Absolute • Destiny • Apocalypse
Starship Troopers 1997
One of the funniest science fiction satires ever made, easily the finest early CG creatures outside of Jurassic Park and amongst the most quotable action movies of all time. Misunderstood in its day, Starship Troopers is now recognised alongside its thematic kin in Robocop and Total Recall; as simultaneously one of the best in its genre - and a vicious commentary on society, government and the military.
Extraordinary near future sci fi neo western that not only transcends the X-Men franchise - but also the superhero genre as a whole. An inherent sadness permeates every frame of the movie; reflecting on the characters’ sins, past victories and tough decisions. Pitch perfect performances, possibly the brutal best action in any capes movie to date and lean, tight direction from Cop Land’s James Mangold make this one the absolute best in the genre. Utterly wonderful.
Last Night in Soho 2021
Despite its visual Giallo homage, Wright’s horror/thriller could have benefitted from that genre’s famed economy; as its flimsy story struggles to hold up a lengthy runtime. Thomasin McKenzie is genuinely excellent and the supporting cast of familiar British faces all sell the twists and turns - but it’s all just too baggy and indulgent (and crucially, not scary), to the point where it feels like a thirty minute episode of Inside No. 9 stretched over two hours.
Beau Is Afraid 2023
Fascinatingly strange nightmare logic surrealist character drama - that represents something of a swing and a miss for director Ari Aster, following up folk horror masterpiece Midsommar. After a legitimately excellent opening hour (with some laugh out loud moments of visual humour) the movie descends into Kaufman-esque dreamlike explorations of anxiety, abuse, trauma and existentialism: with each act drifting further from the heightened comedy of the first. Much of it is funny, most of it is bizarre, some of it is a little dull; though the whole remains artfully done and wonderfully performed.