Reviews written by registered user
magicwand444

Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]
12 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
magical, 16 January 2008
9/10

'the lion,the witch and the wardrobe' was the first book that was read out to me in school.i was about 7 at the time and it transported me to a magical place and gave me a love of reading that has remained with me ever since(if you are reading this miss pilling please accept my heartfelt thanks).so when Disney decided to make this into a film i felt i had to see it.

so i gathered up my 10 nieces and nephews,aged from 7 to 14, and made it their Xmas treat.parents had the night off as we included pizza beforehand.it cost a small fortune but it was worth every penny as they were transported to the new land of narnia.everyone of them loved something about the film.my 7 year old niece loved Mr tumnus and my 11 year old nephew,who i'm sure will become a horror addict,really liked the witch and her evil stare.my 13 year old niece couldn't get over the illogicality of a lamppost in the middle of the woods.i wouldn't explain just telling her to wait for 'the magician's nephew'.

me,i loved it.i enjoyed the expanded battle scene,which in the book was very short,but here was well imagined.the acting i thought generally was very good,but Tilda swinton as the witch was perfect.

why 9 and not 10? well i thought a few of the voices did not sit too well on the animations.ray winstone and dawn french as Mr and Mrs beaver sounded odd and i couldn't like Liam neeson as aslan.also the dwarf ginarrbrik i struggled to understand a few times.a bit picky i know but hey its my review.

overall a great family film that does justice to a great book.recommended.

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
bitterly disappointing, 3 January 2008
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

when this film came out i was really looking forward to seeing it.finally 'the west' had got over the cold war and here was the chance to pay tribute on film to those russians who had fought and in millions died to defeat Hitler and his cohorts.the battle of stalingrad was the real turning point of world war 2.

this film manages to turn one of the most dramatic moments of world history into a trite love triangle.there is no time-line to the film.the duel between the snipers is pure fiction.this film disintegrates into the snipers equivalent of one-a-side football, i.e. the German sniper is shot so the russians win the battle.

one star for the opening river crossing and first battle,the rest is rubbish.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
a ghost story for the connoisseur, 29 December 2007
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

i first saw this film on its television debut in the late 60s or early 70s.it is a film that stays long in the memory.i was delighted to find out that it is now available on DVD,but would it still remain a remembered classic or was it just that an eleven year old is easily scared.

i'm happy to say that it is a true classic,if anything it is a better film now that i understand some of the more 'adult' themes that are inferred.

the slow build up in intensity as miss giddens(deborah kerr)begins to unravel the secrets that the house holds.are the angel faced children,miles and flora,playing children's games or is theirs a knowledge that is beyond their years?have the departed spirits of quint and miss jessel returned to haunt and ultimately posses the souls of the children?is this all the imagination of the repressed miss giddens?

deborah kerr considered this to be her best film-no arguments here.i also enjoyed the fact that it was shot in black and white as it lent a more chilling look and atmosphere to the tale.

one piece of trivia-i believe it is the only 20th century fox film where the standard piece of music played over the fox logo is not used, instead we hear flora singing 'oh willow waly'(the song that miss jessel taught her).

---SMALL SPOILER----

finally a word about the ghosts.i think that the sparse glimpses of the ghosts of quint and miss jessel are what makes the film truly great.a figure in the reed beds across the lake,a shadowy face seen through a window,a voice calling in the distance.but the scene that stuck in my mind for thirty odd years was miss jessel crying in the schoolroom only to disappear and leave behind one teardrop on the desk-classy and classic.

7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
a masterpiece, 16 October 2007
10/10

dennis potter is still the best playwright of the television age and this is his best work.

set in the forrest of dean on a summers day during world war 2,we follow the a group of children at play.but the children's play has a tragic outcome.

potter set out to challenge our perception as all the children are played by adults.(colin welland, who plays willie,in an interview at the time said that the play challenged the actors as well).it could have foundered instead it draws you in until you only see children.children who are by turns nasty,nice,scared,brave,stupid, clever,bloodthirsty and imaginative.one of the best scenes remains when three of the children play mums and dads-adults playing children playing adults-pure genius.

the acting is first-class.none of them has ever done anything better.

an absolute must see

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
love it or hate it you'll never forget it, 16 October 2007
10/10

i was an avid watcher of 'play for today' because the next day at work everybody would talk about it.in the case of abigail's party people still talk about it now.

when the wonderful alison steadman created the social climbing hostess beverly,she created a monster.as she strutted her stuff we cringed.her awful taste in music,her walking all over her husband,her unsubtle attempts to seduce tony,her thanking sue for the bottle of red wine and putting it in the fridge.

when the play was re-screened two years later it captured an audience of 16 million.it has since become a favourite for brave amateur drama groups.my favourite story concerning this is the group that decided to stage the play and use real alcoholic drinks-they never made it to act 2.

above average horror flick, 16 August 2007
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

this is one of my favourite horror films,i would like to have rated it higher but i recognise its central flaw that the attempt to combine a number of different short stories into one main narrative simply doesn't work.that aside, it is a very novel film for its time in creating an a good creepy atmosphere without reverting to nighttime scenes in graveyards with lightning flashes and be-cloaked strangers etc.

the central story of the unearthing of the remains of something that triggers off the turning of the village children into evil,devil worshippers is simply terrific.they indulge in murder,necrophiliac incestuous rape,dismemberment and pedeophilic false accusation of the local vicar.the scene where the leader of the children,angel blake-played superbly by Linda Hayden-,tries to seduce the vicar in his church late at night lives long in the memory.it would cause a furore today as it represented an underage girl in a frontal nude scene with a much older man.add to that the fact that Linda Hayden was only 17 when she played the role.

it is also a cautionary tale.taken as a metaphor for drug addiction you see how their obsession leads them into crime,including murder,alienation from other people,distrust and betrayal among their own peers and at the extreme end loss of body parts.

well worth watching.

