Wednesday 31 January 2024

Slotherhouse


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 na├»ve 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.