The Liability sees cameraman Craig Viveiros take the director's chair for the first time and he certainly wears his influences on his sleeve. Unsurprisingly, it's a joy to watch. A thriller starring Tim Roth as the cool killer, Peter Mullan as the potty mouthed psychopath, with rising star Jack O'Connell providing the youthful charisma, all the key elements are there for a magnificent crime picture. As enjoyable as it is aesthetically, with slick cinematography, a striking use of colour and some cracking slow-mo sequences aided by an interesting soundtrack, it seems the direction lets it down in the final third. The plot lulls, failing to follow through an opening which promised so much.
In this, his first movie, Hal Hartley began to lay down his unique path of story-telling that would become instantly recognisable to anyone watching. Shot in just twelve days, and for a budget of around $200,000, it is a fantastic dark comedy set in a small community. As I found with another of his early films, Amateur, Hartley’s concentration on the interaction, dialogue and behaviour between a group of main characters is more important than the story itself.
Paul Thomas Anderson's follow-up to last year's critically divisive The Master is gathering up a rather diverse ensemble cast, his first since Magnolia's star-studded medley of interconnected characters. Inherent Vice – based on the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name – follows a pot-smoking private investigator (played by Joaquin Phoenix) as he investigates an alleged kidnapping of an ex-girlfriend.
LA, 1949, and ruthless crime boss Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) is feeding business rivals to the coyotes on the Hollywood hills. With all kinds of corrupt officials in his pockets, the City of Angels has become his private fiefdom. However, Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) has other ideas, and he tasks Sergeant O'Mara (Josh Brolin) with forming an off-the-books outfit to wreck Cohen's empire.
"Yours in great depression" was F. Scott Fitzgerald's solemn and devastated response to news that his third novel had under-performed both critically and commercially on its release in 1925. It wasn't until after Fitzgerald's death in 1940 that the novel captured the zeitgeist and forged a positive consensus amongst critics. Baz Luhrmann's Gatsby is the fifth adaptation of the great novel, and bizarely, is the fifth adaptation to receive widespread condemnation.
There was a lot of talk about Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac following Shia LaBeouf's revelation that the film would show actors engaging in hardcore sex. Full penetration, on-camera. One film the cast wouldn't invite their dear grandmamas to see. However, it seems The Beef spoke out of turn as it's not quite how it seems.
Zach Braff pantomime villain update.
The new promo image for Lars von Trier's completely uninhibited movie Nymphomaniac is perfectly done. It introduces the cast in extremely compromising positions without being full on, or at least as full on as the film is expected to be with the promise of unsimulated sex.
Matthew McConaughey has been working hard recently to distance himself from the endless stream of listless romantic comedies that have defined his career over the past decade. Throughout his self reinvention he has not only proven his capabilities by playing wildly diverse roles - from the cool and collected hitman in Killer Joe to the colourful and alluring male stripper in Magic Mike – but has also had a clear penchant for interesting, enigmatic and intense characters. With his latest on-screen appearance, McConaughey continues to surprise and impress as the titular Mud in Jeff Nichols’s third feature.
Like Just Jaeckin, Tinto Brass is synonymous with that '70s phenomenon, the art sex film (this was back in an era when titles like Behind the Green Door played in major cinema chains). But unlike Jaeckin, whose career quickly petered out and whose movies now feel at best pleasantly pointless, Brass continued to pursue an eccentric career in softcore, bucking wider trends in the adult entertainment industry. Considering the way erotica has crept into the mainstream in the last year or so, now would seem an ideal time for rediscovering his work, but does it have anything to say to a modern audience?