Reviews written by registered user
alan-51-111974

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34 reviews in total 
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19 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
A Good Show Contained Within a Largely Terrible One, 10 October 2013
3/10

Sean Hayes is a very talented man and he works very hard in this. He has to because it's largely like a terrible parody of U.S. 90s sitcoms. If only it were a parody.

Most of the characters are TV clichés or racial tokens (one "Asian", one black guy). The plot for each episode is jammed in our faces as if otherwise we'd be too stupid to understand it: "My daughter needs her first bra!". Hilarity ensues, except it doesn't, it's truly truly painful.

Cue laugh track, then cue it again and again. The less I smile and the more laughter I hear the more depressing the whole thing becomes.

The supporting cast is a mixed bunch which range from a wooden spoon with a face drawn on it wearing a kitchen mop for hair (Megan Hilty) through to performances of genuinely twisted comedic genius from Tom Lennon.

That was really my point about a good show within a terrible one. Every scene with Tom Lennon in it seems to come from a different place than the rest of the show, a much improved place where the show is actually funny.

I sat stony-faced through the pilot yet laughed out loud at some of the Tom Lennon scenes. Whether I can continue to grit my teeth waiting for those moments is debatable.

It feels like being in a wheelchair having lost the use of your legs, with NBC looking down at you and saying in a very loud, slow, voice... "Are you alright down there? Can I get you anything? Do you want to go to the toilet? Do you want to hear a funny joke?".

I may be sitting down, but I'm not deaf and I'm not an idiot, please stop treating me as such.

If they could build on the Hayes-Lennon core a bit more (they're great together) focus less on the been there, done that ha ha ha feel of the rest of it, perhaps try to give some dimension to the characters of the other actors then this could really be something.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A Dark Love Story of Astonishing Honesty and Beauty, 24 August 2013
9/10

This is not a comedy, not a horror and not a thriller, let's get that out of the way.

It's a dark love story of astonishing honesty and beauty and one of the finest films I've seen in recent years.

It's uncompromisingly honest in a truly refreshing way with incredibly nuanced and powerful performances by David Hoyle and Ashley Stryder.

The settings and cinematography are excellent, as is the original score and songs.

This is a film that doesn't tell you how to think or feel about it... it creates a web of emotions and possible interpretations that are perhaps more beautiful left unresolved.

Despite the story arc, my strongest impression was of the joy of simple pleasures.

I absolutely loved it.

74 out of 98 people found the following review useful:
A Solid British Film No Less Historically Accurate than "Vikings"., 17 August 2013
7/10

I'm Welsh, so forgive me if I fail the US spell-check.

Firstly I'm bewildered, amused and dismayed by many of the comments: "Funny British Accents" (they're English accents), followed up by "Would be OK in Trainspotting II" (which is a Scottish film with Scottish accents), yes there are three countries in Great Britain. It's not called Great because it's great, it's to distinguish it from Brittany in France, formerly known as Little Britain after some Britons fled the Saxons and colonised the area. There's a bit of history for you.

Then we get into the historical accuracy of it all... and "Vikings" is held up as a better example, when most of "Vikings" is historically wrong.

Unlike "Vikings" this is a fantasy, it's not supposed to represent history, it's also not a Hollywood film, it's a "British" (English) one, that's why everyone talks with a "Funny British Accent".

There's also a fair amount of Old English and a snippet of Old Welsh, I don't think I've heard those languages used on film before.

It's main flaws are in trying to pander to the U.S. market (make it simpler and dumber)... yet it has strong performances throughout, a great lead in Charlie Bewley, fantastic settings, a solid although somewhat bipolar score, solid cinematography and a half-decent script.

People lap this stuff up in Game of Thrones yet as soon as you fix something which is obviously a fantasy to a point in history it get's pulled apart?

It's a solid 7. I'd have given it a 6 yet I find my patriotism roused by indignation at ignorance.

If you want to find something that completely lacks historical accuracy, only happened a couple of hundred years ago yet is revered as a great film, please watch Lincoln.

7 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
It's Not an Action Movie, It's a Revenge Movie, and a Very Good One, 15 August 2013
8/10

I like Uwe Boll's films. They're always quite subversive and I find them highly entertaining.

I watched this because I was feeling a little down and wanted to be cheered up... I got much more than I bargained for... much, much more.

In a way this is an American "V for Vendetta", made by a German.

However unlike "V for Vendetta", which takes place in a future nightmare of a totalitarian Britain, this takes place in America's recent past. The nightmare this movie portrays is current reality, and Uwe goes to great pains detailing exactly why the principal character takes the actions he does.

It's a blistering critique of capitalism gone wrong. It's also a really great movie.

Dominic Purcell turns in an outstanding performance - I guess there's no chance he'll be nominated for an Oscar for this, which is a shame as I've seen Jack Nicholson fart and get nominated.

Edward Furlong is also superb.

The cinematography is great, I'm personally not a fan of the handycam but that's just a preference.

The script is excellent, performances credible throughout, great direction and a well above average score.

