Favorite films

  • Heat
  • The Apartment
  • The Night of the Hunter
  • Fallen Angels

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  • Fireworks

    ★★★★

  • Kids Return

    ★★★★½

  • Midnight

    ★★

  • A Scene at the Sea

    ★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • Fireworks

    Fireworks

    ★★★★

    Without having to alter his trademark stylistic choices too significantly, Takeshi Kitano turns this crime drama into a deeply contemplative and humane look at people resigned to accepting the cruel hand they've been dealt. Former detective Nishi is submerged in despondency, reeling from a tragedy on the job and his wife's terminal illness, to the point where reckleness and violence become a natural reaction to help alleviate his overwhelming anguish. His turmoil is an effective depiction of someone succumbing to…

  • Kids Return

    Kids Return

    ★★★★½

    Takeshi Kitano has an exceptional skill for underlining the wistful emotions that often lie behind dynamic pursuits, something which is used to superb effect in this charting of the tough transition into adulthood that befalls two rudderless teenage friends as one takes up boxing and the other joins the local yakuza. It's such a compassionate depiction of the difficulties people face when trying to break free from the limitations placed upon them by society, vividly capturing our susceptibility to external…

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  • The Empty Man

    The Empty Man

    ★½

    Aptly named because it certainly left me feeling empty.

    I don't get the underground buzz that this has received at all; the scatter-brained merging of occult mystery, cosmic horror and police procedural is so half-baked on every front that it falls to pieces as soon as its ideas start to solidify. The root of the narrative has potential as some sort of paranormal puzzle, but it just descends into stupidity the longer it goes on before reaching a third act…

  • 2046

    2046

    ★★½

    Although 2046 contains all of the visual splendour and poetic romanticism that you'd expect from a Wong Kar-wai film, I'm surprised by how hollow it left me feeling. It's effectively the spiritual companion to In the Mood for Love, presenting a sort of alternative look at Tony Leung's character as he slides into cynicism because he cannot accept anyone who doesn't live up to his idealised image of the love that he lost. It plays with the idea of living…