Letterboxd release list of garbage films beloved of their shitty userbase

In the first edition of Journal, a new online magazine they launched by Photoshopping the title into a scene from Amelie where the character learns of Princess Diana’s death at a newsstand covered in images of the freshly-deceased royal, cinephile cesspit Letterboxd has revealed the 50 highest risers” in the site’s ten year existence. That is, the 50 films with the biggest upward trend in critical regard throughout our first decade.” That is, the shit that its popular userbase of humourless, dull reviewers have given five stars so as to bravely reclaim 2009’s Hannah Montana: The Movie from monocultural critics from gatekeeper organizations.”

The list includes such unjustly-underlooked gems as:

Once again big data proves to be a powerful thermometer for measuring the cultural climate, by revealing a lot of Letterboxd users came of age in the late 90s/early 00s and are largely insufferable.

A full appreciation of Letterboxd is forthcoming to Cinebloc.

November 11, 2021

Deadline headlines from the past couple of days to which the only rational response is why”

September 16, 2021

The Virgin Finch vs The Chad Chappie

Finch will premiere on Apple TV+ Friday, November 5

September 15, 2021

The word cursed gets thrown around a lot these days, but

Absolutely fucking not.

September 13, 2021

Berberian Board of Film Classification

A couple of years ago I wrote a widely-ignored blog about what I termed a wave of post-theory horror,”1 because it’s fun to identify and name things, isn’t it? Anyway, the short version is there’s a lot of horror films being made which place precedent on the audience being very aware of its important themes and very aware that the filmmakers are clued up on The Horror Discourse. They know what a final girl is. They’ve read Men, Women and Chainsaws (or at least skimmed it). This is often do at the expense of actually making the film about the things it insists its about, and also of it ever being scary. Being about a thing is not the same as being the thing, you see.

Anyway, Censor is one of those. Niamh Algar plays a member of the BBFC during the height of the moral panic over Video Nasties. She is suffering from ITVPTDPTSD, or ITV primetime drama post-traumatic stress disorder, which is when you have flashbacks an incident your not-so-idyllic childhood shot on Super 8. Algar’s are to a sister who went missing while playing a game in the woods when they were young. Something which you would think makes her singularly unsuitable a job watching films where horrible things happen to young women in the woods, but hey-ho.

Censor makes very little of the aesthetic or thematic possibilities offered by Video Nasties or VHS2, and Algar’s character is clearly nuts from the start, so her descent” into madness elicits nothing more than a Partridge shrug. If you want the story of a traumatised woman finding absolution of a sort through trash cinema which crudely represents a lot of said trauma, read Kier-La Janisse’s House of Psychotic Women.

  1. Remember the Suspiria remake? I was mostly salty about having gotten up early for the LFF screening of that.↩︎

  2. There’s several sequences with very unconvincing tracking” added using After Effects!↩︎

August 27, 2021

Ranking Hollywood’s 9/11 truthers

  1. Marion Cotillard

I think we’re lied to about a number of things. There was a tower, I believe it was in Spain, which burned for 24 hours. It never collapsed.”

  1. Spike Lee

I mean, I got questions. And I hope that maybe the legacy of this documentary is that Congress holds a hearing, a congressional hearing about 9/11.”

  1. Charlie Sheen

I saw the south tower hit live, that famous wide shot where it disappears behind the building and then we see the tremendous fireball. And there was just — there was a feeling that it just didn’t look, how do I say this, it didn’t look like any commercial jetliner I’ve flown on any time in my life. And then when the buildings came down, later on that day, I was with my brother and I said, Hey, call me insane, but did it sort of look like those buildings came down in a — in a controlled demolition?’”

  1. Martin Sheen

There are obviously a lot of unanswered questions, let me leave it that way, that are very, very disturbing. The key to that is Building 7 and how that came down under very, very suspicious circumstances.”

  1. Ed Asner

My bottom line on all of this is that this country — which is the greatest, strongest country that ever existed in the world, in terms of power — supposedly had a defense that could not be penetrated all these years. But all of that was eradicated by nineteen Saudi Arabians, supposedly. Some of whom didn’t even know how to fly.”

