1-LINE-MOVIE-REVIEWS

Aftersun (2022)

Nostalgia is the sensation of happiness and sadness in equal measure — this film captures that sensation 

4/5

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (1960)

Albert Finney encapsulates the ‘angry young man’ label for which the titular book was paired with – the film is a sort of New Wave & Kitchen Sink amalgam that heralds a disillusionment amongst British youth

3/5

The Banshees of Inisherin (2023)

An outstanding articulation of existential estrangement that weaves Irish witticism with abandoned kinship 

5/5

In The Mood For Love (2000)

Everything you may have heard about this film is true 

5/5

Electric Dreams (1984)

A love triangle where one corner is a personal computer, like if HAL was a jealous partner – this 80’s film is by no means groundbreaking, though it does land comfortably where it intends to 

4/5

Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! (1965)

An artefact of subversive B-Movie’s that depicts three go-go dancers as they travel across the deserts of California on a crime spree against intolerant and overbearing men – eventually reappraised as a feminist classic, we see the beginnings of a more depraved emergent cinema

3/5

All The Colours of Dark (1972)

A frustrating Giallo film that descends into a cult psychodrama, completely devoid of any semblance of fear; it never quite justifies it’s own existence

2/5

Vampyros Lesbos (1971)

Shag carpet and cigarettes fumes level funky 1970’s film accompanied by an enticingly absurd soundtrack – a sort of reimagining of Dracula, though set in Istanbul and featuring erotic soft core porn

3/5

Funny Pages (2022)

A black comedy, coming of age story that tracks the strange and unrequited friendship of an aspiring teenage comic book artist and a criminally accused ex-colourist – firing on all indie cylinders it doesn’t quite take off

2/5

Nil By Mouth (1997)

With beautiful photography and excellent casting, this deeply personal work (Gary Oldman’s only Writer/Director credit) is abrasive, shocking and entirely self-destructive – a somewhat unpolished debut that leaves you wondering whether Oldman’s directing abilities would’ve flourished in his next film

2/5

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Yes, it’s a bold commentary on the soul (or absence there of) of Capitalism, yes, Daniel Day-Lewis is entirely immersed, yes, it’s an epic – though despite the uniform reverence; the film is as empty and grandiose as it’s prospector protagonist; Daniel Plainview

3/5

Sicario (2015)

A masterfully crafted Neo-Western that comments on the ethics of crime as well as the subjectivity of justice – tightly wound and genuinely thrilling

4/5

Glass Onion (2022)

A charming return of Daniel Craig’s anachronistic Benoit Blanc see’s him on a billionaire’s private island – a seething lambast of the vapid nature of an elite who are grotesquely out of touch

4/5

Dune (2021)

From the embers of Lynch’s failure comes Villeneuve’s adaptation of the supposedly unadaptable – with signature sweeping visuals carrying majority of the film, the story itself is largely cliche ridden and difficult to act with any plausible sincerity

3/5

Crimes of The Future (2022)

Cronenberg returns to his most comfortable suit with all the famous pieces; body horror, amorality, violence, technology – whilst touching upon ethics of shock art, sex and ecological breakdown, it doesn’t manifest beyond tedious grotesquery

2/5

Lady Chatterley’s Lover (2022)

The most recent adaptation of D.H Lawrence’s infamous novel emphasises the impressionism of touch and environment without overbearingly explicit moments, led by a kind tenderness and resolve from Emma Corrin

3/5

Men (2022)

Alex Garland’s folk horror mixes post traumatic stress disorder with regurgitating men and the English countryside 

3/5

X (2022)

With overt nods to classic horror features; X decidedly inverts the thematic tropes into a commentary on age and the ethics of porn – just about landing where it aims to, sometimes with a nod and a wink

3/5

Don’t Worry Darling (2022)

Olivia Wilde’s controversy battered sophomore feature is a beautifully directed but ultimately vapid imitation of other, better films

3/5

Westworld (1973)

Directed by the author who wrote ‘Jurassic Park’ the novel; Micheal Crichton, this film is an earlier iteration of his luxury theme-park gone awry concept – the robot-cowboy laden Westworld is one of three era-based worlds customers can visit

5/5

Nightmare Alley (2021)

Departing from mythical worlds; Del Toro veers into psychodrama in his adaptation of the eponymous novel which follows a carny’s doomed transit into becoming a clairvoyant – a damp, 40’s style noir wrapped up in art deco set pieces

3/5

Muriel’s Wedding (1994)

A bitingly funny and heart-wrenching Australian comedy starring Toni Collette as a self-loathing liar and aspirational bride – a film Ridley Scott cited as the one that he’d put into a time-capsule in order to summarise the cinematic experience to future alien visitors, no really

4/5

Snowpiercer (2014)

A stylised take on class revolution with a strong cast and masterful direction – the titular Snowpiercer is a non-stop train containing the remains of humanity that perpetually loops around a post-apocalyptic earth

