Favorite films

  • An American Werewolf in London
  • Whiplash
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Pan's Labyrinth

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  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

    ★★★★½

  • The Dictator

    ★½

  • The Martian

    ★★★★

  • The Last Duel

    ★★★★★

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  • Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

    ★½

    Let's talk about the power of hope and denial.

    In 1999 I was lucky enough to have the chance to go to New York and catch Phantom Menace before its UK release. I was a 23 year old whose childhood had revolved around the films and toys, and had been as excited as almost all from my generation that we were returning to that world. As I came out of the cinema, I was buzzing. I'd found Jar Jar Binks…

  • Cruella

    Cruella

    ★★★

    It might be commercially safe to revisit known characters for reboots/origins etc but tonally, these particular baddie origins that Disney are attempting so represent a challenge in plot and tone. How do you end at a point where they're ready to be a baddie but where the audience has the empathy needed for the plot to be emotionally engaging.

    Maleficant did this very well so how does Cruella fare?

    Disney go for a slightly different approach. I'm not sure if…

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  • Spider-Man: No Way Home

    Spider-Man: No Way Home

    ★★★★½

    OK, so we all knew Marvel's challenges with this:

    1) a plot that manages to invite the Sony Spidey universe into the MCU credibly, while also remaining engaging in its own right.

    They just about pull this off. The excuse to bring everyone in is frankly lame. It doesn't so much make sense, as tell you it makes sense and then asks you to quickly move on and they repeat this approach throughout.

    The plot with just enough logic to…

  • The Dictator

    The Dictator

    ★½

    Stumbles along the line between being ignorantly and knowingly offensive at the same time. Wants its cake and eat it. All of which would be forgiveable were it funny enough,.

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  • The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

    The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

    Look I know this isn't aimed at me, and a 38 year old man slagging off a Twilight film is actually slightly less dignified than a 38 year old man liking it but jesus, this was terrible. I could go on about CGI werewolves and sparkly vampires but that would be to miss the point, it's not really about all that and to be fair it could actually get away with it, were the characters and script not so irritating.…

  • Blue Ruin

    Blue Ruin

    ★★★★

    Apparently if you make a revenge thriller more realistic you actually make it far more exciting. It's almost as if empathy is a far more effective took for emotional engagement than a line of people queuing up to get punched in the face by Liam Neeson.

    Visceral, tense and not mundane at all. Like early Coen Brothers without the knowing wink. Or early Mallick where character and story take precedence over the auteurial indulgences.