Tag Archives: Film

Aubrey Plaza and Jeff Baena discuss zombie comedy ‘Life After Beth’

“Yes, breaking shit was very interesting to me; I really wanted to break some shit.” Aubrey Plaza has just been asked whether the physical aspects of her role in horror-comedy Life After Beth were of particular interest. Her response also reflects the go-for-broke nature of director Jeff Baena’s messy but fun feature debut…

Full interview for The Skinny

Grand Central (Rebecca Zlotowski, 2013)

Nuclear radiation provides the unusual backdrop for a love affair in Grand Central. Tahar Rahim plays Gary, a man with an unclear criminal background who begins work at a nuclear power plant, where several employees take him under their wing and advise how to stay safe and get ahead. One night after work, he meets Karole (Seydoux), the fiancée of co-worker Toni (Denis Ménochet). Following an immediate attraction, the two promptly fail to keep their passions and loyalties in check and begin romping on a regular basis…

Full review for The Skinny

Stations of the Cross (Dietrich Brüggemann, 2014)

Stations of the Cross is made up of 14 segments, each filmed in a single long and often static take, where meticulous compositions and dry performances drive a biting look at fundamentalist Catholicism and domineering parenting, as well as the surrounding secular society that fails to properly intervene when one young girl takes the notion of sacrifice for following God’s will too far…

Full review for The Skinny

Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, 2013)

The contemporary king of grim French cinema, director Bruno Dumont’s latest, the stark Camille Claudel 1915, is based on personal letters and medical records regarding the lengthy institutionalisation of Camille Claudel (Binoche), the former sculptor who developed schizophrenia…

Full review for The Skinny

Godzilla (Gareth Edwards, 2014)

Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla revival is a beautifully directed, perfectly paced blockbuster that effortlessly veers between enormity and quieter, almost transcendental, moments. It inherits more than a trick or two from prime Spielberg and fully earns favourable comparisons to the likes of Jurassic Park and Close Encounters of the Third Kind in its balancing of awe-inspiring spectacle and the accompanying terror induced by its world-altering premise…

Full review for The Skinny

The Raid 2 (Gareth Evans, 2014)

Gareth Evans’ The Raid took place over one day in a single locale; its narrative had an economy akin to old-school John Carpenter. For the sequel, written, edited and directed by Evans, the filmmaker’s vision expands to the infiltration of a criminal network over several years. It is a sprawling, convoluted 150-minute saga built on a story framework that’s simultaneously simple and impenetrable, wherein most of its kinetic choreography is transformed into arduous onslaughts that numb rather than thrill…

Full review for The Skinny

Muppets Most Wanted (James Bobin, 2014)

A musical nod to diminishing returns for sequels opens Muppets Most Wanted, and while this is an overall inferior product compared to its immediate forerunner, as well as other earlier films starring the felt motley crew, there’s enough entertainment here to separate it from nadirs like Muppets from Space and that Wizard of Oz TV movie with Quentin Tarantino.

Full review of The Skinny

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller, 2013)

Based on James Thurber’s short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty stars its director Ben Stiller as an inexpressive, daydreaming underachiever who, provoked by a takeover at the print magazine he works for, finally takes risks and embarks on a convoluted global journey. The takeover is led by a felt-bearded Adam Scott, who plays an even more one-dimensional bastard than his character in Will Ferrell comedy Step Brothers. Two hours of gloopy, insipid, narcissistic wish fulfilment ensues, alongside an uncomfortably extended promotion for dating site eHarmony…

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Though still brimming with some narrative bloat, the second Hobbit feature is overall a considerable improvement on its meandering, tonally scattered predecessor. Less shapeless, though not free of venturing down uninteresting tangents (Hi, Legolas), it feels much more confident and moves with a greater sense of urgency…

Full review for The Skinny

Scotland Loves Anime 2013: The Fourth Impact

The Scotland Loves Anime festival returns to Glasgow and Edinburgh in October for a fourth year of screenings and talks, and that rare opportunity to watch Japanese animation on the big screen – the place where so much of it begs to be seen. Over two consecutive weekends, Glasgow Film Theatre (11-13 Oct) and Edinburgh Filmhouse (18-20 Oct) will showcase some of the best of contemporary and classic anime for both the well-versed and those completely new to the medium…

Full feature for The Skinny