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phd_travel

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715 reviews in total 
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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Most exciting war movie for quite a while, 10 May 2014
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As far as war movies go this is exciting tense involving and well made. The story is compelling not just because it is an extraordinary true story of one soldier surviving but because the bravery and tragedy are keenly felt without unrealistic bravado. Once the fighting starts, you're in for a terrifying and unforgettable ordeal.

Good points include identifiable characters (unlike Black Hawk Down) and a likable cast. The main actors are all familiar to movie goers and they don't look out of place in their roles. Mark Wahlberg doesn't look that combat ready being relatively middle aged looking compared to the rest. Eric Bana is convincing as the commander. Never thought of Emil Hirsch as a soldier type but he is okay. Ben Foster is good. Taylor Kitsch is a bit too much of a dude for the role of a career soldier.

The story shows the people of Afghanistan from both sides of the conflict. During the battle it seemed like a bit like a video game killing Taliban but then it became quite eye opening when the Afghans saved Marcus and helps to show the difficult situation the anti Taliban Afghans face in the country. The story isn't political or anti war though one does come away feeling the loss of such brave men and the suffering is such a terrible waste in the bungled mission and rescue.

A must watch for war movie fans especially since it's about Afghanistan an under represented conflict on screen.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Absorbing but ultimately lacking - half a Vertigo, 8 May 2014
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You want to see what happens in this beautifully filmed art world Hitchcock type drama thriller. Geoffrey Rush is good as always as the central character an auction house owner who becomes involved with a mysterious recluse who wants to auction off her family objects. There are parallels with "Vertigo" in the older younger obsession and deception but it's lacking the second part. The "set up" is obviously coming and not hidden at all. But then the aftermath just leaves the viewer irritated and unsatisfied. Plus the robot is a bit of a nonsense.

Overall an absorbing watch but it isn't destined to be remembered as a great movie because of the lacking story. Just watch Vertigo again to see what is wrong with this movie.

Her (2013)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Strange but still fascinating, 8 May 2014
7/10

This movie is better than you'd expect from the subject. It's watchable and fascinating although not without it's problems. The relationship is with the operating system is a tricky concept to accept. Although the communication and friendship are believable, the more romantic aspect isn't. After all he could never see her.

Another thing that isn't quite right is how such a strange looking guy like Joaquin could have so many A list beautiful women in his life from Rooney to Olivia. Even Amy Adams is way too cute for him despite her geeky disheveled get up and hair.

Interesting blend of China and LA for filming locations.

Worth a watch but a bit long.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Well acted but not that interesting, 8 May 2014
5/10

Ralph Fiennes gives an intense performance as Dickens and his hair and beard look the part. Felicity Jones acts well but she is rather plain and common looking and someone more distinctively attractive would have been better as the central character like a young Carey Mulligan. Good to see Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes together again, they had more chemistry than Ralph and Felicity.

There haven't been too many depictions of Charles Dickens on the big screen and it's sad it had to be about his affair. It does show some of the societal norms of the time about relationships and divorce etc. Bit of a let down not showing his death but so much of the courtship. Although they try to link the relationship to his output, the affair doesn't seem to reflect on his work at all. In fact the creative part of Dickens life isn't shown much.

Overall slightly worth a watch but in the end I felt it wasn't terribly interesting?

Walled In (2009)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Only for Mischa Barton fans, 2 May 2014
2/10

The talented and beautiful Mischa Barton is a good actress well above the usual CW standard. She deserves to make it big on the silver screen. However she seems to be doing a lot of bad b movies recently especially badly written horror movies. This movie was interminable, unpleasant, not very scary and overall a waste of time. Set in a gloomy building set for demolition, Mischa plays a demolition expert sent to assess the building and she encounters an even gloomier cast of characters there. The pace is glacial and the situations are just boring. Cameron Bright of the Twilight sequels isn't quite enough to carry the movie as supporting cast either.

Unfortunately even as a fan of Mischa, it was a struggle to finish this boring dud.

Octane (2003)
Uneven and strange just see it if you like the main stars, 1 May 2014
2/10

This is a strange movie with a super cast. No wonder it isn't famous or didn't do to well despite the talent.

Mischa Barton at her prettiest, Madeleine Stowe post lip job but still lovely, Jonathan Rhys Meyers at his most way off. What more could you want? A good story. It's a strange mix of thriller horror cult with vampire like blood stuff going on.

A mother and daughter are on the road but get mixed up in strange cult led by JRM. There are slow moments then some horror and action. It's all rather distasteful and meaningless and the story isn't well written. Things don't really add up to much or come together well.

Only worth watching if you are want to see the main stars in an obscure movie.

Burden of Evil (2012) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A little cheaply made but quite watchable, 30 April 2014
5/10

This movie is quite watchable if you accept that is a low budget life time style thriller. Sure there are faults. The writing and scenes are uneven and sometimes a bit awkward and abrupt. The car chase is pretty lame. And the villain is a bit of a clown. The directing is a little amateurish. But having said all that there is a certain quaint fun in the way the story unfolds.

Natalie Zea of "The Following" is very pretty and should be on TV more often and prime time too. The cast playing the police colleagues look a bit insipid.

Worth a watch.

Anna Nicole (2013) (TV)
Well done - funny, touching, bizarre and tragic, 29 April 2014
8/10

This is a well made sympathetic and thorough biopic. It's often hilarious, touching, bizarre and tragic as only the crazy life of Anna Nicole could be. Lifetime did a good job putting together the stranger than fiction life story showing the audience what they needed to see without being overly exploitative.

The cast performs well. Agnes Bruckner doesn't look that much like Anna, she is a bit more intelligent looking and not so bombshell like but she acts well and she evokes sympathy for the character. Virginia Madsen as Anna's mother is good. Martin Landau is terrific as Howard Marshall. He really acts like a frail elderly man smitten.

Could have shown a bit about the paternity battle for Anna's daughter at the end.

For this kind of lifetime movie it's watchable thanks to Nina Dobrev, 28 April 2014
7/10

A 17 year old girl inadvertently gets mixed up in a robbery planned by her boyfriend on the store her mother works in.

This lifetime movie isn't ground breaking but it's surprisingly watchable thanks to a good cast and good dialog.

Jennifer Grant as the mother is quite good.

The lovely pre Vampire Diaries Nina Dobrev takes a role that could have been annoying and makes her quite sympathetic especially when she does some irritating things.

It has a lesson about consequences about having the wrong boyfriend. Listen to your Moms girls!

Worth a watch.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Quirky European trip, 25 April 2014
8/10

This quirky story has a magical feel to it. It has a stellar assortment of actors in unexpected roles. Loved the European journey and atmosphere.

Ralph Fiennes hasn't had a good original role like this for a while and he takes full advantage of it. Nice to see Ms Ronan in a period role that she is suited to.

There are some faults. It could be funnier in parts and the plot doesn't always make much sense but that is the charm of it. Why they were so confrontational with the "Nazis" doesn't add up. It would have been better to see more character development with some supporting cast instead of just a brief cameos.

It's great that movies like this are a success and there need to be more.


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