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  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

    ★★★★½ Watched 17 Dec, 2015 2

    Best Star Wars film ever, although it is helped by being able to reference the first three films for a total nostalgia trip, and also benefits from incredibly low expectations (which had been dashed by previous films in this franchise).

    JJ Abrams has made a film that fans will love. It's a creation that comes from a place of respect and reverence (and irreverence) for the original Star Wars films, and although I fear my enthusiasm may wane over the next few days, at this point I believe that this film is superior to all that came before it.

    Magic. An instant classic.

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 04 Jul, 2014

    Wes Anderson makes films like a fine chocolatier makes chocolates. Sady, I watched a badly encoded rip of this beautiful film while I was succumbing to a head cold. It was pretty, but I didn't really follow it that well. I need to see it again, and I think it may gain another star on my second viewing.

    I feel like there is a layer of complexity or allegory that should have been obvious but it sailed over my drowsy head.

  • Birdman

    Birdman 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 20 Jan, 2015

    So Emmanuel Lubezki is pretty awesome. After watching Gravity and Children of Men, I thought he was great, but this film raises the level of difficulty significantly. I will now watch any new film that he shoots (unless Terrence Malick is involved, naturally, because that guy's just arse).

    Birdman is a story about mental collapse, passing on the torch to the next generation, and the dangers of Imposter Syndrome, amongst many other things.

    It's as deeply loaded with subtext and…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Jun, 2015

    Just another superhero movie. Some funny dialogue but the comparisons to Star Wars are overflattering. Han was a much more loveable rogue.

  • The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 11 Mar, 2014 1

    The soundtrack's pretty good. The acting's really good (Jonah Hill is particularly great). Apart from that, this is a pretty dull watch. It ends more often than Return of the King, and actually feels longer.

    The debauchery is pretty full on, and that's a fun ride to start with, but after about an hour I felt saturated in the excesses of capitalism, which completely de-fanged the next two hours of relentlessly escalating depravity.

    Well made, and deserving of the accolades it's received, but really pretty boring, monotonous and pointless, except as a satirical cautionary allegory of organised religion.

  • Gravity

    Gravity 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 03 Oct, 2013

    Relentlessly stressful, but very beautiful, Gravity is a simple and very human story. It's got near-future sci-fi trappings, but it's really just a story about people in a crisis. You could see it as an allegory for anything from overcoming depression to bootstrapping your own tech start-up. It's such a universal story, you could apply it successfully to any stressful challenge.

    The cinematographer is the same guy that made The Tree of Life moderately watchable, despite the vapid content. With…

  • The Martian

    The Martian 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 30 Sep, 2015 1

    A very enjoyable film, and perhaps a return to form for Ridley Scott. Prometheus had left me troubled and wondering if Scott still had a good film in him, but although The Martian has some flaws and plot-holes, it's a gripping story with some great performances.

    The scene with Sean Bean at a secret meeting, sheepishly explaining a Lord of the Rings reference was weirdly meta, and took me out of the story for a while, but apart from that…

  • The Hateful Eight

    The Hateful Eight 2015

    ★★½ Watched 20 Jan, 2016

    Wide on screen, but short on story. Great atmosphere and some interesting steps outside convention, but not very engaging. I felt no empathy or sympathy for any of the main characters.

  • The Dark Knight Rises

    The Dark Knight Rises 2012

    ★★ Watched 19 Jul, 2012 3

    This film has some of the laziest and most awkard exposition scenes I've seen outside of 80s porn. After the first half hour, I realised I could ease my pain by substituting the word "Macguffin" wherever appropriate. Try it, it's fun.

    There's too much wrong with The Dark Knight Rises to even begin, so I'm going to spin this review to list the positives:

    1) Catwoman was not just an out-and-out villain. There's complexity in her characterisation, if not too…

  • The Lego Movie

    The Lego Movie 2014

    ★★★ Watched 07 Sep, 2014


  • Edge of Tomorrow

    Edge of Tomorrow 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 09 May, 2015

    Groundhog Day vs. Starship Troopers. Very good fun.

  • No Country for Old Men

    No Country for Old Men 2007

    ★★★★★ Watched 24 Feb, 2014 2

    A staggering work of genius from the Coen brothers. Every image, every frame and every word is crafted to perfection. On the surface, this is a gloriously tense thriller with nods to films like The Terminator, but if you dig a little, there's a subliminal allegory in every moment.

    You can enjoy it without thinking about it, and the beautiful land- and sound-scapes are hauntingly beautiful. Javier Bardem is breathtaking as the cold-as-ice, bat-shit-insane killer. Tommy Lee Jones' small-town lawman…