  1. Mark Ruffalo

I saw the way they all came down. And I’m baffled. My first reaction was, buildings don’t fall down like that.’ I’ve done quite a bit of my own research … The fact that the 9/11 investigation went from the moment the planes hit to the moment the buildings fell, and nothing before or after, I think, makes that investigation completely illegitimate.”

  1. David Lynch

As far as 9/11 goes there’s things we saw that conjure questions and wondering and something doesn’t seem quite right so it makes us wonder and the next step is we need answers.”

  1. Alec Baldwin

Do you think Bin Laden was behind 9-11?”

August 26, 2021

/Film is for dunces

For a hot minute I was working on an in-depth critique of /Film, the immensely popular movie news site and early proponent of the client journalism which has become the standard for online film criticism. The site routinely features some of the worst composed, most poorly edited, uninformed and generally ill-conceived writing on the web. A more trenchant analysis may well be worth a pop, but I’m just going to direct your attention to this passage from a recent news post, ‘The Matrix 4’ Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Teases Cutting Edge Camera Rigs, Ambitious Tech”:

THRs full profile of Abdul-Mateen II contains some other interesting tidbits about him and his life. Like James Earl Jones, an actor known for his iconic voice, Abdul-Mateen II overcame a stutter; and like many of us out here in TV land, he’s a fan of The Office. Is it just me or does hearing that make anyone else’s brain enter a bullet time state?

Yeah, dude. Hearing that an actor enjoyed the phenomenally popular television sitcom The Office made a sophisticated camera rig appear in a circle around my brain, take a number of still photographs in sequence, and then take those images to render a 3D image where my brain appears to be floating motionless in mid-air. They get paid to write this shit! It means nothing! This is the most popular independent film site on the internet! Peter Sciretta retire bitch!

August 12, 2021

Things you could do with a German Dan Stevens android

  1. Go to Berghain
  2. Get him to read you canonical works of literature (Goethe, Mann, Schnitzler) in the original German
  3. Have him provide live translation of a bootleg copy of The Guest you bought on a market stall in Neukölln
  4. IRL Citymapper for navigating the U- and S-bahn
  5. Ask him to explain how Charles Dickens invented Christmas
  6. Do some of the fun dance routines from Legion, but in German
  7. Buy two portions of currywurst but you get to eat both, because he’s a robot
  8. Sex

I’m Your Man is released in cinemas 13 August 2021.

August 10, 2021

Here are all the dead people’s likenesses that appear in Space Jam 2

  1. Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957) as Rick Blaine from Casablanca
  2. Warren Clarke (1947-2014) as Dim from A Clockwork Orange
  3. Bette Davis (1908-1989) as Baby Jane Hudson from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
  4. Errol Flynn (1909-1959) as Robin Hood from The Adventures of Robin Hood
  5. James Gandolfini (1961-2013) as Tony Soprano from The Sopranos
  6. Margaret Hamilton (1902-1985) as The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz
  7. Burgess Meredith (1907-1997) as The Penguin from Batman
  8. Anne Ramsey (1929-1988) as Mama Fratelli from The Goonies
  9. Cesar Romero (1907-1994) as The Joker from Batman
  10. Sméagol (TA 2430-3019) as Gollum from The Lord of the Rings films
  11. Adam West (1928-2017) as Batman from Batman

The Congress is currently streaming on MUBI.

August 7, 2021

After Life (1998) (the stage adaptation) (the review)

After Life, known in Japan as Wonderful Life (ワンダフルライフ, Wandafuru Raifu), is a 1998 Japanese film edited, written, and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. It has been adapted into After Life, a 2021 production at the National Theatre written by Jack Thorne, from a concept by” Bunny Christie, Jeremy Herrin and Jack Thorne, and co-produced by Headlong Theatre. It is now being reviewed by me, who worked in the bars 1 at the National Theatre for over a year 2 and watched a poor-quality DVD of the film borrowed from my university library.

