Richard James Havis

Latest from Richard James Havis

Review | Wonder Park film review: power of imagination can’t save mediocre animated feature about adventure, illness and depression

Although the film has its heart in the right place – the story is a metaphor for dealing with depression – it is hampered by a wafer-thin storyline and some pedestrian animation.

18 Apr 2019 - 7:01AM

Although the film has its heart in the right place – the story is a metaphor for dealing with depression – it is hampered by a wafer-thin storyline and some pedestrian animation.

Wonder Park film review: power of imagination can’t save mediocre animated feature about adventure, illness and depression
Review | The Aftermath film review: Keira Knightley in B-movie version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover

The film is spoiled by stereotyped characters and a soap opera approach. The farcical plot appears to be looking for sympathy for Nazis.

26 Mar 2019 - 7:00PM

The film is spoiled by stereotyped characters and a soap opera approach. The farcical plot appears to be looking for sympathy for Nazis.

The Aftermath film review: Keira Knightley in B-movie version of Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Shiri: how 1999 South Korean action blockbuster changed Asian cinema forever

Shiri, released 20 years ago, outperformed Titanic in South Korean cinemas and was a big part in the success of the Korean wave. The director used many Hollywood storytelling devices, while keeping the content strictly Korean.

24 Mar 2019 - 12:17PM

Shiri, released 20 years ago, outperformed Titanic in South Korean cinemas and was a big part in the success of the Korean wave. The director used many Hollywood storytelling devices, while keeping the content strictly Korean.

Shiri: how 1999 South Korean action blockbuster changed Asian cinema forever
What North Korean films are like: propaganda, potatoes and Japanese ninjas

Little is known about North Korea’s domestic feature films, but a German travelling film roadshow once gave a peek into this mysterious world.

17 Mar 2019 - 6:06PM

Little is known about North Korea’s domestic feature films, but a German travelling film roadshow once gave a peek into this mysterious world.

What North Korean films are like: propaganda, potatoes and Japanese ninjas
How China’s Fifth Generation filmmakers defied censorship and criticism to break new ground

New ways of storytelling and rich political allegories were the innovations that this new breed of maverick directors introduced. Bold in abstraction and symbolism, their films relied on images rather than dialogue for expression.

12 Mar 2019 - 8:10PM

New ways of storytelling and rich political allegories were the innovations that this new breed of maverick directors introduced. Bold in abstraction and symbolism, their films relied on images rather than dialogue for expression.

How China’s Fifth Generation filmmakers defied censorship and criticism to break new ground
Review | Mary Queen of Scots film review: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie in enjoyable but inaccurate royal biopic

Director Josie Rourke brings a fresh, feminine viewpoint of sisterhood and female solidarity between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. But the film is let down by a fabricated, close relationship between the two that never existed.

12 Mar 2019 - 7:14AM

Director Josie Rourke brings a fresh, feminine viewpoint of sisterhood and female solidarity between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots. But the film is let down by a fabricated, close relationship between the two that never existed.

Mary Queen of Scots film review: Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie in enjoyable but inaccurate royal biopic
Review | Capharnaüm film review: Lebanon’s Oscar nominee a vivid account of the horrors of modern times

Child abuse, human trafficking, extreme poverty and the problems faced by undocumented individuals are the issues tackled in this dark drama that was nominated for best foreign-language film at the 2019 Oscars.

6 Mar 2019 - 4:05PM

Child abuse, human trafficking, extreme poverty and the problems faced by undocumented individuals are the issues tackled in this dark drama that was nominated for best foreign-language film at the 2019 Oscars.

Capharnaüm film review: Lebanon’s Oscar nominee a vivid account of the horrors of modern times
Udine Far East Film Festival: how Southeast Asian cinema found a new audience in northern Italy

The Udine Far East Film Festival screens commercial films from East Asia, mainly from Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Japan but increasingly from Southeast Asia.

