Review – A Most Wanted Man

28 Sep

Poster for 2014 espionage thriller A Most Wanted Man

Genre: Thriller
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 12th September 2014
Runtime: 122 minutes
Director: Anton Corbijn
Writer: Andrew Bovell
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Daniel Brühl
Synopsis: A German spy uses a known terrorist to get inside information about a huge conspiracy to launder money for a terrorist organisation.

 

 

The work of crime novelist John Le Carré has a regular home on the big screen. As recently as 2011, an adaptation of his 1970s work Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy earned its star Gary Oldman an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. The latest Le Carré adaptation, A Most Wanted Man, is a chilly thriller featuring one of the last screen performances from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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Q&A – K-Shop director Dan Pringle on making films and taking risks

27 Sep
Dan Pringle directs British thriller K-Shop

Dan Pringle is the writer-director of British thriller K-Shop

 

In the spring of 2014, central Bournemouth became a film set. A disused shopfront became a kebab house that, unbeknownst to those passing by, was the home of Salah (Ziad Abaza) – a shop owner with drunken patrons in his head and murder on his mind. The film is K-Shop and, according to writer-director Dan Pringle, audiences are in for a wild ride.

Dan has already spoken to The Popcorn Muncher about his inspirations for the film and we paid a visit to him in the editing suite for a catch up. He told us all about the current state of the film and opened up on what is ending up on the cutting room floor and the importance of taking risks. He also gave some advice to budding filmmakers.

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Review – The Boxtrolls

27 Sep

Poster for 2014 animation The Boxtrolls

Genre: Animation
Certificate: PG
UK Release Date: 12th September 2014
Runtime: 97 minutes
Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi
Writer: Irena Brignull, Adam Pava
Starring: Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Ben Kingsley, Richard Ayoade, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Jared Harris
Synopsis: A human boy brought up by troll scavengers must fight to foil a plot to exterminate his adopted family.

 

 

Animation studio Laika made The Boxtrolls off the back of enormous critical hits Coraline and Paranorman. Their signature, oddball style has made them one of the most interesting companies working in the field of family movies and The Boxtrolls is yet another success to add to their impressive resume.

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Review – The Guest

25 Sep

Poster for 2014 psychological thriller The Guest

Genre: Thriller
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 5th September 2014
Runtime: 100 minutes
Director: Adam Wingard
Writer: Simon Barrett
Starring: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Brendan Meyer, Sheila Kelley, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick
Synopsis: A grieving family are befriended by a mysterious, but charming, house guest who claims to have been a friend of their deceased soldier son.

 

 

With his terrific slasher movie You’re Next, young director Adam Wingard made an enormous and immediate impact as a genre filmmaker. His second major feature, The Guest, is an 80s-inflected psychological thriller that continues to portray Wingard as a talent to watch.

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Review – Sex Tape

25 Sep

Poster for 2014 romantic comedy Sex Tape

Genre: Comedy
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 3rd September 2014
Runtime: 94 minutes
Director: Jake Kasdan
Writer: Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller, Kate Angelo
Starring: Jason Segel, Cameron Diaz, Rob Lowe, Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, Nat Faxon, Jack Black
Synopsis: A couple who record a personal sex tape must remove it from a series of devices when it is uploaded to the Cloud.

 

In the wake of the terrible invasion of celebrity’s privacy known as “The Fappening”, the Cloud is all over the news. This leant a bizarre topicality to bawdy comedy Sex Tape. Unfortunately, in its strive for techie relevance – Romcom 2.0 – it appears to have forgotten to be funny.

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Review – As Above, So Below

19 Sep

Poster for 2014 found footage horror As Above, So Below

Genre: Horror
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 29th August 2014
Runtime: 93 minutes
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Writer: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle
Starring: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, François Civil
Synopsis: An intrepid archaeologist, a cameraman and a team of rebellious French cavers journey into the catacombs of Paris, attempting to prove the existence of the mythical Philosopher’s Stone.

 

 

This year has had more than its fair share of bad found footage horror films, with Devil’s Due and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones stinking their way through cinemas. However, in the shape of claustrophobic chiller As Above, So Below, set underneath the city of Paris, there’s something a lot more interesting to keep the genre alive.

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Top 10 – Must-see British horror films of the new millennium

19 Sep

The Descent is one of the best British horror films of recent years

It’s become a bit of a cliché amongst fans of horror cinema to claim that the genre is way past its golden age.

Given the mainstream output of the genre – generic haunted house movies and lazy found footage – it’s easy to see where that sort of cynicism originates. However, when you scratch below the surface, the horror genre remains a rich and intriguing source of terror.

The United Kingdom is known for its horror films, with the Hammer studio iconic for its work with classic monsters and grisly thrills. Here are ten British horror films proving that, in the new millennium, the soggier side of the Atlantic continues to be the master of the macabre.

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