Movies reviews

  • Burn Burn Burn

    Watched on


    Following the death of their friend, two girls in their late twenties embark on a road trip to spread his ashes. Seph and Alex take turns driving. Dan is in the glove compartment, in tupperware, decreasing in volume as the trip progresses.

    Burn Burn Burn


    This is a British dead-pan black comedy. Two women must take their friend's ashes on a road trip around the country, spreading him at locations which are important. The initial setup and first two places are incredibly well presented, walking the thin line between comedy and tragedy. However, the final half loses much of what made the first half successful. It gets bogged down in more conflicts that weren't needed and a left-field reason to travel to the final place. There are some emotional scenes and a lot of nuances to the characters and their relationships with their wider world. It's very British, with a supporting cast played by familiar faces. The second half knocks the rating down slightly, but if you're a fan of black comedies then this is worth your time.

  • Undine

    Watched on


    Undine works as a historian lecturing on Berlin's urban development. But when the man she loves leaves her, the ancient myth catches up with her. Undine has to kill the man who betrays her and return to the water.



    This is a very simple story set in modern Berlin; a break-up at a coffee shop leads to an unexpected encounter and a new romance. The camera often lingers as we follow Undine reciting the history of Berlin to a crowd at a museum and the city itself feels like the main character.

    This is a very minimalistic movie, from the screenplay to the locations and camerawork. There is no artistic flare on show, but an honest look at everyday adults flirting between romance and work. There is an undertone of fairy-tale myth – something I expected a lot more of – but it is very hidden. The forlorn conclusion feels a little out-of-place but packs a punch leaving its mark on you.

    Appearing rather boring on the surface, there is actually something keeping you engaged throughout and that is the wonderful natural interplay of the two leads. It's not in the same league as the “simplistic romantic talking” genre classic Before Sunset, but it has made me crave more German cinema and seek out other movies by the director.

  • Bigbug

    Watched on


    A group of bickering suburbanites find themselves stuck together when an android uprising causes their well intentioned household robots to lock them in for their own safety.



    This is probably the most bizarre movie I have seen. It is an inventive treat, set in a 1960's Jetsons-inspired futurama but set 40 years in the future. There are robot maids, sexbots, flying cars, cloned dogs, in-house drone cameras and voice commands galore.

    The setup is incredibly manic. You have to deal with the eccentric world-building mentioned above, in stark contrast with the leading lady’s penchant for the classical, such as books or old objects such as a slinky or Rubix cube. Throw in a daughter, a new lover and his son, an ex-husband and his trophy girlfriend, and a neighbour – there is a lot going on. Oh, not to mention the robots are trying to take over, locking the doors and turning up the heat (literally) while a fascist robotic coup is happening outside.

    Once you get past the onslaught of the setup, there is a disconnect between the world-building and the characters we're watching. They seem much more concerned with their relationship troubles to worry much about the robot uprising.

    The set design is wonderfully ornate and the range of robotic designs is impressive. However, a lot of the characterisation feels like a caricature. Once you get passed the farce, the conclusion is quite fun – but the cuteness can't save the unfortunate mess of a movie.

    All of this comes from the wacky mind of Jean-Pierre Jeunet who is no stranger to bizarre movies, such as Micmacs and The City of Lost Children. But they fail to balance the whimsical fun and heart as successfully as Amélie. If you're a fan of his goofy movies, then at least watch this for more of the same.

  • Vivarium

    Watched on


    A young couple looking for the perfect home find themselves trapped in a mysterious labyrinth-like neighborhood of identical houses.



    I wanted to like this Twight Zone-esque movie, but it really struggles with a basic concept stretched a little too thin. Lured and abandoned in an inescapable endless suburban housing estate, a young couple must accept their fate and raise a baby they are mysteriously given.

    Jesse Eisenberg is good as a man slowly losing his sanity and working himself to death with a thankless job. But it is Imogen Poots who shines, giving a nuanced performance struggling to accept her fate, maintain her relationship and raise a child. There are obvious parallels towards sleep-deprived parents but handled it in a more extreme way.

    The kid is extremely creepy, especially the toddler tantrums and the parroting mocking mimicking using a strange projected voice. The set design adds to the eerie factor and the final ten minutes reveal the circular nature of the world. But it is a real slog for too much of the movie to recommend it.

  • Mindhorn

    Watched on


    A has-been actor best known for playing the title character in the 1980s detective series "Mindhorn" must work with the police when a serial killer says that he will only speak with Detective Mindhorn, whom he believes to be a real person.



    A washed-up '80s sci-fi TV show detective is summoned back to his home to solve a crime and confront the co-stars he abandoned 25 years ago. This is a hilarious British deadpan comedy in the same style as Alpha Papa – and also stars Steve Coogan – with many tropes poked fun at.

    Highlights were the Hollywood sign chase sequence, the “getting into character” phone scene and the carnival float sketch. The movie loses a little of its steam towards the end, with the unnecessary twist. But overall it is full of wit, great oneliners and some wonderful physical comedy too.