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Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Pretty Standard Rom Com with an angle
This is your standard Hollywood Rom Com which is differentiated from the rest of the crowd by the mental illness angle. While this aspect is handled with sensitivity and respect I did get the feeling that it was just another device and did not really message anything of importance. The needs of the Hollywood feel good factor trump a realistic, more in depth appreciation of the huge challenges of bi-polar disorder and mental illness in general. While the makers should be applauded for at least trying to incorporate a controversial and difficult subject it felt shallow and unrealistic to me. Having said that the performances are generally strong (with exception of Chris Tucker who was just annoying) and Cooper shows some range and versatility. It's all too predictable though and while it's fine for passing the time, if you're looking for some insights in to mental illness in the mould of a "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" or even "A Beautiful Mind" you won't find it here. Good, innocuous valentine's day fare.
Dante's Peak (1997)
Excellent Disaster Flick
I watched this movie again about 6 months ago after having seen it at the movie theater when it first came out. Firstly, the effects are superb. Even with the development of cgi and other fx techniques in the last decade this movie holds up. If this was made this year I would still have been impressed. The plot was pretty standard but once the action started it didn't stop - really a roller coaster ride. Brosnan and Hamilton were fine in their roles though plot and character development took a backseat to the thrill ride. I was thoroughly entertained on a small screen and so was my wife (12 years after being thoroughly entertained at the movies). More please....
Screen Two: The Firm (1989)
I feel compelled
With the greatest respect to the previous commentators...YE'R WELL OUT OF OWDAH (forgive the appalling grammar/vocab. etc) I ask this question. Why would anyone remake this movie? It's not a movie. It's a wickedly acted morality play. That's it. For Americans..period. Oldman gives a great performance (I suspect he always knew he'd get $10M if he lasted long enough (Dracula anyone?)) Enjoy it for what it is. Early Oldman (he is a great but an annoying actor isn't he?) It's violent, so don't hurt people.....(this is a show and I disagree with all of it) Last point We Live on Borrowed Time By Barry Manillow We Love him so Especially Pugs
Beyond Loch Ness (2008)
Usual Sci-Fi Standard
Watched this while eating breakfast - typical fodder. Seems Canada was standing in for Scotland and all other locations - not too dissimilar. Pretty gory in parts..
Murphy (Krause) witnesses the death of his father at the jaws of the loch ness monster in '76. 30 years later he tracks down the migrating monster to lake superior where he meets the local sheriff and her son. Sightings of the monster and several killings follow until we end up at the finale on an island in the middle of the lake where of course the "Nessie" nest is located. You know the rest - it all ends with Nessie exploding in a ball of fire and Krause deciding to stay on with his new "family".
Very occasionally the special effects work - like the "Nessie" in the speedboat fighting with Josh the son. Most of the time they're pretty awful.
Not the best - not the worst...
28 Weeks Later (2007)
Bigger budget and a pretty predictable story line. Went for the popular washed out style of photography which we also saw in Children Of Men. The "American Hero Saves The World" plot line looked like it was going to take off about 2/3 of the way through but thankfully Rambo got wasted in due course though his sacrifice saved the kids...for now. It held my attention throughout and the acting was decent. Robert Carlyle was his usual excellent self though he wasn't stretched all that much except in the scene where he has to tell the kids what happened to their mother - he was brilliant. If you haven't seen the first movie it's not essential. None of the original cast are here. All in all a good time.
Like many others, I must say that I was really looking forward to seeing this having been a fan of the books for ages. I was a little nervous after seeing the trailer and unfortunately my trepidation proved correct. I went with my fiancée who hadn't read the books and she fell asleep pretty quickly. Frankly had I been in her position I may have done the same. It is extremely difficult to follow and many things seem to happen for no reason. The acting is mediocre and Sam Rockwell just doesn't work as Zaphod (don't know why - on paper it looks like a lock). The quirky humor of the book comes through only in patches - I don't know why but I also had difficulty hearing some of the lines (especially the Vogons). FX were average. Bottom line, if I had not read the books I would be one disappointed punter and would have second thoughts about recommending this movie to non-Adams fans.
I don't get why everyone is so down on this movie. OK it's hardly Oscar worthy material but I didn't pay my 9 bucks expecting The Return of The King. As a Supernatural/horror/thriller it delivers. Clichéd true, but there were some good creepy moments. The build up is pretty slow but about half way through it picks up and there were a few edge of the seat experiences. Direction is hardly groundbreaking but it is passable given the material. I particularly enjoyed the moving shadows, the freaky children, the sense of dread and Lena Olin who given her age is still attractive. Other performances were hardly notable. Wait for it on DVD, get a six pack and a pizza and turn out the lights!!
What started out as a decent premise got lost in a sea of bad acting and a plot with more holes than a swiss cheese. There's nothing really to recommend it..David Thewlis was pretty good in his limited role. The fight scenes were boring and the character development was negligible. It puffed along to it's inevitable conclusion and I felt a little cheated. No beef. Shame.
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
It could be good...
I'm not a trekkie by any stretch- I loved the original series and this is a welcome return to the character driven story lines that made the original series and Star Trek II so good. Here they get to the guts of personality finally - Picard & his Nemesis have the necessary brevity to carry what is essentially an extended episode of Start Trek NG. The effects are mediocre. the plot average but the identity conflict returns thank god. If this franchise could hire a decent scriptwriter and couple that with a supporting cast which doesn't resemble a particularly talentless small forest there may be something bigger than all of us. Will it happen....I doubt it. 5/10
A Mighty Wind (2003)
It's the least obviously funny of all the Guest movies. It suffers from too many characters and much of the humour is just too subtle for an uninitiated audience. Having said that there are some nice references ("The Folksmen"? Remember "The Thamesmen" in Spinal Tap?) and the album covers and titles. Unfortunately Eugene Levy overdoes it as Mitch and many of the other characters are insufficiently developed. The music is brilliant and there are a few genuine laughs (the New Main Street Singer with the porno past) and Fred "Wha' happened?" Willard in fine form. I give it 6/10 because Guest et al are capable of much better.