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  • First Reformed

    First Reformed

    ★★★★½

    I feel like this would make a perfect double-bill with Take Shelter.

  • A Ghost Story

    A Ghost Story

    ★★★★½

    old haunts are for forgotten ghosts

  • mother!

    mother!

    ★★★★★

    Jesus kissed his mother’s hands
    Whispered, “Mother, still your tears,
    For remember the soul of the universe
    Willed a world and it appeared."

  • Roy Orbison: Black & White Night

    Roy Orbison: Black & White Night

    ★★★★½

    Watched the Black & White Night 30 edition, remastered from original film elements and presented in original order.

  • Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead

    Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead

    ★★

    Embraces the inherent insanity of the premise to scale a new series high. Even plays with our expectations and gets a little meta on us! Still, couldn't exactly recommend it in good conscience..

  • A Little Chaos

    A Little Chaos

    ★★★

    I quite liked that this period drama offered an unusual spin on the genre's standard fare - the horticultural, garden-design theme gave this a more appealing point of entry than many other by-the-numbers romances. Ultimately, though, it doesn't really do anything new with the genre; Winslet is stunning, Tucci is funny, and a couple of strong sequences late in the film escalate tension impressively. But the majority becomes a pleasant watch, ultimately too tame to rate highly.

  • Child 44

    Child 44

    ★★★

    There are the bones of a solid thriller here, but the languid pacing prevents it from achieving its real potential. It never quite finds a way to make the Cold War elements completely mesh with the tense, creepy child-murder plot, and for every genuinely tense sequence there's something rather more anodyne just around the corner. Good in places.

  • And Soon the Darkness

    And Soon the Darkness

    The original And Soon the Darkness is a calm, restrained and compelling thriller that really escalates the tension nicely (and packs a marvellously joyful soundtrack that works well with the on-screen horrors). No classic, but I've watched it a few times over the years, and I'd happily watch it again tomorrow.

    This US remake, on the other hand, is tedious wank that has no concept of how to heighten dramatic stakes. Avoid.

  • Fargo

    Fargo

    ★★★★½

    Rewatch with family, in prep for finally getting around to the TV series. It's been a few years since I last saw Fargo, and I'd actually forgotten a surprising number of story beats - I was struck, once again, by how inextricably linked character and plot development are here. Very few films draw so heavily on characters' decisions and motivations to drive the story forward. It works an absolute treat. And it's so funny, and pretty, and well-directed, to boot. A filmmaking marvel.

  • Hot Tub Time Machine 2

    Hot Tub Time Machine 2

    ★★½

    I'm a staunch defender of the first Hot Tub Time Machine, but this unnecessary sequel leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Certainly funny at times, but some scenes drag on for too long, and others trade genuine wit for moral bankruptcy, expecting sheer insanity to do the comedic legwork. (The persistent gay panic vibe frustrates, too.) Shame, but if you liked the first there's at least some value in here - that "nerd" singalong works a lot better in-context than in the poor trailer.

  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

    Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

    ★½

    Brainless, witless dreck. Not one joke lands. Kevin James is better than this (honest).

  • John Wick

    John Wick

    ★★★★

    So efficiently and effectively choreographed that it's easy to forego any misgivings about how thoroughly it conforms to genre trappings. Exciting, intense, and spectacularly paced. The best thing Keanu's been involved with for a good while.