Reviews

Oxstu’s writers review the latest releases.

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Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

The division of the final novel into two films is a decision that is always criticised for greediness, and normally because it weakens the first entry. The Hunger Games is no exception. Mockingjay Part 1 has its moments, but it ultimately feels like two hours of set up, all beginning and middle with no end. Not only that, what happens is repetitive and superficial, without the same energy that the first and especially the second film provided. (more…)

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Review: Nightcrawler

The glittering lights of night-time LA provide the backdrop to the opening credits of Nightcrawler; as dawn arrives, the city’s landscape is swamped in the suffocating noise of the mass-media, with radio and cable-TV stations unflinchingly reporting the sordid details of the night just passed. Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut hums with electric energy. (more…)

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Review: Interstellar

Set in the near future, Interstellar predicts the effects of humankind’s rapacious materialism: raging dust storms tear through the land, crop yields are an annual disappointment, and the earth is no longer capable of sustaining its six billion inhabitants. Matthew McConaughey is Cooper, a former NASA astronaut turned corn farmer and inspirational father to Murph (Mackenzie Foy, later Jessica Chastain) and Tom (Timothée Chalamet, later Casey Affleck). Cooper wants his children to be inquisitive and ambitious, despite being part of a ‘caretaker generation’, burdened with the responsibility of finding a new home for mankind but destined never to reap a reward for their efforts. (more…)

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Review: L’Année dernière à Marienbad

A camera tracks through the ornate hallways of an empty French hotel. A narrator describes the things we see – the thick carpets, the potted ferns, the stifling decorations,  all captured in crisp, gorgeous black and white. But where are the people who populate this chateau? Why does it feel like a place suspended in time? The narrator starts again, about the carpets, the ferns, the decorations. We move inside the chateau’s theatre, where dozens of glamorously dressed guests sit in total stillness as a woman delivers a monologue on stage. The play ends, the audience claps, and suddenly we’re taken into the intrigues of the hotel’s guests. (more…)

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Review: Blue Velvet

Directed by David Lynch
Starring Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Laura Dern, Dennis Hopper

You don’t have to be a genius to work out right from the start that Lynch isn’t interested in conforming to conventions, if there are such things when it comes to experimental cinema. (more…)

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