Avatar

Avatar (2009)

Avatar first published by EyeforFilm Pandora, the jungle moon at the centre of James Cameron’s Avatar, has a lot of waterfalls. In one scene, protagonist Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) leaps from the top of a waterfall to evade being devoured by a ferocious leopard-like beast known as a Thanator, thus separating himself from his human…

Desolate

Desolate (2013)

Desolate first published by Grolsch FilmWorks “Have you ever wondered if it would be better if all this sort of ended? Boom!” This is Chad (Jez Bonham), on his first, disastrous date since his long-term girlfriend Annie (Teagan Vincze) walked out on him. With Annie’s departure, Chad’s whole world has come to an end, leading…

Patema Inverted (2013)

Longer version of review first published in LittleWhiteLies As a genre which reflects and defamiliarises everyday societal tensions through a glass darkly, dystopian fiction is always inverting the world as we know it – but in feature anime Patema Inverted, written and directed by Yoshiura Yasuhiro (Time of Eve), the inverted world assumes an unusually…

Machine

The Machine (2013)

Longer version of review first published by Sight & Sound, April 2014 Review: “Do you know your mother’s name? Or what she looked like?” Cybernetics genius Vincent (Toby Stephens) – his name evidently a play on the forename of Dr Frankenstein – is interviewing a soldier whose war-damaged brain has been replaced with a neural…

The Zero Theorem (2013)

Review first published by EyeforFilm We have been here before. If Terry Gilliam’s greatest film Brazil (1985) dealt with an ordinary man’s search for identity, love and dreams in a shabbily oppressive, Kafkaesque dystopia, then his latest, The Zero Theorem, treads much the same ground, while updating it to our weird, wired world. Our everyman…

Her

Her (2013)

Her first published by Film4. Synopsis: Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Where The Wild Things Are) writes and directs this melancholic romance set in the near future. Review: Spike Jonze’s Her opens with its moustachioed main character Theodore Twombly (the ever-astonishing Joaquin Phoenix) reading – in voice-over – a letter that he is composing…

Dreamcatcher

Dreamcatcher (2003)

Dreamcatcher review first published by Daily Info – and genuinely one of my favourite scoops of studio-released batshit. Director Lawrence Kasdan is best known for The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist and Body Heat, and any one of those titles would have been appropriate for his new film Dreamcatcher, with its snowbound setting, and its uninvited…

Skyline

Skyline (2010)

Review first published by EyeforFilm. In the wee hours of the morning in a Los Angeles penthouse that was the scene of a party the night before, Elaine (Scottie Thompson) wakes and staggers, still half-asleep, to the bathroom to throw up. Returning to bed, she notices that the room is shaking, and that a strange…

The Wall (2012)

Review first published by EyeforFilm. “Freedom is a journey,” go the English-language lyrics to the anodyne pop song that plays on the car radio as elderly couple Hugo (Karl Heinz Hackl) and Luise (Ulrike Beimpold) drive through the Austrian hinterlands with their dog Luchs and an unnamed younger friend (Martina Gedeck), heading for a hunting…