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jameslamont

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8 reviews in total 
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109 out of 130 people found the following review useful:
Powerful, graphic, unsettling movie with a profound message of hope and human courage shown in adversity, 2 November 2011

I went into this movie with no expectations. The title made it seem like it would be a typical action movie; all guns and brawn and little in the way of storyline but boy was I wrong. This movie, based on a true story, was powerful and touched me so much that it has prompted me to write my first film review on IMDb in over six years! This is a movie with a solid pedigree of cast behind it, it is based on the life of Sam Childers (Gerard Butler), who without giving much away, has a criminal past, finds God and embarks on undertaking missionary work in civil war-torn Sudan, leaving his loyal, loving wife Lynn Childers (Michelle Monaghan) and his young daughter Paige (Madeline Carrol) back home in Penslyvania. This movie follows Sam's juggling how his Christian faith inspires him at home and also in Sudan.

Gerard Butler has always been something of an enigma to me. In my opinion he can be hit and miss as an actor, but in this movie he gives a powerhouse performance as the emotionally conflicted and stunted Sam Cilders, someone who follows his faith and shows simple, sometimes primal humanity in inhumane foreign environments. I think this is Gerard Butlers best performance to date, he expertly immerses himself into Sam , he is so believable in this role, both emotionally, mentally and physically. The audience may find it hard to remember it is just a movie at some stages. Michael Shannon is amazing a Sam's childhood friend Donnie, a troubled soul who is another person loyal to Sam but ultimately flawed.

This is not a movie I feel will get the awards it richly deserves. Similar in tone to Hotel Rwanda, it is an inspiring story but with a sobering message. It reminded me a lot of Hotel Rwanda because it showed how one man alone with enough faith in simple humanity can make a difference. Sam Childers is not a saint; far from it, he is flawed and he has a violent and criminal side and this is evident in the movie. However he is also shown as having humanity and the fact that he decides to make a stand and do something away from the comfort of his armchair in America is testament to his character. Would the audience have the courage to do what Sam did? That is a question facing the audience as they leave the movie, along with the graphic images which will haunt the audience for a long time after seeing the movie.

There are so many powerful moments in this movie that it is hard to pin point any without spoiling the plot. This is not a movie that you should take a date along to; or anyone who is squeamish or unsettled by blood and guts. This is a movie that takes the audience in the palm of their hands and opens their eyes to the blunt reality and the truth of genocide. It is similar in that way to Hotel Rwanda but I found this movie even more graphic and unsettling in many ways. This is a movie you should watch at all costs although you may not want to see it again. It is hard hitting, powerful, emotional but most of all thought provoking.

"MI-5" (2002)
22 out of 42 people found the following review useful:
Good show that has ruined itself in its third season!!!, 10 March 2005
10/10

Ever since Spooks hit the BBC back in 2002, it has been essential, innovative, superbly written and action packed drama. The first season of the show was exceptional, the show was so ground breaking in the stories and themes it tackled that it won many plaudits and won many prizes. But Seaon 3 of the show was rocked by the departure of its main stars and I will talk about that later, but first I will go over the show generally and the first two seasons particularly...

Tom Quinn (Matthew Macfayden) was the linchpin of the show and rightly so. He was an amazing character and Matthew was absolutely superb as the main star of the show. Keeley Hawes and David Oyelowo were great as Danny and Zoe as the other main cast members of the show. Peter Firth(Harry Pearce) put in a superb performance as the Spooks boss.

The biggest assets the show had was its main three characters and because they were so likable, the viewer really warmed to the characters and the actors themselves.

Never shy to stow away from controversy Season 2 of the show was also very good. The problem then came in Season 3.....

All 3 of the main characters left and there were these replacements bought in that were so obviously replacements for the others, that the viewer could not help but notice it. The sense of the closeness of the show was gone, as the show stopped focusing on the "bad guys", but started focusing solely on the Spooks private life.

One of the great things about the show was that the show dealt with a wide range of terrorism issues affecting mainland UK but in series 3, the writers were clearly more concerned with the Spooks personal lives, than the actual welfare of the country!! Maybe they should have ended the show after the second season and let the show go out on a high. There are so any stand alone memorable episodes in these two series, that you will remember them for ages. The problem was that the loss of the three main characters the audience had loved for the two previous series, had left and this has had a dramatic effect.

As for the replacements, Rupert Penry-Jones is not a patch on Matthew Macfayden and he is quite wooden at times. Olga Sosnovska is so-so as Fiona, Adams wife. They are the main replacements to the cast, but even the quite well written characters cannot help fill the void of the ex-characters departures.

