Category Archives: Film

Svengali Review – Filmoria

Svengali

Dixie – Johnny Owen’s plucky Welshman at the centre of this music biz romantic dramedy – is a well observed creation; an endlessly likeable schmo with a passion for music and an insatiable need to make it big managing a band. He moves to London with his girlfriend Shell (the just-as-pluckyVicky McClure) to bring superstardom to a talented but juvenile online discovery, The Premature Congratulations, but his idealistic, naïve temperament soon comes to blows with the ruthlessness of the big city scene…

Read my full review at Filmoria

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Wolf of Wall Street Review

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The fifth Scorsese/DiCaprio collaboration is the latest in a slew of vibrant yet disenchanted depictions of American consumerism gone horribly wrong. The story of real-life-Gordon Gekko Jordan Belfort, is an all singing, all dancing, all snorting indictment of the immoral pursuit of money on 1990s Wall Street.

Jonah WolfAlready notorious for its contentious depictions of sex and drugs, the film has the rebellious air of early Scorsese and the New Hollywood, right down to the editing which refuses to play by basic continuity rules whenever anyone is high. Annoyingly, the indulgent script allows for some scenes and comedic sequences to be stretched thin, and there is a yacht-load of filler which could have easily been cut. Nevertheless, with an excellent cast headed by a bug-eyed DiCaprio as the drug-addled, prurient Belfort, and a superlative Jonah Hill, this is a riotous picture whose hefty three hour runtime zips by. That’s maximum ROI.

Scroobius Pip // Exclusive Rhythm Circus Interview

Interview originally published at Rhythm Circus

Scroobius Pip

Scroobius Pip – the bearded face of the UK’s spoken word scene – is hosting a monthly film night at London’s coolest indie picture-house, The Prince Charles Cinema. Kicking off with Spanish time-travel thriller Time Crimes (click here for tickets), Pip’s mission is to take his London fans on a journey through his cinematic tastes and Rhythm Circus is along for the ride.

Naturally we wanted to know more and Pip, ever the gracious gent, agreed to answer a fistful of our geekiest questions…

The first question has to be about facial hair I’m afraid. Who has the most outstanding beard in cinema? 
Me when I finally make my transition over to film! For now I’d have to give the long term crown to Brian Blessed. Never has a beard looked so good.

Tell us the story behind your night at the Prince Charles? 
Well, I have been a fan of the place for years and, to be honest, I think they got sick of me arguing with them on Twitter about what they should and shouldn’t screen. So they agreed to give me my own monthly night where I can introduce a film of my choice and then host a Q&A or panel of some sort afterwards. I cant wait!

Time CrimesWe hear you are kicking off the series with Nacho Vigalondo’s mindbending Timecrimes, an under-seen Spanish indie rather than an established cult flick. Interesting choice…
Well, when I saw Harvey at the Prince Charles it struck me how amazing it was to see, on the big screen, one of my favourite films that I had only ever watched at home. So when choosing my films for this run I wanted to pick stuff that a) I loved, and b) many people either wont have seen OR simply wont have seen on the big screen.
Timecrimes seems to me to be one of the great overlooked films. Partly, I feel, to the tone of it being completely lost when the title is translated into English! Lets face it, Timecrimes sounds like an Arnie or Van Damme film.
I am currently working on getting a video introduction from Nacho himself and will have a panel afterwards where a physicist will discuss theories of time travel and I, along with film nerd and comedian Rich Sandling, will discuss the subjects of good films with bad names and the general horror of what can be lost in translation.

Let’s talk mainstream: what’s been your favourite cinema going experience of the summer?
Tough question! I LOVE the cinema and try to go four or five times a month. I think Alpha Papa has to take it though. Such a huge Alan Partridge fan, and I was worried about how they would pull it all off, but I absolutely loved it.

