Reviews written by registered user

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141 reviews in total 
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Ant-Man (2015)
2 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
I've got a great idea ...Why don't we call the Avengers? Terrific Fun but not for MTV heads., 31 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The year is 1989 and Hank Pym is fighting a losing battle against his SHIELD employers over use of his revolutionary PYM Particle (That decreases the space between atoms allowing the wearer to shrink down.) In a fury he leaves and vows never to let his tech be used by anyone else.

Skip forward to now and someone has managed to work out how to recreate his formula and it's not someone that should have that power, but thankfully, Hank knows of a guy who can help him, the former prisoner and hero of our tale, Scott Lang, the new Ant-Man.

Now, realistically that is about all their is to this film. If you're expecting the big action spectacles of Ultron, Iron Man 3 and Winter Soldier then I will tell you now this film is not for you. This is a slow-burning origin film and as such is driven solely by the characters in the story, thankfully, these characters, like the great origin film THOR, are well worth our attention.

The script is great and gives us plenty to enjoy and the effects of the shrinking are so well done that we barely think of them as effects (Always a good sign), the direction didn't detract and I never felt like it was lagging in any way and SPOILER ALERT when one of the characters was killed my 9 year old son was inconsolable END SPOILER ALERT.

Overall I was very impressed with Ant-Man and would recommend this simple narrative over the cluttered AGE OF ULTRON. Yes, Ant-Man isn't setting up three future movies but its simple tale is done terrifically well and I recommend it as a great cinema outing for children 8 and above.

Funny and Fun. A solid 8 out of 10.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
"Get back in your rocket, and fcuk off back to Legoland you cnuts!" They should be justly proud of this trilogy parallels., 14 August 2013

Gary King has issues, his life never turned out as he wanted and as he approaches the 2nd half of his life with a burden of regrets and remorse behind him all he wants to do is complete the task that he failed to complete when he'd just left school and finish the monumental pub crawl, 12 pubs over the space of one mile in his sleepy home time of Newton Haven, but will Gary and his four childhood friends be able to finish what they started this time or will shadowy events overtake them AND be mankind's undoing?

I guess like many people I was excited and nervous about how the "Blood and Cornetto" trilogy would end, initially when it was devised it was meant to be a British comedic homage to the "Three Colours" trilogy but did it pass the test? For me, The World's end felt almost like "Shaun of the Dead" reprise, in that we have a big end-of- the-world style apocalyptic event occurring and while the story was different to "Shaun" there was still a feeling of "we've been here before" that I just couldn't escape.

This isn't to say the film isn't enjoyable, fun, funny, well-observed and well acted as it is, and all of the leads, in particular Nick Frost and Paddy Considine, are impressive throughout, but it did feel a bit "done this before"-y.

So as for comparisons to trilogies for me "The Blood and Cornetto" trilogy actually is probably more like a comedic version of "The Star Wars" trilogy (original!!!). "Shaun" is the groundbreaking first film that actually changes movies, in this case by creating the sub-genre that has since taken off, the zom-rom-com, then comes the best of the bunch, the second film "Hot Fuzz", a tour-de-force that no-one expects to be as good as it is, and then finally the wrap-up film that feels sort of similar to the first except that it's on a bigger budget and grander scale.

Worth seeing for anyone that has watched the other two and has taken this journey through life with Shaun, Nick and now Gary. 7 out of 10.

Warrior (2011)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
How to use and avoid clichés at the same time, 2 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In a grim PIttsburgh town I feel like starting by saying Tommy used to work on the docks but he didn't, he's an ex-marine come home to try and get his life in order and maybe, try and patch things up with his abusive and recovering alcoholic estranged father, cut to Brandon, his brother who by contrast has a great life, seemingly, and a wonderful family. BUT, both of them have problems and the solution for both is to enter the same Mixed Martial Arts tournament for a five million dollar winner-takes-all prize where you kind of know exactly what's going to happen.

And that is the film's curse and yet also it's strength because in a way you want it to go the way it's going to go and yet somehow when it happens it feels like such a shock. The script is packed with cliché's and yet because the film-makers do them right they never feel like it, and yet strangely enough the thing that isn't cliché feels more obvious than what could have been the clichés.

The script and performances are top, some of the fights are brutal and yet others at times almost feel like they are not shot right, the story allows everything to get laid out in perfect clarity and yet it only takes up half of the film before they are at the tournament. Nick Nolte is top and Tom Hardy is his usual excellent self, although I have to say Kudos to Joel Edgerton for providing the emotional core of the film against such despair and desolation that alcoholism and domestic violence leave behind.

A fight film that is ultimately about family more than anything else, that which we are born with, that which we create and those that which we choose to call family and it's that which will have you in tears at the end.

A triumph.

