Film Reviews



Juliet Landau, daughter of the late Martin Landau (an actor I truly admired) has been lauded for her first film as writer/star/director A Place Among the Dead but this is no more than an exercise in self-indulgent twaddle, with some unnecessary cruel references to her family life that would be best saved for a bedside professional.

What’s it all about? During ‘Day 6’ (I think) someone asks, ‘What do you think this is about?’ To which Ms Landau replies: ‘I have no idea’. I laughed. Oh, it’s a tragicomedy, I thought. By ‘Day 11’       I realized not. But how many more days of unconvincing hysteria would there be? And will the one question pondered by the illustrious interviewees, such as Gary Oldman, Lance Henriksen, Ron Perlman, Ann Rice, Meadow Williams, and more, ever be given the definitive answer: ‘What is Evil?’

Each has a stab at encapsulating the word and concept without noting the four anagrams it possesses: Evil, Vile, Live, Elvi – Oh, that a bunch of Elvis Tribute Acts would appear to sing ‘An American Trilogy’ and put the cast and whole debacle out of its misery.  



DON’T LOOK UP (2021)

Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DeCaprio are the best part of this movie. Both are grounded in reality, even when they are dragged into the hit and miss satire that bogs the whole film down.

This could have been a piece of cinema (if played and scripted minus the ‘aren’t we clever’ lampooning) that spoke to the greater populace instead of pandering to the arty/haughty in-crowd who bask in their superior understanding of irony. A shame it couldn’t have grounded itself in genuine near-reality drama instead of attracting comparisons with greater satirical fare. Dr Strangelove or Network it is not.

If you manage to stay the course, do watch the credits to the bitter end and find further proof of how the film doesn’t know how or when to stop. Mind you, only devotees will get that far. The unconverted, the majority, who really need a dramatic wake-up call, will have turned off at the first sight of Meryl Streep’s not-so-presidential caricature.


Finally, I caught up with a Japanese comedy/zombie horror. You don’t have to be a lover of zombie movies to enjoy this film, just stay with it during the 37minute one-take short movie which may seem, at times, like a bad attempt to achieve the near impossible. What follows is a wonderful comedy payoff of all you have just endured.

The best comparison would be Michael Frayn’s ‘Noises Off’, but ‘One Cut of the Dead’ (made on a budget of $25,000 with a cast of unknowns) has a true auteur filmmaker at the helm. Shin’ichirō Ueda who wrote, directed, and edited, has got to take credit for creating a two-in-one movie treat – a sometimes horrifying gore fest combined with hilarious comedy outtake reveals.

Out of these three reviews, one headed by the daughter of a true Hollywood star, the next a multimillion-dollar star-studded affair, it greatly pleasures me to recommend a low-budget, truly original independent film which deserves to be seen. Of course, a remake is in the making!




Reviews by Kevin Short

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One Response to Film Reviews

    1. Thanks Kevin. I couldn’t agree with you more about “Don’t Look Up”. No idea what all the fuss is about as those who reacted so “positively” are already aware. A very poor movie that could have been much better.

      Comment by Tom on 31 January, 2022 at 1:52 pm

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