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  • Batman: Strange Days 2014

    ★★★ Watched 17 Apr, 2014 4

    To mark the 75th anniversary of Batman, Warner Brothers have commissioned this stylish animated short. The plot is minimal as Batman battles Dr. Hugo Strange but the art direction is striking blending the style from the great ‘90s animated series and ‘40s cinema.

    My favourite Batman film of recent years is still the slick Bat Man of Shanghai though.

    Watch here

  • The Thirteenth Tale 2013

    ★★½ Watched 31 Dec, 2013 2

    I was hoping to enjoy my final film of the year a little more than this. The Thirteenth Tale, based on the novel by Diane Setterfield, tells the story of a terminally ill writer who recounts her life story to a biographer. Starring Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman this is a handsomely produced TV-movie but sadly is largely forgettable.

    It’s a story full of dark secrets and repressed childhood memories as Redgrave’s prickly author slowly reveals a secret that has…

  • The Tractate Middoth 2013

    ★★ Watched 27 Dec, 2013 6

    Mark Gatiss resurrects the BBC’s ghost story for Christmas with this latest adaptation of an M.R. James short story. The Tractate Middoth features all the familiar hallmarks of a James ghost story from the academic non-believer to the seaside retreat. Sacha Dhawan stars as a young student who gets caught up in a ghostly encounter centred around the titular book.

    The original Christmas ghost stories remain firm favourites but these more recent interpretations have been something of a disappointment. Whilst…

  • Hours 2013

    ★★ Watched 05 Mar, 2014 3

    Due to the unfortunate passing of Paul Walker, Eric Heisserer’s debut film has gained far more attention than it would have normally received. In Hours, Walker stars as a new father who struggles to keep his premature baby alive in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Battling with grief, a ventilator that needs constant attention and flooding that brought New Orleans to its knees, Walker is faced with an uphill battle to keep his child safe.

    Heisserer has chosen an interesting…

  • Homefront 2013

    ★★ Watched 15 Apr, 2014 9

    The most memorable thing about this action throwback is Jason Statham sporting lustrous flowing locks. Naturally his retro mullet doesn’t make it beyond the opening act but it is quite a look for the Cockney tough man glowering and punching his way through Louisiana rednecks. Directed by Gary Fleder (Runaway Jury) and written by none other than Sylvester Stallone, Home Front does very little new, or even well.

    The Stath stars as a former DEA agent who moves to a…

  • Frozen 2013

    ★★★ Watched 07 Apr, 2014 38

    So this is the highest grossing animated film of all time. Admittedly it is a rather skewed honour as it doesn’t take into account pesky issues such as inflation but it is interesting to see the film be embraced by so many people even though it often doesn’t stray too far from the familiar Disney formula. In fact it rarely comes close to hitting the same heights as the studio’s recent renaissance classic, Tangled. However, it is a significant improvement…

  • Saving Mr. Banks 2013

    ★★ Watched 01 Apr, 2014 26

    If I had realised Saving Mr. Banks was directed by the man responsible for The Blind Side I probably would have given the film a wide berth, or at least drastically lowered my expectations accordingly. Unfortunately, John Lee Hancock, delivers yet another simplistic and syrupy fictionalised account of a true story with his now trademark lack of subtlety or depth.

    To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Disney’s Mary Poppins, Saving Mr. Banks chronicles the fractious relationship between her author, P.L.…

  • Nebraska 2013

    ★★★ Watched 21 Apr, 2014 17

    I should preface this review by stating I had a splitting headache whilst watching so wasn’t necessary in the right frame of mind for this or any other film.

    Alexander Payne’s Nebraska is a bittersweet road movie about a son who takes his ageing, drunk and befuddled father on a trip from Montana to Nebraska to claim a million-dollar junk mail prize. As with the director’s earlier films it is a gentle character study as the pair explore the father’s…

  • Dom Hemingway 2013

    ★½ Watched 08 Apr, 2014 20

    Dom Hemingway is a disjointed and messy movie about the eponymous Hemingway, a safecracker released from prison after a twelve-year stretch who wants what he’s owed whilst trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter. So begins an ambling and frequently aimless journey with moments of mawkish melodrama mixed with protracted profanity-filled outbursts.

    The success of the film relies entirely on whether or not you find the titular foul-mouthed force of nature entertaining. Unfortunately, I was bored of his character before…

  • In Fear 2013

    ★★ Watched 28 Mar, 2014 7

    Jeremy Lovering’s low budget and stripped back horror is a film of two distinct halves. A young couple, having only known each other for two-weeks, head to a music festival in Ireland. As a romantic gesture, Tom, books a night in a secluded hotel only for the couple to get hopelessly lost on the Irish backroads whilst being tormented by an assailant with unclear motives.

    Despite its adherence to genre convention, the opening half an hour is surprisingly effective. The…

  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 2013

    ★★★ Watched 26 Mar, 2014 20

    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a film that suffers from middle-movie-itis. Whilst the film is bigger, slicker and more confident than its predecessor it is afflicted with a lack of a resolution as it leaves the story precariously poised for the final act (spread over a cash-grabbing two films). It’s a problem most overarching trilogies suffer from and one that even the charms of Jennifer Lawrence can’t paper over.

    Despite the change of director this sequel is business as…

  • Castello Cavalcanti 2013

    ★★★ Watched 17 Nov, 2013

    A quintessential short from Wes Anderson starring regular collaborator, Jason Schwartzman, as a race car driver stranded in a small Italian town after crashing his car. With a beautiful use of colour and gentle sense of humour this short film commissioned by Prada is enjoyable if ultimately inconsequential.

    Watch here