Steve Kidd's Review Pages

Films


12 Angry Men
1957 Mark: 10
Watched: Fri 2 October 2015

Starring: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E. G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Joseph Sweeney, George Voskovec, Robert Webber
Director: Sidney Lumet

This is how you make a film. It doesn't even matter if you know what happens (this was at least my third time), it is spellbinding throughout, entertaining, engrossing, endearing. I read the budget was $340,000!!!! Even at today's prices that is still half the cost of any film at the multiplex. How each of the carachters fill their discreet niches to such effect is a thing to behold. 90 minutes in one room. I just love it.


12 Years A Slave ‡
2013 Mark: 7
Watched: Tue 7 January 2014

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ashley Dyke, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt
Director: Steve McQueen

Now then! Odds on for best film Oscar, but for me it is many lengths behind several films I have seen at the latter part of 2013. Don't get me wrong, it is quite awesome, but as a message film it fails. White folk in the Antebellum South were just as good, bad or usually indifferent as the 10,000 people closest to you now, at this moment in time. This film is an excuse for 95% y'all to get real righteous and say "My goodness, how bad were those people", but until you realise that you/we are just the same the message is pointless. Yeah, and like Jack Tarr could just stab a nigger on the boat. That could never of happened without the guy being hauled over the coals by the slave owner.
Spoiler Alert. The film is about a bloke who was a slave for 12 years.

P.S. Watched the BAFTA awards and Steve McQueen, the director, was giving his acceptance speech after receiving the Best Film award. He delivered this fine point:

”Right now there are twenty one million people in slavery as we sp... as we sit here. Twenty-one million people. I just hope that a hundred and fifty years from now our ambivalence will not allow another film-maker to make this film”

My point is it will. And the same fuckers will be wringing their hands and voting for it


2 Guns
2012 Mark: 7.2
Watched: Sat 5 December 2015

Starring: Mark Whalberg, Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, James Marsden, Fred Ward, Edward James Olmos
Director: Baltasar Kormákur

A proper dumb-ass buddy movie (I mean dumb-ass predictable, not Dumber and Dumber protagonists) Whalberg and Washington are super hard and quite funny, the plot is reasonably occupying, the cinematography and music are good, and if it is action you seek, this ticks that box as well. It is like a Stars on 45 of cinematic clichés, but you know what? it is better for it. If you like this type of film, this is an entertaining example which takes you two hours closer to your grave without you worrying about it. Some very Breaking Bad aspects.


22 Jump Street
2014 Mark: 9
Watched: Fri 20 June 2014

Starring: Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare
Director: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Absolutely cracking comedy. I am beginning to understand why I mark these funny films so highly. It is because in my life I actually read about, study and am generally very closely aligned to so much depression that I do not need a film to illustrate it to me. These films just highlight absurdities of humanity which really takes a load off. I didn't expect it but genuine humour saturates this film, and as for the end credits! After Bad Neighbour and Delivery Man I am becoming a true fan of modern American screwball comedy. Ice Cube is perfect.


3 Days To Kill
2014 Mark: 6.5
Watched: Tue 24 June 2014

Starring: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard
Director: McG

This is a rare film in that it lurches between eminently watchable and then dire from scene to scene, from frame to frame. On the positive side is Kevin Costner's quasi comedic performance a reasonable story (I'm struggling now) and ... The negatives including the worst sound track ever ( I Love It , I Want To Make It With you ) and unbelievable threads like his bitchy little daughter learning to ride a bike in the worst place possible and a stupid stupid ubercool manipulative spy-master. Because she is a tart in high heels. And why didn't the Christmas present say (SPOILER ALERT) "there was never anything wrong with you, you dick". Whatever, I gave it the mark, I enjoyed it, but if every film was this moderate I wouldn't enjoy Cineworld enough to justify the ticket


3:10 To Yuma
2007 Mark: 7.5
Watched: Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale
Director: James Mangold

I reckon you could put those two in a film and it'd always work. Usual story, quiet farmer gets a bad draw, finds redemption.


300; Rise Of An Empire
2014 Mark: 7
Watched: Mon 10 March 2014

Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Lena Hedey, Eva Green
Director: Zack Snyder

Surprise! I thought this was going to be garbage (I never really liked the first one) but did I like this? Hell yeah! I know ships don't come over the top of hills of water like the cavalry, I know that Persian bitch-queens don't wear fishnets and Goth make up. I understand it was entirely green screen. I know that the queen of Sparta was the alternate universe Cersei Lannister. The film would have lasted just 30 minutes if they didn't put it in super slo-mo every time there was some blood flying through the air (which was practically the whole movie). Xerxes must have got gay virus and, and, and... everything. But it was ENJOYABLE. I actually got quite invested in a few of the lead characters.


4 Play
2010 Mark: 3
Watched: Wed 9 December 2015
Director: Frank Rajah Arase

I may have had a dud copy of this, but I actually don't think it was. There was a laugh track. It was definitely a laugh track. It was so wierd in that it was like a joke film where the laugh track is meant to be ironic, but it just spoilt what might have been something watchable. So much for Nollywood (the film industry of Ghana and Nigeria. I thought it was American when I started watching)


47 Ronin
2013 Mark: 8
Watched: Tue 7 January 2014

Starring: Keanu Reeves
Director: Carl Rinsch

10% on Rotten Tomatoes??? What do these jerks know about films? This was a thoroughly good movie. If you don't like fight sequences and mystic intervention and "Magic Wand – Make my monster grow" you won't like this, but why would you even want to consider watching it if you are such a pussy?


48 Hrs.
1982 Mark: 8.5
Watched: Thu 19 November 2015

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, James Remar, David Patrick Kelly, Denise Crosby
Director: Walter Hill

The first film I ever taped on VHS, consequently my views are totally biased, imbued with the affection of lost love and better days, it is not colour saturated 4:3; it is high Def 4d IMAX!

Whadya know? I watched it yesterday and it is STILL a great film, that stands up to the thousand sequels and the few predecessors that see two disparate individuals reluctantly thrown together, yet find that their diverse talents eventually....

I reckon that perhaps .001% of the dialogue I have used over the last 30 years comes from this film.

Y'all be cool, right on


Another 48 Hours
1990 Mark: 7
Watched: Wed 25 November 2015

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte
Director: Walter Hill

There have been worse sequels. I thought that Working Girl was the last hurrah for the 1980's but I think this is now the holder of that title. The concept is totally non-original but the deliver and humour fair, and, of course, the carachters of Hammond and Kates are as loveable as ever. If you liked the first, you will like this.


5 Shells
2012 Mark: 7.2
Watched: Wed 9 December 2015

Starring: Kelsey Hutton, Eve Kozikowski
Director: Paul S. Myers

What a wierd hypnotic quality this film had about it. I guess I must have enjoyed it. I would like to know the budget (very low) as the film itself was excellent in a visual sense, and the cast very watchable. I wonder if the director said "We want Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence here" (except it was before the Hunger Games )?


51st State
2001 Mark: 7
Watched: Mon 14 January 2013

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Robert Carlyle, Emily Mortimer, Ricky Tomlinson, Sean Pertwee, Rhys Ifans, Meat Loaf
Director: Ronny Yu

Solid, amusing film set in Liverpool!


'71
2014 Mark: 7.5
Watched: Mon 20 October 2014

Starring: Jack O'Connell, Sean Harris, David Wilmot, Richard Dormer
Director: Yann Demange

Jack O'Connell has the highest average this year. This is dark, incredibly tense, frustrating (It is meant to be) straight out of the school of Red Riding It is a refreshing take on the troubles which shows incredible bravery and kindness on all sides (bar the RUC), but the incredible malaise of allowing bad men to do bad things. If I was judging on other factors bar personal enjoyment this would score very highly. I don't think O'Connell could ever survive another film!


8mm
1999 Mark: 6.5
Watched: Sat 2 July 2016

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare, Anthony Heald
Director: Joel Schumacher

Reasonable Cage fodder, nothing much wrong with this film and a beer, though I'm not sure if I learned anything. Gandolfini and Stomare!! All star cast!! Typical 6 region film which is nice to watch with somebody, but I would probably be distracted on my own


After Earth
2013 Mark: 6.3
Watched: Fri 18 December 2015

Starring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Sophie Okonedo
Director: M. Night Shyamalan

A trip into self-indulgence, I found the unintentional nuttiness, just palatable enough to watch it, Jaiden Smith and his Dad never quite sucked 100% (they got close occasionally), the film falls squarley into the Shaymalalalalan timeline, and, well, that's it!


After Hours
1985 Mark: 6.5
Watched: Thu 17 September 2015

Starring: Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Linda Fiorentino, Teri Garr, Cheech Marin, John Heard
Director: Martin Scorsese

My first film alphabetically (as of September 2015). That doesn't tell you much, I guess I am avoiding confronting this, as it was recommended me by Jack Bennet, and I don't want to seem like a philistine. I am glad I watched it, nevertheless, it wasn't quite my tempo, in that although the characterisations were terrific, they had no real story to grow upon, I mean, SPOLIER ALERT how unlucky can a bloke be in an evening?, 'cos that is the premise. It isn't like one thing leads to another, the bad luck, although intertwined is just a set of inorganic incidents which play out against each other, not with each other.

There, I've gone and told you why I haven't given it a nine.

Perhaps humour, because of its innate irrationality, becomes a very personal thing, I mean, I hate Keith Lemon, and don't like Harry Hill or Russell Brand, even though they are all well loved and no doubt very talented (apart from Keith Lemon). Perhaps its because by trying to be 'hip' for its time it is dated now, the Village People stereotypes seemed a little patronising to me. Perhaps its because Martin Scorsese blows hot and cold for me; whatever, I enjoyed the film, but for dark comedy would go for In Bruges


Against The Dark
2009 Mark: 2.5
Watched: Wed 7 October 2015

Starring: Steven Segal
Director: Richard Krudo

It is fascinating to imagine how many people have actually watched this all the way through, a straight to video, nothing new, poorly filmed, unimaginiative b movie that is slotted on channel forty something at time x at night. I recorded it just for the Steven Segal factor, but he is hardly in it, I sometimes wonder if the shadowy figure striding through the poorly lit alleys with a cool leather trenchcoat and a samurai sword is his stunt double. Jake and I imagined a hundred or so people for this particular screening, I mean, why would you even want to stay awake? As I watch more films critically at least I am turning them off a little quicker, I think this lasted perhaps forty minutes. Jeezus, films are free nowadays, just watch Zombieland instead.


The Age of Adeline
2015 Mark: 7
Watched: Fri 22 May 2015

Starring: Blake Lively, Michiel Huisman, Kathy Baker, Amanda Crew, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn
Director: Lee Toland Krieger

Sitting writing about this and I want to mark it down, nevertheless I'll leave it at the 7 I gave it three quarters of the way through, in that it got much more interesting once Harrison Ford appeared on the screen half way through. It kept me awake, and the science was absolutely terrible. The best bit was Young Indiana Jones doing a great job of the accent. Surely did not like this more than The Lego Movie ?


Age Of Heroes
2011 Mark: 6.5
Watched: Fri 27 June 2014

Starring: Danny Dyer, Sean Bean
Director: Adrian Vitoria

Well I liked this. The paella was good, the wine more than adequate and I like Danny Dyer more than Mark Kermode, who seems to put a greater emphasis on packaging than content. To try and capture the soul of this film without giving spoilers away, it is just another heist movie, but without the comedy and set in World War II. If you like Sean Bean, you will like this film, if you don't well going and watch Walking on bleedin' Sunshine you vacuous moron. I actually reckon this was just the right film to watch at the time!

PS: This is actually based around the true story of the formation of Ian Fleming's 30th Commando regiment!


Prometheus
2012 Mark: 7.2
Watched: Wed 13 July 2016

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green, and Charlize Theron
Director: Ridley Scott

This is kind of the same as its precursors, except it seems to have been done a hell of a lot better. It suffers from some of the logical incosistencies of the rest of the franchise, but perhaps not quite to the same degree


Alien
1979 Mark: 5.5
Watched: Thu 14 July 2016

Starring: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm
Director: Ridley Scott

I really can't come to terms with a universe where a multi billion dollar corporation sends a ship into space where the crew don't even know each other until they wake up, where a crew would even sign up for such a venture, and where would of them would odds on either die or put the entire human race in the greatest danger to save the ship's cat.


Aliens
1982 Mark: 5.1
Watched: Fri 15 July 2016

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, Bill Paxton
Director: Ridley Scott

I'm sorry Jake, I'm wasting my time watching the rest of this. More of the same stupid universe where the ships have been installed with Saturday Night Fever disco strobes, where parents take their kids to explore UFOs and don't even tell their home base they are doing it, where there is a female marine who flies the flag for feminism 'cos she's super ard, yet happens to wear a vest instead of combat gear and sunglasses in a world that is like Muckle Flugga in November the stupid cow, and where the major says "nah, we can't possibly have another shark attack. The thing is, with horror films, they overly depend on people's stupidity, and the cast of these films have it in spades.


Alien 3
1992 Mark: ?
Watched: Sun 17 July 2016

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance
Director: David Fincher

Some people love the Alien franchise. Not me. The only thing I think I remember is I quit whilst I was only marginally behind.


All About Eve ‡
1949 Mark: 5
Watched: Wed 1 January 2014

Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Hugh Marlowe, Barbara Bates, Gary Merrill, Thelma Ritter, Marilyn Monroe
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Never did like Bette Davis, this film takes a long time to tell a short story


All The King's Men ‡
1949 Mark: 7
Watched: Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Broderick Crawford
Director: Robert Rossen

This film discusses a theme that is close to my heart; politics, and gives a fairly compelling reflection upon it and human nature in general


Almost Famous
2000 Mark: 8

Starring: Patrick Fugit, Billy Crudup, Frances McDormand, Kate Hudson, Jason Lee, Fairuza Balk, Anna Paquin, Noah Taylor, Zooey Deschanel, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Director: Cameron Crowe

I know I have watched this a couple of times, know that Ella loved it, I remember I enjoyed it even more the second time round. This might not be an accurate review (it is not done contemperaneously), but it is in because of the Boat That Rocked comparison


Amadeus ‡
1984 Mark: 8

Starring: Tom Hulse, F Murray Abraham
Director: Milos Foreman

Ah.. From the opening the tone is set of great music, and the ultimate Tom and Jerry story with F Murray Abraham getting in the top 20 baddies list and Tom Hulse portraying the manic genius on the button


The Amazing Spiderman 2
2014 Mark: 7
Watched:Wed 28 May 2014

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field
Director: Marc Webb

I liked it! Much the same as the first francise, this has action with levity, and I liked


American Beauty ‡
1999 Mark: 10.048Mon 1 August 2016

Starring: Kevin Spacey, Annette Benning
Director: Sam Mendes

You wanna know how blokes think? Watch this. If you don't understand it, you never will

Caught up with it to try to get my life back together after watching Ghostbusters (2016), and it will never quite erase the scars but it sure helped me through a horrible period. It is truly a masterpiece, with impecable acting performances from a perfectly cast cast, a tremendous story, awesome comedy and the bravest morality of many a film. It isn't brave to make 12 years a Slave, good as it is. It is brave to say a 42 year old gets a boner for high school cheerleaders and that he is a good man for it.


American Gangster
2007 Mark: 9

Starring: Denzill Washinton, Russell Crowe, Josh Brolin, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cuba Gooding
Director: Ridley Scott

Yeay. Terrific film, watched it twice and I reckon it won't do any harm to watch it again sometime


American Hustle
2013 Mark: 8.5
Watched:Sat 18 January 2014

Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Di Nero
Director: David O. Russell

A thought provoking film, in that though I imagine that actually going to the cinema enrichens a film, I consider that this one might stand up almost as well at home. Me Julia and the bloke I spoke to on the way out were not particularly enthusiastic about it, the guy said "I don't see how it would get all the awards" (Best comedy/musical film, actress and supporting actress at The Golden Globes last week, January 2014). I disagree. I'd almost cite it as the best comedy I have seen this year, as though it is not overtly hilarious, there are several LOL moments (whoops, I forgot about The Legend Continues for a moment there). Mr Banks or Frozen would get best musical, but... The soundtrack which is largely derivative is as good a soundtrack of that type, starting with Steely Dan's Dirty Work , followed by pre-lame big band Chicago, even featuring the awesome but critically underrated ELO twice.

Anyhow. Best actress and supporting actress would get my nod, though I don't know who was better, the super sexy pouty lipped sweeet Amy Adams, or the dishevelled slutty borderline nut job that Jennifer Lawrence absolutely nails. Fuck, I even like Hunger Games more now. Christian Bale?? best actor 2013 for me. It has been nominated for all four acting categories at the Oscars. If there were five it would not be undeserved.

I went in with a weight of expectation tempered by reservations I had heard. There was no need to worry. It was just a great long solid story with a superb cast, not quite the denouement of The Sting but then I do believe it was based on facts (it says "Some of this actually happened") at the start of the film. Consequently there may be some understandable disappoint if you expect a conventional story arc that resolves itself satisfactorally – it doesn't do that, but I don't want to say too much about the actual tale told. If you have a choice between this and 12 years get a Subway, three cookies for a quid and watch this (then go and watch 12 and slate me for being shallow and racist)

DASH!! I just knew it was Robert De Niro as Victor Tellegio. Last Vegas and this have officially redeemed him (I've been to Wikipedia).


An American In Paris ‡
1951 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Fri 27 February 2015

Starring: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary, Nina Foch
Director: Vincente Minnelli

It's not much of a story. If it had a story half as good as The Legend Of Hercules it would be a 10! But it hasn't. That's the negative stuff out of the way. Every other aspect of this film is magnificent, the dialogue, the actors, the music, and especially the dancing. Gene Kelly was a genius, no two ways about it, and I was watching this open mouthed with a smile and thinking “This is the great grandfather of Birdman ”; that is to say, just like Singing In The Rain the takes are really long, and must demand amazing timing and accuracy, the whole ensemble and crew being part of an intricate dance. Even ballet is watchable in this.

To be truthful it is an exercise in filmed theatre, rather than a film story, but the quality of the ingredients make it so well worth the watch. It would have been an eight but I had OD'd on the final routine!

NB, although the soundtrack is absolutely classic (largely the Gershwins') It is, nevertheless derivative, in that the original music had been composed over 20 years previously


American Sniper
2014 Mark: 7
Watched:Fri 16 January 2015

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
Director: Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood has moved on a bit since Heartbreak Ridge . In this film he takes a true patriot story and paints it with stars and stripes, all very moving. Bradley Cooper has moved on from American Hustle (in which he was good) and I can see why he has been nominated for best actor. He won't get it as there are three stand outs in front of him, nevertheless he was as convincing a seal as Paddington was a bear, i.e. absolutely believable. He definitely has the best movie sniff ever!

If you enjoyed Fury, The Monuments Men, The Railwayman and Unbroken you'll enjoy this. I enjoyed those four so.... (Do the math). This has a brief, but I consider very convincing, scene when they watch 9/11 on telly. Just thought I'd throw that in there.


America's Sweethearts
2001 Mark: 6
Watched:Sat 24 May 2014

Starring: Catherine Zeta Jones, Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, John Cusack, Hank Azaria, Stanley Tucci, Seth Green, Alan Arkin, Christopher Walken
Director: Joe Roth

Err... Well it is in my top 1000 rom-coms I think. Look, I was entertained by it and Fall Out Boy named a song after it


Amy
2015 Mark: 8.4
Watched: Sun 6 March 2016

Starring: Amy Winehouse
Director: Asif Kapadia

An absolutely knockout documentary. It is only after the watching that I read it was made by the same people who did Senna, and wow, they did a great job. The thing is, I am not an Amy Winehouse fan. I don't mind her, but I have never been that enamoured by her voice (brilliant as it may be, I never thought Billie Holiday was a patch on Ella), and the hoopla surrounding her has turned me off. Watching this film does, to a degree, make me happy that I was not part of that, even if only the tiniest little bit of someone who bought a Sun or an OK magazine. It is brilliantly put together, and in a way it is a salutory warning to everybody, I can't give anything away, but like any good story it has its villains, its heroes, and poor Amy Winehouse may just be the McGuffin, the device around which the plot revolves. For an uncomfy watch it gets a huge rating for me. Recommended


Anastasia
1997 Mark: 4
Watched:Mon 30 November 2015

Starring: Meg Ryan, Kirsten Dunst, Lacey Chabert, John Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Christopher Lloyd, Hank Azaria, Angela Lansbury
Directors: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman

Please don't take any gorm of my rating, I only watched 10 minutes of this and couldn't be bothered, as it just seemed to be saying everything was just great in Russia before those pesky Commies spoilt everything, and I'm not sure it was. Disney Princesses are fictional and good. The Romanovs are not, and weren't


Anchorman 1: The Legend Of Ron Burgandy
2004 Mark: 9

Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard
Director: Adam McKay

See Anchorman 2


Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
2013 Mark: 9
Watched:Wed 18 December 2013

Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Kristen Wiig, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, David Koechne, Dylan Baker, Harrison Ford, Sacha Baron Cohen, Marion Cotillard, Will Smith, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Carrey, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Amy Poehler, John C. Reilly, Vince Vaughn, Kanye West
Director: Adam McKay

No plot (to speak of), repetitious, predictable, Fekkin AWESOME!!! This is why you go to the movies


Angel-A
2005 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Tue 25 November 2014

Starring: Jamel Debbouze, Rie Rasmussen
Director: Luc Besson

It's black and white and it's French. Now normally that would be a negative but, not wishing to sound too pretentious here, they both are vital to the atmosphere of this movie. The cinematography is starkly evocative, the dialogue perfectly sensually Gallic. It just could not be the same in English. (The subtitles bale you out). I have never seen such a beautiful film in terms of its treatment of sexuality. I would liken it to that feeling you get when you want to sleep with someone so much that you are genuinely not concerned about nailing them. I can really identify with Andre, and the comedy is so laid back as sometimes you don't notice it (I think, but I didn't notice it!!). BIG SPOILER ALERT Please don't read this if you haven't seen it. When Angela came out of the water at the end of the film I just wish she would have said "Je suis Catherine, qui la baise êtes-vous?"


The Angel's Share
2012 Mark: 9
Watched:Mon 27 April 2015

Starring: Paul Brannigan, John Henshaw, William Ruane, Gary Maitland, Jasmin Riggins, Siobhan Reilly, Roger Allam
Director: Ken Loach

A caper in the finest British tradition, it took me back to Gregory's Girl , or even better, That Sinking Feeling . Ken Loach has been making films for over half a century and he knows what he is doing, with an unknown cast and what looks like on the fly location shooting, this is the antidote to Under The Skin . Scottish humour is so much more authentic than Scouse, right from the get go you know this is going to be funny, poignant and just a great watch, and it doesn't let off. Yeah there are holes in the logic, but WTF? I am presuming a definite August Rush effect, Angela says “ Ten ”. I can see that. Superb


Anna Karenina
2012 Mark: 4
Watched: Sat 27 February 2016

Starring: Kiera Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Alicia Vikander, Olivia Williams, Emily Watson
Director: Joe Wright

I really enjoy period drama, but this just did not do it for me, it seemed to be stuck too far up its own arse to observe. My ggodness it was sumptous, and the filming was a work of perfection, but after half an hour I was left wondering who was who and where were they going? Philistine!


Annie
2014 Mark: 8.5
Watched:Mon 29 December 2014

Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Cameron Diaz, David Zayas
Director: Will Gluck

OMG. I feel like such a faggot, I didn't like this.... I LOVED IT. I can't believe how something produced by Will Smith and Jay Z came out so well for me (perhaps they cancelled each other out). It is years since I saw the musical, so I am not familiar with all but the two most famous songs, which perhaps suspended my negativity I might have had about the music. It IS as corny as corn can be, it is a shock to see Jamie Foxx singing, it is curiously synced, there is a deal about the happy natives playing banjos in the sun about this film, it IS materialistic, but anybody who claims not to aspire to materialism is about as truthful as a straight guy who says he doesn't find a Tracy Lords centrefold attractive (after he has found out she was 15). It provides for me an excellent contrast to the film I watched two hours afterwards Under The Skin which, unlike Annie received huge acclaim from many critics, yet just didn't do it anything like a much for me. It is the world is shit so I want a distraction syndrome for me I think. For most people it's the world is 'hey fantastic, now say boo to me'

Oh... Cameron Diaz was really good in this (I never thought I would say that)


Annie Hall ‡
1976 Mark: 5
Watched:Wed 11 May 2016

Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Paul Simon, Shelley Duvall, Christopher Walken, Geoff Goldblum, Sigourney Weaver
Director: Woody Allen

Originally I only watched this half way through. I like Jewish New York comedy, but maybe Woody Allen has had too many imitators for my liking. I may try again. I did try again... I look at my previous rating of 4 and thought I'd up it by 1 on the day. The day after watching Manhattan I feel like dropping it again, for the reasons outlined in that review


Ant-Man
2015 Mark: 8
Watched: Thu 23 July 2015

Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Peña, Tip T.I. Harris, Wood Harris, Michael Douglas
Director: Peyton Reed

Well, could this be my favourite Marvel film so far? Paul Rudd is excellent, he doesn't cloy like Robert Downey or other Marvel heroes, the humour is – well humorous, the action is ace, the surprise high, I just thoroughly enjoyed it. Oh, and Edgar Wright. I might have guessed.


The Apartment ‡
1960 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Sat 10 October 2015

Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Jack Kruschen
Director: Billy Wilder

How foolish can two people be? Jack Lemmon is almost too good an actor, his timing and inflexion is so deliberate it leaves nothing to the imagination. Although some of this film kept the attention a lot of it was just too corny. The old days were great then though, when it was perfectly normal for geriatric blokes to go out with twenty somethings


Apollo 13
1995 Mark: 9
Watched:Sun 27 September 2015

Starring: Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Joe Spano
Director: Ron Howard

Utterly wonderful story and a one of the all time greatest moments in cinematic history. OK, it doesn't matter if you know what happens, on at least the third re-watching it is still a life-affirming, patiently and preciscley focused, hats in the air, hug the person next to you moment which brings a moistness to my eyes even thinking about it.

Is it a valid criticism to say there was just a tweench too much of Wesley Crusher at his peak of cheese about some of the family members? It feels sacriligous to state so, but, whatever, haters gotta hate!

No really, I now remember how, after Jake reminded me I took the whole family to see it back in the day, that I held they're hands and said " That's it, they're gone; what a great, tragic, story eh? :( " (OK I know, it wasn't those exact words and I didn't use emoticons in 1995, but you know what I mean)


Argo ‡
2012 Mark: 8.5
Watched:Mon 24 February 2014

Starring: Ben Affleck, John Goodman, Brian Cranston, Bob Gunton, Alan Arkin
Director: Ben Affleck

You can teach a rhesus monkey to be a director in a day.

Worth the plaudits, thoroughly interesting and with a grip that tightens as the film unfolds. Always been a fan of Ben Affleck's (thanks to Kevin Smith) and with the historical angle* it is just so much more nail baiting than, for instance, Gravity . The cast convince and we'll let 'em off the Independence Day moment at the end. The quote at the top, by the way, is spoken to Ben Affleck – his reaction is just perfect. He now holds two of my best of film things – best statement of unrequited love ( Chasing Amy ) and most subtle break through the fourth wall.

*P.S. I read that there is a lot of fiction in this film!


Armageddon
1998 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Sun 3 March 2013

Starring: Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Peter Stormare, William Fitchner, Steve Buscimi, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Jason Isaacs, Michael Clarke Duncan
Director: Michael Bay

Didn't give it a rating at the time, but as I remember it was highly entertaining


Assassins Tale
2013 Mark: 8
Watched:Sun 9 February 2014

Starring: Michael Beach, Anna Silk
Director: Arthur Louis Fuller

This is the very best film I have ever watched which has no reference to any actors, crew or music that I am aware of. I meant to put Argo on, and this was clicked by accident. I thought "Oh my god it is gonna be gratuitously violent and a potential go to sleep or turn off. Far from it. Characters get 5 stars, plot gets a good three, augmented by an absolutely brilliant soundtrack which made me want to go and check the lot out. I have to watch it again with one of the kids. I am sure I will not downgrade it.. I can't even find it on IMDB or Wikipedia


August Rush
2007 Mark: 9
Watched:Tue 1 April 2014

Starring: Freddy Highmore, Keri Russell, Robin Williams, Terrence Howard
Director: Kirsten Sheridan

Wow... I am totally stupefied by this film. Is it the rum? Well, I don't know; what I do know is that this film had me wiping tears away. Never have the advert breaks been more unwelcome, I only wish I had had someone to share this wonderful experience with. You see, this had a great story - predictable but great nevertheless. In the lead and Robin Williams there were two top notch characters and the others were not so bad. But the music, the glorious, uplifting, original loads of harmonics and open tunings music. The interpolation and juxtaposition of the genres. I am thinking the only people capable of understanding how thoroughly hooked I was into this universe would be very thin on the ground. Barbara, Julia, Ella, watch this film please. Trust me, you may think it's garbage. But if your disbelief gets suspended you are in for a treat.

PS I spoke to Julia the day after and she thought it was lame!


Australia
2008 Mark: 8
Watched: Fri 30 October 2015

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, David Gulpilil, Brandon Walters, Ben Mendelsohn
Director: Baz Luhrman

Epic! What an absolutely super quasi-gay, immerse yourself in theatre, eye pleasing, amusing, exciting, disbelief suspending slab of of mother loving EPIC. It approaches the cinematic breadth of Lawrence Of Arabia , with the unapologetic emotional blackmail of August Rush . I know it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but this is without doubt beautifully made, and is a pefefect example of modern story-telling.

Why "quasi-gay"? Because there is a moment in the ballroom scene when my jaw dropped and I came as close as I ever have to getting a boner for a bloke! (I didn't, but I now know what to aim for when I go out to impress chicks).

Baz Lurhman is amazing. six days later I want to up this film's rating.


Avengers: Age of Ultron
2015 Mark: 8
Watched: Thu 23 April 2015

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson, Stan Lee
Director: Joss Wheldon

Being senile and square, I am just getting the hang of who's who in the Marvel Universe, consequently I identified more with this instalment than all it's predecessors. It is a proper film, and I am sure that the vast majority of the pretty full house must have gone away well satisfied . SPOILER ALERT: The story was leaked prior to release (every Power Rangers episode), but hey! If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Awesome, awesome characters, fantastic special effects, hilarious dialogue (especially Thor), this film would be as good a reason as any to explain why one goes to the movies


Back To The Future 1
1985 Mark: 10.03
Watched:Sat 2 July 2011

Starring: Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson, Lea Thompson
Director: Robert Zemeckis

This stands alone or as part of the best trilogy ever. It has carved its place in the hearts of up too press, two generations (McFly were not born when this came out). Story and characters Perfect


Back To The Future 2
1989 Mark: 10.054
Watched:Sun 3 July 2011

Starring: Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson, Lea Thompson
Director: Robert Zemeckis

See BTTF 1. My favourite movie scene of all time is at the end of this film. Pray they never reboot it


Back To The Future 3
1990 Mark: 10.01
Watched:Mon 4 July 2011

Starring: Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Thomas F. Wilson, Lea Thompson
Director: Robert Zemeckis

See BTTF 1. “your future hasn't been written yet. No one's has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one"


Bad Lieutenant
2009 Mark: 6
Watched:Sun 2 March 2014

Starring: Nick Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Brad Dourif
Director: Werner Herzog

I really feel I should have given this more, but I didn't 'get it' Nic Cage is a complete lunatic, and despite some absolutely cracking films ( Matchstick Men, Lord Of War ), just loses his shit too much on occasions. Why would a hot chick like Eva Mendes even fancy him?


Bad Neighbours
2014 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Mon 5 May 2014

Starring: Seth Rogan, Zac Effron
Director: Nicholas Stoller

Zac Effron WILL do an action movie soon, and he will be good at it. This is exactly what you would tip from Seth Rogan, and had some genuine Laugh Out Loud moments. Yeah – it was good. Watch it. But do not expect anything beyond the expected


Barton Fink
1991 Mark: 7
Watched:Mon 3 July 1905

Starring: John Turturro
Director: Coen Brothers

I'm pretty sure that if I watch this again I will up it from a 7. Love that picture.


The Dark Knight
2008 Mark: 8.7
Watched: Sun 7 August 2016

Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger‡ , Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman
Director: Christopher Nolan

The kind of film that makes one want to watch the whole series, to immerse oneself in the canon, the comics the conventions. I rate this film highly, but believe it is even better than my 8.7 suggests. The fact is SPOILER ALERT, we are kind of rootin' for Harvey and it gets all sad about him. More power to the film, in which Heath Ledger deserves the nod and the whole shebang presents a package of what entertainment should be. Definitely going back to Begins and Rises!


Battle Of The River Plate
1956 Mark: 6
Watched:Mon 22 December 2014

Starring: John Gregson, Anthony Quayle, Peter Finch, Patrick Macnee, Roger Delgado, John Le Mesurier
Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger

I usually enjoy factual films, but this seemed just a little bit too much like a 6th form production at a school where the chaps had never met girls before. They should have got C.S. Forrester to write the screenplay


Beasts Of No Nation
2015 Mark: 7.2
Watched: Wed 6 May 2015

Starring: Idris Elba, Abraham Attah
Director: Cary Fukunaga

Please don't look at the 7.2 mark here as anything more than the enjoyment I got from this film. The fact is it was extraordinarily uncomfortable to watch, nevertheless I would not be shy about using the word 'brilliant' to describe it. I noticed that Idris Elba was a producer on this - is he a true artist?, because his performance was scarily breathtaking, and, coupled with a child performance I have never seen bettered, from Abraham Attah, this, almost documentary, of war in Africa is as thought provoking as a film can get. Can I say it was beautifully filmed? Can I say the sountrack complimented, not patronised. Can I say say gives insight and understanding into that people doing terrible things are not bad people?

Here is the biggest "Can I?" Can I compare this to Mean Girls ?

SPOILER ALERT: The thing is, it IS the same story, that of assimilation of an individual by a group, who becomes corrupted, does terrible things and seeks redemption. The contrast of delivery could not be starker, and therin lies the dichotomy; to get a message across do we sweeten it, or punch it? I really don't know, my heart says punch, but my reviews say sweeten. Of course, I guess, both are valid, but which is effective? Perhaps niether. Sad face :(


Beautiful Creatures
2013 Mark: 6.4
Watched:Thu 29 October 2015

Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann, Emma Thompson
Director: Richard LaGravenese

This is a bit like watching a condensed vesion of True Blood . Very American teen, a little bit too self righteous, nevertheless a well put together piece of evening distraction which I enjoyed watching, not least because of an A list supporting cast!


A Beautiful Mind ‡
2001 Mark: 7

Starring: Russell Crowe,
Director: Ron Howard

Russell Crowe is very good in this, but I reckon Good Will Hunting does the genius thing better


Bedazzled (2000)
2000 Mark: 5
Watched:Tue 9 September 2014

Starring: Brendan Fraizer, Liz Hurley, Paul Adelstein
Director: Harold Ramis

Just a watch, a bit dicky at times, nevertheless entertaining if not a tad repetitive. It's very rare that I give a film a straight five, nevertheless I suppose it was worth a watch


Belle
2013 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Fri 27 June 2014

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Sam Reid, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, Tom Felton, James Norton
Director: Amma Asante

Entertaining, cool film. This was really teetering on the 8 for me, just a couple of little things (The hair combing and other little incidents). From a historical aspect it was thought provoking, and in terms of a love story it was terrific. Why anybody would ever want to watch Wanking On Sunshine when this is on next door I could not imagine, unless of course they do not enjoy being challenged at all. I didn't only just enjoy this more, but as an exposition of human nature this came out better than 12 Years A Slave , in that there was the ambiguity within all the characters that was more polarised by Steve McQueen (I re-iterate, 12 years was still a good film)

Tom Wilkinson gets my first nomination for best actor 2014 (though I may have to check back)


Ben-Hur ‡
1959 Mark: 4
Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Charlton Heston
Director: William Wyler

Too long, too righteous


The Best Of Me
2014 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Wed 15 October 2014

Starring: James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Luke Bracey, Liana Liberato
Director: Michael Hoffman

My goodness I had to take some deep swallows to sit through this one, but, you know, there was more good than bad about it. I reckon the male female ratio in the cinema on this particular Orange Wednesday was perhaps 1 to 20. The main man was just a bit too perfect, which no doubt explains the girly bias, and there were many excruciating (for me) glances, passages and scenes, nevertheless, it had its moments, it didn't resort to God, the plot took some surprising turns, the scenery was superb. And so yes, it gets a slight thumbs up. Not quite Labour Day , but worth the trip. Fuck I feel dorky on my own! Luke Bracey as young Dawson was very good


The Best Years Of Our Lives ‡
1946 Mark: 7
Watched:Mon 23 March 2015

Starring: Frederick March†, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, Cathy O'Donnell, Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Russell†
Director: William Wyler†

A multiple Oscar winner, it seems to be the one which has most faded from the public eye. The first 50 minutes or so are terrific, when, given the constraints of what was a film industry still learning, we have a great set up, but... It really doesn’t go anywhere once the guys all come back from a night on the town. I might suggest that the film is heavily constrained by the mores of the day, which leaves one feeling that so much is missing, specifically sex, arguably the most important thing relationships, is barely alluded to, and though it was fine to chain smoke and get so drunk you couldn’t remember, I reckon a boner was out of the question. It is a shame because the characters were there, a fistful of them which looked down the road of development but never travelled down there. It was not all sweetness and light, but I can only assume it was artistically stifled by an industry wracked with fear, so any ‘gritty realism’ was constrained by censorship, overt or otherwise. For 1946 Passport To Pimlico was a far more enjoyable film.

NB this film, as well as getting the gongs for film, director, actor, supporting actor and director is the sixth most ticketed in British history and makes all sorts of ‘best of’ lists.

A good film, but it could have been so much better. We had to wait another 32 years for The Deer Hunter to illustrate the damage of war more vividly to the Academy


Big Eyes
2014 Mark: 8
Watched:Sun 4 October 2015

Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Jason Schwartzman, Terrence Stamp
Director: Tim Burton

It is a sad indictment of people's viewing at the Cinema to think that this had such a short run that I didn't get to see it when it was out. Whatever, I slotted it on this morning and it had me from the get-go, that get go being the totally beautiful Amy Adams and the over the top but irresistable Waltz.Quite a drastic difference for Tim Burton,m in that there was nothing imaginary or fantastical about the tale. Nearer Wes Anderson without the comedy than what you would expect, still beautifully made, but more dependant onthe drama. Modern films eh, great ones are mundanely common.


Big Fish
2003 Mark: 10.058
Watched:Sat 1 March 2014

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Marion Cotillard, Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Lohman, Steve Buscimi, Matthew McGrory, Danny DeVito, Destiny (ie Miley) Cyrus
Director: Tim Burton

Golly gosh. Here goes.. if you haven't seen this don't read this. This is as close to a perfect film as you are going to get, I mean all the technical stuff is right, but the characters and story. I know I keep harking back to these, but this is totally transfixing; it is surreal, funny, tear jerking, it has true love, insurmountable odds, fantastical, satisfying. I want to send a thank you letter to Tim Burton for making my favourite film of the 2000s and one which, given I HAVE to put a rank on it is confirmed as number 4 on my all time list. I watched it again over two nights, as I had had a drink and didn't want to watch a new film with my senses impaired! I cried and thought my life (55, friendless, shagless, jobless, only saying things which people don't want to hear) is probably not that bad (super kids, house paid for, probably loads of friends, live in an age of unlimited free porn, jobless, truth telling and I can watch films like Big Fish ) As long as we can say “this is the worst”, this is not the worst! :)


Big Game
2014 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Thu 14 May 2015

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Onni Tommila, Felicity Huffman, Victor Garber, Ted Levine, Jim Broadbent, Ray Stevenson
Director: Jalmari Helander

A 2015 release in the UK, this is 51st State meets Olympus Has Fallen at The Edge with hilarious consequences. There was one portion of the film when, sat alone in a small theatre, I began to corpse with uncontrollable laughter, I mean it was just barmy, shot through with absolute plot holes, but you know what? IT DIDN'T MATTER! It was fun and Finnish, and I think it gave a flavour of that nation's attitudes, after all, they gave us 100 different genres of metal, they must have some tongues in cheek over there? One to watch on telly with a friend and some beer for def.

NB The film's budget was €8.5 million, making it the most expensive ever produced in Finland


Big Hero 6 ‡ (animated)
2014 Mark: 7
Watched:Tue 3 February 2015

Starring: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, James Cromwell
Directors: Don Hall, Chris Williams

A beautiful picture in terms of the canvas, but kind of weird in it's exceedingly imaginative interpretation of how this particular world of San Fransokyo works. I feel like dropping it a notch, but the fact is, it was entertaining, especially the referencing within it, The Marvel aspect, the Ghibli influence, the strange American/Japanese juxtaposition within the entire mise en scène, I mean the bad guy in his mask was No-Face straight out of Spirited Away . Worth the watch for sure


The Big Lebowski
1998 Mark: 6
Watched:Sat 18 January 2014

Starring: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, David Huddleston, Tara Reid
Director: Coen Brothers

Dreading writing this because I just did not think it was as good as some people think. The best group ever, Army Of Freshmen, love it. My son Jake says it is "much better second time 'round". I think I "got it", but after a second viewing I can't say that it was more than an intresting night in for me with a great cast, good cinematagrophy and soundtrack, the best title fonts ever but lacking in the two most vital ingredients; plot and characters. WHAT!?!?! you may exclaim, no characters? Well yes, they were somehow over the top, lacking in genuine groundedness within the context of their own universe. Jeff Bridges was affable enough, but a dude who is funny because he is drunk or stoned is like something which is funny because you are drunk or stoned; it may not be. John Goodman was a boor. Steve Buscemi was the butt of a single joke repeatedly throughout the film. Hoffman was over the top, Waylon Smithers had done it all before. Why does Peter Stormare even take on these roles?

Look, I know the Coen brothers wanted a plot that was 'Chandleresque"; convoluted with lots of dead ends. Mission accomplished.

Two years earlier they made Fargo . I would have forgiven Hitler if he'd have made one film like Fargo .


The Big Short
2015 Mark: 7.4
Watched: Tue 26 January 2016

Starring: Steve Carrell, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling. Melissa Leo, Marisa Tomei, Tracy Letts, Hamish Linklater, John Magaro, Byron Mann, Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong, Finn Wittrock, Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez
Director: Adam McKay

There is a lot to like about this film, and quite a lot which put me on the back foot. The constant cutting, fly on the wall camerawork and breaking of the third wall were disconcerting, but kind of get the thumbs up. Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez were good ideas, even if they didn't work totally. The second thing is that in a rational market, where there is oversupply the price should drop. Simps. I told all you motherfuckers that whilst I was at Sheffield back in 2005, but then again, I'm just Steve Kidd, so I can't be right because you feel threatened by me

This is a totally convincing show from Steve Carrell, I though he was better in this than Foxcatcher, but I think I'll still be on my own with that.

I may well have been disappointed to pay £12 to see this, but once again, with the Unlimited Card, it's a steal! I think you may give it a bigger score than I did. Good.


Bill And Ted 1: 's Excellent Adventure
1989 Mark: 9

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin
Director: Stephen Herek

Few better ways of spending a couple of hours. Slacker movie without the cheap shot of Drugs and Alcohol


Bill And Ted 2: 's Bogus Journey
1991 Mark: 9

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin
Director: Peter Hewitt

Few better ways of spending a couple of hours. Let's go back in time and get good.


Birdman ‡
2014 Mark: 9.5
Watched:Fri 2 January 2015

Starring: Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Emma Stone
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu†

OK, first things first.. This review was written before the Oscar nominations were announced. After they were announced I put £50 on this at 7/2 for best film, feeling that the favourite, Grand Budapest Hotel as well

The best film made in 2014. I've seen some good ones, but this is up there with Her , Pride . If the Oscars for actor, supporting actor, screenplay, cinematography and film went to this I would not have any complaints. I can confidently state that if you watch this and are not impressed and entertained by it you should stick to whatever genre it is you like and never listen to any of my recommendations again. I want to tell so many people to see it so I can discuss it, Michael Keaton... wow! Shut up Steve, before you give anything away.

By coincidence I watched perhaps the most under-rated film of all time yesterday, The Fall , which has a great deal in common with this. Watch them both, but try and maximise screen size for both

Becca says: I have just totally geeked out! I've finally just watched Birdman, absolutely phenomenal, blew my mind, I cannot believe it has taken me this long to watch this film. It is narcissistic, self indulgent brilliance, the casting/acting was beyond all expectations. Zach G was one of my favourite characters even though he was just supporting, really surprised me. It blurred lines between reality and insanity, at times it was hard to tell where Riggan's mind starts and everyone else's begins. The cinematography was some of the best I have seen in a long time, the camera following stories round in real time was engaging and a stroke of genius. All in all one of the best films I have seen in a long time, stunning! 9/10 from me


Black Hawk Down
2001 Mark: 6
Watched:Sat 8 August 2015

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Ewan McGregor, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner, Jason Isaacs, Sam Shepard, Orlando Bloom, Nicolai Coster Waldau
Director: Ridley Scott

Some people will no doubt like this film more than me. Superbly filmed with a massive cast of great actors, It really didn't do it for me, Like Full Metal Jacket without the beginning bit, or like Gravity all the way through, it was magnificent, but there was no story to engage, even Ridley Scott says he had to write names on the helmets so one could identify who was on screen. Worth watching, if only to say you have seen it.


Black Sea
2014 Mark: 7
Watched:Wed 10 December 2014

Starring: Jude Law, Scoot McNairey
Director: Kevin Macdonald

I suppose if you watched The Dirty Dozen, The Hunt For Red October and The Lavendar Hill Mob you could piece together this particular film. I hope I haven't given to much away. Very reasonable film in all departments, Jude Law is really good, my favourite performance of his. I did think it was going to be worth a tad more at first, but still it maintained my intrest throughout and delivered a couple of nice little angles to keep me awake. I would love to know what Andrew Kidd thinks of this (He is my nephew and is an expert on submarines. Hang on a minute, I'm thinking of a couple of plot holes here... Nah, doesn't matter, it's a yarn).

Andrew Kidd says: Black Sea was good. As far as the technical submarine stuff goes, they have consciously used a lot of artistic license but have clearly done their homework and a lot of 'real' submarine stuff is in the film. Also I think I would have given Fury Road no more than a 1. The movie is beautiful but it is pure self indulgent BS.


