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  • The Absent-Minded Professor

    The Absent-Minded Professor 1961

    ★★½ Watched 26 Jan, 2014 2

    All the way through watching The Absent-Minded Professor I had the feeling I had seen the film before, and not just because I was familiar with the remake. It’s a fun but undemanding live-action Disney film about a college professor who invents Flubber, an anti-gravity substance which is wanted by an unscrupulous businessman. If you haven’t seen this original then there is a good chance that you will at least be familiar with the Robin Williams remake.

    This version is…

  • Curse of Chucky

    Curse of Chucky 2013

    ★★ Watched 25 Jan, 2014 12

    Let’s be perfectly honest, the Chucky franchise has never been scary. A possessed two foot high doll just isn’t unsettling, no matter how many scars he has on his face. It is for this reason that the tongue-in-cheek sequels of both Bride and Seed of Chucky are by far the best films of an indifferent and largely forgettable series. Unfortunately, this latest instalment, the first in almost a decade, reverts back to the darker, less interesting originals.

    Curse of Chucky

  • 96 Minutes

    96 Minutes 2011

    ★★ Watched 25 Jan, 2014 10

    Length of film: 93 minutes.

    I bet those missing three minutes were the best part.

  • The Emperor's New Groove

    The Emperor's New Groove 2000

    ★★★★ Rewatched 24 Jan, 2014 33

    The Emperor’s New Groove marked the last great Disney film of the period, even if it failed to find the audience it deserved upon its original release. It’s amazing the film turned out half as well as it did as its troubled and lengthy production saw it change dramatically before reaching theatres as it went from lavish epic to a brisk and absurd buddy comedy.

    Directed by Mark Dindal (who sadly went on to helm Disney’s worst film to date…

  • Skin

    Skin 2012

    ★★★ Watched 24 Jan, 2014 3

    Skin marks the third short film directed by actress, Jordana Spiro. Having completed the festival circuit it is now finally available online for the rest of us. Unlike many short films there is no real twist in the tail, instead this is a dark yet touching mood piece about young love and ill-judged expressions of affection.

    The plot revolves around a young amateur taxidermist and his tentative relationship with a girl at school. Within the opening minutes its tragic but…

  • Gambit

    Gambit 2012

    Watched 23 Jan, 2014 13

    How can a film with such a strong pedigree be so excruciatingly awful? A remake of a dated but fun 1960s caper written by the Coen brothers and starring some of Britain’s best acting talent. It sounds like the recipe for success but something went seriously wrong in production as this is an overstuffed, strained and ponderous attempt at comedy. If I hadn’t had to endure Scary Movie 5 as well this would have easily been the worst film of…

  • White Elephant

    White Elephant 2012

    ★★½ Watched 23 Jan, 2014 3

    Dedicated to the memory of Father Carlos Mugica, an Argentinian priest whose murder remains unsolved, White Elephant is a film brimming with social issues but gets bogged down by its own importance. Directed by Pablo Trapero it tells the story of two priests working in the slums of Buenos Aires as they have to deal with gangs, drugs, bureaucracy and extreme poverty.

    Ricardo Darín (who also worked with Trapero on Carancho) stars as the soulful and terminally ill priest who…

  • The Great Beauty

    The Great Beauty 2013

    ★★★ Watched 22 Jan, 2014 19

    It seems you’re not allowed to review The Great Beauty without mentioning Fellini at least once, so here goes: Fellini. Now that is out of the way I can actually attempt to discuss Paolo Sorrentino’s latest film, a work that captures both the great beauty and great ugliness of modern life. It is a film that will probably take several days to digest fully as it seems to be a film of great contradictions managing to simultaneously grasp for the…

  • The Seasoning House

    The Seasoning House 2012

    ★½ Watched 22 Jan, 2014 1

    Recently, I reviewed Megan Griffiths’ Eden, a story about a woman kidnapped and forced into sex slavery, and commended it for avoiding grotty exploitation. Well only a week later and Paul Hyett’s debut film, which tackles a similar subject matter, does exactly that.

    The Seasoning House is a grim and grimy film set in the Balkans during the ‘90s conflict. Young girls are taken and their families executed as they are forced into prostitution inside the eponymous brothel. A deaf…

  • Scary Movie 5

    Scary Movie 5 2013

    ½ Watched 21 Jan, 2014 20

    This is far more terrifying than any of the movies it lampoons.

  • House of Tolerance

    House of Tolerance 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Jan, 2014 4

    Bertrand Bonello’s House of Tolerance is a bleak but bewitching journey into a failing Parisian brothel at the turn of the last century. It’s a languid and beautifully detailed study of life for its inhabitants and their regular male visitors. It is a film less interested in dramatic arcs and more about the routines of the women as they deal with drugs, disease, death and disfigurement.

    Despite the setting and constant presence of sex and naked flesh, House of Tolerance

  • Castle in the Sky

    Castle in the Sky 1986

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 20 Jan, 2014 31

    Laputa: Castle in the Sky is Hayao Miyazaki’s second greatest achievement as a director and the first film to be released by Studio Ghibli. It is a culmination of everything he learned from Castle of Cagliostro and Nausicaa and merged into a rollicking adventure story full of wonderful characters and unforgettable set pieces.

    Miyazaki has returned to familiar themes throughout his illustrious career - strong, independent female characters, environmental warnings, technology and orphaned children. All these elements are very much…