• The Damned

    The Damned

    ★★★½

    Succession but set in a decadent and corrupt 1930s Nazi Germany.

    Seesaws between ponderous historical melodrama and a lurid, camp melodrama, which is part of the fun. I don't think Visconti ever manages to make the seriousness and the sleaze in this typically painterly (though too underlit) piece blend successfully, but it remains compelling.

  • Malignant

    Malignant

    ★★

    I just can't get on the James Wan train. Whether it's the excessive use of digital-looking CGI, or the familiar tropes of horror movies being fired at you in a hysterical pitch or what, I dunno. Just can't connect.

    This does have some admirably weird-out splatter make-up effects ripped from a 1980s issue of Fangoria, however, so fair enough.

  • Full Metal Jacket

    Full Metal Jacket

    ★★★

    Interesting seeing a war being played out in East London abandoned gas works and edgelands. Love the shot of them marching alongside a strip of stranding water, palm trees propped up among the bramble hedgerow disguised with smoke - pan the camera a little to the left to see a substation or a Beefeater restaurant or sewage works.

    Apart from the basic training scenes in the first half (which themselves become wearingly repetitive and ridiculous), this has a lack of…

  • Hatton Garden: The Heist

    Hatton Garden: The Heist

    ★★

    Only the second film about the Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary I watched today and this is a cheaper, rougher and more amatuerish effort than 2017's slick The Hatton Garden Job, but it feels a great deal more authentic and gets the job done with much less fuss.

  • The Hatton Garden Job

    The Hatton Garden Job

    It didn't take a criminal mastermind to figure out that when the Hatton Garden safe deposit burglary, carried out by a small team of ageing crooks, hit the news in 2015 that it would be irresistible to filmmakers. So far, there have been three feature films, a TV mini-series and a radio play.

    And, well, here's the inevitable Guy Ritchie-influenced flashy crime caper entry that over-utilises all the usual, hackneyed tricks: speed-ramping, split-screen, freeze frame, and excessive teal and orange…

  • The Lost Daughter

    The Lost Daughter

    ★★★★

    This is great. Cut it like a snake.

  • The Matrix Resurrections

    The Matrix Resurrections

    ★★★½

    Not really a game-changer nor a nostalgia bath, and less an action movie more a self-aware thinky sci-fi with some big ideas - some of which may be good, but they are mostly frozen in the centre of huge glaciers of exposition and characters explaining the lore. Very talk not show, this.

    Rightly reclaims the movies from the red-pilled Redditors, Elon Musks and others who have misappropriated the films' themes.

    And Trinity, who, after her thrilling introduction at the beginning…

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★★★

    Does not fuck about. The incredible first half-an-hour or so has all the thrill and romance of a Ballardian ballet (car crash), which the film can't quite sustain but, still, what a head spin. Provocative, transgressive and humour that's blacker than motor oil.

    "I've never fucked a car before
    it's like a door."

  • Lamb

    Lamb

    ★★★

    So quiet and low-key I'm surprised they didn't just call it Silence of the Lamb.

    This chilly folktale yarn is perhaps a little too spare for its own good, and about 40% of it is sitting on a tractor or staring pensively into the middle distance. But as the middle distance is this incredibly mythic landscape of misty tundra and dark hills, I suppose it's justified, but the film does feel self-consciously arthousey and drawn out.

    But there's always the lamb-human hybrid in a lambswool pullover...

  • And Soon the Darkness

    And Soon the Darkness

    ★★★½

    Suspense thriller by Brian Clemens and Terry Nation about two English girls cycling through rural France, one of whom goes missing. A daylight horror that makes the most of the endless empty roads and wide, flat, sunstruck landscape as well as the sense of desperation and alienation of being in a foreign land when in trouble.

  • The Terrornauts

    The Terrornauts

    ★★

    Cheap and cheerful British sci-fi rubbish with robots and models-on-strings spaceship effects that pale even next to the contemporaneous efforts by Thunderbirds and Doctor Who.

    It's lively enough, however, and the proceedings are buoyed by the comic-relief double-act of a rather C3PO-ish Charles Hawtrey - outside of his Carry On roles but giving the same performance - and tea lady Patricia Hayes ("we've been squirted through space like a BBC broadcast!")

  • The Wormwood Star

    The Wormwood Star

    ★★★★

    Bohemian, artist, poet, occultist and practitioner of magick etc, Marjorie Cameron is definitely someone whose life and work I need to explore.