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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    ★★½

    I thought this was a hot mess. It had some great things in it - pretty much everything Rey and Luke; some of Kylo's stuff; the choreography of the space battles -which are SO good they rank up there with the best in the series (and where the gushing praise from many journos and pundits is coming, no doubt).

    But a larger proportion of things (slapstick, poor cgi, gaping plot holes, taking a steamroller to the lore, underwritten AND overwritten…

  • The Holy Mountain

    The Holy Mountain

    Um, animal violence? Not cool, man.

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  • Casablanca

    Casablanca

    ★★★★★

    Simplicity. If you have to sum up in one word why Casablanca is a classic, this has to be the one. For a film with, by all accounts, such a difficult route to the screen (it was shot sequentially because the script wasn’t finished when filming began) it’s amazing that what we got was so tight, so entertaining and so timeless.

    Although the plot sounds reasonably sophisticated on paper (an American ex-revolutionary battles with his conscience, whilst trying to help…

  • Russian Ark

    Russian Ark

    ★★★½

    When our narrator and ‘The European’ stumble into a room containing a man constructing his own coffin – a victim of the siege of Leningrad during World War II – its clarity of intent and desperate chill freezes the heart. Marble as white as death blend with drifts of snow coming through the windows. If the rest of the film deals with an afterlife and continuation, this short scene is very much about the terminus.

    Undeniably beautiful technically, and logistically…