“Long live the new flesh.”

Review: Dragon (Wu xia)

Review: Dragon (Wu xia)

Donnie Yen (Ip Man) stars in this interesting Hong Kong marital arts movie that uses many of its generic traits in its set up, but packed a helluva punch. And kick. And more. Set in a small, peaceful village circa 1917, things don’t remain that way for long when a couple of bandits attempt to rob a local shop. Liu Jin-xi (Yenn) becomes unwillingly...

Review: Trance

Review: Trance

Having turned down the chance of a Knighthood, Danny Boyle maintains his status as the quintessential people’s filmmaker. As humble as the man is, there’s no denying his features possess a brutal rawness that by and large translates well and whilst his recent feature, Slumdog Millionaire, nabbed an incredible 8 Oscars in 2008, the bar it seems is...

Review: Stoker

Review: Stoker

Stoker opens with the film’s ending: an oddly juxtaposed shot of Mia Wasikowska’s India strutting across a highway in a pair of heels and into an overgrown layby. We’re not sure what’s going on, but are fed subliminally as director Chan-wook Park intends for us to savour and recall this information and contextualise later on. And that is what...

Blu-ray review: Premium Rush

Blu-ray review: Premium Rush

My hopes were moderately high prior to watching Premium Rush – the latest Blu-ray release starring the seemingly reliable Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the excellent, in-danger-of-becoming-typecast Michael Shannon. Unfortunately, as the end credits roll, you’re left with an enormous sense of feeling underwhelmed, because Premium Rush is a very specific, and...

Short film: Laughter of the World

Short film: Laughter of the World

As well as tackling big Hollywood productions, we at Live for Films also like to remember the little people. Okay, that sounded patronising, allow me to rephrase. It’s important to look at the independent filmmakers; the first-timers; those with but a microscopic budget to scout for emerging talent. Writer/director Chip Thompson sent me his first funded...

Review: Zero Dark Thirty

Review: Zero Dark Thirty

Sometimes controversy whirls around a film either working to its advantage or detriment. Admittedly anything that generates such attention is largely media hyperbole, and Kathryn Bigelow’s latest is perhaps the perfect example of this. Zero Dark Thirty – a film that documents the CIA’s battle to hunt down and kill bin Laden — is a...

Review: The Last Stand

Review: The Last Stand

For anyone who’s read his recent autobiography entitled Total Recall, you’ll notice instead of highlighting aspects of adultery or failure, the insightful musings inform readers what a shrewd and intelligent business man Arnold Schwarzenegger was and still is today. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines was the big man’s last starring role...

Blu-ray review: Piranha (1978)

Blu-ray review: Piranha (1978)

2010 saw Kelly Brook nakedly parade around and Ving Rhames literally legless in what was a lose remake of Joe Dante’s 1978 original. It’s taken a while, but that original has now found its way onto Blu-ray in what is a fairly pleasing transfer with some tasty behind-the-scenes footage of the production. Pirahna is, above all else, an entertaining...

Review: The Impossible

Review: The Impossible

Regardless of the praise or controversy surrounding the latest real-life tragedy depicted on the big screen, The Impossible is undoubtedly token Oscar fodder, but less crass in comparison to last year’s inclusion of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, that’s for sure. Even though Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona bases the true story on...

Review: Gangster Squad

Review: Gangster Squad

The aftermath of mass media panic halted Ruben Fleischer’s third feature from a September 2012 release, after succumbing to moral obligation to remove a cinema shooting, and reschedule for an early 2013 one. In truth, the omission of this infamous scene isn’t missed or seemingly required in the context of the film in its newer cut, but all this...