4/5

Blast From The Past (1999)

What begins with such comedic strength spins out into forgettable banality – Brendan Fraser plays a 35 year old man whose spent his entire life in a nuclear bunker only to emerge in 90’s Los Angeles looking for love

2/5

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

A picture that captures the sensational escapism and jubilance of disco music during the 1970’s in an unforgiving New York City – John Travolta plays Tony Monero; a disillusioned 20 year old who escapes his tense home life by dancing

3/5

Heathers (1988)

Veronica is friends with three vindictive girls named Heather at an Ohio high-school, she meets J.D and becomes accomplice in the murder of her peers – a pitch black and warped addition to 80’s rom-com movies

3/5

Clockwatchers (1997)

A bleak take on the monotony of office based corporate culture that permeated late 90’s cinema, at times funny and at others tragic; we see four women who are drafted into settings as temp workers deal with the psychological effects of temporality

3/5

Cinema Paradiso (1988)

A meta-story of time and vision told within the walls of a cinema, the film is a recollection by a filmmaker who revisits the rural Italian cinema where he found his passion, through the mentorship of an elderly projectionist

4/5

Matinee (1993)

A bashfully sweet take on the B-movie heyday in 1960’s USA; Matinee follows two brothers who are desperate to see the shocking new picture ‘MANT’ by monster movie director Lawrence Woolsey in their local cinema

3/5

Alphaville (1965)

A cerebral nightmare set in an off-world dystopian city mired in espionage and deception; Alphaville weaves several genres together into an entirely new outfit whilst masterfully tackling themes of techno-ethics, authoritarianism and corruption

5/5

Nope (2022)

A fruitless set back for the prophesied horror-auteur mantle that Jordan Peele was poised to consecrate; ‘Nope’ is an inert reimagining of an invader B-movie that leaves everything to be desired 

2/5

Prey (2022)

A welcomed original that promised an adrenal resurrection of the flatlining franchise; though despite the hype and fevered response, the strong concept and direction are let down by flat, anachronistic dialogue and baffling plot devices

2/5

The Northman (2022)

Robert Eggers’ stab at a blockbuster, despite it’s barbarism, doesn’t quite draw blood – it’s strength lies in it’s elemental framing of the Nordic landscape and kinetic world building – the story itself succumbs to inconsistent vernacular, indecisiveness and underwhelming battles

3/5

The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue (1974)

A wyrd mélange of B-movie, eco-horror and detective drama; this Italian financed, Spanish directed film see’s the British Department of Agriculture in the hills of Northern England meddling with an experimental radioactive pesticide technology that inadvertently brings the dead back to life

3/5

Escape From L.A (1997)

A critical mass satire from B-Movie auteur John Carpenter that takes direct shots at the perversion and anarchic vanity of a dystopian Los Angeles in 2013 – with cameos from Peter Fonda & Bruce Campbell the film is a self-aware countercultural lampoon of a blockbuster

3/5

Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022)

There’s a scene where a Pomeranian is used like a medieval mace – that aside; this film is a dimension shattering testament to human potential and how we all wield the power to become someone new

5/5

Elvis (2022)

Baz Luhrmann’s frenetic and laminated highlight-reel take on Elvis Presley’s life is soured by lack of depth and anachronistic tie-in pop songs; all which ultimately leave the spectacle playing out like a pile-up of vintage luxury cars

2/5

Red Rocket (2021)

Something like if Lolita and Nomadland collided into a single movie; in this black comedy we see Simon Rex perfectly cast as an ageing porn-star in an industrial suburb of Texas City, who encounters a young girl at a donut shop (whilst staying at his ex-wife’s house)

3/5

Lost Horizon (1937)

Perhaps the definitive depiction of a cinematic utopia; a group of plane crash survivors discover the mystical Shangri-La, which appears as a streamline-moderne oasis within the harsh Himalayan mountains – a Sunday silver-screen escape

4/5

Sex & Fury (1973)

A genuinely insane and gratuitous revenge picture which establishes female heroine Ochō Inoshika as something like the embodiment of Nemesis; the Greek goddess of vengeance and retribution

3/5

The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Trying to tell a story of infidelity whilst confined to the prism of all-American valued censorship leaves this famous-for-one-shot mid-century-rom-com struggling to make the statement on lust that it really wants to

2/5

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1975)

Perhaps outpaced by it’s own reputation, the shock factor is surprisingly tame – as a dry heat depiction of the rotten outback of the USA, it finds it’s best moments in some of the art-house style direction – the rest is very much an afterthought

2/5

Zulu (1964)

Directed by an American who was exiled for being a Communist, notable for it’s depiction of the Zulu military as a formidable, highly aligned, strategic army (as opposed to chaotic, godless savages) – this colonial retelling of The Battle of Rorke’s Drift sits amongst the pantheon of the very best sweeping 60’s epics

