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  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

    ★★★★½ Watched 19 Dec, 2015

    Ever since The Force Awakens entered pre-production, I've been something of a cynic towards it. It is, after all, unanimously agreed across the galaxy that the most recent entries in the series - George Lucas' 'prequel trilogy' - are terrible. Not just terrible by the standards of the original trilogy, but terrible by anyone's standards. So, why would this be any different? Why the hype?

    Admittedly, as cast and crew were announced, there were reasons to expect that the seventh…

  • Inside Out

    Inside Out 2015

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 09 Aug, 2015

    Just as I was thinking that Pixar's best work was behind them, they produce what must surely go down as their best film yet - Inside Out. Directors and co-writers Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen take us inside the head of Riley, an 11 year old girl who has just moved with her parents from Minnesota to San Francisco. There, we meet a cast of characters including Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust and what ensues is nothing short…

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  • A Brighter Summer Day

    A Brighter Summer Day 1991

    ★★★★★ Watched 01 Apr, 2012

    A magnificent achievement, A Brighter Summer Day is a near four-hour novelistic film set in 1960s Taiwan. Xiao Si'r (played by Chen Chang in his debut role) is a member of a local gang in turmoil due to the disappearance of its leader, Bunny - whose girlfriend Si'r gets involved with. As a study of tensions within gangs, it rivals Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather but - based on a real, tragic event - it's a wholly different film that…

  • Yearning

    Yearning 1964

    ★★★★★ Watched 16 Feb, 2013 2

    This melodrama, courtesy of Mikio Naruse, is a deeply moving and visually impressive work that follows a young man (Yuzo Kayama) in love with his sister-in-law (a stunning, career-best performance from Hideko Takamine), who was widowed during the war. With a final shot that is as perfect as is to be found in the medium of cinema, Yearning is one of several masterpieces that can be found in the oeuvre of the still-unappreciated Japanese master.