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The Dark and The Wicked

 

Relaxing, comforting, creepy and fun.

There are a few forgivable missteps, I don't think they spoil anything.
The pace is nice and relaxing so when they roll out some of the old horror tropes like wolves howling and stuff, it feels cosy, they give you feelings of familiar comfort rather than inducing eye rolls and tutting. It's good fun.

 

****

 

 

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Citizen Kane

 

An absolute masterpiece entirely justifying its reputation as the greatest film ever made. Not seen it in a good few years, time hasn’t diminished it’s impact one bit. Welles is at the height of his powers both in the acting stakes and the directing. He pretty much established the rules of cinema with this film.

 

5/5

 

Birds of Prey

 

I wasn’t aware that this is really good. A film where females actually are better than their male counterparts at pretty much everything. Robbie is simply amazing in the main role, perhaps her best performance to date.

 

Great actions scenes, a witty script and McGregor on top form as the antagonist. I’m only marking it down a bit due to Rosie bloody Perez who tries her best to ruin the movie.

 

4.5/5.

 

Porco Rosso

 

Yet another perfect piece of filmmaking. SG’s finest hour and Keatons voice performance is the standard by which all others should be measured. Utter utter perfection.

 

5/5.

 

Ready Player One

 

A rewatch here, it’s about as close to old Spielberg as we are going to see in this day and age. Not perfect, but still great entertainment.

 

4/5

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Hosts

 

Alright for an hour and then it goes to absolute shit.
The tone is totally psychopathic, which is fun when they're

Spoiler

gleefully smashing in somebody's head during christmas dinner

, but way less fun when the film is trying to convey anything else.

 

The Wonky acting really drags things down when it starts to matter. There's one hilariously unbelievable scene in particular involving

Spoiler

somebody being hung in a forest

where they really insult the audience and you can tell it's not meant to be comical.

 

It's aaalright for an hour when you're not entirely sure where it's going, and then it just bores you when it should be sprinting for the finish.


They should have just gone all out, played to their strengths and made a totally brainless, riotously silly gore-fest.

 

*

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Into The Spiderverse

5/5

Just a fantastic film. The animation in this is a tour de force. Every second of it is perfect. The narrative is good, the voice acting is good but the art style is wonderful. If you haven't seen this and have an OLED, it'll blow you away. It's very difficult to criticise it in any way.

 

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Bullshot (1983)

Very silly send-up of 1930s Boy's Own/Bulldog Drummond-style adventures, with Great War fighter ace and all-round dashing hero Captain Hugh "Bullshot" Crummond up against his arch enemy, Count Otto Van Bruno. it's exhausting to watch, it speeds along at a rate of knots, the upper-class oh-so-Brrrritish twit cliche antics and mega-daftness never letting up one jot. It if was any longer it would have been impossible, but as it is this an entertaining, if rather dated comedy, not a classic.

 

3/5

 

 

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Eat Locals (2017)

Lacklustre low-budget Brit horror-comedy with a houseful of vampires besieged by some military-grade vampire hunters. It squanders the solid premise by slapping plot points here, there and everywhere. This happens, it prompts that to happen, and that leads to something else happening, with the occasional random gag in there as the writers felt like it. The characters on both sides are largely meh, it's difficult to get excited. Annette Crosbie gets to be the badass old lady with an assault rifle, but like most things here it's just an isolated alright idea that contributes to an ultimately unsatisfying whole.

 

2/5

 

 

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The Fourth Protocol (1987)

 

I was just getting into gaming when the game of this came out and I found it's icon-based gameplay completely fascinating.  I was just old enough to read Frederick Forsyth book, if not quite understand the complexities of its Cold War setting.  So by the time the film came out, I was a solid fan of this type of fiction.

 

Michael Caine plays John Preston, a member of the British Secret Service. He stumbles upon a plot by the head of the KGB to use Major Valeri Petrofsky (Pierce Brosnan) to break the Fourth Protocol - a secret agreement between the nuclear powers to not sneak and assemble an atomic bomb on their enemies soil.  With couriers bringing in pieces of the bomb for Brosnan to assemble, Preston must figure out what is going on and stop him.

 

Directed by John MacKenzie (The Long Good Friday and that terror of every 70's schoolkid, Apaches), the film adaptation doesn't quite pull the whole thing off.  The main problem is that it's not quite sure what it wants to be - Tinker Tailor type MI6 political intrigue or detective type or spy thriller.  It's too faithful to the book, with the first half taken up by a subplot that does little except establish character (the book does the same, but then it does have the advantage of a limitless time to do it).  And the epilogue feels rushed.  British cinema had a budget of 50p in the 80s and it shows in places despite the best efforts of cast and crew.  And its a great cast.  Brosnan - fresh from being preventing taking the role of James Bond plays Petrofsky as an evil version of 007, clearly working out the darker parts of his later role.  Ian Richardson is all but playing Francis Urquhart, four years early. (His scene with with an equally superb Anton Rogers is bloody brilliant.)  Joanna Cassidy is hot as hell as the bomb assembler.  Ray McNally a solid turn as a KGB highup. 

 

So the cast and crew do their best and deliver very solid mid-80s spy thriller.  However the limitations that they were working under clearly show and that's a shame.  It would have been a great four part BBC adaptation.  3/5

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I’m furloughed, my wife’s staying with her parents as shielding, and my 16 year old son has no interest in leaving his room. So until my PS5 arrives, I have a ridiculous amount of time for watching films. Watched all these today.

 

When Marnie Was There 4.5/5

 

Seen this many times. One of my favourite Ghibli films, and certainly one of their most underrated. The ending gets me every time.

