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Twin Peaks (2017)
A near-perfect exploration of mindfulness and anxiety's relationship to time
What year is this?
Can you believe that over 25 years has passed since the original Twin Peaks?
Who were you 25 years ago?
Were you a teenager with the world at your doorstep?
Perhaps you had just turned 30 and were dealing with the reality that you live in a nightmare?
Maybe you were approaching retirement and looking forward to reclaiming your life from capitalism?
Or maybe you were non-existent?
Suffice to say, you are not the person that you were then.
You will never be that person again.
You are you today.
You are not the you of yesteryear.
And yet instead of being mindful and focusing on where we are at a particular place in time and space, we often dwell on who we used to be, and who we will be.
But we cannot change the past, and we cannot control our future.
It's a theme prevalent throughout this return to Twin Peaks.
Lynch and Frost explore the sheer terror of time and the role it plays in fostering anxiety within their audience.
At the root of anxiety is our past and our future.
It can either be brought on by thinking of mistakes, or because of some sort of trauma we experienced, in the past; or it can be brought on by thinking of things yet to come and things we do not yet understand.
As such, there is no better time to be than in the present. For better or worse, you must stay in the present to have any chance of warding off this anxiety.
This is very important to remember as you sit down and watch what is, effectively, an 18-hour movie. There are no 'episodes' here, there are 'parts'.
This is a key distinction. If you attempt to sit down and watch this with 'episode' in mind, you will be left confused, annoyed, frustrated, and unimpressed.
An 'episode' is a chain of events happening in a sequence; but a 'part' is something that makes up a whole thing.
The whole is full of anxiety and things we cannot control - these are the combined parts. Those parts have happened, will happen, and are happening right now.
Those parts needn't be in any particular chronological or sequential order.
After all, anxiety's relationship to time is so powerful that we can relive the horror of our past in the present; while, almost simultaneously, we can feel terror as we ponder our future.
It's all so strong that we can even ponder the future of a past that we cannot have.
There's nothing truly sequential about these moments - lived or un- lived - that invade our present in an arbitrary manner over the space of a whole day, week, month, year or longer.
And yet despite how all over the place these parts may be, they still make up who we are; they still make up the whole of our existence.
The usage of time isn't something entirely new to Twin Peaks, especially THAT Fire Walk With Me scene in Laura's bedroom, but time has never been more important than in The Return.
Note that this is not season 3 of Twin Peaks. It stands alone from the original show, much like 'Fire Walk With Me'.
It is a 'return' - but a return to what exactly?
It is not the return of your beloved Twin Peaks of the 1990s.
Lynch and Frost are dealing with a rabid fanbase that, on one hand, demands new intrigue and new lore; while also wanting to explore old locations and characters.
As such, The Return is caught in a struggle between the lore's past, present and future.
But Lynch and Frost also want to remind you of how important it is to be mindful.
Interspersed within terrifying and turbulent scenes are moments of sheer, undiluted presence of mind.
You will see two characters sitting and mindlessly staring at an object in silence.
You will see otherworldly happenings.
You will see someone sweep the floor for two minutes.
You will see extreme violence.
You will see a musical performance.
Twin Peaks: The Return travels between realism and surrealism like the flick of a light switch.
That may not be something new for those familiar with the original show, but there's an inescapable feeling of discomfort throughout that is missing from the more formulaic original.
It plays with your anxieties over time: fear of time being wasted on scenes with seemingly no purpose, fear of not being in control of the story, and fear of whether or not you will reach the end having understood what you have just watched.
Whether you choose to accept or reject that you do not understand the whole, and whether or not you are able to make peace with that choice, will likely dictate how much you enjoy The Return.
Unlike the uncertainty and mystery within the original Twin Peaks run regarding Laura Palmer's murderer, which likely left you deeply intrigued and whimsical, this 18-hour movie's uncertainty and mystery is full of inescapable darkness and palpable anxiety.
Will we see this?
Is this going to happen?
Will this be resolved?
What is happening?
This is an existential crisis playing out in front of your eyes – both for you and your beloved characters.
It is uncomfortable viewing, but with some of the most satisfying pay-offs I have ever felt.
Remember: parts, not episodes.
Now, to get to the review part.
Actually... I think too much time has passed.
I have other things to do, other places to be, and other memories to dwell upon.
Come to think of it, what year is this?
