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Swiss Army Man: a marooned man befriends a washed-up corpse, who turns out to be very useful for getting them back home in one piece. Both leads are very strong; Radcliffe turns in a superb physical performance paired with equally strong deadpan comic delivery. Paul Dano is also great to watch, but feels more like he’s cruising in his typecast weirdo role. Together, they have undeniably fun ‘bromance’ chemistry that really elevates the film. Tonally, “eclectic” doesn’t do this film justice: it’s creepy, uplifting, strange, beautiful, depressing, funny, weird, innocent, unique, entertaining, and batshit crazy – all at the same time. It shifts and shimmies between all of its quirky ideas so quickly that it stops you even thinking about how and why all of the surreal things are able to happen. It like the kind weird films you’d have expected to come out of Japan in the early 2000s, and most resembles cinematic oddities like Rubber, Happiness of the Katakuris, and a little bit of Be Kind Rewind. It feels like the filmmakers were really wanted to bring up some observations about our modern values and way of living… but because of all the farting, trouser compassing, and fart-based jet skiing & flying the film ends up avoiding any deep or meaningful insights altogether, coming across as superficial a ‘pop philosophy 101’ class. Swiss Army Man is truly a film like no other, and one which defies categorization; and it really does need to be seen to be believed… however, it does feel more like a collection of individually ‘cool’ ideas, jokes, and moments that would be better suited to a barnstorming music video, or more focused, upbeat, and magical short film.

Score: 7/10

Zardoz Zed Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Sally Anne Newton, Niall Buggy, Bosco Hogan, Jessica Swift,

Zardoz: when a ‘brutal’ unintentionally enters ‘the vortex’ he poses a major threat to the peaceful sanctuary, which is ruled by immortal ‘Eternals’. This my friends is drug-induced 1970s sci-fi on a scale you’ve probably not experienced before. The initial five minutes consists of a floating disembodied head explaining the set-up, then a massive talking stone head that vomits guns and ammo in exchange for grain… and the rest of the film is even weirder. If you’ve ever seen this unexplainable photo of Sean Connery in thigh high hooker boots, wrestling undies, bandolier belts, and a double-whammy ponytail / mexican bandit ‘tache combo, this is where it’s from. If you hadn’t seen that before, I can only apologise. On one hand the film muses over some high-brow questions about mortality, sexuality, philosophy, religion – and references films from 2001 to The Wizard of Oz. On the other hand you’ve got a nearly-nude anti-hero trying to make sense of his trippy surroundings, erection stimulus experiments, gratuitous boob shots every five minutes, and hordes of bored zombie pensioners milling around in tuxedos. Some of the special effects and camera trickery  – like the projecting rings/floating heads etc – are great, even by today’s standards, yet other moments – like a hammy ‘learning montage’ – are beyond kitschy and laugh out loud terrible. Zardoz is the hardest kind of film to rate: it’s intentionally camp & outlandish; and deliberately indulgent, unruly, and confusing – to the point where it feels like nobody (stars, director, writers) really knew what was going on. The one thing it did get right is hitting the cult jugular; whether you love it, hate it, or are simply confused by it, Zardoz is a film that really has to be seen to be believed.

Score: 6/10
Real Score: WTF/10

Zardoz Dream Machine Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Sally Anne Newton, Niall Buggy, Bosco Hogan, Jessica Swift, Zardoz Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Sally Anne Newton, Niall Buggy, Bosco Hogan, Jessica Swift,

Zardoz Blu Ray Menu Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, Sara Kestelman, John Alderton, Sally Anne Newton, Niall Buggy, Bosco Hogan, Jessica Swift,

Sex and Lucia, Paz Vega, Tristán Ulloa, Najwa Nimri, Daniel Freire, Elena Anaya, Lucía y el sexo

Sex and Lucia (Lucía y el sexo): when she gets a call from the police about her partner being in a fatal accident, Lucia  flees to an island and tries to find herself. If you’ve ever scoured a ‘World Cinema’ section, you’ve probably seen the picture below of a windswept Paz Vega + red dress + bike + penis-shaped lighthouse? Guess what? That iconic image isn’t even in the film! FAIL! Back to the movie though: unsurprisingly, there’s random nudity and sexual acts throughout, which feel there for no other reason that to ‘kink’ up the film, and make the “tortured writer and other young, attractive people in personal crises” storyline a bit more interesting. It peaks in a bizarre porno side-story in the middle act. The visuals are striking (unique, bold, washed-out, faded etc) and often beautiful, but continual emphasis on sun, moon and sea feel a smidgen on the ridiculous and end up blurring the boundaries between which scenes is dreams/fantasies, flashbacks, or scenes from the writer’s story. Paz Vega (Lucia) is great – and lets face it, who WOULDN’T want a stalker like her!?!? The cast in general are all good, and pull off some (melo)dramatic scenes when required. All of the artsy-rich visuals, vague symbolism and explicit scenes means that the film overstays its welcome by the end, and when you cut them all out, you’re left with a half-decent melodramatic story and some dramatic suckerpunches – it’s definitely destined to stay out in the ‘arthouse’. Sex and Lucia is unsurprisingly less of a cinematic classic, and more of a piece of smutty art.

Score: 4/10

Sex and Lucia, Paz Vega, Tristán Ulloa, Najwa Nimri, Daniel Freire, Elena Anaya, Lucía y el sexo 2001 Poster Cover DVD Blu Ray Stream Nude