Monthly Round-Up: February 2015 Viewing [Andy]

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Feb 282015

Throughout the month of February I watched a total of 25 films. I started out with half a dozen straight at the cinema, but have cooled off since then and been catching up with French Film Festival screeners and DTV stuff since then. It has been a rom-com/Daniel Radcliffe month.

Horns, film still

In my limited spare time I played NBA Live 15, Child of Light, Drive Club and The Last of Us on PS4 and worked through Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’. We have also been busy getting the final preparations for the wedding together, it is a feat I managed to achieve this much.

All of the categories after the jump are ranked in order of preference: Continue reading »

12 Films To Watch This Autumn

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Feb 282015


Award season may be over, but that doesn’t mean the end of quality cinema – in fact, I’d say it means the opposite. March-May traditionally sees the release of some great indies and arthouse film from Toronto, New York and other film festivals; as well as seeing the first of the [US] “summer” blockbusters.

We’ve picked 12 that we are excited for, but the list of films could have easily been double that. Check out our picks for 12 films to watch in Autumn after the jump. Continue reading »

In Cinemas: 26 Feb 2015

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Feb 252015


In cinemas this week – A Most Violent Year, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Eastern Boys and That Sugar Film (March 1)

A Most Violent Year – Set during the winter of 1981 – statistically one of the most crime-ridden of New York City’s history – A Most Violent Year is a drama following the lives of an immigrant and his family as they attempt to capitalize on the American Dream, while the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built. This is the new film from J.C Chandor (responsible for Margin Call and the amazing All is Lost) so you should be very interested. He is a terrific filmmaker, and this looks like another hefty project. Plenty of praise has come for the performances from Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain and Albert Brooks.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel), and it’s making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life. Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy – posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tasmin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce and are wondering where there regular dates will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone’s secrets. I quite enjoyed the first film, and it was such a hit with the elderly demographic that I can completely understand a sequel.  I’ll get around to watching this – even if it is on DVD.

Eastern Boys – Arriving from all over the Eastern Bloc, the men who loiter around the Gare du Nord train station in Paris are scraping by however they can, forming gangs for support and protection, ever fearful of being caught by the police and deported. When the middle-aged, bourgeois Daniel played by Olivier Rabourdi approaches a boyishly handsome Ukrainian who calls himself Marek for a date, he learns the young man is willing to do anything for some cash. What Daniel intends only as sex-for-hire begets a home invasion and then an unexpectedly profound relationship. The drastically different circumstances of the two men’s lives reveal hidden facets of the city they share. Presented in four parts, this absorbing, erotically charged drama from writer-director Robin Campillo is centered around anonymous liaisons, in which motivation, risk, and desire produce volatile and unexpected consequences.

That Sugar Film – Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. Damon’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar will forever change the way you think about ‘healthy’ food.

Weekly Recommendation: A strong week for sure, with nay an uninteresting film amongst them. I have my heart set on seeing A Most Violent Year this weekend, but I expect I will have to settle for the rest on DVD/VOD later in the year. If you enjoyed the first Marigold Hotel what’s to stop you seeing this. I wonder if it will beat its predecessor at the Box Office. 

87th Academy Awards Winners

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Feb 232015


So, the Oscars are over for another year. While this was one of the longest ceremonies in recent memory, the fact that it was an unpredictable Oscar race kept it interesting throughout. Birdman took out four big awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography (the second time in a row for Chivo). The Grand Budapest Hotel won four technical awards, including Best Costume Design for Anderson’s long-time collaborator Milena Canonero, and Best Original Score to dual-nominated Alexandre Desplat. Whiplash took home three, including Best Supporting Actor to JK Simmons and Best Film Editing.

Check out my recap of some of the ceremony highlights and the full list of winners after the jump: Continue reading »

Into the Woods

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Feb 222015


Into the Woods, based on Stephen Sondheim’s musical, is one that has established a solid and proclaimed reputation among the theatre community and corresponding gathered a large number of musical fans. Rob Marshall’s adaption is a brighter star in the category of modern musical films, but while it remains faithful to most of the original material, it suffers from an unimaginative and rather bland retelling from stage to screen.

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Love at First Fight (AFFF2015)

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Feb 212015


Les Combattants [The Fighters] or Love at First Fight internationally, is a French indie romantic comedy/drama with brains and ideas, despite the corny alternative title. It won the FIPRESCI Prize after screening to critical acclaim in the Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival last year. Find out why we recommend it at the upcoming Alliance Francaise French Film Festival after the jump: Continue reading »

87th Academy Award Predictions

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Feb 192015


So Andy and I have made our Oscar predictions – some winners seem so certain, while with certain categories, it feels like it is up to the toss of a coin. Feel free to publicly shame us when it turns out we are completely wrong with all of our predictions (though we do differ on some).

After the jump see our picks for who we think will win the Oscar and who (out of those nominated) we think should take it home.

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Jupiter Ascending

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Feb 182015

Jupiter Ascending 1

A house cleaner is actually space royalty and Channing Tatumn is an interplanetary warrior-wolf man with moon boots. The Wachowskis (Cloud Atlas, The Matrix) bring back the crazy with Jupiter Ascending, a film that I had a heck of a lot of fun with, sometimes at the film’s expensive. Review after the jump.

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