Tuesday 16 April 2024

Swede Caroline


Although competitive vegetable growing or more specifically, growing giant vegetables does take place around the world, the event feels very much like a typically ‘British’ pastime. Any competition steeped in tradition will be able to find the comedy and in this case it’s a mockumentary about one vegetable grower and her story to win the coveted prize of heaviest marrow. The subject and setting is humorous before the film has even started. What’s good enough for Wallace & Gromit is good enough for the amateur film crew who ‘stumble across’ a major story worthy of its own documentary. 

Set in the world of competitive giant vegetable growing, the community is rocked by scandal when relatively new competitor Caroline has her prized marrow plants stolen. Together with her partner, Paul who fancies himself an amateur sleuth and her overly helpful neighbour Willy, Caroline is determined to find the culprit and still try for the top prize at the competition.

Full review is over at Filmhounds. 

Friday 29 March 2024



Religion and horror go hand in hand, for obvious reasons, with the most popular being Catholicism. Fire and brimstone, hell and the devil, there’s too much temptation to take this religion to it’s darker corners. Immaculate is Sydney Sweeney’s passion project, having been attached to the film for years and eventually ended up being one of the producers as well as starring. This does seem, on the surface, an unlikely role for her to take on. But as soon as Cecilia arrives on screen, as the sweet and somewhat naïve novice nun, it becomes very clear that this is exactly the role Sweeney should be playing. 

No sooner as Cecilia arrives at the impressive convent buried in the Italian countryside, there is an ominous atmosphere that all is not what it seems. Anyone well versed with horror films that focus on religion will recognise the story beats and settle in nicely for the bizarre events ahead. Immaculate hams up the horror to the max, with jump scares every five minutes it feels, mixed in with some disturbing dream sequences that may be real after all. But as every character Cecilia interacts with feels like an omen or doomed ally, this sense of dread is constant leaving very little mystery. 

For those who enjoy an ominous horror and the company of nuns easily manipulated by a priest (as they always seem to be) will enjoy this blood-filled holy fest. Sweeney herself is actually pretty good throughout but her shining moment is at the climax of the film, caked in blood, having a very cathartic primal scream. However, all, the film is entertaining but it doesn’t rise above others made of the same ilk. The mystery is thin and the premise intriguing but nothing that shocking when you realise what’s going on in the catacombs. The fact that this film was stuck in development for a years does show, but luckily Sweeney sticks with it to give the film that shining moment.

Friday 22 March 2024

Love Lies Bleeding


Love stories can appear in any genre and love coupled with revenge makes for one passionate bloodbath. Director (and co-writer) Rose Glass’ much anticipated follow up to religious horror Saint Maud (2019) has had audiences all geared up for what set to be a hot, sexually charged, bloody chaotic story. Glass absolutely delivered on the promise all the trailers and posters had set up. 

When small town gym manager Lou meets body builder drifter Jackie, there are immediate sparks. But after one violent incident threatens to tear the two apart, they are set on a path of chaotic revenge, each doing anything they can to protect the other.

Full review over at Filmhounds.

Saturday 16 March 2024



The opening sequence of man in drag, bleeding, driving a huge truck with a pack of dogs in the back, sets up the film to be one hell of story, but very soon turns into a very melancholic tale that never really seems to quite fit together. Dogman, the latest film from genre director Luc Besson, is, on the surface an intriguing story, highly character driven full blood, sweat and tears. But delve deeper and the plot falls apart, with just great performances to hold it all together.

Full review over at Filmhounds.

Friday 15 March 2024

Snack Shack


It may feel a little early for a teen summer comedy to be making a splash, but Snack Shack is ahead of the curve. With a great cast, in particular the two leads  as AJ and  as Moose, and a fun vibe running throughout, there is more than meets the eye with this film from director Adam Rehmeier.

After being harangued into getting a job for the summer, teenage best friends AJ and Moose win a bid at their council to run the snack shack at the local swimming pool. Through their entrepreneurial spirit, they try to turn a profit and plan for future ventures. But when a new lifeguard, Brooke (Mika Abdalla), arrives on the scene, the boys' friendship and business are put to the test.

