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  • Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

    Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare

    ★½

    Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare is the low point of the original six films, for sure. It makes multiple bad decisions. Firstly, it decides to explain so much about Freddy, his origins, and his powers. Taking away his mystery robs him of his evil. The premise here doesn't logically lead on from the previous films, and the plot being so dependent on unpicking the past only leads to multiple glaring contradictions with the previous films. Not that it matters really,…

  • The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

    The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

    ★½

    Yuck. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift is really terrible. The film opens with a race where a woman is literally a prize to be won and that should warn you instantly of the degrading, insulting trashiness inherent to the film. This opening actually becomes a metaphor for the entire film, which is just a ridiculous dick-measuring contest involving cars where the winner essentially gets the helpless damsel in distress. There's a literal conversation about how men understand cars…

  • Love Is Strange

    Love Is Strange

    ★★★★

    Love is Strange is quiet almost to a fault, being entirely undemanding and easygoing. It is about non-trivial discrimination, but also not about it in the sense that the set-up showcases mundane realities without lingering on injustice. The story is shortened, as most key events happen offscreen, making Love is Strange a collection of moments rather than a continuously flowing set of arcs. But these moments feel special. They show manifestations of love in many different contexts. We see new…

  • Tale of Cinema

    Tale of Cinema

    ★★★★½

    Tale of Cinema opens as a transgressive love story, with upsetting elements and pretentious arthouse stylings. It's a film of suicide stopped by snowfall. Then Tale of Cinema has the most seamless of segues and becomes a different thing altogether. This is a film about films. It's about the nature of filmmaking, the arrogance of it, the way you make it about yourself. Art imitates life, then life imitates art, this is the crux of Tale of Cinema and made…

  • The Lobster

    The Lobster

    To anyone in the North of England:

    Working for Leeds INDIs Programmers Group, I've helped to organise a screening of The Lobster if you would like to attend. Tickets are £3. The screening is at the Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds on Thursday 23rd May. It starts at 7pm and will end around 9. The theatre is a 10 - 15 minute walk from Leeds Railway Station.

    If you're interested, more details are here.

  • Capote

    Capote

    ★★★½

    There's an air of stillness to Capote, a film which paints its lead as callous. Philip Seymour Hoffman is truly amazing in the lead role, for which he won a well deserved Oscar. His Truman Capote is a man able to understand someone who has taken a very different path in life and that makes Capote a more nuanced film that it could have been. It seems weird to call this film Capote however, because the heart of the film…

  • Love, Simon

    Love, Simon

    ★★★½

    I'm happy Love, Simon exists. That doesn't make it a great film though. From the opening moments of Love, Simon I thought I would hate the film. When the film opens with voiceover about how perfect Simon's family is, and we see him drive a nice car and buy expensive coffee before school, I sighed and prepared myself for what I expected to be an insulting depiction of privileged teens pretending they have it tough. Turns out it isn't just…

  • Hotel by the River

    Hotel by the River

    ★★★★½

    Hong Sang-soo writes a poem, he makes it up as he goes. Things repeat, rhyming over and over. His poem is confined by one premise, but  he finds ways to vary each verse. People talk and drink in each line, finding new ways to discuss the same topics of relationships and art. The background is a bright white, captured as simply as possible. The topics covered are self-aware of his work, and he only writes about his own work. Mentions…

  • Repulsion

    Repulsion

    ★★★★½

    A descent into madness and paranoia like no other, Repulsion is a mysterious depiction of unseen oppression. Carol is a quiet, timid woman, out of place in the 60s London depicted. She's truly lost in the world, her fear coming from nothing and her life falling apart through distracted mundanity. She's oppressed by sound, by voices, thuds, sex noises, doorbells, and music. The film is so often silent, with shattering sounds breaking things up but used sparingly. The pace is…

  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

    ★★★★

    Read this review on Psychotronic Cinema.

    Of the three John Wick films, Chapter 3 has the best action, the best humour, and the most profound character moments. Yet I'm hesitant to say it's the best in the series (perhaps just because it's the only one with a stupid subtitle). As these films improve in their action and spectacle they lose their more erratic unpredictability. Remember when this series was just about a guy killing some low level gangsters because one…

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child

    A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child

    ★★

    A real mix of good and bad, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child has some of the series' best visuals and a whole bunch of nice concepts but it simply doesn't work. The nightmares are some of the best imagined in the franchise but everything else somewhat falls apart. Pretty much any sequence without dreams is either atrociously put together or just plain boring. The supporting characters are terribly annoying and their interactions are incredibly unrealistic.

    The…

  • 2 Fast 2 Furious

    2 Fast 2 Furious

    ★★

    Well it's not exactly Miami Vice. The best thing about 2 Fast 2 Furious is its ridiculous title. This is a dull, perfunctory movie, with just a few creative shots and nothing else done well. Paul Walker returns as his super bland character who is unable to be salvaged because Walker is simply not a good actor. This is an improvement on the first film, because at least it doesn't take itself seriously. I'm in no way invested in this…