Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Cinema Review)

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15 – 92mins – 1987


 

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY

As part of a season celebrating the beloved films of John Hughes, last month Cinema City in Norwich screened this classic seasonal comedy – now 30 years old – from the iconic, late American filmmaker. While many make this Thanksgiving-set heart-warmer an annual tradition, this was only my second-ever viewing, and to see it on the big screen with a room of fans who laughed along uproariously to every gag like they were seeing it anew really enchanted me. My second viewing will NOT be my last.

… Keep Scuttling!

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Phoebe in Wonderland (DVD Review)

12 – 96mins – 2008


 

DANGEROUS OR LIBERATING?

“I don’t want to do those things, or say those things, but I have to!”

Akin to the heart-breaking coming-of-age weepie Bridge to Terabithia, Elle Fanning’s 2008 debut feature was sorrowfully mis-promoted upon its belated 2014 UK home release as a magical fantasy (just look at that florid and whimsical DVD cover!!). Despite indiscreetly trading off its connections to Lewis Carroll’s surreal children’s classic, Phoebe in Wonderland is actually an unconventional indie drama which deals with how mental health issues can hamper and disrupt the ‘normal’ experiences of a child growing up. Hardly delightful, kid-friendly fare.

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DOCTOR WHO, 10.4 – “Knock, Knock” (TV Review)

BBC One – 7:20pm – Saturday 6th May 2017

Written by: Mike Bartlett

Directed by: Bill Anderson


INFESTED DIGS

“No living puddles, weird robots or big fish. Just a new house. Nothing scary.”

New student Bill (Pearl Mackie) finds trying to get back to normal life after three weeks of travelling with the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is more difficult than it sounds. A rattle-bang opening montage shows her and five uni pals struggling to find suitable off campus accommodation to move into, until a suspiciously generous Landlord (David Peter Pan Goes Wrong Suchet) offers them his antiquated manor – replete with out-of-bounds tower – for a hard-to-resist price.

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Fast & Furious 8 (Cinema Review)

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12A – 136mins – 2017


 

ROGUE DOM: A CAR WARS STORY

Not trusting British audiences with an iota of common sense, the nut-jobs at Universal Pictures reverted the title of this seventh (Vin) Diesel-fuelled, car-loving action sequel back to the boring, uninspired, numerically denominated handle you read above, missing out on the witty promotion opportunity open to overseas markets where the blockbuster retains its original and superior appellation: The Fate of the Furious. F8, geddit?!

… Keep Scuttling!

Things to Come (DVD Review)

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12 – 98mins – 2016


LØVE AND FRIENDSHIP

“I thought you’d love me forever. I’m a goddamn idiot.”

Released in its native France as L’Avenir, this naturalistic drama from young director Mia Hansen-Løve drew rave reviews and award success for its wry humanity and Isabelle Huppert’s performance as Nathalie Chazeaux, a philosophy teacher who amidst juggling her career, home live and looking after her depressed and ailing mother (Édith Scob), is left by her husband (André Marcon) for another woman.

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Gold (DVD Review)

15 – 84mins – 2014


 

BACK ON TRACK

Not the recent Matthew McConaughey Oscar-bait about prospecting for the precious metal in Indonesia, this is a smaller, earlier, quainter Irish production about the perils of living up to elevated expectations, and the chaos of family life.

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When Marnie Was There (DVD Review)

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U – 103mins – 2014


 

FINE ON THE OUTSIDE

Transposing the setting of Joan G. Robinson’s 1967 children’s book from North Norfolk to Sapporo, Japan, Arrietty director Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s second feature film is otherwise respectfully dutiful to its classic source material – a book which Studio Ghibli founder Hayau Miyazaki proclaimed one of his top fifty children’s stories of all time.

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