Blades Of Glory
2007 Mark: 9
Watched:Tue 10 December 2013

Starring: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, John Hedder
Directors: Will Speck. Josh Gordon

Few better ways of spending a couple of hours (OK we get it)


The Blues Brothers
1980 Mark: 10.064

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, John Bulushi, John Candy, Steven Spielberg, Carrie Fisher
Director: John Landis

My favourite film – ever. Why? Apart from being a brilliantly concieved vehicle for a load of songs, I reckon it was in the right place at the right time for me. John Landis is always very dry with his comedy, angular and dark with the shots, I dunno. Years ago I voted to get it for a college period and it made a change from the pornos and horror. I thought I would like it and it came through. Dan Aykroyd has made a succesion of superb comedies, Trading Places, Dragnet, Spies Like Us, Ghostbusters , all of them exhibiting his unique deadpan style and his lucid writing. Jon Buck once summed how good Otis Redding was "If he'd have been alive, he'd have been in The Blues Brothers "
That also indicates how good this film is. Not a frame wasted.


The Boat That Rocked
2009 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Mon 11 July 2011

Starring: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Mark Addy, Rhys Evans, Chris O'Dowd, Gemma Artuton, Emma Thompson, Kenneth Brannagh, Jack Davenport
Director: Richard Curtis

Reasonably entertaining, but I must admit I found the foppish teen and the lack of factual continuity a little annoying, but that is just me. It could have been a TV series (Richard Curtis was the director) A good film for a UK/US connections.

Almost Famous (foppish Teen, Philip Seymour Hoffman) comes out 1.5 points in front as a piece of theatre about the music of our youth. It crosses over and is still relevant today, whereas TBTR is just a yarn.


The Bone Collector
1999 Mark: 4.9
Watched:Mon 28 September 2015

Starring: Denzill Washinton, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah, Luis Guzmán, Bobby Cannavale, Ed O'Neill
Director: Phillip Noyce

At the pictures I may have stayed to the end. On a DVD I just thought I had better things to do than watch Angelina say " I can't do it " and Denzill Washington saying " Yes you can ".

The thing is, like loads of thriller/horror movies it goes tits up in that the protagonists do incredibly stupid things which given they are, in Angelina's case.... oh it's just that whole kid calls in a dead body on a train track so they send a single female alone to investigate it, who compounds the bad practice by not calling it in the moment she confirms it is for real. I went and did something else after about three quarters of an hour, can somone tell me how it ends?


Book Of Eli
2010 Mark: 5

Starring: Denzill Washinton, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Beals
Director: Albert and Allen Hughes

I'm not sure that this one suspended my disbelief enough. I'm not sure that I like the message. I'm not sure that Denzil hasn't been a lot better served in many other films.


The Book Thief
2014 Mark: 8.5
Watched:Thu 20 March 2014

Starring: Sophie Nélisse, Emily Watson, Geoffrey Rush, Roger Allam, Ben Schnetzer
Director: Brian Percival

I've took this off 9 to put on 8.5. Its a close thing and I'm filled with angst about doing that. I am sure it would be many people's 10.

It is rare to get a film that does not stereotype groups of people (just watch Twelve Years A Slave , If Brad Pitt hadn't bought into it, the whole of White America were all bastards). Spoiler alert. This film shows many Germans during the second world war in a thoroughly convincing sympathetic light, and is consequently most uplifting despite.... 'nuff said. Could this be an all time young actress nomination? Beautiful film.

nb. The critics of this film, and they are numerous, invariable latch upon the kindness portrayed in it. I am sure they would be much happier if all Germans were goose stepping Jew Baiters (and this film has it's share of them), and I would bet my house they spunked buckets over 12 years . There is nobody as cynical as myself as to the shortcomings of humanity, nevertheless I do harbour hope in some innate goodness. Ask yourself, what would happen now. I know that 11 out of 12 teachers would either not do anything or positively side with their superior when witness to that superior doing something very demonstrably wrong. But I do know that for these 11 there might be one non teacher who would stand up and point it out. Bitch.


The Boxtrolls
2014 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Sun 14 September 2014

Starring: Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan
Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi

This was a magnificent piece of animation, like Julia said, every single stop motion frame is a labour of true love and great art. How can people really identify with this film, as it's main thrust is what dicks gen pops can be in the face of ismisms, yet AFAIK most people are like that. If they all agree somethings bad, somethings bad, and no amount of evidence will change that paradigm. Change must come through the barrel of a gun?. Loved the end credits...


Boyhood
2014 Mark: 6
Watched:Tue 16 September 2014

Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke
Director: Richard Linklater

Gulp! After being blown away by Pride I went to have a look at the prices with William Hills for the Oscars and noticed that this was favourite to win at 9/4. Naturally I downloaded it and must admit, that I was reasonably absorbed, for the first 90 minutes, but I just didn’t get it. It wound down and down and I was looking to see how long there was to go. Please please somebody tell me what I was. I mean a reasonable concept, but this was meant to be a fiction, therefore it could have been done with different actors and make up. I have seen the 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but come on, what do we take away from it? I feel like such a philistine, but I just supposed something was going to happen. Watch This Boy’s Life for a more satisfying version of the same story, watch 7 Up etc. for reality.


Bram Stoker's Dracula
1992 Mark: 4 WatchedFri 6 November 2015

Starring: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits
Director: Francis Ford Coppola

I only needed 30 minutes to realise this wasn't my cup of tea. I read that it wasn't camp. Say what? The only remarkable thing about this film that I saw was how Sadie Frost looked like Jessicca Chastaine. And the titties, of course. "Not camp"... Yeah right.


Brave ‡ (animated)
2012 Mark: 8
Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Kelly McDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson
Directors: Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews

Just a great cartoon.


Braveheart ‡
1995 Mark: 9

Starring: Mel Gibson
Director: Mel Gibson

Makes you want to identify with Andy Murray. Glen Nevis, the setting for this film, has provided one of the most surprising and beautiful walks in my life of many walks


Bridge Of Spies
2015 Mark: 9.2
Watched:Tue 24 November 2015

Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance†, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Jesse Plemons, Domenick Lombardozzi
Director: Steven Spielberg

One of the best films of 2015, which of course will doom you to disappointment if you haven't seen it yet. Steven Spielberg is good, Tom Hanks is good, Mark Rylance is good, the history is good, the story is good, the characters are good, the filming is good, and the music is good. That is what I would term erring on the conservative. I have never had an insight into what Berlin was like when I was little, or the relationships between East Germany, the USSR and the USA at that time, but I am sure this gets close, not only holding up some ideas, but couching them in a fist pumping yarn that grows with every five minutes. Mark Rylance at his most Cromwellesque for the best supporting actor. No Brainer..

N.b. We didn't need to be told what bridges we were looking at and we didn't need to be told how thoroughly great America is compared to the East to the extent including that when it is sunny spring in New York it is deepest winter in Berlin


Bridge On The River Kwai ‡
1957 Mark: 8
Watched:Fri 7 August 2015

Starring: Alec Guinness†, Jack Hawkins, William Holden
Director: David Lean

Yeah, this deserves the accolades. Very old school British, but with the breadth of Cinemascope and David Lean's ambition, it was fading a little with the William Holden scenes, but a superb monlogue (when Col Nicholson was talking on the bridge) provided brilliant insight and teed up a fantastic last scene


A Bridge Too Far
1977 Mark: 8
Watched:Fri 28 March 2014

Starring: Sean Connery, Dirk Bogarde, Ryan O'Neal, James Caan, Michael Caine, Edward Fox, Elliott Gould, Anthony Hopkins, Gene Hackman, Hardy Krüger, Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell, Alun Armstrong, Liv Ullmann
Director: Richard Attenborough

This scores 5 on the cast alone! Combining a stellar line up with a great, true, story, terrific score, we will forgive its clichés (which flow thick and fast throughout the duration) and appreciate that, at least, not all Germans are all bad, and not all allies are all good. (There is a pretty strong pull in that direction though). I think this may be the longest 'Also Starring' list. Why did I put Sean Connery at the front? Why not?, he was the character I most enjoyed.


Broken Arrow
1950 Mark: 7.2
Watched: Wed 17 February 2016

Starring: James Stewart, Jeff Chandler, Debra Paget, Basil Ruysdael, Will Geer, Jay Silverheels
Director: Delmer Daves

I've always liked James Stuart, and this film exemplifies why. It is most definitely dated, but not in way that makes you think people were stupid who made it. A little over-idealistic perhaps, but its heart, I think, is in the right place. Apart from that it looks good, tells well, and you just gotta like Jimmy. One most curious think was revealed to me on a personal level during this film. I thought I had not seen it before this watching in February 2016, but there was just one line, not the scene, just the line, about rubbing food grease on your arm, which made me realise I have seen it. Great - I'll be able to watch The Blues Brothers again soon, and consider it fresh.

N.B. No wonder it's dated - I have just looked it up - 1950 - this was at the heart of America's worst period in film making, the McCarthy Era, when to make a message film was to lose your job. It won a Golden Globe, and I can well see why. I am not going to change my enjoyment rating (which is good), but it does fall into that bracket of films which, all things considered, are probably better than my quotient suggests. So much better than From here To Eternity

James Stewart was 42, Debra Paget was 16!


A Bronx Tale
1993 Mark: 9.5
Watched:Mon 8 June 2015

Starring: Lillo Brancato Jr., Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Francis Capra, Kathrine Narducci, Rosina Anello, Taral Hicks, Joe Pesci
Director: Robert De Nero

A beautiful (and I don't use that word lightly), mob movie. OK, there is no mention of the Mafia, but these are stand up guys, with nicknames and hair and attitude and accents. I don't want to go into details, but I found this film pressed the same buttons as This Is England and End Of Watch . They would really make a magnificent trilogy, exploring human nature from very different sides of the fence and pond.

One can not know the contribution that people make to stories, but if I had to pick one name from the thousands on this page as having made the greatest percentage contribution to an awesome film it would be Chazz Palminteri with this one (read the background). The more I think about this the more it makes me realise how I love my kids (That's not particularly to do with the text of the film, it is just inspirational). Kudos to Robert De Nero too, for making the best gangster movie ever (and wow, there are some good ones).


Brooklyn
2015 Mark: 7.8
Watched: Fri 15 January 2016

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters
Director: John Crowley

Part of a pair of films I saw in the same afternoon, both with a slew of Oscar nominations, both of them hugely enjoyable watches, getting exactly the same thrill quotient from me, but both very different (see Creed for the other)

Saoirse Ronan is an absolute delight to the senses, and didn't this film frame her well? (I hope she gets the gong). It was nice to see Jim Broadbent taking some real decency back for priests. I went to a boarding school run by priests, and my housemaster, Tom Lyons, was as good a bloke as I have ever met, and I never got touched up by any of them. The dinner table scenes with Julie Walters were absolutely hilarious, and the Mrs Irish Baddy was Rachedesque!

SPOILER ALERT....

I wonder if anybody else thinks "Jeez, pet, he is far too good for you?". Take the girlfriend, she'll love it.


Burnt
2015 Mark: 5
Watched: Thu 12 November 2015

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Daniel Brühl, Matthew Rhys, Alicia Vikander, Uma Thurman and Emma Thompson
Director: John Wells

This is the first film I have left early which I have rated more than 5. The thing is, it was nice looking, super cast, but it really isn't my cup of tea, like Southpaw for cooks, it just didn't look like it was ever going to be anything more than a comeback story with lots of pictures of pieces of lettuce which Bradley Cooper had jizzed on. What nailed the walk out (apart from the Top House Quiz) was a meeting in a Burger King (after said shop had featured very obviously in a previous scene) and Cooper delivering a monologue about how the food there was somehow like French traditional food. It was an insult to the viewers intelligence. If you want Bradley Cooper watch Silver Linings Playbook . If you want foodie, I found Chef far more entertaining. And sports stories are just so much more... manly?


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
1969 Mark: 8.3
Watched: Fri 6 February 2015

Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross, Strother Martin, Jeff Corey, Henry Jones, Sam Elliot
Director: George Roy Hill

I must've seen this film at least four times, and I do love it, or at least large bits of it. It is a real buddy movie, and probably introduced me to the genre, some of the lines are classics, the chemistry is terrific, the humour works, the places are beautiful. Perhaps writing these have jaded me, because I thought I would give it a ten. I know why I haven'. The first half is terrific, the second half average, the stills segment seems a little like an interlude, and just the idea of a super cool possee tracking you across hundreds of miles of the wild west and just never quite catching you... It just wore a bit thin. Great movie though, I just think I may be a little dissapointed that I enjoyed Pitch Perfect 2 more.


The Butler
2013 Mark: 7
Watched:Sun 17 November 2013

Starring: Forest Whitakker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Robin Williams, Clarence Williams III
Director: Lee Daniels

Great film for quiz buffs in that it gives a historical insight into a lot of the post-war American presidents. A tableau!


Calvary
2014 Mark: 7
Watched:Tue 31 March 2015

Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach de Bankolé
Director: John Michael McDonagh

Didn't quite get the story here, I mean, there was this thread, but perhaps it deliberately left some of the profiling to ones imagination. Brendan Gleeson absolutely lights up a screen, and the host of support actors do not displease the eye. If I had seen this before Cuban Fury I might not have liked Chris O'Dowd's part, but now.. hey, he's OK. This is like Father Ted – The Dark Side and is worth watching for the whole look and feel of it, but it is kind of disquieting. That's why I spread it out over a couple of days


Cape Fear
1991 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Sun 4 October 2015

Starring: Robert De Niro, Martin Balsam, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliet Lewis, Grgory Peck, Robert Mitchum
Director: Martin Scorsese

Despite the label Ultra-violent psycholgical thriller beeing quite apt, their was a constant undercurrent of brutal humour that made this as appealing as Itchy and Scratchy at their goriest. Was this De Niro at his peak? One day I will have to do the list, but heck, he was truly mental. I would get arrested for describing how truly awesome Juliet Lewis is, she just has something about her that is so boderline, well deserved Oscar nominations for both of them.


Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
2014 Mark: 7
Watched:Sun 30 March 2014

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansen, Samuel L Jackson, Robert Redford, Jenny Augetter, Toby Jones, Stan Lee, Joe Russo
Director: Anthony Russo,

Face-booked this to Jon Buck:

Of the current batch at Cineworld there are a lot in the 7 or 8 out of 10 range, but this, along with the other action sequel 300 Rise of an Empire are both pleasant surprises in that the films are much better than the trailers might suggest and IMHO are better than their respective first instalments. Please don't expect anything too challenging but if you like films where (ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT) the protagonists beat the odds to kick some serious mother fekkin' ass neither one lets you down. Can't wait for Godzilla


Captain Phillips
2013 Mark: 6
Watched:Mon 11 November 2013

Starring: Tom Hanks
Director: Paul Greengrass

Good, but not that good


A Captain's Tale
1982 Mark: 10.022
Watched:Fri 6 November 2015

Starring: Denis Waterman, Andrew Keir, Richard Griffiths, Nigel Hawthorne, Dai Bradley, Tim Healy
Director: Tom Clegg

Quite simply one of my favourite TV films. Perfect simplicity, gentle humour, unpretetious, just the best story ever with super actors. The music might be John Shuttleworth, yet it is utilised perfectly, a single synth sparingly used, with a motif that superbly dovetails British comedy from a better age. I guess I have an emotinal attachment to this, but a second rate post VHS copy on Youtube still had me hook, line, and sinker. Here is the Youtube link.


Captive
2015 Mark: 7
Watched: Wed 30 September 2015

Starring: David Oyewolo, Kate Mara, Michael K Williams
Director: Jerry Jameson

I didn't like the God bits, but apart from that it was a reasonable story well delivered. I found the ambiguity of Oyewolo's carachter quite intresting, and I enjoy watching Omar's ascent up the billing, but yes, the post end end was a little "what?"


Changing Lanes
2002 Mark: 7.5

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Ben Affleck
Director: Robert Michell

Why do people diss Ben Affleck so much? This is a masterful little film, presenting Samuel L Jackson in a sympathetic and gentle role which I hope he rates as one of his best, well distant from the bad mouthed pimp he usually portrays (nothing wrong with that, but this is just different)


Chappie
2015 Mark: 7.8
Watched: Sat 12 September 2015

Starring: Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Sigourney Weaver, Hugh Jackman, Watkin Tudor Jones (Ninja), Yolandi Visser
Director: Neill Blomkamp

Well I loved it. I liked the theatrics, I loved the actors, the music was well 'ard, and I loved the way the characters played out. The most interesting aspect was the infantile anthormorpasization of the title character, how it is so easy to strike the right chords with a gullible person like me.


Chariots Of Fire ‡
1981 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nigel Havers, Cheryl Campbell, Alice Krige, Ian Holm
Director: David Putnam

Classic. Worth watching just to understand the parodies it has generated. Writing this review and thinking of this film makes me want to write a list of the best sports films. NO BRAINER


Charlie Countryman
2013 Mark: 7
Watched:Wed 5 November 2014

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Melissa Leo, Rupert Grint, James Buckley, Aubrey Plaza
Director: Fredrik Bond

For a few moments I thought this was going to be an 8 or 9. That it isn’t is more to my optimism than any fault of the film, which enjoyed with a cocked eyebrow on occasions. To take away is Shia LaBeouf who made this well over a year ago and for me genuinely comes of age as a full blown star who carries the film throughout. As impressive a lead role as I have seen this year. Considering I love music, a good soundtrack is like a good referee, you don’t tend to notice them, but this score, when I noticed it, was awesome. The picture was easy on the eye, and really seemed to impart that post communist Eastern European feel, reminding me of Serbia and Bulgaria. Now the films characters are kind of OK, but Jay (from the Inbetweeners ) and Ron Weasley seem to have wandered onto the wrong film set. The resolution of the film is (Spoiler alert!) just a little unsatisfying, and it’s a shame it didn’t settle into being a Sixth Sense meets Taken instead of being greedy and putting the Chuckle Brothers in the mix. Whatever, enjoyable all the same


Chef
2014 Mark: 7
Watched:Wed 22 April 2015

Starring: Jon Favreau, Sofía Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr
Director: Jon Favreau

A feel-good film with a lame, predictably twee story, and somewhat idealistic views on human behaviour, nevertheless... I loved it. August Rush effect, I guess Jon Favreau's enthusiasm for the film (He wrote, directed and produced it as well) just pervades the movie, the love of food is infectious, the dialogue is snappy and the soundtrack most excellent. Grab a beer, get some nice food, snuggle up and watch this. But don't expect John Le Carré!

PS. I don't know how many favours Jon Favreau called in, but this is one hell of a cast.


Child 44
2015 Mark: 7.5
Watched: Thu 23 April 2015

Starring: Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, Paddy Considine, Jason Clarke, Charles Dance, Vincent Cassel
Director: Daniel Espinosa

Well I liked it, I really liked it. A somewhat confusing set of characters (I don't immediately recognise Tom Hardy) slowly build a tableau of deceit, loyalty, damnation and salvation in an intricate web of plots that actually leave me wanting a sequel to be made. Interesting from a historical viewpoint to, and let's face it, even Kenneth Brannagh does not convince me personally with a Russian accent. My first picture back with a Cineworld card, plus Meerkat Movies and my son Grom, it made me re-realise how much I love the cinema


The China Syndrome
1979 Mark: 8
Watched:Wed 25 November 2015

Starring: Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas, Richard Herd
Director: James Bridges

This came at me from out of nowhere. I suppose it is a film I should have watched four decades ago, but never got 'round to it. Well, at last I did, and the report is very favourable. Initially I thought Michael Douglas would wreck it, but he was sufficiently restrained.. As for Jack Lemmon and Jane Fonda (are she and Amy Adams related or what?), they were brilliant, having been passed the baton from Network to make a film which has not dated so badly (clothes and hair is acceptable), and which cultivates intrest throughout. I genuinely did not know the thread would pan out as it did, but that was all the better for it. Thumbs up (John Herd as well!)


Chinatown
1974 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Mon 17 August 2015

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
Director: Roman Polanski

Couldn't quite get why this film is so accoladed. To be sure Jack Nicholson is awesome, but we have been spoilt by modern film and TV dramas, we really have. When films try to be 'modern' they date a little more quickly (Yeah, I know, this was set in the 30s, but the 'gritty realism' just seems a bit lame compared with The Wire ). I'd watch LA Confidential for this done better, but hell, watch it anyhoo


Chocolat
2000 Mark: 7.9
Watched: Sat 27 February 2016

Starring: Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Lena Olin, Johnny Depp, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugh O'Conor, John Wood, Peter Stormare, Leslie Caron
Director: Lasse Hallström

A not too radical version of Mary Poppins, this made a surprisingly enjoyable watch. Johnny Depp's guitar playing was pleasant enough, and although there was no correlation at all between reality and this film, it was a seductive enough piece of escapism.


Cinderella (2015)
2015 Mark: 9
Watched: Wed 29 April 2015

Starring: Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger, Nonso Anozie, Derek Jacobi, Stellan Skarsgård
Director: Kenneth Brannagh

For months I had this at a ten, I even went to see it again to check, and confirm, yet throughout 2015 it has nagged me. Now the end of the year is upon us I have shaved a point off and I realise why - it's because I enjoyed, for instance, Kingsman and Bridge Of Spies more. Like The Force Awakens I am retrospectively reducing the mark, and I suppose it is for the same reason, and that is, although both films are absolutely and totally awesome, they just don't have the original story which puts a film in the "can't do more " bracket. Here was my original review, which I will leave unedited.

Ten? Yeah ten. Straight One zero. Maximum. I am so conflicted to give a fresh film this massive mark, but the fact is just about every single thing is right about it. The story and characters are tried and tested, but this is done so well, it is truly a triumph for Kenneth Brannagh who has stuck perfectly to the story but delivered it with a fantastic cast, witty script, and absolutely breathtaking cinematography. I doubt if it will make best film, but if it doesn't win best costumes there is something special coming out later this year. I am gagging to look at all the trivia right now... Loved Helena Bonham Carter. I have never seen such convincing CGI animals. Nailed.

Went to watch it again (5/5/15) to confirm my thoughts. Yep, that's OK


Cinderella Man
2005 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Russell Crowe, Rene Zellewgger, Paul Giamatti
Director: Ron Howard

I could watch 7.5 Biopics all the live long day. Rene Zellweger is awesome in this, and Crow makes a pretty good fist of it (sic). One day I must compile a list of fight films. This would be very close to the top.


Clueless
1995 Mark: 8
Watched:Wed 19 March 2014

Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Brittany Murphy
Director: Amy Heckerling

Freakin awesome! It is wonderful that an American teen comedy can be intelligent and funny without geeky slapstick. The characters, especially Cher (Alicia Silverstone), are sufficiently credible, the dialogue is a lesson in the modern idiom, and you know what's going to happen, but last time I walked 'round New Miller Dam I knew what was going to happen, but it was still lovely. Good soundtrack (It was the Mighty Mighty Bosstones at the party). I feel guilty giving it an 8, but what the hell, I enjoyed it.


Collateral Damage
2002 Mark: 5.5
Watched:Thu 8 January 2015

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elias Koteas, Francesca Neri, Cliff Curtis, John Leguizamo, John Turturro
Director: Andrew Davis

Our Jake talked me out of a six for this, It was one of those watch it and enjoy the food and a large scotch, laugh at the clichés, enjoy the degree of whodunnit in the first portion of the film and god bless the United States Of America!


Coming To America
1988 Mark: 10.034

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Arsino Hall, James Earl Jones, Samuel L Jackson, Don Ameche, Ralph Bellamy
Director: John Landis

Eddie Murphy is funny. I have such a soft spot for this film, I don't know if it is because of John Landis or what, but it doers contain an all time great moment when Prince Akim is walking along the dock front with his girl.. Oh that musical motif...


Commando
1985 Mark: 7
Watched:Sat 20 June 2015

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Director: Mark L. Lester

Forgot what happened, but I know I enjoyed it. A very good 7, with plenty of guns and ammo.


The Company Men
2010 Mark: 2.5
Watched:Thu 12 June 2014

Starring: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Craig T. Nelson
Director: John Wells

What a waste of a great cast. No story, insipid carachters, none of whom deserve any investment or pity whatsoever. Unsatisfying and boring, i mean, the bloke is in his mid sixties and gets laid off from an incredibly well paid and cushy job, so he tops himself. Fuck me it's a hard life


Compliance
2012 Mark: 5
Watched:Wed 14 May 2014

Starring: Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy
Director: Craig Zobel

I didn't watch this. Not that it's a bad film; it was too uncomfortable, and wherever it went I did not want to go there. Read the summary on Wikipedia, and then watch something more enjoyable. If you think you would not be capable of great injustice, you are, I would hazard, precisely the kind of person who is.

I tried to watch it again - I just couldn't do it. It is a REALLY GOOD film, but it just hurts too much.


Congo
2013 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Sat 5 December 2015

Starring: Laura Linney, Dylan Walsh, Ernie Hudson, Tim Curry, Grant Heslov, Joe Don Baker, John Hawkes, Jimmy Buffett, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Joe Pantoliano
Director: Frank Marshall

Yes, I did turn it off after 25 minutes. I guess I would have had a right laugh watching it with Jake, but we would have been laughing at it, not with it. It was like take all the worst bits of the entire Jurrassic Park franchise, condense them into one film and, I presume, swap the dinosaurs for Gorillas. Now in its favour, the naffest bits of Jurrassic Park can be entertaining, as could this film, but not when one is alone and seeking enlightenment. I'm saying watch it if you want to get drunk and if there is nothing else around which grabs your fancy, there are plenty less entertaining films around


Coraline
2009 Mark: 7.8
Watched:Sun 29 November 2015

Starring: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Ian McShane
Director: Henry Selick

This is Julia's favourite film, and I can well see why. If you have not seen it and are intending to, more than any other film I have seen on the small screen, I would say get the best quality copy you can, in that, like Wes Anderson movies, the picture is everything here. I noticed on my recording via a digibox that some of the motion was lost, but the more static frames were just gorgeous.

I have watched some films recently that have exposed my cynicism, in that this, and The Phantom Menace must be 100% awesome through a child's eyes. God forbid they have buttons (as opposed to eyes).

Dare I say the Inside Out plagirised parts of this film?

I'm not quite sure what Ian McShane's carachter was doing, I am quite sure that this will stick in a kids mind like The Singing Ringing Tree stuck in mine, I am quite sure the music should have got a best score, and I am absolutely convinced that at leat three animations from 2009 (This, Up and Fantastic Mr Fox ) were hands down better than 2008's Oscar Winner Wall-E


The Counsellor
2013 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Sun 17 November 2013

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt
Director: Ridley Scott

Can't remember much about this for some reason, but I did enjoy it. That was a really lame review!


Crash ‡
2005 Mark: 8.5
Watched:Mon 4 August 2014

Starring: Don Cheadle, Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Peña, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Thandie Newton
Director: Paul Haggis

I can see why people just love this film. An ensemble cast and intertwined stories illustrate humanity and philosophy in all their glorious and frustrating facets. For a film without a particular hook I found it fascinating, and given the 48 hour hiatus have to mark it higher than Star Trek 4, even in terms of enjoyment level. You see I guess the enjoyment I get post film adds to the total, just like going to an Open Golf course. Does that make sense?

Here is the original review I made for this film, which is just an indication how inconsistent I can be

Mark: 5

I am writing this quite a long time after I've seen the film, and I think I may watch it again as I am beginning to imagine it may have been worth a tad more than I remember. Stellar cast!


Creed
2015 Mark: 7.8
Watched: Fri 15 January 2016

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew
Director: Ryan Cogler

Part of a pair of films I saw in the same afternoon, both with a slew of Oscar nominations, both of them hugely enjoyable watches, getting exactly the same thrill quotient from me, but both very different (see Brooklyn for the other)

Look, this is utter nonsense, but it is enjoyable nonsense, and unlike Southpaw it's formulaic structure will be rewarding for people who like the Rocky franchise and do not demand that every film is black and white with people looking moody or throwing potties full of piss at one another and smoking Gauloise (i.e. everybody who is not a hater). I love late career Stallone! proper respect for this, I loved it :)


Crimson Peak
2015 Mark: 7.4
Watched: Thu 29 October 2015

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam, Jim Beaver
Director: Guillermo del Toro

Wow! This is pretty full on as Gothic horror/romance gets. It's shear, unashamed and absolutely relentless in its total embracing of the genre, and because of that, it can be forgiven many sins. Tom Hiddleston was absolutely perfect, the sets, especially the indoor ones were awesome, the horror was scary, all in all it was quite a spectacle. I would almost call it comedy horror. Don't expect any connection between the horror and the plot, but sit back and enjoy nevertheless. Jessica Chastain. Bad bitch!


Cuban Fury
2014 Mark: 7
Watched:Thu 27 February 2014

Starring: Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Olivia Colman, Ian McShane, Chris O'Dowd
Director: James Griffiths

Nick Frost is great! He was good in The World's End , and given this role without being Simon Pegg's foil is welcome. Chris O'Dowd is the largest knob-stick you could imagine (credit to the actor), the story is predictable, the music great, the characters stereotyped, and whatever, going to watch this at the cinema in a giggling audience was a most pleasant couple of hours. There are so many things you can criticise films on, but why bother. This works within its own universe, and Nick Frost is perfect for the role. Sufficiently affable, poignant, but, above all, believable. It'll be a shame when he gets a TV series in which he plays a hard-bitten, world-weary cop in some new town between Birmingham and London, one who plays by his own rules and has troubles at home.


Daddy's Home
2015 Mark: 8.6
Watched: Wed 30 December 2015

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Bobby Cannavale, John Cena
Director: Sean Anders

What is there not to enjoy about Will Ferrell getting bullied? When I say this film is formulaic, ergo predictable, I mean that as a compliment. There is little to no point in reviewing this film to fulfil the barometer of watchability, 'cos you know , more or less, exactly what you will be getting. The cast more than competently dole out laugh after laugh and there is a happy ending - Sweet.

This was, believe it or not, the first time I have ever been to a movie and it was 'sold out'. Top Tip: They always leave 4 seats free for some reason in a middle row, so buy tickets to see the film next door and 'lose your way'


Dallas Buyers Club
2013 Mark: 8
Watched:Thu 27 February 2014

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

Ye-haw. Worthy actor nomination for Matthew McConaughey who is what this film is all about. Everything about this film is just kind of right, and it has massive humour in it, albeit leaning towards pathos.

I first really took notice of a technique I will call “invertism” on the TV series Prison Break ; it is when humour that is regarded now as politically incorrect is conducted by characters who are overt dick-heads. i.e. when the bad guy calls a black guy “Sambo” it is because he is such a knob, not because it is funny, because of course it isn't, it's horrible racism and anybody who uses such words is a complete Nazi Jew burning, art thieving etc. etc.. Do you get the picture? Anyhoo, back to Dallas Buyers Club . The film is full of hard drinkin' tough fightin' woman shaggin' Texas hicks, who naturally are complete arseholes, a trait which manifests itself in homophobic jokes (Stupid word that, you don't have to be scared of gays to be horrible to them). Ron Woodroof starts out like this and (Spoiler Alert) finds redemption through adversity, providing a platform for gay jokes all the way through. And good! Gay humour is often funny. Black guy jokes can be hilarious. If people point out I am a lisping loser who will probably never get laid again in his life, if it is done with a little sympathy and understanding it is, sadly, somewhat amusing (LOL). Whatever. Great film, more funny than sad, and the message about government agencies and big pharma being plukes is never repeated enough.

You know If Jared Leto won best supporting actor at this years Oscar's that'd be all right by me.


A Dangerous Game
2014 Mark: 6
Watched:Sun 9 November 2014

Starring: Donald Trump
Director: Anthony Baxter

There is a great deal I don’t like about this film, which (SPOILER ALERT) is a diss piece about the building of Golf Courses, specifically those built by Donald Trump.

What makes me feel most uncomfortable about it (and many ‘right-on’ causes) is that it the evidence it presents often seems selective, shoddy or irrelevant. Look – I’m not saying Donald Trump is Joan of fucking Arc here, what I am saying is ‘prove that to me’ and then ‘show me why this is more important than a thousand other issues brought about by wealth disparity’.

There seems little demarcation between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ here, there are no bottom lines concerning costs and benefits, so for example, when golf courses in the middle of the desert are presented as generally detrimental, the benefits of temperate parkland Golf Courses, or at least even their potential is almost totally ignored.

I am what some people might term a card carrying tree hugging hippy, and yes, I do love golf, so I wanted something more convincing. I don’t need anybody to tell me that man’s incursions into desert is unsustainable given such models as Las Vegas, but my gut feeling is that a rocky hill-top above Dubrovnik that is currently used for two dozen goats and scrub, in a country with unlimited water could yield considerable benefits as a golf course; fiscal in terms of recreational potential and employment, but, dare I say it, environmental, in that a well managed golf course can provide varieties of habitats for diversification of species.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a polemic that presents evidence in a balanced way. This does not. In effect the conclusion it draws is Donald Trump is bad because.. he’s bad! It may be noble, it may even be ‘right’, but it is fundamentally unconvincing.

I would really love to know if those Scotsman awards were a stitch up. It has happened before.


The Danish Girl
2015 Mark: 7.3
Watched: Wed 13 January 2016

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Whishaw, Sebastian Koch, Amber Heard
Director: Tom Hooper

Turned out much better than I thought it might (I was giving it a 6 on the way to the cinema!). On the real positives this is as beautifully pictorial a film as I have seen since Grand Budapest Hotel last year; the outfits, the backgrounds, the paintings were framed generally perfectly, leaving me wanting to look at them for their own sake. I think it conveyed some of the eroticism of being transgender and Eddie Redmayne was good, and Alicia Vikander was beautiful, and Matthias Schoenaerts is the new Jack, four absolutely excellent films for 2015, playing four different nationalities, none of which were his native Belgian. Alexander Desplat music brings a sense of wonder to a film, and all in all I'm thoroughly glad we went. Julia and I agree 100%... it was 10-30 minutes too long, but unlike Mr Turner which was two hours over the mark, this was an arty film which conveyed some of the passion of the people involved. There was a dog in it!


Danny Collins
2015 Mark: 7
Watched: Mon 1 June 2015

Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale, Christopher Plummer
Director: Dan Fogelman

So sue me when I go off on one here. John Lennon is overrated. This film has a soundtrack largely made up of post Beatles Lennon material, hell, I bought the albums, but the songs are just not great pop songs, more whingy folk, or nondescript rock. I'm not saying they are terrible, but John Lennon has never, since the Beatles, produced anything like as good as any amount of tracks from Band On The Run or Ram or My Brave Face, Live and Let Die, Mull Of Kintyre etc etc. If a fourteen year old kid went to his music teacher saying " sir, sir!! I've written this song.. " and gave him Imagine I am pretty sure it wouldn't end up in anybody's top thousand.

In this film, the monkey on Danny Collins' back is a version of Sweet Caroline and his finale is a variation on... Imagine . So, what I am trying to say is, for a music film, the tunes simply do not carry the punch.

Now.. having let rip on the score the rest of the film is a reasonable 100 minutes. Al Pacino is disarmingly charming, Annette Benning likewise easy on the eye, it is not totally unsatisfying. Wish it had been Judee Sill music though

Question: What made John Lennon great?

Answer: Paul McCartney


The Darjeeling Limited
2007 Mark: 7
Watched:Wed 20 May 2015

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Anjelica Huston, Waris Ahluwalia, Amara Karan, Natalie Portman, Bill Murray
Director: Wes Anderson

Well it's a Wes Anderson film, with the width, colour, camerawork, humour and human nature that is so typical of him. Given that he always uses the same cast, I suppose one could get a little blasé about these films. Most people like The Life Aquatic and The Royal Tennenbaums . I love Rushmoor . As usual the choice of music is largely wonderful, and each frame is a picture in itself. If you like Anderson, you will like this.


Delicatessen
2000 Mark: 7
Watched:Fri 5 December 2014

Starring: Dominique Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Jean-Claude Dreyfus
Directors: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro

Once again Becca has lent me an Ultra-French film, which is very different from what I am used to. I wish I had watched this with somebody so we could explore the ideas behind it, when it was set, what did so and so mean. I can't remember it being subtitled, but it definitely was. Would I prefer to watch this than Gravity Yes I would


Delivery Man
2013 Mark: 8
Watched:Sun 13 January 2013

Starring: Vince Vaughan, Lynn Collins
Director: Ken Scott

I watched this straight after Last Vegas with a cinema Sub and three cookies. Once again the film exceeded expectations, with Vince Vaughan not going over the top (á la Dodgeball ) but carrying the premise along with some LOL moments and genuine poignancy. Hope that doesn't spoil it for you.
I can not endorse the cinema experience enough – Jeez, I know it is pricey, but the net effect is it turns a great film into a perfect one. (I hope that makes sense, look at the ratings chart at the top)


Demolition Man
1993 Mark: 8
Watched:Thu 10 January 2013

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sandra Bullock, Wesley Snipes, Nigel Hawthorne, Rob Schneidern, Bob Gunton, Jack Black
Director: Marco Brambilla

Some of the Jokes are kind of predictable and the science fuzzy, but generally a good film garnished with a brilliant comic baddy performance from Snipes


The Departed ‡
2006 Mark: 10.002
Watched:Sun 19 January 2014

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg. Jack Nicholson, Ray Winstone
Director: Martin Scorsese

I thought I'd seen this already, but I can't have done. Did I watch it perhaps when I was drunk? I know I've written quite a convoluted summary of it for some quiz revision, and set questions about it, but bugger me if I remember one bit of it. So why didn't you tell me it was so god-dam freaking good? Huh? Everything about it. The pictures, the dialogue (absolutely Shakespearian in it's depth, clarity, wit and often undecipherableness), the music, the acting and most importantly those two touchstones, characters and story. The story could have carried this film to an 8, but each actor absolutely sixes their parts. Totally believable and jaw droppingly brutal.

Spoiler alert: Your life will suck more if you don't watch this film. If you don't like it your life probably sucks enough already. The only films I have given tens to are feel-good ones ( Field Of Dreams, Back To The Future, Blues Brothers, It's A Wonderful yada yada yada). Until now.


Destry Rides Again
1939 Mark: 7.4
Watched: Sat 30 April 2016

Starring: James Stuart, Marlene Dietrich
Director: George Marshall

It's hardly any wonder that I used to love James Stewart when I was younger. This film illustrates perfectly how a cast and story can carry a film, it doesn't matter how old fashioned, or corney, or black and white the damn thing is, a tale's a tale, and if told with enthusiasm it holds ones attention, whether it is huddled up with a torn paperback in a remote tent with a bike light, or the front row, Odeon, Leicester Square. Despite Marlene Dietrich being quite annoying this film has a wierd blend of comedy and violence which, nevertheless, is surprisingly engaging.

And whilst your at it, compare John Wayne's war record with James Stewart's


Devil's Knot
2013 Mark: 7
Watched:Mon 16 June 2014

Starring: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon
Director: Atom Egoyan

This was a well paced reflection on a true story. As with all these kinds of things it would be lovely to know the real true story, but this made a pretty convincing fist of it. (But that is what story tellers do... Having researched it a lot of people seem to agree about the thrust of this, which I will not repeat, 'cos that is what I don't do, as it were.


The Dictator
2012 Mark: 9
Watched:Thu 10 September 2015

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, John C. Reilly, Edward Norton, Megan Fox, Garry Shandling
Director: Larry Charles

How long is it since I've watched a Sacha Baron Cohen film? At least two years according to this page. Like Will Ferrell in that if you need to watch a film to give you a boost, Cohen guarantees that. Very much edgier, it is the cringe factor that is truly remarkable, I remember putting my head behind the seats during Borat crying " no more, please, no more! " Genius? Perhaps. Fun (and thought provoking)? Mos def. A shoe in for 9.


Divergent Series: Insurgent
2015 Mark: 7.5
Watched: Wed 29 April 2015

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Octavia Spencer, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoë Kravitz, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet
Director: Robert Schwentke

Dare I say I like this better than Hunger Games ? Would Jennifer Lawrence be offended? It is very much of the same spirit, Dystopian future, haves and have nots, evil boss, friendship, treachery, kick ass heroine all very teen+ but this just edges it for me in the genre. I kind of enjoy watching Shailene Woodley, and the scenery seems just a tad more believable (still pretty unbelievable). They even have the plot device of total simulation to engineer exciting scenes. You disagree? That is totally cool by me, I am still really looking forward to Mockingjay 2 , and The Hanging Tree is still the best song from 2014 movies. By a long chalk.


Django Unchained
2012 Mark: 8.8
Watched:Tue 29 March 2016

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, Walton Goggins, Don Johnson, James Remar, Bruce Dern, Quentin Tarrantino, Jonah Hill
Director: Quentin Tarrantino

Tarantino's best? Taken in context with Inglorious Basteds , this is not just a movie, it's a mirror on humanity, specifically American humanity.

I rewatched this one night in March 2016, I would have watched it when it came out in 2012 and written that one line review in retrospect, since when I have started keeping this review diary. I do worry about my memory, because it was almost like a fresh watch, although I recognised scenes, that was all. The dialogue and plot were kind of all new too me. Ah the benefits of old age! Whatever, I fear that most of these films I rated with hindsight are going to get pulled a little, consequently this has dropped from an 9.5 to the 8.8 you see on the left. It is a brilliant, brilliant film, with that cartoon violence, humour, dialogue, cinematography that are Tarantino's stock-in-trade, but such beautiful characters. Really. Doc Shultz may be my number one cinema hero, Django so thoroughly understandable, Calvin Candie and Stephen - they existed. Any criticisms which this film receives can be entirely refuted - it doesn't joke about slavery, it glorifies the justified revenge and highlights the idiocy and cruelty of the perpetrators (i.e. us)


Donnie Brasco
1997 Mark: 7
Watched:Sat 10 October 2015

Starring: Johnny Depp, Al Pacino. Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, James Russo, Anne Heche, Paul Giamatti
Director: Mike Newell

Straightforward mob v law movie, with some interesting carachters, great dialogue and reasonable (based on true) story. Why do the lawmen always come out as being the unloveable ones in these movies? Al pacino is really good in this.


Double Indemnity
1944 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Fri 7 February 2014

Starring: Fred McMurray, Barbara Stanywick, Edward G Robinson
Director: Billy Wilder

I always feel guilty giving old films relatively low ratings, but they do date. Yes this had great occasional dialogue, reasonable story, good, albeit somewhat falsified characters, but perhaps just as time wears on the film maker has more resources at their disposable, and old films have got to be something very special or, as in the case of Disneys, performed in a medium that is difficult to improve upon. Really, those sunglasses in the supermarket? Not in any universe.


Double Jeopardy
1999 Mark: 5
Watched:Mon 16 March 2015

Starring: Ashley Judd, Tommy Lee Jones, Bruce Greenwood
Director: Bruce Beresford

If it wasn't for Tommy Lee Jones taking the pay-check on this it would have been disappointing Hell... it was still disappointing. Like Taken 3 we have a story carried along on the premise that the massed law enforcement agencies of The United States of America first ignore a protagonist who seems to think, “well that's OK then, I won't just present stone cold evidence to bail me out”, and then ignore the trail of expense created within the tale. It is so frustrating to think that this would happen in this film's own world, let alone the one we actually live in.


Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
1964 Mark: 8.4
Watched: Sun 10 July 2016

Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, James Earl Jones
Director: Stanley Kubrick

Rightfully adjudged a masterpiece, one must wonder has this film made the world a safer place? Constantly amusing, empathic and with the best use of a single tune in the history of film (When Johnny Comes Marching Home), all the actors play their roles to the limit, I would not dispute anybody who gives this a 10, it is just still a bit scary for me to wallow in! Excellent.


Dracula Untold
2014 Mark: 5
Watched:Mon 6 October 2014

Starring: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Samantha Barks, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance, Charlie Cox
Director: Gary Shore

Rise Of The Spartans did the same thing but better. Interesting cast in that it was like watching Game Of Thrones with Rickon Stark, that twat from the Nights Watch (Damned if I can find his name) and Tywin (NB Ramin Djawadi did the theme as well!).


The Dressmaker
2015 Mark: 9
Watched: Mon 7 December 2015

Starring: Kate Winslett, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook, Caroline Goodall
Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse

Yes!!! One of the best films of the year. Hilariously funny without a laugh track, visually a complete treat, and an absolute feast of fantastic caricatures to engross the psyche and invest the emotion. Boom! Kate Winslett makes a lot of films which are exceedingly easy on the eye, I'm sure the cinematographers for this, Labour Day and A Little Chaos didn't swap the lenses.

There defininitely was a surreal 'magic' streak running through this film, I won't tell you the reasons I think that, but I can't wait to talk to somebody to see if they agree. The makers missed a trick by using Macbeth when they could have used Romeo and Juliet and quoted "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet "

If you are going to watch it... Oh just go and watch it. Starts like Tarantino, continues like Tarsem Singh, finishes like Hitchcock.

"There's a mirror tree outside "


Driven To Kill
2009 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Tue 26 August 2014

Starring: Steven Seagal
Director: Jeff F. King

It seems weird given the time elapsed to give these Segal films the same mark or better than some Oscar winning movies. The thing is though, they are entertaining. Not particularly challenging, often laughably executed, unsurprising in outcome, nevertheless they are entertaining. Of the double header we had, Driven to Kill edges it, even though they have the same mark


Driving Miss Daisy ‡
1989 Mark: 7
Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd, Jessicca Tandy†
Director: Bruce Beresford

More Hans Zimmer, more of a Antebellum tinted oil painting than a story


The Drop
2015 Mark: 7.5
Watched: Sun 13 September 2015

Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz, James Frecheville
Director: Michaël R. Roskam

Probably a better film than my enjoyment quotient indicates (and I thoroughly enjoyed it). It was not the sets which held the eye here but a slew of terrific performances from each and every member of the cast, including the dog!). There was a bar, there were backlots, there were poorly lit rooms, and the odd street, but in a 12 Angry Men vein, this story lives off emotion, arc and ambiguity. Sorry if that sounds poncy, but it really deserves credit as an example of story telling for story telling's sake. There are many films I have marked higher, but I would feel less inclined to recommend. I know I'm behind the times, but after Legend (literally unbelievable) and this, I am finally 'getting' Tom Hardy. Shortly to join him on the A list of actors (as opposed to celebrities) is Matthias Schoenaerts, who I have seen play a Frenchman, an Englishman and a New Yorker with equal aplomb in three terrific films ( Far From The Madding Crowd , and this.

It would be amiss of me not to mention James Gandolfini, who died after making this film. Lots of actors do lots of stuff well, but like Leslie Nielsen, James Gandolfini was special, in that he took an archetype character and set the benchmark for playing it. No person will ever, ever exceed the set of traits in such depth and balance as played by Gandolfini as Tony Soprano. Fear, humour, single mindedness, more fear, loyalty, family, ruthlessness, not suffering of fools, being a fool, command, begrudged admiration, genuine admiration and let's not forget fear again. When our Jake says he is the greatest TV character of all time, I cannot, at this moment, think of a good argument to contradict that plaudit.


