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  • Wine Country

    Wine Country

    ★★★½

    Some great comedy writing at times, but some weak and plot driven shenanigans at others. I laughed a lot and cringed a little. 

    Very irresponsible about drinking culture, which is something I’m starting to notice more and more in American comedy. Having said that, the best scenes are set at wine tastings and send up the pretentious and self congratulatory wine merchants very nicely. 

    There’s a lot of the “being mean and then apologizing” trope that pervades all-female films, which…

  • Savage Dog

    Savage Dog

    ★★½

    Dumb 1980s throwback martial arts revenge porn with student-grade blood special effects. Similar to Jean Claude Van Damme’s earlier work but starring a Rob Brydon lookalike.

  • The Adventure Club

    The Adventure Club

    ★½

    After about 45 minutes my 5 year old looked awkwardly at the remote and said (for the first time ever) “Actually, I don’t really want to watch telly now. I think it’s time for bath and bed okay dad?”

    That’s the worst review he’s ever given anything. He’ll watch grainy footage of Spanish puppets whacking each other clumsily with sticks.

    Just to test, I said “I’ll pause it buddy. Well watch the rest tomorrow okay?”. I got a very sheepish…

  • Begin Again

    Begin Again

    ★★★½

    Kiera knightly stars in a slightly rom-com version of Once.
    Once had much better music (although Glen Hansard helped out with some of the song writing on this on too! Also I believe James Corden is paying tribute to an iconic scene from Once at one part) but Begin Again is far more in love with its setting. This really is a celebration of grungy, urban New York and also a tribute to the technology that’s enabled indie musicians to…

  • The Space Between Us

    The Space Between Us

    ★★★½

    Sentimental and underwritten but also sweet and well intentioned. Asa Butterfield is always adorable so it’s hard not to feel good about this film, but surely a script doctor could have tightened up some of the more distressing expository dialogue and clumsy symbolism. 
    Anyway, although I quietly nit-picked the script I still had a dopey grin on my face so it can’t be all bad.

  • St. Vincent

    St. Vincent

    ★★★★

    A glorious and tender remake of The Karate Kid but with About A Boy stitched onto the end. Much better than that sounds.

    Bill Murray is awesome. Lost in Translation level awesome. Again. He plays Mr Myagi. 

    Melissa McCarthy is brilliant. Understated. Sympathetic. Flawed but really trying hard. She’ll melt your heart. 

    Everything else about this film is great. Kind hearted but flawed just like all the characters. I really recommend this one. It’s lovely.

  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

    ★★

    Silly fun. Far more actiony than the source material but we don’t want Guy Richie to make a thinky film, do we?

  • Velvet Buzzsaw

    Velvet Buzzsaw

    ★★

    Very well shot and beautifully played b-grade horror.
    Horror is however, for me, a relentlessly boring genre. If I wanted to hear about your scary dream where art came alive and chopped people’s arms off, I’d ask.
    I didn’t ask. 
    Your scary dreams aren’t scary, meaningful or deep.
    Even if you film them majestically, which you did in this case. 
    Even if Jake Gyllenhaal is in it, cos he’s always amazing. 


    Unless you’re David Cronenberg.
    I’d want to watch your films about your scary dreams if you were David Cronenberg.

  • The Other Guys

    The Other Guys

    ★½

    It has The Rock in it, so I had to watch it. He was pretty great but everything else about this film really sucked. Imagine a 2 hour episode of Sledge Hammer! but David Rasche plays every character and there’s a writers’ strike so they just make it up as they go. To move things along, sometimes the director shouts “shout something mean about his face or his pubes!” 

    Toxic. Unfunny. Long. Dumb. Boring. Horrifically misogynist.

  • Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back)

    Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back)

    ★★★★

    A light dark comedy? 

    Very fine low key performances and a relatively high concept for a romantic comedy. An incompetently suicidal young writer takes up a hit-man’s offer to help end his life. Their friendly accord and English manners lead to some thought provoking and charming scenes of strained etiquette.


    Only 90 minutes and very watchable.

  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Technically okay but just devoid of any emotion or charisma. The 1971 version was flawed but far superior to this mechanical, featureless mess. 

    Terrible. Avoid.

  • Going in Style

    Going in Style

    ★★★½

    Very gentle and quite kind-hearted. Some old guys are getting a rough deal, losing their pension, so they decide to rob a bank. Peacefully.

    It Michael Caine, Alan Arkin and Morgan Freeman so you’re going to be okay, but don’t expect any doors to be blown off. These guys are in their 80s. 

    I like films where guys are friends and they’re kind to each other. It’s nice. Even if the plot is silly.