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  • Blade of the Immortal

    Blade of the Immortal

    ★★★½

    I certainly didn't expect much out of this (my third ever Takashi Miike film, a mere drop in the ocean of his output), but for all the onscreen slaughtering -- and there is a whole lot of killing, by various forms of blades and axes -- it's all rather jolly. Takuya Kimura is excellent in the lead role, and there are hints of Leon with his teenage protege who has hired him as her yojimbo, but for the most part…

  • The Terrorizers

    The Terrorizers

    ★★★★

    My favourite film of the 1980s is Hou's A City of Sadness, and there's no reason to expect every Taiwanese film of the era to be a masterpiece. However, it just so happens -- in a quite different way -- that this Edward Yang film from a few years earlier is. But while the genres are different (that one is an historical epic, this one takes place in the present), they are both films of immense intricacy and quietness, in…

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  • Arrival

    Arrival

    ★★★

    There's a sort of sweet hopeful belief in the unifying power of language at work here, and Amy Adams is exactly the face for that, but there's also a mind-bending take on temporal awareness that reminds me of the WTF-ness of Interstellar and which I don't really find quite as fulfilling as the film evidently does. It's all very nice, though muted in its colours and uncluttered in mise en scene, and I sort of want to like it more than I did.

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★

    There's a real range of gushing reviews for this film amongst the people I follow (and respect) on here that I really think there must be something wrong with me, but... I didn't really engage with this film, so maybe we can chalk that up to 'it's not you, it's me'. I mean, it looks great, in what is surely very firmly James Ivory territory: a largely anglophone high-culture crowd in northern Italy in the 1980s. But it's not the…