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Top 10 Films - 1973 (Oct 22 2013)
Box Office Comment (Oct 26 2013)
Trailers - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Oct 26 2013)

Top 10 Films - 1974 (Jan 4 2014)

20 to See in 2014 (Jan 9 2014)
Prediction - 2014 Box Office (Jan 14 2014)
Prediction - 2014 Oscars (Feb 25 2014)
Oscar Winners 2014 (Mar 6 2014)
Top 10 Films - 1975 (Sep 20 2014)
Trailers - Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Nov 30 2014)
Trailers - Mad Max: Fury Road (Dec 17 2014)

20 to see in 2015 (Jan 2 2015)

Prediction - 2015 Box Office Part 1 (Jan 5 2015)
Prediction - 2015 Box Office Part 2 (Jan 5 2015)
Prediction - 2015 Oscars (Jan 21 2015)
Oscar Winners 2015 (Feb 23 2015)
Top 10 Films - 1976 (May 1 2015)
Trailers - Hail, Caesar! (Oct 17, 2015)

Prediction - 2016 Box Office (Jan 5 2016)

20 to See in 2016 (Jan 7 2016)
Prediction - 2016 Oscars (Jan 23 2016)
Oscar Winners 2016 (Feb 29 2016)
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending April 9 2016
And the Oscar Should Have Gone to... 1982 (Apr 14 2016)
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending April 16 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending April 23 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending April 30 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending May 7 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending May 14 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending May 21 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending May 28 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending June 4 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending June 11 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending July 2 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending July 9 2016
Movies on My Mind: Week Ending July 30 2016
Movies on My Mind Week Ending Sep 3 2016
23 to See in 2017 (Dec 29 2016)

Prediction - 2017 Box Office (Jan 8 2017)
Prediction - 2017 Oscars (Jan 29 2017)
Oscar Winners 2017 (Feb 27 2017)
Trailers - Blade Runner 2049 (May 10 2017)

21 to See in 2018 (Jan 1 2018)
Prediction - 2018 Box Office (Jan 6 2017)
Prediction - 2018 Oscars (Feb 26 2018)
Oscar Winners 2018 (Mar 5 2018)
23 to See in 2019 (Dec 30 2018)

Prediction - 2019 Box Office (Jan 3 2019)
Prediction - 2019 Oscars (Feb 17 2019)
Oscar Winners 2019 (Feb 25 2019)
20 to See in 2020 (Dec 27 2019)

Prediction - 2020 Box Office (Jan 3 2020)
Prediction - 2020 Oscars (Feb 5 2020)
Oscar Winners 2020 (Feb 10 2020)

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We live in a twilight world.

Tenet (2020)
(SPOILERS) I’ve endured a fair few confusingly-executed action sequences in movies – more than enough, actually – but I don’t think I’ve previously had the odd experience of being on the edge of my seat during one while simultaneously failing to understand its objectives and how those objectives are being attempted. Which happened a few times during Tenet. If I stroll over to the Wiki page and read the plot synopsis, it is fairly explicable (fairly) but as a first dive into this Christopher Nolan film, I frequently found it, if not impenetrable, then most definitely opaque.

She was addicted to Tums for a while.

Marriage Story (2019)
(SPOILERS) I don’t tend to fall heavily for Noah Baumbach fare. He’s undoubtedly a distinctive voice – even if his collaborations with Wes Anderson are the least of that director’s efforts – but his devotion to an exclusive, rarefied New York bubble becomes ever more off-putting with each new project. And ever more identifiable as being a lesser chronicler of the city’s privileged quirks than his now disinherited forbear Woody Allen, who at his peak mastered a balancing act between the insightful, hilarious and self-effacing. Marriage Story finds Baumbach going yet again where Woody went before, this time brushing up against the director’s Ingmar Bergman fixation.

You can’t climb a ladder, no. But you can skip like a goat into a bar.

Juno and the Paycock (1930)
(SPOILERS) Hitchcock’s second sound feature. Such was the lustre of this technological advance that a wordy play was picked. By Sean O’Casey, upon whom Hitchcock based the prophet of doom at the end of The Birds. Juno and the Paycock, set in 1922 during the Irish Civil War, begins as a broad comedy of domestic manners, but by the end has descended into full-blown Greek (or Catholic) tragedy. As such, it’s an uneven but still watchable affair, even if Hitch does nothing to disguise its stage origins.

My name is Dr. King Schultz, this is my valet, Django, and these are our horses, Fritz, and Tony.

