28 May 2018

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, 2017 - ★★★

As (surprisingly) good as people said but also lots of missed opportunities to make it great. The CG seems to get worse as the film progresses.

May 28, 2018 at 01:52PM

Lean on Pete, 2017 - ★★★★

Even before anything happens there's an inherent sadness to this but in a honest, rather than depressing way. It's another film like Manchester By The Sea and The Rider that deal with coming of age, masculinity (and horses) in a surprisingly tender way.

May 28, 2018 at 01:46PM

20 May 2018

Hamlet, 1921 - ★★★★

Watched on Sunday May 20, 2018.

May 20, 2018 at 09:48PM

Ménilmontant, 1926 - ★★★

Watched on Sunday May 20, 2018.

May 20, 2018 at 09:47PM

The Smiling Madame Beudet, 1923 - ★★★

Watched on Sunday May 20, 2018.

May 20, 2018 at 09:45PM

The Unknown, 1927 - ★★★½

Watched on Sunday May 20, 2018.

May 20, 2018 at 09:44PM

Liberty, 1929 - ★★★½

Watched on Sunday May 20, 2018.

May 20, 2018 at 09:39PM

Eddie the Eagle, 2016 - ★★★½

It's fairly standard stuff and slightly repetitive (there are only so many ways you can show somebody ski jumping) but it's also completely charming and works really effectively.

May 20, 2018 at 09:37PM

Bacon Grabbers, 1929 - ★★★★

Watched on Sunday May 20, 2018.

May 20, 2018 at 01:39PM

The Finishing Touch, 1928 - ★★★★★

Watched on Sunday May 20, 2018.

May 20, 2018 at 01:34PM

06 May 2018

Mary and the Witch's Flower, 2017 - ★★★½

It opens with one of the best action sequences, animated or otherwise (although I have to admit I've completely forgotten what it was about now) and then settles into a charming Ghibli-esque setup. I was pleased when it didn't go down the path of what looked like a Hogwarts clone but also disappointed in the way the story unfolded. There was something a bit off in the way science mixed with magic in both the plot and also the animation. The robots and animals looked like they could have come from another film. The rest of the animation is fantastic and at one point towards the end I even thought it had slipped into a live action conclusion. Wonderful music throughout but disappointing once again the closing song wasn't subtitled.

May 06, 2018 at 12:44PM

After the Storm, 2016 - ★★★½

I saw the first half of After The Storm over a year ago but technical problems meant I never saw the end. I loved what I saw and did so again on this viewing. Perhaps it's my affinity for all things Japanese that meant I was engaged seeing this snapshot of life. Unfortunately once the storm arrives I found myself losing interest but it may also be because it was late and I was tired.

May 06, 2018 at 12:33PM

01 May 2018

Avengers: Infinity War, 2018 - ★★★★

The fact that this doesn't collapse due to the size of the cast remains remarkable. It's probably because of the number of characters that it never drags and it didn't feel like two and half hours had passed when the ending came. It's a shame that this has still ended up being "Part One" because it's only in the ending that it really feels like it gets going. That's not to say the rest of the film isn't a huge amount of fun. It's surprising how the tone of the individual films still gets it's place and it's reassuring that the comedy of Ragnarok was still the highlight.

But I'm unsure about that ending, not because of what happens but because whatever happens next can only undermine this film. I hope I'm wrong and things can be resolved in a satisfying way but it feels like we'll just be waiting a year for some kind of cop-out. And that's without thinking too much about the part Doctor Strange (didn't) play in this film - it's another big niggle that's becoming harder to overlook or explain.

May 01, 2018 at 09:25PM

Avengers: Infinity War, 2018 - ★★★★

The fact that this doesn't collapse due to the size of the cast remains remarkable. It's probably because of the number of characters that it never drags and it didn't feel like two and half hours had passed when the ending came. It's a shame that this has still ended up being "Part One" because it's only in the ending that it really feels like it gets going. That's not to say the rest of the film isn't a huge amount of fun. It's surprising how the tone of the individual films still gets it's place and it's reassuring that the comedy of Ragnarok was still the highlight.