Are the rumours true, Albus. I'm afraid so, both the good . . .and the bad., 17 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So, in the last chapter Harry and his friends, Hermione and Ron, are trying to hunt down Voldemort's horcrux's and in the previous film had managed to destroy one. Big woo! Three left then! While they are doing this they are also trying to avoid said Dark Lord and his followers who, if they find them, will make short shrift of them.

So here it is, the final chapter of Harry Potter is upon is. If you believe the hype then this Harry Potter film sounds not dissimilar to the beginning of a tale of two cities. It is the best of films it is the worst of films, it has included everything but left out more, it is beautiful it is terrible, the cast are wooden the cast are fabulous, and so on and so on.

So Is it any good. Well, yes it is. Is it the best Potter film so far? I'd still have to put Azkaban above it, not necessarily because it is a better film, but because it's when the films started to grow with us, like remembering a first kiss or a first crush, others may come, but memory tends to play around with us like that.

David Yates' again shows us why he for the last for films he has been "The man who would" tie everything together. The performances are excellent from all the cast, particularly from Rickman who has portrayed Snape so well for the last ten years with this film being his big pay-off.

The script, which in a way just features two big scenes from deathly hallows, allows us to really feel the adventure for each character and one of the big problems with the final book, the final finale, is, in the film, handled with much more excitement and power which is really missing in the books, so hats off to Cloves and Yates there.

Of course with anything like this there are going to be bits that we wish there'd been more of and bits that we wish they'd kept in (Like who the headmaster of Hogwarts is at the end) but after spending a few days getting to know our friends from Hogwarts again myself, I feel that this is a very satisfying ending to a saga middle-earthian in scope and yet like those self- same loved books, whose main strength comes from the very human condition that they represent on the smallest scale.

As a film on it's own, very entertaining.

As a film set ...a Triumph for all involved (apart from Mike Newell ...sorry!)

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A decent blockbuster that should gets unfairly criticised, 4 May 2011

The film begins with a mysterious helicopter heading unceasingly towards a military base. It's pilot is warned what will happen if it keeps coming bit still it comes. Upon landing it lands at the base it "Transforms" into one of the Decepticon and proceeds to destroy the military base, with little to no resistance from the troops who are ill-equipped to deal with such raw power, only one small team of soldiers make it out. Skip to high school dweeb Sam Witwicky's show and tell in which he reveals his grandfather was an explorer who went mad and started to ranting about a giant iceman, after getting an A for his presentation he is taken by his Dad to buy his first car, a yellow Camero. After witnessing his car driving off and later getting attacked by another vehicle, Sam discovers that the transforming robots that masquerade as cars are in a desperate quest to find the all-spark before Megatron the leader of the Decepticons.

In the hands of another director this may have become just another toy advert but Michael Bay turns it into a tour-De-force as the Transformers are as real as anything in our world, their metal shining and reflecting exactly as it should creating an illusion that is almost perfect. By being extremely smart and using as much real world stuff as he could, it means that we know that what we are watching is not some stuff that looks like it came off of a Playstation 3 game like in Indy 4 but instead were watching something real unfold, even when we know it is not.

The script does exactly the job it should of telling the story as well as it can with humour, passion, and yes even drama, as you genuinely worry about the robots as much as the humans, unlike so many other empty blockbusters that use over-hype to create a buzz and are rigged merely to sell merchandise, you always feel that in this film the story is the thing and if they do well with the merchandise, well that's a bonus. This is a big stepping stone in the right direction, if you want to sell more toys, make a better film! But for me the next thing of serious note are the actors, everyone of which takes everything they do seriously, which makes this film so believable. There are no dreadful looks to camera, no knowing nods to a post-modern world and even lines that you would think would fall on their ass like "Gentlemen. I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Optimus Prime!" actually works, when you would think that they wouldn't. Shia Le Beouf (Apologies for spelling) is magnificent as Sam Witwicky and he performs every scene like his life depends on it. His performance is an assured one that will almost guarantee that he becomes a star, after all he has been doing this for years. The rest of the cast do a great job with Megan Fox having little to do other than look nice, but with Anthony Anderson doing particularly well as the comic relief (He is great at that).

Films should always try and take us to places we may not have been and experience things we have never experienced, be it a perilous climb up the side of a building (safety last), a world of criminal corruption and secrets (LA Confidential), or a world of giant robots that are seeking an all-powerful cube.

For those who think that this is a terrible blockbuster I would say watch GI Joe before you are so quick to criticise this cracker.

Thor (2011)
4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Like Iron Man, think big, for Heroes, think small for story., 2 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the beginning ...ish, Odin and his people overthrew the frost giants and their attempted occupation of Earth and came to a sort of peace between the different galactic realms. As a king he overseas this peace, as a father, he attempts to instill a sense of wisdom in his two sons, Loki and Thor. However, when their realm is broken into by the Frost giants Thor's attempt at retribution is ill-thought out and Odin is forced to act, stripping Thor of his status as heir and banishing him to Earth, after which, medium-sized hell breaks loose. Can Thor regain his place as Heir of Asgard and be worthy again to wield his mighty hammer, which I have thus far forgot to mention?

