25 April 2017

The Love Witch, 2016 - ★★★½

There's so much to appreciate and enjoy in Anna Biller's film (her name is most of the credits). Unfortunately there's not quite enough to sustain a 2 hour running time. This would have been so much better if it was less than 90 minutes and also a lot easier to rewatch.

April 24, 2017 at 10:49PM

18 April 2017

Easter Parade, 1948 - ★★★★

It may just be a collection of song and dance sequences, with very little story, but what songs and dances.

It was also great to see Judy Garland in something other that The Wizard of Oz and "why didn't you tell me I was in love with you?"

April 18, 2017 at 10:49AM

Moana, 2016 - ★★★½

I was expecting more from this and found that the moments that didn't work stood out much more than those that did, which doesn't make it a bad film. There's something odd about the human animation, it has a rotoscoped/motion-capture that didn't feel like "Disney" to me. Only two of the songs stood out (You're Welcome and Shiny) so I still need to be converted to Lin-Manuel Miranda. That chicken made me laugh far too much though.

April 18, 2017 at 10:44AM

The Great Muppet Caper, 1981 - ★★★★

Second part of a Muppet double bill and another I don't remember seeing before. I think I preferred this slightly over the first movie because it has more of a story. It feels like a film from a different time and would work just as well without any Muppets but would be nowhere near as much fun.

I'm in amazement at the cycling sequence, even after finding how (vaguely) how it was done. I genuinely can't remember the last time I wondered how something was possible.

April 18, 2017 at 10:35AM

The Muppet Movie, 1979 - ★★★★

I was surprised to find that I'd never seen this before (at least not as an adult that I remember). It's enjoyable and has aged really well, with only the cameos placing it as a (nearly) 40 year old film. The practical full body effects are so much more fascinating and magical than their modern CGI counterparts. It's only a slight story which now feels overly familiar but it's told and performed with such love it's hard not to be impressed.

April 18, 2017 at 10:31AM

11 April 2017

My Life as a Zucchini, 2016 - ★★★★

Ron Swanson! I'm convinced Nick Offerman make anything worth watching and this is no exception. Even without Offerman this would still be fantastic. Beautifully animated, lovingly told, it feels so honest and true to life despite being animated but that's no surprise when it's from the writer of Girlhood and Tomboy.

It's best not to think about the ending too much or you start to realise how messy things may become which is a slightly disappointing conclusion.

April 11, 2017 at 10:55PM

04 April 2017

A Good Day to Die Hard, 2013 - ★★½

It's not that bad, it's not that good but it certainly isn't a Die Hard film

April 04, 2017 at 10:10PM

Listen to Me Marlon, 2015 - ★★★

Interesting enough but didn't do much to completely capture my attention.

April 04, 2017 at 10:04PM

29 March 2017

The Fits, 2015 - ★★★

A film I'd been looking forward to seeing since it's US release last September. Unfortunately it didn't really work for me, I found it too slow and lacking something and even though it's only 71 minutes long it felt much longer.

I had a sense of what this was trying to achieve so perhaps seeing it another time or in another frame of mind I'd appreciate it differently. Or perhaps it just suffers in the UK from coming after The Falling which I loved and is hard not to think about.

March 29, 2017 at 08:28PM

23 March 2017

Beauty and the Beast, 2017 - ★★★½

I'm unsure if there's anything particularly wrong with this remake; it seems faithful, looks great and I enjoyed it but it's lacking any real magic. It feels like an imitation, a pantomime using Disney costumes and I was just left wondering why you'd choose to watch this over the animated version. The moment with the ballgown reveal was quite special though.

March 23, 2017 at 05:24PM

19 March 2017

Our Little Sister, 2015 - ★★★★

Koreeda is becoming one of my favourite directors with each film I see. This is a film where you just enjoy spending time with all the characters. Others have compared it to Ozu but I was mostly reminded of the non-fantasy Ghibli films.

March 19, 2017 at 10:14AM

Warcraft, 2016 - ★★

I really hoped that I'd like this and it wouldn't be as bad as most people were making out. Unfortunately there isn't much to recommend and for me it just came across as fantasy nonsense. Everytime it switched to an animated sequence or back to the humans it threw me out of what little engagement I had. One positive this was the way different languages were portrayed on screen, although I think this was only in one scene early in the film.

