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  • Black Sunday 1977

    ★★★★½ Watched 19 Apr, 2014

    No, not the Mario Bava one. There are no blimps in that one. Are there?

    It was interesting reading some of the material around relating to the release of Black Sunday, and of particular interest to me was the reported reaction to a test screening that Paramount did for the film back in 1977. The Wikipedia entry for this film (yes, I know, but still) claims that industry insiders believed, based on that reaction, that Black Sunday would be 'the…

  • The House of the Devil 2009

    ★★½ Added 9

    I've been thinking a lot about the review I did for this film yesterday quite a lot overnight and this morning and I think I was slightly harsh on this film.

    I think I've reviewed it far too much on issues I had with it rather than whether I enjoyed it or not. The fact is that even though it is still ridiculously slowly built up and the ending 15 minutes or so are still a really disappointing pay-off, I…

  • The House of the Devil 2009

    ★½ Watched 18 Apr, 2014 3

    ONE OR TWO SPOILERS

    What kind of nobhead puts their earphones on when they're expecting a pizza delivery?

    The only experience I've had of Ti West's directorial work to date was his segment of V/H/S, an absolutely piss-poor effort that was easily the worst of the main parts of that anthology. I've also seen him acting in the mediocre You're Next and Drinking Buddies, which is possibly my favourite film of the year so far.

    So, and taking into consideration…

  • Funeral in Berlin 1966

    ★★★ Watched 17 Apr, 2014 9

    For some reason whenever I see the title of this it always puts Holiday In Cambodia by Dead Kennedys in my head. Which is fine by me.

    It's interesting to me to see Guy Hamilton directing a Harry Palmer film whilst in the middle of the four James Bond films he directed. The differences between the two franchises were quite marked to say the least. The Harry Palmer films were far slower and more considered than the Bond films tended…

  • Secretary 2002

    ★★★★ Watched 17 Apr, 2014 12

    I'm afraid this is going to be one of those reviews where I end up going on and on and on about someone in it rather than being about the actual film. Sorry.

    It seems to be quite a personal trait. Whenever I read reviews from people on my activity page, they may well pay some attention to the performances and the people in it but they can usually reign themselves in to the point where they actually mention other…

  • Source Code 2011

    ★★★½ Watched 16 Apr, 2014 10

    Where the fuck were Al and Ziggy?

    The most unbelievable thing about Source Code is seeing Russell Peters playing a comedian. If only he did that in real life! Not so unbelievable is the fact that he is just as rubbish an actor as he is a stand-up comedian.

    Now I've got my anti-Russell Peters bit out of the way, on to Source Code. I have to say that after two Duncan Jones films, I'm still not completely sold on…

  • The House of Small Cubes 2008

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Apr, 2014

    Lovely and touching Japanese short that scooped the 2009 Oscar for Best Animated Short.

    I wasn't at all surprised when I had a quick glance around to see a number of people claiming that it was nothing more than pro-global warming dogma. Christ almighty. I think there are probably easier ways of making that point than making a painstakingly animated short film about a chap reminiscing over lost loves.

    Very nice indeed, but by no means should you come in to this expecting it to be anything like the usual Japanese animation that you happen across. It really isn't.

  • The Guns of Navarone 1961

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Apr, 2014 3

    When Quentin Tarantino made Inglourious Basterds, he did a lot more than just make another great film. He brought back the war adventure.

    It had been a sub-genre that had laid more or less dormant for many years until he came along. Not only had he made a truly great tribute to such films, admittedly with more than just a soupçon of parody thrown in for good measure, but he had made a truly great example of them himself. It…

  • The Heat 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 14 Apr, 2014 2

    I'm half-annoyed at this being good because I couldn't do a "I couldn't stand The Heat..." gag, except I didn't know how I was going to end it anyway, so yeah.

    I'm always in the market for new buddy cop films in my life so I was almost willing The Heat to be good. Before it started I did worry about the genre as a whole because I did wonder if you could really do this film really well any…

  • The Passenger 2006

    ★★★★ Watched 14 Apr, 2014

    You know those signs on public transport that say things like "Please keep the volume down when listening to music on headphones"? They should have this film showing on a loop instead. I think people would pay more attention!

    Especially if they happen to be sitting next to a goldfish, that is. This animated short from Chris Jones apparently took him around 8 years to finish and it's hard work that really does pay off for him both in terms…

  • Balance 1989

    ★★★ Watched 14 Apr, 2014

    I can certainly see why this one scooped the Oscar for Best Animated Short back in 1990.

    Exquisitely designed and intriguing throughout, this animation features a bunch of blokes who seem to be fishermen standing on a platform in the middle of nowhere, with them having to keep the platform balanced at all times or off they plunge. One of them then catches a treasure chest of some kind, and their balance is affected in more ways than one.

    It…

  • Alma 2009

    ★★★½ Watched 14 Apr, 2014 2

    I really should thank Colin and his excellent 100 Short Films Worthy Of A Watch list for making me aware of many of the marvellous short films I've watched over the last few days.

    Alma is another really good one as well, this one being an animation about a young girl who becomes fascinated by a doll in a shop window that seems to have a strangely close resemblance to her. It is creepily and amusingly done until its excellent…