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  • The Girl in the Spider's Web

    The Girl in the Spider's Web

    ★★

    Stieg Larsson’s posthumously released Millennium trilogy is largely known for its first entry, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a hardboiled murder mystery with an unflinching commentary on Sweden’s high sexual assault rate. It’s one of the grittiest stories to become an international bestseller in recent memory, eventually getting adapted to the big screen twice in the space of two years. Released to significantly less fanfare than the inaugural outing, the other two stories in the Millennium trilogy (The Girl…

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★

    There's a gag that comes into play upon the release of every new Coen Brothers movie about how the initial mixed reactions to their films change rapidly over time. Basically, a film that premiered to puzzled, divisive responses gets rapidly rewritten as a masterpiece by the time their following film debuts to a similarly baffled reaction, and so on and so forth. Without wanting to sound like "that guy", I was firmly on the side of their McCarthyism comedy Hail…

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  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island

    ★½

    I have rarely seen a cinema audience as rowdy as the crowd at my screening of Kong: Skull Island yesterday evening. Roughly ten minutes in to the film, peaceful decorum in the auditorium seemed to be abolished, with audience interaction reaching a level usually associated with cult classics like The Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Room, not a preview screening of a would-be franchise starter.

    Here was a crowd actively hating a movie in real time, loudly questioning plot…

  • It Follows

    It Follows

    ★★★★

    With the blockbuster success of Fifty Shades of Grey in cinemas worldwide, many pundits are claiming that this marks a new era for “sex positive” movies- and much more importantly, the basic idea of a woman being as sexually open as her male counterparts not being a source of cinematic shame, but one of pride. It’s only been two decades since what I dub the “unofficial Michael Douglas misogyny trilogy” of Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct and Disclosure hit cinemas, films…