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258 reviews in total 
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Apocalypto (2006)
4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Disgraceful, 11 December 2006

Preliminary reports on this one seem positive - until you check what people on the other side are saying. Those on this side - the white conqueror's side - of course see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing.

But as soon as you realise how enraged the Mayans have become over this one and why, what small measure of enjoyment you planned on is gone forever. This is yet another project by the gentleman we have come to know as regarding 'lesser races' as anomalies that don't even need to be tolerated.

We happened upon this by accident - otherwise it would not have happened. And it's far worse than one could have imagined or expected and the protests are growing.

In a word it's an 'outrage'.

PS. Mel: you can try to censor all you like but people won't stop speaking their minds.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Seven Years Later, 11 December 2006

Antonio is back and as good as always and Catherine really shines in this one - she was good in the first but here she almost steals the show, and she's not the kind of actress that does that very often.

The story at first seemed very thin. The film opened as you'd expect any sequel to open - with an extended action scene that goes on forever - followed by a totally unbelievable plot twist that just doesn't want to play.

But keep your eyes open. This might be a 'save' by the writer but it's there still the same.

There are bad guys and lots of swashbuckling derring-do but frankly those scenes don't seem as good as in the first of these films, although CZJ's work in them is hilarious and inspiring.

It's the kind of movie you'll want to get up afterwards and clap your hands with a big smile on your face. Kudos all around.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Pale in Comparison, 11 December 2006

This one's pale in comparison to the original and runs more like a Vin Diesel movie. The locations are not as exotic - or would you like to spend the next two hours in - Berlin?

There are plot details you may find disappointing. Enough said - see for yourself.

This one builds on the original plot-wise so it's good you've seen the original first so you can understand the story better.

But the first of these was a great romp around beautiful locations in Europe and this one is a lot of hyper-fast editing that's going to leave your head spinning and your soul asking for better.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Nice, 11 December 2006

Swedish movie about US country life filmed in Canada. Redford goes one further than ever before, playing a character with a definite mean streak and the look in his eye is something you've probably never seen before.

Freeman is his usual and as such and with Redford on screen you know this is going to be good. JLo - it's not that she's bad but why oh why pick her for she certainly is not good either.

Lasse's come a long way since Mitt Liv som Hund and this might not be one of his big movies but it's not bad either. Things wrap up very nicely thank you and the screenplay is cleverly and craftily woven.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Choppy, 9 December 2006

Stephen Frears needs no introduction; you can currently see his work in The Queen starring Helen Mirren and a quick check here at the IMDb will clue you in to how good he can be.

But this appears to be a 'BBC' film both for better or worse. This is not totally factual and the breadth of the material means things are going to be jumping around from time to time. Too little time is spent introducing the characters and you really have to remind yourself now and again 'this was made for the telly' even if it wasn't.

But the perks are many. It's a solid British production with excellent casting and acting - and a Spinal Tap contribution you may not be expecting - and some of the song and dance numbers are just too good. Of course they can use compression on the vocals today to get effects unavailable at the time and certainly on stage but it's good rousing entertainment.

It's basically the true story - or based on the true story - of the Windmill near Picadilly in London. It's not at all deep but it is good - if choppy - entertainment.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Good Writing, 9 December 2006

This is a well written piece by Peter Morgan, author of Stephen Frears' and Helen Mirren's The Queen currently making the rounds of the theatres. Director Nick Hamm is certainly not without a CV either. One unfortunate aspect of it all is the absolutely terrible title given the film in the US - truly there is no excuse and it belies the mentality in that country.

As a romantic comedy - of a sort - it beats anything that ghost town Hollywood be capable of; there are elements here which won't be obvious to you on first viewing and that's to your advantage.

Joey Fiennes: he talks like Shakespeare! There's a least one scene where you expect him to blurt out 'oh I am fortune's fool'.

This is refreshing and highly original and well worth a view. Ourselves we saw it on the telly, so we'll have to hunt it down as a rental or a purchase to benefit fully by it.

The charisma between Fiennes and Potter is palpable. As many say, Potter seems the blonde Roberts, but she's very much a match in talent as well. The conceit of this film - a girl who has her back to the wall and nowhere to go and simply gets on a plane to go somewhere, anywhere - has very much the feel of other movies in the genre such as French Kiss. It's a cathartic setup that works well and frankly Joey Fiennes has something his brother will never have.

Definitely worth the view and possibly the purchase.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
To Begin With, 9 December 2006

Hollywood was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of its demise was signed by this movie and countless other samples of schlock. And Hollywood's name was good upon 'Change, for anything they chose to put their hand to. Hollywood was as dead as a door-nail.

