Owen Van Spall

Owen Van Spall

Film programmer and writer. Film MA Graduate, journalist, film writer and critic. Messing up a cinema near you soon.

Favorite films

  • Alien
  • Blade Runner
  • Memento
  • The Dark Knight

Recent activity

All
  • The Little Things

    ★★★

  • Judas and the Black Messiah

    ★★★½

  • Synchronic

    ★★★

  • Beginning

    ★★★

Recent reviews

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  • It's a Wonderful Life

    It's a Wonderful Life

    ★★★★★

    Strange how it took me ages to realise how much BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy draws from this.

  • Star Wars

    Star Wars

    Watched in 4K Ultra HDR. The film really looks smashing. Dolby Atmos for home entertainment system score too.
    Simply irresistible mashup of all the things George Lucas grew up loving (swashbuckling adventures, pirate romps, Flash Gordon) married to cutting edge effects, but also benefitted from being released at just the right time (audiences receptive to a flight of fantasy, blockbuster anticipations established thanks to earlier films like Jaws). Its hard to watch this and recall that the film was not fully appreciated by the studio that backed it, and getting it done on time and on budget was real seat of the pants stuff.

Popular reviews

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  • The Happy Prince

    The Happy Prince

    ★★★½

    I know very little about the famous writer, socialite and wit-bomb dropper Oscar Wilde, beyond the basic rise-and-fall arc of his life that takes in his rise to fame in Britain as the mind behind The Picture of Dorian Grey and The Importance of Being Earnest, through to imprisonment and social outcast status following his outing as gay. That being said, writer/director Rupert Everett's focus in The Happy Prince is on what happened after the fall, and taking a biopic…

  • The Beguiled

    The Beguiled

    ★★★★

    With The Beguiled, Sophia Coppola returns with a steamy, sly and beautifully shot thriller, leanly and precisely adapting Thomas P. Cullinan’s 1966 novel of the same name (and not remaking the Don Siegel adaptation that first brought the novel to the screen). Set in the Deep South of Virginia in a United States torn apart by a Civil War now in its third year, the story centres on the erotic and violent goings-on that take place in a dilapidated schoolhouse…