Reviews written by registered user
johnsim

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14 reviews in total 
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Crude., 11 April 2017
3/10

The trailers look that it was going to be a fun film. They were probably only non-R rated bits of the film! It's full of profanity from start to finish. Sexual innuendo and just plain sexual jokes. You can put up with a bit of humour like that, but this is 90 minutes of it and almost the entire basis of the film.

I'm just glad I never talked someone in to going to the cinema with me to see this. I'd have been very embarrassed!

Did I laugh? Yes, but more because I'd wasted my money on this! A dejected laugh of why am I wasting my time watching when there's so many other good films? Sadly, that reason was because I'd bought the disc...

So it's a 3/10 mainly because the idea was good, the animation was good, but the constant stream of unfunny sexual jokes and unnecessary swearing isn't amusing.

Spectre (2015/I)
6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Incoherent That Fails To Excite., 14 February 2016
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We all love Bond where he does something seemingly impossible to save the world, or even just the girl. Just as he pulls off another impossible stunt, and the Bond fanfare blasts through the air, you're up punching the air as Bond does it like nobody else!

Except with Spectre.

Every time it builds up to what should be a crescendo of excitement, it steps back. Where you should be shouting "YES!", it lets you down and you simply go "ah...".

Craig brought in a harder edged Bond, just perfect for the current times, but with Spectre they seem determined to go back to the Moore comedies. No shame in the Moore years; they were a product of their time. But now, we want Bond to be the cold ruthless killer that he can be, when he has to be. And in keeping with the books, always looking for that girl...

A prime example is the car chase, and how excited you were with anticipation of the unique DB10 and Jaguar cars? It should have been a ground breaking car chase, and they used up enough Aston Martins that there should be no excuses! Yet, they played this as a comedy and tempered the excitement of the chase by having Bond phoning Moneypenny. And, at the same time removed the "would they / wouldn't they" flirtation of Bond and Moneypenny that we've always wondered over. What should have been edge of your seats excitement was flat.

That's Spectre in one word: Flat. Nothing is ever allowed to excite or entertain you the way Bond should. It was as if Sam Mendes had taken his foot off the gas because he already had a superb Bond film in the bag with Skyfall (which had the best villain of any Bond film - effectively Bond vs Bond). That harder edge we have all enjoyed with Craig was replaced by light entertainment.

The criminal mastermind behind Spectre failed to convince you. Nor his henchmen. Or the various pastiches to other Bond films which came across as a random jumble rather than carefully thought out plot devices. I fear I may be overly generous with my rating for Spectre, but I still love Bond films; just not so much this one.

What's best about Spectre? It makes you realise that Quantum of Solace wasn't that bad.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Pretentious art-house movie., 27 August 2015
2/10

That's the best description, masquerading as Sci-Fi.

Part of the film seems to be unscripted with Johansson interacting with the public, spliced with actors playing a role of a member of the public to further the plot. As the film develops there's less spontaneity and more scripted dialogue and scenes. While I mentioned plot, it's a very thin plot as it's a very lightweight film.

The biggest difficulty the viewer will have is getting over how often the film just seems to stall for yet another art-house film segment. Perhaps one of the few movies designed for texting breaks? To get through this, and I hate to admit this, I got my computer out and started browsing all of it's locations. Had I not viewed at home it might have been my first ever walk-out film.

Is it all bad? Scarlett Johansson does an excellent job of the material she has. She plays the part as good as anybody could play the part, better than the majority of actresses could. If anything her quality shines through.

Fundamentally the problem is that it's a self-indulgent film from the director spending money he could never have found without Lottery funding. Trying to make an advert for future works rather than a commercial film to stand up by itself.

Boredom would be the other difficulty a viewer would also have to overcome.

Informative program; arrogant presenter., 5 September 2014
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Firstly, he's not too arrogant when presenting this informative but sometimes quirky documentary. Perhaps the best part is the steam engines and the Sir Walter Scott on Loch Katrine. So impressed by that I visited Loch Katrine, took a ride on the Sir Walter Scott and even got in to the engine room for a closer look. For the engineer in me it was fantastic.

And here's the arrogant part. I'd heard of Robbie Coltrane's reputation for being arrogant and ignorant towards his many fans, especially since the Harry Potter films. At an automotive event I tried to say to him how much I enjoyed this program, for it's a subject he's obviously passionate about, but alas his reputation preceded him.

Great program but the man himself should consider how his many fans have helped him gain his fortune to spend on such automotive and engineering delights. As such I've deducted two stars from the rating for this program.

RoboCop (2014)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Rushed ending., 15 June 2014
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For the first half of the film they set up the circumstances of how Alex Murphy became Robocop, and it's rather well done too. With the assistance of Samuel L. Jackson's character it's described how, in the world in which Robocop is set, robots are banned within the USA's borders, and therefore the idea of Robocop is born. A human inside a robot. It's done fairly well, although perhaps more emotion form Kinnaman and Cornish would have helped.

There's then the amount of "badies". There's three main foes which Robocop faces, but so little links the three of them. In fact, there's only a link between two of them and the third only becomes a foe in the closing of the film. You have the feeling that the writers lacked the imagination to create a strong foe, or even a plot connecting those foes.

Comparisons of the original are easy to make, but dangerous too; it's a different film. For example, this Robocop is more athletic. The original had stronger foes, this film they're almost sidelined; an inconvenience to the plot of Robocop's creation. There was a sharpness with the ED-209s but in this film again they're like an after thought. In this film the ED-209 battle was rushed to the point where it's just machines fighting machines in a blur of special effects. That fight is rushed so that finally Robocop could face his final foe in what really was an anticlimax against Michael Keaton, who's character has absolutely no menace to him at all.

