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  • Bettie Page: Dark Angel

    Bettie Page: Dark Angel

    Basically a mockbuster for The Notorious Bettie Page, made for a loose change by someone with access to a burlesque wardrobe and directed by one Nico B, whose main contribution to the world seems to be shameless editing of his own Wikipedia page. A few recreations of Bettie's chintzy S&M reels are mixed with badly acted and badly written linking scenes trying to give some sort of context to her amibitions and the eventual proseution of photographer Irving Klaw. No-one…

  • Kings and Desperate Men

    Kings and Desperate Men

    ★★★

    An odddity directed by an oddity; Alexis Kanner spent much of the sixties and seventies skirting with fame but following his own weird little path and is now principally remembered for his guest appearances in the closing episodes of The Prisoner. This film is thus given a fair bit of cult appeal by pairing Kanner (who also directs) with Patrick McGoohan again in this Canadian hostage thriller. Kanner's extremist takes over McGoohan's radio show to broadcast while the cops try…

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  • Leon: The Professional

    Leon: The Professional

    ★★★★★

    A very-well made action thriller with a heart as Luc Besson for once gets it all just about right. It helps that Jean Reno and Natalie Portman have genuine chemistry in their double mentor/pupil relationship, and that Leon himself is a fascinating character (even if he's about as Italian as Joe Dolce). As for Gary Oldman as Stansfield he's so completely over-the-top insane that he somehow works perfectly, the old Andy Robinson gambit coming off perfectly.

    That Besson later screwed the film over with a flabby 'long version' summed his career up nicely.

  • Gravity

    Gravity

    ★★★★★

    A remarkable film - Children of Men was always going to be a tough act to follow but Gravity manages to be even better. Beautiful and terrifying at exactly the same time (the debris strike on Explorer is balletic and chaotic, more shocking for not having inaccurate tearing metal noises), made with incredible technical skill and held together by two astounding performances from Clooney and Bullock.

    Cuaron also knows that scientific accuracy is only worth a damn when it's needed by drama and that accuate-ish is accurate enough, and also that you can make a space epic without needing to make the thing three hours long.