The Simpsons Movie (2007)
First watching - alright; second watching - pretty good
I watched The Simpsons Movie back in 2007 at the cinema. It was...average. Nothing special, played like one of the modern episodes of the show.
I watched it again a few nights ago and I have to say, I actually enjoyed it this time around. I still don't get Spiderpig and it's appeal - just stupid, as was 'Boob Lady' - completely pointless character.
This aside, the movie is satisfying. I honestly think I went into the cinema with pure hatred in my eyes, I expected it to be bad. Now two years later I'm a bit less biased and, well, I haven't watched The Simpsons in so long that it was like revisiting old friends.
The narrative is pretty good, despite the brain-dead distractions of Spiderpig and Boob Lady. I really feel that Russ Cargill should have been Scorpio. I know, I know...Scorpio was a one-off parody villain who wouldn't have a reason to harm Homer and Springfield. But still, it would have been nice.
Overall, open your eyes and watch at as The Simpsons without thinking about The 'old' Simpsons and The 'new' Simpsons. Just enjoy it for what it is. 7/10
The Sword in the Stone (1963)
While Carsten Corleis' review on here hits the nail on the head and I thoroughly recommend reading it, I'll give you my perspective.
This is not a perfect movie by any length, but it has heart. There's happiness and there's sadness. It features one of the most powerful scenes in a movie I've ever seen. The young female squirrel with tears in her eyes and a broken heart is just so heart-wrenching.
We must remember that kids need to see the good and the bad to have moral perspective. And let's face it, you wouldn't see such a sad scene in today's animated movies. And if you did, it would be made happy by the movie's end.
The story is a bit lacking, but it's a kids movies at the end of the day.
Merlin's final line of the movie is far more powerful and takes on a different meaning that it would have had back in the day as a simple joke: "Motion picture...that's like television, without commercials." The irony is a bit too much to bare.
This is an innocent wee movie, definitely one to show the kids. 7/10
This is certainly one of the most situational episodes of the Fresh Prince that you'll no doubt remember.
Will fancies himself as a chef and ends up burning the entire kitchen down, after attempting to infamously kick the fire out! Unfortunately, Uncle Phil has guests over for dinner who could help boost his career. With the Uncle, Aunt and guests unaware of what has happened, Will and the rest try to conceal the damage.
It's a solid enough episode and season opener. It has some good funnies. Definitely one you'll remember, probably because it's quite a simple episode. 7/10
Superb action movie with heart
Aliens is a classic. Even 23 years after its release and multiple watches later, it still captures my attention when channel flicking. Everything in the movie is top-notch and I mean EVERYTHING. Acting, script, plot, story, direction, editing, sound, props...you name it, it does it to such a high quality.
Ripley returns and proves that she truly is one of cinema's most iconic characters; a kick-ass female who's more in-tune with her feminine side than Sarah Connor, but no less dangerous. She's joined by the likes of the hardened but amiable Hicks (Michael Biehn), Bishop (played by the fantastic Lance Henriksen) and many other memorable characters.
Aliens is pretty much the highest quality action/sci-fi movie out there, even all the way down to the subtext. It surpassed its sequel, but at the same time it's a different beast to its predecessor. It has yet to be beaten in its class and rightfully so. 10/10
Packs a memorable punch, but not quite a knockout
I have to say, the IMDb rating for this movie is perfect. An 8.0 describes what Rocky is: a fairly great movie and completely deserving of its place as one of the top 250 movies of all time.
While I don't believe it to be the best in the series (Rocky Balboa is just above this), it did start it all and is such a great romance movie. It's not only romance in a physical sense, but romance in terms of what it does for the sport of boxing.
Rocky's a fighter in every regard, and he's played (and written) very well by Stallone. Talia Shire is also memorable in her role as Adrian (my word isn't she beautiful?) and you can't help but smile anytime Burt Young (playing Paulie) is on-screen, despite his horrible deeds.
Mickey's visit to Rocky's flat demonstrates Burgess Meredith's supreme acting skills; he and Stallone make a great, and unlikely, acting team. Finally, Carl Weathers is often forgotten but here he puts in a fine performance as Apollo Creed.
