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.

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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.

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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.

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EIFF 2016: Kids in Love Review

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 22:05

Chris Foggin’s feature debut Kids in Love is a film so light and flimsy, it feels like it might float away in the gentle breeze caressing its characters – a group of insufferable trust-fund kids – as they saunter through an idyllic, hipsters-paradise version of London. With more money than they need, unlimited options and problems any ordinary person would wish for, not only is it hard to root for these kids, it’s difficult to even spend 90 minutes with them.

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EIFF 2016: Becoming Zlatan Review

Sunday, 10 July 2016 22:29

In a summer when footballing superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made headlines for retiring from international football after Sweden crashed out of Euro 2016 and sealing a big move to Manchester United, Fredrik and Magnus Gertten’s biodoc Becoming Zlatan feels very timely. Like a superhero origin story, the film focuses on the early days of Zlatan’s club career, using a mix of archive footage and fresh talking heads to get a handle on this uniquely charismatic player.

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EIFF 2016: Shepherds and Butchers Review

Saturday, 09 July 2016 22:43

In apartheid-era South Africa, where unprecedented numbers of people were executed, the hangmen were both shepherds and butchers, caring for the prisoners one day and pulling the lever the next. The mental toll that can take on a person is at the centre of Shepherds and Butchers, the new courtroom drama from South African helmer Oliver Schmitz.

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EIFF 2016: The Fits Review

Tuesday, 05 July 2016 22:06

Though it's premise – a young girl swaps the boxing gym for a dance troupe – sounds pretty straightforward, Anna Rose Holmer's directorial debut The Fits is a film unlike any other. It's quiet and minimal and brief – running only 72 minutes – yet feels like there is so much going on and so many possible interpretations of it all.

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EIFF 2016: Bliss! Review

Monday, 04 July 2016 22:37

Making a film is undoubtedly a difficult task, with so much time, effort and money going into bringing together so many moving parts in a way that results in a coherent and compelling story. It is no doubt doubly difficult on a low budget and someone should be commended for even managing to make a film at all, particularly a feature film. All of this is of course a prelude to a bad review and, as much as it’s never fun to give a small film a kicking, Rita Osei’s Bliss! is a bizarre and unfortunate film that doesn’t work on any level.

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EIFF 2016: Yoga Hosers Review

Tuesday, 28 June 2016 22:42

Yoga Hosers marks the second film in writer-director Kevin Smith’s True North trilogy, three loosely connected films that began with 2013’s Tusk and will end with Moose Jaws next year. The series sees Smith return to the kind of small scale, low budget and extremely personal filmmaking that he made his name with in the 90s and while the result is uneven and definitely not for everyone, there’s something infectious about the personal and somewhat ramshackle nature of the film.

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EIFF 2016: A Patch of Fog Review

Friday, 24 June 2016 21:57

Irish director Michael Lennox – Oscar nominated in 2015 for his short film Boogaloo and Graham – makes his feature debut with A Patch of Fog, a suitably murky Belfast-set thriller. Though the script stretches plausibility in this story of a famous author forced into befriending a lonely security guard, the lead performances and slick direction elevate the material.

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