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Rod has written 29 reviews for films during 2020.

  • Rear Window

    Rear Window

    ★★★★★

    Introduced my 10 year old to Hitch’s masterpiece and he’s totally creeped out by it and won’t stop talking about it... So I guess the master of suspense worked his charm on him!

    Parenting done right.

  • Da 5 Bloods

    Da 5 Bloods

    ★★½

    Now I get why Spike did an Oldboy remake, dude is all over the shop!

    His last film was a friggin’ masterpiece, but this? 

    A Didactic and cheese-coated hot mess.

    Watch at your own risk...

  • Wait Until Dark

    Wait Until Dark

    ★★★★½

    My wife:  “This is my kind of film.” 

    Audrey Hepburn in this Oscar nominated performance is revelatory as a blind woman besieged by some bad dudes that try to play on her vulnerability in order to retrieve a drug-stuffed doll that has circumstantially found its way into her possession via her photographer husband. Mind games ensue, but it isn’t long before all involved realise that this woman is as smart, strong and perceptive as she is vulnerable. Alan Arkin plays…

  • Foreign Correspondent

    Foreign Correspondent

    ★★★★

    It’s always highly amusing that in films of this era, the lead male and female will most likely fall in love and propose marriage at the batting of an eyelid, and this 1940 effort from Mr. Hitchcock is no exception to this trope. Yet, this is merely a slight flaw on an otherwise sophisticated and thrilling prelude to war romp which is chock-filled with set-pieces and accomplished effects; from the black umbrella chase, to the staging of the windmill scenario,…

  • The Class

    The Class

    ★★★★½

    Usually on a weeknight I would be on the nod watching a subtitled film due to tiredness, but not with this riveting and provocative film. 

    Based on the autobiography of the lead actor playing a fictionalised version of himself, we are absorbed into the melting pot of a suburban French classroom of young teens as they grapple with the complexities of their development whilst being prompted to reveal themselves by their sometimes unconventional teacher. By the end of the school…

  • The Wages of Fear

    The Wages of Fear

    ★★★★★

    A long overdue revisit of this nail-biting classic; which once it gets going is about as tense as any film you will get in all of cinema. Clouzot was always a bit of a rival for Hitchcock (read up on Les Diaboliques for some context) and the way this film is crafted to ratchet up the tension, all without a score is masterful. Many feel the opening third of the film is a bit meandering, but I feel it sets…

  • Scarecrow

    Scarecrow

    ★★★★

    Criminally under-seen and often cited by Hackman and Pacino as their fav personal performance and one of the best films each of them made in their respective careers; tells of the union of two homeless drifters with starkly different personalities and their journey to make something of themselves, the only problem being that their pasts and their personal flaws cause many a speed bump along the way. 

    Hackman’s character is a brawler and womaniser who cannot keep his fists restrained,…

  • if....

    if....

    ★★★★½

    An incendiary satire with shades of the surreal set in an English boarding school where a revolution is afoot, and who better to deliver such a bold statement than Lindsay Anderson, who followed this up with the sprawling capitalist allegory O Lucky Man!. Chock full of memorable scenes and show-stopping performance from Malcolm McDowell, which was his calling card to Stanley Kubrick who noticed him and cast him as the unforgettable Alex DeLarge. A wickedly subversive film that earned itself the Palme d’Or in 1969.

  • Dheepan

    Dheepan

    ★★★★

    I suppose being 5 years on from a somewhat controversial win has afforded me the ability to watch this film on its own merit without unnecessary hype, and in that sense I’m glad, because I found this to be a really powerful and well-executed drama. 

    Whilst Un Prophet remains his best film, (which most will concur) I found his follow up Rust and Bone to be a very interesting film in its own right. One thing for sure is that…

  • Kubrick by Kubrick

    Kubrick by Kubrick

    ★★★½

    There’s not much I haven’t seen, read or listened to about the great man over many years of fascination and this doesn’t really bring much new to the table, but it’s nice to hear his voice as an accompaniment to his stunning visuals nonetheless.

  • Vivarium

    Vivarium

    ★★★

    I’m always up for a film that dares to be different, and despite this surreal and metaphoric vision of the suburban nightmare not feeling like it required a feature film run-time, it had enough to engage and get me through the dead space that is intermittent throughout. Whilst there is little to ponder on post-credits, the film is worthwhile if you up for a bit of a mind-bender.

  • Devs

    Devs

    ★★★★

    Alex Garland’s “Limited Series” is a heady sci-fi brew of multi-dimensions, predetermined existence vs. free will (with plenty of religious allusion) and international conspiracy plotting all wrapped up in a dreamy and deliberately-paced aesthetic.

    The series slams out of the gate with some gripping murder-plot intrigue, quickly developing into something more dense and existential, leading to a pretty satisfying conclusion.

    It is bolstered by some terrific performances from most of the cast including Nick Offerman, Zach Grenier and Alison Pill,…