• Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable

    Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    TW: Scenes of sexual assault

    The third film in the Female Prisoner series follows Nami (Meiko Kaji), now on the run after escaping the prison, as she dodges the police and an ex-prison mate with a grudge.

    Though Beast Stable is an interesting and compelling addition to the series, it still is very flawed. The story is predictable and isn't as engaging as the previous two films were with a lot of ideas, specifically a strange incest subplot, just randomly…

  • Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41

    Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    TW: Scenes of sexual assault and brief animal violence.

    Decided to continue on with the Female Prisoner series as I liked the first film.

    The second film follows Nami (Meiko Kaji) as she, and the other prisoners, stage a daring escape from the prison.

    The second film in the Female Prisoner series is very slow but is still compelling and very tense. It's a bit more straight forward than the first film, as it simply follows Nami's escape from the…

  • Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion

    Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion

    ★★★★½

    TW: Depictions of sexual assault.

    Saw the first four Female Prisoners films were on Arrow streaming so I decided to give the first one a go. If I liked it, I will probably watch the others.

    The film follows Nami Matsushima (Meiko Kaji) as she is sent to a sadistic prisoner after being betrayed by her boyfriend, a corrupt detective named Sugimi (Isao Natsuyagi). As the titular Female Prisoner #701, she dodges attacks from the other women while plotting her…

  • Outcast

    Outcast

    ★★

    The film follows a mother named Mary (Kate Dickie) and her song Fergal (Niall Bruton) as they hide out from Mary's former lover Cathal (James Nesbitt). Meanwhile a series of grisly murders begin to happen around the block of flats they have moved to.

    Although it has some interesting ideas, Outcast is rather bland and dull horror film. The story is weak, with boring characters and a narrative that doesn't go anywhere interesting. Mercifully it is decently paced and gets…

  • Spencer

    Spencer

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The film is set in 1991 and follows Diana (Kristen Stewart) as she attends Christmas at the Queen's Sandringham Estate while contemplating her place in the royal family and her marriage to Charles (Jack Farthing).

    Spencer, like director Pablo Larraín's previous film Jackie, is an interesting character study of a woman going through inner turmoil. Steven Knight's script explores the days leading up to Diana leaving Charles in a really compelling and thoughtful way. It manages to get inside her…

  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The film depicts Lee Israel's (Melissa McCarthy) crimes of forging letters from iconic figures like Noël Coward and Dorothy Parker.

    Although a bit generic as biopics go, Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a well written drama that explores its subject in a thought-provoking light. Lee is a hard to like character with her drinking and cold personality but the script manages to keep her relatable and human. Her dynamic with Jack Hock (Richard E. Grant) helps peel behind her…

  • Another Year

    Another Year

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Another Year depicts a year in the life of Tom and Gerri Hepple (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen) and their friends.

    Another Year is a real gem of a film that deserves to be watched at least once. The second time around, Mike Leigh's exploration of a year in the life of a group of people remains both tender and very funny. His script wonderfully and very naturally highlights the constant ups and downs that many people will go through…

  • Ordinary Love

    Ordinary Love

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The film follows Tom and Joan (Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville), a happily married couple, as they find their relationship tested after a devastating cancer diagnosis.

    Ordinary Love is a sweet, wonderfully written portrait of a relationship under strain. Owen McCafferty's script is brilliantly paced and finds the perfect balance between humour and sadness. Tom and Joan's relationship is also really well explored through quiet moments that everyone will be able to recognise. The ending is very emotionally satisfying and…

  • The Handmaiden

    The Handmaiden

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The film is set in the Japanese occupation of Korea and follows the dark mystery that unravels between a woman pretending to be a handmaiden (Kim Tae-ri), her uncle (Ha Jung-woo) and the Lady she is plotting to defraud (Kim Min-hee).

    The Handmaiden is an erotically charged and riveting thriller. Its narrative is complex and utterly engrossing with a genuinely surprising second act twist that is brilliantly executed. There is constant shifting of how the characters are viewed as either…

  • Thirst

    Thirst

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    TW: Very brief scene of sexual assault.

    Thirst follows Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho), a Catholic priest, as he discovers a disturbing thirst for blood after a medical procedure goes wrong.

    Thirst is an interesting exploration of themes of morality and sin. The story is compelling but suffers massively from pacing and a predictable narrative. Sang-Hyun's dynamic with Tae-ju (Kim Ok-vin) is disturbing but really well written in a doomed lovers way. Throughout the second half, there is this constant back and…

  • Prisoners of the Ghostland

    Prisoners of the Ghostland

    ★★

    Was going to see Spencer today but didn't feel well so instead watched this because I saw it had popped up on Shudder.

    The film is set in a post-apocalyptic time and follows Hero (Nicolas Cage) as he is freed by The Governor (Bill Moseley) who straps him into an explosive suit that will detonate if he doesn't save a young girl named Bernice (Sofia Boutella).

    Despite a really neat premise that promised a lot of B-Movie thrills, this was…

  • The Queen

    The Queen

    ★★★½

    Planning to see Spencer tomorrow so decided to put this on because I had never seen it before.

    The film is a dramatization of the fallout of the death of Diana Spencer as The Queen (Helen Mirren) faces pressure from all around her on her reaction to the shocking death.

    The Queen, despite its flaws, is a really compelling and well written film about the unprecedent events following the death of former royal Diana. Peter Morgan's script does a very…