Starring: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher, Jr., Bradley Cooper
Director: Dan Trachtenberg
I've seen plenty worse sci-fi horror movies. This was quite enjoyable to sit through, even though, in retrospect it was so full of holes, but at least they didn't spoil a great performance from John Goodman in an interesting situation. A real plus for this film is you never knew quite which way it was going to go. (Until the end when she turned right)
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 characters fill their discreet niches to such effect is a thing to behold. 90 minutes in one room. I just love it.
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
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, 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) Wahlberg 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.
Starring: Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare
Director: Phil Lord, 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.
Starring: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard
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
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.
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.
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 weird 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)
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?
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
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 characters of Hammond and Kates are as loveable as ever. If you liked the first, you will like this.
Starring: Kelsey Hutton, Eve Kozikowski
Director: Paul S. Myers
What a weird 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 )?
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!
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!
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
Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J. K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, John Lithgow, Cynthia Addai-Robinson (NOT Zoe Saldana!)
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Knockout stuff, Ben Affleck is Batman in a suit with aspergers, and his perfectly timed delivery of sociability (or lack thereof), machismo and cognitive powers are, despite being eyebrow cockingly surprising, entirely seductive in the context of his universe. I WANT A SEQUEL - I like this guy. The film allowed me to think I was spotting detail that made me feel good, other members of the cast were intriguing and despite a little bit too much of the noble female sleuth the whole thing was a well entertaining slice of nuttyness which combined great action with a deal of thoughtful storytelling. ****
PS "Going to the Bens" is now my synonym for going to the cinema (i.e. 'the flicks', i.e. 'Ben Aflecks')
Starring: Elisabeth Shue
Director: Chris Columbus
Why didn't I watch this all the way through. When a film begins with mutton dressed as lamb lip-synching in her own zany/cookie/Friends/80s way bouncing on her bed in a wacky bedroom I think of Bridget Jones 3 and wanna move on quickly. Watched 1 minute.
Starring: Humphrey Bogart ‡O, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley
Director: John Huston
Very dated. Very very good. C.S. Forester could be my favourite author, his intuition for chaos theory, without being overtly articulated resonates with my way of thinking; small actions have massive consequences. It's a buddy movie, a quest, conducted almost entirely by two protagonists who milk the trope to it's extreme, but in an obvious, gentle way, like, things were much 'nicer' back then. Big plus is redemption for the bad guys (it's small, but nevertheless a beautiful nod to humanity), it is a massive rip into religion, and given the constraints of the Motion Picture Production Code (aka Hays code), it deals with the sex as well as it can, almost poking a finger at the ridiculousness of it all. I'm beginning to think I enjoyed it even more than I enjoyed it. Sounds stupid, I know, but there is a lot of the Ealing comedy about this! I am super conflicted about what I think is too low a mark I have designated.
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, Jaden Smith and his Dad never quite sucked 100% (they got close occasionally), the film falls squarely into the Shaymalalalalan timeline, and, well, that's it!
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, unimaginative 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 trench coat 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.
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 ?
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!
Starring: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Wendy Crewson, Liesel Matthews, Paul Guilfoyle, William H. Macy, Dean Stockwell
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Loveable nonsense. Today I said "I want something that I don't have to stay sober for" and Jake said "I think you may be happy", and he was right.
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Rhys Ifans, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall
Director: James Bobin
One where I got put off by the pre-publicity. I was sat thinking "wow I'm impressed" at several junctures of this film, and I hope it gets recognised in some of the technical categories. I bought into the Mia Wasikowska Alice big time, it took 60 seconds but really, forget the billing order, she is the absolute star of this. Anybody could have done the other parts (which were done well but relied almost entirely on CGI and make-up. That's not to diss 'em, that is just a statement of probable fact. The story might have been more understandable with a hefty dose of acid, but having said that, I 'got it' and loved the way I did not recognise an iota of the narrative. Kudos for a better take on the hundred year old children's novel than Pan
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 inconsistencies of the rest of the franchise, but perhaps not quite to the same degree
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 contemporaneously), but it is in because of the Boat That Rocked comparison
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Ben Foster, Shawn Hatosy, Anton Yelchin, Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Harry Dean Stanton, Sharon Stone, Bruce Willis
Director: Nick Cassavetes
Based upon a true story, this seems a somewhat fanciful account of West Coast youth culture at the turn of the millennium. Is this really how kids lived in California? It seems to glamorise most of what must have essentially varied between mostly seedily mundane and only occasionally perhaps exciting and I am left with the inescapable feeling that this is a gratuitous entertainment first, before it is a documentary - but hell, that's what storytellers do. Now, having got my jealousy of 20 year olds driving round in 4x4 with guns in a never ending cycle of swimming pools and incredibly hot chicks out of the way there are some notable positives, including Justin Timberlake and especially Anton Yelchin. Look, I know, one can't be helped by colouring opinion with sympathy, and given that Yelchin has delivered on the first three of the Star Trek reboots and then died in at the age of 27 he certainly has mine, but this was a lovely empathic performance and the one feel good aspect of what was wall to wall sordidness. Glad I watched it.
Starring: Falon Joslyn, Nikki Bell, Ron Jeremy, Schoolly D
Directors: Tony Trov, Johnny Zito
Five minute forget it. Dare I say from the opening card it looks naff?
Starring: Tom Hulse, F Murray Abraham
Director: Miloš Forman
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
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 franchise, this has action with levity, and I liked
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 impeccable 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.
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
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 satisfactorily – 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).
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
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.
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
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Nigel Hawthorne, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, David Paymer, Pete Postlethwaite, Stellan Skarsgård, Razaaq Adoti, Abu Bakaar Fofanah, Anna Paquin, Tomas Milian, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Derrick Ashong, Geno Silva, John Ortiz, Kevin J. O'Connor, Ralph Brown, Darren E. Burrows, Allan Rich, Paul Guilfoyle, Peter Firth, Xander Berkeley, Jeremy Northam, Arliss Howard, Austin Pendleton, Pedro Armendáriz Jr.
Director: Steven Spielberg
It must be a month since I saw this, and I should not leave it so long; I really can't remember the detail at all! That's the great thing about getting old! I must check with Jake but my memory tells me this was kind of what you would expect from Spielberg with this cast. Don't be scared to watch it again in a couple of years.
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 salutary 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
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
Starring: Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Fred Willard
Director: Adam McKay
See Anchorman 2
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
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?"
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
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Sean Penn, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage
Director: Clay Kaytis, Fergal Reilly
Colourful, but ultimately lacking in original story or empathic characters.
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 goodness it was sumptuous, 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!
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)
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
Starring: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan
Directors: Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson
Wow! This was unique, disturbing and delightful in equal measures. I didn't know quite what was going on until I read the synopses, SPOILER ALERT: Michael is not gay, he just hears most everybody in the same voice and sees them with the same face - that's the point.
What this film does well (apart from the absolutely fascinating, immersing animation) is delve into the microcosm of one /two people's world and ekes out the nuance and tragedy of it all. Game of Thrones It is not, but the detail and insight is still fascinating. If it had been a book I would not have wanted to put it down. I think this might be termed a masterpiece.
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.
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
Starring: Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Larry Fishburne, Dennis Hopper
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
If this was one of the best movies ever made I would not be a cinema fan! Like Full Metal Jacket it has an awesome set-up, and some arresting and one truly great scene, but then deteriorates into a clock watching exposé of the 'horrors of war, which, to an old cynic like me, is more about the self indulgence and pious righteousness of the film-maker. I watched the 'redux' version which contains 45 minutes additional footage. Perhaps the original cut was not such a challenge, whatever, one aspect I picked up on was the music. It was almost jokey, like some early video game score with simple four track synth which actually sounds like a mid 70s synth. Whadya know - It was the director's dad.
Marlon Brando is the most overrated actor of all time. Like this film, I think a lot of people are scared to stand against the tide of praise of what is undoubtedly expensive, technically dense, but fundamentally unextraordinary experience when taken in total
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 precisely 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 sacrilegious 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)
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!
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
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark O'Brien, Tzi Ma
Director: Denis Villeneuve
An absolutely ace antidote to stupid Independence Day 2. I still don't buy the ultimate premise... Actually I DO. If you are going to watch it, be patient as you will be curious as to the aliens' motives, and they are revealed later on. Amy Adams, as Louise, is kind of perfect, and I think she will get at least a nomination for this. I do hope somebody will watch this and discuss it with me. (N.b. I watched three films today, and this, at 8.51 was the worst!! I love movies)
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
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!
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 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 perfect 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.
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
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
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
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"
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?
Starring: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Jay Hernandez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Christina Applegate.
Directors: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Oh, I'm sorry, I can't help liking this. So much more enjoyable, for me at least, than the latest Bridget Jones offering. It could have easily been Seth Rogan and co, but Mila Kunis was reasonably, surprisingly well convincing, totally not playing on her FHM top 10 placing yet not being frumpy with it. Christina Applegate is gold! If you like those American comedies that I think they do so well, this is just more of the same! No complaints
Starring: Seth Rogan, Zac Effron
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Zac Efron 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
Starring: Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dave Franco
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Aww! There is so little to dislike about this film, once it has sucked you in (I am easily sucked in) it is classic American stoner comedy, like Trainwreck, Daddy's Home or any amount of offerings of the same genre, this is just a fine escape, which you might forget in a decade but you enjoy now
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.
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger‡O , 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!
Starring: Christian Bale, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy as Bane, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Matthew Modine, Ben Mendelsohn, Liam Neeson, Cillian Murphy, Aidan Gillen, Tom Conti, William Devane, Aaron Eckhart
Director: Christopher Nolan
What made this film so good? It may be that I watched a great copy of it on a brilliant telly, It may have been the all-star cast, it may have been a broad, coherent, interesting, surprising and ultimately satisfying story-arc. Whatever, this is what an action film should do, thrill without insulting the intelligence, be ever so slightly self deprecating, one always feel that despite the serious issues and totally convincing acting there is always a bit of the comic about it. Writing this down makes me realise that my initial thoughts on an 8+ were not misplaced.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter
Director: Zack Snyder
Glad I saw it. Good, but disappointing in that it was overcooked. It could have been three films with a bit more patience and development, and been a real set of stories rather than a two hour edition of Power Rangers. The cast were good, the premise fantastic, the action typical, but the science doubtful. It was like the stock characters outlined at the beginning of Deadpool have all been put here (apart from Jeremy Irons not being a criminal).
Batman has always delivered crazy villains with humour. Superman likewise, with the bad guys getting more and more deranged throughout the tale. It's a great trope. Jessie Eisenberg, though suitably deranged and malevolent is like that from the get go, he hasn't been given enough "I want to be accepted" to work with. Whatever. Go and see it, but don't expect Batman Begins.
Amy Adams, if you ever read this, I love you, but am not sure if your beauty and sweetness is just an on-screen persona, or the real you. If you are ever in Yorkshire and would like a date, we could take the dog for a walk, catch a movie, share a bottle of wine, whatever, just to see how it goes.
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
Starring: David Wayman
Directors: James Eaves, Pat Higgins, Alan Ronald
I quite enjoyed the first segment of this three parter, it was more shlock than horror, and reasonably entertaining, the kind of film I would gladly sit through with a fan, but not one that I would watch for 90 minutes when there is still a list of 50 or so films on my hard drive to cross off.
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 soundtrack complimented, not patronised. Can I 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 therein 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 neither. Sad face :(
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 version 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!
Starring: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, Josh Lucas, Anthony Rapp, Christopher Plummer
Director: Ron Howard
Should you see it? - Most definitely.
OK, that's the review, but on an entirely individual basis this just highlighted how important it is, if you are going to keep diary of films, it is to record one's thoughts contemporaneously. I have had this film on this review list since its inception three years ago with the comment "Russell Crowe is very good in this, but I reckon Good Will Hunting does the genius thing better". This is misleading.
Russell Crowe should have got the Oscar for this, at least in front of Denzel Washington (who was also brilliant in Training Day). The fact is, this film is not GWH never will be, and doesn't want to be. The sets are sometimes similar, and the some of the dramatis personae likewise. We have a genius, but troubled, mathematician, a psychologist, an untypical love affair, tremendous achievement, but these are more coincidental rather than derivative. This film has the 'true story' advantage, and it can't be helped if GWH is just one of the best films made, therefore that should not detract from what is an engaging window into a world so different to mine, but not in a Doctor Strange way!
Starring: Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole, John Gielgud, Martitia Hunt
Director: Peter Glenville
Another of those films that gets a leg up for its historical perspective, its 'quiz content' as you might say. I kind of see what people see in Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton, the entire film is totally theatrical and quite camp, yet I was really rooting for both these guys and all their faults of arrogance, overbearing piety, selfishness, and my general detestation of monarchy and religion. It was a half decent yarn, and it looked good, in a saturated Technicolor kind of way. I would settle for one of these a day if the alternative was nothing (But not if Hail Caesar! was on at the pictures!)
