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La Vie En Rose [ 2007 ] [ Hits:6062 ]
Review: La Vie En Rose a.k.a. La Môme is a stirring biographical movie about Edith Piaf, one of France’s most famous voices. The woman was said to embody the very spirit of Paris, and her lyrics welled up from the pain and sorrows she endured. She grew up in poor conditions and spent some of her childhood in a brothel. Her beautiful blue eyes were the most notable thing about the child, until she was given the opportunity to open her lungs and sing with her circus-performing father. Her life story wa...

Labor Day [ Hits:1970 ]
Review: Labor Day is an adaptation of Joyce Maynard's coming-of-age novel about a young boy, who recounts his 13th year as Labor Day weekend approaches. While the story is told from the teenager's perspective, it's really about his mother and a fugitive, who enters their lives after coercing them to shelter him from police. Maynard's novel is commended for turning an "ominous setup into a convincing and poignant coming-of-age tale". This sleight of hand proved to be just as tricky for Juno and Up in th...

Lars and the Real Girl [ 2007 ] [ Hits:3785 ]
Review: A delusional young guy embarks on an unconventional relationship with an anatomically-correct doll he finds on the Internet. To say that Lars and the Real Girl isn’t an ordinary love story is an understatement. Most people would expect the movie to be raunchy, what with a sex doll shacking up with a lonely guy. However, it isn’t and this may disappoint some people and bring a sigh of relief to others. Lars may be delusional, but he’s actually trying to grapple with the concept of women. He...

Last Chance Harvey [ 2009 ] [ Hits:6571 ]
Review: Last Chance Harvey is a sweet, romance drama in the throes of a mid-life crisis, directed by Joel Hopkins and starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson. Hoffman and Thompson so enjoyed working together on Stranger Than Fiction that Last Chance Harvey seemed inevitable. It’s a Before Sunrise for 50-somethings, as an American commercial “jingle” composer travels to London for his daughter’s wedding to make amends with her, only to find her stepfather has taken precedence in her life. What ...

Last Exit to Brooklyn [ 1989 ] [ Hits:5205 ]
Review: Last Exit to Brooklyn has just been released to DVD in South Africa. Was it to commemorate its 30th anniversary, did Stephen Lang's performance in Avatar renew interest in it or was it a mistake? Whatever the case, it gave me a chance to watch this controversial cult movie based on the book by Hubert Selby Jr. The film was going to cause scandal one way or another, with Uli Edel (Der Baader Meinhof Komplex) at the helm as director, after gaining recognition for one of his first films, Christiane...

Last Ones Out [ Hits:2751 ]
Review: Last Ones Out is punted as Africa's first zombie feature film. While it's difficult to dispute, since there doesn't appear to be a horde of titles to rival the claim, it's still quite surprising. Especially when you consider Nollywood's flourishing grassroots film industry and that the decision to make Last Ones Out, a zombie film, was necessitated by budgetary constraints. Last Ones Out was birthed from passion, enterprise and ironically, undying commitment. The credo of "no excuses" is what d...

Leading Lady [ Hits:2903 ]
Review: Leading Lady is the latest film from up-and-coming South African director, Henk Pretorius. His previous film, Fanie Fourie's Lobola, demonstrated his ability to create a surprisingly touching, funny, street smart and distinctly South African romantic comedy. While it's another opposites attract "romcom"... he's broadened the scope by turning Leading Lady into a film with more international appeal. We journey with Jodi (McGrath), an idealistic British school teacher and aspiring actress, who fin...

Legend [ Hits:3282 ]
Review: The Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie Kray, are two of the most notorious gangsters in history. The English crime bosses operated in the Lower East End of London in the '50s and '60s and were involved in armed robberies, racketeering, arson, assaults and murder. It's surprising that in an age where Guy Ritchie Brit gangster movies are revered that these infamous twins haven't been given more of the spotlight until now. Before Legend, it was Spandau Ballet's Kemp twins, Gary and Martin, who undertoo...

Legion [ 2009 ] [ Hits:5611 ]
Review: Okay, so I've heard about Angels with Dirty Faces and Angels in the Outfield. I never thought I'd live to see the day angels started toting Thor's hammer and The Punisher's weapon of choice... until I saw Legion. When God realises that humanity isn't getting any better he decides to scour mankind from the face of the Earth. It's not a rapture, it's more of a nine plagues rolled-into-one zombie apocalypse. Michael, thinks God may have been a bit harsh and decides to sever ties with heaven by surg...

Letters from Iwo Jima [ 2006 ] [ Hits:4686 ]
Review: Letters from Iwo Jima is an account of Imperial Japan’s last stand against the US on the island of Iwo Jima. The film was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but lost to Scorsese’s The Departed. The film is from Clint Eastwood, and comes off the back of Flags of our Fathers, a disappointment in comparison. Letters from Iwo Jima is a classic. The film, originally titled Red Sun, Black Sand starts with some recent shots from Iwo Jima. Remnants include bunkers, old artillery and tunnels. In one...