I used to be a massive fan of this show and I would rate this show as one of the best on the box, and essential viewing but season 3 really let the show down. In my opinion a big part of the show was over when the main three characters left and the new replacements have not done much to change my mind. This is a prime example of a show that simply cannot survive without its main cast, there is just too much history wiped away. If you want to see a top class drama show buy Series 1 and 2 box sets, stick clear of Series 3. Good show (season 1-3) 10/10, Season 3 (4/10)

146 out of 176 people found the following review useful:
This a super show that chronicles Clark Kents teenage life!!, 24 February 2005

Set in the fictional town of Smallville, the show charts the growing up of our hero Clark Kent (Tom Welling) during his teenage years as he tries to deal with his alien powers by attempting to lead as normal teenage life as possible; complete with all its typical problems.

Lana Lang (Kirsten Kreuk) plays Clarks lonely, independent, ideal women and friend, Chloe Sullivan (Alison Mack) plays another of Clarks closest friends, a lady who as a school journalist is fascinated by all the weird events that have occurred in Smallville.Add into the fold, Lex Luther (Michael Rossenbaum) as a troubled, unlikely close friend to Clark and Lionel Luthor (John Glover) as the mean calculating father of Lex Luthor. Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole) and Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) play Clarks doting and dependable parents.

Tom Welling does an outstanding job playing Clark Kent. He brings a human-like quality to the show and the way he looks is exactly how you would imagine a young Clark Kent to look like. He is a very likable character and Tom also helps to put some of himself in the character and was basically born for the role. Michael Rossenbaum is the real star of the show though, because he plays a character that has so many depths who can be nice and pleasant most of time but has a hidden menace at the same time and the fact that he pulls it off is a testament to the quality of the actor.

John Glover, Annete O'Toole and John Schneider also do great performances in their respective roles. You can actually imagine these characters as the parents of Lex and Clark, as they bring so much to their roles. Kirsten Kreuk is basically the eye candy of the show and I would not say she is the best actress in the show. The big times she has been asked to perform big scenes she has done a good job overall.

The acting on the show is genuinely superb and of a great standard. The characters on the show are written extremely well, and they have so many different dimensions. The scripts are good and generally they try and reveal things about the characters that the viewer did not realise and this is a big plus point.

The viewer will really warm to the show because the characters are so easy to identify with. When Clark has the same problems that every teenager faces, it helps to make the show seem realistic and relevant to the teenagers today.The paramount way that this show works so well, is because the viewer KNOWS Clarks future and this is showing his past and therefore the viewer never knows what to expect. We are always aware of big things that happen to Clark in the future and the cause and effects of these problems are being explored in the show.

The writers of the show are always thinking up new story lines that the characters face that tie in with the original Superman comics and this is great. I love the fact that characters who have been in other Superman shows (from Clarks future) are constantly written into the show, and this means that the viewer knows what that character is about; as they have seen them and recognise them from before.

I have bought the DVD box-sets of this show and I would recommend it to anyone. Every episode is memorable because they all have big moments in the show that the viewer will remember and think about for ages. The amount of themes this show covers is huge and the relationships between the characters is very believable.

This is one of Warner Bros best TV shows in a long time and an absolutely brilliant television show. This show works on so many different levels and it will appeal to not just Superman fans but to fans of entertaining and exciting plot-driven TV shows. This show easily beats the other Superman competition and is an ideal addition to any Superman fans collection. This is essential viewing for Superman fans.

10/10 Go and watch this now!!

38 out of 46 people found the following review useful:
A superb character driven teenage drama program, 23 February 2005

Dawsons Creek was revolutionary as it was a show that really cared about its characters, the story lines and the audience. The characters in the show were very likable, honest people who the audience grew to love. The thing that puts this show above most of the other teenage shows is the strength of the acting, the character depth, the realism of the show and the way the show is written.

Dawsons Creek follows the trials and tribulations of a group of very close teenage friends who are growing up in the fictional seaside town of Capeside. James Van Der Beek plays the main character in the show, the honest, romantic and genuinely good-guy Dawson Leery. Katie Holmes soul mate Joey Potter and Joshua Jackson was the plays his life-long best friend and funny, naughty and charming other best friend Pacey Whitter. Kerr Smith and Michelle Williams does a good job as Jen Lindley and Jack McPhee who were the other main cast in the show and who were also friends with the other three characters.

