cinema · LFF21

Film review: Boiling Point

It’s no coincidence that the latest feature from actor-turned-director Philip Barantini shares its name with a documentary mini-series fronted by potty mouthed cook Gordon Ramsay. Developed from a short version from a couple of years ago, Boiling Point unfolds across an incredibly hectic evening at a high-end London eatery, centring around head chef Andy (Stephen Graham) who’s taken his desperate personal problems into the workplace. Between an inspection from food hygiene jobsworth Mr Lovejoy (Thomas Coombes), a surprise visit from pompous former employer Alastair (Jason Flemyng), and other unexpected challenges, the increasing stress of the occasion begins to weigh down on him.

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cinema · LFF21

Film review: Cop Secret

 It’s the norm for footballers to move onto careers in coaching or punditry when they hang up their boots, but for Icelandic national goalkeeper Hannes Þór Halldórsson, he’s chosen a very different path. After dabbling in filmmaking previously with work on commercials, music videos, and a spot of editing, he has now written and directed his debut feature. Cop Secret is an action comedy that centres around policeman Bússi (Auðunn Blöndal) who is forced to team up with new partner Hörður (Egill Einarsson) when his colleague Klemenz (Sverrir Þór Sverrisson) is injured in the line of duty. A series of heists orchestrated by mastermind Rikki Ferrari (Björn Hlynur Haraldsson) attract the attention of the authorities, but as well as fighting crime, Bússi also faces an internal struggle with his sexuality.

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cinema

Film review: No Time to Die

After a switch in director, a script revamp, and a global pandemic which thrust its release into jeopardy, No Time to Die has finally landed in cinemas. It’s directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga and marks the fifth and final outing for Daniel Craig as the iconic secret agent James Bond.

Picking up from where 2015’s Spectre left off, Bond is enjoying retirement in Italy with Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) when he is ambushed by a gang of assassins, which leads him to fear that he’s been betrayed by his girlfriend. We’re then taken five years later to London, where an MI6 laboratory is targeted in an attack, and scientist Valdo Obruchev (David Dencik) is kidnapped. He is forced to co-operate with terrorist Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) to help create a new bioweapon which, in the wrong hands, could be used to spread a deadly virus across the world.

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cinema · DVD & Digital

Film review: The Green Knight

With visionary tales of western love, animated dragons, and supernatural presences to his name, the eclecticism of writer and director David Lowery’s work reflects the expansive nature of his imagination. His latest feature is medieval fantasy epic The Green Knight, adapted from a 14th century poem of chivalric romance, and it could be his most imaginative to date.

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cinema · EIFF21

Film review: The Night House

Of all the genres of cinema, horror arguably contains the most trademarks and tropes, whether it’s basement-based jump scares or a hapless prey running from an attacker in the woods, only to inevitably trip and fall. In his latest effort, director David Bruckner subverts the expectations of the haunted house movie whilst playfully pandering to cliché. 

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cinema

Film review: Censor

Writer and director Prano Bailey-Bond plunges into the wacky world of video nasties for her feature debut Censor. Penned with her regular co-writer Anthony Fletcher, the psychological horror centres around Enid (Niamh Algar), a reticent film censor who spots something in a movie which triggers dark memories from her childhood. The shocking discovery prompts her to dig deeper into the works of controversial filmmaker Frederick North (Adrian Schiller) and his creepy producer Doug (Michael Smiley) as she becomes increasingly obsessed with the mystery surrounding her younger sister’s strange disappearance.

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cinema

Film review: Zola

It’s the norm for screenplays to be adapted from novels, plays, short stories, and other mediums, but writer and director Janicza Bravo has broken new ground by developing her latest picture from a series of tweets. The 148-tweet thread in question was posted in 2015 by Aziah “Zola” King and went viral, starting with now meme-famous line ‘Y’all wanna hear a story about why me and this bitch here fell out? It’s kind of long but full of suspense’. If you haven’t already read the now-deleted chain of events, the black comedy plot follows the titular Zola (Taylour Paige) who works as a waitress and part-time stripper. One day, she serves sex worker Stefani (Riley Keough) who invites her on a wild weekend of ‘dancing’. A little reluctantly and rather naively, she takes her up on the offer, joining her, her gormless boyfriend Derrek (Nicholas Braun), and her apparent roommate who goes only by the name X (Colman Domingo) on a tempestuous road trip to Tampa Bay, Florida.

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cinema · DVD & Digital

Film review: Settlers

Writer and director Wyatt Rockefeller boldly embarks onto the Martian frontier for his feature debut Settlers, a dystopian sci-fi western. The plot centres around parents Reza (Jonny Lee Miller) and Ilsa (Sofia Boutella) as they seek refuge whilst striving to build a prosperous life for their young daughter Remmy (Brooklynn Prince). When their home is threatened by the mysterious Jerry (Ismael Cruz Cordova), the family face a desperate battle for survival.

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cinema · GFF21

Film review: American Badger

 Kirk Caouette has a wealth of film industry experience in a multitude of roles, most notably as a stuntman and fight choreographer. With hitman drama American Badger, he writes, directs, and takes on the leading role, playing ruthless gun-for-hire Dean. When he is assigned the task of befriending call girl Velvet (Andrea Stefancikova) and then subsequently ordered to take her out, he is faced with a dilemma that challenges his immoral attitude.

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