Features

Top 10 Films of 2015

In the year that Jeremy Clarkson got binned by the BBC, same-sex marriage was legalised in America, Bruce changed to Kaitlyn and it became cool to be a Belieber, cinema has again delivered an eclectic selection of entertaining films. Here are my picks of the 2015 bunch, based on the UK release dates…
10. It Follows

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9. Ex Machina

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8. Carol

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7. Straight Outta Compton

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6. Whiplash

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5. Inside Out

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4. Sicario

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3. Hector

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2. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

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1. Birdman

Features

Top 10 Netflix gems you might not have seen…

In the modern world of streaming, Netflix’s suggestions can make it difficult to track down movies that take you out of your comfort zone, and unfortunately means that a lot of really good films can go relatively unseen. Cinema Perspective counts down gems that might have passed you by…
1. Coherence
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A mind-bendingly good psychological horror from director James Ward Byrkit.
My review…
2. Short Term 12
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Brie Larson has been impressing from supporting roles for some time and is tipped to get the recognition she deserves in Room which comes out in the UK on 15th January 2016. In Short Term 12, she plays a social worker with troubles of her own.
3. In Order of Disappearance

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Starring the great Stellan Skarsgaard, In Order of Disappearance directed by Hans Petter Moland is a dramatic yet hilarious watch that combines genres in a satisfying revenge flick.
My review and my interview with the director…
4. Half Nelson

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Ryan Gosling received an Oscar nomination for his complicated role in Half Nelson, playing the part of a drug addicted school teacher. This makes the list not for being unseen as such but perhaps forgotten.
5. Creep

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Comedy writer, director and actor Mark Duplass takes a horror influenced detour, teaming up with director Patrick Brice for Creep, which more than lives up to its name.
6. Young Adult

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Charlize Theron is excellent in Young Adult, a film which explores what happens to the popular high school ice queen when life doesn’t quite turn out as planned. Jason Reitman directs.
7. Mighty Aphrodite

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Netflix has a great abundance of Woody Allen films, including Mighty Aphrodite in which he stars alongside Mira Sorvino and Helena Bonham Carter and is at his wittiest.
8. All this Mayhem

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As well as films, television and stand-up, Netflix gives a platform to a huge selection of documentaries. All this Mayhem follows the harrowing story of Australian skateboarding brothers Tas and Ben Pappas and is a must-see for anyone who has an interest in extreme sport.
9. uwantme2killhim?

British rising star Jamie Blackley is going from strength to strength, and this is partly down to uwantme2killhim? which featured at Edinburgh Film Festival back in 2013 and is based on a shocking true story.
10. Hyena

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Hyena was met with a mixed critical reception but for fans of gritty British crime films, it is well worth looking out. It tackles police corruption in London’s criminal underworld and stars the brilliant Stephen Graham.
Features

Competition Time!

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Cinema Perspective are teaming up with beer bloggers and brewers The Hoppy Craft to produce a film-inspired drink! Be in with a chance to WIN four bottles of our Toffee Popcorn Ale by simply answering the question below.

Which Oscar winning actor said ‘Beer. It’s the best damn drink in the world’?

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Submit your entry by leaving a comment with your name, e-mail address and A, B, C or D!

Please drink responsibly.

Features

Top 10 Scary Movies of the 21st Century

Due to the countless classic horrors of times gone by, it has been a challenge in cinema to stand out from the crowd when delving into the fright genre. Let’s reflect on ten who avoided the cliché pitfalls and got it right…
10. It Follows

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David Robert Mitchell’s indie chiller ‘It Follows’ took a trademark ‘pass it on’ theme of horror films and put a modern twist on it, with a terrifying curse moving from one victim to the next through intercourse. Sexy!
Read my review now!
9. Saw

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Acclaimed director James Wan created what is arguably the best known horror franchise of the century, the original dating back to 2004. It has spawned a whopping six sequels already with another due out next year. His other works in the field include Insidious and The Conjuring.
8. Paranormal Activity
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The Blair Witch Project rejuvenated the found-footage style horror movie in 1999, so is slightly too early for this list but Paranormal Activity is the most notable film of its kind this century. The first, written and directed by Oran Peli, was a low-budget wonder but unfortunately the series has repeated itself ever since.
 7. The Guest

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Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens made the jump from telly to the silver screen last year in The Guest, directed by Adam Wingard. It implemented horror elements in a synth styled flick about a mysterious ex-soldier.
Read my review now!
6. Cabin in the Woods
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Scripted by the great Joss Whedon, this self-aware teen-comedy horror poked fun at the slasher stereotypes and had a lot of fun in the process. Chris Hemsworth featured in the leading role ahead of his Thor fame.
5. The Babadook

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The Babadook is probably one of the more conventional choices on the list, but is a good example of solid execution. The debut feature for actress turned writer and director Jennifer Kent terrified audiences across the country last year.
4. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
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The most recent addition to the list is black and white indie ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’. Set in a ghost town called Bad City and featuring a fantastic 80s soundtrack, this is the best thing to come out of Iran since…well since ever!
3. Shaun of the Dead
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The team behind cult sitcom Spaced added their unique comedic twist to three types of film during their blood and ice-cream trilogy, the first and in my opinion the best of which was the zombie-horror Shaun of the Dead.
2. Under the Skin
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Scarlett Johansson terrorises the streets of Glasgow in bizarre sci-fi horror Under the Skin, directed by visionary filmmaker Jonathan Glazer. A haunting, pulsing score and a chilling performance makes a strange but frightening cinema experience.
Read my review now!
1. Kill List
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Neil Maskell takes centre stage as a hitman in Ben Wheatley’s menacing genre-crosser which dramatically switches from brutal gangland thriller into mind-bending horror in the blink of an eye.
Features

