International: UK, NZ & Australia Reviews

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Blu-ray Review: Mike Leigh's MEANTIME, A Well-Timed Criterion Release

One of many, many, many films I'd never heard of before Criterion sought to add it to their numbers (number 890 in this case), Mike Leigh's 1984 TV movie Meantime comes across as an unintentional political statement. It pulls us...

Melbourne 2017 Review: RABBIT Falls Down a Meandering Yet Mesmerizing Hole

Luke’s Shanahan’s twisted twin sci-fi thriller Rabbit is a bold and confident debut feature with wonderfully detailed small moments and plot twists that recall some of the best in psychological horror. The film has a focused idea of how it...

Fantasia 2017 Short Film Short Review: TRANSMISSION

Transmission opens with a selection of provocative, disturbing and benign images, a tip of the hat to classical conditioning or aversion therapy. The audience is being prepped for the story. Then the Radetzky March, OP 288 from Johann Strauss Sr....

Fantasia 2017: Born Of Woman Shorts Programme Highlights a Trio of Haunting Standouts

For its second year at Fantasia, the theme running across the curation for the shorts programme Born Of Woman has moved away from the cerebral physical fetishes, and queer emotional landscapes of last year, towards the nature of haunting. The highlights were...

Review: KILLING GROUND, Halfway to a Disturbing Classic

I love horror movies that are disquieting and suspenseful. I hate horror movies that traffic in sheer cruelty and stupidity. So I love the first half of Killing Ground. Sam (Harriet Dyer) and Ian (Ian Meadows) are the prototypical romantic...

Review: DUNKIRK, Nolan Styles Overwrought War Epic

After a slew of tired franchise entries and superhero tentpoles, the summer finally delivers a truly essential big screen experience. Austere and nerve-racking, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk is a bold big-screen gamble that employs an experimental structure and little in the...

Short Film Short Review: THE SUMMONER Punching Ghosts to an Electronic Beat

James Secker’s short film The Summoner introduces us to a world where the spirit world can be very invasive. When this happens the public can call upon The Summoner and he will come and clean your home. Think Tangina Barrons...

Review: LADY MACBETH, An Exhilarating and Timely Tale of a Survivalist Woman

Exquisitely acted, framed and paced, William Oldroyd's Lady Macbeth is perhaps the most accomplished debut feature I've seen in years. Based on Nicolai Lestov's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District, a 19th century Russian novel which was adapted and scripted by...

Review: CHURCHILL, Roaring Like a Lion

Years of warfare have taken their toll on the old lion. Beginning one week before D-Day is set to launch in June 1944, Churchill finds the British Prime Minister (and Minister of Defence) haunted by an epic military failure during...

Inside Out 2017 Review: EMO THE MUSICAL, An Enjoyable, Light Musical That Riffs And Rips Into Love And Identity

Expelled from his last private school for trying to hang himself on school grounds, bullied emo kid Ethan enrolls in a public school and would seem intent on being left alone to do things like going to the bathroom to...

Review: HOUNDS OF LOVE Never Shies Away From Shock

Serial killer thrillers that deal with the dark subject matter of abuse and sexual victimization are the cinematic equivalent of playing with fire. Especially if your film is based loosely on real life crimes, as is the case with Hounds...

Overlook 2017 Review: BOYS IN THE TREES, a Wild Swing and a Miss

Coming-of-age films with a ‘genre’ twist were all the rage in 2016. From Slash’s delightfully off-kilter fusing of softcore eroticism and sci-fi fantasy to Teenage Cocktail’s high school romance that flirted with thriller conventions and the graphic strand of realism...

Overlook 2017 Review: TWO PIGEONS Fails to Soar As High As It Could

“You been watching gay porn on my laptop?” “No I haven’t. Mel, I haven’t been watching gay porn on your laptop.” “Who else has been watching porn on my laptop? Who else lives here?” It’s not your everyday lover’s spat,...

Review: A DARK SONG, Digging Into the Lonely Heart of the Occult

All deaths are hard to deal with, but I would argue there is nothing worse than losing your child (after all, a parent is not supposed to outlive their children). Certainly, when we lose a loved one of any kind,...

Review: FREE FIRE, Bullet-riddled Mayhem From Beginning to End

At about 15 minutes into Ben Wheatley’s sixth feature film Free Fire, it becomes pretty clear we're probably not leaving this room anytime soon. But that is totally cool. This bold storytelling gambit works because Wheatley and his collaborators (notably...

Review: THE LEVELLING, Intense and Moving Portrait of Family Grief

Social realism has always been the cornerstone of British cinema; the lives of the working classes  have been a mainstay for UK filmmakers for decades. In recent years, both the creators of these films, and the subjects, are increasingly women;...

Now on Blu-ray: THE MAN FROM HONG KONG, LONG WEEKEND, BODY MELT, and THE PUNISHER from Umbrella Entertainment Australia

There is plenty of digital ink spilled on this site and many others about the wonderful work of US and UK cult home video specialists like Severin Films, Arrow Video, Vinegar Syndrome and many others like them. But, there are...

SXSW 2017 Review: T2 TRAINSPOTTING, The Boys Are Back in Town and It's Not a Pretty Sight

Kicking heroin and staying off it for 20 years is only the first step for Renton. Facing the likely elimination of his office job, Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Edinburgh, Scotland in search of something he cannot yet identify. Lost...

SXSW 2017 Review: BABY DRIVER, Grand Entertainment on a Funny, Thrilling Ride

Voom voom voom! So begins Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, which finds Ansel Elgort behind the wheel as a getaway driver, rocking out to the a song blasting from the buds planted in his ears. In the privacy of his own...

Review: THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC, Charming Light Fare

Every country/culture seems to have its particular version of the 'quirky' person or oddball, especially women, that are seen in film (America has long been obsessed with the so-called Manic Pixie Dream Girl). From the UK, such a woman usually...