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  • It Came from Beneath the Sea

    It Came from Beneath the Sea

    ★★

    Glad to have seem this, as it's an important stepping stone for Ray Harryhausen's animation techniques, but it is quite dull.

    I much prefer his later fantasy adventure projects like Jason and the Argonauts and the Sinbad films to these one-note monster movies, but here is where he honed his craft.

  • Elvis: The Rebirth of the King

    Elvis: The Rebirth of the King

    ★★★½

    Brief but focused documentary on how Elvis dug himself out of his mid-1960s rut. The '68 Comeback Special, the seminal recordings with Chips Moman at American Studios, and the live peak of his early Vegas shows (far more ambitious and thrilling performances than they are generally given credit for) are all covered.

    I didn't need to be convinced of this film's argument (From Elvis In Memphis is one of my favourite albums and I'll regularly rewatch That's The Way It…

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  • The Death of Stalin

    The Death of Stalin

    ★★★★

    Neatly mines the situation for all the Veep-like farce available, without swerving the sobering reality, which would have been a mistake. What these men have done to survive is atrocious, but that very context makes their machinations grimly funny.

    Simon Russell Beale makes a rare but welcome screen appearance (oddly he doesn't feature in the poster art), dominating the film as the vile NKVD head Lavrentiy Beri, but for my favourite performance I'd be hard pressed to choose between Michael…

  • The Curse of Frankenstein

    The Curse of Frankenstein

    ★★★½

    Without enough time to create a sympathetic character of the monster, this resonates less with the source material than Fisher's Dracula does. The added sub-plot with the maid makes Victor (the terrific Peter Cushing) more villainous than ever. In this version of events, he gets started by reanimating an adorable dachshund puppy, and his brutal plot to secure the brain of a genius professor is a hilarious addition.