Reviews

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8/10
Had Hoped for More, but Still a Sombre Drama with Delightful Performances,
11 December 2017
The Meyerowitz Stories is a great movie with a very well developed plot and a terrific cast. It's a beautiful, grounded piece of film that really takes its time with every piece of detail, the characters and each person's individual relationship is handled in a delicate manner that makes it very relatable and pure. It is also a lovely mix of drama and comedy, containing hard hitting moments that struck a chord with me, as well as ones that left me in stitches. The movie captures family relationships and fighting for acceptance from our family in a very blunt manner.

I was not the biggest fan of the stories switching around, I get that it was doing so to show these different character's separate relationships and how they intertwine, but it became a bit of a mess. I would have preferred a story told as it is, with a fully fledged beginning, a middle and an end.

The cast is all around brilliant. Adam Sandler delivers one of his greatest performances to date, playing a very layered, complicated role, Ben Stiller is also top notch in his role, Dustin Hoffman steals every scene as always as a mentally abusive father, it was certainly a change of pace for him as an actor, and Emma Thompson is so terrifically immersed in to this character I did not even know it was her till I saw her name in the credits.

A heartwarming, funny, hard hitting delight. A dramatic film that also has fun, I would recommend The Meyerowitz Stories to anyone looking for a good drama.

Two grown men ponder why they are still fighting for their father's acceptance as they attend a family event in celebration of his work.

Best Performance: Dustin Hoffman
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The Snowman (2017)
1/10
Nothing Could Save this Mess,
6 December 2017
The Snowman is a horrendous movie with a brutally developed plot and a talented cast that are completely wasted in this. For a thriller, it is immensely boring, taking it's sweet precious time to poorly develop its characters and introducing us to their world in a way that is neither interesting or exciting.

The plot had so much potential and it had mislead me throughout that something big was going to happen to make me change my mind on this movie, but nothing ever does. There is literally no "head in a box" or "here's Johnny" moment that really brings it all together, it simply goes through the motions from beginning to end.

There is a slew of very talented performers here, such as Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, J.K. Simmons and Val Kilmer, and it is saddening to say that they are all delivering some of their worst work. I do not blame them, there is literally nothing in their roles, Fassbender is an inactive male lead, Ferguson is very two dimensional, and I failed to find a reason as to why Simmons and Kilmer's characters were even necessary.

I would rather forget this experience. Dull, boring, uninspired, The Snowman had potential to get so many things right, and got it all wrong, give it a miss.

Detective Harry Hole investigates a mystery surrounding a killer who leaves a snowman outside of their victims homes.

Best Performance: Michael Fassbender / Worst Performance: Val Kilmer
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The Simpsons: Looking for Mr. Goodbart (2017)
Season 28, Episode 20
8/10
Quite Sweet, Very Funny Episode,
4 December 2017
Looking for Mr. Goodbart is a great Simpsons episode with a well written plot and plenty of very funny scenes. We see Bart undergo a very nice arc in this episode, as he goes from trying to scam the elderly to gaining a sweet relationship with a lady named Phoebe, voiced terrifically by Jennifer Saunders. There is a proper journey in this episode as we see Bart gain personal growth.

I did think it could have been much sweeter, this episode had the potential to make me weep, but simply never went there. I was a little underwhelmed by the end of it as a result of that.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the subplot, when I heard there was a Pokémon Go episode being made I was not in any way thrilled, but it was actually handled very nicely, was consistently funny and made for a nice break away from the main plot.

A very enjoyable twenty minutes. While it's not the highlight of the twenty eight season, Looking for Mr. Goodbart is still a top notch Simpsons.

After bonding with Skinner's mother, Bart learns he has an ability to scam off the elderly, which he takes advantage of.
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A Chorus Line (1985)
8/10
Musical Fun with Very Grounded Emotion,
30 November 2017
A Chorus Line is a great movie with a very well developed plot and a top notch cast. Being a part of this type of industry, I can say that they conveyed this world very accurately and brought it to life in a large, blunt manner that did not try to romanticize it in any way. The entire film takes place in the bare back of a theatre stage during an audition and cabin fever is showcased in a very effective light. Each song is also brought to life beautifully, with all of them bringing us a new perspective on different characters.

