Lights Out Review

Tuesday, 23 August 2016 21:54

David S. Sandberg’s 2013 short Lights Out was a deliciously terrifying idea, brilliantly executed: a woman, alone in her apartment, is haunted by a ghostly figure that only appears when the lights are off. It was three minutes of watch-through-your-hands tension but what happens when you take that idea and try to stretch it out to feature length? Well Sandberg has done just that and the result is a flimsy studio horror that entertains but fails to match the simple scares of the short.


David Brent: Life on the Road Review

Monday, 22 August 2016 17:56

Drawing on the cringe comedy and mockumentary style of Christopher Guest and Garry Shandling, British sitcom The Office was a sensation, spawning a number of imitators and making a star of its creator and leading man, Ricky Gervais. It’s been fifteen years since the last episode of that show ended, so although Gervais has kept his character, David Brent, alive in the meantime, you’d be forgiven for seeing this leap to the big screen as more than a little bit cynical. Thankfully the film is lot funnier and far less desperate than it might seem, proving to be one of the best sitcom-to-big-screen transitions.


Pete's Dragon Review

Friday, 19 August 2016 22:59

Disney’s update of their 1977 partially animated, mostly live action kids flick Pete’s Dragon is a beast as rare and wondrous as the titular fire-breather itself: a film aimed primarily at children that favours soul over slapstick, a beautiful, lyrical film that transcends the remake label. It may be based on that earlier film but all it really takes is the title and the basic premise of a young orphan boy befriending a dragon. The rest could scarcely be more different.


Though only 27-years-old, Brady Corbet is a veteran of the movie business. A role in Catherine Hardwicke's teen drama Thirteen, at the age of just fifteen, lead to a prominent role in the ill-fated Thunderbirds reboot but it's in impressive roles in the likes of Mysterious Skin and Funny Games that brought Corbet to the attention of indy audiences.


Suicide Squad Review

Wednesday, 10 August 2016 22:24

So far, the guiding principle of the burgeoning DC Extended Universe seems to be reacting to negative criticism. Not in the way the series fans react, which has gone so far as to include a petition to end Rotten Tomatoes. No, the films themselves appear tailored to address the aspects most criticised in their last film: Batman v Superman’s plot took pains to address the level of civilian death in Man of Steel and now David Ayer’s supervillain ensemble piece Suicide Squad is tasked with overturning the severe lack of fun in Batman v Superman.


EIFF 2016: American Hero Review

Thursday, 21 July 2016 22:00

Brit director Nick Love has made a name for himself with tough, gritty and often ridiculous geezer crime flicks like The Football Factory, The Business and Outlaw. With American Hero, he makes the trip across the Atlantic for the first time for a New Orleans-set, found footage superhero flick.


EIFF 2016: Take Down Review

Thursday, 21 July 2016 21:52

Formerly known as Billionaire Ransom, Jim Gillespie's Take Down sees a batch of spoiled, trust fund kids sent to a remote Scottish island to teach them some discipline. What their wealthy parents don't count on is a group of slick mercenaries attacking the island and holding the kids ransom.


EIFF 2016: Sticky Notes Review

Thursday, 21 July 2016 21:44

Amanda Sharp's debut Sticky Notes is a solidly made and well-acted indie drama that's hampered by its reliance on cliches and a clunky narrative device that isn't as clever or well-crafted as it needs to be.