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  • 20,000 Days on Earth 2014

    ★★★★★ Watched 28 Oct, 2014

    I have to admit right away that I am not at all impartial when it comes to Nick Cave. The guy can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes. What I would say is that even if you aren't a Nick Cave fan, either of his music, novels, screenplays or film scores; what this documentary does is give a real insight into the creative process.

    Offering a fictionalised day-in-the-life (his 20,000th) from rising in the morning to performing a…

  • Inside 2007

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 25 Oct, 2014

    One of the best premises for a horror movie I've ever come across, Inside works, like all the best in the genre, on a primal level. It established a primal sense of dread and a heroine we can all root for.

    Four months after a car smash that killed her husband and badly injured her, Sarah (Alysson Paradis) is spending her last night at home before being taken into hospital to be induced into labour. A woman (Beatrice Dalle) gets…

  • Sexy Beast 2000

    ★★★★ Rewatched 25 Oct, 2014

    What surprised me about Sexy Beast after seeing it for the first time in many years, is how stylistically similar it was to this year's mesmerising Under the Skin. I remembered Jonathan Glazer's debut as a decent but simple gangster-flick notable got a now iconic, coruscating turn as the terrifying Don Logan.

    How wrong I was. There are enough touches of surrealism and moments of directorial elegance here to see that his later film is almost a crystallisation of his…

  • The Happiness of the Katakuris 2001

    ★★★★ Rewatched 25 Oct, 2014

    Say what you like about the quality of of Miike Takashi's prolific output, but you can't deny the guy is eclectic.

    The Happiness of the Katakuris is the second time he cast his mercurial eye over the idea of the Japanese family in 2001, after the jaw-dropping Vistor Q. The Katakuris are just as mad as their counterparts in that film, but the humour is much more gentle here (yes, honestly. Visitor Q is a comedy!).

    When Pa Katakuris relocates…

  • Tears of the Black Tiger 2000

    ★★★½ Rewatched 25 Oct, 2014

    Part revisionist Western; part homage to 50s and 60s Thai melodramas; all bonkers.

    Tears of the Black Tiger is a sadly little-seen oddity, written and directed by Wisit Sasanatieng. The story is pure matinée fodder. A working-class boy falls for a girl way above his social status. What is a little more interesting is that he is also the notorious bandit, 'The Black Tiger'.

    The ridiculous violence on show is also out of the ordinary. Blood gushes in bright pink…

  • The Proposition 2005

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 25 Oct, 2014

    Has a film ever portrayed the idea of heat as well as John Hillcoat's The Proposition. To watch this requires a cool pint beside you, and it is difficult not to yearn for a cold bath such is the sheer hellish, blistering feral nastiness of the Outback sun.

    The subject matter and its execution are as uncompromising as its setting. Writer Nick Cave is no stranger to taking inspiration from extremity, and the film feels totally similar to his Southern…

  • In Bruges 2008

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 25 Oct, 2014 2

    "It's like a fucking fairy tale or something"

    Rarely has a place being so denigrated on screen made me want to visit it so much. I'm not sure how the Belgian tourist board (I'm sure such an institution must exist) or the good people of Bruges reacted to it being constantly referred to as a 'shithole' by Colin Farrell's cynical hitman Ray, but it isn't hard to see it ruffling a few Flemish feathers.

    Fortunately, the lush cinematography allows the…

  • Only Lovers Left Alive 2013

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Oct, 2014 2

    We all know how difficult it can be to maintain a relationship once the first ecstatic flush has ended. Imagine then, the travails of maintaining that relationship over centuries.

    Only Lovers Left Alive is a vampire film that is only peripherally concerned with the logistics of vampirism; focusing instead on the mundanity and ennui of the immortality that comes with it.

    Adam and Eve (Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton) are centuries-old lovers who recently been living apart. Eve is living…

  • The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou 2004

    ★★★★ Watched 19 Oct, 2014

    Bill Murray portrays melancholia better than just about anyone I can think of. Perhaps Paul Giammatti could run him close; but Murray just has a natural careworn cynicism that was observable as far back as Ghostbusters - he maintains a jaded ‘seen-it-all-before’ air even as the events he gets caught up in get increasingly strange.
    Having hit his late middle age he started excelling in the likes of Broken Flowers and playing on his own reputation in Zombieland, some distance…

  • The Prestige 2006

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 16 Oct, 2014

    In a way, telling the story of rival magicians seems like a very apt thing for Christopher Nolan to do, as a writer/ director known for his own visual sleight-of-hand and misdirection.

    The Prestige follows Robert Angier and Alfred Borden (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale), former stage hands of a famous magician who become lifelong enemies after Angier's wife is drowned during a water escape trick. He blames Borden for using an experimental that she couldn't slip. They set up…

  • Tracks 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 15 Oct, 2014

    In 1977 Robyn Davidson set out from Alice Springs. Her aim was to cross the Australian outback to the Indian Ocean on foot. A trek of some 1700 miles. She was accompanied by three camels and a dog named Diggity.

    She published her story in 1980 but it has taken until now for it to make it to the screen, dispute numerous people interested in making it over the last 30-odd years. John Curran is the man that has finally…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 11 Oct, 2014

    Finally, Marvel knock it out of the park!

    This could well be one of the most outright fun films I've seen in a long time. Hopefully it will make director James Gunn into a major player. I loved Slither to bits and it's really pleasing to see that he can handle a major property.

    I'm not familiar with the comic books this is based on so I just really enjoyed the film on its own terms with absolutely zero fanboy…