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  • Paddington 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 28 Nov, 2014 35

    Paddington, both in the form of Michael Bond’s original stories and Ivor Wood’s captivating animated series, was always a childhood favourite which was why I was so opposed to the news of a cinematic adaptation. The terrible marketing and soulless trailers only reinforced my original opinion that a film based on the marmalade obsessed bear from darkest Peru was a mistake. How wrong I was.

    Ignore everything you’ve seen and forget about other recent CG/live-action hybrid adaptations of much-loved childhood…

  • Interstellar 2014

    ★★½ Watched 07 Nov, 2014 234

    Some striking imagery and fleeting moments of beauty can’t stop the film feeling every second of its 169-minute run time, and then some. It’s a film that will undoubtedly enthral many and its ambition and lack of blockbuster action is admirable but I felt rather numb and disinterested by the whole journey. Suffering from an abundance of expository dialogue (and not just for the science bits) and lethargic pacing its opening two hours were partially saved by its fine cast…

  • Over the Garden Wall 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Dec, 2014 6

    Over the Garden Wall is a bold direction for Cartoon Network. Not only is it the network’s first foray into the mini-series format but it is quite unlike anything they have commissioned before. It’s a melancholic, dreamy and richly detailed story as two lost brothers wander through the eerie and mysterious Unknown looking to get home. Although many of the episodes feature self-contained stories there is a clear arc for the narrative and characters which eventually gains clarity in the…

  • Björk: Biophilia Live 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 09 Dec, 2014 5

    Bjork is without doubt my favourite musical artist. I might not always love every album but her inquisitiveness and boundless experimentation make her truly one of a kind. Biophilia Live brings to a close her latest tour in glorious fashion. Opening with David Attenborough’s narration introducing the show this is no ordinary concert video as Bjork and her directors, Nick Fenton and Peter Strickland, create a rich audiovisual experience blending nature, music and technology to striking effect.

  • Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 06 Oct, 2014 61

    Much like its central characters, Gone Girl is a film that defies expectation. It projects itself as a pulpy whodunit thriller but is in fact a far richer film smuggling its themes under the veil of preposterous twists and Machiavellian plots. In this regard it is a rather typical David Fincher movie - a film that is superficially trashy but one that hides a fascination with the complexities of humanity and the relationships we forge.

    Gone Girl, adapted by Gillian…

  • Somebody 2014

    Watched 20 Sep, 2014 25

    When I discovered that Miranda July had made a new film (mercifully it was only a short) I immediately sent a link to my gullible guinea pig, Steve Grzesiak. If he could survive ten-minutes in her company then I knew it would be safe-ish for me to try too. Somebody is not actually a proper film but rather an extended commercial for July’s very own social media messaging app.

    Being a July film this is a nauseating and self-consciously quirky…

  • The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill 2014

    ★★½ Watched 28 Aug, 2014 19

    To celebrate Kate Bush’s first live performances in 35 years the BBC have produced an affectionate yet disappointingly slight documentary on her life and career. Featuring interviews with friends and famous fans Running Up That Hill is high on love but low on genuine insight. Naturally, given its subject matter this is still well worth a watch for fans but most of the interest comes from the performances rather than the fluff interviews.

    It is still interesting to see who…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★ Watched 22 Aug, 2014 47

    I’m pleased to say that Guardians of the Galaxy was a marked improvement over the deathly dull Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but in a year of surprisingly strong summer blockbusters I still wasn’t quite as sold on the film as others clearly have been. It was undoubtedly fun and packed with colour and character, which is exactly what I want from a film of this kind, but it remains a safe movie with meagre ambitions.

    I admit that such…

  • Sharknado 2: The Second One 2014

    ★★½ Watched 04 Aug, 2014 15

    I was one of the few people to actually enjoy the original Sharknado. It was obviously garbage but it actually delivered the dumb and knowing entertainment that most of the Syfy network’s TV-movies fail to produce. Despite the critical mauling it became a hit so a sequel, no matter how implausible, was always inevitable. Sharknado 2: The Second One is bigger, sillier and even more tongue-in-cheek than its predecessor.

    Ian Ziering and Tara Reid are back and so is the…

  • Desperado's Duel 2014

    Watched 16 Jul, 2014 3

    Letterboxd member George McCann and Lucille Celic’s Desperado’s Duel is a stark yet atmospheric short film about a confrontation between an outlaw and a drifter in a barren snow-covered woodland. It takes a minimalist approach both to its story and characters (only the brief gravel-voiced narration alludes to something in one of their pasts) but it proves reasonably effective.

    Due to its approach it is hard to judge the plot or performances but Lucille Celic’s cinematography is impressive with its…

  • Charity 2014

    Watched 07 Aug, 2014 6

    Directed by Letterboxd member Jimmy Dean, Charity is a short film produced by students from The University of Westminster. Given the inexperience of its crew this is an assured and competent little film that whilst never pushing boundaries delivers some compelling and understated human drama.

    Charity, a sixteen-year old traveling girl, is forced to confront an uncertain future when her older brother, and only male in the family, is released from prison. Charity is a simple film following in the…

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 21 Jul, 2014 27

    When Rise of the Planet of the Apes made its debut it did so with little expectation. After Tim Burton had destroyed almost all potential in the franchise it looked unlikely audiences would ever be interested in a world overrun by apes again. Yet via the stewardship of the relatively unknown Rupert Wyatt, Rise surprised everybody. This was not simply a mindless effects-driven blockbuster but a surprisingly touching character study about a chimpanzee and a scientist who would unknowingly change…