I will say that it was far too predictable, it never even bothered to make the effort to surprise its audience, each outcome for each individual character could be seen from a mile away. I was getting annoyed with myself for not being in any way surprised after a while.

The performances are all around terrific, Michael Douglas really shines in this unconventional role of a theatre director, he has a great presence and intrigue about him in it. Alyson Reed steals every scene she is in and has an undeniable chemistry with Douglas that is such a delight to watch.

Toe tapping entertainment. Not a typical joyous musical, A Chorus Line is a little bleaker than what we may be used to, but it's a great watch and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good musical.

A group of aspiring performers audition for the next big show.

Best Performance: Alyson Reed
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Mean Girls (2004)
8/10
Big Laughs and Memorable Moments,
26 November 2017
Mean Girls is a great movie with a well written plot and a top notch comedic cast. It's a movie that will have you chuckling from beginning to end as it boasts countless quotable moments that you can not help but smile at. It is a very smart comedy that does not intend on offending anyone, but merely to make you laugh.

I did think that Cady could have been a far more likable and relatable character. I do not blame Lohan for this, but felt Tina Fey did not make enough effort in making her a realistic teenage girl. Particular decisions, like having her coming back from Africa, made her difficult to identify with.

The comedic cast is all around terrific. Lindsay Lohan is an impressive lead, Rachel McAdams has great confidence in her role, Tina Fey has some hilarious moments, Tim Meadows steals every scene he is in and Amy Poehler had me crying with laughter.

A riot from beginning to end. Certainly worth a harmless viewing, I would recommend Mean Girls to anyone looking for a good comedy.

A new girl struggles to fit in with the popular clique in her new school.

Best Performance: Tim Meadows
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The Cable Guy (1996)
8/10
Simple Comedic Fun,
19 November 2017
The Cable Guy is a great movie with a well developed plot and a stellar comedic cast. It is a ton of fun from beginning to end as we follow an everyday man, Steven, getting stalked and harassed by his cable guy. The film gets more and more ludicrous as it continues, in a good way, and it serves as a fascinating second directing credit for Ben Stiller.

I do think that the Cable Guy himself should and could have been a more redeemable character. Carrey established himself in roles such as Dumb & Dumber and The Mask, prior to this, where he played simple minded buffoons. Here, however, his character may be dim witted, but not lovable in any way, I think he could have had more charm.

The cast is all around terrific, Matthew Broderick and Jim Carrey shine in the lead roles, there is a great back and forth between them, we can clearly see that they had a lot of fun working together.

A fun watch. Not perfect in any way, but very funny, I would certainly recommend The Cable Guy to anyone looking for a good comedy.

A lonely cable repair man looking for a friend becomes a burden on a normal guy coping with a recent break up.

Best Performance: Jim Carrey
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9/10
A Hilarious, Delightful 90 Minutes,
14 November 2017
What We Do in the Shadows is a terrific movie with a very well written plot and a tremendous comedic cast. It is a ridiculously fun, original comedy film as we follow a group of vampires in a documentary style, getting to see what a regular week is like for them. It does this mockumentary take in a way that is fresh and not in any way repetitive or similar to other ones, we feel like these vampires are really people, while also being in hysterics.

My only genuine complaint about this movie is that it was too short. Running at just under ninety minutes, I was a little underwhelmed at how abruptly it finished, I felt it could have gone further, more could have happened.

The cast is absolutely phenomenal, with everyone having an effortless comedic presence, great chemistry and owning their roles individually. Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement and Jonathan Brugh shine in their respective roles, and the back and forth between them is so good that it is hard to tell what bits are improvised and what are scripted.

Pure hilarity from beginning to end. A complete riot, What We do in the Shadows is great fun, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good comedy.

Follows a group of vampires living in the same household, coping with their mundane day to day lives.

