32 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Nanny McPhee (2005)
A good old fun family film
21 October 2005
I attended the film at the urging of my two children, and I'm glad they did.

This is a well put together movie with a engaging cast, you will find yourself laughing almost from the outset. I loved Emma Thompson in this, and although Angela Lansbury goes well over the top in her role it actually adds to the fun.

The children are all endearing and are high quality acts. You do find yourself uttering an occasional 'Awh' at several points in the movie. Always a good sign of quality.

All in all it is a good way to spend an afternoon with your children. Take my advice, takes your kids, and go enjoy a good family movie.

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The music IS the best bit...Really!
18 April 2004
maybe I don't get it, but this film doesn't work.

I love Hong Kong/John Wu/Kung-Fu etc etc movies, but this is too daft, too over the top, too boring. I sat and sat waiting to find what the 32,000 people saw, who have voted it into the top 100 on IMDB. I am still waiting.

I think its the hype, it rolled over the world laing it on several feet thick. People saw it and thought it must be good... . But, it isn't, it really really isn't.

It sits in the same trough as Magnolia (utter tripe!) and Godfather pt3 (directionless, uninvolving tripe..but tripe none the less!) where people seem to believe it is good, because it should be good, (and all their friends spout "its good" so they don't seem to be the only stupid one.)

The Emperors New Clothes obviously still lives on!
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Formula 51 (2001)
You really only appreciate it if you're British!
18 April 2004
Samuel Jackson in a kilt, Meatloaf and Robert Carlyle in a violent but funny movie about drugs....

What more could you want, Drug lords with Piles, Hitmen with bad hearing, Assassin girlfriends, Rave culture, Garbage barges, Golf, White trash, Incompetant cops and car chases.

The list goes on and its all good, if you 'get' all the inferences from the movies background in Liverpool it is even better.

The scene with the Liverpool drug lord trying to buy the new drug from Samuel Jackson is one of my favourite 7mins of film, from the lift ride to the 'Drive' on the hotel steps only seems to last 1-2 mins it is so good.

Watch It!
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More of the same...Pure Excellence!
5 January 2003
This is what you can achieve when your get the Producers and the Director together with a common purpose, to do the source material justice (& apparently, at whatever the cost!).

Superb as the first movie was, this is its equal.

My heartfelt thanks to all involved with these productions. These books were the staple of my teenage years, and after the frankly unimpressive cartoon I never expected to see them done justice.

This time surely the Academy will recognise the facts and hand out the 'correct' Oscars this time!!
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Better - but hasn't got there yet.
24 May 2002
Really there was only one thing I didn't like about this film, but it was a major thing - Hayden Christensen.

The standard of acting from the highly talented cast is exemplary, except for Mr Christensen, who was wooden and false throughout. His failings were unfortunately held in fine focus by his proximity to Ewan MacGregor & Natalie Portman with whom he mainly shared the screen. His role as Anakin Skywalker required great skill to carry off sucessfully, but it appears the casting director was carried away by his obvious good looks & physical appearance.

Elsewhere George Lucas has worked his usual SciFi action adventure magic with skill and aplomb, & the remainder of the cast are without fault (I'll refrain from mentioning the still repulsive Jarjar Binks!). I love the thought and imagination these films have. They still manage to engage the "hey that looks cool" response despite keeping the technology 'before' the original Star Wars level.

Movie acting is an black art which isn't easily mastered, & actors/actresses who are excellent in theatre or TV don't often transfer well to the big screen. Mr Christensen is, unfortunately for the whole movie, not skilled in the silver screen department.

6/10 - shoot the casting director, several times!
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Panic Room (2002)
Good movie with 2 excellent leads
8 May 2002
I really enjoyed this movie as I have always enjoyed a good thriller, and this is a good thriller. The suspense grows well and you soon find yourself absorbed into the movie, this is in every way helped by the deeply gorgeous Jodie Foster, and the very talented Forest Whitaker. I would recommend anyone to see this movie, the few faults are minimal indeed, a good movie.
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Sommersby (1993)
Jodie Foster superb as always, the rest so-so!
8 May 2002
Oh what a gorgeous woman.. (repeat until tongue seizes!).

