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  • Dot 2 Dot

    Dot 2 Dot

    ★★★

    Low key but sweet urban romance. As much about the city as it is about its characters, plus a few pointed digs at mainland China's heavy handed treatment of freedom loving HKers.
    Beautiful final shot.

  • Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski

    Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski

    ★★★★

    Lots of good stuff here about separating the artist from their art. The subject himself is unappealing in many ways, although undoubtedly talented.

  • Wasp Network

    Wasp Network

    ★★

    Strangely diffuse and tension-free espionage thriller. Structurally it's a mess, with a couple of random voiceover infodumps to try and clarify the murky plot. Cruz and De Armas are thw only two given any kind of characterisation or arc and the political aspect is never successfully dramatised or explored in any depth.
    Mostly it's just kind of boring, only very occasionally and briefly sparking into life.

  • Cairo Station

    Cairo Station

    ★★★★

    For such a short film there's a lot going on here. Social change represented by unionized labour and the women's rights movement, tied in with a serial killer thriller. It's a fascinating and mostly successful mix, and the only weak link for me is the amateurish performance by the lead actress.

  • Skin

    Skin

    ★★★½

    Eye-opening (for me) about the extent to which Nigerian women feel pressured to lighten their skin. Some of the interviews could have been a bit tighter and more focussed, but there's a good variety of viewpoints, and some powerful moments.

  • Overlord

    Overlord

    ★★½

    Kind of fun, especially if you like creature effects and splattery gore. But I was hoping for a more detailed and interesting explanation of what the Nazis' experiments actually involved. Something more than just "tar".

  • Capernaum

    Capernaum

    ★★★

    For the most part this is a beautifully made an eye-opening look at child poverty in Beirut. I think the courtroom scenes, and the whole idea of Zain suing his parents for having brought him into the world are hokey and unnecessary, and the ending is a simplistic attempt to wrap things up with a neat bow and send us out with a smile. But there's much food for thought.

  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    ★★★★

    This is why lighthouses are now fully automated.

  • Homemade

    Homemade

    ★★★★

    Pretty valuable both as a record of the lockdown, and as a survey of some of the more interesting directors working today.
    Highlights for me included Kirsten Stewart's stressed insomniac, a masterclass in acting and editing; Pablo Larrain's tale of an ageing Lothario; David Mackenzie and Gurinder Chada's home video diaries showing how the lockdown has affected their children; and Ana Lily Amirpour's haunting portrait of a deserted Los Angeles.
    Lowlights: Paola Sorrentino's stilted and unfunny dialogue between Queen Elizabeth and Pope Francis, Maggie Gyllenhall's nonsensical and ridiculous future survivalist parable, and Antonio Campos' abrupt and underdeveloped home invasion thriller.

  • Vox Lux

    Vox Lux

    ★★

    At times this feels like it almost has something worthwhile to say about the price of fame and the relationship between a star and her fans, but apart from a few lengthy and stilted monologues it's pretty shallow stuff which never really analyses the issues it raises in any depth.
    Portman is fine, although her concert performance is underwhelming and the ending is trite.

  • Flash Gordon

    Flash Gordon

    ★★★½

    Haven't seen this in over 30 years. Costume and production design is eye-popping, and it never stops for breath. Semple's script is pretty funny in places, but it also treads a fine line, taking itself just seriously enough.

  • The Meg

    The Meg

    ★½

    Don't cast Jason Statham unless you need him to kick someone.