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7 reviews in total 
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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Enchanting, magical, captivating and yet brutal and intense, 18 January 2007

Guillermo Del Toro has never been a director who has overly impressed me. However, I think Pan's Labryinth could well be his career defining film - his masterpiece! From what I have read, it seems that this is a film closest to his heart, and he deserves considerable praise for bringing it to the big screen in such spectacular fashion.

There is not one actor in this film who gives a bad performance, and special mention must go to young Ivana Baquero, who in a difficult role gives a brilliant performance.

This film is not however a children's film, nor is it a fairy tale in the classical sense of the term. It is a brutal look at the revolutionary Spain during the rule of Franco, mixed with a beautiful fairytale. It could be suggested that this film is somewhat misleading, in that most advertisement of it gives the impression of a magical world, but what is good about this film, is it's very real and believable feel.

The film contains many awesome creatures some scary some not, but what is perhaps most interesting is the fact that it is the human characters who are perhaps most scary. In particular Captain Vidal, played perfectly by Sergei Lopez. He is far scarier than the white man of the magical world. Firstly, because he is real, and secondly because he is not far from being a madman, and yet so calm with it. There is something about silent simmering anger that is so scary!

Also, the film looks beautiful, the Labyrinth itself looks fantastic, as does the underworld, and all the creatures are designed perfectly, but in a way that they could well be evil or good.

This film will not be for everyone, and some may even be put off by the subtitles, though I beg you not to let this get in the way. This film is not for children, it is brutal, and there are some horrific scenes. As the trailer suggests, it is a fairy tale for adults. 8/10

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
An intriguing, and brutal insight into the life of Idi Amin!, 18 January 2007

I will start by saying that The Last King Of Scotland is a truly fantastic film. There is very little about this film that can be faulted, something I do not easily say.

Forest Whitaker is an actor who in my opinion has always been on the fringes of the film industry A-list. His earlier performances such as his role in Good Morning Vietnam, and Big Harold in Platoon suggested that he was an actor destined for the top, however since then, he has struggled for any real consistency. He had a few decent roles such as Phone Booth, but until this film, he has never truly given any suggestion that he can be a formidable leading man. His portrayal of Idi Amin however catapults him right up the Hollywood hierarchy, and shows what he is truly capable of.

His performance is spellbinding. He manages to create a character, who is on one hand a charismatic and highly likable man, and on the other, a brutal, almost psychotic killer. He is able to terrify with just a glance, and i mean terrify, but charm you in the same way he does Nicholas Garrigan. I would be very surprised if he does not claim the Oscar for this role.

James McAvoy also deserves considerable praise for his efforts in this film. His change from young carefree student to a man with the wait of the world on his shoulders his impressive. And credit should go to the rest of the supporting cast.

Idi Amin is often a man forgotten about in our modern world, but this film truly depicts what life in Uganda was like under his regime. We see the joy in his appointment to ruler of the country, and it's slow demise, for which credit should go to the writers and director.

This film is not for the faint of heart. There are many brutal scenes, of which I don't want to give away, needless to say that some scenes of violence are shocking.

The Last King Of Scotland is a very good film, and one very much worth seeing. But be warned some parts may distress. 9/10

Not At All The Disappointment I Expected, 9 January 2007

I had very low expectations regarding this film. I am a fan of Stiller, and his Frat Pack entourage, and usually find them all very funny! However, I personally did not see how this movie could work. It all seemed a bit too far fetched for me, and with a director like Shawn Levy, who's been at the helm of some serious disasters, I felt this was headed the same way.

I am pleased to announce that I was entirely wrong, and I couldn't be more thrilled about that. This film has no business at all being a respectable comedy, and yet somehow I found myself genuinely laughing at the film rather than sitting with a small grin due to the ridiculous nature I expected.

Furthermore, I found myself developing an emotional attachment to certain characters - Steve Coogan and Owen Wilson in particular - both of whom jointly steal the show! With this film, against all my expectations, I genuinely found myself hoping that all would turn out good!

Of course this film isn't going to win any awards, at least not the ones that are considered important - and that is meant as no discrimination against MTV etc. However, for pure feel good entertainment, and a lot of laughs, Night At The Museum Is Perfect. It is good innocent fun, and there is no real reason why the whole family can't go and see it. There is something for everybody!

Well done to Mr. Levy for a surprisingly good film by his standards, and well done to everyone else involved in the process. 7/10

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Occasionally Heart Warming, Sometimes Terrifying, Often Funny, Always Brilliant!, 3 January 2007

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest is for me Jack Nicholson's best performance of his career - and we if we look at Nicholson's phenomenal career, that is certainly saying something. Nicholson's turn as R.P.McMurphy is one of the all time great cinematic performances. There are so many different elements to his character it is amazing that Nicholson actually manages to pull it off. He is funny, edgy, angry, dry and almost any other personality description you can think of. His entrance to the film when he kisses the guard on the cheek remains for me one of the great film entrances, and always has me laughing!

However, the supporting cast should not be forgotten. Fletcher, DeVito, Lloyd, Dourif, Redfield and first time actor Will Samspon all give great performances as the supporting cast - blending insanity, confusion and friendship into the film very well! But this is Nicholson's movie, and he steals the show!

There are scenes such as the boat trip which are incredibly well done - and a credit to the director Milos Forman. That scene, as well as others left me with a broad grin spread across my face.

