A little blog you've probably never heard of

  1. Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    Rupert Wyatt's Rise of the Planet of the Apes was unexpectedly excellent, revitalising a franchise that had been worn into the ground with a great blend of story, character and action. Matt Reeves' sequel is enjoyable but doesn't expand enough away from Rise to feel like anything more than an extended epilogue, focusing exclusively on a single group of surviving humans bumping up against the ape society. While this keeps the film tightly focused, it also doesn't tell the audience anything we couldn't have assumed for ourselves. There's some solid direction, a great score, and great performances from the ape cast, but the end result feels a little inessential.

  2. The secret 3DS player

    The StreetPass feature on the Nintendo 3DS encourages you to take your handheld out and about with you, swapping your Mii and a cursory greeting with any other 3DS that comes into range before letting you play a few games with them. It's a very Nintendo thing; they don't create an all-singing, all-dancing multi-functional device that tries to counter smartphones with email and Skype and whatnot on it, they just create a toy that's made more fun by keeping it with you all the time.

  3. Review of Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises

    As Miyazaki's choice for his last film, it's hard not to wonder what statement he's trying to make; The Wind Rises is not a whimsical fairytale but a tale of artistic obsession, and the subject, Jiro Horikoshi, is the designer of planes used by Imperial Japan during the second world war. What Miyazaki presents is such a forgivingly-neutral portrayal that, with knowledge of events of that time, I found it a little hard to stomach.

  4. Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla

    I'm a big fan of Gareth Edwards' debut feature Monsters, a low-key character piece that eschewed extravagant set-pieces in favour of some smart world-building, showing how humanity could adapt to live with a passively-invasive, natural force. There's some of that in Godzilla with the positioning of the monsters as barely-seen background forces for so much of the film, but, while the spectacle impresses, the film is weakened by bland and forgettable characters.

  5. The Non-swimmer

    I discovered a walking route home that takes me along a canal and shaves 20 minutes off my journey time. It's a route that's peaceful, practically deserted, and neatly cuts out almost the whole of Camden. A 45 minute walk where I can, for a short time, forget that I'm in London; the advantages of this just have to be weighed against the terror caused by being a non-swimmer mere inches away from an open body of deep, cold water.

  6. Review of Richard Ayoade’s The Double

    Richard Ayoade's The Double, a fable-like tale of a shy, socially-backwards man replaced by a confident double, is an uncomfortable yet mostly brilliant work. The impeccable cinematography, imaginative set design and jarring score all work in perfect harmony to unsettle, and Jesse Eisenberg puts in a great, exaggerated and unreal performance as both the shy Simon and the confident James. However, while ostensibly this is a dark comedy, the tone is overwhelmingly sour.