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  • Burden of Dreams

    Burden of Dreams 1982

    ★★★★ Watched 01 Sep, 2015

    Whilst i already knew a good portion of the story beforehand; this thematically mirrored documentary, with insights on Herzog, is a mandatory watch alongside Fitzcarraldo.

    "I shouldn't make movies anymore. I should go to a lunatic asylum right away."

    Yes, Werner, i'm thinking maybe you should!

  • The 39 Steps

    The 39 Steps 1935

    ★★★½ Watched 25 Aug, 2015

    An enjoyable wrong-man romp with witty repartee and screwball comedy elements ensure this plot hole aplenty thriller is a rather light affair. While its by no means the best Hitchcock, the use of his signature elements sets the template for his future successes.

  • Fitzcarraldo

    Fitzcarraldo 1982

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Aug, 2015

    The old unsubstantiated adage of "if the boat can't go down the river, then the boat must go over the mountain" is most relevant here.

    The more languid companion piece to Aguirre, of which it shares many commonalities. Most notably, Kinski's forceful, obsessed and eccentric (like Fitzcarraldo himself) performance and the fact that, "f'in hell, Herzog actually made them do that!" (as quoted from my Aguirre review)

  • Nosferatu the Vampyre

    Nosferatu the Vampyre 1979

    ★★★★½ Watched 18 Aug, 2015

    Much the like the blood of the Count's victims, Herzog's cinematography is literally dripping with atmosphere (soundtracked with a suitably eerie Popol Vuh score), which it concentrates on moreso than its scares. Kinski's portrayal of Dracula is the definition of creepy and steeped in sadness (longing for death and an end to his monotony) and he's ably supported by the impressive Ganz playing the naive, Jonathan Harker and the utterly beguiling, porcelain-skinned Adjani as Lucy Harker.

  • Whiplash

    Whiplash 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Aug, 2015

    Four things that make Whiplash :

    1) Chazelle's direction - drums, scrunched up faces, sweat and blood

    2) i'm not the biggest jazz fan, but, the music, mannnn

    3) the convincing performance of Miles Teller as Andrew Neimann. Who is less interested in artistry and creativity than technical proficiency, hero worship and gaining his mentor's approval. While hes not really a likeable character per se, due to dispatching his humanity for ambition, we do certainly feel for him and his…

  • A Most Violent Year

    A Most Violent Year 2014

    ★★★ Watched 08 Aug, 2015

    The storyline to this character driven piece is ultimately rather dull and some of the plot points are just too contrived, but the great performances from Isaac and an underused Chastain held my interest for the most part.

  • In a Lonely Place

    In a Lonely Place 1950

    ★★★½ Watched 26 Jul, 2015

    More so a melodrama with elements of noir, In A Lonely Place is a murder mystery whereby the murder plays second fiddle to the study of the unsympathetic, violent, Bogart (Dix Steele, *snigger*) and his relationship with the aloof, yet vulnerable, Grahame. While the murder aspect of the story isn't particularly compelling (and ends up arriving at its obvious, logical conclusion), its carried by the mystery of Steele, its central performances and dialogue.

  • Boomerang!

    Boomerang! 1947

    ★★½ Watched 21 Jul, 2015

    Despite being based on a true story, Kazan's overly melodramatic wrong man docu-noir struggles to engage at the start. I think partly because of its unusual documentary stylings, but mainly because of the amount of time set aside to explain the expediency to convict, due to political and press/public pressure. Though, once it reaches the courtroom in the final act, things get a bit more interesting. Andrews is solid as the main prosecutor and Cobb is fine but the rest…

  • Enemy

    Enemy 2013

    ★★★ Watched 16 Jul, 2015

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

    As the titles appear, the quote "Chaos is order undeciphered" is displayed. How apt. Just replace 'Chaos' with 'Enemy' and 'order' with 'a film'.

    Drained of colour, in a sepia tinged world with an unsettling score, Enemy is a brooding, atmospheric, mood piece. Yet, while its never less than intriguing, i couldn't describe it as a particularly enjoyable experience. Despite its brevity, it is a bit of a chore to sit through. Feeling every one of its 90 odd minutes…

  • Prisoners

    Prisoners 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 12 Jul, 2015 2

    Following an investigation into the abduction of two children, Villeneuve's brooding, moody, atmospheric thriller (wonderfully captured by Deakins) is every parent's worst nightmare.

    Through the empathetic Jackman (delivering a career best performance), it delves into the moral abyss of what lengths you would go to in order to save your child. Religion is centred heavily, with questions on loss of morality and the price paid for retribution, but it mostly dances around these issues and doesn't explore them fully. The…

  • Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

    Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa 2013

    ★★★ Watched 05 Jul, 2015

    Though not wholly unexpected, Coogan's return to his finest creation is a little lost in translation with its move to film. Yet, while it may not live up to the heady heights of the tv show, its still an amusing 90 minutes with moments of pure comedy gold.

  • Slow West

    Slow West 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 28 Jun, 2015

    Along with Gilroy's Nightcrawler and Garland's Ex Machina, Maclean's debut has to be the best i've witnessed in quite some time. A revisionist western punctuated with black comedy, its a simple tale well told. A universal story of love and death told through the eyes of immigrants. As McPhee learns on his journey with Fassbender, the wild west is no place for naivety. With prevalent threat to life throughout their journey, its a violent, dangerous and wholly unforgiving place. While…