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  • Johnny Handsome

    Johnny Handsome

    ★½

    The 80s and 90s Neo-Noir Project

    I just wouldn't have it would be possible that Walter Hill would have taken a concept such as this and made such a boring and confused film out of it.

    That said, Hill has never been a particularly strong 'gimmick' filmmaker. He works much better with broader strokes than this. So given this story about a disfigured jailbird who is gifted a second chance thanks to radical reconstructive surgery, he struggles to know what…

  • John Wick: Chapter 2

    John Wick: Chapter 2

    ★★★★★

    I had a couple of concerns about John Wick: Chapter 2 coming into it.

    Although I really liked the original, I wouldn't say I was as massively enthusiastic about it as many people seemed to be. I could certainly see a couple of areas in which a sequel could go badly wrong as well.

    Seeing the expanded running time fed into one of those areas, and that this would bloat the good ideas seen in the original to ridiculous levels…

  • John Wick

    John Wick

    ★★★★

    they're good dogs vimto

  • L.A. Confidential

    L.A. Confidential

    ★★★★½

    The 80s and 90s Neo-Noir Project

    I'm sure I'm not the only person from the UK who, when he heard that this Oscar threatening all-star cast crime thriller that was about to be released had Mike from Neighbours in the lead role, was somewhat amused.

    Even though Guy Pearce had done a couple of films by that point, it still was a really surprising piece of casting, even more so when you consider that fellow not-an-Aussie and comparative unknown Russell…

  • Sea of Love

    Sea of Love

    ★★★

    The 80s and 90s Neo-Noir Project

    Passable thriller that kicked up a major storm at the end of the 80s because of a couple of sex scenes between Al Pacino and Ellen Barkin's body double. And perhaps also for the scene where Michael Rooker mounts Pacino and dry humps him.

    That's one of the recurring themes of this project, actually. Not Al Pacino being dry humped by Michael Rooker but films that were HUGE at the time and yet nobody…

  • Real Life

    Real Life

    ★★★½

    Disillusionment In Sun-Drenched 1970s American New Wave Cinema: A Watching Brief

    Albert Brooks' mockumentary about reality television is, unsurprisingly, a fair bit ahead of its time.

    Yet what it undoubtedly possesses when it comes to the incisiveness of its satire and the cleverness of weaving Brooks' persona in and out of a fictional narrative, it doesn't quite explore the comedy potential here. With Brooks and Charles Grodin being paired up, the potential for some quite outstanding comedy is huge but…

  • Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday

    ★★★

    The 80s and 90s Neo-Noir Project

    Stormy Monday is a rare film in this project in that it's a rewatch that doesn't quite live up to my original opinion of it.

    It also dawned on me while watching this that Mike Figgis isn't actually a very good director but I will expand on this opinion when I review Liebestraum because the football's about to come on and frankly I haven't got time.

    The things that are wrong with Stormy Monday…

  • The Spanish Prisoner

    The Spanish Prisoner

    ★★★½

    The 80s and 90s Neo-Noir Project

    I was going to do this review in Mamet Speak but I think it would be a bigger flop than my review of The Neon Demon so I'm just going to do the usual rambling crap.

    Even back when this was doing the rounds on satellite TV back in the late 90s, I already had enough awareness of David Mamet's work that it seemed really strange to me that he had written a PG…

  • Don't Hang Up

    Don't Hang Up

    From the same people who brought you the barely mediocre short Red Balloon comes more of the same vaguely home invasion-y shit, only about four times longer.

    Don't Hang Up is one of those films that gives itself the improbable task of taking lead characters who are fucking twats and deserve to be tortured and murdered, and then try to derive some thrills and suspense out of it. I just don't get these films at all. Why on earth would…

  • Dead Ringers

    Dead Ringers

    ★★★★

    Disgusting brilliant cinematic pervert David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers was probably the second film I watched by him after The Fly, and it turns out you never forget your second Cronenberg either.

    I've rewatched a lot of films as part of my neo-noir project recently and it's amazing how many of them I had completely forgotten, from first minute to last. Yet I could remember long swathes of Dead Ringers and not just the bit where Genevieve Bujold gets tied to…

  • The Frisco Kid

    The Frisco Kid

    ★★★½

    Disillusionment In Sun-Drenched 1970s American New Wave Cinema: A Watching Brief

    Pretty much as light and frivolous as a film can possibly be, The Frisco Kid also has the distinction of being that rare film that I think it really should be impossible to hate.

    The promise of another Gene Wilder comedy western after the roaring success of Blazing Saddles is obviously the main selling point here and I think there are times when Robert Aldrich seems all too wary…

  • Mechanic: Resurrection

    Mechanic: Resurrection

    ★★★½

    My decision not to go and see this at the cinema felt wrong from the moment Jason Statham jumped off the top of a moving cable car and landed on a hang-glider.

    Mechanic: Resurrection was lots of fun, certainly more so than the original. And the original original, for that matter. Lighter on plot, heavier on bits of humour and with a lot more actual action in it, this is absolutely ideal late evening entertainment for when your brain can't…