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

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

The Player, 1992 - ★★★½

I'm not sure how well this has aged. It's still impressively made and surprisingly (yet disappointingly) relevant though.

Followed by a Q&A with Greta Scacchi where she provided wonderful and entertaining insight into working with Robert Altman.

February 22, 2017 at 09:36PM

The Unknown Girl, 2016 - ★★★★

I'm still not sure how much sense any of this made but it didn't stop me enjoying it although that may have just been a result of developing a crush on Doctor Davin.

February 22, 2017 at 09:31PM

Manchester by the Sea, 2016 - ★★★★★

Part of the reason I liked the film so much the first time was the slow reveal behind all the grief. Knowing what happened from the start just made everything more devastating. When it got to the "I haven't got anything big to say" scene I wondered if I could actually sit through it again, I did and it's phenomenally good.

February 22, 2017 at 09:28PM

Tanna, 2015 - ★★★½

One of the reasons why I love film is getting to see parts of the world and cultures without all that travelling malarky. Tanna is a great example of this and it's great to see a glimpse of life on the titular island. Others have commented on how good the non-professional actors were but apart from the leads I thought they seemed a bit off (but that might have been a result of the sound sync problems in this screening). I have to mention the volcano shots just because they are stunning. I wish I hadn't seen the film compared to another famous story because that flagged up how the true story was going to turn out.

February 22, 2017 at 09:22PM

21 February 2017

Mahana, 2016 - ★★★

Great opening film for Keswick Film Festival. Manages to jump between light and dark moments and even makes sheep shearing exciting.

February 21, 2017 at 08:39PM

20 February 2017

The Films of the 18th Keswick Film Festival Ranked

All the films shown at the 18th Keswick Film Festival which I've seen but not necessarily at the festival.

  1. Casablanca
  2. Manchester by the Sea
  3. Son of Saul
  4. La La Land
  5. Arrival
  6. Toni Erdmann
  7. Paterson
  8. Life, Animated
  9. American Honey
  10. The Unknown Girl

...plus 8 more. View the full list on Letterboxd.

February 20, 2017 at 06:34PM

My 18th Keswick Film Festival: Ranked

Everything I saw at the 18th Keswick Film Festival.

  1. Manchester by the Sea
  2. La La Land
  3. Toni Erdmann
  4. The Unknown Girl
  5. Raw
  6. Mahana
  7. Tanna
  8. The Player
  9. The Salesman
  10. White Mischief
February 20, 2017 at 06:23PM

16 February 2017

Prevenge, 2016 - ★★★★

A brilliant debut and a hugely satisfying dark horror comedy drama.

Introduced and Q&A with Alice Lowe.

February 16, 2017 at 02:27PM

13 February 2017

Loving, 2016 - ★★★★

I'm just going to agree with Mark Kermode's words "A very very impressively low key work".

February 13, 2017 at 09:46PM

12 February 2017

The Rack Pack, 2016 - ★★★

An entertaining but somewhat familiar rock biopic only with a snooker player (who I only knew from the Amsoft World Of Snooker computer game - which I was disappointed didn't feature)

February 12, 2017 at 06:26PM