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181 reviews in total 
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1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
The best American comedy since Hitch IMHO, 31 March 2015

I absolutely loved this film and I would recommend anyone to see it for its puritanical sense of fun and laughter. It is an absolute gem of a movie with quite a few rough edges in the script, admittedly, but you are watching a movie, not reading the script or reading a book and the film is completely enjoyable from beginning to finish.

Adam Sandler is a fine actor and I agree, he does not need to step up too much in this movie, he is a natural. Overall we have splendid acting, a wonderful story, bits of morality, restrained bad language and violence, toned down sexual tit-bits and a whole bag of laughs which will have you rocking in your armchair.

It is easy to be critical of any film but this film deserves a lot of credit for its originality. I love the play on the pun of the cobbler being the 'guardian of our souls' and the Jimmy-Father link via Dustin Hoffman is sweet entertainment on a movie screen, nothing less.

You underestimate this film at your peril if you want to watch a comedy which will not make you laugh and with an ending which will not make you disappointed. This film scores highly on both fronts.

It is rare today to find a comedy which allows the story and the acting to do what they should and entertain rather than rely on bad language (burn after reading as an example) or sexual or violent overtones to leave their mark.

There is so much that is good about this movie and I commend it wholeheartedly to a wider universal audience.

Gone Girl (2014)
0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Contrived Comedy with no Laughs but a Lot of Fun to watch, 1 January 2015

This is a terrific film to watch with lots of twists and turns, suspense and drama and you will remain intrigued and interested from beginning until the end. One thing is for sure. If you are one of the many men in the world who for whatever reason have assets (or credit cards) retained in the name of a spouse/partner, you might want to think twice after watching this film and ask yourself some very serious (or silly/stupid0 questions about what would happen if ...

This for me was not a black comedy, it was far from dour but it was a comedy on a number of very serious issues. I did not laugh at any of the comic moments (and there were many throughout) but it raised a few eyebrows and certainly drew a smile.

Suspect that nobody will win any Oscar awards but nominations will be justified. A little bit like 'Prisoners', this was a film where the ending could certainly have been left a lot more open ended and left up to the audience to decide what happened to the husband and wife.

I called it a contrived comedy because I felt the ending was very much tailored rather than one which was in keeping with the pace and mystique of the film. Not sure if that was the fault of the script, screenplay or the directing by David Fincher.

Splendid film. Of course there is a lot about the film which is absurd but watch the film to enjoy rather than to tear it apart.

The Interview (2014/II)
6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Typical disappointing American comedy, 31 December 2014

First of all, I would not have watched this film at all except for the hype and controversy at all. Second, I have watched it on a pirated DVD here in Indonesia over the festive period. I certainly would not want to waste my money or my time watching such a movie in a cinema, so I am certainly of the opinion that not only did Sony know from early on that this film would be a 'flop' but they contrived the marketing ploy of pulling it to generate interest.

The plus things about the film are in fact, oddly, the little girl singing at the very beginning, the beautiful (Korean? probably not) lady who played Nook, the pure filthy concept of the story-line itself which is actually a very good one but sadly shamefully executed in terms of the script, acting and direction.

As usual with most American comedies, they are not funny at all when they try to be satirical and it would take something exceptional from one of the actors to raise the standard above mediocre and create any genuine audience interest over and above that during the actual interview between the two American nuts and the 'Supreme Leader' To be honest, I was not aware that the two Nuts were going to China and then to Korea for any other reason than for the interview. If it was implied early on that they were colluding in a comic way with FBI CIA or other secret service personnel, then it was not apparent to me.

Reference was made early on in comparison to 'Frost-Nixon'. No doubt we have all seen the commendable film and are up to speed with the real life interview conducted on which the film was based. Had they (Sony for want of identifying anybody else in the firing line responsible for production) stayed within the limitations of what happened in Frost-Nixon and merely concentrated on that by referencing an assassination but not actually carrying it out in a fictional story, I am in no doubt that the comic and satirical potential of the story could have been more enjoyably and spontaneously exploited in the film.

The North Korean 'Supreme Leader' is hardly going to soil his pants real time at this somewhat comic attempt to take the 'mickey' out of him.

Boyhood (2014/I)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A mixed up disjointed disappointing debacle of a Film, 27 December 2014

This film was eagerly awaited after hearing of its Golden Globe nomination but unfortunately three hours of absolute tripe and one of the worst films I have sat through this year (or any year).

The idea of the film to follow the life of a boy for 12 years is basically a good one but it absolutely does not work for me. The film left me unengaged and disinterested for the most part if not confused as well who people were.

