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  • Sisters

    Sisters 2015

    ★★ Watched 05 Mar, 2016

    Most disappointing film I've seen for years.

  • 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…

  • Spectre

    Spectre 2015

    ★★ Rewatched 27 Feb, 2016

    2nd viewing actually makes things much clearer. The good stuff is still really good, but the bad stuff far outweighs it and almost drags this down to Quantum levels of tedium.
    The point is you can't make a 'golden era' homage, fun Bond movie and still try to make it a Craig-era furrowed brow character piece, and have all the emotional weight of the villain connection to Bond and the previous movies. The two are incompatible.
    And the third act is an absolute mess.

  • Spectre

    Spectre 2015

    ★★★ Watched 26 Oct, 2015

    When there were a few dissenting voices raised in the wake of the release of Skyfall, I viewed them with suspicion. Who were these miserable sods? They clearly weren't Bond fans. How could anyone who loved cinema really not agree with everyone else that it was not only one of the best Bond movies, but one of the best action movies of recent years?

    I am now one those people. But for me it's SPECTRE which is proving to be…

  • Crimson Peak

    Crimson Peak 2015

    ★★½ Watched 30 Jan, 2016

    Gorgeous looking but utterly empty attempt by Del Toro to pay homage to everything from Hitchcok to Bava, and all inbetween.

    Like Sleepy Hollow and Grindhouse it spends a lot of money trying to replicate something that was originally very cheap, and the results can't help but look utterly false in comparison. But while these may rollick along with good stories and fun performances, Crimson Peak is played so straight, and the story far too prolonged, that there is very…

  • Legend

    Legend 2015

    ★★ Watched 29 Jan, 2016

    Hopelessly confused and far too in awe of a pair of ruthless murderers to give us anything other than a cartoon gangster story which steals from Goodfellas and Lock, Stock in equal measure.
    Hardy is great as Reggie but his Ron seems to much of a caricature 'mental case' to convince of anything other than a panto villain.

    It looks great, the soundtrack is a good mix of standard gangster tropes and a bit of obscura, but the whole tone is wrong and manages to tell far less story in much more time than The Krays did.

  • Vacation

    Vacation 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 05 Feb, 2016

    Maybe it was the booze late on a friday nightx, but I really was shocked at how funny I found this remake/reboot/sequel/whatever of the well-remembered but overrated Vacation series.
    It's as episodic as the original but the laughs come much faster, the humour coarser, and the performances are better. The scene where the family visit Mum Griswold's college campus is perhaps the highlight (despite borrowing heavily from Modern Family's similar married couple dynamic) along with a hilarious cameo from Chris Hemsworth.

    But what on earth happened to Beverley D'Angelo's face? I had to check IMDB that it was actually her, and not someone wearing prosthetics.

  • Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

    Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Nov, 2015

    For an hour and a half this was probably the most ridiculously enjoyable MI sequel, but then it fluffs its lines for a final act far too reliant on the heroes anticipating far too many things for their plan to work.
    I also was thrown when I realised the entire film is predicated on the villain doing something really stupid right at the start of the film.

    It's brilliantly cast (especially for fans of the TV show Rev.), and the…

  • Trainwreck

    Trainwreck 2015

    ★★½ Watched 20 Feb, 2016

    An extremely funny first act soon gives way to all the usual problems inherent in most modern comedies, but particularly those of Judd Apatow and his ilk.

    We have a movie toploaded with great gags (at a good hit rate), funny characters and a story with potential. But around the start of act two it all starts to fall apart as scenes go on far longer than they need to, jokes become thinner on the ground, the characters start behaving…

  • 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.

  • Jupiter Ascending

    Jupiter Ascending 2015

    ★½ Watched 09 Jan, 2016


    Yep, everything I'd heard was true. Some excellent effects (apart from the early, appalling, Phantom Menace esque backdrops) and an excellent score cannot make up for the sheer jaw droopingly incomprehension, bizarre performances and tedious length of what Warners would become their Star Wars franchise. Good luck with that.

    Best bit:
    "I have more in commom with a dog than with you."
    "I love dogs."

  • 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.