8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
powerful and spellbinding, 31 July 2007
10/10

i watched this series when it first came out in the 70s.i was 14 years old and i watched it at my best friends house as my dad didn't want to watch it.it became a weekly ritual every Sunday, and as anyone will tell you for two fourteen year olds to watch a documentary in almost reverential silence must mean that this was something special.

the broad sweep of the events of world war 2 makes for a difficult subject to document.so the makers broke it down into what they considered to be the most significant key happenings and devoted one episode to each.some episodes covered long periods such as 'wolf pack' which covered nearly all six years of the battle of the Atlantic.while the battle of Stalingrad had one episode to itself.

this documentary could not be made today quite simply because most of those interviewed are dead.the list of significant players appearing gives an amazing insight into the thinking at the time.Anthony eden the foreign secretary,Carl donnitz,head of the u-boats,Albert speer,pet architect confident and later armament minister for Hitler.in one of the later episodes we see traudl junge, Hitler's secretary,who was with him in the bunker and it was to her that he dictated his last will and testament-she left the bunker after Hitler's suicide and escaped through the Russian lines.these and many others play a major role in the realism of the events portrayed.

if i have any criticism of the series it is that the code-breakers of bletchly park are not included but the revelations of their part in the war only emerged after the series had been made so i cannot blame the programme makers.

the opening titles and music are magnificent,and Lawrence Olivier's narration lends a natural gravity to the script.

the best documentary series ever made? without doubt.unmissable

16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
landmark series, 24 July 2007
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

i'm surprised that as a male that i would supply the first comments on this series as it marked the first serious effort by television to portray young women living away from home.i only watched this because my older sister was left to 'babysit' myself and my two younger sisters on Saturday nights when my parents went out.the inevitable squabbles over the television were rife.i wanted to watch 'match of the day' she always wanted to watch something else,'take three girls' (ttg)solved our problems.if i would sit quietly through ttg she would indulge me with the football-oddly she has been a season ticket holder for watford fc for the past 25 years,i rarely watch football at all.

in ttg we watch the lives,trials and loves of kate,avril and victoria who share a London flat at the end of the 60's.kate,the free spirited neo-hippie,unmarried with a baby.avril,the cockney who has made good her escape from a large family-her dad was unemployed and seemed to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder,her younger sister-played by sally thomsett-kept borrowing her clothes and her mother expected her to be the main breadwinner.victoria,the posh one,was-if my memory is correct-studying the cello at a music school.

the series addressed serious issues through their lives.kate a working single parent,trying to balance her job with the demands of motherhood plus looking out for a partner.men in her life liked her but were not willing to take responsibility for another mans child.victoria was busted for drugs,a friend gave them to her telling her that they were fantastic slimming pills(they were amphetamines).but the episode that i remember the best was victoria's one night stand.she went to a party where she didn't really know anyone and met a man who was in the same boat.the next scene showed the man getting out of the bed next morning that he was sharing with victoria.both were naked and as an eleven year old i was both shocked and intrigued,did men and women share a bed with nothing on?wow.

Hot Fuzz (2007)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Dixon of dock green meets straw dogs, 6 July 2007
10/10

a great British comedy but it might not travel too well internationally.London super-cop nick is promoted and sent to the west country for being too good at his job.he arrives in the village of sandford which is virtually crime free.but he thinks that under the peaceful surface dark forces may be at work.too many freak accidents occur and he thinks they might be murders.i wont say more.

the jokes come thick and fast and you need to be on your toes to catch the visual ones plus all the nods to other films of the same genre i.e. the bear trap round the head in the nod to straw dogs.i liked the police station swear-box where words like sh*t and f**k were spelt with asterisk's but c*nt was spelt in full.

the cast read like a who's who of British acting edward woodward,timothy dalton and jim broadbent to name but a few,and where else could you see veteran actress billie whitelaw toting a machine-gun.

great fun

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
run for the hills, 11 April 2007
1/10

this film was truly awful.don't watch it unless you want your intelligence not only insulted but taken out and given a good kicking.i was told that the songs were catchy,instantly forgettable i think is a better description.at least i hope i've forgotten them.yes,i watched it to the end,the horrible sugar overloaded,all singing all dancing,bitter end.

there was,however,one thing that had me spellbound.the cross-dressing piano player.what was he/she/it doing in here? i couldn't explain it,and quite frankly don't want it explained.i just watched her/him the same way you watch a road traffic accident.you know you should't but you can't help yourself.

oh and by the way Mr Disney,the sharpay and ryan characters took bad taste to places it would not normally be seen dead in.


Page 1 of 2:[1] [2] [Next]