RSS feed for Nigel
  • Mad Max: Fury Road

    Mad Max: Fury Road 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 11 May, 2015

    The mutant child of Mad Max II, with high octane fuel for blood and nitrous oxide for breath.

    If you prefer tortured anti-heroes to preening super-heroes, this film for you.

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Dec, 2015

    I'll be reviewing J J Abrams repurposed Star Wars re-boot on BBC Radio Scotland's The Culture Studio, alongside fellow critic Ali Harkness and presenter Janice Forsythe, on Thursday 17th December at 2pm.

    In the meantime, here's what you need to know.

    I am not at all the target audience for The Force Awakens. I didn’t see Star Wars or The Empire Strikes Back at the cinema, although I was old enough to have done so. For professional journalistic purposes, I…

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★ Watched 10 Jul, 2014

    I was assured that this was the one that would convince me that I was wrong about Wes Anderson's films - that the arch, over-designed, vacuous world of his films was not hermetically sealed off from any kind of recognisable human behaviour or emotion. It did not do that, although it was prettier and more entertaining than any of Anderson's earlier films.

  • Interstellar

    Interstellar 2014

    ★★½ Watched 30 Oct, 2014 3

    If this is the best we can hope for, I need to find a new job.

    "There is only one Stanley Kubrick . . ." Christopher Nolan


  • Django Unchained

    Django Unchained 2012

    ★★★ Watched 12 Dec, 2012

    Baggy, overlong, indulgent re-hash of the ideas originally essayed in Inglourious Basterds, this time set during the slave plantation era of the antebelllum South. Salty dialogue from Tarantino, terrific performances by Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel Jackson, and a soundtrack that steals wholesale form earlier, better Spaghetti Westerns can't disguise the threadbare ideas and flawed execution. Not to mention the privileging of male movie myths over historical reality. (c.f Inglourious Basterds)

  • Gone Girl

    Gone Girl 2014

    ★★★ Watched 26 Sep, 2014

    David Fincher's solid but involving adaptation of Gillian Flynn's cleverly structured, best-selling novel.

  • Her

    Her 2013

    ★★★ Watched 24 Feb, 2014

    Factoid: The role of Samantha (now played by Scarlett Johansson) was originally voiced by Samantha Morton, who 'acted' and reacted to lead actor Joaquin Phoenix in real time. The female voice-over heard in the finished film was recorded and added after the event. How much, if at all, should this affect our responses to the film?

    I found the first half of the film captivating and interesting, but the second half was dull and increasingly frustrating.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy

    Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 02 Dec, 2014

    Zoe Saldana, who plays Gamora:

    “It’s like the anti-hero hero movie … The characters are misfits: insecure, abandoned, hurt, scared, conniving but good-hearted people. They become heroes without losing their street cred."

    A film that succeeds by foregrounding and affectionately subverting the inherent silliness of conventional superhero movies.

  • The Wolf of Wall Street

    The Wolf of Wall Street 2013

    ★★½ Watched 13 Jan, 2014

    Self-indulgent, over-long and boringly repetitive. Can't be bothered to write any more, I've already wasted three hours of my life watching it.

  • Gravity

    Gravity 2013

    ★★★★½ Watched 10 Oct, 2013

    Alfonso Cuaron's film reminds us of something that much modern cinema lacks, a sense of wonder.

  • The Avengers

    The Avengers 2012

    ★★★ Rewatched 17 Sep, 2012 5

    Watching this again on Bluray I was struck by its cluttered storyline, over abundance of sketched in characters, and typical super-hero movie structure: i.e.spend more than half the film setting up the plot and explaining the origins of the characters, before staging an over-extended climactic punch-up, in the hope that the sheer scale and bravura of the spectacle will erase the viewer's memory of the dull first hour. While it's leavened by Joss Whedon's characteristic wit, this is just more…

  • The Avengers

    The Avengers 2012

    ★★★ Watched 13 Apr, 2012

    aka Avengers Assemble (UK only|).