The show is mainly about these teenagers growing up through their adolescent years and it shows all the problems that they encounter, and by having each other the characters so close to each other it means they all have people they can turn too when things go wrong. This show dealt with a massive amount of issues and themes whether it be: sexual encounters, affairs, deaths, gay characters, love triangles, fights, mental problems etc and at the heart of the show is the problems they all have with growing up into adults.

Many people complain about the way that these characters spoke in sophisticated vocabulary that was unrealistic to how teenagers would really speak and that may be true to a point that was one of the good things about the show. It did not stick by the conventional teenage drama mould that has been copied many times by other shows.

All the characters in the show are very complex and because they are all there from day one the viewer learns to love each character because we come to respect and understand them. The viewer can also learn to see things they like in each of the characters and because the show stays true to itself, the characters do not change they just evolve.

The writing in this show is generally of a very good standard, and particularly in the first three seasons the music score is also great. The best episode of the show is probably "The Longest Day" as this is just superbly directed and put together and will probably rank among the best for many fans of the show.

A big strength of this show is that it appeals to a large amount of people in the teenage age group and unlike most teenage shows, it appeals to both men and women. I think this is due to the fact that the characters are not just two-dimension Hollywood cutouts and they all have deep personalities. The audience can identify with the characters because they paint a realistic portrayal of teenage life.

I personally think the show went on for too long and it should have finished after the fourth season. This is due to the fact that in Season 5 most of the characters moved away to different parts of the country and the closeness of the characters we had become to love simply vanished. The new characters that were cast into the show did not really add much to the already established show.

Go and see this show 9/10

212 out of 253 people found the following review useful:
A great teenage show that deals with many important issues and moral problems!, 23 February 2005
10/10

One Tree Hill is Warner Brothers latest effort to emulate the success of its popular 90's teenage show Dawsons Creek and it a very good job overall. This show really will appeal to the teenage audience, and young adults and it is very plot driven to this age range. The show deals with a lot of sensitive issues that teenagers face such as: sex, drugs,marriage, adoption, affairs, conflicts etc.

The show is set in the fictional town of One Tree Hill and it stars: Chad Michael Murray as honest, likable Lucas Scott, James Laferty as spoilt rich child Nathan Scott, Hillarie Burton as the lonely but good hearted Peyton and Sophia Bush as the feisty but popular Brooke. The actors and actresses cast in these young roles really are the eye candy of the show. They all put in good performances and are totally believable in their roles.

Backing up the cast are a set of adult actors and actresses and these really add another depth to the show. Paul Johansson (Dan Scott) and Moira Kelly (Karen Scott) deserve mentions as they put in great performances as the respective struggling single mother and evil father of the boys. Craig Sheffer (Keith Scott) does a strong performance as Lucas step father and Dan Scotts bother, Barbara Alyn Woods (Deb Scott) makes a good long suffering wife and mother to Dan and Nathan look believable and Barry Cobin does a sturdy performance as Coach Whitey. The adult actors really shine in this show and they help to make the characters interact as well as the children on the show.

Underneath the shows skin is the running pulse of the conflict between long-lost brothers Nathan and Lucas Scott and that is what the whole show is built on. This show works so well is because it allows the adults as much air time as the teenagers and this lets the viewers care much more about all the characters, not just the teenage ones.

The characters are nearly all beautiful, teenage girls will droll over the eye candy of Lucas and Nathan and the teenage boys will droll over Brooke and Peyton. But the fact is that these characters are all very well written and it means that the audience identifies and likes each of the characters in their own unique way. They are certainly not two dimensional characters and as the actors and actresses can act means they are believable.

One Tree Hill is one of the most underrated shows on Television, and this is due to the fact that most people dismiss this show at first hand because they compare it with other teenage shows such as The OC and thats not really fair. This show has some human like quality that makes the show seem down-to-earth and relevant to many people. It does not have the fan base popularity that other teenage shows have, but it nevertheless has a very loyal set of viewers who tune in every week to watch the latest comings and goings on in Tree Hill.

There are some very good episodes of this show, but some others that aren't so good. But the show always churns out consistently good episodes and this means it is much harder to judge how good the show really is in its genre. If you want to see a good solid teenage drama that deals with real issues, in a human way, this is the show for you. Don't miss it 10/10

"24" (2001)
382 out of 554 people found the following review useful:
An entertaining, classy and action-packed drama that breaks new ground in the television world!, 21 February 2005
10/10

This show can best be described as the most innovative, ground-breaking television show of the past 50 years. The reason this show is so ground breaking is the fact that it has used split screen cameras, and a real time format to create the element of a quality made show.