4 Mar 2019 - 8:55PM

The Udine Far East Film Festival screens commercial films from East Asia, mainly from Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Japan but increasingly from Southeast Asia.

Udine Far East Film Festival: how Southeast Asian cinema found a new audience in northern Italy
Review | Happy Death Day 2U film review: horror comedy sequel brings sci-fi twist to slasher formula

Jessica Rothe reprises her role in this Groundhog Day style horror. The multiverse angle makes for an entertaining plot, but you have to have seen the first film for it to make sense.

26 Feb 2019 - 7:00PM

Jessica Rothe reprises her role in this Groundhog Day style horror. The multiverse angle makes for an entertaining plot, but you have to have seen the first film for it to make sense.

Happy Death Day 2U film review: horror comedy sequel brings sci-fi twist to slasher formula
Review | Vice film review: Christian Bale plays Dick Cheney as an immoral opportunist in dark biopic about former American vice-president

The biopic of former Republican vice-president covers the full span of 78-year-old life, and puts the oft-held view that it was he, rather than president George W. Bush, who was running the administration.

19 Feb 2019 - 4:48PM

The biopic of former Republican vice-president covers the full span of 78-year-old life, and puts the oft-held view that it was he, rather than president George W. Bush, who was running the administration.

Vice film review: Christian Bale plays Dick Cheney as an immoral opportunist in dark biopic about former American vice-president
Cambodia’s King Sihanouk, who ‘would have rather been Clark Gable’, made more than 50 films

The late Cambodian king, who died in 2011, fell in love with the cinema as a child watching French films. Throughout his 60 years of filmmaking he sought to promote traditional Khmer culture.

16 Feb 2019 - 9:48PM

The late Cambodian king, who died in 2011, fell in love with the cinema as a child watching French films. Throughout his 60 years of filmmaking he sought to promote traditional Khmer culture.

Cambodia’s King Sihanouk, who ‘would have rather been Clark Gable’, made more than 50 films
Review | Cold Pursuit film review: Liam Neeson seeks violent vengeance, once again, in racially insensitive thriller

Director Hans Petter Moland tries to replicate the ironic tone and deadpan delivery of Coen Brothers films, but falls well short in this outing, while the Tarantino-inspired mayhem is often more childish than witty.

11 Feb 2019 - 8:18PM

Director Hans Petter Moland tries to replicate the ironic tone and deadpan delivery of Coen Brothers films, but falls well short in this outing, while the Tarantino-inspired mayhem is often more childish than witty.

Cold Pursuit film review: Liam Neeson seeks violent vengeance, once again, in racially insensitive thriller
Electronic muscle stimulation: how Victoria’s Secret Angels pack a two-hour workout into 20 minutes

Miha Bodytec machine improves effectiveness of a workout by stimulating 90 per cent of muscle fibres compared to 20-25 per cent in normal workout. ‘It’s like I am DJ’ing the body’, says trainer Mohamed Elzomor, of Manhattan’s PE Club.

28 Jan 2019 - 3:04PM

Miha Bodytec machine improves effectiveness of a workout by stimulating 90 per cent of muscle fibres compared to 20-25 per cent in normal workout. ‘It’s like I am DJ’ing the body’, says trainer Mohamed Elzomor, of Manhattan’s PE Club.

Electronic muscle stimulation: how Victoria’s Secret Angels pack a two-hour workout into 20 minutes
How a political US opera singer uses her art to bring people together

Joyce DiDonato says that opera is a powerful weapon and can remind people of the effect their actions have on the world ahead of her Hong Kong performance on January 16.

13 Jan 2019 - 8:00PM

Joyce DiDonato says that opera is a powerful weapon and can remind people of the effect their actions have on the world ahead of her Hong Kong performance on January 16.

How a political US opera singer uses her art to bring people together
Review | The Grinch film review: Benedict Cumberbatch voices Dr. Seuss’ grouch in kid-friendly animation

A film that draws heavily on traditional Christmas sentiment, this is animation at its most basic. It is straightforward festive-season fare for young children, but well made nevertheless.

