Festival Reviewer

I bought this book where it describes pretty much all the bnha characters and I found this in Shinsou’s page. It’s written “ A chance to pass to the heroic department? Since he made a great impression in the last test of the festival, Yuei might review his record… ”

I think that’s real good news!!


Neruda (2016)

Directed by Pablo Larraín

Cinematography by Sergio Armstrong

Bookmas Series: 4th December 2016 A review by @the-perks-of-being-a-lotus

The Humans- Matt Haig

Rating: 9/10

“It’s not the length of life that matters. It’s the depth. But while burrowing, keep the sun above you.”

This book is centred on an extraterrestrial inhabiting a mathematical genius known as Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University. Martin has just unlocked the mysteries of the universe that will guarantee a giant technological leap for mankind. The alien species known as Vonnadorians feel that this overwhelming breakthrough simply cannot be entrusted to such volatile and backwards creatures that inhabit Earth- humans. So the alien is put in his body to erase any chance of this epiphany from being released.

The book really analyses the way in which humans interact from a superior and pretentious perspective. The alien does not understand the reasoning behind emotions nor the necessity to comply to societal norms. From the start of this book to the end it will take you on a strong emotional experience as the alien learns what it means to be a human.

It is the perfect mixture of comedy and romance with an unexpected interjection of science fiction and existential questioning. It explains that sorrow and pain is simply a necessary part of human experience.

For that reason I would recommend this book it is well worth the time and it’ll certainly make you laugh but in saying that it is not a book for the light-hearted.


We haven’t hung in five years. I miss you guys. We need a girls trip. Let’s do this!” - Ryan Pierce

Ryan Pierce has managed to achieve both the perfect marriage and the perfect career but what she wants most is to reconnect with her best girlfriends. When presented with a opportunity to attend and speak at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, Ryan believes this is perfect opportunity to reunite the Flossy Posse. When Ryan, gossip columnist Sasha, recently-divorced Lisa and spitfire Dina make their way down to New Orleans, neither their friendship nor the Big Easy will ever be the same.

Girls Trip written by Kenya Barris and Tracy Olivier and directed by Malcolm D. Lee debuted on July 21, 2017 and as of August, 6, 2017 has grossed $85.4 million dollars. The film features Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish and reunites Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah as college friends, Ryan, Dina, Lisa and Sasha. While attending the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, the four members of the Flossy Posse are forced to nurse old wounds of the past while confronting the reality of their present in order to preserve their friendship for the future. Last night I purchased my ticket to see Girls Trip and dare I say it was one of the best films I have seen in quite some time. For those of you who have not seen Girls Trip I demand that you stop what you’re doing and drive to the nearest movie theater. No matter your age (never mind; this is definitely not a film for the kiddies), no matter your color…grab up your girlfriends or your guy friends and go see this film! Below I will share my seven thoughts in regards to the movie. I should also point out there will be spoilers. You have been warned…

Keep reading

SXSW Film Review: ‘The Disaster Artist’
Like such kindred spirits in quantity over quality as Tyler Perry and Joe Swanberg, James Franco has made a crapload of movies. Sooner or later, he was bound to deliver a good one.
By Peter Debruge

In a sense, “The Disaster Artist” could be the master class on how not to make a movie. But that’s a pretty elaborate in-joke on which to squander the casting of the film’s lead role, especially when any number of genuinely great actors would have leapt at the opportunity to mock their profession. That much is clear from the caliber of performer drawn to participate in the movie’s tiniest roles: Sharon Stone shows up as Sestero’s agent. Bryan Cranston plays himself. Judd Apatow (who effectively discovered Franco on “Freaks and Geeks”) appears as an easily peeved Hollywood producer. Seth Rogen depicts exasperated script supervisor Sandy Schklair. The great Jacki Weaver wrestles with an impossible line (“I got the results of the test back, I definitely have breast cancer”). An unrecognizable Zac Efron plays the over-actor responsible for playing menacing gangster Chris-R in “The Room.” And Josh Hutcherson hilariously embodies the 27-year-old whom Wiseau cast as a mentally disabled teen. (And that doesn’t even include those like Zach Braff and J.J. Abrams who endorse Wiseau’s magnum faux-pus in the film’s prologue.)

