Parasite (2019)

Brilliant tale of class and the myth of social mobility. A very firm handle on tone (the conman comedy of the first half, the meatier dramedy of the second), so much so that the utter density of the film never feels leaden or overdone. But there is detail everywhere, so many parallels and suggests fractally…

The King (2019)

What possesses a writer to think they can outdo Shakespeare? The same thing that forms the one genuinely interesting addition to the story here – a falsehood. That falsehood is the most interesting and additive change to the general Henriad story here, as most interesting elements are plucked out. Nearly every single interesting aspect of…

The Two Popes (2019)

This film is certainly enjoyable, entertaining, filled with two great actors doing great work together, filmed with a canny sense of kinetics that make its two hours fly by and never feel like a drudge (those kaleidoscopic news sequences, hyperfast editing of pens being used, shaky handheld, etc.). The lead actors get good lines like…

Marriage Story (2019)

The film starts with an excellent fakeout, but on the whole it’s a painfully earnest realisation of a divorce, of a divorce channeled through a parasitic legal process that at times seems designed to maximise the former couple’s hatred of each other. Note how easily and chummily the lawyers order lunch, while their clients are…

1917 (2019)

Less a technically-dazzling ‘theme park’ event than the ‘it’s all filmed like it’s one shot!’ premise suggests. This is partly because the film has more heart than I expected – it mightn’t go to pains to characterise with nuance or anything, but it clearly has a real respect for death, and the miserable lot of…

The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974)

A martial arts / vampire mashup is a fun idea, with the Hammer and Shaw movie studios working together to create this wacky one-off realisation of it. There’s no Christopher Lee, and the actor nominally for Dracula is barely in the movie (no great loss, but the body-swapping mechanics are handled oddly, and potentially could…

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)

Another modern (well, 1970s) Hammer Dracula film, in fact Christopher Lee’s last Hammer Dracula film. More interesting and action-packed than that film, although obviously without the electricity of the idea of moving Dracula to the then-present day. Interesting update of the plague idea from the NOSFERATU films. Dracula’s plan here is more ambitious than usual,…