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22 reviews in total 
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The Road (2009/I)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Stunning. Simply, stunning., 31 January 2010

To those who like their films handed to them on a plate. Those who don't want to think or appreciate beautiful films and stories, look away now. And to those who want a happy ending, certainly look away now. The Road is the most depressing film I'll ever see, but also one of the best.

Having read the book over Christmas I was touched by the beauty of the writing and how the relationship between the father and son was portrayed. So I was really hoping the movie would do the book justice, and I wasn't disappointed. Everything about this film worked perfectly.

Mortensen's voice over is haunting. It fits so well with whats going on, lines like 'I think its October' really strike you to the situation the desperate pair are in. The cinematography is some of the best I've ever seen, and the settings were really similar to how I pictured them in my head when reading the book. Along with a terrific score, the movie is filled with some of the most painful and frightening scenes I've ever seen.

The performances are great all round, but Mortensen is the stand out by quite a way. Surely a best actor Oscar nomination is on the way. If this film was to sweep all awards in fact, it would be deservedly so.

Final thought, as I was leaving the theatre, the only thought I had was a scary one. Who can say this could never happen to us????? Silly maybe, but thats the effect the film had on me.

See The Road everyone.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
such a great movie, 3 June 2009

I watched this movie for the first time last week and I was astounded. This really is a great movie that will have you thinking about it in the days after you watch it. The cast are great, the writings great, and the story is great.

I love these kind of films. There are far too man films made these days that tell you nothing. This is a special movie that you will walk away from with a smile on your face and a determination to do something more with yourself.

Matt Damon is quickly becoming one of my favourite actors now, and his performance here is superb, the same goes for Robin Williams. Minnie Driver is another actress who is supremely talented. Every individual involved gets top marks.

Good Will Hunting is a fantastic movie, one I will no doubt watch again and again.

Martyrs (2008)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
im just not sure about this movie, 2 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this movie last night, and Im still trying to get my head around what I seen. It really is an experience sitting through it and for that I respect what the director has done, but I just cant see myself sitting through it again or purchasing the DVD. As a horror, it definitely works. It has some truly horrific scenes throughout, and it definitely is NOT one for the faint hearted. So much takes place its hard to believe that its only just over 90 minutes.

Im a big fan of foreign films, and I was sold immediately by the great reviews Martyrs received. But this film goes in so many directions, and at times is really hard to watch. The torture scenes towards the end are really tough viewing, and the twist at the end will have you floored. A very weird movie that some will love, and some will hate. Im just not sure what I think of it.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
somehow it works, 12 May 2009

If you were to ask me the one thing I hate about movies, my answer would be this: the amount of stupid horror films that are made nowadays. I think I've only ever seen one great horror movie, The Blair Witch Project, and I've been greatly disappointed over the amount of times I've sat down to a horror only to be left disappointed. So when I sat down to watch The Strangers, I wasn't very optimistic. But I was in for a surprise. Two lovers terrorised in an empty house. Doesn't sound great at all, but in some level, this film worked for me. Im not saying its a great movie, but I do think its a very good one. Some of the scenes are quite creepy and well done, and the suspense levels are very high for the majority of the film. All I can say is don't be put off by many of the negative reviews here, I would encourage you to watch it, because it is satisfying viewing. One of the best horrors I've seen in a while, just when I thought the genre was dead.

the toughest battles wait outside the ring, 27 January 2009

The year may have just begun, but I am going to put my neck out and say that I may have already seen the best 09' has to offer. The best films are the one's where you sit watching and you genuinely care what is going to happen to the people in the film. You feel like you are looking at events in at the life of someone you know or are rooting for. The Wrestler is one of those movies. Quite simply, it is a touching, phenomenal look at a very troubled life. Non-wrestling fans DO NOT be put off, this is a movie everyone should see. Randy ''The Ram'' Robinson had it all as a wrestler in the 80's. He was at the very pinnacle of sports entertainment and was adored by wrestling fans world wide. The start of the movie outlines this with some of the highlights of Randy's career shown in magazine cut outs and photos. One of the aspects I enjoyed most about the movie was the way it portrayed the sport of wrestling. What annoys me is that a lot of people consider wrestling just to be costumes and 'fake' punches, but it's a lot more than that, and I hope after seeing this movie you'll agree. The present day, is a different story for The Ram. Twenty years later, and Randy is working in the Independent Wrestling World, with no money, relationship problems, a drug habit, and he has just been evicted from his trailer. Mickey Rourke, who is known to have his own troubled life, was probably made for this role, and his performance is dare say Oscar worthy. The film at times is like watching a real life documentary; such is the scale of the performance from Rourke. The toughest battle in the life of Robinson is one more severe than anything he has ever faced in the ring, his attempt at reconciling with his daughter. So after a near fatal heart attack, with the help of single mother/stripper Cassidy (Marissa Tomei), Randy bids to win back the trust of Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood), who has shut her father out of her life. The Wrestler was made with a small budget, but with a very big heart. Touching story, terrific performances, it's a movie you'll be happy to have a rematch with again and again.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
very hard to like this movie, 4 January 2009

