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  • 12 Years a Slave 2013

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 24 Jan, 2015

    Rewatch Reflections: A second viewing only further enhances my respect for and appreciation of this astounding film. 12 YEARS A SLAVE is an unflinching depiction of the dehumanising brutality and injustice of slavery as experienced through the perspective of Chiwetel Ejiofor's monumental lead performance as Soloman Northup. Crucially, Steve McQueen's film - no matter how difficult it often is to bear witness - is a compelling work of art that strives for a sense of authenticity and humanity over sensationalist…

  • How to Train Your Dragon 2 2014

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 11 Jan, 2015 2

    Rewatch Reflections: Second viewing only impresses me more and I actually now think HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 must qualify as DreamWorks first animated masterpiece. Yes, SHREK was innovative and clever for its time whereas HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 embraces a more traditional style of storytelling. However, Dean DeBlois film is vastly more accomplished in terms of rich characterisation, authentic dramatic gravitas and a sense of cinematic spectacle the likes of which eclipses all else that has…

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  • A Field in England 2013

    ★★ Watched 05 Jul, 2013 8

    First real disappointment from Director Ben Wheatley for me. The film felt incredibly restricted by its low-budget, single location setting, failing utterly to create an authentic period atmosphere. In fact, it took an awfully long time for me to dispel a sense that this was some sort of comedy sketch or amateur art film shot by a bunch of mates in historical reenactment clothing.

    Amy Jump's script delivered a few funny lines but felt incredibly wordy without saying virtually anything…

  • The Woman in Black 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 11 Feb, 2012

    Having been terrorised by the long running and rightly celebrated stage adaptation of Susan Hill's classic ghost story novel 'The Woman In Black', I'd long had my eye on the reborn Hammer film version.

    The casting of speccy Potter - Daniel Radcliffe - in the lead tempered my enthusiasm somewhat as did the decision to go with a 12A rating. However, Watkins film manages to overcome my irrational prejudices, particularly at the start where good use is made of both…