Edinburgh Cinema

Edinburgh’s cinemas have their own, different feel. When I visit them, I’ll be writing about both the film and the place, giving you the organic experience. Film critics on the big scale can’t really cater for this, so I hope my reviews bring something extra in this respect.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi 15.12.17 I would watch this film again. Not for the lightsaber fights, which were strangely banal, or for the romance that develops between Boyega's Finn and Tan's Rose, which glowed slightly at the end. In fact not for the many shoulder-shrug participants of this movie: Oscar Isaac's ace pilot Po and his one-dimensional ch...
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The Party

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The Party 03.12.17 It finished so abruptly, there was hardly time for disappointment. The Party is a film that imagines what a soiree in London looks like. With the dialogue slightly dull, I stopped thinking about the minimal plot and wondered how much these characters would earn: Kristin Scott-Thomas's House of Commons Minister would have a salary...
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Battle of the Sexes

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Battle of the Sexes 25.11.17 This was a sweet, uplifting experience, of a face-off in the zero-sum game of patriarchy, where on this occasion the right person wins. Emma Stone is a strong Billy Jean King, her battle for women's respect blended within a tender LGBT love story. Steve Carell is a surprisingly likeable Bobby Riggs, a little-boy-lost wh...
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Justice League

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Justice League 19.11.17 I'm still not sure why they needed Aquaman. He has a trident, and he swims really fast; fine, but the single oceanic scene comes and goes in the shake of a fish tail, and for the rest of the movie, he really is a fish out of water. I want more female superheroes, and fewer macho, gruff-voiced bodybuilders, whose presence in ...
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The Florida Project

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The Florida Project 12.11.17 Like Harry Potter and the Enid Blyton stories, The Florida Project is partly a world seen from the perspective of children. Around them on the sun-drenched strip of cheap motels and garish junk food cafes, little girls and boys play together, are noisy, and seem not to realize the challenges faced by the adults. Providi...
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Murder on the Orient Express

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Murder on the Orient Express 05.11.17 Murder on the Orient Express . It's a film about the luxury train, with a murder on it. What else is there to say of this enjoyable, nothing-special film? I went for visual stimulation and escapism and I think it's what I got given, like caviar or some other overrated thing. I knew I would get a glimpse of how ...
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Thor: Ragnarok

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Thor: Ragnarok 28.10.17 Two thirds of the way through Thor: Ragnarok , there's a superlative piece of slow-mo action that should have lasted longer. We see in a historical flashback the Valkyries – an all-woman army on winged horseback – approaching the story's villain, Cate Blanchett's Hela, in a final role of the dice. It's a scene akin to those ...
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The Death of Stalin

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The Death of Stalin 21.10.17 My first issue wasn't with the film but the cinema. Two price hikes by Cameo within so many months left me with the cost of £9.20 for a film, on a student membership. It's strange how the little things can unsettle you beforehand, but the Cameo always felt like my cinema. Given that they've given a make-over to the...
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Blade Runner 2049

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Blade Runner 2049 06.10.17 I sat there in the full auditorium thinking about me as I often do during the special films. Then again, it's difficult not to with a film about cyborgs, when you're transgender and you witness again that born-in-middle-age imagery. When you realize the Grail in the plot is the discovery that cyborgs might be able to give...
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Wind River

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Wind River 30.09.17 Yes, finally. Wind River is a film that combines suspense with art, to the backdrop of a bleak winter whiteness; a girl's death is captured and a story enfolds. There are so many reasons to watch this film. The Nick-Cave co-written soundtrack blends into the hostile, pristine scenery where native Americans battle their demons an...
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Mother!

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Mother! 16.09.17 I'm going through a crisis of faith with my reviews: I thought It was nothing special last weekend, and having just returned from Edinburgh's Omni Vue cinema, I have to say Mother! is also a film to avoid. How could The Guardian 's Peter Bradshaw have given it five stars? The movie is a Monty Python sketch turned into Hollywood hor...
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It

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It 09.09.17 It reminded me of The Goonies and Stand By Me , of a group of kids spending their small town summer playing in the sun. The best parts of this latest adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel occur when the horror is absent, the characters Beverley and Ben in particular depicted sensitively and in three dimensions. Part of me almost reg...
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The Limehouse Golem

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The Limehouse Golem 06.08.17 Was it the pint of Heineken – £3.30 at the stylish Fountain pub – that made me feel dizzy through this film? The Limehouse Golem is a stylish whodunnit horror, channelling Victorian London and a Jack-the-Ripper ambience. Yet the film itself left me unmoved. I think I understood the ending, and don't care much in hindsig...
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Detroit

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Detroit 03.08.17 A film to be endured as much as enjoyed, Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit is a brutal, engrossing recreation of horrific events in America's not so distant past, the Detroit race riots of 1967. Yet other reviews will tell you why this film is good and exhausting simultaneously. I will talk instead about how it made me reflect. As I watche...
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Logan Lucky (29.08.17)

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Logan Lucky 29.08.17 A film about nothing, Logan Lucky is the kind of fun, slightly-not-clear heist caper you put on when you're not really in the mood for a film. It has likeable, slightly boring lead characters – Adam Driver is likeable in a leaden, inexpressive way, Channing Tatum is likeable in a leaden, butch way, and the series of stick-...
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A Ghost Story

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A Ghost Story 19.08.17 It's a meditation on death and what happens after, as the trailer suggests. The reviews too have come to this conclusion and I agree, David Lowery's A Ghost Story expresses something of what death means to us, the awful emptiness of it, if you really think about it without the gloss of religion. Because the emotion I felt thr...
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An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

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An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power 12.08.17 There I sat in a front row seat in the Cameo cinema (the room sold out), waiting for the film to start. A mawkish musical montage came on once, and then a second time, to groans from the audience. We waited as Al Gore prepared to have his question-and-answer down in London at Picturehouse HQ, simultan...
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets 05.08.17 It's meant to be terrible, but all I can think about right now is how Luc Besson's Valerian is better than James Cameron's Avatar (2009). There are, I insist, comparisons to be made, none of them flattering to the inexplicably lauded Avatar. Let's start with the overview: they're both sci-fi bloc...
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Dunkirk

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Dunkirk 29.07.17 Dunkirk is a strange film, as much about the channel of water between two countries as the aforementioned nations at war. I read somewhere that director Chris Nolan sailed the English Channel in his youth and the experience was formative to him. This is evident, the film's photography sometimes shows the war as pinpricks on th...
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War for the Planet of the Apes

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War for the Planet of the Apes 22.07.17 Another slick, exciting offering from the Planet of the Apes franchise, War for the Planet of the Apes (WFTPOTA) is as tense a piece of story-telling as it is emotionally uninvolving afterwards. I left wondering not what happens next in this franchise, but why I felt so detached beyond the screening room door...
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