This movie is OK, but, the screen lights up at Miss Fosters performance and presence.

Previously I didn't think twice about Miss Fosters appeal other than as a top drawer actress. But now I think differently.

Now all I need is for Miss Foster to take another feminine role, in a film with a good story and I'll die happy.
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Gosford Park (2001)
Oh dear. Oh dear, dear, dear........Dull!
19 March 2002
Slow-moving unimaginative pap! Hard to believe Mr Altman wanted his name anywhere near this dull tripe. I'd been warned it started slowly, but how! The first 110mins is tedium in extremis, but, they remainder excels this in being tedium incarnate. Save your money, sit in your garden and watch the grass grow. It's just as entertaining and it's free.
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Superb animation, but, story bit weak..
16 February 2002
Really wanted to like this movie, I love Pixars' work and the standard of animation is truly wonderous. But, it can't cover up the story which is a bit flat. It starts well enough, however it soon starts to crawl along at a snails pace. 3/4 of the way through it perks up and finishs well.

You just have to think they had a good 50min script...and tried to make it fill a 100min feature. Sorry but for me it didn't work, and my children were bored and restless in the middle to confirm this.

7 out of 10 Pixar - could do better!
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Two top leads show their style
26 January 2002
With Mr Jackson and Mr Spacey topping the bill it would have been a difficult to make a poor film (but, not impossible eg MI-2). Luckily we do get to enjoy a good movie.

Several of the supporting cast do play the roles in which we always see them in, although it is typecasting, their performances are none the worse for it.

The movie starts with bang, slows, then builds very nicely to its conclusion. This engaged me nicely and gives my popcorn a decent extension in the cinema ( I always eat slowly when a films grabs my interest).

Despite a couple of small holes in the plot which a could have easily have been sorted prior to release this is a very good movie and i'd recommend it to anyone.
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It came, I saw & was conquered!
22 December 2001
After the Harry Potter debacle, I was prepared for the worst. I really was considering not going to see this movie, just waiting for the DVD. I'm glad I didn't as I would have missed this years treat.

I'd seen all the interviews about the 15 month shoot in New Zealand and the camaraderie of the cast and crew, the producer increasing an already substantial budget etc. etc. etc. I had dismissed it as so much hype, generally associated with a poor movie a.k.a. Tomb raider.

So, as I hunkered down with a Large coke and popcorn I was mentally preparing myself for a lot of bangs and no substance. Oooh was I wrong!

After 2hrs in which I hardly moved I was in a state of mental anguish brought on by my need to run from the theatre. Why, the large coke had done its duty, and I didn't want to miss one second for my run to the toilet. In the end I found myself dancing a jig, along with several others in the covered entrance hoping for a break in which to run. there isn't one so take it from me - don't buy a big coke.

Excellent cast, a surprise in itself in these days of stars over characterisation make the most of this superb story. The director held it together beautifully, and, Mr producer - your money was well spent.

10/10 Can't wait for the next one!
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Enigma (2001)
Good film, & sets the record straight
11 October 2001
Although not up to the normal Miramax visual standards, this is still a very good movie. The 4 lead players get into their roles very well, but, as in any well made film the secondary players make the movie.

The subject is a little involved as it is based around fact, but never difficult to understand. The screenwriters and Mr Apted (director) see to that.

However, as a fully jingoistic citizen of the United Kingdom (Britain). It was great to see Mr Apted stressed that the Enigma code machine was in fact captured by, and exploited effectively by the British.

I was appalled when the Hollywood 'U-571' claimed this particular honour for the USA. You and yours did many great things during WW2, but there was others there too. This probably explains why the 'U-571' DVD sells in the cheap sections of British stores for £5.99 ($9).

