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  • Suicide Squad

    Suicide Squad 2016

    ★½ Watched 06 Aug, 2016

    It seems unlikely it will gain any Oscars. That said, the reports that Suicide Squad is "not redeemable bad" are a little overstated. Yes, in both concept and execution the film leaves a lot to be desired, but it is a mildly fun two hours.

    The film cannot really recover from its premise. No amount of contrivance will make it believable that there was really no option except freeing a group of dangerous criminals, some of whom aren't even human,…

  • Spectre

    Spectre 2015

    ★★½ Watched 26 Oct, 2015

    There's a very serious danger of sounding like Alan Partridge when declaring that the Bond series has gone wrong. Nonetheless there were some of us who did not greet the complete Bourne-ization of the 007 franchise in the Daniel Craig era with unmixed delight. Some relief, then, that the series has decided to tack back in the right direction—laggard supervillains who play elaborate games rather than just killing Bond, the lesser villain who doesn't feel pain or talk, and the…

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  • Avatar

    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

    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…