17 August 2017

A Ghost Story, 2017 - ★★★★

I went to see A Ghost Story intrigued by the trailer but worried that it wouldn't be possible to play out the haunting imagery over a feature length film. I also went in tired which, I hope, is why I struggled with the slow pace of the opening 10-15 minutes. Once *not a spoiler alert* the ghost appears I found the rest of the film completely mesmerising and quite unlike anything else. I still had some issues, one moment seems out of character and doesn't add anything (although the depth of the film in other places may mean I missed something). I also found myself trying to second guess what was going on but came nowhere near what actually happens and wished I'd just gone with the flow more.

It's also a shame that the trailer gives away the scope of the film and I'd urge you to avoid or forget it before you watch the film.

Great performance from the sheet and an even better soundtrack.

August 16, 2017 at 11:12PM

14 August 2017

Clue, 1985 - ★★★

This appeared on Amazon Prime coincidentally as I got to the director's commentary episode of Smodcast so it seemed rude not to watch. It's a film I have fond memories of from my childhood, most notably for watching the singing telegram section on repeat (what was surprising is that moment was only a few seconds long). I may have enjoyed the film more without the commentary because my attention was split,I missed lots of the dialogue but the talk-track was fairly interesting. It made me keen to listen to other commentaries, something I haven't done for a long time and once my sole reason for buying anything of DVD.

August 14, 2017 at 12:53PM

06 August 2017

Dunkirk, 2017 - ★★★★½

Second viewing, this time the 35mm version. I don't think my opinion has really changed. The stories flowed better fully understanding the timey-wimey stuff but lacked the spectacle of the initial viewing. The beaches still looked sparse and I feel the film doesn't convey the magnitude as well as it should, but perhaps it's not trying to. Caine's cameo is bloody obvious that it seems remarkable I didn't realise on the first viewing.

The smaller screen did lose some of the framing, there's one moment when a boat is only visible for a second before it is cropped out of shot. Some parts, such as the sun on the water looked great on 35mm, others looked worse but (sacrilege warning) I'm not a huge fan of film on modern movies and prefer the digital crispness.

Soundtrack is still the most impressive part especially when the ticking stops at the end.

August 06, 2017 at 09:59PM

The Big Sick, 2017 - ★★★★

It's heartfelt and sincere in a way so few things are. It's a shame that like so many of Apatow's films it's too long and spends too much time focussing on the least interesting part, back stage of the comedy club.

August 06, 2017 at 09:30PM

01 August 2017

Back to the Future, 1985 - ★★★★★

Back to the Future: In Concert with the Orchestra of Opera North

I'm still surprised just how well written Back To The Future is. Hardly a moment is wasted, everything that happens is setting up something else and it does it so effortlessly it's easier to overlook.

The soundtrack is also fantastic so it was great to have it performed live.

August 01, 2017 at 09:46PM

24 July 2017

Dunkirk, 2017 - ★★★★½

It grabs you from the opening moments and never lets go, building tension throughout to create a powerful and visceral experience quite unlike anything else. I'd argue that it perhaps lacks the heart, mystery or intelligence of Nolan's other films but there is something else there that more than substitutes for this. With most of Nolan's other films I've immediately wanted to see them again but didn't feel this way about Dunkirk. I do wonder if there is more to appreciate by fully understanding the time structure of the film (which I was slow to work out and hadn't understood the captions), although that didn't stop me from being amazed at the way they all come together with the drowning scene.

I may go and see the 35mm version but more because I'm lucky enough to be able to do so than from wanting to see it again.

July 24, 2017 at 03:24PM

War for the Planet of the Apes, 2017 - ★★★

Perhaps the biggest problem here is that less than a week later I'm struggling to remember much about the film including how much I liked it. There's not much war, but the titles of the rest of the series didn't make much sense either. Caesar is a wonderful creation but does all the time spent marvelling at the animation mean the story isn't that engaging? The non human performances are all great but I thought Bad Ape was one of many tonal shifts that often felt out of place. The ending is ridiculous and unbelievable and really brings everything down to a disappointing climax.

July 24, 2017 at 03:02PM

18 July 2017

What We Do in the Shadows, 2014 - ★★★★½

Fourth viewing, first on the small screen and some of the familiarity meant it didn't seem quite as special but it's still an incredible enjoyable film and it was good to introduce it to new people.

July 18, 2017 at 10:28PM

Despicable Me 3, 2017 - ★★★

The Minions remain the highlight (so it's weird I still haven't seen their solo outing) but they're also absent for a lot of this. The main story is better than the 2nd film so it all works out about right.

