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“This IS the STAR WARS film you are looking for” – THE FORCE AWAKENS Guest Review

James Bond memoir author Mark O’Connell (Catching Bullets) has once again graciously agreed to us posting another of his excellent reviews, this time for the latest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens (see also his Star Wars appreciation looking back on his childhood Force frenzy in Out magazine, The Force Is Fabulous With This One). […]

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Review: Star Wars The Force Awakens

“There were stories about what happened,” Rey (Daisy Ridley) says wide-eyed to Han Solo (Harrison Ford), now himself so much legend and myth in a galaxy far, far away. The force of story-telling, on the surface derivative of all the Original Trilogy, is nevertheless strong with Star Wars The Force Awakens. Sometimes, to quote James […]

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Guest Review: SPECTRE, By Catching Bullets Author Mark O’Connell

Once again, Catching Bullets author Mark O’Connell has graciously agreed to let us post his own review of the latest James Bond film. In his book Mark covers his memories of growing up as a James Bond fan from the unique perspective of being the grandson of producer Cubby Broccoli’s chauffeur, catching every Bond bullet, as […]

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Spectre – Review

There is a moment during the opening titles of Spectre that says more than it probably more than it meant to.  We see a topless Bond, sitting down and being helplessly smothered by an octopus – this is quite possibly the most fitting metaphor I can find for what is wrong with Spectre. At its […]

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Review: Macbeth

So foul and fair a filming of Shakespeare’s most well known tragedy has Australian director Justin Kurzel conjured, that you will be both shocked and awed by this most arresting Macbeth adaptation for our age. The setting is faithful – medieval Scotland, the text authentic (adapted by Jacob Kostoff, Michael Leslie and Todd Louiso). But […]

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Review: The Martian

The Martian is the latest in a recent pleasing run of “life will find a way” “hard” science fiction films such as Interstellar and Gravity – more grounded than the former (and latter, I suppose!), a hoorah for science and can-do American spirit (with a little help from the Chinese). Forfending the larger philosophical leanings […]

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Review: Legend

When a film is released with technical achievement at its centre, often it eclipses any discussion about the overall merits of the movie. Avatar is one such example from the last decade; with people marvelling at how beautiful it looked there seemed no appetite to discuss its myriad failings as a film – it even […]

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Blackhat: (Cyber)Mannhunter

Michael Mann doesn’t make films that pander to Americans. Or at least, that’s the impression suggested to anyone even vaguely familiar with the métier of Jean-Pierre Melville or Jean-Luc Godard. His heroes are slick professionals, recalling the aloofness of the nouvelle vague: colossi walking amidst the dreamers and dilettantes of the day. With Blackhat and […]

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Mad Max: Fury Road – Review

There is a scene at the start of Fury Road that chimed with me all the way through the film and still now sticks in my craw. The raggedy, frail and dehydrated-to-the-point-of-death people of the Citadel wait with baited breath as Immortan Joe gives the signal for the War Boys to release gallon upon gallon […]

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Review: Far From The Madding Crowd

A brilliant adaptation of Hardy’s classic. Visually sumptuous, charming, and poignant. Carey Mulligan (Bathsheba Everdene) and Matthias Schoenaerts (Gabriel Oak) shine as the will they / won’t they lovers, seperated by pride and changing social order. Shout outs also for Michael Sheen as besotted, unbalanced wealthy farmer William Bolderwood, and Tom Sturridge’s vain gadfly sergeant […]

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