Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

I watched Grave of the Fireflies expecting a masterpiece. I’d never seen the film before, but its reputation preceded it – as Studio Ghibli’s second film (released simultaneously with the magnificent My Neighbour Totoro) and as a tear-jerking war drama. Based on the non-fiction novel by Nosaka Akiyuki, it tells the tale of teenage boy…

Fury (2014)

Fury (2014)

A dark rider atop a white horse, a figure of nobility, mounts the horizon over an endless expanse of rutted mud. The horse trots into a landscape of wreckage and the rider – a Nazi officer, we now see – is knocked from his steed by a hitherto unseen assailant. The officer’s fate is swift…

Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt in Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

The notion of films adopting a “videogame aesthetic” is – or was – a common critical observation, wielded as pejorative or praise depending, seemingly, on the critic’s personal opinion of videogames. Since at least The Matrix – a film visually and conceptually indebted to contemporary videogames while inspiring the design of games to come – and even Tron before…

Dominic Cooper and Chris Evans inCaptain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

With the Captain America sequel not far away, I decide to catch up on the only Marvel release I’ve yet to see, Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger. Announcing this on Twitter, a friend commented that “the first half is great and then it sucks have fun” A succinct summary, but – sadly –…

The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises (2013)

“Airplanes are beautiful dreams. Cursed dreams, waiting for the sky to swallow them up.” It’s hard to separate The Wind Rises from its creator, Hayao Miyazaki, iconic anime director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli. Barring a Jay Z-esque change of heart, The Wind Rises represents his last feature length film, and with this in mind…