RETROSPECTIVE: Perfect Blue – shades of Hitchcock in animated psychodrama

Twenty years on, Perfect Blue remains an almost perfect thriller.

A Hitchcockian study of identity, desire, and obsession recast in animated form, the film goes to some twisted places that even the Master of Suspense might shy away from.

Mima (voiced by Junko Iwao) is lead singer in the cutesy J-Pop quartet CHAM!, who, at the age of twenty-one, is looking to make a career move into acting.…

REVIEW: Geostorm

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)
To say that Geostorm is as dumb as a bag of rocks is an insult to hardworking geological processes.

It’s not that time and energy, and roughly $120 million, didn’t go into the production – it’s that they did and, despite extensive reshoots, this is what we ended up with; a film, which if not quite putting the “disaster” into “disaster movie”, is certainly, on its own terms, a mess.…

PODCAST: London Film Festival 2017 round-up [Electric Shadows]

Episode 31 of The Electric Shadows Podcast sees Robs Daniel & myself rounding up our top 10 highlights of the 2017 London Film Festival.

Lucky, The Shape of Water, Last Flag Flying, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri all feature highly.…

REVIEW: Thor: Ragnarok

It’s hardly the end of the world as we know it.

Let me preface this review by saying, first and foremost, that Thor: Ragnarok is a lot of fun.

That’s the thing most critics seem to have taken away from this latest instalment in the Marvel canon: that it’s fun, funny, loads of fun; just, like, the funnest.…

Little Grey Celluloid: Some Thoughts on Poirot in Film (and TV)

So, Brexit…

When Agatha Christie conceived of perhaps her most iconic creation, her choice of nationality for him carried with it a certain European esprit de corps. It was 1916, though the first novel wasn’t published until 1920, and Belgium was then occupied by the forces of imperial Germany.…

London Film Festival 2017 – A Rundown (Part 2)

So, here goes it: Part 2 of my three-part rundown of my 2017 London Film Festival experience. Part 1 is available here.

 

Call Me By Your Name

4 Stars (4 / 5)

A story of sex, sculpture, and self-discovery, Call Me By Your Name is the latest in a recent trend of achingly sensitive LGBT romantic dramas that seem to hold such an allure for me.…

REVIEW: The Ritual

3 Stars (3 / 5)
Trauma has been at the root of some of the best horror in recent years: Gerald’s GameIt Follows, The Babadook. New British horror The Ritual brings this subtext up above ground while paying homage to a whole coven of folk horror classics.

My London Film Festival 2017 – A Rundown (Part 1)

So, here goes it: Part 1 of my three-part rundown of my 2017 London Film Festival experience. With 242 films on display, I didn’t quite get a chance to see everything – though I’m hoping to catch a few more on the Digital Viewing Library, so watch this space.…

REVIEW: The Snowman

1.5 Stars (1.5 / 5)
Who butchered The Snowman?

This utterly clueless adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s bestseller fails on every conceivable level. What seems like a reliable basis for an atmospheric Nordic Noir becomes instead a trudge through rote scenarios and underdone psychology.…

REVIEW: The Shape of Water & Brawl in Cell Block 99 (LFF Day 6)

Okay, so I may have skipped a few days, but both of these films were fresh in my mind and my thoughts on them actually seem to have made it onto the page in semi-presentable form.

 

The Shape of Water

5 Stars (5 / 5)

With The Shape of Water, Guillermo Del Toro has delivered a film that is at once a luminous love letter to ‘50s sci-fi and a pricking commentary on prejudice.