• 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.

  • Fighting with My Family

    Fighting with My Family

    ★★★½

    I didn't expect to be watching a film about wrestling, much less one made in association with the WWE. I mean, if had been about the old British wrestling matches they used to show on Sundays on ITV -- Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagasaki -- then maybe.

    But this turned out to be a lot of fun. Written and directed by Stephen Merchant, it's based on the true story of a wrestling-mad family in Norwich, and how they try to get into the giant American wrestling entertainment business.

    Not bad at all.

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

    The Grand Budapest Hotel

    ★★★

    I note that I gave this three-and-a-half stars when I added it to Letterboxd, some time last year. Watched it again last night, for, I think, the third time. My inclination is to reduce its number of stars. I don’t dislike it, by any means, but I don’t love it the way the rest of my family do. 

    Last night I was more puzzled by it than I recall being before. Why the three layers of story? I’m not sure that adds anything. I like the look, and I originally loved the weirdness, but... in the end it just feels kind of shallow.

  • The Cabin in the Woods

    The Cabin in the Woods

    ★★★★★

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

    I'm surprised to find this is from 2011. I saw it when it came out, but it doesn't feel like eight or nine years ago. Three or four, I'd have said. 

    The fact that I'm surprised to find that Chris Hemsworth is in it probably reflects the length of time that has passed, though.

    Anyway, it stands up really well, though the question I asked the last time: why _do_ they have a big red "Release all the monsters" button? That still stands.

  • Springsteen On Broadway

    Springsteen On Broadway

    ★★★★

    I finished this last night, but actually watched it over the course of several weeks. Not the way I'd normally watch a film, but since it's mainly about the music, the interruptions don't really matter.

    Except... it's actually equally about the music and the storytelling. Both are valid and worthwhile. There was no single overarching narrative, though. The stories are a set of recollections of Springsteen's life. There are connections, of course, but each one stands alone well enough to…

  • Jojo Rabbit

    Jojo Rabbit

    ★★★½

    I liked this a lot more than I expected to. When I saw the trailer (I think back in December, when we saw Knives Out) I was a bit freaked out by it. What’s this, you’ve got a film about a kid in the Hitler Youth, with Hitler as a character, and they seem to be playing it for comedy? This looks well dodgy.


    My kids knew it was by Taika Waititi , though, and that seemed to make it…

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    ★★★★

    Greta Gerwig’s dual-timeline approach makes this more interesting than a straightforward adaptation would have been.

  • Brazil

    Brazil

    ★★★★★

    I first saw Terry Gillian’s weird dystopia at its premier, at the Edinburgh Film Festival in 1985. I feel I must have seen it again since, but watching it last week, much of it felt unfamiliar. It stands up really well, though.