With the launch of Birmingham Indian Film Festival, and our Controversy Season in full swing, there’s plenty to get excited about this June at MAC. Film Writer Toni Stanger has picked out 5 films you won’t want to miss this month!
Dexter Fletcher, who took over directing controversial Oscar-hit Bohemian Rhapsody, brings to life the scandalous story of one of music’s biggest superstars – Elton John. Rocketman explores the more troubled side of John in an unapologetic way, tackling his struggle...
Olivia Wilde’s directorial feature-length debut Booksmart has been compared to other coming-of-age comedies, namely Superbad, and whilst it does draw comparisons to the films that came before it, Booksmart is unique in its own right, as a direct result of it being written and directed by women. It’s a breath of fresh air, following in the footsteps of films such as The Edge of Seventeen and Lady Bird – in a story about female friendship, there’s an uplifting female voice that stands out.
“For the end of the world, press play.”
A.T. White’s debut feature Starfish follows Aubrey (Virginia Gardner), whose reality begins fraying at the edges as she struggles with the death of her best friend, Grace (Christina Masterson). The film opens at Grace’s funeral and her gravestone reads ‘Always Right,‘ which is the first insight we get into the deceased character.
Aubrey heads to Grace’s apartment, which helps to fill in the other parts of who Grace was: she left behind three jellyfish a...
Thunder Road opens with Officer Jim Arnaud (Jim Cummings) delivering the eulogy at his mother’s funeral. It’s a 10-minute scene shot in one long, unbroken take, which is the perfect way to introduce us to this unravelling character. Jim begins talking about how kind and compassionate his mother was, before going off on a tangent about how he regrets being mean to her when he was a child. Jim then delivers what is essentially a performance art piece; singing and dancing along to his mother’s favourite song (‘Thunder Road’ by Bruce Springsteen), only he couldn’t get the song to play through his
Netflix has been producing wonderful original series for the past six years, but its best sitcom—if not best series overall—is One Day at a Time, which first premiered in January of 2017. It follows the lives of a Cuban-American family living in Los Angeles and is loosely based on the popular 1970s series of the same name. Instead of a standard remake, it’s a contemporary re-reimagining with new storylines and characters (aside from Schneider, the landlord). It’s topical, funny, and heart-war...
REVIEW – Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile: Ted Bundy Biopic is Confident in its Perspective
In Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, the narrative unfolds exactly like the true crime story we’re so familiar with: we’re introduced to Ted Bundy (Zac Efron), an attractive and charming man who is adored by most people around him, but something isn’t right – could this man really be capable of what they say? We don’t see Ted commit any of the murders he’s accused of, which makes us question if he really is guilty despite us knowing the truth.
For the first half of Extremely Wicked,...
Tonally, Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux feels like an amalgamation of three different films, especially as it is split into a prologue with two main acts. The opening, set in 1999, is very profound as it explores normality turning into devastation through a Columbine-like school shooting – something that has become an unfortunate common occurrence in America. It’s a powerful statement to make; one that grabs you by the throat and then shatters you completely. This is how fast life can end and the film has no trouble reminding us of that.
Avengers: Endgame has shattered the box office, but there’s still more fun to come as summer blockbuster season is fast approaching. Studios everywhere are getting ready to release their biggest movies over the upcoming months.
With great entries from well established franchises, there’s also a bunch of remakes and many original movies to look forward to. As summer isn’t just for the big CGI extravaganzas, there’s something coming out for everyone – enjoyable comedies, action-packed adventures, terrifying horrors and animated wonders for both kids and adults.
TV REVIEW – Special: Ryan O’Connell Didn’t See Any Stories That Reflected His Reality, so He Created One
Netflix’s new series Special follows the life of Ryan Hayes (Ryan O’Connell), a 20-something gay man with cerebral palsy. He lives with his mother Karen (Jessica Hecht aka Susan from Friends) and begins interning for an online magazine called EggWoke. The series is semi-autobiographical and based on O’Connell’s memoir, ‘I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.’ O’Connell was hit by a car and let people believe his limp was due to this instead of his cerebral palsy, which is a storyline ...
Brie Larson’s feature-length directorial debut has been long anticipated. First premiering at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017, Netflix only picked up the distribution rights to Unicorn Store in January 2019. The film follows Kit (Larson), a failed artist who moves back in with her parents (Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford), and gets a job at a temp agency after feeling like a disappointment. Kit starts receiving mysterious letters from The Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson), i...
The term ‘Scream Queen’ refers to actresses who are associated with the horror genre, either through recurring roles or one significant performance. Jamie Lee Curtis is regularly regarded as the ultimate Scream Queen and is usually who people first think of when they hear the term. Known mostly for her role as Laurie Strode in the Halloween franchise, Curtis has appeared in countless horror films since the 70s and has more than earned her title her reigning Scream Queen.
Having been around du...
The OA is a mystery drama with elements of science fiction and fantasy. Created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, the series first premiered in December 2016 on Netflix and has been praised for its creative and experimental storytelling.
In Season 1, we were introduced to Prairie Johnson (Marling), a young woman who returns home seven years after she disappeared. She was also blind when she went missing, but now has her sight back.
Created by David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) and Tim Miller (Deadpool), Netflix's Love, Death & Robots covers intense adult themes, often coated by a dark sense of humour. It’s an animated anthology series with each episode animated by different crews from a range of different countries.
The series is a re-imagining of the 1981 sci-fi film Heavy Metal, and is something Fincher and Miller have been working on for a long time. Heavy Metal is an animated anthology which features themes of graphic violence, sexuality and nudity. Love, Death & Robots explores these themes too, alongside them being
As the only female member of the original six Avengers, it’s a shame it’s taken this long for Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow to get a film of her own. Her first appearance was in Iron Man 2 and she’s since continued to play a major role working alongside the Avengers in the MCU.
Despite appearing in six films (so far), Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff still remains quite a mystery. We only know parts of her past and her character isn’t explored that much in the present either, especially due to the Avengers focusing on stopping major threats from wiping out the Earth.
Lifetime’s YOU has been a buzzy hit ever since it dropped on Netflix last year. Based on the book by Caroline Kepnes, it tells the story of Joe Goldberg, a bookstore manager who sets out to date aspiring writer Guinevere Beck.
Throughout Season 1, Joe manipulates, stalks, and berates Beck. He invades her privacy, kills her friends for his own convenience and keeps other secrets from her. Whilst seemingly charming on the outside, Joe has got a very dark and twisted soul.