Django Unchained (2012)
(MINOR SPOILERS) Since the painful misstep of Grindhouse/Death Proof, Quentin Tarantino has regained the higher ground like never before. Pulp Fiction, his previous commercial and critical peak, has been at very least equalled by the back-to-back hits of Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Having been underwhelmed by his post Pulp Fiction efforts (albeit, I admired his technical advances as a director in Kill Bill), I was pleasantly surprised by Inglourious Basterds. It was no work of genius (so not Pulp Fiction) by any means, but there was a gleeful irreverence in its treatment of history and even to the nominal heroic status of its titular protagonists. Tonally, it was a good fit for the director’s “cool” aesthetic. As a purveyor of postmodern pastiche, where the surface level is the subtext, in some ways he was operating at his zenith. Django Unchained is a retreat from that position, the director caught in the tug between his all-important aesthetic pr…

I mean, I am just a dumb bunny, but, we are good at multiplying.

Zootropolis (2016)
(SPOILERS) The key to Zootropolis’ creative success isn’t so much the conceit of its much-vaunted allegory regarding prejudice and equality, or – conversely – the fun to be had riffing on animal stereotypes (simultaneously clever and obvious), or even the appealing central duo voiced by Ginnifier Goodwin (as first rabbit cop Judy Hopps) and Jason Bateman (fox hustler Nick Wilde). Rather, it’s coming armed with that rarity for an animation; a well-sustained plot that doesn’t devolve into overblown set pieces or rest on the easy laurels of musical numbers and montages.

Anything can happen in Little Storping. Anything at all.

The Avengers 2.22: Murdersville
Brian Clemens' witty take on village life gone bad is one of the highlights of the fifth season. Inspired by Bad Day at Black Rock, one wonders how much Murdersville's premise of unsettling impulses lurking beneath an idyllic surface were set to influence both Straw Dogs and The Wicker Mana few years later (one could also suggest it premeditates the brand of backwoods horrors soon to be found in American cinema from the likes of Wes Craven and Tobe Hooper).

Haven’t you ever heard of the healing power of laughter?

Batman (1989)
(SPOILERS) There’s Jaws, there’s Star Wars, and then there’s Batman in terms of defining the modern blockbuster. Jaws’ success was so profound, it changed the way movies were made and marketed. Batman’s marketing was so profound, it changed the way tentpoles would be perceived: as cash cows. Disney tried to reproduce the effect the following year with Dick Tracy, to markedly less enthusiastic response. None of this places Batman in the company of Jaws as a classic movie sold well, far from it. It just so happened to hit the spot. As Tim Burton put it, it was “more of a cultural phenomenon than a great movie”. It’s difficult to disagree with his verdict that the finished product (for that is what it is) is “mainly boring”.

Now, of course, the Burton bat has been usurped by the Nolan incarnation (and soon the Snyder). They have some things in common. Both take the character seriously and favour a sombre tone, which was much more of shock to the system when Burton did it (even…

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Doctor Who  Season 26 – Worst to Best
I’m not a big Seventh Doctor fan. For me, Doctor Who pretty much ended with Season 23 (and not because it was awful: see here). Yes, there have been a few nu-Who reprieves (mostly notably Matt Smith’s first season), but the McCoy era flaunted an abundance of sins, from a lead who wasn’t up to snuff, to a script-editor messaging his social conscience wrapped in a breeze block (or bilge bag), to production values that made any given earlier era look absurdly lavish in comparison. And then there was the “masterplan” (which at least lends Season 24 a rather innocuous and relatively inoffensive quality by contrast).

Nevertheless, on the occasions I do return to the era, I’m always minded to give it a fair shake. And while that resolve inevitably crumbles within minutes, under the duress of cold harsh reality, it has, at times, led to a positive reappraisal (The Happiness Patrol, and, to an extent, perhaps unfathomably, Time and the Rani). So we’ll see ho…

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Bugsy (1991)
(SPOILERS) Bugsy is very much a Warren Beatty vanity project (aren’t they all, even the ones that don’t seem that way on the surface?), to the extent of his playing a title character a decade and a half younger than him. As such, it makes sense that producer Warren’s choice of director wouldn’t be inclined to overshadow star Warren, but the effect is to end up with a movie that, for all its considerable merits (including a script from James Toback chock full of incident), never really feels quite focussed, that it’s destined to lead anywhere, even if we know where it’s going.

I think World War II was my favourite war.

Small Soldiers (1998)
An off-peak Joe Dante movie is still one chock-a-block full of satirical nuggets and comic inspiration, far beyond the facility of most filmmakers. Small Soldiers finds him back after a six-year big screen absence, taking delirious swipes at the veneration of the military, war movies, the toy industry, conglomerates and privatised defence forces. Dante’s take is so gleefully skewed, he even has big business win! The only problem with the picture (aside from an indistinct lead, surprising from a director with a strong track record for casting juveniles) is that this is all very familiar.

Dante acknowledged Small Soldiers was basically a riff on Gremlins, and it is. Something innocuous and playful turns mad, bad and dangerous. On one level it has something in common with Gremlins 2: The New Batch, in that the asides carry the picture. But Gremlins 2 was all about the asides, happy to wander off in any direction that suited it oblivious to whether the audience was on …