In praise of Dwayne Johnson’s performance in Pain & Gain

With the release of Baywatch, Dwayne Johnson ventures into raunchy comedy mode, as the much beloved remembered TV show gets an affectionate piss-take update. Word of mouth on the reboot may be mixed, but that certainly isn’t a reflection of Johnson’s comic abilities. Cocksure humour was a key component of his wrestling persona, The Rock,… Read More In praise of Dwayne Johnson’s performance in Pain & Gain

How The Lost World taught me that films could be cruel

Twenty years on from its summer ’97 release, any reverence for The Lost World: Jurassic Park is largely restricted to people holding up for it as the best of the franchise’s sequels. Which is perhaps fair and certainly understandable, especially given that directors Joe Johnston and Colin Trevorrow, the series’ most recent torch bearers, have not managed… Read More How The Lost World taught me that films could be cruel

In Praise of the visionary Gore Verbinski

For the best part of a decade now, Hollywood marketers has shown a penchant for promoting the ‘visionary’ – you’ll be familiar with trailers claiming the latest film hitting your multiplex as being from ‘visionary director [INSERT NAME HERE]’. Our research suggests the trend started around the time of Watchmen’s first trailer in 2008, which featured the line… Read More In Praise of the visionary Gore Verbinski

Fresh Blood: 5 mindblowing vampire movies

The Transfiguration, receiving its UK premiere at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival, is a bold calling card debut from writer-director Michael O’Shea. Its central conceit sees an African-American teen, Milo, drenching himself in vampire lore, much of it gleaned from movies, and attempting to become a blood-sucker himself. It’s something of a ‘realist’ spin on… Read More Fresh Blood: 5 mindblowing vampire movies

Sundance London: A Snapshot of American Independent Cinema in 2016

After taking a year off in 2015, the team behind Sundance London returned this year to give UK audiences a snapshot of what’s cooking on the American indie scene, with the lavish Picturehouse Central acting as the festival’s new hub for UK or European premieres of some of the buzziest titles to have emerged from… Read More Sundance London: A Snapshot of American Independent Cinema in 2016

‘Candyman’ or (How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Say Farewell to the Flesh)

During the 21st century boom of horror remakes with any sort of vaguely iconic bogeyman at their centre, be it Halloween or A Nightmare on Elm Street, it’s something of a surprise that the 1992 film Candyman never got the same treatment. One can just imagine a Platinum Dunes take with a Marcus Nispel or a… Read More ‘Candyman’ or (How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Say Farewell to the Flesh)

Vague Visages on Varda’s 88th: ‘Le Bonheur’ (Agnès Varda, 1965)

Cléo from 5 to 7, arguably Agnès Varda’s most famous work, concludes with an almost ambivalent air about it, leaving viewers grasping for a resolution and answers that they’re ultimately going to have to work out for themselves. Just a couple of years later, one of Varda’s earliest moves into colour cinema, Le Bonheur (or Happiness),… Read More Vague Visages on Varda’s 88th: ‘Le Bonheur’ (Agnès Varda, 1965)