» Convict (2014, Australia)

Convict - George Basha as Ray Francis

When this opened where I live, it opened, I think, for just one session in one cinema. That might say as much as needs to be said. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on April 14th, 2014 at 10:56 pm. Updated on April 14th, 2014 at 10:56 pm.

» Die Konsequenz / The Consequence (1977, Germany)

The Consequence - Jrgen Prochnow as Martin Kurath and Walo Lnd as Thomas's father, Giorgio Manzoni

Based on the book by Swiss Alexander Ziegler, who as a 22-year-old was sent to prison for a gay relationship with a 16-year-old, this is a not-so-simple love story that battles its way through prison, a reformatory for juveniles, and considerable torment. Although it is a German production, almost all of the action takes place in Switzerland. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on April 6th, 2014 at 7:00 pm. Updated on April 6th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

» Hell’s House (1932, USA)

Hell's House - x as and Junior Dirkin as Jimmy Mason

“What are you, Kelly? A man or a rat? You’re a rat!” says newspaper editor Frank Gebhardt to Matt Kelly. This is a film about that rat… and the kid who suffers from his ratdom - his rattee. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 31st, 2014 at 9:41 pm. Updated on March 31st, 2014 at 9:41 pm.

» More Than Just a Game (2007, South Africa)

More Than Just a Game -

I’d thought that this was a movie based on real-life events, but no, it’s a dramatisation of those events interspersed with commentary from the real-life characters, 35 or more years on. A ‘documentary feature’ is what it is, apparently. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 24th, 2014 at 8:28 pm. Updated on March 24th, 2014 at 8:34 pm.

» Inside (2012, USA)

Inside - Luke Goss as Miles Berret

This is a variation on the adage that “You can’t keep a good man down.” Sometimes, it seems, you can’t keep a really, really bad man down, either. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 17th, 2014 at 10:00 pm. Updated on March 17th, 2014 at 10:08 pm.

» Day of Reckoning (1933, USA)

Day of Reckoning - Richard Dix as John Day, a wee bit angry

This is not quite a morality play, but it’s not far removed from one: the two high-living adulterers both come to sticky ends while the poor-but-honest workers prosper and find happiness. And the wrongdoer who goes to jail, but remains true in his heart, gets a second chance. Ahhh. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 11th, 2014 at 9:25 pm. Updated on March 11th, 2014 at 9:25 pm.

» El lápiz del carpintero / The Carpenter’s Pencil (2003, Spain)

The Carpenter's Pencil - Santi Prego as Dombodán and Tristán Ulloa as Daniel Da Barca

Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, 1936. Spain is about to plunge into civil war, and an unlikely romance between Daniel Da Barca (Tristán Ulloa), a charismatic Republican doctor, and Marisa Mallo (María Adánez), the daughter of a wealthy businessman who has quickly thrown his lot in with Franco’s rebel Nationalists, is beginning to blossom.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 9th, 2014 at 12:59 pm. Updated on March 9th, 2014 at 12:59 pm.

» Deathrow Gameshow (1987, USA)

Deathrow Gameshow - John McCafferty as Chuck Toedan and Mark Lasky as Death Row prisoner # 9899, Spumone

The premise sounded promising, if a little in poor taste: a game show involving Death Row inmates competing for stays of execution and prizes for their grieving relatives. The odds are stacked rather heavily against them (which means that they will almost certainly be killed ‘live’ on TV), yet “these people are already on Death Row,” the host reminds us. “Their lives are basically over. We give them a chance, a way to be somebody… a way to be entertaining before they go.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on March 4th, 2014 at 9:21 pm. Updated on March 4th, 2014 at 9:21 pm.

» Escape Plan (2013, USA)

Escape Plan - Sylvester Stallone as Ray Breslin and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Emil Rottmayer

There’s something a little pathetic about two ageing action heroes reliving their glory days from the ’80s. Granted, neither Sylvester Stallone nor Arnold Schwarzenegger looks mid-sixties, exactly, and they make a far better fist of playing action heroes than the younger but tumescent Steven Seagal in Maximum Conviction (2012). But it’s a worrying trend; I’m not looking forward to seeing Chuck Norris and Burt Reynolds wreak havoc in a palliative care prison.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on February 24th, 2014 at 9:26 pm. Updated on March 9th, 2014 at 1:13 pm.

» The Jailhouse (2009, USA)

The Jailhouse - C Thomas Howell as Deputy Sheriff Seth Delray

Jailhouse as haunted house. It’s not the most novel of concepts. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on February 16th, 2014 at 1:35 pm. Updated on February 16th, 2014 at 1:35 pm.