Best Performance: Jemaine Clement
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5/10
Great Soundtrack, Very Mediocre Adaptation,
9 November 2017
Jesus Christ Superstar is a mediocre movie with a reasonably well developed plot and a top notch musical cast. I certainly am a fan of the stage musical itself and it is lovely to see the songs being brought to life in this form, the main theme and Gethsemane, in particular, are beautifully choreographed and shot here, with stellar performances from Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson as Jesus and Judas, respectively.

For the most part, however, it is a very underwhelming movie that does not capture this musical favorably or is in any way an honourable adaptation. It was clearly a rushed production, we can see this from the lazy, uninspired set pieces and poor editing that is featured throughout. The stage musical came out in 1971, and this film was released in 1973, so there's no way there was a whole lot of time or effort put in to it, they just got it done fast before the Superstar band wagon died down.

As well as that, a large majority of the songs are put together in a way that just looks messy, unrehearsed and uninspired, particularly King Herod's Song, which should have been so much more fun. There was no sign of interest or investment from any crew members.

Generally unfavorable and forgettable. Some fans of the musical may enjoy it, but I was not impressed by Jesus Christ Superstar and would not recommend it.

Follows Jesus Christ six days before his crucifixion.

Best Performance: Carl Anderson / Worst Performance: Josh Mostel
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9/10
Not what the Original was, Still Great Fun,
5 November 2017
Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a terrific movie with a very well developed plot and a stellar cast. It brings the fun, spontaneity and ludicrousness that made the original so enjoyable back. Like its predecessor, it has a ton of great moments that you will not be able to keep your eyes off of because of just how visually pleasing they are, as well as side splitting hilarious dialogue.

It certainly has a lot flaws and I am saddened to say that, as enjoyable as it is, does not live up to its predecessor. First of all, it throws back to the first Kingsman far too much, such as characters reminiscing about the events of that movie, making references, and even going as far as to showing footage. This movie does not make sense without having seen the first, and in my opinion, a sequel should be able to stand on its own.

As well as that, Channing Tatum has an underwhelming role, despite being highly advertised, he is here very briefly, I also felt Colin Firth's involvement should not have been made known. I would love to have been surprised by Harry's return, and it would have made the rest of the film a complete thrill since I would have been overwhelmed by just how much Firth is in it, but instead I was underwhelmed when his character was revealed cause he is all over the posters.

The cast are in solid form, Taaron Egerton, Colin Firth and Mark Strong are still stellar in their roles, with each character having a solid arc. The new cast, while not appearing quite as much as they should have, still deliver, such as Julianne Moore, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry and a terrific performance by Elton John as himself. Pedro Pascal was the stand out for me, I have never seen this man in any previous work, but thought he did a phenomenal job as Whiskey, with a great screen presence, terrific characterisation and an intriguing, layered personality that was a nice match up against Eggsy and Harry.

Terrific fun from beginning to end. While it certainly has its imperfections that I could not help but point out as a massive fan of its predecessor, there is still certainly more good about Kingsman: The Golden Circle than there is bad, I had great fun and would recommend to anybody looking for a good comedy, action or adventure.

Eggsy and Merlin must team up with American spies after their branch is destroyed and take on a woman who is looking to take the world down with her powerful drug cartel.

Best Performance: Colin Firth
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7/10
Uplifting and Powerful Performances, Albeit Trying Too Hard,
3 November 2017
Dead Man Walking is a good movie with a well developed plot and an outstanding cast. It boasts two electrifying performances from both Susan Sarandon, who brings great depth in her Academy Award winning role, and Sean Penn, who plays a deeply troubled man that we learn to empathise with over the course of the film.

I did, however, feel that the film tried too hard to make its audience feel, pushing emotion and intense dialogue on us in a way that they were expecting us to be in tears, rather than simply letting the piece and its characters speak for itself.

I also would like to have learned a lot more about Sister Helen. I understand that it is not technically her story, but she is the one we follow and, as well as that, the most redeemable character here. It certainly would have made the film more effective if we had been given more information on her.

Certainly thought provoking, but not as much as it would itself like to be. Well acted and nicely written, Dead Man Walking is an enjoyable two hours that is worth the watch if you are looking for a good drama.

A nun becomes a spiritual confidant to a convicted death row killer when she agrees to support his appeal.

Best Performance: Sean Penn
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