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  • Road to Life

    Road to Life

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The Soviet Union's first feature-length talkie is a long way from the clunky dialogue-heavy affair you might expect, retaining much of the visual flair and restless inventiveness of the great Soviet silents. It uses radical montage, dramatic closeups, striking compositions (in one shot near the end, a tiny huddle of people forms a few specks in the corner of a frame otherwise filled with sky), constructivist intertitles, voice-overs, unusual juxtapositions of sound and image, and lots and lots of singing.…

  • Jumanji

    Jumanji

    ★★½

    I often think CGI today looks bad, but I'd forgotten quite how bad it was in the 1990s...!

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  • 25th Hour

    25th Hour

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    What kicks this up a notch from being a good film to a great film for me is the scene where Monty pressurises his best friend Frank into beating him up so he'll be less attractive to sexual predators in prison, while their close friend Jake looks on. What could have been an opportunity to indulge in sensationalist violence under cover of a superficial 'examination' of machismo and masculinity becomes a wrenching and emotional scene, extremely hard to watch not…

  • Stories We Tell

    Stories We Tell

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I particularly remember the moment when a discussion about truth and representation is accompanied first by an 8 mm shot of the real Harry Gulkin being dabbed with makeup for his interview, and then with similar shots of Sarah Polley coaching the actor playing her mother in the recreations. And the final revelation from Geoff Bowes, which like several other moments in this very emotional film, had me both laughing out loud and crying a little too.

    For all the…