Reviews

15 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
A sorry stolen title of a much loved original
17 November 2008
Having seen the British original umpteen times and understanding the affection with which it is held in the UK, I fell into the trap of thinking that "The Ladykillers" would remain reasonably to the mood of the older version or at least tip it's cap to it. It didn't. I really can't understand why they used the original title except but to steal some of the goodwill that would inevitably accompany the name. It never caught my imagination, my sympathy and by the end I was resenting it. Too many films keep the name of the older version and do themselves a disservice in so doing. The remake is just half a stolen idea, the title is misrepresented and half the public, the older half, feel cheated. Pinch half the idea if you must but change the name. I ask you, would the public stand for a remake of "The Godfather"? Most remakes remain a huge disappointment. Please stop it or call it something totally different.
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Action Films are becoming more cartoonlike every year now
27 February 2008
It's occurred to me that the cartoons these days are becoming more human in their reactions and facial responses and the modern-day action films are becoming more cartoon-like in the antics and tricks they can display. There seems to be whole new treatment of films now by the new generation of directors. They are dead keen on the fast editing, cut out the establishing shots and bombard the customers with this endless drumming which for me, is a total pain. Can the Sound Editing of the film really have got an Oscar?? The mind boggles. I enjoyed the film but only because I had a DVD of it and had the subtitles showing. Without them, I would have lost 30 to 40 percent of it. Films these days take no account of the difficulties for the hard of hearing with their multi-sound sources coming through the speakers. Having an unnecessary drumming racket going, virtually uninterrupted throughout the whole film was a bit hard to take. The story, the dialogue, the action, does not necessarily need an endless racket to keep the attention of the viewer. Tell them to watch RIFIFI.
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The Usual Suspects - a nonbeliever!!!
1 December 2007
I've seen it twice but am still bemused and wonder whether bothering to watch it again is really worth my while. A film which has lots of people applauding it but for me, an average film-goer, it remains uninvolving and a tad too clever for its own good. I'm not against clever film making but it seemed to go out of its way to make sure that there were no sympathetic characters and a storyline which left me for dead after half an hour. The editing timeframe was unhelpful and left me struggling to equate that with the story of events in the police interview room and where that conversation would place me next. You can't win them all, I guess.
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5/10
Die Hard review from across the pond
16 November 2007
Disappointing largely after a decent beginning. I felt that they fobbed me off with car crashes and collapsing buildings rather than a smarter script and better support cast. The support cast were one dimensional and not funny or sympathetic although Matt Farrell came close. Computer jargon, button clicking and ice cold one-liners get a bit wearing after a while. They worked hard on keeping up the tension rather than try to mix the moods. I felt I endured the film rather than finding myself immersed in the story and the situation, like I was with Die Hard one and two. I really think that if I'm in the mood for a dose of John McClane I'll be getting out One or two or maybe even three but not this one. Sorry, a promising title but they seem to have milked this for all it was worth because of the previous three.
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Titanic (1997)
I've seen some awful remakes but
12 January 2007
this is NOT one of them. A memorable film I would be quite happy to sit down and watch again if it came on television and yes, I have it on DVD too! Most remakes are a bit of a cheat and lack of imagination but TITANIC sets a new standard for the historical event and builds an involving love story running through it. Kate Winslet is superb in every scene and the whole casting is excellent. I have no hesitation in recommending this film. It captured my imagination and involved me from beginning to end. The CGI was superb and the costumes immaculate. No scenes dragged and the editing always led you into the next scene that you "wanted to see". So many fail on this point. I just now hope that somebody will not try and do a remake in fifteen years time!!
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The Women of NYPD Blue (2006 Video)
Women in NYPD BLUE
11 January 2007
Nope, I have to say that I haven't seen this in the Uk just yet and Channel Four are not to be trusted with anything to do with NYPD BLUE. I know that I miss Miss Abandando. How on earth she could have been considered inferior to the "lovely" simpering John is beyond me. Just what sort of an audience could the producers have been trying to draw by not keeping on Miss Abandando. Can't quite understand that one. The main female detectives have all been pretty good but I hope the main distributors offer it to some channel OTHER than Channel Four. If this program was a documentary it would make interesting viewing at the conclusion of Series 12 which is now up to Episode 12 or 13. If there is any place in the US which can supply this program please email me direct.
