Showing posts from July 7, 2019

Review: Better Watch Out

Levi Miller is being babysat by Olivia DeJonge, an older girl he has a crush on. His best mate Ed Oxenbould (rounding out the trio of young Aussie actors here) thinks he’s dreaming. However, it’s Christmas, he’s alone with DeJonge and Miller has plans for he and his crush. Meanwhile, there appears to be an intruder on the premises. It’s going to be anything but a jolly Yuletide evening as DeJonge (showing some decent spunk alongside her “The Visit” co-star   Oxenbould) needs to see that both she and the minor she’s in charge of see it through the night alive. Patrick Warburton and Virginia Madsen appear early as Miller’s parents who are out at a party for the evening. There’s nothing worse in cinema than a film that completely and utterly squanders potential. I’m not saying this 2017 Christmas-set horror-thriller from director Chris Peckover (whose previous effort was 2010’s “Undocumented” ) and co-writer Zack Kahn (who wrote for an animated TV show version of the popular “M

Review: Deliver Us From Evil

A documentary on paedophile priests in the Catholic church, especially former priest Father Oliver O’Grady, who is more than willing to talk on camera about his misdeeds and immoral thoughts. It’s not going to be a film that everyone will feel up to enduring, but this Amy Berg ( “West of Memphis” ) documentary from 2006 is also nonetheless compelling viewing. However, the recommendation is due almost entirely to the subject matter itself, as I’ve got a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the filmmaker’s overall storytelling/narrative choices here. Berg makes some missteps in this regard, affording too much of a voice to a disgusting and perverted man than is overall necessary. However, I can’t deny that the subject matter itself is of vital and relevant importance and provides enthralling viewing for anyone who is made of stern stuff. Although I think a little of Father Oliver O’Grady goes a pretty long way, you can’t help but feel a sickness in your stomach with the shocki

Review: A Hill in Korea/Hell in Korea

British troops during the Korean War are not only faced with facing off against the advancing Chinese, but squabbles among their own. The chief concern is Pvt. Ronald Lewis, who may or may not be a coward, and whom Cpl. Stanley Baker may or may not be calling a coward directly to his possibly cowardly or non-cowardly face at every given opportunity. George Baker plays their Lieutenant, with the other troops played by the likes of Percy Herbert, Harry Andrews (as Baker’s right-hand man), Victor Maddern, Robert Brown, and more briefly young Robert Shaw and Sir Michael Caine (a real-life Korean War veteran) in a virtual walk-on. Stephen Boyd gets very little to do except bleed as an ill-fated Private. A gritty, quite action-packed war film from 1956 directed by Julian Amyes (a veteran of British TV). The action is good, the company mostly also good. It’s nothing new, but certainly passes the time entertainingly enough, with B&W seemingly giving things a bit of grit and ps

Review: Hereditary

Toni Collette plays a miniature diorama artist struggling to get her latest piece together, whilst also trying to keep herself and her family together. Her estranged mother has just died, and it seems to have triggered something in her. Her daughter Milly Shapiro also starts behaving peculiarly, whilst older teen son Alex Wolff feels burdened by having to include his sister in everything, when he wants to party and experiment with drugs. The dad, played by Gabriel Byrne, is a stable sort of fellow but not an especially effective presence at this point in their lives. A family tragedy makes things even worse for Collette, who also comes into contact with a psychic medium of-sorts (Ann Dowd – who no one will find reassuring on screen anymore after “The Handmaid’s Tale” ) who apparently knew her mother. It only gets worse – and weirder- from there for not just Collette but Wolff, too. “The Last Jedi” of horror films, this 2018 flick from writer-director Ari Aster was met wit