As a man with a penchant for the spoken word, you must be particularly attuned to dialogue when you’re watching a film. Do you have a favourite line?
It would either be Elwood P Dowd’s speech towards the end of Harvey (ending with) “….for years I was smart… I recommend pleasant” or Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything “I gave her my heart…she gave me a pen…”

We loved the video to Stunner (see below), your new track with dan le sac. It seemed like the video might have been influenced by the films of Gaspar Noe (Irreversible, Enter the Void). Was this intentional? 
It wasn’t intentional but I do produce and direct my own videos and I’m a MASSIVE fan of Gaspar so it’s lovely to hear that has some how come through. Irreversible is hopefully going to be the third film in my run of monthly nights at the Prince Charles. I remember seeing that on its initial short cinema release and being overwhelmed by the experience.
Similarly when Gaspar came over to do a Q&A and screening of Enter the Void. I think Enter the Void was the first film I saw that made me gutted I couldn’t watch it immediately again on DVD. Some of the shots instantly jumped out as having a hugely different impact on DVD compared to on the big screen. Neither better or worse, but it was something I wanted to check straight away!

Finally, if Scroobius Pip and dan le sac had a Lightsaber duel, who would win?
I am gangley and rangy so I therefore think I would have a slight advantage.

Be sure not to miss Scroobius Pip Presents… Timecrimes at the Prince Charles Cinema this Thursday. We’ll see you there.

For more info, and tickets, visit: PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA

Pain and Gain

Pain and Gain

Director: Michael Bay
Screenwriter: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast:  Mark Whalberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthonie Mackie
Runtime: 129 mins
Certificate: 15
Release Date: In Cinemas 30 August

PAIN AND GAINMichael Bay detractors will have a field day with Pain and Gain, a true-crime black comedy which shamelessly wallows in fetishised displays of consumerism and the slow-mo flexing of sun-kissed abs. Positioned by Paramount as a debauched romp across the muscular beaches of Miami, it is apt to assume that Bay’s latest outing – and first film since 2005 not brought to you by Hasbro – is a masturbatory love-letter to testosterone fuelled dominance. But is it?

Read my full review at Rhythm Circus

Blood Simple

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The debut from The Coen Brothers (youngest sibling Ethan was barely 26) feels as though it has oozed from a crack in a hot Texas tarmac road. “Down here, you’re on your own”, drawls M. Emmet Walsh’s lurid private investigator in voice over, introducing a sweaty, lurid, pitch black tribute to film noir and the novels of James M. Cain. Funded by independent investors (the brothers went door-to-door asking for cash at the suggestion of friend Sam Rami) Blood Simple is a low-budget commercial thriller with art house tendencies, a pop mixture of low- and high-culture…
Get sticky with my full review at Rhythm Circus…

Evil Dead

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Sam Rami’s icky 1981 schlocker The Evil Dead is a hallowed text, regarded by aficionados of grue as an excitingly juvenile exercise in excess. What exists of a story is chopped to bits within twenty minutes, leaving the deadites – evil spirits that possess the living – to a dizzyingly inventive, gore-drenched assault on Bruce Campbell’s idiot hero, Ash. 2013, and Evil Dead (the ‘The’ eschewed for today’s no-nonsense cinemagoers) offers a retooled version with less humour, more conviction, and a Hollywood sheen. An assured poster campaign promises “the most terrifying film you will ever experience”, but the initial fear is of something far more tangible: the word ‘remake’…

“Joooooin usssssss” at Rhythm Circus for the full review…

In Cinemas from Thursday

Only God Forgives – Trailer

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I happen to have re-watched Drive only days before the arrival of the first trailer for Only God Forgives, the second collaboration between director Nicolas Winding Refn and star Ryan Gosling. Their first film together – part noir, part western, part fairy-tale, all intoxicating pulp fiction – was the most stylish film of 2011 (read my review here) and fans have been pining for a glimpse of their next project since it was announced some time ago.

By the looks of this red band trailer, the film will serve as a companion piece to their first collaboration, perhaps the yin to it’s yang. Drive was extremely violent, yes, but behind all of the hammering and head-stomping was a sweet romance and a slew of power ballads, whereas Only God Forgives looks to be cut from a darker cloth. A story of vengeance set amongst the world of drug smuggling and Thai boxing in Bangkok, this looks to be an intoxicating nightmare of stylish violence.

Excellent.