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
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)
Starring: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
If Sausage Party was a bonobo, this was the chimpanzee, all bluster and battle and belief, that made for better entertainment than the original. It was almost as if it were saying, look - this is a Judo-Christian story, but tolerate the just tolerable righteous bits and we will give you a gung ho movie with some terrific action and a predictable, yet tried, trusted, therefore enjoyable yarn. Actually a recommended watch!
Starring: Charlton Heston
Director: William Wyler
Too long, too righteous
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
Starring: Frederick March‡O, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo, Cathy O'Donnell, Hoagy Carmichael, Harold Russell‡O
Director: William Wyler‡O
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
Starring: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall, Bill Hader
Director: Steven Spielberg
Thoroughly thoroughly enchanting film. Having said that, it has been pointed out that it lacks some of the edge of the book. Fortunately I'm senile and forgetful, and just marvelled at the superb CGI, and the remarkable treatment of gravity. Like it says, its a collaboration between three of the greatest storytellers the world has known so it would be hard to cock it up, and how far wrong can you go with the magnificent Mark Rylance?
Starring: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola
Director: Vittorio De Sica
The moment a film falls into a bracket slightly more convoluted than 'action' or 'rom-com' I feel some circumspection. This film is "Post-war Italian neorealism" and goodness, it has received high praise in some quarters. Look, I didn't hate it by a long chalk, and as a window into a Rome only a thousand kilometres away from Passport To Pimlico and even less from The Third Man, it works from a documentary perspective. That complete amateur actors carry it off on unclosed sets is not only admirable, but it actually works, in that any hamminess on their part is indistinguishable from that in other films from the same decade (I am thinking of How Green Was My Valley which cost ten times more and isn't anything like as convincing). As a bangs for bucks exercise ($80,000) it is an object lesson in film making, but, when it comes down to it, it is a clumsy toddler compared with its descendents, notably loads of films by the likes of Ken Loach. It stereotypes people, and whether 20,000 years BC or Walking on Sunshine, pigeonholing groups and individuals only works if it is comedy, or, at least, satire. (I do recognise the original thief though, from many encounters in my own life, the little bastard!). Worth the watch for the history, and the chance that you may agree with the cognoscenti
Director: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado
A protracted slow motion scene did not endear myself to this film from the get go. Some really 'amateur dramatic' acting in the first dialogue scene sealed it for me after 10 minutes, turn it off, delete it, move on, leave it to fans of the genre.
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 irresistible Waltz. Quite a drastic difference for Tim Burton 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 on the drama. Modern films eh, great ones are mundanely common.
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! :)
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
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
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 interesting night in for me with a great cast, good cinematography 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 .
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.
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
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.
Starring: Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Emma Stone
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu‡O
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
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.
Starring: Jude Law, Scoot McNairey
Director: Kevin Macdonald
I suppose if you watched The Dirty Dozen, The Hunt For Red October and The Lavender 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 interest 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.
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)
Starring: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks, Slim Pickens, Alex Karras, David Huddleston, Dom DeLuise, Madeline Kahn, Harvey Korman, Count Basie
Director: Mel Brooks
How many times have I seen this? If you told me half a dozen I would believe you, but it must be 15 years since I dug it out, and boy oh boy, I'm glad I did! I would not go so far as to say there is not a single moment wasted, but the majority of the film is a joyful torrent of loopy, obvious, yet extraordinarily prescient irreverence, like 48 Hrs providing the dialogue for my lifetime.
If I was picking a film icon to combat racism Virgil Tibbs and Solomon Northrup would, IMHO, be playing second fiddle to Sheriff Bart - I mean Where all de white women at?
Starring: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katey Sagal, Ciarán Hinds, Ted Levine
Director: Ben Younger
Spoiler alert. Boxing film. OK, now that's out of the way, it's not going to put you on the canvas with surprises, but hell, it's a good story, and in this instance it is done quite excellently, with the lush ingredients of three great acting performances, I just can't choose between the solidity of Aran Eckart's Tony Soprano and Ciarán Hinds doing Peter Griffin, but I hope one of them at least gets a nod. Miles Teller is now, officially, a good actor, all added too a 'true' story which never really clags up at all, yet still surprised me.
Starring: Macon Blair
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Whilst lacking originality of premise (SPOLER ALERT: Underdog story), this film runs with it in a brave delivery incorporating very little dialogue and genuinely clever filming. Incredibly it was made for $420,000 from crowd-funding, and it doubled its money - and deserved it. I can see some people really liking this.
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, John Bulushi, John Candy, Steven Spielberg, Carrie Fisher
Director: John Landis
My favourite film – ever. Why? Apart from being a brilliantly conceived 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 succession 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.
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.
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 Denzel 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 someone tell me how it ends?
Starring: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili Simmons, David Arquette, Sid Haig, Sean Young
Director: S. Craig Zahler
Kurt Russell is a great 'old' actor, he could easily have been in the Magnificent 7 remake, and in this he takes a faintly ridiculous premise and runs with it to deliver an enjoyable slice of hokum along with some spectacular gore. I couldn't watch something like this every night, but once a fortnight it provides some mindless relief.
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 Denzel hasn't been a lot better served in many other films.
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.
N.b. 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.
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...
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.
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 Jessica Chastaine. And the titties, of course. "Not camp"... Yeah right.
Starring: Kelly McDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson
Directors: Brenda Chapman, Mark Andrews
Just a great cartoon.
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. On a re-watch, I was not disappointed, Mel Gibson tells a story and doesn't get hung up on details of accuracy, consequently entertainment is the order of the day!
Starring: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Ian Richardson, Terry Gilliam, Jim Broadbent, Bryan Pringle, Derek Deadman, Nigel Planer, Gorden Kaye
Director: Terry Gilliam
I didn't watch all this film. Again, not because it was a terrible film to sit through, just that I was tired, I thought I 'got it' and there would not be anything more to get. The running joke was done already in 1984, and I must admit, for its datedness, deliberate or accidental it had a degree of prescience in reflecting society. Perhaps any film that, SPOILER ALERT, illustrates the spectrum of human behaviours regarding adherence and application of authority (Repo Men, which I watched a couple of days ago was the same) does not require a sci-fi setting of a dark future, perhaps I should look into ancient literature which discusses the topic. I guess the longer such works have been around the more likely they are to get censored, especially if contemporaneously set and based on fact rather than fiction
Starring: Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan, Mackenzie Davis
Director: Drake Doremus
There was a brief moment when I toyed with abandoning this, but I thought to myself that it actually hadn't done anything wrong, and though the trials and tribulations of really well off Americans and fading marital relationships are in my bottom three favourite topics (horror is a long way out on its own in the pit), I was actually quite engrossed. The thing is, there was one scene where Megan and Lauren met and were talking and straight away I thought it was ad-libbed, and it was poorly done. It was, and it was. Drake Doremus, the director, does his films that way, but this had enough of a story to overcome those few little hiccups. Particularly strong character painting meant that I was moderately interested in Lauren and fascinated by the other three to the extent that once I'd committed to the film, the more it went on the more I didn't regret staying with it. I'd agree with those who say Guy Pierce has his finest film here.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance‡O, 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
Starring: Alec Guinness‡O, 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 monologue (when Col Nicholson was talking on the bridge) provided brilliant insight and teed up a fantastic last scene
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.
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey, Jim Broadbent, Gemma Jones, Emma Thompson
Director: Sharon Maguire
I can't really review this objectively, because it is so not my cup of tea. I am 58 and well past my sell by date, Jeezus I'm past my give away to charity date, and this kind of film, with it's ironic humour about old people in a similar situation that actually find themselves above it just, quite frankly, annoys me. The festival scenes were why I hate festivals, the London scenes were what totally turns me off about London, full of self centred, not particularly clever, egotists who make you feel great but basically don't really give a fuck about you. I like René Zellweger and Colin Firth, I love Studio Canal, but the humour was yawningly repetitive, just in case you didn't get it, and the music just paled compared to Hell and High Water (which I watched beforehand); it was perhaps the most boring soundtrack I have ever come across. House of Pain were passé two decades ago. Now it is whored out as just a sad unamusing lip-synch that maybe still puzzles some of the Ken Bruce listeners in the audience but had me leaving my shoes on ready for a quick getaway. For crying out loud, old people have plenty to offer in terms of experience, but only if they have wisdom in the first place. I am proud of what I am, but hopefully realistic. For fuck's sake you boring old farts, grow old with dignity!
PS, SPOLIER ALERT. Hugh Grant is not dead (but that might as well have been written in Neon Lights during the church scene) (and I walked out after half an hour so did not read the newspaper clip, which I have just this moment looked up, before this bracketed sentence).
Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaa, Randy Quaid, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Kate Mara
Director: Ang Lee
A very good film. I can't pretend that I found it some of it that comfortable to watch, but this is the kind of film I talk about when I say I want movies to make me a better, more understanding person. That part of Canada is always a good place to go, but the story and two protagonists were completely solid, Heath Leger and Jake Gillenhall were brilliant in this, and I guess I should have watched it many years ago.
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
N.B.#2: James Stewart was 42, Debra Paget was 16!
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Alona Tal, Natalie Martinez, Michael Beach, Kyle Chandler
Director: Allen Hughe
I only saw it less than 48 hours ago and it's already fading. There was never a moment whe... For some reason this review dried up right there, and so now, ten days later I am compelled to ponder, there was never a moment when what? Russell Crow does that baddy thing quite- badly? (I'm thinking about Virtuosityhere)
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).
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!
I wonder if anybody else thinks "Jeez, pet, he is far too good for you?". Take the girlfriend, she'll love it.
Starring: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl
Director: Ron Shelton
Given this rates so highly in the IMDB Kevin Costner list it ended up being a bit of a let down. For me it is not in his top three baseball films, let alone the full cannon. It had its amusement quotient, the cast were reasonable, but I'm sorry, I didn't like the Susan Sarandon part and I hardly found it believable. Tim Robbins was half way to The Hudsucker Proxy, and Costner was overlapping a little into the red on the too good to be true scale. The last 25 minutes was truly tedious, but I am reliably informed that this is what gets the women's vote to pump it up the lists. My advice is, if you want a baseball film watch Moneyball and Field Of Dreams. Skip the last half hour on this, apart from the new haircut Tim Robbins interview that lasts perhaps a minute.
Given everybody else's love of this film it plumps fairly and squarely into the 'What do I know?' bracket
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Christian Slater, Jason Momoa
Director: Walter Hill
I like Walter Hill films! This has been criticised as derivative of Walter Hill's and Sylvester Stallone's past work; like that's even a bad thing! OK the film starts as a good, intelligent, but slightly naive cop crosses paths with a gnarly old hit man who has 'his rules'. SPOLER ALERT: Work out the rest yourself! Tremendous fun, nothing groundbreaking, good sets, corny action and dialogue, but very solid if you like this kind of thing. Humour. It has humour.
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?
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't. 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 posse 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 disappointed that I enjoyed Pitch Perfect 2 more.
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!
Starring: Michael O'Keefe, Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Bill Murray
Director: Harold Ramis
Maybe in the top ten over-rated films of all time it "met with generally poor reviews upon its original 1980 release". The best quote the suits can dig up for their Wikipedia hack is something from an on-line blogger. The thing is, The Sun is the most popular paper, MacDonald's is busy, Bernie Sanders was not given the Democrat nomination and people buy records by Westlife. If you want to know the faults of democracy just talk with the average bloke for five minutes. Even Harold Ramis, who, lest we forget, gave us Groundhog Day says he "can barely watch it. All I see are a bunch of compromises and things that could have been better". I feel like marking it down for insulting my intelligence, like Ghostbusters 2016. I sat through it just for the reference, but the most enjoyable things were the food, the wine and the company. It, thankfully, stopped short of making me painfully uncomfortable.
As for the film, the acting was poor, the dames were unattractive, the animatronics were pathetic, Chevy Chase is rarely funny, Bill Murray was frankly annoying, The sex was unbelievable (not in a nice way), the continuity and goofs were numerous, the story was what? and there was perhaps only one character in whom I had a moderate interest (Ted Knight as Judge Elihu Smails), all jumbled along by a cast who lurched from 80s camp to incessantly annoying. I want to say "ah well, each to their own", but fundamentally this is just poorly made in all departments and if you like it you will probably love Martin and Lewis and Leslie Nielsen's golf film. The Chuckle Brothers are much better, cos at least you don't have sycophantic critics pandering to the great ignorance of idiots who do not understand true humour. For fuck's sake watch a Will Ferrell film instead.