Liar Liar [ 1997 ] [ Hits:3419 ]
Review: Liar Liar is straight from the same duo that brought you Ace Ventura. Tom Shadyac is behind camera, and Jim Carrey is in front. The two have a great understanding, trust and respect for one another. Tom allows Jim the space to go ballistic as only Jim knows how, and Jim doesn’t want to disappoint his esteemed pal. Liar Liar tells the story of how a little boy’s birthday wish comes true. The little boy happens to be Fletcher Reede’s son, and his wish… is that his dad wouldn’t lie for 24...

Life As We Know It [ 2010 ] [ Hits:4304 ]
Review: Life As We Know It, a comedy drama starring Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl. The pairing seems wrong, the plot is contrived, it's got "chick flick" written all over it, the movie poster is atrocious and not date-friendly... this flick was looking about as appetizing as a hairball to a cat. Luckily for this reviewer, the media black out worked. Having no idea what I was up for... I bravely committed to the preview, armed with nothing but a couple of recognisable names and a reasonable idea about...

Life of Pi [ Hits:9965 ]
Review: Life of Pi is a breathtaking adventure drama from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director Ang Lee. Based on the book by Yann Martel, this beautiful film tells the story of Pi Patel, a young Indian boy whose survival at sea forms the basis for a spiritual journey of epic proportions. Ang Lee has a firm grasp on translating intimate and epic moments, making him a great choice to direct Life of Pi, a film which has had several directors attached, including M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense) and ...

Life, Above All [ Hits:9990 ]
Review: Life, Above All is a universal story about the intricate relationship between mother and daughter. Set in modern day South Africa, Oliver Schmitz has composed a drama that is emotionally taut, compelling for its heartfelt performances, important for its social commentary and beautiful for its cinematography. At the crux of Life, Above All is Chanda, our young protagonist, played by Khomotso Manyaka. The film depends on Manyaka's performance and she persuades us to journey with her as we learn of...

Limitless [ Hits:5058 ]
Review: "What if a pill could make you rich and powerful?" is the tag line for Limitless, a film adaptation of Alan Glynn's novel that plays with the notion that we only use part of our minds. Just like the little blue sex wonder drug, Limitless imagines the scenario if a drug could be designed to harness our mind's full potential. If scientists could do it for our penises, there must be a way to get the other head working too? Bradley Cooper plays Eddie Morra, a struggling writer, who comes to possess ...

Little Miss Sunshine [ 2006 ] [ Hits:3414 ]
Review: Little Miss Sunshine is a fun, moving road trip film. It’s got plenty of heart, and this band of misfits all seem to rediscover what’s important in life on their journey to let Olive (Amy Breslin) participate in the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. The cast is a mixture of drama and comedy actors. Alan Arkin is fantastic in a surprise Oscar-winning Best Supporting Actor performance. He acted well, but one gets the feeling it was awarded on the basis that he has accumulated a number of strong pe...

Little One [ 2013 ] [ Hits:2695 ]
Review: Little One is the story of a mother, who takes a young girl under her wing. The story is simple, yet the circumstances are not. A six year old girl has been left for dead in the veld near a middle aged woman's home near an informal settlement. After saving her life, an inextricable and life-changing mother-daughter bond is formed between the rescuer and victim.The story is truly heartbreaking and there's a tensile emotional undercurrent that drives this simple, yet beautiful film. The endless re...

Live by Night [ Hits:2914 ]
Review: Live by Night is produced by, directed by and stars Ben Affleck as Joe Coughlin in an adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel. Set in the 1920s and 1930s Prohibition Era, we journey with Joe, the troubled and wayward son of a Boston police captain, who becomes involved in a life of organised crime. After serving a prison sentence he's relocated to the neighbourhood of Ybor City in Tampa, to take revenge and build a rum-running empire in balmy Florida. The first thing you'll notice about Live by Nig...

Locke [ Hits:1868 ]
Review: When we reach a fork in the road of life, the path we choose often leads to a known set of consequences. Once we've knowingly taken the wrong path, getting back on the right path can be tough going as Ivan Locke discovers in the tense drama, Locke. The devoted family man and successful construction manager decides to go against the grain on the eve of a critical building development. By trying to be everything his father wasn't, he fights his way into the night on a long freeway journey to fix ...

Logan [ Hits:4435 ]
Review: We're living in an age of superhero origin stories, reboots, spin-offs and stand-offs. The superhero craze continues to reinvent and elevate comic books into the realm of film with an ever-burgeoning list of heroes and villains. One success story has been Wolverine, one of the few X-Men characters who has appeared in every media adaptation of the X-Men franchise. From being part of the team to branching out in several stand-alone films, Hugh Jackman has made the character of Wolverine almost lik...

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