• A Scanner Darkly

    A Scanner Darkly

    ★★★★

    Richard Linklater turns the jabber dial to the max, as is his wont on his arty fares. That and the unique style of animation won't find fans everywhere, but it is the perfect complement to a film where reality, the imaginary, drugs, Robert Downey Jnr, Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves all collide.

  • Lost in Translation

    Lost in Translation

    ★★★★★

    Did I watch that or just dream it? It sure felt like a dream and pretty much had my usual dream topics: Scarlett Johansson in underwear, My Bloody Valentine, Scarlett Johansson, playing golf with Bill Murray, drinking Japanese whisky with Bill Murray in tuxedos, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Superman wearing a liquorice Elvis suit saving Playmates from 12-foot weiners and mustard monsters. Wait. Not that last one. Wait. They were in Japan, so that last one might just be applicable.

  • The Terminator

    The Terminator

    ★★★★½

    "I'll be back" … ahem … "Ah'll be bahck" … closer … "Arh'll be Bach" … you be Beethoven … ha ha ha … "Ahl be bauck" … so many vowels happening at once … "Ah'll be bauch" … hmmm … "I shall return momentarily, good sir!"

  • The Wild Blue Yonder

    The Wild Blue Yonder

    I guess with Herzog, who isn't afraid to try things, including his own shoe, not everything will work. One of the end cred­its thanked NASA for their sense of poetry in allow­ing film of the train­ing and flight of STS-34 to be used. Poetry it might be, but I don’t really like poetry. I didn’t really like this film. Not even Brad Dourif maxing the crazy could save it.

  • Super 8

    Super 8

    ★★★★½

    Aiming for a small-scale Spielbergian epic as seen through the eyes of an every-boy and incorporating the staple 1980s small town/suburbia and an outwardly scary alien, Super 8 repeatedly smacks me between the eyes with a nostalgia stick. It smoothly mixes the subtle innocence of E.T. with the enthusiasm of The Goonies, accompanied by the occasional JJ Abrams-trademarked lens flare and the in-joke of amateur film-making on 8mm stock, and frames the whole thing beautifully with a timeless story about loss and acceptance.

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    ★★★★★

    Can't wait for the sequel, B.S. the Bill-Shock, a legal drama where our favourite alien battles IT&T on Sigma Vega Nine in order to try and get his/her/its phone bill quashed. Our hero rails in a space courtroom that's outta this world! He/she/it proves along the way that despite costing a fortune in connection and per-minute fees, getting stranded on an arse-end planet in the galactic outback has taught him/her/it valuable life-lessons about alien-boy love and the importance of an appropriate roaming plan. A stuffed and mounted Elliott makes a cameo appearance as Exhibit D. It'll be a riot.

  • The Aura

    The Aura

    ★★★★½

    Poetically prosaic, or prosaically poetic: I'm not sure. Whatever way around it is, it's a curving, uniquely interesting, heist story, filmed with a languid and deliberate poetry, the dream of a would-be criminal mastermind in desaturated green and gray.

    The world of cinema lost a visionary with the untimely death of director Fabián Bielinksy.

  • Wrath of the Titans

    Wrath of the Titans

    Fuck it. Why do I bother?

    This is what happens when you take a sledgehammer to subtlety and go for eye candy over substance. Exempli gratia: why bother having a boring static Labyrinth with just the Minotaur when you can have an ultra-mega-cool LabyRiNTH™ (pat. pend.) that perpetually changes and is a so-hot-right-now door to Hades and is incidentally also home to a minotaur (like, who cares what it is or where it came from or why it's there: it. just. looks. so. cool. and. is. so. hot. right. now.)?

  • Four Lions

    Four Lions

    ★★★½

    No-one comes out of this movie well: neither the bumbling, idiotic would-be martyrs, nor the just-as-bumbling and only-vaguely-less-idiotic authorities.

    Do not, under any circumstances, show this film to any extraterrestrial civilisation we're trying to make a good impression on. Especially if they are Wookie or vaguely bear-ish. It would only give our extraterrestrial visitors a good laugh as they fence off our planet with "DANGER! Do Not Approach: Seriously Fucked Up Lifeforms" signs and about-face at Warp Factor Can't-get-out-of-here-fast-enough.

  • The Avengers

    The Avengers

    ★★★★½

    My favourite bit was when Hulk smashed stuff. I also liked Iron Man. He is funny. The explosions were fun. And I laughed when funny stuff happened. That was a lot, but I didn't get it sometimes. I didn't like the baddie. He was evil. The other baddies were scary. When I grow up I'm going to be an Avenger. Probably Hulk, or Iron Man, or Captain America, or the other guy who I forget, because he turned good. Not Thor. He talks funny. Not the girl, because she's a girl. Unless I get one of those operations, like my second mummy. SMASH!

  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

    The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

    ★★★

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

    The tracking shots of Bruno running through the forest, arms outstretched, are wonderfully innocent. So innocent, you know something bad is coming.

    Come the bad, however, I got the feeling my morality had been fiddled with. Sure, it is Bruno's story, and it is sad, but I can't help being conflicted at having to feel for his situation, for his family, especially his father, who is certainly no innocent. By centering on their distress, and treating the hundreds of undeserveds about to die as background – let's face it, even had Bruno got out, they would still die – is a little warped, no?

  • Battleship

    Battleship

    ★★

    I feel a little dirty inside.

    While my higher brain functions were going "Argh! Slingshot a radio signal? WTF? They create a giant impermeable shield, and they can't spare a couple of watts to send a radio signal?" (see Note), some lower functioning system kept shouting "Take that you goateed hipster alien fuckers! It's a BATTLESHIP and it's going to BATTLESHIP your ASS! Yee-HAA!"

    One star for having the audacity to circumvent my higher faculties. Plus one for having a battleship.

    Note: Only one of many concerns. My higher brain functions cried all the way through this movie.