The Disaster Artist received a stranding ovation at SXSW, was trending with top tweets from the festival and is being hailed as Franco’s best film to date. 

‘Ghost Stories’ According To An Idiot

I was lucky enough to be part of the first audience to ever watch this film. I’d love to say it was due to Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman valuing my expert film reviews but really I just bought a ticket like any old common peasant.

Synopsis: Arch sceptic Professor Phillip Goodman embarks upon a terror filled quest, when he stumbles across a long lost file containing details of three cases of inexplicable ‘hauntings’.

So yeah. Ghost Stories. I went to see it six times at the theatre. So they’d have had to have really fucked up for me not to like this film. But did I love it?

Yes I did.

The stage show was absolutely amazing. Every time I went to see it I was still full of adrenaline during moments I knew were going to happen. It was still the same when watching the film. To have seen a story unfold 7 times now and still be completely captivated is an amazing thing but honestly, it’s exactly what I expected from Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman.

They are both exceptionally talented men and their love of horror and comedy shines through this film just as it did for the stage show. Jeremy has been one of my heroes since I lost myself in the world of Royston Vasey 20 years ago. We may not get to see him on screen in The League Of Gentlemen but he’s just as responsible for it’s brilliance as Shearsmith, Pemberton and Gatiss. If you need any proof of that, watch Ghost Stories. It’s full of the brilliantly dark humour and subtle comedy along with being genuinely terrifying.

I was lucky enough to see Andy play Professor Goodman in 4 of my 6 visits to the stage show and he brings him to life wonderfully in the film too. When I saw another man play the part, it was still wonderful but I was missing Nyman. For me, he absolutely has to play that part so thank goodness he did so in the film. It makes so much sense for the central character to be played by somebody who created the whole thing anyway.

The stage show is actually presented as a lecture by Goodman where he directly addresses the audience in between the horrifying ghost stories playing out live. That wouldn’t have worked for the film so Goodman is a bit of a TV celebrity instead. He’s still a professor but he fronts a TV show where he confronts lying psychics. His hero is a professor called Charles Cameron who had a TV show in the 70s but disappeared off the face of the Earth and is presumed dead. Goodman is surprised to get a message from Cameron and goes to meet him, receiving three cases that Cameron could never solve. Not being able to solve the cases made Cameron feel that his life’s work of debunking ghost stories was a waste as it appears that ghosts are real after all. Goodman gladly takes up the challenge of investigating these three cases to prove that they can be explained.

Another main difference from the stage show is that we get more backstory on Goodman and his family life and history. That’s something you don’t get from the stage play and helps to flesh him out as a lead character in a film.

That’s where I’ll leave you on the story front. You’ll have to watch it for yourself to see what happens!

Now, how have I got this far without mentioning the cast??

Paul Whitehouse plays the night watchman and the moment I heard this was going to be the case I knew it was the perfect casting. He’s brilliant as expected. He plays him brilliantly. He’s funny, slightly menacing and your typical geezer you’d find in a working men’s club. But then there’s the emotion and the pain behind the eyes. I can’t think of any other actor who would have done that character justice so perfectly.

Alex Lawther plays Simon Rifkind who is probably the most notably different to his stage show character. In the stage show, Rifkind is quite comical and a big mummy’s boy. In this film, while still comical, he’s more damaged and weird than he is in the stage show. It’s certainly no bad thing. Alex Lawther is one of our most promising young actors, after becoming familiar to most of us as the boy from that Black Mirror episode with the webcam… He does a great job in the film. He’s weird, camp and jittery and the visit to his house is genuinely unsettling.

