Like a beautiful dream but one that your subconscious is unlikely to produce.November 29, 2015 at 06:29PM
Films rated as I see them
The scores mean something like the following:
5 - Outstanding, 4 - Good, 3 - Alright, 2 - Not so good, 1 - Bad
(C) - Cinema, (D) - DVD, (T) - TV, (R) - Recorded from TV, (I) - Internet/Xbox, (S) - Sky, (B) Blu Ray
It's a shame that one of the most cinematic films of the year will not be seen by many in the cinema. I'm not against Netflix's strategy and I doubt I would have made the effort to see this at the cinema myself but there is a danger that it will go unnoticed.
As for the film, it's really quite brilliant. There are echoes of Apocalypse Now and Lord Of The Flies. It's manages to be sweet, disturbing and terrifying and contains at least two fantastic performances from Elba and Attah. A nightmare of a great film.November 29, 2015 at 11:11AM
My favourite screenwriter and my favourite director, why did I doubt them? I was actually bracing myself for disappointment, especially after the poor US performance (and low turnout at the cinema). This is Sorkin's film and it's a shame that Boyle's direction doesn't get more opportunities to shine through, but when it does it's fantastic. I was already fully on board but then the film delivers the most subtle sucker punch of an ending that cemented it's place as my favourite film of the year*.
Oh and whilst everybody else is talking about Sorkin, Boyle, Fassbender and Rogen, it's Kate Winslet that's the real standout.
*Whiplash still feels like it was last year's film.November 22, 2015 at 11:50PM
It's never possible to see everything, here are the films I couldn't fit in but still want to see.
...plus 15 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.November 22, 2015 at 02:44PM
At it's best Horrible Histories worked because it appealed to everybody. With Bill it's hard to know exactly who it's aimed at. The plot is hard to follow and doesn't make much sense for an adult let alone a child. They're also pushing the PG rating with "buggers", prostitutes, sex-dances and cojones which sit uneasily amongst the rest of the child friendly material. It's clever-funny rather than laugh-out-loud-funny but at least it is funny, just not the family friendly Python-esque comedy it could have been.November 21, 2015 at 08:25PM
The opening scene of Carol tells you everything you need to know. Like the rest of the film, it's wonderfully performed and when it eventually concludes it's really quite magnificent. Unfortunately there's an overlong flashback in the middle of these scenes which I thought failed to add much. The result is the whole thing feels quite predictable and very familiar.November 20, 2015 at 12:17AM
Technical problems meant I only saw the first hour or just after what I imagine is a fairly obvious splitting point in the film.
That first hour was fantastic though and that it's climax still managed to be one of the most tense scenes despite the film stopping and starting every few minutes speaks volumes.
If the second half is anywhere near as good as the first I'll be giving it a five star rating when I eventually see it.November 19, 2015 at 11:53PM
I really enjoyed Youth perhaps having low expectations and knowing nothing about it helped. There was a moment (with a monk) where if it had ended I'd have walked out and given a 5 star rating (Letterboxd 4.5). Unfortunately there's another 30 minutes and these are the worst parts of the film. There are moments in the final half hour which work really well and it felt like there was a good ending in there but not the one that was presented.November 19, 2015 at 11:43PM
The strangest films at 29th Leeds International Film Festival.
These are just the ones I saw, I'm sure there were others I missed.