25 Dec 2018 - 8:02PM

A film that draws heavily on traditional Christmas sentiment, this is animation at its most basic. It is straightforward festive-season fare for young children, but well made nevertheless.

The Grinch film review: Benedict Cumberbatch voices Dr. Seuss’ grouch in kid-friendly animation
Review | Ralph Breaks the Internet film review: delightful Wreck-It Ralph sequel subverts long-standing Disney values

The sequel to Wreck-It Ralph puts a fascinating spin on the internet and is not afraid of showing the problems of trolling and the dark net, the perils of online fame – nor of taking a swipe at long-standing Disney values.

20 Dec 2018 - 7:11AM

The sequel to Wreck-It Ralph puts a fascinating spin on the internet and is not afraid of showing the problems of trolling and the dark net, the perils of online fame – nor of taking a swipe at long-standing Disney values.

Ralph Breaks the Internet film review: delightful Wreck-It Ralph sequel subverts long-standing Disney values
Review | Can You Ever Forgive Me? film review: Melissa McCarthy stars as literary forger in fascinating character study

In this fascinating character study of mean people, McCarthy doesn’t make her character likeable. Richard E Grant puts on an enjoyable act as a flamboyant street hustler.

11 Dec 2018 - 8:04PM

In this fascinating character study of mean people, McCarthy doesn’t make her character likeable. Richard E Grant puts on an enjoyable act as a flamboyant street hustler.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? film review: Melissa McCarthy stars as literary forger in fascinating character study
School teams strive to solve environmental issues

The Nature Conservancy’s story instils a love of nature in students by encouraging them to develop environmental solutions in their schools

11 Dec 2018 - 4:11PM

The Nature Conservancy’s story instils a love of nature in students by encouraging them to develop environmental solutions in their schools

School teams strive to solve environmental issues
Review | The Nutcracker and the Four Realms film review: Disney Christmas spectacle makes a courageous choice

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms trades fairy tale romance for a message of female empowerment, with young star Mackenzie Foy putting in a good show as a fearless physics whizz.

29 Nov 2018 - 7:40AM

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms trades fairy tale romance for a message of female empowerment, with young star Mackenzie Foy putting in a good show as a fearless physics whizz.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms film review: Disney Christmas spectacle makes a courageous choice
Filmmaker who revealed horrors of Mao’s Chinese gulags talks about exposing the hidden China

Wang Bing says he doesn’t think about whether his films will foster social change, but is happy to ‘plant the seeds’ with Chinese audiences; making documentaries with a small crew allows him to escape the attention of Chinese authorities.

28 Nov 2018 - 6:13PM

Wang Bing says he doesn’t think about whether his films will foster social change, but is happy to ‘plant the seeds’ with Chinese audiences; making documentaries with a small crew allows him to escape the attention of Chinese authorities.

Filmmaker who revealed horrors of Mao’s Chinese gulags talks about exposing the hidden China
Review | Hello Mr. Billionaire review: crazy rich Chinese get satirical treatment

Shen Teng stars in this film about a man who has to spend 1 billion yuan in a month to inherit his uncle’s fortune.

19 Nov 2018 - 8:01PM

Shen Teng stars in this film about a man who has to spend 1 billion yuan in a month to inherit his uncle’s fortune.

