Archive by Author

Game of stones – Pompeii review

By Richard Haridy July 23, 2014 Pompeii is what some critics will label a “guilty pleasure.” It’s trash. Unadulterated, cliché-ridden junk that is also simply damn fun to watch. I tend to rail against the term “guilty pleasure” as one should never feel guilty about enjoying something. Pompeii is a grand B-grade mash up of […]

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Flying high – Non-Stop review

By Richard Haridy July 2, 2014 Non-Stop is another entry in Liam Neeson‘s late-career shift towards gruff, sombre action pictures. Teaming up again with Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra, after the surprisingly engaging Unknown, Neeson offers up a compelling turn in a film that is fast-paced and filled with satisfying twists. The less said about the […]

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The Costner of living – 3 Days to Kill review

By Richard Haridy June 24, 2014 3 Days to Kill is an extraordinarily compelling film; unfortunately, in all the wrong ways. Several times over its strung-out two hours I stared at the screen, mouth agape, wondering what the hell I was watching. Directed by McG and co-written by Luc Besson, this is alternately a bombastic […]

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Russian lark – Tokarev review

By Richard Haridy June 16, 2014 In Jason Statham‘s Homefront, it was clearly established that it’s always a bad idea for a villain to mess with our hero’s daughter. In Tokarev, Nicolas Cage gets to play the angry father in a story so formulaic I’m pretty sure a computer wrote the screenplay. He plays a […]

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Wild at art – Cutie and the Boxer review

By Richard Haridy May 14, 2014 Cutie and the Boxer is a slice of cinematic magic that manages to turn a simple documentary portrait of a Japanese artist living in New York into a transcendently relatable examination into how long-term relationships function. Ushio Shinohara is a Japanese artist who moved to NY in the 1960s. […]

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Franco files – Tar review

By Richard Haridy May 12, 2014 Apart from mythological epics like Troy or Beowolf, it’s rare to see poems adapted to film. Tar is unusual, not just because it’s based on the work of contemporary Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C.K. Williams but also in how it was developed. Completed by twelve student filmmakers, Tar is virtually […]

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Read all about it – The Book Thief review

By Richard Haridy May 5, 2014 Based on Australian author Markus Zusak’s best-selling novel The Book Thief, Brian Percival‘s film adaptation is faithful to a fault, with Michael Petroni’s screenplay struggling to generate a strong narrative through-line from the dense and episodic source material. Beginning in 1938, it follows the story of young Liesel (Sophie […]

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Meth wish – Homefront review

By Richard Haridy April 23, 2014 From Commando to Taken, if cinema has taught us anything, it’s to not mess with heroes’ daughters. It really does make them angry. Homefront is the type of film that gleefully indulges in that well worn cliché with an entertaining sincerity. After a raid on a meth lab climaxes […]

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Anatomically incorrect – Nurse review

By Richard Haridy April 1, 2014 Nurse is one of those modern, pre-fabricated cult movies like The Human Centipede or Sharknado, designed to be talked about amongst friends though never truly satisfying as a genuinely interesting piece of exploitation cinema. The picture (inspired by the photography of Tim Palen, production company Lionsgate’s chief marketing officer) […]

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The travel bug – Magic Magic review

By Richard Haridy March 18, 2014 Magic Magic is a bold, subversive and conclusively sadistic piece of work that implants a knot into its audience’s stomach before kicking them out to the curb with a brutal ending that withholds any sense of conventional catharsis. Juno Temple stars as Alicia, a meek young girl who, travelling […]

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Independent spirit – Insidious: Chapter 2 review

By Richard Haridy March 11, 2014 After creating the huge Saw franchise and reinvigorating the haunted house movie with the first Insidious and then The Conjuring, Aussie writer/director team James Wan & Leigh Whannell are stepping into franchise mode with Insidious: Chapter 2. Following on from the end of Insidious, all you need to know […]

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The ‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ trailer proves the movie really exists

Nine years after the original Sin City we are finally getting our first look at the long-awaited sequel in this debut trailer release. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For certainly looks like a Sin City film, but it will be exciting to see what director Robert Rodriguez can achieve with a whole host of […]

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Sam Raimi producing ‘The Last of Us’ movie

The video game smash hit of 2013, The Last Of Us, is getting turned into a feature film with Sam Raimi’s Ghost House Pictures producing, Deadline reports. Considering the enormous market video games have nowadays, it’s actually a surprise more recent hits haven’t crossed over into cinematic territory, but The Last Of Us seems perfectly […]

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Stomach this – Bad Milo review

By Richard Haridy March 5, 2014 Bad Milo is a high concept film that is much more fun to talk about than actually watch, as if director Jacob Vaughan had one amusing idea and was never pushed hard enough to expand it further. The admittedly gonzo premise introduces us to Duncan (Ken Marino), a white-collar […]

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Mama drama – Why Stop Now review

By Richard Haridy February 19, 2014 Comedy and drama are two elements notoriously hard to successfully blend. Why Stop Now is a classic example of a film that fails to find a cohesive tone, jarringly bouncing between comedy and drama as it rushes towards a disappointingly insincere “happy” ending. Jesse Eisenberg plays Eli, a piano […]

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Pump up the volume – Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa review

