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michaelgrantham

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25 reviews in total 
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Quirky but Affectionate Homage to the Lone Ranger, 22 July 2014
8/10

I used to watch the Lone Ranger and Tonto as a kid, so I was looking forward to this. Amazingly well filmed with stunning action sequences but also a great back story to keep you interested. Johnny Depp was excellent, bringing his trademark droll humour to the part of Tonto. Not quite as sure about Arnie Hammer, who was a bit wimpy, but I warmed to him by the end.

Ruth Wilson was winsome as the love interest (and she's a Kentish gal:)while Helena Bonham Carter played the Madam for fun.

The only surprise I found was the level of violence, which I wasn't expecting in a Disney film. I certainly wouldn't recommend it for young children and think a 15 rating more suitable than the 12 it was given. I don't think the violence added to it and given that the Lone Ranger was originally very much for children something of a pity.

That aside it was very well done and the plot and story improved as the film went on. Overall fun and worth a watch!

Ted (2012)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Wait for the second half!, 27 December 2012
6/10

Watched this last night on DVD. Ted is hilarious, a pot smoking, beer swilling, foul mouthed, Teddybear! However,the joke starts to wear thin during the first half of the movie, which is essentially a series of set pieces for Ted to show off his rudeness. It was tempting to switch off in the first half, but we stuck with it and it was worth it - in the second half, the story kicks off and the laughs really begin, with some wonderful cameos by Norah Jones (especially) Ryan Reynolds and others.

There are some big laughs in the movie and excellent acting by Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, whose love story is very well played as a backdrop to Ted's gross-out humour. We finished the film with a smile on our face, and would rate it as worth a watch. It isn't great but is good fun. I too would caution parents that this is NOT for youngsters, with pot smoking, cocaine use, a humping bear(!) and some pretty bad language. but it certainly has some laughs and if you're broad-minded you will enjoy it.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Excellent Atmospheric Remake - Jackie Chan Wonderful!, 27 August 2012
9/10

I have seen both the original film and this version (twice now) and just had to review it this time. The film has all the plot and story of the original and Jackie Chan makes a wonderful replacement for Pat Morita, who played Mr Miyagi in the original. There is some excellent filming in China, which really adds atmosphere. Most of all though, I agree with some of the other reviewers that Jackie Chan was at last allowed to show that he can act and not just clown it up (although he's very good at that too!). His performance in this was quite touching and that really made the movie for me.

Jaden Smith did a credible job as his young protégé and I found his acting quite believable and not nearly as one-dimensional as some reviewers have commented.

Very much a feel-good movie, It rated highly with me. A film for all the family to enjoy.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful Series- Spot on Characters - A Joy to Watch!, 2 May 2012
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I bought the DVD of this series a while ago and for some reason we never got around to watching it till recently. What an omission! The series is quite simply a joy to watch, with fabulous interpretations of the characters by all. Alun Armstrong was wonderfully over the top as Flintwinch, Tom Courtenay excellent as the vain Mr Dorritt, Claire Foy quite simply perfect as Little Dorrit, and Russell Tovey giving a beautifully sensitive performance as the besotted John Chivery.You cannot leave out Eddie Marsan's Mr Pancks or Mathew McFadyen's perfect Mr Clennam. I frequently found myself laughing out loud at Flintwinch or Pancks and was very moved by Russell Tovey's unrequited love. There wasn't a single poor performance in the whole cast.

I do agree with the earlier reviewer about how Tattiecoram simply disappeared from the story, however and one or two other loose ends that were left. However, they just make me want to read the book which I will do soon. These DVD's will most certainly be kept! I do hope the cast get to read their reviews - well done to you all :o)

11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Great Film, Great Performances - Surprised at the low IMDb Rating?, 14 April 2012
9/10

Since I'm fond of good country music I thought I'd give this a try, despite not being very keen on Gwyneth Paltrow. However, in this movie she gives a storming performance as a famous country singer, gradually falling apart with depression and alcohol - and she has a great voice! Yes that really is Gwyneth singing in the film.

The good news doesn't end there because the supporting cast are just as good, Garret Hedlund and Leighton Meester were fantastic and so good as country singers that I immediately looked for their albums, but apart from the Country Strong Soundtrack, there aren't any! These are just great actors with great voices. Add in a strong performance from Tim McGraw (Oh why cant you just love your woman? - that's all she needs!!).