I recommend this movie to everyone, especially Americans 8/10.
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Please don't do a third one!!!
28 September 2001
This is a review I seem to find myself writing again and again when I see the recent crops of sequels / prequels. I like the stars of the movie, especially the supporting casts. The special effects are of a lower quality than the original (especially a particularly dodgy animated monster right at the end). But, overall its a movie released to capitalise on the success of the original. It has no redeeming qualities in the plot / storyline areas and I wished I had waited for it to arrive on broadcast TV. Enough said...
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It doesn't get any better than this.
28 September 2001
A masterpiece. The casting was inspired and whoever did it should be subject to a mass hug wherever they go.

The cinematography was perfectly suited to the movie and can therefore receive no higher praise.

The transition from a good if a little pulpy Stephen King story was of the highest order of merit, and, not properly rewarded by the academy.

But the highest praise must fall at the directors feet, and the performances teased out of this cast. At this point I run out of superlatives and stand humbled.

You may think I have been over effusive in my praise of this movie, but, I have not. It is that good and the Academy should be ashamed of itself.
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Obvious plot.Badly directed...but please,kill the music!!!
28 September 2001
If I was intelligent enough to distance myself from the appalling (I erred there...absolutely appalling) music, I would tell you that this is only a poor film, with a bad lead actress. But, I can't, it is a movie which is bad enough to cause a Rock star reaction to a TV. The 2 talents in the movie (Caine & Dickinson) are even made to look inept, a difficult thing to do, especially with Michael Caine. Do not, not ever, not in your wildest fantasy, allow yourself to be confined in any room in which this movie is playing.
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Pearl Harbor (2001)
Superb cinematography, but, script needed more work
11 June 2001
Let me first say that the action sequences and the acting of the leads is without reproach. The filming of the attack itself is fantastic and is engrossing (without the revulsion of Private Ryan).

(There are many well publicised continuity goofs, but, I don't spend my movie time worrying about that sort of thing.)

However, and it is a really big, HOWEVER, why didn't someone give the script a going over and dump the farcical last 30mins. While they were at it there is at least another thirty minutes of 'fat' in the film that could have been lost while they were at it. It detracted from the story and left a bad taste when you eventually leave your seat.

I think this more than anything else account for the low scores it has received here and elsewhere. I know Hollywood/Americans were loathe to leave the story at the low point of there massacre at Pearl harbour. But, it would have been a much stronger film if you had.

Also, the scenes cut in to try and minimise the poor reflection of the Japanese were bordering on farce in themselves. Go watch Schindlers List again to get the idea.

All in all a good movie to watch at home were you could turn it off in the aftermath of the attack on Pearl.
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Spy Kids (2001)
Hooray, a GOOD family movie, loved it!
17 April 2001
I was beginning to think the worlds filmmakers had forgotten how to make a good family movie. But, fear not SPY KIDS leaps forward to fill the gap. I really enjoyed this movie, as did my wife and 9/11 year old boys and have little or no criticism of it. Good baddies, good Goodies (although my only reservation was about Antonio Banderas in his role) and a plot that keeps it all moving on with a laugh. A good job this arrived in the UK just in time for the Easter Holidays (although with little or no pre-hype) and filled up an afternoon nicely. Well done!
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Sandra Bullock doing what she does best..Brilliantly!
3 April 2001
I had heard lots of high brow rubbish before this movie, lots of "snotty nosed" comments on how its not a movie to "stretch" you etc etc etc! I'm sorry that these people are so far gone as not to be able to see a good light comedy in the best Hollywood traditions without enjoying it. In this movie there is a lot to enjoy, Sandra Bullock a long time favourite of mine manages to get appealling, attractive and offensive into one character (the ice cream eating scene is truly repulsive). The secondary actors fill up the spaces nicely, but, Michael Caine again proves how well he can do every type of role. But, Sandra carries the movie and does it well, long live "Happy" movies the world is miserable enough. 9/10
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Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.....tripe!
22 March 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Small spoiler in last sentence! I find myself still lightly stunned at the shear depths of rubbish that can be turned out by hollywood. But, in recent times this film takes the biscuit. It is an ill thought out takeoff of a 'cult' board game (cult obviously meaning "for sad spotty teenagers with halitosis") which only possible saving grace was dashed when they only managed to obtain a budget which wouldn't have supported a rock video shoot. The acting is dire, the special effects poor to appalling, the script abject and the 'actors' embarrassed. We normally love anything escapist and magical, but, this isn't either. 3/10 for the sheer gall of leaving the ending open for a sequel!!!!
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....and a woman directed this!
12 February 2001
This film started with promise, a light romantic comedy featuring the Alpha male talents of Mel Gibson and unusually attractive Helen Hunt.

