1994; directed by Oliver Stone; written by Richard Rutowski, Oliver Stone and David Veloz; 122 mins


If someone asked; “what were the 90s like?”, you should sit them down with the VHS of this and leave them alone for 2 hours. However, here is a film that’s gone way down in people’s opinion, almost to the point of being a whipping boy, for many, of every excess that was bad about that decade and also about its director. Certainly, if the stories of its making are anything to go by – which are scurrilously and thoroughly entertainingly documented in producer Jane Hamsher‘s book Killer Instinct – then it was a production that almost lived it’s own film. It’s a film that was at the pinnacle of the taboo-busting, “ultraviolent”, early Tarantino glut that came in the wake of Reservoir Dogs but its sheer surreality and bald-faced bombast also came at the tail end of the ten-film decade (1986-1995) of Oliver Stone. A film about media over-exposure that was released around the culmination of his own media over-exposure and escalating visual and narrative style. It’s all but forgotten today but I think it is a near-masterpiece, a deceptively well made movie and one of my ten favourite films of all time. Continue reading


TOP TEN: 2016

So, 2016 was a bit different as I started my new weekly job as film critic for Radio One in Dunedin but still, even having seen a vast amount more movies that year, there were many that were drip fed through to us, here in New Zealand, throughout 2017. So, for a more fully rounded annual best of, I’ve once again waited til now to give you my absolute favourites that really stuck out from the pack! Plus, there are a bunch of honourable mentions afterwards that I wanted to flag up: Continue reading

TOP TEN: 2015

As per usual, I’ve ended up catching up with a lot of last year’s films this year. With that in mind, I’ve collated a top ten of 2015, 12 months after the fact. Also, my top 10 on Radio One was films I have seen this year, regardless of their original release date whereas this is a separate thing, catching up with the films of 2015 as they’ve dribbled through to NZ. Here we go: Continue reading

TOP TEN of 2014

Last year, I wrote an early blog detailing my 10 favourite films of 2014 but only then realising that there was only 9 films I’d seen. Being in New Zealand (even in the UK), the bulk of cinema releases get to the rest of the world in the following year, so in a break from tradition and with plenty of distance between here and the interminable same things being said in end of year lists, here I dust off that same old shit for a go-round a year later when you’ve forgotten! Continue reading