Dumb and Dumber
1994 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Sat 27 June 2015

Starring: Jim Carey, Jeff Daniels, Terry Garr
Director: Peter Farrelly

Jim Carey is too Jerry Lewis for my liking in this film, that certainly has it’s LOL moments but is hardly challenging. Bill and Ted and Stepbrothers do this so much better


Dungeons And Dragons
2000 Mark: 2
Watched:Mon 12 May 2014

Starring: Jeremy Irons
Director: Courtney Solomon

Non Watcher. Got turned off by Jeremy Irons overdoing it, his henchman reminding me of Right Said Fred only with blue lips and an incredibly sickly heroine. Please tell me if I have got this one wrong


E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
1982 Mark: 10
Watched: Fri 25 December 2015

Starring: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore
Director: Steven Spielberg

I don't like Christmas. I hate that absolutely beautiful records are played on wet wednesdays the week before, washing away any magic they once contained, I hate that people think that being nice just once a year is something cool, (as opposed to being nice all the time). I despise that three and a half thousand people a day die on the roads, yet everybody bleats that somebody's insured Laura Ashley rug got fucking wet. I wish people would just answer my simple questions and thereby fess up to their own shortcomings instead of harping on about goodwill and peace, I am thoroughly depressed that during the few hours of daylight we get, what should be a crisp blue sky is rent by vapour trails of aircraft pouring carbon dioxide into an atmosphere, the fragility of which we can not comprehend, so good people can delude themselves that it is somehow right for them to ruin my view and planet to go swanning off to some third world beach instead of exploring our own, what should be beautiful, country. And I hate, I hate , I hate, more than anything, that by pointing this shit out, I am the bad guy.

But Angela's Christmas dinner, my family and this film are all just perfect, and allow one to forget the tragedy of self-awareness. Sniff. :)


The Edge
1997 Mark: 4
Watched:Sat 8 February 2014

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Elle Macpherson, Alec Baldwin
Director: Lee Tamahori

Why? Did this role pander to Anthony Hopkins vanity or his bank balance. Think about it: it's sunny. It's about mid-day. Mmm, what direction would south be. FUCK – let's say it wasn't sunny. You are in a temperate forest in the Northern hemisphere - even a fucking sperm knows that moss grows on the north side of trees. Just the stupidness of this film made me go to bed, look, I watched it for an hour and had a glass of wine, I wasn't that tired, it was just an unrewarding experience


The Edge Of Tomorrow
2014 Mark: 8.5
Watched:Mon 9 June 2014

Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson
Director: John Wells

This was excellent! Didn't expect it to be half as good, but it turned out to be a ripping yarn, with great, even believable carachters. I have reviewd thisalready and it has disappeared. I remember cos I said it was Pacific Rim meets Groundhog Day in Europe. And it is


Edward Scissorhands
1990 Mark: 4.5
Watched:Wed 6 August 2014

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Weist, Vincent Price, Alan Arkin
Director: Tim Burton

Mmm. I should have liked this more, but I was teetering on finishing it without the end and eventually skipped through a couple of scenes. Why was I not so enamoured with it? If I want colour I'll watch a Wes Anderson film, the story was a little too simple and didn't work within its own Universe (You can't just go and carve topiary from a hedge, it has to be cultivated into shape), the disbelief was never suspended for a moment, it was unsatisfying the characters were one dimensional and I must admit to just hating the way girls like 'Interesting' boys who are really not that interesting and are practically retarded with their conversation skills and pasty face all because it's 'cool'. Whatever.


Elf
2003 Mark: 10.028
Watched:Wed 24 December 2014

Starring: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner, Zooey Deschanel
Director: Jon Favreau

I am such a sucker for films. Watching this with the whole family on Christmas Eve with gin and tonics and chinese snacks and melon and pineaple chunks, with real tears of joy streaming down my cheeks has to be a little compesation for the shitty world we live in and how stupid we all are. The film itself is a masterpiece, Will Ferrell should have got a best actor oscar, James caan should have got support, the comedy is predictable, the story hackneyed, you have a pretty good idea where it's going, and it gets there with economy and humour. Many people putthis top of their Christmas list, and no wonder. Best films featuring Central Park? Elf, Ghostbusters, Enchanted, The Warriors Best films featuring Mary Steenburgen? Elf, Step Brothers, BTTF 3 ! Wow, that is some line up.


End Game
2006 Mark: 7
Watched:Sat 29 March 2014

Starring: Cuba Gooding Jnr., James Woods
Director: Andy Cheng

One of those straight to DVD action movies, very much in the vein of The Shooter . This might have rated higher if only I could have figured out what happened in the end. :(


End Of Watch
2012 Mark: 8
Watched:Fri 20 March 2015

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick, Frank Grillo, America Ferrera
Director: David Ayer

For a film that is somewhat jarring, in both a cinematographic sense (It is largely done as a hand held POV amateur footage), and in terms of its content, (let us describe it as a stream of consciousness documentary of a day in the life of two LA cops), this movie is a minor masterpiece. It takes back the cops are good guys trope, and after the slew of films that expose the corrupt underbelly of law enforcement, or at least how flawed our layered protagonists can be, this just gets on with it and shows a department which is up against some real bad guys, and two officers with whom one can adopt an thorough empathy. I calculate that the film is good enough to stand this degree of spoiler. On reading the reviews I find, this time, that I am not alone, and though it crept under the radar somewhat it is widely regarded as one of the best films of 2012. Masterful performances, no pulled punches, superb dialogue, Michael Pena has got to have a role in Alimente Mexicano . Like '71 or Starred Up , as a pure film this would rate even higher, but I like my stoner comedy and shows at the end with a musical number where everything comes good

If you liked Crash and The Wire you will like this.


Enemy Of The State
1998 Mark: 6
Watched:Tue 18 February 2014

Starring: Will Smith, Jon Voight, Gene Hackman
Director: Tony Scott

I drank a bottle of wine and watched this in bits and am sure I missed something How can surveillance cameras dolly around a target? Who did take the incriminating film? Is Will Smith actually The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Is Jon Voight ever not a politician?


The English Patient ‡
1996 Mark: 4

Starring: Ralph FiennesKristin Scott Thomas, Willem Dafoe, Juliette Binoche†, Naveen Andrews, Colin Firth
Director: Anthony Minghella

Could somebody explain this to me please?


Entourage
2015 Mark: 6
Watched: Mon 14 September 2015

Starring: Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven
Director: Doug Ellin

If you liked American Pie and have grown up two decades, you will love this. I didn't hate it, I thought it was a little ostentatious, somewhat amusing, but not particularly compelling, watching the second half a day or two after the first, as one might a TV program to fill in 45 minutes before you go to bed. Look, I'm NOT dissing it, I'm just spoilt (having just watched Machete ).


The Equaliser
2014 Mark: 5.5
Watched:Wed 1 October 2014

Starring: Denzel Washington, Chloë Grace Moretz, Melissa Leo
Director: Antoine Fuqua

Pretty predictable fodder in which the gnarly old stager (Washington) is persuaded by moral compunction to break out of retirement to take on the bad guys with increasing levels of jeopardy and violence.

Plenty of vigilante justice from the tortured anti hero on Metropolitan East coast where the bad guys are pretty unambigously bad and vice versa for the good ones

It was not worth paying £4 extra for IMAX


Everest
2015 Mark: 7
Watched: Wed 23 September 2015

Starring: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson, Jake Gyllenhaal.
Director: Baltasar Kormákur

I know I always compare films to Gravity , but it is a great benchmark, and fits the bill entirely here, in that we have a film that is very strong on the picture, and one can't complain about the actors. This edges it in that the scenery is as good or better, the story is a little more engaging, and it's kind of real life. It fails on some of the detail. Everest harder than K2? An Alpine Chough flying around at 18,000' ? Touching The Void set the benchmark for this kind of stuff at 4% of the budget


Ex Machina
2015 Mark: 7.5
Watched: Tue 3 February 2015

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander
Director: Alex Garland

This kind of forms a trilogy with Her and Under The Skin , and like both those it is a thoughtful and believable interpretation of the " would a thing pretending to be a woman start behaving like a woman? ". I was fascinated by the characters, especially Amy, and the story was ... good. Yep, I'd recommend this to a film fan.

P.S. Gorgeous soundtrack


Exodus: Gods And Kings
2014 Mark: 5.5
Watched:Sun 28 December 2014

Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley
Director: Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott is not a visionary. He has a lot of money, he has big ideas, but given this has a production budget of $150 million it seems a liitle extravagent for not much story. It eventually just becomes chapter after chapter of epic scenes held together by a loose thread which (Spoiler Alert) is basically; people are enslaved under a good king and everything is peachy, slaves are enslaved by a bad king and fuck off with the help of some super dooper magic bestowed by a real god (as opposed to all those silly Egyptian gods) Oh fuck it's piss-potical and I fell asleep half way through the third plague (were there really ten of them). What were the swords in aid for? What was Sigouney Weaver there for apart from a cheque and her name on the credits? Why didn't Moses just beat his wife up? Without Christian Bale (who is a pleasure to watch) and Aaron Paul (who was on meth) this would not have hauled itself above 5. As it was I'm glad I went to see it as it was a nice afternoon out with Julia, we had a Sub, had a laugh and witnessed how God's wrath truly manifests itself (Junction 32 on a Sunday afternoon in the school holidays)


Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close
2011 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Mon 9 March 2015

Starring: Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow, Viola Davis, John Goodman, Jeffrey Wright
Director: Stephen Daldry

This starts off in the same place as Boyhood, but, I don't want to spoil anything here, the last third of this film really ramps up the value. Moderate characters and flat story turn into interesting, surprising and thoroughly gratifying film. Alexander Desplat once again nails a beautifully timed score, and trust me, it is worth sitting through the first moderate hour, guessing what is going to happen to whom. Good film.


Eyes of Laura Mars
1978 Mark: 6.1 WatchedWed 14 October 2015

Starring: Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif, Rene Auberjonois
Director: Irvin Kershner

Fantastical, dated, unintentionally funny, it kind of held my attention for the duration, but it was a frowner in that you are constantly thinking is this a fantasy, or is it meant to be the real world, and ... Look, the 6 .1 I gave it means I enjoyed it, but I think I am getting picky nowadays. Funny watching Odo, Grima Wormtongue, and young Warden Dwight McCloskey even though Faye Dunaway's almost constant state of shock got annoying.


Face/Off
1997 Mark: 7.4
Watched: Thu 24 December 2015

Starring: Nick Cage, John Travolta, Joan Allen, Alessandro Nivola, Gina Gershon, Dominique Swain, C. C. H. Pounder, Robert Wisdom
Director: John Woo

It so refreshing that a director actually has a name which indicate somthing about his films. Woo. This is just under the threshold of recommend to everybody, in that a lot of the time you are laughing at the film, not with it, yet that is probably me underestimating the awareness of the makers. Watch the first ten mimutes to get a feel of wether you'll like it or not. It is a genre classic and I presume would make a great quote-a-long movie. There are many, many critically acclaimed film with nothing like this much fun in them.


The Fall
2006 Mark: 8
Watched:Thu 1 January 2015

Starring: Lee Pace
Director: Tarsem Singh

Phew! Is this one of the most underrated films I have seen, I mean the story is fantastic, the acting great, the carachters amazing, and the only cinematography which springs to mind to compare is Angel-A which was black and white so can't really is at a differnt place. The colour of Wes Anderson, The breadth of the Cohen brothers, dozens of locations which should be on every globe trotters bucket list, but absolutely wonderful scope for imagination to boot.


The Family
2013 Mark: 3
Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Robert De Niro
Director: Luc Besson

Oh God, I wanted to like it but couldn't love it. Robert De Niro is such a parody of himself. I guess it was worth the watch , but I did find some of it objectionable, even though it was a largely French Film it did typecast the French as Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys and the Americans as hot kick ass and cleverer.


Fantastic Four
2015 Mark: 6.5
Watched: Tue 4 August 2015

Starring: Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson
Director: Josh Trank

Perhaps we have been spoiled by the last few Marvel outings. This never quite gets the humour of its immediate predecessors, it all seems a little 'make my monster grow'ish. Full of phrases like "His biometric scales are off the chart" the science is imaginative and the logic less than impeccable. This sounds like a diss piece, it is not, it is still worth a watch for free, I just wouldn't want to pay eight quid. This review is unsatisfactory. :(


Fantastic Mr Fox
2009 Mark: 8.5
Watched:Sun 16 March 2014

Starring: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Michael Gambon, Jarvis Cocker, Brian Cox, Adrien Brody, Wes Anderson
Director: Wes Anderson

I'm getting spoilt. This is beautifully constructed, So obviously stop-go, yet you forget it is, becoming immersed in this absolutely believable world of anthropomorphic creatures. As good a soundtrack as you'll get from two aspects, in that the song choice is constantly surprising and highly eclectic, and Alexander Desplat is the composer of the moment for me with the original tunes. And the detail, the glorious detail. You could sit and look at one frame for two hours!


Far From The Madding Crowd
2015 Mark: 7.5
Watched: Sat 2 May 2015

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge, Juno Temple
Director: Thomas Vinterberg

I'd like to take this opportunity to give a real big thank you to all the teachers at my school, along with The Joint Matriculation board, for putting me off Thomas Hardy for 30 years*. Considering I was an avid reader, independent thinker and blossoming socialist when I was 15, that must rank as a real mother fuckin' feather in your stupid arrogant, arse licking hats (whoa, have I got a chip on my shoulder or what?). But come on, Hardy was brilliant and only retired from writing because of critics who didn't understand him, then he is flavour of the month for everybody who has to be told why.

*PS I was 15 when I was ordered to read the book, I had never even been wanked off by a chick and was three years off losing my cherry, so how the Earthly fuck did you expect me, as a person who had been bought up a catholic, ergo sex was something you didn't do, to begin to understand this?


Fargo
1996 Mark: 9.5
Watched:Mon 3 July 1905

Starring: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, Harve Presnell
Director: Coen Brothers

It's ages since I've seen this, but I know that every time I watched it I was thoroughly entertained. Stellar acting performances, crowned by Madge Gunderson. Number One female empowerment film, top ten Steve Buscemi dies at the end film (well that's never a spoiler is it?) Only reason it doesn't get ten is because I haven't seen it for yonks.


The Fault In Our Stars
2014 Mark: 8
Watched:Mon 16 June 2014

Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort,Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, Willem Dafoe
Director: Josh Boone

Well is wasn't the booze that made me love this film. Was it personal circumstance? - I don't think so, but you can't help thinking of the ones you love. This had so much otherwise going for it, apart from a reasonable story interspersed with surprises. The message about oblivion and small infinities seems so true, and should be really taken on board. Despite being eye-moistening for a large part, it was still in a way uplifting, and never for a moment did my head nod (that happens a lot nowadays). I have been blessed by a trio of films today (see X-Men 9 and Devil's Knot). I consider myself most fortunate!

P.S. Oscar nomination for Shaleen Woodley? I wouldn't complain!

P.P.S. Two of the tracks near the end sound so like Peter Gabriel I thought they were (You have to listen to the opening dialogue to understand why I mention this)


Field Of Dreams
1989 Mark: 10.06

Starring: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Burt Lancaster
Director: Phil Alden Robinson

Is there anything wasted in this movie? There is no hope for the world, but this film makes you think there might be.

This is my third favourite movie of all time so it would be neglectful not to clarify a few of my thoughts about it. It has the ingredients, and just the correct measure of fantasy interwoven with the story to hook you along entirely. After watching Big Fish I realised something about my favourite films. Bar the Blues Brothers , my favouite films are all about fathers and their kids who need to re-connect. My favourite film of 2014? Saving Mr Banks . Now that film, ergo Mary Poppins , is not about a flying nanny. In a perfect world we have that strong loving bond between parents and children, where attention and encouragement are bywords, where your father doesn't spend his life smoking in a room waiting for the day he can get away and never come out again, where he walks down the street with you, where he comes to watch you play rugby and win races, where he leaves you at least a book in his will. But it's not a perfect world, far from it, its a world where people, even those closest too you, even oneself, are often selfish and ignorant, placing individual comfort before general welfare, placing concealment before bravery, making excuses that have nothing to do with real reasons, and allowing cognigtive dissonance to subsume all logic.

I am one fucked-up guy, but these films help me imagine that redemption is out there somewhere.


Fifty Shades Of Grey
2015 Mark: 6.49
Watched: Fri 13 February 2015

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Rita Ora
Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson

I’ve seen plenty worse films and fallen asleep during better ones. I am pretty sure that this may suffer from Frozen syndrome, i.e. lots of people who haven’t seen it will tell you it’s rubbish. It differs from Frozen in that it is not a cinematic masterpiece with a clutch of absolutely wonderful songs, nevertheless it is not that bad. I wouldn’t want to pay 12 quid to watch it, but I’m glad I went on my Unlimited card, not just to assuage my curiosity, but I also I enjoyed it!

SPOILER ALERT: The thing is, it works in its own scheme, and it is a story which has been told a million times before, in that a reasonably hot, but fundamentally unextraordinary, chick has relationship with a chap who just happens to be “The World’s most eligible bachelor”. It also happens that he apparently goes to work but doesn’t do anything when he is there. Of the two central characters I found that he was the most interesting one by miles, but I think that’s the way it was meant to be. Good choices on Thomas Hardy as book choice and I’m on Fire as background music, and yes, it does pose questions about stated and revealed preferences, and realistic ones at that. It is not ground breaking (fisting, both cunt and ass is off the agenda!), It is as clichéd as fuck at times, and some scenes had me reaching for the mobile to check my texts, nonetheless it is a reasonable story told reasonably well.

The audience was very much of a specific demographic (i.e. not like me). The car park would have been a dangerous place after the packed house for the first showing streamed out at 2:45


Fight Club
1999 Mark: 8.1
Watched: Fri 1 April 2016

Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf Aday, Jared Leto
Director: David Fincher

Another addition to the list of films I rewatched, loved, downgraded just a tad, and could not remember a great deal about, therefore got maximum enjoyment. I mean, I didn't ever realise Helena Bonham Ccarter was in this film, and I definitely appreciated Ed Norton a great deal more this time 'round. This film deserves its classic cult status, though there is a bit of incredulity illicited given the confines of its world


The Fighter
2009 Mark: 9
Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Mark Whalberg, Amy Adams, Christian Bale
Director: David O. Russell

A gem. It is so nice to pick a film off the 'record' list on your vision box which you know nothing about and it turns out to be absolutely captivating. I guess a lot of the film could be traded for a lot of Cinderella man, but hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This film turned me into a Mark Whalberg fan, Christian Bale is at his best and Amy Adams is hot Amy Adams, not that I didn't love her in Enchanted , but this is well, different. Can't wait to see the latter two again in American Hustle


Finding Nemo ‡ (animated)
2003 Mark: 7.9
Watched: Tue 31 May 2016

Starring: Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Andrew Stanton, Barry Humphries, Geoffrey Rush, John Ratzenberger
Director: Andrew Stanton

The best selling DVD of all time, and it is easy to see why, combining its fortuitous time of release and excellence of content. You know there is not much point me reviewing Pixar films, just go out and get the lot.


Finding Neverland
2004 Mark: 8.5
Watched:Mon 8 April 2013

Starring: Johnny Depp, Kate Winslett, Dustin Hoffman, Ian Holme, McKenzie Crook
Director: Marc Forster

Breathes the same air as Big Fish . It had teas welling, especially fond because of the legend. Couldn't help thinking of Hook, the children, the book, really awesome story, the triumph of hope and belief. :)


Fletch
1985 Mark: 6
Watched:Fri 30 October 2015

Starring: Chevvy Chase, Geena Davis, Joe Don Baker, George Wendt
Director: Michael Ritchie

For me, the use of Harold Faltamyer's theme throughout encapsulates the reservations I have about this film. It has all been done better before. This was made the year after Beverly Hills Cop and though I didn't know that whilst I was watching it, I was constantly wondering weather or not it was meant to be a pastiche, I mean the music sounds like a piss-take of the former film's theme, Axel-F . If it is ironic it is delivered poorly. Chevvy Chase is just not that funny for me, his languid, careless 'audacity' just doesn't seem to sit well on a carachter who seems a little past his sell-by date. It's not to say I didn't enjoy it a little, but I think the writer's original reservations about the screeplay might be justified. It could have been a franchise, instead it's a slightly amusing glance at some of the naff things about 1985 and an unknown sequel.


Flight
2013 Mark: 7
Watched:Sat 13 June 2015

Starring: Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, Bruce Greenwood, John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Piers Morgan
Director: Robert Zemeckis

A good film with some notable aspects, If you liked John Goodman in Lebowski , you will like him in this, and if you are a Denzel Washington fan, you will not be dissapointed. Whatever.

If anybody ever reads this who has watched the film, please contact me if you agree/disagree. SPOILER ALERT (a bit). If the portion of the film after the rough take-off and Denzel going to sleep, to it's landing was cut, and pasted at the end of the film, this could have been a more rewarding experience? Even more so with a little judicious editing??


Forrest Gump ‡
1994 Mark: 8

Starring: Tom Hanks, Gary Senise
Director: Robert Zemeckis

Makes you smile


Foxcatcher
2014 Mark: 7
Watched:Thu 15 January 2015

Starring: Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffallo , Katie Holmes, Vanessa Redgrave
Director: Bennett Miller

This would have made a terrific one hour documentary. The carachters are reasonable (Channing Tatum is a little bit like a lunky Keanu Reeves), Steve Carrell is very wierd, the story is worth watching through, but there was a little too much standing around looking moody to maintain the excitment. Definitely worth the watch, if only to pique the curiosity about the affair


Frank
2014 Mark: 8.2
Watched: Fri 22 January 2016

Starring: Domnhall Gleeson, Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gillenhall
Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Like the Ultimate Warrior in WrestleMania 7 this one came outta nowhere, and I thoroughly loved it; the idiosyncracy of the plot and the whimsicle nature of the music. I would never have watched it if Andrew hadn't picked it out from Netflix, but what a good call. Is that Jim Broadbent in the shop early on? If you like all that Ken Loach stuff, you'll like this. For an Irish film, it is really British feeling. Kudos


Freedomland
2012 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Wed 12 August 2015

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Julianne Moore, Edie Falco, LaTanya Richardson, Clarke Peters, Domenick Lombardozzi
Director: Joe Roth

How utterly 'nice' it is to flick through the recorded films on the digibox with a big plate of food on your lap, hit the Samuel L Jackson slot, and instead of getting a Home Of The Brave you get a Changing Lanes . Not critically lauded, fuck the haters, this is like an episode from The Wire , and I guess it is a little drawn out, but doesn't induce any “ I wish I wasn't watching this ” emotions, at least for me. I consider that Julianne Moore's performance is more emotive, perhaps even better than her Oscar winning Still Alice , and Samuel L Jackson is just, himself, awesome!


The French Connection ‡
1971 Mark: 5

Starring: Gene Hackman
Director: William Friedkin

I feel I should like this more, but don't


From Here To Eternity ‡
1953 Mark: 5.2
Watched:Sun 8 November 2015

Starring: Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra†, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed†, Ernest Borgnine, Philip Ober, Jack Warden, Mickey Shaughnessy, Claude Akins, George Reeves.
Director: Fred Zinnemann†

I was left pondering, was this film absolutely stymied by the moral climate that pervaded America at the time? Like The Best Years Of Our Lives some eight years earlier it seemed somehow ridiculous how people slept in separate bedrooms (when they were married), went to brothels but never got anywhere remotely close to 1st Base, talking and perhaps doing the foxtrot being the boundaries, spent most of their free time in a life threatening state of drunkedness, strictly no niggaz, and generaly ended up squaring up for fights with deadly weapons and then standing off and carrying on as if nothing had happened. Montgomery Clift was terrific, but everybody else kind of sucked (even though I generally like Burt Lancaster). The United States in the 50s must have been a seriously fucked up place to live. Saw it out for the sake of the Oscar, but c'mon, Donna Reed was well past her sell by date and Frank Sinatra was certainly nothing unusual.


Frozen ‡ (animated)
2013 Mark: 10.032
Watched:Sun 8 December 2013

Starring: Idina Menzell
Directors: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

I don't want to watch cartoons of animals farting. When you look at the posters for Frozen this is what you might expect. If there was a fart joke I didn't notice it. There probably was, but it would have been subsumed by my general wonder, the first film I watched in 3D and it converted me (actually the short screened beforehand did that; it was called Get A Horse ).
Beautiful animation, superb songs by Robert and Kristen Lopez ( Avenue Q, Book of Mormon ), every Disney and musical cliché in the book - a rejuvenating and re-affirming experience.
The last time I sang my Mum to sleep was whilst I was telling her the story of Frozen , and singing her Do You Want to Build A Snowman? she closed her eyes and I think was happy.


Furious 7 aka Fast & Furious 7
2015 Mark: 7
Watched: Thu 23 April 2015

Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Ludacris Bridges, Kurt Russell, Jason Statham
Director: James Wan

A deep, thoughtful exploration of the existential conflict between the perceived nature of human existence and the reality of reality. An almost Derridesque thesis that dissects the relationships of humanity, focusing on the thought at not just the conscious and tangible, but the deep, primal level, casting the shadow of dichotomy onto our mores, our, loves, our lives.

P.S. It does what is says on the packet, it's fast, it's furious, and if you like this kind of thing you will love this. Seriously, the ending is wonderful.


Fury
2014 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Mon 3 November 2014

Starring: Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs
Director: David Ayer

It'd be kind of hard to imagine someone not enjoying this film one way or another. Within a predictable story arc their are intresting chapters, combined with a steallar cast, great pictures, brutal action and a spooky good score ramp up the value of this film in all departments. Tony said it rejuvinates the war epic. I agree. Good movie


The Gambler
2014 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Fri 23 January 2015

Starring: Mark Whalberg, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Michael K. Williams, Jessica Lange
Director: Rupert Wyatt

Another good turn from Marky Mark, in this he puts the lac in laconic. Like Wild , which I saw the same afternoon, I have to add that this was a GOOD film, a thoroughly enjoyable watch, top side of six and a half. What surprised me was I sat through three films and Wolf Hall, and never nodded once, which says something about how great movies are. I am sure I will look at other films on 7.5 and think WTF?

Last year about this time I mentioned how cool it was the Michel K Williams appeared as a bit part in 12 Years A Slave This year he is strong support. Next year co star, 2016 he will star. He is a great watch

The Shooter, The Fighter, The Gamber, The Happening ... Is there something going on here>


Gandhi ‡
1982 Mark: 8
Watched: Fri 8 January 2016

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Saeed Jaffrey, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, Sir John Gielgud, Trevor Howard, Sir John Mills, Martin Sheen, Amrish Puri, Richard Griffiths, Nigel Hawthorne, Om Puri, Bernard Hill, Daniel Day-Lewis, John Ratzenberger
Director: Richard Attenborough

A must-see film, which one would probably enjoy as I did. It has the magnificent scope of Lawrence Of Arabia , Ben Hur , and The Last Emperor , but is blessed by a better and more significant story, and without wanting to diss any of the actors in the other films draws out the performance which Ben Kingsley was destined for.

I must admit to be curious about what would have happened if there had been no Gandhi, and India had gone into violent rebellion. He actually annoys me a little bit, because I believe that real change comes about through violent action. The end of slavery, Nazism, The emancipation of women and the success of the civil rights movement was not down to opressed sections of society sitting down and sipping tea whilst champions of humanity argued their case to vested interests. I guess The Man would love this film to be on every school curriculum, to educate people into calm subservience. You wouldn't see a film on how the Red Brigade really died in prison.


Gascoigne
2015 Mark: 7.5
Watched: Fri 18 September 2015

Starring: Paul Gascoigne, Gary Linekar, Jose Murhino, Wayne Rooney
Director: Jane Preston

A much more enjoyable film than I imagined it would be. If Paul Gascgoine is the best player in blah de blah, why did this documentary resort to showing the same goals several times over. It kind of increased my respect for him as a player a tad, but more as a man, in that this guy has had demons by the dozen to confront.


The General
1926 Mark: 7
Watched:Wed 16 September 2015

Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack
Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton

This sets so many precedents on this page, in that it is the oldest film so far reviewed (by several years) and it is the only original silent one so far. That makes it difficult to judge, but funddamentally I have to ask myself, how much enjoyment did I get from it?

I saw it listed in a list of 100 great action movies, and as Machete from the same list was so brilliant, and that it might be a quiz question I gave it a shot. Was it a comedy or was it an action film? I think it was an early major Hollywood production trying to find out. Was the story good? Yes, it was OK. Compelling protagonist? Yes, I got a bit mixed up with the bit parts, but Keaton and his girl were easy to identify with. Was the action good? Yes, it actually was great, a little more slapstick than Kung Fu Hustle , nevertheless it had a wow factor, especially taken in context. The acting? Brilliant, in that these people had to convey words through actions (there were dialogue cards, but they were relatively few and far between), so the exagerrated motions really feed the imagination.

In addisition these old films always carry a nostalgia factor that perhaps adds to their enjoyment quotient, so this film turns out to be more enjoyable than say Entourage and any amount of reasonable cinema-fodder. Glad I watched it.

Just an afterthought: Is this film the victim of hype? Yes, I think so. On release it was slated and then forgotten about, then all of a sudden it becomes one of the best movies ever made, like somehow it has gone through a metamorphosis. It has been the same film all along, reasonably intresting, reasonably well made, and well acted. The Southern cause (i.e. slavery) was wrong. It didn't just become wrong in 1968, therefore it is difficult to root for a side which uses appeal to loyalty rather than logic as its battle cry. There is the wierd undercurrent of comedy which I do believe could have been left out. Anyhoo, it is not me who should be justifying my opinion, it should be the consegneti who appear to have gone through a Van Goughesque change of mind.


Gentleman's Agreement ‡
1947 Mark: 8
Watched: Sun 20 December 2015

Starring: Gregory Peck†, Anne Revere, Dorothy McGuire, June Havoc, John Garfield, Albert Dekker, Celeste Holm†
Director: Elia Kazan

Really good film. I reckon this one might get the biscuit award for the 'best message', in that it was coming out with stuff, namely that nice people behave terribly, that I still fail to articulate 70 years after Elia Kazan did it so well with this. You can feel how an old film is groundbreaking, it must be the aura of the performance, but this one almost didn't get released in an America so paronoid about its own hangups that they were picking on 'communists' to assuage themselves of guilt. Note to self, don't judge the love content of old films by modern values. Our norms will be equally ridiculous in 70 years time.


Get Hard
2015 Mark: 8
Watched: Tue 28 April 2015

Starring: Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart, Alison Brie, Edwina Findley, Craig T Nelson, T.I., John Mayer, Jimmy Fallon
Director: Etan Cohen

This seems weird, giving it an eight, because really an eight is pretty good loft to the boundary, and this seemed far too derivative to be given this high accolade, nevertheless, in terms of personal enjoyment I was giggling all the way through and Will Ferrell's genius carries any weaknesses.

Somebody please tell me that the scriptwriters looked at Trading Places and thought “ We can't remake a film so perfect, so we will change a few cosmetic plot elements, leave loads of them in along with a couple of scenes, and not credit the original ”. The more I think about it the more blatant it becomes.

Whatever, If you like Will Ferrell, you will like this, If you like the juxtaposition of a fundamentally good, but privileged, ergo deluded white guy with a sassy, street wise, struggling brother, you will like this. I am struggling to prevent myself from a retrospective downgrade, but don't. I liked this!!!


Ghost Rider 2: Spirit Of Vengance
2013 Mark: 6
Watched:Tue 2 September 2014

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Christopher Lambert, Idris Elba.
Director: Mark Neveldine,Brian Taylor

I can't remember if I watched this film to the end. I can't remember if I enjoyed it. It was a night in which I may rember saying "ah give it a six then"


Ghostbusters
1984 Mark: 9

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis
Director: Ivan Reitman

A film so good, it could have been directed by John Landis, not even dana Barret's hair has dated, andf that planning officer still has no dick. There is actually not much point reviewing a film like this, because if you have seen it you know what a classic it is, and if you haven't you have been dead and since it's release


The Gift
2015 Mark: 8
Watched: Tue 11 August 2015

Starring: Jason Bateman, Joel Edgerton, Rebecca Hall
Director: Joel Edgeton

Absolutely cracking movie, with loads of respect for Joel Edgerton, who, if there was an Oscar Triathlon for writing, directing and acting would win! A $5 million budget (compared with the 100s you normally get) has put a film up which delivers suspense and mystery but without resorting to the paranormal, and if the devices it uses are pre-loved, they were impeccably re-packaged and, at least to me, seemed fresh and good to go. There were lots of questions unanswered, curiosity was piqued to say the least about the past and futures of the cast, Rebecca Hall looks like Emily Blunt, and Jason Bateman took his Paul role to the next level, and would sit with honour on any list of acting award nominees come the end of the year. But Joel Edgerton – wow, the new Alfred Hitchcock! Roll on The Gif2


Gladiator ‡
2000 Mark: 9

Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquim Phoenix
Director: Ridley Scott

The film is good but Joaquim Phoenix sets the template for bad mother fuckers


The Glimmer Man
1996 Mark: 7.1
Watched: Sat 6 August 2016

Starring: Steven Segal, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Bob Gunton, Brian Cox, Stephen Tobolowski
Director: John Gray

Shh! Don't tell anyone. I really quite enjoyed this. Its a fairly typical buddy movie, but for all its predictability and Segal's unique acting talents it works as a slab of watch. It's beginning to fade in my memory already, but you can't help liking Steven Segal. (Well actually, you could, but after On Deadly GroundI don't.


The Godfather ‡
1972 Mark: 8

Starring: Marlon Brando†, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton
Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Overrated. Very very good, but definitely not the best film ever. I reckon people say they love this because they want to be thought of as stand-up guys


The Godfather Part II ‡
1974 Mark: 7

Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton
Director: Francis Ford Coppola

Good, but not that good


Godzilla
2014 Mark: 6
Watched:Wed 28 May 2014

Starring: Aaron Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston
Director: Gareth Edwards

A six, at the time of writing, makes me feel like I'm dissing this film, but hell no. Watched it in 3d and it is a spectacular film, but like Gravity , special effects alone do not make a great film.

I was quite happy that it didn't go for absolute household names in the actors (well they may be in some households, but me, I'm forgetful). Brian Cranston does a really good turn, and apart from Ken Watanabe (who seems to be on sedatives the whole film, probably not his fault), the entire cast do what they have to do, and that is be in awe.

So all in all a great cinema experience, but a bit like watching a trick golf show as opposed to the last round of the Masters


Gone Girl
2014 Mark: 7.5
Watched:Mon 6 October 2014

Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Missi Pyle
Director: David Fincher

Ripping yarn, made special by Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck who seem cast perfectly. Without plot revalations there is not a great deal to say about this. It typifies the good movie experience for me with a cast you get absolutely invested into, and a thread that keeps you awake.


Gone With The Wind ‡
1939 Mark: 3
Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Clarke Gable, Vivienne Leigh
Director: Victor Fleming

Why do people like this so much? 'Cos it was in colour? 'Cos it lasted four hours? 'Cos there is like musical interludes in it? Good old fashioned Southern Racism? Did it appeal to the self righteous ignorance of humans I so despise? Whatever. There is four hours of Vivienne Leigh being a spoilt slut then Clark Gable says, "Tomorrow is just another day" "Frankly my dear I don't give a damn" then the credits roll. Read that last sentence six times and I've saved you a day of your life.


The Good Dinosaur
2015 Mark: 3.6
Watched: Mon 7 December 2015

Starring: Raymond Ochoa, Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, John Ratzenburger
Director: Peter Sohn

Boo! Not boo hate the makers, boo sad, in that this, like Hotel Transylvania 2, just doesn't seem to be anything more than a colourful screen of what adults think kids would like. Don't get me wrong, kids like MacDonald's, and those beef burgers can provide a quick fix, but like a MacDonald's, the pictures are better than what you actually get shoved through your car window with an "enjoy your meal" from somebody who probably hasn't thought about what they are actually saying. If you are going to have such spectacular rendering, why spoil it with a lead character that visually seems about as complex as Scooby Doo? Why even a dinosaur? Unlike Inside Out I actually felt a little insulted by the science, I mean it could have been The Good Dog or any combination of anthropomorphic characters and it would not have made a ha'porth of difference. Patronising, and completely unsatisfying. Tell me how it ended.


Good Morning Vietnam
1987 Mark: 8.5
Watched:Sun 16 March 2014

Starring: Robin Williams, Forrest Whitaker
Director: Barry Levinson

A beautiful film by one of my favourite directors. It is incredibly difficult to convey spontaneous humour to a film (see Martin and Lewis , eeeuw!) yet this film succeeds despite that and Robin Williams. You see Robin Williams can occasionally deliver the irony, the poignancy, and his best pitch at that is within this film, while he is entertaining the guys in the traffic convoy (sniff :(). Comedic, thought provoking, did this film pave the way for a retro soundtrack starring in a film? (Personally I don't particularly like that, nevertheless I don't remember many films before this being vehicles for classic Raaack or R&B)


Goodbye Mr Chips
1939 Mark: 8.8
Watched: Thu 28 April 2016

Starring: Robert Donat, Greer Garson, John Mills, David Croft
Director: Sam Wood

Robert Donat was awarded a best actor for this, and no wonder. An absolutely delightful performance within a captivating film, which for all it's tweeness contains fist-pumping, shout out moments, a film that takes one back to a, perhaps fictional, better time but definitely to all that one feels is noble and good about humanity. This was up against Gone With The Wind, and whilst I do not dispute it taking second place on the technicalities, this is just a whole different and more enjoyable watch altogether. Go 1939! And Greer Garson!


Grace Kelly
1983 Mark: 5.5
Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Cheryl Ladd, Ian McShane, Lloyd Bridges, Christina Applegate
Director: Anthony Page

Made for TV semi hagiography. Good background, I just wish Ian McShane had been lying in the mud when Grace Kelly came to town and looked up at her through his beaten eyes and growled "Welcome to fuckin' Monaco"


Grace Of Monaco
2014 Mark: 8
Watched:Tue 24 June 2014

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth, Frank Langella
Director: Olivier Dahan

I would say that either I am missing something or the haters are wrong. This is a good, nay sweet, watch, starting out pretty much at the level of The Grace Kelly Story (It is difficult not to think of Lloyd Bridges as her father), but develops a fascinating story with fine turns and a cast you feel you get to know. Now it may be complete bollocks regarding factual accuracy, but that never stopped Argo from being recognised as a good film. The factual side of it intrigued me enough to eight it. Nicole Kidman is now on my shortlist for nominations for best actress (along with Shailene Woodley in The Fault In Our Stars )


The Grand Budapest Hotel
2014 Mark: 8
Watched:Mon 10 March 2014

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, a DEFINITE but unmentioned George Clooney
Director: Wes Anderson

This was just a great watch with a passable story, great lead characters, enjoyable humour, but absolutely exquisite pictures and a brilliant music soundtrack, with original stuff by Alexander Desplat (always liked him since The King's Speech ) and go out and get music from The Moscow Balalaika orchestra. What an absolute contrast in terms of vivid colour next to 300 (2) which I went to watch afterwards. Could easily be nominations for both actors, music, cinematography, costumes etc. and perhaps even film. It's what unlimited tickets are made for


Gravity
2013 Mark: 6
Watched:Wed 18 December 2013

Starring: George Clooney, Sandra Bullock
Director: Alfonso Cuarón

At 3/1 for the best film Oscar this should have to be special on multiple levels. It is special on many levels, for example, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney nail Sandra Bullock and George Clooney performances, which are endearing, comfortable, witty, yadda yadda yadda. The Cinematography, along with the sound is like wow!! Breathtaking (Note to self, go and watch it in 3d).
Getting finicky about geography and physics is anal, fundamentally we go and watch a film for characters and story so...
Spoiler Alert
It is the Poseidon Adventure in reverse, a collection of vignettes involving the protagonist(s) moving through a succession of frying pans and fires and 'finding themselves' along the way. It is not as corny and Sandra Bullock has a million times better ass than Gene Hackman though. If I were a chick I would definitely be gay for that (Bullock, not Hackman).
Am I missing something here?


The Great Gatsby
2013 Mark: 5
Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprioTobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki
Director: Baz Luhrman

Half an hour to long, too much Jay Z, never got the book, get the film too easy. It's a picture though.


The Green Mile
1999 Mark: 10.026

Starring: Tom Hanks, James Cromwell, Sam Rockwell, Michael Clark Duncan, David Morse, Doug Hutchison, Gary Senise
Director: Frank Darabont

I do like this kind of film, where the universe is similar to ours but is placed firmly enough away and set up to be shackled from the constraints of our normality in a credible and consistent way. It allows the imagination to race and the A to be mazed in a moving and thought provoking way. The story lobs its way, through is it one hour? Is it three hours? Who knows?* and each role, for good, bad, mixed or indifferent is served up by a cast who don't ever put a hair out of place, metaphorically speaking, John Coffey doesn't have any hair. Billy The Kid and Percy Whatmore – now there are two bad-ass dudes!

*PS, It's over three hours!!!


Groundhog Day
1993 Mark: 9
Watched:Sat 2 February 2013

Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell
Director: Harold Ramis

Standard, but terrific concept, sympathetically put together, well acted, poignant moments, this is a must watch film on February 2nd every year. I got you babe.


Guardians Of The Galaxy
2014 Mark: 6.5
Watched:Tue 12 August 2014

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro
Director: James Gunn

I think this film may have caught me at the wrong time, in that I must have nodded off during parts of it. I kind of liked it but forgot most of it as well. The soundtrack thing didn't sit comfortably with me and I am ashamed cos my daughters love it. I s


Hamlet ‡
1948 Mark: 7
Watched: Sun 7 February 2016

Starring: Laurence Olivier, Basil Sydney, Jean Simmons, Patrick Troughton, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, John Laurie, Stanley Holloway
Director: Laurence Olivier

A very strange film to review, in that I don't really know for sure if it is really good or bloody terrible. Of course, it's an Oscar winner, but I found Hamlet himself and Ophelia way too over the top and the sets are often flimsy; had it been a stage production these would have been admirable. It was a film though, and though I know it was old, many films have preceeded it which shame it in terms of cinematagrophy and design. It is cinema, and the play is not the (only) thing. All that aside, it is a good tale, the dramatis personnae pique the interest, and I did enjoy it, much more than when I watched it several years ago. Value is definitely added by the very canonicity of the thing, with every third phrase being recognisable as a modern idiom or title, as well as by the cast, but come on.. Hamlet is actually 11 years older than his mother off screen, and you can tell. Luvvies - I don't know!


The Happening
2008 Mark: 4.5
Watched:Sat 27 December 2014

Starring: Mark Whalberg, Zooey Deschanel
Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Maintained the interest for 75% of the film, but it went nowhere, had the most glaring plot holes (like a train full of people are diverted then dumped in nowhere Pennsylvania and they all drive off in cars) and some of the acting was frankly terrible. No science, no twists, it was less than a five, just..


Happy Feet ‡ (animated)
2006 Mark: 7.1
Watched: Thu 5 May 2016

Starring: Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving
Director: George Miller

For a long portion of this film I was imagining I could have been doing something else, but, at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, I am glad that I watched it. My criticisms would include the bowdlerisation of tunes which are probably overplayed anyway, the weird anthromorphisation of the penguins, casual, non-particularly funny racism, the Westernisation of major issues and most importantly, the lack of imagination with the story. I mean this could have been humans, or mice, or lions or anything, it just seems like George Miller has taken the story and imprinted it on penguins. Having said that, the music did have its moments (but don't watch it for the music, watch Moulin Rouge instead, the film definitely becomes more compelling a watch in the last 45 minutes and the rendering is just gorgeous. I feel a bit mean, but perhaps its just that George Miller does films for some kind of people but not me, there is no two ways about it, people love his stuff.


Happy Gilmore
1996 Mark: 10.024

Starring: Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Julie Bowen, Carl Weathers
Director: Denis Dugan

A message to anybody who has never watched films before, but is thinking about starting. Watch this before any other Adam Sandler films, and you will forgive him for all his sins. Is this the greatest sports film ever made (no, Field Of Dreams is), nevertheless this is the greatest sports comedy. The thing is, everybody wants to be Happy Gilmore, and if somebody doesn't want to be, well then who would want to be them. It takes the dream and colours it in, with wit, timing, Magic by Pilot, superb stereotyping of characters, self effacing product placement, cameos. Oh it's sweet!


Hard To Kill
1990 Mark: 6.8
Watched: Wed 23 December 2015

Starring: Steven Seagal, Kelly Le Brock, William Sadler
Director: Bruce Malmuth

Did I enjoy this more than The Revenant ? Well yes, I did. Three days later I've already forgotten what happened, but I do remember saying to Jake that if Steven Segal's entrance involved him in a long black leather coat backlit in the dark striding towards the camera in slow motion I would not watch the film. He actually was wearing a short coat. He is damn hard to kill though.


The Harry Hill Movie
2013 Mark: 2
Watched:Thu 26 December 2013

Starring: Harry Hill, Julie Walters
Director: Steve Bendelack

Perhaps we all get a little cynical, given the deluge of finely tuned wit, cinematography, plot and general workmanship of media available. I reckon for this film you'd have to put yourself in the shoes of a kid who loves Harry Hill. I fell asleep for a few moments, I would have spent ten quid going to see Frozen a second time, but I have an unlimited card and this was on so I thought I'd give it a try. Not my cup of tea, but if you like Harry Hill and his zany collar, you will be in clover here. I didn't find Annie Hall particularly funny, so what do I know?
I wasn't suicidal after it. Still more enjoyable than Gone With The Wind though and about three days shorter.


The Hateful Eight
2015 Mark: 7.7
Watched: Wed 20 January 2016

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern
Director: Quentin Tarantino

My lucky number is 8, H for Hateful is the eighth letter of the alphabet, it would have been appropri8 to give it an 8 but... But... dare I say the gore got to be a bit of a bore? At close to three hours, with beautiful filming, some genuinely brilliant, hilarious, acting and superb, brimming with quoteable quotes, dialogue, I just had a few reservations about the nigger jokes and the rendering body parts. I'll stand to be corrected (I didn't like Pulp Fiction the first time I saw it!!!!

Fuck Cineworld, who didn't show it in their theatres


Heat
1995 Mark: 7
Watched:Mon 22 December 2014

Starring: Al Pacino, Robert DiNiro, Jon Voight, Val Kilmer, Danny Trejo, Tone Loc, Ashley Judd, Hank Azaria, Tom Sizemore, Bill Fitchner
Director: Michael Mann

A very good film with a stellar cast, if anything subsumed within the whole cops and robbers oeuvre to such an extent that three days and two films and half a bottle of gin after watching it I can't really remember that much about the story. I suppose I could easily watch it again and enjoy it. You have gotta like Al Pacino.


