Jonathan Crocker

Editorial Director | Journalist

Archive for August, 2010

DVD review: Notorious

Posted by Jonathan On August - 26 - 2010

Megamind critic David Thomson called Hitchcock “an inventor of thumbscrews”. In this twisted, diabolical love story, they’re firmly on Ingrid Bergman. She plays a booze-sozzled floozy forced to marry nice-Nazi Claude Rains to help the man she really loves – shadowy American agent Cary Grant. A creamy-smooth suspenser with an inky heart of darkness, it’s Hitchcock’s most stylish dose of poisonous eroticism and arch misogyny. Nazis, alcoholism, sexual favours, blackmail… What’s not to like? Read the rest of this entry »

DVD review: North By Northwest

Posted by Jonathan On August - 19 - 2010

Yes, you saw the train go into that tunnel… Cheeky. Hitch sexes up the thriller genre with this knockout whisk of suspense, wit and style, sending Mad-man Cary Grant (the original Don Draper) pegging it cross-country with spies (who think he’s a double agent) and the police (who think he’s an assassin) hot on his arse. Classic scenes a-go-go – the crop-dusting plane and Mount Rushmore face-chase are rightly iconic – and brilliantly scripted by the late, great Ernest Lehman, who delivers a strolling commentary on this disc. Read the rest of this entry »

Talking movies… Sly Stallone

Posted by Jonathan On August - 16 - 2010

1. The Party At Kitty And Stud’s

“I’d been bounced out of my apartment and had slept four nights in a row at the Port Authority bus terminal, trying to avoid the cops. I owned two shirts, three pairs of underwear, a pair of pants and a jacket – all of which I had on at the same time since I had no place to put them. I mean, I was desperate. I read in a trade paper about this film that was paying $100 a day – for a $100 a day I would wreak havoc. So I showed up and found myself literally standing in the valley of the skanks. There was no real sex involved, just bad imitations and the close proximity of skankalicious skin. Read the rest of this entry »

Film review: Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

Posted by Jonathan On August - 14 - 2010

Scott Pilgrim is a weakling, socially awkward, doesn’t drink, rarely gets a haircut, only wears his favourite T-shirts. If you just read your own bio, this is your new favourite movie. Adapted from Brian O’Malley’s comic-book saga with breakneck stylistic verve by director Edgar Wright, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World is the ultimate geek wish-fulfilment flick. Read the rest of this entry »

DVD review: Vertigo

Posted by Jonathan On August - 12 - 2010

Or: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Hitchcock, But Were Afraid To Ask. And you should be afraid. Hitchcock’s greatest film, his most autobiographical film, is his blackest. Talk about falling in love: retired copper Jimmy Stewart can’t let go of the woman (Kim Novak) he’s been hired to tail and ends up taking a slo-mo tumble through the cracks in his own mind – taking her with him. A mesmerising view of human obsession, desire, guilt and exploitation – in which, most terrifyingly, love is the true MacGuffin. Wordless for most of its length, it gets deeper and darker with every viewing. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10: Fight Films

Posted by Jonathan On August - 8 - 2010

1. The Legend Of The Drunken Master

Masterpiece. Playing a man who’s unstoppable when he’s had a skinful of booze (you know the feeling), Jackie Chan wallops home an amazing one-two combo of comedy and kung fu. The climactic eight-minute sequence is one of the most thrilling, inventive and outrageous pieces of fight choreography ever filmed. Once you’ve watched Chan crawling through a bed of hot-coals for a few seconds of slapstick fun, you realise why his physical abilities burnt out so fast. Right here, he’s on fire. Read the rest of this entry »

DVD review: Lifeboat

Posted by Jonathan On August - 4 - 2010

One setting. Eight people. Lots and lots of aggro. Hitchcock’s sloshy wartime thriller anticipates Big Brother’s Darwinian bear-pit by 50 years and ups the ante with eviction-by-drowning. Memo to Channel Four?

Like Rope (one apartment, no cuts) and Rear Window (one apartment, no legs), it’s one of the fatman’s most memorable experiments in phonebox cinema: the survivors of a sunk luxury-liner trapped on row-boat in the Atlantic with the German U-Boat Captain (Walter Slezak) who torpedoed them. Read the rest of this entry »

Film review: INLAND EMPIRE

Posted by Jonathan On August - 2 - 2010

Conventional star-ratings don’t apply to INLAND EMPIRE. Yes, David Lynch insists it’s capitalised. No, he’s not saying why. Shot without a finished script over two-and-a-half years, Lynch’s first feature in half a decade is his most ambitious brain-twister ever. Teetering on the brink of his subconscious – as far inland as we’ve ever gone – this epic mystery is a branch of the then-61-year-old maverick’s DNA: strange, familiar and utterly unique. Read the rest of this entry »

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About Me

Jonathan is a London-based journalist, critic and editor. He currently works for data visualisation agency Beyond Words.

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