• A Star Is Born

    A Star Is Born


    The 1954 version of A Star is Born has in it the bones
    of a great film. It is not, however, the great film it’s reputed to

    I should start by noting that our enjoyment of this was marred by the
    fact that the sound was out of sync. We rented it from Apple TV on our
    Roku box, and it was out from the start. I tried all the suggestions I
    could find online to fix it, short…

  • In the Heat of the Night

    In the Heat of the Night


    A Black cop helps a white police chief investigate a murder in a southern (US) town. After first being arrested on suspicion of the murder, of course.

    Compared to how things appear today in the US, this feels very gentle. Even when Sidney Poitier's Mr Tibbs is threatened by racist thugs, there's no real sense of menace.

    But it's a good story, sending positive messages, and well worth a watch.

  • Straight to Hell

    Straight to Hell


    Alex Cox made a spaghetti western, with Joe Strummer, the Pogues, Elis Costello, Courtney Love 'acting' in it. Plus some proper actors.

    The plot is completely incoherent, but I'm glad it's there.

    Still, the best bit is the closing credits. Not because it's over, but because The Pogues' 'Rake at the Gates of Hell' plays over them.

  • Frances Ha

    Frances Ha


    It’s as if a French New Wave film had been made in New York in the early 2000s (with a quick visit to Paris thrown in for maximum effect). 

    Written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Bauerbach, starring the former and directed by the latter. Frances is a would-be dancer/choreographer with friend, relationship, money, and apartment troubles. 

    We’ll worth a watch.

  • Barbie



    Best musical moment for me: ‘Closer to Fine’ by the Indigo Girls, repeatedly. That was unexpected.

    And overall, it’s a great movie.

  • Oppenheimer



    I’ve never seen the Hackney Picturehouse as busy as it was when we arrived last night. A rainy Monday in July, and it was packed. The Barbenheimer effect, of course. But I was there on the first weekend of Black Panther, I was at the opening night of the last Star Wars movie… Neither was as busy as this.

    Oppenheimer was incredible. Hard to make out the dialogue, at times, of course, You expect that from Nolan, and we've maybe…

  • Falling for Figaro

    Falling for Figaro


    A woman gives up her high-paid fund-management job in London to try to become an opera singer. You could probably write the rest.

    This was what you might call a slight movie. It has some feeling of being a romcom, without much of either rom or com.

    It was moderately funny in places. It has Joanna Lumley as a faded opera diva now teaching in the Scottish Highlands, after all.

  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

    Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery


    I first heard of Mike Myers in 1985 or so, at the Edinburgh Fringe. Someone was giving out flyers for a comedy show (I know, at the Fringe, right?) If I remember correctly it was the opening night that evening, at St John's on Prince's Street.

    A comedy duo called Mullarkey and Myers. We had probably heard of Neil Mullarkey, and there was an added incentive: a free bottle of Moosehead beer (owing to the Canadian nature of one of…

  • The Matrix Resurrections

    The Matrix Resurrections


    Forgot to log this when I watched it a month or so ago. I know I expressed high enthusiasm for this when it was announced in 2021 (that long ago?), but when it came out… actually, who knows?

    Anyway, I finally watched it, and it's OK. It's fine, it was good to see some of the old gang back together. The references to the original and the expansion of the story were coherent (at least as coherent as the originals).

    But it didn't wow me, which I suppose is kind of inevitable. The first film is one of my all-time favourites.

    Far from essential.

  • Blue Jean

    Blue Jean


    In the 1980s, under the fear of the Tory government's Clause 28, a teacher has to keep her sexuality hidden if she wants to keep her job. The arrival of a new student throws things up in the air.

    It's pretty good, gives a real sense of how much fear the terrible legislation caused, while also showing how women can support each other — and sometimes fail to do so.

  • Pain and Glory

    Pain and Glory


    Or Dolor y gloria, to give it its Spanish title.

    Pedro Almodóvar's latest, and filled with his colourful imagery. Especially red. Man, that guy loves a bright red. And why not?

    As I was watching, I remember thinking, 'This is the most pro-heroin film I've seen since Pulp Fiction.' Which is not to say that's what it's about, at all.

    Antonio Banderas plays a successful film director who has mostly retired, largely due to his health problems. He has pain…

  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Everything Everywhere All at Once


    Saw this in Paris on a recent trip. In English, with French subtitles.

    The only problem: it's not all in English. So there were a number of scenes where I was relying purely on the visuals and a very hazy understanding of a very few French words.

    But I think I got the gist of most of those parts, and I'd have wanted to watch it again anyway.

    It is, of course, totally brilliant.