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New Release Reviews

New Release: Prey

Dan Trachtenberg’s Prey (2022) simultaneously pays respect to and gently subverts the 1987 Arnie vehicle to which it is a loose prequel. On the one hand, it grounds the franchise in the simple premise that made John McTiernan’s Predator so effective to begin with: two creatures – one human, one extraterrestrial – going head-to-head in […]

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New Release Reviews

Blu-Ray Review: Umberto D (Criterion)

The opening scene of Vittorio De Sica’s neorealist masterpiece Umberto D. is of a bustling city street with commuters and pedestrians going about their daily business, before a group of elderly protesters is seen marching down the main road; angrily waving placards and chanting slogans in full voice.   The protesters are a group of Italy’s […]

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New Release Reviews

Blu-Ray Review: Rock ’n’ Roll High School (101 Films)

Released in the sweet spot for late 1970s early 1980s American high school comedies it is hard to see why 1979’s Rock ’n’ Roll High School is not held in higher regard. Directed by Allan Arkush (with acknowledged but uncredited ‘support’ from Joe Dante) the film is certainly no worse than its contemporaries including Animal […]

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New Release Reviews

Blu-Ray Review: The Shaolin Plot (Eureka Classics)

“Lost” masterpieces can be catnip for serious movie buffs and collectors. Now you can properly worship at the feet of kung fu action spectacular The Shaolin Plot (1977, directed by Huang Feng), a seldom-seen Hong Kong picture from the Golden Harvest production company. Celebrated martial arts actor, stuntman and filmmaker Sammo Hung worked with director […]

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New Release Reviews

New Release: Il buco (The Hole)

We often associate progress with height – look no further than the post-World War II boom in skyscrapers. In a pre-credits scene from Michelangelo Frammartino’s Il buco (The Hole, 2021), a group of Italian villagers, huddled around a staticky television outside a café, watch footage of a newsman touring one such building. “We are climbing up […]

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New Release Reviews

New Release: Listen

Ana Rocha’s Listen (2020) begins quietly, with shots of clotheslines and tree branches swaying in the breeze: a rare moment of solace in an otherwise breathless family drama. Clocking in at under 80 minutes, the writer-director’s feature debut doesn’t waste any time immersing viewers in what must be one of the most gut-wrenching experiences a […]

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New Release Reviews

Blu-Ray Review: Revolver (Eureka Classics)

After nearly 50 years in relative obscurity, Sergio Sollima’s hard-hitting thriller receives the special treatment it deserves as a new 4k restored print arrives courtesy of Eureka Classics. Having failed to make much of an impact upon its initial release outside of Italy—due in part to poorly managed marketing and lazy perceptions of dubbed films […]

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New Release Reviews

Blu-Ray Review: Pale Flower (Criterion)

There’s something uncomfortable in the way that gangster films often ask us to empathise with central characters who are, in effect, psychopaths. ‘Anti’ and ‘heroic’ are separated by a very thin line as the movie gangster is made of sterner stuff than us mere mortals, seemingly existing in a place once removed from normality; a […]

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New Release Reviews

New Release: The Batman

The Batman (2022) has received something of a mixed reception from critics and film fans, but I’d like to go on record to say it deserves at least Se7en out of zen. It’s reminiscent of the look and feel and general modus operandi of David Fincher’s 1995 serial killer opus – if not quite Zodiac […]