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  • 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…

  • The Falcon and the Snowman

    The Falcon and the Snowman 1985

    ★★ Watched 24 Aug, 2015

    They got the clothes right anyway. While released in the mid-1980s, the clothing (and hair) is clearly of 1970s vintage.

    In 1974, former Catholic seminary student Christopher Boyce (played by Timothy Hutton) takes a job at TRW, a Southern California aerospace firm, where he is read on to highly classified programs related to the then-new technology of satellites. Through a childhood friend, drug dealer, and minor smuggler, Daulton Lee (played by Sean Penn), Boyce begins selling secrets to Soviet intelligence…

Popular reviews

  • 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…