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.

Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell
02/04/17, Ghost in the Shell Bewildered anger from one friend afterwards, in the bar of Cameo cinema. A nonplussed, unimpressed set of views from another. I was embarrassed to compare ratings with them over cider, with my '6.5-out-of-ten' against their two and four. Is Ghost in the Shell so bad? This was its first Saturday showing, and Cameo had mo...
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Life 26.03.17

Life 26.03.17
26.03.17 Life Gruesome and deeply disturbing, this is a film I should qualify with the caveat that I entered the cinema feeling low about life. I didn't realize quite how low; that day in Edinburgh included sunny weather and a stillness in the cool air that I love. A few days earlier, however, I'd received rejections for things I'd applied for, inc...
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Personal Shopper 21.03.17

Personal Shopper 21.03.17
20.03.17 Personal Shopper It's always interesting when you come across two reviews of the film you watched that diverge so differently. Empire magazine makes Personal Shopper out as a three-star movie (out of five), opening with the line, 'There's no one aspect of Olivier Assays' latest film that entirely works.' Elsewhere in 'review world,' The Gu...
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Kong: Skull Island 16.03.17

Kong: Skull Island 16.03.17
16/03/17, Kong: Skull Island Confessions first: I like exotic, monster movies, even if the good ones rarely come around. I really liked the Jurassic Park films, including the most recent one, Jurassic World . I enjoyed the 1990s Godzilla with Matthew Broderick. And when I was very young, I was besotted with Conan Doyle's The Lost World (the Ladybir...
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Logan 12.03.17

Logan 12.03.17
12/03/17, Logan A film in which an old gunslinger is called into action one final time, Logan has heart and a tenderness, at least for the first two-thirds. Its conclusion embraces a nondescript action sequence and that's a shame; I even wonder if the anticlimactic predictability of the end made this film appear worse, for its contrast with its eng...
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Certain Women 07.03.17

Certain Women 07.03.17
07/03/17, Certain Women A slice-of-life film about the lives of four women in a dead-end town. The camera stays on things longer than is usual, as if the character of Time is playing Best Supporting Actor. In the final scene, as a lonely protagonist is working in the stables, you wait to see the woman she loves come back to her. And you wait. It's ...
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Trespass Against Us 04.03.17

Trespass Against Us 04.03.17
04/03/17, Trespass Against Us It's an issue worth considering: in modern Britain's paradigm of high rents and the elusive property ladder, is there another way to live? Like the Travellers, for example, with their caravans and open-air and camp fires? It's a grim alternative that's depicted in Trespass Against Us , it has to be said. The film shows...
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Toni Erdmann

Toni Erdmann
28/02/17, Toni Erdmann I've noticed a pattern that it's more difficult to write about a good film than a flawed one. Be it a 'bad' film I liked despite its flaws, like Underworld: Blood Wars , or a film that's just plain shit, as was the case with John Wick 2 , they're fun to write about, like a dream that doesn't make sense. Should I only go and w...
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21.02.17 Moonlight

21.02.17 Moonlight
21/02/17, Moonlight From the ridiculous to the sublime; I know, cliché. Having watched Keanu Reeves's increasingly untenable act of bullshit in John Wick 2 , I grabbed the student-friendly, £5 Monday offer at the Cameo and watched Moonlight , a film that's gotten five-star reviews with everyone. A recipe for disappointment? It's not a film of speci...
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19.02.17 John Wick 2

19.02.17 John Wick 2
19/02/17, John Wick 2 There are films where at a certain point you feel like you're standing at a precipice, staring out into the void. I had one of those moments last night at a late-night showing of John Wick 2 . How to summarise my anomie? I felt I had accidentally wandered into a pornographic cinema for people who love guns. It was, as the clic...
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31.01.17 Trainspotting 2

31.01.17 Trainspotting 2
31/01/17, Trainspotting 2 (T2) at the Cameo cinema On entering a full Cameo cinema with a tight, rather ugly hat on (£5 from Scottish Co-Op), I asked the doorman if I could go through to the screens and use the bathroom. 'Certainly,' he said, 'the gents' are just over there.' I was wearing a skirt, I wasn't tomboyish or androgynous in my look (or n...
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27.01.17 Ghost in the Shell

27.01.17 Ghost in the Shell
27/01/17, Ghost in the Shell (1995) It came and went in a single night on special release; I was lucky to catch even that. Having turned up casually at the Cameo asking for a ticket for Ghost in the Shell , I was told it had sold out days before. I stayed in the lobby until the trailers were finished and with a few seats untaken, the staff let me j...
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20.01.17 Silence

20.01.17 Silence
20/01/17, Silence Having decided not to watch Split due to its depiction of a cross-dressing male psychopath, and the resulting feelings of discomfort this would give me in a cinema, I went instead for Martin Scorsese's Silence . This had the kind of existential quest narrative in a far-away land that I could watch in detachment. Not being religiou...
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16.01.17 Underworld: Blood Wars

16.01.17 Underworld: Blood Wars
16/01/17, Underworld: Blood Wars I'm not sure what was more comforting last night in Cineworld , the film or the audience, who all seemed to be in their thirties and forties. The Underworld series has created a particular following, and for good or ill, I am part of it. I'll start with the film's design. It has better settings than the previous ent...
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05.01.12 Passengers

05.01.12 Passengers
05/01/17, Passengers I enjoy films that present moral dilemmas; no matter how good or bad the film is, you leave the cinema with a 'what-would-I-have-done' contemplation. Batman Dark Knight involves one such point of reflection, a test set up by The Joker to play two ships of passengers against one another with exploding devices and a whole lot of ...
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21.12.16 Star Wars: Rogue One

21.12.16 Star Wars: Rogue One
21/12/16, Star Wars: Rogue One (the film The Return of the Jedi should have been) It didn't start promisingly, a lot of jumping around from planet to planet, scene to scene, trying to establish different characters in different situations. The cast is good, not all are well-known (a strength), but plenty of charisma and people you can empathise wit...
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Snowden / The World I Live In (2) 11.12.16

Snowden / The World I Live In (2) 11.12.16
11/12/16, Snowden / The World I Live In (2) The Trans Remembrance Evening at Edinburgh University had been and gone, months of prep and then the release after a beautiful, intense evening. I wanted to watch a movie in the cinema again. Not just any movie either, I had suddenly become politicized after reading an article by a journalist I respect, J...
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
27/11/16, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them It was the weekend after graduation, we're Creative Writing MSc post-grads, it was appropriate to go and see this film, and in 3D IMAX too. Harry Potter has become so integral a part of the literary landscape, at least from a UK perspective, like football among blokes, that everyone has a perspectiv...
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16/11/16 Arrival + Magic Train

16/11/16 Arrival + Magic Train
16/11/16, Arrival + Magic Train Within Cameo cinema, the person issuing me my ticket told me Arrival was 'cerebral'. I expected it, therefore, to be a bit dry, a bit open-ended, with some big concepts touched upon. What I watched was one of the most beautiful films I can remember seeing, and certainly one of the most potent depictions of love ...
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Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals
7/11/16, Nocturnal Animals I'm still not sure about the ending. My friend, next to me, asked me what it meant. I listened to those behind and beside me, and they seemed uncertain too. The ending eventually settles down and I think I understand it. Here comes the spoiler: in relationships, there are no second chances. As for the rest of this complex...
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