• Prey

    Prey

    ★★★

    (2022 ranking)

    Who’d have thought a straight to Disney+ prequel of a 1980s Arnold Schwarzenegger movie could be decent? 

    Perhaps my expectations were a little too high considering the praise this has been getting, but Prey didn’t wow me or entertain me all too much to tell you the truth. 

    There are some standout moments, particularly in the last half an hour, with blood and guts galore, and a wonderfully lit final battle illuminated by drips of Predator’s green blood.…

  • Three Colors: Red

    Three Colors: Red

    ★★★

    (Krzysztof Kieslowski ranking)

    Criterion Challenge 32/52 - Watch a film with a spine #500-600

    Despite the consensus being that this is the best of the Three Color’s trilogy, I actually think it’s the weakest. 

    I really didn’t warm to any characters and their stories feel rushed. I didn’t know much about any of them and so it was difficult to really care all too much when the going got tough. 

    The story itself is rather lacklustre and far less focused…

  • Nope

    Nope

    ★★★★

    (Jordan Peele ranking)
    (2022 ranking)

    Jordan Peele does it again and solidifies himself as one of the best directors in the game. Nope is a wondrous spectacle and blends sci-fi, horror, mystery, thriller, comedy and a monster movie together well, even if it does leave me with more questions than answers. 

    So many moments gave me chills and the intensity of some of the darker sequences felt like a weight on my chest. My breathing was genuinely so heavy at…

  • Bullet Train

    Bullet Train

    ★★★½

    (2022 ranking)

    Not a great movie necessarily, but I had a great time. A clever, fun and versatile screenplay for the most part and some real laugh out loud moments make this one of the blockbusters of the summer. 

    Bullet Train certainly feels like it’s heavily influenced by Guy Ritchie, not only with the London gangsters, but also the comedy mixed with strong violence, the wordy and witty dialogue, and bombastic typography. Although it pales in comparison to Ritchie’s best…

  • Music in Darkness

    Music in Darkness

    ★★★

    (Ingmar Bergman ranking)

    My earliest Bergman by quite some distance, and Music in Darkness definitely feels like a director with a vision but just not the capabilities or experience at this point in his career. 

    But even this early on there are motifs that came to make Bergman the revered director he went on to be and define him. His eye for the visual, with incredible shots, framing, shadow work, as well as a humanistic and poetic message and tone. …

  • Brazil

    Brazil

    ★★★★½

    (Terry Gilliam ranking)

    Criterion Challenge 31/52 - Watch a film with a spine #1-100

    Perhaps the best set design in a movie… ever? Brazil not only boasts this achievement, but has some really incredible ideas, amazing world-building and is probably Terry Gilliam’s finest hour. 

    This satirises important topics, with over-reliance on technology, it’s effects on society, plastic surgery, corporatism, bureaucracy and hyper-surveillance all critiqued by Gilliam in Brazil, and what makes the film even more striking is it’s still relevant…

  • Paris, Texas

    Paris, Texas

    ★★★★

    It was so amazing to see this in a cinema setting. The scenes with Travis and Jane talking on the phone in the peep show club are cinematic perfection and I could just feel everyone in the screening hanging on every word. 

    The way Paris, Texas has you laughing one minute and crying the next is masterful. There aren’t two scenes similar in terms of tone or the emotions they evoke and so it keeps you on your toes and…

  • Autumn Sonata

    Autumn Sonata

    ★★★★½

    (Ingmar Bergman ranking)

    To have one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in a film is a huge feat, but to have two of the best performances I’ve ever seen in one film is like no other. Autumn Sonata boasts that very accolade. 

    Liv Ullmann and Ingrid Bergman are exceptional, and I do think Ingmar Bergman deserves credit here as well as he always gets the best out of his actors, but here is comes together incredibly; even more…

  • Contraband

    Contraband

    ★★★

    (Powell and Pressburger ranking)

    Tries to blend the fast-talking comedy of that era with the tropes of a spy-thriller, but it ends up half-baking both aspects and it ultimately means the film is rather middle-of-the-road.

    The ambition is there in part, but in the same sense, a lot of it also feels derivative and reminiscent of a lot of other films which attempt to convey similar messages and themes. 

    Contraband has a lot of plus points, especially in that I…

  • Five Easy Pieces

    Five Easy Pieces

    ★★

    Criterion Challenge 30/52 - Watch a film from the "America Lost and Found: The BBS Story" collection 

    Although I can appreciate the sentiment, the performances and a lot of the visuals, I just did not emotionally connect with this at all. 

    The characters are watchable but they are rather annoying for the most part. There isn’t much in the way of character development either, as Jack Nicholson, as good as he is, is the same arsehole at the end as…

  • Lightyear

    Lightyear

    ★★★½

    (Pixar ranking)
    (2022 ranking)

    “Everyone back to the Turnip”

    Forgot to log this. Went to see it a second time and my reservations remain the same but I still think there are a lot of enjoyable moments. Didn’t expect too much and got pretty much exactly what I came for.

  • Millennium Actress

    Millennium Actress

    ★★★★

    (Satoshi Kon ranking)
    (2001 ranking)

    Another hit from Satoshi Kon, Millennium Actresss sees him adopt a similar narrative style to his masterpiece Perfect Blue, obscuring the lines between reality and fiction. 

    You see this actress’ life played out alongside re-enactments or segments from her films, but they all have a running theme of trying to find the stranger she once met who she fell in love with. 

    It’s hard not to compare this to Kon’s previous release Perfect Blue given…