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Very disappointed with this lumbering mess of a film. Visually it's at its best, though way over the top, we've seen the white horses in 'The Big Red One', the pack of heroic P51s reminiscent of 'Private Ryan', the muddy, partially dissolved corpses in countless war epics. The iconography is all clichéd and second, even third hand. The near laughable implausibility of the battle scenes, the tussle with the Tiger tank being one low point, the second the final 'battle', involving the most inept Germans this side of Wolfsburg. A platoon of SS would have eaten a tank crew for breakfast. Then there's the horrible dialogue. The universal use of that word, the 'F' one; one that would not have been used in those days. The embarrassing, ghetto brother talk betwixt the gangster types holed up in their Sherman. Of course they're all far too old as well. Try spending a few nights sleeping rough and you'll understand why these men would rarely have been over 25. Notice too the token Hispanic and black characters; if that's the right would. I despise this heap of junk.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Very glad I didn't waste money on seeing this cringe worthy film at the cinema; it was in parts pathetic, embarrassing and crude. Whatever humour it purports to possess went straight over my head and I consider myself well endowed with a rich, black vein of deadpan running through me. The cgi was very poor; why have such a large amount of it when it's so poor? The younger actors uniformly clichéd and inept. Samuel L needs to call it a day; Colin Firth is a mediocre talent; here he attempts something akin to Patrick McNee and comes up woefully short. Overall, it's a filthy little rag with a fetish feel about it that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Childish muck, avoid.
Dreadful mess of a film. Lousy, mixed up plot, poor direction, strange choice of location, indeed a complete balls up of a film. Why Sarandon, an otherwise decent actress chose the script I can't imagine. Besides that, Sarandon is too old. Sam Neil is wooden, something which does work to his advantage in previous outings but not here. Emily Blunt is best as she is creepy, I suspect in reality too... The worst aspect of this film is it's sheer verbosity; with the dialogue stripped down 80% it would have been less risible. The locations were largely unsuitable, reminding me of Ramsey street; although with some variation and careful camera work their mundane nature could have added some desperately needed tension. The director isn't one I've heard of, hardly surprisingly; I'd suggest they turn to making washing powder commercials.
Very odd and not in a good way!
Having heard good things about this film and read much about the background to the case I watched 'Changeling' with high hopes. The film opened well, wonderful attention to detail and an unearthly quality which I felt added tension and unease to the film. In fact, unease was my overall reaction to this film. This unease might have been positive, in that it was engendered by the unpleasant deaths of the children or the suffering of Walter's mother or that of the 'patients' at the institution. However the unease was I think caused by the oddly detached performance of Jolie and the clinical nature of the CGI and sets. Everything appeared as though shot through a thick slice of glass. The main, very obvious fault with this film is one neither cast nor director could hope to fully overcome. That is it's breadth. It attempts to cover aspects of the abduction and murder of children by a serial killer and his trial and execution. The systematic mistreatment of patients in an institution. The (undisclosed) relationship between a radio preacher and whistle-blower and the mother of the abducted child. The corruption endemic in the LAPD during the period and it's treatment by the press and eventual prosecution. Unfortunately the film doesn't venture in any depth into any of the above themes, it merely scratches their surface. Without doubt, I would have liked the film to concentrate near exclusively on Collins and the pastor and the ambiguous nature of her search and their relationship. Two further things omitted from the film were Collins culpability, having left the child unattended and secondly the glaring absence of any father or extended family. Perhaps if Eastwood had narrowed the films scope, combining that with the ambiguities inherent in the story and the claustrophobic camera work a more satisfying product may have emerged. Despite it's many faults this films' oddity, if anything serves as a mild recommendation, even if the complex story behind it proves more interesting.
Savage Grace (2007)
Good film making, poor film.
I have just watched this film and found it to be near unwatchable; all the more reason perhaps to attempt to watch it again. Some lovely cinematography and solid scripting,.even the good acting failed to make any impact on me. Perhaps because those depicted were such empty people, eeking out a meagre existence despite their monetary wealth, I found it difficult to involve myself in the film. The supposedly shocking scenes were not so, partly because it's what we've come to expect from such people, after all they populate our tabloid papers and internet gossip columns daily, also and perhaps in the films defence, because of the unreality of much of the substance of the story. I was reminded of a recent drama about Lord Lucan and even more so of the film 'White Mischief' about the 'occupations' of the denizens of 'Happy Valley' in Kenya during the last war. So, no disappointments, maybe a story unworthy of filming or perhaps one that will benefit from repeated viewing.
