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  • Lucy

    Lucy 2014

    ★★ Watched 16 Apr, 2015

    If I was being extraordinarily kind, one could read Lucy as an attempt for one woman to achieve full intellectual enlightenment – actual Nirvana and the negating of the self. I feel that Luc Besson perhaps had a germ on an idea there.

    Unfortunately I’m not feeling kind, and instead Besson has produced some cod-scientific, pseudo-smart bumwash that I was almost on board with (or at least wasn’t actively despising), until one of the most outright ludicrous final acts I…

  • Mr. Turner

    Mr. Turner 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 14 Apr, 2015

    Often regarded as the finest of English painters, Joseph Mallord William Turner was a prolific artist, and Mike Leigh’s portrait of his final twenty-five years does a fine job of presenting the relentless energy with which he pursued his art.

    Timothy Spall plays Turner as a curmudgeonly man who communicates through grunts and snorts for the most part, yet can be called upon to charm with gruff eloquence when necessarily. His brusque demeanour masking an obsessive interest with the world…

  • Dark City

    Dark City 1998

    ★★★ Watched 13 Apr, 2015

    Alex Proyas’ Dark City is a stylish amalgam of numerous impeccable influences. Now acknowledged as a bona fide cult classic and championed vociferously by the likes of Roger Ebert it is an audacious dystopia that anticipated the likes of The Matrix, released the following year.

    John Murdoch is a man who wakes up in a bathtub in a nameless city. He has no memory of who he is and how he came to be there. He certainly has no idea…

  • Fury

    Fury 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 09 Apr, 2015

    David Ayer's Fury is a film that almost undoes itself by tacking on an overly heroic last stand to round off a narrative that previously seemed to pride itself on its authenticity and its visceral impact.

    Based around a motley crew of rag-tag Sherman tank operatives during the dying embers of the Second World War, Fury really gets under the shell of the titular M4 as its crew pick their way across the desecrated route into Germany.

    Using real, authentic…

  • Horns

    Horns 2013

    ★★½ Watched 08 Apr, 2015

    French director Alexandre Aja’s take on Miltonian themes succeeds in informing us that the Devil is essentially more trustworthy than a lawyer.

    Based on Joe Hill’s novel of the same name, Horns stars Daniel Radcliffe as Ignatius (‘The Fiery One’ in Latin) Perrish, who is suspected of the rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple), although remains free due to lack of evidence. After a night of heavy drinking he wakes to discover horns sprouting from his head.…

  • Hiroshima mon amour

    Hiroshima mon amour 1959

    ★★★ Watched 31 Mar, 2015

    For the first twenty minutes of Hiroshima Mon Amour I was utterly captivated. A discussion between two lovers played out over the distressing scenes of the maimed and mutilated victims of the Hiroshima bomb. She is a French actress, He a Japanese architect who was elsewhere during the war, but whose family was resident in Hiroshima. She talks about what she remembers from visiting the museum. He disagrees, claiming she doesn’t remember. The gentle disagreement is heard in voiceover as…

  • Big Hero 6

    Big Hero 6 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 29 Mar, 2015

    It wasn’t until some distance into Big Hero 6 that I realised I was watching a superhero origin story. I didn’t know too much about the film beyond it being the latest Disney animation and it had a blow-up robot. I decided to watch it to with my girlfriend to kill a couple of hours before we hopped on a scheduled bus. Perhaps if I had known I would have braced myself to deal with the usual tropes of that…

  • Dogtooth

    Dogtooth 2009

    ★★★★½ Rewatched 25 Mar, 2015

    Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth is a disturbing and boldly hilarious incision into the dark heart of family life.

    It centres around the lives of three teenagers who have never been given names by their overbearing parents. They have never been allowed outside the comfortable, yet walled-off compound in which they live. Their natural curiosity about the world is answered with lies and obfuscation: for example, zombies are 'little yellow flowers' according to their mother, and passing aeroplanes fall model size to…

  • Amarcord

    Amarcord 1973

    ★★★★ Watched 24 Mar, 2015

    Fellini's semi-autobiographical portrait of one year in a small town near Rimini is infused with mischief and nostalgia (the title means 'I remember').

    1930's Italy is invoked with great affection as a cavalcade of memorable characters, buxom ladies, and almost carnival grotesques come and go; wink, gurn and break the fourth wall in relentlessly entertaining fashion.

    What story there is meanders like a lazy, twisty river - more a series of vignettes - but this is what memory does, and…

  • Edge of Tomorrow

    Edge of Tomorrow 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 23 Mar, 2015

    You know; beside all the action, the visual inventiveness, the wit, the really, really good central performance from Tom Cruise, and Emily Blunt really convincing as a badass 'Full-Metal Bitch', I came away with a view of Edge of Tomorrow as a Beckettian tragedy.

    That poor guy! Director Doug Liman has a really deft touch that distracts you from the logistics of Major William Cage's situation - never before has a man being repeatedly shot in the head been so…

  • The English Patient

    The English Patient 1996

    ★★★★½ Watched 22 Mar, 2015

    This is one of those films where ten minutes in, I was wondering why on earth I had never seen it before. I was instantly smitten by the immediately classic feel, reminiscent of those epic David Lean movies like Lawrence of Arabia. John Seale’s cinematography looks like that wonderfully pastel 70s stock, and the sweeping desert vistas are jaw-dropping.

    So, my heart completely lost to the visuals I let the multi-stranded narrative wash over me like a delicious wave, as…

  • Tyrannosaur

    Tyrannosaur 2011

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 19 Mar, 2015 4

    I do hope Paddy Considine isn't going to join fellow British luminaries Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in making one exceptional film and then going silent on the directing front.

    Like Nil By Mouth and The War Zone, Tyrannosaur is an incendiary, brutal and heart-breaking work. Peter Mullan is stunning as Joseph, a deeply troubled man who we first see kicking his own dog to death in a drunken haze. It's an audacious way to introduce a character that, ultimately,…