Big Screen

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS

(2016) 1hr 27min Regardless of the veracity – and relative superficiality – of this handsomely staged documentary, the stirring sight of eagle and hunter owning the air never gets old. In moving pictures? Any and every time the eagles take flight. Featured image: THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (2016)

Read more
Big Screen

LA LA LAND

(2016) 2hrs 8mins Opening like a glorified Gap advert, this is a movie musical for the Strictly generation. Despite its many good-natured charms, LA LA LAND is a low-cal homage that doesn’t fully satisfy: the songs, singing and dancing simply lack the propulsive power of MGM’s originals.

Read more
Small Screen

GODS OF EGYPT

(2016) 2hrs 6mins A Gerald Ratner fever-dream – complete with gaudy tat piled to the rafters, ambition far exceeding talent and a suicidal mea culpa – this miscast monstrosity could only have been stranger if Werner Herzog had turned up playing Ra (rather than Geoffrey bleeding Rush). Worth a watch when only batshit crazy will do.

Read more
Big Screen

THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE

(1973) 1hr 35mins Failed on-set experiments seeking genuine ectoplasm aside, THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE delivers spine-chilling tension through its claustrophobic setting, slowly escalating chaos and ferocious outbursts of psychic violence. Unleashing Roddy McDowall to sell the suitably gothic finale proves to be the movie’s most satisfying special effect.

Read more
Small Screen

THE GREEN INFERNO

(2013) 1hr 40mins The inclusion of cast and crew Twitter handles in the closing credits of this contemporary cannibal horror show says much about its counterculture credentials. Palatable as a cartilage-crunching amuse-bouche for the transgressive Italian originals – handily referenced in the same scroll.

Read more
Big Screen

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

(2016) 2hrs 14mins A thrilling vision of what could happen if Disney/Lucasfilm granted access to the sandpit without need for prequel, sequel or pastiche. ROGUE ONE suffers when docked too closely to the mothership. It soars when its distinctive band of rebels fights through vicious land and space battles unrivalled in the Star Wars galaxy […]

Read more
Small Screen

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD

(2015) SEASON ONE, episodes 1-6 Like being sat with the “wrong” family on a Ryan Air flight to Corfu long after the pilot has requested seat belts be worn and electronic devices stowed due to unforeseen turbulence.

Read more
Big Screen

ARRIVAL

(2016) 1hr 56mins For all its elegant design and calm control of mood, this alien invasion movie makes the Shyamalan sin of assuming that keeping a story from the audience is the same as telling a story. It’s not, and the quivering close-ups become exercises in dragging the plot out rather than explaining its leaps […]

Read more
Small Screen

BURIAL GROUND

(1981) 1hr 25mins Andrea Bianchi’s gut-munching Marxist manifesto for mansion tax takes a surreal spin through its stripped back storytelling, synth-heavy score and messy maternal melodrama. But best of all are Gino De Rossi and mask-maker Rosario Prestopino’s tooled-up proletariat zombies: the vengeful dead in glorious worm-wriggling closeup.

Read more
Small Screen

HARD TO BE A GOD

(2013) 2hrs 57mins As if Andrei Tarkovsky’s gifted pet chimpanzee sculpted Pieter Bruegel’s DULLE GRIET in its own shit. Simply sensational science fiction filmmaking.

Read more