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Hardcore 2004 Katerina Tsavalou, Danae Skiadi, Ioannis Papazisis, Omiros Poulakis, Andreas Marianos, Dimitris Liolios, Konstadinos Avarikiotis, Yannis Stankoglou, Yannis Stefopoulos, Vyzantia Guy Pyriohou Movie Greece Dennis IliadisHardcore (2004): two young prostitutes meet in a brothel and help each other through their tough lives. Packed full of nudity, sex, prostitutes, guns, cars, drugs and lesbians – it feels like it’s going for an overly-outrageous/sensational DVD-shifting Baise Moi vibe, although this is far less nasty. The story’s quite unique in that it’s about young girls that aren’t forced into the sex trade, which makes the two central ladies feel more rounded. I think the film would have worked better if they switched the roles around as they made the prettier girl ‘frumpy/damaged’ and the more average lass ‘sexy manipulator’. However, the person that shines most is the director, who uses a lot of tricks and techniques to make the film more visually interesting, and some hard & fast editing to hold your attention. Despite this it’s all fairly average; the melodrama and ridiculouness gets heaped on heavier and heavier until the Open Your Eyes/Vanilla Sky style finale. Best Greek film I’ve seen? Probably, but I’ve not seen any others.

Score: 4/10

Hardcore 2 2004 Katerina Tsavalou, Danae Skiadi, Ioannis Papazisis, Omiros Poulakis, Andreas Marianos, Dimitris Liolios, Konstadinos Avarikiotis, Yannis Stankoglou, Yannis Stefopoulos, Vyzantia Guy Pyriohou Movie Greece Dennis IliadisHardcore 3 2004 Movie Greece Katerina Tsavalou, Danae Skiadi, Ioannis Papazisis, Omiros Poulakis, Andreas Marianos, Dimitris Liolios, Konstadinos Avarikiotis, Yannis Stankoglou, Yannis Stefopoulos, Vyzantia Guy Pyriohou, Dennis IliadisClick here for the 1979 George C Scott film Hardcore

Dead Man’s Shoes: an on-edge soldier returns home to find that local thugs have been taking advantage of his disabled brother; revenge is definitely on the cards. The story’s powerful, harrowing, chilling and hard to watch in parts (mostly the flashbacks). First time round I thought Paddy stole the show but on re-watching, his brother (Kebbell) is equally fantastic; most of the antagonists are on top form too. The soundtrack fits perfectly, making the overall ambiance more effective, disturbing you as much as the brief bursts of violence. There are some beautiful moments of black comedy in the spraypaint and comedy car – but they’re only momentary distractions. The only downside is that it feels padded out in parts, with a very long opening and plenty of scenic shots – although it could be argued that it adds to the film’s character. As a thriller, Dead Man’s Shoe is top-notch, and punches way above its low-budget social micro-thriller status.

Score: 8.5/10