FILM REVIEW: Trash

Trash (Stephen Daldry, 2014)

Raphael (Rickson Tevez), a Brazilian street teenager, spends his days sifting through mountains of trash in the hopes of finding something valuable. One day he finds a wallet containing money and other documents, and pockets the lot. Soon after, the police arrive, advertising a reward for anyone who can find the wallet. Though his friend Rato (Gabriel Weinstein) suggests they hand it in, Raphael suspects that there is more to the wallet than the authorities are letting on. So begins a daring and dangerous adventure that reveals the extent of corruption within government and law enforcement agencies. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Trash

FILM REVIEW: It Follows

It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)

I tend to avoid horror movies. As a teen, the Urban Legend and Final Destination franchises had me shaking in my boots, and The Craft was absolutely terrifying. Not just the snakes, but the bit where she loses her hair OH MY GOD. My worst nightmare. It’s not difficult, however, to see the appeal in the horror genre. There is something exciting about having the absolute shit scared out of you when you’re in a safe and comfortable environment, and the psychoanalytic side of horror is intriguing. When I heard that It Follows was being touted as one of the “scariest horror films of all time” I had to see what all of the fuss was about. But I made sure to see it during the day time. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: It Follows

FILM REVIEW: The Age of Adaline

The Age of Adaline (Lee Toland Krieger, 2015)

Oh the horror of having to stay stuck in Blake Lively’s twenty-nine year old body for the rest of time. I don’t know about you, but that prospect is pretty much my idea of LIVING THE DREAM. The Age of Adaline, however, looks at the downside of such a stroke of luck. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Age of Adaline

FILM REVIEW: While We’re Young

While We’re Young (Noah Baumbach, 2014)

Forty-something viewers are those most likely to identify with Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young, but whether you’re Gen X, Y, or older, you’re likely to find something here to appreciate. And there’s music by Wings! Continue reading FILM REVIEW: While We’re Young

FILM REVIEW: X + Y

X+Y (Morgan Matthews, 2014)

In 2007, documentary filmmaker Morgan Matthews explored the world of autistic maths geniuses in his film, Beautiful Young Minds. Here he followed a select few British students as they trained and competed for a place in the final team at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO). With his latest film (and first non-documentary feature) X + Y he melds together various characters and themes from this earlier doco to create a thoroughly affecting fictional piece. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: X + Y

FILM REVIEW: The Longest Ride

The Longest Ride (George Tillman Jr., 2015)

There’s nothing like a Nicholas Sparks book-to-film adaptation to send women’s hearts into a flutter. By now we’re fairly accustomed to their general premise. A conventionally beautiful girl. A guy with a chiselled jaw and abs. One of them with a dark past/secret. An older character to dish out wisdom about love. Some sexy times. Then some heartbreak. And then a sappy sweet, often unrealistic ending. Fans of Sparks know what they’re in for, and they’re unlikely to be disappointed with The Longest Ride. Plus, there are cowboys! Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The Longest Ride

FILM REVIEW: Mommy

Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014)

Xavier Dolan’s Mommy is a hard-going slog. Emotionally harrowing, long, and full of drawn-out conversations. However, I did find myself hanging on every word. Or at least I thought I did, because it seems that I missed a fair bit. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Mommy

FILM REVIEW: Shaun the Sheep Movie

Shaun the Sheep Movie (Mark Burton & Richard Starzak, 2015)

Following the success of the Wallace & Gromit franchise, Aardman Animations have further impressed young audiences with feature films Chicken Run, Flushed Away, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits. Debuting in 2007, their TV series Shaun the Sheep is still going strong. Consisting of short, seven minute episodes, Shaun the Sheep has no dialogue, instead relying on animal noises and the odd grunt from the human characters. In the new Shaun the Sheep Movie, the action shifts to London after the farmer’s caravan goes amiss. You’d be forgiven for expecting the 85 minute feature film set in one of the busiest cities in the world to have a little more dialogue, however, it follows suit. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Shaun the Sheep Movie

FILM REVIEW: Infinitely Polar Bear

Infinitely Polar Bear (Maya Forbes, 2014)

Maya Forbes has previously co-written a number of screenplays (including Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Monsters vs. Aliens, and The Rocker), and now makes her directorial debut with her own personal story. Set over eighteen months in late 1970s Boston, Infinitely Polar Bear recounts the time that Forbes and her sister lived with their bipolar father while their mother completed a business degree in New York. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: Infinitely Polar Bear

FILM REVIEW: The DUFF

The DUFF (Ari Sandel, 2015)

Based on Kody Keplinger’s young adult novel, The DUFF is the most recent addition to the teen comedy genre, which seems to have been neglected in recent years to make way for more dramatic teen fare about vampires (Twilight), dystopian futures (The Hunger GamesDivergent, and Maze Runner series), and dying teenagers (The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay). Films such as Mean Girls, 10 Things I Hate About You, Clueless, and anything with Kirsten Dunst circa 1998-2002 still hold a special place in my heart and despite being past the age of the target audience for these films, I still relish the return of the teen comedy. The DUFF isn’t quite up there, but maybe that’s the nostalgia talking (and if you talk to a Gen-Xer nothing is likely to have beaten John Hughes’ earlier classics  such as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off). The DUFF is likely to resonate with today’s youth, though whether it reaches the heights of any of the aforementioned comedies is debatable. Continue reading FILM REVIEW: The DUFF