued with the spirit of the sunny season, guaranteed to get you in the mood for your summer break.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

So Bad They’re Good: Five Of Cinema’s Most Loveable Turkeys

Some bad films—when they’re really bad—are like car crashes. You fear to look, yet you cannot turn away. You know it’s wrong, when they offend almost every cinematic sensibility, but still you watch. Because somewhere between bad and ridiculously bad, there’s a line in the sand. Nobody likes poor cinema but when the films are so hilariously terrible that conventional criticism becomes futile and minor details like a credible plot feel like nit picking, something magical, if counter-intuitive happens: they become so bad… they’re good. It’s a dubious honour of course, but this categorisation, which has become a sort of subgenre, can breathe new life into films that would have otherwise struggled to make it to the bargain bin at your local petrol station. In fact, many of the films that have attained this status now inspire genuine affection and cult admiration. But the aforementioned genre can be a tricky category through which to navigate. Seeking out the films that are ‘so bad they’re good’ can mean wading through a lot of cinematic shit. So to help you out, I've compiled a list of five truly terrible films that will make you howl with joy. Best watched when indulging in a few drinks at your mate’s house — you know, just to take the edge off.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Hidden Gem: BAD BOY BUBBY (1993)

BAD BOY BUBBY was never going to be an easy sell. After all, a film about a thirty something man-child imprisoned since birth as his mother’s sex slave doesn’t exactly make for comfortable viewing. Moreover, the concept sounds like little more than a blatant attempt at provocation. But while it’d be difficult to deny that BAD BOY BUBBY doesn’t, at least to some extent, court the shock factor, it does do more than just push boundaries. Yes it is dark and unsettling, but it’s also grimly comical, technically innovative and in parts, surprisingly poignant. The film echoes the likes of ERASERHEAD and more obviously DOGTOOTH, but the beguiling tone and unique brand of weird is entirely its own — and for this reason BAD BOY BUBBY deserves exposure.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Gaming Inspired Cinema: Five Films That Wouldn’t Be The Same Without Video Games

Over the years the film industry has endured a rather shaky relationship with the world of gaming. Consider the likes of TOMB RAIDER, STREET FIGHTER, HITMAN, SUPER MARIO BROS (to name but a few) and it becomes pretty clear that successful transitions from pixel to celluloid are few and far between. But is there more to this relationship than failed adaptations? With these two mediums sharing many significant similarities, it seems almost inevitable that influences would eventually cross the divide and you only need look at titles like ‘L.A. Noire’ to see the radical impact cinema has had on the design and execution of the gaming experience. But this mimicry works both ways. Though it may not be immediately obvious, there are a growing number of films drawing inspiration from their bit-based cousins, demonstrating that ‘ones and zeroes’ are starting to influence not just content, but concept. And, perhaps because they’re not constrained by the limitations imposed by adapting existing source material, this more subtle melding of like minds has actually resulted in some real cinematic gems.