Many of the film critics that have thus far reviewed Thor seem to regard him as an also-ran in the Marvel catalogue of heroes, not knowing perhaps that Thor was one of the company's biggest heroes, however, bringing a Norse God into a sense of modern reality was always going to be tricky, and it would have been easy to have a giant-sized "Masters of the Universe" style mess. However, like Iron Man (The first one, not the disastrous 2nd instalment) it makes its heroes big, larger than life figures, while making their predicaments very human ones, a search for knowledge, a desire for a parent's approval, the folly of youth and the vulnerability of age, ground the story and allow us, as viewers a way into this tale.

Kenneth Branagh, while not an obvious first choice for a big budget blockbuster does a decent job of tying all the different elements together, the script is decent and the cast do a good job, with particular praise to both Chris Hemsworth as the brash Thor but also Tom Hiddleston who was very good as the complex and unreadable Loki, who added real depth to what could have been just a, well, a cartoon super-villain really.

Enjoyable for young kids who will like the 3D stuff and all the action and okay for their parents who were raised on this stuff. The only major drawback, if you can call it that, is that unlike previous next movie tie-ins after the end credits of recent Marvel films, the one at the end of this one was a bit disappointing. But still. Enjoyable, but not as great as previous Marvel outings.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
BECAUSE I DIED IN EPISODE 81! sometimes they make them better than they used to, 14 April 2011

Jason Nesmith played the commander in the moderately hit TV sci-fi series "Galaxy Quest" 18 years ago. Now the best that he and his fellow cast members can do is make money from appearing on the convention circuit. Sick of his lot and losing his dream of being a successful actor, when he encounters 4 mysterious strangers who want his assistance he think he spots a potential big money spinner, it isn't until he is "beamed" aboard their spaceship that the truth is revealed, these strangers are aliens who think that galaxy quest is actually a historical document and have based their entire culture on the crews adventures, after returning to earth Nesmith convinces the rest of the crew to join him and the real adventure begins.

Galaxy Quest is that rarest of films. It's a hybrid. That may seem like a weird start but the reason the film works so damn well is that on the one hand it spoofs mercilessly the cheapness of quickly produced garbage sci-fi of the, well, sixties to the eighties, but at the same time it also works as a homage to their ethos and values. Allen is superb as the jaded Kirk character with Sigourney Weaver also excellent as his woman that got away with a wonderfully dry Alan Rickman as an "I am sick of playing Spock" character, but for me the real scene stealer is the excellent Sam Rockwell as Guy Fleegman, an extra who was killed in one episode of the original series who is terrified that art will truly imitate life.

Kudos to the rest of the cast who all do a great job, but especially Robin Sachs who plays a particularly nasty real alien villain Sarris, who truly is frightening and adds the sense of danger that the film needs. The script is first rate and the direction fantastic! In fact come to think of it, why have I not seen that guy's name on more stuff. Dean Parisot really did a great job on this film. The effects are excellent and the last shot of the film is one of those that will have you smiling long after the credits have stopped and you've started watching something else.

For any one who loves Trek/Doctor Who/Babylon five and all the sci-fi shows, not in spite of their limitations, but to some degree, because of them.


0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
How satisfying it must be for other critics to side with bullies..., 13 April 2011

Two members of the southern tribe of water-benders, Katara and Sokka, while out hunting encounter what an only be described as an anomaly beneath the ice in their barren kingdom. After breaking the ice and allowing said anomaly to escape. The pair of then discover in the ice, Aang, the last of the air-benders, and possibly, the avatar, the one elemental who can bend all the elements to his will. Thus begins their journey as the three of them attempt to bring down the warring fire nation who have forced the elements out of balance.

Thus begins M Night Shyamalan's journey into critical hell. For those who loved the series many cannot stand what he has done to the film and so lavish fierce criticism against the film as a thing in itself, the film critics who for a long time have wanted to really rip into him, have, with this film finally got the ammo they needed and laid into him like a pack of bullying thugs. "Oh look at us, jumping on a band-wagon all saying it's rubbish. Tee hee!" Well critics, having a longer memory than most of you (I do remember, Batman and Robin, Transformers 2, GI Joe and Iron Man 2) I can say knowing all this, that this film isn't as bad any of those mentioned.

Also the critics tend to struggle when reviewing either children's films or action films. They're just not their thing, which is why you tend to see such ridiculous reviews for the worst kind of tripe whereas class films get ripped to bits.

