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Rod has written 99 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • 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.

  • In the Tall Grass

    In the Tall Grass

    ★★★

    I just don’t know what to make of this one. I’ve got solid respect for Vincenzo Natali and I was generally intrigued throughout this extension on his Cube beginnings, but it just seemed like it was a tapestry of horror tropes woven with the finest and insubstantial filament. I had feelings of Triangle at times but was even less satisfied than with that film. I liked it enough I guess, but have big hopes for his upcoming William Gibson project.

  • Silent Running

    Silent Running

    ★★★

    Whilst offering plenty of visual flair and eye candy that is worthy of a sci-fi pioneer such as Douglas Trumbull, a good director he is not. I found this film a rather ponderous affair with a heavy-handed environmental theme, cringeworthy soundtrack and a goofy performance from Bruce Dern. It was engaging enough for a slightly above average rating, but it’s not a film I would come back to any time soon.

  • Bad Moms

    Bad Moms

    ★★★

    Hotel room away for work trip, Bad Moms pops up on Free to Air, I submit because Mila Kunis. One day she will win an Oscar and all will be right with the world. My circumcised penis also felt flattered by this film.

  • Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

    Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

    ★★★

    This film is a big ball-bag of testosterone that sits on loud and proud on Tura Satana’s chest!

    Seriously though, despite the porno acting and script this film has many redeeming qualities that cause me to accept both it and Russ Meyer’s cult status. The editing is masterclass, and no wonder Tarantino worships and apes this shit, but quite frankly takes his films to a much higher level with quality performances and scripts. 

    Death Proof owes so much to this…

  • Suspiria

    Suspiria

    ★★★

    As expected; quality craftsmanship and a palpable atmosphere that works in a completely different zone than Argento’s original vision. It’s just a shame that’s it’s so damn bloated in its attempt be stuffed to the brim with allegory and also mostly a bore... until it just gets silly. At least I can easily divorce Thom Yorke’s magnificent soundtrack from the visuals and just return to that as often as I like, which I will unlikely be doing with the film.

  • The Island

    The Island

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    “No man is an island...”

    Opening with a aesthetically appealing monochromatic interlude of a mysterious figure rowing towards an island babbling repetitive prayers before lying face down, the bleak tone of what lies ahead in Pavel Lungin’s Ostrov is offered up to the viewer on a platter, so grab your blanket and slippers.

    As a precursor to the the film’s period setting of 1976, we are offered a flashback prologue to an event in 1942 which would go someway to…

  • Lights in the Dusk

    Lights in the Dusk

    ★★★

    Whilst visually striking and impressive on a technical level, there is just something amiss with this one for me. It carries on Aki’s thematic obsessions, but is almost devoid of humour and his trademark warm notes and tends to fall flat and be a tad dull as a result.

  • I Hired a Contract Killer

    I Hired a Contract Killer

    ★★★

    A great concept with subpar execution.

    A rare misstep for Aki Kaurismäki!

  • Hotel Room

    Hotel Room

    ★★★

    "For a millennium the space for the hotel room existed – undefined. Mankind captured it and gave it shape and passed through. And sometimes when passing through, they found themselves brushing up against the secret names of truth."

    Of the 3 sections of this omnibus film, the first and third directed by David Lynch and written by Barry Gifford are the strongest, yet it is not much more than a curio for Lynch (and perhaps Angelo Badalamenti) completists.

  • Free Fire

    Free Fire

    ★★★

    Harry: "Hey, I like your cardboard armor.''
    Vernon: ''It's protection from infection.''

    I was pretty excited for this new Wheatley joint, but was ultimately underwhelmed by the tiresome barrage of bullets, expletives and silliness. It all started promisingly with a cool kind of Reservoir Dogs setup and an often hilarious script, but once the deal goes to shit, it all becomes a bit of a yawn-fest. Next time Wheatley and Jump should put a swear jar next to their typewriter and reward themselves every time they use some restraint!

  • In the Fog

    In the Fog

    ★★★

    A good WW2 German occupation drama is like catnip to me, but on this occasion a good tale is squandered at the hands of its choppy rhythm and boggy pacing - it is as slow as a wet week in fact, and not in that good meditative Russian film way. I just discovered that The Ascent was written by the same author and turned into a marvellous film by Larisa Shepitko in 1977, so I would suggest eagerly seeking that out because this is just a little dull and a tad predictable if I'm honest.