Even though this British mystery-drama is rather too creepy for its own good, it gives Rampling yet another superb character to sink her teeth into. She's working with her son, writer-director Southcombe, who reveals the plots secrets very slowly, manipulating the audience by withholding key details and misleading us with red herrings. But Rampling makes it gripping.
She plays the eponymous Anna, who is trying to get her life back on track after the end of her marriage. Living with her single-mum daughter (Atwell), Anna attends speed-dating events to meet men, and one night goes home with George (Brown), who turns up dead in the morning. Police detective Bernie (Byrne) connects Anna to the death and secretly gets to know her without telling her that she's a suspect. Meanwhile, Bernie's colleague Kevin (Marsan) follows the trail to a mother and son (May and Deacon). And as clues begin to emerge, Anna starts to remember what happened that fateful night.
Southcombe cleverly creates an eerie tone that often makes this feel like a horror movie. So before he gives us any real details about what's going on here, we already know that something very nasty is involved. The problem is that he dribbles the truth to us so slowly that we lose interest in the plot long before the actual revelations. Which makes it all feel like a cheat when he pulls the rug out, since the filmmaker has been lying to us all along.
Continue reading: I, Anna Review
Gritty and claustrophobic, this British horror-thriller holds our interest with well-played characters rather than the wobbly plotting. It's a clever idea for low-budget suspense, because it essentially has just one set. And the premise is unnerving even if we instantly realise its implausibility. Still, once everything is set in motion, the story has no where to go, trapped like the characters themselves on the top floor of a condemned London apartment building.
Aside from the residents of the top floor of this block, everyone else has already been relocated. And after a violent murder in the corridor, these people are ready to get out too. Then one morning sniper fire starts picking them off one by one through the windows. Their phones and internet are down, every way out is blocked, and they have to work out a plan of action. Intriguingly, it's a young woman, Becky (Smith), who rises as the group's leader, tenaciously refusing to give up. Other residents include a local thug (O'Connell), a depressed alcoholic (Tovey), a couple of pensioners (Brown and Baker), a tense mum (Graham) and her teen son (McEntire), and two drug dealers (Elouhabi and Robinson).
As we begin to understand what's happening, there are some massive lapses in logic that continually niggle. The sniper is shooting from one side of the building, so presumably the flats on the other side are safe and undisturbed, and yet everyone remains huddled in the hallway. The building's front door is blocked, but they ignore the fire exit. And how exactly do you block a mobile phone signal at the top of a tall tower in a massive city? Fortunately, the actors make us believe that they aren't worried by these gaping plot holes. Smith is especially good as the feisty Becky, a refreshingly complex female hero who doesn't have to be rescued by the boys. O'Connell adds a few layers to his annoying character, and Tovey is as likeable as ever.
Continue reading: Tower Block Review
Jack is a young farmhand working for the King. One day, he comes across small bean-like objects, which are described as 'holy relics' from a faraway land. The relics, however, are full of dark magic and could change the world if placed in the wrong hands. Jack is entrusted with them, on the condition that he doesn't lose them or get them wet. Jack is puzzled but accepts the relics anyway.
That night, a terrible storm rages. Jack has left the bean shaped objects on a surface in his hut, where rain falls on them through a hole in the ceiling. At first, nothing happens; then Jack looks on in horror as a beanstalk grows from the ground under his hut. The beanstalk connects the human world to a world where giants roam.
Jack lands himself in trouble when a giant kidnaps the beautiful Princess Isabelle. The King sends some of his best men up the beanstalk with Jack to rescue Isabelle. Their rescue attempts are nearly in vain, though, when the giants wage war on the humans. It is up to Jack to save Isabelle and his kingdom.
Jack The Giant Killer is directed and produced by Bryan Singer, who is well known for directing the films The Usual Suspects; Superman Returns and the X-Men films. The film is based on the British fairy tale; the screenplay for the film was written by Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney.
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Warwick Davis, Bill Nighy, Eddie Marsan, Ian McShane, Ewen Bremner, John Kassir, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ralph Brown, Ben Daniels, Daniel Lapaine and David Frost
Director: Bryan Singer
Release Date: 15TH June 2012
Running Time: TBC
Neil McCormick always had a dream of becoming a rock n' roll star. Having auditioned to join a band at school, Neil found himself losing out and his best friend Paul being picked as the lead singer of the hottest band in Dublin The Hype. Feeling he would've been the better person for the job, Neil sets up the band 'Shook Up' with his brother Ivan - their most important aim: to be more successful than The Hype.
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