There was absolutely no story except for the 'step-father thing' plus referencing to adolescent indulgence in sex, alcohol and drugs.

This film might appeal to a passionate audience of adolescents in Houston but in other parts of the world far away from USA I can tell you categorically it bored the pants off the viewers.

The film probably would have worked as a documentary based on the lead actor rather than deceive the audience over this Nerd called Mason who sees Graduation as the be-all and end-all of his life.

I suppose the film in some way is a kind of chronicle of Masons life for 12 years but it is so disjointed that half of the time you do not know what part of the story (what story actually?0 you are following.

I have only scored it 4 points because clearly a lot of work has gone into the making of the film over a long period of time.

There are no high or low moments, no real love scenes, no comedy, no basic human empathetic situation to enable the ordinary mature non-American to engage.

The film is a sad reflection on what plateau Hollywood movies have reached that they somehow think they must re-invent the wheel. They do not. There was real potential in this movie and the opportunity has been wasted like an open goal in football.

Give me three hours of 'Gravity' or 'Interstellar' any day of the week.

When you have a choice of watching one of the 10 movies showing at your local Cineplex this festive period or picking up a DVD for home viewing, this film will sadly not come top of the list.

Serena (2014/I)
5 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
An Entertaining and Enjoyable Film to Watch, 27 December 2014

There is a lot of negativity written and spoken about this film but actually it is not anywhere as bad as people are saying. I found the film entirely engrossing and it is definitely worth a watch, not so for the obscured and short sex scenes shown in the film between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

I much prefer JL in 'Hunger Games' than this' it did seem to me that BL and JL were deliberately cast together to follow on from 'Silver Linings Playbook' and 'American Hustle', neither of which films i particularly enjoyed.

For all the apparent failings of this film, and I agree that there are many which will deserve the movie not earning any notable Academy/Oscar nominations unless by default and design, this is for me by far the best of the JL-BC bunch.

In a strange sort of way, if only wishing to portray Serena as a brave woman of some strength, I draw comparison with Danielle Steele's Zoya. Totally different kind of character and story of course.

Yes the initial introduction and engagement of BC-JC in the story was suspect and I wonder how and why Serena came to be there in the first place. The 'Panther' was a feature of the film throughout and the ending of the film was not entirely surprising.

There was clearly an environmental issue raised in the film which was barely explored but this was the depression-era and I guess the focus was more on the local men having a job and earning money. What would they do if logging ceased? Become tour guides for the new National Park? Unthinkable at that particular time.

Toby Jones as the Sheriff gave a sold and commendable acting performance and I empathised with the Galloway character. I was half expecting some previous collection between him and Serena in the story line but it never came.

All in all, there is a lot which is good about this film. Do not be over-critical and enjoy it in context.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A Highly Recommended suspense Action Thriller, 26 December 2014

This is not my favourite film of the year but it is certainly one of the most enjoyable in terms of the action thrills and suspense. Comparisons with Matt Damon in the Jason Bourne movies are for me way off the mark.

I have never watched the 'Equalizer TV series' and Denzel Washingtons acting in this movie must rank as some of the coolest I have seen in a while which makes all the film appealing.

This film has a gripping story and will you watching until the end. No romance in the story unless McCalls association with the girl was considered in some way romantic. I didn't.

I love to hate Russians anyway for the way the gangster-manner they are portrayed in the film full of arrogance and disregard for Society. the story bolts together nicely but the shoot-out towards the end of the film was the one negative for me (rather than the false Russian accents throughout) as that was not in keeping with the nature of the film. it lacked subtlety and Mr McCall deserved more respect in bringing terminus to proceedings.

I would like to see a film on the back story on what led to Mr McCalls quiet and secretative life portrayed in the film, it would be quite a pre-quel.

Labor Day (2013)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
An unexpected but pleasant movie to watch, 24 December 2014

There is no doubt about the implausibility of a lonely depressed Mother and her Son being picked up by a man in a grocery store (hardly a supermarket)who turns out to be an escaped convict on the run.

The fact is that the two characters both in terms of real time acting and in terms of the story line blended and bonded well in my personal view and there is nothing appropriate in trivialising a movie which reaches deep inside our hearts and brings more than a few tears to our eyes while watching it as they both seek to re-discover love and a righteous way to live their life.

There are too many films made nowadays focused on action and violence riddled with bad language, perverseness and inappropriate sexuality.

This film is well directed, the screenplay story is entirely logical in the circumstances, the acting does not disappoint and the ending of the film was well considered.