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
Starring: Robert De Niro, Martin Balsam, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange, Juliet Lewis, Grgory Peck, Robert Mitchum
Director: Martin Scorsese
Despite the label Ultra-violent psychological 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.
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
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Tom Holland, William Hurt, Daniel Brühl
Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Wow! I can imagine many a ten year old walking out of this imagining he had seen the best film of his little life. Good story, great protagonists, engrossing action, MCU just gets better
Starring: Tom Hanks
Director: Paul Greengrass
Good, but not that good
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.
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?"
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson
Director: Michael Curtiz
Third attempt to write something.... I love loving films, because if I didn't love films I would not have loved this film. I started watching it with the anticipation of a little more appreciation of a film I had seen before a long long long time ago, and for the first 25 minutes I was quite happy thankyou, I was getting nicely aquainted with the scenery and some of the cast and continuing to invest in the story. When Ingrid Bergman walked in my little world lit up. It was like watching a flower bloom in timelapse photography, and from that nanosecond onwards the flood of realisation drenched me, why people love this film, and that I was going to love it to. It actually got better. SPOILER ALERT. I stood up, I shouted, and I was filled with absolute joy that I had shed my prejudices and genuinely been hooked into this absolute 100% stone dead, clichéd, most often quoted, superbly scored, scintillatingly written and amazingly acted piece of cinematic history. I liked it!
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Nathalie Baye, Amy Adams
Director: Steven Spielberg
I have reviewed 777 films up to this one, and this really hammered home to me how great some films are, films that I had seen but, as in this case, not realised how much I had totally forgotton about every second of the 150 odd minutes, and quite neglected to compare it as a watching experience alongside other films. This fills the criteria for a ten surprisingly effortlessley. Not a moment wasted, absolutely fascinating story, combining real life interest with escapism, each actor, but especiallly di Caprio and Hanks betwen them display their virtuosity under a totally engaging, amusing, thrilling yet never overpowering 'this is what storytellers do' model of a movie. I did not recognise Amy Adams! Will she ever forgive me? The kind of film which makes me anticipate getting to 1,000 reviews so I can start from the beginning again.
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)
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.
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
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
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.
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Christine Baranski, Taye Diggs, Colm Feore, Lucy Liu, Dominic West
Director: Rob Marshall
Not the greatest Oscar Winner, but not the worst by a long, long chalk. Renée Zellweger is just beautiful in this (as an actress I mean), there are parts of fascinating originality, It really brings the show to the screen. If it precededRent by a couple of years, and paved the way for said film, well, give it an extra point. One and a half decades after this film was made La La Land was touted as re-defining the musical film. Bollocks. Chicago is a more entertaining film and did it all already. (Sorry, that is so bitchin' but I just can't understand the hullabaloo surrounding that film, entertaining as it is)
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
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!)
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
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.
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
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.
Starring: Philippe Noiret, Jacques Perrin, Antonella Attili, Pupella Maggio, Salvatore Cascio
Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Perhaps watching films from a non-Hollywood background, (within these reviews I have noted Japanese animations, French, South African and Italian), just perhaps we need a different framework for judgement. Like with food, desserts and main courses are very difficult to quantifiably compare. Like Life Is Beautiful this features innocent children but has a child-like innocence about it. It is thoroughly delightful, let's put that to bed already, and I can't wait to see more like it, but it does require an open mind, which I have to work on. It is unashamedly shmalzy, but for all that, once one surrenders to the lack of subtelty regarding the emotinal triggers within the text and, especially, the fucking glourious Ennio Morricone score, it is definitely a beautiful, teary watch. Big plusses along with the critical keystones (My term for story and characters from now on) for most every aspect of this film. I am off to Italy in two months and I will try and visit these gorgeous places. The acting was terrific in all departments, and the culture references were constant, intriguing and appropriate. And there was an edge, when I think about it, an almost Father Ted like criticism of small town catholicism, not a hatred, but an exposé of the nuttiness of it all. Feck it I'm upping this score from 8 to 8.4. (That's me perhaps being influenced by what I think it should be!)
Starring: Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Doona Bae, Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Keith David, James D'Arcy, Zhou Xun, David Gyasi
Directors: Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski
I have been relatively torn what to write about this. On the surface it's a masterpiece, an incredibly broad, seemingly complex, and apparently thoughtful tableau, featuring great actors pushing the boundaries in an original, almost Gaimanesque surreality. But it boils down to enjoyment, and this films fascination was more in those surface ingredients than the story itself or any particular member of the Dramatis Personae. I was intrested in Sonmi~451, Adam Ewing, Lloyd Hooks and Vyvyan Ayrs, but given that these were only a relatively small portion of the gang it means, vicariously that for large swathes of the film the parts were, for me, relatively unengaging. Great actors playing great roles? I'm not sure, you see it was great actors, often in great make-up, but often they were playing themselves anyway (Broadbent, Grant), and Tom Hanks was a good example of doing a fair job under the prosthetics, but not a brilliant one. Actors are best when they mould the carachter. Goodness James D'arcy looks like Benedict Cumberbatch!
So.. have I missed something? Having read the Wachowski brothers filmography I am beginning to see a pattern. Like M Night Shaylaman they start with a great film (Matrix/Sixth Sense) and then never top it, so, we have V for Vendetta, and Jupiter Ascending, both of which I was distinctly underwhelmed about. It may just be not my cup of tea, it may be that I am thick, c'est magnifique, but it is not the stuff of standing ovations.
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.
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!
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...
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.
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
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.
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
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
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!
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
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!
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 :)
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!
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.
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'
Starring: Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon, Blake Harrison, Daniel Mays, Bill Paterson, Mark Gatiss, Emily Atack, Alison Steadman, Holli Dempsey, Annette Crosbie, Frank Williams, Ian Lavender
Director: Oliver Parker
There's is a great deal to dislike about this film, but a lot more to like. Catherine Zeta Jones is easy to root against, it is extraordinarily clichéd, the laughs are cheap, like watching a one and a half hour special of Last Of The Summer Wine, and I did nod off during parts of it. If you are fan of the original series who is expecting a whole new angle you are doomed to disappointment. If you didn't like the original series, you will hate this!. Having got all that out of the way, It is a faithful homage to the original, it had a lot of people laughing out loud in the cinema (which I found annoying, but nevertheless, that's my problem), It was filmed in God's county, which was a huge plus for me, and though Pike, Jones, Fraser and Walker were decent subs for the originals without ever exceeding the distinct framing of the original actors, Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon and especially Toby Jones just did a perfect job. Don't expect Saving Private Ryan!
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.
Starring: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene
Director: Kevin Costner
Jake and I watched the director's cut over three days, and what a complete pleasure it was. It is a great deal more of an observation than a story-tale, yet in its unfolding one does develop empathay with the carachters and loyalty to the narrative. Getting a HD telly was definitely a great move, and I am thinking that in some aspects it is better than the pictures. I have watched this film before, but I could not remember an iota of it, and with its running length of 4 hours it was two damn fine films and a TV show!
Kevin Costner, I hope, looks at this film, and is inspired by his own comitment to it (read the backstory), gratified by its critical recognition and rewarded by its financial return (it cost $22 million, it made $400 million!).
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.
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!
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
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.
Starring: Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Wow. For a film that largely took pace in a tube about 50 yards long this did have a certain fascination. I bought into the crew, and I just think it makes for such a refreshing change for a film to show German WW 2 heroes. There but for the grace of God go we.
Starring: Rick Gervais
Director: Rick Gervais
This may not be quite as bad a film as my sub-five rating may indicate. We left after nearly an hour of quite uncomfortable, not particularly funny voyeuristic witness to a poor man's personal tragedy. There may have been redemption in the end, but I couldn't visage how David Brent was ever going to extricate himself from the dead end money pit he was allowed to dig himself into. David Brent was only the pathetic lens through which to view the flawed humanity which surrounds us all. saddens me to say it, because I know the pilot of Derek captured that pathos perfectly, and let's face it, Ricky Gervais has given us some of the most seminal TV of the last three decades. :(
Starring: Danny Trejo, Anthony Michael Hall, Mickey Rourke, Dina Meyer
Director: Roel Reiné
Well it's not Machete, or Escape From .... In some ways it is better made than those films, yet allthough 'fun' in the same sense, it never quite gets out of slo-mo for long enough to have one really rooting for Danny Trejo or anybody else for that matter. It is, I guess, a film built around him, and uses stock lighting and exposure to get the atmosphere, really helped by a terrific soundtrack, and I imagine that if you like the genre, this will not disappoint. Funnier than it is engaging, and some may not find it funny.
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T. J. Miller, Gina Carano, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic
Director: Tim Miller
Short on story, long on special effects and loaded with humour, Ryan Reynolds, like Paul Rudd in Antman is given a great script to work with in this cool addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I forgot to write it up immediately, could someone remind me what happened?
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O'Brien, Kate Hudson
Director: Peter Berg
Spoiler alert. A 60 minute explosion with 30 minutes to get to it. I would have loved to see this be a documentary. It hardly gets anything for story, it gets a bit for characters and a lot for action cinematography. I mean real respect for that, but
let's face it, we are all to blame. I counted 150 people leaving the theatre and I bet you I was the only one not using petrol to get home
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
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)
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, Chris Cooper, Judah Lewis
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
An interesting look at Americans who are so rich they can squander during their episodes of Neuroses (a Chris Cooper specialty). A good film that even already, four hours after watching, seems to be fading in the memory.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoë Kravitz, Maggie Q, Ray Stevenson, Daniel Dae Kim, Bill Skarsgard, Octavia Spencer, Naomi Watts
Director: Robert Schwentke
Not my cup of tea. It kept me awake, but exactly like the last Maze Runner I watched, I can't really pin down what is happening in the series. I mean there was plenty to look at, and nothing so cringing as to make me want to leave early, but i think a world populated by 16-27 year olds with a smattering of kids and the isolated oldie for wisdom or hate would have more appeal to a world populated by 12-21 year olds etc etc.
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)
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton.
Director: Scott Derrickson
Far from dull, this is, nevertheless, stock Marvel fodder. The visuals are amazing, totally mind blowing, and the people, especially Cumberbatch and Swinton, eminently watchable, the visuals would win a show, and IMHO, Marvel now pitch the humour just right, but, like American in Paris, there is nothing particularly intriguing about the story, which depends almost entirely on magic as the tool with which to move it along. I like Marvel, and I enjoyed this, and it is indicative of how spoilt we truly are when my review sounds relatively negative. It's not meant to be, it's just that the extraordinary becomes mundane with repetition. If you are a fan-boy it's an absolute must-see
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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 "
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
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Dan Aykroyd, Jessicca Tandy‡O
Director: Bruce Beresford
More Hans Zimmer, more of a Antebellum tinted oil painting than a story
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.
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
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
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. :)
Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken, Mark Benton, Keith Allen, Tim McInnerny, Jim Broadbent
Director: Dexter Fletcher
What a thoroughly enchanting film! If you don't like this you really need to loosen up a little. It takes every cliché in the book and delivers them with perfect, unassuming, shameless, confident panache. 90% of it is fiction, but it does what storytellers do. You go to the cinema to escape, and this takes you there in a glorious, fist pumping, tear wiping, you know what's coming next but that's what you want anyway, slab of true British comedy, distilling the finest aspects from every underdog story ever made.
I feel like such an idiot... Dexter Fletcher directed Sunshine On Leith. There is a pattern here!
"At these Games, some competitors have won gold, some have broken records, and some of you have even soared like an eagle."
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
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
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.
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.
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. :(
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.
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?
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott, Willem Dafoe, Juliette Binoche‡O , Naveen Andrews, Colin Firth, Julian Wadham, Kevin Whately
Director: Anthony Minghella‡O
Mmm, not what you'd exactly call a rom-com. Plenty of good rom, very little com, hence the relatively low rating for what is an incredible film, just a bit gloomy! My original rating was 4, and my review read "Could somebody explain this to me please?". That just indicates how wrong one can be, and how one can miss stuff and then forget things.
Juliette Binoche is absolutely captivating throughout and got the righteous gong, Fiennes and Scott-Thomas were worth the nods, the story is worth a Booker, the filming is just perfect, it is one of those where I could not argue about it getting the Oscar, and, though no doubt I enjoyed Happy Gilmore more, that doesn't make Adam Sandler's a better film. After just watching Gigi and Bull Durham, I just found the approach to love in this so refreshingly realistic, so honest, so goddam human. I wonder what a female take on this film would be? I think they would rate it. (It's a love story, by the way)
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 ).
