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Fukkatsu no hi (1980)
Too Close to the Truth
Firstly let me say that this review is based on the full uncut 156 minute version of the movie.
After watching this I can see why it was a financial failure when it was released and did not get more publicity. It is easy to see that the powers that be in the US and other countries featured would have preferred it never be seen. Just too close to the truth of what has happened on a smaller scale more than once.
Ironic that a virus created by the US that kills almost everyone gets labeled Italian Flu. Do some real research of Spanish Flu that killed millions and you will know what I mean.
This is a movie full of big name actors of the time, but you need to see the uncut 156 minute version to do it justice. All of the big names perform their roles well and while being very bleak the movies gets the story across with appropriate use of subtitles.
Do not expect high end CGI or special effects, there are none, just a well put together movie that IMHO stands the test and is worth seeing some 35+ years later.
Probably one of the best Armageddon movies you will see if you are prepared to sit thought it. This is not a hollywoodised movie in any way.
Solid 8/10 for me, not sure I would watch it again though, a little bit too real for comfort.
The Last Word (2017)
I have to admit going into this a little unprepared and not sure what to expect. I hadn't read any write ups and went in with very little knowledge of what the movie was about.
I nearly always like Shirley MacLaine movies, she rarely does a bad one and Amanda Seyfried usually does OK. This was no exception and Shirley MacLaine really shines in this one. The roles is not really new, we have seen her in this type of role before so it is one she is either picked for or picks for herself.
Amanda Seyfried does quite well, but the real performance to look out for is from AnnJewel Lee Dixon, she really does make for a fun movie and steals some of the scenes she is in from Shirley MacLaine.
Word of warning, if you don't like the use of foul language by young children you may not like this movie, be prepared for that.
Some would say this is a predictable movie, so be it, it probably is, but it is also very entertaining and worth the price of admission.
8/10 for me and I would see it again.
Buster's Mal Heart (2016)
Watch this if you are Remi Malek fan
This reminded me of The Matrix. If you haven't seen The Matrix you will not have a clue what I am talking about.
Three story lines, never sure which one is the real one and which is imagination or hallucination. Development of each could have been much better, but it would have made the movie a lot longer, which was probably a constraint along with the obvious low budget.
Remi Malek does very well in his role, the obvious likenesses to Mr Robot show though, even though I believe he did this prior to Mr Robot.
Some of the movie is slow, other parts are very entertaining, but it could have been done better so only 5.5/10 for me.
Dolores Claiborne (1995)
Another Excellent Stephen King Movie
This is one of those movies I have on my must watch again list and have seen it numerous times, it never gets old.
Being a fan of Stephen King, Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Strathairn, Christopher Plummer and John C. Reilly, probably, but not necessarily helps, the story is just that good.
It is a classic Stephen King book I read in a very short period of time without putting it down much.
It is also a Stephen King novel that has been adapted to the screen very well, unlike others novels he has written. Probably because it features only real people who most could relate to in real life.
Kathy Bates is outstanding and probably up there with the best I have seen with her in the starring role, Misery would come a close second even though she got an Oscar for it, rather than this one.
Early on some would regard this as a very dreary movie, which it probably is, just ignore that and continue watching all the way through. Don't give up half way, it is another genuine Stephen King masterpiece and you will be rewarded for persevering.
Table 19 (2017)
Above average feel good comedy
Admittedly I am a bit of a fan of Anna Kendrick and Lisa Kudrow, even though I have never watched a full episode of Friends.
When you add to these, Stephen Merchant as an oddball naive character who gets himself into "interesting" situations, June Quibb as the forgotten Nanny, Craig Robinson as the other half to Lisa Kudrow as the Kepps, Tony Revolori as Rezno and you have all the characters who make up Table 19.
Table 19 is basically the rejects table.
I went in to this one not knowing what to expect, except that it had some great actors who I like in it. I left feeling pretty good and having been entertained with a pretty good laugh along the way.