This is still a low budget movie by Hollywood standards, so don't expect King Lear in 3D but it's highly effective.

Well done Uwe!

Let the critics eat c**k. I don't think I've ever asked for a sequel before but I do now.

Sequel! Sequel! Sequel!

Exploding Sun (2013) (TV)
55 out of 63 people found the following review useful:
Watch it Because it's Bad, Not in the Hope of it Being Good, 8 August 2013
3/10

It's a C movie with a script seemingly developed by a small team of 13 year old boys, boys of average intelligence who enjoy sport more than science.

Every scene has some element of mind-numbing stupidity, be it dialog, acting, set (apparently Afghanistan exists in a Canadian quarry and is populated by a mix of Pakistanis and Palestinians, we know it's a hot country because there's about 3mm of sand on the floor)... so in every scene there's something to laugh about, shout "nooo!" or point at smiling.

The plot is incoherent, as are the motivations and actions of all the characters involved... it's a parade of poorly sketched fools.

I'm a fan of bad movies, Birdemic, Sharknado etc... this doesn't quite have the style or entertainment value of either of those two but I still found it funny.

If you choose to spend 3 hours of your life gaining pleasure from ripping apart a movie then you may enjoy this, otherwise stay well away my friends!

Sharknado (2013) (TV)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The Funniest Movie I've Seen This Decade, 17 July 2013
10/10

I perceive Sharknado as an absurd send up of every single Hollywood testosterone-based cliché ever made (all of them?)... and it is genius!

I have no idea if this was intended by all involved, so I have three choices:

A. This was fully intended by all involved.

B. The editor, sound designer and composer colluded to make an awful creature movie into a great comedy movie.

C. No-one knew what they were doing.

Any way this choice ends up doesn't matter to me, I laughed from start to end, often out loud.

I experienced a work of comedy genius.

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A Complete and Unexpected Joy, 11 July 2013
10/10

It's a Hollywood Summer Blockbuster and it does everything you could ever want a movie in that genre to do.

It's essentially a fast-paced, high-action black comedy that turns the tradition of The Lone Ranger on its head. It's beautifully and joyously subversive at every turn.

The comic timing between the two leads is perfect. The supporting cast is great.

I think these may be Johnny Depp's finest moments on film so far.

Great plot, script, performances, superb editing and score.

I want sequels! (I don't normally say that).

It made me feel joy as if I was a child. I'm 47.

Trance (2013/I)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Great plot, everything thrown at it, result just OK., 3 July 2013
6/10

I like 28 Days Later and Sunshine (which I think is a cruelly overlooked work of sci-fi genius) so I was prepared to like this.

In a way I did, the plot is multi-layered and there are multiple twists and turns, the performances are strong.

However the plot is thrown into a Hollywood-esque genre soup, we have fast editing, we have a peppy score, we have action. Through this I think the psychology of the characters is lost and any chance we have of caring for any of them is also lost.

My single biggest problem (sorry, I'm a composer) is the score. It's a rehash of the music from Sunshine, where the principal theme is a rehash of the principal theme from Requiem for a Dream. Please stop playing those chords in that order and pretending you wrote them, or at least give Clint Mansell a composition credit.

It's so very lazy and disingenuous.

Phew... OK I'm good now.

It's a solid little thriller that I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy.

Expectation 8, result 6. Disappointed.

Composer, please stop stealing without crediting those you have stolen from. Homage my ass.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
This is Not About Fascism, it's About the U.S.A., 1 July 2013
9/10

This is not a full review, rather a counter to those that say that this movie is an excellent parody of fascism.

To talk about fascism is to talk about the past in a convenient historical way which means we don't have to deal with these concepts in the present.

Sorry guys, Robocop and Starship Troopers follow the same narrative at different points in the future of the USA. Both films are squarely aimed warnings at only one country. There are no non-US values or cultures presented in either movie so I don't understand how this is perceived as a broad jab against the dark side of WW2 politics.

It's a searing jab at the potential for the US based on its current trajectory.

I watched this film when it came out, at the time the media segments seemed outright ludicrous. Now they seem like Fox or CNN is today.

The flag waving, monitored, ill-informed people full of righteous anger are sending their children to die in wars they are entirely unprepared for and do not understand. Do we have to go back to WW2 to identify a country like that?

It's a good warning. Forget fascism and apply it to now.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
I wanted to hate it but it was so good I couldn't, 17 June 2013
8/10

Antonio Banderas playing an Arab? This has to be a mistake.

The main thing this movie does is to confuse you as to what era you're in, it starts off cheesy Hollywood, then moves into Lawrence of Arabia, then Dune, then confounds most of the rules of Hollywood cinema and creates something different.

It drew me in, I couldn't help it, I literally sat on the edge of my seat (literally means I actually did it).

It's a pseudo-history romp through the desert, it's a coming of age story and there's a bit of romance.

It's more true to how history generally unfolds than most movies and I feel it's more true to how people really feel and act.

I thought I knew what would happen at some points but I was time and again proved wrong.

It's a strange cocktail of genius, I loved it, so I'm not going to review it technically, there's no point.


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