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  • Death Race 2000

    Death Race 2000

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    After spending the afternoon watching the presidential inauguration, I thought I’d stick some good TV on to get away from it all. And then I remembered that the show I’m currently watching, The Man in the High Castle, is about Nazis taking over America. Not that then.

    I’ll go with this silly ‘70s exploitation movie, I thought.

    Turns out that Death Race 2000 opens with Americans waving Nazi flags and features a demagogue US President who keeps the nation under…

  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    About halfway through La La Land, John Legend’s Keith asks Ryan Goslings’s Seb to join his synthy, poppy, electronic-y jazz band, but Seb isn’t sure, preferring to stick to classic jazz. Keith argues that he has to accept that music is moving forwards if he wants to do something revolutionary, rather than being a traditionalist recreating the old greats.

    Which is an odd argument to make half way through a highly reverential throwback to classic ‘50s musicals.

    Revolutionary it ain’t.…

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  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

    Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

    So damn manly.

    Men going around smashing other men. Big muscly scary men. Pulling each other's eyes out, throwing them through windows, kicking them in the manhood. The manliest place to kick a man.

    Sure, the women get to jump around and have fun murdering too – "strong female characters"? – no, they're without exception motivated, defined even, by the big muscly scary men they're in love with.

    Nothing original, nothing emotional, nothing clever. Lots of face-smashing.

    It looks nice, though.

  • Her

    Her

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Spike Jonze’s tale of a lonely man falling in love with his operating system is not one to go and see if you’re feeling lonely – Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore Twombly is lonely at the start and ends it lonely. Even his computer leaves him.

    It’s not incredibly upsetting, just relentlessly downbeat. Not in an inert, cold way, as some critics have accused it – at least no more than it's getting across the lead character's own emptiness. I see it…