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
Starring: Christian Bale, Emily Watson, Taye Diggs, Angus Macfadyen, Sean Bean, Matthew Harbour, William Fichtner
Director: Kurt Wimmer
The dystopian future feature film has to do something other than give humans false hope. I believe there is hope, but we will not, as a race, acheive salvation from a world that is never going to exist, where an underground of sympathetic free thinkers and revolutionaries is going to be populated with good guys against an oppresive regime which are bad guys bar one. Apart from that huge logical mistake in this film, it is just not that entertaining a watch. A good action scene is repeated three times in different lighting situations, and the bad dictator is just altogether too hackneyed, lacking any originality. When is somebody going to make a film where the bad guy is sweet and and the good guy a pain in the ass? Maybe I'm being to harsh, I know I'm spoilt for films, if you liked Brazil, you'll probably like this. It certainly was not a negative experience, especially with good food and a beer
Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart, Erin Brockovich, Wade Williams
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Just a pure good film, I don't like the love, but I loved everything else. Julia Roberts was terrific as was Albert Finney. Traditional Goodies v Baddies, a true underdog story, the villagers get saved, the man gets it, what is there not to like?
Starring: "Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, Isaac Hayes
Harry Dean Stanton, Adrienne Barbeau"
Director: John Carpenter
How do you justify giving a rubbish film 7.6? Perhaps because its not rubbish, and perhaps because it is a right laugh. Was I laughing with it or laughing at it? Who cares anyway, the fact of the matter is I enjoyed it, a lot, and that's what matters. Dated, corny, implausable, hackneyed, clichéd, it is all these things, yet still, there is no hiding place, it is fun. If you like The Warriors I guess this won't harm you.
Starring: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach, Bruce Campbell, Cliff Robertson, Peter Fonda, Pam Grier
Director: John Carpenter
There is not a great deal to add to this which hasn't already said about Escape 1, just perhaps it is even dafter and just about as enjoyable. Perhaps all aspiring film-makers should watch these films and get told never to cloud their judgement or artistry with the incumberance of plausibility.
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
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
Starring: Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal, Halle Berry, John Leguizamo, David Suchet, Oliver Platt, Joe Morton, B. D. Wong, Len Cariou, Whip Hubley, Andreas Katsulas, Mary Ellen Trainor, Marla Maples Trump, J. T. Walsh, Nicholas Pryor
Director: Stuart Baird
I was initially inclined to give this an 8, but two days later cannot possibly imagine how I could justify it as being a must-see film whatever your tastes! Thoroughly entertaing, well over two hours of film which for all its stretching of credibility is like a Gillygate Special (A giant kebab available in my hometown of Pontefract which could feed a small African nation for a week), in that you can just keep troughing into it, it's pretty tasty, and although not perhaps the healthiest option it is, nevertheless, filling, tasty, but carries a heavy garnish of guilt. I think they call it a guilty pleasure. As action films go there is nothing much not to enjoy about Kurt Russell, Steven Segal and an assorted cast of goodies and baddies who entertain in a quite delightfully hilarious way without collapsing into outright spoof.
Starring: Steven Seagal, DMX, Isaiah Washington, Anthony Anderson, Michael Jai White, Bruce McGill, Eva Mendes as Trish, Jamie Foxx
Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Well.. I liked it a lot! I'd say it was predictable, but it actually got me a couple of times. I'd say it was acted unimaginatively, but actually Segal, apart from being himself, had a social vulnerability and humour about him which I found very endearing, and the rest of the cast held my attention more than adequately. What I found that was apart from the story and cast being satisfying, the action was as good as any film of the genre. I had marked this out as being out of the box prior to reading that one of the stuntmen actually died making this. That, obviously, is not good, but it indicates that my being blown away by the chase scenes was not mere trickery. In the same vein as Sylvester Stallone, Segal squeezes what he can out of his talents, which lie more in kicking ass than acting, but sometimes it makes for a borderline great watch.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell, Carmen Ejogo, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight, Josh Cowdery, Ronan Raftery, Faith Wood-Blagrove, Jenn Murray, Johnny Depp, Zoë Kravitz
Director: David Yates
"The J.K. Rowling backlash starts right here, but it should have started a long time ago. J.K. Rowling is a wonderful story teller, absolutely. . But...
How do you measure excellence in the arts? Well, there's the rub, because there is no quantitative measure, it's all generally subjective, so basically within science 2+2 make 4, and Mt Everest is just over 8,000 metres high, but really the only number we can put on a Jackson Pollack painting is how much somebody will pay for it, the only number we can put on a film is how many people go to see it.
Without doubt zeitgeist, the emotions of one's contemporaries effects perceptions - why the hell do you think they put laugh tracks on TV programs?, what is advertising? What I am saying is we all 'go with the flow' Some perhaps more than others, but generally we just can't help smiling back if someone smiles at us.
To capture the public's imagination I would suggest that, in general, it really helps if an artist has some talent to start with. There are many artists with some, if not immense talent. For recognition beyond one's own village however, the most important ingredient (with exceptions) is luck. Luck may manifest itself in many ways, but often it might be being in the right place at the right time. Elvis Presley was good, but really, if it hadn't been him it would have been some other young white kid with a twinkle in his eye who could sing like a nigger. It certainly wouldn't have been a black kid. Elvis presented a persona who was not at all dangerous yet people could pretend he was. Far from threatening white America he stole swathes of alt culture and assimilated it for the benefit of the ruling clade. But I'd bet my bottom dollar he wasn't even the best singer in Tupelo.
So back to J.K. Rowling. Quarter of a century ago she wrote The Philosopher's Stone. It was a great read. It was funny, imaginative, eminently 'readable', sufficiently complex to delight without being to obtuse to alienate, It had a character for everybody, It could be picked up and put down easily, would fit in a reasonable pocket, the goodies and baddies had recognizable demarcation, yet leaving just enough ambiguity in some, and it took the standard tried and tested trope of David and Goliath and ran with it quite exquisitely.
Over her first three books Harry Potter became a global phenomenon, Elvis had competition, Rowling, was the kids, if not total, literature market, and you know what? Good for her, 'cos those three books kept up the pace. The Prisoner of Azkaban nailed it.
Now I delve into hypothesis. By the time of her fourth book Rowling was the absolute golden egg. She could do what she wanted. And I suggest what she wanted was greater editorial control, i.e. more of her writing left in, and, whereas the first three books would have had considerable editorial input, from professionals with vast experience in pruning work to present a more marketable product, by the time we get to Goblet of Fire, J.K Rowling, in addition to her undoubted talent had two more things going for her, the absolute undivided devotion of millions of fans (sources of revenue) and the consequent level of control over her work. And like any artist she was unlikely to think that her work could be improved by a mere muggle. Consequently the subsequent books became much larger, and, at least for me, a little unwieldy, because hell, she could do what she wanted. I'm not saying they were bad books, I'm saying that there will have been people at Bloomsbury secretly wishing, but NEVER admitting that they could perhaps just miss out a little bit here or fix a bit of continuity there.
And then the film series..
And now Fantastic Beasts... It is one of the most expensive 60 films ever made, and it is, in effect a $180,000 dollar vanity project. Oh hell, I know there is a demand for it, and I'm not saying this is Ghostbusters 2016 or anything like that, I quite enjoyed it, but it is merely a moderate story populated by a cast that as individuals are sometimes interesting but more often padding for those that are. Newt Scamander is frankly boring, and the whole lingo/naming thing just seems a little trite. Granted the special effects are truly special, but give me Colin Farrell sitting on a Belgian bench with Brendan Gleeson any day over him watching some ball of smoke trashing entire avenues of New York.
Fundamentally, in Harry Potter, we had personalities driving the stories. In this it is .. magic! That is not meant to be a compliment, it is a moan that the whole shebang seems like ""I know, let's put something here that is .. magic!, just wave a wand and .. say ""smoothinox fluffyflora"" .. and kapow .. oh golly .. wide eyed wonderment .. cute critter ... yawn.
Guess you've got to go and watch it, but if you know J.K. Rowling stop sucking up to her so much. She's great, but so are lots of people around her. "
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. :(
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!
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?
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.
As an update, on another fabulous rewatch, I have not raised it to a ten. Why? Because perhaps I am not mature enough for it. Perhaps because the fantastic TV series has somehow cast its shadow. Perhaps I am becoming afraid of these ratings, because I can't put one down without thinking "Surley this is better than that?"
Is there anything not right about this film? Anything at all? I can't really think so.
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)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney
Director: Denzel Washington
Adapted from a 1973 play it retains the spirit of a show, it feels like a play. Just puttin' it out there. Denzel Washington does his usual excellent turn, the dialogue is Wirelike in its density and idiom, one really has to concentrate on it, but I am looking forward to polishing this one off tonight.
Starring: Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, Burt Lancaster
Director: Phil Alden Robinson
This was my original review, like all my top three films, written from memory.
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.
So, to celebrate exactly three years of keeping this film diary thing, I decided to treat myself, and for the first time in that period revisit something I imagined was wonderful. Jake and Julia came 'round, we had a bottle of Chianti and some lovely pasta and tiramasu, made a plate of chicken for Malibu and I put on my favourite Disney pyjama bottoms.
I melted on the first James Horner note and stayed moist eyed, and captivated throughout the entire film. If anything it is BETTER than I remembered, hell, I'm welling up just writing about it. It doesn't matter if you don't think it's utterly brilliant, but damn, I hope some films illicit the same reaction in you. And speaking of Perfect World how unusual that I used that phrase twice.
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Kali Hawk, Jane Seymour, Fred Willard
Director: Michael Tiddes
I really like it when a film gets panned by the critics and I love it! This movie, a parody of Fifty Shades Of Gray and half a dozen other films, so needed making, and it did the job perfectly, lampooning not just the original, but echoing all my criticisms of it (e.g.. re: 'anal' and 'fisting', see my review). I thought the acting was hilariously accurate, and really, Kali Hawk just nailed Dakota Johnson absolutely. You have to watch them both. There was a bloke could not stop chuckling about 5 yards away from me. It was infectious. Brilliant!
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
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
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, 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 Wahlberg 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
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Kaitlin Olson, Ty Burrell, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Bob Peterson, Andrew Stanton, Bill Hader, Sigourney Weaver, John Ratzenberger, Willem Dafoe
Director: Andrew Stanton
Although nothing absolutely outstanding is bought to the table here, this is a competent enough movie. We see frying pans and fires and protagonists finding themselves along the way, kinda cute faces and habits and dialogue, recycled music from American Beauty by Thomas Newman, wonderful 3d animation, but it's not quite got that 'magic'. If you like animations you will probably like this, but don't expect too much above Finding Nemo
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.
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. :)
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.
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??
Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg, Nina Arianda, Rebecca Ferguson
Director: Stephen Frears
As I Saw The Light was less than I expected, this was a great deal more. All the three main actors have the potential to irritate, but, just as with Philomena, is it perhaps Stephen Frears carries the some credit for a triangle of absolutely superb performances, each of the protagonists increasing endearment throughout this absolutely super film. This is what storytellers do, with the added bonus that it puts a spotlight on a fascinating person from history. The love angle is incredibly refreshing, original, counter intuitive yet deeply satisfying, and for a film which might be termed a musical, the approach to the score and songs is amazing - watch it to see what I mean. Aside from numbers in which Streep/Florence sings, all the way through I am thinking "wow, this soundtrack is outstanding". Alexander Desplat - again, wow, he is awesome
Starring: Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney
Director: Jason Zada
I stayed for the majority of this film, the jumps were done quite well, but it depends so heavily on human stupidity and so little on story that... It's just not my cup of tea. I'm off to Wikipedia now to see how it all ended - That's saved me 30 minutes
Starring: Tom Hanks, Gary Senise
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Makes you smile
Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Linda Cardellini, B. J. Novak, Laura Dern, Justin Randell Brooke, Kate Kneeland, Patrick Wilson, Wilbur Fitzgerald
Director: John Lee Hancock
Had I forgotten how good a trip to the cinema actually is? Whatever, this exceeded expectations, in that along with the entertainment value it felt extraordinarily educatinal on several levels, not least as an exercise in philosophy and morality, let alone the fascinating historical perspective. I don't quite know how the film makers quite got off on this, the only credible explanations are that it was either a revenge piece or a pretty realistic interpretation of what went down regarding the creation and later expansion of the MacDonalds franchise under the auspices of Ray Kroc. What is the opinion of his estate? What does the company think of it? Whatever I loved it and Michael Keaton has truly got the wind in his sails. What am absolutely suber observation of different human natures.
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
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
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!
Starring: Gene Hackman
Director: William Friedkin
I feel I should like this more, but don't
Starring: Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Frank Sinatra‡O, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed‡O, Ernest Borgnine, Philip Ober, Jack Warden, Mickey Shaughnessy, Claude Akins, George Reeves.
Director: Fred Zinnemann‡O
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.
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.
