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  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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,…

  • The Avengers 2012

    ★★★★★ Watched 27 Apr, 2012 6

    Up until now, I never truly understood all the fuss about Joss Whedon. I never related to Buffy, never got into Firefly or Dollhouse, and while I enjoyed Serenity I didn't worship it like some. But at long last, Whedon has delivered a piece of work that blew me away, one I truly believe will swiftly enter the pantheon of classic action-adventure movies. The Avengers is not only far and away the best of Marvel's (mostly impressive) movie staple, it's…

  • The Dark Knight Rises 2012

    ★★★★½ Watched 24 Jul, 2012

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 31 Jul, 2014

    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…

  • 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…

  • Inception 2010

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 24 Oct, 2012 27

    I must have seen Inception a dozen times now, and on every single viewing it feels like the first time around. That surely testifies to the genuine brilliance pouring from Christopher Nolan's epic, which I first reviewed on release back in July 2010; that review, for the most part, stands below as I feel the same way about this movie as I did the first time I experienced it. Simply, this is exactly what a modern blockbuster should truly be…

  • 12 Years a Slave 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 18 Jan, 2014 2

    What was the last true masterpiece you saw? Think on that word: masterpiece. Not a great movie, or an awesome movie, not even a brilliant movie. Rather, a perfect movie, one you genuinely don't believe could have been better. 12 Years a Slave is, for me, one such film. Not a movie, a film. A true piece of cinema people will still be discussing and revering in decades. How often do they come along? Almost never in these movie-by-committee days,…

  • Fight Club 1999

    ★★★½ Watched 05 Dec, 2008

    This was one of those movies I'd heard amazing things about for years but simply never got around to watching, for some reason. Obviously then, expectations were high.

    I'm a big fan of Fincher, plus I think both Pitt and Norton are bloody great actors when given the right material. So it obviously comes as no surprise to declare all three outstanding - Pitt magnetic as the self-confident, visionary 'Tyler Durden', Norton maintaining an impressive grounded nasal monotone narration and…

  • American Hustle 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 22 Jan, 2014

    'Some of this happened once' is the unorthodox disclaimer and the first words on the screen of American Hustle, a movie that takes pride in essentially being a period crime fable in essence, which frankly you don't get many of. There is a sense of underlying uniqueness in some respects to David O. Russell's picture, in which a pair of small-time grifters are recruited by the FBI after being caught to help them catch much bigger fish, yet it's coated…

  • Skyfall 2012

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 23 Mar, 2014

    For five decades of James Bond in cinema, arguably standing tall as the biggest and most successful film franchise of all time, there needed to be some kind of celebration. Not just fanfare, documentaries, look backs, ceremonies, interviews, but rather a celebration of what Bond is, what he means, why he remains relevant half a century on to a world immeasurably different from the one Ian Fleming created him in. Skyfall turned out, perhaps beyond our expectations, to be all…