• The Caveman's Valentine

    The Caveman's Valentine

    ★★★★

    It works both as a very good post-Se7en dark pulpy thriller and also feels like a slight parody of those types of detective thrillers by having the kooky detective be a schizophrenic homeless man who accidentally turns out to be right in his crazed ranting and underestimated by those around him who don’t expect him to have good detective skills. I feel as though this would not work anywhere near as well if not for Samuel L. Jackson’s committed lead…

  • Kodachrome

    Kodachrome

    ★★★

    Fairly standard indie affair of light-until-its-not drama and some solid performance work from the three leads. Inoffensive and charming if very predictable, especially for those who have seen plenty like it over the past few years. For a movie that is in part about music I wish there would have been a better soundtrack to go along with it.

  • Hustle & Flow

    Hustle & Flow

    ★★★★★

    Oh damn did this film work its magic on me, and I ended up utterly falling in love with it. A film that is mainly about the creation of an underground mixtape by a pimp having a mid-life crisis, this absolutely hit me hard with some amazing acting and character work. Terrence Howard is an absolute force in the lead as DJay, and even when he does plenty of unlikable things I was absolutely rooting for him to pull through…

  • Eve's Bayou

    Eve's Bayou

    ★★★½

    A film of the quiet superstitions of the Southern Gothic horror folk tale variety threatening to pull apart a family; as the belief in such voodoo superstitions weighs upon each character and defines them as the fate that they have sealed for themselves moves ever closer. A dreamy dark melodrama that is steeped in a southern culture that is, in the grand scheme of things, not out of living memory and yet feels a thousand years ago. A film of…

  • Selma

    Selma

    ★★★½

    Even though this as a whole gets a little too traditional biopic-y to encompass the entirety of the greatness of a figure like Martin Luther King, it does do the great man justice and therefore works as a good biopic. The strength of David Oyelowo's portrayal of MLK in not just his charisma and inspirational power but in the quieter, more intimate and more vulnerable moments does bring bolster the whole thing together, and creates a portrait of King showcases…

  • Trigger Man

    Trigger Man

    ★½

    Three dudes silently walk around the woods before being shot get shot at, then the survivor walks around some abandoned buildings, and that’s it. This movie is just 80 minutes long, and yet is painfully dull for each and every one of those minutes. I love the filmmaker that Ti West turned into later down the line and im not adverse to micro budget films or mumblecore, but I barely managed to sit through this.

  • Pleasantville

    Pleasantville

    ★★★★

    From the period in Hollywood in the 90s when they actually cared about making tightly crafted high-concept dramas that operate on a mainly emotional level; real fairytale stuff that sadly is just one of many such 'I wish Hollywood still made stuff like this' casualties. A film that operates as both a romanticisation and damnation of 50s suburban utopia culture, and proof that you can be highly critical of the past while still being nostalgic for another era; an idea…

  • He Was a Quiet Man

    He Was a Quiet Man

    ★★★½

    Mr Robot's thinking of ending things. A real slice of oddball cinema that begins with Christian Slater's mentally unhinged loner office worker planning on shooting up his office, only to be beaten to the punch and ending up as the hero of the day after he stops the other shooter. What begins as part maybe-redemption story, part oddball rom-com with him and Elisha Cuthbert and part social satire on rising through the ranks within a corporate environment. As much as…

  • The House That Dripped Blood

    The House That Dripped Blood

    ★★★½

    A good anthology movie is always as good or as bad as the sum of the quality of its individual sections, and this Amicus one is 3 good ones and one bad one that lets the side down. It is both fortunate that it gets the most boring one out the way first, but unfortunate that it couldn't just be cut in favour of the three better ones. Because the other stories are all so much more fun; containing Peter…

  • The Dark Crystal

    The Dark Crystal

    ★★★

    All of this amazing work done on the puppetry, sets, effects, set pieces and general worldbuilding in favour of a story that is mostly bland and uninteresting. And when I say puppetry, I mean everything bar the main two characters who are just weird and ugly, with bland personalities as characters to boot. I'm glad Jim Henson got to go wild for a bit in the 80s with his dark experiments, but for my money Labyrinth is so much better.…

  • Asylum

    Asylum

    ★★★½

    Amicus anthology flicks always try to put a bunch of barely connected short shockers into its film with a nonsense wraparound story, and this is all on full display here. The wraparound of a psychiatrist trying to find a crazy doctor disguised as a patient and I would prefer the final story not be part of the wraparound itself as it leaves it feeling incomplete with just 3 stories yet promising 4. But the stories themselves are fun, and the…

  • Night Moves

    Night Moves

    ★★★★

    Every film I watch from Kelly Reichardt I appreciate her style more and more, and this is my favourite of what I’ve seen from her yet. While this is the same style of hers being very slow and meditative, she adds here a thick layer of true thriller tension over the top of it that helps it all go down much better for me. While the story here is in the mold of a basic heist movie, there is so…