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  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Dec, 2015

    It's not perfect. There is a tendency to fanboy-ism and smart arsery that becomes a bit grating after a while (every character is a wise-cracking zinger machine), and it gets a bit flabby in the middle, but over all the feeling The Force Awakens generates is one of massive relief.
    It's well cast, the new characters are (mostly) well drawn (I'm still not entirely sure what Fin's motivation was), and it leaves enough questions to promise a more in depth…

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★★ Watched 27 Mar, 2015

    As with all Anderson's films since Tenenbaums I can't escape feeling they are brilliantly made, gorgeous to look at, but ultimately empty, soulless intricately constructed trifles.

    This time around Ralph Fiennes keeps it watchable with a brilliant comedic performance which should have garnered more plaudits and gongs.

  • Django Unchained

    Django Unchained 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Jun, 2013

    Some moments are among the best of Tarantino's career, but once again a potential 5 star classic is undone by his own indulgances.

    The first two thirds are near perfect with Waltz effectively playing the lead; we start in typical Tarantino black comedy territory giving his twist on the spaghetti western. The second third takes us into much darker territory, perhaps the darkest of his career, and is refreshing, terrifying and awe-inspiring all at once.
    Sadly, the final act is…

  • Gravity

    Gravity 2013

    ★★★ Watched 23 May, 2014

    Stunning technical achievement, but found it unengaging.
    I may not have been in the best frame of mind to watch and probably need to give it another go.

  • The Avengers

    The Avengers 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 08 May, 2012 1

    Anyone who pays any attention to me will be aware I have been less than excited about the prospect of THE AVENGERS this year. I have been in a seemingly tiny minority.
    My reservations were based around the idea that it was a culmination of a 5 year Hollywood-machine experiment. That and the fact I'm not a fan of Joss Whedon. (For the record anyone who uses phrases like "The Whedon-verse" is no better than wet knickered teenagers using phrases…

  • The Avengers

    The Avengers 2012

    ★★★½ Rewatched 02 Mar, 2013

    2nd watch, and I enjoyed it a tiny bit more than the first time.
    It's still a fun, solid action movie with a surprisingly large amount of character interaction, but the CGI-explody climax is still a massive disappointment after the flawless middle section.

  • The Dark Knight Rises

    The Dark Knight Rises 2012

    ★★½ Watched 21 Jul, 2012

    It's taking four days of soul-searching, but I think I've decided that Dark Knight Rises is not only an incredible disappointment but also a colossal mess of a film. I don't say this lightly.
    I'm a huge fan of what Christopher Nolan has done to the Caped Crusader, and I still think he's one of the best directors working within the Hollywood system. But this is a case of where Nolan needed a firm hand on the brake.

    If Batman…

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Sep, 2014

    Not quite the barnstormer I'd been led to believe it was, it's still great entertainment.
    A sort of Avengers 1.5, with a HUGE body count and Robert Redford's best role for 30 years.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron

    Avengers: Age of Ultron 2015

    ★½ Watched 19 Sep, 2015

    Blockbuster-by-numbers. Easily my least favourite MCU movie so far and I fear it's going to be downhill all the way from here, as they now know even lazy crap like this will make billions without even trying.

  • Skyfall

    Skyfall 2012

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 27 Oct, 2012

    It sounds so simple, but it is amazing what a good director (and good behind the scenes crew) can bring to a franchise.

    Sam Mendes and, especially, Roger Deakins, bring new life into Bond, reinvigorating a series which seriously floundered with Quantum of Solace.

    On first viewing, my thoughts were it was the most Fleming-inspired of the whole series. Fleming often put Bond through the ringer in quite painful ways (physically as well as mentally). Here Bond is seemingly killed…

  • Moonrise Kingdom

    Moonrise Kingdom 2012

    ★★★ Watched 16 Jan, 2013

    Visually, it's as intricately constructed as a Faberge egg, but it's as inconsequential as a slight breeze.
    Made me want to watch SUBMARINE again.

  • Kingsman: The Secret Service

    Kingsman: The Secret Service 2015

    ★★★★ Rewatched 02 Jan, 2016

    Enjoyed even more on a second viewing. That final gag really does grate though; I can only assume it was supposed to be one final dig at Bond, and not being that kind of movie, but it is woefully misjudged.