Films Seen

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Impeccably made, 70s ensemble spy drama featuring Gary Oldman as a spymaster searching for a mole within his organisation. At times, its slow but that’s part of its logic. Its not bombs and fights rather clues and paradoxes that reveal the story. 9/10

Another Earth – minor sci-fi human drama of a doppleganger Earth and lost love on Earth. Small budget and quite touching. 7/10

The Bride Wore Black – Truffaut’s tale of female revenge. Pretty cold for the 1960s but still watchable. 7/10

Pontypool – not the Welsh town but a Canadian psychological thriller with blood and some virus inhabiting the town. Its alright ! 6/10

Point Blank – BAM BAM, BOOM BOOM. French action film that never stops. Its entertaining no doubts. 5/10

Airplane – Shirley not. Yesh. 7/10

The Artist – I’ve always liked silent films. I love a good mugging! This story is cute, emotive and very well-made. 9/10

A Separation – Award-winning Iranian film about divorce giving real insight into Iran beyond the headlines. 8/10

Stalker – a classic from the master Tarkovski of men travelling to the mythic Zone or their own soul. Some long shots and could be conceived of as ‘slow’ but its always visual interesting. 8/10

The Descendents – George playing the same role as Burn After Reading but in a Hawaiian shirt, less guns and more family problems. Its very good though. 7/10

Warhorse – Too much horse. Not enough war. I looked up the author and he seems to specialise in this kind of nonsense. He’s got a book about dog and an elephant too. It really beggared belief at times that this was a story about a horse! 5/10

Carnage –  Four people, all good actors sit around and shout at each other for 75minutes in Polanski’s stage to screen adaptation. Impressive editing and some good acting but it all felt rather pointless, showy and pretentious. 6/10

The Flowers of War – overcooked, sentimental claptrap. Looked nice, great set pieces but boring. 4/10

We Bought a Zoo – Matt Damon buys a zoo and then fixes it up. That’s about it but the music from Jonsi (Sigur Ros) is good. 6/10

Buried – Ryan Reynolds wakes up to find himself buried in a wooden casket in Iraq and uses his dwindling phone life to get help. Its claustrophobic and fairly good. 6/10

Moneyball – a baseball film with very little baseball. Phew. Nicely made and Brad is fairly good. 7/10

Green Zone – Matt Damon runs around Iraq trying to find the man who knows about the WMDs (!!!) while the bad guys, the US Government, try to stop him. 7/10

Night of the Hunter – 1950s Robert Mitchum classic with unusual twists. 8/10

The Guard –  Irish crime comedy set in Connemara and featuring Father Ted characters, racism and some close cultural references. Very good. 8/10

Beau Travail – One of the great films of the 1990s. French Legionnaires training in the desert gets outs of hand. Its slow but oddly watchable. 9/10

Manhattan – Woody in black and white. Less amusing and likeable but maybe closer to the truth. 8/10

Arsenic and Lace –  always loved this classic Cary Grant corkscrew comedy. Clearly a stage play first but as they say, they don’t make’em like that anymore. 8/10

Inland Empire – Mostly rambling and slightly confusing but always watchable and sometimes unmissable. Its weird, feels like an ensemble piece for Lynch’s career but definitely has one of the best end credit sequences you’ll ever see. 7/10

Let the Right One In – brilliant Swedish horror tale of a local vampire girl who quietly lives surviving on the occasional murder  and later meets and befriends a bullied local boy in a small town. 9/10

Attack the Block – Channel4 quality film as monsters (sci-fi dogs) invade a tower block in South London. Its funny, cute, predictable and a good ride. 7/10

Red State – Kevin Smith makes a horror that seems more like a political condemnation of religion (via the Phelps Family of Louis Theroux fame) and the major political authorities who manipulate circumstances to restrict freedom of speech and make cowardly, universalising decisions. The film is alright. Its short. It had no real choice. 5/10

Elite Squad 2 – Brazilian police drama delving into the dark world of drug gangs, politics and corruption. Intense. 7/10

The Skin I Live In – Wooo mofo, this Almodovar is not a classic but it’s brilliant perverse and the twist is fantastic. Looks nice too. 8/10

Certified Copy – two folks meet at a writing convention and start pretending they are a couple to others. Its slow but I like the premise having been in this situation a few times! 6/10

Win Win – Very good story telling of a small town lawyer who runs the rubbish school wrestling team taking in a delinquent who turns out to be pretty good at wrestling.  Cute. 8/10

50-50 – 500 Days of Summer with cancer. Its good. 7/10

Scott Pilgrim vs the World – quirky comedy from Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz). Played out like a video game with the appropriate acting. 8/10

Modern Times – another Chaplin classic. A satire on modern, industrial life that yet again predicts our follies and the depressing nature of capitalism. 8/10

City Lights –  Chaplin in funny, pure tramp mode but with a magical, heart-warming ending. 7/10

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