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  • xXx: Return of Xander Cage

    xXx: Return of Xander Cage

    ★★★

    An irresistibly dorky movie; some of the goofiest shit I've ever seen. I don't know what the 2017 version of colourization is, but this is like that for the pre-Y2K-into-new-MTV actioner circa Chain Reaction (1996) - Transporter 2 (and a whole lot inbetween/on the periphery). It doesn't feel like a new movie at all, but an artefact from my early teens that was dug up and put through extensive colour grading, CGI surgery, and re-editing. It went in one ear and out the other, but for the 103 minutes that this was in my head, I had a total blast.

  • Strangely Ordinary This Devotion

    Strangely Ordinary This Devotion

    ★★★★

    Maybe the most visceral and visionary movie I've seen all year - thrillingly tactile, narrative but also free-associative, intimate and feral. I have no idea how to write about this movie, but I will when my heart slows down.

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  • Hard to Be a God

    Hard to Be a God

    ★★★★

    With more farts than Blazing Saddles and enough vomit to rival Bad Taste, Aleksej German's final film is so vivid that you'd think it had revived smell-o-vision.

    Like František Vláčil's Marketa Lazarová, this medievil epic - set on the planet Arkanar, which in its 13th Century is experiencing its Renaissance - is influenced little by plot, and instead cocoons the viewer into its primitive speck of the macrocosm. The idea is time travel - not so much evoking a period…

  • Inherent Vice

    Inherent Vice

    ★★★★

    Strange Rhythms...

    - Best opening/closing title of 2015 (so far, but it'll be hard to beat).

    - It's a fruitless comparison, but the opening image, of a Pacific vista sandwiched between two beach huts, and focalized by their gates closed back-to-back, reminds me of the second shot of Ozu's Floating Weeds, where the view of a vast ocean is hemmed by two boats, and a lighthouse in the far background offers a centre (I couldn't find screencaps of those shots,…