• The Girl with All the Gifts

    The Girl with All the Gifts

    ★★★½

    Other reviews have mentioned the similarity, but while watching I couldn’t believe how close The Girl with All the Gifts is to the PlayStation game The Last of Us. The whole idea of a fungus causing the zombie-like state; the appearance of the infected and their behaviour including the occasional creepy chattering noises; the discussion of further stages of infection and their stronger effects; the appearance of the world as nature reclaims the urban environment; the possibility of a young girl…

  • Coming 2 America

    Coming 2 America

    ★★

    A handful of laughs, mainly from returning characters referencing the original movie, but overall this is much weaker than the first in plot and script.

    At least it’s generally good natured and inoffensive, and plays a bit like a reunion party for actors from the first film along with a few younger guests, and Wesley Snipes.

  • '71

    '71

    ★★★★

    Talk about “a confused situation“. Holy shit. Atmospheric, tense and unpredictable. Also disturbingly realistic. I feel for anyone who has ever been caught up in such events.

  • War for the Planet of the Apes

    War for the Planet of the Apes

    ★★★★

    Harrelson subtly apes Brando in the Ape-pocalypse. Now that’s entertainment!

    But seriously, we really enjoyed the final movie of this trilogy. It’s still an amazing AV showcase - the amount of CGI is insane with something like 85% of the runtime following apes with hardly a human in sight, and it works because of the incredible efforts on motion capture and the realism of the apes. I still think we’d be in the uncanny valley if a film attempted to…

  • Vigil

    Vigil

    ★★★½

    Remote rural New Zealand, on a small sheep farm in a valley seemingly forever drenched by rain, a girl lives with her parents and grandfather as they eke out an existence in the beautiful but difficult environment.

    The girl is on the verge of becoming a teenager, and early on in the film loses her father in a tragic accident just as a stranger shows up.

    For its age Vigil looks great on the Arrow blu-ray; a colourful, crisp image shows off…

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    ★★★★

    Maurice is my favourite ape 🦧 - such a cool dude, but not played by one, I just discovered. Excellent work Karin.

  • Sound of Metal

    Sound of Metal

    ★★★★½

    Perfectly played by Riz Ahmed as a drummer faced with the challenge of a paradigm shift in his perspective on the world.

    Although Ahmed is outstanding, going from strength through confusion, anguish, frustration and desperation, the supporting cast are also consistently excellent.

    The soundtrack plays a huge part too of course, giving a good impression of the at times scary and distancing experience of being deaf. It really can be disturbing, helping you to share the world of Ahmed’s character.…

  • Dragged Across Concrete

    Dragged Across Concrete

    ★★★

    Dragged Across Concrete is very well shot and I liked a lot about it, but I wish I’d enjoyed it as much as it seems many others did.

    I had no problem with the running time but it didn’t always feel like the length of certain scenes added anything of value beyond reinforcing that stakeouts are very monotonous and tiring. Or ten minutes might be spent giving an unnecessary insight into the background of a character in what felt like a…

  • To Live and Die in L.A.

    To Live and Die in L.A.

    ★★★★½

    This is fantastic, I loved it. It’s kind of like an eighties buddy cop movie (think Lethal Weapon or Beverly Hills Cop) but with the cheesy gags and wacky moments replaced with a truly engrossing and unpredictable plot, intrigue, some unflinching graphic violence and moments of great tension. But still with plenty of action, insanely good car chases, sexy women, and men who manage to be tough and macho without becoming caricatures. I’m not a film school student but many…

  • Source Code

    Source Code

    ★★★★

    10 PRINT “All around me are familiar faces
    Worn out places, worn out faces
    Bright and early for their daily races
    Going nowhere, going nowhere...”

    20 PRINT “And I find it kind of funny
    I find it kind of sad
    The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had...”

    30 GOTO 10

    [ESC?]

  • News of the World

    News of the World

    ★★★

    Beautifully shot, and endearing performances from the reliable Tom Hanks and young newcomer Helena Zengel, but their journey is a little uneventful and the plot largely safe and predictable.

    I am a fan of Hanks and he’s as solid as usual, though he occasionally seemed to give a hint of his character from the Coen’s remake of The Ladykillers. Now that was a fun role, and one which counters the “Hanks is always playing himself” crowd.

    I felt News of the World just needed a tiny bit more excitement/danger to it, to make it more memorable.

  • Enemy

    Enemy

    ★★★★

    Wow. I want/need to watch this again soon.