Review; Trouble with the Curve

A pile of cliches assembled with all the creative flair of an IKEA catalogue.

Review: The Hunt

Thomas Vinterberg's drama demonstrates how a single word can destroy a life. Devastating brilliant. Brilliantly devastating.

Review: Great Expectations

Do we need another adaptation of Dickens' novel? Mike Newell's cracking young cast convince us we do.

Review: End of Watch

It's not a good cop movie, or a bad cop movie - it's a really, really good cop movie.

Review: Sighteers

Ben Wheatley's new film is Natural Born Caravanners - and suffers from all the problems that title suggests.

Rust and Bone

It’s like watching a French Free Willy. The whale never escapes. The trainer loses her legs. Everyone stays miserable. But this is strangely uplifting stuff.

James Bond Cupcakes

We celebrate Bond's 50th the only one way we know how: with some 007 cupcakes.

Skyfall review

Skyfall isn't a Bond movie. It's a movie about Bond. And that's something very special indeed.

Star Ratings

Well good


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Home Reviews Raindance 2012
Raindance 2012
Raindance Film Review: Salt Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Sunday, 07 October 2012 17:17
Director: Diego Rougier
Cast: Fele Martinez, Gonzalo Valenzuela, Patricio Contreras, Javiera Contador

“You need to write with blood.”

That’s what struggling Chilean writer Sergio (Martinez) is told by his friends when they read his movie script for a Western. “You write as if you’ve never been there,” says another. The solution? Head out to the Atacama Desert and do it for himself. The problem? Everyone there keeps thinking he’s Diego.

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Raindance Film Review: The Hidden Hand Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Sunday, 07 October 2012 13:31
Director: James Carman
Cast: Dr. Edgar Mitchell

“I can’t stand the term UFOs. We’ve known for years what they are…’

That’s one of the many contributors to The Hidden Hand, a film exploring the claims of people who have seen aliens.

People who say they were abducted are called abductees. People who say they had friendly contact with aliens are called contactees. People who label their experience as neither positive nor negative are called experiencers.

I call all of them something else: crackpots.

But while The Hidden Hand can be a lot of fun to giggle and smirk through, James Carman’s documentary does something a lot smarter: it doesn’t judge them at all. Add a comment
Raindance Film Review: Bad Hair Friday Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Sunday, 07 October 2012 08:34
Bad Hair Friday - Raindance
Director: Andres Kõpper, Arun Tamm
Cast: Mart Müürisepp, Hasan Steinberg, Ivo Uukkivi, Ott Lepland

“I think this is going to be the best day of our lives...” says one young, optimistic Estonian male. Two seconds later, a gangster’s knocking them to the floor. “This is not the best day of your life,” he growls.

That’s the funniest moment in this multi-stranded comedy/thriller about one night out in the city. It occurs early on, a promising sign of hijinks and high-paced wit to come. Unfortunately, it never delivers.

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Raindance Film Review: Portrait of a Zombie Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Saturday, 06 October 2012 17:27
Portrait of a Zombie - Raindance
Director: Bing Bailey
Cast: Patrick Murphy, Geraldine McAlinden, Rory Mullen

“How would you feel if every new person you met screamed, fainted or threw up?” asks Billy’s mum. “No wonder he lashes out.” Billy (Murphy), you see, has been living in his parents’ home for an unnaturally long time. He lies on the bed all day, groaning, sleeping, and waiting for his mum to bring him food. A typical young fella, then. Except for the fact that he’s a zombie.

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Raindance Film Review: Vegetarian Cannibal Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Saturday, 06 October 2012 16:31
Vegetarian Cannibal, Croatia 
Director: Branko Schmidt
Cast: Rene Bitorajac, Zrinka Cvitešić, Leon Lučev

“No dogs were harmed in the making of this movie.”

They certainly can’t say the same about the humans. A Vegetarian Cannibal, gynaecologist Dr. Babić devours the people around him. He forges test results, blackmails enemies, seduces women and bribes officials – and that’s just the people he works with. His patients, pregnant women ranging from illegally trafficked prostitutes to his friend’s unwanted mistress, get it even worse.