The Help
2011 Mark: 8.5
Watched:Tue 20 October 2015

Starring: Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer† , Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Ahna O'Reilly, Chris Lowell, Sissy Spacek, Mike Vogel, Cicely Tyson, LaChanze, Allison Janney, Mary Steenburgen, Anna Camp
Director: Tate Taylor

Mean Girls for grown-ups. What is there not to just love about terrific films? I'm sure that 90% of films I watch have a pretty close mark within 3 minutes, you can just tell they are going to be good from the timing, the music, the pictures, the acting. This was going to have had to screw up royally after not a particularly outstanding beginning, more just a damn near perfect step into a bath that was exactly the right temperature. Thomas Newman's music was beautifully folksy, and only two nominations for best actress/supporting actress??? There could have been at least five. I like this civil rights film more than 12 Years and Selma , because it seems to be more readily identifiable with today. That cast. Walt Disney studios. My goodness films are good nowadays.

(Of couse there were quite a lot of disses for it's 'White Saviour' narrative, but really, it was Jackson in the 50s and 60s, how else would one frame the story?)


Her
2013 Mark: 9
Watched:Thu 11 December 2014

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Olivia Wilde, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Spike Jonze

This might be the cleverest film I have ever seen. (By definition I wouldn't know for sure, but let's take a wild punt).

It provided a great story done in a very original way, yet you were never sure which way it was going to go or what message it was giving. was it Blade Runner ?, Terminator ??, A love story???, You can't tell, but you could speculate and the film, despite being a rock solid narrative, left that wiggle room to ponder. The acting was great, I loved Joaquin's outfits, Samantha was completely nailed, the music by Arcade Fire was an absolute pleasure. I have been looking forward to this film for a year, and no wonder. I was never, for a second, let down, but the surprise was so constant the humour so black and hilarious, the empathy so genuine my jaw nearly dislocated it was hanging open so much.


Hero
2002 Mark: 6
Watched:Fri 20 March 2015

Starring: Jet Li
Director: Zhang Yimou

You know I could get kind of tired of watching this kind of film. Although exquisitely rendered, and with interesting characters, the story seems a little hackneyed If you have seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon , you have seen the best bits of this film. Please tell me I have not missed something here! If this film's slow motion had been real time it would have lasted 30 minutes. I think you have to be very much of a mindset to appreciate films like this, which are undoubtedly quite beautiful. I am sure IMAX would bring out the best in this, but when push comes to shove, the story is leaden, and the protagonists predictable. I could imagine this being an absolutely wonderful wall hanging, but don't expect to be stunned by plot twists. It is magnificent to look at though.


The Complete History of America (abridged)
1992 Mark: 3
Watched:Tue 12 July 2011

Starring: Reduced Shakespeare Company
Director: Jerry Kernion

One of those rare DVD's I took off before the end. It was contrived, the jokes were often puerile, yes there was some reasonable points, but not enough to stop me quitting it with less than half an hour to go. Yes I know, it was a film of a stage show, but it still struck me that this company has a concept, applies it to a topic, and is not eclectic enough in choosing succinct material. Whatever


A History Of Violence
2005 Mark: 4
Watched:Fri 11 July 2014

Starring: Vigo Mortenssen, Maria Bello, Ed Harris, William Hurt
Director: David Cronenberg

It is a rare occasion that I turn a film off rather than just fall asleep, and less than a five is equally scarce. Nevertheless, why? I kind of was enjoying this film, but really I would prefer Home Front as a quiet guy defends his family film by several degrees. The actors are OK, there is nothing particularly bad about the clichéd story, but there are such huge gaps in the credibility of this particular world that the story fails to hold together

  • Why, Why oh fucking why, when an ex super assassin has been shot in the foot does he go to work without the car, especially considering the high probability the bad guys are coming for him? OK then, why doesn't he get somebody to give him a lift home?? Oh because he can limp as fast a limousine across half a county.
  • Who trained his kid to be a fucking ninja? I mean this guy gets shoved in the outfield and is regarded as a looser. Did nobody spot his training regimen that enables him to Bruce Lee the two bullies. OK then, why is the school continuing to employ the sports master who failed to spot that talent... Oh I see, because given the attitude of some of the other witnesses in the corridor, that school is ambivalent to violent ongoing drama.
  • Vigo: "I'm not on witness protection, I'm not an ex professional killer" Cop: "OK" - Now that's police work.

    Nah, not for me. Sorry!

    P.S. What do I know?:- Rotten Tomatoes 87% Metacritic, 81 out of 100, Best film of 2005 in the Village Voice Film Poll and for Mark Kermode. Empire named the film the 448th greatest film of all-time!

    WTF?


    Hitman; Agent 47
    2015 Mark: 6
    Watched: Sun 6 September 2015

    Starring: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, Ciarán Hinds, Thomas Kretschmann,
    Director: Aleksander Bach

    Did I enjoy 50 shades more than this? Yes I did. I am looking back on it quite fondly, and a 6 seems a bit low, but I am not allowed to change it. I think it is the Last Man Standing indestructability of the protagonists which detracts from the plot. I mean, you are not left thinking that a piano is going to fall on them. Poor old Mance Raider :(


    The Hobbit 1: An Unexpected Journey
    2012 Mark: 9
    Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

    Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan etc
    Director: Peter Jackson

    A top notch spectacle. I suppose it doesn't get a higher rating because it is a little slim on story arc – not that there isn't one


    The Hobbit 2: Desolation Of Smaug
    2013 Mark: 8
    Watched:Fri 13 December 2013

    Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan etc
    Director: Peter Jackson

    OK Julia, first things first, this is a very good film. I liked number one more and I just thought this stretched the tale a little too much. I have read the book ten times, so I was always going to be critical


    The Hobbit 3: The Battle of the Five Armies
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Fri 12 December 2014

    Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Orlando Bloom
    Director: Peter Jackson

    The must see film for December 2014, it was merely OK, with good shit to watch but not a great story and the characters had already been developed, so ... I really think perhaps two or even one long film would have done for The Hobbit , I don't know if I would have felt differently if I hadn't read the book at least 10 times, and there is no two ways about it, Peter Jackson set the benchmark with Fellowship , but this trilogy just felt as if it were padded out. Game of Thrones gets the distillation of books about right, leaving one wishing for more, excited about the prospects. This doesn't.


    Home
    2015 Mark: 6.5
    Watched: Thu 23 April 2015

    Starring: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin
    Director: Tim Johnson

    Where do I start? I mean, this was a lovely watch, not entirely my cup of tea, but I would love to take Grace to see it (my two year old niece) in two year's time. I enjoyed Rihanna's contribution, as Tip, the heroine, and soundtrack. O (the alien protagonist) would have been better without me thinking of Sheldon Cooper at his gayest all night. Loved some of the homages, I may be wrong but “A bit of a fixer upper” was a direct lift from Frozen , the musical motif was the six note riff from Tomorrow (from Annie ) and really, was there a nod to the Ultimate Dog Tease?


    Home Alone
    1990 Mark: 7.3
    Watched:Mon 23 November 2015

    Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O'Hara, John Candy
    Director: Chris Columbus

    Revist to a staple, some might call classic. I watched it in two parts, and, without any doubt, it was the second half which turned it around for me. The church scene was touching, the break-in pure comedy gold. Macaulay Culkin was not that good (yes, I know, he was only two, but I mark these for my enjoyment, not the gratification of his parents), and, well it's a Christmas movie, so it can get away with a deal of hokum! Definitely worth watching once.


    Home Front
    2013 Mark: 6
    Watched:Sun 8 December 2013

    Starring: Jason Statham
    Director: Sylvester Stallone

    Sweet. A variation on the 'Man with No Name', 'quiet stranger', loving father – look, you could write the script, but you didn't, Sylvester Stallone did, and like Cop Land he has made just a great film to watch


    Hook
    1991 Mark: 9.5

    Starring: Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Phil Collins, Gwyneth Paltrow! Glen Close?
    Director: Stephen Speilberg

    This must drop in to many 'most underrated' categories. Some of John Williams's finest music, a completely different take on the Peter Pan story without diverging from the original mystery, darkness, comedy and optimism of the original JM Barrie play and book. Dustin Hoffman always gets cited for Rainman, Tootsie, whatever, but in this. The absolutely perfect villain. Eloquent yet paranoid to an absurd degree, I just wish I could go that particular alternate universe where Jack Baur gets his ass kicked by Hook, Hans Gruber and Jim Carey's Riddler working as a team.


    Hotel Transylvania 2
    2015 Mark: 2.8
    Watched: Mon 16 November 2015

    Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon, Mel Brooks, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally
    Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

    Like being forced to watch poor kids TV, albeit with excellent pictures, but just hackneyed characters, and predictable "We love you only if you fit in despite us telling you we love you if you don't" platitude sodden story.


    How To Train Your Dragon
    2010 Mark: 8
    Watched:Sat 27 December 2014

    Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Christopher Mintz-Plasse.
    Directors: Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois

    Why didn't anybody tell me what a good film this was. The trailers to number 2 put me off seeing it, but I have to admit some aspects of this film were as good as it gets. Excellent dialogue, reasonable story, very identifiable characters, brilliant animation, these are good good good


    The Hudsucker Proxy
    1994 Mark: 5
    Watched:Mon 3 July 1905

    Starring: Tim Robbins
    Director: Coen Brothers

    Bit of a let down after all the other great films by Joel and Ethan Coen


    The Hundred Foot Journey
    2014 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Mon 15 September 2014

    Starring: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon
    Director: Lasse Hallström

    After watching Pride a couple of hours earlier I was still high and in no real position to judge this objectively. I enjoyed it, but was it because I was in a super mood and pliable to all cinematic suggestion? It may have been you know, because objectively it was a nice story, amusing in places amidst scenery that was too lovely, yet... I dunno. 6.5 still says 'good film', it'll be interesting to compare this to Chef that comes out in a couple of days


    The Hunger Games: 1
    2012 Mark: 6
    Watched:Thu 20 November 2014

    Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland
    Director: Gary Ross

    A re-watch prior to Mockingjay part 1 , The film is interesting enough apart from it just seems to constantly break the rules of its own universe, I mean two arrows then all go to sleep??? Come on. I actually liked it better this time round but some of the things they do are plum ridiculous. I think the fire and the dogs would really piss off some of the punters in capital city who had wagered 48 groats on Katniss success, but ... Here are four parcels which some of you really neeeeed. Oh PS in case you forgot you are trying to kill each other. How sporting of the contestants just to risk life getting their own bag given that as far as we know the other bags were critical to their rivals and could have been easily snatched for little extra risk. Etc.. Fucking barmy.


    The Hunger Games: 2 Catching Fire
    2013 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 25 November 2013

    Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman
    Director: Francis Lawrence

    Made me want to read the third book to by-pass the two parter third instalment. Reasonable Lost meets The Hunger Games 1 . It is better than the first, in that it works within its own universe whereas number one didn't make sense in any imagination I could comprehend


    The Hunger Games: 3 Mockingjay Part 1
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 24 November 2014

    Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer
    Director: Francis Lawrence

    Another notch up the scale. I reckon I never really enjoyed the constraints of the first two films once 'the Games' were on. In this third film there are no games therefore it becomes more difficult for the film makers just to invent shit, and, for me, this makes for a much more satisfying film. Do I detect the cast getting better as well, or is it just familiarity?? Now that I have adopted Jennifer Lawrence I realise that her Katniss mode kind of works, the action was good, the story meaty enough, the characters good, the music excellent and all in all it is a perfect set-up for the last instalment without being just that alone. I now officially want a Mockingjay badge.


    The Hunger Games: 3 Mockingjay Part 2
    2015 Mark: 7.3
    Watched:Thu 26 November 2015

    Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Natalie Dormer
    Director: Francis Lawrence

    How wierd is that. I've just ordered two Mockingjay badges and I like the films even more! Probably the most unimaginative thing I'll ever do in my life is compare this too Maze Runner 2 , and it is unfair too, as this is a whole lot classier, with better carachters and a wider definition of story arc. Take some popcorn to get you through the Lord of The Rings ish last 10 minutes, but that is scant criticism for a film which, I am sure, will satisfy for the fan and constitutes a good watch for the completist (I fall into the latter bracket). How did they get all that stuff with Phillip Seymour Hoffman?


    The Hurt Locker ‡
    2009 Mark: 4

    Starring: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo, Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, David Morse, Guy Pearce
    Director: Katherine Bigelow

    I am writing this quite a long time after I've seen the film, and I think I may watch it again as I am beginning to imagine it may have been worth a tad more than I remember


    I Origins
    2014 Mark: 6
    Watched:Wed 1 October 2014

    Starring: Michael Pitt, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey
    Director: Mike Cahill

    Oh really? Well filmed, interesting story which kind of goes nowhere after a while, the dramatis personae are engaging but I was just left thinking that this was a religious film pretending not to be, like a friendly evangelist who leaves you feeling disappointed because its fundamental premise and subsequent conclusions are appealing to believers yet fundamentally repetitive and absolutely flimsy in their assumptions and proofs.

    One of the finest books I have read is In The Blink Of An Eye (Andrew Parker, 2003) and it touches, in fact trumps this film by a factor of magnitude close to infinity! God people are annoying, God people pretending they are not are downright dangerous. Agnostics giving hokum credit because it cannot be disproved are subscribing to the most common fallacy trotted out in the sometimes impressive but fundamentally insubstansive Religious arsenal; the celestial teapot. If one believes a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, it is nonsensical to expect others to believe the same on the grounds that they cannot prove one wrong.

    It goes back to the first film I watched today, What We Did On Our Holiday Lying.


    The Imitation Game
    2014 Mark: 9.5
    Watched:Fri 21 November 2014

    Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightly, Steven Waddington
    Director: Morten Tyldum

    Absolutely super super film. It doesn't get a 10 because I didn't think it delved into the sceptre of human badness regarding 'sexual deviants' enough. Most people who voiced an opinion in the day thought gays should be castrated and were disgusting even though, it seems in Alan Turing's case, he never hurt a fly. Of course that wouldn't happen nowadays would it? Would you?

    Whatever, the film was a masterpiece, a fantastic yarn, compelling protagonists (my voice is getting higher now) a historical background, Alexander Desplat Music and great performances. Benedict Cumberbatch should be a slam dunk for the best actor. I'm off to put a bet on him now! If I had to rate films on enjoyment (which I do) the two best films of the year both are messages for tolerance, with Pride edging it. If I had the rate films on value they would still be the two best, but I'd give this one 10.5 and the edge.


    In Bruges
    2008 Mark: 8.5
    Watched:Wed 14 May 2014

    Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleason, Ralph Fienes
    Director: Martin McDonagh

    This turned out good! Laid back hilarious, brilliantly acted by all participants decent story. I didn't really know what to expect but what I got was an x rated First Loves type film, in which the two hit men, despite doing terrible things are completely endearing. Makes me want to visit Belgium.

    This is a rare bird in that I have to up its score by 1/2 after I watched it for the second time. I AM going to Belgium. I realise now that there is a great deal of Withnail in this film


    In The Heart Of The Sea
    2015 Mark: 8.1
    Watched: Wed 6 January 2016

    Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw, Michelle Fairley, Charlotte Riley, Donald Sumpter, Jamie Sives, Joseph Mawle
    Director: Ron Howard

    Ok, for an 'Epic', I guess we are used to perfect backgrounds, but the fact that this looks quite TV Star-Trekky, especially for the first half hour with, what appeared to be, a quite obvious, rendered canvas representing Nantucket, but that is small complaint for a film where a lot of the at-sea imagery was colossal and convincing, the cast quite compelling and a fucking good old yarn that captivated for the full two hours. I'm saying, unlike some other Epics (Exodus G&K, Noah, Mad Max FR spring to mind) this actually would have stood up as a tale to be told around a campfire (Actually, Noah would have been better left as a tale round the campfire!). I'm impressed.

    If I were gay I would be gay for Chris Hemsworth


    In The Heat Of The Night ‡
    1967 Mark: 8

    Starring: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates
    Director: Norman Jewison

    Of its time I guess it was ground-breaking. The guy who plays the sheriff is real convincing


    The Inbetweeners Movie
    2014 Mark: 6.9
    Watched:Sat 12 March 2016

    Starring: Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Emily Head, Theo James, Anthony Head, Greg Davis
    Director: Damon Beesley, Iain Morris

    Nearly, very nearly, a 'good' film. It had a lot to live up to with the T.V. Series, and did not just quite get up to that high standard. Having said that, once you have got over your reservations of the 'Brits abroad 24 hour party people portrayal' and Jay being incredibly annoying (he is meant to be, so I guess that's not really fair of me), it has its moments. Some of the gross out humour was a little untidy but whatever, if you loved the TV program, you will like this, and Simon Bird (Will) does get the best lines and delivers them really well. Simplistic but fun.


    The Inbetweeners 2
    2014 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Wed 27 August 2014

    Starring: Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley, Blake Harrison
    Director: Damon Beesley, Iain Morris

    Now this was good. Terrific writing well acted and funny as fuck. With a decent thread of story as well. Some jokes stand repetition and this just worked for me. Wills soliloquy about Ben was an absolute stone dead masterpiece, in the bracket of Ricky Gervais's rant in the Christmas Extras


    Inception
    2010 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Fri 23 October 2015

    Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, and Michael Caine
    Director: Stephen Nolan

    I might have enjoyed this more under different circumstances. The first time I saw it I didn't 'get it' at all. I really think since I have been concentrating on films I enjoy and understand them so much more, not least because I readily recognise and keep track of the cast. I got it absolutely this time, but after all the hype wasn't completely knocked out. Millions of people would rate it higher, but I thought the story was a little overshadowed by effects and there was no carachter I was absolutely drawn too, even though the stellar cast were pleasing on the eye.


    The Incredibles ‡ (animated)
    2004 Mark: 7.6
    Watched: Sat 4 June 2016

    Starring: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Spencer Fox, Jason Lee, Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Peña, Brad Bird., John Ratzenberger
    Director: Brad Bird

    A well cooked recipe, with, at the time, ground breaking graphics, and a relatively long animation which endears one to half a dozen characters. Pixar are so awesome


    Indiana Jones 1; Raiders Of The Lost Ark
    1981 Mark: 8

    Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies
    Director: Stephen Speilberg

    I know.. just an Eight. What what, you may ask, this is a classic. I agree absolutely, seminal scenes and dialogue, few films have carved a greater impact into the public consciousness. It is an absolute must see, but after the rolling rocks and the hats and the doors and the snakes and the music (and what superb music) it is still just a ripping yarn albeit a good one.


    Indiana Jones 2; The Temple Of Doom
    1984 Mark: 9.5

    Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan
    Director: Stephen Speilberg

    Most people would disagree with making this the best of the four, well, that's cool, I can understand. I would cite the first 15 minutes of this film as encapsulating the movie experience. The best opening quarter of an hour which then, like a mountain stream reaching a valley bottom, slows down to let a narrative take over, yielding the strongest story arc of the four films, along with the best support, as both Willie Scott and Short Round are credible and prominent parts. I guess this is the most satisfying ending of the quartet as well (Spoiler Alert: We all like a happy ending)


    Indiana Jones 3; The Last Crusade
    1989 Mark: 8.5

    Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliot
    Director: Stephen Speilberg

    As TTOD had a great start, this films closing credits are run over the perfect finish to a film. Its not Rocket science. This has the funniest lines of the four India Jones films, ("No Ticket!") and err..


    Indiana Jones 4; Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull
    2008 Mark: 7.5

    Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf
    Director: Stephen Speilberg

    Not as bad as most people would have you believe. Amusingly self referential late sequel that acknowledges the shortcomings bought about by age and rehashing of old ideas. If you don't want swashbuckling adventure, grizzled exasperated looks, unbelievable pickles and incredible escapes along with protracted chases and fights go and watch 50 First fucking Dates


    The Infidel
    2010 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sat 21 February 2015

    Starring: Omid Djalili, Richard Schiff, Yigal Naor, Matt Lucas
    Director: Josh Appignanesi

    Great idea, or at least a cool variation of the Trading Places trope. Omid Djaliliilays a very becoming role which has fun with the concept, illustrates some obvious “what ifs” but somehow fails in the end, by justifying religion, rather than delivering the coup de grace which it could, and should, have done with ease. The end veers into the “oh really?” bracket (that is a negative criticism, BTW)


    Inherent Vice
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Thu 12 February 2015

    Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Martin Short
    Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

    I am not qualified to review this film, as I was late for it and nodded off several times. I don't think that was the fault of the film, as everything was engaging about it, but just lack of attention on my part, and a reasonably complex thread was not conducive to true appreciation. I will watch it again and am sure I will love it! I enjoyed what I saw, with a cool cast and great dialogue.


    Inside Llewelyn Davis
    2013 Mark: 5
    Watched:Thu 30 January 2014

    Starring: Oscar Isaac, John Goodman
    Director: Coen Brothers

    I hate just giving this 5, but it was pretty ploddy, not particularly funny, and if I want music I'll buy the album. Perhaps when I read some explanations I'll sway, but it was just a nice way to pass two hours at the pictures, without being a see again. I wonder if Crazy Heart was the same, 'cos when I saw on Telly it wasn't worth sticking with, and you kept waiting for something to happen but it never did.


    Inside Out ‡ (animated)
    2015 Mark: 10.042
    Watched: Tue 28 July 2015

    Starring: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Richard Kind, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan
    Director: Pete Docter

    I have exited cinemas before wondering “Is that the best film I have ever seen (Fellowship, Titanic)?". This is different, not least because it is only after 48 hours that that thought has begun nagging me more and more. I feel reluctant to address it, like somebody who won’t tell somebody you love ‘em for fear of rebuttal. Have I got it wrong? Is just emotion?

    I am reasonably sure this is an absolute masterpiece, but not a masterpiece of singular visions, be it Frank Capra, John Landis or Robert Zemekis etc.; no, this has the feel of a work of collaboratory genius; the story seems completely original, the rendering is absolutely, stunningly, breathtakingly perfect, the characters are just, just nailed, each one multi-faceted yet completely endearing, The concept is brilliant, the sub threads devastatingly surprising, and, to top it all, the science! Look, I know dick about the way brains work, but I left this film feeling totally convinced that I had gleaned some insight. Tell me it’s wrong! Many films are accoladed as being for children with subtle adult themes. I think this may go a step further in catering for the adult who has lost his inner child, in that although the picture is infantile (in the nicest sense of the word), if one cuts through the cutesiness, we have a challenging proposition to ponder without being burdened by esoteric complexity.

    I rarely use the bookmakers. Last year I had one bet. Birdman to win the best film Oscar at 9/2, a fifty pound wager that ended up paying for this year’s Unlimited ticket. This year it is £14.10 (maximum bet) at 16/1 for this being the first animated film to win best picture.

    I went to watch it again a fortnight later. I am happy with my bet!

    You will go and watch the film after reading this and be immediately disappointed after reading this hagiography. You will say that Toy Story , and Up , and Shawshank Redemption and.... blah blah blah were all much more enjoyable. Can’t fault you for that, you may well be right. That’s the thing you see, I’m still thinking about this one... shit, I thought I woke up in my old house at Carleton Road the morning after I watched this film and could not orientate myself to the reality of where I actually was, and I guarantee you, it was because of this peak of human creation.

    Wasn't even nominated for the best film Oscar, Spotlight won. That was really good. Inside Out was better. By a distance.


    The Insider
    1999 Mark: 8
    Watched:Tue 15 January 2013

    Starring: Russell Crowe, Al Pacino, Phillip Baker Hall, Christoper Plummer
    Director: Michael Mann

    These films crop up from time to time. True story, regular guy takes in the man.


    Interstellar
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Wed 12 November 2014

    Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Matt Damon
    Director: Christopher Nolan

    I liked this. Yes, there were criticisms that might be levelled, but one gets your money's worth, on this three hour 'epic'. A catch-all 7, which surprised me 'cos I imagined that I would either love it or hate it, given the hoo ha that has pervaded the media about it. I do think that arty critics struggle with science films, and it did seem that opinion was very divided on it, nevertheless I am kind of ambivalent. It was a good yarn, well made and I would definitely say it was worth sharing the cost of a ticket on Orange Wednesday. Matt Damon does look like Mark Whalberg, especially in this film, for which I would put him in the mix for best support.


    The Interview
    2015 Mark: 9
    Watched: Mon 9 February 2015

    Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang, Eminem, Rob Lowe, Bill Maher, Seth Meyers, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    Directors: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

    9 Definite 9. I mean there were sequences in this when I was giggling uncontrollably. I loved James Franco doing comedy in Your Highness , yet he strikes me as the kind of actor who might annoy you trying to be funny, but if I could buy a TV channel it would feature Dave Skylark (and Ron Burgundy and co, of course). Eminem... WHAT??? The thing is, the cast were great, 4 people who you absolutely wanted to know more about and the story, though a comedy was captivating. They didn't need all the hype for this, it would always have been a classic, and no doubt the source for dozens of quotes over the next 30 years. Watch it.


    Into The Woods
    2014 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Fri 9 January 2015

    Starring: James Corden, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracey Ullman, Christine Baranski, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, MacKenzie Mauzy, Billy Magnussen, Johnny Depp.
    Director: Rob Marshall

    This is a brave call from Disney.

    I think a lot of little princesses are going to have nightmares about it.

    I think more could have been done with the story, and there is such a list of characters that, for me, I would have liked to have known more about them, and 124 minutes did not allow anything but a couple of scenes for some of them. Each and every cast member acted, sang and moved perfectly. I know it seems a bit obvious that that is what should happen, but James Corden was excellent, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt were weird to watch singing but it worked. There was some funny humour but there was lots of dark discordance in the music and the film, no end of unhappy endings and characters who were realistic in that they were genuinely flawed, they all did bad stuff.

    Definitely Broadway as well, as you feel like clapping at the end of the numbers!

    This is definitely not a film for 8 year olds, but it is a very thought provoking watch for people who have grown out of Disney and want something a little more challenging. Worth a watch, but don't expect Happy Working Song , cos it ain't gonna happen!


    The Iron Giant
    1999 Mark: 8.9
    Watched: Wed 10 August 2016

    Starring: Eli Marienthal, Christopher McDonald, Jennifer Aniston, Harry Connick, Jr., John Mahoney, Vin Diesel
    Director: Brad Bird

    Brad Bird’s first film, produced by Pete Townshend!! Written by Ted Hughes and not done at Disney. WONDERFUL. I went to see this the day after Finding Dory, and much as I was entertained by the 2016 film, it is this, from 1999 which is hands down the best film currently at the flix. Kids were crying with fear, crying with sorrow, it had a feel of a cross between a 90s Disney animation and a Laika production, it did not hold back, it shows what a terrific story telling medium animation can be. It used a few clichés, but delivered them perfectly. I loved it


    Iron Man
    2008 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Sun 4 May 2014

    Starring: Robert Downey Jnr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges
    Director: Jon Favreau

    Enjoyable in a Marvel way. I went back to this to review it, I suppose to compare it with CA TWS, and for kind of the same story, the latter film does it better. All four main characters tend to grate just a little bit. Not enough to stop one enjoying the movie, just enough to imagine there is just too much smugness floating round to allow immersion and identification


    Iron Man 3
    2013 Mark: 7
    Watched:Wed 22 October 2014

    Starring: Robert Downey Jnr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley.
    Director: Shane Black

    These Marvel films do tend to merge and i forget actually how many points I should really give them. I certainly could not watch this kind of film at the expense of all others, nevertheless it is an entertaining night in, I suppose if I was deep into the cannon it may be quite challenging. You more or less know what to expect with these.


    Irrational_Man
    2015 Mark: 4.5
    Watched: Fri 11 September 2015

    Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone
    Director: Woody Allen

    This could have been even more disappointing if I had know it was Woody Allen who wrote and directed it. It was, pretentious, unbelievable at the basest of levels, and quite frankly annoying to the extent that it slid from a 6 to a 4.5 by the time I left. The dialogue was something like this... " Blah blah blah the women you have shared experiences with" " The women I have slept with" At that moment I started thinking about leaving, the thing is I know little about Kierkegaard and Sartre and Heidegger, but I do know that being blunt in the face of a euphemism by replacing it with another one is just lame.

    Can I describe the lamest dinner part ever? Your daughter cheats on her decent boyfriend, repeatedly lying to him, and ends up with the new lecturer who is twice her age and an alcoholic, so a week later you invite him to dinner and treat him like an old friend. That's not all. You then start talking about the death of a judge, then consider the hypothesis that it was a murder, Then more or less boil it down to how it was done. Oh COME ON!!!


    It Happened One Night ‡
    1934 Mark: 8
    Watched:Fri 23 May 2014

    Starring: Clarke Gable†, Claudette Colbert†
    Director: Frank Capra†

    I am very glad I watched this for many reasons. Primarily it is a great film with a good, if not totally unpredictable story, and characters which now matter how reluctant I was, drew me in and engaged me!

    Pertinently, for me, was an insight into film making in the 1930s – don't forget that there may have been people still making silent movies recently to this, yet the sound quality, in terms of soundtrack, effects and dialogue are, through my headphones on a lap top as good as you get nowadays. The film quality is as good as (you don't notice it's not in colour, and though I expected something that appeared 'primitive', it was not. It stands up on its own as a bit of solid entertainment.

    My second favourite film, It's A Wonderful Life was directed by Frank Capra, as this was, and it dawned on me. , why have I not watched more of his? Give me a couple more, but it seems he is a master story teller.

    I know now another reason why I didn't like Gone With The Wind ; By the time he made it Clarke Cable was thoroughly pissed off with the Rhett Butler character which in this film he delivers with freshness and genuine comedy.

    Yes, many things are dated, but suggesting you should whack women once a day, smoking everywhere and drinking away your sorrows does conjure up an imagination of a less complicated society, which in a way is entertaining, though not deliberately!

    The film was the first to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay)


    It's A Wonderful Life
    1946 Mark: 10.062

    Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reid
    Director: Frank Capra

    You can't get me to say this is not in my top three all time films.

    Actually you can. I looked at my diary for early 2012 and it was omitted from my top 10, because all I wanted for Christmas was to watch this film with my family. It had been the toughest five months of my life, on teaching practice with a tutor who hated me, surrounded by teachers and living 200 miles away from the ones I love, and do you know what? I was on my own. I hadn't been horrible, we had a great day and I was left in the room watching it on my own. I had watched Toy Story 3 earlier in the day, and I was just so looking forward to this. I know that Angela's excuse "I don't watch films twice" was a complete, utter, demonstrable out and out fucking lie. I know that going out for a smoke is not preferable to the worst film in the world. Fuck, behind every great man there is a great woman, so what about the miserable losers. Who takes the credit there?

    If one of your children got cancer would you continue to smoke?


    Jack Reacher
    2012 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sat 1 August 2015

    Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Werner Herzog, David Oyelowo, Jai Courtney, Robert Duvall
    Director: Christopher McQuarrie

    Once you have swallowed that Tom Cruise is six foot eight, hard as fuck and has perfect memory, this is quite an enjoyable film! Yeah, I must admit, one can get bored with fights and car chases, but … very solid 7


    Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 3 March 2014

    Starring: Chris Pine, Kenneth Brannagh, Kevin Costner, Kiera Knightly
    Director: Kenneth Brannagh

    Reasonable action movie, everybody plays their parts and the goodies win. Who is the best Jack Ryan? Baldwin, though Chris Pine is perfectly good in this. Wish he had had a couple of flaws though.

    Nonso Anozie plays the part of the heavy who attempts to assassinate Jack in his hotel room. Who the devil did he play that I recognise. Wiki wiki wik.... Ah, of course, Xaro Xhoan Daxos from Game Of Thrones . How TF did he escape?


    Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
    2013 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Thu 14 November 2013

    Starring: Johnny Knoxville
    Director: Jeff Tremaine

    What would you expect? Funny as fuck, the child star is uber cool (he was in The Fighter ). You could write a review of this without seeing it, and 7.5 was always going to be a slam dunk of a prediction


    James Bond 8; Live And Let Die
    1973 Mark: 3
    Watched:Wed 2 September 2015

    Starring: Roger Moore, Yaphet Kotto, Jane Seymour, David Hedison, Lois Maxwell
    Director: Guy Hamilton

    Ah, this is why I stopped watching James Bond films. The sex is imaginary, the action laughable, the one liners have the humour of a Radio phone-in, I forgot what the story was, the carachters all ridiculous and the racial stereotypes extraordinarily poor. It was poor in Gone With The Wind it was poor in 12 Years A Slave , but this is like the fumblings of an unworldly 14 year old who hasn't grasped the border between irony are immaturity. It fills me with dread to sit through more like this

    Does anybody make condensed versions?


    James Bond 9; The Man With The Golden Gun
    1973 Mark: 3
    Watched:Sun 6 September 2015

    Starring: Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Hervé Villechaize, Desmond Llewelyn, Lois Maxwell
    Director: Guy Hamilton

    I watched half an hour of this, but I doubt if I'll do anything more than fast forward through the rest of it. The passages seem so protracted.


    James Bond 18; Tomorrow Never Dies
    1997 Mark: 7
    Watched:Tue 4 March 2014

    Starring: Piers Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh Teri Hatcher, Judi Dench
    Director: Roger Spottisoode

    How long has it taken me to watch this film? Well I'm glad I did. Don't expect anything but ridiculous innuendo and overtime for stuntmen as Piers defeats an absolutely potty English Megalomaniac super-villain who aims to further his ends in the most ridiculously inefficient, convoluted and entertaing way imaginable.


    James Bond 19; The World Is Not Enough
    1999 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Thu 6 March 2014

    Starring: Piers Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, John Cleese, Robert Carlyle Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench
    Director: Michael Apted

    How long has it taken me to watch this film? Well I'm glad I did. Don't expect anything but ridiculous innuendo and overtime for stuntmen as Piers defeats an absolutely potty Kasak Megalomaniac super-villain who aims to further his ends in the most ridiculously inefficient, convoluted and entertaing way imaginable.


    James Bond 23: Skyfall
    2012 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sat 15 March 2014

    Starring: Daniel Craig, Judy Dench, Javier Bardem
    Director: Sam Mendes

    Great start. The start is up there with great starts. But then... I've done something I've not done yet, and retain the option to alter this review, but I haven't finished watching the film yet. It's just got drawn out far too much in that middle third. Judy Dench and Token I find annoying, but I did like the new Q.


    James Bond 24; Spectre
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Wed 28 October 2015

    Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Dave Bautista, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes
    Director: Sam Mendes

    These are so, so, much better than most of the earlier films, but they seem more a collection of magnificent set pieces than a coherent story. I definitely reckon Christoph Waltz was underutilised, almost seeming to parody himself. He is more convincing in Big Eyes where, as always, he essentially plays the same part. Worth the watch, but on review, for all their magnificence and huge budgets, neither of the two films I saw today, this and Pan, were more enjoyable than Locke, which was Tom Hardy sat in a car


    Jersey Boys
    2014 Mark: 8
    Watched:Mon 23 June 2014

    Starring: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Christopher Walken
    Director: Clint Eastwood

    Life is enhanced by life! I say this because I reckon that seeing this show only a couple of months ago, and then discovering the film was to be made and released, then actually watching it, has all jumbled up the pleasure of the story. Like the show, it is such good material that it would have been difficult to make a bad film about the subject. It complements the show though. Yes, there are repeat scenes, but not anything like enough to make it a copy. Omissions include Beggin' and the full version of Who Love's You (The latter being peculiar as it is the last number in the film proper). I think the mix on Can't Take my eyes Off You is overdone for the sax, but it is a great production number. Like 22 Jump street, the closing roll is a great touch. I found the Bobs very endearing, Erich Bergen (Gaudio) was very impressive, especially, if he did his own singing. I've never been a bug fan of the voice of Frankie Valli, nevertheless, Lloyd Young nails it, and might get a nomination for his performance, though I think critical disapproval of the film in general may weigh against him


    America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story
    2003 Mark: 6
    Watched:Mon 31 March 2014

    Starring: Kristoffer Polaha, Portia de Rossi, Jacqueline Bisset
    Director: Eric Laneuville

    One of those made for TV biopics that is satisfying enough in terms of historical content (I hope) and not such a total hagiography. I must look to see how much this film cost to make. Enjoyable, but I'm spoilt nowadays


    Johnny Mnemonic
    1995 Mark: 4
    Watched:Fri 9 January 2015

    Starring: Keanu Reeves, Dolph Lundgren, Ice-T
    Director: Robert Longo

    Always seems a little unfair to rate a film without watching it all the way through, but both the film and Reeve's acting were too dated, too clunky, to risk the full two hours, so off it went in favour of richer pickings. Tell me if I have got this one wrong, come round for a beer and talk me through it. NB "Reeves's performance in the film earned him a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actor"


    Joy
    2015 Mark: 7.8
    Watched: Tue 29 December 2015

    Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Diane Ladd, Édgar Ramírez
    Director: David O. Russell

    A solid watch of a film, with Jennifer Lawrence carrying one through the duller bits, and David O Russell delivering a film which was more frustrating than fulfilling. Julia said she wished it hadn't been based on a true story, and I am very much coming 'round to her way of thinking, as I can't help thinking, in retrospect that Joy was just a bit too good to be true (the person, not the film)


    The Judge
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 20 October 2014

    Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton
    Director: David Dobkin

    Sometimes a little mushy, occasionaly funny with the odd surprise. Robert Downey Junior never seems quite serious enough, but Robert Duvall is awesome. Considering my penchant for daddy films I guess this is a low score, yet it was enjoyable enough. Nice Thomas Newman soundtrack, The story reasonable, and I can't stress how that Judge stole the show. Him or Dominic West for Best Supporting Actor


    Jupiter Ascending
    2015 Mark: 5.5
    Watched: Mon 9 February 2015

    Starring: Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Tuppence Middleton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw,
    Directors: Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski

    I don't like religion. It seems obvious to me that it is absolute cockameeme bullshit, and that in any species that develops the level of intelligence that we have it is an advantage to one's genes (to believe in a unseen deity). I'm glad this film came along, as although not conclusive proof of my neutrality, I could not help but compare this to Exodus, Gods and Kings and Noah , and thinking they are much of a muchness, full of bangs crashes and hoards, but thin on narrative and an engaging population. That is, I didn't diss the biblical epics because of the God factor, they were just, plain, not brilliant. As was this. Channing Tatum will not win an Oscar for this.


    Jurassic Park 3
    2001 Mark: 5
    Watched:Tue 26 August 2014

    Starring: Sam Neil, Laura Dearn, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni
    Director: Joe Johnston

    Passable sequal, lacks the originality, story, surprise, and soul of the first one. If I had been watching it by myself I probabbly wouldn't, but it is funny being alongside somebody. Sam Neil is so cheesy it infected the rest of the cast


    Jurassic World
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Thu 11 June 2015

    Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, B. D. Wong,, Irrfan Khan
    Director: Colin Trevorrow

    The burning question is, how does this film stack up against 1, 2 and 3? At a rough guess (memory fades) precedence would go 1 (outstanding and original), 2 (funny), 4 and 3. Although a pleasant enough watch it doesn't really bring anything new to the table (My favourite aspect was the, still brilliant, musical motifs). Perhaps I am becoming inured to action movies, but this is all that is. The kids are quite annoying (weren't they always?) The dinosaurs are only as impressive as those from over two decades ago, and the owners of the island are every bit just as stupid. I enjoyed the film, but it did not make my life more complete. My daughter is in love with Chris Pratt, so I'll give him a tick. He is definitely an improvement on Sam Neill.


    The Karate Kid (2010)
    2010 Mark: 2
    Watched:Fri 9 May 2014

    Starring: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan
    Director: Harold Swart

    Non Watcher. Got turned off by the thought of Jaiden Smith being the new aristocracy


    The Karen Carpenter Story
    1989 Mark: 6

    Starring: Mitchell Anderson, Cynthia Gibb
    Directors: Richard Carpenter, Joseph Sargent

    Like Saving Mr Banks , the makers of this film had a great soundtrack to work with. As a music fan it didn't tell me a great deal of what I didn't already know, but I would certainly recommend it to any music loving kids who want an insight into what was, for me, the greatest white female voice in my lifetime so far.
    You never know how much is glossed over with these films, but I imagine that this goes just far enough without being judgemental, Unlike The Grace Kelly story which doesn't go far enough.


    The Keeper
    2009 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Wed 27 August 2014

    Starring: Steven Seagal
    Director: Keoni Waxman

    Partt of a Segal double header, I had forgotten the name of both of them within the few days that have elapsed, yet I could kind of watch these with a friend most nights


    Kes
    1969 Mark: 8.1
    Watched:Fri 16 October 2015

    Starring: David Bradley, Lynne Perrie, Colin Welland, Brian Glover, Duggie Brown
    Director: Ken Loach

    100% on Rotten Tomatoes, In my mate Keith's top 3, and I can see why. As Julia pointed out it's not so much a story as a snapshot. It's a film which I have never seen, and it didn't let me down. I am not sure but I think a lot of it may have been Ken Loach saying hey, this is how stupid we all are.


    Kick Ass
    2010 Mark: 10.014
    Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

    Starring: Aaron Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mark Strong, Nicolas Cage
    Director: Matthew Vaughn

    All the right ingredients, put together in the right order, some breathtaking moments but all in all the whole is more than the sum of it's excellnt parts. Especially pleasing to thing of sanctimonious cunts getting offended by Hit-Girl's language


    Kill Your Darlings
    2013 Mark: 7.5
    Watched: Mon 1 February 2016

    Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Elizabeth Olsen
    Director: John Krokidas

    Intresting enough biopic, the revelation of this film (along with an intresting enough story and cast) was Daniel Radcliffe, who is now, after this, a really good actor. The whole film was quite brutally gay, nevertheless, I guess it had to be said, and if Radcliffe wanted to break out of Harry Potter he has done it as well as I could imagine anybody carrying off the part


    Kill Your Friends
    2015 Mark: 7.7
    Watched: Thu 12 November 2015

    Starring: Nicholas Hoult, James Corden, Craig Roberts, Joseph Mawle, Ed Skrein
    Director: Owen Harris

    You know, From the reviews I expected this to be a lot worse. It was actually very funny and quite intriguing, with an absolutely hatefull list of carachters and a very unpleasant view of London and the music industry. I can't give anything away, but listen and watch for Steven's reaction to the "You might as well" advice from Parker-Hall.

    Funnily disgusting.


    Kindergarten Cop
    1990 Mark: 5
    Watched:Sat 12 January 2013

    Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Director: Ivan Reitman

    All this time Arnie was setting himself up for politics


    The Kings's Speech ‡
    2010 Mark: 8
    Watched:Wed 21 October 2015

    Starring: Colin Firth†, Geoffry Rush, Guy Pierce, Helena Bonham Carter, Timothy Spall, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi
    Director: Tom Hooper†

    The morning after I want to mark this less than an eight, which is why I should always grade my films immediately, even if I don't write anything down, 'cos this was a definite great film with everything one requires as compensation for not going to the cinema to watch the Back To The Future Triple header. One tends to remember the reverence to royalty rather than the humour and story telling, but the two male leads are just a terrific double act, and what the film loses in obsequieousness it gains in historical narrative. The Academy aren't a million miles off with this (though I would have picked Kick-Ass and a lot of people would have chosen Inception )


    Kingsman: The Secret Service
    2015 Mark: 9.6
    Watched: Mon 26 January 2015

    Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Sofia Boutella, Jack Davenport, Mark Strong, Mark Hamill, Will Smith
    Director: Matthew Vaughn

    Welcome to 2015. What a welcome. This is an absolute blast, from start to finish. Humorous, yet with real respect for the genre. Eye popping action. A boxful of characters that delight every time they light up the screen. Colin Firth is straight in as the target for the 2016 supporting actor. A dense script that surprises and entertains. I have not thought about much else for the last 8 hours, and am sad to say that this review may spoil your experience because you may expect too much given my gushing praise of it, but I’ve gotta be truthful! If you loved Kick-Ass this will not let you down. 100% on Rotten Tomatoes? Hey, I’m not alone. The film drips with class, is bursting with references and whether we like it or not, we love our movie-stars. Oh – the music rocks, the church scene was perfectly scored to Freebird, it... it... Oh I’m fucking speechless!


    Kinsey
    2004 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sun 13 April 2014

    Starring: Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Chris O'Donnell, Peter Sarsgaard, Timothy Hutton, John Lithgow, Tim Curry, Oliver Platt
    Director: Bill Condon

    As biopics go this one is up there with the best. It is obviously a story which would appeal to me in that it illustrates how stupid humans are collectively. Liam Neeson should have been Oscar nominated for his Globe winning performance that includes a full on homo snog.. ewww! I'm not normally squeamish, and I now wonder if my relative ambivalence to homosexuality is because I reckon I am a pretty firm 0 on the scale and do not fear or need to conceal my inner feelings? i.e. are many people so homophobic (I hate that word, it's doesn't do the job it is meant to) because they are just a flounce gay themselves? Just a bit of speculation. Would I be racist if my mum was Polish? I am 'anti-car' and I do drive 'a bit'. Nah. I am for the right thing.


    Knowing
    2009 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Mon 23 June 2014

    Starring: Nicholas Cage, Ben Mendelsohn
    Director: Alex Proyas

    One of those tape it 'cos Nick Cage should be good for a few moments films, and sure enough he is. There were genuinely times during this that piqued my fear button, albeit exceedingly briefly, and it didn't quite clear the hurdle of suspension of disbelief, nevertheless I enjoyed it, so what?


    Kramer vs. Kramer ‡
    1979 Mark: 7
    Watched: Tue 19 January 2016

    Starring: Dustin Hoffman†, Meryl Streep†, Justin Henry, Jane Alexander
    Director: Robert Benton†

    There was a little bit of Company Men in that I can't feel much empathy for anyone who was earning $30,000 a year in 1979. Having said that, I do have increasingly mixed emotions regarding how I should rate this film, and I squeezed an extra .2 onto the score from my initial assessment. I can't help thinking that my own separation and relationships with my kids may have been influenced by this film in a very positive way. You are not meant to like Joanne (Meryl Streep), You are not meant to think Ted is perfect (even though Dustin Hoffman does such a good job). Everybody else has a degree of unlikeability which makes it an uncomfortable watch, nevertheless, I think it is a credit that the film holds up 'yuppie' values and smashes them like a scud hitting a penata. But I'm not sure. It definitely illustrates how custody descisions would be better made by a neutral part given the facts of the matter and not the sex of the litigants.


