Reviews written by registered user

6 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

8 out of 47 people found the following review useful:
Anachronistic - and steals most everything, 17 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Black Donnellys is out of time - the area may have been like this 2 decades ago but in the world of The Wire, the first 2/3rds of this looks like a beer advert.

The voice-over is Goodfellas light - no character and poorly structured. We are introduced to a cuddly bunch of hoodlums with a white sheep (seriously - have they seen NO societal changes in the last 5 years! - not a Russian in sight!). Something terrible happened to one - with a twist at the end that the writer may be disappointed to learn actually wasn't one. He isn't a great actor so it doesn't do much - and for the series proper could someone remind him about his leg so he stops forgetting to limp? It gets better in the last 5 minutes - but only by a complete steal from Godfather (including some shots!) - and the show simply hasn't been strong enough to support it.

Very disappointed as the reviews had been so good. But the whole thing just looks years out of time.

Cars (2006)
3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Lucas does Pixar, unfortunately - It has no heart., 17 June 2006

It isn't only one thing wrong, I'm afraid.

The good? The animation is superb - no question. But they've spent so long on making the cars shine nicely and getting shadows right they ignored how bad the story was.

Much of the recent great animation has worked - particularly as adult cross-over - because of the ability to be anthropomorphic. And there is the basic problem with the concept - you can't do that with a car. They don't even make you try.

The script is trite, off-the-shelf and basic - immature moralising with no fun, no comedy zingers and absolutely no laughs. The voices are fine - but they have nothing to work with.

FAR too many songs! And sub-standard Gilbert knock-offs they are too.

It is clear that all that was thought of was shiny fast cars - like Lucas the effects are the thing. Stuff script. And you are left with a bad film that can't even be described as half-decent.

And that's just for adults. For the first time this year at the cinema, my 6yo nephew got bored and asked to leave. And we've been to Over the Hedge!

The Wild (2006)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not Madagascar - and give Nigel his own movie!, 13 May 2006

Like most I thought this would be a Madagascar rip-off. It wasn't. Not even close.

Somewhat predictable - yup. Most animation is - the plot can't be too difficult for the kiddies so the storyline is rarely going to be innovative.

So what do we adults go for? The humour. The character. The script. Get them right you have a half-decent cross-over hit.

The basic mawkish sub-annoying Lion King main idea is lion cub Ryan can't roar and needs to kind it. Dad Samson has filled his head with stories about The Wild - where he used his roar. By mistake Ryan ends up on a zoo rescue mission to The Wild and Samson and friends head after it to rescue him. So far so annoying cartoonish.

But then the genius - Nigel. The slightly camp and slightly stoned Koala wonderfully voiced by Eddie Izzard. You forgive every cliché for this wonderful little bear - who has a fervent hatred of all the cuddly toys looking like him the zoo sells. He wanders through the film doing his impersonation of the Statue of Liberty and dispensing a wonderful brand of humour that may be the best thing Izzard has done on film! Apart from him the best characters are the food chain climbing, choreographed wildebeast led by William Shatner.

Pretty enjoyable film. Without Nigel, yes - a solid 5-6 out of 10. With Nigel - bump it up 2.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful piece of work, 10 January 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I completely agree with the other review. We started off recording this and watching Blackpool - by week 3 it reversed and we only watched the rest of the incredibly poor Blackpool (Potter knock-off) to get it finished.

But Mine all Mine was a joy. It was funny, wonderfully written and beautifully performed (Siwan Morris is a superb discovery). The Shakespearean subplots gave the script a richness other writers can only dream of for their main ideas. The off-the-cuff humour had us in stitches (when Max takes over TV and accuses the helpers of grooming his son, the mad taxi rides, the slightly subverted fish-out-of-water storyline for Danny).

Davies and Paul Abbott are clearly our best writers in TV (more so than the arrogant Poliakoff, who seems to be copy/pasting his stuff since the beautiful Shooting the Past).

Nasty cliff hanger though. BAD ITV.

Pleased to see it is finally getting a DVD release in March. Unlike Blackpool, we've already pre-ordered this one.

Now how about Davies's kids progs finally getting a release?

283 out of 417 people found the following review useful:
Minor errors? But Pride was constipation, they forgot Prejudice. And Austen come to that., 24 October 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well Wright may have made a gritty depiction of life around 1800 - as he so repeatedly and anally goes on about because of when it was written as opposed to published - but it is HIS not Austen's and shouldn't claim to be an adaptation.

Mrs Bennett looks like a rural washerwoman. This is a pampered woman - they have servants (remember the book scene with the servant dressing the hair, etc)? But Wright portrays her with rough reddened skin all down her chest, rough hands and working in the kitchen. And the pigs wandering through! If he wants bucolic, he should try Tess.

