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  • Under the Skin 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 17 Apr, 2014

    Strange and beautiful, but I felt just a little more context on certain scenes would have gone a long way to producing a more coherent final cut. The visuals are among the most arresting I've seen at the cinema this year, however.

  • Locke 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 01 Apr, 2014

    Huge respect to whoever greenlit Locke, because this must have been a huge gamble. Stuck in a BMW on the M6 at night for nearly 90 minutes with beardy Tom Hardy doing an (at least initially) distracting Welsh accent does not sound like box office gold. That the film works as entertainment is largely due to the screenwriter and cinematographer, who manage to create mystery from mobile phone calls and magic from motorway lighting. It's generous to call it a thriller (the tension sags every so often) but it's a drama with real drive.

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  • Cloud Atlas 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 22 Feb, 2013

    My Top 20 most memorable (for a variety of reasons) Cloud Atlas characters:

    20. Dr Henry Goose (Tom Hanks) - whiskery 19th-century quack with dubious intent and even more questionable dental hygiene (which may explain why he values other people's teeth so highly).

    19. Ovid (Halle Berry) - balding, pointy-bearded, cyber-eyed back-street surgeon / locksmith. Appropriately named as Berry's transformation is one of the greatest metamorphosis moments in the whole movie.

    18. Older Ursula (Susan Sarandon) - 66 years old…

  • Much Ado About Nothing 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Apr, 2013

    A rom-com! In black and white! Filmed at his own house in bloody Santa Monica! With all his mates in it! And the screenwriter's almost 450 years old! Well, of all the self-indulgent, pretentious pet projects we've seen from fashionable Hollywood directors down the years, this has to be right up there...

    Twenty minutes into Much Ado About Nothing, and the above concerns were still lingering. What an incredible house though, I thought - actually the perfect filming location, even…