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  • The Weight of Water

    The Weight of Water

    ★★★

    One of the many interesting things about Kathryn Bigelow is that she's always shrugged off being labeled as a "feminist" filmmaker, preferring to her let her work speak for herself. This should be the standard for all artists regardless of qualifying, however it's often been observed that Bigelow is one of Hollywood's most macho directors in that most of her films are about men and even though all of them contain well-drawn and original female characters, they usually do so…

  • Coming to America

    Coming to America

    ★★★

    From his immediate impact in Walter Hill's 48 Hours (1982) to Beverly Hills Cop (1984) and it's 1987 sequel, Eddie Murphy ruled comedy in the 1980s - even his bad movies still made money and he was hugely popular on TV and the standup circuit. Coming to America finds Murphy in less manic mode than typical, which disappointed some but actually works here as for once he actually plays a character rather than just putting his comedy persona on screen.…

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  • The Predator

    The Predator

    ★★

    Well, this was a letdown, especially given the esteem in which I hold Shane Black as a writer and director. As an actor in the original Predator (1987) and from his comments about respecting the franchise, I was hoping for something that honoured the original, but it just sort of isn't. I appreciate that Black didn't just want to release a copy of the first movie or even Predator 2 (1990), but what he seems to have made instead is…

  • The Hills Have Eyes

    The Hills Have Eyes

    ★★★

    Wes Craven films are, on the surface, nasty horror flicks with many gruesome killings, much terror and a total lack of good Christian morality. But beneath the surface there are always ideas, as he's an intellectual filmmaker as well as a base crowd pleaser; he likes to stimulate the viewer's mind as well as hit them in the gut. If The Last House on the Left (1972) was about how violence only creates more violence in a never-ending cycle, then…