After the first five minutes of this movie I got the feeling that I would not be happy by the end of it. That doesn't happen with me all that often, I usually always give the film Im watching a chance. And maybe it was what I knew before seeing the film was what brought this judgement on.

For a start, its the same director making the same film over again. I thought why? Whats the point? Easy way to make more money I suppose. Second, and this has always bugged me, it's just a movie about torture. Whats the reason behind it? There's no thought behind it, 'lets just beat people up for 90 minutes'. Anybody with a camera could do that. I mean I appreciate some movies that try to make a point of violent issues in the world, but 'Funny Games' just doesn't make that point in a thought provoking way.

It tells the story of a family who are held hostage at home by two twisted guys. Simple as that. They begin by killing the dog with a golf club. The whole scene leading up to Naomi Watts finding the dog in the boot of her car just looked silly to me and not very believable. I wasn't a fan of Watts in King Kong, and she isn't that great here, but in 21 Grams for example she was excellent, so I can only describe her as inconsistent.

As the movie progresses, the two men continue their torture of the family, with the husband unable to do much about it after having his leg taken out by a golf club. In the role of the husband is Tim Roth, who is poor in this movie, barely any lines and a terrible contrast to the likes of performances seen in Pulp fiction and Reservoir Dogs.

'Funny Games' is a little creepy in points, and hey, some of you may enjoy it, but it just bugged me. I didn't feel anything after I watched it, and thats what you need from a film. A poor mans 'A Clockwork Orange' if you ask me.

did the director read the whole book?, 12 November 2008

There have been some films that have done the books justice. Top of my head, The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption were turned into great films. And while Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire isn't a complete waste of a movie, as an avid fan of the books, I have to say I was disappointed.

The film begins with Harry having a nightmare which I wont go into detail about here, as it is a key scene in the movie. Harry and Hermione are staying with the Weasleys, as they are going to watch the final of the Quidditch World Cup between Ireland and Bulgaria. It is at the final where the first significant part of the movie takes place, with those attending the match attacked by death eaters and Voldermorts symbol, 'The Dark Mark', appearing in the sky.

So, with the wizard world in a state of panic over the appearance of the symbol, Harry, Hermione and Ron return to Hogwarts for their third year. Upon their arrival they are met with the announcement that Hogwarts has been chosen to host the Triwizards Tournament, and that pupils form two other schools, Drumstang and Beuxbaton, will also be taking part.

The tournament involves three dangerous tasks, and despite not entering the competition, Harry is chosen as one of the competitors. All three tasks test Harry to the limit, not least the final task, which leads to a shocking conclusion.

A good film overall, but a lot was left out from the book which I felt would have made the film even better.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Innocence meets evil, 25 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It has been thus far a fantastic year for film. We've had the return of the Caped Crusader, and seen a gigantic monster attack New York City.

It's very likely that everyone will remember 2008 as the year of The Dark Knight and Cloverfield, but with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, we have a film I feel deserves to stand aside these two Hollywood blockbusters.

There have been many films based on the Holocaust over the years, most notably Schindler's List, and many people will feel that maybe they've seen enough of one of the darkest chapters in human history. But The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is very different to its predecessors.

Based on the best-selling novel by John Boyne, the film is told through the eyes of Bruno, a young German boy. Bruno's happy care free life is turned upside down when he's told he has to move from his home in Berlin to a desolate area on the outside of the city. What Bruno doesn't know is that his father, a German Commander, is being sent there to take charge of a Concentration Camp, which is holding many innocent Jews as prisoners. Bruno quickly becomes subdued and bored with his new surroundings, where there isn't too much exploring to be done and no one to play with- until he meets Shmuel.