Top 5 Time Travelling Films

In the second instalment of cult sci-fi adventure film series ‘Back to the Future’, Marty McFly and Doc crashed the future landing at 21st October 2015. On this day, we celebrate the film by taking a journey back through time to pick the best time travelling movies around…
5. Looper

Set in 2044, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in ‘Looper’ as a contract killer who shoots victims sent to him from the future so he can can dispose of their bodies in the past. Still following? It’s when his older self played by Bruce Willis arrives to be killed that things get really complicated.
4. Midnight in Paris

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Bored and creatively unfulfilled in the present day, screenwriter and novelist Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) finds himself travelling back to the 1920s using a car in the backstreets of Paris as a portal. At a party in the roaring decade he encounters a host of famous artists and writers including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dali. When he meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard), he has to decide whether he wants to exist in the 21st century. Woody Allen directs.
3. Twelve Monkeys

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Bruce Willis features again on the list, this time starring as James Cole alongside Brad Pitt in Terry Gilliam’s neo-noir sci-fi flick ’12 Monkeys’. Set initially in Philadelphia in 2027, Cole goes back in time to 1990 to gather information on a deadly virus that wipes out nearly all of humanity in 1996.
2. The Terminator

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It’s hard to talk cinema time travel without hitting on James Cameron’s action classic The Terminator, a franchise which is still going today! Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the titular role as a cyborg assassin sent back from 2029 to 1984 to take out Sarah Connor, in order to prevent her son’s actions decades later.
1. Back to the Future II

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Of course, taking top spot is the Robert Zemeckis film that inspired the article. ‘Back to the Future II’ follows the original’s protagonist Marty who, after time-hopping to 2015, has to jump back to 1955 and take the same trip as he did in the first movie without affecting 1985. Easy!
Features

Top 10 Films of 2015 (so far…)

Can you believe we are halfway through the year already? I can’t, but well, we are! So it’s the time again to list my favourites so far. The images link through to my reviews if applicable so click away to find out which they’re included!
10. Lost River

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9. The Overnight

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8. It Follows

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7. Mad Max: Fury Road

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6. 45 Years

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5. Whiplash

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4. Ex Machina

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3. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

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2. Hector

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1. Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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Features

My Evening With Al Pacino

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With an acting career spanning nearly half a century featuring iconic performances in The Godfather, Scarface and Heat to name but a few, Al Pacino this year graced the UK with his presence to discuss his staggering back-catalogue in depth and at length. His whistle-stop tour went to just Glasgow and London, and I was lucky enough to be in attendance for the former, eager and excited to hear all of his Hollywood stories. Following a suspenseful montage of some of his finest big screen moments, he was met with a rapturous applause and cries of ‘We love you Al!’ to which he responded humbly and with bags of humour and charisma, replying ‘Hoo-ah!’, a phrase or sound in which he coined in his Oscar winning role as blind ex-Army officer Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman.

The night took a format comparable to the Inside the Actor’s Studio television series hosted by James Lipton, where Hollywood faces enjoy reflecting on their past glories and are met with posing questions from aspiring actors. This provided structure to the chat between Mr Pacino and the interviewer, Scottish journalist Billy Sloan but had its pros and cons in reining in the talkative interviewee. Sloan’s questions kept the discussion in a logical flow which took us from his upbringing in The Bronx through to his rise to fame and preventing tangents, though at times Pacino’s rambling into the unexpected areas brought about the best moments. For example, he told an anecdote of meeting eccentric Italian director Federico Fellini and being awe-struck at the very prospect. Fellini grabbed a hold of Pacino’s cheeks and in his broken English said he was a ‘beautiful boy’…but continued with ‘too beautiful for a part in my films’, quickly nipping Pacino’s hope of landing a role in the bud.

Fascinating insight came from his name-dropping as he spoke openly of interactions shared with the likes of Marlon Brando, Francis Ford Coppola and later with Robert De Niro, an actor he is always closely associated with. He painted a vivid picture of the film industry circles with his words, and was a showman in his delivery, taking the stage to carry out scenarios whenever he felt it was necessary. The classiness of the evening took a temporary downturn when the audience were invited to ask questions, resulting in a mixed bag consisting of either the obvious or the ridiculous. Fortunately when the crowd participation was drawn to a close and Billy Sloan exited stage left, Al Pacino was left to his own devices to entertain the adoring fans with not only an Oscar Wilde poem recital, relating to his film Wilde Salomé from 2011, but live acting! Yes, he concluded proceedings with a re-enactment of a scene from David Mamet’s play American Buffalo, of which he appeared in London’s West End stage production in 1983. It was a wondrous experience to see one of the greatest actors of his generation do what he does best in the flesh.

Al Pacino’s latest release Danny Collins has received rave reviews and is showing in cinemas nationwide, and his next project Manglehorn will screen at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival. It features in my Top 5 Films to see at EIFF 2015!

See the Manglehorn trailer: