Category: Feature

Caren Pistorius in Slow West

The Best Films of 2015

      There’s a tendency among people who watch a lot of films to boost ones that stand out rather than ones that are good. This can lead to some perverse choices in the “best of” lists that proliferate at this time of year. So that probably explains the

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Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin

The Best Films of 2014

  Of the 350+ films I saw this year, these are the best ones. Some of them were released last year and I’ve been a bit slow getting round to them. Some of them were released even longer ago. The criteria are – I watched them in 2014 and I liked

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Daniel Craig and Mads Mikkelsen in Casino Royale

James Bond’s Testicles

    Have you ever noticed how James Bond is always getting his balls interfered with? The world’s most virile spy is so replete with testosterone that women want to get their hands on them and can’t help but fall into bed with him. Men, on the other hand, feel

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The cast of You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

The Best Films I Saw in 2013

Updated 2013-12-30   Here they are, the best films I saw in 2013. It’s a Top Ten job with the best in no particular order, followed by a list of films that made the top ten at some point in the year, then got bounced. This is not a Best

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Uggie the Jack Russell with co-star Bérénice Bejou in The Artist

Dogs in the Movies

        Dogs. Yes, that’s right, dogs. I’ve probably already doubled the amount of traffic to this site just by writing the word “dogs” three times. Four times if you count that mention. Because people just love dogs (five). They can’t help themselves. It’s down to their dependability.

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Sabrina Ferilli and Toni Servillo in The Great Beauty

The Films of Paolo Sorrentino

  Paolo Sorrentino’s latest film, La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) is a portrait of Rome through the eyes of a world weary writer. It’s being hailed as Sorrentino’s La Dolce Vita and stars Sorrentino’s Marcello Mastroianni, Toni Servillo. It’s close to a masterpiece in other words, making this a

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Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

Dick Van Dyke on DVD

  What a great thing Dick Van Dyke has been. First there’s that improbable name. Even more improbable, it’s his real name. Then there’s his legs, long and lean and made for comedy dancing and comedy pratfalls. And his smile – as wide as the screen and surely the biggest

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Julian Richings in Cube

What Is an Aseptic White Room Thriller?

  The simple answer to the question “what is an aseptic white room thriller” (AWRT) is Cube, Vincenzo Natali’s cult Canadian sci-fi movie from 1997. More abstractly, it’s a film that takes place on a single set, usually white though not necessarily. Lighting will be clean, clinical, fairly devoid of

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Matt Dillon and Lili Taylor in Factotum

Movies About Charles Bukowski

    The news that James Franco is directing a film about gravel-voiced, pock-faced author Charles Bukowski, the go-to man for closet writers, bedroom tough guys and incipient alcoholics, reminds us that there have been several shots on goal before. Franco has a double obstacle – films about writing are

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All That Heaven Allows original poster

The Curious Return of Douglas Sirk

  What is it about a film-maker who died around 25 years ago in obscurity  that fascinates a new generation of directors?         The director Douglas Sirk died in 1987 aged 90. Born in Hamburg as Detlef Sierck, he became well known for his string of lush melodramas made

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