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  • Last Summer

    Last Summer

    ★★½

    Dark coming-of-age drama set in the rural Wales of the 1970s. The title obviously implies a cut-off point in terms of development, ie the last summer of innocence, whilst the narrative's main inspiration seems to stem from Stand By Me and Kes.

    There's nothing particularly wrong with Last Summer, it's just a very average film that never really gets out of second gear and seems to rely far too much on one central character gegging in on every important supposedly…

  • Maurice

    Maurice

    ★★★½

    Finally plugged an embarrassing gap in my British cinema history by watching this one, but am rather bemused that it didn't resonate with me all that much. For me, Merchant Ivory (and Forster) at its best is arguably A Room With a View.

    I could witter on about the positives and negatives, but I'll spare you and instead direct you towards Nora's intelligent reading.

  • A Dark Place

    A Dark Place

    ★★

    So here's a film called Steel Country. At least that is it's original title and what much of the net seem to refer to it as anyway. However, because this British/American co-production got a name change in the US to the anonymous and uninspiring sounding A Dark Place, those lovely people at TMDB have opted to go with that instead. Hmm.

    It's not just the title change that makes Steel Country a problematic film either. For a start, it's got…

  • Rocketman

    Rocketman

    ★★★★

    I still don't really like the rehab plot device, I don't like how Bryce Dallas Howard's accent was allowed to just change from one scene to the next, and I do feel that the film shies away from some big, emotional things that perhaps even Elton John doesn't want to confront (especially his attempted suicide and his marriage to Renate) in favour of musical spectacle, but I do nonetheless really like this film.

    See previous review here

  • The Kid Who Would Be King

    The Kid Who Would Be King

    ★★★★

    I didn't plan it, but I could think of no better film to watch than one which features children saving the world on a day of global climate strike. They really are the future.

    If I were twelve-years-old I think this would be my new favourite movie. I was a big Doctor Who fan as a kid (indeed, I still am) and one of the things that hooked me for life about that show was its ability to deliver great…

  • Hang Up Your Brightest Colours

    Hang Up Your Brightest Colours

    ★★★★

    I know I often say this about the television productions of yesteryear, but I genuinely cannot imagine this landmark documentary being made today.

    Indeed, although it was made in 1973, it would be twenty years before it finally saw the light of day, broadcast on the BBC in 1993.

    Hang Up Your Brightest Colours came about when ATV's media mogul Lew Grade proposed to Welsh character actor and documentary filmmaker Kenneth Griffith that he would bankroll any film he'd care…

  • The Year London Blew Up

    The Year London Blew Up

    ★★★

    Broadcast by Channel 4 in 2005, not long after the terrible London bombings known as 7/7, The Year London Blew Up reminds audiences that the capital was no stranger to terrorism, transporting them back to 1974 and the most ruthless and terrifyingly active IRA bombing campaign ever to hit mainland Britain.

    Obviously this feature length docudrama enjoyed a compelling timeliness at the time of its initial broadcast and the parallels are carefully and subtly drawn, but it still stands up…

  • Mairéad Farrell - An Unfinished Conversation

    Mairéad Farrell - An Unfinished Conversation

    ★★★

    "Mairéad Farrell might be dismissed as some wild-eyed fanatic except that part of her life has been preserved in several home movies and a television interview taped shortly before her death. What emerges is a portrait of a soft-spoken, attractive woman determined to end what she perceived as the injustices surrounding her everyday life.... The program leaves us pondering the obvious conclusion: To the people of Falls Road she was a patriot. To the British she was a terrorist. To…

  • Gregory's Girl

    Gregory's Girl

    ★★★★★

    A divine, beautiful looking summer's evening. John Gordon Sinclair and Clare Grogan lying down on the grass in the park, having a wee boogie whilst gravity does its thing. Just the sweetest evocation of first loves blossoming and first dates ever, all accompanied by Colin Tully's music. Gives me goosebumps each and every time. And go on, you've done it yourself with someone special at one time or another, haven't you? I know I have. Just beautiful.

  • A Terrible Beauty

    A Terrible Beauty

    ★★★½

    Effective docu-drama from Ireland looking at the events of the Easter Rising of 1916, A Terrible Beauty is remarkably even-handed in that it affords much of its attention to the experiences of the Notts and Derby regiments such as the Sherwood Foresters, who found themselves ordered to Dublin to defeat the rebellion.

    I always feel for those British soldiers and this film brings that home all the more. They signed up to fight in the trenches of France and found…

  • Teenland

    Teenland

    ★★★½

    The importance of the bedroom for teenagers, as a personal, private and safe space as well as a place for them to search for and express their individuality, is celebrated and explored in this early film from Jeanie Finlay capturing four subjects on the cusp of leaving childhood behind and entering into adulthood.

    Whilst watching Teenland I kept being reminded of that old Morrissey quote about how he spent his teenage years as a 'back bedroom casualty' ("I'm afraid, yes,…

  • GoodBagels

    GoodBagels

    Look, I'm just as surprised as you are that this is on here, OK?

    Warburtons make some seriously starry, funny ads. In recent years we've had Stallone as 'a tough, uncompromising Warburtons delivery driver' in an I ❤️ Bolton t-shirt, we've had the Muppets performing 'The Giant Crumpet Show', we've had Peter Kay pitching 'Pride and Breadjudice', the life of Bolton's dashing seed salesman and Warburtons founder, Thomas Warburton and now we have Robert De Niro as the new boss…