17 October 2017

Dunkirk, 2017 - ★★★★½

Third viewing, this time in 70mm and definitely the best version. The colours were unlike anything else I've seen (including the 35mm and Imax version). This time I found that I followed the different timelines much better, noticing much more how they fed into and overlapped each other and there were some things I also noticed for the first time. I probably should up this to 5 stars but still feel like it's missing something.

October 17, 2017 at 09:47PM

14 October 2017

08 October 2017

Blade Runner 2049, 2017 - ★★★★

There really isn't much wrong here (although it's hard to disagree with < a href='http://ift.tt/2g1B25m'>Imagine a future. Where women are *still* treated as sex objects) but I also found there wasn't anything truly spectacular or delivering any real emotional weight. That could just be a result of all the positive reviews creating an unreasonable level of expectations. For me, it feels more like this is just what I expect good mainstream films to be (is this even mainstream?) and everything else is so bad our acceptance levels have declined.

I do think this is better than the original and will stand the test of time just as well. It's perhaps too long and there was a whole fourth act I wasn't expecting. It wouldn't have been possible but I do think it would have been better if Ford hadn't been included in any of the publicity, the inevitably of his late appearance is distracting. It also feels like Jared Leto has wandered in from another film (again) and his first scenes seem to add very little. But it's good (better than good really) and it could have been terrible and destroyed the legacy and for that we should be grateful.

October 08, 2017 at 01:19PM

02 October 2017

Lion, 2016 - ★★★

The first part. and Sunny Pawar in particular, is really great so it's a shame that the later parts feel under developed and lacking something. It still manages to get to the emotional punch though albeit in a predictable way.

October 02, 2017 at 07:29PM

Blade Runner, 1982 - ★★★★

The Final Cut

When I last watched Blade Runner, 4 years ago on DVD, I was surprised how well it had stood the test of time. Apart from the video screens and graphics it all still looks fantastic. This time I found myself struggling with the structure and story a little. With Alien Covenant still relatively fresh in my mind I started to wonder how good a storyteller Ridley Scott actually is or if the style in which the story unfolds here now just feels dated (it's also possible that I was too tired even though I do already know the story). It still all comes together in the end but I'm already starting to think this may end up being a quite good prequel to Villeneuve's better film

October 02, 2017 at 07:21PM

25 September 2017

mother!, 2017 - ★★★★½

A breathtaking experience which, even though I can't begin to fully understand, had more than enough to hook me and keep me completely engrossed throughout. Arguably it does go too far in some of it's final moments and one (unnecessary?) part is likely to be a problem for many but overall I just found it a mesmerising, terrifying and wonderful thing.

September 25, 2017 at 08:48PM

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

La Strada, 1954 - ★★★

A strange film really, made only stranger by seeing it in the middle of the day at Glastonbury.

Nice venue though, wish I'd gone back to see more.

July 01, 2017 at 10:00AM

15 June 2017

Raw, 2016 - ★★★½

Just noticed I hadn't logged this and 4 months later I can't quite remember what I thought. I liked it but was also disappointed and didn't think it lived up to the hype.

June 15, 2017 at 09:29AM

06 June 2017

Wonder Woman, 2017 - ★★★★

I hadn't realised how important it was to have a such a strong female lead film. It shouldn't make a difference but it absolutely does. For most of the film it's outperforms other superhero films and is in a whole other universe from the rest of the DC films. It's a shame that it resorts to the old Iron Man endings of two (mostly CG) characters throwing things at each other because everybody deserved a more satisfying conclusion. There are other places where things are pretty unbelievable (even for a godly superhero) but those moments are forgivable because everything else is done so well.

June 06, 2017 at 09:03PM

04 June 2017

Get Out, 2017 - ★★★★

So much of Get Out is so good; everything is set up just perfectly, horror is combined with comedy and there's intelligence and bite to the satire and social commentary. For much of the film things the mystery is far-fetched but works in context and it's only when things start to get explained that it unfortunately steps over the believability line. The ending is still executed well but it does feel like a disappointment after everything else was so carefully considered.

