Review – Focus

1 Apr

Poster for 2015 crime thriller Focus

Genre: Thriller
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 27th February 2015
Runtime: 105 minutes
Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Writer: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, Adrian Martinez, Gerald McRaney, Robert Taylor 
Synopsis: An inexperienced young grifter is taken under the wing of an expert con man and their paths continue to cross into the future.

 

 

Cinema has a long-running obsession with con men, drawn in by the glitz and glamour of money and scheming. The latest to take up the mantle is Will Smith, who teams up with rising star Margot Robbie for Focus – a drama that emphasises the glitz of the grift.

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Review – The Boy Next Door

1 Apr

Poster for 2015 thriller The Boy Next Door

Genre: Thriller
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 27th February 2015
Runtime: 91 minutes
Director: Rob Cohen
Writer: Barbara Curry
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Kristin Chenoweth, Ian Nelson, John Corbett, Travis Schuldt 
Synopsis: When she sleeps with the attractive next door neighbour after an evening of loneliness, a teacher finds herself being obsessively stalked.

 

 

About once or twice a year, a film enters UK cinemas that has absolutely no business being there. The Boy Next Door is, in just about every way, a televisual thriller with little to recommend it for big screen treatment. It’s trash, but fortunately, it’s also delightfully entertaining trash.

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Review – The Wedding Ringer

21 Mar

Poster for 2015 comedy The Wedding Ringer

Genre: Comedy
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 20th February 2015
Runtime: 101 minutes
Director: Jeremy Garelick
Writer: Jeremy Garelick, Jay Lavender
Starring: Josh Gad, Kevin Hart, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Jorge Garcia, Olivia Thirlby, Nicky Whelan
Synopsis: A socially awkward loner, stressed out about his upcoming wedding, hires a charismatic ringer to act as his best man at the ceremony.

 

 

Schlubby loner meets charismatic extrovert is a tried and tested formula for big screen comedy. The Wedding Ringer, starring squeaky-voiced phenomenon Kevin Hart, is the latest attempt to cash in on the formula, with the added appeal of everyone’s favourite singing snowman Josh Gad. It’s the kind of idea that probably looked really good on paper.

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K-Shop writer-director Dan Pringle says film feels “more relevant” every day

20 Mar

Ziad Abaza stars in Bournemouth-set thriller K-Shop

Bournemouth-set vigilante thriller K-Shop has an increased relevance in the current political climate, according to its writer-director Dan Pringle.

The film stars Ziad Abaza (pictured) as a kebab shop owner who takes murderous revenge on binge drinking yobs who cause trouble in his shop after a night of hedonistic partying.

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Review – It Follows

20 Mar

Poster for 2015 horror film It Follows

Genre: Horror
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 27th February 2015
Runtime: 100 minutes
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Writer: David Robert Mitchell
Starring: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Jake Weary, Lili Sepe, Olivia Luccardi, Daniel Zovatto
Synopsis: After having sex with her new boyfriend, a young woman finds herself pursued by a relentless creature that she must pass on to someone else.

 

 

Good horror films seem to be in short supply in recent years. A diet of found footage junk food pervades mainstream multiplex horror, but occasionally something really special comes along. Last year’s The Babadook proved to be an interesting take on familial grief and, this year, David Robert Mitchell is making headlines with creepy festival hit It Follows.

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Review – Cake

20 Mar

Poster for 2015 drama Cake

Genre: Drama
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 20th February 2015
Runtime: 102 minutes
Director: Daniel Barnz
Writer: Patrick Tobin
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Adriana Barraza, Sam Worthington, Anna Kendrick, Felicity Huffman, William H Macy 
Synopsis: A woman suffering from chronic pain struggles to keep her life together in the wake of one of her support group members’ suicide.

 

 

When the early marketing started to kick in for Cake, its motivations became clear. This was the film that was supposed to win Jennifer Aniston her first Oscar nomination. However, with that in mind, the film got a bit of a battering from critics and Aniston missed out on a Best Actress nod. But that dismissal does a disservice to a film that has an awful lot going for it.

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Review – Blackhat

20 Mar

Poster for 2015 cyber thriller Blackhat

Genre: Thriller
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 20th February 2015
Runtime: 133 minutes
Director: Michael Mann
Writer: Morgan Davis Foehl
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Wei Tang, Leehom Wang, Viola Davis
Synopsis: An imprisoned cyber criminal agrees to cooperate with the American authorities in order to track down a dangerous hacker who is planning a huge financial scam.

 

 

A film about hacking is an incredibly timely concept given the chaos caused over the Christmas period by the attack on Sony. The notion of such a topical movie being directed by action thriller maestro Michael Mann is yet another pulse-raiser. Unfortunately, Blackhat fails to deliver on its promise.

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