While it is a bit slow and showing its age now, Rocky is all heart. The only thing that could put first-time watchers off here would be the hype behind the character of Rocky, as they will no doubt find themselves confused by what they've heard and what they're seeing. But please do give him time to win you over. It's inevitable he will. 8/10
After reading HNSampat-2's review, I had to respond. Sampat writes that the episode should be disowned, but it's the 39th best rated TNG episode out of 176 on IMDb. It's the highest rated episode out of the first season. And if we consider the people who are taking the effort to rate each episode, it's obvious that it's the fans who think it deserves a 7.9.
So I put it to you Sampat - how is it not Star Trek? That's a load of rubbish. This show made Star Trek what it is today.
And this episode DOES relate to space. In fact, it's a prelude to what should have been a future space adventure episode relating to these beings. Instead they were replaced by the Borg.
The episode is very enjoyable. There's some dodgy direction in the fight scenes, but outside of that it's a joy to see the actors begin to gel with their characters. I could always remember this episode from when I was younger due to the beeping of the beacon sent out - chilling stuff.
Also, watch out for horror specialist Michael Berryman (Pluto in The Hills Have Eyes) making a guest appearance. 9/10
A well-executed TV movie
While doing a bit of studying for a course during the day, this TV movie popped on the tele. I was about to begin the channel hopping process to find something more suitable for background watching when the title flashed up 'Murder, She Wrote'. Now I'm no massive fan of the show, but I'll admit that I do enjoy repeats when I see them; no exceptions here.
The opening attracts the viewer right away. It's the classic 'whodunit' model as we see an African-American fellow running from an angry mob of Southerners. This is great scene-setting, as almost everyone can gather from these establishing shots and the props that we're way back during the times of black slavery. The final shot before we flash-forward to the modern day is literally a shot (from a gun). We don't see who shoots the man looking to escape, but we want to know who.
To find out who fired the gun and reach the dramatic climax, we need some present-day detective work from none other than Jessica Fletcher and her great Southern Aunt, Sarah McCullough (an initially laughable technique to put Jessica Fletcher in the past, but ultimately very effective).
The man that we saw running and, presumably, shot is Sam; a black slave owned by Sarah. Sam is accused of murdering a white man and from there on in it's classic Murder, She Wrote.
The acting is really something special. The stand-out for me is Michael Jace as Sam. What a wonderful performance, delivered with such skill and integrity - considering the subject matter. Angela Lansbury (who was around about 75 when this was filmed) is as strong as ever in arguably her most famous role.
My only problem was with some of the props and the haircuts/facial hair. For some reason, they took me out of the immersion that the telemovie had so far provided; a few of the extras looked as if they were modern day people dressed in costume, bah! Nonetheless, this is a good telemovie and yet another great outing from Jessica Fletcher. 8/10 Oh, and happy birthday Angela Lansbury. Just turned 84 and I hear she's on Broadway again, brilliant!
Last Ride (2009)
Once again, Australian cinema gets it right
I'm loving Australian cinema at the moment. It's showing a side of Australia we never see after years of Crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin. I loved Kenny and loved Beautiful Kate even more. While I don't think it's quite in the same league as the latter, it's still yet another movie which shows the beauty of Australia's great outdoors.
But despite its visual warmth, the backbone of the movie is its dark story. It reveals itself gradually through-out the plot. You will hate Kev (the father), but there will come a point where you will actually come to accept him. Weaving is, as to be expected, solid and his co-star Tom Russell (Chook, the son) looks set to have a great future in the business.
It's a very good movie that you should check out if you get the chance. 8/10
Le renard et l'enfant (2007)
I felt like a kid while watching this; I loved it
There's perhaps a special reason why The Fox and the Child hit a special note in my heart. Having just said goodbye to my new fiancée - of oh...one day - for an unknown period of time, I was a bit overwhelmed with varying emotions and was suffering the fallout from putting on the brave face she needed to see.
I watched a few movies and TV shows, but my interest darted from what I was leaving behind to what is out there and what I haven't seen. For that, I have this movie to thank.
Being a nature lover and having heard about the film beforehand, I was sure I was going to like it anyway. But I didn't just like it, I loved it.
The technical mastery is astounding. How did they do it? How did they capture the animals in the way they did?? It's just wonderful.
The moral of the tale is a good one and while the ending is oh so French and ambiguous, it's a happy/sad one. Again, it caught me a bit off-guard. As a man who usually keeps his emotions to himself, the ending was tough going while on a plane full of people I would be seeing for the next 15 or so hours! Perhaps it's because the ending made me think back to what I left.
