Sunday, 23 April 2017

RAW (French, English subtitles)

In Justine’s family everyone is a vet and a vegetarian. At 16, she’s a gifted teen ready to take on her first year in vet school, where her older sister also studies. There, she gets no time to settle: hazing starts right away. Justine is forced to eat raw meat for the first time in her life. Unexpected consequences emerge as her true self begins to form.

A difficult movie to watch at times. Cannibalism seems so unnatural and unethical and some of the scenes in this story are very confronting, especially those with lurid violence and sexuality. The acting was very good and the story developed in a logical manner. The music was too heavy and, at times, dominated the watching experience too much. If you plan to see this, be warned: there’s aberrant behaviour, bloody and grisly images, strong sexuality, nudity, language and drug use/partying. Some critics have suggested there is a deep symbolism in RAW. But I didn’t find much edification in this one and it became more and more uninteresting as it developed. Not my cup of tea (so to speak).

Friday, 14 April 2017


DENIAL ***** - brilliant true story about a historian, Deborah Lipstadt, who is taken to court by the Holocaust-denier, David Irving, who sues her for libel. A must see.

THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE * - walked out on this. Extremely lame, totally boring. First one of these wasn’t too bad — but got my money back on this one.

THE BOSS BABY *** — better than I expected. Good fun.

See you at the movies!

Thursday, 13 April 2017


When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.

What great fun this movie is! The 2 hr 16m fly by — every minute is filled with stunning over-the-top action sequences in the context of a James Bond type plot that is pretty good for the genre. And the submarine scene you’ve watched in the trailer? Wait until you see the whole set piece in the film — amazing. Charlize Theron is excellent as the ice-cold baddy and even Helen Mirren puts in an uncredited cameo performance that was obviously a lot of fun. Vin Diesel does what he does best with the usual “family” of supporting cast. An exciting, fun, furious ride. Yes, it’s pulp. But it’s done with such elegance. Thoroughly enjoyable. If you are looking for pure escapism then this one is definitely for you. A great addition to the Fast and Furious canon. See it on the big screen!

A SILENT VOICE (Japanese, English subtitles)

Ishida Shouya bullies a deaf girl, Nishimiya Shouko, to the point that she transfers to another school. As a result, he is ostracised and bullied himself with no friends to speak of and no plans for the future. This is the story of his path to redemption.

Beautiful hand-drawn anime but the movie belabours its important themes about bullying to such a degree that it becomes boring and way too long. There is little subtlety in the script and seems very disjointed. A marathon to watch and left me feeling dissatisfied.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

LAND OF MINE (German, Danish, English with subtitles)

In the days following the surrender of Germany in May 1945, a group of young German prisoners of war were handed over to the Danish authorities and subsequently sent out to the West Coast, where they were ordered to remove the more than two million mines that the Germans had placed in the sand along the coast. With their bare hands, crawling around in the sand, the boys were forced to perform the dangerous work under the leadership of the Danish sergeant, Carl Leopold Rasmussen.

A moving story I had never heard before. These young boys were certainly courageous in tackling what they were forced to do. The acting is very good and the story is told with sensitivity. This movie could have been made in a very sensational way. To the director’s credit, the tension is naturally embedded in the situation and the whole thing is very believable. It was nominated for best foreign film at the Oscars. An important movie about war and forgiveness.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A MAN CALLED OVE (Swedish with English subtitles)

59 year-old Ove is the block’s grumpy man. Several years ago he was deposed as president of the condominium association, but he could not give a damn about being deposed and therefore keeps looking over the neighborhood with an iron fist. Just when he's decided to give up on life, pregnant Parvaneh and her family move into the terraced house opposite Ove and accidentally backs into Ove’s mailbox setting off the beginning of an unexpected change in his life.

This movie is only in limited release in my city, which is surprising. It's a drama with some very black humour. But it is, overall, a feel good movie. In fact, it is so feel good that that the director seems to have felt compelled to provide a cheesy, "Hollywood" ending that, for me, detracted from the film's quality. The story is, however, quite fresh and there are some great performances from the cast. If you want a good laugh with a serious message about what it means to live a happy life, check it out.

Saturday, 1 April 2017


MISS SLOANE ****1/2 - Brilliant story with an outstanding performance from Jessica Chastain.

T2 TRAINSPOTTING ***1/2 — Entertaining sequel. Make sure you see the original Trainspotting before you see this one.

JASPER JONES *** — Adequate drama, mystery, thriller with some pretty dark themes. Not for little kids.

A STREET CAT NAMED BOB ***1/2 — A heartwarming story of how a cat changes the life of a man living at rock bottom. Good family movie.

LOVING ***1/2 — Good performances from the leads make this an enjoyable true story of love in the face of racism.

See you at the movies!