A Quiet Place review “Quietly terrifying”

A Quiet Place movie posterCinema is awfully quiet these days. Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck and Kim Ki-Duk’s Moebius are among the small but substantial handful of films to have embraced the power of keeping schtum. In the cacophony of modern cinema, silence is an underrated commodity. John Krasinski’s directorial debut A Quiet Place is the latest to hold back on the sound in order to enhance the visual horrors. If ever a film had me inwardly crawling my way into a booby trapped bear pit whilst silently gabbering with fear, A Quiet Place is that film.

There’s been some kind of apocalyptic event, biological or alien that we don’t know, in which humanity (or the US at least) is now hunted by giant, super fast and super vicious reptilian creatures. Completely blind, they hunt with an acute sense of hearing meaning survivors must live in a constant state of silent, fearful anticipation. Even the slightest noise will draw them out and if they hear you, well, you’ll see. Continue reading

Game Night review “Perfect popcorn comedy”

Game Night posterReading that Game Night is by the same guys that brought you Horrible Bosses may seem not sound like a selling point, and you could be forgiven in running as fast as you can in the opposition direction, but please, don’t let it put you off.

Game Night is a (moderately) witty, self-aware, screwball comedy with enough titters and twists to keep you entertained to the end. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein may have fallen short on Horrible Bosses (they only wrote the screenplay) but prove to be a winning combination in the director’s chair. Continue reading

Phantom Thread review “Anderson is on top form”

Phantom Thread posterPaul Thomas Anderson has built a career on his endless fascination with dysfunctional anthropoid relationships and characters with a masochistic tendency for extreme self-examination or flagellation.

Just a brief glance at his filmography is evidence for this: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s awkward, sexually repressed boom operator Scotty in Boogie Nights, the messed up multi-faceted bunch of unravelling familial ties in Magnolia, the Scientology-esque oppressive cult of The Master and Punch-Drunk-Love’s tortuous fairytale romance. And now he’s back again, hopping across the pond for this tailor-made gothic romance set in the late 1950s, post-war London. Continue reading

The Florida Project review “Utterly absorbing”

The Florida Project PosterSean Baker made his name directing ‘Tangerine’ , an indie feature he shot entirely on an iPhone camera. ‘Tangerine’ told the story of an LA transgender prostitute and was frankly a marvel considering the low (non-existent) technology budget, teetering on visual masterpiece. His latest venture ‘The Florida Project’, shot in 35mm, is crisp, clear and colourful, but still clings onto that absorption with the beauty of the everyday in this lovingly told Oscar-nominated drama.

Six year old Moonie (Brooklyn Kimberly Prince) lives in Magic Castle with her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) – a scrappy, contentious young woman with a silver piercing perched on her bottom lip, faded sky blue hair and rose tattoos bursting from her chest. She employs her daughter to sell discounted perfumes to the rich members of a nearby golf club, and when she is no longer able to, turns to sex work to provide for Moonie and make rent. Continue reading

I,Tonya review “A middle of the road biopic”

I, Tonya poster

Before we begin. Did you know you can now vote in the third annual Movie Metropolis Alternative Oscars? Vote for your favourite films from last year!

As we are reliably informed in the opening titles, I,Tonya is a story based on the “irony-free, wildly contradictory and totally true” interviews with shamed former figure skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie)  and her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan). It’s a zany, offbeat portrayal of one of the most infamous sporting controversies that enthralled most of the western world in the last decade of the 20th century.

I,Tonya takes on a ‘mockumentary’ style framework mixing interviews with the key players and a chronological telling of Tonya’s rise and fall. The film plays in two acts; Tonya’s tough ascension through the world of figure skating and then the ‘incident’, the assault on rival Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya’s tragic downfall. Continue reading