Full review over at  Filmhounds

Sunday 11 February 2024



On the surface, Marmalade could be just another love story, just another Bonnie & Clyde-esque scenario but something more complex lurks below the surface. 

Finding himself captured and thrown in prison, naïve Baron strikes up a tentative deal with his cell mate Otis who has bragged about being able to escape. As they formulate a plan, Baron recounts his life story and most importantly how he met the love of his life, the enigmatic Marmalade. He tells Otis of how they robbed a bank in order help his sick mother and have enough to start their new lives together. But all is not quite what it seems in the prison or in Baron’s story.

Full review over at Filmhounds.

Tuesday 6 February 2024

Race for Glory: Audi vs Lancia


Sport centric films can either fall by the wayside or are able to capture the attention of any audience. Motorsports might be in the latter category for the pure adrenalin and speed spectacle elements. But those films based on historical events, tend to cut down on the excitement and concentrate on the drama off the track. Race for Glory: Audi vs Lancia is based on a real championship. Anyone who is interested in motorsports, specifically rally driving will at least get some joy out of this one.


At the 1983 World Rally Championship, the intense and at times, petty rivalry between the German led Audi Sport GmbH team and the Italian led Lancia Abarth team comes to a head. With the Audi Quattro car a favourite to win, Lancia lead Cesare Fiorio tries everything within his power to make his  team a success, even hiring the renowned German rally driver Walter Rohrl for only half the races.

Full review at Filmhounds

Wednesday 31 January 2024


We all know the story of the creature, the monster, loose in the enclosed building. There’s no way to escape, despite there being many exits but those unlucky souls trapped inside are doomed no matter what they do. We are also familiar with slasher horror films. A mysterious person or entity kills a group of people one by one in violent and bloody ways. Mashing up horror genres with comedy isn’t something new. However, having one of the slowest animals on Earth become the creature of the feature, as well as the antagonist slasher, is one of the most bizarre twists on film.

Desperate for popularity points so that she can become her sorority’s president, senior Emily adopts a three-toed sloth, making it the house mascot. But as her popularity rises, so do the number of mysterious deaths and disappearances within the house. Realising too late the havoc and bloodshed the sloth can cause, Emily and her remaining Sigma Lambda Theta sisters must fight for their lives.

Full review over at Filmhounds 

Friday 26 January 2024

Poor Things

In the wake of Academy award nominations, the somewhat fantastical science fiction comedy Poor Things is garnering further attention, both sceptical and admiring. The outcry from many was that this was a film about a woman’s liberation told through the eyes of a man (which happens often) and on the other hand it was an inspiring look into a woman breaking free from society, filled comments on current and past depictions of society and its expectations.

Bella Baxter, a young woman, resurrected and implanted with the brain of her foetus, by the Dr Godwin, begins her life anew. As she gradually ages and wants to experience more, she runs off with a cad of a lawyer to Europe. Along her journey of self-discovery, sexual liberation, she learns of philosophy, and what it truly means to be independent.


Adapted from the novel by Alasdair Gray, of which is told from the perspective of the male characters, the film fully concentrates on Bella Baxter’s journey and her views of the world. We see Bella being able to break free from several constraints and that includes the male characters in the story who all seek to control her at some point. This could be a feminist story but not a universal one.


We see Bella breaking free from society and its expectations, but to gain much of this liberation, she had to join a brothel. It’s incredibly frustrating to continuously see this depiction of sexual liberation on screen. There has rarely been an alternative. A series of events happen for Bella to end up in this situation, but the key being, she ultimately chooses to stay working in the brothel. But at first, she is too naïve to understand what is happening as she is still, technically, young. This woman’s liberation is through sexual exploitation, firstly by the lawyer who brings her to Europe in the first place, and then by her first encounter at the brothel.


