Archive for 2006

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Children of Men (2006) - Film & DVD Review

Children of Men (2006) – Film & DVD Review

This is an astounding piece of work – easily one of the best films of 2006. Although set in the future, it incorporates images and plot elements that resonate with the contemporary world, touching on themes related to illegal immigration, terrorism, the war in Iraq, etc. The effect is unnerving and powerful, using the future [...]

Fountain, The (2006) – Film Review

This film raises an interesting question: How far is a viewer willing to follow a talented filmmaker down a rabbit hole, when it becomes clear that said filmmaker has lost his way? Writer-director Darren Aronofsky certainly proved he had talent with PI, and some of that talent is on display here. But it’s ultimately wasted [...]

Richard Brandes on directing dread

Richard Brandes on directing dread

PENNY DREADFUL takes its title from a Victorian form of literature that often wallowed in melodramatic excess and prolonged action (because writers were paid a penny a word and dragged everything out in order to make as much money as possible). Screenwriters Diane Doniol-Valcroze and Arthur Flam felt it suited their story because it features [...]

Penny Dreadful (2006) - After Dark Horrorfest Review

Penny Dreadful (2006) – After Dark Horrorfest Review

PENNY DREADFUL is an enjoyable combination of psycho-thriller and slasher horror, which somehow achieves a slick, Hollywood-calibre visual style in spite of its modest budget. The film is not afraid to deliver gruesome horror, but it also dwells on the suspense, offering a tense situation featuring a vulnerable character trapped in a terrible predicament guaranteed [...]

The Gravedancers (2006) – After Dark Horrorfest Review

There is a tradition of great ghost stories dating back to Sheridan LeFanue and M.R. James, in which hapless human characters are targeted for haunting after having committed transgressions that are slight or, sometimes, even non-existent. The supernatural stands in for the vagaries of fate, the ruthless indifference of random chance, or an arbitrary sense [...]

Casino Royale (2006) - Film & DVD Review

Casino Royale (2006) – Film & DVD Review

Whether or not this is the Bond film the world was waiting for, it definitely is the film that Bond fans were waiting for: a tense, gripping thriller mercifully free of the baggage of the previous Bond flicks, CASINO ROYALE takes the essentials of Ian Fleming’s novel and updates them for the 21st century, seamlessly [...]

Feast (2006) – Film Review

This is one of the biggest and best-looking horror films of 2006; ironically, it was consigned to brief midnight movie screenings (in R-rated form) before heading off to home video, where it could be seen, unrated, in all its gory glory. The uncut version is a rip-roaring, blood-spattered blast of high-octane entertainment that is thoroughly [...]

Automaton Transfusion – Horror Film Review

By Steve BiodrowskiThis is another low-budget (shot on digital video) entry in a seemingly depleted genre (the apocalyptic zombie film), but it rocks with an incredible energy thanks to hardcore metal music, incredibly over-the-top gore effects, and an awesomely impressive dedication to playing its horror straight, instead of going for the cop-out tongue-in-cheek attitude many [...]

The Grudge 2 (2006) – Film & DVD Review

Though not nearly so ridiculous as THE HERETIC: THE EXORCIST II, nor quite so badly misguided as BABE: PIG IN THE CITY, this stands as one of the most disappointing sequels to a major blockbuster success ever made . The spooky stylization that worked so well in THE GRUDGE is carelessly recycled, chained to a [...]

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) – Film Review

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL was a wonderful example of a Hollywood blockbuster done well. The massively positive audience response led producer Jerry Bruckheimer to adopt the model used for the MATRIX sequels, filming two new motion pictures back to back in order to get them out as close together [...]