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  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014

    ★★★ Watched 21 Jul, 2014

    It's a very impressive visual spectacle. The use of CGI is liberal but I have to say I didn't detect a slip. At more than two hours, it has only one or two moments that in any way drag.

    Following on the last film, the apes have set themselves up in a forst and a small band of remaining humans wish to use the dam in the forest to generate energy, of which they have nearly run out. The dam…

  • Godzilla 2014

    ★★ Watched 18 Jul, 2014 2

    It was just too busy. The attempt to introduce other creatures and have Godzilla as saviour rather than destroyer is a hark back to the much older—and Japanese-origin—films. But it doesn't quite work. It clears the space for a lot of special effects (which are done well enough ) and a lot of sci-fi jargon (which the people who like that sort of thing will undoubtedly like) but it's somewhat lacking in depth or intrigue.

    The characters are paper-thin. This…

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  • 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…

  • 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…