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1/10
Remakes - oh no, not another one
24 July 2006
Once again I am left wondering - why do they bother with remakes? This was a complete disappointment. Then that ghastly soundtrack of irritating "music?" to forcefeed us with! YUCK! You will have guessed that I've seen the original, they actors back then could make themselves understood without subtitles, there was a coherent character build up and their faces actually showed signs of deterioration after all those days in the sun! The woman in this version hardly showed any signs of wear and tear at all! If all this version had to offer was a clever/clever opening crash sequence then I would have to say that imagination is one area which has NOT shown any advance in forty years. A good remake is a rarity and this one was not. I would be interested in hearing the comments of a younger person who saw this first and THEN saw the 1965 Jimmy Stewart version and hear how they compared the two. I almost feel that if a producer and director get it into their heads to do a "REMAKE" they should change the title of the film. I do feel that they are trading on the good name of the original by blatantly using the name of the first or earlier version. In this modern version I would say that the byline should more accurately be, "never mind the quality, feel the CGI."
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Speed (1994)
9/10
Speed - A speedy way to spend an evening
21 April 2006
Very exhilarating from start to finish. A test of a good film is, if you've seen it half a dozen times, you still want the DVD! I did that and regretted the voice-over "look what we did, aren't we clever" stuff which came in the box. That apart, its worth every cent. As an ex-bus driver I was watching the momentum of the bus in certain situations and suspected that it had to drop below fifty, but hey, it's Hollywood, innit??!! Bound to withstand the test of time as a good action movie, with a helping of amusing small part characters and a good pairing of Keanu and Sandra. A great pace, enabling some slow bits in a tense situation but it never flagged.
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10/10
Son meets father - in his heart
5 January 2006
A wonderful film I only discovered about ten years ago. A low key beginning, hardly anything to attract the viewer to sympathize with the predicament that befalls young Harvey. With a wonderful cast, fairly average story but told and beautifully understated brings a wonderful balance and heart-tugging restoration for young Harvey, plucked from the sea by Spencer Tracy, a Portuguese fisherman. Having to become a fisherman for two months, young Harvey finds out what he has not known in life. He begins the story as a spoilt young irritating brat but ends it restored to life and his father. A message for us all, begun and ending in eternity. Poignant, sad and enriching. Great cinema.
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Capricorn One (1977)
How I wished it had taken another half an hour!!
2 January 2006
I'm a little perplexed that so many reviewers sought to point out the shortcomings in this film. It's from Hollywood, guys! They're in the entertainment business! And so Capricorn One proved, a nice idea with a great dollop of mischief thrown into the mixing bowl. After an initial five minutes when you might almost think you were in a documentary, suddenly the plot thickens. I have toyed with the idea of tackling an equally mischievous sequel because that could be fun. A trip to the Moon which wasn't shows up how much officialdom might manipulate us to keep the veneer of "progress" on schedule. A neat idea and a clean break from frequent conspiracy stories which are set before us. I would say nearly an 8.
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Old films don't come any better...
1 January 2006
A much loved member of my "favourite films of all time" list. I first saw it on Saturday morning pictures for sixpence in the early fifties and thought it was brilliant. Got it on DVD and would still sit down and watch it if it came on the telly. Some films are like classical music, you're always pleased to come across them. This is one of mine.No need for CGI, no need for colour, no need for Hollywood window dressing and mega hype, its a taste of a different world, a different era and with less sophistication. Will Hay pompously fumbles and struts his way through one disaster after another, aided by his two lieutenants and a good time is had by all.
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Rififi (1955)
Rififi - just another viewpoint
29 December 2005
I find myself continually perplexed by people who come to watch a film from decades ago and cannot make any allowance for the age of the film, atmosphere that comes from it and all the little signs of the culture and society of the time. I am happy to allow that when this was made all the world was black and white and we didn't have the modern technology. Acceptable morals were different, everything was different. It is indeed a keyhole into a view of life in the early fifties. I like the way that film makers of that age left different things to our imagination, so different to nowadays! We have so much spelt out! The characters in Rififi express so much with their eyes, the editing is sharp and the story pure melodrama. Yes, you can plonk me down on my settee to watch Rififi any time you like. It's like an old friend.
