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  • Always

    Always

    ★★½

    “Pete, your number’s up.”

    Between Ghost and Always, there was clearly something in the air at the turn of the nineties, pushing ghost stories away from gothic horrors and towards sentimental fantasies. Suddenly what was dead was not lost, and that prospect wasn’t terrifying; it was heartening.

    Of course, it’s probably too much to read into two movies at the same time - particularly given how quickly Always disappeared into the mists of memory. Still, there’s something very timely in…

  • Empire of the Sun

    Empire of the Sun

    ★★★★

    “We’re awfully lucky aren’t we? Living here, having everything.”

    Empire of the Sun is obviously not Spielberg’s first film about the Second World War. 1941 was set in the weeks following America’s entry into the conflict, while Raiders of the Lost Ark is obviously shaped and informed by it. Indeed, it’s even possible to draw a straight line from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to Empire of the Sun, with Basie and Jim offering only a slightly more…

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  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    It is probably a bit early to say this on first watch, but I’m pretty confident: The Rise Of Skywalker may be the worst Star Wars film. It is also the worst film that JJ Abrams has made.

    The real tragedy of The Rise Of Skywalker is that it is designed to appease the type of audience who - by definition - can never be appeased. And it works so hard to appease them that it alienates everybody else.

    Full review: the m0vie blog

  • Black Mirror: Smithereens

    Black Mirror: Smithereens

    ★★★½

    Smithereens is probably the strongest of the three fifth season episodes, taken from beginning to end. There are a number of reasons for this.

    Most subtly, Black Mirror has reached the point where it has covered enough ground that perhaps there aren’t too many high concepts left to explore, and so the only logical thing left to do is to mash a few of them together, outside of anthology frameworks like White Christmas or Black Museum. And so Smithereens is…