    La Bamba
    1987 Mark: 7
    Watched:Wed 14 May 2014

    Starring: Lou Diamond Phillips, Joe Pantoliano, Marshall Crenshaw, Brian Setzer
    Director: David Gordon Green

    L learned somethings from this film regarding the history of popular music, I enjoyed the music, and although the interpersonal relationshios were a little sludgy all in all I would not mind watching a film like this every day


    Labor Day
    2013 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sun 30 March 2014

    Starring: Kate Winslett, Josh Brolin, Toby McGuire
    Director: Jason Reitman

    Quite a beautiful film, gets ticks on most aspects. Great contrast to Starred Up which I watched a couple of hours beforehand, yet both detailing stories of prison and its effects on humanity. I reckon this is a good film to take a girl to see. What's a girl?

    NB. Toby McGuire is very Cider House Rules (Watch them both, If you are like me you will thoroughly enjoy them).


    The Ladykillers
    1955 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sat 5 April 2014

    Starring: Alec Guinness, Katie Johnson, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Jack Warner, Frankie Howerd
    Director: Alexander Mackendrick

    It was sweet watching this with a £21 meal for three from Sun Sun, and Graham, Ella and Angie. Old fashioned, to see the Euston Roiad with no traffic was quaint, the acting is like pantomime, and it just takes you back to a better time, when criminals were gentlemen and the filth didn't think they were clever


    The Last Emperor ‡
    1987 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Fri 14 August 2015

    Starring: John Lone, Peter O'Toole
    Director: Bernardo Bertolucci†

    An Oscar winner... delivers. Look, I know I've only given this 7.5, but that was for personal enjoyment I can totally understand why the Academy dished out the gong in this case, it is sumptous, factual, and a thoroughly 'must watch' film, and kudos to them for being brave enough to place it up there. I know, it is wrong to say a film is good because it was ground-breaking, but this one feels like the first time people have seen the inside of the Forbidden Palace. The morning after and I am so glad I saw it. I AM NOT ALLOWED TO UPGRADE MY RATING. But if I was, I would!! If you are going to watch it (and you should), please be patient, don't expect anything too spectacular in terms of plot twists, it's a biography. Awesome.


    Last Man Standing
    1996 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Mon 31 August 2015

    Starring: Bruce Willis, Bruce Dern, William Sanderson, Christopher Walken, David Patrick Kelly, Michael Imperioli
    Director: Walter Hill

    A critically poorly recieved film, I can praise some aspects of it, but feel that it is implausibility of it all that dissapointed me more than the technical aspects (music, acting, and cinematography were all pretty awesome). An all star cast replicate the story of A Fistfull Of Dollars with the added bonus that the hero is actually indestructable and, bar one which hits him in the lower off-stomach towards the end of the film, is to all intents and purposes, bullet-proof. It just doesn't wash, so by half way through you come to realise there is not a great deal of shock to look forward to.

    Intresting cast in that Walter Hill uses David Patrick Kelly in a pretty similar role to The Warriors and that the overarching feel of Deadwood has to be because of the directorial connection, along with Dern and Sanderson, who is eminently recognisable


    The Last Of The Mohicans
    1992 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sun 9 August 2015

    Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Peter Postlethwait, Colm Meany
    Director: Michael Mann

    Just a good film, with digestible romance, terrific characterisation, it was, now I think about it, a love story, albeit a very stiff upper lip one. It was a little like watching Pocahontas !


    The Last Stand
    2013 Mark: 7.2
    Watched: Wed 10 February 2016

    Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Jaimie Alexander, Luis Guzmán, Eduardo Noriega, Rodrigo Santoro, Peter Stormare, Zach Gilford, Génesis Rodríguez, Daniel Henney, Tait Fletcher, John Patrick Amedori, Harry Dean Stanton
    Director: Kim Jee-woon

    Entertaining shoot em up with an edge that, unusually, means not everybody who gets killed is wearing a red shirt. The characters are pretty stock, I'm not giving anything away by saying that Arnie is the small town sheriff with a big town background, Stormare is a head stooge as manic as any Chuckle brother, Johnny Knoxville is big hearted Jackass and Eduardo Noriega is an impossibly handsome/brilliant/lucky/bulletproof/theatrical drug kingpin. The dialogue is equally recognisable, e.g. Gabriel Cortez: "You fucked up my car." - Sheriff Ray Owens: " You fucked up my day off ".

    From that I guess you can work out the story... but so what?? packed with action and clichés, this is what a lot of people want, and it does it well.


    The Last Temptation Of Christ
    1988 Mark: 5.5
    Watched:Sun 4 May 2014

    Starring: Willem Dafoe,
    Director: Martin Scorsese

    This had a feel of Ben Hur about it. I watched 30 minutes and was moderately entertained, but it is one of those "Hey look, we are questioning the bible, therefore we are open minded think outside the boxes types, and this Jesus thing might be real", but that's the whole problem. It is no more an academic exercise than The Legend of Hercules


    Last Vegas
    2013 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sun 13 January 2013

    Starring: Kevin Klein, Mary Steenburgen, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman
    Director: Jon Turteltaub

    I was not particularly looking forward to this, but after a while I cracked and was well glad. I mean, who wants to see for old actors resting on their laurels? The thing is though, although you will not want for gags, in a way their was some restraint, especially Robert DiNero who was pretty grumpy throughout, which, after The Family and a string of 'comedic' performances was more like it. Enough of the film came out as being believable to tip the balance in it's favour. Pretty solid seven which makes it a great trip to the cinema and well worth recording in two years time.
    I think the clincher was using September by Earth Wind and Fire during the film and over the end credits. Night at The Museum , The Ringer .. That is three out of three genuine feel good films that use this superb track to capture their objective
    Oh, and guys, if you are reading this I put Kev in the lead actor role because I just did. Apologies, Mike, Morgan and Bob.


    Laughter In Paradise
    1951 Mark: 8
    Watched:Wed 3 September 2014

    Starring: Alistair Sim, Fay Compton, Guy Middleton, George Cole, Joyce Grenfell, John Laurie, Audrey Hepburn
    Director: Mario Zampi

    Such a good film. You know I really like old school, this reminds me of Private Lives in that it seems so much more spontaneous with comedy I was cracking up over. It is sheer pantomime and I love it love it love it. I wonder if the more I watch Ealing Comedies the better they get? (PS its not an Ealing Comedy any more than My Man A Sweet Man is Motown)


    The Lavender Hill Mob
    1951 Mark: 7
    Watched:Tue 14 January 2014

    Starring: Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway, Sid James, Alfie Bass, Audrey Hepburn!, Robert Shaw!
    Director: Charles Crichton

    Ealing comedy. Thoroughly enjoyable, Interesting, funny stereotypes, reasonable story, very dated, but hell, what is there not to like about it? Alec Guiness is a good actor


    Lawrence Of Arabia ‡
    1962 Mark: 6

    Starring: Peter O'TooleAlec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, José Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains, Arthur Kennedy, Omar Sharif
    Director: David Lean

    Too gay, superb theme


    Leaving Las Vegas
    1995 Mark: 5
    Watched: Tue 16 February 2016

    Starring: Nick Cage†, Elisabeth Shue, R. Lee Emery
    Director: Mike Figgis

    I don't like films about neurotic fucking Americans. I know, the guy who wrote it killed himself two weeks into the making of this film, but I do not base my enjoyment ratings on sympathy. This girl, Sera, she must be really stupid, and Nick Cage has been so much better in other films. I wouldn't have given him the Oscar for this, Matchstick Men maybe if Kevin Spacey had been in retirement that year, but not this. It just doesn't seem feasable. A very neutral watch, didn't dislike it, but I was left thinking "am I really going to Bad Blake myself on watching films 'cos somebody got an Oscar?"


    Legend
    2015 Mark: 7.5
    Watched: Fri 11 September 2015

    Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Christopher Eccleston, Paul Bettany, Colin Morgan, David Thewlis, Tara Fitzgerald, Taron Egerton, Duffy
    Director: Brian Helgeland

    This was not a bad film at all; I expected less, but got a pretty riveting watch, with some uncomfortable humour, some insight into names I have known all my life, and timed my Subway Salad to perfection for the start of the film. Frankly, I am always pleased when the Studio Canal Logo opens up a film. This probably is not a spoiler alert but SPOILER ALERT. please do not read any further if you have not seen the film, then come back and tell me I am clueless. I never ever realised the both Krays were played by Tom Hardy. Fekkin' genius, I am so glad I did not pay much attention to the trailers and adverts, even though I did ponder why Tom Hardy was credited but the actor playing Ron wasn't. I thought it was Vic Reeves or somebody. One case in point where ignorance was bliss!


    The Legend Of Bagger Vance
    2000 Mark: 7
    Watched:Fri 5 December 2014

    Starring: Will Smith, Matt Damon, Charlize Theron, Jack Lemmon, Bruce McGill, Lane Smith, Joel Getch
    Director: Robert Redford

    This film had its moments, but was embarrassingly Schmaltzy (Can't spell that word), weird in terms of its own continuity, From the sun being above the horizon to being pitch dark in the space of one golf hole, and didn't really have a message, other than golf is a great game. But golf is a game which people love anyway, and you don't need a magic nigger. I liked all the actors, the scenery and music (bar Will Smith who just never seems to do it for me). Robert Redford should do the film of the Menlo 8.


    The Legend Of Hercules
    2014 Mark: 5
    Watched:Wed 2 April 2014

    Starring: Kellan Lutz,
    Director: Renny Harlin

    I'm dead happy in a way, because I didn't write down a review for this film until now, and I was going to write that if you have an Unlimited film ticket that you might as well go and see this. I see I have rated it as a 5, which at least means I am being consistent! I reckon if this was the first Quasi ancient literature action movie you ever watched you would be quite impressed!. The relationship between this story and the Hercules I was familiar with is tenous. It makes Disney's version look like an ad verbatim copy of the Labours


    The Legend Of Zorro
    2005 Mark: 6.3
    Watched:Tue 24 November 2015

    Starring: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell
    Director: Martin Campbell

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Antonio Banderas's portrayal of the swashbuckling hero, with the over the top stunts and emotion, he was funny and intresting. Then came the story, which was predictable but bearable all the same. Then came Cathryn Zeta Jones who, forgive me, 'cos she might be a perfectly sweet person, just doesn't do it for me. Like some tart reading the football scores at 5 o'clock on a Saturday I find this kind of token false empowerment a complete turn off. It was OK, but that's as far as I'm prepared to go with this


    Legends Of The Fall
    1994 Mark: 7.2
    Watched: Fri 8 July 2016

    Starring: Brad Pitt, Antony Hopkins
    Director: Edward Zwick

    Nice eye candy, great scenery, intresting juxtaposition between the good and the bad and people's perceptions and instincts towards said traits. I was almost dissappointed with the ending, as it eliminated that ambiguity, and diminished the potential to reflect any reality


    The Lego Movie
    2014 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Sun 16 February 2014

    Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman
    Directors: Chris Miller, Phil Lord

    This turned out better than I would have expected. I feel I should have given it more than 6.5, nevertheless I nodded off during it, I think due more to tiredness (had just watched The Monuments Men and had a foot long, than lack of interest. A whole heap of cross references that I am sure I missed, and a believable premise. I am not sure how much was CGI and how much was stop-go, but it was quite magnificent, the cinematography, as it were. Almost too intense a visual assault, but definitely worth a watch and a credible movie for adults.


    Let's Be Cops
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 1 September 2014

    Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, Nina Dobrev, James D'Arcy, Andy García, Jon Lajoie
    Director: Luke Greenfield

    Rock solid comedy/action, with a good premise well executed. Jon Lajoile as Todd? Who was that? Ah yes, the bloke who I initially thought was Adam Scott, playing very much the same role. It'll be intresting to see how other peole regard this, I think it would be easy to get snotty about it, perhaps I have? Happy endings n all. Not challenging but does what it says on the packet.


    Life After Beth
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 6 October 2014

    Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon
    Director: Jeff Baena

    Zombie films make better comedies than Zombie films, and this is a case in point. It trundles along with enough comedy, titilation and make up to maintain the intrest, Dane DeHaan is really the lead in this, and it is just unpredictable enough to keep the film fresh.


    The Life of Emile Zola ‡
    1937 Mark: 7.7
    Watched: Mon 18 January 2016

    Starring: Paul Muni, Gloria Holden, Gale Sondergaard, Joseph Schildkraut†, Donald Crisp
    Director: William Dieterle

    A little treat this, a nice historical tale with some great performances, culminating in superb courtroom drama. Yes, it is very naive, hell, silent movies were everything less than a decade before this was made, and it does apologise for any historical innacuracy, but all in all it gets on with it. Another film which illustrates human idiocy, perhaps the most naive aspect being its optimism.

    I am definitely beginning to like old films.


    Limitless
    2011 Mark: 6.4
    Watched: Tue 8 March 2016

    Starring: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel
    Director: Neil Burger

    If you have nothing else to do... The cutting wears thin, and the reliance on a single plot device means that it stretches a bit for a lot of its length. There's nothing particularly wrong with it as a slab of vacous entertainment, Bradley Cooper is just right for the job, but seems a little smug, and the whole ethic is kinda questionable, but, hey ho, I sat through it without breaking anything. I may be alone, but I thought Lucydid the same thing a whole lot better. Jeeze it made nearly $134 million profit!


    Lincoln
    2012 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sat 7 February 2015

    Starring: Daniel Day Lewis†, Tommy Lee Jones, Lee Pace, Walton Goggins, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Bruce McGill
    Director: Stephen Speilberg

    Thumbs up for a thriller conducted without explosions, animals, car chases or overt out and out bad guys. Daniel Day Lewis is cloyingly convincing, and as an exercise in understanding politics it is an absolute standard text. Steven Spielberg can deliver a story, and you know what he is doing, nevertheless he still sucks you in on the right side. I bet Tommy Lee Jones loved doing this.

    N.B. The consensus seems to be that it is 90% accurate, that there is some exaggeration, that some costume inconsistencies question historical accuracy, but all in all it is factually sufficiently robust.


    A Little Chaos
    2015 Mark: 8
    Watched: Thu 30 April 2015

    Starring: Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci, Helen McCrory, Matthias Schoenaerts, Steven Waddington, Pauline Moran
    Director: Alan Rickman

    Goodness, there are some excellent films to watch. This film definitely scores high on the feel-good factor, not totally unlike Cinderella (2015), which I watched the day before, it forms a sumptuous collage coupled with a rockin' cast to provide something artistic and satisfying.

    An excellent film was taken to another level by the best score I have noticed since Grand Budapest Hotel (n.b. It was by a bloke called Peter Gregson, and it was his feature film debut. ONE TO WATCH (or listen too). Absolutely brilliant! Might be a good value bet for best score at the Oscars

    Stanley Tucci never fails, and Kate Winslett. Nearly two decades after Titanic and she is still hot, but... she goes into this monologue about a rose and its ageing and I thought “ man that wouldn't half be appropriate if it was self-referential ” (given that she was Rose in Titanic )


    Locke
    2013 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Wed 21 October 2015

    Starring: Tom Hardy
    Director: Steven Knight

    Tom Hardy.. This is the true inheritor of the one-man play, a film so sparse that, apart from wondering what the $2 million budget was spent on, and why a wardrobe designer is credited, one can only marvel at the power of story telling. Like many 'gritty' films this has an enjoyment quotient somewhat less than its quality mark, nevertheless this was incredibly enyouable and most thought-provoking. Just watch it to see a masterclass in acting and narrative. How the fuck can it hold you for 90 minutes? The thing is; it does. I have not been as impressed with the art of theatre since The Woman In Black

    There are moments when Tom Hardy looks like Chris Pratt!


    Long Way Down, A
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Wed 2 April 2014

    Starring: Peirce Brosnan, Imogen Poots, Rosamund Pike, Sam Neill. Toni Colette
    Director: Pascal Chaumeil

    Nothing wrong with watching this on an afternoon suckin' a Doctor Peppers. Aaron Paul kind of steps up for this, so all in all it was a reasonable entertaining watch. Brosnan actually puts in an annoyingly good performance. Watch it and think about it and the part he is playing. Even Sam Neill comes out smelling of roses. Imogen Poots along with Paul redeems herself after Need For Speed - yeah – that'll do!


    The Longest Day
    1962 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Tue 24 February 2015

    Starring: Robert MitchumJohn Wayne, Kenneth More, Richard Todd, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Red Buttons, Peter Lawford, Eddie Albert, Jeffrey Hunter, Stuart Whitman, Tom Tryon, Rod Steiger, Leo Genn, Gert Fröbe, Irina Demick, Bourvil, Curt Jürgens, Robert Wagner, Paul Anka, Arletty.
    Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck

    Watch this and you will see A Bridge Too Far in black and white. An epic movie which takes a relatively focused event and deals with the multiple protagonists.

    I do feel that the wise cracking small fella from, probably, Brooklyn is over-used, along with the military stereotypes of the amazed cockney, the dour Scot, the stiff upper lip English officers, and the Germans who keep repeating lines like “verrry interesting”. John Wayne and Robert Mitchum, quite frankly, get on my tits. Let’s throw Richard Burton in there too.

    I am being too harsh by picking out the negatives, and on writing I realize what a good film this was. Plus points are a ready-made story (which is not really resolved except in the imagination), some interesting characters, an absolutely stellar cast, a huge set and the historical insight. I would single out the extensive use of German and French dialogue with subtitles completely the right way to go, and that this should be the template; as I recall it I can’t remember the subtitles being there, but I do know one never read “very interesting”! To its credit not all the Germans in this film were buffoons or overbearingly arrogant, and it was good to see that a short generation after the events, some were portrayed in a decently sympathetic light. I can’t wait to read the reviews on the historical accuracy, but all in all I would say this is a must-see film, perhaps in tandem with Saving Private Ryan , not just for ‘enjoyment’ but for an insight into the D Day landings and movie making from a world which had heard of Elvis, but not The Beatles

    Thought: Why was James Stewart not in this film? I mean, read his war record and you have one stand-up guy. Was this film below his high standards?


    Looking For Eric
    2009 Mark: 8
    Watched:Fri 1 May 2015

    Starring: Steve Evets, Eric Cantona, John Henshaw
    Director: Ken Loach

    Ken Loach makes films like most of us make a cup of tea. There were some definite eyebrow raising precepts in the story, but what the hell!!! It was thoroughly enjoyable Funny, surprising, poignant. Steve Evets was rightly nominated at Cannes for best actor, and you can not not like Eric Cantona. Can't wait for the next film in the director's season that we are enjoying


    Looper
    2012 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sun 20 April 2014

    Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt,, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt.
    Director: Rian Johnson

    This makes me want to go and watch Memento and Inception again. Good film, solid story and concept, solid performances all round.


    The Lord Of Rings: Return Of King ‡
    2003 Mark: 9

    Starring: Elijah Wood, Middle Earth
    Director: Peter Jackson

    9 for my kids


    Lord Of War
    2005 Mark: 9.5
    Watched:Sat 16 March 2013

    Starring: Nick CageEthan Hawke, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan, Ian Holm, Donald Sutherland
    Director: Andrew Niccol

    Great Everything. Cage's finest. Superb sets, captivating narrative, awesome moral message, extremely enjoyable history lesson


    The Lost Weekend
    1945 Mark: 7.2
    Watched: Sat 28 May 2016

    Starring: Ray Milland&dagger, Jane Wyman
    Director: Billy Wilder

    More American neurosis with a reasonably compelling cast and fascinating views of New York. These can be old-fahioned!


    Lucky Number Sleven
    2006 Mark: 7
    Watched:Wed 19 February 2014

    Starring: Josh Hartnett, Lucy Liu, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, Stanley Tucci, Ben Kingsley
    Director: Paul McGuigan

    Seven it is! Yeah! Good film, great cast, good story decent carachters. Bruce Willis has done a lot of fucking ace films!


    Lucy
    2014 Mark: 8.5
    Watched:Wed 27 August 2014

    Starring: Scarlet Johanssen, Morgan Freeman
    Director: Luc Besson

    One of my favourite films of the year and I tell yer why. Lucy is not an impossibly gifted woman, as depicted in so many female empowerment films. She basically has magic powers, so don't complain about the science you stupid cunts, it is not meant to be the IPCC report, its a film where she gets fucked over, gets magic powers and kicks ass. Speaking of which she is the best female since Hit Girl, totally at one in her universe, good story, believable carachters (if you buy into their universe), spectacular, amusing. What modern movies do brillaintly.


    Macbeth
    2015 Mark: 4.5
    Watched: Thu 15 October 2015

    Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, Sean Harris, Jack Reynor, Elizabeth Debicki, David Thewlis
    Director: Justin Kurzel

    There is not, in my memory, a single minute of five seasons of Game of Thrones , which is less exciting than any moment from this film. There is not, in my memory, a single word or picture in the book Where's Spot? , which is less exciting than any dialogue or frame from this film.

    I am open to persuasion, but COME ON, I left with half an hour to go. Let me quote from a review on IMDB.

    visually impressive, intelligently adapted, atmospheric version of a very famous play. Michael Fassbender is stunning in the title role. What an actor he is! Brutal and sensitive, cruel and caressing, he handles the verse effortlessly, the fights viciously, and he radiates a huge wattage of charisma.

    The thing is, I agree, but if you want visually impressive just go to Scotland, if you want intelligence read Richard Dawkins, If you want atmosphere turn a smoke machine on. etc etc etc. Personally I like a story, and this one was hard to follow. Please, tell me why I am wrong, but I bet yer bottom dollar when it comes to the critics the King will have a splendid new coat on.


    Machete
    2010 Mark: 9
    Watched:Mon 14 September 2015

    Starring: Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Don Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Jeff Fahey
    Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Ethan Maniquis

    Super, totally awesome, template for film makers everywhere. Off a $10 million budget, one of the very best action films I have ever seen, the humour is a blast, the sexual content perfect, the carachters totally larger than life, a stellar cast, and the action is bloody, brutal and straight from the Tex Avery school of cartoon violence. Just unbelievable, the audacity of it all.


    Mad Max
    1979 Mark: 5
    Watched:Tue 15 January 2013

    Starring: Mel Gibson
    Director: George Miller

    Sorrreee. I guess I don't like films which glorify the petrol engine. Apart from that there is little that is challenging about this movie apart from sitting through it to see if the pitch or pace changes. This is written at lerast a year aftyer I have seen the film, but I just remember watching this and the others with Jake and just packing it in half way through Thunderdome


    Mad Max: Fury Road
    2015 Mark: 4
    Watched: Wed 3 June 2015

    Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz
    Director: George Miller

    I am confident that many people will enjoy this more than I did. Why have I given this a four, compared to San Andreas and its seven?

    Fundamentally it is well filmed, and well acted, but you could really divide the film up into 6 minute segments, shuffle them and it would not be that different. It is 2 hours of vehicles in a petrol poor society going off at random tangents and getting smashed up whilst the protagonists look 'ard say very little and think even less. Save your money and instead of going to watch this film, watch the cam on Town End Junction, Pontefract for more or less the same narrative but without the mental guitarist and his whammy bar flame -thrower.


    Made In Dagenham
    2010 Mark: 8
    Watched:Fri 7 February 2014

    Starring: Bob Hoskins, Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson
    Director: Nigel Cole

    I think a half decent hisorical/biographical film will always rate a six, just for quiz value (I love quizzes), but this one brings something else to the table, like a good old triumphal sports story it is an enjoyable watch. I don't know how much of this was real, but hey – story tellers so what story tellers do!


    Magic Mike
    2012 Mark: 4
    Watched:Wed 28 October 2015

    Starring: Channing Tatum, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Matthew McConaughey
    Director: Steven Soderbergh

    If someone can tell me how this ended I guess you might surprise me, but I doubt it. McConaghey is terrific, i never quite know what too make of Channing Tatum, and the rest of the characters kind of got on my nerves. 90 minutes I won't get back, ten minutes would have been sufficient. Too many stage routines, not enough story, very few persons of interest.


    Maleficent
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 9 June 2014

    Starring: Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton
    Director: Robert Stromberg

    This turned out to be better than I thought it would be. Ther best recent retake on a tale is Mirror Mirror , yet this came out with genuine credit


    The Man
    2005 Mark: 7
    Watched:Thu 20 February 2014

    Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Eugene Levy
    Director: Les Mayfield

    You know, somethimes there is nothing wrong with Samuel L Jackson just being given a platform to be Samuel L Jackson (though AFAIK he didn't say 'motherfucker' once.) I should really write more about the plots to remind me in future; basically an out of town dental product salesman gets mixed up with crime in Detroit with hilarious consequenses. Luke Goss is a very good, very typical Anglo- villain but, maybe it just caught me in a good mood, Eugene Levy is just superb, every nuance, subtle carachter change. I doubt this was up for awards at The Venice Film Festival, but it is a long long time since I laughed at a fart scene, but this film carries it!! It is only snobbishness which stops me giving it 7.5.

    I am sooo glad I wrote my review first. This is what it says on Wikipedia

    The Man was blasted by critics, many of whom shared the opinion that the plot was pointless and its jokes rehashed. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes currently reports that the film holds a score of 11% based on 100 reviews.For his two 2005 performances in The Man and Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Eugene Levy received a Razzie nomination for Worst Supporting Actor

    In retrospect, my point is that he (Levy) is meant to be like he is, the script was meant to be cartoon carachters with Tom and Jerry viloence and gags. And definitely not a pointless plot. And every gag is rehashed. Faggots.


    A Man For All Seasons ‡
    1966 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Wed 19 August 2015

    Starring: Paul Schofield†, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Orson Welles, Robert Shaw, Susannah York, Vanessa Redgrave, William Hurt
    Director: Fred Zinnemann†

    I'll tell you how stupid religion is. When I was at junior school, at St Joseph's, Pontefract, they trooped us down to the Crescent Cinema to watch this. If I remember rightly I was bored shitless with it at the time. This second time around, nearly half a century later, it wasne so bad, with a great cast and reasonably engaging story. The dialogue was absolutely wonderful, but the best boost to this film was comparing it to Wolf Hall , and seeing how simialar they are, but from different viewpoints, especially the main protagonosts, thomass Moore and Cromwell. I am absolutely postive that this film has had a massive influence on the TV program. What a cast!


    The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
    2015 Mark: 7.5
    Watched: Tue 1 September 2015

    Starring: Henry Clavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, Hugh Grant
    Director: Guy Ritchie

    2015 is turning into a vintage year for spy/spoof movies, with this delivering a fun reboot of what might have been one of my favourite programmes when I was a kid (I have been told to re-watch them).

    Arnie Hammer and Henry Clavill are kind of perfect in their parts, and, at last, a Hugh Grant role which doesn't annoy, but amuses completely. He has to get a recurring role in James Bond, in fact, feck it – this franchise has got some roll left in it. With hindsight it is just a vehicle for tried and tested clichés, but that is what makes it good, they work, and they are delivered with not just wit, but respect. If you like the idiom, watch this when you are in a good mood and I hope it will entertain


    Man Of Steel
    2013 Mark: 7.5 WatchedThu 1 October 2015

    Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Laurence Fishburne, Russell Crowe
    Director: Zack Snyder

    Excellent ripping yarn with a very appropriate cast. I must admit I am still looking forward to the last 40 minutes, but that is the first thing on today's agenda. Amy Adams is worth an extra point on any film. Henry Cavill will be famous for a long time methinks (You can get (Cal-El) out of his name; what are the odds?)


    Man Up
    2015 Mark: 9
    Watched: Mon 1 June 2015

    Starring: Lake Bell, Simon Pegg, Olivia Williams, Rory Kinnear
    Director: Ben Palmer

    I am so seriously worried about myself. SPOILER ALERT: Man and woman thrown together in unforseen circumstances, have their differences but eventually resolve them to find true love. There I've given it all away. The thing is, it's a story I like, and, in this case, it is done exceedingly well. Thoroughly entertaining script, Pegg and Bell are superb individually and as a team, it never takes itself too seriously, it's just one of those. The sets are the same as used in Bededict Cumberbatch's Sherlock (look at the chase through London with a taxi scene). So err... I feel, four hours later like giving it less than a 9, but it was just a great afternoon's fun which pushed all the right buttons and very few wrong ones


    Nelson Mendela; Long Walk To Freedom
    2013 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 20 January 2014

    Starring: Idris Elba
    Director: Justin Chadwick

    Fascinating story, you almost think they could have made a three parter. With Invictus being the last instalment


    Manhattan
    1979 Mark: 4
    Watched: Thu 12 May 2016

    Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep
    Director: Woody Allen

    Between this and Annie Hall - I feel that I am really missing something. Both of them have multiple accolades, and make all sorts of best-of lists, but quite frankly I found them both, especially this, tedious and irritating. They are only 90 minutes long apiece but they felt like three hours. I didn't like any of the characters, not only that, they were not interesting. Oh la dee dah, look how fucking modern, and educated and cosmopolitan and unhung up we are. Wow, the best things in life are stuff which makes me look hyper-cool when I say it. The jokes would be funny off the cuff, but they sound so shoed in. How dare Woody Allen take Rhapsody in Blue and the rest of the Gershwin catalogue and make it a backing track to his film? (I know, John Landis did it with Mozart at the beginning of Trading Places, but in that case the music was totally appropriate to the set up, not a declaration of artyness).

    This is a theory. Woody Allen uses intellectual humour which some people, many people, just love to endorse, not because it's gut-bustingly funny, but because it reflects on how they wish to be perceived by others. It's the Emperor's new clothes. This is why I hate cities, especially 'cultural' capitals like London and New York that act as magnets for shysters and charlatans whose only claim to superiority is that given them by the equally vacuous tricksters that they surround themselves with. A monkey could run a hedge fund, Willy Mays was born in Alabama, and I could paint a picture to hang upside down without anybody knowing.

    Please - could somebody tell me; why should I love these? Observational humour, it reminds me of all those naff radio 2 DJ's who go on and on about the same point. Masturbation might be sex with someone you love, but I certainly don't want to watch it performed by a spindly, ugly, undersized, pseudo-intellectual who doesn't have the balls to admit that the money and the power are the pussy magnets. Would he really be knocking off an articulate worldly wise 17 year old actress if he were a cab driver or a janitor with exactly the same vocabulary? I wish they would all fuck off and live in the Niger delta for five years - that would be a story!


    The Martian
    2015 Mark: 7.5
    Watched: Wed 30 September 2015

    Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor
    Director: Ridley Scott

    Yep, a lot more fun than Interstellar but it's not Apollo 13

    I read that the science is good, but ... Ah, it's just a yarn, and with a Sub and coffee and biscuits and fruit and nut on it's release day with our Grom it was a nice place to be.

    P.s. I thought the film quality was terrible, like they had left all the backgrounds in 3d.


    Martin And Lewis
    2002 Mark: 2.5
    Watched:Sat 8 March 2014

    Starring: Jeremy Northam, Sean Hayes
    Director: John Gray

    Americans must have a different sense of humour to us. Watched it with Ang, Jake and Julia, Saturday Night Takeaway was funnier. Donald O'Connor in Singin' In The Rain Was genius; This was just a silly face and a stupid voice, the dubbing was poor and the laughter contrived. 5 star veg curry though


    Matchstick Men
    2003 Mark: 8.5
    Watched:Sat 2 March 2013

    Starring: Nick Cage, Sam Rockwell
    Director: Ridley Scott

    This might easily sneak a higher rating if my memory serves me well, I'm a sucker for sucker punches


    The Maze Runner
    2014 Mark: 5.5
    Watched:Wed 15 October 2014

    Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Will Poulter
    Director: Wes Ball

    I reckon there are films that you know what you are going to write about before you have even seen them, and this falls plumb into that department. Teens, experiment, distopia, I can't even be bothered going on. IT DOESN'T WORK WITHIN ITS OWN UNIVERSE!. There were so many peculiarities about this film that I can't list them all, but, eg. 4 gaps open up in the walls around the quarry (which varies between 4 and 1000 acres). WHY OH WHY OH WHY???. The more I think about it the more I want to downgrade it. I will. A bare pass. Jojen Reed!! LOL


    Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
    2015 Mark: 6
    Watched: Thu 1 October 2015

    Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Rosa Salazar, Giancarlo Esposito, Aidan Gillen
    Director: Wes Ball

    If you said to me "Tell us what Maze Runner 1 and 2 are about" I don't think I could talk for more than 30 seconds. In it's defence, I suspect there may be a complexity which has by-passed me, but somebody will have to bail me out if that is the case. This second instalment left me thinking I will watch the third for the sake of completion, whilst Mockingjay has left me really looking forward to the last part of Hunger Games . There's the rub.


    McFarland, USA
    2015 Mark: 8
    Watched: Tue 29 September 2015

    Starring: Kevin Costner
    Director: Niki Caro

    There is no escaping the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It is a Disney sports rags to riches story, and it is done well enough to quickly slash away my cynicism and pull me along on an escapist reflection on David and Goliath in which Kevin Costner is likeable and the rest of the cast magnetic in a cool runnings kind of way. It's formlaic, but it's a formula that works. There is also some 'based upon a true story' about it, which adds to it's value


    Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Sun 6 September 2015

    Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke
    Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

    I thought it might be Fault In Our Stars y. It damn well was, what a terrible double header that would be. Having said that things generally worked in this film, Thomas Mann seemed like a young deadpan Bill Murray, and though quirky in the extreme, I felt generally more invested in it as it went along. I'm going to write this down now and see if I've said it already. Olivia Cooke is from Oldham! (No I haven't; she was in that horror film Ouija


    Mean Girls
    2004 Mark: 8
    Watched:Tue 6 October 2015

    Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey, Lacey Chabert, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, Jonathan Bennett, Amanda Seyfried, Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler
    Director: Mark Waters

    I have got to memorise some of the dialogue from this film. Some portion into the film it was shaping up for a ten, and having said that it wasn't particularly broadsided at any point, it just set itself a very high standard to keep up with! I'd almost place it into that bracket of films that is a touchstone watch, one which in order to hold any converstion about comedic movies it really helps to have seen (Mark Laycock and I were talking about In Bruges, The Usual Suspects, Withnail and I )

    " And on the third day, God created the Remington bolt-action rifle, so that Man could fight the dinosaurs. And the homosexuals. "

    " Amen "


    Memento
    2000 Mark: 6
    Watched:Sat 4 October 2014

    Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Stephen Tobolowsky
    Director: Christopher Nolan

    The six I gave this film, I have little doubt, does not reflect its merit. It tries to tell you I enjoyed the film, but not as much as Lets Be Cops . I am sure it demands another watch, or even one of the edited versions that puts the timeline conventionally. Don't in fact, read this review 'cos it won't tell you anything. Apart from perhaps I'm a bit dim on non linear narratives (I didn't like Pulp Fiction when I first saw it!!!


    Men In Black 3
    2012 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sat 5 September 2015

    Starring: Will Smith, Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Kones, Emma Thompson, Bill Hader, Will Arnett, Nicole Sherzinger, Lady Gaga, Rip Torn, Tim Burton
    Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

    An ideal way to spend an evening! As our Jake says, time displacement is a fertile patch for exploration, and a funny and entertaining thread is absolutely lit up by Josh Brolin as Tommy Lee Jones. Makes me chuckle to think of it even now. The vertigoal scene's were genuinely hairy, even on a domestic TV. Solid shit.


    The Men Who Stare At Goats
    2009 Mark: 7.8
    Watched:Sat 21 November 2015

    Starring: George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Goat
    Director: Grant Heslov

    There is nothing quite like a goat credit to favourably colour your recollections of a film. I'm thinking 7.8 is on the high side, but the goat convinced me otherwise. This puzzled me in that all the time the text is hinting that it is true, yet it is not. Men can not run through walls, so, wheras the denoument of Big Fish is a credible reveal, this ending just harpoons credibility. Maybe it is meant that way, but I would have prefered a film on the topic where I could walk away believing that it was largely truth with a few stretchers, as opposed to a mickey take. George Clooney at his absolute best.


    Micmacs
    2009 Mark: 7
    Watched:Tue 9 December 2014

    Starring: Dany Boon, Dominique Pinon
    Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

    Another lend from Rebecca, another monochromy French film watched with subtitles. These films I am watching from her have very simialar ensembles of very quirky carachters doing insane shit. Apart from being a companion to Delicatessen I reckon it would make a decent triple with Blood Diamond and the magnificent Lord Of War In the context of looking at corruption and exploitation between the west and the rest


    Midnight Cowboy ‡
    1969 Mark: 7

    Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight
    Director: John Schlesinger

    I could be persuaded to watch this again to up its rating


    Midnight In Paris
    2011 Mark: 9
    Watched:2014

    Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux, Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody
    Director: Woody Allen

    I didn't review this at the time of watching, but I know I was blown away by it. I am not a huge Woody Allen fan, I think he is way overated, nevertheless, this is beautiful, funny, intriguing. It's what we watch films for


    Mike Bassett: England Manager
    2001 Mark: 10.012
    Watched:Sun 5 July 2015

    Starring: Ricky Tomlinson, Amanda Redman, Bradley Walsh
    Director: Steve Barron

    Definitive football film. How this articulates everything that is crazy and wrong and compelling about the game and the treatment of it, from within, from the fans and from the media. Ricky Tomlinson is perfect, and the cast back him up by dissecting football personalities present and past. I suppose this carries extra meaning to me, I am such a cynic about football. English studios make some brilliant films!


    Miller's Crossing
    1990 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sun 22 November 2015

    Starring: Gabreil Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, John Turturro, Jon Polito, J. E. Freeman, Albert Finney
    Director: Joel Coen

    This is a decent film. I, personally, can not say it is a genre classic, though some would disagree; the dialogue was there, the noir was noir can get, the actors, especially Jon Polito played their part,s but a complex set of relationships, ergo plot, lost all credibility with the scenes at the nominal location. Just impossible, it would never happen that way once, let alone twice.


    Million Dollar Baby ‡
    2004 Mark: 8

    Starring: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, Morgan Freeman
    Director: Clint Eastwood

    Two films, you just have to watch it to see what I mean


    A Million Days To Die In The West
    2014 Mark: 8
    Watched:Mon 9 June 2014

    Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, Liam Neeson
    Director: Seth MacFarlane

    I know this wasn't perhaps the best acted film ever, that the situation comedy may have been contrived, blah, blah blah, nevertheless I liked the cast, enjoyed the film, found it kind of believable, pretty funny and would love to watch shit like this all the live long day. I also think there were some genuinely touching moments, but what do I know?


    Minions
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Wed 10 June 2015

    Starring: Sandra Bullock, Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
    Directors: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

    Sorry fans, but I never quite got on with Despicable Me (Russell Brand gets on my tits), Whatever, given my reticence, this turned out OK for me, with arguably the best animated rendering of real places that I can remember seeing since Shaun The Sheep, if not eva. It kind of has that family friendly irreverence that provides an edge, albeit not dangerously sharp, but if you are looking for mayhem in London, check out Paddington first


    Mirror Mirror
    2012 Mark: 8
    Watched:Mon 14 April 2014

    Starring: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer, Nathan Lane, Sean Bean
    Director: Tarsem Singh

    What a guilty pleasure. There is not much to find wrong with this movie, and a great deal that is most praiseworthy. It won the costume Oscar, fair enough, if I were a girl I guess I would just love that aspect of it. For me it took a story we are all familiar with and gave it a huge slant without being disrespectful. Like Hook it delivered established characters with an interesting, but above all credible and amusing story. Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane and especially Armie Hammer were genuinely hilarious without resorting to shock or childishness. I would have to ask a six year old, but I presume it has its genuinely scary aspects as well, the surreality is like 60s Eastern European. I am sure the creators of the original story would approve entirely. Sumptuous, funny and credible. Good film.

    PS Bean's late appearance does no harm whatsoever, and the Bolly end? – Brilliant!


    Mission: Impossible 5: Rogue Nation
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Fri 31 July 2015

    Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin
    Director: Christopher McQuarrie

    This is actually a spoof of the series, Simon Pegg is exactly what you would expect, like a Chuckle Brother, despite which, this is a film that is quite a reasonable add to the watch list. Go and watch Spy, or especially Kingsman for a better version of this kind of thing, but don't write this off because of the excellence of them.


    Moneyball
    2011 Mark: 7.8
    Watched: Mon 2 May 2016

    Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt, Robin Wright, Spike Jonze, Joe Satriani
    Director: Bennett Miller

    Terrific film, half story, half documentary with a fascinating story. I would really love to know if Claudio ranieri has watched this.


    Monsters; Dark Continent
    2015 Mark: 6.5
    Watched: Tue 5 May 2015

    Starring: Johnny Harris
    Director: Tom Green

    This might just be a better film than I imagined. It was not the roaring, explosion filled, monster fest I anticipated, although it did not lack for monsters and roaring and explosions. It had the feel of American Sniper meets The Day After Tomorrow on 8 mile and, has left me wondering was it an anti-war film. I think it was. SPOILER ALERT: If you want monster action you WILL be disappointed. If a film makes you think about it afterwards, that may indicate that it has merits unrealised. Mmmm....

    I was going to say it had a lot of Godzilla about it and damn, Gareth Edwards was Executive Producer.

    I should have realised and articulated this prior to going to the discussions, but say you took every monster out and replaced them with, say, camels, it would have made no material difference to the film.


    The Monuments Men
    2013 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sun 16 February 2014

    Starring: George Clooney, Kate Blanchet, John Goodman, Jean Du Jardin, Matt Damon
    Director: George Clooney

    Falling almost into the bracket of 'good for quiz purposes', This provides a fascinating look at the choices we face in war time, and the values we place on things on life in general. Definite moist eye moment in the hospital, all star cast, like Last Vegas , except its not in Las Vegas and they are getting shot at and the actors are 25 years younger (at least) and just about everything else. For some reason I found it hard to grade this film, but we'll stick at a tenous 7, for a film which maintained the interest and informed


    Moonrise Kingdom
    2013 Mark: 9
    Watched: Sun 17 January 2016

    Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban
    Director: Wes Anderson

    This may be the most beautiful movie I have ever watched. In case you didn't know Wes Anderson makes films with deep vivid pastel colours, loads of lateral and vertical panning, and his subjects are often straight faced but indocyncratically hilarious (watch his films, if you like one, you'll like them all). This is my second favourite of his films (I will always love Rushmore ).

    This is the film which The Royal Tennaumbaums wanted to be. It gives you hope in human nature, it makes you love (and forgive) kids and it makes you love a lot of adults. The stellar cast all do what they wanted to do, and that is be part of a great, funny, non-patronising film which makes the world a better place.


    A Most Wanted Man
    2014 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sun 14 September 2014

    Starring: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright,
    Director: Anton Corbijn

    I had not heard of this film until I bought the ticket, and had no idea what to expect. A pleasant surprise is what I found, spooks, Germany and overcast to damp, I thought straight away it was very like something John LeCarré would have written. Philip Seymour Hoffman, in what must have been his last role was really good, and the film somehow managed to transfer complex plot in an understandable way. If you liked Smileys people and The Constant Gardner you'd like this. It was John Le Carré


    Moulin Rouge
    2001 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Tue 15 April 2014

    Starring: Ewan McGregor, Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent
    Director: Baz Lurmhan

    7.5 is getting to be a bit of a catch-all. Terrific film with some absolutely outstanding musical numbers. Euan MacGregor has such a beautiful voice and the sets are huge. The drama can be just a bit prolonged in places, but the thread holds together enough to make this platform for colour and sound the full package


    Mr Turner
    2014 Mark: 3.5
    Watched:Fri 7 November 2014

    Starring: Timothy Spaul
    Director: Mike Leigh

    The moment I saw the posters go up for this I was agog with excitement, it being a Mike Leigh biopic about a seminal English artist, just the kind of thing I like.

    What a disappointment. It was, in effect, a two and a half hour death scene, but played out over seeming unrelated locations lead by a Timothy Spaul who was not a million miles away in dialogue from Barry in Auf Wiedersein Pet a million years earlier with just a slightly different accent and a penchant for grunting which lost freshness after two minutes.

    ’Art’, is demonstrably beset by pomposity. People’s physical perceptions have not altered significantly between 1890 and today, yet Van Gogh only sold 1 of over 2000 artworks in his lifetime. What makes him such a fuckin’ genius now? Mental perceptions, that’s what, cognitive dissonance, the Emperor’s new clothes. That Carly Johnson’s Rhythm Of The Trees won a place in a Manchester Fine Arts exhibition says a deal about art and value. That the academy president Glenys Latham doesn’t “ feel in the least embarrassed ” and sold the daubing of a four year old to a buyer in the United States for over £400 says something about which I find most chilling about human nature. Is this person a lying criminal, or does he genuinely think that his perceptions of ‘art’ trump mine? You can’t have it both ways.

    When the New York Museum of Modern Art hung up a painting upside down for six weeks, did anybody who had anything to do with it, as a curator or an observer shyly say “ whoops, you got me there ”? NO – they are currently running a whole exhibition by the same artist (Henri Matisse).

    The ‘value’ ascribed to art is 99.9% that placed upon it by brokers of what is a finite resource in a consumptive world, the Charles Saatchis and snotty critics, supported by hoards of simpering sycophants who really believe what they are told. I have never once said that Turner’s work is poor (I quite like it), but what I am saying is that it is difficult to get a reliable appraisal of paintings, ‘cos most of the time it is just arty and bullshit.

    What bought about this digression from the topic, the film. Dunno. I would not recommend you pay to watch this film, and if you are bored after 30 minutes, don’t blame me if you sit through the next two hours. Hell you might even like it!

    Rant over!


    Mrs. Brown's Boys D'movie
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 14 July 2014

    Starring: Brendan O'Connell
    Director: Ben Kellett

    There was something quite refreshing about this. £3 million budget, critically rejected, 9 mil at the box-office so far, a little self conscious, nevertheless, funny, endearing, with an ability to retain investment the longer it went on. There was a Wilhelm scream on the bridge, but that is a good thing. There was a barrister with tourretes, I think more in a fishing for laughs rather than an homage to Not Another Teen Movie which failed a little, nevertheless the breaking of the fourth wall varied from expected to genuinely becoming. A caper, not quite in the league of The Parole Officer yet one which provided a nice evening at the flicks, and an antidote to Transformers 4 which ran a little too long


    Mrs. Miniver ‡
    1942 Mark: 8
    Watched:Sat 5 July 2014

    Starring: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon
    Director: William Wyler

    I let my guard down for this, therefore thoroughly enjoyed the stereotype characters and the general British Stiff Up Lip. Story above Cinematography makes this far more entertaining than Gone With The Wind


    Mud
    2012 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 26 October 2015

    Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Reese Witherspoon, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Joe Don Baker, Paul Sparks
    Director: Jeff Nichols

    A very very solid seven, i.e. It was not weighed down by any expectation, therefore having taped it from film four, it provided an entertaining night in. All aspects of the film were spot on, it is a reflection on how good modern films generally are. Two members of the Boardwalk Empire cast were there, and all cast members have a degree of backstory. I know it doesn't make any difference to the value of the film, but it has some fascination!