But for those few hours on the plane, I was happy to see something new and original. And that's life. Sure, there are those things you love and feel comfortable around...but the great outdoors holds many a mystery. So the next time I see something out of the ordinary while out in the open; I'm going to explore it, observe it and embrace it. That's precisely what happens in this movie and that's precisely what you should do with this darn good movie/nature doc too. 8/10
P.S. It's two months on from the plane journey. We still don't know when we'll see each other again, but we will.
The Choir (2007)
An interesting take on documentary
The Choir is a very awkward documentary which is saved by its subject matter being so fantastic.
I really don't know what Michael Davie was trying to achieve. This is because the direction and framing suggest that the majority of scenes were set-up. Actually, it feels like that for most of the movie. But perhaps it's good that there are movie makers out there breaking the mould. Yet, I can't help but feel it hasn't worked due to my failure to fully work out if it was real or not.
That being said, it's an uplifting, and equally saddening, story. The documentary focuses on the teacher of the prison choir and a new member over a period of six years. It's an interesting relationship.
All in all, The Choir is a very good documentary. I have issues with it, but it's ultimately the story that matters. 7/10
My Name Is Bruce (2007)
Could have been better, but still solid
My Name is Bruce feels like it misses more than it hits, but the hits are so damn good.
Most of the movie's punchlines are used up early on. It makes the start of the movie absolutely brilliant, but leaves you feeling shortchanged during the latter parts.
It's just far too cheesy for its own good. When everyone first heard of this project, we thought it would be Evil Dead 4. There is near enough no mention of Bruce being mistaken for his character of Ash (from Evil Dead) as the summary misleads. I have to question the director and writer's ability. Like the movie in general, they are hit and miss. Yet Bruce Campbell is wonderful as always.
You should still watch it, for it's a solid and original comedy. But it could have been so much better... 7/10
Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)
A worthwhile watch for all
Bubba Ho-tep has got to be one of the most unique movies I have seen in a long time. After six years of saying "I'll get around to watching it", I finally got it in the Bruce Campbell collection. Although the concept sounds very far-fetched, it's actually a very simple movie. Yet it really has a complexity to it that's hard to explain. Really, you should just watch this movie.
It's not exclusively for Bruce Campbell fans, but for fans of original stories. That being said, Bruce Campbell is brilliant as Elvis. His usual zany and unique performance is toned down to the point that he is almost unrecognisable, and it works.
The late Ossie Davis will certainly raise smiles with his endearing performance as Jack or, rather, JFK.
Don Coscarelli surprises with a well-directed and adapted story. It has great atmosphere and it will feel you leaving a wee bit emotional. It's over before it has even started, but it really is a very good little gem that should be watched by all. 8/10
District 9 (2009)
It belongs in District 9 of IMDb
I remember seeing Alive in Joburg three years ago, after I found out that Neill Blomkamp was going to direct the movie adaptation of Halo. I was impressed by the idea and hoped to, one day, see it adapted to the big screen.
A year later, I was pleased to find out District 9 was in the making. For the next couple of years, I followed news of the movie with great interest. Finally, I got to see it last week. Disappointment?
No, it was...awesome.
I figured that I may have hyped myself out for this one or that the old "i-hate-it-because-it's-popular-now" beast was going to shed my skin; but District 9 delivered.
It very much is a movie of many sides with the main themes being:
- Documentary - Action - Alien - Human
I was so impressed by the way that these four sides integrated into the movie. It's amazing how it moves from alien documentary, to human documentary, to human drama/action and, finally, to the alien story.
The main character was great. A completely human anti-hero rather than an over-the-top marine hero or something. His physical changes are mirrored by his changes in perception of how things are; it's great character development. Also, he's very well-acted by Sharlto Copley - while the Academy may snub him, I think he is Oscar worthy in the eyes of many others.
Blomkamp's experience with directing CGI really shows in this movie. He's at absolute ease with this kind of stuff and it's all rather believable - that's coming from someone who usually dislikes CGI in movies.
My only main criticism was with the intro. I feel it could have been done a lot better as it felt a bit jarring. But, it was still vital to the movie in terms of scene-setting.