Starring: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones ‡O, Sela Ward, Joe Pantoliano, Neil Flynn
Director: Andrew Davis
A nearly perfect film, one that stands the test of time after nearly quarter of a century as a ripping yarn that clearly demarcates the goodies and baddies and has you rooting all the way through for them. The action, especially the train crash is amazing, so good they used it twice and amusingly explained it away, Kimble is the hero we would all love to be, Tommy Lee Jones not saying anything delivers better lines than most actors get in their lifetimes!, he really is perhaps the most watchable film star, lifting any film a notch or two.
"What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at fifteen miles. Your fugitive's name is Dr. Richard Kimble. Go get him."
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.
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
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, 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>
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.
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.
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.
Starring: Gregory Peck‡O, Anne Revere, Dorothy McGuire, June Havoc, John Garfield, Albert Dekker, Celeste Holm‡O
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.
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!!!
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"
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
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Andy García, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams, Ed Begley Jr., Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Annie Potts, Ozzy Osbourne
Director: Paul Feig
Is this the most disappointing film I have ever seen? It is probably not the worst, though it could easily win this year's Golden Raspberry; it is just heartbreaking to see an absolutely classic film from one's yoof turned into something so much less. Kirsten Wiig is watchable, Melissa McCarthy delivers the kind of role you fear she will after you have seen one of her trailers and everything else swings from being a waste of time to abhorrent. Notable negatives include the reliance upon The Nitpicker's guide to Star Trek Technobabble generator, and the morphing of Jar Jar Binks into two different characters, one the comedic disaster half, the other the happy natives playing banjos in the sun stereotype, both 'halves' actually performing an exponential magnification of the eww factor, making Jillian and Patti at least 4 times more annoying than the clumsy, well-meaning Gungan outcast.
The thing is, given the tools at their disposal, the film makers could have made something terrific. Great franchise, sweet concept, New York locations, practically unlimited budget, available talent, how could they even do this? I'm actually angry! They even had Bill Murray, but not as Venkman! He was an old professor, but a different character, identical in demeanour, who seemed shoehorned in for no purpose whatsoever and then defenestrated without having contributed dick to the story. As each minute ticks by my opinion of this film sinks. I left after about an hour, I wish it had never been made. Yes I'm racist, yes I'm a misogynist, but I beg for films to illuminate and amuse me, and perhaps influence me to making better choices. This just makes it worse.
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
Starring: Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan, Maurice Chevalier, Hermione Gingold, Isabel Jeans, Eva Gabor
Director: Vincent Minelli
This is a truly fucked up film! That's not to say that it didn't have its moments, I mean, I Remember it Well is a truly wonderfull number, along with Thank Heaven For Little Girls, but I can't help but wonder where the makers are coming from and going too. It is an everlasting testament to the fact that the idiots win every time :( . The scale of values propounded or mocked during this film make me wince a little, and I can't help thinking how it would never be released now with femsocs whinging on about whatever it is they fear (which is just about everything). I mean, Leslie Caron was 26 when she made this and looks it. How old was Gigi meant to be? What is so good that it went 9 for 9 on its Oscar nominations. Art direction - Mos def. Costume design - Absolutely. Best film??? - I'm working on that!
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Édgar Ramírez, Lisa Kudrow.
Director: Tate Taylor
I liked it, Julia hated it! I can see why on her explanation, but I stayed well awake watching Emily Blunt have a tilt at best actress. Yes the wimmin were incredibly dim, but where would all these stories be without dim people and plot holes as wide as the Hudson?
Starring: Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close, Paddy Considine
Director: Colm McCarthy
Very much in the vein of Utopia, World War ZEdge of Darkness etc, a good old post-apocalyptic intrigue/zombie/action fest which was one of those that you would never pay to watch, but don't mind at all sliding into for an afternoon's entertainment
Starring: Russell Crowe, Joaquim Phoenix, Richard Harris, Omid Djalili, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou
Director: Ridley Scott
It's coming up to three years now since I started keeping a real record of the films I watch, and this film encapsulates why a film diary is a good idea. In the last few weeks I have revisited a stack of films with a more critical eye, watched films that I would not have dreamt of watching three years ago, and I am pretty sure that the more you do it the more you appreciate it. My previous entry for this film was entireley cursory, a guess, an echo of the zietgeist with the proviso of remembering I enjoyed it but without any real appreciation (God, that probably looks self-indulgent, but wether it is true or not, I certainly feel it is so). This is what I wrote at the time
"The film is good but Joaquim Phoenix sets the template for bad mother fuckers".
True it is, but really, I am not proud of that what I guess must have been a holding statement until right now.
This is the kind of film that the word "Epic" was invented for. It takes the tropes of good v evil, the rising above injustice, the buddy concept, it takes all the aspects of fantasy film making and bundels them into a perfect package. This is not to say I got the ultimate enjoyment from it, (I draw the analogy of a perfect steak - I can appreciate awesomeness, even if it is not quite my favourite food). We had the three hour director's cut and, my goodness, it was big and colourful and there was not a moment wasted. Some of the Oscar winners may be more subtle, and have cost a tad less to make. This is one of those like Titanic or The Sound Of Music that it is just impossible to hide from, a blockbusting, believable (even though fanciful) fist pumping, cheering, booing sometimes amusing, generally awe inspiring, template of the kind of media beloved by the accountants at the studio, the industry in general, but, most importantly, the audience. When Jake says it has the highest ration of great quotes of any film, - ha! I can believe it.
Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?
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.
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, Bob Gunton
Director: Edward Zwick
If I could deal with the negatives, Matthew Broderick is uninspiring, I kept expecting to hear him say "Would that it twer so siyample", I fear the black thing is overcooked a great deal (I don't mean the net contribution of these men, I mean the happy natives playing banjos in the sun thing), and we have a white saviour; why? This film that has piqued my curiosity more from my cynicism than the questions it poses. Onto the positives and it is quite a ripping historical drama, based on a true story that has a slew of characters that maintain one's interest, Denzel Washington deserves his acting nod here, the Georgia/Carolina feel, along with the Horner score is totally immersive and SPOILER ALERT, we don't always need a happy ending to resolve a film. I wish films would deal more with the ambivalence of everybody than the heroism or villainy of the few. But that would make us feel uncomfortable wouldn't it?
Starring: Marlon Brando‡O, 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
Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Good, but not that good
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
Starring: Bing Crosby ‡O, Barry Fitzgerald ‡O
Director: Leo McCarey ‡O
A musical where the music lifts the film by a significant notch. I guess I should hate this with its folksy bonhomie and the acceptance of religion as gospel (!?), but the fact of the matter is once you are invested into a character as warm as Chuck O'Malley, feel-good does what it says on the packet, and with these films that combine that uplift with nostalgia and a healthy dose of iconic status one can't help but thoroughly enjoy it. More hokum than John Carter though!
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.
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.
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.
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)
Starring: Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, Stellan Skarsgård
Director: Gus Van Sant
What a sheer treat, from start to finish, I've never enjoyed watching a car from the same angle for five minutes so much. All the cast are brilliant, Robin Williams, it's so poignant what he does, the story follows a well trodden path but oh so delightfully, the music is ace, Bwoston is just right, juxtaposing the grimy and the elite highbrow of MIT.
I think I have watched this twice before, and I am pondering if it gets better with subsequent views. Maybe it just caught me in a good mood, or when I needed it, but whatever, it is a great story.
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!
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"
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 )
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
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...
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?
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.
Starring: Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau
Director: Zhang Yimou
Wowzer. This might not be everybody's bag, but it delivers great action, beautiful filming, reasonable/interesting story and a couple of decent buddies, and delivers a film package that makes the movies are worthwhile venture.
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!!!
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Penélope Cruz, Isla Fisher, Gabourey Sidibe
Director: Louis Leterrier
Fuck Terry Wogan and Dame Judy.. Sacha Baron Cohen IS a national treasure, (as is Mark Strong), once again delivering a full on slapstick, head holding, cringingly funny, no-holds barred comedy, but most importantly, a satire with the focus of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory. I am not allowing myself to give tens anymore, until I have had some 'come-down' time to reflect. My immediate reaction was ten. I loved it, and if you have a ninth of a brain, you will love it too.
N.b. So good I watched it twice!
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.
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
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn
Director: Mel Gibson
Woah! What a great film. OK, cheese it has a more than ample quota of, but it is a story based upon events that never goes so far over the mark as to surrender belief. And that is what this film is about, belief, faith in God.
I guess it reflects Mel Gibson's ethic, but, as a gung ho atheist myself I do not mind one bit. It is not expounding the existence of some super-natural deity (like, for instance, Gods and Kings). It is exploring the phenomenon of faith and conviction is such things - And that is demonstrably extant, across time and space and culture.
In addition to this fascinating, dare I say uncritical and perhaps unintended psychological view of Andrew Garfield's eminently endearing protagonist, it is just a darned good movie, or even darned good two or three movies. The two and a half hours flew by, being divided onto three stages, each one a critical part of the overall story, each part having some aspect of excellence, non more so that the battle scenes which are right up there in terms of their immersiveness, their absolutely ground breaking brutal detail and choreography, with Saving Private Ryan.
I think that Mel Gibson has almost made a perfect package film here, at least if you are patriotic American movie goer. (You may not like it so much if you are Japanese.
Do not expect either a damning critique of war; far from it, it expounds the glory of it.
Do not expect a tub-thumping call to jihad (or whatever it is that Christians do), it is not that
Do expect those tropes of love, family and friendship and struggle and triumph to be milked to the last drop.
And prepare yourself to accept that chivalry is real, and that faith can move mountains.
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Michael Gambon, Jack Huston, Dolph Lundgren
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
I walked out of this film thinking that it was the best film I had seen since... Grimsby (which I watched last week). I think it may be the best 'drama' film I have seen since Birdman. I know, it's more of a comedy (the humour is spot on), it's just not an out and out comedy, in that it contains some weirdly theatrical and brilliant set pieces, along with a deeply sympathetic, super hard, incredibly efficient, admirable, loving, and all-round heroic hero in Eddie Mannix (Brolin). Coupled with the 'a lot to like' about this film, there is a 'nothing to dislike' tag. I reckon it is a real film-lovers film - it, apparently, scores poorly with audiences (especially 50+ males!). A huge cast, that as individuals would carry a lot of movies solo, a surprise every 5 minutes, and not only will Roger Deakins at last get his Oscar for this (13 nominations for cinematography), I would be very happy if the whole movie did a Grand Budapest Hotel and gets many nominations and awards come ten months hence. It will not/is not the film I will most enjoy this year. If it is the best film I see all year, I would not be surprised. Do NOT believe any review which tells you the Coen brothers are dissing their industry in any way, size, shape or form. It is a labour of love, a total, respectful, incredibly well put-together homage to a golden age, which whilst acceding to that time's many faults, fundamentally illustrates why we tell stories. Watch this and Saving Mr Banks for a bit of explanation and a load of fun.
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!
Starring: David Morrisey
Director: Martin McDonagh
This was one of those stage productions beamed to the cinema, and though I enjoyed it, the atmosphere was two points less than the real thing, and the story, dialogue etc, was two points off In Bruges It was good, but not good enough to justify £8 with an Unlimited Card when Star Wars was on for free
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, 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..
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham
Director: David Mackenzie
A really, really solid movie, with Chris Pine paying the fourth Hemsworth brother very adequately and Geoff Bridges being reasonably lucid (thank goodness) thereby getting that big Texas mood just right, like Tommy Lee Jones in No Country..
One of several great aspects of this film was the multi-faceted characters. This film, in its own way, justifies terrorism. It doesn't endorse it, but it explains it quite beautifully. Good action and adventure, an absolutely blistering soundtrack, which had me moderately interested until Gillian Welch came on and totally sold me. Gawd I love her style. It was a shame our screen wasn't so good, I'm pretty sure it wasn't the film's fault. The more I think about it the more I like it!
Starring: Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer‡O , 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?)
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.
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.
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Dorothy Vaughan, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali
Director: Theodore Melfi
Cracking film! Cracking because it bundles an excellent story, that of the Mercury missions, along with a several quests, and, praise the lawd, a take on American Racism which exploits the plain dumb ridiculousness of it all to get its message across. Quite honestly I am bored of films like Selma and 12 years a slave, excellent as they are, that focus on the racism and suffering of the protagonists and all become very doleful. Sounds like a strange connection to make, but like the Tom Sharpe African novels, or 'Till Death Us Do Part, this exploits the ludicrousness of the logical results of racism. This film manages to raise awareness through fun and without any loss of dignity. It shows good in a lot of (white) people and when Octavia Spencer says to Kirsten Dunst "I know; you probably believe you do" she nails what was going on at the time and what will go on for ever. People do bad things and don't even realise they are doing it, going as far as to deny it and fully believe in their own excuses.
