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 Death of Stalin

4 Stars (4 / 5)

What do we do when life imitate art to the extent that it renders art redundant?

Well, in short, you look for relevancy elsewhere.

With Trump still in the White House and Brexit still apparently going ahead, the world is too absurd in itself to get much mileage out of trying to take it further.…

NETFLIX HORROR DOUBLE BILL: Gerald’s Game & Cult of Chucky

Gerald’s Game

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
2017 may be remembered as the year we remembered how to adapt Stephen King.1

We’ve even figured out how to do a quality ’90s-style Stephen King miniseries; specifically by getting rid of the sprawl.

Jessie (Carla Gugino) and Gerald Burlingame (Bruce Greenwood) take a romantic weekend away in a last-ditch attempt to recover the spark in their marriage.…

REVIEW DOUBLE BILL: American Made & The Limehouse Golem

American Made

4 Stars (4 / 5)
Scarface, 1932 and ‘83. Goodfellas. The Wolf of Wall Street. War Dogs. American Made is just the latest film to take aim at the dark, opportunistic side of the American dream.

“Based on a true story”, as such films generally are, American Made is the story of Barry Seal, a pilot extraordinaire turned TWA lifer, recruited by the CIA in 1978.…

REVIEW GRAB-BAG: The Dark Tower, Logan Lucky, & The Hitman’s Bodyguard

The Dark Tower

2 Stars (2 / 5)
Or How to Make Soup out of Stephen King’s Keystone Series.

In brief: Take an epic eight-book series inspired by both Lord of the Rings and Spaghetti Westerns,1 strip away the character and the uniqueness, boil down the mythology and the plot, and reduce to 95 minutes.…

FEMINIST GRAB-BAG: The Love Witch & Elle

The Love Witch

4 Stars (4 / 5)
Love is a many-splendoured thing. It can also be deadly, especially when magick’s involved.

Such is the takeaway from The Love Witch, a flawless ’70s-style melodrama from writer-director/musician/editor/set-art-costume-production-designer Anna Biller.

An obvious “passion project”, in more ways than one, the film is a delicious slice of feminist theory masquerading as Technicolour confection.…

CINEMATIC GRAB-BAG: The Lego Batman Movie, Toni Erdmann, & Gold

The Lego Batman Movie

3 Stars (3 / 5)
“All important movies start with a black screen…”

If there’s one thing you can say about The Lego Batman Movie, it’s that it’s very self-aware. Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very self-aware.

Their Finest (LFF Day 9)

4 Stars (4 / 5)

If the BFI were determined to kick off LFF 2016 with a best-of-British film, they should have picked Their Finest.

True, director Lone Scherfig is a Dane and A United Kingdom has more of a social message; not to mention an irresistible title.…

Swiss Army Man: not so much Weekend At Bernie’s as Settling Down And Making A Life With Bernie

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Say what you want about Daniel Radcliffe’s acting abilities, but the man who was The Boy Who Lived has certainly branched out.

From his first big post-Potter role in The Woman In Black back in 2012 to his recent turn as an ingenue FBI agent infiltrating white supremacists in Imperium, his is a career defined by interesting choices.…

Captain Fantastic: a very good (Buddhist) drama

SPOILERS

 

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Ben Cash is not your average dad.

A grizzled hippy living off the grid in the forests of Washington State, his daily routine includes stalking deer, rock climbing, and self-defense; all accompanied by his six extraordinary children.…