Monthly Archives: March 2013

Good Vibrations – review

This biopic of Belfast’s godfather of punk is terrific, particularly in its scenes of noisy, pogoing epiphany Continue reading… Continue reading

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Rosario Dawson on her new film Trance – and the father she never knew

While researching her role as a hypnotherapist for Danny Boyle’s Trance, the actor finally confronted her pastWhen she’s on her own and suitably relaxed, you can hypnotise Rosario Dawson. Eighteen months ago she visited a woman who laid her down, wrapp… Continue reading

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Trance – review

If you thought Danny Boyle could do no wrong after the Olympic ceremony, this overcooked art heist is proof that even great directors have career blips Continue reading… Continue reading

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Letterman banned Harmony Korine from his show in the 90s for trying to steal from Meryl Streep

Talkshow host reveals how he once found the Spring Breakers director going through Meryl Streep’s purse backstageUS talkshow host David Letterman has revealed he banned director Harmony Korine from The Late Show after finding him going through Meryl St… Continue reading

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Will Smith rejected Django Unchained role because it wasn’t big enough

Quentin Tarantino first offered part played by Jamie Foxx to Smith, but actor felt the role played by Christoph Waltz was the real leadWill Smith has revealed he turned down Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained because he felt he was not being offered … Continue reading

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Drink, drugs, and the hyper-sexual: the dark heart of ‘spring break’

The annual exodus of American students to beach resorts has become a raucous rite of passage. Harmony Korine’s new film has a surreal take on the mayhem Continue reading… Continue reading

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Shell – review

Scott Graham’s debut feature casts a spell with its portrait of cramped lives on a Scottish petrol-station forecourt Continue reading… Continue reading

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Welcome to the Punch – review

British director Eran Creevy’s step-up to a big commercial movie doesn’t hit the same quality mark as his earlier drama Shifty

Eran Creevy is the British director who made the very good urban drama Shifty in 2008, and this is his step up to a big commercial picture – a London crime thriller with plenty of hardware: handguns, machine-pistols, automatic rifles, the lot. James McAvoy is Max, a detective tortured by his demons. Some years before, he failed to nab top bad guy Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong) and is still tortured by the pain of getting shot in the leg. Now he’s got the chance to nail Sternwood, but is getting no real support from superior officers Bartnick (Daniel Mays) and Geiger (David Morrissey), and there’s a conspiracy happening somewhere over his head. This is an ambitious picture that may have drawn some inspiration from the Hong Kong Infernal Affairs movies, and I sense that it may well get box-office success. But it runs out of steam, with plot revelations visible from a mile away and a bit of a plausibility gap.

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The Paperboy – review

Cannes turned its nose up at Lee Daniels’s sweat-drenched, Florida-set noir – but the Precious director is expertly flouting middlebrow restraint. Just watch out for the jellyfish Continue reading…
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Broken – review

The quality of the acting can’t salvage a self-conscious family drama about a lonely 11-year-old Continue reading… Continue reading

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Side Effects – review

Steven Soderbergh bids farewell to cinema in style – with a gripping psychological thriller about big pharma and mental health that cruelly leaves you craving one last fix

Did Steven Soderbergh just finish on his masterpiece? Or are these reports of his retirement just a ploy on the director’s part to get a little respect and make us appreciate him in a way we haven’t in a good long while? If so, it could well be working. I am willing to go to the golf course right now, get down on my bended knees on the green, and pretty much beg Mr Soderbergh to put down his clubs, smash his putter, throw his niblick into the pond, forget this retirement nonsense and return to making films posthaste.

Because Side Effects is brilliant: a noir psychological thriller – like a 21st-century Marnie, or Rosemary’s Baby – that is also an acid satire on big pharma, the mental health profession and its terrifyingly powerful, priestly caste of doctors. There is a compelling lead performance from Rooney Mara who lays down the law with her presence. She demonstrates a potent Hitchcockian combination: an ability to be scared and scary at the same time, and Soderbergh’s film manages to introduce its effects in some insidious, almost intravenous way. Fear and fascination swam through my skull simply watching it. And the later scenes involving sex, lies and videotape will be especially involving for those on the lookout for recurrent authorial motifs.

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‘Red coat girl’ traumatised by experience of watching Schindler’s List

Actor who played Holocaust victim revealed she was horrified when she viewed the film as an 11-year-old, against Steven Spielberg’s advice Continue reading… Continue reading

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Sleep Tight – review

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