But no, after 25mins of good light humour it all falls apart. Taking a more serious tone to the proceedings the director attempted to make more of the movie than she was capable of managing. The sum total of the differences between men and women devolves into men don't think and women need a man. Give us a break. Sorry, despite good chemistry between the two stars (except for some peculiarly unimpressive kissing which this director lingered on) we left feeling cold. 6/10 (and thats because we like HH & MG.)
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Gladiator (2000)
At least 5 Oscars here!
16 January 2001
Oscars look out, here comes your new owners. The best movie of 2000 by ....a little bit. Green Mile was very special and will get its own set of oscars, but, for me too disturbing. Gladiator however sets up its story well, and runs its story cleanly to its conclusion. Russell Crowe suits his role excellently and the action sequences/CGI set new standards. Get this one , don't let the subject matter put you off, it is superb.
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I like Tea Leoni, I like Tea Leoni, I like Tea......
15 January 2001
I like Nick Cage, I like Tea Leoni & I liked this movie. Some people get all uppity about feelgood movies, they rant and they rave about artistic merit, stretching roles etc etc etc. Well I appreciate their point of view and sympathise, but I liked this movie. Both the main characters were appealing, and I enjoyed the interplay between them and the cliches on married life. Also, I may have already mentioned this, I like Tea Leoni. I think she's horribly underused at this time and hope we see a lot more of her in future. (SAD MALE COMMENT APPROACHING) A awful lot more! Good movie for a night in with your too long neglected love and a tub of Haagen Daz.
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Unbreakable (2000)
With a better ending it would actually be good
15 January 2001
I gave this a seven when voting as it was a let down, the film is long, but, it built up the tension well. However, and this is a big however, the end was just a sad fizzle. It needed to be a bang. Samual L Jackson was good and the falling down the stairs scene was truly horrific. i enjoyed Bruce's understated, confused "hero" but the son was more than a little overzealous in his role. Yet again in Hollywoods history they found a truly original idea, cast it well, but let the screenwriter drop the ball. Like I said seven out of ten, and that is being kind.
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Suprised myself by enjoying it....
15 January 2001
I was suprised to enjoy this movie, I went with my wife and expected not to be very happy about it. But I was pleasantly suprised, OK so some of the seventies kitch bits made me cringe, but, overall it was good. There was only one really sour note in the movie, one of its stars and apparently producer Drew Barrymore. Both Lucy Lui and Cameron Diaz are slim, graceful and elegant which as a red-blooded male a appreciate. In slo-mo they glide easily through the scene. But, Drew Barrymore compares poorly, her up front sexuality unfortunately appears crude in this company, and graceful she ain't. Her slo-mo sequences are actually embarrassing for an audience (whilst leaving I heard everyone around me mention them!). I was unimpressed by her in 'Never Been Kissed' as she looked as if no-one would. Sorry Drew I like you and I know it was your money, however, if there is an Charlie's Angel 2 please please recruit someone like Alyssa Milano, Fran Drescher or even Denise Richards as the third star. I'd buy a ticket for that and so would all my friends.
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The 6th Day (2000)
Wooden Star, poor story, uninteresting!!
3 January 2001
I know you can not expect acting from Arnie, but, he excels (..or is it fails) spectacularly in this movie.......I'm sorry to say. Arnie your too old for action movies and you can't act, find a new career. The special effects are B-movie standard, the story is a rehashed tabloid scare story. It has holes large enough to drive a Jumbo jet through etc, etc, etc. With better effects and a believable star (Bruce Willis where were you) and some light massaging of the script it could have been a worthy movie. But it wasn't!
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