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The Sting (1973)
You wanna make a film - here's how...
23 December 2005
A delicious wheeze from start to finish. Certainly a film that leaves you thinking that you'd like to have been in Henry's gang and played a part in separating Lonnegan from his dough. The editing is pin sharp and beautifully cast with a superb musical track to keep you company. The framing, the photography, the pace all dovetail exquisitely and if you feel left outside of the game plan in your first viewing, never fear, the second time of watching, you'll enjoy it just as much but it will mean more. Certainly it's a film you'll want to see a second time. At least. Oscars rightly by the handful and nominations are full deserved to combine for a winning performance by all concerned. Definitely in my top fifty of all time.
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Avast there, ye lubbers!!
23 December 2005
Probably the first film I ever went to see and was totally engrossed in it as a growing eight year old. From the wonderful colourful character of Long John, the mutinous crew, the heroic Jim and the oddball Ben Gunn and a lively, not too scary yarn, what else could a growing boy want? I loved dressing up and adventures as a youngster and thought that I wouldn't mind losing a leg because I could then play Long John Silver! I have always held other versions in contempt, after all, Robert Newton IS Long John! How dare anyone else even dare to think otherwise? It's the kind of film that even though I possess it DVD and video I would always sit down and enjoy it all over again if it came again on television. In my own favourite top one hundred.
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King Kong (2005)
An afternoon with Kong
22 December 2005
Sorry but it has to be said. The combination between the Hollywood publicity guys and the numerous newspaper film critics proclaiming King Kong to be a wonderful remake is the biggest conspiracy since the setting up of the European Union. And it doesn't do what it says on the tin. So if you haven't seen it yet you may suspect that there's been a bit of a conspiracy conducted between the publicity department and the film critics who were invited to view and give so many hundred words to attract the punters. Because of my affection for the 1933 version I was a soft touch for this latest version. In a year or so we will be invited to purchase the Director's Cut version of KING KONG. I hope it really is a Director's Cut and not one which includes any footage which Peter Jackson actually did leave out! This one badly needed an attack by a real editor. Surely nobody who can seriously call themselves an editor got their hands on this film. I suspect that Peter Jackson did the editing himself. Anyway, to the film. I'm slightly deaf but found that the volume of the film was set high enough to be uncomfortable in the cinema in Poole in Dorset. Is that a common problem or does the cinema projectionists take advice on how loud they are expected to play it? Superb atmosphere at the beginning and a wonderful mood when they finally got to Skull Island. OK if you knew the story from previous films Id suppose. I found the sub plot with Jamie Bell to be unnecessary and timewasting. Is it now becoming obligatory to have some degree of suggested homosexual content in so many films?. I have found that, for me, humans being chased by dinosaurs has a lower boredom threshold than a good old car chase. The dinosaurs running after the humans hardly resulted in one single squashed body and nearly all of them lived to tell the tale and didn't look the worse for wear either!! Never mind the dinosaurs, watch out for the creepy-crawlies!! It would be hard to defend the accusation that it is too long by a good half an hour. I found myself urging the film to get a move on. The noise didn't let up and this didn't help the story to move along. At times the constant racket became quite wearing. It seemed that Peter Jackson had overall responsibility for the editing and that he was reluctant to discard any of his precious footage. Anyone who has not seen the 1933 version may view this quite differently but it is unfair to compare them. Two films on the same subject material made 72 years apart are going to be treated differently!! I'm telling you, not everything improves with age!! The reputation of the film is held to be a success by HOW MANY people went to see it. That's sometimes not quite fair. Once the publicity machinery have had their way and displayed some obviously dramatic big close ups of the main character, sweet-talked some critics to be nice about it, a lot of people will be duped into going to see it. I'm one of them. Judging by a general consensus on this site we've been let down by the reviewers on the main national newspapers in a big way. Compare the initial response to "Shawshank Redemption". It was virtually ignored at it's debut. It was only later when film fans got to see it and let the word out that it was something special has the success of it really gained momentum. Kong was irritating to a considerable degree in a number of areas. I would only rate it 5.
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