Madame Bovary (DVD Review)

15 – 113mins – 2017


 

FEVER OF DESPAIR

Announced in March 2012, cast over the next year and a half and filmed in Normandy from September 2013, French-American director Sophie Barthes’ period adaptation of Gustave Flaubert’s ‘obscene’ nineteenth century masterpiece was granted a premiere at the Telluride Film Festival the following August and then it just… disappeared.

… Keep Scuttling!

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Swiss Army Man (DVD Review)

15 – 97mins – 2016


 

WEEKEND AT MANNY’S

“You’re a miracle! Or I’m just hallucinating from starvation…?”

More popularly known as the film where Harry Potter plays a corpse for ninety minutes, co-writers and directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan’s surreal indie comedy-drama is the epitome of a marmite movie. Appalled at its overt vulgarity and alienating premise, audience members walked out of its Sundance premiere last year, but beneath the farting corpse jokes, Swiss Army Man is also a haunting and experimental first-hand examination of a damaged soul and a troubled mind.

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The Disappointments Room (Film Review)

Image result for the disappointments room15 – 86mins – 2016


THE HORRORS OF NOBILITY

In 2013 Prison Break star Wentworth Miller established himself as a talent behind the camera as well as in front of it when he penned acclaimed cult indie drama Stoker. A year later he co-scribed this promisingly premised supernatural horror with xXx: Return of Xander Cage director D.J. Caruso.

… Keep Scuttling!

RED DWARF XI.5 “Krysis” (TV Review)

Image result for red dwarf xi krysis

Dave – 20th October 2016 – 9pm

Created by: Rob Grant and Doug Naylor

Written and directed by: Doug Naylor


BEYOND BEYOND A JOKE

Episode five of a standard British six-part sitcom series is – unofficially – considered the “dumping ground” for the less-marketable, less-spectacular episode of the series, hidden deep enough into the run that loyal fans are unlikely to be dissuaded from sticking with it, before the following week’s grand finale knocks everyone’s socks off.

… Keep Scuttling!

Breaking the Bank (DVD Review)

12 – 101mins – 2014


 

PLUMMETING PORTFOLIO

Forever known for playing erudite talk show shrink Dr. Frasier Crane over the course of twenty years and two hugely popular US sitcoms, Kelsey Grammer crosses the Atlantic to surround himself with a smattering of UK sitcom stars as brainless, out-of-touch banking titan Charles Bunbury in this straight-to-DVD fiscal farce from director Vadim Jean, best known for his three glossy Terry Pratchett adaptations for Sky1.

“Run a bank? You couldn’t run a bath!”

Affecting a snooty, upper class disdain and throwing in phrases like “chap” and “old bean” is not enough to convince me that Bunbury is a Brit. Likewise, growing a beard, trading loafers for dirty trainers and looking a bit glum is not enough to convince me that Bunbury is suicidal, following his naïve trust in shady shark Matthew Gavin & Stacey Horne’s bogus insider trading tips.

The problem resides in the bubbly, carefree tone, which never confers enough gravitas on “Charlie Chuckaway’s” life-destroying dilemma; from Pitch Perfect’s John Michael Higgins’ smarmy “yank” takeover tease to Tamsin Episodes Greig’s frustrated-but-floundering wife, there’s not a cent of integrity in any of the cavalier, OTT performances – and ultimately, this makes Breaking the Bank subprime stock which is impossible to invest in.

CR@B’s Claw Score: 2 stars

A Long Way Down (DVD Review)

15 – 96mins – 2014


 

SUICIDE SQUAD 

About a Boy, Fever Pitch, High Fidelity… Usually guaranteed fail-safes at the box office, this recent adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel received far less praise and attention than we have come to expect from his usually high-profile works. This was particularly surprising given the calibre of its cast, but that doesn’t mean it is a bad or unworthy film, just one sadly lacking in courage.

Following the growing bond between four strangers (Pierce Brosnan, Toni Colette, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul) who meet while attempting to throw themselves from a London rooftop on New Years Eve, this is billed as a dark comedy due to its sombre themes, however the film far too often takes an almost comfortable and amiable tone, at the expense of greater emotional gravitas.

A Long Way Down [DVD] [2014]Imogen Poots as cute and quirky Jess is an endearing stand-out, and if she had been the sole bringer of some off-kilter chuckles then the film would have been better balanced between observations on depression and irrationality, but it often feels like French director Pascal Chaumeil (in his first major English language gig) all too often plays it safe and doesn’t take these tragic people’s stories seriously enough – and who wants to go and see a lifeless comedy?

CR@B Verdict: 2 stars