Archives for Ramsey Hassan

DVD Review: Farewell My Lovely

Directed by Dick Richards
Starring Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling and John Ireland

A lonely horn plays solemnly as the camera pans up from the blurry reflection of a blinking neon sign, belonging to a seedy downtown shop, up to the second story window of the flophouse on top of it. Looking out of it is the haggard visage of Phillip Marlowe (Mitchum), burning cigarette in his mouth, his hat pushed back, tie undone and glass of whisky in his hand. We know that this is going to be an Archetypal Detective movie from the get go. (more…)

Film Review: Sightseers

Directed by Ben Wheatley
Starring Steve Oram & Alice Lowe

Ah, the Lake District. Rolling hills, lush green fields, misty mountains and sparkling Lakes of. . . BLOOD! After the one, two punch of Down Terrace and Kill List, Director Ben Wheatley continues his wicked pace with Sightseers which turns the time honoured British holiday tradition of the camping holiday into carravaning carnage.


Film Review: Broken

Directed by Rufus Norris
Starring Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy & Rory Kinnear

Broken tells a bunch of coinciding stories set on the same cul-de-sac but mainly from the POV of 11-year-old Skunk (newcomer Eloise Lawrence) who lives with her solicitor dad (Roth), gawky older brother (Bill Milner) and her nanny (Zana Marjanovic) on the quiet cul-de-sac – wait, scrub that – a would be quiet cul-de-sac if it weren’t for The Oswalds. A problem family straight out of Jeremy Kyle’s nightmares that consist of psychotic Dad (Kinnear) and his two spoilt, tearaway daughters. The inciting incident that sets all the stories into motion is when Skunk witnesses one of her neighbours, a young man with learning difficulties (a brilliant Robert Emms) being beaten up by Bob Oswald, under the false assumption that he had raped his daughter.


Film Review: End of Watch

Directed by David Ayer
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña and Anna Kendrick

In the gritty new cop drama End of Watch, we follow a typical day in the lives of a two LAPD officers, Taylor (Gyllenhaal) and Zavala (Peña), working the mean street of South Central Los Angeles. The day turns deadly when the two stumble upon a crime scene that puts both their lives in jeopardy.


Film Review: Rust and Bone

Directed by Jacques Audiard
Starring Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts and Armand Verdure

If you are a regular visitor to your local art house cinema you would know that there are two kinds of French cinema. The artsy middle class dramas (and some genre movies too) that mainly revolve around the white French experience (Little White Lies, The Father of My Children, A Burning Hot Summer to name a few) but there are French filmmakers who dare to venture out of the bourgeois fishbowl and deal with the cultural and social menagerie that is modern France. It’s a parallel world of danger, impoverished hoodlums, life & death struggles, and things that bite. Jacques Audiard follows up his plaudit nabbing A Prophet with Rust and Bone, a film which juxtaposes both France’s to create a brutal and tender love story.


DVD Review: Goodbye First Love

Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
Starring Lola Créton, Sebastian Urzendowsky & Magne-Håvard Brekke

Two crazy-in-love French Teenagers – Camille (Créton) and older teen Sullivan (Urzendowsky) swear undying love only for Sullivan to drop a bombshell that he and some friends are backpacking across South America. When he goes, Camille is left marooned on the embers of her first passionate love affair, looking for a way out. Zip forward five years, Camille is an architecture student living with her middle-aged Scandinavian professor (Brekke). Everything is very creepy and French until Sullivan to pop back into Camille’s life. (more…)

Film Review: Beasts of the Southern Wild

Directed by Behn Zeitlin
Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry and Levy Easterly

In a forgotten dip of Louisiana marshland cut off from the rest of the world, six year-old Hushpuppy (Wallis), a kinky haired Pippi Longstocking in galoshes, lives amongst the swamp and jetsam that her dirt-poor but happy Delta community have called The Bathtub. Bathtubbians spend their days fishing, scavenging and boozing, regaling their kiddies with wild tales of prehistoric beasts whilst teaching them how to live self-sufficent as well as to look at the main-landlubbers beyond the levee as nothing more than modernist suckers. You could almost describe life at the Bathtub idyllic until a storm, both real and metaphorical, comes to rock their fragile world.


Film Review: Eames – The Architect and the Painter

Directed by Jason Cohn & Bill Jersey

Innovators have always been figures of fascination for us mere mortals. From Henry Ford through to Steve Jobs, these agents of change have always been portrayed as singular, brilliant and male but in the 1940’s a married couple – Charles Eames (an architect) and Ray Eames (a painter) burst onto the scene and together changed the face of modern architecture and design.  In Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey’s sparky new documentary Eames: The Architect & The Painter we gain an insight into this mysterious duo via interviewers with friends and ex-employee’s as well material from the Eames’ themselves who were obsessive chroniclers of their own creativity; keeping thousands of letters, notes of outlines of design ideas, worries, schedules, shopping lists and research films. 


Film Review: Rock of Ages

Directed by Adam Shankman
Starring Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta & Tom Cruise

If Def Leopard, Journey and Poison are familiar friends on your iPod and news of The Darkness comeback album has you got you reaching for your tight leather trousers and hairspray then there is a pretty good chance Rock of Ages will be your new favorite movie. Choreographer-now-director Adam Shankman resurrects the perfumed days of Hair Metal to spin a tale of a small town girl, Sherrie (Hough)  livin’ in a lonely world until she hooks up with a city boy rocker, Drew (Boneta) and they fall in love to an afternoon’s worth of VH1 Classics of ’80s Stadium Rock. The lovers both end up waiting tables at West Hollywood Cock Rock Mecca ‘The Bourbon Room’ which is up to its nose in debts and pinning it’s hopes on Stacee Jaxx (Cruise) the decadently wasted lead singer of arena rock giants ‘Arsenal’ who were former Bourbon mainstays and will perform a one-off benefit show for the club before their singer turns solo. Throw in a gaggle of angry Christian mom’s lead by the Mayor’s Anti-Rock crusading wife Patrica (Catherine Zeta Jones) and you have a powder keg of conflict.