5/5

Vampire’s Kiss (1988)

Supposedly a comedy, this extremely strange film follows Nicholas Cage as a literary agent in 1980’s New York who loses his mind in the delusion that he’s a vampire – deeply tragic in it’s own descent, the maximalist performance rendered by Cage is so unsettling, so idiosyncratic that you need to see it to believe it

3/5

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

A film that establishes a circularity with the Nick Cage mythos in which he encounters himself and confronts his own cliches – it was worth making & worth watching but is very much single view cinema

2/5

Apollo 10 1/2 (2022)

Richard Linklater splices together the zeitgeist of the space age with the imagination of a young boy in this wonderfully wholesome ode to a bygone era – advancing on the Rotoscope technique plays it all out like you’re dreaming of a past you weren’t there for – beautiful cinema

5/5

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Despite the shrill noise emitting from the grinding machine of Marvel’s MCU, this film is a delight that stands out as a sort of blockbuster cross-over episode, it binds together two decades of a pop cultural thread (web, if you will) with heady themes of loss and growth into a warm singularity – excelsior

4/5

Flesh + Blood (1985)

Paul Verhoeven’s vision of a war torn 14th Century Europe is a largely directionless trip into amorality — Rutger Hauer looks visibly removed from the narrative, ostensibly due to the creative differences between himself and his fellow Dutch director

2/5

Where The Wind Blows (1986)

A heartbreaking rendering of the post-war assurance of English orderliness in the face of atomic annihilation

5/5

Happy Death Day (2017)

‘Groundhog Day meets Halloween’ is probably the phrase declared in the email that substituted as an elevator pitch to get this film off the ground — despite it’s pastiche it never conjures up anything original

2/5

The Deer Hunter (1978)

An expansive epic that lacks the soul which the films reputation asserts that it has — hour long weddings suddenly veer into Vietnamese torture scenes that spin out into a traumatised nihilism, it makes for an emotionless but barbaric contrast

3/5

Best In Show (2000)

A wacky and somewhat anachronistic mockumentary that follows Eugene Levy & Catherine O’Hara as two desperate dog-owners who dream of winning a dog show in Philadelphia — it sits crested on the wave of new millenium cringe comedy

3/5

First Man (2018)

A kinetic balance of acceleration & impact that manages to humanise that which seems superhuman; to break the skies – textured & masterful

5/5

Last Night In Soho (2021)

Oscillates between; technically/stylistically marvellous & deeply corny/unsubstantial — pairs with ‘The World’s End’ in lower-par Wright 

2/5

I Walked With A Zombie (1943)

A truly bizarre fusion of voodoo and implicit/explicit colonialism — an ultimate midnight movie 

4/5

Dead of Night (1945)

Released just 7 days after the end of WW2, this subdued British horror anthology flirts with supernatural cosmicism & relativity, 14 years before The Twilight Zone aired — withstanding a then creative ban on horror in the UK

4/5

Wrath of Man (2021)

Guy Ritchie failing to resuscitate the cadaver of late 80’s action film alpha’s into modernity (by making it non-linear)

2/5

Juice (1992)

Somewhere between peak 90’s & male bravado, surmised in liquid slang — you would think a film with Tupac on the loose in New York would likely be memorable, but…you would be wrong

2/5

Tales From The Hood (1995)

This forgotten Spike Lee produced horror-anthology reckons supernatural vengeance with somber social commentary — a deviously crafted cult film, without the cult following

4/5

The Firm (1989)

Gary Oldman losing the fucking plot playing a bloodthirsty football firm warlord with a vision for a national firm — potent & adversarial

3/5

The Big Short (2015)

An ensemble that reduces macro-economics to the indifference of institutions & the moral blindness of financial professionals 

4/5

Popstar: Never Stop Stopping (2016)

A satirical circumnavigation around celebrity culture – an evolution of the mockumentary format with just the right amount of self-awareness 

3/5

Mean Creek (2004)

Josh Peck plays a bully whose swept up in a revenge plot, led by a disaffected Scotty-Doesn’t-Know — a study on social clustering & the malice of teenagers 

3/5

The Lost Daughter (2021)

A sun drenched, mid-life crisis around the nuances of motherhood, maternity & malignant behaviour — a concentrated debut from Maggie Gyllenhaal 

3/5

THE PIRATE

Open ocean promises much 

At the helm of his rotten ship 

In search of further ports 

To repair the damage sustained 

Pulling in bays where taverns invite 

Stomping across the tide of the beach 

Dripping trousers soak the floorboards 

As his fingers tap the bar impatiently 

Thick warmth hastens his interest 

As the ale appears a frothing mouth 

Three, four deep is only next to five 

Before the room spins around him 

Spilling into the night to meet the beach 

To sit underneath shimmering onyx 

To wait for the sunrise to invite again 

Off to his ship, elsewhere in haste