Guided by the probing mind of Keanu Reeves, Side By Side is a thoughtful documentary exploring the near universal adoption of digital filmmaking techniques by an industry once defined by the physicality of photochemical film. While most of the directors interviewed wax lyrical about new cinematic frontiers and the endless possibilities presented by the 21st century's digital playground, some dissenters suggest such freedoms mightn't be such a good thing.
Following Tony Manero and Post Mortem, No forms the final chapter in Chilean director Pablo Larrain's trilogy of films woven through Augusto Pinochet's 17-year reign. Appropriately, it details the final moment of the dictatorship when the 1988 referendum yielded a victory for the opposition, and signalled the end of nearly two decades of oppression and violence. Telling the story from within the opposition, Larrain wryly addresses the fickle nature of politics via the hugely popular 'No' campaign, fought with slick advertising and broad appeal.
His first starring role since making the relatively short trip back to Hollywood from the L.A. governor’s mansion, Arnold Schwarzenegger creaks back onto the big screen in a routine actioner that bets big on nostalgia for the one-liners and stiff acting he perfected so long ago. Does a dinosaur like Schwarzenegger have a place in an era dominated by wire-less martial arts madness and the kind of jumped-up hyper-kinetic combat pioneered by the Bourne franchise? The Last Stand is a lesson in the saving grace of star power, even if it doesn’t burn quite as bright as it used to.
Returning with another crash course in revisionist history, Quentin Tarantino invites us to buckle up and cast our minds back to pre-Civil War America for a trip through the South's slave circuit. Bold, bloody, and arriving after what must have been a very short stay in the editing room, the 'Southern' epic Django Unchained is finally here.
Pipers piping! Eleven of the buggers! We've had to get a little creative with this one. Along with a few lovely lady Pipers, we're also celebrating the Christmassy goodness stuffed into Nicolas Cage's lucky crackpipe, one of the various instruments of death found in the House of Wax, and an escape route Tim Robbins would probably like to forget. LET'S GET PIPING.