I, like many others, have always felt drawn to the ocean and perhaps that sways my opinion somewhat, but I doubt there will be a more engaging film this year.

‘Our man’ is the sole cast member, yet the end credits roll on forever which just goes to show you how difficult and involving it must have been to pull the intricacies of this film off convincingly, yet, Robert Redford plays his lone part imperiously throughout in this tale of nautical survival against the odds.

2013 was a fantastic year for film and 2014 is off to a cracking start*

*Yes I’m aware this was released on Boxing Day 2013. Details, details…!



With 12 years a slave sold out and American Hussle just somehow not fitting the bill, ‘The Railway Man’ it was.

It’s decent. Strong performances across the board in a true story of war and redemption. It did feel somewhat swamped by an incessant film score and the plot did at times feel a little contrived and so I did have to remind myself that it was in fact based upon a true story (although clearly affected by A little bit of Hollywood licence, naturally!)

It certainly has its moments though, particularly a very emotionally charged ending.

All in all? Well worth a watch.


Utterly, utterly magnificent.

It was a 2013 film and that makes it retrospectively my film of the year for 2013 displacing the truly amazing ‘The Act Of Killing’, but I saw it this year and that means I very much doubt anything will come close to it in 2014.

Lea Seydoux and particularly Adele Exarchopoulos are incredible in this, Abdellatif Kechiche’s masterpiece.

I have umpteen superlatives to gush, but I’ll spare you my ramblings, suffice as to say; this really is quite simply stunning ladies and gents.


Oh yes! Classic Scorcese. Fantastically entertaining, The Wolf of Wall Street really took me back to the evergreen ‘Goodfellas’ in its style and super slick direction. A fast paced, frenetic, white knuckle ride which never loses momentum and an anti-hero that you just can’t help siding with. Again, like Goodfellas, this is a film that won’t only stand up to repeat viewing but that positively demands it and I bet it won’t lose any of its appeal in doing so! Di Caprio is of course immense, as ever.

What more can you say?

Miss this, miss out!

FILM REVIEW: Dallas Buyers Club


“That’s some toxic shit to put into your body… What a surprise, FDA approved”

I still remember vividly, as a kid, listening to the radio Luxembourg signal weave in and out, on a little transistor radio under my pillow and the very earliest news reports of ‘another man being diagnosed with AIDS,’ back when no one was truly aware of the widespread devastation it was going to cause. That and adverts for Cuticura, mildly medicated soap.

Seems a life time ago now, but the Dallas Buyers Club takes us back to those late 70s / early 80s days when HIV was a quick death sentence and the public’s media-fed fear was hysterical to say the least; anything but sympathetic and understanding.

Although not exactly loveable, McConnaughey’s character is a resilient and somewhat inspiring one in his battle to save both himself and others albeit helping himself, financially in the process. All this in spite of the ever politically motivated FDA. Some things never change there.

It’s excellently done and McConnaughey turns in another superb, star performance.

Quite a nostalgic one for me this and really highly recommended.


There were times whilst watching ‘Her’ that I was neither convinced by concept nor execution, but it’s a film which has been slowly evolving in my brain ever since and convincing me more and more that it’s actually a really clever piece of poignant film making. Perhaps it’s the subject matter, perhaps it’s the futuristic, contemporary backdrop; I’m a sucker for that kind of thing. Then again, perhaps it’s the sincerity of the relationship played out, no matter how unbelievable at times, resonating on a deep level. ‘Her’ when you really sit down and think about it though, is a very excellent tale of true love and loss. Some will dismiss it out of hand and I can actually understand that, but it’s one which continues to live with me long after the final credits have rolled.

FILM REVIEW: Yves Saint Laurent

This was admittedly never one on my radar but I like to shake things up from time to time, so why not?!

As biopics go, this is pretty well put together and chronicles the ups and downs of the late, great Yves Saint Laurent. I don’t know whether the film’s primary focus on his personal life and loves over his output is a good or bad thing, not being sufficiently well versed in his designs and professional accomplishments, but on the whole, film-wise, the balance seems just about right. Some decent performances but not really anything to get too emotionally charged about, personally. Although not exclusively so, this is definitely a film more for those in the industry and his fan base than your average Joe, but not without some general appeal. Worth a look.


Under the skin is a film that whilst curious and engaging throughout, is apparently meandering nowhere, but as with many a film, it is infact actually slowly revealing itself. What appears to be every bit ‘art house’ direction, suddenly isn’t. What is evident throughout however is that something’s afoot even if we can’t quite put our finger on it, in a bleak yet mesmerising film.

Scarlett Johansson is perfectly cast in the lead role and half of Glasgow’s ‘lads’ provide a gallant supporting cast. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely a must see, regardless.