Bumblebee

Bumblebee (2018)

Bumblebee first published by Sight & Sound, March 2019 Review: Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, 2016) Bumblebee is a prequel, (mostly) preceding the events of the five live-action Transformers films made by Michael Bay between 2007 and 2017, and telling the origin story of how B-127 escaped from the war-torn planet of…

True

All Is True (2018)

All Is True first published by Sight & Sound, March 2019 Review: In a scene near the beginning of All Is True, William Shakespeare is shown outside his Stratford home, telling the housemaid that composing plays is just like tending a garden or baking bread. While these are just the sort of homely similes to…

Ghostland

Incident In A Ghostland (2018)

Incident In A Ghostland first published by VODzilla.co Lots of horror films open with portentous quotes from the writings of H. P. Lovecraft. Incident In A Ghostland appears, initially to embrace that same cliché, only to confound it. For it begins with a photographic image of the famous horror author, as well as his full…

Battery

The Battery (2012)

The Battery first published by VODzilla.co The Battery opens with a low-angle medium shot of Mickey (Adam Cronheim) standing in front of a house, smoking while listening to Wise Blood’s B.I.G. E.G.O.on his headphones. With his baggy shorts, crisp clean yellow T-shirt and styled goatee, Mickey is the very picture of a young, fresh-faced college…

Nekromantik 2

Nekromantik 2 (1991)

Nekromantik 2 first published by SciFiNow Buttgereit’s improbable sequel of transgression, Nekromantik 2 is also a romance. When death-fixated Monika (Monika M.) takes home the cadaver of the first film’s protagonist while also courting porn-dubbing artist Mark (Mark Reeder), we see a woman’s conflicted quest to find her perfect man – even if a certain…

Bonsái

Bonsái (2011)

Bonsái first published (in a shorter version) by Film4 Summary: A laid back, ludic literary romance (of sorts) that sets past against present and story against story. Cristián Jiménez (Optical Illusions) directs. Review: “At the end of this film, Emilia dies and Julio remains alone,” insists the voice-over at the beginning of Bonsái. “The rest”, we are…

Nelson

Half Nelson (2006)

Half Nelson first published by Film4 Summary: In Ryan Fleck’s debut feature, Ryan (The Believer) Gosling is an inner city teacher in crisis. Review: American cinema’s image of the inner city high school has always been divided along strict ideological lines, generally allowing for only two plot types: in films of a liberal persuasion, teachers are inspirational…

Triangle

Triangle (2009)

Triangle first published by Film4 On-stage with writer/director Christopher Smith (Creep, Severance) at the Film4 FrightFest 2009 to introduce the world premiere of Triangle, lead actress Melissa George seemed to commit the near-criminal faux pas of revealing a major spoiler. In fact this apparent clanger, while certainly not a red herring, did not and could…

Triangle

Triangle (2009)

Triangle first published by Sight & Sound, Nov 2009 Review: “He cheated Death – no, he made a promise to Death that he didn’t keep. I studied it, but I can’t remember it.”  Standing before a painting of the Greek god of winds Aeolus, aboard an ocean liner bearing the same name, Sally (Rachael Carpani) tries…

Bullitt

Bullitt County (2018)

Whether it takes us back to childhood, or to ‘better times’, the appeal of nostalgia is the fantasy it offers of regaining paradise lost and returning to a state, however illusory, of innocence. Bullitt County, the second feature from writer/director David McCracken (Daylight, 2013), comes with a double dose of nostalgia: not only is it…

Mata

A Mata Negra (The Black Forest) (2018)

The opening shot in Rodrigo Aragão’s A Mata Negra (aka The Black Forest) is of a stone church atop a rocky outcrop, overlooking the forest below. There humble herbalist Pai Pedro (Markus Konka) finds an abandoned girl, and takes her in as his own. Years later, foundling Clara (Carol Aragão) is a good-natured, naïve teenager…