• Rocks

    Rocks

    ★★★★★

    One of those special films that somehow show some hardships but never condescend or judge or trivialise yet is bursting with joy and hope and authentic chemistry.

    A true treasure in the spirit of Florida Project or Ken Loach but a special experience that is all of its own.

    The background about how this was made and the cast collaborated is a unique approach and the rewards are on the screen

  • I Am Love

    I Am Love

    ★★★½

    One of those films I don't exactly know how to react to.

    I was interested the whole time. The filming, the music , the lighting the locations, all very beautiful. Some of the shots - close ups of food etc- are interesting.

    Yet I felt detached watching these Italian elites and their problems. It left me a little cold . I also didn't see the point in a major event near the end, in terms of what it served to…

  • Raya and the Last Dragon

    Raya and the Last Dragon

    ★★★

    Rambles:

    Stunning animation and design

    Familiar disney formula and story. It has the classic cute sidekick. Aquafina Channels genie and is warm and loving. Although a pet hate is when a character in a film like that makes a contemporary pop culture reference. It instantly ages the film and moves it from the world its creating.

    It might be because i watch too many films but I saw of felt references and allusions to
    Avatar the last airbender, Indiana Jones,…

  • Bacurau

    Bacurau

    ★★★★

    I was very pleased to walk into this knowing next to nothing. I'd seen Neighbourhood Sounds but other than that, and a general lazy " its like magnificent 7, sort of" I think being ignorant was for the best.

    After a slowish start I was hooked despite some tough to watch atrocities and some on-the-nose political allegories which doesn't always work, but did here.

    I dont want to say more but I'm a sucker for paring films up so a…

  • V for Vendetta

    V for Vendetta

    ★★★

    I like this movie. I'm just not in-like with it.

    V lacks the tight world building to fully portrayal the depth of the source material and the dystopia authoritian rule . It teases it but more was needed

    It's uneven and a little uncertain. Its violent when it should be tame and tame when it should be violent . The action scenes are... fine. ? Rushes the wrong parts. The flashbacks are clumsy.

    But darn it i still can't put…

  • Spirited Away

    Spirited Away

    ★★★★★

    I first saw this in 2003 at the cinema in my home town Palmerston North, NZ. It was revered. Roger Ebert said it was 'enchanting and delightful' and 'wonderful' (he probably undersold it). I was excited. But I didnt really know what to expect. So I took my sister. I was 18. She was 6 or 7. Maybe too young. Maybe just the right age. Just about every age is the right age for magic. It was scary. It was…

  • Clockers

    Clockers

    ★★★★½

    I come out of the best of Spike Lee's joints in a sort of bewildered mix of awe, shock, sadness, exhilaration, curiosity and empathy, with my thoughts most definitely provoked.

    And Clockers is Spike Lee at his best and his most Spike. Confronting, yet empathetic. Epic yet intimate. Chaotic yet coherent.

    As you get with so much of his work, Clockers is dynamically constructed - camera movement, editing, acting, script and Lee's bold experiments. It doesn't work every time, and…

  • Wild

    Wild

    ★★★★

    Wonderful film of Strayed's memorable memoir. The screenplay from Nick Hornby covers all the key beats from the book while never missing the underlying emotion of Cheryl.
    An underrated performance by RW, she has the full range to do but shines most when its a quiet close up of her face.
    And who wouldn't want Laura dern to play the memory of their mother

  • A Matter of Life and Death

    A Matter of Life and Death

    ★★★★½

    Still so utterly charming despite being super hokey. The opening radio conversation remains the highlight and qn all time special scene.

    Some bits go on too much, some bits don't really add anything, yet the whole of this is greater than the sum of its parts.

  • Coded Bias

    Coded Bias

    Another entry into the important-and-glad-I-learned-more-about-tech-issue documentary genre that again left me feeling deeply upset about the world, especially the rich and powerful.

    Joy Buolamwini on the other hand, is an inspirational and brilliant figure using her understanding of tech to fight systemic issues, rather than using it to take advantage of systemic apathy for her own benefit.

    Algorithms aye. Who knew.

  • Election

    Election

    ★★★½

    Enjoyable and at times fascinating insight into the rituals, tradition and operations of the oldest triad group, Wo Sing.
    Difficult to follow the shifting allegiances and politics at times, but the power struggle is engaging nonetheless. Crucially takes some turns at the end that show the cost of what the life requires, and the hypocrisy of the so called honor.
    The totem is one of the seemingly sillier mcguffins but what do I know about triad culture

  • Sorcerer

    Sorcerer

    ★★★★★

    Absolutely incredible action thriller. Matches and maybe exceeds the superb Wages of Fear that I also loved.

    The practical effects are jaw dropping. The central/south American locations and impending real danger felt Fitzcaralldo-like. I don't know how they filmed some of this - logic suggests models and the like- but I don't want to know. It felt 100% real which added to the tension and was proof again that the cgi does not age as well as the best of…