Review: Mother (2009)

Expect the unexpected. Writer-director Joon-ho Bong is known for subverting expectation. He has a natural tendency to flirt between amusing farce and the dark side of human dysfunction. His 2009 mystery, about a doting mother desperately trying to find the culprit behind a murder...

Review: Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine is an apt title for such a rapturous ray of sunlit glee. The title card plays over a morose-looking Steve Carell, his face a picture of misery. The juxtaposition of optimistic words over his pessimistic outlook is filmmaker’s Jonathan Dayton and Valer...

Review: The Amityville Horror (Rosenberg, 1979)

“The Amityville Horror” was a film born out of public fascination. That fascination was fuelled by post-Exorcist hysteria, that demanded haunted house flicks anchored by American history and the collapse of the American dream., with all the trappings of religious folklore and the...

Review: Animal House (Landis, 1978)

“Animal House” promotes promiscuous sex, anti-establishment behaviour, criminal activity, underage drinking and alcohol abuse, violence and general anarchy, little or no respect for the education system, and hand jobs wearing surgical gloves. Do I love this movie? Yes Sir! John...

Review: Spellbound (Blitz, 2002)

An early scene involving an elderly couple, where Granny has to tell her hard of hearing husband the answer to a simple question three times, makes me think of Christopher Guest and his mock-doc satire. A following scene sees Grandpa declare that Mexican’s ‘are not all bums and...

Review: The Departed (Scorsese, 2006)

I looked at the running time before beginning to watch Martin Scorsese’s 2006 crime-drama and thought it might be too long. My girlfriend certainly thought so – she was asleep after half an hour and woke up with about forty minutes left. As I tried to bring her up to speed with...

Review: City of God

I’ve heard Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund’s 2004 Oscar-nominated film to be likened to Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction”. Yet, I’d hazard a guess this is more a marketing ploy to pigeonhole the film into a more saleable product. It is like saying Antonia Bird’s drama “Priest” is like...

Review: A Cock and Bull Story (Winterbottom, 2005)

Said to be an un-filmable novel (and probably rightly so), approaching the movie adaptation of "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy" you’d be forgiven for wondering just how the hell director Michael Winterbottom pulled it off. Well, he didn’t, exactly. It isn’t that the...