Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Dog Eat Dog Review

Did I ever tell you about the time I followed Paul Schrader from a cinema he'd just given a Q and A in, back to his hotel across Leicester Square? No I didn't, because it's a strange thing to do and this story has a totally unsatisfactory ending. Basically, at LFF this year, I saw Schrader's new film Dog Eat Dog and then the director participated in a Q and A. Afterwards, I saw him walking from the cinema and decided I'd go and shake his hand. For some reason, I didn't just stroll up and shake his hand immediately and instead thought it fascinating that a man as famous (to movie lovers anyway) as Schrader could walk around the centre of London unnoticed. So I followed him, slightly in awe that he was just casually walking around the Square. I thought I'd go and shake his hand in a minute and let him enjoy not being bothered by film fans. Alas, twas not to be as Mr Schrader then walked inside a hotel and disappeared from my life forever.

Anyway, the film Dog Eat Dog is released in UK cinemas on Friday 18th November so here's a snippet of my review:

Based on the novel by real-life criminal Eddie Bunker, Dog Eat Dog is the tale of three jailbirds fresh out of the joint, who while looking to make some fast money, become embroiled in a plot to steal a baby from a rival gangster. With so much stupidity and psychopathic tendencies on display from the central trio, it's not a surprise that nothing goes to plan.
Opening with a talk show interviewee spouting some nonsense about making the world safer by having more people carrying guns, Dog Eat Dog feels like it’s perhaps going to be a contemporary crime thriller with something interesting to say. No such luck. Stuck in the typical gangster milieu of strip clubs and sleazy bars, with its grizzled old ex-cons spouting casually racist lines and engaging in bad taste ‘comedy’ killing scenes, this feels like Schrader trying to emulate Tarantino and all the hip young filmmakers who probably grew up adoring Schrader’s early output with Scorsese at the helm.

If you'd like to check out the rest of my Dog Eat Dog review, please head over to Starburst Magazine.

Here's the trailer:

More recent reviews from LFF 2016:

Trespass Against Us [London Film Festival 2016]

It's Only the End of the World [London Film Festival 2016]

American Honey [London Film Festival 2016]

A Monster Calls [London Film Festival 2016]

Trolls [London Film Festival 2016]

King Cobra Review [London Film Festival 2016]

Down Under Review [London Film Festival 2016]

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Trolls Review: So Happy It Hurts

Trolls was the Family Gala film at the 2016 London Film Festival and was released in UK cinemas in October. Surprisingly, it's not as bad as it sounds. Read my full Trolls review at Starburst Magazine here. Here's the synopsis:

Justin Timberlake’s Branch is the only Troll with an understandable sense of unease that dreaded monsters the Bergens are desperate to find the eye-poppingly bright community of trolls living blissfully carefree in the woods. Twenty years earlier, the Trolls escaped the clutches of the Bergens, who are such a bunch of miserable creatures that they can only find happiness when they eat the multicoloured-haired Trolls. Branch warns his fellow trolls not to have parties full of loud singing and glittery fireworks, but will the irrepressible Princess Poppy and the other trolls listen?

No, they bloody won't, the annoying little buggers. No wonder Branch is miserable and hiding in a hole in the ground. So when the Bergen head chef finds the trolls and carries some off to Bergen town to turn into tasty treats, Poppy must enlist Branch to help her in rescuing her friends so that they don't miss out on anymore scheduled hug times, singing, dancing, and lest we forget... scrapbooking.

Read more of my Trolls review at Starburst Magazine.

Here's the trailer:

American Honey Review

American Honey played at the 2016 London Film Festival and was released into UK cinemas in October. My full review of American Honey is at Starburst Magazine here. Here's the synopsis:

The film follows Star who  first jumps into a minibus full of carefree scruffy white kids who love nothing more than blasting out hip hop, having a good time, and making some money selling magazine subscriptions. Entrepreneur Krystal runs the show keeping her crew of kids working hard, along with her sidekick and best seller Jake (Shia Labeouf). Star jumps at the chance to get in on the action, living the wild life on the road and falling for Jake along the way.

American Honey’s motley crew roll around the affluent neighbourhoods of America, attempting to sell their wares by any means necessary, but the focus is always on Star and Jake as he trains her in the art of the hard sell. It's an episodic structure with no real goal in sight. It's telling that two characters are asked what their dreams are and both reply that they have never been asked that question before. These kids don't get to have dreams. Their minibus is a cocoon of angry hip hop, where they all get to spout repetitive brain-washing capitalist messages about getting rich. Their chemistry comes from sing-alongs and snatches of clearly improvised dialogue. Their single-minded little community lives only to make enough money to buy food, drink and drugs.

Read more of my American Honey review here.

Watch the trailer:

T2 Trainspotting Trailer Arrives: Better Late Than Never

I believe the expression is: 'there are no words'. The trailer for Trainspotting 2 has given me 'all the feels'. Finally, the sequel to one of the greatest movies of all time, and probably my favourite British movie ever, is here. And it's pretty much everything I could have hoped for.

T2 Trainspotting will be arriving at your cinematic station on January 27th 2017. Here's the poster and trailer: