Body Double (1984)

Brian De Palma’s films are an acquired taste. That’s especially apparent with Body Double, an uninviting experience for those unfamiliar with the director with plenty to offer those who’ve come around to his distinctive style. As a straightforward (and rather lurid) thriller, it’s somewhat unsatisfactory, hamstrung by its inherent implausibility and its leading man’s anti-charisma.…

The Interview (2015)

Remember the last low-brow comedy to centre on the attempted assassination of a world leader? I’m of course talking about Zoolander, where Ben Stiller’s empty-headed male model was brainwashed to murder the prime minister of Malaysia. Roger Ebert took issue with the subplot – “Didn’t it strike anybody connected with this movie that it was…

Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

I watched Grave of the Fireflies expecting a masterpiece. I’d never seen the film before, but its reputation preceded it – as Studio Ghibli’s second film (released simultaneously with the magnificent My Neighbour Totoro) and as a tear-jerking war drama. Based on the non-fiction novel by Nosaka Akiyuki, it tells the tale of teenage boy…

Willem Dafoe in Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Shadow of the Vampire (2000)

Shadow of the Vampire is a film of many genres. These include… …a historical revisionist re-telling of the filming of F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, with John Malkovich playing “Herr Doktor” Murnau; Eddie Izzard playing Gustav von Wangenheim who plays Thomas Hutter; and Willem Dafoe playing a vampire who takes on the role of Max Schreck…