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  • Polytechnique

    Polytechnique

    ★½

    My sneaking suspicion is that Denis Villeneuve knows how to make striking, beautiful images that don't actually mean anything; there's one ludicrous steadicam shot in this (that's reprised later) that begins with the camera on its side tracking a character walking before tilting rightside up again. Another shot tracks along one of the scenes of the shooting before ending in a close-up detail of a maths textbook ("Kinetics" - ha-ha?).

    I remain unconvinced that films like this about real shootings…

  • Incredibles 2

    Incredibles 2

    ★★★½

    Fortunately it's possible to tune out the more stock elements of the plot and muddled themes (I don't know if any of Brad Bird's films present a single coherent ideology per se, it seems futile to look for one) and delight in the quality of the animation.

    There's a very Brad Bird feeling in the way characters stretch and squash (Violet squirting water out of her nose, for example), reminiscent of some of his Krusty animation in The Simpsons. The…

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  • Into the Wild

    Into the Wild

    ★★½

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

    I know several people whose opinions I respect that have loved this film and even rate it among their favourites, but having read the book and now having seen the movie I’m still at the same conclusion, that Chris McCandless was at times an insufferable prick who believed he was some divine combination of Thoreau and Jack London. He didn’t deserve to die for this stupidity (many his age think they're indestructible) but he doesn’t deserve to be mythologised either.…

  • Withnail & I

    Withnail & I

    ★★★★½

    I like my substance abuse surrounded by dry British humour (though I'm not really a fan of Trainspotting). Withnail & I is full of narcissism, paranoia and gleeful disobedience but also a sense of despair - an understanding this lifestyle is unsustainable and self-destructive - adding the pathos that makes a comedy last. You can tell it was based on real experiences (of the writer-director, Bruce Robinson, who hasn't done that many films, but I really need to check out How…