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  • 101 Reykjavik 2000

    ★★★½ Watched 28 Apr, 2013

    Neat little Icelandic comedy, with strange Oedipal undertones.
    Hlynur (Hilmir Snær Guðnason) is a feckless layabout, still living at home with his mother Berglind (Hanna María Karlsdóttir) in a cluttered flat, complete with sofa-bath (yes, really).

    In the manner of such movies, this arrangement is thrown into disarray by the arrival of Lola Milagros (Victoria Abril), a Spanish flamenco teacher who is revealed to be Berglind's lover, but not before she and Hlynur share a drunken evening together.

    It's fairly…

  • 12 Years a Slave 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 12 Jan, 2014

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

  • 13 Beloved 2006

    ★★★ Watched 26 Mar, 2012

    How far would you go to win a huge amount of money? Puchit is given the chance, via a mysterious phone call, to enter a game. Complete thirteen challenges and win 100 million baht. The first one is to kill a fly. Sounds simple enough, but these soon escalate until he's eating 'Number Two' on the menu at a Thai restaurant, whacking people with chairs and then people begin to die. An interesting premise, let down by some hammy acting, truly incompetent policemen, and a slightly weak ending. Still, this is worth a watch for some good set pieces, despite its own ludicrousness.

  • 2 Days in New York 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 15 Jul, 2012 1

    Excellent sequel from the lovely Julie Delpy. A few years on from 2 Days in Paris, and Delpy's Marion now lives in New York with her partner Mingus (a more likeable than usual Chris Rock) and her eccentric family come to stay.
    It threatens at times to veer into self-indulgence, but Delpy's charisma and sheer appeal keep the rudder steady. Rock injects plenty of common sense and is a more effective counterpoint to Delpy than Adam Goldberg's whiney Woody Allen-lite…

  • 3-Iron 2004

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Sep, 2013

    This film came as a surprise for me after the almost nihilistic bleakness of the other Kim Ki-Duk films I've seen, Bad Guy, and The Isle. I really admire those films, but I found 3-Iron to be a more engaging and subtle work than either.

    The simple plot details apparently homeless drifter Tae-Suk (Jae Hee), who breaks into houses who's owners are away. He eats their food, sleeps in their beds and wears their pyjamas, but he also washes up,…

  • Absentia 2011

    ★★★½ Watched 30 Sep, 2012

    Interesting and well-acted little chiller from MIke Flanagan.
    Ambiguous until the very end. The poster really doesn't do the film justice, as it's a far more subtle piece than than artwork suggests.
    Well worth a look.

  • A Dangerous Method 2011

    ★★★ Watched 06 Mar, 2013

    Is this another indicator that Cronenberg is heading in a more restrained, talky direction? Cosmopolis seemed like an anomaly for him but here is an even more mannered, speech-driven work. A sedate chamber-piece, A Dangerous Method details the relationship between revered psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and the Russian patient who ultimately comes between them.

    Of course, there is nothing wrong with a reserved approach, for a film about psychoanalysis (particularly Freud's assertion that all psychological maladies have a…

  • Adaptation. 2002

    ★★★★ Rewatched 02 Mar, 2013

    Although this strains self-reflexivity to near breaking point, Adaptation manages to avoid becoming a self-indulgent mess. Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze achieve this by remembering to include a genuinely good plot, great characters, and a whole load of heart, which postmodern thinkers and authors often confuse with sentimentality to their own detriment.

    Getting to the very crux of the creative process, Kaufman turns his own difficulties in turning the real-life non-fiction book The Orchid Thief into a screenplay into the…

  • A Fantastic Fear of Everything 2012

    ★★★ Watched 09 Jun, 2013

    Fairly diverting quirk-fest from writer-director Crispian Mills, formerly the mainman of Sanskrit-loving psychedelic indie wonks Kula Shaker; and music video director Chris Hopewell.

    Simon Pegg plays Jack, a writer who has walled himself up in his flat having become increasingly paranoid that someone is out to kill him, having immersed himself a little too fully while researching a project on Victorian serial killers. Jack's agent calls him to tell him that a publisher wishes to meet to discuss the project,…

  • A Field in England 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 21 Dec, 2013

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

  • Aftermath 2004

    ★★★½ Watched 03 Feb, 2013

    The type of drama that the Scandanavians do so well. Sofie Grabol and Mikkael Birkkjaer (Lund and Strange from the second series of The Killing) are excellent as parents mourning the death of their teenage daughter under the wheels of a car.

    Paprika Steen directs in suitably understated fashion - as the title suggests you see nothing of the accident, merely their continued unravelling five months later. It's not an easy watch: these are people so damaged that it is…

  • A Good Old Fashioned Orgy 2011

    ★★★½ Watched 01 Jan, 2014

    I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this one.

    Perhaps it was the surroundings. A New Years' Day slouching on a sofa with my girlfriend and friends, hungover as hell, looking for something undemanding on Netflix.

    It's fairly standard fare really, but nicely done, with a standout performance from Tyler Labine, out-Blacking Jack Black, without being irritating. All of the characters are rather likable, if broadly drawn, although admittedly some may be put off by prosperous 30-somethings acting…