I never thought I'd say this, but I almost wish Apollo 13 hadn't been made so I could enjoy this film even more! (watch it, you will see what I mean).
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
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
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!
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 :(
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
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
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.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury, Ben Whishaw
Director: Tom Tykwer
Well I loved it! It caught me at the end of a great day, so it really would have to have been Walking On Sunshine 2, starring Keith Lemmon for me not to have enjoyed it, nevertheless there were a slew of plusses which would, for me, stand scrutiny.
It seems like the people who made it went all in on Tom Hanks, and the gamble paid off, at least aesthetically. It would have had to be one of the best 100 films I have seen to better Saving Mr Banks. It was a helluva lot more enjoyable than Captain Phillips and that was half decent.
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?
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.
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
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.
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.
Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp‡O, Roddy McDowall
Director: John Ford ‡O
It was a bit like one of those books you have to read at school, but don't really want to and don't enjoy as much as you should. Altogether too twee, and whearas things like Lassie Come Home and Mrs Miniver tug the heartstrings to breaking point this seems a deal, clumsier? (That's not the right word, perhaps reckless might be a better term) The thing is, it pertains to being right on, it could have been an incredible ecological pioneer, and begins as if it is going to be, but runs out of steam on that thread from the get go. It could be a paen to the working man, but it is unconvincing. It could be an homage to Wales but it is a load of Yanks in a studio with California backgrounds*. It could have been a counterpoint to Goodbye Mr Chips, but it ended up just with a short but total indictment of teachers whilst forgetting the system. Most of all it could be an epic on rational economics but it never actually makes its mind up enough to get started. Its loudest clarion is for that oxymoron sensisible religion, so all in all, I was happy to watch it from the point of cinema history, but I enjoyed my sweet potato fries with coconut and mushroom sauce a deal more. (The food got a 7.7). The Hayes code has got a lot to answer for. I wonder if William Wyler would have done it better?
* Called that before I read it "Fox wanted to shoot the movie in Wales in Technicolor, but events in Europe during World War II made this impossible. Instead, Ford had the studio build an 80 acre authentic replica of a Welsh mining town at Brent's Crags (subsequently Crags Country Club) in the Santa Monica Mountains near Malibu, California.
The cast had one Welsh actor, Rhys Williams, in a minor role."
If you do watch this listen for them all conjugating sentences like Yoda! "How green was my Valley that day, too, green and bright in the sun."
Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann
Director: Christian Ditter
Left after half an hour. I already know. (How To Be single). I don't doubt that if you like Friends, and have never seen Rebel Wilson in a film before you will like this, but there was nothing new in it for me. Still better than Gone With The Wind!
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
Starring: Tim Robbins
Director: Coen Brothers
Bit of a let down after all the other great films by Joel and Ethan Coen
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
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.
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
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.
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?
Starring: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rhys Darby, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House, Oscar Kightley
Director: Taika Waititi
Several stars in this film, but the real plaudits go to New Zealand and Sam Neil. It's a buddy movie with superb New Zealand humour and actually not much wrong to spoil the experience. We went all the way to Sheffield to watch this as it was not shown at Cas, and that cinema is a step up from Glasshoughton, and not just because it shows more films. Whatever, this is an excellent companion to Big Game. Watch them both and you'll see what I mean.
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
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.
Starring: Tom Hiddlestone, Elizabeth Olsen
Director: Marc Abraham
Tom Hiddlestone was really good, the film a little disappointing. I would have preferred to see more music biography and less music. It seemed a little like a hagiography. Shame really :(
Starring: Dave Johns, Hayley Squires
Director: Ken Loach
I do not think I can praise this film and its £8 million budget enough. Without doubt this is the least feel-good film in my top 100. I hear you say "What about Schindler's List?" - Well, this is bleaker, in that Schindler's List offers some redemption for humanity where as this has got a whole lot less. Yes, there are overtly wonderful humans in it, but this is not a past which we want to decry. This is the grinding evil of now, which we all participate in, which we tolerate in 2016. Yes the scale is very different, but in a way this is broader, in that we are all a part of it. David Davis says the film takes all the very worst incidents and threads them into a single narrative, that Daniel Blake is therefore atypical, unrepresentative of his group. I would suggest the only unusual thing about Daniel Blake is that he does not bend so readily as many claimants. The civil servants can be seen in every real world office and heard on every phone line. At the end of A Street Cat Named Bob there is a moment at a book signing when a lad in the queue shouts at the protagonist "I've lived every minute of it" - A cute moment, because that lad is the actual person who the original story was about. With this film, I have not lived every minute of it - but hells bells, I recognise vast swathes of it. If anything the film cannot possibly give the real experience of waiting for an hour on the phone to be cut off when you say "fuck". The most tragic thing is that we will not do anything about it, I mean you'll go to town about some FaceBook post where I say "like a pussy", and ban me for life from a quiz league for using the term "retarded lunkhead", but really, tomorrow morning you'll be hopping in your car to splash Daniel and Haley and her kids, and if they ever have the cheek to occupy a tiny bit of your space (of which you are granted five times more than they are) you will just kill em and go "Oh, I'm so sorry, he just stepped out without warning".
A brilliant, disturbing, sometimes hilarious, film. I only wish your thoughts could be provoked enough to realise your contribution.
Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez, Simon Pegg, Nick Offerman, Jessie J, Neil deGrasse Tyson
Director: Mike Thurmeier
I would love Martin Pampel to watch this and highlight all the references/rip offs, from Chuck Jones Road Runners. That is a compliment, the gag timing was excellent. Apart from that it had the audience giggling, if not even guffawing, and I found it kind of watchable. I would suggest that unashamed lack of science is a more noble aspect of filming than pretence to it (I am thinking of The Good Dinosaur here), and although i find these things sometimes irksomely cutie, I think that may be my cynicism, I mean, there are only so many tricks in the storyteller's bag, and I guess one might become inured to some of them. There are plenty worse films for you to take your kids to see
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.
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
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
Starring: Rod Steiger ‡O, Sidney Poitier, Warren Oates, Lee Grant
Director: Norman Jewison
Well it was good and dated. Doing a film about racism was always going to be a little clumsy in 1967, this is just being a tad too right-on, and like many films depicting isms it falls a little short of the full picture by illustrating some human goodness on each side. As this stands Virgil Tibbs has to 'win-over' everybody, not a single Missispian shows any intuitive rationality, and though I wasn't there I know there would have been many good people in Sparta, Mississippi. I reckon Sidney Poitier over-acts a tad, but Rod Stieger worth the Oscar? mmm okay.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Starring: Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, Sela Ward, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, William Fichtner
Director: Roland Emmerich
OK if you like this kind of thing. The whole principle is back to front and the stupid triumphalism is so playgroundy. Geoff Goldblum gets on my tits and Liam Hemsworth has done so much better. I guess it could have been worse. I stayed 'till the end, which it probably did not merit, and I have forgotten it already!
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.
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)
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..
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
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)
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, John Leguizamo, Amy Ryan.
Director: Brad Furman
Brian Cranston does Narcos well gnarly. This is a true story, but as a tale it stands up, especially towards the end where it edged a few extra points for me. I think the author had a genuine love of his mate. Was that the bloke who plays Escobar the bloke who plays Escobar?
I have to mention that the trackBrothers On The Slide was written by my late brother-in-law, Julian Chapman. Way to go brother! :(
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Wahlberg, especially in this film, for which I would put him in the mix for best support.
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.
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!
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
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
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.
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!!!
Starring: Clarke Gable‡O, Claudette Colbert‡O
Director: Frank Capra‡O
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)
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?
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
Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh, Holt McCallany
Director: Edward Zwick
I could fully understand that people might take umbrage at Tom Cruise being so super Macho. It's ridiculous, I know, but it is one of those films where I want to say to haters "Well what the hell did you expect"
I think you can imagine what this film is going to be like! I enjoyed it.
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?
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
Starring: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt
Director: Pablo Larraín
I always maintain that a historical drama, biography or such like will always get an extra point, and, of course, why make an histircal drama unless the topic is fascinating. This film strikes me as pretty dull. Not only is it unspectacular it lives in the shadow of JFK and that is a damned long and dark shadow. I don't know how good Natalie Portman's interpretation was, but it makes Jaqueline Kennedy seem a litle retarded, Diana Spencerish. And it doesn't go anywhere. It was, in retrospect, lucky to get a 6.7, but I did, I suppose, learn maybe something from it. God knows what though! (NB Billy Cruddup is very watchable indeed)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Starring: Maria Bello, Emily Blunt, Maggie Grace, Jimmy Smits, Lynn Redgrave
Director: Robin Swicord
Cannot really judge this as I gave it half an hour and thought 'no'. I don't know Jane Austin and it looked to be all females and I think it wqs meant to be funny, but I'll leave the review to somebody else. Watched Erin Brockovich instead. Good call!
Starring: Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, Julia Stiles, Riz Ahmed
Director: Paul Greengrass
Well you get lots of bangs for bucks here. Normally bangs for bucks is a metaphor for good return on investment, but in this case I mean it literally! Apparently Matt Damon has less than 300 words in the whole film, but I wouldn’t have noticed. The action was an end in itself, and they didn’t call the bad guy Reg or Olav or anything like that, he was “the asset”. It was good action, but not good enough to rate this as more than adequate; for the fan it may have been more of a trip
Starring: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Ben Affleck, Jeff Anderson, Brian O'Halloran, Shannon Elizabeth, Eliza Dushku, Ali Larter, Jennifer Schwalbach, Will Ferrell, Jason Lee, Matt Damon, Judd Nelson, George Carlin, Carrie Fisher, Seann William Scott, Chris Rock, Wes Craven, Shannen Doherty, Mark Hamill, Jason Biggs, Joey Lauren Adams
Director: Kevin Smith
I am that senile I cannot remember if I enjoyed this even more, or less the first time around. Have I gained wisdom over the last decade? Have my critical faculties been honed to a higher level, of does my head keep on disappearing further up my own arse? I choose wiser. I may be wrong.. So..
This is a deal more puerile than I remember - but that is not a disaster, much of it is absolutely hilarious and most of it is pretty funny. The cast list is amazing, and the culture references come as thick and fast as you could envisage, so, I would guess that you a part of the ViewaskewUniverse, this is a welcome addition to the canon, but I can understand somebody scratching there heads and turning to something different. Stoner comedy consisting of dick and fart jokes, but thankfully avoiding the titillating sex angle that can, for me, distract from a film (not that Shannon Elizabeth and co. are not super hot.
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
Starring: Kevin Costner, Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Joe Pesci, Gary Oldman, Sissy Spacek, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Donald Sutherland, John Candy, Sally Kirkland, Vincent D'Onofrio, Bob Gunton
Director: Oliver Stone
Woah, woah woah woah woah. First let's put the playing fast and loose with history thing to bed. Oliver Stone from the get go has said that the story is a "counter-myth" to the Warren Commission's "fictional myth." That's what story tellers do. The criticism comes from an America that had the Hayes code for 30 years, that had McCarthyism, that has got Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton as contenders to lead the most powerful nation in the world and Trump is officially the most honest! It is NOT a documentary, but it is film making at its absolute finest, giving us a banquet of food for thought, yet gripping and watchable with actor after actor giving us somebody else too watch in a Game Of Thronesesque tableau of complexity with compulsion. Costner's courtroom summary, let alone Donald Sutherland, is 15 minutes of the finest monologue recorded, and the implications are so totally relevant that the only conclusion one must adopt is either accountability will prosper or we are all doomed. And accountability is not prospering.
"The sixth and fatal shot, Frame 313, takes Kennedy in the head from the front. This is the key shot. The President going back and to his left. Shot from the front and right. Totally inconsistent with the shot from the Depository. Again, back and to the left.
Back and to the left.
Back and to the left.
Back and to the left."