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Raindance Film Review: Practical Guide to Belgrade with Singing and Crying Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Saturday, 06 October 2012 13:46
Practical Guide to Belgrade - Raindance review
Director: Bojan Vuletic
Cast: Jean Marc Barr, Julie Gayet, Baki Davrak

“After long hard years of isolation… war and terrorism… Belgrade has opened its heart again to tourists and visitors from across the world who are curious.”

So speaks a woman, standing in front of a choir of singing airhostesses. If that doesn’t make you curious, I don’t know what will.

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Raindance Film Review: StringCaesar Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Saturday, 06 October 2012 10:24

String Caesar - Raindance

Director: Paul Schoolman
Cast: Derek Jacobi

“As I sit in my cell barred and bolted… my soul finds release like a nomad… and wanders for me in the night.”

The words are written by Tony, an inmate at Dartmoor Prison, but they could easily belong to Julius Caesar. Long before he came to power, young Jules was dismissed as a loser, a waste of space, a homosexual. He grew up in a time of conflict and bloodshed. Dictators. Thugs. War. They’re the hallmarks of 80s BC Rome, but they could easily belong to modern day Dartmoor. Or Cardiff. Or Drumheller Pentientiary in Alberta. Or Pollsmoor Prison in South Africa, where Mandela was once held.

String theory says there are many alternate realities. StringCaesar, then, sees two of them collide behind bars around the world. Citizens wear orange jumpsuits, while rulers spark riots in the corridors and order murder in the yards.

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Raindance Film Review: Give Me the Banjo Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 05 October 2012 15:59
Steve Martin, banjo
Director: Marc Fields
Cast: Steve Martin

"I think people are continually transfixed by the five string banjo... in some mysterious way."

That's Steve Martin, actor, writer, comedian and Emmy award-winning banjo player. He's the frontman for this documentary, which takes it title from a Mark Twain quote. Why would anyone ever cry out "Give me the banjo"? Because like the blues, the banjo has an interesting (i.e. extremely checkered) past.

"You could hear the darkies singing," begin a troupe of banjo players, as a parade of racism trots across the screen. Minstrels, old white folk, you name it. And Steve Martin embraces that politically dubious history, happy to accept it as part of the music he likes to play.

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Raindance Film Review: Cinema Six Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Friday, 05 October 2012 12:46
Cinema Six - Raindance
Director: Mark Potts, Cole Selix
Cast: John Merriman, Brand Rackley, Mark Potts

Anyone who’s worked in a cinema can tell you it sucks. The endless shifts behind the popcorn counter. The moronic customer complaints. The cleaning up of vomit and puke. How cathartic, then, for someone to have immortalized that eternal drudgery of multiplex life with such wit - and depressing reality.

“I'm getting out soon.” “When?” “I dunno.”

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Raindance Film Review: Love Tomorrow Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Thursday, 04 October 2012 14:58
Love Tomorrow - Raindance
Director: Christopher Payne
Cast: Cindy Jourdain, Arionel Vargas, Max Brown
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Dance movie. Those two words struck dread into me four years ago. Well, before I saw StreetDance. But even after that decent British effort, along came StreetDance 2. And Step up to the Streets 3D. And before you knew it, all those old fears were back. Thank goodness, then, that Christopher Payne is out there: his tale of ballet on the streets, Love Tomorrow, reclaims the words "dance movie" back from the money-churning crowd, producing a charming, character-driven piece.

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Raindance Film Review: Percival's Big Night Print E-mail
Written by Ivan Radford   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 06:31
Percival's Big Night Raindance
Director: William C. Sullivan
Cast: Tommy Nelms, Jarret Kerr, Sarah Wharton

"We need to start thinking about the future, man. Sooner or later, we're going to be living in it."

That's Percival (Nelms) to his flatmate Sal (Kerr). Living together in a post-uni haze, Sal spends his days selling drugs ("a herbal entrepreneur") and Percival passes the time by worrying about everything. What does he do when he's not being neurotic? Dreams about Chloe (Wharton), a friend of Sal who he once met for five minutes.

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