14 September 2017

Oxide Ghosts: The Brass Eye Tapes, 1997 - ★★★★

Watched on Tuesday September 12, 2017.

September 14, 2017 at 10:10PM

10 September 2017

Big Game, 2014 - ★★★

A strange one because it looks and often feels as good as Rare Exports but it doesn't come anywhere close. It should be aimed at a family audience but has swearing and violence, the plot just fizzles out and doesn't really amount to anything and yet it does end up being enjoyable in a dumb kind of way.

September 10, 2017 at 04:33PM

Whitney: Can I Be Me, 2017 - ★★★

An interesting look into a life I didn't know much about but not necessarily a great documentary.

September 10, 2017 at 04:27PM

05 September 2017

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City, 1927 - ★★★★

A fascinating look at a city and everyday life made great by some wonderful editing.

September 05, 2017 at 06:25PM

28 August 2017

Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1971 - ★★½

This seemed like a suitable way to spend a Bank Holiday, especially as it was Mark Kermode's TV Film Of The Week and I was fairly sure I hadn't ever seen it all the way through (at least as an adult).

I know people have said it's not just a Mary Poppins knock off but that's pretty much all I took away. The animation isn't as good, the songs aren't as good, the children are pretty terrible, the story is weak and now I'm thinking I may have seen it (fairly recently) and it's just that forgettable.

August 28, 2017 at 08:35PM

Detroit, 2017 - ★★★★

Timely, intense and scary, often feeling like a forewarning rather than a historical film. For me things came apart in the third act which lacked something and I struggled to follow exactly what was happening which seemed off considering how well the rest of the film was constructed.

August 28, 2017 at 08:28PM

The Lego Batman Movie, 2017 - ★★★★

I always wanted to watch this again, especially after seeing it so high (No 6) on my films of the year list - was it really that good? Well, perhaps not but it is still very good. As expected I spotted a lot of new things unfortunately one of those was a strong resemblance to Trump. I still think it's the best superhero film of the year (with only Spider-Man coming close) and it's definitely the funniest which may be more important than the story.

The niggles are minor:

I still object to Kong
It annoys me that Barbara and Alfred don't initially wear masks, especially when the photo is taken
The solution to Gotham coming apart is just weird and makes little sense

August 28, 2017 at 08:15PM

24 August 2017

God's Own Country, 2017 - ★★★★

A great film but one I'm struggling to find words to explain why. I guess it's the authenticity that really carries the film.

Introduced and Q&A with Francis Lee and Alec Secareanu

August 24, 2017 at 10:43PM

21 August 2017

Swiss Army Man, 2016 - ★★★½

It has one of the best openings which could have been a 5 star short film but I'm not sure if the rest of the film ever reaches that high again. Each reveal is wonderfully funny but then doesn't amount to much. The ending is muddled and didn't work for me which is a shame because there's something quite charming about the oddness of the whole film.

August 21, 2017 at 10:17PM

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