devilgate has written 19 reviews for films during 2020.

  • Walker

    Walker

    ★★★½

    I really thought I’d seen this before, but remembered nothing about it. Having watched it now, I doubt that I ever actually did see it, because none of it was familiar. 

    I have the soundtrack album, of course, cos the music was written by Joe Strummer. 

    It’s a weird film, but it may actually be Alex Cox’s best apart from _Repo Man_, given that _Sid & Nancy_ wasn’t as good as I remembered, and _Straight To Hell _ is... its own thing.

  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★★

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

    This is glorious. I'd give it five stars if it wasn't for the fact that I don't think they had to have Hannah die. They could have misdirected us at the start a different way.

    Plus, that first few minutes means we start off feeling sad. It's a serious film, but it doesn't have to be sad.

    Not that there's anything automatically wrong with sadness ("Happiness for deep people." -- Sally Sparrow). Still, I think effectively fridging a little girl…

  • When Harry Met Sally...

    When Harry Met Sally...

    ★★★★

    Somehow I’d gone this long without ever seeing this. I’m glad I put it right now. The dialogue is glorious! Nora Ephron may be my favourite screenwriter after Aaron Sorkin, where dialogue is concerned.

    The ending flops a bit. In fact, I think I’d have enjoyed it more if they _hadn’t_ got together, but hey, what can you do?

  • Misbehaviour

    Misbehaviour

    ★★★½

    Good wee film about the women who protested at the 1970 Miss World show. Based on what actually happened. 

    Surprising to learn that the phrase “Women’s Liberation” only originated then.

  • Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

    Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

    ★★★

    Well this is a lot funnier than the title would suggest. I think I had always thought it would be kind of bleak, but it’s not at all. There’s betrayal, attempted suicide, attempted murder, and a lot of property damage; but it’s very lighthearted.

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Sunset Boulevard

    ★★★½

    Good to watch an old movie for a strange. Great example of starting with the end and telling the whole story in flashback. The voiceover gets a bit wearing, especially when it’s telling you things you can see perfectly well happening on screen.

    It’s quite a strange film, and another example of Hollywood telling stories about itself.

  • Howl's Moving Castle

    Howl's Moving Castle

    ★★★★½

    I read the book to the kids years ago, but I wasn’t sure whether I’d seen this. Turns out I hadn’t, though I must’ve seen a few scenes, because I was familiar with the imagery.

    Anyway, this is wonderful. Right up there with the best of the Studio Ghibli fims.

  • Erin Brockovich

    Erin Brockovich

    ★★★★

    I wouldn’t have expected that a film about someone fighting an evil corporation that is poisoning people could be so feelgood. But this achieves it.

  • The Big Short

    The Big Short

    ★★½

    You might come out of this film with a better understanding of the events that led to the 2008 financial crisis -- or you might not. More likely, I think, you'll sort-of understand it while you're watching, but be none the wiser when it's all over.

    The question of what happened is explained, but not the one of how it was allowed to happen.

    But i think the problem with this as a movie is that it tries to dramatise…

  • Crazy Rich Asians

    Crazy Rich Asians

    ★★★½

    In considering how rich families try to control who their progeny marry, I found it interesting to see if this mapped on to <cite>Pride and Prejudice</cite> at all. Only if if you stretch things quite a lot. "Darcy" and "Elizabeth" are already together at the start, after all.

    It's a fun enough romp if you don't mind the fantastical displays of fabulous wealth. Interesting too, to see Michelle Yeoh as a controlling mother rather than a kickass starship captain.

  • Bajrangi Bhaijaan

    Bajrangi Bhaijaan

    ★★★★★

    I loved this film more Than I can possibly say. Sure, it’s sentimental as hell, but if you can watch the tale of a mute Pakistani girl who gets lost in Delhi, and looked after by a Hindu Indian  guy without a tear in your eye, then you have no heart.

  • Parasite

    Parasite

    ★★★★½

    A richly deserved Oscar winner, despite what the Leader of the Free World might have to say about it. He should start by watching it, obviously.