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Film: Money Monster

"Are you paying attention out there? Good. Because it's about to get complicated, so I'm gonna start out slow and make it nice and simple for you."

Jodie Foster directs this drama about a cable TV money show whose host (George Clooney) is taken hostage live on air. The world watches as the situation unfolds. The story kicks off when a financial firm, IBIS loses $800m on the stock market due to a computer glitch. A man gets a gun and a bomb, walks onto a live TV set and demands answers, because he lost all his...

Thursday, Feb 16, 2017

Film: David Brent: Life on the Road

"That's as stiff as you like and it won't damage your rug. At least that's what I told her."

A mockumentary following the life of The Office UK star David Brent as he goes on tour with his band ‘Foregone Conclusion’. After two seasons of The Office and a couple of Christmas specials, it’s hard to understand why Ricky Gervais has decided to return to his now infamous David Brent character, when the series seemed to end so perfectly. Indeed, Life on the Road doesn’t really offer up enough...

Saturday, Feb 11, 2017

Film: The Lego Batman Movie

"Riddle me this, what just happened?"

It’s about time someone took the piss out of Batman, he’s been so gloomy since the Adam West days. Lego Batman manages to cover a broad spectrum of mockery from ‘Batman is vain’ to obscure digs at the 1943 serial. This isn’t just ‘jokes for the adults and jokes for the kids’, but more like ‘jokes for people who have seen Batman and jokes for everyone else’. The plot isn’t...

Saturday, Feb 11, 2017

Take 2: The Maltese Falcon

"It's the stuff dreams are made of."

It’s hard to think of many greater directorial débuts than John Huston’s first film, The Maltese Falcon. This iconic film noir is almost the first in its genre and also one of Humphrey Bogart’s earliest works. The plot skips along at a breakneck speed. I gather Huston managed to shoot this in order, and that every scene they shot made it into the final edit. This efficiency seems to transfer...

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2017

Film: Toni Erdmann

"He's more of an architect than a dentist."

A man thinks his daughter is too serious and career focused, so makes an impromptu visit to see her on a work trip in Bucharest. He bombards her with practical jokes, donning a false set of teeth and creating a character, ‘Toni Erdmann’. Much of the comedy comes from the daughter being mortified but also barely containing her laughter as her father talks to her colleagues ‘incognito’. He preys on...

Saturday, Feb 04, 2017

Film: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

"Hearts and minds: the two best places to shoot somebody."

A New York TV producer (Tina Fey) is sent to Afghanistan when the ‘main’ war reporters at her TV network are sent to Iraq. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a film caught in an identity crisis. It’s smart, funny, dramatic, has an all star-cast and yet gets caught in that no-man’s land so many ambitious mid-budget projects struggle with. It’s part character comedy, part romance, part commentary on journalism and yet...

Saturday, Jan 28, 2017

Film: Tickled

"All this just for a tickle video."

A journalist sets out to write about the world of ‘competitive tickling’, and in doing so opens a can of worms. This documentary captures an utterly bizarre set of events as they unfold. The fact that a competitive tickling championship exits is odd in and of itself but there are weirder fetishes on the internet. It gets truly surreal when the people making the videos threaten the journalists, even going...

Friday, Jan 27, 2017