Author: Stephen Mayne

SXSW 2017 – The Big Sick (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – The Big Sick (2017)

A romantic comedy in which one of the star-crossed lovers spends a large chunk of the film in a serious coma is a tough sell. Then again, The Big Sick isn’t just a romantic comedy, and it doesn’t need hoary romantic clichés to dig away at real love. Based on […]

SXSW 2017 – Mr. Roosevelt (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Mr. Roosevelt (2017)

To avoid confusion, let’s get this out of the way early: Mr. Roosevelt is a cat, not the 26th President of the United States of America, or the 32nd (though he’s named after Teddy, not Franklin). He’s also dead, which isn’t great for him or his owners. One of those […]

SXSW 2017 – Mayhem (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Mayhem (2017)

A virus has broken out reducing inhibitions and turning people into emotionally unbalanced (and frequently violent) lunatics. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before right? Mayhem isn’t flat out dystopia, wisely choosing the path of claustrophobic chamber piece over full on apocalypse. It doesn’t work all that well, but […]

SXSW 2017 – The Hero (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – The Hero (2017)

Iconic stars don’t die, they simply fade away until we only remember their defining roles. That certainly seems to be the case for forgotten western actor Lee Hayden (Sam Elliott), largely out of work and out of contact with his family. Except death is all too real for him, opening […]

SXSW 2017 – Hot Summer Nights (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Hot Summer Nights (2017)

Is it only during long summer months’ teenagers ever find maturity? The venerable institution of the coming-of-age drama would have it so, sending (usually) nervous boys off to become men. Hot Summer Nights promises something similar before dancing off into the distance to deliver a truly fantastic, genre-defying experience. On […]

SXSW 2017 – Gemini (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Gemini (2017)

The hardest thing to do when filming in Los Angeles is to make the city come to life. It’s featured so regularly in backdrops it begins to feel stale very quickly. There’re no such problems in Gemini, though the life Aaron Katz breathes into LA is a million miles away […]

SXSW 2017 – Most Beautiful Island (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Most Beautiful Island (2017)

The world inhabited by Spanish émigré Luciana is not a comfortable one, though she’s crystal clear returning home is also not an option. After moving to New York to try and make something of her life, she’s left working a series of dead-end jobs that don’t offer enough money to […]

SXSW 2017 – Small Town Crime (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Small Town Crime (2017)

As President Trump likes to make abundantly clear, inner-cities are dangerous, crime-riddled places. However, the latest feature from the Nelms brothers (Eshom and Ian) suggests urban centres don’t have a monopoly on law-breaking. It’s in a small town (hence the title) where John Hawkes’ broken down ex-cop finds himself dragged […]

SXSW 2017 – Atomic Blonde (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – Atomic Blonde (2017)

In a breathless opening sequence, an inappropriately dressed man dashes around the streets of Berlin only to get repeatedly run over and then shot by a KGB agent, all while “Blue Monday” roars out. Atomic Blonde is not out to cause any confusion: it starts the way it means to […]

SXSW 2017 – This Is Your Death (2017)
Film Review

SXSW 2017 – This Is Your Death (2017)

If the title of This Is Your Death sounds like a terrible reality show, that would be because it is. Giancarlo Esposito’s second feature as director attempts to satirise reality TV culture by having Josh Duhamel host a show in which people commit suicide for money. There’s slightly more nuance […]