It has some very funny moments and a few sad moments, but it should leave most who see it feeling good in the end. If it doesn't .......
5.5/10 for me rounded up to a 6 as there is no halves on IMDb.
How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
Hard to believe this is Animation
In my opinion the best animation movie I have ever seen and it could easily score 10 out of 10, silly as it sounds I only gave it a 9 so I had wiggle room for the sequel.
Jay Baruchel, who has done some decent movies, does the voice of Hiccup to perfection. The whole movie really revolves around Hiccup and Toothless, his young dragon.
As one other reviewer stated, Toothless exhibits masses of personality and is like a huge lovable puppy. Being able to display this level of personality without uttering a single word is beyond impressive.
The addition of romance, comedy and action galore makes this a movie for all the family as I assume was Dreamworks aim.
This is truly a fun movie that has to be seen to be believed.
The Dark Knight (2008)
I am not a huge fan of sequels and it is hard to write a review about what I see as one of the most perfect movies I have had the privilege to see.
The Nolan brothers have done a brilliant job with this sequel to the critically acclaimed Batman Begins of 2005.
Heath Ledger as the Joker virtually steals the movie, add him to Christian Bale as Batman, Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent and Michael Caine as Alfred, then add the brilliant Morgan Freeman and the ever reliable Gary Oldman in their respective roles and you have an absolutely brilliant cast to work their magic.
I am not as eloquent as many of the reviewers on this site who have gushed superlatives about this movie in 1000 words or less, but my short review will suffice for me to get across my opinion.
If you have not already seen this movie after 9 years you have really missed out on one of the entertainment experiences of life that you could have very cheaply experienced by now.
You owe it to yourself to get a copy of this somehow and see it.
One of the easiest movies to rate 10 out of 10.
Excellent feel good movie
As soon as I saw the poster for this one, I knew I was going to like it.
I am a bit of a sucker for a feel good sport movie, especially when they are based on true events like this one is.
You can not go wrong with Jon Voight and William Fichtner as far as I am concerned, they very rarely do a bad movie and they do not disappoint here. George Kosturos as Ali is excellent and Ali Afshar as his uncle Hafez hits all the right notes.
I am old enough to remember the 1980 hostage saga and Ronald Reagan being elected President, so it brings back a lot of memories.
Very much worth watching and one I will be watching again, a suggestion for some would be to have the tissues handy.
Very solid 8/10
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
Not Everyone's Cup of Tea, but Worth Seeing
This movie made me want to see the 2010 version of True Grit again just to experience another Hailee Steinfeld performance.
Brilliant might be too high praise, but Hailee really made this movie worth seeing. Add in a sublime performance from Woody Harrelson and you really have a movie worth seeing.
I went into see this with no real knowledge of what it was about, but being a big Woody Harrelson and Kyra Sedgwick fan, for me it was a no-brainer must see.
While this type of teenage coming of age movie has been around for a long time now, this one still entertains and holds some originality without becoming too cliché.
If for nothing else, this really is worth seeing just for the performances of Heilee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson.
7.5/10, but rounded up to an 8 as IMDb does not allow half points.
Dead Awake (2016)
Solid with genuine fright moments
Most horror fans will have seen it all before and this one, written by Jeffry Reddick, who was part of the Final Destination series was the main reason I looked at it.
Jesse Bradford and Jocelin Donahue are very solid as Evan and Kate, the lead characters and they hold the movie together well.
That's all I am going to say about the movie, I'm not into giving the plot away and going into detail about a movie like some reviewers, you will have to check it out yourself.
Word of warning. Use careful timing if you are eating and drinking during it. I nearly wore my drink and could have choked on my food in a few scare moments that genuinely gave me a fright even though I was expecting them. Kudos to the makers, they did a good job there. Few movies make me jump the way this one did.
While I am not a huge fan of horror movies, I would recommend this one to any horror aficionado.