Tag Archives: richard haridy

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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500 days of Shailene – The Spectacular Now review

By Richard Haridy May 6, 2014 From the outside, The Spectacular Now looks like a generic teen story we’ve seen a million times before: the cool kid falls for the shy, awkward girl and over the course of a summer learns the value of true friendship. What’s most magical about The Spectacular Now is how […]

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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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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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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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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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Humdrum shake – Aftershock review

By Richard Haridy September 4, 2013 Eli Roth seems determined to make a bad film in every country around the world. After trashing Europe in his Hostel saga and co-writing the bizarre Chinese kung-fu The Man With The Iron Fists with RZA, he now sets his sights on South America with the earthquake based, survival […]

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The lady is a vamp – Byzantium review

By Richard Haridy September 3, 2013 Nearly 20 years after his all-star horror blockbuster Interview With The Vampire, director Neil Jordan returns to the genre with this boldly classical take on one of fiction’s ever-present tales. Byzantium is an elegant spin on vampire mythology seemingly designed to act as a reactionary statement against the trite, […]

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Love sick – Antiviral review

By Richard Haridy August 5, 2013 For his debut feature, David Cronenberg‘s son Brandon was always going to be measured in the shadow of his father. Rather than conspicuously avoiding these comparisons, Cronenberg has doubled down on them in Antiviral, literally cannibalising his dad’s legacy to create a coldly clinical look at society’s obsession with […]

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Risque business – Elles review

By Richard Haridy June 25, 2013 Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska is certainly broaching some complex issues in her fourth picture, Elles. Investigations and depictions of prostitution have long been favoured by filmmakers from Steven Soderbergh to Luis Buñuel, but Szumowska admirably and provocatively, albeit unsuccessfully, finds a fresh tangent. Juliette Bincohe plays Anne, a writer […]

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Dead again – A Haunted House review

By Richard Haridy May 28, 2013 Marlon Wayans has described A Haunted House as a “labour of love,” and after watching it, one can only read this as a truly terrifying statement. A straightforward parody in the vein of the Scary Movie franchise (which the Wayans brothers’ ignited), it directs most of its punches at […]

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I am woman – Laurence Anyways review

By Richard Haridy May 7, 2013 French-Canadian Xavier Dolan is truly the definition of a wunderkind. Only 23 years old, he’s already made three critically acclaimed feature films, all of which premiered at Cannes. His latest, Laurence Anyways – a nearly three-hour opus telling the story of a transsexual man in the late 1980s and […]

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Kill for love – Sightseers review

By Richard Haridy April 30, 2013 Ben Wheatley is one of the most promising young directors to come out of the UK of late. His first feature, Down Terrace, was a sharp, tense, and comic chamber piece, whilst his following film, Kill List, was simply the best, most horrifying genre flick this writer had seen […]

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Churn after reading – Butter review

By Richard Haridy April 16, 2013 Butter is a dark satirical comedy set in the highly relatable world of competitive butter carving. When Hugh Jackman appeared as an all-American used car salesman, I realised I was watching something special. Not special in a good way, mind you, but special in a ‘why the hell does […]

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