A Serious Man (2009)
One of the Coens best. Tightly scripted, with a cohesive group of actors, you can't help but feel a Coens film set is an immensely fun place to be. The whole accident segment was particularly memorable, as was the wife's creepy lover and the dentist's discovery. Here the Coens have created a cosy little world of bumbling ineptitude, feckless mothers, worried fathers, unfathomable rabbis and neighborly misunderstandings and then thrown their own spanners into the ridiculous mix; perfect!
Be prepared for the ending, I laughed at the same time as cursing the Coens; twice recently as I'd watched 'Inside Llewyn Davis' earlier in the week. Another infuriating yet captivating film! Yet, as always with the Coens it is those characters which live in your memory and this film provides us with a feast of them.
The film 'Runaway train' is far better. Unbelievable characters (can you really imagine Denzel Washington being a dull train driver?), laughable dialogue, strange plot holes (like why didn't Frank try to go to the front of the train in the first place and put the brakes on- or even better the driver of the train in front, early in the film?)
Above all; rather dull action sequences, with little tension developing. Can't really think of much more to say but IMDb likes 10 lines, so I'll comment that I'm amazed such films are still being made- It was embarrassing to watch, I think if Id been in the cinema Id have walked. Save money and have a more exciting time train watching.
The Big Sleep (1978)
A tacky tour de force!
A strange creature is Michael Winner...Has he been secretly mocking the 'industry' he works in for the past fifty years? Or is he just a pompous old fool who couldn't make a public information film? Perhaps no one will ever know!
The big sleep however, is one of Winner's better films. Largely due to a great script (he adheres closely to the book despite the film being set in England) and the superb acting of Robert Mitchum. The best bit in the film is watching Mitchum and a comely Joan Collins rolling around on the carpet; After taking her pistol, a dishevelled Mitchum looks on whilst Collins lets out an orgasmic sign and then lights a ciggy, great stuff!
Great reworking of the Sherlock Holmes concept!
There will be a many bores who complain about the slow motion action shots, the aggressive camera work, the noisy soundtrack or indeed Downey's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.......
Ignore them!! I am a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, so much so that I have read virtually every book ever written about the character and have hovered noiselessly in Marylebone library on one or two occasions... This film while not without it's faults is wild entertainment from beginning to end! Downey and Law have great chemistry and the leads are backed up by a nuanced Moriaty and an all round effective cast. Most of all the backdrops and effects are sumptuous and worth watching in themselves!
The only downside I could mention was the character of Mycroft. Why chose that awesome bore Stephen Fry? And having done so not develop the complex relationship between the two characters? Any number of actors would have been better as a brotherly foil for Holmes! Nevertheless a great film which put a great grin on my face!
Play it again Olly!
Firstly, it is true that this film is grossly historically inaccurate, however it is after all a film made in 1970, which had to justify it's considerable budget. Were it not for it's uncanny relevance to us, today I would have given it a much lower rating.
As a forty year old film it does have much to recommend it. There are rousing battle sequences, a campy pair of leads, Guiness portrays the compromised Charles I beautifully and some assured costumes and backdrops lend an authentic feel to proceedings.
It seemed, on viewing this film that the two opposing forces of Charles (inherited wealth/land ownership/continuity) and Cromwell (social justice/political reform/progressive change) are with still enmeshed in much the same struggle as they were over 300 years ago. Arguably one side cannot exist without the other and it is their coexistence (as well as a powerful free press) which gives us our relatively benign system today.
Cromwell's 'experiment' was stillborn, in executing Charles he destroyed his own blueprint for a new society and only cut the head from a multi stranded Hydra. Charles II was really King from the moment of his fathers death. Only if a replacement monarch had been found (as occurred with the accession of William III forty years later) could any compromise have been found and a new system of governance initiated.
'Cromwell' remains a film of it's time and naturally only skirts some of the complex history of the period, it is however an intriguing glimpse into the origins of our state as it is today.