By Richard Haridy February 11, 2014 Steve Coogan has been playing his hilariously egotistical Alan Partridge character for over 20 years across numerous platforms, from TV chat shows to mock travel documentaries to an internet radio series. It’s surprising that the multi-faceted character has never made the jump to film before now but Coogan and […]

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Poles apart – Afternoon Delight review

By Richard Haridy February 5, 2014 Veteran TV writer Jill Soloway makes a wonderfully successful jump to feature films with Afternoon Delight, a disarmingly sly story that offers a subtle female twist on a tale we so regularly see from a male perspective. Kathryn Hahn is Rachel, a thirty-something mother trapped in a sexless marriage […]

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Infect yourself – Contracted review

By Richard Haridy January 29, 2014 Contracted is prolific young filmmaker Eric England‘s fourth feature in as many years and it certainly has a notable level of formal sophistication that sets it apart from other low-budget genre entries. Sadly though, there’s also a frustrating thinness to the entire exercise, despite a satisfying “punchline” of a […]

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Always watching – Reality review

By Richard Haridy January 15, 2014 After the masterful Gommorah in 2008, Matteo Garrone offers up a radically different experience with Reality, a satirical examination of the obsessively encompassing culture surrounding reality television. Luciano (Aniello Arena) is a family man with modest needs. He runs a fish market and supplements his income through some relatively […]

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Serial offender – The Frozen Ground review

By Richard Haridy December 10, 2013 After years of running a successful advertising agency in New Zealand, Scott Walker decided he wanted to become a film director and began researching the case of Alaskan serial killer Robert Hansen, who raped and murdered at least 17 women throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. Now Walker offers […]

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Eddie Murphy and Brett Ratner on board for ‘Beverly Hills Cop 4′ (again)

After years of being almost greenlit, it seems like we will finally be getting that fourth Beverly Hills Cop film we’re all incredibly nervous about. According to Deadline, super-producer Jerry Bruckheimer has moved from to Disney to Paramount and Beverly Hills Cop 4 is a top priority. Rush Hour director Brett Ratner, who’s been attached […]

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Lesson learned – The English Teacher review

By Richard Haridy December 4, 2013 The English Teacher is a bizarrely homogenised film that strangely advocates artistic compromise. In a perfect encapsulation of form and content, Craig Zisk‘s The English Teacher tells a story of an artist who reluctantly adds a happy ending to his play while the movie itself forces a happy ending […]

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Spoiler alert – John Dies at the End review

By Richard Haridy November 20, 2013 Adapted from a novel with the same wonderful title, John Dies At The End is a gloriously gonzo trip packed with enough odd narrative tangents to fill half a dozen features. While not always successful, this energetic genre mash-up so genuinely wants to entertain and surprise that it’s hard […]

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Dumb and dumberest – Ass Backwards review

By Richard Haridy November 6, 2013 For a film that begins and ends with a visual gag showing two women urinating on the pavement, Chris Nelson‘s Ass Backwards certainly doesn’t aspire to being anything more than passing entertainment. But sadly, this listless, flat, and exceptionally derivative movie doesn’t even achieve that modest goal. June Diane […]

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Dead ringers – Everybody Has A Plan review

By Richard Haridy November 5, 2013 There is nothing inherently wrong with a narrative that withholds its protagonist’s motivations. This can be a successful strategy in building intriguingly portentous atmospheres, but it can also cause immense frustration in viewers unable to accept the whys of a character’s behaviour. Everybody Has A Plan is trying for […]

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Trailer Debut: The Lego Movie

The trailer for next year’s The Lego Movie hit the streets recently, and while the cynic in me wants to wince at what is the zenith of merchandising and film’s uncomfortably close relationship, it is hard to resist the undeniable charm of the concept. Parks And Recreation‘s Chris Pratt voices the lovably naïve central character […]

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Jason Statham in talks for Melissa McCarthy’s spy flick Susan Cooper

Depending on your perspective, Jason Statham has either never starred in a comedy, or all his films have been comedies. Deadline has just revealed that the serious action man is in talks to star in a comedy titled Susan Cooper, opposite Melissa McCarthy. Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids, is behind the proposal for this female […]

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Tim Burton may direct Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice 2

In news that some may construe as more a threat than a promise, Variety has revealed Tim Burton may be close to jumping on board for Beetlejuice 2. Rumours about this sequel have circulated for years but the wheels may finally be in motion as Variety’s sources say writer Seth Grahame-Smith has a script written […]

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End of innocence – Broken review

By Richard Haridy October 23, 2013 Young love, bullying, teen pregnancy, divorce, a terrifying first day at high school, juvenile crushes on an old man, mental illness: Broken certainly packs everything into its schematic coming-of-age narrative. Prominent theatre director Rufus Norris‘ debut feature film, a bold modern-day riff on To Kill A Mockingbird, is a […]

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Spit take – I Spit on Your Grave 2 review

By Richard Haridy October 15, 2013 The rape-revenge genre is one of the most problematic to navigate. The original I Spit on Your Grave, from 1979, was a tawdry affair with a suitably exploitative vibe designed to push its audience into complex modes of identification. While the 2010 remake got plenty wrong – from its […]

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