July 18, 2017 at 10:25PM

14 July 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming, 2017 - ★★★★

I think this may be the best written Marvel film, certainly for the first two thirds anyway. It seems inevitable now that there will be final third problems with things falling/crashing into cities and CGI characters hitting each other. At least here it's done fairly well and kept brief. The rest of the film is just fun, relaxed and refreshing and ultimately very enjoyable.

July 14, 2017 at 09:22AM

08 July 2017

Okja, 2017 - ★★★★

The biggest problem remains that this is a cinematic film and hardly anybody can see it in a cinema. It's a worrying precedent and I hope somebody (Scorsese?) will fight it before it's too late.

I expected I'd like Okja and I wasn't really disappointed. It's beautiful, charming, slightly crazy and manages to get a message across. I enjoyed the chases much more than those in Baby Driver. The later New York section is a bit disappointing and it's strange that there is so much out of place and unnecessary swearing.

July 08, 2017 at 11:37PM

03 July 2017

Baby Driver, 2017 - ★★★½

Mixed feelings going into this one; a new Edgar Wright film with an awful trailer but lots of positive feedback. Were my expectations too high, too low or just right? Probably slightly too high. I didn't think it was great and kept waiting for it to become the film everybody had been raving about. It has lots of great moments: the opening chase, getting coffee and every rhythmic shootout but it never came together as a whole for me. Perhaps it was the songs, largely unfamiliar to me, would it have worked better if I'd known more of the music?

Still it's great to have another mainstream musical in cinemas.

July 03, 2017 at 10:09PM

01 July 2017

Withnail & I, 1987 - ★★★★½

I was only going to stay and watch Johnny Depp, Bruce Robinson and Julien Temple introduce the film but it seemed foolish not to stay and I'm glad I did. Sat in a field with a bottle of wine, surrounded by like-minded people (and vintage cars) is a pretty great way to see the film which is just as good as I remember even if I can't remember when that was.

July 01, 2017 at 10:37AM

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, 2016 - ★★★★

Enjoyed this more on a second viewing even though I had a massive pillar obstructing part of my view. The obstructed view was less distracting than the 3D I'd originally seen but still think I need to see this again properly to fully appreciate it.

July 01, 2017 at 10:28AM

The Libertine, 2004 - ★★★

This seemed like a strange film to show but it seems that both Julien Temple and Johnny Depp think it is massively under appreciated. Perhaps it is, I certainly didn't have any fond memories (or even a certainty that I saw it), it starts like so many period pieces and very much a vehicle for Depp's proper acting but deteriorates into something much more interesting.

Disclaimer: I was slightly drunk, not paying full attention and drifted in and out for food.

July 01, 2017 at 10:08AM

La Strada, 1954 - ★★★

A strange film really, made only stranger by seeing it in the middle of the day at Glastonbury.

Nice venue though, wish I'd gone back to see more.

July 01, 2017 at 10:00AM

15 June 2017

Raw, 2016 - ★★★½

Just noticed I hadn't logged this and 4 months later I can't quite remember what I thought. I liked it but was also disappointed and didn't think it lived up to the hype.

June 15, 2017 at 09:29AM

06 June 2017

Wonder Woman, 2017 - ★★★★

I hadn't realised how important it was to have a such a strong female lead film. It shouldn't make a difference but it absolutely does. For most of the film it's outperforms other superhero films and is in a whole other universe from the rest of the DC films. It's a shame that it resorts to the old Iron Man endings of two (mostly CG) characters throwing things at each other because everybody deserved a more satisfying conclusion. There are other places where things are pretty unbelievable (even for a godly superhero) but those moments are forgivable because everything else is done so well.

June 06, 2017 at 09:03PM

04 June 2017

Get Out, 2017 - ★★★★

So much of Get Out is so good; everything is set up just perfectly, horror is combined with comedy and there's intelligence and bite to the satire and social commentary. For much of the film things the mystery is far-fetched but works in context and it's only when things start to get explained that it unfortunately steps over the believability line. The ending is still executed well but it does feel like a disappointment after everything else was so carefully considered.

June 04, 2017 at 02:02PM

31 May 2017

The Hollow Crown: Henry VI - part 2, 2016 - ★★★★

Watched on Wednesday May 31, 2017.

May 31, 2017 at 09:57PM

The Dark Crystal, 1982 - ★★★

Surprised to find out that I had never seen this before (or don't remember any of it if I had). Technically it's impressive (although I find the Gelflings a bit odd looking) but the story is quite basic and a bit too hobbit-y for me.

May 31, 2017 at 09:50PM

30 May 2017

The Mechanical Cow, 1927

Watched on Sunday May 28, 2017.

May 30, 2017 at 05:43PM

Scents and Nonsense, 1926

Watched on Sunday May 28, 2017.

May 30, 2017 at 05:43PM

The Ocean Hop, 1927

Watched on Sunday May 28, 2017.

May 30, 2017 at 05:42PM