DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Gus Van Sant Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black, Udo Kier, Kim Gordon, Beth Ditto, Mark Webber, Tony Greenhand, Carrie Brownstone. The late US cartoonist John Callahan is not a household name, and is largely unheard of outside of the United States, which makes this quirky and unconventional biopic a bit of a hard sell. Callahan died in 2010. Set in Portland Oregon during the late 70s and early 80s this biopic looks at the life of Callahan (played here in a career best performance by Joaquin Phoenix), an Continue reading

MARY MAGDALENE

Reviewed by Greg King Director: Garth Davis Stars: Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tahar Rahin, Denis Menochet, Tcheky Karyo, Ryan Corr. In the 50s, Biblical films were extremely popular, with sweeping epics like the Oscar winning Ben Hur and the spectacular The Ten Commandments scoring at the box office. These stories drawn from the Bible featured timeless themes of good versus evil and epic battles. But in the 60s their popularity seemed to wane. More modern takes on Bible stories have tended to be revisionist in nature – Martin Scorsese’s Continue reading

SONG TO SONG

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Terrence Malick Stars: Michael Fassbender, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Holly Hunter, Iggy Pop, Val Kilmer, Patti Smith, Flea. I loathed the past couple of films from revered auteur Terrence Malick, particularly his To The Wonder and Knight Of Cups, with their frustratingly obtuse, indulgent and abstract experimental nature, existential meditations, impressionistic and unconventional approach to narrative, the mumbled and at times inaudible dialogue often delivered as internal monologues, the Continue reading

A GHOST STORY

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: David Lowery Stars: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will Oldham. Despite its title, this is not a horror story, nor is it a conventional haunted house story. Nor is it a remake of the 1981 John Irvin film Ghost Story, that was based on a novel written by Peter Straub. Rather this oblique and glacially paced art house drama is a film about a ghost suffering an existential crisis. The film offers a melancholy and haunting meditation on love, loss, death, the legacy we leave behind, and existence itself. The film follows C (played by Continue reading

UNA

Reviewed by GREG KING Director: Benedict Andrews Stars: Ben Mendelsohn, Rooney Mara, Riz Ahmed, Ruby Stokes, Tara Fitzgerald. Based upon the controversial Olivier-award winning play Blackbird written by Scottish playwright David Harrower, Una is a confronting film that deals with some difficult and troubling and taboo material. Fifteen years ago, a 13-year-old Una (played by newcomer Ruby Stokes) had a crush on her next-door neighbour Ray (played by Ben Mendelsohn, from Animal Kingdom, etc), a much older man. She ran away with him, and he was eventually Continue reading