The performances by the children are not particularly brilliant early on, but as the film progresses all three of the leads grow more assured. Dev Patel is excellent as the prince with equal plaudits going to both Shaun Toab and Aasif Mandi as Prince's Uncle and Nemesis accordingly, the script is adequate for a kids film, the direction is fine, and for the action sequences is excellent, of which there are many, the score, whilst it borrows heavily from star wars, is a triumph. Set design, effects, story and pretty much everything else you can think of are all far better than any of the previously mentioned films, and the kids that I know have seen this film have all enjoyed it, of any age.

I know that many people will find what I've said unpalatable and you know what I don't care. I have seen films that truly suck and the stain of seeing them will stay in my conscious for ever, but this is not one of those films.

Never going to be great, but far better than the critics would have you believe.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Aaaagh! It's in my head!, 6 April 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Captain Colter Stevens wakes up on a train next to an attractive woman he seems to know relatively well, apart from the fact that she keeps calling him Sean, what's with that? Oh and he doesn't know who he is or how he got there, and after a mere 8 minutes he is ripped apart along with every other passenger on the train by a huge explosion. He then "Wakes up" in some kind of capsule to be told he is part of a test operation called Beleaguered Castle and what he has experienced is reality inside what's called the source code and is reliving the last 8 minutes of life of some other poor soul who was killed on the train. His mission, find and identify the bomber.

And that's it. Owing more to the Matrix than inception the writer, Ben Ripley, and Director, Duncan Jones have crafted an almost top-drawer thriller that stays with you long after you've left the cinema. Unlike some of the other semi-recent disaster/thriller's I have seen, namely "Knowing" and "The Adjustment Bureau" the problems that both those films had was the reliance of some kind of benevolent alien/god type figures controlling everyone's lives. This film sweetly side-steps that pitfall and so were just left to enjoy the tense tale of this man's last eight minutes on earth. The direction is tense, claustrophobic at times but, like Jones' previous effort, "Moon", it's the humanity at the heart of it that pulls us in.

Credit to Gyllanhall (Is that spelt right?) for giving yet another interesting performance but also credit due for me to Vera Farmiga who as his superior gives a performance that in a way everything hinges on. In many ways she is the unsung hero of this film and she, probably more than the cute looking Monaghan is really the second co-star. Everyone else does there job well, but the best thing about this film is that I found it stayed with me long after I'd seen it and was filled with a need to watch is again.

Could have been standard predictable fare, but left me asking more questions at the end of it. Always a good thing.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
This will be a day long remembered - a review 33 years in the making, 17 February 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away a young farm boy named Luke Skywalker encounters two eccentric droids, gets attacked by sand people and is then saved by an old wizard by the name of Ben Kenobi. After a brief chat the farm boy discovers that Ben and Luke's father used to protect the universe as Jedi Knights until his father was killed by the evil Darth Vader. After his aunt and uncle are killed Luke realises his destiny has been chosen for him and he and Ben are going to have to take on the empire, and from this point movie history will never be the same again.

Much has been said about this movie and it almost feels redundant to discuss it, but, as it was the first film I saw at the pictures I feel almost duty bound to add my two penneth to the mix and so I will. This film was groundbreaking in terms of effects, but what we have learnt since Star Wars is that all the good effects in the world can't save a poor movie. The thing that makes this movie as damned good as it is, is the mixture of urgent direction, wonderful performances, a damned good script, that often gets blasted as being terrible, (If it was the film would also be terrible isn't, ergo sum ...), a pioneering use of sound effects that really reinforce the more alien characters with a real sense of emotion (specifically Chewbacca and R2-D2) but of course the last big star of the movie is John Williams sweeping epic score, which even today is probably one of the greatest pieces of movie music ever.

These days I understand why a film like "Casablanca" and "Citizen Kane" cannot be appreciated by a modern audience because they are so hailed for their enormity on their first appearance that it often cannot be re-experienced by viewers after that. The first time we watch Star Wars we don't actually know that there is anything but Jawas on Tatooine, or that Obi-Wan Kenobi (That wizard's just a crazy old man) is a secret bad-@ss or that Han Solo, good for nothing mercenary, is seen right through by Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi. We who experienced it the first time will always feel it again, but the modern audience, who know so much about the film, cannot.

The film is full of classic moments, from Ben Kenobi's reveal, R2-D2's fall, Luke switching off his targeting computer, Han's constant irreverent humour, Ben's "that's no moon", and a dozen more, but even after all these years my favourite moment is that knowing look that Ben gives Luke at the end of his duel with Vader. His wry smile and the blend of music and performance by both Hamill and Guiness is sensational and still gives me goose bumps now. Amazing.

Since then the impact of the original three may have been watered down by the prequels, but as much as you can't polish a turd, you also cannot dim the brightest star. Which is why the term "May the force be with you" will always mean so much to so many.

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