This movie has much more to it than I have written, but I'll just leave it at that and recommend you see District 9. 9/10
Star Trek: Voyager: Life Line (2000)
Another great Doctor episode
Yet again, Robert Picardo delivers a wonderful performance...this time in the form of a double act as both the Doctor and his ailing creator Dr. Zimmerman.
The Doctor is sent to save his creator, but soon finds his appearance is most unwelcome. As always with Star Trek, not everything is at it seems.
We're also treated to a couple of great guest stars from The Next Generation, adding to the episode's general feeling, its authenticity if you will.
Overall, pretty great. 8/10
Cool Runnings (1993)
Cool Runnings is a simple movie, based on the infamous exploits of the 1988 Jamaican Bobsled team.
While not a fully faithful 'biopic', it does take the core idea and feeling behind the 1988 team and makes a Hollywood version of the story. The characters are fictional and the main chunk of the movie is, as such, presumably fictional too.
It intersects real footage from the 1988 Winter Olympics into the movie when the team are riding the bobsled on the ice track.
The movie gives us a nice message about never giving in if you have dreams. This message is expanded in a number of ways beyond Derice's dream to compete in the Olympics...you'll certainly enjoy the chemistry between the characters.
And while we get this nice message, we also get an entertaining, funny and charming movie that is full of character and memorable moments.
Nothing to technically comment on here. Everything in Cool Runnings is smooth, as is the acting...although I presume Jamaicans will have something to say about the accents; but they're not too bad.
It's a solid family movie that leaves you with a smile on your face. 7/10
This episode is a real grower and is, without a doubt, evidence that Voyager could rise above its predecessors with an intelligent plot.
Fans of The Doctor will get an especially good kick out of this episode as he achieves some sort of humanity. It'll give you a warm smile, much in the way Data's quest for humanity did for many TNG fans.
Daniel Dae Kim's appearance as Gotana-Retz is certainly welcome as is his acting which appears very basic on the surface, yet his style suits the universe so well. I could imagine him being a cast member of a future Star Trek.
For me, the ending is the best part of the episode. It'll make you feel warm, happy and sad. An extremely great story that manages to put itself among the best of the Star Trek episodes.
Beautiful Kate (2009)
The best movie of 2009 (so far); unmissable
Let me start by saying that Beautiful Kate is an acquired taste. I believe that it's a movie that'll either shock you or enthrall you. This will depend on how attached you can become to a film. If you are not one of those people, then you'll still find an interesting, yet disturbing, flick.
If you are one of those 'attached' people, like me, then you will find an unexpected masterpiece.
Technically, there is a lot of impressive stuff here. The direction, editing, production and cinematography are most impressive. The editing is the notable mention for the way in which the film blends together different timelines in such a seamless manner. So while the director performs brilliantly, I think it's the editing team who should step forward and take the final bow for creating something so cohesive. But South Australia must also take a bow for providing some spectacular backdrops which you will get to see as the movie progresses.
I think Kate will go down as a critics' favourite and I hope to see it win big at awards. Australia is the place to be for art-house films these days. Beautiful Kate is the pinnacle of modern Australian movies. In recent years we've seen the quality of Australian storytelling from 'Ten Canoes' all the way through to the likes of 'Kenny'.
If you liked this, then I thoroughly recommend you also see 'Last Ride' with Hugo Weaving.
To summarise, Beautiful Kate's dark subject matter is superbly crafted with technical and artistic skill that will lead you on a roller-coaster of emotion. Unforgettable. 10/10
Seinfeld: The Wait Out (1996)
While not the best Seinfeld episode, this is still an enjoyable little romp.
George makes a remark to a couple who are having a rough time. The couple then break-up and George is left feeling guilty. Meanwhile, Jerry and Elaine try to get dates with the new singletons. Watching Jerry and Elaine co-ordinate their moves raises a smile.
The episode isn't remarkably funny, but still engaging. The funny parts come from Kramer and his tight jeans - brilliant! The Frankenstein bit had me chuckling!
All in all, worth a watch. 7/10
Seinfeld: The Cadillac (1996)
This was the first episode of Seinfeld I had watched in full and it happened to be an hour long special! It was such a load of fun and full of laughs, even though I didn't really know the characters too well. Plus we get to see Marisa Tomei make a cameo appearance out of nowhere!
The story revolves around a few things, the main part being that Jerry buys his father a Cadillac after landing a fortune at a big gig. But those at the condo where his father lives, and is the President of, believe he has used funds from the office to buy it.