Then there’s the big one, Martin Freeman. We were lucky enough to get a Q&A after the film with Andy, Jeremy and Paul Whitehouse and Andy described Martin perfectly. He’s an internationally famous actor but he’s not a ‘star’. He’s not Tom Cruise. When you hire Martin Freeman you’re not hiring a load of baggage that comes with it like you do when you have a ‘star’. I completely agree. Martin Freeman is just a good actor and, most importantly for this film I believe, he’s very much ‘one of ours’. He’s Tim from The Office for god’s sake! It’s Martin Freeman off the telly, out of your living room where you feel all safe and warm. He’s not Bilbo or even Watson. He’s Martin Freeman and we like him.

Martin is great as Mike Priddle, the stuck up businessman. He plays him just as the character is in the stage show but certainly gives the character his own spin. It’s great that they managed to get him on board too as it must have helped greatly in getting the film shown in America. Not that it should make a difference though. This film would be worthy of being showed in any country, Freeman or not.

Last week, I went to see Flatliners and it was fine. It felt like a remake that absolutely did not need to happen. I’ve not seen the original but I can’t imagine remaking it added anything of worth. It was alright. It did a job and I’ll never watch it again. It wasn’t scary and I didn’t care about any of the characters.

To compare that horror film with Ghost Stories… well they’re incomparable. Ghost Stories is incomparable to most of the terrible horror films released the days. The biggest difference? Ghost Stories is actually scary. I was scared. I knew what was going to happen and I was still scared. It’s a nerve wracking, unsettling and tense film with little laughs throughout to make you feel better.

The film uses barely any CGI, almost everything you see is entirely real and actually happening in front of you. Andy Nyman’s knowledge of stage trickery from working on Derren Brown’s stage shows for years means that he likes to do things for real. He knows how to make things look great without resorting to computers and it works. Your brain knows it’s looking at something real. It takes somebody telling you that no CGI was used for you to go “oh yeah, that’s why it was so scary”. It’s easy to spot a crap CGI monster in modern horror films but it’s weirdly harder to realise you’re not watching CGI, probably because there’s just so much of it these days.

All in all, I had the most wonderful evening watching a genuinely incredible piece of British cinema written by two of our greatest talents and starring some of our best actors. I then got to see the men themselves do a Q&A in which all of their answers were so interesting.

Of course, film is subjective and this film ticks basically every box in a list of my favourite things but I really think it deserves this rating just for being a horror film that actually made me feel scared. I was starting to think that might never happen again.

5 out of 5.

“The idea was to make a movie about friendship without it being a buddy movie. I think that the word “buddy” isn’t appealing, while “friend” is. We find shelter in a friend’s arms…In my movie, those friends are shelter for each other. Once in a while, you hear about movies that “fire you the will to live”. I think that’s what I wanted to do. Make a movie that gives you the will to live, and that makes you want to have friends. Buddy movies have too much of a “camaraderie” scheme, I think; something doesn’t add up. Between two men, it can also be really beautiful.”

—  Louis Garrel, on why he made Les Deux Amis


Happy 30th Anniversary, Maurice (James Ivory, UK, 1987)…

Sunday 30–Monday 31 August 1987: Audiences at the 44th Venice Film Festival (XLIVe Mostra Internationale Del Cinema, Venezia), Italy, witnessed Maurices world premiere in competition at the festival. Maurices closing credits must have rolled just after midnight in the Sale Grande on the Venice Lido…

One of Maurice’s very first reviews, by Sauro Borelli, was published on Monday 31st in Italy’s socialist newspaper L’Unita. You can read it in English translation HERE: ‘Ivory and Forster, England without nostalgia’

Meanwhile the Monday 31st evening edition of La Stampa (Stampa Sera) carried a further review by Steffano Regiani … and the super-rare photograph above of director James Ivory with his first-time film stars Hugh Grant (Clive Durham), Helena Michell (Ada Hall) and James Wilby (Maurice Hall) at Venice. Frustratingly, Rupert Graves (Alec Scudder) wasn’t there. :’(

The text reads:

In competition at the Venice Film Festival, films by James Ivory and Paolo Rocha

A happy ending for the broken taboo

Maurice, the veiled autobiography of homosexual writer E. M. Forster, provokes feeling of compassion and sympathy in the American director

Photo caption: Hugh Grant, Helena Michell, the director Ivory, James Wilby: the actors and author [auteur] of Maurice, adapted from the novel by Forster


Bookmas Series: 22nd December 2016
A review by Julia Reid my lovely cousin in Australia - @bittersweetandhomesick

All The Truth That’s In Me - Julie Berry

Rating: 9/10

‘All The Truth That’s In Me’ was an extremely magnificent and captivating read. Based upon a girl named Judith, it is a story about her ongoing struggle being permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by her friends and family.
As Judith is unable to speak, the book essentially acts as a journal for Judith, where she is able to silently pour out her thoughts to her childhood friend and the boy who has owned her heart forever - Lucas.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as the style in which Julie Berry wrote was achingly raw and intimate. The storyline was unique and original, and it’s hidden mysteries urged me to read on and on until the very last page. It was poignant and tender, consequently enthralling and fascinating me.

I gave this book a rating of 9/10 as, although it was extremely well written, I felt as if it lacked stimulation at times.

I would highly recommend this book - most predominantly to teenagers - and to anyone who enjoys a mysterious and moving read.

YEARS & YEARS at Eurosonic 2015, 15 January, Simplon Groningen

Simplon was packed. I was at the peak of my vodka smoothie drunkenness. And when we finally got into the venue, Years & Years looked like they were 15 years old with an air of Justin Bieber and/or Howie from the Backstreet Boys. That would have been enough for me, personally, but on top of it they seemed to have enjoyed themselves on stage and they were also really good, despite what cynical manly men with no interest in a comeback of boybands might have said.

'My Friend Dahmer': Review
Cuts Deep

“Given the infamous trajectory of its subject’s life, it might be no surprise that My Friend Dahmer is one of the most disturbing coming-of-age features in memory. But it’s also exceptionally moving…. The film is an experience that’s not easily shaken, but it’s not the ghastliness of the story that grabs hold of you and won’t let go

The Neon Demon

Nicholas Winding Refn’s most recent project is the definition of “not for everyone”. At my screening (the red carpet premiere at Cannes), there were walkouts, gasps of disgust, and a whole lot of laughter. There was also a ten minute standing ovation, delivered by a crowd that would spill out onto the Croisette, tripping on their formalwear and ready to talk shit.

Neon Demon is the film I wanted Only God Forgives to be. I’m biased, of course. I love fashion, I love the cast, I love movies with a teenage female protagonist discovering something about herself. This film doesn’t have the strong arc of Drive, but it has the stylistic approach of Only God Forgives in a setting that I find fascinating. Add to that a sense of uncomfortable humour and indulgent delight that constantly makes you ask, “am I allowed to laugh at that?” pulled from Black Swan, and you’ve got Neon Demon.

This whole film is an indulgent romp through the fashion industry, pulling very real tropes and placing them in surreal version of Los Angeles. It’s a neon nightmare. I woke up the next day with the strange sensation of having a bad dream that involved Keanu Reeves and a cougar.

The cast does an amazing job. Elle Fanning is sugary sweet with unfathomable skin, and Jena Malone shines in a way I’ve never seen her before. Bella Heathcoate has some amazing deadpan comedic timing. The soundtrack moves perfectly with every image, punctuated by an amazing “Waving Goodbye” by Sia that I plan on listening to every day for the rest of the summer. And then Keanu Reeves shows up for a minute and confuses the hell out of everyone in the room with a cameo that (as much as I adore that man) is not truly successful.

Is it a good film? I don’t know. I heard a friend criticize it by calling it empty and vacuous, but so what? Very rarely do I get to sit in a theatre and think, “hey, a movie made for me!”. It’s disgusting, uncomfortable, and so much fun. Go see it! You might hate it but at least you’ll have an informed opinion.