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  • American Hustle 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 27 Dec, 2013

    David O. Russell directs a stellar cast of Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence in this tale of con artists teaming up with the FBI to trap corrupt politicians in the 1970s. I generally enjoy Russell's work and it's hard to argue with that cast. But I was a bit disappointed in this one after hearing all the positive hype. It's not a bad movie; it just doesn't feel quite right. I'm not convinced Amy…

  • The Wolf of Wall Street 2013

    ★★★ Watched 26 Dec, 2013

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are two of my favourite people in movies and I'd consider their first three collaborations -- Gangs of New York, The Aviator, and The Departed -- three of my favourite movies of all time. However, I was not blown away by Shutter Island, the fourth movie they did together, and I'm afraid The Wolf of Wall Street continues that downward trend.

    DiCaprio is great as Jordan Belfort, the Wall Street executive who makes his name…

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  • Inside Llewyn Davis 2013

    ★★½ Watched 19 Dec, 2013 2

    Coen Brothers movies are very hit and miss for me, and this one is a miss. I did not enjoy the dull, grey, soft focus visual style of it, nor did I find much to interest me in the lead character. We're maybe not supposed to like Llewyn, but I think we are supposed to sympathize with him to some degree. I found this difficult: he has no redeeming qualities -- he isn't even nice to the cat -- and I found him insufferably self-centred.

  • Melancholia 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Jan, 2012

    The movie opens with a series of beautiful slow motion images set to Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. It then tells the story of an extremely dysfunctional family wedding where the bride keeps disappearing. Finally, it gives us a look at how the same family copes with the possible end of the world in the form of a giant planet called Melancholia, which may or may not be on a collision course with Earth. It's a strange mix of things, but it works, and it has really stayed with me. The ending is stunning.