Meanwhile, George becomes obsessed with Marisa Tomei and Kramer has a hilarious run-in with a cable guy. The chase is just fantastic! There are plenty of gags here and I recommend anyone new to Seinfeld watch this episode to get a feel for it. 9/10
Mysterious Island (2005)
Fairly mediocre, but with cheesy appeal
I know this was pretty meh, yet I couldn't help but enjoy it. Part one is definitely the more enjoyable of the two, while part two is just bad.
I hadn't read or seen Mysterious Island previous to this so I can't comment on how faithful it is. My guess would be: not very.
The direction is lame, the editing is lacking and the acting is sub-par. At times, it was enjoyable. The props, set-design and location were a nice touch but the CGI - oh my God! Terrible! The over-sized-insects looking bad I could take...but the CGI-heavy ending is AWFUL!
I want to tell you to avoid it but...it appealed to me because sometimes I like action to be cheesy, stupid and unintentionally funny. If you do too, watch it. If not, stay far away says I. 6/10
P.S. I didn't even recognise Vinnie Jones. I don't know what to say to that. I guess it's a compliment...
Hyped to the point of being mediocre
Having seen clips of the show on youtube, I decided to give the much advertised 'Season Finale' a go. It was pretty mediocre with moments of brilliance.
The main problem was Angus Sampson. I'm aware he's been on it many times and his 'been there, done that' attitude was annoying. His performance wasn't even that funny. Yet he manages to slightly redeem himself in the 'Showbiz Squares' skit by...being quiet! Funny stuff.
The starship performance could have been so much better had the person known some good Star Trek gags.
And as for that stupid dancing pre-recorded thing at the end...my word, terrible! Absolutely terrible. Maybe I just don't get Aussie humour as well as I think I do or it really was that bad.
Anyways, I imagine that with the right players involved it would be hilarious. But this episode certainly wasn't. 5/10 P.S. Loses a mark for the judge annoying me...
I had watched a few episodes of Mr. Bean: The Animated Series around the time of its initial release. I always thought it was a bit rubbish.
I saw it on TV not long ago and decided to give it another go. It wasn't bad, but it was as the above summary says: meh.
Not really funny and a bit aimless...I wasn't really sure what the target market was from watching this episode. Is it a kids show or is it aimed at both kids and adults or is it for kids and Bean fans? It was all a bit vague.
Still, animation was quite nice in regards to Bean's imagination during his time at the cinema. Not worth watching this one though. 5/10
Michael Jackson Memorial (2009)
Suspect ending, otherwise great tribute
I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning watching Michael Jackson's memorial. It was very hard to look away from it despite my tiredness. There were many worthy performances. My favourites included Stevie Wonder's performance, John Mayer's version of 'Human Nature' (a favourite) and 'Smile' by Jermaine Jackson.
You could really feel what everyone was going through on-stage, off-stage and around the world.
Marlon Jackson's emotional speech at the end was beautiful. While not a religious person, it was clear how genuine he was being. That was contrasted by Paris' (MJ's daughter) speech. She seemed to be forced into saying those words. I feel for her, but it seemed so fake. This tarnished an otherwise great memorial. RIP Michael.
The Edge of Love (2008)
At times, edge of seat stuff
This is primarily about love in WWII, yet we must remember that it's also a biopic for Dylan Thomas and those around him at this particular stage in his life.
The movie's timing is just great. It really captures what I think would have been the spirit during those times; smiling and hoping you're not going to get bombed. While it may prove boring to some, the movie does have a particularly dangerous edge to it.
At one point, my heart was racing towards the end as the movie hits its climax. It really does feature some poignant moments that are handled with skill by the four main actors. Cillian Murphy is on fine form here, as is Matthew Rhys. Both are polar opposites and it makes for an interesting watch. The relationship formed between Sienna Miller and Keira Knightley's characters is wonderful and we have the acting to thank (and watch out for a cameo by Suggs of 'Madness').
Despite all of this, it's a rather slow movie. Coupled with the fact it's just shy of two hours, it's quite a slog to get to the conclusion.
Overall, it's a solid non-fiction war movie with many wonderfully crafted moments that were no doubt helped by the splendid number of well-known British names behind the scenes. But it really does drone on for too much at times. Still, a worthwhile watch. 7/10