Bad Neighbours (2014), the hit US comedy that's packed to the brim with laugh out loud moments in the outrageous comedy. To celebrate the film's DVD and Blu-ray™ release on Monday 8 September following its box office success earlier in the year, we've kindly been provided with THREE Blu-ray + UltraViolet copies of Stoller's raucous crowdpleaser to give away to our funny-boned readers, courtesy of the home ent team at Universal Studios. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
- The opening film of Venice 2014, here's our five-star review of Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman
- We review the Dardenne brothers' resolutely humanist Two Days, One Night, starring Marion Cotillard
- Scarlett Johansson stars in Besson's raucously entertaining, off-the-wall transhumanist actioner Lucy
- Nine years in the making, neo-noir sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For sadly hasn't been worth the wait
- Notions of childhood innocence and guilt through complicity play against one another in Wakolda
Director Marc Webb's epic retelling of the Peter Parker/Spider-Man story continues when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) swings into stores and online this coming Monday (1 September). Starring British actor Andrew Garfield as Spidey, Emma Stone as love interest Gwen Stacy and introducing new villains Electro (Jamie Foxx), Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and The Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan), our hero really has his work cut out this time. To celebrate the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) this Monday, we have THREE DVD copies of the superhero sequel to give away. This is an exclusive competition for our Facebook and Twitter fans, so if you haven't already, 'Like' us at facebook.com/CineVueUK or follow us @CineVue before answering the question below.
She's Funny That Way (2014). Owen Wilson stars as protag Arnold Patterson, a director preparing a play for Broadway. The night before casting begins, Arnold - using the name Dennis - calls up an escort agency and gets them to send over Izzy (Imogen Poots), but instead of the usual 'wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am' takes her out for a romantic dinner followed by a ride through Central Park. Channelling his inner Richard Gere, he offers Izzy $30,000 if she gives up her life as a working girl to follow her dream of becoming an actress.
Black Souls (Anime Nere, 2014), the first Italian film in to screen in competition at Venice 2014, is a grimly serious family tragedy centred around the feuds within the Calabrian equivalent of the Mafia, the 'Ndrangheta. The film begins in Amsterdam where a business deal is going down between mob boss Luigi (Marco Leonardi) and some Spanish, or South American partners. It doesn't really matter which as this proves to be largely an irrelevance to the rest of the film. In fact, the story has a couple of false starts and seems to stumble into being, but this also might be a way of subverting our expectations. Luigi is one of three brothers whose father was murdered by the local boss back home.
99 Homes (2014), a dramatic thriller set at the sharp-end of the housing crisis. The very first shot shows that there is blood on the bathroom walls of America. The recent economic travails are not just some victimless white collar larks - Margin Call style - but rather a human tragedy, the result of an ongoing and systematic fracking of the middle-class, driving thousands of homes into foreclosure and leaving families on the street. Shedding his superhero costume, Andrew Garfield plays Dennis Nash, an ordinary working stiff - a construction worker - living with his son (Noah Lomax) and his mother (Laura Dern) in their small suburban home.
Tales (Ghesse-ha, 2014) presents the interlocking lives of several disparate Iranians trying to make sense of modern day Iran; imagine a Shortcuts set in Tehran and with a predominantly female cast. A documentary filmmaker takes a late night taxi, filming the streets and only half listening to the stories that the taxi driver tells of his life. The taxi driver asks why he never filmed him. "Because you didn't ask me too," the filmmaker says before disappearing into the night and leaving the taxi driver to the unfolding of another story.
Of Gods and Men (2010) director Xavier Beauvois' latest film and Venice Golden Lion hopeful The Price of Fame (2014), but unfortunately the execution proves extremely poor. The talented Benoît Poelvoorde ;plays Belgian crook Eddy, a thief who has just been released from prison.
The President (2014), which attains the open force of a parable while at the same time maintaining the excitement and tension of a political thriller. Georgian actor Misha Gomiashvili plays the President of the title, who reigns over an unnamed country. His grandson (Dachi Orvelashvili) sits on his knee, dressed in a military uniform and asks for ice cream, which he's not allowed for health reasons. To distract the boy, the President has him order by telephone that all the lights in the city be turned off. It's a brilliantly absurd moment showing the childishness, flippancy and immorality of absolute power.