It was pretty good! The emotions get bigger and broader owing to appearing on the stage and being written by the guy who did the shit Harry Potter play and Enola Holmes, but don’t hold that against it. There’s some fun stagecraft and it’ll make you consider your own mortality whilst packed into a small theatre with people taking their masks off to chew loudly on a packet of Mr Filbert’s Salt Crusted Nuts.

Three stars, some funny bits.

  1. People I served who were alright: Liam Codge” Neeson, Leonard Heonard, the tall boy from Fleabag and W1A I was a bit over-familiar with because I assumed I recognised him from real life and not the telly. People I served who were cunts: Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans.↩︎

  2. Thankfully I got out of there before the theatre decided to lay off the majority of their casual staff rather than place them on furlough↩︎

August 2, 2021

Here is my review” of Riders of Justice

July 29, 2021

Five Movies To Stream On Amazon Prime Video NOW!

Even as it suffers the slings and arrows of its close competitors Netflix and Disney+ (and that’s before you get into all the other nascent streaming services out there), Amazon Prime Video remains one of the most eclectic and exciting catalogues of film and TV, old and new, available. We broke down five of the best recent additions to the streaming giant you should check out now!
Liam Neeson continues his running streak as cinema’s hardest sexagenarian in The Ice Road, a gripping drama about a daring rescue attempt of workers trapped in a remote Canadian mine! Amazon conduct covert surevillance on their warehouse staff as part of their ongoing (and so far successful) union-busting efforts!
Former Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is all grown up in the hyper-violent Guns Akimbo, where he stars as a game developer forced to flee from highly-trained assassins in a livestreamed bloodsport! An Amazon worker recently miscarried in a warehouse bathroom after her superiors refused to lighten her duties during her pregnancy!
Former Girls star Alison Williams is in the pilot seat in Horizon Line, a tense thrill ride where a couple are forced to guide their plane to safety when the pilot suffers a fatal heart attack! Amazon Prime’s next-day delivery promise has been directly responsible for multiple deaths at the hands of their drivers, and in every instance the company have absolved themselves of legal responsibility!
Sacha Baron Cohen revives his iconic Kazakh reporter once more with Borat’s American Lockdown, featuring brand-new footage of the time he spent with two conspiracy theorists at the height of the coronavirus epidemic! A recent report found Amazon workers in the United States were severely injured more than 24,000 times in 2020!

Sitcom star done good Chris Pratt leads the impressively stacked blockbuster The Tomorrow War, where the best soldiers of the present day are drafted into a time-travelling conflict to save the future! Amazon founder and world’s richest man Jeff Bezos thanked the company’s workers and customers for funding his fifteen-minute vanity trip to the edge of space, where he thinks all polluting industries should be moved to!

July 21, 2021

Did anything happen on Loki this week? (episode six)

Not really, but maybe it will in season two? Still, nice to see Jonathan Majors having fun.

July 15, 2021

Did anything happen on Loki this week? (episode five)

Yeah, all that cool stuff from the trailers finally happened! The other forty minutes though? Nada.

July 8, 2021

Did anything happen on Loki this week? (episode four)

Surprisingly, yes; yet none of it was surprising.

July 2, 2021

Emerald Fennell’s 18th birthday party: Where are they now?

Fresh off her Oscar win for Promising Young Woman, a film you must be either a sexist or a woman to not like, troll whisperer and bon vivant Emerald Fennell is already back on the press circuit for her upcoming musical adaptation of Cinderella with former Tory peer Andrew Lloyd-Webber.1 Along with being a vital player in the culture war being levvied by the Tory government against, erm, West End theatre makers, this updated take on the fairy tale is

A cautionary tale about overnight celebrity, not just royalty. Imagine, suggests Fennell, that your best friend suddenly becomes the most famous pop star in the world. How does that change the dynamic of the relationship? How does it change the way you feel about yourself?’”

