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High-Rise #FilmReview ‘the director runs wild along with the residents’
May 11, 2017, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Film Reviews | Tags: , , ,

High-Rise (2015)
Drama, Rated MA15+, 119 Minutes.
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller
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Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.


J. G. Ballard’s Novel High-Rise has been a passion project for producer Jeremy Thomas since its release in 1975. Purchasing the rights to what many claimed was an unfilmable novel Thomas would finally see his dream become reality forty years later.

Director Ben Wheatley (Free Fire, A Field In England and Sightseers) finally commits this disturbing dystopian vision of the past – the 70’s – to the big screen. Was it unfilmable? No. Did it make a whole lot of sense? No. Not that there is a lot to get your head around, the story is a straight up parable that constantly slaps you across the face to make sure you’re following. That’s right, poor people on the floors below, rich people up top and even a man on the top floor all dressed in white called the architect – sigh.

This is not to say the same subject matter can’t be entertaining. Director Bong Joon-Ho masterfully pulled off an almost identical plot with the film Snowpiercer released two years prior. With the director creating an inventive, thrilling, and – most importantly – highly watchable and re-watchable film. High-Rise is hard going, mainly for it’s violence towards its female characters and live-in pets.

In fact I had to tackle this film in two goes. The only reason I came back was the brilliant soundtrack from Clint Mansell who managed to add a stylish 70’s styled score. As well as the breathtaking cinematography from Laurie Rose, a regular collaborator with Wheatley.

If ultra-violence is your thing, you’ve come to the right address, but if you would like something else in your abode, like plot or narrative structure this isn’t the building for you. And speaking of ultra violence the poster draws an uncanny resemblance to the Kubrick classic ‘Clockwork Orange’, a film that was obviously a massive influence on the production.

At 2hrs long it feels like the director runs wild along with the residents and completely forgets the people on the ground floor – the audience.

Rating ★★      out of ★★★★★

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‘Will Smith’s new range of sunglasses’ – Focus our ★★ review
July 4, 2015, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Film Reviews | Tags: , ,


2015, Crime/Drama, Rated MA15+, 105mins.
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie.

In the midst of veteran con man Nicky s latest scheme, a woman from his past – now an accomplished femme fatale – shows up and throws his plans for a loop.

Upon seeing the billboard advertisements around town I thought Focus was Will Smith’s new range of sunglasses. It turns out it’s actually a movie where Will Smith plays a con man who meets his match with femme fatale Margot Robbie. If you love an intelligent crime caper this might not be the film for you, Focus is more of a film you can do the house cleaning to. It’s Interesting that the film poster looks like a couple of sunglass models because the rest of the cast also look like they unrealistically stepped out of a fashion shoot as well. Unfortunately clean clothes and brushed hair don’t always make for an interesting script. The plot also heavily relies on things dropping into place ‘just so’ for the various scams to succeed. Most of the cons are completely ridiculous and left me asking, how the hell did that just work? And realised it only worked because it’s in a film, and a stupid one at that. If you make it to the end of Focus, not only will your house be impeccably clean, your suspension of disbelief powers will be pushed to the limit. I’m not a medical doctor but that ending is pretty hard to believe. Not even having the Stones ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ on the soundtrack can save this one, but that’s where its two stars come from.

Review out of five stars: ★★ Stars.

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