Shmuel is one of the prisoners being held at the camp and he and Bruno quickly strike a friendship. The connection between the two boys is a touching contrast from what is taking place all around them, but the friendship becomes more and more dangerous for the two youngsters with inevitable tragic consequences.

Despite not having the scale of film making that Spielberg produced in Schindler's List, this is a film that is very well made. It features some fantastic cinematography, and has great acting all around, especially from Bruno's mother (played by Vera Farminga, from the Oscar winning The Departed). The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is touching, shocking, horrific and tragic rolled into one. It is the story of innocence up against one of the world's greatest tragedies. One that will have you talking long after the credits have rolled.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
''give me that Oscar'', 5 August 2008

As Martin Scorsese collected the Best Director Oscar for The Departed he jokingly began his speech by asking 'Could you check the envelope again??' This came after an extended show of respect from the crowd for a man who should have walked those steps many years ago. It is a fact of life that you aren't going to win every time. But to not win at all with movies like Taxi Driver, Casino, and especially Goodfellas, well, thats just an injustice. As his name was called out it seemed a collective sigh of relief swept over the film industry as finally the man who has battled long and hard collected his award.

Scorsese stepped outside his gangster film making home last time out to tackle the biopic with 'The Aviator', with mixed reviews. Although not a bad film, it wasn't the Scorsese we've come to know, and it was time to get back to basics in the search for that elusive Oscar.

'The Departed' tells the story of two men from opposite sides of the law ,undercover within the Massachusetts State Police and the Irish mafia. The State Police's aim, led by Detectives Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) and Queenan (Martin Sheen), is to take down Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), who has been terrorising the City for years. Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), is assigned the unattractive role of going undercover in attempt to do so. Costello's hand is made up of Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), who is his mole in the Police Department. To add to the tension, both Sullivan and Costigan fall for the same girl, shrink Madolyn (Vera Farmiga). The story is as intriguing as it gets, and the acting is superb on all corners, including the terrific Alec Baldwin.

Jack Nicholson is immense, DiCaprios improvement away from the bay faced actor continues, and Damon is one of the best actors around full stop. My only annoyance is that Robert De Niro, a man who has forged a great partnership with Scorsese over the years, didn't feature in the film that finally got the great man an Oscar.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable but there are better, 1 August 2008

If you are a collector of all things U2, then you will want to buy this DVD. If, on the other hand, you were wanting to spend your money on the best, then Slane, Zoo TV and Popmart are better choices. But hey, this is still a pretty good watch.

It is a fair comment, most would agree, that U2 put on the best live shows. Bono has been quoted on many occasions saying that 'live is where the band lives.' Now a lot of factors go into making these great shows but one that sticks out down the years are the concert openers. 'I Will Follow', 'Where The Streets Have No Name', 'Mofo' etc, are all great ways to kick off the show. And this trend continues here with the majestic 'City of Blinding Lights' in which it is declared that everyone looks 'So Beautiful Tonight'. In what also could have been an opener that night (it was on the European leg of the tour) is what comes next- the highly energetic 'Vertigo', which leaves the crowd jumping for joy and sets up 'Elevation' nicely.

Then the band rewind 20 plus years and play an unbelievable version of 'Electric Co'. Watching The Edge during this song is great as he plays terrificly well. What is a little disappointing for me, and this happens in different parts of the show, is that the crowd goes a little bit stale, during the earlier hits. I mean I don't mind new U2 fans, but there are many there in the audience who I bet only owned the Greatest Hits CD's. This staleness continues through a classic like 'Miracle Drug' where I even saw people leaving their seats!! I mean come on people, enjoy it!!

The crowd do eventually get back off their seats during the fantastic 'Sunday Bloody Sunday', although it is a bit soured halfway through with Bono doing his thing. Each to their own as they say. The second part of the show is the strongest with an emotional 'Running To Stand Still' being followed by 'Pride', 'Streets' and 'One'.

What is so great about the show as a whole are the different depths. So after a speech about making poverty history we are then treated to that fantastic opening of 'Zoo Station', followed by one of the bands best ever songs 'The Fly'.

The show finishes with all areas covered. A few more from 'Bomb' and then the classic '40' to finish the show, with each member of the band leaving the stage individually, which is very touching.

Overall, this isn't the bands greatest ever live show, but it is a very good one. The set list is amazing with hits young and old, but the crowd are a bit of a let down. (Youtube footage of the gigs from Croke Park and Brazil and you'll catch my drift.) But, it is not a waste of money and you will watch it again and again.

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