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  • 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)

  • 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 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.

  • 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 2012

    ★★★ Watched 13 Apr, 2012

    aka Avengers Assemble (UK only|).

  • The Dark Knight Rises 2012

    ★★★ Watched 19 Jul, 2012

    An adequate conclusion to the trilogy, but too long, too thin, and has too many endings. Adult themes toned down for 12A .

  • 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.

  • Silver Linings Playbook 2012

    ★★ Watched 01 Apr, 2013 7

    An absurdly over-praised, trite and manipulative love story featuring a manic depressive (Bradley Cooper) and a young grieving widow (Jennifer Lawrence). There are some cute scenes involving dancing.

    Like Paul Haggis's Crash before it, this is one of those films which, in years to come, will be cited as an embarrassing, over-hyped anomaly on the Oscar roll of honour. Jennifer Lawrence did not deserve her Best Actress gong, and the nominations for her, Cooper, Robert de Niro and Jacki Weaver…

  • Skyfall 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 12 Oct, 2012 1

    A satisfying blend of vintage, aged Bond and juicier, fruitier flavours from younger vines.

  • 12 Years a Slave 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Dec, 2013

    If Chewitel Ejiofor is not awarded this year's Oscar for best leading actor, for this subtly nuanced portrayal of Solomon Northup - a free man torn from his family and tricked into a dozen years of cruel bondage - then the members of the Academy should hang their heads in shame.

    I have had problems with Steve McQueen's previous films (Hunger and Shame), but his confident visuals are matched here by his storytelling. There are only a couple of scenes…

  • Argo 2012

    Watched 30 Jul, 2012

    Information about Ben Affleck's new film as a director/actor is classified.

  • American Hustle 2013

    ★★½ Watched 04 Dec, 2013

    Review to follow.