On the night a duplicate of Earth appears in the Solar System, student Rhoda drunkenly crashes her car, putting musician John in a coma and killing his wife and child.
Beginning as a look at the causes of the Columbine massacre, it evolves into an informative, entertaining and enlightening look at the issue of guns in America, and a deeper look at the nature of violence there.
One man show Rian Johnson directs, writes and edits this film noir set in a high school, and it is a simply outstanding debut. At night the actors would be harassed and tormented by the directors, which serves to lend the found footage gimmick a hideous reality, and make the audience uncertain about what is fiction and what is fact in this fictional documentary.
How does one action affect your life? Once again, a simple yet brilliant idea, perfectly executed. I reckon filmmaking thrives at the sharp end, and low budgets mean more creative ideas, and as a result, more engaging films.
Grizzly Man Unknown, as made up of footage shot by Timothy Treadwell Mercurial director Werner Herzog may have found his perfect subject matter in bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. Ranking amongst some of his finest works, Best In Show co-written with Eugene Levy is a surreal and hilarious look behind the scenes of the world of dog shows.
He easily takes the pressure of engaging the audience for 90 minutes, and is the human heart of this Hitchcockian thriller which turns traditional narrative cinema on its head.
Debut director Gareth Edwards creates an entirely believable post-invasion world, with even the warning signs thrown up over Mexico done perfectly. World Police, many view his liberal documentaries as error strewn and propagandist as the right-wing dogma he is fighting against. His quest to find out what makes him, well, him, is compelling, and makes us ask questions of ourselves, as well as providing the emotional hook which draws the viewer in.
Shot entirely in a studio, The Descent realises that tension is the key to a good horror.
More like this please, Kevin. I challenge anyone not to feel utterly heart-warmed by the end. This is in no small-part due to the brilliant performances from untrained actors Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, whose chemistry sizzles on-screen and afterwards, off-screen and whose naturalistic performances sit perfectly with the lo-fi ramshackle nature of the piece.
Newcomer Sam Riley brings a vulnerable human quality to Curtis, reminding the audience that like all legends, he was a just a man, and a young and troubled one at that. Which makes it a reason for celebration when new talent does emerge, especially with a film like Kidulthood.
The premise of Memento is simple and ingenious: The film has a dreamlike quality which lends itself perfectly to the atmosphere of isolation and the sense that life is slipping away.
Others find his style of filmmaking opportunistic, manipulative and abrasive. However, it is the heavyweight acting which really grabs your attention, as Michael Shannon brings sympathy, empathy, charm, and finally fear to his lead role as Curtis.
Showing in extraordinary detail the brutality of a state towards its prisoners, and the extremes to which the human body and spirit can be pushed, Hunger is not for the faint of heart.
Paranormal Activity is a very clever film, from obviously clever filmmakers, and although indebted to many other horrors, especially one found footage film in particular, it always feels like its own movie, and always greater than the sum of its parts.
Casting only women in the main roles, Marshall leads us slowly through helplessness, despair, one of the best jumps ever in horror, and then into an all-out fight for survival. The melodrama is intricate and finely told, culminating in a must-see crime epic which is head and shoulder above anything in recent years.
Fully deserving of its Oscar for the song Falling Slowly, Once will put a smile on your face. Apart from the much talked about ending, the scares are all in the build-up, the ever increasing tension, and the fact that what you are imagining is going to be far worse than anything the directors can come up with, especially on a budget which could just about buy you a nice car.
Well, if you knew anything of the pedigree of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright, you may not have been surprised, as their sitcom Spaced clearly marked them as talents, achieving miracles on next to no money. You feel you are there every scary step of the way with the explorers, peering into every shadow, and feeling your blood pressure increase unstoppably.
Oh, and most importantly, there are proper, shuffling zombies to face off against. However, he cannot form any new memories, so is forced to tattoo his body with previously identified facts about the murderer. On top of this, he gets a girlfriend and narrowly avoids death by airplane engine.
It may be fashionable to bash Ritchie these days, but Snatch is a smartly written and stylishly directed gangster thriller which holds up under repeated viewings, easily proving itself to be the superior film to the earlier Lock, Stock. Some believe that this is in fact his best work to date, and a part of me is inclined to agree with them.
The film must be English language, and must have had a theatrical release. Filmed in just eight days in Seneca Creek State Park, pretty much the entire film is improvised, with the only guidance being notes left for the actors around the park by the directors. Charismatic, dangerous and quite mad; he forces the viewer to watch his every action, even as you feel contempt for him.
Lurking underneath all the figures is a good, old-fashioned ghost story. He is a powerful presence, ably supported by Jessica Chastain as his wife Samantha, and if he can bring half the magnetism displayed here to his role as General Zod in Man Of Steel, we may be in for something spectacular.
The key to this is the 80 minutes of archive footage assembled, most of which was never before seen:In this age of multi-million dollar blockbusters and eye-watering fees paid to some actors, you may forget we’re in an age of austerity.
However, for the vast majority of the film .Download