I am not altogether sure of the implied reference to 'Labor Day' in the title and I was initially put off watching this film for a couple of months because I thought this might be some kind of 'Mum gets pregnant' cheesy love-story film. Not like that at all.

I have questions as to who is the real Mother of Henry (Hank) given developments during the story and not having read the book and there is a hollowness to Frank's earlier part of the story with his girlfriend/wife. The same could be said about Adele and her relations with her former husband and what was the real cause of her depression.

There are many issues about this film which merit open discussion but overall this is a super film and should be appreciated and enjoyed on merit.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining Insane Gothic Thriller, 24 December 2014

A most enjoyable and entertaining film with a quality cast of actors and actresses who do an excellent job to develop the story and the suspense which stems from it from beginning to the end.

This is certainly a film on DVD you will be tempted to watch more than once to catch up on the little bits you might have missed along the way.

Might even suggest and recommend the movie makes excellent viewing for Christmas Day but it certainly offers an intriguing insight to an Asylum at the turn of the nineteenth century into the twentieth.

I understood Lunacy to mean from 'luna' the moon in Latin and a Lunatic as someone who went mad from looking at the full moon or something like that. Lunacy was not in fact the main feature of the film but rather other reasons why people were kept locked up in an asylum (rather than say for a petty crime in Jail). It might also have been an alternative to the Victorian workhouse but that aspect is also not focus of the film.

I doubt the story of Mr Poe bears any semblance to the story acted out in the film but that does not matter.

There is nothing pretentious or offensive about the film, it seeks to entertain on a sensitive topic and I believe that it verily succeeds.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Complicated Crime Film Based on a True Story, 23 December 2014

Like most films of this kind, it is a film based on a true story which happened in Arkansas in 1993. I am English and until watching this film, I had never heard of this story. However, some, if not many, might regard this right up there for notoriety with crimes put to movies such as Ted Bundy and others in the pipeline such as Madeleine McCann and Amanda Knox-Meredith Kercher.

This was a complicated story-line to absorb without knowing the story first and I took the chance to research it a little afterwards. Certainly the film focuses a great deal on Colin Firth as Ron Lax and Reese Witherspoon as Pamela Hobbs in the leading roles but it shows little light (perhaps as in the Knox-Kercher case which is still fresh in our minds) that the Arkansas wanted 'closure' and quickly and they set out fabricating a case against the three guys which only serves to show the sheer ineptitude of American justice or of any civilised country for that matter.

No real acting is required by Colin Firth, he just plays the part while Reese Witherspoon does step up as the emotional Mum grieving her lost Son. The background to the parenting of the three lost boys is not explained in this film.

I find it incredible that the film did not throw more light on the apparent satanic cult which was prevalent in that area at that particular time and which, had that been investigated and questions asked of those who were involved, just as in the McCann case in Portugal from 2007, there is the possibility that the crimes committed could be solved in a professional manner rather than left for people to comment and judge by social media in the present climate following release of the new evidence and the ultimate release of the three convicts in 2011.

I cannot say I enjoyed this film. It is definitely not a film to enjoy but I wonder whether the film could have carried a more subtle focus for a more connecting audience. 20 years on, I sense the film was made for financial reasons but who are the beneficiaries?

Soekarno (2013)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A Take on Important events in Indonesian History, 17 December 2014

I have waited a while to see this movie, being an Englishman married to an Indonesian lady and living in Indonesia. My Bahasa is not great and I was thankful for excellent sub-titles, a rarity on Indonesian films.

Overall, the film is good and worth a watch but whether it accurately depicts Soekarno I have to question. With the exception of the lady playing Fatmawati who for me was the star of this film, I came away with the view, right or wrong, that Hatta was the engine and brains while the somewhat passive Soekarno was the voice and mouth-piece.

Maybe Soekarno was an opportunist who ironically was in the right place at the right time and had the credentials to lead the nation - or maybe it would have happened anyway, not as portrayed by the film by careful manipulation of the Dutch and then the Japanese.

The story about Soekarno first marriage with Inggit was very vague to say the least and without having researched Soekarno life story (or wishing to) I am nonetheless curious if such a honest man as Soekarno was portrayed to be and so much in love with Fatma Wati that he felt the need to subsequently take other views which seemed in direct contravention of the principles he initially spoke in the first union of the Parliament in 1945 (the first speech of the Pancasila).

There was a lot which flattered to deceive. The acting was fine but the directing and the cinemaotophy were poor in my view compared to much classier films I have seen in recent days.

Definitely a story to be told but I would have appreciated it being told more objectively. The film was too biased and its International audience potential suffered as a direct result of that.

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