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