So it's not as good as Blue Ruin and it's covering similar territory to other films but it still manages to be brutally thrilling throughout. There's a sense that anything could happen which is so rare that just makes this an unpleasant joy to experience.November 19, 2015 at 12:31AM
Lots of really great moments but too loosely strung together. It (perhaps deliberately) comes across as a bad video game and some of the more questionable moments sit uneasily, even in a 'weird' Japanese film. Attempts are made to justify things but it doesn't really change what you've already seen.November 19, 2015 at 12:21AM
Not sure where all the festival praise came from, there's nothing particular wrong (although the alternative medicine direction was scarier than The Witch), it just sort of happened. Perhaps I was too tired to appreciate it.November 17, 2015 at 11:07PM
A compelling drama based on uncovering real life cold war secrets. I was fully engaged, if not quite on the edge of my seat, throughout it's running time and would have happily carried on watching a longer version (which is saying something when I think every film is too long).November 15, 2015 at 11:40PM
I was looking forward to seeing this but got the feeling I was the only person in a fairly packed cinema who didn't 'get' it. It felt like one joke stretched out over a far too long running time. It's frequently very very funny and certainly strange and perhaps in another mood I would have liked it a lot more.November 15, 2015 at 11:10PM
Such a great premise that offers up so many potential stories it's a shame that it really fails to deliver anything better than what you thought could happen. It's a film where nothing happens or things happen for no real reason. Or maybe they do, I was too tired to make any sense of it all.November 15, 2015 at 01:46AM
In the late nineties I would have claimed that Leon was one of my favourite films but I can't remember when I last watched it. I was slightly nervous about getting to see it on the big screen (possibly for the first time), would it be better left in my memory? It turns out that it is just still as wonderful as it always way and probably always will be. All three main performances are just phenomenal, New York looks amazing and the action set pieces always have an emotional connection that is so often lacking.November 15, 2015 at 01:40AM
I really only went to see this to fill a gap between other films at the festival and it turned out to be nothing like I was expecting. One of the best (i.e worst) cinema weddings that just happens to revolve around a demonic posession. It's a shame it didn't have a stronger ending because it just seems to fall apart but there's also something wonderfully ambiguous about how it does so.November 15, 2015 at 01:27AM
The Big Blue was one of the first art-house films I saw when I started getting into cinema. It may even be one of the ones that kick started my passion. I can still see why because it's unlike anything else I would have been watching in the early nineties. That's part of the problem watching it now it's all over the place and seems to vary a lot in quality as it almost jumps between different genres. However at its core there's an awful lot to like.November 12, 2015 at 08:03PM
Bolstered by a energetic organ accompaniment Nanook of the North is always interesting, often amusing and sometimes brutal. It still feels like a well made documentary, even if it's authenticity has now been questioned.November 11, 2015 at 11:17PM
I found myself wondering why am I watching these people but after a while the film really gets under your skin. It's grubby and unflinching and highly effective.
Initially I thought I'd only rate the film 2.5, for the audience rate I gave it 3 and now only a few hours later it's a firm four.November 11, 2015 at 11:09PM
I think I have a problem with continuous takes, specifically I don't always notice them. I didn't notice in Birdman, I didn't notice in True Detective. I find myself wondering why things are dragging on a bit. Perhaps that should've served as a warning that Victoria wasn't going to impress me.
I can appreciate that shooting an entire film of this complexity in a continuous shot is a huge achievement but that doesn't make it a good film. It's also impressive that a lot of the film was improvised but I didn't know that until after I'd seen the film. So should these things change my opinion of what's really just an average film.
It starts good, Victoria comes across as a strong character but she just get's dumber and dumber as the film progresses. Why did she never just leave? Was the emotional climax really believable after knowing these people for only a few hours. The first half is more enjoyable and believable. The thriller side of things just isn't thrilling apart from one scene which reached the kinetic energy I was expecting throughout the film.
A big disappointment.November 10, 2015 at 11:41PM
Three wonderful characters get mixed up in love in this sexy french farce. It seems obvious that things will go one of two ways but the ending manages to pull of an unexpected outcome that only added to the charm dished out throughout.November 10, 2015 at 11:18PM
This looked like the kind of bonkers film I've come to expect and enjoy at Leeds International Film Festival. Unfortunately whilst there's lots to enjoy it never manages to come together in a satisfying way. I suspect the TV series would work better.November 09, 2015 at 11:29PM
One of the best looking films of #LIFF29. Three fairly simple love stories combined to tell one big story of two decades of change.
My only problem was I found it slightly distracting having the same actors playing different roles and trying to work out if I'd missed who they were supposed to be.November 09, 2015 at 11:21PM
I'm unsure if the opening minutes would have shed any light on what was happening because I arrived late and had no clue. However I did like a lot of what I did see and there are enough interesting ideas to make it worth watching (and it's only 68 minutes).
Also perhaps the best big-screen appearance of a Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtleNovember 09, 2015 at 11:08PM
Having spent the last few days watching quite a few traditional horror films I'm not sure if my brain really knew how to process this realistic horror. Considering how tired I was, the fact that I was kept fully alert and engaged throughout speaks volumes. It took the drive home to begin to appreciate what I'd just seen. Harrowing seems like the most suitable word to use but I think that only begins to cover things.
As a side note, a brief conversation after the film has made me realise that normally over the next few days my opinion would really form but because I'm in the middle of a film festival and seeing 4 other films tomorrow will I get chance to form my true opinion.November 09, 2015 at 12:35AM
Another well made haunted house/ghost movie. I always think it's a shame when a film maker who obviously loves horror uses a list of cliches as a basis for what to include rather than what to avoid and Hallman ticks them off at an alarming (and repetitive) rate. It's a shame the ending doesn't really work because it could've brought everything together in a more satisfying way but instead it just leaves things confused (and not in a good way).November 08, 2015 at 11:51PM