Favorite films

  • God of Gamblers
  • Mangrove
  • A City of Sadness
  • Johnny Handsome

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  • Thunderstruck

    ★★★

  • The Brush-Off

    ★★★

  • This Is England

    ★★★½

  • Out of the Furnace

    ★★★½

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  • Gold

    Gold

    ★★★½

    Surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I think Anthony Hayes pared this setup down nicely into an ancient fable all its own, older than civilisation, textured to the bone, and coming after Ten Empty he consolidates himself as a dependable director stewed in his material which are sent out into the world like maggoty pounds of flesh with no lies left to tell.

    It is ambiguously Australia, but another one of those near-future ones ala Mad Max (the first)…

  • The Water Cycle

    The Water Cycle

    ★★★½

    This review of The Water Cycle is of the fully transcribed shot-for-shot documenting type (think along the lines of reverse storyboarding or detailed dispassionate reporting), so beware descriptive length. The impulse just grabbed me, and it's a good topic and self-explanatory narrated short form to exercise the occasional closely studied breakdown. I've tried to restrain my level of comment except for when the film calls for some elaborating and reciprocal wink. I think I've attempted this a few times before…

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  • The Last Station

    The Last Station

    ★★★

    The Last Station is really just contrived bait that happens to be about Tolstoy. The heavy-lifting cast treat the material with stage-like commitment to their credit, but we've seen all of them in these sorts of typecast roles before. Charming enough prestige if in the mood but rushes through not much of anything and leaves behind a cardboard aftertaste.

  • Rats in the Ranks

    Rats in the Ranks

    ★★★★

    "What a terrible business politics is. And all we're bloody doing is for mayor of Leichhardt" (ALP Councillor Trevor Snape)

    Gripping political drama documenting the Leichhardt municipality's mayoral candidacy race for 1994-95 office.

    Incumbent Larry Hand is just a protagonist joy, clearly playing up to the cameras with iconic Shakespearean aplomb, and he ultimately succeeds because he electioneers the hardest and most unscrupulously from what we see. Love the way he sneeringly pronounces conscience. The editing fades also amusingly suggest…

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  • Match Point

    Match Point

    ★★★★½

    Match Point is everything I was hoping, and more. Woody serves up arguably his most delightfully rich genre reinvention, kind of like a reimagining of A Place in the Sun with a dash of Crime & Punishment.

    Match Point is a curious cross-reference of influences. It has the bedrock of a Woody Allen film. The emotional energy and relationship betrayal of a Hitchcockian dark thriller. And a sliver of Barry Lyndon Irish rogue penetration of high society to it. Most of…

  • Boyz n the Hood

    Boyz n the Hood

    ★★★★½

    If you watch this film without a stupid foolish-looking knowing grin plastered on your face, there is something wrong with you. The match up of script, acting and direction here is sublime, creating an unbelievable sense of truth. John Singleton really hits this one out of the park.

    This film also has one of Fishburne's very best roles.

    You can just feel its palpable influence over urban music to come. It's all here, all the truth and all the myth.…