Reviews written by registered user
jackiecouchman

6 reviews in total 
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Bypass (2014)
6 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Right ingredients, wrong recipe, 19 May 2015
4/10

A Q&A session with the producer directly after the screening just reinforced my view of the movie. It was very self indulgent and, for me, missed the mark. The film techniques were very obvious and very contrived. The random, untied threads, that came and went without particular reason were nothing other than irritating. The story was a straightforward one and the subject matter interesting. However "Bypass" neither went anywhere worthwhile, nor offered hope or engagement. Rather a disappointing offering. The only thing that made it worthwhile was George MacKay's performance. He clearly inhabited the character; the pity was that for the viewer we didn't get to see inside his head or heart (or maybe he didn't have one).

8 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy) meets Olly Murs then heads to Taiwan to play chess, 29 March 2015
9/10

A content-rich story which is a good watch and an excellent source of further discussion. Brilliantly cast with utterly believable characters, this movie grabbed my attention from start to finish.

The issues of brilliance and difference amongst children (and adults) were laid out to be examined and developed. The vehicle of the Mathematics Olympiad honed the obsessive traits in context and brushed past the issue of bullying within the group. The over-the-shoulder-looks at the past cleverly teased out elements of the present.

It avoided the obvious focus of winning or losing in favour of the bigger prize - human connection.

The perfectly pitched boy-meets-girl thread moved the story to a different plane. The ending was satisfyingly ambiguous in a did they, didn't they, sort of way.

12 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
A masterpiece in indecision and klutziness, 30 June 2014
7/10

I think it's fair to say that most of us have known a Quinn-type character; excessively nervous, inclined to exhibit OCD tendencies, intelligent but inarticulate, lovable but not obviously attractive. Helberg couldn't be other than he acts himself, could he? His character is played out perfectly and hilariously. If only the same could be said for the other characters, most of which hardly got off the starting blocks. Major opportunities were missed to explore the supporting characters and their motives; maybe other movies will follow to redress this omission? Favourite moment has to be when Quinn realises that his dream "model" girl isn't at all compatible with him and his reaction to those deal-breaking traits. A funny, watchable movie which was exactly the length it needed to be. I would like to see a sequel which told us what happened next to Quinn and perhaps also what happened next to the other main characters, Devon, Kelsey, Jameson, Kurt and Terry (or maybe a retrospective for him).

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
An interesting exploration of the power and lasting effect of miscommunication against a sporting backdrop, 27 June 2014
8/10

A cheese on toast movie, soft on top, with an underpinning of gritty bits. There were plenty of characterful ingredients to this story. Adult daughter on the verge of real professional and personal success, seeking parental endorsement has to be the one I identified most strongly with. Ageing father, on the verge of enforced redundancy/retirement. Ambitious colleague, seeking to impress and make his mark no matter who gets trampled in his haste to do things his way. Loyal friend, fiercely protective of and believing in his colleague. Young wannabe, seeking fame and glory, groomed for moneymaking by an adoring father. Handsome young love interest (yes, that'd be Justin Timberlake) coming to terms with frustrated sporting prowess, on the verge of an acceptable second-best career. Poor, but highly talented kid in the background, on the verge of a preordained life of mediocrity. Clint Eastwood's dialogue was a little hard to catch at times as his voice was weak and husky. I watched this movie after a tiring day of travelling on trains and buses and it was a perfect story to relax me. Interesting enough to hold attention, slow enough to give time for reflection on the developing characters, short enough to watch without the need for a toilet break. The painful moments were nicely balanced by the more predictable, cheesy ones. One to put on the re-watch-in-a-while list.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
An inspiring true story, but a bit lacklustre in the telling, 16 February 2014
8/10

I always like to see movies based on facts, but this film didn't grip me in the way I thought it would. I found it jumped from location to location and time to time in a confusing way, not helped by lots of khaki (not a feast for the eyes). The characters weren't as engaging as they might have been, but maybe I dozed off when they were being built. I found it rather a sad, dreary, film. The art, central to the whole film, seemed on the periphery. Instead of feeling passionately about the treasures lost (and recovered) and completely championing the project, I found myself wondering if this would ever have commanded the budget in today's military. I enjoyed it, but would not buy the DVD.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A journey of hope against a background of fear and violence, 16 September 2013
8/10

This very watchable documentary follows the fate of a yellow school bus once decommissioned from active service on the school run. From the auction to the transit run through the eyes of the courier. On delivery, the importer's perspective is laid out. Side stories of the purchaser of the "raw goods", those transforming the bus fit for purpose for its new life, the background fears of the new drivers, a glimpse into home lives and the price being paid for potential advancement. It was just long enough and just detailed enough. A very objective account of a fascinating upcycling story. The only reason I marked it less than a 10 was that it was a dispassionate account that didn't really engage me emotionally.