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Dominic West, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, James Purefoy, Bryan Cranston, David Schwimmer, Jon Favreau, Art Malik
Director: Andrew Stanton
After an hour of stop-start watching, Jake said he was off, I tried another 5 minutes and thought "feck it". The thing is, it looks like one of the most expensive films ever made, but that is about it in terms of praise. I actually was not interested, not eager to see what happened next and just because it had a huge budget shouldn't mean I have to see it out. The science was poor. I know full well that it is lame to criticise a film on the ground that there is no noise in a vacuum, but the gravity thing? That was variable!, unrealistic in any context. It felt unrealistic, that was a huge bugbear. Magic bable juice? Magic flying? Super dooper destroy at a touch or at a distance weapons yet they all go for hand to hand fighting? It went to far to suspend the disbelief. It felt wrong, and it was wrong. I feel bad 'cos Andrew Stanton will definitely fall out with me. :(
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
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"
Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, Victor Rasuk, J. K. Simmons, James Woods, Matthew Modine
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
A read that this is not quite to perfect piece of history. It was a film I enjoyed a lot. The thing is, I always maintain apple products are just beautiful, but for their incompatability, e.g. (specifically) mp3s, therefore since I dropped an iPod on the floor of that pub in Ledsham have not bought into their products. I consequently feel a bit of resentment for people who do, I want to say "just don't buy them until they at least make their content esaily transferable, then by all means knock yourself out and go totally mac". Well that's not gonna happen, but with Steve Jobs you have this rare bird - a man who combines superb design skills, with total belief and the new clothes skills of the most compelling snake oil salesman. The thing is - he has a great, if not best, product, but he markets it with that drive normally reserved only for the useless. Whatever - back to the film. I cannot assess the veracity of it, but Jobs himself is certainly not monochrome, he is full of real ground breaking and shaking positives and truly horrible negatives, which leads me to imagine that the makers have tried to present a broad, inclusive picture of him. They do what story tellers do, I missed a bit of dialogue, many of the carachters seemed to be camoflaged amongst themselves, there was a little too much boardroom for me and not enough iPod and iphone, despite which, it was a quite practically captivating, with emotionally attractive parts, and is the kind of thing I could watch all the live long day. It is, when you think about it, a helluva story.
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)
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
Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Garry Shandling, Jon Favreau
Director: Jon Favreau
Disappointing. Not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, and if CGI is what your looking for, I have never seen better, but... When Disney did the original cartoon I went to the cinema five times in the week it was on. But we are not here to talk about the original, with it's absolutely everlasting songs in their definitive versions, the superb casting of Sterling Holloway, Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, George Sanders and Louis Prima, the mesmerising emotions, innocent and simple philosophy and timeless humour.
Like Pan, this didn't need doing. And Shere Kahn was right all along.
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.
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
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.
Starring: Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan
Director: Harold Swart
Non Watcher. Got turned off by the thought of Jaden Smith being the new aristocracy
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.
Starring: Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Method Man, Nia Long, Will Forte
Director: Peter Atencio
I saw four films today and this was the stand-out one. So, so much more fun than Ghostbusters, it has everything, car chases, posturing, buddies, redemption and a cute little kitten. Loved it!
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
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.
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 excellent parts. Especially pleasing to think of sanctimonious cunts getting offended by Hit-Girl's language
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Clark Duke, Morris Chestnut, Jim Carrey, Donald Faison, John Leguizamo, Iain Glen
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Pleasantly surprising that though this film wasn't Kick-Ass is still kicked-ass, quite seriously so. Some of the surprise had been used up in the first film, nevertheless the juxtaposition of violence and comedy was fresh enough, great Mean Girls homage, Jim Carey is unrecognisable apart from one flash of a look, the whole film kind of does what it says on the packet.
Seriously, is Christopher Mintz-Plasse actually Aubrey Plaza?
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
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.
Starring: Tony Blair, George Galloway et al
Directors: Sanne van den Bergh, Greg Ward
This film managed to tackle an emotive set of related topics narrated by an exceedingly emotionally motivated person, yet retain the interest whilst fascinating the mind. Finally I am putting to bed any residual sympathy I may have had for the former Prime Minister, and though I will never completely purge the institutionalised bias I have against George Galloway in my heart (and that is most definitely my bad), my head is pretty sure that he is NOT in it for the money, and if he has any faults, lack of integrity is not one. The thing is, I don't realise quite how bad the media are (in general) when it comes to moulding public opinion, but now I have adopted Jeremy Corbyn it is truly dawning on me!. This film was as almost great an indictment of our newspapers and TV as it was of the war criminal Tony Blair. Unlike A Dangerous Game, which failed to evidence Donald Trump's failings, this film has convinced me of Tony Blair's complicity in the killing of hundreds of thousands of people, the fucking up of other countries and the support of bad guys. And it entertained me too. It's quite a gulp to take, so kudos to the makers.
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Director: Ivan Reitman
All this time Arnie was setting himself up for politics
Starring: Colin Firth‡O, Geoffry Rush, Guy Pierce, Helena Bonham Carter, Timothy Spall, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi
Director: Tom Hooper‡O
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 )
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!
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.
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?
Starring: Dustin Hoffman‡O, Meryl Streep‡O, Justin Henry, Jane Alexander
Director: Robert Benton‡O
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.
Starring: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei
Director: Travis Knight
Laika studios produce such gorgeous pictures. I have to see this again as I think I was hypnotised, it is kind of one of the weirdest films I have seen, incorporating a very Japanese soul, this is far more Ghibli than Disney, but it is that unique stop motion of such density and high quality that gives Laika films there immediacy. Like Julia forgot it was stop motion after 2 seconds, it had me from the get go. I honestly had 20 micro sleeps during it, so am hardly in a position to judge. I really enjoyed Zootopia this year, but this may be front runner for the animation Oscar.
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
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, J.K. Simmons
Director: Damien Chazelle
Well here we go. First off, this is a good film, and absolutely beautifully made. Second off it is not IMHO anything like as entertaining as the media might have you believe, and having discussed it with Ella we had both arrived independently at the same conclusion. People who haven't seen many musicals love it. Like those classic 50s musicals it hearkens back to (I'm thinking of An American In Paris and Singin' In The Rain It is strong on dance, good on tunes, but relatively moderate on characters and story. As an out and out vehicle for tunes, it cannot hold a candle to Rent (lit or not!), or Wicked, or Sunshine on Leith, or Frozen. I could go on and on and on with that list. The thing is, it sounds like I am dissing it, but I'm not, I'm glad I saw it for its own sake, but I think a lot of people have got caught up in the hype. There has been another film this year that gives a take on Hollywood that is better in every department, even including the dance routine- Hail Caesar!
And Jon Legend is no actor
And I get sick of Americans living in beautiful apartments and imagining they are having some kind of a hard time.
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).
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
Starring: John Lone, Peter O'Toole
Director: Bernardo Bertolucci‡O
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.
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
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 !
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.
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
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.
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)
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
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx, Colm Meaney, Bruce McGill, Viola Davis, Michael Kelly
Director: F. Gary Gray
Ha! A couple of hours of total comic book hokum, which doesn't take its foot off the pedal for the entire duration. Gerard Butler is cast perfectly as Mike Banning as Gerard Butler. SPOILER ALERT. They must have thought "Now, what crime could a man suffer and survive that are the most heinous, and then, how much revenge can he extract aginst all the odds?". They must have sat round the table pitching ideas and hell, they were probably high and giggling uncontrolably whilst coming up with more ridiculous stretchers, but the thing is, its just fun, gratuitously violent grim slaptick that uses blood instead of shaving foam pies. I actually, in retrospect, think the film may have been so action-packed that the pay-off was a little bit of a downer? Whatever, You can watch this with a beer and a pizza, make sure you watch right from the start and just chill out for an evening. ***½
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
Starring: Nick Cage‡O, 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?"
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!
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.
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
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou, Jim Broadbent, Christoph Waltz
Director: David Yates
So lets say all the execs are sitting 'round the table saying "what can we reboot?" and some bright spark says "Tarzan!" After some brainstorming they decide to get somebody who's ripped to play Tarzan, an FHM top tenner to play Jane, who can we have for a malevolent and heartless northern European? Ah yes Christopher Waltz, and hell, its set in 1889 but lets give Samuel L Jackson a part. Let's put loads of good looking CGI, and make sure we don't have any women talking to each other and the goodies win, and lets have a bit of broody and rewarded romance and - bingo. Hope I've not given too much away. In the vein of The Mummy this is harmless, predictable and fun eye candy.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Starring: Roberto Benigni ‡O , Nicoletta Braschi, Horst Buchholz
Director: Roberto Benigni
Films made outside of Hollywood and the UK bring such a change. The vitality of this film permeates every frame, the humour (which is most definitely not what we become accutomed to) is relentless. Quaintness is an asset to this film's delivery. Roberto Begnini is a delight, he would have been a superstar in the silent era, and though I think it is a bit of a 'let humanity off the hook' film, it is in no way as patronising as some films which illustrate original sin far more seriously.
Starring: Paul Muni, Gloria Holden, Gale Sondergaard, Joseph Schildkraut‡O, 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.
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!
Starring: Daniel Day Lewis‡O, 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.
Starring: Sunni Pawar, Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Nicole Kidman.
Director: Garth Davis
The first hour of this film was all at once more enchanting than harrowing, the second hour a little flatter and the resolution satisfying. There were moments during the film when I got quite cut up, the child Saroo was beautiful, perfectly cast, and Dev Patel gives a very convincing moody performance. Once again I think this film may have been even better than my kick quotient, there was actually not anything wrong with it technically, perhaps it was always going to be half an hour too long, and I just can't help thinking that given (SPOILER ALERT) he knew the area where he came from was called something like "Ginestlay", actually making the leap to Ganesh Talai did not demand the walls full of maps charts and notes, I mean Ganesh is quite the deity. That adult Saroo was not perfect is probably a really good thing. Is that my fault for demanding saccharine? I think it may be. Not far off a must-see film for anybody.
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 )
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!
Starring: Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Alon Moni Aboutboul, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Melissa Leo, Radha Mitchell, Charlotte Riley
Director: Babak Najafi
A quite excellent opening 40 minutes, I thought I was going to mark it higher. The second half of the film was just a shoot-em-up which got mundane after a while. I do find Gerard Butler very watchable, and its funny in a Team America way, but I actually think it is meant to be, so don't go if you want anything too cerebral, but if you like gunfire and explosions I am sure you will like this. Fuck yeah!
Starring: Armie Hammer, Johnny Depp, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Helena Bonham Carter
Director: Gore Verblinski
A big film! It worked for me, it had a fairly unusual combination of comedy and brutality, I have never seen better quality pictures of monument valley, and for a long film (over two hours) it kept me engaged. Very much the same feel as Gore Verblinski's Rango but with a more believable universe. The use of the traditional Lone Ranger tropes was well placed, and all in all I would say a must see film? Even if you don't like it? Which I did?
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!
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?
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
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.
Starring: Elijah Wood, New Zealand, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Liv Tyler, Sala Baker, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis, Marton Csokas, David Weatherley, Lawrence Makoare, Craig Parker, Mark Ferguson, Peter McKenzie, Harry Sinclair
Director: Peter Jackson
This was one of the two movies I have watched at the cinema and left thinking "Is that the best film I have ever seen?" (The other one was Titanic). On a re-watch some 16 years later there is a lot of water run under the bridge, and, without doubt it is still a huge spectacle, absolutely loaded to the gunnels with incredible scenery, great action, and classic dialogue, but... Like often happens with films I re-watch post my keeping these records in an ordered fashion three years ago, I have got a little more picky, and this is not the 10 I probably imagined it to be. It can be a little draggy, It is three hours long and might have been 150 minutes (but, come on, I'm trying to think where I would have edited and I can hardly imagine where so...) (Ah yes, It would be lots of little 5 second cuts in establishing shots and wow moments - like - we get it already!)(and a bit less birthday). Merry and Pippin are dicks. That's the only way I can put it, and like the cheesy family bits in Apollo 13 they detract from the thrust of what is going on. Whatever. I think I'm a little disappointed that I don't love it more :(. It is still awesome, never forget that
Starring: Elijah Wood, New Zealand, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Brad Dourif, Karl Urban, Andy Serkis, Craig Parker, John Leigh, Bruce Hopkins, John Bach
Director: Peter Jackson
Like number one, this has had a re-appraisal, and do you know; I definitely like it more than the first. There is less cheese and more action, and two of the three story arcs seem to get on with it a little bit sharper than the first film? Merry and Pippin are still annoying dicks, and the reveals are definitely naff, so I could have done without all the 'tada I'm really Gandalf' bit in Fanghorn! Gollum is definitely a massive star, and the whole Helm's Deep thing is incredible, it really is. Look, even if your favourite film is 50 First Dates you should still sit through the theatrical cut of this trilogy if only for it's place in the cannon of modern epic film production.
Starring: "Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Liv Tyler, Sean Astin, Sala Baker, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Bernard Hill, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, David Wenham, Karl Urban, John Noble, Andy Serkis, Ian Holm, Marton Csokas, Lawrence Makoare, Thomas Robins
Director: Peter Jackson
Huge, brilliant film. Let's put that to bed. I re-watched the trilogy over a few days in December 2016, and it conjured up a great deal of thinking on my part, in that I believe there are all sorts of things going on here that effect my judgement and enjoyment, and no matter how hard you want to, one can never be objective about anything! I think I always wanted these to come out in the nines and tens, but in my heart I knew they were not quite there. This one is, IMHO, the best of the three, yet it still falls into a tad too much self indulgence. It is very easy to be cynical about swords and sorcery, and Peter Jackson does little to allay the critic in us, utilising every theatrical trope at his disposal. Yes I could have still done without Merry and Pippin (chuck Eowyn and Galadriel in there as well whilst we are at it), and the end is draggy (but not as much as we expected it to be, 20 minutes as opposed to the 35 we had envisaged). Sooo what are we left with? A fucking amazing show, with pictures that have not been improved upon in 13 years weather CGI or real, a great story done well if not a tad predictably, and some sweet characters. Remarkably, for a 201 minute movie, I did not want to 'put it down' and I realise, in retrospect that I was pretty much engaged throughout. Must see set of films, though I can understand why some people might well struggle with them! Sean Astin (Samwise) should get more recognition for the star performance in a galaxy of stars.