There is something satisfying about Bella being desired continuously along the way by all these men, wanting to control her, keep her locked away but she ends up outwitting them, or in fact taking control of them in various ways. BUT at the same time, that continuous mention of how beautiful Bella is, is also how she able to behave outrageously without consequence or severe punishment. Her ‘pretty privilege’ is not discussed at length as most are too focused on the sexual elements and male controlling women, but it is something to be noted.


The steampunk Victorian set period makes for a fantastical world where places and things are twisted to suit this director Yorgos Lanthimos’s film world. These are the most enjoyable elements about the films, aside from the comedic dialogue and the scenes with Mark Ruffalo as the cad lawyer, Duncan Wedderburn. But the story and Bella herself are at times, too hard to swallow and the choices made to depict a woman’s liberation feels too one note and are rather basic ideas

Monday 15 January 2024

Mean Streets


Martin Scorsese has been known for his gangster films, as well as a foray into other genres, but his third film, Mean Streets was the one that pushed him into the spotlight. A gangster film about violence, crime and fraught friendship, Mean Streets not only showcased Scorsese's talent, this was Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro's first appearance together in a film, as well as the first in a long line of films, the latter worked on with the director. It could be said that Mean Streets was the start of something special.

Following a group of 20-somethings as they each try to make a name for themselves in New York city, going from small time criminals to aspiring gangsters. Charlie, trying his best to avoid crime but working for his mafia boss uncle, dreams of opening his own restaurant. Along with Tony, who runs the local bar and Michael, a loan shark who runs small dodgy deals, Charlie spends his time cleaning up the messes of his sometimes friend, Johnny Boy, a petty thug who rips off loan sharks for a living. But sooner or later, Johnny Boy's bad habits will catch up with him.

Full review over at Filmhounds HERE.

Monday 8 January 2024

Watch List 2023


Another year of film and what a spectacular one it has been. Thankfully and with much effort I was able to see more films this time around, hopefully following that trend into 2024. With the all the voting done and lists revealed, here's my top films from the year.

A profound and most understated story that could be interpreted many ways, but for me it was about longing, lost love and the all too heartbreaking, 'what if'. I wrote about Past Lives for Filmhounds in the latest issue, which can be bought HERE.

All I have to say about the deliciously twisted film can be read HERE

This was the end of an era, my personal favourite Marvel storyline and with this ending the fighting family gang adventures, I don't need to see anymore Marvel film. This was as heartbreaking as any ending would have been. There were laughs and rage and tears, which pretty much sums up the film. Letting our gang go out with a bang and appropriate endings for them all. 

Based on the fantasy sci-fi graphic novel of the same name, the shapeshifter Nimona graced out screens via Netflix and left quite an impression. Amazing animation and special effects with gut wrenching storylines and great characters, my only wish would have been a theatrical release. I wrote about the film, in particular one of the best scenes in the film for Filmhounds, which can be read HERE.

One of the most under seen films of the year but with an ever pressing message. My review can be read HERE.

A favourite from LFF 2023, the slow burn thriller set in the Outback. My review can be read HERE.

Just when you thought romantic comedies had gone stale and were only for streamers. We get a story with two electric leads (with fantastic chemistry) set over the course of one day. The comedy was genuine, the romance not over kill, it was a perfect mix and thankfully, this was on the big screen where it should be.

The title feels hard hitting but its more than that. My review can be read HERE.

Taking the world literally by storm. We all willing took that hand and were drawn into the world of possession. This hit a chord with so much so I made a zine! My full review can be read HERE. Sadly, all the zines are sold out.

The biggest question of the Summer, Barbie or Oppenheimer? Of course I saw the one about a land where all the Barbies dolls live out their most progressive careers, until one Barbie and Ken escape to the real world. Christopher Nolan's biopic was decent but in no way would I choose that over Barbie. This film had everything (except the ending, for me I had some issues), with not only hilarious moments, but a Ken musical number, toxic masculinity dive, and seeing the entire board of Mattel chasing Barbie all over town and into her world. There's too much to condense into a few sentences here to convey all the amazing aspects of the film, so thats Kenough for now.