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Simon Litton

https://simonlitton.wordpress.com/
  • Brussels, Belgium
Simon

One of the best science fiction epics in years, and personally I think the comparisons with 2001 are justified. It's long and has three distinct sections, each quite different from the other, but works as a whole. The cast is great, the action scenes tense and the otherwordly scenes interestingly visualised. Hans Zimmer's minimalist score is a thing of majestic beauty, and the effects work is surprisingly...

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Some reviewers claim that this is the best Marvel movie yet. I wouldn't go that far, as I still prefer the Avengers films, but it's close. In fact this is pretty much an Avengers film anyway, with everyone except Hulk and Thor present and correct, plus a few new additions to the team.
The plot is fairly straightforward and is basically just an excuse to set up the titular conflict between two halves of the team,...

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Probably the best teen movie I've ever seen, in terms of accurately capturing the way 13 year olds live and interact today, without any artifice or judgement. Incredibly naturalistic and well-observed, with fantastic performances from all the kids, it's full of heartbreak and hilarity and cringeworthy moments, but is also incredibly empathetic and warm.

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Fisherman’s Friends is based very loosely on a true story, but most of the characters and situations, as well as the romance subplot, have been invented for the screen. It’s a fairly predictable and corny but nonetheless enjoyable fish-out-of-water comedy, with the sea shanty musical numbers adding some welcome novelty. It makes a nice change to see this kind of village community presented onscreen in a way that...

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Downbeat coming of age drama with an ambiguous ending. Sometimes feels a little cliched, but has a strong sense of place and impressive performances.

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Middling Marvel. The cast is good and, as usual with Marvel films, there's some welcome humour. The action scenes are functional and nothing spectacular, and for a galaxy-spanning story about one of the MCU's most powerful characters this often feels quite small scale.
But the plot is interesting, with some cool twists, and Brie Larson has a poise and strength, but she underplays, which gives the character a "more...

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I found this underwhelming. I get that it's supposed to be understated and that it's all about repressing emotion, but I feel that I didn't really get to know the protagonist well enough, and I'm puzzled as to how he earned an Oscar for this.
It drags and doesn't really reach any conclusion.

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An exceptionally authentic look at a small, deprived community of southern Italian Roma and what they have to do to make ends meet. Filmed on location with entire families of non-actors playing themselves, it's an eye-opening, funny and sometimes scary look at a part of the world most of us never see.
The pace drags a little at times, and I found some of the wobbly, close-up camerawork annoying, but it's...

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Mostly a very entertaining action adventure. The title character is very convincing and gives by far the strongest performance in the film. Supporting characters like Christopher Waltz, Mahershala Ali and particularly Jennifer Connelly are under-developed and under-used, but the plot is well constructed and varied, and the actions scenes are clean and comprehensible and well choregraphed.
There's plenty of scope...

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Satirising something that's already ridiculous is always a fool's errand, and this jaundiced look at the LA art market doesn't have much to say. The performances are decent and it's nice to see Zawe Ashton getting a halfway decent role, but the surreal flights of fancy later in the film feel out of place and unconvincing.

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Fairly derivative but stylish and enjoyable Alien rip-off. The creature design is interesting and Espinosa handles the tension and set-pieces well.

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A curious mix of the modern and old-fashioned. Pennywise is a strong presence and I wanted more of him, although it was never really clear to me what he wanted, and the historical research didn't make it any clearer. It's just an excuse for otherwise nonsensical and surreal scare scenes.
The kids are good, although the treatment of the sole female character is a bit icky and the rest seem to be there just to tick...

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Watchable version of an interesting story, but it spends too long on some superficial aspects of the plot when it could have been digging a bit deeper into the psychology of the characters, especially the two wives. But interesting that it doesn't explicitly take sides, neither presenting Ray Kroc as a heroic go-getter nor as a venal manipulator, but rather a bit of both.

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Strange and dreamy take on a type of Taxi Driver story about a vigilante rescuing an abused young girl. Ramsay denies us the cathartic pleasure of watching the protagonist take his violent revenge, presenting us mostly just with the aftermath. Instead she focusses on the psychological cost of his actions, as well as his own abusive childhood.
The direction and editing are confident and inventive, but the pace is...

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A fun story, and Lee balances the comedy and horror aspects well. Some of the supporting characters aren't given much to do, the pace flags a bit, and the ending is messy. But it's still fascinating as a true story.

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