Mr Bennett - the script makes too cuddly and modern and ignored the weakness in him. The scene where he stops Mary playing is supposed to make you cringe - not pass in seconds. If it doesn't - don't include it.

MacFadyen is very weak in the part and seems to be doing some kind of Pride by numbers acting. The first proposal he looks like a nervous schoolboy rather than a man overcoming his pride to make a proposal beneath his station. Most of his lines, he could as well be reading a shopping list.

Lydia is awful. Completely over the top with excessive shrieking and skipping. Indeed, Knightley plays Elizabeth more like the giggling inane character Lydia actually is in the book, at times.

And Elizabeth. Half the time Knightley is, clearly, mimicking Ehle's voice and intonation - close your eyes to see what a copy it is. And in her role you see Wright's major error - there is NO PREJUDICE.

From the first encounter with Darcy she clearly fancies him. When he comments to Bingley on the attractiveness of the women in the hall she initially looks hurt - not shocked and affronted. The latter should set up the prejudice side of things. And when she and 'caroline' are prancing round the room she comes across like a tease, obviously all over him. And by virtually cutting out Wickham you don't get Elizabeth invested enough there to set up the prejudicial aspects falling out of that relationship.

And apparently it is Caroline not Miss Bingley. And Mr Bingley happily wanders into Jane's bedroom. And and and - Wright can boast about how great he is with period all he wants. But a few panorama shots of rural life (which show the preference for Hardy) don't excuse him the glaring blunders all over the place.

The cinematographer - who clearly wants awards - should have been reined in. He veered between Bronte and Hardy throughout the film - and wasn't the last proposal shots/lighting from Tess? The need to see Darcy walk along through the 'scape with unkempt shirt was just dumb. But most importantly - when going between those 2 very different landscapes they forget the most important one - Austen. (She'd have laughed out loud at the Elizabeth = sad, therefore = rain, running through to picturesque folly, wet Darcy rubbish).

I admit I found it impossible the watch the film without using the book as context. I was prepared to give it some leeway as it had to provide the story in a short space of time. But to forget fully one half of the core of the book in prejudice and Darcy to continually look more constipated than prideful, made it almost unwatchable. I could only see it as a mess with generally poor performances (when Knightley wasn't aping Ehle she was gurning or skipping or both and only calmed down a couple of times to indicate she does have some promise - but faffing about on swings to convey emotion isn't a substitute for a poor script and poor direction) - although for some it was simply a case of bad script.

Tom Holland alone would escape censure. While he toned down the comic aspects of Collins, he did turn in a very interesting approach. Dench does superbly the schtick she can do in her sleep whether it be here or in Oscar Wilde - but this was supposed to be Lady Catherine De Bourgh NOT Lady Bracknell. She was just a little too sane.

The shortened length could have been handled by a competent screenwriter, surely? Not characters filling in story gaps and helping along the audience all over the place. Elizabeth couldn't have come up with the £10k figure. And while they wanted to cut time with her learning of Darcy's involvement in Wickhams marriage the lines didn't fit with Lydia. It was the worst case of incongruous exposition in the piece.

It really is appalling stuff. Anyone who reviews it saying it works well in the context of the book is someone I frankly don't believe has read or understood the characterisations in the thing. Wright seems to think his characters are in the 1990s not the 1709s from their behaviour. I'm not convinced he has read the book - he certainly doesn't understand it. He doesn't understand Austen's acerbic wit or lightness of touch - he certainly made a dull plodding film out of it.

What is possibly worse was the sad pathetic need of the chick lit lovers to need the 'I love you, I love yous' all over the place so they can sigh and get off on it. The fact that it has no place in a work by Austen is apparently irrelevant.

Anyone who reviews it as a film alone? Well, more difficult for me except I would note the poor acting, the weak Darcy, and the gurning skipping inane irritation of the whole thing. If you are going to adapt you can change a lot - but if it loses the spirit and key motivations, then don't insult the book by taking it's title.

3 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Literally unwatchable, 4 September 2005

I will give it another go but ONLY if the director/producer sorts out the soundtrack.

Wholly inappropriate (booming when the 2 women are in the car, so much so that you can barely hear them, and what was the ridiculous whine when the old woman comes in and drops the books?!?).

It as is if the director feels it needs to be there all the time, and it needs to be some clichéd mystery music irrespective of what is going on in the background, and he hasn't bothered to watch it through properly afterwards or he would have realised that not only does it distract, it drowns out the audio on several occasions, all the time having no meaning/relevance to the plot. Appalling first 15 minutes, I gave up.

Remove the soundtrack and start again.