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astrakhan

Celluloid Junkie - 3663 Film Ratings

Member Since: Apr 6, 2009

Bio: Insatiable, omnivorous cinephile. For every film I watch, two more unwatched ones grow back in its place!
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85 93% 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."
88 96% Bad Boy Bubby (1993) - Sep 21, 2009
"Totally bizarre, but in large parts brilliant. There are just a couple of parts where the script loses its way, which keep this from being a work of genius. The parts played as a fish-out-of-water comedy are stronger than the parts as a religious allegory or morality tale. But together they create a nice balance. The underlying subtexts in this Australian film are complex and plentiful - as are the laughs, and grimaces. Why is this film, and Nicholas Hope, not more widely known?"
30 0% Synecdoche, New York (2008) - Dec 27, 2009
"Charlie Kaufman's head has disappeared so far up his own ass that it has re-emerged from his own mouth as a stinking, shit-smeared parody of itself. Evidently that was the inspiration for his latest movie, which is just awful, unintelligible, incoherent, meaningless drivel. One of the few films I have been unable to sit through to the end. Shades of the quirkiness that made BJM and Adaptation so good, but trying too hard, it vanishes into a puff of smoke that should set off anyone's BS detector."
92 98% Living in Oblivion (1995) - Mar 30, 2010
"Right from scene 1 I could tell this was going to be brilliant. The portrayal of the endless frustrations and compromises of a low-budget film shoot is caricaturish, but also gloriously true to some real life experiences I have had. Film world outsiders can learn just how hard it is to make a film by watching this, and us insiders can laugh about the process. The performances are also superb across the board, particularly Steve Buscemi and Dermot Mulroney. DiCillo is a very underrated director."
82 85% 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."
95 99% 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."
84 91% Midnight in Paris (2011) - May 14, 2011
"A fun escapist adventure in which Allen tries to catapult us and himself into an alluring bygone world of fantasy and romance, but every time he comes close to making magic he is let down by his urge for silliness and buffoonery. The film is propelled largely by jazz music, costumes and name-dropping, a gimmick which brings regular laughs. But it also feels lightweight with a lot of loose ends. More of a sketched idea, than polished prose. Still it's one of his most entertaining films in years."
79 66% 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."
84 91% Okuribito (2008) - Jan 07, 2010
"At times laugh-out-loud funny, at times poetic, beautiful and deeply serious... Takita's film shows off his many talents, while treating the difficult subject of death thoroughly, from all angles, and in a way which truly allows the audience to reflect on it and learn something new. It could stand to be edited down, and some of the motifs can seem a little cheesy, but the complex fabric of this film falls subtly and on enough levels that such flaws can easily be ignored. A real pleasure."
87 95% 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."