But I'm unsure about that ending, not because of what happens but because whatever happens next can only undermine this film. I hope I'm wrong and things can be resolved in a satisfying way but it feels like we'll just be waiting a year for some kind of cop-out. And that's without thinking too much about the part Doctor Strange (didn't) play in this film - it's another big niggle that's becoming harder to overlook or explain.

May 01, 2018 at 09:25PM

30 April 2018

Brawl in Cell Block 99, 2017 - ★★★★

Considering how much I liked Bone Tomahawk I was expecting a bit more from this. Once it (literally) snaps into gear it becomes quite a different film and is all the better for it. It's grim and relentless and disgustingly enjoyable. It all seems very different from the opening third and I did wonder how much more I'd have appreciated a 90 minute running time just starting at the prison.

April 30, 2018 at 09:45PM

29 April 2018

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, 2017 - ★★★★

Juvenilely brilliant and a complete joy to watch.

April 29, 2018 at 03:56PM

A Quiet Place, 2018 - ★★★★

A simple and surprisingly original story executed brilliantly. I did wonder how well it would stand up to too much scrutiny but if you just go along with it it works really well. The script does something amazing in appearing to be incredibly simple but is used to nearly perfectly set up everything that follows. Brilliant ending as well.

April 29, 2018 at 03:51PM

Captain America: Civil War, 2016 - ★★★★

At times it feels like it's just a series of fights and chases, and there are perhaps too many, but it's completely worth it for the airport encounter which continues to impress.

I also noticed a fair amount of dodgy CGI which is worrying (but not surprising) for a two year old film. Many of the actions scenes had badly composited humanoid figures inserted and I was left wondering why.

April 29, 2018 at 03:47PM

23 April 2018

Thoroughbreds, 2017 - ★★★★

Wonderfully dark and really enjoyable even if the ending is lacking the punch to make it truly great.

April 23, 2018 at 08:57PM

22 April 2018

A War, 2015 - ★★★★

A film of two halves and each is equally compelling yet in completely different ways.

April 22, 2018 at 09:10PM

B.O.B.'s Big Break, 2009 - ★★½

Watched on Sunday April 22, 2018.

April 22, 2018 at 04:18PM

16 April 2018

BPM, 2017 - ★★★

It quickly became apparent that I wasn't in the right mood to watch this but the problem is I'm not sure if I ever will be. When watching a film I try and forget about the real world but at the moment there just seems to be so much wrong and so much to fight for that I couldn't really handle much more.

I knew it was a long film but it felt even longer. The pacing never felt right and the switch to a more personal story in the second half came too late but also seemed to take away some of the drive.

I wish I'd loved the rest of the film even a fraction of how much I loved the completely fantastic final scene.

April 16, 2018 at 09:30PM

Funny Cow, 2017 - ★★★

Great performances, enjoyable cameos and some interesting structural choices but the Funny Cow ends up being less than the sum of the parts.
It wasn't the film I was expecting and I was surprised how little focus there was on the stand up comedy - it's almost as if she could have been doing any job. I also can see why some people may be offended by some of the choices of material, I was left wondering why one joke was used for a breakthrough moment. I think the film is only trying to reflect the sexist/racist/homophobic attitudes of the times but it treads a fine line any may be too much for some.

April 16, 2018 at 09:15PM

Hamlet, 2018

Watched on Saturday April 14, 2018.

April 16, 2018 at 09:01PM

09 April 2018

X-Men: Apocalypse, 2016 - ★★½

James Mcavoy, Michael Fassbender and Oscar Isaac are three of the best actors working today and here they are at their very worst. If these guys can't make the lines work then it really must be some terrible writing. The editing (or lack of it) is much worse, dragging every scene out far longer than necessary contributing to an excessively long running time. There are some entertaining moments, Quicksilver arriving at the mansion feels refreshingly unique, but really isn't much here to get excited about.

April 09, 2018 at 10:01PM