March 19, 2017 at 10:07AM

Demolition, 2015 - ★★★★

I had a feeling I'd like this but didn't think I'd like it as much as this. I'm not entirely sure why, it perhaps isn't a great film but something about it just connected with me.

March 19, 2017 at 10:03AM

14 March 2017

Florence Foster Jenkins, 2016 - ★★★

A fairly unremarkable film about a really remarkable character. It's entertaining and amusing with really strong performances from all. However, it's hard to know how to feel about the manipulation and overall tragicness, which is portrayed sympathetically but lacks any real depth.

March 14, 2017 at 06:52PM

11 March 2017

The Greasy Strangler, 2016 - ★★★½

What.
The.
Actual.
Brilliant.
Fuck.

Starts off brilliantly but struggles to keep the momentum for the whole 90 minutes.

March 11, 2017 at 03:55PM

09 March 2017

O.J.: Made in America, 2016 - ★★★★★

Completely fascinating

5 episode TV version on iplayer (although they paired up the first four episodes)

March 09, 2017 at 08:48PM

05 March 2017

The Man from U.N.C.L.E., 2015 - ★★★★

A nice reminder of why people once got excited about Guy Ritchie films. This is slickly put together, stylish, funny and much better than the often overblown nonsense of Bond. I guess a sequel is unlikely which is a shame because I'd like to see more.

March 05, 2017 at 06:19PM

Free Fire, 2016 - ★★★★

After a brief setup up this is essentially a feature length (75 min?) gun fight and it's all incredibly good fun. It's a simple concept, masterfully executed (and mapped out in Minecraft before filming) which I don't remember seeing before.

It did feel like it was lacking something (but I don't know what) to make it truly great. I suspect I'll like it more on subsequent viewings which at 90 minutes I'm likely to do unlike the bloated Hateful Eight.

Q&A with Ben Wheatley and Sam Riley

March 05, 2017 at 06:12PM

02 March 2017

Christine, 2016 - ★★★

It's Rebecca Hall's haunting portrayal of depression that's the reason to see this film. How well it works as a whole is questionable because if you already know what's going to happen it feels rushed and if you don't, it comes out of nowhere. This is one time when I think I would have preferred the film to end much earlier with some title cards explaining what happened next.

March 02, 2017 at 07:25PM

27 February 2017

20th Century Women, 2016 - ★★★★½

Just beautiful. I can't decide if it's life affirmingly brilliant or depressingly sad but it all feels so very real.

February 27, 2017 at 09:16PM

26 February 2017

The Lego Batman Movie, 2017 - ★★★★

Probably the best comic book film of recent years, definitely one of the better Batman (Batmen?) films. It's just a huge amount of fun from the opening studio logos to the closing credits. It occasionally threatens to become too schmaltzy but never crosses the line.

I can't wait to see it again.

There appeared to be no reason (apart from the end credits) to see this in 3D and I wonder if the 2D version also has weird background focussing.

February 26, 2017 at 04:08PM

22 February 2017

La La Land, 2016 - ★★★★

I thought I might like this more away from the expectation and after listening to the soundtrack so much over the last month. However I'm not sure if I did, I still think it's great and was happy to defend it when it didn't go down so well with a lot of the Keswick audience.

February 22, 2017 at 09:53PM

Toni Erdmann, 2016 - ★★★★

Appreciated this a lot more but can't buy the director's comments that we have to put up with so much tedium to be rewarded with the good stuff. The middle 90 minutes could easily be edited down, removing every other irrelevant scene to make a much slicker, leaner and altogether better film.

February 22, 2017 at 09:49PM

White Mischief, 1987 - ★★★

Quite a strange little film but also very enjoyable. Another Q&A with Greta Scacchi was a wonderful experience as well.

February 22, 2017 at 09:45PM

The Salesman, 2016 - ★★★

Festival fatigue set in early for this one, as I sat down I realised I hadn't eaten anything all day and suddenly felt really hungry. That might be the reason why I struggled to engage with this in any meaningful way. It looked like it was a much better film than I was experiencing and think it's one I need to give a second chance at some point in the future.

February 22, 2017 at 09:43PM