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
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!
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, Robert Patrick, Juno Temple, Adam Brody, Wes Bentley, James Franco, Chris Noth, Bobby Cannavale
Directors: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
This is actually quite a good film, but very difficult to assess comfortably, without the baggage of a fruitcake Catholic, 60s, northern English upbringing. The thing is, it takes a potentially seedy topic and turns it into a biopic as untitillating as The Karen Carpenter Story. That is not meant to sound like a bad thing. It takes a novel approach, the surprising raft of stars hold the eye, I really wanted to see what was happening and it ended all too quickly! Amanda Seyfried is quite perfect and Peter Starsgard is exactly the same as he will be in Magnificent 7 three years hence except he has flairs and a porno tash. I was left feeling that I should diss this more, but I can't. Yes, it works beyond a daytime filler on Movies for Morons.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Starring: Danny Trejo, Michelle Rodriguez, Tom Savini, Billy Blair, Electra, Felix Sabates, Jessica Alba, Mel Gibson, Demián Bichir, Amber Heard, Sofía Vergara, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Vanessa Hudgens, Alexa Vega, William Sadler, Marko Zaror, Charlie Sheen
Director: Robert Rodriguez
I'd say that for around $20 million this will give a lot more to the world than Joe Allen's transfer from Liverpool to Stoke (£13m). It's not going to win an Oscar, but its not meant to. It's a piss take exploring the ridiculous concept of a nearly 70 year old man being a brutal super sexy spy ninja, and it works. Talk about a star-studded cast!
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
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.
Starring: Bob Hoskins, Sally Hawkins, Miranda Richardson
Director: Nigel Cole
I think a half decent historical/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!
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. Matthew McConaughey 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.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Byung-hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett, Peter Sarsgaard
Director: Antoine Fuqua
A good, modern, film by numbers. There are no unsurprising surprises, the characters are all pretty much stock-in-trade, the outcome not unpredictable and the baddy does have a 'magic wand, make my monster grow' moment. So don't go and see it if you seek novelty. On the other hand if you want to see a slew of actors at the top of their game playing gnarly old stagers who are hard as fuck shooting bad guys, you can't go far wrong. I see I have not reviewed the originals, so that has to be on the agenda. Good movie.
As an addendum I went to see it a second time, and I enjoyed it even more. The thing was, I wasn't sat through the film waiting for Elmer Bernstein's theme to kick in, so had more time to enjoy the humour which actually dominates the first half of the film, and the absolutely sumptuous filming of people's faces, I have never seen a film like it for taking such interesting visages and highlighting them in such fascinating detail.
Four members of the group claim 6,5,5, and 7 kills during the initial town gunfight but Bogue says that 22 of his men died. The drape sign saying Bogue Mining is visibly taken down but reappears during the town fight preparation montage. When Bogue returns from Sacramento one can only count perhaps 70 men with him. Prior to him ordering the wagon, at least 70 are directly witnessed being shot or exploded off their horses, that's not including townsfolk and ones hidden behind the explosions. Uncounted more die in the consuming mêlée.
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
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.
Starring: Paul Schofield‡O, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Orson Welles, Robert Shaw, Susannah York, Vanessa Redgrave, William Hurt
Director: Fred Zinnemann‡O
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!
Starring: James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp, Cathy O'Donnell
Director: Anthony Mann
Very unfair of me to include this as I only watched perhaps 15 minutes of it. The film quality was terrible. This may have been a broadcast issue, but I'm still kind of Westerned out at the moment, and when the great James Stewart started getting all racist in the shop and the director agreed with him I made what I think, in retrospect, was the right call and watched Kick-Ass 2 instead. I probably would have enjoyed it had I stuck it out, but with all the stuff available nowadays...
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
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?)
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
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol, Lucas Hedges, Matthew Broderick
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Put this side by side with Boyhood and Ordinary People and it comes out miles in front. I kind of enjoyed the surprise factor, not like explosions or squirrels, but just these fairly quiet characters, behaving quite credibly without being entirely predictable. It takes deadpan humour to an absolutely new level, I mean, I am still wondering if the straight faced delivery of faintly ridiculous and awkward situations was part of the plan. It was. I think! For their faults the people described herein had enough humanity about them to involve the watcher. Don't expect fireworks, but it's a half decent night in.
Starring: Idris Elba
Director: Justin Chadwick
Fascinating story, you almost think they could have made a three parter. With Invictus being the last instalment
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!
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.
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
Starring: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall, Roger Bowen, René Auberjonois, David Arkin, Jo Ann Pflug, John Schuck, Carl Gottlieb, Danny Goldman, Corey Fischer, Indus Arthur, Dawne Damon, Tamara Horrocks, Gary Burghoff, Ken Prymus, Fred Williamson, Michael Murphy, Timothy Brown, Bud Cort, G. Wood, Kim Atwood, Dale Ishimoto, Bobby Troup, Marvin Miller
Director: Robert Altman
I think this could be rightfully held up as a milestone in American film, in that it is the earliest movie I can remember seeing that escapes the Hayes Code with such a degree of freedom. Perhaps Some Like It Hot was breaking free of that incredibly naive, destructive, self sustaining, self righteous censorship which burdened the most lucrative and potentally fertile areas of collaborative human creativity in history, but it took a decade of clumsyness, self censorship, looking over the shoulder, hey look at how groundbreaking amd modern and swingin' we are before we finally arrive at this. Not perfect by any means, still not timed quite right, nevertheless, this is the transition from the awkward adolescence of Hollywood after an abused childhood, into an adult that has found their feet and has learned to stand on them for themselves. I think for nearly 50 years the poster put me off chasing this one down. A good film indeed, which perhaps paved the way for my generation to enjoy the flowering of this wonderful medium.
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
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
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.
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
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
Starring: Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Jenna Coleman, Charles Dance
Director: Thea Sharrock
One of the most surprising films I have seen, not necessarily in the narrative or production, but in the reaction it has elicited with me. First the film: I thought it would be a walk-out, but there was nothing else on so I thought "give it a chance". After two minutes I was looking around to pick up my belongings but... it ended up kind of working for me as a piece of entertainment if not more. Despite Emilia Clarke seeming to be gunning for a Razzie, and despite the girly bait (shoes, fashion, handsome guy, lurve, heroinism), it really worked. It has a lot in common with The Intouchables, I'm sure this film will not get anything like the critical acclaim (it's not French for a kick off), but I felt a little more comfortable with this version in that it wasn't as self righteous.
More importantly it is the afterthought which makes this film actually quite special, in that it has kicked up a bit of a stir, I won't say why, that can easily be discovered elsewhere, and you may want to watch it first. I enjoyed the film though and I do believe it makes a valid point. Just because something is uncomfortable doesn't necessarily mean it is bad - I don't know the answers but it is good to ask the questions.
Oh and as for the Mother of Dragons, I am now thinking that her portrayal was very deliberate, which, if so, renders it brilliant. I mean she has the most important part in the best TV show ever made absolutely nailed, then she does this? I'd like to know what you think. Dig the Coraline look!
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 "
Starring: "Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval
Director: Martin Scorsese
I'm beginning to imagine that my perceptions of New York gangster films are coloured differently from many other observers. The thing is, I just don't think as highly of this film, or Goodfellas and the Godfathertrilogy as much as the consensus. That is not to say I didn't like them, far from it; just that I don't think they are the best films ever made - nowhere near it. They for me seem to feed off the violence over the nuance of carachter and reality, almost as if the critics are saying that "we love this" because they are wanting to be seen to be super 'ard, kind of kow-towing to the mob that the films portray.
I also know that older films do get dated. I love Star Trek, but come on, the Original Series had a healthy dose of corn that pervaded the series, and that does not diminish with age. Likewise this film is a product of its time, a post Hayes Code film that still doesn't quite know how to balance sex, violence and humanity. Like The Sting and lots of other post-Beatles, pre Sex Pistols films it may have been ground breaking at the time, but wing collars will always look stupid!
So.. watch this, and then watch all six seasons of The Sopranos to see how far the genre has moved on, and tell me you enjoyed it one tenth as much.
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!!!
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.
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.
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
Starring: Jon Voight, Dustin Hoffman, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver, Brenda Vaccaro, Bob Balaban, Jennifer Salt,Barnard Hughes
Director: John Schlesinger‡O
A better film than my rating would suggest. Much better. The thing is, even though the film is full of carachters with some, if not a great deal of good qualities, all told, not a single one of them comes out as somebody I would want as a friend (Does that go for humanity in general?). It is an indictment of New York, of Texas, Miami and the roads in between them. There is beauty in the ugliness, and I was wiping tears away during one scene, but I think a lot of it was to do with the squandering of humanity and the frustration of falsehood that was getting to me, like when my dad died, as much as love of Rizzo. A must watch film
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
Starring: Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Stephen Root
Director: Jake Szymanski
The film which, for me at last, saw several of the stars become truly established. Anna Kendrick, Zac Efron, Adam Devine and Aubrey Plaza have all done absolutely fantastic work before. Now it's like shelling peas for them. Confident post-teen slightly stoner slightly rom com packed to the gunnels with great culture references. At last - a great week at the pictures
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!
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.
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank ‡O, Morgan Freeman ‡O, Michael Pena
Director: Clint Eastwood ‡O
Two films, you just have to watch it to see what I mean
That was my original review, a brief holding sentence, thrown away when I initiated this diary, drawn from what is always fuzzy memory. I realise that watching these films again pays dividends in terms of not just satisfaction, but in the delight of discovery - hell I genuinely could not remember any of the detail, and to say that Hilary Swank is just the most believable Maggie and that Clint Eastwood plays the best Clint Eastwood probably does not emphasise enough how good they are in this.
I said it was two films? Yes it is but those films are connected by a plait of threads that strengthens and colours the entire narrative. A quite beautiful piece of movie-making and worthy winner of the accolades
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?
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
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!
Watched it a second time- even better!
Starring: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Chris O'Dowd, Allison Janney, Rupert Everett, Terence Stamp, Ella Purnell, Judi Dench, Samuel L. Jackson
Director: Tim Burton
Green is the new Bonham Carter. Was the topiary in the garden cut by Edward Scissorhands? Was this X-Men for eight year olds? Look, It wasn't so bad, but even for childish fantasy there seemed some lack of believable continuity. Still, Samuel L Jackson kept his part of the deal, but right now I feel like marking it down a couple of little notches. I will. Six point eight is still a good film, but it is one of those borderline ones when you could have read the précis, revised the quiz stuff and dug out Mrs Miniver or something. We are spoilt for films, I know.
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.
Starring: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Alan Tudyk
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
Disney by numbers. God knows what the budget was, you have your tough little princess hero, your cute animals, your suddenly bursting into motivational songs, nothing offensive, it almost gets boring. YET IT ISN'T!! What is wrong with all that when it is done as brilliantly as this? I love the way I only recognised perhaps five names on the credits, that this team have delivered another truly spectacular animation. Honestly, when she is climbing that cliff I was clutching my balls with fear! It is not Tangled but neither is it insert any Disney animated feature from 1972 to 1988 here. You see, they have got the formula right, and I really believe that there is some ethical input going into these now. I'm not talking about the right-onism of Wall-E or The Good Dinosaur but are the suits actually saying We are doing a Pacific movie, go to the South Seas, talk to people, run with the celebration of it all? (I have no evidence to back that up, it's just a feeling). This is FUN, dare I say more than Kubo?
Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Jack O'Connell, Dominic West
Director: Jodie Foster
I can unreservedly recommend Money Monster. Terrific concept, superbly structured, beautifully balanced tragi-comedy. Along with the ever watchable George Clooney and Juliet Roberts, I really really hope Jack O'Connell gets what he deserves for this, a seat at the Best Supporting Actors' table along with Mark Rylance and JK Simmons. The thing is, it taps into feelings that I genuinely harbour, apart from which it genuinely had be guessing at it's direction. Was that an homage to Trailer Park Boys half way through when Kyle waves his gun through the air and shouts "Fuck Off"? Great film.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chris Pratt, Robin Wright, Spike Jonze, Joe Satriani
Director: Bennett Miller