I saw this ages ago and got so bored I turned off the telly. Now, having seen it with fresh eyes (right to the very end) I actually think it is one of Tarantino's finest. Very little by way of gore and gut-wrenching scenes it instead focuses on character. Pam Grier is excellent as the titular Brown, while the other supporting cast members add depth and intrigue to the fairly simple story of a lady striving to get out of trouble. It took me over ten years to get round to seeing it properly, but now I'm glad I did. (9/10)
2. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Another vintage piece of celluloid, I got the DVD for my birthday in February and eventually saw it the other night. I'm not a big fan of westerns, but this one drew me in by the simple trick of making the lead characters extremely likeable. The dialogue between them is what makes this movie great - the lines are priceless, full of wit and humor. (9/10)
3. Slumdog Millionaire (2009)
One drawback of a film's publicity is that it makes you form an opinion of the film before you've actually watched it, and usually the reality is different from what you expect to see. Hence, Slumdog was darker than I thought it would be - not to say that Indian slums are supposed to be a happy subject, but I got the impression that it would be more upbeat in tone. Being a Boyle film, I should have known different! An excellent cast, with a fresh style and moving story makes it worth receiving its Oscars.
4. Deliverance (1972)
A disturbing 70's thriller, Deliverance helped to demonise 'rednecks' and associate the deep south with inbred loonies possessing a penchant for non-consensual sodomy (as if intolerance and racism wasn't enough). It's interesting to see Ned Betty and Burt Reynolds playing serious roles since I'd only seen them as comical characters in more recent films (in Superman and Cannonball Run, respectively). Reynolds in particular is striking as the hard-man Lewis who takes three geeky types on a canoeing trip that turns out to be deadly. Sadly, it loses pace halfway through and seems to conclude with an unsatisfactory end. But who am I to criticize the great John Boorman?? (7/10)
5. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (2008)
An interesting take on the horror of the Holocaust, seen through the eyes of a German and Jewish boy who forge a friendship 'over the fence' of a concentration camp. Both child actors shine, playing it very 'real' while Thewlis and others do a measured but poignant job of conveying everyday life for a Nazi family caught up in Hitler's final solution. The end took me by surprise, and was done with powerful effect. (7.5/10)
Films I hope to be reviewing soon: Bullitt, Terminator Salvation, Valkyrie, Bridge over the River Kwai ... er that's it for now!