American Pastoral (DVD Review)

15 – 108mins – 2016


 

RIOT REVOLUTION

“Doesn’t anyone care? Doesn’t anyone have a conscience?”

Adapted from Philip Roth’s 1997 novel, juggling star and director Ewan McGregor’s first feature behind the lens is a competent-if-flairless debut which leaves it late to make an impact. The life story of high school athlete-turned-factory owner and family man, Seymour “Swede” Levov (McGregor), and structured with modern-day bench-ends, the politically volatile backdrop of 1960s New Jersey  (black rights movement, the Vietnam War, Newark riots) feels clumsily enforced upon us with inserted news reels and radio transmissions.

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The Brand New Testament (DVD Review)

15 – 110mins – 2015 – French with English Subtitles


 

GETTING EVEN WITH DAD

“God exists. He lives in Brussels.”

Accompanied by an eclectic soundtrack which aptly oscillates between grandiose ecclesiastic classical suites and absurdist circus music, this Golden Globe-nominated French language satire is as brilliantly brave and barmy as it is scathingly blasphemous.

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The Bye Bye Man (Film Review)

15 – 96mins – 2017


 

VISION MESS

Purportedly based on the real-life anomalous phenomena detailed in the chapter “The Bridge to Body Island” from Fortean Times contributor Robert Damon Schneck’s book The President’s Vampire, this supernatural horror adapted by Jonathan Penner is an admirable attempt to conjure up a modern-day bogeyman in the same vein as Freddie Kreuger and Candyman. Sadly, director Stacy Title’s film was crucified upon its theatrical roll-out in January, so it seems quite likely that the legacy of The Bye Bye Man will die out sooner than anticipated.

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DOCTOR WHO, 10.2 – “Smile” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:20pm – Saturday 22nd April 2017

Written by: Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Directed by: Lawrence Gough


 

DEATH TO THE UNHAPPY

“Who needs loos? There’s probably an app for that!”

Following her introduction to the Doctor’s perception-altering life outside the University in last week’s “The Pilot” (reviewed HERE), eager beaver Bill (Pearl Mackie) was given her first proper test drive in the T.A.R.D.I.S. this Saturday. Aside from a perfunctory cameo which established a curious father-son dynamic between the Time Lord (Peter Capaldi) and cheeky sidekick Nardole (Matt Lucas), the bald alien was all but absent from proceedings, giving the new companion an opportunity to bond with her new “lecturer.”

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The Belko Experiment (Cinema Review)

18 – 89mins – 2017


CATTLE ROYALE

Social science meets horror in hot-right-now screenwriter James Guardians of the Galaxy Gunn’s startlingly brutal and bloody analysis of the alliances that form and anarchy that follows the revelation that eighty white-collar workers at Columbian recruitment firm Belko Industries are pawns in a maniacal game of last man standing.

… Keep Scuttling!

A Good Marriage (DVD Review)

15 – 102mins – 2014


 

ONE BAD PENNY

As beloved and masterful as Stephen King’s horror stories may be, it’s fair to say that the majority work far better on page than on screen. Sure, there are some truly classic adaptations (Carrie, Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist), but they are outnumbered by some – to be blunt – risible guff (Cell, Maximum Overdrive, Dreamcatcher, Thinner, Secret Window).

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Frank & Lola (DVD Review)

18 – 87mins – 2017


 

LOVE IS NO FAIRY TALE

Opening on an intense lovemaking scene between Las Vegas chef Frank (Michael Midnight Special Shannon) and aspiring fashion designer Lola (Imogen Green Room Poots), I honestly thought I was in for a Fifty Shades-style erotic thriller with debuting director Matthew Ross’ protagonist-named straight-to-DVD feature. But aside from this brief and surprising snatch of nudity from the gorgeous Ms. Poots, this is as titillating as Frank & Lola gets. The ensuing 80-plus minutes does deal with sexual themes, but in a far darker and less intimate manner.

… Keep Scuttling!