Likewise dead were the US movie critics. Berardinelli gives it 2 1/2 because he's a twit. He even calls it 'easily-digestible'. Evidently he can swallow strange stuff. Justin Chang of Variety commits the ultimate indiscretion in calling the screenplay 'literate'.

Carina Chocano pegs it accurately however when she writes 'Must Love Dogs must not love movies very much'. And Neil Smith of the BBC hits the door nail right on the head when he writes that Lane's earlier Oscar nomination looks less and less deserved.

But it's not Lane's fault and it's certainly not Cusack's fault - in fact it's none of the actors fault - you can even see how poorly they're directed and how painful some of the scenes were to play.

Must Love Dogs is an insult: it's the kind of insult only a dead movie industry would dare come up with. It's effrontery. It perseveres only because said movie industry have a near 100% hegemony in the domestic theatre market. Even Turkish romantic comedies - if there are such - would rate better than this.

Need someone to blame? Go all the way back. This abomination was supposedly based on a novel. By one Claire Cook. So start there. Next on the chopping block is Gary David Goldberg who unequivocally demonstrated his lack of talent by writing the screenplay. Goldberg is also the director and producer, so he's into this up past his eyeballs.

Warner Bros and Fox are involved in financing and distributing it, so they're on the firing line too.

But the ultimate cinema criminal here has got to be the boob who suggested taking this abortion and making it into a movie in the first place.

Shoot them all.

13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A Farewell, 7 December 2006

This is a way for Tennison, Mirren, Granada, and Prime Suspect to bow out gracefully. This is a classy production nearly four hours long and some have suggested the actual crime story is secondary to the personal portrait. Perhaps, perhaps not - but when you're ushering out an icon like this series you have to give time to that too.

Hats off to Tom Bell for his final appearance in the series. He was magnificent from day one, episode one, and he was exceptionally excellent here as well.

A word about the series as a whole: Dick Wolf didn't write it. This is no random shuffle, no one dimensional drama. It's thick and it's gutsy and everything is in three stark dimensions and ultimately it's not even crime drama either: it's very much social commentary. People don't work this hard and this long at something only to have a forty five minute L&O filler.

The first episode introduced the characters - and how they do it is something the hacks in Hollywood should bloody well study. 2 is about racism. 3 is about child molestation. 4 is about motherhood, corruption, and a return to 1. 5 is about gangs. 6 is about genocide. 7 is about... ?? Watch it and see.

Another word about the series: no sooner had the final part of The Final Act been shown than ITV came out with a beautiful boxed set. 10 DVDs all told with commentary and interviews on the last of them. Personally I find it a bit annoying after spending 70 quid to be reminded on each disc that I wouldn't steal a car so I wouldn't steal a DVD. But it's a beautiful set and a no-brainer as for purchase.

And Taylor's a lucky man, hitched as he is with a goddess.

Something About Uncle Arthur, 3 December 2006

Uncle Arthur needs to get laid and he gets the assistance of his mates at work. You'd almost expect to see Cameron Diaz as co-producer.

Don't miss the outtakes and special features. They're often funnier than the movie itself (alternately not at all as funny).

Apatow's wife does a great bit part as Nicky. And watch for her in the deleted scenes. It's Jane Lynch and Seth Rogen (who also co-produces) who have the most chops. A lot of this is evidently ad-libbed with Apatow shouting out possible dialogue to the actors as the cameras roll. There's a lot of humour here and a lot of talent.

But if Bill the Bard were called in to do a rewrite, he'd probably start by asking why so much sexual and scatological humour for the mosh pit but nothing for the others paying a shilling for a cushion.

And at the end of the day this is a Hollywood film with all that means: shallow, formulaic, and ultimately leaving you feeling the cultural heritage of Tinsel Town is barren.

7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
She's Back, 3 December 2006

Everything everyone is saying about this one is true. One thing to add: it's a lot for a single sitting. It runs almost four hours. People couldn't have had an option when it was transmitted on telly - they had to wait for the subsequent episodes - but when you rent or purchase it now you can't be forced into that option - and you'll find it nigh on impossible to break things off at the hour or two hour mark - it's just too good as everyone says.

Perhaps the best news is that Lynda La Plante is back. Episode two wasn't bad - but it wasn't La Plante's writing and it didn't have her magical hand on it. This one does. It's as if she took all the stuff she found out worked in the first episode, concentrated it, and flung it back. Everything is deeper, grittier, gorier.

There are seven huge episodes in this opus, all told twenty two hours of viewing. So to single out any one episode and say it's 'best' is going to be difficult, but taking only the first three it's not hard to see which excel more than others, and this one has to rank right at the very top.

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