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Non-Review Review: Reservoir Dogs

I had the pleasure of attending the Jameson Cult Film Club screening of this film.

Reservoir Dogs is my favourite film amongst Quentin Tarantino’s accomplished filmography. It seems a strange choice, as most film fans would concede that it’s pretty great, but would readily point to Pulp Fiction as the definitive Tarantino film. However, I think that Reservoir Dogs has an elegant simplicity that elevates it, allowing Tarantino to demonstrate his unique skills in an environment where he isn’t too confined or too rigidly structured. In a way, it’s that wonderful structure that makes Pulp Fiction so exceptional, but Reservoir Dogs has a relatively modest scale that makes it a lot easier to appreciate Tarantino’s deft mastery of form.

Whiter than White?

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Non-Review Review: The Duellists

The Duellists is the first film from director Ridley Scott. While it certainly isn’t his best remembered or the most highly rated, it is a cracking piece of historical cinema that manages to do a lot with very little. It’s a simple little concept, set against an epic backdrop, elevated by two leads, a wonderful sense of historical fidelity, and a young director with a long career ahead of him.

Ridley Scott's first stab at directing...

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Non-Review Review: Little Fockers

I genuinely really enjoyed Meet the Parents. It’s a nice little movie that the family will occasionally get caught up in again if it just so happens to be on telly, a nice way to spend an hour or two that nobody can really object to. The sequel, Meet the Fockers, lost a lot of the appeal – but we still found it relatively unobjectionable. So, the third and final (hopefully) instalment of the franchise, Little Fockers, arrives and isn’t really that bad. It’s just not really any good, either.

Greg still don't know Jack...

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Non-Review Review: Red Dragon

I have a confession to make: I don’t much care for Manhunter. I know I love the work of Michael Mann, but the film just left me cold. Maybe it’s Brian Cox’s stale performance as Hannibal, or the final action sequence choreographed to Inna Gadda Vida, but I don’t react well to the film. I loved the original book – I’d argue that Harris’ Red Dragon surpasses even The Silence of the Lambs as the greatest forensic thriller ever written – and, I have to confess, I certainly quite enjoyed Red Dragon.

Guess whose back...

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Life on Mars USA

Well, that was… weird. I seem to be the only person on the planet with love for the American iteration of Life On Mars. It got a lot of hate for being too conventional, for not being as ‘out there’ as its British predecessor and basically being unoriginal. And I can appreciate those critiques having watching the first season – they are all relatively fair. On the other hand, isn’t it a little unfair to measure it directly to the original series, like comparing apples and oranges? New York of the 1970s was a very different place from Manchester of the 1970s and the new series had its own aesthetic. I won’t pretend that the show was a masterpiece of television history, but I do think that Life on Mars certainly deserved a second season.

Is there life AFTER Mars?

Note: It seems impossible to discuss a show like this without discussing the (incredibly divisive) ending. I will be doing that, in gory detail, below. However, as per usual, I will flag it a paragraph or two beforehand, so you can avert your eyes or navigate away or do whatever you need to do. Consider yourself forewarned.

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