Dir. Matthew Vaughn,
    135 mins, United Kingdom

    Genre: Action, Triller

    I always look forward to Matthew Vaughn’s latest oh-so-English, suave, cool, edgy crime thriller, almost as much as actors wanting to work with him it seems. How’s this for a cast? Samuel L. Jackson, Bryan Cranston, John Cena, Sam Rockwell, Henry Cavill and the fabulous Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays Elly Conway, the reclusive author of a series of best-selling espionage novels, whose idea of bliss is a night at home with her computer and her cat, Alfie. But when the plots of Elly’s fictional books, which centre on secret agent Argylle and his mission to unravel a global spy syndicate, begin to mirror the covert actions of a real-life spy organization, quiet evenings at home become a thing of the past.

    Accompanied by Aiden (Sam Rockwell), a cat-allergic spy, Elly (carrying Alfie in her backpack) races across the world to stay one step ahead of the killers as the line between Elly’s fictional world and her real one begins to blur. 

    Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person

    Dir. Ariane Louis-Seize,
    92 mins, French-Canadian,
    French w English Subs.

    Oh this was a delightfully warm picture, especially given the nervousness the title set me up for when previewing, and a splendid treat for Valentine’s Day!

    Sasha is a young vampire with a serious problem: she’s too sensitive to kill! When her exasperated parents cut off her blood supply, Sasha’s life is in jeopardy. Luckily, she meets Paul, a lonely teenager who is willing to give his life to save hers. But their friendly agreement soon becomes a nocturnal quest to fulfil Paul’s last wishes before day breaks.

    Winner of a swathe of awards including the highly coveted 2023 Venice Film Festival Director Award, Ariane Louis-Seize’s stylish, sweet, teen ‘romantasy’ is destined to win countless bloodsucking hearts with its many dark tinged delights.

    Drive Away Dolls 

    Dir. Ethan Coen, 84 mins,
    Cast: Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Beanie Feldstein, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal, Bill Camp and Matt Damon 

    Genre: Action, comedy, thriller

    Written by Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke, this comedy caper follows Jamie, an uninhibited free spirit bemoaning yet another breakup with a girlfriend, and her demure friend Marian who desperately needs to loosen up. In search of a fresh start, the two embark on an impromptu road trip to Tallahassee, but things quickly go awry when they cross paths with a group of inept criminals along the way.

    Reminiscent of the grungy films from the Cohen Brothers we loved so much in late 90s and turn of the century, Jamie and Marian are the fish out of water who just get in more and more trouble as the film continues, a really tightly scripted quirky film. And of course Matt Damon just couldn’t help himself!

    The Zone of Interest

    Dir. Johnathon Glazer, 105 mins,
    Cast: Christian Friedel, Sandra Hüller, Ralph Herforth, Max Beck, Lilli Falk

    Genre: War, history, drama

    Playing to rave reactions at film festivals across the world including winning the Grand Prix at Cannes no less, this is haunting film making – an idea so bold and confronting, and entirely original.

    Dispassionately examining the ordinary existence of people complicit in horrific crimes, The Zone of Interest forces us to take a cold look at the mundanity behind an unforgivable brutality.

    The commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel), and his wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden, in the shadow of the camp. Adapted from the novel by Martin Amis by director Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin), The Zone of Interest is a WWII horror story rooted in separation, alienation and a cold indifference that shakes one to the very core.

    “A landmark movie, hugely important, that’s unafraid of difficult ideas.” The Times UK 

    Michael Smith
    Michael Smith
    Michael Smith is a proud Westie, adventurer, passionate film fan and owner of the Sun Theatre

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