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60 reviews in total 
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Inception (2010)
4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Our Minds Can Imagine Anything - Apart From An Original Ending Apparently, 8 August 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well that's a pointless 2 hours and 33 minutes of my life I'm not getting back.

The praise lavished on this movie is more indicative of the lack of any originality at all today in Hollywood rather than the qualities of the movie itself.

Great as the concept is Philip K Dick came up with much more outlandish ideas that he just wrote up as short stories and novels forty years ago - many of them having proved impossible for the movie business to translate even with modern imagery.

Don't get me wrong, the images along the way and performances are outstanding but the trite "Are we still dreaming?" ending is unoriginal and actually just hollows the entire film. I also guessed it from about ten minutes in. By the end I frankly couldn't have cared less.

The Limey (1999)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Excellent Film Containing Twists and Turns, 26 March 2010

An excellent thriller which features unexpected friendships and alliances.

The cast is excellent from Peter Fonda's corrupted record company man through his dodgy "Security Consultant" Barry Newman (surely the creepiest part he's ever played) to the witty street thugs Newman's character hires.

Wilson's relationships with his daughter's acting teacher (Warren) and one of her students (Guzman) stand out as highlighting Wilson's ability to influence people.

Bizarrely people complained about Stamp's cockney accent - the guy was born in Stepney and sounds exactly the same in Poor Cow (scenes of which feature in the film).

5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Book of Spanners, 26 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm going to skip the whole Bible thing except to say, in a real post- apocalyptic world wouldn't books on agriculture, chemistry or medicine be more useful?

As for the film it starts well but then just sinks with all hands under the weight of its own total implausibility.

So we're supposed to believe that:

- Water is hard to come by but apparently we can still make petroleum distillates to run a motorbike or a chainsaw - That the ability to read, or use a broom, has just magically disappeared in less than a generation - That man, at the top of the food chain, can survive with no visible flora and fauna. Yeah, right.

5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
I Must Have Missed A Meeting, 11 December 2009

I guess I must have missed a meeting. I fail to see how a boring, badly edited mess that goes on way too long and has a centre more boggy than the pitch at Turf Moor has been lauded with praise.

Sure - Quentin has great technical control and the film features some fine acting in places but it's no excuse for a total lack of narrative drive.

In old Hollywood, he would have been told to cut the film by an hour and get on with the story but sadly length and spectacle now appear to be equated with great films.

On the whole I would rather have been watching "Who Dares Wins" for a laugh.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Fabulous, Cynical, Gritty, 23 June 2008

Despite the glamorous trappings, Miami Vice is a very solid policier made at a time when the Cali cartel was making the route from Colombia to Florida their own. If you want to know how bad things really were you only have to read about how corrupted the government of The Bahamas became in the mid-80s when Normans Key became the Cali cartel's private drug-trafficking airstrip.

What I particularly like about Miami Vice is that it shares themes with The Sweeney - the ambiguity of right and wrong, the importance of personal loyalty during times of endemic corruption and that sometimes surviving to fight another day is more important than the big score. A big step forward for the female cops as well - as tough and resilient as their male counterparts.

Shiny suits above, grit below.

Apocalypto (2006)
1 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Lethal Weapon - The Bow and Arrow Years, 15 January 2007

Well it's a movie of two halves Brian. The first half is a meticulously recreation of a vision of pre-Colonial Central America, which gives us some absolutely stunning visuals, adequate characterisation and introduces us to the protagonists and our hero. The abduction of our hero is stunningly realised, as is the city where he is taken to be sacrificed.

However, after that it all goes a bit wrong and the whole thing descends into a scarcely believable chase movie clearly influenced by Richard Donner and other pupils of the mindless, flashy action genre.

Overall, a massive disappointment. I can live with the gore (having seen army videos of real amputations) but having gone to all of that trouble Mel Gibson has failed to deliver any real meaning.

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
An Excellent Sporting Feminist Fantasy, 5 November 2006

Cheri Lunghi excels in a custom-written part as the first woman in Britain to ever become manager (head coach) of a professional soccer team. The part makes excellent use of Lunghi's own part-Italian heritage and she gives a classy, 100% committed performance on the field and off.

The plot covers all aspects of the life of a football club from corruption, professional sleaze,personal sleaze, cover-ups and more but there are some excellent moments of humour. Many of these aspects are still very much with us now.

There are also great supporting performances from Warren Clarke as the wheeler-dealer chairman of the club and the ever-reliable Tom Georgeson as the coach denied his shot at big-time management by the arrival of the unprecedented newcomer.

The Queen (2006)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A Great Film About An Extraordinary Week, 6 October 2006

No one above the age of about five in 1997 will forget the week that Princess Diana died. Never outside war time has Britain been in such an obvious state of collective shock. Whether you feel that this event was absurd (as some including myself do) or not you can't deny it happened.

Stephen Frears has chosen to dramatize that week to question the role of the monarchy and it proves to make a brilliant film. I personally think that the most impressive portrayal is of Tony Blair - the youngest Prime Minister of the 20th Century at the peak of his political grasp and influence. The film does not hesitate to underline that this was a rare occasion when a politician really understood the public mood and was rightly commended for his leadership.

The other major portrayal - of our Captain General Queen Elizabeth is very good but I don't think Helen Mirren is really stiff enough! She's just a bit too twinkly eyed to successfully play a woman who has been guarded in public for 50 years. Anyone doubting this should watch the footage of Rolf Harris painting her portrait - vanilla ice cream is less frosty.

16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
A Solid Attempt at Adult Drama, 24 September 2006

Very few TV dramas really ever convey the mess of real peoples' love lives but this certainly tries very hard and was worth watching.

I have to admit I originally only watched it because it was filmed in the "new town" of Telford, England - a bizarre mix of the old industrial towns that were the origins of our modern world and a newly built centre of advanced corporate blandness.

People who claim the story is ridiculous clearly don't read tabloid newspapers enough - our culture is full of older men having unplanned affairs with younger women. This is one of those stories and details the destruction that it causes.

How a Thriller Should Be!, 23 September 2006

Robert Ludlum's first Bourne novel is translated into a post-Soviet world to dazzling effect. Ludlum himself helped the translation to the screen just before he died and is on record as throughly approving the result. And why on earth shouldn't he? Despite a clearly limited budget, Doug Liman delivers an excellently paced , gripping espionage thriller which makes recent Bond films look like the flacid tripe they have often been.

Matt Damon is truly a revelation and proves that an articulate, intelligent actor can do an action movie with great conviction. His screen relationship with his co-star Franke Potente is a joy to watch and one of the strengths of the film.

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