Gary Oldman plays Dr Dennott Norton and when you look back it could almost be described as a film about his character. How he created Robocop, and his regrets when his boss changes direction of the Robocop program. Certainly himself and Jackson are the stars in this film.

Ultimately the third part of Robocop feels rushed and weak. Overall it lacks the wit, sharpness and intelligence of the original, but Oldman's character added a more human element. Ignoring the original film, it's really a lack of a strong intelligent plot and rushed end which takes from what could have been an 8* film to 6*.

Gravity (2013)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Film making at it's very best., 17 November 2013
10/10

It's been a long time since I've seen a film which raised the bar like this one. This isn't just a excellent film, it's a lesson to other film makers.

Alfonso Cuarón, the director, has an amazing ability to draw the viewer in to the film whole. The long tracking shots hold you. I was impressed with one of his previous film, Children of Men, and Gravity raises this standard even further. I can not speak higher of how brilliantly the direction of this film was executed.

The best advice I can give to anybody interested in watching Gravity is don't look at any stills from the film. Don't watch or read any reviews. Try and see the film as fresh as you can. Let Alfonso guide you through; be seduced by his wonderful work. And you'll leave the cinema in awe of Gravity.

Gravity is without doubt one of the best, if not the best, films I've ever watched.

"Defiance" (2013)
42 out of 71 people found the following review useful:
It's a Western. Set in a dystopian future., 24 April 2013
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Picture a Western where a loaner and his partner walk in to town. They get in to trouble with the local law, and tangles with a corrupt businessman. But somehow becomes the local sheriff when a fight turns nasty.

Sounds familiar doesn't it? Now picture that scenario where Earth has been taken over by aliens and you have Defiance. It's a Western set in the future with the same tried, lame, plots regurgitated.

After the pilot and one episode I'm left asking this questions: Does this work? No. There's no Sci-Fi element. It could be set 200 years ago in the wild west with absolutely no appreciable difference to the story.

There's suggestion of an underlying plot to destroy the town Defiance, so that the ex-mayor can recover some artefact. I guess you should feel some empathy for the characters that they may come to harm, but as much as I want to like Defiance, I really just don't care for it.

UPDATE - I've made it as far as S1E5 (A Well Respected Man). Or more accurately, half way through this episode. So far we have characters that I really didn't care for were in peril. An uninspiring story arc of forbidden teenage love. And a pointless pending power struggle with the corrupt business man for the running of the town Defiance.

Stil lacking in Sci-Fi, and that's me, I'm out. As others have stated it's more a soap opera than a Sci-Fi series. If I can say one thing positive is Stephanie Leonidas and her portrayal of Irisa is the only convincing character in Defiance.

Dredd (2012)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Should have been a 15., 4 March 2013
8/10

An 18 rating for this film confuses me. It might be because I watched the Blu Ray rather than in the cinema, but I'm still scratching my head wondering why it had an 18 rating. However, I digress.

Not having been an avid reader of the comics I'll skip over the whole helmet question. Rather I'll say that Karl Urban has once again put in a superb performance. With films based upon comic books / graphic novels you're never sure what you're going to get. This film doesn't go for the comic style but rather a much grittier environment and is the better for it too. Karl plays Dredd with that grittiness and as you watch the film you get sucked in by his performance.

New to me was Olivia Thirlby, who played a trainee who has been given to Dredd to assess. As the film progresses she evolves her portrayal of Judge Anderson through not one but several subtle and sometimes more obvious characteristics. In the end you can not imagine any other actress playing this part.

But I leave final comment for the few scenes where the film must have blatantly used 3D. Obviously watching in 2D I've missed something, but then shouldn't a well directed film be enhanced by 3D rather than defined by it? Perhaps by not watching in 3D I've missed the point here, and perhaps one day I'll purchase a 3D TV.

Overall a thoroughly enjoyable film but leaves small question over the 3D use and more importantly why it was given such a strict 18 rating.

Total Recall (2012/I)
3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
In isolation a very good film., 9 September 2012
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The biggest problem with Total Recall 2012 is Total Recall 1990. Or rather reviewers arching back to Arnie's version. Taken as a film in it's own right Total Recall 2012 is a very decent and entertaining film. And what else can you ask of it?

Why the very same reviews don't then complain that even the 1990 version has very little in common with the original Philip K. Dick short story, We Can Dream It For You Wholesale, is a bigger mystery. Gone is Mars, instead the world is now fractured in to two states. Rather than than travelling to a distant planet you're now going between continents on opposite side of the world via the earth's core. Otherwise the plot broadly follows the same paths, with a few nods to the 1990 story.

Special Effects have improve enormously in twenty years, and this is clearly evident. Acting is OK but improves as the film develops. Action is spectacular.

Put your reservations of the film being a remake and enjoy the film as it is.

10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Much better than I thought it would be., 11 June 2012
10/10

This came and went from the cinema without much fanfare, and I've only seen the Director's Extended cut on Blu-Ray. But I can only imagine that those extra 15 minutes made a huge difference.

Firstly, it's a Western. Rough characters in a dusty town. Then there's the aliens, who terrorise the towns people. It's a recipe that doesn't necessarily sound that it would work, but the direction of Jon Favreau with a story by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman works to grasp the audience.

Characters are portrayed by all the actors with a touch of realism that's rare, and perhaps because of the extra time the director's cut allows each character is made believable.

Action scenes, and it's certainly not short of them, are fast paced but again the direction of Jon Favreau is excellent. Rather than the current trend of fast cuts where little is seen, the action is visible to the viewer and as such better for it too.

Overall, an action film which has a strong plot with character development. That in the end you do care for the characters. These days of action after fight after crash scene with little time for interaction between character to build on plot, this film is a refreshing treat.


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