However, be warned, this not movie is not all light hearted. There are some very powerful scenes, such as the final showdown between Nurse Ratched and McMurphy, which even now having seen the film several times, I find hard to watch. Without spoiling the ending, there are other upsetting scenes in this film - and anyone who finds themselves upset or feeling sorry for mentally handicapped people should approach this film with caution, as not everyone in this film is an actor.

Nonetheless, this film is truly a masterpiece, though I would suggest it is not to everyones liking, it is certainly a film that everyone should make the effort to see! 9/10

A Truly Awe Inspiring Film - A Masterpiece, 3 January 2007

It is very hard to think of something bad about this film.The direction is incredible, bringing about highly memorable performances, and a beautifully shot film.

Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are sensational, carrying this film on their shoulders as if it were the easiest job in the world - a tribute to them as this film must have been an incredibly demanding shoot - it is a long and emotional film.

The development of their friendship is wonderful to watch, as is Andy's gradual assimilation into the prison society - however sad it may well be.

Frank Darabont it seems was the ideal man to take the helm of this movie. Many films in this sort of genre can feel like they are missing something, as if there were sections left on the editing room floor - not this film, everything fits perfectly in to place. This leads to a very long film, (which could perhaps be its only criticism - be warned it is long - though the longer the better for me) but one which sucks you right into the prison world, and keeps you right there until the utterly stunning last shot of the film!

Viewers should be warned that some scenes are of a disturbing nature, dealing with issues that may offend some people. However, this should not put you off seeing this film. It deals with the realities of prison, and in no way glorifies the goings on.

What we must realise however, is that this film is not necessarily about the brutality of prison and the way prison society operates, it is about human connection and interaction, and the indomitable nature of the human spirit. By the last scene we should feel uplifted at what has been achieved - not only by the characters in the story however, but by the film makers!

This film is deservedly number 3 on the top 250 list! Congratulations to all involved in making it! A must see for anyone! Sensational 10/10

Looks beautiful, some good performances, but something lacking!, 6 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Stellar cast,interesting subject, great backdrop, a writer responsible for some great work such as Schindler's List - and as such had "Academy Awards" written all over it. Not to be I'm afraid, the result of the above is a beautiful mess.

Sean Penn play's the impassioned Willie Stark, and his slow demise, up to his assassination. Everyone knows what Penn is capable of, he is a powerhouse actor, he never holds back his punches, and nor does he in this film. It is a good performance by him, and yet, I did not feel it does enough to save the film.

Jude Law is likewise very good, quite a comment considering the awful "Sky Captain". However, he does himself proud. In fact, no one puts a foot wrong in terms of performance. So, where has it all gone wrong?

My first assumption would have to be the direction. Yes, Zaillian is a good writer, however, he is inexperienced as a director - The average to OK "Civil Action" being his only previous attempt. One feels, that a project the size of All The King's Men should perhaps have been left to a more seasoned director. The film loses its way at times, jumping from monologue to monologue, without any explanation of the story. Jude Law's character (despite his good performance) is very underdeveloped, despite his and the screenwriters best efforts.

The film does look absolutely stunning, catching the feel of the era in the southern states perfectly. And paradoxically, this is one of it's downfalls. Everyone seems so caught up in capturing Louisiana of old, that the story seems to play second fiddle.

The film is over 2 hours, and it simply feels like there is a large chunk missing! So much promise, but ultimately, a great cast and a great looking movie, cannot save this from the critics hammers. The film just doesn't feel quite right! Apologies Mr.Penn, I'm still a big fan! 5/10

44 out of 72 people found the following review useful:
Nothing More Than An Enjoyable Action Flick, 5 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When Daniel Craig was cast as Bond, unlike many I did not hold my hands up in despair, and predict a flop. I was willing to give him a chance, and certainly felt he could give something different to the role.

Sadly, this film left me with an extreme sense of frustration. Perhaps due to my high hopes for the film, and the many positive reviews? And yet, it seems beyond my personal expectations. The film tried too hard to be different, the end result being an entirely different Bond film, but a very unoriginal Hollywoodised action flick.

Yes Craig gave a tougher, more brutal edge to Bond, but what Hollywood action hero isn't tough and brutal? In fact, it was the desire for Hollywood action that ruined this film for me.

For example, the scene containing free running (parkour) near the beginning epitomises the desire for great action, and little sense. If you recall, there is a moment where Bond decides to climb into some sort of demolition vehicle. Yes, it looked great as the vehicle came crashing through a concrete wall, but if we actually think about it, there was no need whatsoever? It did not achieve anything, not just in terms of film artistry, but also plot - it didn't help him catch the bad guy!

The free running itself was another attempt by the director to wow the audience into submission, there was quite literally no point to it whatsoever. Why on earth did the villain decide to go up a crane? - "I know, I can escape him by climbing to the top of a crane" - No my friend you would have been better off finding yourself a car. I am not surprised this film has been received well and that it is a hit at the box office - but I'm sorry Mr.Campbell, I see through you.

I will openly admit I found the poker scenes enjoyable, and I found Mads Mikklesen's performance particularly enjoyable.

Not a bad effort, and it does indeed breathe new life into the Bond genre, but I could quite easily go down to Blockbuster, search the action section for 5 minutes and find something just as good! Ultimately, what I found offensive about this film, was that all involved seemed to believe that if they throw a load of heavy duty action scenes at the audience to satisfy us - not this film goer I'm afraid.. 5/10