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astrakhan

Celluloid Junkie - 3763 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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90 98% 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!"
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."
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."
83 89% Mother (2009) - Jan 10, 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 91% 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."
84 91% Midnight in Paris (2011) - May 15, 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."
82 85% Coldblooded (1995) - Mar 11, 2010
"Likeable for the minimalism and directness of its script, and for the relentlessly logical and emotionless world view of its central character. The humour is essentially black but tends more towards the quirky or weird. Good casting. Decent direction and production values despite the small scale of the film, a good example to budding filmmakers. The ending was slightly weak; the film seems to chicken out of having a message, after suggesting for quite a while that it is going to have one."
85 93% I Capture the Castle (2003) - Feb 28, 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."
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."
88 96% 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."