DVD Review: Silenced (Do-Ga-Ni)

Recent Korean cinema has been suffused with darkness, offering tales of murder, depravity, torture and perversion – Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance trilogy, Kim Ki-duk’s The Isle and Bad Guy, Kim Jee-woon’s I Saw the Devil and so on. While these movies vary in their degree of “realism”, they all have a kind of pulpy grimness. While […]

DVD Review: Appropriate Adult (2011)

The British legal system has something called the “appropriate adult”. This is a volunteer who’s brought in to observe interrogations when a suspect is deemed incapable of looking out for their own interests, either through some learning disability or other mental handicap. At the beginning of ITV’s two-part fact-based drama, Janet Leach (Emily Watson), a […]

Binge Viewing

I recently came across a comment (can’t recall where) that it’s wrong to binge on TV series now that we can get whole seasons on disk. The art form is designed to be watched and appreciated in installments and watching many episodes back to back prevents absorbing each one individually. I do see the point, […]

Film Review: Resident Evil: Retribution

At the risk of losing credibility, I have to say that I was disappointed by Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: Retribution, which opened theatrically today. Anderson is a frustrating figure because he’s capable of excellent genre filmmaking, but also regularly shackles himself to video-game-based projects. This began immediately after he left England in the mid-’90s […]

Summer Viewing

I’m not sure what I should blame it on – the enervating effects of a long hot summer, the stresses of finishing my documentary, financial worries, early onset dementia – but I’m finding it increasingly difficult to drag myself out to a movie theatre these days, and for some reason when I do go, I […]

DVD Review: Laddaland (2011)

Laddaland (2011) is a recent Thai entry in the Asian ghost genre. Interestingly, it also seems to draw on a western strain of horror, what you might call “real-estate anxiety” as exemplified by Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror, even to some degree the Paranormal Activity series. Here the fear is rooted more in economic and status […]

More in-flight entertainment

Flying to England a few weeks ago for my nephew’s wedding, my experience of airline entertainment was even less satisfying than on my trip to Beijing last year. As before, the wide selection of movie choices was undeniably eclectic – in the “avant garde” section, for instance, we were offered Morgan Spurlock’s Comic Con Episode […]

Blasts from the past

The Apprenticeship of Steven Soderbergh:
King of the Hill (1993)

Fall 2023 viewing, part one

Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le cercle rouge (1970): Criterion Blu-ray review

Recent viewing – theatrical