The show follows the worst days of likable, down-to-earth hero Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) and each episode chronicles every hour of the day, and is shot in real-time. What makes this show so unique are the character relationships, the shows writing and the attention to detail.Whether the shows themes are about kidnappings, bomb threats, personal vendettas, assassinations, or terrorist attacks the themes are handled in such a compelling way that the viewer is hooked at every jump and turn.

The viewers really learn to care about Jack as we learn more about his life and his past. Kiefer Sutherland was perfect for the role as Jack Bauer, so much that many people describe him as "born for the role". Dennis Haysbert does a superb acting job as Sen David Palmer and the show has an excellent group of characters who make the support team of the show and these include Carols Bernard as Tony and Elisha Cuthbert as Kim Bauer. A big bonus of the show is that 24 is constantly surprising viewers in unexpected moments, and you never know what to expect on the show. Anything can and does happen.

The scripts on this show are top class and they deserve a mention in their own right. The attention to detail as I mentioned earlier is prominent with the real time aspect of the show. There are very rarely any mistakes with the time aspect of the show, and this is a strength of the show. The show always uses multiple split screen camera shots and this is innovative work because it helps to make the show seem realistic and also in real time. You will also see most of the camera focused on Jacks point of view and this is to make the show from a humans point of view and it helps to bring the viewer more involved in the show.

The story may change; new characters may arrive and leave but one thing always stays the same; the underlying story of the show is about one mans fight to do what is right. If there is a bad aspect to this show it may be that some of the action sequences are a bit too predictable, but this is rare and should not detach from the viewers viewing pleasure of the show. This show will make you feel every emotion under the sun but nevertheless it is gripping, thrilling storytelling of the highest calibre. Long may this show continue and the legacy of this show will be remembered for many years to come. Miss this at your peril 10/10

392 out of 486 people found the following review useful:
An Heartwarming movie that makes your insides go mushy with emotions!!!, 3 January 2005
10/10

I went into this movie with the misconception of thinking this was just another typical romantic movie, but I was very impressed by this film and the themes portrayed in this movie were handled in a great way.

This movie will have you feeling happy and joyful and the scenery is just brilliant. You will feel like you are part of the characters, and you will care about them throughout the whole movie.

The movie gallops in speed as we are absorbed into the great plot and brilliant acting of all the cast involved. Ryan Gosling is brilliant as the shy and quiet Noah, and Rachael McAdams is superbly beautiful as the star of the movie, Allie.

As I said earlier in my review, I did go into the movie not expecting much and that was because I thought it was a typical "boy loves girl" movie which are sometimes just too predictable. Don't get me wrong, they are some good Romantic movies that pull it off very well, but there are simply too many in that particular genre.

The best thing about this movie was the depth of the plot and the actors playing their characters so well. The supporting cast were good, and James Marsden deserves a mention for managing to pull of a hard role as the "rich man" well. Another plus point about this movie was the great script, and you did not see too many "cliches" which is always a good sign in a Romance movie.

It does not matter whether you love romantic movies or hate them, this is NOT just a romantic movie it is so more than that. By the end of the movie you will feel a whole heap of emotions. You will be talking about this movie for a long time.

The only bad part about this movie is the length, which I think could be shortened a bit but on the whole this was a superb movie which is well worth a watch.

Go and Watch this! Amazing movie which will have you brimming with joy.

9 1/2 out of 10

Frailty (2001)
117 out of 151 people found the following review useful:
A very disturbing movie, 31 August 2004
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very dark and intriguing horror type thriller based on the idea of religious murders. The storyline centres on a deranged man who lives in Texas, US who suddenly goes on a killing spree with his two young sons after being instructed by God to redeem the world of bad people.

Bill Paxton who directs this movie plays the deranged Father who is known as the Hand of God Killer while Matthew McConaughey plays his finest performances to date as the oldest son, Fenton Meiks. The film revolves around Fenton who decides he can no longer hold the burden of his murderous childhood alone and uses flashbacks to hauntingly tell the story to FBI Agent Wesley Doyle (played by Powers Boothe).

I cannot think of many movies that literally keep the viewer chained to their seat from start to finish and this is definitely one of them. Even if you want to stop watching, you wont be able to because of the sheer power of this movie.

The directors have filmed this movie very well, and they help to set the plot through the good scenery. The acting in this movie is great but if there is any drawback it is that some parts are very powerful and may disturb some people.

Whilst the concept of this film is very dark, the young children help to portray the idea through brilliant acting. This really is a spine tingly movie and it is guaranteed to have you at the edge of your seat throughout. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys horror, disturbing and powerful movies or anyone who just wants to see something different.

8/10