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  • Rainy Dog

    Rainy Dog

    ★★★★

    This strange movie about a Japanese hitman stranded in Taiwan and saddled with a young son he didn't know he had would probably sit comfortably on a double-bill with Cassavetes' "Gloria" though this is a lot more enigmatic. It was the second film in what became known as Takashi Miike's Shinjuku Triad Trilogy and it has a slightly mystical quality you may not associate with the director. Personally there were times I found it hard to get a handle on…

  • Della

    Della

    ½

    Terrible. Made as a pilot for a television series that never materialized "Della" cast an over-the-hill and obviously down on her luck Joan Crawford as a rich widow holding out against some property developers who want to buy her land, (her close-ups all seem to be photographed through gauze). Although she's playing the title role she's billed as a 'Special Guest Star', the actual 'stars' being Paul Burke as a hotshot attorney and a hardly seen Charles Bickford as his…

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  • '71

    '71

    ★★★★★

    In 1971 I was living on the fringes of Derry's Bogside. On several occasions my home was 'collateral damage' in a number of bombings and I remember lying on the floor of my bedroom in case I might fall victim to a stray bullet from one of the gun-battles raging outside. I drank in pubs that would be bombed in time and I was on the march on Bloody Sunday. Things were bad in Derry in 1971 but they were…

  • 12 Years a Slave

    12 Years a Slave

    ★★★★½

    Never before have the horrors of slavery been shown so powerfully, so movingly and so explicitly on screen as they are in Steve McQueen's remarkable film 12 YEARS A SLAVE. This relentlessly grim film is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from Saratoga, New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He is played brilliantly by the British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor and he is virtually never off the screen. It's an incredibly physical…