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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON IN CINEMAS

EIFF 2019: Yesterday (2019) directed by Danny Boyle

This musical comedy - featuring a parallel universe where The Beatles never existed - has some fun with its charming premise but is beat-for-beat predictable in its storytelling. It just about gets by on the performances of Himesh Patel and Kate McKinnon, along with director Danny Boyle's usual colourful flair.

Himesh Patel in Yesterday

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Us (2019) written and directed by Jordan Peele

In this much-anticipated follow-up to Get Out, a family quite literally gets to know themselves... and they ain't pretty. Part social breakdown nightmare, part video nasty and part fairy tale, it's a highly effective horror film rich in both symbolism and clever references.

Us directed by Jordan Peele

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

This sequel, starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston and Johnny Depp, should be renamed Flaccid Bores: The Criminal Underuse of Grindelwald. It spends so much time introducing characters, locations and other elements and too little offering anything of interest.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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EIFF 2018: Lucid (2018) starring Billy Zane and Sadie Frost

The story behind the making of this film is incredible, as is its core idea. Unfortunately, the execution is dull. Some appealing neon-drenched cinematography and a quirky turn by Billy Zane (not typecast as a boo-hiss villain for a change) fail to save it.

Laurie Calvert and Billy Zane in Lucid

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The Breadwinner (2017) animation directed by Nora Twomey

This cel-shaded animated look at a young girl struggling with life in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is both overwhelmingly sad and upliftingly escapist. It's a beautiful hymn to a child’s ingenuity and imagination.

The Breadwinner (2017)

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Black Panther (2018) written and directed by Ryan Coogler

Chadwick Boseman plays the eponymous African superhero in this disappointingly bland attempt at a more political Marvel film. It's passably entertaining but not worthy of the massive hype.

Chadwick Boseman is Black Panther

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The Shape of Water (2017) directed by Guillermo del Toro

This heartfelt homage to Creature from the Black Lagoon is a hymn to the wonder and power of fantasy. The affectionate world-building, bruising view of 1960s social attitudes and the excellent performances by Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer make up for a somewhat predictable story.

The Shape of Water

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Downsizing (2017) written and directed by Alexander Payne

This ambitious and well-meaning science fiction allegory could have done with some downsizing itself to make for a more focused and consistent film. It's a frustrating mix of good (the production design, Christoph Waltz) and bad (Hong Chau's annoying character, the jarring shifts in tone). Matt Damon stars.

Downsizing (2017)

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Coco (2017) by Disney Pixar, dir: Lee Unkrich & Adrian Molina

This fantasy adventure, set during the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico, is an imaginative and heartfelt return to form for the much-admired CGI animation studio. Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt lend their vocal talents to the charmingly-realised characters.

Pixar's Coco (2017)

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Blade of the Immortal (2017) directed by Takashi Miike

The prolific cult Japanese director returns to the chambara genre which he previously visited with the excellent 13 Assassins, albeit with a touch of outrageousness consistent with its manga origins and the director's earlier output.

Blade of the Immortal starring Takuya Kimura

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More cinema releases

CLICK HERE for a guide to the best independent cinemas in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

DVD/BLU RAY

Ray Winstone in Scum

ARTICLES

Vampyres directed by José Larraz

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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