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Review: Cheap Thrills

7th June 2014 | Films

Review: Cheap Thrills

 

“A thrill ride unlike anything you’ve ever seen before!”

 

Cheap Thrills is amazing. There is no other word for it. I saw a preview of it last year, expecting it to sadly never get a proper release due to quite how intense it is. However, here we are, almost a year later, and E.L. Katz’s masterpiece is finally seeing the light of day, on iTunes and in selected cinemas. I’m not even going to write a tiny synopsis of the film, as it really is something you have to see for yourself. It comes out in the UK this Friday, and I urge you not to read anything about it, nor should you watch any trailers. All I will tell you, however, is that Cheap Thrills is an 87 minute thrill ride unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.

 

The performances are all excellent, only enhanced by the direction, so perfect that you feel every single twist and turn like a slap in the face. It’s dark and funny and gritty and gory and upsetting. But it’s a thriller that even Hitchcock would be proud of. And it’s a rare treat.

 

By Preston Nyman

 

Preston has his own movie blog. For more from the world of film, visit http://prestondefends.tumblr.com/.

Review: The Dirties

3rd June 2014 | Films

Review: The Dirties

 

“You’re either going to really love it, or you’ll just hate it!”

 

The Dirties is a dark-comedy found footage film about a school shooting. Whilst that may not sound like a bundle of laughs, I can assure you that the central characters, played by director Matt Johnson and his friend Owen Williams, are so likeable that you nearly find yourself rooting for them. Nearly.

The performances are all absolutely excellent. This is partly down to the fact that many extras and supporting cast members are real high-school students, but also because of the chemistry between the two leads, who are friends in real life. Their obsessive quoting and cross-referencing of obscure films is something that any film fan can relate to, and you utterly buy that that’s what the two of them are like in real life.

Things soon turn sinister when Matt (the characters are named after the actors) takes his film class project, an 80’s action movie where two lonely kids take revenge on their bullies, too far by blurring the lines between his film-obsession and reality, at one point even discussing the T-Shirt he’s going to wear when he carries out his killing spree, which reads ‘We’re just here for the bad guys’. There are clear parallels with a bizarre film that I find myself returning to from time to time, Vernon Zimmerman’s Fade to Black. Released in 1980, it tells the story of Eric Binford, an obsessive film fan who starts killing people who have wronged him, all under the guise of a movie. It’s a strange film, but well worth a watch, if you can track down a copy of it.

The film also raises the issue that guns aren’t the main problem in the recent, tragic string of…

Review: Drinking Buddies

23rd October 2013 | Films

Review: Drinking Buddies


Kate and Luke are flirting. Kate is with Chris (Ron Livingston) but probably wants to be with Luke. Luke is with Jill (Anna Kendrick) but probably wants to be with Kate. Chris definitely wants to be with Kate and Jill definitely wants to be with Luke. That sounds like one of the hardest mathematical problems one may ever have to work out at school – luckily, viewers of Drinking Buddies need not worry as Joe Swanberg has it sorted.
 

Drinking Buddies is about co-workers Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) who work in Chicago at a craft brewery, where they spend most of their time drinking and flirting. They are perfect for each other apart from the fact that they are each in separate relationships and they refuse to admit to their secret love. However, when they find themselves spending a weekend alone with each other and their friend Jack Daniels, the answers to their issues suddenly become a lot easier.


This easy-to-watch movie is a refreshing production from improvisation director Joe Swanberg who, rather famously, gives his talent storylines but no words – causing them to show their true personalities and spin on the story on set. This method is highly successful in this film with all viewers feeling an instant connection to the characters which helps engage audiences, especially as not a lot happens during it.

This is an eclectic concoction of romance and comedy with a large hole in the centre – enabling the audience to decide on what happens in the gaps. The film lacks the heavy froth that most romantic comedy’s are accustomed too which is revitalising to audiences globally – making it an enjoyable watch which doesn’t grip you to the point of choking, unlike…