Anyway, appropos of nothing, why don’t we look back on Fennell’s 18th birthday party, which was subject of a tasteful pubescent photo spread in Toff-bothering gossip rag The Tatler? A night where “more than 150 friends, many fellow Marlburians” gathered to cheerfully dance “till dawn around a tier of pink vodka shots singing Hotel California at the top of their voices, much to the dismay of the liveried butler in the building opposite.” We know how Emerald’s star has risen in the years since, but what happened to these other hot young caucasians in the interim?
Graham Cooke is the founder Qubit, who “power the worlds largest ecommerce businesses with highly persuasive personalization,” and is a Non-Executive Director at ITV. He previously worked at Google, and “opened a coffee shop at school after buying an espresso machine” at age 13. According to a semi-reliable source, his assets are worth around £9.4m.
Poppy Delevingne, sister of Cara, is a socialite, actress and model. She “grew up in a Belgravia mansion.” Her paternal grandmother was the Hon. Angela Margo Hamar Greenwood and her paternal great-grandparents were Hamar Greenwood, 1st Viscount Greenwood and Margery Greenwood, Viscountess Greenwood. Her net worth is something like $28 million.
Alice Rugge-Price, whose wealth did not come from discount carpets, now goes by her married name of Keswick and now runs an interior design studio based in Hong Kong, “working on both commercial and residential projects.” There’s a weird Tatler article about how her infant child could marry Prince George someday. Her father was worth £1.7 billion as of 2011.
James von Simson, rightful heir to Latveria, is an Investment Director at Mayfair-based financial planning firm Tilney. He went to boarding school, worked in politics in Westminster and Investment Banking in London and Frankfurt, and is now an ambassador for the Diversity Project. He’s probably fucking loaded, let’s be honest.
Mickey Sumner played supporting roles in The Mend, Frances Ha, and every Noah Baumbach project since. They let her play Patti Smith once as well. She was, and likely always will be, the daughter of Sting and Trudy Steiner. Her net worth is estimated at $1.5 million.

And here’s a link to the BFIs diversity reports. Happy reading! Viva cinema!

  1. A friend of her parents.”↩︎

July 1, 2021

Did anything happen on Loki this week? (episode three)

Bugger all, mate.

June 24, 2021

Did anything happen on Loki this week? (episode two)

Not that I recall?

June 16, 2021

Here is my review of A Quiet Place Part II

Did you hear that post-apocalyptic survival stories like this are inherently fascist? You wanna keep away from the sort of people who get giddy at the idea of a world where societal structures (and open carry laws) have vanished. Mind you, most of them do bugger off to prepper colonies in the mountains, with only brief sojourns to the US capital. Anyway, in this crummy sequel John Krasinski, whose Republican leanings are amongst Hollywood’s worst-kept secrets, comes surprisingly close to critiquing this fallacy of self-sufficent individualism. The introduction of Cillian Murphy’s traumatised survivor adds a note of nihilism to the wholesome all-you-need-is-family core of this blockbuster creature feature, his character having lost his entire family to the willowy-limbed antagonists.

Except Jim Halpert/Jack Ryan/Mr Benghazi’s small-c conservatism means that family still trumps Murphy’s hard-won isolationism within the space of a cut. AQP2 (as all the cool kids are calling it) consolidates the worst bits of the first film — clunky visual storytelling, boring monster design1 — and lacks most of its pleasures. It’s both tension- and scare-free, barring a tense prologue, and the emotional content is centred almost entirely on Krasinski’s absence, like he’s Tom Sawyer at his own funeral. Its additions to the world and the questions it raises are glimpsed, then dismissed, from a gang of feral survviors with pink eye to an island idyll protected from the apparently hydrophobic-beasties. The main thing AQP2 asks is: what if a dad directed The Road? And the answer is: it’d be shite.

  1. As the work of HR Giger and Guillermo del Toro will attest, the best monster designs come from weirdo sex perverts; then again, a lingering shot of abandoned women’s footwear on a disused train platform suggest some hitherto-unexplored retifism on Krasinski’s part.↩︎

June 14, 2021

Did anything happen on Loki this week? (episode one)


June 12, 2021

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