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  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★½

    Very much a mixed bag of short stories set in the Cohen brothers version of the Wild West, but with enough of their style and the beautiful cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel to carry the viewer through the weaker entries.

    Overall, though, I was impressed. Most of the stories have some individual merit, and only the Cohen's could open with a musical story and close with one that heavily implies its characters are on their way to hell and it somehow…

  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

    Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

    ★★

    Given its impressive predcessors, it is staggering how badly George Miller and co fumble the ball with the third entry into this Australian post-apocalyptic series.

    Gone is in the intensity of the previous films, absent are the pulse-pounding action sequences. Instead, they're replaced by pig shit, over-acting, and kids. Lots and lots of kids.

    I can only assume that to secure the higher budget of $10 million, Miller had to sell parts of his artistic soul, because this film does…

  • I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

    I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore

    ★★★

    A likeable debut from Jeremy Saulnier muse Macon Blair which, not surprisingly then, mimics many elements of a Saulnier film.

    It features an excellent lead performance from the always likeable Melanie Lynskey as a woman who becomes fed up with how terrible people are to each other in the world, and sets out to let the thieves who broke into her home know this, once she stumbles upon a clue that put her on their path. She recruits the help…

  • Our House

    Our House

    ★½

    Despite a strong lead performance from Thomas Mann, Our House would fail to raise even a single hair on the back of anybody's neck - and that's after the painful slog of two acts to even get to those (supposedly scary) scenes.

    And to think, this was a remake of a lower-budget film. How bad must that one have been to warrant a remake within seven years?

    1.5 Inky Apparitions That Are Scarier on the Poster than in the Film Itself for Our House.

  • Double Date

    Double Date

    ★★½

    Double Date is shot very stylishly for a limited-budget horror film and has some good performances from its main four actors (with Michael Socha especially standing out), but what starts out as a mildly funny comedy-horror ends up going off the rails through its ludicrously padded-out second act.

    First time screenwriter (and star) Danny Morgan isn't able to keep the chuckles coming as he clumsily shoe-horns in scenes which are meant to deepen the connection between his lovelorn loser and…

  • Icarus

    Icarus

    ★★★★

    Though it starts as one man's efforts to show how easy it was for the Lance Armstrongs of the world to cheat the sport of cycling, Icarus metamorphoses into an eye-opening and at times frightening investigation into Russia's doping program for its athletes.

    Equal parts fascinating and compelling, Icarus deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Documentary last year. It greatly benefits from having a brave and likeable whistle-blower (Grigory Rodchenkov) at its centre, and the fact that this man…

  • Rust Creek

    Rust Creek

    ★★½

    Rave reviews for any film should be taken with a hefty dose of salt, but rave reviews for indie films might require a whole salt shaker if those for Rust Creek are anything to go by.

    In effect, this is nothing more than a low-budget, survival thriller about a young woman who is very much able to take care of herself, wondering into a situation that she may not get out of. Said young woman is played competently by Hermoine…

  • Peppermint

    Peppermint

    ★★

    Can somebody PLEASE take the same script away from Pierre Morel so he can make something remotely original or varied? Because this against-type person going all bad-ass and killing people left and right has gotten beyond old ...

    ... And this is coming from someone who genuinely has a lot of time for Jennifer Garner, ever since her awesome Alias days.

    Don't waste your time.

    2 More Ruthless Cartels Taken Apart at the Seams for Peppermint.

  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

    How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

    ★★★½

    The third and final chapter in the How to Train Your Dragon series does a great deal right in its 105 minute run time.

    It draws all the threads established in the first two films to a satisfying close, makes Toothless much more than just a faithful companion to Hiccup, and is stunningly animated with some eye-popping environments and various character details needing to be seen to be believed.

    The villain is menacing (my 5 year old jumped into my…

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★★

    First rewatch of this on 4K and though it looks beautiful and contains a couple of my favourite Star Wars moments ever, the problems with the film which everyone has banged on about for 13 months now are far more apparent to me, and as such, I've reduced my score by half a star.

    3 Lone Wolf Stands for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

  • Hell Fest

    Hell Fest

    ★★½

    Though not without its share of tense moments and one or two impressive kills, Hell Fest is a relative disappointment, failing to capture the "old school" 80s slasher vibe it so desperately wants to.

    Hell Fest hits most of the major tropes without superseding or improving on any of them as a group of friends hit up a massive Halloween theme park, aiming to get to the extreme scare portion of it. Along the way they attract the attention of…

  • Glass

    Glass

    ★★

    A casual look at the budgets for the three films which make up Shyamalan's "Superhero" universe says much about the filmmaker's roller-coaster career.

    Beginning with the $75 million dollar budgeted Unbreakable in 2000, this was Shyamalan at the peak of his powers. Studios had belief in this new and wildly talented filmmaker, and he tended to deliver when presented with a hefty budget. Split, some 16 years later, was made for only $9 million, representing how cautious most everyone had…