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Patrick Stevens

Former mathematics student at the University of Cambridge; now a software engineer.

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Films

This page holds a list of films I have watched, spoiler-free, starting from 9th January 2015.

  • Netflix’s House of Cards (not technically a film but a TV series): I loved the whole series. I really understand the motivation of most of the characters; they are unabashedly evil but I can see nuanced reasons for why they’re evil. I described this series as “the Count of Monte Cristo, but more so”, which I think is fair.

  • TRON: Legacy: Ehhhh. Flashy graphics, minimal and predictable plot. Computers! Technology! Quantum teleportation and genetic algorithms! Perhaps I’m just getting cynical in my old age. At least it’s better than Hackers (below).

  • Suicide Squad: This was mildly amusing, though the plot was a bit simple and predictable. With some minor changes, it could have been a much more interesting film. Flashy, anyway.

  • Metropolis: I can see why this film is considered iconic. Its depiction of technology must be well ahead of its time, and I think it’s a good film. It does an excellent job of displaying peril and similar. The problem is that it’s very long for my modern-day attention span.

  • Ender’s Game: Ehhhh. It was watchable. The book was substantially better, although the book wasn’t any better than “moderately good”. Don’t bother with this film.

  • Eddie the Eagle: I read a review of this film, calling it “saccharine”. While everyone else seemed to love it, I thought it was watchable but too sickly.

  • Donnie Darko: Given that I’d heard Primer was “Donnie Darko for grown-ups”, I was expecting a bit more from this film. It was pretty good anyway, but somewhat less satisfying than I’d hoped. A watchable sort-of-horror film.

  • Children of Men: The premise of this film is very promising, but to be honest, it was mainly just used to set up a fairly run-of-the-mill action movie. Not a bad action move, but there are certainly better ones (such as any of the Bourne series).

  • Hackers: Good grief. This is literally the worst film I have ever seen. Apparently this was Angelina Jolie’s first film. I’m shocked her career took off, after this. Such realistic. Many technical. Very hackers. Wow.

  • V for Vendetta: Wow. This is possibly my favourite film ever. All the Alan Moore-related films I’ve seen have been excellent, but this is even better than Watchmen, and I was not expecting any film to achieve that.

  • Memento: I loved this film. It’s a kind of thriller, about someone who has no ability to lay down new memories. I don’t want to say much more about it, for spoiler purposes, but it was excellent. Contains several members of the cast of The Matrix.

  • Life of Pi: a very pretty film, with some gently funny bits, but if I’d paid to see it in a cinema I think I’d have been a bit disappointed. A film to go to sleep to, as a friend described it.

  • Star Wars VII: this is one of two films I’ve ever seen after which the audience applauded; the other was The King’s Speech. Good fun, and not the disappointment I was expecting.

  • Airplane!: brilliant and extremely random comedy. Many very quotable lines.

  • Some Like It Hot: one of the funniest sort-of-rom-coms ever made. Falls into the “we watch this when ill”. It contains a cross-dressing Tony Curtis. What more is there to want from a film?

  • My Favourite Wife: another happy Cary Grant film. Not much more to say, really. Great fun. A bit less funny than Bringing Up Baby (below).

  • Bringing Up Baby: very laugh-out-loud comedy with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. It’s one of the films my family watches if any of us is ill - quiet but hilarious.

  • The Importance of Being Earnest: extremely funny, very British, and has all the right people in it. Great film for cheering-up.

  • The Lion King: Good heavens, this was boring. Scar was the only remotely good character, and he got nowhere near enough screen time. Otherwise, just a deathly dull film.

  • Inside Out: sweet adventure film centred on the personified emotions of a girl who is undergoing a major life event. A feelsy film; nearly everyone I know loved it, and I certainly did.

  • Mad Max: Fury Road: mildly entertaining action/post-apocalyptic film, which was basically just one very long action scene. I could have done with about an hour less of this film.

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron: flashy and pretty fun action film, lots of nods to earlier films in the series, but a bit less plotty than I’d hoped. Even the usual suspension of disbelief wasn’t quite enough. You get a bit tired of whizz-bang effects after having them nonstop for two hours.

  • Kingsman: very fun action film which I’d happily see again. Colin Firth is particularly good in his role.

  • The Borrowers: I loved the book when I was much smaller, but sadly even the presence of Stephen Fry and Victoria Wood isn’t enough to make up for the mess they made of the plot. Arriety was made into a complete idiot who did pretty much exactly the wrong thing at every turn.

  • Interstellar: as of this writing, my favourite film in its genre (disaster movie with space/time shenanigans, I suppose).

  • Inception: kind of predictable, and while people said things like “it’s a game of chess” and “mind-bending”, it really wasn’t. Not a bad film per se, but Predestination and Primer (below) are just better.

  • Predestination: I called the plot from about halfway through, but lots of other people said they didn’t and it was all quite mysterious to them. Great film for those who want a more interesting Inception.

  • Primer: mind-boggling time-travel film whose events I still don’t properly understand. One of the most cerebral films I’ve ever seen.

  • Now You See Me: magic-tricks/heist film which really didn’t live up to its trailer. I predicted essentially the entire plot from about ten minutes in, and the film was miles too long for the amount of interesting stuff which happened in it.

  • The Illusionist: film with magic and political intrigue, which I really enjoyed.

  • Limitless: fun, if non-cerebral, film about someone who becomes much more intelligent than normal. Much better than Now You See Me, which I think was aiming for the same general effect.