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  • Breaker Morant

    Breaker Morant

    ★★★★★

    “When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home,

    Let him combat for that of his neighbors;

    Let him think of the glories of Greece and Rome,

    And get knocked on his head for his labors.



    To do good to mankind is the chivalrous plan,

    And is always nobly requited;

    Then battle for freedom wherever you can,

    And, if not shot or hanged, you’ll get knighted.”

    Lord Byron, 1820

    I want to make this more than a normal…

  • It

    It

    ★★★

    We always seem to come back from holiday and go to the pictures the next day; not moving as an occupation rather than driving 2000 miles, as a reaction to the action perhaps. So my lack of wow at this movie isn't much of a complaint, because a Stephen King adaptation is prime cinema entertainment. Specifically, a killer who wants to taste the fear on his victims, is an acutely cinematic device; the images Pennywise conjures designed to each victim's…

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  • Whiplash

    Whiplash

    ★★★★★

    Looking for Charlie Parker.

    Astonishing. Pitch perfect.

    The extraordinary ability to communicate musical obsession but also the power and perfection of a musical form like jazz. To do this in a second art form is remarkable. Using the language of cinema to transmit the beauty of music is what stuns me about this film. It would be enough to embrace the technicalities of jazz but to compose an expression in film form is the directors gift and achievement.

    Don't you…

  • Raw Deal

    Raw Deal

    ★★★★½

    So here's how you incorporate some of that ineffable visual poetry into a b-movie à la Moonrise, and still keep the engines of hell chugging along. The deadweight of a small moon (that's no moon) settles onto your shoulders and pins you. "Ominous" is the word of the day. Raymond Burr does something with the villain akin to a Shakespearean cad, just a lot more vicious. Always with two or three intentions to every action. He isn't the only shining…