    The Mummy
    1959 Mark: 5
    Watched: Sun 1 May 2016

    Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing
    Director: Terence Fisher

    I did not watch this all the way through, but I watched it long enough for the giggle, but really, I suppose I could have seen it out, but there are better things to do. If you love this kind of Hammer Horror stuff, this is the dog's, but it's just too OTT for me. Very corney, hence quite amusing


    My Fair Lady ‡
    1964 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sat 15 August 2015

    Starring: Rex Harrison†, Audrey Hepburn, Marni Nixon, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Jeremy Brett
    Director: George Kukor†

    After 40 minutes I gave up the fight and started enjoying it. Rex Harrison is crazy funny, Audrey Hepburn is, frankly, rubbish (it should have been Julie Andrews), The dubbing is laughable, the songs can go on a bit, but, you just can't resist good old fashioned values!


    National Treasure 2; Book Of Secrets
    2004 Mark: 8
    Watched:Fri 1 March 2013

    Starring: Nick Cage, Sean Bean, Ed Harris, Helen Mirren, John Voight
    Director: Jon Turteltaub

    Was this really an 8? – I can't remember


    Natural Born Killers
    1994 Mark: 8.6
    Watched:Wed 9 March 2016

    Starring: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Downey Jr. Rodney Dangerfield, Tom Sizemore
    Director: Oliver Stone

    Mickey and Mallory Knox are without a doubt the most twisted depraved pair of shitfucks it has ever been my displeasure to lay my god damn eyes on. I tell you these two motherfuckers are a walking reminder of just how fucked up this system really is.

    I must have just watched this for a third time, and there a parts I don't remember seeing. Very hallucinatory, decent story and absolutely top notch carachters from the six main actors. Juliet Lewis is really something special and Woody Harrelson has really carved himself a rock-hard persona. The last time I saw it was a long time before I started keeping records, and I gave it a ten. I now realise that it is not quite that, it is still a beautiful and engaging piece of work, and I would thoroughly recommend this to anybody. It's an 8.6.


    Need For Speed
    2014 Mark: 4.5
    Watched:Wed 2 April 2014

    Starring: Aaron Paul, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul
    Director: Scott Waugh

    Ah, go on then. The trailers were awful, the morality despicable, nevertheless. It was a big film, with stereotypical yet enjoyable characters and it was a reasonable watch at the pictures


    Network
    1976 Mark: 8.5
    Watched:Thu 8 October 2015

    Starring: Peter Finch†, Faye Dunaway†, William Holden, Robert Duvall, Beatrice Straight†
    Director: Sidney Lumet

    Another theatrical (in the literaral sense) masterpiece from Sidney Lumet. This is just a superb dissection of celebrity, greed, ambition, sycophancy, power and pure human weakness all wrapped up securly in non-rip irony and labled with humanity.

    I will admit to being cynical about watching a 70s film dealing with these topics, yet, given that the sex did feel a little awkward, it was like being on a stage, with an age old story driven by superb dialogue and, in Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Robert Duvall and especially Peter Finch, four lead actors which never lagged in terms of grabbing one's attention. The Birdman of its time. (That is meant to be very high praise)


    Nightcrawler
    2014 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Thu 6 November 2014

    Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, Bill Paxton
    Director: Dan Gilroy

    Yep, this ticks the boxes. The only thing that fans of American Psycho might not like about this film is that one might imagine it to be a little derivative. That said, Jake Gyllenhaal is absolutely superb as Patrick Bateman (Louis Bloom really!), The arc is rock solid, maintaining interest throughout, You want to know where it is going without having any idea what the little scamp is up to. L.A.? Who’d want to live there?


    No Country For Old Men ‡
    2007 Mark: 8.3
    Watched:Fri 10 June 2016

    Starring: Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Kelly McDonald, Woody Harrelson
    Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

    The Cohen brothers do this so well. I have got to watch this again to see if my memory serves me well

    My memory did not serve me so well, or it doesn't stand repeat watching as well as I thought it might. Not withstanding it is a wicked piece of film, with an absolutely outstanding crew, that Roger Deakins should have been a shoe in for cinematography, that it is almost definietly better than my reating suggests, there is no avoiding the fact that I was pausing it for a sleep or to make a cup of coffee, and in pure enjoyment terms it wasn't as briskly measured as say, Fargo or as funny as Hail Caesar! Still brilliant though!


    No Escape
    2015 Mark: 6
    Watched: Wed 9 September 2015

    Starring: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan
    Director: John Erick Dowdle

    If Gravity was an inverted version of The Poseidon Adventure , then this was the lateral version. Spoiler alert: here is a good idea for a screenplay:

  • Everything seems hunky dory, but after about 10 minutes..
  • Whoops! What's happening??? something goes wrong
  • Pierce Brosnan is Ricky Gervais
  • Whoops! What's happening??? things get worse
  • Meanwhile our protagonist(s) navigate there way through ever increasing jeopardy, discovering depths to their resilience and ingenuity that they had never realised they possessed
  • Our protagonists, against all odds, reach safety by the skin of their teeth. Phew! That was close, aren't we all happy now?
    Noah
    2014 Mark: 5
    Watched:Sat 17 May 2014

    Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Anthony Hopkins
    Director: Darren Aranovsky

    Phffff... Well it was fairly spectacular, but perhaps half an hour too long, went a little flat for that 30 minutes, didn't give one much background into the bible story, and left losts of shit unresolved. Did I see a flock of birds at the end of the film (ie more than two)?


    Non-Stop
    2014 Mark: 8
    Watched:Wed 5 March 2014

    Starring: Liam Neeson, Lupita Nyong'o, Julianne Moore
    Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

    Ever since Airplane spelt the death knell of the blockbuster disaster movement it has been impossible to watch a smorgasbrod of humanity arrive at a terminal and load their lives and luggage onto an imperilled vehicle. Ah, that Elmer Bernstien music repeats over and over again, and you are just waiting for the old lady to translate jive for the air-hostess.

    The Disaster Movie is Back! All the clichés are reunited and held together in a story which takes place almost entirely in the aircraft cabin, when a well gnarly Liam Neeson who has as much metephorical baggage as a man should not be allowed to bring within ten miles of an airport runs around between the bogs and the cockpit carrying the twists and turns of the plot along with the lives of the 150 passengers* (including the frightened 8 year old girl, the love interest, the muslims, the brothers, and the old lady (who probably speaks jive). Phew! I'm still hyper.

    *149 – George Zip died this morning


    Not Another Teen Movie
    2001 Mark: 7
    Watched:Thu 10 July 2014

    Starring: Chris Evans, Chyler Leigh, Jaime Pressly, Paul Gleason
    Director: Joel Gallen

    I couldn't help but get sucked into this relentless barage of grossness and (deliberate) cliché. I guess it needed doing, even if most teen movies parody themselves anyway. I feel really guilty but it was more or less thoroughly entertaining with some real LOL moments. Now I've marked and reviewed it I am keen to see what the critics have to say...


    Oliver! ‡
    1968 Mark: 5.6
    Watched: Sat 16 January 2016

    Starring: Jack Wild, Kathe Green, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed, Harry Secombe, Jack Wild, Hugh Griffith, Joseph O'Conor, Peggy Mount, Leonard Rossiter, Hylda Baker
    Director: Carol Reed

    I have to say that a line drawing for the first six minutes does not put one into the most positive state of mind for a film, consequently the first half of this film was spent wishing it along. Very recognisable songs, I was never a fan of Harry Secombe as a comedian or a singer, and once you have seen Wicked and Avenue Q all this Lionel Bart stuff seems kind of dated, with songs not seeming to move the plot along that much and just seem to be put in for set peieces which lead to an inconsistent mood to a movie that lasts over 150 minutes. I also don't like cockney cants.

    Now, that's the bad bits out of the way, I am colouring it in the morning after and imagining I saw a film which carries a lot of history with it, some magnificent set pieces, some curious irony in the humour, some carachters which develop along with the film, a second half that has genuine arc and good performances from Jack Wilde, Oliver Reed and an absolute beauty from Ron Moody, who potentially had the most difficult job in portraying what seemed written as a slightly uncomfortable stereotype.

    It is so refreshing to see those good old-fashioned values where, for instance, a stupid woman (yeah I know.. tautolgy) refuses to do the bidding of her drunken boyfriend and gets the good old crack the bitch deserves, then justifies it by singing a song about how that's all OK (As Long As He Needs Me ). A shining example to all relationships.


    Olympus Has Fallen
    2013 Mark: 7
    Watched:Fri 11 April 2014

    Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Ashley Judd, Melissa Leo
    Director: Antoine Fuqua

    This is, given that it could have been terrible, frikkin' awesome! An entry into my top 100 quotes: .Mike Banning (ie Gerard Butler) to Kang "Why don't you and I play a game of fuck off. You go first...."


    On Deadly Ground
    1994 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Mon 22 December 2014

    Starring: Steven Seagal, Michael Caine, Joan Chen, John C. McGinley, R. Lee Ermey, Kenji Nakano, Billy Bob Thornton
    Director: Steven Seagal

    Watched this the same night as Heat and gave it half a point more. How is this possible, a Steven Seagal vanity project that had multiple Razzie nominations and a win for Seagal as director? Because I enjoyed it, it had a good story, marverlously theatrical carachters, and a surprising, out of context in terms of action, ending which put me right and the back foot and confirmed that this film, although technically flawed is GOOD. Look, it's a fucking pantomime, accept it as that and stop whinging on about delivery from a bloke who is better at martial arts than he is at Shakespeare.

    NB, our Jake had real trouble getting hold of this, just the same as me with An Incoinvenient Truth and Whatever Happened To The Electric Car , which I still haven't got yet.


    On The Waterfront ‡
    1954 Mark: 7.2
    Watched: Mon 18 January 2016

    Starring: Marlon Brando†, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Pat Henning, Eva Marie Saint†, Fred Gwynne, Martin Balsam
    Director: Elia Kazan†

    I suppose the question is, why have I not given this multiple Oscar winning film, with a great cast and solid message, a higher mark? There is something doesn't feel quite right about it, and I subsequently read that it was based upon a Pulitzer winning exposé of 1949 and people say it is Elia Kazan's excuse for going front of the American comitte of Dicks and fingering all his 'mates' . It feels like that as well. Look, I didn't hate it, it's just that I don't think it was that good, the acting was a little stilted (I liked Karl Malden and Lee J. Cobb was himself), but I just felt that it wouldn't have fallen the way it did.

    SPOILER ALERT

    Don't foget, Terry Malloy was a renowned fighter, Johnny had KILLED his brother. He would not have been turned against by the populous, the kids on the roof would not have blacked him. Some films get the message across from the heart. This one seems to lack the genuine soul. The shouting over the klaxons incident was stupid, and they overdid the smoke in the park. A bloke gets crushed at work and there is no inquiry?? It is a good speech in the taxi though!


    Once Upon A Time In America
    1984 Mark: 6
    Watched: Wed 2 March 2016

    Starring: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, Burt Young, Tuesday Weld, Treat Williams, Jennifer Connelly
    Director: Sergio Leone

    If asked to define the term "sprawling epic" this film was made to do just that. I watched it over three sittings, and I can't even remember Joe Pesci being in it. I presume it needs watching again. Philospophically, allthough gangsters are easy to like (Sopranos), there is a bit of me which wishes we could rise above it, and realise that the pen pushers and traffic wardens are probably much better people to have around


    One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest ‡
    1975 Mark: 10.006

    Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, William Redfield, Brad Dourif, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Scatman Crothers
    Director: Miloš Forman

    Beautiful, poignant and Louise Fletcher


    Ordinary People ‡
    1980 Mark: 3.5
    Watched:Fri 9 October 2015

    Starring: Donald Sutherland , Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, Timothy Hutton†
    Director: Robert Redford†

    Oh dear oh dear, where have I gone wrong? I watched this too the end because of the Oscar accolades, but call me a philistine, I just didn't see it. I disliked just about every carachter and the plot was either predictable or pointlessly hidden. Like Company Men I'm sure this film is very relevant to people who can't do without their Mercedes, but I find it just pure annoying, and an insult to anybody who is not in the top 20% of American earners.

    Timothy Hutton the supporting actor? mmm, seemed like lead to me.


    The Other Guys
    2010 Mark: 8.2
    Watched: Wed 2 March 2016

    Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton, Steve Coogan, Ray Stevenson, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Rob Riggle, Damon Wayans, Jr., Bobby Cannavale, Adam McKay, Ice-T, Derek Jeter, Brooke Shields
    Director: Adam McKay

    Aww! Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg make a really funny film with some good messages tagged along. Epic cast, brilliant action. As with all Will Ferrell films (apart from Stranger Than Fiction), what the hell do you expect?


    The Other Woman
    2014 Mark: 4
    Watched:Mon 5 May 2014

    Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Nicki Minaj, Taylor Kinney, Don Johnson
    Director: Nick Cassavetes

    I feel so guilty giving this just a four, but that's all it was, a pleasant enough evening at the cinema, if I'd have had a watch I would have been looking at it. Spoiler Alert. Jamie Lanister gets the shits, his hair comes out ( a bit) he grows tits ( a bit) and he walks into a glass door (twice). There is a lot of falling over and girly hugs. Just not my type of fil I guess.


    Ouija
    2014 Mark: 3.5
    Watched:Thu 6 November 2014

    Starring: Olivia Cooke
    Director: Stiles White

    I gave this about an hour and felt that there was nothing new going to come my way, so left to catch Nightcrawler instead. The question posed by this film is “How utterly stupid can 5 American teenagers played by twenty somethings be?” I mean you would have imagined that after three of them had died in separate, mysterious and brutal incidents that going into a house without informing the National Guard and not turning the lights on would have been low down the list of priorities.

    OK, I did start a couple of times but I do that when I’m getting a jar of coffee down. If I want plot I’d rather watch a porno! Look, I’m not a fan of ‘horror’ and this is why, it is just 90 minutes waiting for someone to say “BOO!”.


    Our Brand Is Crisis
    2015 Mark: 7.5
    Watched: Tue 26 January 2016

    Starring: Sandra Bullock, Scoot McNairy, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Ann Dowd, Joaquim de Almeida
    Director: David Gordon Green

    I don't know if it's because I've been watching Narcos on Netflix, but I'm getting to quite like subtitled South American stuff. Was this a comedy, a drama, documentary, a message film or some combination of all four? I think the latter, and though it might not easy to pigeonhole, the lurches between genres were not so violent as to give one altitude sickness. Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob are always a good start, it held my intrest throughout, and I am still not sure how it ended... (Actually I am 99%, but I'm not going to spill the cocoa beans here). I feel sure it is going to get mixed reviews, but I enjoyed it anyhoo. (I was right!)


    Out Of Africa ‡
    1985 Mark: 4

    Starring: Meryl Streep
    Director: Sydney Pollack

    Eewww! You always feel so guilty not spunking over an Oscar winner, but I'd so much rather watch Daktari, which at least doesn't pretend to be so self-righteous


    Pacific Rim
    2013 Mark: 7
    Watched:Fri 6 June 2014

    Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Ron Perlman
    Director: Guilermo Del Toro

    Monster movie. A no-holds barred, no laws of science sacrosant, big tableau, loud noises, heroes and villains, colourful, mother-fucker of a MONSTER movie..... I'm not sure if the Top Gun triumphalism in parts wasn't totally toungue in cheek, I reckon if I'd have been a kid I might have absolutely loved this. Both this and Godzilla turned out in some ways better than I expected, if not quite carrying the satisfaction of intrigue or surprise within the story. I've said something like this before, but if they do a crossover film between them... Wow!

    I suppose this could apply to most films, but watch it on the biggest screen you can.


    Paddington
    2014 Mark: 8
    Watched:Fri 16 January 2015

    Starring: Ben Wishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Nicole Kidman, Matt Lucas
    Director: Paul King

    That turned out slightly better than I thought it would, and I thought I might enjoy it. I say I don't want to see animals farting... well it happened!, but I'll let it slide, as the film was kind of cool. I like stereotyping, and cute furry animals and Mrs Coulter and slapstick, and Paddington the bear was very believable as a part of the show, Hugh Bonneville was just right, as was his wife and I just enjoyed it. So there. Take the kids (I did hear gasps from some of them in the audience).


    Pan
    2015 Mark: 7.3
    Watched: Wed 28 October 2015

    Starring: Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, Adeel Akhtar, Nonso Anozie, Amanda Seyfried, Levi Miller
    Director: Joe Wright

    I like this less now than I did when I saw it. I expected worse, it could have been much better. In terms of imagination it was terrific, Rooney Mara sufficed, Hugh Jackman could not outhook Dustin Hoffman, the story was reasonable and imaginative, the cinematography was absolutely magnificent and I enjoyed it. The trouble is, Hook casts a long shadow over the Peter Panstory. I think it may have been set up for a sequel, as there were no Lost Boys, no Darling family, no Nana and no Rufio, Rufio, Ruf-ee-oooo. Singing Smells like the Teen Spirit? Moulin Rouge did it already.

    It has been set up to prequel Hook, as though Peter was just out of the age range to become Peter Banning in London, Julia pointed out that in Neverland he does not grow up. Call.


    Paper Towns
    2015 Mark: 6
    Watched: Wed 2 September 2015

    Starring: Nat Wolf, Cara Delevingne
    Director: Jake Schreier

    Weirdly not totally convincing teen bro/romance which didn't quite hang together but was fairly easy on the eye. It would be interesting to hear the point of view of someone who likes this stuff.


    Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
    2015 Mark: 2.5
    Watched: Mon 16 November 2015
    Director: Gregory Plotkin

    This is just so not my cup of tea, I was reluctant to mark it any lower, as it wasn't like it upset me, it just ahs that feel of the Benny Hill show, or Porno, like you've seen it alll before and five minutes is enough. Just another variation on 'boo' I didn't feel anything revelationary coming on so I quit it. Not that I don't like horrors, for instance Unfriended was cool, it's just that there is only so much you can do with them, and this did just that!!


    ParaNorman
    2012 Mark: 8.2
    Watched:Mon 30 November 2015

    Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Casey Affleck, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bernard Hill, Alex Borstein, John Goodman
    Directors: Sam Fell, Chris Butler

    I so loved this film, and I love the message when it is done right when this almost was. Was the clock tower on the Town Hall the same as Hill Valley's?.

    I honestly didn't even know this was an animation, but when the Laika production card appeared and I had just watched Coraline I knew it would be good!

    I particularly liked the way this film 'unfolded', the longer I watched it, the more I liked it. Beautiful


    The Parole Officer
    2001 Mark: 8
    Watched:Wed 25 June 2014

    Starring: Steve Coogan, Om Puri, Steven Waddington, Ben Miller, Emma Williams, Stephen Dillane, Lena Headey, Omar Sharif, Jenny Agutter, Simon Pegg
    Director: John Duggan

    August Rush effect! Looking back a couple of days to when I watched this film, I am picking holes in it. Why? It is a very British caper movie in the great tradition, and why be ashamed of that. I noticed that Lena Hedley (Queen Cersie) was in it. When I recognised Stephen Dillane (Stannis) as the main bad guy I was never going to not enjoy this film. Right now I think I have over-rated this film. When I had finished watching it I didn't think I had. Awww crap, I feel so guilty now, but I am not downgrading!


    Passport To Pimlico
    1949 Mark: 8
    Watched:Sat 13 December 2014

    Starring: Stanley Holloway, Margaret Rutherford, Charles Hawtry, Hermione Baddeley
    Director: Henry Cornelius

    I just love this kind of stuff. Why? There must be some nostalgia attatched, to see Picadilly Circus in 1949 after I've been there at least half a dozen times this year is really quite special. The acting is like Carleton Theatre group. That is NOT a bad thing, it's terrific that these guys exaggerate what nowadays would be nuance. The story is great, the consequences hilarious, the true ancestor of British film and TV humour, from Monty Python through to Peep Show . Would I rather watch this than The Battle Of The Five Armies (budget $250 million)? Damn right I would.


    Patton ‡
    1970 Mark: 8
    Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

    Starring: George C Scott†, Karl Malden, Michael Bates
    Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

    I don't know how accurate a portrayal of history this was. Even the real history was only that written by the victors, nevertheless, if you want a film to give you an insight into a person you didn't know that much about who has played a critical role in the scheme of things, don't watch Enigma . Watch this instead.


    Paul
    2011 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sun 23 November 2014

    Starring: Seth Rogen, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, David Koechner, Sigourney Weaver, Jeffrey Tambor
    Director: Greg Mottola

    There is little to fault about films like this, good to see Jeffrey Tambor and Jaseon Bateman from Arrested Development in the same film, Nick Frost and Simon pegg do precisely what they always do, Paul, an alien, was as convincing a bit of CGI / Stop Motion / whatever that I have seen so far, and Kristen Wiig was really funny! (I thought she was Amy Adams). I love movies.


    Peggy Sue Got Married
    1986 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Sat 17 May 2014

    Starring: Kathleen Turner, Nicolas Cage, Jim Carrey, Helen Hunt, Joan Allen, Catherine Hicks,, Sofia Coppola
    Director: Francis Ford Coppola

    Hard to go wrong with temporal displacement films even when they are done by non geeky people who understand the paradoxes that might be set up. Unusually I watched this over the same weekend as La Bamba (they are set in the same era)


    Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
    2010 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Sat 11 January 2014

    Starring: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Piers Brosnan, Joe Pantiliano, Sean Bean, Uma Thurman, Steve Coogan,. Rasorio Dawson
    Director: Chris Columbus

    Was this just more fun than Hunger Games ?
    Absolutely stellar cast, one of the lads in my tutor class at Plymouth said it was his favourite film, and I've been meaning to watch it ever since. Would I rather watch this than Gravity ? Yes I would!!


    Perfect Stranger
    2007 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Tue 13 October 2015

    Starring: Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi
    Director: James Foley

    This just managed to keep me hanging on until three quarters of the way through I was quite intrested in, and satidfied by, The resolution. There are plenty of better films kicking about but I wasn't kicking myself about watching this. Good idea filming three different endings!


    Persepolis
    2007 Mark: 7.8
    Watched: Sat 4 June 2016

    Starring: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve
    Directors: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud

    This is exquisite. It is an object lesson how reams of information can be loaded into stark graphics, a real story, of a real person in real places, from their own perspective, but witha perception which resonates with this viewer who has concerns about humanity. This should be on the national curiculam for Geography, history, politics, religion and ethics. With this and Ratatouillie it is putting 2007 into the vintage year bracket! This film justified the purchace of a new telly.


    Philomena
    2013 Mark: 8.8
    Watched: Fri 4 March 2016

    Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Michelle Fairley
    Director: Stephen Frears

    This is why we should hate religion. This tells the same story as Spotlight, but in a whole lot more of an endearing way, in that it exposes the institutianlised dishonesty of religion; not the cockameme people living to 900 years old in a world only 4,000 years old, but the ready acceptance of it being somehow OK to LIE to gain false advantage. I read that Sister Hildegarde was portrayed factually wrongly. Well, they must have had Sister Christina for a template, an evil, spiteful, vindictive woman, with completely fucked up ideas regarding morality and who left the world a worse place for her breathing.

    As for the film? A pure delight, watching Judy Dench not being a 'national treasure', just hitting it off with (fairly serious) Steve Coogan in the ultimate buddy pairing. British film making doing what it does best, delivering a knockout punch with real humour and empathy


    Phone Booth
    2003 Mark: 6
    Watched:Tue 3 May 2016

    Starring: Colin Farrell, Forest Whitaker, Katie Holmes, Radha Mitchell, Kiefer Sutherland.
    Director: Joel Schumacher

    Reasonable concept, reasonable characters but just a little too implausable to hook me in. I quite like Colin Farrell in this, and Whitaker was preparing himself for the Shield with this role, but all the time you want to say, just go for it, nobody is that good a shot


    Pitch Perfect
    2012 Mark: 8
    Watched:Thu 21 May 2015

    Starring: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Adam DeVine, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks
    Director: Jason Moore

    I loved it, so fuck all you haters. Good songs, well done, A disparate group of individuals are bought together to overcome the odds through music, exploring themselves along the way, overcoming challenges and ultimately coming through in a triumphant finale. The Blues Brothers without the blues and with 'sisters'


    Pitch Perfect 2
    2015 Mark: 9
    Watched: Fri 29 May 2015

    Starring: Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Ester Dean, Alexis Knapp, Hana Mae Lee, Adam DeVine, John Michael Higgins, Elizabeth Banks
    Director: Elizabeth Banks

    If you hated the first one, I don't think you will like this. Once again, the story is probably the least original one in the cannon, nevertheless, it's always a good one when done properly and in this film, it is. The music is quite excellent and the humour is refreshing. It seems like they are taking back PC. Racist jokes may be uncouth, but we laugh because they're based on truth . Many genuine clap moments, and almost constantly either hilarious or musically ,dare I say, captivating, and the lack of originality pays dividends in that the little 'in' jokes are definitely rewarding.

    I keep a penny underneath my tongue


    Pixels
    2015 Mark: 7.5
    Watched: Wed 2 September 2015

    Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Dan Aykroyd, Daryl Hall, John Oates, Matt Frewer, Serena Williams
    Director: Chris Columbus

    This turned out better than I expected and kind of didn't flag much at all, Adam Sandler was Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, I'm afraid to say, is far more convincing as Tyrion (at which he is genius). I feel, in retrospect like marking this up. Great solid comedy with an otherwise reasonable cast, and a lovely concept. No Mario :(. And it got critically pasted. Fuck 'em I really enjoyed it.


    The Planet Of The Apes 1; Rise Of
    2013 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Mon 17 November 2014

    Starring: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, Andy Serkis
    Director: Rupert Wyatt

    I should have loved this, but having just watched Life with David Attenborough on BBC talking about Chimp Hierarchies, this still seems unconvincing in visual terms (You can tell that allthough they are good they are not real apes, it fails in its own Universe as I don't care how powerfull the drug is, you can't learn Dick unless you are taught it somehow, and finally it fails in that the Bonobo is the bad guy. Huh?


    Plastic
    2014 Mark: 6
    Watched:Mon 5 May 2014

    Starring: Ed Speleers, Will Poulter, Alfie Allen, Sebastian de Souza, Emma Rigby
    Director: Julian Gilbey

    The Lavender Hill Mob and the Ladykillers are better caper movies. I mean this was OK but just a little err... A little unimaginative? Was it a true story? One minute.... Supposedly. Theon Greyjoy you are truly lost now.


    Platoon ‡
    1986 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Tue 15 September 2015

    Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, John C. McGinley, Kevin Dillon, Forest Whitaker, Johnny Depp
    Director: Oliver Stone†

    Err.. It is tough to write about an accoladed film, that technically you can't pick fault with, that most definitely wasn't a terrible watch, but just didn't do it for me in terms of super-enjoyable. A host of then young stars make this a touchstone for connections, a huge coincidence that the last two films I've watched ( Entourage and this) could not have been more different, or further apart in time, yet both featured Kevin Dillon. Crash knocked me out when I went back to it. This didn't. But it was worth crossing off for sure. Like Canon For Strings some people love it, but, not me.


    Pleasantville
    1998 Mark: 10.02
    Watched:Tue 28 June 2011

    Starring: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, J. T. Walsh, Reese Witherspoon,
    Director: Gary Ross

    I don't know if this got me at the right time, but it is the best film I have seen all year. I know I watched it before, and I remember it was good, but I forgot how. I know you don't watch a film for the cinematography; like a good referee you don't normally notice it, but in this case it was the star. Along with a perfect cast performance, a fantastic story line and LOL humour and tear jerking poignancy. I guess the icing on the cake for me must have been how 'dull' people are and the hope of redemption. I should have a list of “10” Films as opposed to as top ten


    Point Break
    1991 Mark: 5
    Watched:Mon 25 August 2014

    Starring: Keanu Reeves, Patrick Swayze
    Director: Katherine Bigelow

    The crew should have been used to make a documentary, as there are some great shots of surfing and skydiving but not much more. The plot has too many holes in it to make it believable and the hipness smacks of Poochie when introduced to the Itchy and Scratchy show, with everybody calling each other 'dude' and the hero actually being a complete cunt.


    Poltergeist (2015)
    2015 Mark: 4
    Watched: Fri 29 May 2015

    Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, Jane Adams
    Director: Gil Kenan

    Not that I am anti-horror movie, it's just that it needs something more than this film gave to satisfy me, at least. The first part of the film was reasonably engaging, with some genuine “boo” moments, but sometime approaching the door which said “Paranormal department” It became a bit of an eye roller. If Sam Rockwell had been meant to play a regular dad he wouldn't have been Sam Rockwell, and one could not help thinking if his Seven Psycopaths or Billy the Kid going to burst out. I was contemplating leaving the film, and writing this, I'm glad I didn't, as in the end scene I think I have witnessed the most curiously naff wrap of all time, in terms of the family's temper whilst driving away, like a closing credits from Police Squad


    Pride
    2014 Mark: 10.018
    Watched:Mon 15 September 2014

    Starring: Dominic West, Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, George MacKay, Ben Schnetzer, Paddy Considine
    Director: Matthew Warchus

    Don't read this if, like me, you think you may be prone to disappointment engendered by weight of expectation....

    Half way through the ninth month of the year and this is my best film so far of the 50 or so 2014 releases that I have seen ( Edge of Tomorrow aka Live Die Repeat and Lucy are also in my top three), and the first one to get a straight ten. Don't forget that I mark these films on personal enjoyment. I do try to weight them according to where I watch them, along with mood, and do not try to judge artistic value, just the buzz it gives me; and this was a blast, from the opening titles, through the first bars of What Difference Does It Make , with a great story (The underdog one) fabulous endearing cast, some truth, liberal embellishment for story telling purposes, personal investment (It's about gays and miners; I was a miner).

    It employs every cliché in the book, perfectly scored music to leave no ambiguity, the familiar tropes (I won't go into the story, I never do, if you want the story watch the film) of idealism, resistance, smooth story arc and glorious triumph, oh man it nails them all. If you liked Yam Tam Kipper Bang, Made In Dagenham, A Captain's Tale, Arthur's Hallowed Ground, Nuts In May, Gregory's Girl, That Sinking Feeling, Withnail And I , all those films which so represent that perfect British idiosyncrasy and humor - you've got it. I said to Ella on her 21st birthday today that it probably would have Imelda Staunton in... IT DID!!! Bill Nighy was there and probably half a dozen other Ministers Of Magic (Thanks Julia for pointing that out).

    This film should be compulsory viewing in schools. I am sure, it will turn many a bigot into someone who may accept gays a little more and trust the police, the press and government a little less, and that has to be a good thing.

    Sorry to spoil it for you...

    PS Dominic West; what a performance. He is not the 'star', just one of the firmament, but I gave him top billing because I recognised him, but didn't. Six seasons of Jimmy McNulty and I thought "Who is that???"

    PPS I have looked at other people's thoughts on this film. I am not alone.

    ***** recommended.


    Pride & Prejudice
    2005 Mark: 7.2
    Watched:Thu 15 October 2015

    Starring: Kiera Knightley, Matthew Macfadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Tom Hollander, Rosamund Pike, Carey Mulligan, Judi Dench, Rupert Friend
    Director: Joe Wright

    I gave up resisting after perhaps 45 minutes and started enjoying this girly costume fest. I wasn't really comfortable with the treatment of the vicar, but on the plus side the normally slightly anoyingly languid Donald Sutherland was super. I am going through a phase of seeing actors in Pairs of films, this time it was Carey Mulligan straight aftere Suffragette .


    The Prince of Egypt
    1998 Mark: 6.9
    Watched: Sat 2 April 2016

    Starring: Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Danny Glover, Steve Martin, Martin Short
    Directors: Simon Wells, Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner

    Well it's a much more enjoyable version of the story than Exodus: Gods and Kings. It would probably have rated a little higher if it hadn't treated the Christian aspects of this folk-tale with such reverence; I mean.. It's not real you know, the Red Sea did not part in some miraculous way, there was no competition between the Abrahamic Gods and the Egyptian ones. The music, especially When You Believe compensates a tad.


    The Princess Diaries
    2001 Mark: 3
    Watched:Sat 2 August 2014

    Starring: Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews
    Director: Garry Marshall.

    A turn off after ten minutes. The thing is, I had watched Not Another Teen Movie a few days earlier, and the main gag of that film was taking the glasses off and letting the hair down on a 'geeky' girl. I find that a little insulting. Like Edward Scissorhands, it's probably not aimed at me. Didn't stop me loving lots of other gay shit though.


    The Producers
    1967 Mark: 6
    Watched:Tue 21 January 2014

    Starring: Zero Mostel, Danny Kaye
    Director: Mel Brooks

    Watch this once if only for Springtime For Hitler . Over the top and potracted comedy, very much of its age


    The Purple Rose Of Cairo
    1985 Mark: 7.2
    Watched: Sun 15 May 2016

    Starring: Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels, Danny Aiello
    Director: Woody Allen

    A complete relief after watching Annie Hall and Manhattan, at least for me (yes, it looks like I am having a Woody Allen season). About this film. It works, a yearning fantasy set in a fictional New York with carachters you are rooting for, and if not the ending you expect, it is at least thought provoking, perhaps even to the extent that you imagine your own. I know why Woody Allen numbers this amongst his favourite films, it is because he is story telling to the eager, not reflecting upon the spoilt. Couple this with Midnight In Paris


    Raging Bull
    1980 Mark: 8
    Watched:Sat 19 September 2015

    Starring: Robert De Niro†, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Nicholas Colasanto, Frank Vincent, John Turraturo
    Director: Martin Scorsese

    First off, if I was marking this film out of ten for quality rather than enjoyment it would ace a ten, not least because it has taken the stance of a real biography, as opposed to the hagiographies one tends to see, or the outright diss pieces which crop up. Now I know why Robert Di Nero is so highly regarded. This is arguably the best film performance I have seen from any actor or actress. He actually put on 60 lbs! All the accolades this film gets, as the best film of the 80s, one of the greatest films of all time, etc., are well deserved.

    It gets a mere 8 from me because I felt so uncomfotable watching it, but not in a Borat , cringing kind of way. The fight scenes are brutal, apparently De Niro was extraodinarily good at boxing, and the carachters are all flawed, especially Jake LaMotta. There seems to absolutely no constraint in the laying bare of the life of a very dangerous and often unpleasant protagonist.

    Joe Pesci, in his first film role was perfect, and I was so pleased to call John Turraturo (uncredited) sitting at a table for two seconds.

    Do not ever imagine that Gascogoine , A Dangerous Game , Seve , or Grace come remotely close to this in terms of value. I enjoy cream doughnuts and a bottle of red wine as much or more than a Tuna Sub on brown bread with a light mayo. It doesn't mean they are better.

    This film is an example of how to deliver a true story. Can't believe we never watched it sooner.


    The Railwayman
    2014 Mark: 8
    Watched:Sun 12 January 2014

    Starring: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine, Stellan Skarsgård, Hiroyuki Sanada
    Director: Jonathan Teplitzky

    Another "message" film. It is almost four films as there are different threads, albeit of the same life, but whatever. This trumps 12 Years A Slave on several counts. The carachters are more representative of both sides of a conflict and all sides of human nature. It has, at least for me, a more satisfying resolution, a stronger narrative and it doesn't give the game away with the title. This film says any of these carachters could be you, whearas none of us would ever have been a kidnapper in 12 years , oh certainly not. So why is that film odds on for the Oscar?
    You will require patience for this film, it can be very introspective, broody and British for considerable periods. It is not one to watch for light relief. Expect Colin Firth to be confident in his apparent lack of confidence on screen, forgive Nicole Kidman for ever going out with Tom Cruise, and Jeremy Irvine's portrayal of the young Arthur Lomax with any other best support contenders; you'd be forced to agree it stands up. This film seems to improve with hindsight. Go on then – **** !


    Rain Man ‡
    1988 Mark: 9
    Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

    Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise
    Director: Barry Levinson

    I'd forgotten how good this was. Classic Hans Zimmer music, and Dustin Hoffman even helps Tom Cruise play a convincing part


    Rampart
    2011 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Sat 20 December 2014

    Starring: Woody Harrelson, ice Cubem Steve Buscemi, Sigourney Weaver
    Director: Oren Moverman

    Here is a Freebie. If you want Woody Harelson watch Natural Born Killers , If you want a reflection on policing in LA watch the entirety of The Shield , If you want a night in watching a film I guess this'll do.


    Rango ‡ (animated)
    2011 Mark: 7.3
    Watched: Mon 25 January 2016

    Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Bill Nighy, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, Timothy Olyphant, Stephen Root, Ned Beatty
    Director: Gore Verbinski

    Like An American In Paris this absolutely excels on the technical side of things, regarding picture and movement it is truly wonderful. The story is not fantastic, it seems like a load of people have sat round the table and said "What references can we use?, and let's squeeze them in wherever we can ", rather than, "OMG OMG OMG I've just thought of something which I love which would fit in perfectly here ". I never liked Chinatown or Avatar as much as everybody else anways. Still a very good movie though, well worth the watch, just don't spoil yourself by watching Up, Coraline, Para Norman, Ratatouille, and all three Toy Stories in the preceding month!


    Ratatouille ‡ (animated)
    2007 Mark: 9
    Watched: Tue 19 January 2016

    Starring: Patton Oswalt, Lou Romano, Ian Holm, Janeane Garofalo, Peter O'Toole, Brian Dennehy
    Director: Brad Bird

    The foodie film I have been waiting for! It makes Burnt look burnt. It also deducts a half a point off of that film in that it delivered the peasant food joke better, and sooner. The pictures and movement vary between superb and uncannily realistic, the heroes, the villains, the redemption, I wish I could write the recipe down, but there is no way this could be replicated by anything other than a genius backed up by a genius team. I thank Julia for letting me look after her rats. I thank the mice in my kitchen, you have all added to this wonderful experience. It contains one of my top ten film moments. Anybody Can Cook


    Rebecca ‡
    1940 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sun 16 August 2015

    Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson, George Sanders, Leo G Carroll, C. Aubrey Smith
    Director: Alfred Hitchcock

    Quite a jolly film that maintained my attention all the way through, kind of glad I could wallow in it alone, it has that stiff upper lipness about it, exaggerated theatre, it really is quite becoming. Joan Fonteyn is a peach.


    Regression
    2015 Mark: 7.6
    Watched: Sun 11 October 2015

    Starring: Ethan Hawke, Emma Watson, David Dencik, David Thewlis
    Director: Alejandro Amenábar

    A good first half, a great second half, a superb true-life psychological thriller in which.... wait for it... Emma Watson nails it! Not only is the film a great watch in it's own right, it creates believable horror, and is the second film this year to provide real insight into the workings of the human mind (the first being, of course, Inside Out . What a pair!

    I'm glad this only gets 7.5% on Rotten Tomatoes. It kind of adds substance to my theory that people won't believe the resolution. Watch Compliance , and if you don't understand why am calling you a self deluding fuck, you are a self deluding fuck.


    The Revenant
    2015 Mark: 6.7
    Watched: Sat 26 December 2015

    Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio†, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter
    Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu †

    Unlike other films that are critically acclaimed that I dislike, this one feels quite different, in that if it walks away with a mountain of awards I would not be surprised in the least, specifically cinematography, actor and support were absolutely top notch. The thing is, it just didn't do it for me story-wise, a little bit like Gravity, it looked great but lacked the most important ingredient, an arc which kept me hooked in. Jake loved it. I can see that.

    SPOILER ALERT: Now if DiCaprio had been a true revenant, that might have been something. Was he???


    Ricki and the Flash
    2015 Mark: 3
    Watched: Wed 9 September 2015

    Starring: Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline
    Director: Jonathan Demme

    Ewwww. Ewww ewww ewwww ewwww ewwwwwww. Right from the clumsily played, overly produced, sycophantically filmed, gratingly saddening opening nanosecond of the first chord of American Girl the countdown clock had started. I don't know if it was meant to be ironic, but if it was, the irony went on and on. I think I managed about 10 minutes, and after the most tortuous day at the pictures ( The Visit and the only just passable No Escape ) I had had enough and ran out screaming. Look, I don't personally hate Meryl Streep, (She was fucking fantastic in her previous film, Into The Woods ), but her roles are eminently detestable sometimes ( Out Of Africa for instance, and today, for me, she sucked balls. Not the clean shaven, perfectly symmetrical, pompadoured testicles of some young, chiselled and freakishly hygienic Norwegian demigod, ... Oh no, These were disgustingly hairy and diseased Syrian camel balls. Ewwww.


    Ricochet
    1991 Mark: 6
    Watched:Sun 27 April 2014

    Starring: Denzill Washinton, John Lithgow, Ice T
    Director: Russell Mulcahy

    Well, with a plate of nacho's and a gin and tonic this makes for a nice, non-challenging Saturday night. Intresting watching a pre-oscar Denzill Washington looking buff, and John Lithgow doing what John Lithgow does in his psycopath hat. Don't look for plot continuity, crediblity or philosophy in this film. Help yourself to polarisation of characters and 'action'at Yiou know it's a nice thing about films that so many of them turn out to be so entertaining. When I compare this too another film which springs to mind The Edge it differs in that it does not take itself too seriously, consequently works within its own 'cartoon' universe. It says 'look, we know you know, therefore we are not insulting your intelligence, just fill your face and enjoy'


    The Ridiculous 6
    2015 Mark: 4.8
    Watched: Tue 22 December 2015

    Starring: Adam Sandler, Taylor Lautner, Rob Schneider, Luke Wilson, Nick Nolte, Danny Trejo, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi
    Director: Frank Coraci

    I felt, after 30 minutes, that this film was not taking me anywhere, so I abandoned it in favour of Lilyhammer . The fact is, there is so much to watch nowadays that one can afford to be picky, and sure enough, I left this derivative and slightly cringworthy film in favour of something totally immersive. Result! Is it a stellar cast, or is it just Keith Lemmon, The Movie for the Saturday Night Live cast? (I think so). It wasn't the worst thing I've seen this year by any stretch, but once they got to number 3 and the retarded kid I just felt that the best bits of this film have been done a million times before, and the worst bits had me looking for the remote.

    Watch Blazing Saddles or Evil Roy Slade instead


    The Riot Club
    2014 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Wed 1 October 2014

    Starring: Max Irons, Ben Schnetzer, Natalie Dormer (will probably add to this list as they all get famous)
    Director: Lone Scherfig

    I imagine that the cast in this will go on to greater things, (I recognised Ben Schnetzer from Pride and a few of the others set bells ringing), but that's nothing to do with assesing this film.

    I can't say it was thoroughly enjoyable, the characters were largely far too repulsive for that, but I reckon it was quite an excellent pitch at describing priveleged young men, in that some, without doubt, are disarmingly talented and charming whilst others are complete dicks. I also like the angle that this doesn't end good for general welfare. It would have been intresting to see if the landlord's daughter accepted the £27,000. Watch it and you will see what I mean. Go see, in fact double it up with Pride and be proud of British film making, if not quite proud of some aspects of humanity


    Robin Hood
    2010 Mark: 7
    Watched:Fri 31 January 2014

    Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Oscar Isaac, Mark Strong
    Director: Ridley Scott

    Pleasantly good. a very different take on The Robin Hood Story, very thin on history, Russell Crowe's accent is quite as unusual as people have warned, nevertheless it was a pretty solid watch. They should really make a sequel. In fact this film was only the prequel; I would willingly pay to see the follow-up.


    Robocop
    2014 Mark: 4
    Watched:Mon 3 March 2014

    Starring: Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton
    Director: José Padilha

    Two hours I won't get back. I'm afraid that playing I Fought The Law by the Clash and Samuel L Jackson being bleeped out of his “Motherfucker” could not redeem it. Some films make the science work for them ( Power Rangers ); in this it is a constant glossing over of what would happen. Transformers had constant humour, this was... I don't know what it was, kind of as ploddy as his stupid boots, I mean, for crying out loud, why didn't they give him some rubber soles? I'm not saying it was a total disaster, just that it feels like, seen that, done that, intrigue me, make me gasp, make me identify with the compelling protagonist. I can see the Robocop meets Short Circuit sequel being a cure for insomnia

    Nice to see Michael Williams (Omar Little) getting a good part in a film whilst Marianne Jean-Baptiste plays the same role as CCH Pounder does in The Shield . (I thought they were the same person, except the latter is 15 years older)


    Rocky ‡
    1976 Mark: 9

    Starring: Sylvester Stallone
    Director: John G. Avildsen

    What is their not to like about the film that has yielded more memorable moments on such an obviously small budget. The fruit, the steps, the sides of meat... Adrienne!!!


    Room
    2015 Mark: 6.6
    Watched: Wed 30 December 2015

    Starring: Brie Larson†, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, William H. Macy.
    Director: Lenny Abrahamson

    Well, it held my attention. This film has very competent aspects, notably Brie Larson is remarkably convincing, eliciting incredulity and curiosity from the viewer, I do believe deliberately. Having said that, she needs to be convincing, as one does scratch one's head at her character's seemingly cheap submission to her situation. I think there me a better film than my enjoyment quotient may indicate, and for me at least, it certainly became a more compelling a watch proportionate to the time watched


    The Royal Tenenbaums
    2001 Mark: 7
    Watched:Wed 14 January 2015

    Starring: Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Danny Glover
    Director: Wes Anderson

    Worth a watch for the cast alone. I love watching Wes Anderson Films, but sometimes I feel like I am missing something, that they are a platform for beautifully fully saturated cinematagrophy and marvellously quirky carachters rather than a story. Oh come on though, it was fun to watch, I especially liked Gwyneth Paltrow and Gene Hackman


    Runaway Jury
    2003 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Thu 20 February 2014

    Starring: John Cusack, Rachel Weisz, Jack Nicolson, Dustin Hoffman
    Director: Gary Fleder

    Absolutely made for John Cussack as an affable jock with hidden talents. This story swerves rather than lurches its way not too violently or circuitously through a satisfying 2 hours which is, thankfully, not the 12 Angry Men I expected it to be. Must read some more John Grisham books


    Rush
    2013 Mark: 8.5
    Watched:Tue 5 July 2005

    Starring: Chris Hemsworth
    Director: Ron Howard

    A combination of actual history, original footage, superb mimicry on the part of the actors and magical storytelling makes for a film that is both captivating and illuminating


    Rushmore
    1998 Mark: 9.2
    Watched:Thu 20 March 2014

    Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Olivia Williams Bill Murray
    Director: Wes Anderson

    How did this film get to me? I cannot for the life of me pin down what was so good about this film other than …. it just sailed along and got more involving, Max, the 17 year old about who this film was about (I was going to say 'protagonist' but I keep thinking of Stuey Griffin) was awesome, without doubt being as daft as, yet much more believable Napoleon Dynamite. My guess is Napoleon Dynamite came first, this came second and Lost in Translation came third, each acting as inspiration for its successor – now to check: Oh oh, 2004 and 2003 respectively. The reason I said this because this is Bill Murray's best role bar Ghostbusters but in that he had the script, in this he was just fucking great!!

