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  • Toy Story 2

    Toy Story 2

    ★★★★★

    So the years went by,
    I stayed the same,
    But she began to drift away,
    I was left alone,
    Still I waited for the day,
    When she'd say I will always love you...

    Lonely and forgotten,
    Never thought she'd look my way,
    And she smiled at me and held me,
    Just like she used to do,
    Like she loved me,
    When she loved me...

    Those words alone are enough to entirely enamour the coldest of hearts. Building expansively on its…

  • The Favourite

    The Favourite

    ★★★★½

    I’m a firm advocate of the cherry on top, and in filmmaking plain icing and sponge just doesn’t cut it. To me, the sweetest cherry of all is that of the last shot; the closing take of imagery, the visual finisher that either does or doesn’t contextualise the film itself. 

    Take Dr. Strangelove, a film surging with political satire much like The Favourite. With an ironically merry montage of the Doomsday Machine’s physical incarnation, its last shot serves as an…

  • It's a Wonderful Life

    It's a Wonderful Life

    ★★★★★

    Most of us have a Bedford Falls; the breezy nostalgia of home. A place of origin which seems so intent on keeping you from your ambitions, however achievable they may seem. For George Bailey and so many others, it’s easy to acknowledge the monotony of an every day aesthetic, and hard to appreciate the intricacies of one. Sometimes it takes an angel to prove that a life of cyclical ‘normality’ isn’t always meaningless. 

    From that first freeze-frame of a young…

  • Brief Encounter

    Brief Encounter

    ★★★★★

    Brief Encounter, a film which arrives as a retrospectively narrated fable of nostalgia for anyone who's found themselves in the clangourous chaos of love. David Lean's black and white beauty is irrefutably one of the greatest depictions of romance ever engineered, bearing as much importance and significance as all the iconography and glory of Casablanca. As the run-time goes by, this film will creep into your thoughts, your heart, and ultimately your conscience. You'll vouch for a justified affair, an…

  • A Quiet Place

    A Quiet Place

    ★★★★½

    Is it me or has Jordan Peele started a revolution? All those in favour of mainstream comedy actors conjuring their own heartfelt horror debuts please stand. 

    A Quiet Place is everything the Cloverfield franchise should've been, everything Get Out couldn't have been, and everything you wouldn't expect from a man such as John Krasinski. Directing and starring opposite his real-life wife (the magnetic Emily Blunt), a gorgeously captured family dynamic seeps through the screen with this one. It harkens back…

  • You Were Never Really Here

    You Were Never Really Here

    ★★★★

    Despite an art-house ambience and subject matter significantly reminiscent of Taxi Driver, I'd encourage film-goers to resist preconceptions of this as a comparative. In fact, I believe no film should ever be compared to Taxi Driver. An average movie's customary devotion to morbid self attention is to my knowledge, a more agreeable promotional campaign. That said, if you want a slowly simmering, fractured and fragmented PTSD-driven revenge-thriller, You Were Never Really Here is a fascinating way to experience one. Brooding…

  • The Fly

    The Fly

    ★★★★★

    Anyone else get the feeling Walter White watched this film one time too many?

    Following closely behind An American Werewolf in London and The Thing, The Fly is among that rarest of seminal revolutions in practical effects. No waxen body movement or glaringly imposed images here, and with an exceptional cast (both human and nonhuman alike) this is a film that proves as technologically advanced as its subjects.

    Jeff Goldblum's performance as Seth Brundle emits fiercely through a mass of…

  • Lady Bird

    Lady Bird

    ★★★★★

    Greta Gerwig, ordinarily known for starring roles, not only made a sidestep into writing the most magnificently minimalist and grounded screenplay of the 21st century, but got her hands on the camera, too. Having only co-directed in the past, upon completion of the script her partner Noah Baumbach (himself an established and esteemed director), willingly offered to shoot it. Gerwig's refusal has proven to be not only one of the greatest decisions for her life, but for every woman infinitely…

  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

    ★★★★★

    Extreme close-ups of blood-lined eyes darting frantically across the monstrosities in front of them. A pig-squealing giant in a hand-stitched skin mask, lip-licking from a misplaced arousal of unrelenting slaughter. An unwanted guest setting tones of pure sadism, a smiling delirium of hysteria and blood. Paradoxical cycles of violence and torture. 

    Is evil taught, or is it born?

    Irreplaceable, irrepressible, and boundlessly barbaric, Hooper's horrifying vision is an unrepentant chain of gut-churning claustrophobic events, its combination of secluded aesthetics and…

  • Dog Day Afternoon

    Dog Day Afternoon

    ★★★★★

    Having recently seen the pilot of David Fincher's tightly-crafted psychological Netflix venture, the introductory episode spurred up as many thoughts on Sidney Lumet's bank-breaking cinematic confidence as it did on Fincher's character-driven composition.

    Even in 1975, films hit audiences that were rife with widespread homophobic prejudice and ingrained traditionalism. The perverse perspectives of biased bigotry were more common than many could've hoped to believe, and yet Lumet's Humanitarian approach to Dog Day Afternoon managed to capture the truly universal nature…

  • Blade Runner 2049

    Blade Runner 2049

    ★★★★½

    It's impossible for a movie to look better than this.

    Where the rambling of an avid film student's critique usually starts with an infatuated commentary on the director, it's hard not to admit that the cinematography for Blade Runner 2049 is the dominant player. Roger Deakins is quite clearly an auteur in his own right, creating an extended universe of his own through the vibrancy of his lighting. Taking the steely blue pallet of Prisoners and merging it with the…

  • Blade Runner

    Blade Runner

    ★★★★½

    "And then there's that rarest of films, when you see it continually over years. Ten, fifteen, thirty, forty years... And you still see more in it."

    - Martin Scorsese on 2001: A Space Odyssey


    The Final Cut

    It isn't often you find a film that's willing to renounce the quick-cut conventions of modern entertainment for the poignancy of its message, but every once in a while a film like Blade Runner reminds us that the true artistry of the medium…