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astrakhan

Celluloid Junkie - 3498 Rankings

Member Since: Apr 6, 2009

Bio: Insatiable, omnivorous cinephile. For every film I watch, two more unwatched ones grow back in its place!

more Featured Reviews
85 T10 I Capture the Castle (2003) - Feb 27, 2010
"Immensely enjoyable, despite the story becoming a bit silly (too much book crammed into one film). The production values were top notch, cinematography and lighting in particular world class - stunning to look at. Props and costume really excelled themselves to bring the 1930s sparkling to life (with just a few anachronisms!) Superb casting and fine performances from all around, particularly Romola Garai, a "plain Jane" who the camera adores. A great depiction of teenage hormones and emotions."
87 T10 The Secret of My Success (1987) - Apr 15, 2009
"This exciting caper flick mixes elements of Ferris Bueller, Working Girl and Back To The Future. Fox plays himself and the script offers up plenty of fun surprises and precarious escapades. Who doesn't like situations where a character has to change his clothes in an elevator every 5 minutes to play different identities? Another quality 80s family film which can sit on a par with John Hughes's best efforts of that decade. The only downer is the awful tacked-on deus ex machina ending."
95 T10 Ward 13 (2003) - Apr 06, 2009
"Pure genius - and proof that an overactive sense of humour and a twisted mind are far more important than clay modelling skills when it comes to making a great stop-motion. The fantastic camera angles - reminiscent of Hitchcock, de Palma or Tarantino - show that the director has a true eye for cinema. For me this hilarious and thrilling film surpasses even the Oscar-winning achievements of Aardman."
82 T9 Shrew's Nest (2014) - Jan 24, 2017
"A superior psychological horror - that genre the Spanish seem to be so good at recently - which turns into a bloodbath. The story is a slow burner, but its elements fit very nicely together. Macarena Gómez carries the film tremendously - she steals every scene she's in. The mise-en-scène also deserves plaudits, with crisp cinematography, a well-chosen colour palette, period detail, and lots of religious imagery and intense facial close-ups. Suspenseful, terrifying, and good to look at too."
79 T7 Greenberg (2010) - Jun 19, 2010
"At times Stiller's portrayal of the confused and directionless Greenberg left me cold. I could identify but not buy into or sympathise with his self-destructive eccentricities. Eventually, though, the film's characters did grow on me. Well, with Greta Gerwig it was not that difficult. I left fairly satisfied with the film's conclusions, but perhaps not with its journey there. The highlight was some of the relationships and dialogues, which were genuinely touching and real. More please, Baumbach."
77 T6 Micmacs (2009) - Nov 30, 2009
"What if Ocean's Eleven was remade by Terry Gilliam in France? You'd have Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "Micmacs a Tire-Larigot", a zany caper film about society's outsiders sticking it to the man. Very strange, but ultimately quite likeable and with a good anti-gun message. A tart with a heart."
90 T10 District 9 (2009) - Dec 06, 2009
"The documentary-like style makes this the most effective melding of sci-fi and reality that I have ever seen in the genre. The scale and ambition are huge, especially for an African film. And it pulls it off, with not one famous star. It also bravely alludes to some of the biggest problems South Africa has faced and continues to face, like racism, oppression, violence and AIDS. The film holds up a mirror to human civilisation. And at the same time, it's a sci-fi geek's wet dream in terms of FX!"
83 T9 Mother (2009) - Jan 09, 2010
"Terrifically well-made and tight character-driven mystery that recalls, and almost matches, Bong's earlier masterpiece Memories of Murder. Although the son is a weak character, as the film goes on you realise it is not about him but his mother (the clue was in the title). She is a remarkable and complex character, brilliantly acted by Kim Hye-Ja. The story unfolds slowly like an origami figure and there are some nice artistic touches in the direction of the silent scenes in particular. Great."
84 T10 Moon (2009) - Nov 09, 2009
"Really great minimalistic sci-fi debut; although the theme is not that complex, its exposition is spun out with great craft, allowing us to share the doubts of the main character while occupying an omniscient point of view. Humour is used well to alleviate the mood. At each plot point, the film seems to make exactly the right decision, and it's a pleasure to just sit back and be hand-held though to the end. The continuous "why?"s are all answered satisfactorily and with impeccable timing."
88 T10 Le Premier jour du reste de ta vie (2008) - Aug 18, 2009
"This film deals in universal issues of love, life, death and family that anyone can relate to. The lives of the protagonists are painted in such vivid detail, and their escapades are so emotionally fulfilling, that it creates an immersive experience which seems almost hyper-real. Huge credit to Bezonçon and all the cast for making such a satisfying coming-of-age movie, in fact five movies in one. Finally a modern French family is portrayed on the big screen, no holds barred. Great music too."