Obvious Child (2014), aims to confront life's uncomfortable truths. From the moment Donna (Jenny Slate) begins her stand-up routine with an anecdote about vaginal discharge, you know you're in for something different. Stand-up has recently become a podium for women to confront the restraints of a patriarchal society. Donna certainly conforms to the confrontational paradigm of the contemporary female comedian. However, this wry tale of a twentysomething comedian's unplanned pregnancy thankfully proves anything but conventional.
Night Moves (2013). The film examines an act of terrorism on a hydroelectric dam and the resulting effect on the three activists that perpetrate the crime. "At the very beginning," Reichardt explains in our interview with the director, "John Raymond [the screenwriter] and his partner spent some time on this farm - the farm we actually ended up shooting on. He was getting pretty fascinated with the small world polities that surround the community."
Old Joy (2006), the director's latest delves into the ambiguous world of fanatical environmentalism in a location ubiquitous with her oeuvre, Oregon. Where as her previous work, Meek's Cutoff (2010), strained relentlessly against its genre conventions and was widely labelled as an anti-western, Night Moves (2013) gives similar credence to the traditions of the thriller. This gripping film eschews typical tropes and character archetypes in favour of gradually wrenching the audience's collective stomach with a building tension.
Mad Men star Jon Hamm (who plays ad man Donald Draper in the hit AMC show) could make a money-centric, hard-balling sports agent look appealing, and this is exactly what he does in Disney's Million Dollar Arm (2014). Based on a true-story and directed by Craig Gillespie, Hamm stars as J.B. Bernstein, who in a last ditch attempt to save his ailing career sets up a reality show contest in India to find fledgling cricket players that he can train up and convert into pitchers that are destined to play in Major League Baseball. Roping in curmudgeonly sports talent agent Ray (Alan Arkin) and his business partner Asah (Aasif Mandvi), the trio fly east to find their players.
The Look of Silence (2014). The film is a companion piece to Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing (2013), which revealed not only the mass murder of over one million suspected communists in a wave of political violence orchestrated by Indonesia's military dictatorship in 1965-66, but also the feting of the killers as national heroes and the rewriting of history to glorify the genocide as a righteous struggle. Oppenheimer's first film maintained a passive detachment, allowing the killers to re-enact their own atrocities and metaphorically hang themselves with their own words.
Gravity (2013) wowed the Lido with its bravura long takes and technical prowess, taking us into space and back down to Earth again. This year, Venice opens with Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman (2014) (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), who trumps his fellow countryman with a film that for the most part takes place in one long, seemingly continuous take. Rather than an immersive gee-whiz experience, however, here the technical choice recreates the danger and thrill of that old cinematic favourite location the theatre. From Dickie's A Chorus Line to Shakespeare in Love, the theatre is frequently held up by cinema itself as its prestigious, more authentic older sibling.
Gravity (2013), fellow Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's (Amores Perros) heavily shrouded Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), ought to kick things of in some style if early glimpses are anything to go by.
It's hardly an ideal time to be marketing a film in which two average Joes abuse the civil justice system by imitating US police officers. With the tragic fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri still very much in the news, Luke Greenfield's gross-out buddy comedy Let's Be Cops (2014) now finds itself in the unenviable position of having to make law enforcement officials - or those willing to impersonate them at least - humorous again. Not only does Greenfield's barrel-scrapping head-banger fail to illicit enough laughs from those who consider themselves post-pubescent to warrant the 'comedy' tag, but it's also one of the most morose and insensitive mainstream releases of the year thus far.
The Keeper of Lost Causes (2013) feels as though it belongs. Based on Jussi Adler-Olsen's international bestseller and brought to life by Mikkel Nørgaard - the director responsible for raunchy comedy Klown (2010) - its unsettling crime and detective odd couple aren't enough to elevate this largely forgettable affair.
The Internet's Own Boy (2014) takes a close look at Swartz, both as a person and as an icon for the internet generation. Brian Knappenberger, who also directed the Anonymous documentary We Are Legion (2012), has crafted a tender portrait which tries to look beyond the screen. Swartz was an adorable child who grew into a socially frustrated teenage genius, an arc portrayed through archive material and interviews with key family members and friends.
The Guvnors (2014) does at least prove that there's still some vague spark of life in these two staples of low-budget British filmmaking. Whilst it often finds itself - knowingly or unknowingly - conforming to type, there are several commendable flourishes that raise Turner's barrel of cockney monkeys above the Rise of the Foot Soldiers and White Collar Hooligans of this world. If nothing else, it also provides the conclusive answer to that eternal question - who would win in a fight between old school crooner David Essex and Harley Sylvester, one half of Brighton hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks. 'Ave a bang on that.
