The Circle (Netflix Review)

12 – 110mins – 2017


 

FULLY TRANSPARENT

In light of a paltry US box office haul and surfeit negative reviews, this speculative techo-thriller was ignobly dumped onto UK Netflix on Sunday, little over two months after it crashed out of Stateside cinemas. It’s a shame, really, as The Circle’s tackling of human rights issues in our ever-more digitized, online age is resonantly timely, while the stellar cast (including John The Force Awakens Boyega and recently departed Bill Paxton) are all exuberant.

… Keep Scuttling!

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Beauty and the Beast (Cinema Review)

PG – 129mins – 2017 – 3D


A READY-FURNISHED CLASSIC

Disney continue their recent trend of mining past animated hits for future live action gold (as I write it is currently the highest grossing film of 2017) with this fifth conversion – following Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book (which I reviewed HERE) – of one of their greatest ‘toons as old as time into 3 living, breathing, singing and dancing dimensions.

… Keep Scuttling!

The Colony (DVD Review)

Image result for the colony 2016

15 – 110mins – 2015


 

INSIDE OUT

“Law and order will be reintroduced in Chile.”

When German photographer and grassroots revolutionary Daniel (Daniel Captain America: Civil War Brühl) is abducted by General Pinochet’s secret police during a military coup in Southern Chile, his air stewardess girlfriend, Lena (Emma Regression Watson), courageously joins a cult masquerading as a charity organisation in order to infiltrate the sealed-off complex and break him out. But will Colonia Dignidad’s shady leader and “lay preacher” Paul Shäfer (Michael The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Nyqvist) allow them to leave his sadistic “Heaven on Earth”?

… Keep Scuttling!

Regression (DVD Review)

15 – 101mins – 2015


IN SATAN’S NAME

Troubled and teary, Hogwarts alumni Emma Watson swaps fantasy and wands for terrifying real world worries as 17 year old abuse victim Angela Gray in this dour and humourless psychological drama. Inspired by disturbing actual events, this thriller was written, directed and produced by famed Spanish auteur Alejandro Amenábar, best known for spirited Nicole Kidman chiller The Others (2001).

Mired in darkness, noir-ish shadows and persistent rainfall throughout, Detective Bruce Kenner (a weary and agitated Ethan Hawke) leads a small town police investigation into the repressed memories of satanic cult members accused of horrific crimes in a God-fearing 1990 Minnesota, thanks to the revolutionary – but questionable – techniques of renowned psychologist Dr. Raines (a reliably level-headed David Thewlis).

With shades of spookiness courtesy of some nightmarish and disorientating dream sequences, Regression is competently plotted and makes for occasionally uneasy viewing (if hardly revolutionary given such comparable recent fare as Backtrack and Dark Places). Sadly, Amenábar’s grim tone and washed out palette are let down tremendously by a real damp squib of an “is that it?!” ending which fails to deliver a satisfying sting to this (forked) tale.

CR@B Verdict: 2 stars