The Party (DVD Review)

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15 – 68mins – 2017


 

REVELATORY REVELLERS

At a dinner party for a few close friends to commemorate Janet’s (Kristin Scott Thomas) political victory and ministerial appointment, her husband Bill (Timothy Finding Your Feet Spall) derails the celebrations with a pair of explosive revelations which have catastrophic ramifications for the majority of those present. Will everyone make it out of The Party alive…?

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Finding Your Feet (Cinema Review)

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12A – 111mins – 2018


 

LEAP OF FAITH

Full disclosure: I did not set out to watch this film. With the best will in the world, I realised from the silvery-haired cast list alone that it clearly was not my kind of film. My parents would love it (in fact, my aunt – who very rarely goes to the cinema – has seen it TWICE), but I am half their age. However, when traffic delayed me and I missed my pre-booked screening of Pacific Rim Uprising, I arrived at the cinema with the option of a second viewing of Unsane (reviewed HERE) in as many days, Finding Your Feet, or a nearly 90 minute wait. So impatient me chose option B.

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Fifty Shades Freed (Cinema Review)

18 – 105mins – 2018


COMING TO A HEAD

Now married to the love of his luxurious-if-troubled life, can billionaire spank-lover Christian Grey (Jamie Shadows in the Sun Dornan) and his innocent and grounded new wife, Anastacia (Dakota How to be SingleJohnson), live happily ever after, or will shady figures from Christian’s murky upbringing come back to haunt Mr and Mrs Grey’s honeymoon period?

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Verónica (Netflix Review)

Carla Campra, Ángela Fabián, and Sandra Escacena in Verónica (2017)

15 – 105mins – 2017


 

GAME NIGHT FRIGHT

Based (albeit sketchily) upon a real-life case from Madrid in 1991, this haunting new horror from [REC] co-director Paco Plaza takes full advantage of its “true crime” roots by beginning and concluding with title cards establishing the unique police case which investigated this occult-dabbling nightmare. Purportedly this was the first ever case in Spanish history to be officially attributed to “paranormal phenomena”.

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Downsizing (Cinema Review)

12A – 135mins – 2018


 

MINATURE IDEA, MASSIVE PROBLEM

I had been pre-warned by two independent sources that Sideways collaborators Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor’s latest offering did not play out the way the trailers lead you to believe. Leaving the cinema after a screening of the ambitious sci-fi comedy-drama the other evening, it was clear that not everyone got the memo. “It started really well…” one woman opined to her partner before her praise dipped. Another couple agreed giving a capule review that went: “It was fun to begin with and then got really weird.” I really could not disagree with either statement.

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The Greatest Showman (Cinema Review)

PG – 105mins – 2017


 

THE PRINCE OF HUMBUG

Eight years in the making, this original musical ring-mastered by Hugh “Wolverine” Jackman and directed by first-timer Michael Gracey is a spectacular if haphazard showpiece which often struggles to marry song and story with a true feeling of authenticity. Ironically for a film about a purveyor of hoaxes, The Greatest Showman has been criticised for taking giant liberties with its biographing of circus founder P.T. Barnum (Jackman) and his unconventional star attractions.

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INSIDE NO. 9, 4.2 – “Bernie Clifton’s Dressing Room” (TV Review)

BBC Two – 10pm – Tuesday 9th January 2018

Created and written by: Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith

Directed by: Graeme Harper


 

ONE LAST SERVING

“You can’t have crackers without cheese!”

Thirty years after once-hot comedy double act Cheese & Crackers bowed out of the limelight at the “arse end of variety,” Len (Steve Pemberton) and Tommy Thomas (Reece Shearsmith) reunite for one final gig in front of an invited crowd, at the invitation of Len’s daughter (Sian Car Share Gibson). But whereas Len is desperate to recreate their glory days (and antiquated “racialist” sketches), Thomas has moved on. Now a hot-shot business owner in digital marketing, he is deeply embarrassed by his frivolous novelty past.

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Dracula Untold (DVD Review)

15 – 92mins – 2014


 

SON OF THE DRAGON

In my post-cinema analysis of last summer’s Tom Cruise-headlined reboot of The Mummy (read my review HERE), I openly acknowledged my enjoyment of the film in spite of its skew away from horror and more towards a supernatural action-adventure. However, it seems audiences (or a lack thereof) were more critical; just one entry in and Universal’s newly-rebranded Dark Universe is already in trouble. But The Mummy wasn’t always to be the opening chapter of this Monster Movie Expanded Universe…

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Personal Shopper (Netflix Review)

Image result for personal shopper 2016 film

15 – 107mins – 2016


 

DESIRE FOR THE FORBIDDEN

Renowned by fans and detractors alike for her tight jaw and sullen gaze, former Twilight megastar and blossoming indie darling Kristen Equals Stewart is perfectly cast here as glum American spiritualist Maureen Cartwright. Moonlighting as a personal shopper for high-profile French fashionista Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten) while she stays in Paris, Maureen is mourning the recent death of her twin brother, who she shares a heart malformation with.

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A Quiet Passion (DVD Review)

12 – 120mins – 2017


 

THE LITERATURE OF MISERY

“Sometimes, Emily, you are as ugly as your poetry!”

Written and directed by Sunset Song‘s Terence Davies, A Quiet Passion is both a boldly compelling yet persistently frustrating portrait of a literary great: prolific 19th century American poet Emily Dickinson, whose unusual existence is chartered from youth to death by two actors: Emma Bell for the opening twenty minutes takes on Emily’s post-school days, morphing into Cynthia Nixon for the concluding hour and forty minutes

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