★★★★★To speak of cinema without The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) would be to speak of filmmaking without Thomas Edison's invention of the light bulb. Today's dramas, horrors, noirs and thrillers have undoubtedly supplied from the infinite mastery of Robert Wiene's staple showpiece. Approaching one hundred years since its inception, this work of art debunks its historic sell-by-date. Its recent digital restoration is a testament to its inability to age. Many regard Wiene's feat as boasting the beginnings of the horror genre and the introduction of the twist ending. What is undeniable is that the classic Cabinet of Dr. Caligari perfectly captures German Expressionism in its most tentative and visionary mode.
Transcendence (2014). Sadly, the end result is a disappointing mess of a movie which fails to deliver on its strong premise. Transcendence follows Will Caster (Johnny Depp), one of the leading minds in artificial intelligence research along with his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall). That makes them the target of anti-tech extremists, and an assassination attempt leaves Will wounded and dying from a radioactive bullet. With time running out, Evelyn and colleague Max (Paul Bettany) hatch a desperate plan to upload Will's consciousness into a sentient A.I. construct.
Mommy (2014), took home a Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Before Mommy comes to UK cinemas next year, Dolan's fourth film, Tom at the Farm (2013), based on a play by Michel Marc Bouchard, arrives on DVD and Blu-ray. Tom at the Farm is a strange, off-kilter drama starring Dolan himself as Tom, a recently bereaved gay man visiting his deceased lover's home for the funeral. It soon becomes clear that his mother, Agathe (Lise Roy), is unaware of her dead son's sexual orientation, an ignorance that her older son, Francis (Pierre-Yves Cardinal), is determined to preserve.
Locke (2013), the sophomore feature from director Steven Knight. We're with Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) on the night before he's due to oversee the concrete pour of a massive new construction site. Risking the project, his career and his family, Ivan is driving south to be present when a woman he barely knows gives birth to their child. During the journey, Ivan makes and receives phone calls from many: his colleague, Donal (Andrew Scott); his boss, Gareth (Ben Daniels); his wife, Katrina (Ruth Wilson); his sons, Eddie (Tom Holland) and Sean (Bill Milner); and Bethan (Olivia Colman), the woman to whose side he is rushing.
The Informant (2013), an atmospheric if melodramatic French crime thriller from A Prophet (2009) scribe Abdel Raouf Dafri. Only 10% of drug trafficking is supposedly detected in the territory, one of tension between not just Europeans and Africans, but also British, Spanish and French, where, on the shores of the Cote d'Azur, most of the uncharted drugs end up. Gilles Lellouche plays Marc Duval, a French expat running a tavern in 1987 Gibraltar whose money worries lead him to become an informer for the French state on disreputable customers that come in to his bar.
The third film from Mexican director Amat Escalante (Los Bastardos, Sangre), Heli (2013) could perhaps be accused of following the shoulder-shrug school of social commentary. An at times almost-unspeakably brutal portrayal of one young family caught up in a cocaine deal gone wrong, Escalante's Cannes prize-winner offers little respite for its titular factory worker, who finds himself horrifically tortured for his unwitting role in the theft of several parcels of prime marching powder. Neither does the filmmaker offer any fresh optimism for his country's future, torn apart as it is by corruption, gang violence and narcotics. And yet, Escalante still manages to evoke beauty through some exemplary visuals.
Le Mepris (1963). Within this startling career are elements of his disdain for the influence of the powerful and how guilt destroys and enables. Frau im Mond (1929) is the latest instalment of Eureka's Masters of Cinema look at early Lang following on from Metropolis, M, the Mabuse films and Die Nibelungen. After Metropolis in 1927 was there anywhere for Lang to go? He ventured after escape, imagination and the boy's own thrill of space flight. Two years after his operatic yearning for communality he gazed towards the moon - that friend for the lonesome to talk to.
The Changes, a TV serial from 1975. Based on a series of books by Peter Dickinson, adapted by Anna Home and directed by John Prowse, The Changes explores a vision of 1970s Britain shorn of modern conveniences. After a sudden strange noise causes everyone to smash up all technology, society collapses to the point that...well, actually, outside of the emptying of the cities, not all that much seems different. Given the premise of the series you might be surprised by how often the protagonist finds old men in flat caps drinking pints of ale in the sunshine outside pubs.
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