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  • From Russia with Love

    From Russia with Love

    ★★½

    The well-set-up atmosphere of dread is completely undone by Bond's newfound cockiness (jettisoning the expertly caution that served him well in the first Bond adventure) and one's spiteful yearning for his comeuppance for all the slimey locker-room talk. Also: my entire living-room shaking with Bond theme in full orchestral crescendo to the vision of Bond blandly meandering around a hotel room - before fading to room atmos while the meander stretches on - exemplifies the real expense of Eon's assembly-line approach to Dr. No's success.

  • All That Jazz

    All That Jazz

    ★★

    Despite being an overt piece of autobiographical cinema, All That Jazz only ever seems interested in self-reflection as a pretence upon which to mount a tireless decathlon of gimmickry. While the central character's defiance of his mortal limits is imbued through the film's unwavering frivolousness of tone, the over-reliance on Broadway tropes such as musical exposition and histrionic performance undoes the director's characterisation of himself as a master storyteller across mediums and deprives an otherwise richly psychological setup of real thematic depth.

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  • Alien Resurrection

    Alien Resurrection

    ★★½

    As twisted and dysfunctional as one of Ripley's failed clones, with irreverent caricatures and senseless pandemonium where the gritty realism and Hitchcockian suspense should be.

  • Lawrence of Arabia

    Lawrence of Arabia

    ★★★★★

    As sprawling as the Nefud Desert that Lawrence must cross to write his destiny, the 1st Part alone would've been a perfect film of personal triumph - Lawrence's exceptional feat of leadership framed by his ironic rise through the British army, from whom he strives to protect the local culture.
    However the film continues on as inexhaustibly as the protagonist, striving for a higher theme, but one which confronts both Lawrence's and our own heroic ideals. For while he is able to achieve unthinkable feats through willpower alone, he is doomed to try and cross the immutable force of imperial history.