Living with your friends is never easy. Flatmates never pull their weight; they don’t tidy and it’s such a pain in the neck when they bring victims home, get blood stains everywhere and then refuse to clean up the mess. Well, maybe that last one is a little niché but it’s certainly accurate of ace Kiwi-comedy What We Do In The Shadows. The new horror mockumentary from Flight of the Conchords’ man Jemaine Clement and his Eagle Vs Shark collaborator buddy Taika Waititi takes a hilariously kitchen-sink look at the day-to-day (or should that be night-to-night?) mundanity of undead Vampire life.
Category Archives: Reviews
Philomena is the sobering tale of one mother’s quest for closure and the cold brutality of religion. In alternative hands, its rich, real-life subject matter would have no doubt made for a compelling documentary, complete with unexpected twists, turns and plenty of tears. Instead, Philomena Lee’s story is presented to us through the filter of comedian Steve Coogan, whose ability to coerce droplets of delicious dry humour out of this most shocking of stories is a welcome relief. It’s Coogan’s screenplay – and Stephen Frears’ warm directing skills – which transform this story from a heartbreaking drama into something funny, thought provoking and oddly heartwarming.
Ron Howard’s Rush draw you in faster than one of its finely tuned Formula One racecars. The movie’s ability to keep you on tenterhooks in spite of its arguably niché subject matter is admirable to say the least. However, in terms of captivating real-life dramas, Howard and his cast couldn’t be working with a juicier tale. This is a dark re-imagining of the classic rabbit and hare parable made all the more tense by its reality-based stakes. With glory or failure and life or death hanging in the balance, this fast paced duel-biopic is enough to get even the most flat tyred racing fan revved up.
Some people never leave The Overlook Hotel. Anyone doubting that need look no further than Rodney Ascher’s compelling new documentary Room 237, a delirious dissection of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. That’s right, Kubrick’s The Shining. Stephen King may be responsible for the source material but the mesmerizing Nicholson-starring horror released back in 1980 is Kubrick to the core. King’s dismissal of this now-iconic rendition is well documented, however by delving deep into the fabric of the movie we see how irrelevant this disagreement is. If Room 237 does anything, it shows us just how much of a Kubrick creation this adaptation really is, and it’s frightening.
It can be tricky finding place to eat in Manchester city center that’s new and exciting and genuinely good. The struggle isn’t made any easier by the fact that the new cool thing to do with alternative eateries seems to be to make them secret and not that easy to find. Ace burger place Almost Famous probably deserves all the credit for kick starting that craze – and it certainly worked. Now, the quirky diner Dogs N Dough has arrived in the city, also borrowing from the word-of-mouth promotion technique that’s so big at the moment, to provide hungry visitors with a new food spot to Instagram the heck out of. But is it any good?
Since around May time this year I’ve been writing a monthly film event guide for The Skinny North West highlighting some of the best movie events worth checking out. Seen as my column is available on the magazine’s website as well as their print edition, I thought it was about time I started re-posting it on my blog. Check it out below.
So now that I’m living in Manchester again I’d like to try and get back on the wagon with reviews. After all, with so many bustling and exciting events going on throughout the city, it would feel like a crime not to. With this in mind, expect a few more gig/stand-up/theatre/restaraunt/product reviews to appear every now and then. I’d also like to start re-posting some of my online freelance work here as well as some ‘just-for-the-sake-of-it’ blogs that I’ve been kicking around. To kick things off however, here’s my review of Russell Brand’s first night in Manchester as part of his Messiah Complex world tour. Spoiler alert, it was dead good. Enjoy!