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  • The Man with the Golden Gun

    The Man with the Golden Gun

    ★★★

    One of the key pleasures of the 007 franchise is observing how this deathless saga has attempted to remain relevant over the years by responding to global affairs and trends in action cinema. Diamonds Are Forever takes the piss out of Bullitt, Live and Let Die was supremely quick on the uptake by incorporating blaxploitation tropes (along with many of the cycle's key performers), and The Man with the Golden Gun suitably riffs on Enter the Dragon. It also builds…

  • Rosemary's Baby

    Rosemary's Baby

    ★½

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

    [CW: Discussions of sexual assault.]

    I've always been strangely alienated by Rosemary's Baby, and it took a third viewing to fully realise why. I've neither the time nor the inclination to file all of my complaints into one coherent, flowing essay that nobody will read, so here's the gist in bullet points:

    1. The structure is terribly worked out. The opening half-hour is largely toneless (as with Repulsion, another Polanski horror I'm not mad about). The next hour agonisingly showcases…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★½

    La La Land (2016) is the type of film you wish you saw more often, one that's equal parts joyous, intelligent, and technically marvellous. Musicals made in the Internet era have the difficult task of providing more than a YouTube playlist can offer; something as flaccid as Les Miserables (2012) is genuinely benefitted by isolating its highlights. But Damien Chazelle's tribute to Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and Golden-era glitz massively benefits from starring two of cinema's most charismatic leading performers:…

  • Moonlight

    Moonlight

    ★★★

    Before I get started: the use of Goodie Mob's "Cell Therapy" in Moonlight (2016) is one of the very best musical cues in years. Not only does the jarring piano perfectly suit the film's original score (and not only is it a great song), it perfectly signifies Chiron's shift from a weedy teenager and into a monstrously built and slightly terrifying guy, as well as the location shift to Atlanta. But the song's sinister, paranoid tone, as well as Cee-Lo…