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  • Dirty Wars 2013

    Watched 19 Apr, 2014

    N.B. Cross-posted at my blog.

    It answers one important question: the Nation-type Leftists who claimed that they were opposed to the Iraq invasion because it was a "distraction" from the war against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan—al-Qaeda's vast presence in Iraq, and its greater importance in the heart of the Arab world, notwithstanding—was made in bad faith. Just as President Obama's "war between the wars" was the purest political posturing, so was theirs: Afghanistan a clear case of self-defence and Iraq being…

  • Russell Kane: Smokescreens and Castles Live 2011

    Watched 18 Apr, 2014 1

    I don't get it. By that I don't mean to say that I don't like it—though I most certainly do not. No, I mean that the areas that Russell Kane goes to for humour simply do not work.

    His dysfunctional relationship with his father, for instance, is something with which I can deeply sympathise. But his carry-on about seeking the man's approval simply makes him appear as a whiny girl. Does he have no self-respect? No standards of his own?…

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  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 16 Apr, 2014 4

    It is quite simply brilliant. Trying to explain why without giving anything away is tricky but here goes ...

    It is perhaps to be expected in 2014 that visually a film will pass muster but the manner of the passing here is quite exceptional. Better still, there is none of the pretentiousness about it that occasioned Avatar (reviewed here) or—much worse—Life of Pi (see here).

    The acting is sensational. It is impossible to overpraise Andrew Garfield. As someone who actually…

  • Avatar 2009

    ★★ Watched 16 Jun, 2013 3

    It is simply impossible to see what the fuss was about. Was it the visuals perhaps—surely surpassed now by Life of Pi (reviewed here)? It can't be the acting—I like Sam Worthington and Sigourney Weaver as much as anybody, but reality is still reality. My impression is that the supposed wondrousness of the thing was political: this is a film that presents a vision of what idiots believe the Iraq War was about—and indeed what people now commonly take to…