By the time the opening titles of Loving Vincent come to a close, and the film itself begins, somewhere in the region of 1500 hand painted oil canvases, produced by professional artists and animators over the equivalent of perhaps 15-20 months will have glanced and glimmered across the screen. The result is, simply put, astonishing.
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Breathe isn’t quite the film you’d expect to mark the directorial debut of Imaginarium’s Doctor Parnassus himself, Andy Serkis. That would probably be his sophomore turn at the helm of next year’s motion capture spectacular The Jungle Book. Instead, this technologically quieter biopic is driven not by ambition so much as pure and genuine heart. Though not so remarkable as the story it tells, Breathe makes for a winning watch that leaves you both heartbroken and entirely affirmed.
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Denis Villeneuve’s long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s cult classic Blade Runner may be set some three decades after the original but is packed with dystopian pertinence so in line with the issues of the present day that the gap feels more intensely condensed than its predecessor ever could. Every bit on the forefront of visual technology itself, the triumph of Blade Runner 2049 is how well it emulates and advances the essence of the original, whilst offering one of the most cinematographically perfect experiences ever brought to the big screen.
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Resurrection is a bad idea, generally. The urge to fend off death, to dig up a treasured memory, is terribly human but rarely humane. So why is it that this keeps on happening? Why won’t Hollywood let go of the past and let sleeping films lie?
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Are you psychologically unhinged? Have you been thrown out of an MMA fighting club and shooting range for being just a wee bit too violently disturbed? Do you consider the CIA to be a bureaucratic killjoy with too many law-abiding rules? If your answers are yes, yes, and yes, then the CIA wants you on their side.
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Another tough project from the hard-hitting director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. Kathryn Bigelow has brought her knack, for capturing the brutally real, closer to home for Detroit and the film’s all the harder to watch for it.
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Were Judi Dench not so frustratingly exceptional in her second turn as the Queen of Britain and Empress of India, Victoria and Abdul might have just about gotten away with being a forgettable cinematic oddity. Unfortunately, for the film, Dench remains here impeachable as ever, effortlessly casting all that around her beneath the dustiest of shadows. Unable to come close to the talent it has secured, Victoria and Abdul is a great disappointment; a film with all of the potential but none of the ambition. It’s fine but that’s all.
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