 

Crimson Peak 3.5/5

 

First time rewatching this since it came out. Not prime Del Toro, but their is a lot to love here, especially how it looks. Del Toro always describes it as a Gothic Romance. And I like that idea, but it’s the romance element that lets it down. It needed a better actor than Tom Hiddleston to make that work.
 

Free Fire 4.5/5

 

Again, seen this many times, I just absolutely love it. Up there with Wheatley’s best for me. A brilliant chaotic take down of inept masculinity. And funny as hell too.

 

The Thin Red Line 5/5

 

Absolutely superb. No idea why I’ve waited so long to watch this. I’ve only seen three Malick films, but this is by a long way my favourite. Straight away up there with my favourite all time war films. Think I’ll watch The New World next.

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My favourite part of Free Fire is Sam Riley's performance, which really surprised me. I would say it was a revelation but others would disagree with the use of that word so i won't say that.

 

And Arnie Hammer being really cool, which is probably not a stretch for him but it's the best I've seen him in anything. Otherwise the film is an utter disaster! No it's not, I just wanted to say that. I always associate the film with kerraig ripping it apart in the thread. 

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5 hours ago, Loik V credern said:

My favourite part of Free Fire is Sam Riley's performance, which really surprised me. I would say it was a revelation but others would disagree with the use of that word so i won't say that.

 

And Arnie Hammer being really cool, which is probably not a stretch for him but it's the best I've seen him in anything. Otherwise the film is an utter disaster! No it's not, I just wanted to say that. I always associate the film with kerraig ripping it apart in the thread. 

Wheatley does seem to bring out the best in Sam Riley. He was superb in Rebecca as well.

I’m a big fan of Ben Wheatley, and had many a disagreements with Kerraig on the subject. But fair play to him, he always gave his films a try despite not being a fan.

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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)

Overlong and patchily-amusing sequel that felt like there could have been a 40-minute TV special with all the tentpole trolling moments and less of the rather flat encounters and story. The whole tale with Borat's views of women being challenged felt at odds with the broad-stroke practical jokes and high jinks. It did show up some of the utterly reprehensible views of some Americans when it came to COVID-19, but let's face it that was a huge open goal. As a sleight on Trump's presidency it isn't a total success. The Mike Pence-trolling is probably the best bit for me. To be honest this sort of practical-joking isn't my thing, so unsurprisingly I'm giving it a thumbs down.

 

2/5

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3 minutes ago, Stigweard said:

 

I'm really looking forward to seeing this. I really liked Song of the Sea.

 

I love Song of the Sea but this is better in many, many ways. Not least of all visually.

 

I mean, some of the later scenes are staggering achievements.

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I watched Addams Family Values last night. I vaguely remember watching it when I was little, not sure if it was on video or at the cinema. I've always liked it though, Christopher Lloyd acts his socks off :)

 

I'm giving it 4/5 because there are lots of adult jokes that I missed when I was little.

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Onward

3.5/5 - like others have said, feels more Dreamworks than Pixar, doesn't move the CGI industry on particularly but some very funny moments and some very heartwarming ones.

 

The Hunt

3/5 - Quite a bit better than I expected.

 

Lucy in the Sky

2/5 - Great acting from Portman but very confused. Unless they intended to illustrate that mental health issues are just all over the place, in which case they achieved that.

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The Babysitter

 

Very silly horror film about a teenager whose 'hot' babysitter turns out to be part of a Satanic cult.  Some amusing comedy deaths but not much else to recommend here.

 

2.5/5

 

The Invisible Man

 

Elizabeth Moss stars as a victim of an abusive relationship who believes her abuser - who has supposedly committed suicide - is still alive and is stalking her.  This is effective, tense and well acted - definitely worth a look.

 

4/5

 

Addams Family Values

 

I don't think I'd seen this since I saw it at the cinema when I was about 12!  Good fun, Christopher Lloyd and Christina Ricci steal the show as Fester and Wednesday.  I think I prefer the original though.

 

3/5

 

His House

 

Creepy horror film about some refugees coming to terms with the trauma of their journey from their home country.  Worked very well with some excellent performances from the main cast.

 

3.5/5

 

The Platform

 

Excellent Spanish film on Netflix with some very clever political references - really enjoyed this.

 

4/5

 

The Babysitter: Killer Queen

 

The sequel to The Babysitter is no better, any less silly or - sadly - any more memorable.

 

2.5/5

 

Wildling

 

A horror film that starts with real promise dissolves into 90 minutes of muddled nonsense with multiple plot holes.

 

1.5/5

 

Level 16

 

The Handmaids Tale meets Black Mirror in a film that never quite manages to match the potential it shows.  Wasn't impressed.

 

2/5

 

Bad Neighbours

 

Silly but inoffensive comedy as new parents Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne have to contend with a frat party going on next door, led by Zac Efron.

 

3/5

 

The Shining

 

A Halloween 'must watch' that seems to improve with every showing.  Essential.

 

4.5/5

 

Holidate

 

I wanted to dislike this more than I did because it's wholly unoriginal and a bit silly but.... I've seen worse.  Still - the other half wanted to see it so it means I get to choose the next film....

 

2.5/5

 

Jojo Rabbit

 

Brilliant - another Taika Waititi masterpiece.  Loved every minute of it - original, dark, warm and funny exploring a subject matter that shouldn't work this well.  The performances from all of the kids in this are quite something too.  Watch this.

 

4.5/5

 

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

 

Fucking dreck - a film about good looking awful people being awful and knowing they're good looking.  The biggest question I wanted answering at the end was who I hated most.  I called it a draw.  I absolutely despised this film.

 

1/5

 

The Secret Garden

 

New Sky Cinema remake of the 1993 'classic' that I actually found a bit boring, despite some strikingly beautiful cinematography.

 

2/5

 

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