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  • Django Unchained 2012

    ★★★★★ Watched 06 Feb, 2013

    Brutal but brilliant, Django is a relatively simple story that is made greater by the characters and dialogue. I was going to give this a lower rating due to the violence, coming in the form of either cartoonish splatter (anything involving guns) or realistic abuse (anything involving slaves, and easily the harder to watch), but I'm not actually sure how this film would fare without either. Christoph Waltz was a standout for me — as he was in Inglorious Basterds

  • Her 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 08 Mar, 2014

    Though I found this story fairly predictable, what I really liked was how long it had me thinking afterwards about the nature of relationships and how we interact with programmed systems. There's no doubt that AI is advancing at a rate that will inevitably see human-like interaction within my lifetime, and this will raise a whole bag of issues when it comes to our attachment and feelings regarding these systems (or the physical entities they inhabit).

    Anyway, a lovely little film with some interesting styling, high-waisted fashion, and far too much awful moustache.

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 03 May, 2014

    If you don't enjoy Anderson's style then you'd be best to steer clear of this one, because he's really dialled it up to 11. But I happen to very much enjoy his approach and aesthetic, so I loved this. Ralph Fiennes was perfectly cast for his role of M. Gustave, and there are so many regular faces and cameos to enjoy that it feels both like visiting old friends and being surprised by guests at the same time. This landed strongly toward the top of my favourite Anderson films.

  • The Avengers 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 26 May, 2012 2

    Great fun, with a healthy mix of action and humour. I think I wanted to like this more than I did given the rave reviews it has been receiving, but ultimately my preference swings more toward alien-less superhero films that have a little more grounding in the real world (as much as that's possible when talking about comic book superheroes, at least). But overall I feel this was a great effort by Whedon, who undoubtedly faced a lot of pressure to bring this all together.

    Mark Ruffalo makes a great Bruce Banner, no?

  • Drive 2011

    ★★★★★ Watched 11 Nov, 2011 6

    A beautifully crafted film, with consideration in every shot and a kick-ass soundtrack. Winding Refn certainly earned his Best Director award at Cannes this year, helped greatly by the outstanding performances of Gosling and Mulligan. I'll definitely need to see this again, and while I'm not much a fan of ultra-violence I couldn't imagine it working any other way in this film.

  • The Dark Knight 2008

    ★★★★½ Watched 27 Jul, 2008

    The epic views over the city made it worth seeing this at IMAX. The transitions between standard widescreen and oversized IMAX were handled well, seamless enough that there was never a jarring moment in the turnaround.

    Plus, he's the goddamn Batman.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 17 Aug, 2014

    A tonne of fun, with great humour throughout. In the early parts of the film I wasn't so sure how much I'd get into it, but by the end I was smiling like I'd just watched a classic 80's summer blockbuster (and the soundtrack certainly fits).

  • Inception 2010

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 02 Oct, 2011 4


    So epic it hurts. I'm willing to gloss over the few plot questions it leaves and just be enveloped by the killer combo of Nolan & Zimmer (whose soundtrack, incidentally, makes *everything* feel epic if you put it on loud enough).

  • American Hustle 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 16 Mar, 2014

    Maybe it was because I had low expectations, or maybe it was the champagne we'd been drinking... but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. Great performances, and even better hair. Wait, what?

  • Skyfall 2012

    ★★★½ Rewatched 28 Dec, 2013

    Still a fantastic Bond film, but didn't quite hold up on the small screen second time around as it did in the cinema originally. Somehow it seemed much simpler on second viewing — not necessarily a bad thing, but coming off the back of seeing Wolf of Wall Street at the cinema an hour or so earlier it certainly felt a little light. Both Bardem and Fiennes still come across as great choices in casting though.

  • Skyfall 2012

    ★★★★★ Watched 23 Nov, 2012

    OK, I think I have a new favourite Bond film.

    I was expecting to enjoy this latest installment, but was genuinely surprised at just how much I ended up enjoying it. Bardem plays the perfect villain, the locations and lighting were fantastic, the new characters great, and it reaffirmed my thoughts on Daniel Craig making a stand-out Bond. Brilliant fun :)

    I have no idea how re-watchable this will be in the long-term (and it's not likely to be something…

  • Moonrise Kingdom 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 20 Jul, 2012

    Anderson really dialed his style up to 11 on this one, and while detractors point to a lack of character development I certainly can't complain — I pretty much got exactly what I was expecting and loved every minute of it, particularly enjoying the two young leads (both of which making their film debut here) and the inclusion of Willis and Norton. The whole experience was made all the more memorable by seeing it in the majestic Civic Theatre with friends, as part of the NZ film festival.