BLU-RAY REVIEW: AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE

  There are a lot of films about writers and their lives. Consider: Capote, Salinger, The Man Who Invented Christmas and more. An Angel At My Table fits into this tradition. It’s a biopic devoted to New Zealand’s most famous author, Janet Frame. This bio-pic is a very detailed and slow-burning account of her life. This…

DIGITAL REVIEW: BIRTHMARKED

The debate over nature versus nurture has long been an important one. The best piece of art to explore this issue was undoubtedly Lionel Shriver’s We Need To Talk About Kevin. The same cannot be said about the dark comedy, Birthmarked. This film is one that feels as though it is half-cooked on the petri dish….

FILM REVIEW: RODIN

  Auguste Rodin was a renowned French sculptor who produced works like “The Thinker” and “The Kiss”. Some people even declare this artist a genius. But the same cannot be said about his eponymous bio-pic. This French film manages to make this famous man’s life seem so hollow and pedestrian that there is more life…

BOOK REVIEW: ROSANNA LEY – THE LITTLE THEATRE BY THE SEA

  On paper, a book like The Little Theatre by the Sea has the ingredients for a fabulous, summer read. It has an interesting-enough premise, it’s set in a fine, exotic location and it’s by the best-selling author of The Villa and The Saffron Trail. The end product, however, is like a pleasant but not particularly memorable holiday because you may…

DVD REVIEW: WAKEFIELD

  Wakefield is a long, drawn-out rendering of a short story. It shows one man’s descent into madness and how he becomes a voyeur of his own family. The film is a dramatic one and while the central idea seems original enough, it’s something that was better in the written format than in a full-length, feature…

FILM REVIEW: A MODERN MAN

  A Modern Man is a documentary about a handsome, contemporary classical violinist named Charlie Siem. But who is Messer Siem? Unfortunately that question is not really answered in this film because this British-Norwegian musician puts up a wall that is largely impenetrable. This film is directed by Eva Mulvad (The Good Life). It begins…

DVD REVIEW: TAKE DOWN

  Take Down (aka Billionaire Ransom) is what you would get if you made cardboard cut-outs characters and put them in a world that was like Brat Camp-meets-The Hunger Games. The film is a thriller that is short on character development and suspense. It means that what ensues feels rather slow, tedious and contrived. The…

DVD REVIEW: 7 CHINESE BROTHERS

  There’s a joke in Wayne’s World about the main character having a large collection of name tags and hair nets. In 7 Chinese Brothers the filmmakers have taken that scene as inspiration and dragged it out into a 76 minute movie.  The film is a slacker-driven, character study that seems as aimless as its leading…

BOOK REVIEW: MARK LAMPRELL – THE LOVERS’ GUIDE TO ROME

  The Lovers’ Guide to Rome promised to whisk me off my feet and take me on a journey of the Eternal City. And while there were plenty of moments where I felt like I was back in Italy, there were also times where it felt a tad unremarkable. This book is ultimately a light,…

BLU-RAY REVIEW: KNIGHT OF CUPS

  Terrence Malick’s seventh film, Knight of Cups is a completely forgettable piece of hoity-toity arthouse shlock masquerading as a kind of intellectual narrative. The story gets its name from the tarot card that depicts a romantic adventurer guided by his emotions. And that’s really all it is. For a long two hours. Christian Bale stars…