31 May 2015

Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981 - ★★★★★

The perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon in the cinema. In fact it's the perfect way to spend any two hours. Every bit as good as I remembered and this may be the first time I've seen it in the cinema (sadly not the 70mm print that was promised). There isn't a wasted moment, everything is either setting something up for later or delivering the goods.

I'm still not completely convinced by the ending (which is also the only time the film shows it's age) but not enough to spoil my enjoyment in any way.

May 31, 2015 at 06:55PM

You, the Living, 2007 - ★★★

As I'm hoping to see Pigeon... soon and only recently saw Songs From The Second Floor this felt like a good time to catch up with the middle part of the trilogy. I wasn't completely hooked by Songs and liked this more, but my enjoyment and appreciation varied quite a bit from one segment to the next. I suspect Pigeon will be more of the same but that's necessarily a bad thing.

May 31, 2015 at 06:43PM

Girlhood, 2014 - ★★★★

Another film that covers familiar themes and yet manages to feel entirely fresh. It already feels like it will stand the test of time and be just as watchable in 20 years, which isn't the only thing it shares with La Haine (which still felt fresh when I saw it earlier this year).

Marieme's search for identity feels incredibly authentic and ends up being one of the better coming of age tales. The Rihanna moment is simply amazing and works surprisingly well in context and the scene following "let's do something new" offers plenty to laugh at amongst all the harshness.

I seem to remember liking Tomboy more but over the last few days my appreciate for Girlhood has grown.

May 31, 2015 at 06:37PM

28 May 2015

Compliance, 2012 - ★★★★½

A terrifying experience that's so unbelievable you know that it must be based on a true story. The first 30 minutes feel a lot longer and I wondered what else could happen in the next hour but then things only got worse. It's a shame that the ending feels rushed and introduces some ideas that are then not explored.

I understand some of the criticisms that there is nothing apart from the title cards to suggest this could have actually happened but this didn't bother me.

The two most extreme moments felt oddly edited and I wondered if the version shown on film4 had been cut for television.

May 28, 2015 at 09:47PM

26 May 2015

Spellbound, 1945 - ★★★½

There are lots of stylish and memorable moments that help the mostly implausible story.

(I was full of cold and tired when I watched this so it's quite possible that it's better than I thought)

May 26, 2015 at 09:18PM

Coalition, 2015 - ★★★½

An enjoyable look into those dark rooms discussions that took place after the 2010 general election.

May 26, 2015 at 09:05PM

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, 2014 - ★★★

Slow moving but always stylish. Sometimes scary, sometimes strange and surprisingly funny in places. I should have liked this more but for some reason it didn't quite work for me.

May 26, 2015 at 08:52PM

24 May 2015

MacGruber, 2010 - ★

Deeply unfunny, crude and offensive. I really can't understand how this has got any credibility as a spoof or even as a film (but it does).

May 24, 2015 at 03:35PM

Le Havre, 2011 - ★★★½

A simple old fashioned film with a wonderful colour palette that means every shot looks beautiful. I had to check when the film was made and set (both around 2011) because it really did feel from another time.

May 24, 2015 at 03:33PM

The C-Word, 2015 - ★★½

Putting aside the real life story which is inspirational and moving this version suffers in the same way that many films portraying writers often do. Lisa Lynch's words never manage to escape the blog (or page) in an effective way and it all feels like a poor version of Sex And The City. When not focussed on the writing, of which there is less towards the end, it works better. Sheridan Smith and the rest of the cast are all really good but from what I saw on Twitter when this aired I was expecting it to be a lot better.

May 24, 2015 at 03:31PM

Roald Dahl's Esio Trot, 2014 - ★★★

A TV film elevated by the involvement of Hoffman, Dench and Richard Curtis on writing duties. There isn't anything that special but it is quite charming and has a lovely warm visual style.

May 24, 2015 at 03:21PM

18 May 2015

Au revoir les enfants, 1987 - ★★½

I do hate it when this happens: a well respected and (universally) admired film that does nothing for me. I start to question what sort of philistine I must be before realising that not everybody is going to like everything. I'm afraid I just found this boring with nothing interesting to say and nothing remarkable about how it was made. The ending was the only part that had any impact but not enough to change my opinion of the rest of the experience.

May 18, 2015 at 11:40PM

17 May 2015

20,000 Days on Earth, 2014 - ★★★½

I'm not exactly what I just saw. It felt like a Nick Cave mockumentary directed by somebody like Armando Iannucci, Stewart Lee or Peter Serafinowicz and I mean that as a compliment.

May 17, 2015 at 12:01PM

04 May 2015

Love Is All, 2015 - ★★★½

Some parts are not as effective as others but when it works it really is quite beautiful.

May 04, 2015 at 10:00PM

The Punk Singer, 2013 - ★★★

There's nothing special about the documentary but Hanna's story is still incredibly interesting.

May 04, 2015 at 09:56PM

The Sitter, 2011 - ★★★½

Another one of those David Gordon Green films but this one just about works. I felt it had the touch of John Hughes so it was surprising to only see negative reviews here on Letterboxd.

May 04, 2015 at 09:54PM

Rise of the Guardians, 2012 - ★★★★

One of the better non-Pixar animations. It looks wonderful and manages to combine fairy tales and superheroes into an effective premise. It works more successfully as an origins and assembly story than many of the Marvel films so it's disappointing to hear it didn't perform well and isn't that loved.

May 04, 2015 at 09:51PM