    OK, Shwarzman is Sofie Coppola's cousin (she did Lost in T. , where, for my money, Bill Murray tries to reprise this character, but seems staler. NB. “In 2012, Slant Magazine ranked the film 22 on its list of the 100 Best Films of the 1990s. According to ShortList, it is one of the 30 coolest films ever” Hey!!! I told you. PS, I watched it again four days later, and loved it just as much..


    San Andreas
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Fri 29 May 2015

    Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Art Parkinson, Paul Giamatti.
    Director: Brad Peyton

    OK, let's put this out there. This is no Being John Malkovich . I think you can just about guess what you are going to get when you get your ticket torn with this one, so you have a cast which read the script and look suitably excited/stressed/determined/moody and a story which could be described is a short sentence and a chief protagonist who's jaw dropping dereliction of duty is exceeded only by the spectacular special effects. And there is the redeeming factor. I would seriously consider this to be the most impressive quality I have seen for a film of this genre. I just might be persuaded to go back and watch it in 3d and/or Imax. Perhaps it caught me in a good mood, but it is one of those rare films which I consider well worth the watch just because of the picture itself. There, I've said it.

    's up for Art Parkison (Rickon Stark) who provides some half decent humour and steals most of his scenes


    Saving Mr. Banks
    2013 Mark: 10.008
    Watched:Mon 11 November 2013

    Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B. J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker
    Director: John Lee Hancock

    This was the second film I watched using my Cineworld Unlimited ticket. It justified the purchase.
    Look:- I know a film can be spoiled by weight of expectation, but I am confident that if you are a 55 year old film lover, who hates life in general but loves some gay shit, you will not be disappointed. Emma Thompson reprises her 'Stranger than Fiction' role with witty aplomb, Tom Hanks is absolutely convincing - I mean you forget you are watching Tom Hanks, and the material they have to work with is unarguably magnificent.
    I am not going to dwell on the fascinating but very different threads that dovetail this narrative, but when Tom Hanks goes of on one in the latter stages of the film, he delivers arguably the most perfect insight into film making ever recorded. (Don't expect him to start throwing cherry bombs, you might not even notice it, but if you do I want to be your friend!)


    Schindler's List ‡
    1993 Mark: 10.05
    Watched:Mon 19 October 2015

    Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall
    Director: Steven Spiellberg†

    Is that the best film I have ever watched? There is a very strong case to make that it was. Why? A multiplicity of reasons, a few of which I will attempt to outline.

  • Story + Characters. Let's get those out of the way first, in that we have the classic threads of buddy movie, love, clock countdown ticking tension, surprise, redemption, fulfilment, a complete seamless arc of narrative with a great goodie and a superbad baddie. Written like that it makes it sound like Die Hard , almost belittling it, because trust me, this is not just a history, it is as much an exploration of human nature as Trading Places or 12 Angry Men .
  • A score by John Williams that is unlike any other, but captures the mood, spirit and emotion throughout, a standalone soundtrack that never for a moment drowns out the film
  • Three lead actors who deliver their best, all of them outside of what you would expect, yet managing to convey everything a director could dream of for the parts
  • Every frame is a work of art in itself, Wes Anderson must look and think, "My God - that's just in black and white"
  • Massive poignancy - I mean a sympathy which is elicited in a growing wave throughout the film that eventually absolutely crashes and washes through the screen and drowned me in emotion
  • It has forced a re-evaluation of my grading system. Perhaps it hasn't - It is a ten for enjoyment but like Oskar says " not that kind "

    I will go and read up the accuracy, but really, I am sure I don't need to - That's what story tellers do and I accept it fully

    Normally I would diss a message film for appealing to hypocritical humanity, assuaging their doubts and making them feel good about themselves. I don't care with this. Fuck stupid humans, I have come to understand that we are all capable of great wrongdoing and not recognising it, to such an extent that we build up a subconscious defence against it. The thing is I don't lie to my friends. I don't lie to my enemies. The same cannot be said for most of them. That's why i don't have many friends.

    It's been an interesting week

    I thought it was a good film (in case I was being ambiguous)


    The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
    2013 Mark: 9
    Watched:Sat 23 November 2013

    Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig
    Director: Ben Stiller

    The more you ponder on this film the better it gets. I read that somebody compared it to Field Of Dreams . Go on then, I'll accept that!! I'm not saying it is (that would be a high bar to jump), just that I can understand the comparison. Capraesque.


    Secretariat
    2010 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Sun 12 January 2014

    Starring: John Malkovich, Diane Lane
    Director: Randall Wallace

    Good quiz background film, Malkovich is no longer mal, With of good story like this it must be tough to actually make a bad film of it, so this is a nice evening in


    Self/Less
    2015 Mark: 7.5
    Watched: Thu 23 July 2015

    Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Victor Garber, Derek Luke, Ben Kingsley.
    Director: Tarsem Singh

    I have a feeling this may have been an eight, but since I saw it I have been all topsy turvey. I walked in and there were loads of women in, and I did not know what to expect, so I thought it was going to be a romance.. eeewww! As it 'appened it was a well put together film around a fascinating premise, Ben Kingsley IS awesome and Ryan Reynolds, the object no doubt of the female attention kicked ass. Recommended for a home viewing at least. Oh, Tarsem Singh – I might have guessed


    Selma
    2014 Mark: 8
    Watched:Mon 9 February 2015

    Starring: David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Common, Carmen Ejogo, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Giovanni Ribisi, Wendell Pierce, Dylan Baker, Martin Sheen
    Director: Ava DuVernay

    Welcome to 2015. What a welcome. This is an absolute blast, from start to finish. Humorous, yet with real respect for the genre. Eye popping action. A boxful of characters that delight everytime they light up the screen. Colin Firth is straight in as the target for the 2016 supporting actor. A dense script that surprises and entertains. I have not thought about much else for the last 8 hours, and am sad to say that this review may spoil your experience because you may expect too much given my gushing praise of it, but I’ve gotta be truthful! If you loved Kick-Ass this will not let you down. 100% on Rotten Tomatoes? Hey, I’m not alone. The film drips with class, is bursting with references and whether we like it or not, we love our movie-stars. Oh – the music rocks, the church scene was perfectly scored to Freebird, it... it... Oh I’m fucking speechless!


    Seve
    2014 Mark: 8
    Watched:Fri 27 June 2014

    Starring: Severaino Ballesteros
    Director: John-Paul Davidson

    It's awkward comparing this to fiction, in that the story is super-compelling, but is that only because of my personal investment in it? i.e. I do not know how this would hold up for a non-sports-fan. The 'movie' portions of this film are nice enough, location shooting, young Seve and his family move it along at an adequate lick, the original footage I've seen before, yet still it stands. This collation, in what is in effect a hagiography, albeit of someone commonly regarded as a saint, is excellent! Fuck it - it is really well done, and I was brushing away the tears at the end.

    I've always thought Gary Player an astute academic, and when he says that Seve was easily the best golfer at the 1986 Masters I can accept that (though I thought it was Greg Norman, and Jack Nicklaus won anyway)

    You know I went to the first showng and there was only one other bloke in the theatre? We are spoilt nowadays. And fuck the Daily Telegraph review.


    Seven Psychopaths
    2012 Mark: 8
    Watched:Fri 10 April 2015

    Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko, Željko Ivanek, Harry Dean Stanton
    Director: Martin McDonagh

    In Bruges in Los Angeles. Sam Rockwell was just made for this role (as was Woody Harrelson and Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken). How can brutality be so hilarious? I guess it is like the cartoon element of Roadrunner violence and really nutty protagonists. Awesome


    The Seventh Sign
    2010 Mark: 4.5
    Watched:Thu 15 May 2014

    Starring: Demi Moore
    Director: Carl Schultz

    Digi Boxes are terrific things, just rippinig thgrough a couple of channels for the next two weeks yield loads of films which record at the press of a button. It does bring into question the validity of keeping the Unlimited Casrd, as this film, for instance, distacted me from going to watch Godzilla on its opening day, yesterday. As I ate my salad I began to regret not going to the flicks, and it might have been laziness but I didn't just turn it off. There is no getting away from the fact that, IMHO, Demi Moore is as beautiful looking a person as has ever been filmed, but this movie just didn't do it despite the eye candy. It wasn't by any stretch a complete disaster, just I like hokum to be funny, not serious like this. Anyhoo, with 20 minutes to go the digibox had stopped recording so the decision was taken away from me. I'll watch Godzilla today!


    Sex Tape
    2014 Mark: 3
    Watched:Mon 29 September 2014

    Starring: Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Rob Lowe, Jack Black
    Director: Jake Kasdan

    Aww crap! I left after 15 minutes. I know, some people might like this kind of stuff but it is just not for me. Maybe the erectile dysfunction thing hits too close too home, maybe its because Cameron Diaz doesn't, I cant see Jason Segel without wanting him to burst into Man or Muppet . I'm not saying its a bad film for everybody, it's just bad for me.


    Shakespeare In Love ‡
    1998 Mark: 10.036
    Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

    Starring: Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow
    Director: John Madden

    Stellar cast, great story, clichéd denouement, this has got to be my favourite film that I have seen described as a rom-com. I am not a huge fan of Shakespeare, so this like lends me some cred


    Shaun The Sheep Movie
    2015 Mark: 6.5
    Watched: Mon 9 February 2015
    Directors: Richard Starzak, Mark Burton

    I loved the backgrounds on this. It was just like the land of my life, Yorkshire, the dales, the buses, the walls, the roads, Leeds/Manchester, the shops, the people. If the story had been a quarter of the scenery this would have been a great film. As it turns out it was a pleasant enough watch, perhaps not quite what I would pay £8 for, at least not when Kingsman or The Interview were on next door, but still pleasant enough with the old Unlimited card


    The Shawshank Redemption
    1994 Mark: 10.046

    Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman,
    Director: Frank Darabont

    I was told by Tony Armitage to watch this after he had gone to work one morning, as He and Carl told me it was a masterpiece. It is, and is now recognised as such. Don't expect fireworks, just … Oh bugger it, I am not going to even hint at what happens. If you have seen it you know , and if you haven't, you should.

    ”It has been 1 on IMDb's user-generated Top 250 since 2008, when it surpassed The Godfather, readers of Empire magazine voted the film as the best film of the 1990s, and it placed number 4 on Empire's list of "The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time" in 2008. In March 2011, the film was voted by BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra listeners as their favorite film of all time.


    Shooter
    2007 Mark: 7
    Watched:Wed 26 February 2014

    Starring: Mark Whalberg, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Danny Glover, Ned Beatty
    Director: Antoine Fuqua

    I keep forgetting that 7 is “Not bad at all – Good film”. I suppose this should start with an “An enjoyable enough romp...” Am I struggling to describe the qualities of this film? -Yes! There's guns, and dick-heads and explosions and triumph against the odds. I suppose it is the kind of perfect film to watch with a couple of large G&T's in that if the alcohol combines with senility to diminish memory of such things I am pretty sure you will not have forgotton anything critical. As a noveau Whalbergian I appreciate the artistic sensibilities of this movie. Those who like this would also like The Expendables, Die Hard .... etc. P.S. Is Ned Beatty A ringer for John Heard (Govenor Tancredi in Prison Break )

    PPS. “Some film critics, both liberal and conservative, saw the film as left-leaning in its politics, arguing that the main villain (Senator Meachum) was a clear analogy for Dick Cheney”


    Short Circuit
    1986 Mark: 2
    Watched:Sat 9 July 2011

    Starring: Steve Guttenburg, Ally Sheedy
    Director: John Badham

    Stupid film with 80s hairdos and a shocking grasp of science or humour. Though moderately entertaining a large proportion of the pleasure I had was derived from it being so dire. I recognised Ali Sheedy from those 80's movies (Breakfast Club, Hill Street Blues, even St Elmo's Fire) and Steve Guttenberg is just not funny. It was sexist, racist and without any grounding in the reality of its own universe, let alone ours. (Don't get me wrong, I like sexism and racism, but not this unimaginative and poorly delivered kind)


    Shrek ‡ (animated)
    2001 Mark: 10.0321
    Watched: Sun 5 June 2016

    Starring: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, John Lithgow
    Director: Aaron Warner

    The film which, if I had been a brilliant storyteller, I would have wanted to make. Everything about it is more than great, but of all the notable aspects, there has never ever been better vocal characterisations than Shrek, Donkey and Lord Farquhar - oh hell throw Princess Fiona in there as well. It is not just the story, which is a shopping list of tropes (SPOILER ALERT: Two disparate individuals thrown together, evil megalomaniac, quest, damsel in distress, danger, love, redemption, happy ever after). It is that the story which though oft repeated is delivered with soulful precision and garnished with

  • the most delightful references, liberally distributed throughout the film,
  • an amazing soundtrack which was fresh at the time and retains that vitality an entire childhood later (compare this to the Radio 2ie Happy Feet which sounds so clichéd in comparison), and
  • A genuine irreverence where actual cruelty and violence are presented in perfect, yet surprisingly real context for a family animation (Again, let's ponder "The depiction of eggs in the films 'Happy Feet' and 'Shrek', and their position within the structure of their societies and narratives

    They had to invent a best animation Oscar in 2001 because of this film


    Shutter Island
    2010 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sun 16 November 2014

    Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Max von Sydow, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson
    Director: Martin Scorsese

    There is a third aspect of a good story that I don't mention (I am always banging on about how important plot and characters are), and that is surprise, so for example, The Sixth Sense gets a massive boost up once it has concluded. Likewise this beautifully filmed thriller is resolved most excellently, and, in retrospect, fairly unambiguously. I reckon it is worth watching just so you can discuss it!

    One may need to try to maintain attention during periods of this film if, like me, you watch it at bed time


    Sicario
    2015 Mark: 7.5
    Watched: Sun 11 October 2015

    Starring: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio del Toro, Daniel Kaluuya, Maximiliano Hernández, Victor Garber
    Director: Denis Villeneuve

    Emily Blunt caries off the feminine 'hero' perfectly. Like The Day After Tomorrow , her part is believable, even more so in this film during which her character displays not just toughness but she loses sass in favour of real vulnerability and you are rooting for her. The rest of the lead cast are ace, and the story works. The first half is better than the second, but it is still a good second half. Ahh, it's great that 2015 movies are back on track after a pretty dull September.


    The Silence Of The Lambs ‡
    1991 Mark: 8

    Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster
    Director: Jonathan Demme

    Solid 8


    Silver Linings Playbook
    2007 Mark: 9.5
    Watched:Mon 12 October 2015

    Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles, Shea Wigham
    Director: David O. Russell

    Absolute unbridled joy from end to end. Di Nero was just perfect, Bradley Cooper was uncomfortably brilliant and Jennifer Lawrence just had this down. Somebody said don't watch it with your kids! What what? It is an absolutely perfect film for parents and fairly grown up kids. A more enjoyable, if not better film than King's Speech , Argo , or 12 years A Slave


    The Simpsons Movie
    2007 Mark: 8
    Watched:Sun 10 May 2015

    Starring: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer, Tress MacNeille, Pamela Hayden, Tom Hanks
    Director: David Silverman

    The Simpsons did it. The film is up against some classic episodes, and despite being wonderful is, to a degree, a victim of the show's brilliance. I sat through and laughed out loud, thoroughly enjoyed it and was glad to re watch it (I remembered very little of it, apart from the spider pig song). Sitting at my desk five days later makes me ponder, is it really worth an eight?, but that was my thought at the time so it sticks


    Sin City 2: A Dame To Die For
    2014 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Mon 1 September 2014

    Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Powers Boothe, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Christopher Lloyd, Ray Liotta, Stacy Keach, Lady Gaga
    Directors: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

    I was in an empty cinema for the 6:30 showing! Wow, what a waste, A little disjointed with the carachter threads, nevertheless, it is absolutely beautifully done, with a host of great actors, all of them could be called the star, being either/and/or very sexy or brutally hard. The spirit of Raymond Chandler, absolutely striking and forboding cinematography, definitely worth the watch. Must go back to number one as there seems to be a lot of tie-ins.


    Singin' In The Rain
    1952 Mark: 8
    Watched:Sun 26 January 2014

    Starring: Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor
    Directors: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen

    Never realised how good Gene Kelly was. The spectacular thing about this film is the routines, and how they all seem like one shot. The plot is a vehicle for the numbers, nevertheless a reasonably entertaining ending to the film makes a kind of story to boot. I don't know why I never watched this classic before. Donald O'Connor was brilliant by himself, as a double act and a threesome.


    Sisters
    2015 Mark: 8.5
    Watched: Mon 21 December 2015

    Starring: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ike Barinholtz, Dianne Wiest, James Brolin, John Cena, Madison Davenport, John Leguizamo
    Director: Jason Moore

    Ha! An absolute laugh a minute comedic home run, another for Jason Moore (who did Pitch Perfect and originated Avenue Q). There was one other bloke in a theatre filled with wimmin, and I think he and I might have laughed most. Amy Poehler nails this part so well, slightly awkward, really good hearted and such latent hilarity without cracking. I love her!


    Slumdog Millionaire ‡
    2008 Mark: 7.5

    Starring: Dev Patel
    Director: Danny Boyle

    I feel obliged to go into detail but I'm not going to. Justified best original song for Jai Ho and the best cut ever


    Small Soldiers
    1998 Mark: 8

    Starring: Gregory Smith, Frank Langella, Kirsten Dunst, Tommy Lee Jones, George Kennedy, Jim Brown, Ernest Borgnine, Clint Walker, Bruce Dern, Denis Leary, Kevin Dunn, David Cross, Robert Picardo
    Director: Joe Dante

    Really enjoyed this back in the day. I guess I'm easily pleased. The sega game was great


    Snow White And The Huntsman
    2013 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sun 3 May 2015

    Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin, Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins, Toby Jones, Ray Winstone, Nick Frost
    Director: Rupert Sanders

    I liked this more than I thought I would, it just wasn't as much fun as Mirror Mirror nevertheless it was still a good watch. If you look at the cast, I only recognised Chris hemsworth, the dwarves... like what a line up of stars (Oh I recognised Toby Jones as well. What really cheesed me off that I failed to recognise Marlooe beach, our favourite place in Pembrokeshire!


    Solace
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Thu 1 October 2015

    Starring: Abbie Cornish, Anthony Hopkins, Colin Farrell
    Director: Alfonso Poyart

    I was warned that the ending was flagged up miles before it happened. I missed it, consequently was engaged by a film that was visually very competent, a cast that I felt I knew on a personal level, and an original (at least for me), slightly, but engagingly, fantastical story arc that propelled me another two hours closer to my death, but pleasantly so! Hopkins was a slightly straighter version of Hannibal, Colin Farrell had a quite an amazing part, leaving you thinking, was he bad, or was he good? Well I liked it anyway


    Son Of A Gun
    2014 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Tue 3 February 2015

    Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Euan McGregor, Alicia Vikander
    Director: Julius Avery

    One of those films that are a jolly good watch, kind of semi predictable, a wee bit of head scratching as to peoples motive's, why did the girl like the boy, why did the King Con like the lad, where were the Australian Air Force?.. but not the total turn off it could have been. I'm still trying to figure out if these were good guys or bad guys.


    The Sound of Music ‡
    1965 Mark: 9
    Watched: Mon 14 March 2016

    Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Marni Nixon
    Director: Robert Wise†

    I suppose I should have reviewed this a bit earlier. I have seen it before, gawd knows when, perhaps in the Crescent Cinema in 1964, maybe on Telly, but I can not remember . That's immaterial, what matters is a musical that is as relentless with the music as Stepbrothers is with comedy. Like Jersey Boys, you think, half way through, that their can't be any more songs, yet they just keep comin'. Like Schindler's List, when Angie says this is her favourite film, I am fully down with that, it's a masterpiece, a genre classic, it is what films are all about. I did not expect it, but at several points throughout this film I was cheering, wiping away tears and just thoroughly surrendering to it. Fekkin' awesome.


    Southpaw
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Fri 31 July 2015

    Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, Naomie Harris, Victor Ortiz, Curtis 50 Cent Jackson, Miguel Gomez, Oona Laurence, Rita Ora
    Director: Antoine Fuqua

    In the prices list for the 2015 Oscar, it will not win. Not to say it's not a well made film that tells an engaging tale, just that it will not win. If you had to describe an arc of a boxing film between sips of beer, you could quite easily have come out with this.


    Spiderman 2
    2004 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sat 12 April 2014

    Starring: Toby McGuire
    Director: Sam Raimi

    More of the same. Good solid funny, action packed marvel film. Toby McGuire makes a good Peter parker


    Spirited Away ‡ (animated)
    2002 Mark: 7.4
    Watched: Wed 8 June 2016

    Starring: Daveigh Chase, John Ratzenberger (English version)
    Director: Hayao Miyazaki

    I don't think you should take my review as indicative of the merits of this film. I think perhaps we should just accept that sometimes brilliance can not be assimilated in the eyes of some beholders. Apparently Hiyao Miyazaki doesn't storyboard entire films, but lets them develop as production goes along. Without doubt, any single frame from this film would grace the most Bohemian of living rooms, and Chihiro herself is an entirely immersive protagonist, but there seems no escape for me that it is a little random in its story-arc. So are many great works I guess. A mark of its watchability is that my version stuck on 1 hour 39 minutes and I am really frustrated, because I do want to see what happens to our little heroine, and where the train is going. Given this story's undoubted critical acclaim and popularity it is definitely a must-see. I feel so guilty enjoying Pitch Perfect more though!


    Spooks: The Greater Good
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Thu 14 May 2015

    Starring: Kit Hartington, Peter Firth, Jennifer Ehle, Elyes Gabel, Tuppence Middleton
    Director: Bharat Nalluri

    John Snow is really making a name for himself. A reasonable watch, I enjoyed it, a notch above James Bond and a notch below John Le Carré in terms of the seriousness of the contents. Dare I say it seemed a little too PC, apart from the Arabs (who we know are all bad guys). Actually, when I think about it, the criminal mastermind had some good qualities.


    Spotlight ‡
    2015 Mark: 8.4
    Watched: Sun 27 December 2015

    Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci
    Director: Tom McCarthy

    Unlike last year's Oscar favourite (Boyhood), I can fully understand why this is the lead contender for 2015. Not my favourite film of the year by several positions, nevertheless it is absolutely fascinating, and thoroughly engrossing. Not since Straight Outta Compton has the end of a film been so 'too soon' for me. Loads of the parts had me interested in them, and philosophically it sits alongside Gentleman's Agreement as an insight into the human psyche when faced with a room full of elephants. Really, why don't people accept that films like this are a criticism of themselves, not everybody else?


    Spy
    2015 Mark: 7.8
    Watched: Thu 11 June 2015

    Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Nargis Fakhri, Allison Janney, Jude Law.
    Director: Paul Feig

    Poor Melissa McCarthy! I really quite like her films, Tammy , St Vincent , and this are all quite excellent movies, but like Helen Shapiro going on a headlining tour with The Beatles as support, this funny and well made film has come out a few months after Kingsman and consequently loses in comparison to that masterpiece. So let's put that to bed and say, go and watch, it's a hoot, Jason Statham is hilarious, The cast are all engaging and witty and the story is good. Whatever your thoughts are about Miranda Hart, they will be amplified by this.


    St Vincent
    2014 Mark: 8.5
    Watched:Mon 8 December 2014

    Starring: Bill Murray, Jaeden Lieberher, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O'Dowd, Naomi Watts
    Director: Theodore Melfi

    Cineworld Unlimited paid for itself again this month with this unashamed gem. A role absolutely tailor-made for Bill Murray, the strength of the cast, dialogue and cinematography carried along what was a reasonably predictable story. Hey – that is praise, it delivered exactly what I wanted. If this film got six oscar nominations I would not disagree, I cannot stress how just right the casting was, special big up for Jaeden Lieberher who at thhe time of writing does not even have a Wikipedia entry!.

    It really helps going to the pictures with someone along side you and a Subway to start. Kevin Bacon sucks balls though (The 'buffer face" phone advert).

    A lot of very positive reviews on IMDB


    The Stanford Prison Experiment
    2015 Mark: 7.5
    Watched: Tue 2 February 2016

    Starring: Billy Cruddup, Ezra Miller, Olivia Thirlby, Nelsan Ellis, Ki Hong Lee, Tye Sheridan
    Director: Kyle Patrick Alvarez

    I've wanted too watch this film for ages. I knew it would be like Compliance , in that it would dipict the truly horrible trait of humanity, not the cruel few, but the complicit many. The film didn't dissapoint though, and gets a relatively high mark for such an unpleasant film for it not letting me down


    Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home
    1986 Mark: 8
    Watched:Mon 4 August 2014

    Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Nichelle Nichols, Catherine Hicks
    Director: Leonard Nimoy

    Well it's a classic in a classic world. The best of the early batch of Trek films, I reckon Leonard Nimoy made a film with real humour. Yes it's predictable and can be corny, nevertheless if you ask a bunch of people to come on for a fourth encore that is what you should expect.


    Star Trek 8: First Contact
    1996 Mark: 9
    Watched:Tue 26 August 2014

    Starring: Patrick Stewart, etc.
    Director: Jonathan Frakes

    The best of the original Star Trek set. First: Everybody does what is asked of them, the cast deliver their familiar and much loved roles with honed skill, Patrick Stewart is masterful, Troi and crusher are generally background, Data is perfect, etc etc. Jamesd Cromwell is believable, the sets and stories are good, but of all the films I have seen I reckon this one has the message that I wish humanity would take on board. That when we achieve the ability to break the bounds of our planet and sustain a permanent egress from our solar system first contact will be initiated. What this film does not explore is the consequences if we don't... A place in my heart for this.


    Star Trek Into Darkness
    2013 Mark: 9.5
    Watched:Sat 15 March 2014

    Starring: Chris Pine, John Cho, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Peter Weller, Anton Yelchin
    Director: J.J. Abrams

    Woah! The first film of the reboot was good, this left me breathless. It has everything, and exceeds on several levels. Benedict Cumberbatch was perfect, the homage within this film was so respectful. As a long term fan of the franchise, this in technical terms is the best. Generations has the best plot, and 2 through 4 have the best arc. Why not a ten? Probably just a bit thin on story credibility. In fact a lot thin, but the rest of the film just tops it up.


    Star Wars 1: The Phantom Menace
    1999 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Fri 27 November 2015

    Starring: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Pernilla August, Frank Oz, Samuel L Jackson, Kiera Knightly, Sofia Coppola, Terrence Stamp, Ralph Brown
    Director: George Lucas

    Few films conflict me as much as this. Liam Neeson is awesome, the universe is the best, and generally there is a lot going on but.. Jar Jar Binks has to be the worst carachter ever developed for such a prominent franchise. Am I missing something here? I absolutely love racist humour, but only when it's funny. There has not been such an unconvincing, and more importantly, unentertaining racial stereotype since Breakfast At Tiffany's To boot, young Anakin and his mum are NOT convincing.

    I suppose the film is worth the watch, especially in the light of the cultural significance of what is to follow, and I am glad I did (watch it).


    Star Wars 2: Attack Of The Clones
    2002 Mark: 6.9
    Watched:Sat 28 November 2015

    Starring: Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz, Jimmy Smits, Joel Edgerton
    Director: George Lucas

    Bordering on a good film, albeit there are some headscratching moments (why would you want foot-soldiers to take over the galaxy?) and there is a lot of "look, we all know, Anakin goes bad, don't keep reminding us, with the music and Hayden Christansen getting all pouty and stamping his little feet.

    Of course this is all building up to the release of The Force Awakens I tip it will be fantastic.


    Star Wars 3: Revenge Of The Sith
    2005 Mark: 7.4
    Watched: Mon 7 December 2015

    Starring: Hayden Christansen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz, Jimmy Smits, Joel Edgerton
    Director: George Lucas

    Although, like 1 & 2, still a vehicle for spectacular scenes, this installment is definitely the best of the new batch, not because of the set pieces, but because it has a slightly more involving story, and the carachters, specifically Anikin and Jar Jar Binks, become more interesting, in that Hayden Christensen seems more confident, and Binks doesn't speak and is hardly seen. I wonder how this would cope as a stand-alone? Not so well I fear, although it is remarkable how the story-boards at the beginning do provide huge vaults between the films, filling in lots of back story briefly and quickly


    Star Wars
    1977 Mark: 9
    Watched: Mon 7 December 2015

    Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, Anthony Daniels, Peter Cushing, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew
    Director: George Lucas

    How difficult it is to judge a film I guess I must have seen four times at least, where 50% of the scenes and dialogue are carved into the public consciousness? I hope I am being objective in that its iconic status is deserved, as, though admitedly seeming a little dated, as a camp-fire story it works excellently, with the story cantering along and developing at such a lick compared with the prequels it delights, and still, after nearly 40 years, holds the interest. It seemed really short! I would love to see an original copy.


    The Empire Strikes Back
    1980 Mark: 7.8
    Watched: Tue 15 December 2015

    Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Frank Oz
    Director: Irvin Kershner

    Of the first six of the series I think this one may be the best 'film', from an artistic perspective, in that the carachters just seem a tiny bit more consistent, with Darth Vader really coming into his own. I only saw it two days ago, and already the plot is being subsumed into a oneness with all the others, but I did fix that 7.8 in my mind after tetering on the 8 for a portion of the film. Pretty awesome really


    Return Of The Jedi
    1983 Mark: 7.2
    Watched: Wed 16 December 2015

    Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Frank Oz
    Director: Richard Marquand

    Once one has invested several hours into a series, episodes tend to be enjoyable, even if they are missing out on the oomph a little. This film is just a little bit more like a Jim Henson production than a George Lucas, in that it relies overmuch on animatronics. I do scratch my head at why male wierd aliens get a boner for hot human women. Whatever it is a good denoument to the series, with an excellent ending only slightly tarnished with the superimposition of Hayden Christensen as Anakin instead of Sebastian Shaw


    Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    2015 Mark: 9.5
    Watched: Thu 17 December 2015

    Starring: Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Max von Sydow, Gwendoline Christie
    Director: J.J. Abrams

    I crossed my fingers for the first five minutes of this film. From the moment BB-8 broke the fourth wall after two minutes I knew it was in safe hands with the genius that is J.J. Abrams writing and directing. The over-arching satisfaction I got from this film was its sense of balance, incorporating comedy, action, pathos, respect to the franchise (so important), surprise and believability. The fucking cinematography was super awesome but the nitty gritty was there of people and plot. Rey and Fin, the newbie stars were fantastic, I don't know what I was most pleased with, the acceptance of Rey as an empowered female, or the slight, but very watchable comedic side to FN2157. Given the history of this franchise it is a justified shoe-in for the biggest grossing film of all time.

    Spoiler AlertPlease somebody tell me that's a flux capacitor behind Hal and Fin as they fly off in the Falcon.

    N.B. I had this down for a ten but retrospectively took half a mark off due to the constant nag that it was Episode 4, new and improved, which, there is no getting away from it, it is


    Stardust
    2007 Mark: 7.3
    Watched: Wed 1 June 2016

    Starring: Charlie Cox, Ben Barnes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Sienna Miller, Mark Strong, Jason Flemyng, Rupert Everett, Ricky Gervais, David Walliams, Nathaniel Parker, Peter O'Toole, David Kelly, Robert De Niro, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Mark Heap, Henry Cavill, Ian McKellen
    Director: Matthew Vaughn

    Entertaining, sumptously produced, fantasy, which got better as the film wore on.


    Starred Up
    2013 Mark: 8
    Watched:Sun 30 March 2014

    Starring: Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend
    Director: David Mackenzie

    I am in no position to judge the accuracy of portrayal of life inside a British prison, so I can only say that this is as convincing as it is brutal. I am sure that if I ever sort these films into order by personal rating I will look at films along side it and realise that they are nowhere near the quality of this one. I do mark on enjoyment value, both immediate and long-term, and I think this may rise on the latter criteria. Speaking of acting performances, I can think of no film I have watched where the ensemble are so absolutely as realistic as could be imagined. It is like they have taken real chavs and asked them to be in the film, rather than actors playing a role. Fuck it, I'm adding half a point right now.. :)

    P.S. This will not be Jack O'Connell's last film. Fuck it, I'm adding another half.


    Step Brothers
    2008 Mark: 10.044
    Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

    Starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Richard Jenkins, Mary Steenburgen, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn
    Director: Adam McKay

    Watch this after a bad day at work and the world doesn't seem so bad. Is this the greatest premise for a film ever? Don’t read this unless you have already seen the film, cos it’ll spoil it for you.

    On a rewatch after 292 film reviews it is more than pleasant to confirm the 10 out of 10 rating I initially gave this film. Everything is right about it, the music, the comedy, the acting and most importantly, characters and story. Right now I just want to go to a quote-along Step Brothers (and a sing-along Frozen ). What else can I say?


    Stephen Fry Live
    2014 Mark: 3
    Watched:Wed 1 October 2014

    Starring: Stephen Fry

    I've been screwed. This carried a surcharge of around £10 for the privelege of watching something which was of youtube standard, and an excuse for Stephen Fry , 'raconteur, wit and national treasure' to fuck on about Oscar Wilde and read from his new book.

    I'm not saying Stephen Fry is untalented, just that this was not really stand up, more of a sales pitch. And lets face it, why don't people realise that Homophobia, as Oscar Wilde was the tragic victim of, is cool and safe to criticise nowadays, but the much greater problems we face nowadays are just as taboo as standing up for gays was in 1900. Stephen Fry sycophants make me angry! I hope Stephen Fry feels the same way, I suspect he does.

    More Fool Me


    Steve Jobs
    2015 Mark: 7.9
    Watched: Wed 18 November 2015

    Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet , Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Katherine Waterston, Michael Stuhlbarg, John Ortiz
    Director: Danny Boyle

    Good film? Damn straight its a good film, captivatingly and cleverly filmed with superb, really suberb, dialogue, fascinating and ambiguous characters, an eminetly listenable soundtrack of variety and precise timing, with Michael Fassbender putting in a bid for Oscar nomination (Though I have a feeling that Eddie Redmayne might do the double). It's a given that the tale is a good one, so add to this the biograpy and the company and this typifies what makes for a great evening at the flicks. Unlimited cards rock.


    Still Alice
    2014 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Thu 26 February 2015

    Starring: Julianne Moore†, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart
    Directors: Richard Glatzer, Wash Westmoreland

    Pretty solid 7.5 in that it was very illuminating regarding Alzheimer’s disease (I think), it never got too ponderous, and despite some “would they really say or do that?” moments it provided a credible insight into the degradation of memory. It was quite scary in that we all will think we have it next time we forget the opening lines to For The First Time In Forever (it happened today!).

    Food for thought is the value of life; perhaps some people die in their 50s and we should accept that with the stoicism of somebody who is smaller than average. I don’t know. What is the average life expectancy of a human hunter gatherer from 15,000 years ago?

    What was the car driving angle? Did Alice have to stop driving, and at what stage?

    Julianne Moore was a fair enough choice for the best actress award at the Oscars, but in addition I thought that Kristen Stewart was really good, and deserves total credit for being just right in this.


    The Sting ‡
    1973 Mark: 9

    Starring: Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Robert Shaw
    Director: George Roy Hill

    This is written so far away from the viewing but I know, I know, I know this is... No Spoiler alert!!!

    I started re-watching this and I hate to say it I found myself thinking "Is this a little dated or what?"


    Stoker
    2013 Mark: 7.1
    Watched:Sat 7 November 2015

    Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman, Alden Ehrenreich
    Director: Park Chan-wook

    What a nice follow up to Crimson Peak with Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode being in super fine wierd form, with Nicole Kidman pitching the neurotic bit acca-awesomely. The kind of film I am sure I am beginning to like more after the 24 hours has elapsed. I wonder if it is 'cos I want to be accepted by the Goth Kids? I can cope with films like this on an evening. Nothing to do with Dracula!


    Straight Outta Compton
    2015 Mark: 8
    Watched: Tue 1 September 2015

    Starring: O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Aldis Hodge, Neil Brown Jr., Jason Mitchell, Paul Giamatti
    Director: F. Gary Gray

    Super bit of film, in fact super lotta film, as it is almost two and a half hours; when the end credits dropped I was surprised then disappointed in that I was so thoroughly captivated by it that I didn't think the time was up and I want more! Paul Giamatti was the only cast member I knew, but of the rest, they were awesome. Great story, fantastic music, yes, it was produced by the subjects and cannot avoid a hagiographic aspect, but it works as a slab of entertainment and a contribution to the knowledge. As a film describing the African-American condition this is every bit as good as Selma and, for me, better than 12 Years . O'Shea Jackson, Jr. IS Ice T!


    Stranger Than Fiction
    2006 Mark: 9
    Watched:Sun 13 January 2013

    Starring: Will Ferrell, Maggie Gillenhall, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson
    Director: Marc Forster

    Will Ferrell plays a completely straight role. Little to find wrong with a film who's strength is it's story. No Spoiler Alerts, but I'll tell you for nowt that anybody who i have spoken too who has seen this film thinks it's ace. A bit like The Shawshank Redemption was 15 years ago


    Suffragette
    2015 Mark: 8
    Watched: Thu 15 October 2015

    Starring: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson
    Director: Sarah Gavron

    This year's Pride . Altogether darker and much less fun, nevertheless a film where I was more interested how bad most people were than how good the protagonists were. I wonder if it makes a film more enjoyable if you really believe you would not be a total pussy in the same situation. Recommended for good story, good history, super acting, listen to the soundtrack, and not too much Meryl Streep.


    Sunset Boulevard
    1950 Mark: 7.7
    Watched: Mon 8 August 2016

    Starring: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson
    Director: Billy Wilder

    Good. Very good indeed! Let us not forget this film was made in a period of American history when you could not make films, having said that this holds together as believable in its own insane universe, and for a change the relationships between the sexes don't totally suck (Watch From Here To Eternity to see when they do. William Holden is well worth the attention and Gloria Swanson is Norma Desmond. It could be annoying until you realise it is meant to be. That Max/Norma thing is quite wierd though. Acting nominations in all four categories yet no Oscars


    Sunshine On Leith
    2007 Mark: 10.016
    Watched:Fri 15 May 2015

    Starring: George MacKay, Peter Mullan, Jane Horrocks, Antonia Thomas, Freya Mavor
    Director: Dexter Fletcher

    Ten. I could not envisage a better way to spend two hours in front of a screen. Caveat to people expecting an unflawed pinnacle of technical perfection. You will be disappointed. Bear in mind, I love British films of this ilk, I love musicals, I love the Proclaimers, I love Edinburgh. Story, tried and tested, Characters, half a dozen ones I invested in, imagination and joy and music – top notch. Watch this with more than a bottle of wine, and if you are gayed up like me you will enjoy it but be drunk enough to watch it a second time and be surprised again.

    George McKay: two films, two tens (see Pride )


    Suspect
    1987 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Tue 5 August 2014

    Starring: Cher, Liam Neeson, Dennis Quaid
    Director: Peter Yates

    I suppose I watched this for Liam Neeson, but Cher wasn't half bad in it. I just enjoyed it, even though I can't remember the title!


    Swearnet: The Movie
    2014 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Sun 26 April 2015

    Starring: Rob Wells, Mike Smith, John Paul Tremblay, Pat Roach, Carrot Top, Sebastian Bach, John Dunsworth
    Director: Warren P. Sonoda

    I feel I should mark this higher for loyalty's sake, but I must try to be impartial. I love Trailer Park Boys , and this would have always struggled to keep up with that high standard. It is more of the same, with a good denoument, and a film which is an enjoyable watch, but you just can't help comparing it to its origins. If you are a fan you will like it.


    Sweet Sixteen
    2002 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 4 May 2015

    Starring: Martin Compston, William Ruane
    Director: Ken Loach

    It's grim up North. Lacking the feelgood factor which we have enjoyed in The Angel's Share and Looking For Eric this has the odd flash of humour and the usual exquisitely regional dialogue, but is altogether a deal bleaker, hence the lower rating. It is not a worse film, it is just a more uncomfortable one. It won the Screenplay award at Cannes and only grossed just over £300,000.


    Taken
    2008 Mark: 7
    Watched:Wed 13 August 2014

    Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Holly Valance
    Director: Pierre Morel

    Scores marginally more than Driven to Kill and 3 Days to Kill because of Liam Neeson, yet it is pretty much the same story, just ropey enough to not convince me that it is a real world, nevertheless if 1400 kids in Rotherham can be trafficked (how do you spell that world), I guess this might have some credibility


    Taken 3
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 12 January 2015

    Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Forest Whitaker
    Director: Olivier Megaton

    Crazy fun from Liam Neeson. The plot devices used during this film are incredibly impossible, nevertheless, it is fun to watch. I am sure the scriptwriters must have sat round a table and thrown out any ideas that were feasable in terms of rational actions on the part of the carachters, just watch it and you will see what I mean. Whatever next? Cop eatin' a donut?


    Tangled
    2012 Mark: 10.004
    Watched:Tue 2 December 2014

    Starring: Mandy Moore , Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy
    Directors: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard

    I'm writing this a week after watching the film in Oxford YHA on a lap top with headphones, and it is still a ten. Memories fade, even after a week, but it is just a lovely film, with animation like I have never seen before. Julia and I were discussing why has Frozen so captured the public's imagination? One reason may be the songs were written from a Broadway Background in the later film. Perhaps the 'bad' heroine (Elsa/Elphaba) has appeal, but perhaps Tangled paved the way for its succesor? It is the second most expensive film made up to this point, and it deserves longevity. Super Awesome


    Tarzan
    1999 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Mon 5 January 2015

    Starring: Tony Goldwyn, Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Rosie O'Donnell, Brian Blessed, Lance Henriksen, Wayne Knight, Nigel Hawthorne
    Directors: Chris Buck, Kevin Lima

    Even the not so good Disney's are really good! There was some uncomfortably twee cinema in this one, a little too much of the Jar Jar Binks with supporting craachters, a little anthrocentric, without the freshness of The Jungle Book Jane did remind me of Lois Griffin, The story wasn't the strongest and the leads were stock off the shelf, but like I said, Disney is Disney and it's allways a good watch. The soundtrack was by and large martvelous and made me like Phil Collins again. He deserved the best original song Oscar


    Team America
    2004 Mark: 9
    Watched: Thu 25 February 2016

    Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
    Director: Trey Parker

    The question here is Why did it not get a ten? Large sections of this film are uncontrollably hilarious, and the premise is a piece of logical conception executed to near-perfection. On my re-watch I did realise they were maybe a couple of parts which just seemed to stretch out a little bit. In some films a truly terrific song will carry three minutes, a difference between this and Bigger, Longer, and Uncut is that in the cartoon there was half a dozen stand out songs which were not only funny, but memorable as tunes in their own right, to the extent that they should have all been put in front of that year's (1999) Oscar winner, You'll Be In My Heart. (And then lost too When She Loved Me. I have kind of diverted away from what a wonderful film this is, and what a powerfull message it is to several groups of people, lapooning irrational jingoism and liberalism in hefty doses, and best of all the film consuming public. It strikes me that if you would like this film you will have already seen it, and if you don't like it you are a dick anyway.


    Ted
    2013 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Thu 13 August 2015

    Starring: Mark Whalberg, Seth McFarlane, Mila Kunis, Giovanni Riblisi, Ryan Reynolds, Ted Danson, Patrick Stewart
    Director: Seth MacFarlane

    It feels somewhat dissapointing to give this film 7.5, as one might have expected even more. The thing is, it is a most excellent film, well produced and acted, no complaints whatsoever. The jokes, music and voices are all very Family Guyish, so the edge is not what it would have been without that cartoon. Simpsons did it!

    Another to add to the Roster of Mark Whalberg films to enjoy!


    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Thu 23 October 2014

    Starring: Megan Fox, Bill Fitchner, Will Arnett. Johnny Knoxville, Whoopie Goldberg
    Director: Jonathan Liebesman

    Great first half hour and Bill Fitchner (playing Bill Fitchner) tops of an awesome cast. The last hour is exactly what you would expect from Michael Bey, and so when you nod off you probably don't leave yourself many unanswerd questions. What I want to muse upon is the addition of value to a film by 'stars' i.e. I've mentioned Fitchner, but as I am currently watching Arrested Development I really enyoyed watching Will Arnett. Jonny Knoxvilles voice was amusing, Whoopie Goldberg. I guess I am a sucker for familiarity. Stupid humans!


    The Terminator
    1984 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sat 4 July 2015

    Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton
    Director: James Cameron

    A must-watch film, elevated in public perception way way beyond its original budget. Linda Hamilton sucks a bit, and Arnie delivers his almost defining role. A thought provoking concept, a little gratuitous at times, the science is definitely stretchy, but what the hell, why not?


    Terminator 2: Judgment Day
    1991 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sun 5 July 2015

    Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick
    Director: James Cameron

    More enjoyable than the first, Linda Hamilton rocks in this and Arnie DOES deliver his defining role. The cheese department is filled by young John Connor, but this sequel, for me, edges the first in most departments. All the criticisms still apply, but not so harshly. Much better thought out.


    Terminator 4: Genisys
    2015 Mark: 7.5
    Watched: Tue 7 July 2015

    Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke,, Jai Courtney
    Director: Alan Taylor

    Liked it! I know it's heresy to say, but I like it more than the first one! All the cast are convincing, the delivery is spot on, and it has bought modern film making techniques with good effect into this classic franchise.


    Terms Of Endearment ‡
    1983 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Fri 18 April 2014

    Starring: Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, John Lithgow, Geoff Daniels
    Director: James L. Brooks

    There is probably no way this would have been my favourite film of 1983, but that is not to say I don't understand how it won the Oscar. If I had to sit and watch a film with a girl, this would be terrific. The fashion and cinematography is very much of its time. Oscar winners 1984 through 1987 were all period pieces ( Amadeus, Out Of Africa, Platoon, The Last Emperor , and by the time we get to Rainman film quality seems to have undergone a step change. Perhaps it is just depth of focus, perhaps I don't know what I'm talking about, but it this does have a 'made for TV' look about it


    The Theory Of Everything
    2014 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sun 11 January 2015

    Starring: Eddie Redmayne†, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, Christian McKay,, David Thewlis
    Director: James Marsh

    I must put my hands up and admit that I have been talked into downing this from an 8 to a 7.5. After much soul searching it sticks, for the following reasons:

    I enjoyed this film, there was a great deal to enjoy! Eddie Redmayne is absolutely brilliant as Stephen Hawking, the great man himself has said he (Hawking) thought he was watching himself, so if he (Redmayne) gets the gongs for it I would hope that Michael Keaton and Benedict Cumberbatch would shake his hands and agree they all done good.

