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  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 08 Mar, 2014 12

    For many years, Wes Anderson has been celebrated as an offbeat American auteur, with a narrative and visual style all his own - a colourful, melancholic whimsy riven with a biting, black comedic undercurrent. At times it's worked well, others it misses the mark, but with The Grand Budapest Hotel he has created something truly wonderful. Inspired by the writings of Stefan Zweig, Anderson's film is light, fun, thoughtful, cheeky, rude, farcical and emotional all in one rip roaring stew,…

  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 11 Oct, 2014 2

    The sexual politics underpinning Gone Girl are both fascinating and frightening, to both sexes, and pulsate at the very heart of David Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's increasingly well known novel. He and Flynn, who also penned the screenplay, create something unexpected; a jet black river of satire, exploring and picking away not just very conceptual building blocks of marriage but also the deep rooted misogyny at the core of the male psyche, exposed through Ben Affleck's Nick Dunne, a…

  • Birdman

    Birdman 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 04 Jan, 2015 9

    A quote from Raymond Carver hits us square between the eyes as Birdman begins, as discordant as Antonio Sanchez's jazzy score, and immediately you just know Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is about to give us something we haven't quite seen before. Following on from his so-called 'Death Trilogy' and celebrated Spanish language feature Biutiful, Inarritu here delivers a true oddity; a quirky psychological black comedy touching on a variety of different themes, covering numerous different influences, and boasting a range of…

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 07 Nov, 2014

    Cinema rarely has the true power to enthral or evoke wonder anymore in these days of production line sequels and repetitive guff... and then you get Interstellar, which reminds you of what cinema is meant to do. Christopher Nolan's first picture after completing his Batman saga would be the magnum opus of many directors careers, yet you leave this experience feeling like this is just the beginning for an artist who perhaps is too beholden to certain classic inspirations to…

  • Django Unchained

    Django Unchained 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 05 Apr, 2014

    The seventh film by Quentin Tarantino, right from the outset, is uniquely once again a work from this controversial modern auteur who continues to divide opinion across the board. Is he truly a great filmmaker or is he a repetitive hack? Django Unchained surely must provide evidence he's the former, because it's frequently quite a remarkable piece of work. It's interesting to watch after the release of 12 Years a Slave, a film that almost immediately has become the defining…

  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road 2015

    ★★★★½ Watched 15 May, 2015

    In what has to surely be one of the longest gaps across a cinematic franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road has taken three decades to make. George Miller, who made his name almost forty years ago with the first Mel Gibson-starring Australian action curio, believed the third picture--Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome--was it, until in the late 90's he was crossing an intersection and, in one of those beautiful moments of clarity in life, Fury Road popped into his head. He then…

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 22 Jan, 2015 17

    Music has power, more power than many elements of life. It can move, it can create, it can destroy. It does each of those things in Whiplash and a whole lot more. Damien Chazelle, in remarkably only his second feature, conducts a deconstruction of what music can do in remarkably powerful fashion, right from an opening scene in which Miles Teller's wannabe jazz drummer Andrew faces down JK Simmons' jazz teacher Fletcher, paying him an impromptu visit and immediately establishing…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 31 Jul, 2014 2

    When it came to unknown quantities, Guardians of the Galaxy has to be one of the biggest cinematic gambles of recent years. Marvel's dominance of blockbuster cinema was never potentially in danger of collapsing around James Gunn's adaptation of the Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning comic series, but to bank on a sci-fi heavy, extremely cult arm of their empire to sail them through the cutthroat summer waters remained a risk. The great news is that they've thrown the dice and…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 14 Feb, 2015

    Second watch, introducing my girlfriend to it.

    Think I may have loved it even more on another go around. So charming & funny, even when the plot goes a tad around in circles. Groot especially remains wonderfully funny & sweet.

    Just great. Hooked on a feeling all over again.

  • Gravity

    Gravity 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 22 Aug, 2014

    There are some decisions you come to regret in life when it comes to motion pictures. My newest? Not getting to experience Gravity on the big screen in IMAX, because *what* an experience that must have been! Alfonso Cuaron of course won the Best Director Oscar for his work on this quite remarkable piece of cinema and much as he was competing against illustrious company, quite rightly so. In this era of predominantly cookie-cutter film making, you rarely come across…

  • Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Oct, 2015 2

    Crime pays, despite what you may think. One of many disturbing messages delivered by Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy's disturbing neo-noir crime thriller which speaks a great deal to the voyeuristic nature of our modern obsession with tragedy and criminality. Jake Gyllenhaal deserved more applause than he received playing Lew Bloom, a troubled yet magnetic and manipulative individual who connives his way into the life of a 'stringer', a roving, freelance crime photographer on the dark streets of crime-addled Los Angeles. The…

  • The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight 2008

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 15 Jul, 2012 15

    My preparation for the last in Christopher Nolan's Bat trilogy continues in rewatching The Dark Knight, the middle part of his Batman saga. People frequently compare this to Batman Begins, unfairly to my mind as this is a completely different texture of movie; if Begins was a gloomy origin story and character study of Bruce Wayne's fear, Dark Knight is a Gotham crime epic that, this time, explores what it means to be Batman and the consequences of his caped…