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  • Baywatch

    Baywatch

    ★★★

    It's not very good, but it made me laugh. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • The Next Generation Patlabor: Tokyo War

    The Next Generation Patlabor: Tokyo War

    ★★★½

    A live-action sequel to Oshii's marvellous Patlabor 2: The Movie, The Next Generation Patlabor: Tokyo War is simultaneously also very much a complete retread of its predecessor, with predictably diminishing returns. The result is a movie that feels a bit half-hearted, and never quite manages to rise sufficiently above its meager pretensions. At the same time, however, the original story it's rehashing and relentlessly throwing out callbacks to is so excellent that enough of the old SV2 magic manages to…

  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

    ★★★

    Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Arrows. Guy Ritchie transplants his usual cockney gangster shtick to old timey London - Londinium, actually - to mostly entertaining effect. It's all hyperkinetic smoke and mirrors to cover up the nonsense plot, but it's never boring, and Daniel Pemberton's pounding, percussive soundtrack contribution probably deserves some kind of MVP award for keeping the pulse up throughout.

  • Alien: Covenant

    Alien: Covenant

    ★★

    Here we go again - another round of dumb people in space. A slight improvement over Prometheus, but not by much. Go watch Life instead. Yes, it's derivative, but it still manages to be more suspenseful and satisfying than this dull by-the-numbers rehashing of bits from Scott's previous entries in the series.

  • The Void

    The Void

    ★★

    Given the excellent soundtrack contributions by Lustmord, and the strength of its PR material – all iconic triangles, hooded cultists, foreboding mystery, and Lovecraftian overtones – it’s hard not to be let down by The Void. One would have to wander into spoiler territory to explain exactly why, but the movie essentially starts out fairly well, meanders on for a while, before eventually, and disappointingly, unravelling completely into a gory sum far less than its oozing parts. Part Re-Animator (without the irreverent humor), part The Thing, but falling far short of both of those classics, The Void should probably have just stayed in the void…

  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island

    ★½

    You know the scene in Peter Jackson’s King Kong? The one where the characters fall prey to huge worms and insects? This movie is the two hour long version of that.

  • Ukraine on Fire

    Ukraine on Fire

    ★★

    A response to the Winter on Fire documentary, that supposedly tells the other side of the story of the recent unrest in Ukraine. Unfortunately, it's nowhere near as visceral and compelling in its telling, taking instead the form of a televisual, exhausting firehose of (alternative) facts and opinions, that ultimately overwhelms rather than informs. The presence of Oliver Stone is also troubling, given the conspiratorial nature of many of the allegations - his generally hyperbolic approach to things makes it…

  • City of Gold

    City of Gold

    ★★★★

    LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold is quite literally the antithesis of Ratatouille's Anton Ego: open-minded and genial, and, it has to be said, rotund. City of Gold is ostensibly a portrait of the Pulitzer Price winning critic, but ends up just as much as a portrait of and love letter to the city of Los Angeles. Perhaps not a documentary that delves deep, but nevertheless a very enjoyable and uplifting piece of fluff, that may very well leave you hungry, if not hungry for more!

  • Hacksaw Ridge

    Hacksaw Ridge

    ★★★★

    Well, that was certainly 2.5 hours of really intense pacifism!

  • Spectral

    Spectral

    ★★★

    Basically Aliens with ghosts instead of xenomorphs – you've got the outsider main character, the trash talking marines, the dropships, the armored cars, a Newt, and the otherworldly monsters. It's nowhere near as good as Cameron's classic, of course, but still entertaining enough. Not the worst 110 minutes you can spend on Netflix.

  • Silence

    Silence

    ★★½

    Perhaps this is gripping stuff if you're a devout believer, but coming to Chinmoku from an atheist angle definitely saps the entire narrative of interest and drama. Mostly it becomes a tedious tale of missionary arrogance and man's ability to inflict cruelty on each other. The latter is even passed on to the audience, in the form of principal actor David Lampson's wince-inducing garbling of the Japanese dialog. Yeeesh! Easily a low point in Shinoda's filmography, and one can only hope that Scorsese's remake improves on the original's weak points, rather than expand on them...

  • Cave

    Cave

    ★½

    Three ex-soldiers – two guys, one gal – reteam a few years after serving, to reforge old bonds and explore a remote cave system. Two of them were an item back then, now the other two are dating, and there’s palpable tension as the three of them head into the cave system.

    Cave divers are a special breed of people – very serious, focused, and meticulous when it comes to pursuing their pastime. They have to be, because cave diving…