    There was a moment when I was convinced it was going to be an 8, as the first part of the film described (Spoiler alert, but I think everybody could imagine this anyhoo) Hawking's succumbing to the effects of motor-neurone disease. I was thinking "Ah this is what story tellers do" and forgiving the film for what I imagined may have been anachronisms and imaginative patronisations. The first half was terrific, but, for me at least, the second half could have been a quarter (in which case it would have become a third!). Throughout the cinematography was beautiful, and I guess the actors did their jobs, but...

    Bar Hawking, none of the cast really grabbed me as fascinating. The story of Stephen Hawking's science is still pending, and for an interested layman such myself has been fairly flat for the last 3 decades; the story of Jane's romance though not unpleasant, is just not gripping enough to maintain an arc of narrative that maintains that hunger for more. So the film was a really really good watch, but next to its comparison film of 2014, The Imitation Game , palls in terms of the touchstones of story and carachters (and message as well, if you wanna throw it in).


    The Third Man
    1949 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Thu 29 January 2015

    Starring: Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard
    Director: Carol Reed

    Here I go saying an absolute classic wasn't that entertaining. It just wasn't, the set up was not believable, the dialogue and behaviour dated. The sets not particularly imaginative (OK it was 1949) and the music, though instantly identifiable, didn't quite fit, at least for me. Still worth a watch.

    P.S. OMG - " It is considered one of the greatest films of all time, celebrated for its atmospheric cinematography, performances, and musical score " !!!


    The Thirty Nine Steps
    1978 Mark: 5
    Watched:Sat 31 January 2015

    Starring: Robert Powell, David Warner, Karen Dotrice, John Mills, Miles Anderson, Timothy West, Edward Woodward
    Director: Don Sharp

    This is like The French Connection meets Withnail And I and it can't seem to make it's mind up. Were people just more gullible back in the day? I love the theatricle approach of some old films, just look at the Ealing Comedies, but this just seems a little bit lame. Did that aeropane have an everlasting fuel tank and a transponder on Richard Hannay? It's always enjoyable being reminded how stupid good old fashioned bobbies were.


    This Boy's Life
    19937.5
    Watched:Sat 17 May 2014

    Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Ellen Barkin, Eliza Dushku, Toby McGuire!
    Director: Michael Caton-Jones

    Leonardo diCaprio has always been good, and there is no better evidence than this. Weird how Rober Di Nero never changes.


    This Is England
    2006 Mark: 8
    Watched:Mon 30 March 2015

    Starring: Stephen Graham, Thomas Turgoose, Joseph Gilgun, Jack O'Connell
    Director: Shane Meadows

    A high rating for a 'gritty' film. It is a case in point of acting and cinematagraphy being very subservient to story and characters, as this film is filmed in the dullest parts of Nottingham and Grimsby, with a cast of largely unknown actors who, in cases, seem almost like a local theatre company, nevertheless, kudos too them for making a most excellent film.

    Like End Of Watch which I saw a couple of days ago, and Calvary , which I will see a few days from now, but I don't know that yet, it breaks negative stereotypes in ways can be sometimes uplifting. What I found also fascinating was the feel of the film. Shane Meadows has made this look not just like it was set in the '80's it looks like it was made in the 80s. I mean the closest film too it in terms of looks and feel is Rita, Sue, and Bob Too (What a film!) but this is mid 2000s. I expected an uncomfortable glorification of the skinhead culture. I got a great deal of insight into peoples problems and weaknesses.

    I was left thinking “ Jack O'Connell would have suited this ”.. Ha. Lo and behold he was in it!. Look out for the acting star of Stephen Graham who has gone onto a string of great films and, damn, I wish I'd have spotted it.. Al Capone in Boardwalk Empire


    The Three Stooges
    2012 Mark: 8
    Watched:Mon 30 November 2015

    Starring: Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso, Sean Hayes, Sofia Vergara, Craig Bierko, Larry David, Kate Upton, Jennifer Hudson, all of Jersey Shore!
    Directors: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

    Knockout! Really! Literally! The humour is so gormless and violent, like the Chuckle Brothers on meth, right from the cute orphans bursting into song you realise this is going to be like good Jerry Lewis with 50's cartoon violence. I just couldn't help it. Sofia Vegara and Kate Upton, two of FHM's 2015 top 20 make it easy on the eye, and it is not so bad on the ear niether, As Jennifer Hudson is so awesome!!. Thoroughly entertaining watch once you have overcome your aversion to American Zanyness. Stay for the end.


    Tideland
    2005 Mark: 6
    Watched:Sat 7 February 2015

    Starring: Jodelle Ferland, Brendan Fletcher, Janet McTeer, Jennifer Tilly, Jeff Bridges
    Director: Terry Gilliam

    I guess I am the viewer who " just won't know what to think about it Would I rather have watched this than not watched it? Definitely. Is it thought provoking? My thoughts are provoked. Did I enjoy it? Not really.

    What a wierd, disturbing film, it is the kind of thing which I can't wait to talk about with somebody. Like The Fall This gives a yound girl's perspective on the fucked up world we live in by imagining her imagination. The girl in this is truly brilliant but her world is well and truly fucked up... Damn. Like many disturbing films, I am positive that if I was judging it on merit as opposed to personal enjoyment this would rate Much higher. Just how accurate is it as an insight into a human mind? Damn damn damn!


    Titanic ‡
    1997 Mark: 10.038

    Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslett, Maggie Smith, Billy Zane, Bernard Hill, Euan Gryfford
    Director: James Cameron

    I am sure I didn't breathe for at least half an hour of this film. I know some people would disagree with me, probably the same people who don't like Steps. Fuck 'em


    Tobruk
    1967 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Thu 19 June 2014

    Starring: Rock Hudson, George Peppard
    Director: Arthur Hiller

    There are plenty worse ways to spend an afternoon then watching this set the stall out for Indiana Jones. It make you think how it was tough being Gay back in the day. Rock Hudson is perfectly likeable, and its just a good yarn.


    Tom Jones ‡
    1963 Mark: 7
    Watched: Mon 15 February 2016

    Starring: Albert Finney, Susannah York, Hugh Griffith, Edith Evans, Diane Cilento, Joyce Redman
    Director: Tony Richardson

    Half way through this I was caroused out. I mean, there is a lot of carousing. This film seems to have a really original approach, kind of almost fly on the wall mocumentary style, I have to say, the hunting scene really gives a flavour of the thrill of the chase, and apparently a lot of the fighting and falling over was for real! Was it a better film than it's contemporaries? I don't know, but all in all worth the watch.


    Tomorrowland
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Fri 22 May 2015

    Starring: Britt Robertson, George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw
    Director: Brad Bird

    Sitting writing about this and I want to mark it up, nevertheless I'll leave it at the 7 I gave it three quarters of the way through, in that it was cram full of stunning scenes and action, and an absolutely brilliant speech from Hugh Laurie, when the girl looked up from designing cars at the end it kind of exposed it as the cop out it was. SPOILER ALERT, the film is based on the premise that if you are optimistic everything will be peachy. That is a complete non sequiteur


    Touch The Top Of The World
    2006 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Thu 27 March 2014

    Starring: Peter Facinelli
    Director: Peter Winther

    In the same vein as Touching The Void without the level of drama and production qualities, and a little bit more backstory on the protagonist which is a little David Copperfield ish, in that it becomes a little overbearing to watch a hagiography. I think a plot summary would not be out of place so basically; it is the story of Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to climb Everest.


    Touching The Void
    2003 Mark: 9
    Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

    Starring: Brendan Mackey
    Director: Kevin Macdonald

    Breathtaking, gripping, amazing true story which compines the (adjective fails) scenery and an insight into humanity in the most extreme circumstances. When I used to come home from St Wilfred's I used to go to Pontefract Library (The old building) and read books on climbing. I never did get to go to the Andes or Himalayas, but I eventually climbed every hill in the Lake District. Heck, If I hadn't waited 40 years to climb the last 11 I'd have been one of the first on the list. Anyhoo, I can not remember much of the detail of this, only that Studio Canal make blow you away documentaries. If they ever screen this on iMax...

    P.S. The Guardian described it as "the most successful documentary in British cinema history"!
    PPS. It won Best Film at the BAFTA awards in 2004!!
    - I can see that.


    Tower Heist
    2011 Mark: 7.6
    Watched: Wed 17 February 2016

    Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Téa Leoni, Michael Peña, Gabourey Sidibe, Jud Hirsch, Kate Upton
    Director: Brett Ratner

    An enjoyable caper in which Ben Stiller paves the way for his most excellent Walter Mitty . I just can't wait to read the goofs page on IMDB regarding cranes and gold etc, but that hardly matters regarding a story which is enjoyable hokum, a thououghly pleasant evening's escapism. I have just realised there was no outright female eye candy in it, unless you count the FBI agent, but she didn't actually parade he cleavage around if you know what I mean. Kudos!


    Toy Story
    1995 Mark: 9
    Watched: Sat 23 January 2016

    Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Erik von Detten, Laurie Metcalf, R. Lee Ermey, Penn Jillette, Greg Berg, Debi Derryberry, Phil Proctor, Andrew Stanton
    Director: John Lasseter

    If you want a fight about this being the best trilogy of all time you will have to go somewhere else, 'cos much as I love Back To The Future I am not prepared to risk injury in its defence over this. The thing is just about every single aspect of this film is close to perfect, so what is the point , I can't fault it. (OK Sid gets a bit of a bad rap and, and, that's the best I can do!). It is absolutely unbelievable that Pocahontas beat this to just about everything at the Oscars for the year, Colors Of The Wind better than You've Got A Friend In Me ??? You are shittin' me aren't you?


    Toy Story 2
    1999 Mark: 9
    Watched: Sat 23 January 2016

    Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, Estelle Harris, Wayne Knight, John Morris, Laurie Metcalf, R. Lee Ermey, Jodi Benson, Jonathan Harris, Joe Ranft, Robert Goulet, Jeff Pidgeon, Andrew StantonTim Allen, Joan Cusack, Kelsey Grammer, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Annie Potts, Estelle Harris, Wayne Knight, John Morris, Laurie Metcalf, R. Lee Ermey, Jodi Benson, Jonathan Harris, Joe Ranft, Robert Goulet, Jeff Pidgeon, Andrew Stanton
    Director: John Lasseter

    Like Toy Story but with the addition of another fabulous tune which does everything a film song should do in moving the story along and really tugging the heart strings (When She Loved Me ). If anybody ever reads this and would like me to look after their dog for a few months whilst you try and make something of your life, you just have to ask. Hell, I'd do that even for the people I don't like!


    Toy Story 3 ‡ (animated)
    2010 Mark: 9.5
    Watched: Sun 24 January 2016

    Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Ned Beatty, John Morris, Don Rickles, Blake Clark, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Estelle Harris, Michael Keaton, Jodi Benson, Emily Hahn, Jeff Pidgeon, Timothy Dalton, Kristen Schaal, Jeff Garlin, Bonnie Hunt, Whoopi Goldberg, Jack Angel, Jan Rabson, John Cygan, Laurie Metcalf, Lori Alan, Beatrice Miller, R. Lee Ermey, Teddy Newton, Richard Kind, Bud Luckey, Javier Fernández Peña, Charlie Bright, Amber Kroner, Brianna Maiwand, Erik von Detten, Jack Willis, Lee Unkrich, Bob Peterson
    Director: Lee Unkrich

    I once had a teddy bear called Toffee and a lamb called Leesie. I went away for a while and when I got back they had gone. I did love that Teddy Bear, and I wish he was on the shelf now just for a reminder of when I imagined I was happy, when I trusted people, trusted my parents, thought that brothers and sisters were there for you, when friends were friends, not people who you look at through their window diverting your call whilst you are phoning them up.

    My dad was rubbish. There, I've said it. The only reason he took us to Butlins was so he could bone Kath Duker. I was captain of the First XV at school, picked to play for the county, and was making a name for myself at Pontefract Rugby Club and he never ever saw me play for even a minute, he just sat in his room and smoked 40 Senior Service a day and wrote letters to the Pont and Cas telling people to smoke (He was a fucking Doctor). The shop was less than 100 yards and he never walked there. Never once can I even remember walking down our street with him. And when he died he left me nothing, not even a book. We hadn't fallen out, I went to see him on a regular basis, I tried to persuade him out, but oh no, he wouldn't even come to The Rustic Arms to see his grandchildren playing on the swings. Not even a fucking book.

    I have got four children now, and seven nephews and nieces. All my life I have taken them all out, that's all my home video collection is. I taught at least three of them to ride bikes, took risks with them, and still thoroughly love them all. My four children are in their twenties now and how many times have they been taken out by their aunties and uncles (I'm talking about 'looked after as kids for a treat' out, not out 'let's meet for a meal where I pay £36 for four drinks' out)? None. I cannot remember once. I've lived in this house for the best part of twenty years, and I bet that apart from Barbara, my brothers and sisters have not called round here four times between 'em. So I'm a cunt, tell me something I don't know already, but my brother, the Godfather of one of my daughters, who lives less than a kilometre away - Oh he's a peach. Said daughter was in a bad place for the best part of a year, and with his busy, fucking, cunting, bastarding, pussy, want to smash your face completely in right now, schedule, never came to see her once (I don't live in the same house as her, so its not like I was a threat, it's not that I am a threat, I'd forgive him right now if he'd only fess up).

    You've Got A Friend In Me ? Maybe not, but I would suggest that I am a better person to you as your enemy than many of your precious 'fwends' really are, because from me, you will get the truth. You will get answers, and I will always try and help.

    Yeah, you guessed, I'm a fucked up guy, but this film, for a few minutes helped me escape from it all and cry. Genius.


    Trading Places
    1983 Mark: 10.056
    Watched:Wed 24 December 2014

    Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliot
    Director: John Landis

    Could this be the finest insight into the social sciences ever made? A 'message' film which by-passes a three year degree course to illuminate the viewer, and a funny and perfectly delivered script. Eddie Murphy at his best, Dan Aykroyd doesn't miss a deadpan beat, and Jamie Lee Curtis gets her tits out. Denhom Elliott makes you proud to be British. Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche just absolutely nail the Duke Brothers. Oh and it opens with the overture from The Marriage Of Figaro , a soundtrack that could have been written for John Landis's typical but superb semi-comedic but ultra- revealing juxtapositional shots of wealth and poverty in Philadelphia. Top ten! I really don't want to die, so I can watch this every Christmas with my kids and grandkids and their kids and grandkids


    Trainwreck
    2015 Mark: 8
    Watched: Wed 2 September 2015

    Starring: Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, LeBron James, Chris Evert, Brie Larson, Tilda Swinton, Daniel Radcliffe, Marrisa Tomie, John Cena, Matthew Broderick
    Director: Judd Apatow

    Wow! Surprised to enjoy a rom com as much as this, it actually rocks, hard and long, there were times a third of the way through when I was toying with 8.5 for this, it was that good. A host of cool cameos, If there was a girlie award for writing and acting, Amy Schumer would be the winner. She is super hot without being a model, the dialogue is dope and yes, music does make moments. Not as zany as Vacation , yet it's seeming blend of humour and intelligence are, at least to me, most appealing. Serendipity eh?


    Transformers
    2007 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Sun 29 March 2015

    Starring: Shia La Boef, Tyrese Gibson, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Anderson, Megan Fox, Rachael Taylor, John Turturro, Jon Voight
    Director: Michael Bay

    Great start, but I realise why I can't remember much about me watching it first time; The last hour is devoid of story, and because it is CGI it is just a (SPOILER ALERT) boring fight during which I drifted between sleep and consciousness to see a Bay-fest of impact smashes and explosions.


    Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 14 July 2014

    Starring: Mark Whalberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Peter Cullen, John Goodman, Ken Watanabe
    Director: Michael Bay

    This might have been better with 30 minutes of editing. It was enjoyable, the cast, were great and/or hot (Whalberg most excellent, Tucci goes from strength to strength), the cinematography and music outstanding. It did roll on for a long time though. Definitely worth the watch, but go to the bog before it starts.


    Tremors
    1990 Mark: 7
    Watched:Thu 30 January 2014

    Starring: Kevin Bacon, Ariana Richards, Fred Ward
    Director: Ron Underwood

    Hilarious. Very toungue in cheek monster movie, Ridiculous concept, ham, acting, cheesy dialogue. 98% on Rotten Tomatos!!! WTF?


    Troll Hunter
    2011 Mark: 7
    Watched:Mon 3 August 2015

    Starring: Otto Jespersen
    Director: André Øvreda

    Quirky. As me Julia pointed out Otto Jespersen (Hans the trollhunter) should be employed in every single Hollywood blockbuster henceforth, as your go to Scandinavian. The 'kids' in the film kind of got on my nerves because a) The lad looked and acted like Ant McPartland and b) The girl did nothing but make stupid faces at the camera. CGI now has to be very impressive to impress. It is comedic without being a laugh a minute and I think perhaps I was nervous watching it with a large group to let myself get lost in it. Whatever, for fans of Scandinavian horror/comic/mocumentary it is a must-see.

    Where the hell have I seen the beginning of this film before?


    Tropic Thunder
    2008 Mark: 8.5
    Watched:Tue 21 January 2014

    Starring: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jnr, Reggie Lee, Matthew McConaghy, Steve Coogan, Danny McBride
    Director: Ben Stiller

    Somebody told me I would be dissapointed by this. I wasn't. Big stars ripping into their trade with comedy and a little ferocity. Robert Downey Jnr is funny as fuck, Ben Stiller is Ben Stiller (I'm sure he does 'Blue Steel'), Jack Black is ..., Mathew McConaghy is beginning to be recognisable to me.


    True Grit (2010)
    2010 Mark: 7.3
    Watched: Mon 4 July 2016

    Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Barry Pepper, Hailee Steinfeld
    Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

    I wonder if Westerns are so popular because of the scenery they film them in? Perhaps, whatever. There is not enough Josh Brolin in this, but I am only saying that because I am gay for him. Hailee Steinfeld steals the show here, with real poise and command of that fantastic Coen brothers dialogue.


    The Truman Show
    1998 Mark: 7
    Watched:Tue 12 July 2011

    Starring: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Noah Emmerich, Ed Harris, Natascha McElhone
    Director: Peter Weir

    A fresh watch even though I have seen it before. I really feel uncomfortable with universes that behave irrationally given their context, I mean a story teller can create the stage he wants, why does he have to make it go off at a tangent to itself? For example, the outside of the set for The Truman Show was shown in Hollywood. Why did they just not build it in Florida on the coast where the film was filmed and where you can have sea and islands. Are you telling me they kept a nuclear power station set on standby for thirty years on the off chance that he might just kidnap his wife and force her to drive over a bridge? It didn't have to be that way.

    Ed Harris was brilliant as homo-artistic-malevolant Christophe and was it the Philip Glass part of the score which was outstanding or was it the other guy's? Was the concept believable? - yes, I am pretty sure that Space Cadets indicated that you could pick people who would suspend any amount of disbelief for any amount of time.


    Unbreakable
    2000 Mark: 7
    Watched:Thu 10 September 2015

    Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright, Charlayne Woodard, M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Kelly
    Director: M. Night Shyamalan

    I watched this om the advisement of Mark Laycock, after dissing The Visit True to form it slots in to the Shyalaman timeline, in that it is not quite up there with The Sixth Sense, but definitely trumps Signs. The trouble is KIND OF SPOILER ALERT, the moment you know it is Shyalaman, you are looking for the twist. My wish is that he does a film but keeps his name under wraps, and that he actually abandons ideas of making another masterpiece and builds a story for its own sake, not just for the denoument. Look.. this is a good film, but it is not In Bruges


    Unbroken
    2014 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Thu 15 January 2015

    Starring: Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson
    Director: Angelina Jolie

    Thumbs up for the film and the actor of the year Jack O'Connell. His films don't score really big becasue they are disturbing to watch. This one kept my attention for 139 minutes, it had its highs and lows, it took liberties with the historical narrative but it all worked. O'Connell is that good I thought he might have been playing the 7 year old version of Louis in this film. I don't think I would have recognised him unless I had known beforehand.

    Of course one has to compare it to the years other POW film, and if I remember rightly, The Railwayman comes out slightly ahead. Let me check.... Yep. Both my favourite composer of the moment Alexander Desplat. All the Oscar nominees are being put on at the cinema now (January 2015) so it makes it difficult to say if you agree with some of them or not. Whiplash, Big Eyes, American Sniper all to watch. Should this get any awards? No, but it deserves recognition as a good watch.


    Under Siege 1
    1992 Mark: 7
    Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

    Starring: Steven Segal, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busey, Colm Meaney
    Director: Andrew Davis

    Look.. It's only a film. With guns, and explosions and macho one liners.


    Under Siege 2 – Dark Territory
    1995 Mark: 7
    Watched:Tue 14 January 2014

    Starring: Steven Segal, Katherine Heigl
    Director: Geoff Murphy

    Look.. It's only a film. With guns, and explosions and macho one liners.


    Under The Skin
    2013 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Mon 29 December 2014

    Starring: Scarlet Johanssen, Lots of non-actor extras
    Director: Jonathan Glazer

    Much of this film was impressive, Scarlett Johannsen conveys such perfect sexuality, I could very easily identify with the men she met. Those men were largely duped into the scenes being filmed by hidden cameras which is definitely worth watching. The film, however, failed to maintain my intrest throughout, in that we did kind of have the same scene four or five times, and given the sparsity of dialogue (13 minutes before the first words) I was becoming bored waiting for development. As a story concept it is terrific, but it is almost analogous to human emotion changes. If the cinematagraphy was meant to make Scotland look bleak, poor, cold and depressing it was terrific. The cast, given they were Johannseen and a bunch of non-luvvies were awesome. It could still have been a one hour Tales of the Unexpected


    Unforgiven ‡
    1992 Mark: 8.5

    Starring: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, gene Hackman, Peter O'Toole
    Director: Clint Eastwood

    The last great western? No, but perhaps the last great spaghetti western


    Unfriended
    2015 Mark: 7
    Watched: Sat 2 May 2015

    Starring: Shelley Hennig
    Director: Levan Gabriadze

    SPOILER ALERT: five or six American teens get embroiled in spooky shit, but instead of running away ASAP, they get dragged in, with frightening consequences. The thing is with this it is very originally and cleverly done, and maintains the interest for the short running time of less than 90 minutes (Watch it, you will see what I mean). Good story, good cast, good concept, the most original horror film since Blair Witch


    Up ‡ (animated)
    2009 Mark: 9.6
    Watched: Fri 8 January 2016

    Starring: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Pete Docter
    Director: Pete Docter

    Pete Docter is a genius (I had seen this before I saw Inside Out ) and a rewatch of this confirms it. Incredibly beautiful to just look at, I had tears streaming down my cheeks at the story and acting (you know what I mean), it is just a totally life affirming film, and my goodness, I have rarely identified with a character as much as I have with Carl. He is up there with George Bailey and Elphaba as someone you can really pull for. A masterpiece.


    V For Vendetta
    2006 Mark: 6.8 WatchedThu 5 November 2015

    Starring: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, John Hurt, Stephen Fry, Tim Pigott-Smith, Rupert Graves, Roger Allam, John Standing, Sinéad Cusack, Natasha Wightman, Imogen Poots
    Director: James McTeigue

    Why people hate me, volume 51115

    I appropriately watched this on Bonfire Night at the behest of my beloved neighbour, Danni, who had put up a quote from it on her FaceBook page , namely "People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people " To which I , naturally, replied "Why on Earth should a government be afraid of people in a 'democracy' where over 55% of the people have less than 5% of the wealth? Amen my arse, they should be laughing to their back teeth reading FaceBook at all the lilly livered cunts whinging about how bad things are, without doing anything about it. (Don't take it personally Dan, you are fab!) "

    The thing is, the quote, and the film illicit the same reaction in me, that as humans we observe films, history, stories and analogies and imagine that we are not collectively horrible, and that we all go on about "ewww, Selma, Suffragette, 12 Years A Slave, Schindler's List, that wouldn't happen on our watch ", but the fact is, it is going ahead full steam on our watch, this second, this minute this year, and we are fuckin' moronically oblivious to it.

    I was in the sauna yesterday, some bloke walks in, a Labour councillor from Normanton, and he told us about how the Conservative councillors attend 8 two hour meetings per year to claim their full £12,000 councillor's allowance. He went on to explain the math to us; £750 per hour. I then pointed out there would be many Labour councillors who would do exactly the same thing, that the demography of either party regarding all aspects of human 'goodness' was probably indistinguishable. He then said, quote "Ah but we don't use it as a stick to beat them (i.e. the Tories) with" I pointed out that he had just spent the previous two minutes doing precisely that. It didn't sadden me that Councillors might be greedy, or even that he had the effrontery to contradict himself in the space of 60 seconds and refuse to acknowledge it. It worried me a little that he tried to change the subject by inferring that I had somehow dissed an old friend of mine who was a councillor (I hadn't). The real permanent, inescapable tragedy was that a friend of over 30 years, sitting one yard away from both of us would not acknowledge the glaringly inescapable contradiction, choosing to say something along the lines of "it's nothing to do with me ", and that far from being unique, he was being absolutely, typically, mundanely, 'nicely' human.

    Which brings us to the film. The sofa family sucked, Steven Fry seems like a bit of an add-on. I mean I love the guy, but Gosford Park, The Hobbit part 12 .. I'm being picky. Look, what do I know? I'm the only person I know who was cynical about 1984 , but like I said, I carry a lot of baggage when it comes to my faith in collective humanity, and when I see films which make people feel right-on, I gag a little. And it saddens me that the majority of people do not, can not, comprehend why.


    Vacation
    2015 Mark: 8
    Watched: Tue 1 September 2015

    Starring: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Chris Hemsworth, Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo
    Directors: John Francis Daley, Jonathan M Goldstein

    Literally a laugh-a-minute goof-fest, from start to finish, this, I discover, is a sequel, a re-make and a re-boot! I didn't have to be too self-conscious about laughing out loud as I was most definitely not alone. I was only slightly disappointed in that... Nah, that would be a spoiler alert, see if you can spot it. And yes.. (I'm thinking to myself) music does make moments. Excellent, so happy I saw it. I'm sorry that this is not a more coherent review, but it is a bonding road trip movie, and anything else would just give away the elements. I'm sure if you don't enjoy this at least a bit you can go and watch Metropolis or something, and ignore my reviews of American comedies in future.


    Valkyrie
    2007 Mark: 8
    Watched:Wed 19 August 2015

    Starring: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp, Tom Wilkinson, Bernard Hill
    Director: Brian Singer

    Wow, what a film, what a story. This seemed like 35 minutes, it maintained my attention so completely, guys you were really pulling for, tremendous tension, and all a true story. You couldn'r write a yarn like it. Tom Cruise is officially OK now.


    Vanilla Sky
    2001 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Tue 5 August 2014

    Starring: Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Kurt Russell, Jason Lee, Noah Taylor, Cameron Diaz, Timothy Spall, Tilda Swinton, Steven Spielberg, Johnny Galecki
    Director: Cameron Crowe

    Writing this before I've finished the film, but I can't wait to do so. Tom Cruise Sci Fi gets better as the years wear on. (see The Edge of Tomorrow


    The Virgin Soldiers
    1969 Mark: 6.3
    Watched:Sat 17 October 2015

    Starring: Hywell Bennett, Lynn Redgrave, Nigel Davenport, Michael Gwynn, Geoffrey Hughes, Roy Holder
    Director: John Dexter

    Like Kes This has been a film that has been around all my life without me seeing it, and I'm not unhappy that I filled in the gap. I wouldn't say it's a must see, but it'll while away an afternoon, seeing who you can spot in it (My favourite was Lord Melbury from Fawlty Towers )


    Virtuosity
    1995 Mark: 4.7
    Watched:Sun 15 November 2015

    Starring: Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, Louise Fletcher, William Fichtner, Kaley Cuoco, Traci Lords
    Director: Brett Leonard

    I tried to avoid revealing the plot of films, but I can't avoid it here. Crowe and Washington are having a competition to see who is the gayest. Denzell starts well in a nice blue leather number, but Russell actually wins hands down (or at least he was well in front by the time I turned it off after 45 minutes)


    The Visit
    2015 Mark: 4.5
    Watched: Wed 9 September 2015

    Starring: Ed Oxenbould, Kathryn Hahn
    Director: M. Night Shyamalan

    Another two hours waiting for someone to say "Boo!" In it's favour the lad was terrific, and there were some jumps during it but please COME ON!! nobody in any universe would be as stupid as these peoples because their stupid ancestors would have stupided themselves out of the gene pool eons ago. M. Night Shyamalan gets worse, I mean, Sixth Sense = Awesome, Signs = mmm, The Happening = "Amy Adams dodged a bullet", and now this. Didn't watch the last 10 minutes, it's two hours I'll never get back, so let's be positive an imagine that as 600 seconds profit?


    The Walk
    2015 Mark: 8.8
    Watched: Sun 11 October 2015

    Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Steve Valentine
    Director: Robert Zemeckis

    How can they possibly make a feature length film about a bloody tight-rope walk? I mean next thing you know they'll be filming a dozen cantankerous old bastards in a room to argue with each other for 90 minutes over some punk who is bang to rights for knifing his dad


    A Walk Among The Tombstones
    2014 Mark: 5.5
    Watched:Mon 29 September 2014

    Starring: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens
    Director: Scott Frank

    Pretty predictable fodder in which the gnarly old stager (Neeson) is persuaded by moral compunction to break out of retirement to take on the bad guys with increasing levels of jeopardy and violence.

    Plenty of vigilante justice from the tortured anti hero on Metropolitan East coast where the bad guys are pretty unambiguously bad and vice versa for the good ones


    A Walk In The Woods
    2015 Mark: 6
    Watched: Wed 30 September 2015

    Starring: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Kristen Schaal, Nick Offerman, Mary Steenburgen, Emma Thompson
    Director: Ken Kwapis

    So much more of a watch than Wild , this didn't suck half as much as it could have done. I suppose, when all's said and done, Billy Bryson is an entertaining bloke.


    Walking On Sunshine
    2014 Mark: 0
    Not Watched

    Starring: Annabel Scholey, Leona Lewis
    Directors: Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini

    There are some places you just don't wanna go. Having been tortured by the trailers for the best part of six months, I can confidently say that I would actually pay not to go and see this film. Now. I am always open to persuasion, as sharing the torture would lighten the load a little bit, but.. a girly wedding, with token everythings bar reality, set in a Watneys Red Barrell resort featuring the music that put me off music ( Wake me Up before you Go Go ) performed terribly ( How will I Know ) with a cast of EastEnders and Casualty extras is about as close to Hades as I can imagine. You are going to say " Ah It's only a bit of fun " . For you it might be, but listen, just listen to the trailer featuring a clip from their version of The Power of Love . We are not talking the dirge by Jennifer Rush, or the Frankie Aplin thing. We are talking about the signature of a generation from from one of ther best albums ever made that was the theme to the greatest film trilogy in the history of mankind so far, (and that includes Star Wars and The Godfather ) and ask yourself - "If the producers are prepared to perform such brutal anal gang rape on this innocent, is that where they will stop?

    No.


    Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit ‡ (animated)
    2005 Mark: 7.4
    Watched: Sat 28 May 2016

    Starring: Peter Sallis, Peter Kay, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes
    Director: Nick Park, Steve Box

    Another animation which is long on production, long on corny jokes but just a bit short on story. Worth seeing once


    WALL-E ‡ (animated)
    2008 Mark: 5
    Tue 22 September 2015

    Starring: Ben Burt
    Director: Andrew Stanton

    What what what? Only a five for such an accoladed film? I gave Inside Out a ten!

    Don't ask me why, I loved Chappie and hated Short Circuit . I liked Tears For Fears and OMD, but couldn't stand Depeche Mode.

    Is it because I feel there is something lacking in honesty about this film (from the studio which bought you Cars ) along with paucity of story, dialogue and characters? Some people loved 2001 . It was a dull dirge, COME ON.

    Sorry, if your a fan, it's just not my tempo


    Watchmen
    2009 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sat 5 July 2014

    Starring: Billy Cruddup, Nicola Stephenson, Malin Åkerman, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson
    Director: Zack Snyder

    I've watched this twice, and still don't get it all. That is not a negative criticism in the slightest, but I am fascinated by the ambiguity of moral choice, and this film delves into it with some terrifically polar characters, I love Roscharch, even though I don't know where he came from, so i guess I will just have to watch this again


    The Way Back
    2010 Mark: 7
    Watched:Tue 15 April 2014

    Starring: Jim Sturgess, Ed Harris, Colin Farrell, Mark Strong
    Director: Peter Wier

    Reasonable watch/ Colin Farrell and Mark Strong are unexpected, Ed Harris is awesome. Good scenery massive variety, blah blah blah


    The Way We Were
    1973 Mark: 7
    Watched:Sun 31 May 2015

    Starring: Barbra Striesand, Robert Redford, James Woods
    Director: Sydney Pollack

    I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it was. The Oscar winning tune was overplayed, without a doubt, I can't make my mind up if I love or loathe Robert Redford and Barbra Striesand certainly is not the orthodox starlet, yet, I could not help having empathy with her part. It is tough to sit through films like this when you have the box set of House Of Cards to wade through, but it certainly wasn't a wasted evening. They could have gone further with the politics


    West Side Story ‡
    1961 Mark: 7

    Starring: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris
    Directors: Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins

    This could be the best soundtrack ever, nevertheless it is a stage show and the film comes across as such


    What We Did On Our Holiday
    2014 Mark: 7
    Watched:Wed 1 October 2014

    Starring: Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Ben Crosby, Amelia Bullmore
    Directors: Andy Hamilton, Guy Jenkin

    As this film wore on, and as time has elapsed in the last 12 hours or so since I saw it, this kind of got quite bearable. The children manged to wear down one's resistance, the humour although hovering on the borderline of cringe managed to stay for the majority of the film as digestable, the carachters were just believable enough and although I could fully understand anybody criticising this film as being sanctimoniously twee, on a personal level I enjoyed it, and given these provisos would recommend it to a friend. Hilarious take on newspapers. Good one!


    When Harry Met Sally...
    1989 Mark: 7
    Watched: Sun 14 February 2016

    Starring: Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby
    Director: Rob Reiner

    For a film which isn't my cup of tea, in that it's emphasis is on the romantic rather than the comedy, I enjoyed this film, but... I am not a fan of FaceBook funnies and feelings, it annoys me how the most inane posts get loads of likes, yet well researched and well written critiques generate no support in the face of idiocy. In a way I guess this film panders to the feel good, 'look at me aren't I worldly? ' insularism that runs as a thread through most people's inoculation to reality. So it's no Compliance . It isn't, in fact, even a Working Girl in that it's a fairly short story that is padded out, and it is equally escapist but pretends to be reality. Now, all that's out of the way, it is reasonably funny, and the characters sufficiently interesting. The pinnacle of the film, for me, is Billy Crystal's acting performance. That is not to say I like Harry, it is to say that I imagine that the reaction involved watching his transition through the film is exactly what the makers were aiming at. The kind of thing Chevy Chase might aim at but not hit.

    I could quite easily see this making a person's 500 films to see list, then again, Friends makes loads of people's best 10 TV programs...


    Whiplash
    2014 Mark: 9
    Watched:Fri 23 January 2015

    Starring: Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons†
    Director: Damien Chazelle

    Fucking great. Is it because I like music films or is it because it was a fantastic story which headed off in all sorts of directions, where the two carachters (and let's face it, they were both leads) completely, totally and utterly grab you by the balls and take you along on their journey? It's the latter. Very much of the mood of Birdman (It's mainly in New York, Mainly indoors or at night.

    Yes I like music films, but this was a drumming film, which I think is different, at least for me. On writing this 12 hours later, despite having my bike stolen and having a racking cough, I have no qualms about awarding a it a 9.


    Wild
    2014 Mark: 6.5
    Watched:Fri 23 January 2015

    Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann
    Director: Jean-Marc Vallée

    Six and a half is good. Reese Witherspoon was adequate, as was Lara Dern, but as Oscar Nominees they did't make me punch the air in triumph when they had their moments. The thing is, it's not too much of a story:

    SPOILER ALERT. Nice chick goes on a 1200 mile hike up the American Rockies, sees a snake in the desert, a coyote in the woods, wasn't well prepared but flutters her eyelashes for any amount of help. She feels threatened (multiple times) but never actually was harmed by any animals or humans. Like me when I go to Neil Aspland's house to talk to him, and they call the police. Mountains and Molehills. Why is the tone of this review far less positive than the other 6.5 I saw today, The Gambler ? Cos Mark Whalberg is not gonna be nominated for any Oscars.

    To get things straight, I still enjoyed it


    The Wind Rises
    2013 Mark: 8.3
    Watched: Sun 3 July 2016

    Starring: 0
    Director: Hiyao Miyazaki

    Absolutely beautiful picture, This may be my favourite studio Gibli production. You see, for me, I love biographies, and this is what this particular film is. I never thought I would have tears in my eyes about aeroplanes, but this somehow did the trick. I want a house painted with scenes by Hiyao Miyazaki, a genius.


    Winters Tale, A New York
    2014 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Wed 5 March 2014

    Starring: Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, William Hurt, Jessica Brown Findlay
    Director: Akiva Goldsman

    The nature of this film makes it curious to rate, in that it falls fairly and squarely into a super-natural world, and I would have expected either a ten or a four. It actually drops into the nearly great film bracket, in that with hindsight I am thinking that was just a little bit too optimistic, even for that crazy mixed up New York of guardian angels and Devil's henchmen and time dilation and malevolent Will Smith. But there is no getting away from the fact I was entranced for much of it, the pictures were beautiful, a la Hugo , the characters were most engaging. If in a fix, a flying white horse is a get-out, albeit a get-out which could be easily substituted for anything which is 'magic' That's where it differs from The Green Mile ; it loses on believability for quite significantly the same story. Whatever, I wiped a way a tear. What a fag! Sybil Crawley was beautiful. Colin Farrell was Mr Banks. Russell Crowe bought his Robin Hood accent along, and of all his parts, I think this is the one which most enjoys “ Fightin' 'round The World (shame he had to stick to New York!). Good watch.


    Withnail And I
    1987 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sun 22 June 2014

    Starring: Paul McGann, Richard E Grant, Richard Griffifths
    Director: Bruce Robinson

    It really helps to watch a film with somone who is passionate about it. I know I started this film before but can not remember finishing it. Perhaps it was because I consumed the film and a bottle of wine simultaneously. Anyhoo, the humour is very much in the First Loves vein, quintessentially English and, given the autobiographical nature of this film, a little disturbing. I suspect a bit of the David Copperfield about it, but then again that is, I guess, what autobiographies do. Would I have preferred the 'director's cut' ending (I am not going to spoil it by telling you what it is)? Mmm... yes.

    This film has attained huge cultural significance, with high positions in numerous lists. It launched the career of Richard E Grant, and I feel a little embarrassed to give it a lower mark than 22 Jump Street . I mark films for enjoyment, and I really enjoyed this film, but I think I may have been a little tired or had other things on my mind. I will visit Sleddale Hall


    The Wolf Of Wall Street
    2013 Mark: 8
    Watched:Mon 20 January 2014

    Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jean duJardin, Matthew McConaghy, Jonah Hill
    Director: Martin Scorsese

    High expectations did not go unfulfilled. Only 8 though, in that it was a ripping film I could not help but think what a bucnch of pricks this film was glorifying. It was based on a book written by the protagonist, Jordan Belfort. This man basically stole from people, lied, and then grassed his own mates up. Do we really believe he was going to tell the truth with the story? Leonardo Di Caprio should get a best actor Oscar for this (though I haven't seen Dallas Buyers Club yet), but the Fed should get a reward


    Woman In Gold
    2015 Mark: 8
    Watched: Wed 6 May 2015

    Starring: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, Jonathan Pryce
    Director: Simon Curtis

    Very solid bout of enjoyment, I think I am now officially mainlining movies. I look at the crop of films on this first week in May of 2015 and realise that each of them, that I have seen brings something to the table. Helen Mirren will get a nod for best actress, the film might not, but I sat for two hours and was sucked in to the David & Goliath story. I do feel uncomfortable that the tale may sanctify the protagonists a tad, nevertheless, taken with a pinch of salt it is a stand-alone adventure which gave me a wide-a-wake Wednesday. Good quiz shit in it as well, with the art, music, history and geography of the piece.

    The picture is Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt.


    Working Girl
    1988 Mark: 8.5
    Watched:Sun 25 May 2014

    Starring: Melanie Griffifths, Sigourney Weaver, Harrison Ford, Alec, Baldwin, Joan Cussack, Oliver Platt, Kevin Spacey, Riicki Lake
    Director: Mike Nichols

    Wow! My second favorite rom-com. Perhaps it's the August Rush effect, is just the gin talking or the chocolate and Bu?, I was just in a good mood and this film did nothing but enhance it. OK, it was a last hurrah for the 80's, with big hair and the idolisation of power within the New York financial system, and the World Trade Center and I'm So Excited and The Lady in Red , but in spite of all these glaring anachronisms, lame choices and questionable morality it was just a great story with fab carachters, and this one hammered home that mantra. I got sick of the Oscar Winning best original song after about six minutes, but finally gave way and appreciated the motif (polished off with a proper guitar solo during the end credits.


    World War Z
    2013 Mark: 6.9
    Watched: Sat 19 December 2015

    Starring: Brad Pitt, David Morse, Peter Capaldi, Michiel Huisman
    Director: Marc Forster

    On paper this should not have been a watcher, but hell, I left it on and was glad I did. The story was predictable, utterly, but what the hell, it'll do. The cast were reasonably engaging, especially the Zombies who were spectacularly loony and numerous and if it comes to washing up or this, the film takes precedence. I couldn't watch three a day


    The World's End
    2013 Mark: 7
    Watched:Tue 25 February 2014

    Starring: Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Nick Frost, Paddy Consadine, Piers Brosnan, Bill Nighy, David Bradley
    Director: Edgar Wright

    Like the characters in the film I had a few, resulting in a giggling empathy, and eventually a turn-off and save the rest for the morning, as it were. So I thoroughly enjoyed it but was left uncomfortably unsatisfied, you see, Gary was a dick, a loser, and it is not a dick or a loser that is going to save the world in any size, shape or form.

    Can't wait to look up the references and what other films that girl was in. (Rosamund Pike, Die another Day, Made In Dagenham, Jack Reacher

    I don't want to sound like a dick or a tosser, but Nick Frost is awesome in this


    Wreck-It Ralph
    2012 Mark: 8
    Watched:Wed 5 July 1905

    Starring: John C Reilly
    Director: Rich Moore

    Solid animated entertainment


    X-Men 2
    2003 Mark: 6
    Watched:Thu 29 May 2014

    Starring: Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Brian Cox, Alan Cumming, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, James Marsden, Kelly Hu.
    Director: Brian Singer

    I am going to have to watch these again and again to learn who does what and what they are called. I probably have given this a six more out of optimism and love of Julia and Dave rather than I actually understood it. I will get there eventually!


    X-Men 4 Origins: Wolverine
    2009 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sat 4 January 2014

    Starring: Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Lynn Collins, Taylor Kitsch, will.i.am, Kevin Durand, Dominic Monaghan, Daniel Henney, Ryan Reynolds.
    Director: Gavin Hood

    Half decent movie, in fact I thoroughly enjoyed it. Was Hugh Jackman trying to emulate Clint Eastwood? Is Lynn Collins a doppelgänger for Jennifer Lawrence?
    Listen if you want 'art' go to the Tate Modern. If you want to see some kicking ass after a gin and tonic, this'll fit the bill.


    X-Men 7: Days Of Future Past
    2014 Mark: 8
    Watched:Mon 16 June 2014

    Starring: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart
    Director: Bryan Singer

    Yep. This worked. Time displacement, I've said it before and I'll say it a million times more, it's an unbeatable premise! About the only error I can think of in this film is that Doc Browns speech from the end of 3 was not repeated Ad Vebatim. Tyrion Lannister LOL. Jennifer Lawrence – awesome. Hugh Jackman – ripped. James McAvoy was perfect to tell you the truth. Where was Stan Lee?


    The Yards
    2000 Mark: 7.5
    Watched:Sat 14 March 2015

    Starring: Mark Whalberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron, James Caan, Ellen Bustyn, Faye Dunaway
    Director: James Gray

    What a film for the Connection game. I wonder if I like this film more because of the subsequent success of 75% of the lead four actors, or because it was genuinely good, with a taut story, dynamic characterisations, with the odd moment of over the topishness which made for a thoroughly interesting Saturday night. Look, I wouldn't say “rush out and get this film”, but what I would say is “set it to tape and catch it when you can”


    Your Highness
    2011 Mark: 8
    Watched:Mon 12 May 2014

    Starring: James Franco, Danny McBride, Charles Dance, Nathalie Portman, Toby Jones, Damien Lewis, Zooey Deschanel
    Director: David Gordon Green

    I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy this, but it did the trick. Danny McBride made just a fine job of writing himself in this one, playing Kenny Powers in medival tunics, and basically allowing the absurdity of the dialogue and James Franco's niceniceness to win crush one into submissionr, providing a superb contrast between realistic cynicism and absolute fairy tale naivity. Tywin Lannister plays Charles Dance to perfection. If you like this you might enjoy . This is the first time I have lifted somebody else's review. Roger Ebert gave the film one star out of four, calling it "juvenile excrescence that feels like the work of 11-year-old boys in love with dungeons, dragons, warrior women, pot, boobs and four-letter words." - Fuck yeah!


    Zero Dark Thirty
    2012 Mark: 8
    Watched:Sat 11 July 2015

    Starring: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton
    Director: Kathryn Bigelow

    Another of those films which would rate even higher were I judging on merit as opposed to enjoyment. Challenging, unapologetic, exciting, a whole slew of superb performances, not least the sound guy (who won the Oscar), intellectual, informative, the superlatives go on. This IS a better film than Bigelow’s Oscar winner The Hurt Locker .


    Zoolander
    2001 Mark: 9
    Watched:Sun 18 October 2015

    Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Christine Taylor, Will Ferrell, Milla Jovovich, Jerry Stiller, David Duchovny, Jon Voight, Vince Vaughn, Alexander Skarsgård
    Director: Ben Stiller

    What is their not to thoroughly enjoy about this ridiculous take on ridiculous human behaviour. I am sceptical that a lot of people in the fashion/advertising idustries will giggle with delight and say they know zomebody so like that, when, if you ask me, it's everybody. The last time human sycophansy to fashion was illustrated so starkly was in The King's New Clothes