With fine, layered performances from all and a storming soundtrack, this is definitely unmissable for any country music lover. I'm still humming the tunes days later.

By the way, be careful if buying the soundtrack album. There are two! The first has other artists covering many of the film's songs and though it's a good album, isn't strictly from the soundtrack in every case. The second album, with the same name, seems to have original performances from the film, but was out of stock and I have it on back order. I think this is the more popular one.

Anyway, if, like me, you don't watch films that score less than about 6 on IMDb, make this one an exception. You wont regret it!

Avatar (2009)
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Wow! Stunning allegorical movie, 16 May 2010
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Avatar is, as you will have seen from other reviews, probably the most visually stunning movie ever made. The scenes of the beauty of Pandora will knock you out! Watching the movie it was very easy to forget (and I did) that the characters were CGI creatures, so real were they implemented. The beauty of the film is contrasted with the gung ho American marines and the greed of the mining company trying to exploit the natural resources of Pandora, without in any way understanding its beauty or the close bond felt by the Pandorans to their environment and the other life on the planet.

The plot of the film is excellent and the soundtrack superb, frequently making you jump with unexpected highly realistic sounds.

The best film I have seen in a very long time, way up there with the Lord of the Rings, my previous favourite film (and story) of all time.

I felt that the Director was trying to say something about man in this film, on the one hand able to be noble and capable of creating stunning beauty (just see the visuals in this film) and the contrasting violence, greed and stupidity that we can show. God knows what will happen if and when we do meet aliens, they will probably be shot to pieces before we can ever learn anything about them! In summary, don't hesitate to see this film, I defy you not to be enthralled in the stunning beauty of Pandora and the superb story.

Wanted (2008)
4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A load of Junk!, 8 May 2010
1/10

I never thought I'd give a film a 1 out of 10, especially one that scored 6.8 on IMDb. Whoever reviewed it to give it such high scores? Watching this with my son, we both figured that there wasn't going to be a plot to speak of within the first five minutes. What it does have is unbelievable special effects and a good measure of gore and ultraviolence that quickly becomes tiresome.

The A list cast must have been short of money! All have been much better in other movies. Had this film had a decent plot, you might have forgiven it, but it simply doesn't.

Possibly the worst film I have ever seen! (And I have seen some turkeys!).

Once (2006)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Touching, well acted film, with great songs and performances, 26 December 2009
9/10

Set in Dublin, this film is about a street busker and a chance meeting with a young Czech girl who shares his passion for music. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irgolva as the two leads play their parts very well, despite, apparently, being musicians first and not actors in real life. Their love story plays out with the backdrop of Dublin and is almost documentary in its portrayal.

The songs are memorable, making me but the CD afterwards, for my son.

The will they/wont they plot plays out to the end with a touching finale and I wont spoil that ending for other readers.

Well worth an evenings viewing. Expect to come away humming the songs!

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Come on IMDBer's this is worth more than a 6!!, 26 December 2009
8/10

Just watched this film on Christmas day evening. It was inventive, funny, great visuals, great cast and with some memorably funny throw away lines, "We're American's, we don't Plan, We DO!" Hank Azaria, as the lisping Kahmunrah was a hoot, deliberately hamming it up to great effect! I agree with another reviewer that Ben Stiller is more noted for funny situations than comedy acting but he was very good in this. Amy Adams was very sweet in the role of Amelia Earhart and made a good foil for Stiller. Owen Wilson and Steve Coogan were very funny in their respective roles.

The special effects were fabulous and the scene with Stiller and the Dinosaur as the museum comes to life was hilarious.

Definitely better than a 6! My ranking was an honest 8, or maybe even a little better. Great Fun!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Perfect Cast- Beautifully Played, 24 December 2009
10/10

This is a perfect love story beginning in an old folks home, where James Garner is reading a story from a notebook to a lady in the home. The story flashes back to a chance meeting at a carnival where Ryan Gosling meets Rachel McAdam and after a shaky start they fall in love. The acting from Gosling and McAdam is perfect, as is that of James Garner and Geena Davis. The film is totally engrossing and leaves the viewer guessing as to the outcome through the whole film. I wont spoil the ending as it is pivotal to the film. Suffice it to say that it had me moist eyed and not many films do that!

It is an absolute must-see if you are a lover of romantic films, for its excellent capture of the era and its faultless performances. This one rates my first 10/10 on IMDb!


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