Hello Mr. Billionaire review: crazy rich Chinese get satirical treatment
Oldboy: Park Chan-wook’s 2003 tale of revenge puts the bestial core of humanity centre stage

The brilliant but disturbing South Korean film remains a strikingly original work

17 Nov 2018 - 5:25AM

The brilliant but disturbing South Korean film remains a strikingly original work

Oldboy: Park Chan-wook’s 2003 tale of revenge puts the bestial core of humanity centre stage
Newton by director Amit Masurkar is an endearing celebration of democracy, reminding viewers why voting matters

Humour and humanity are the hallmarks of a film set in India, the world’s largest democracy

14 Nov 2018 - 2:17PM

Humour and humanity are the hallmarks of a film set in India, the world’s largest democracy

Newton by director Amit Masurkar is an endearing  celebration of democracy, reminding viewers why voting matters
Review | Hichki film review: Rani Mukerji shines as Tourette’s Syndrome sufferer in upbeat education drama

Filmmakers milk the script for all its worth, but its positive tone means you will not need to take any extra tissues; Mukerji makes her constant verbal and physical tics seem natural and uncontrived.

7 Nov 2018 - 7:04AM

Filmmakers milk the script for all its worth, but its positive tone means you will not need to take any extra tissues; Mukerji makes her constant verbal and physical tics seem natural and uncontrived.

Hichki film review: Rani Mukerji shines as Tourette’s Syndrome sufferer in upbeat education drama
Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight confirms him as the greatest American filmmaker of all time

The celebrated director’s lifelong fascination with Sir John Falstaff yielded a poorly received play that blossomed into a film that confirms Welles as America’s greatest filmmaker.

9 Nov 2018 - 6:18AM

The celebrated director’s lifelong fascination with Sir John Falstaff yielded a poorly received play that blossomed into a film that confirms Welles as America’s greatest filmmaker.

Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight confirms him as the greatest American filmmaker of all time
Review | Sicario: Day of the Soldado film review – Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin return in riveting action sequel

Day of the Soldado is relentlessly grim and should be a hit with action fans, with 17-year-old Isabela Moner in particular convincing as a kidnapped teen.

30 Oct 2018 - 7:02AM

Day of the Soldado is relentlessly grim and should be a hit with action fans, with 17-year-old Isabela Moner in particular convincing as a kidnapped teen.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado film review – Benicio del Toro, Josh Brolin return in riveting action sequel
Runaway Train, starring Jon Voight and Eric Roberts, is as nail-biting today as it was in 1985

Oscar-worthy performances and gripping action make the 1985 movie, based on a script by the legendary Akira Kurosawa, well worth revisiting

29 Oct 2018 - 7:57PM

Oscar-worthy performances and gripping action make the 1985 movie, based on a script by the legendary Akira Kurosawa, well worth revisiting

Runaway Train, starring Jon Voight and Eric Roberts, is as nail-biting today as it was in 1985
Review | Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween film review – fun kids adventure sequel

It might not be as frightening as the original, but Goosebumps 2 is still a watchable slice of Halloween fun. Jack Black probably shouldn’t be in it though.

28 Oct 2018 - 6:03PM

It might not be as frightening as the original, but Goosebumps 2 is still a watchable slice of Halloween fun. Jack Black probably shouldn’t be in it though.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween film review – fun kids adventure sequel
Review | Beautiful Boy film review: Timothée Chalamet, Steve Carell in grim addiction drama

Felix Van Groeningen’s film is based on the separate memoirs of a teenage crystal meth addict (Chalamet) and his loving father (Steve Carell) and shows the destruction that addiction can wreak on a family.

23 Oct 2018 - 5:15PM

Felix Van Groeningen’s film is based on the separate memoirs of a teenage crystal meth addict (Chalamet) and his loving father (Steve Carell) and shows the destruction that addiction can wreak on a family.

Beautiful Boy film review: Timothée Chalamet, Steve Carell in grim addiction drama
Midnight Express, Alan Parker’s 1978 prison-break movie remains a rip-roaring thriller

Originally banned by Turkey for its portrayal of sadistic guards, the celebrated film is also an exploration into the nature of justice

19 Oct 2018 - 11:04PM

Originally banned by Turkey for its portrayal of sadistic guards, the celebrated film is also an exploration into the nature of justice

Midnight Express, Alan Parker’s 1978 prison-break movie remains a rip-roaring thriller