June 04, 2017 at 02:02PM

31 May 2017

The Hollow Crown: Henry VI - part 2, 2016 - ★★★★

Watched on Wednesday May 31, 2017.

May 31, 2017 at 09:57PM

The Dark Crystal, 1982 - ★★★

Surprised to find out that I had never seen this before (or don't remember any of it if I had). Technically it's impressive (although I find the Gelflings a bit odd looking) but the story is quite basic and a bit too hobbit-y for me.

May 31, 2017 at 09:50PM

30 May 2017

The Mechanical Cow, 1927

Watched on Sunday May 28, 2017.

May 30, 2017 at 05:43PM

Scents and Nonsense, 1926

Watched on Sunday May 28, 2017.

May 30, 2017 at 05:43PM

The Ocean Hop, 1927

Watched on Sunday May 28, 2017.

May 30, 2017 at 05:42PM

Felix Comes Back, 1922

Watched on Sunday May 28, 2017.

May 30, 2017 at 05:42PM

The Tantalizing Fly, 1919

Watched on Sunday May 28, 2017.

May 30, 2017 at 05:41PM

The '?' Motorist, 1906

Watched on Sunday May 28, 2017.

May 30, 2017 at 05:40PM

24 May 2017

The Edge of the World, 1937 - ★★½

Despite appearing to be a well made film this didn't really do much for me.

May 24, 2017 at 09:48PM

King Charles III, 2017 - ★★★★

I liked this a lot even though I hoped the second half wouldn't play out as it did.

May 24, 2017 at 08:08AM

19 May 2017

Alien: Covenant, 2017 - ★★★

It's all good until the aliens turn up and surely that's a huge problem for a film in the Alien series. Things aren't helped by the crew bouncing between idiotic and cliched decisions and even Waterson's mostly sensible Daniels becomes annoying by the end of the film. Those cliched moments feel like ticking off a checklist of things an alien film needs and at best add little, but often feel closer to parody. One shot of the Alien looks like it's part of the Hollyoaks title sequence and in another moment (or was it the same) it was a surprise/relief it didn't turn into a Spaceballs song and dance. All of the aliens look awful; badly animated and out of place, later CG humans are thrown around and you just have to wonder why. The final plot developments are so obvious I actually groaned when they began to be played out. People always say that a sequel or remake doesn't detract from the original film and I usually agree but this comes dangerously close to undermining the original films.

And yet having complained about nearly every aspect of the film (and I haven't really gone into the problematic plot) I did enjoy myself far more than I should have

May 19, 2017 at 11:16PM

The Hollow Crown: Henry VI - part 1, 2016 - ★★★★

Watched on Wednesday May 17, 2017.

May 19, 2017 at 10:48PM

10 May 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, 2017 - ★★★★

It's all over the place but in a way which works far more often than it fails. For two hours it provided enough entertainment to distract me from the real world and that feels like an achievement. I'm also pleased I saw this in 3D because it did actually add something to what is already a visually impressive film.

May 10, 2017 at 09:39PM

07 May 2017

A Conspiracy of Faith, 2016 - ★★★½

More cinematic than the other films in the series but still suffers many of the same problems. The biggest issue is that once again the characters do something reckless and/or ridiculous that would seriously undermine the case. It's a shame because the characters and their relationships are great and it successfully manages to be both dark and humourous.

May 07, 2017 at 06:28PM

01 May 2017

Swallows and Amazons, 2016 - ★★★

There's something quite charming about how all of this looks but there's not really much of a story. As harsh as it may be the child performances are distracting and not strong enough to carry the film.

May 01, 2017 at 05:18PM

The Absent One, 2014

Withholding a rating because even though I only watched this in the last week I can't remember enough about it (which is a sign of my failing memory and mixing it up with Follow The Money, rather than the quality). Like the previous film, It still feels like a feature length TV episode but a good one. There was something about this I was going to say but it completely escapes me now.

May 01, 2017 at 04:35PM

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