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DragonHeart (1996)
3/10
Awful!
2 April 2018
Only just watching this thing now. How this abomination got made was surely just on Connery's voice and involvement alone. Dennis Quaid, whom I think is usually terrific in his films is miscast, as is Julie Christie. The effects are pretty good but overall this film stinks on ice! I usually love fantasy but this is tedious and strictly a kiddies film.
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3/10
Law of diminishing returns.
1 April 2018
Yawn! Another superhero movie. Tom Hollander is an OK Peter Parker but cannot dispel the boredom I am experiencing while watching this. Just more of the sae old, same old.
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Wonder Woman (2017)
1/10
Appallingly disappointing!
10 March 2018
I have seen some reviews of this film which bear no resemblance to what I have just watched. Those good reviews made me really want to see it . I thought it started quite promisingly and I did not hate Gal Gadot's performance so much as others have. However, the script is very poor and the plot based around WW1 is pathetic. After 45 minutes I gave in, switched off and deleted it. Millions of dollars have been wasted to make this crass travesty and if I ha paid money to see it at the cinema I would be demanding a refund.
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Total Recall (I) (2012)
8/10
Good fun
23 November 2017
Much as I enjoyed the Arnie version and I really did, I liked this a lot more as it seemed less cartoon like - very Blade Runner influenced, thought. I am not a huge Colin Farrell fan but he always does a reasonable job and this is no exception. The humour that was below the surface of the first film seems to be totally missing from this one. The film looks great and is well designed. Bryan Cranston is always good value and proves to be so here.
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Keeping Rosy (2014)
8/10
Surprising
23 November 2017
I recorded this because Maxine Peake was in it and was so glad I did. It is a well written and plotted piece of work which was constantly surprising us by it's twists and turns. The cast is small but excellent and it is gripping to the even more surprising end. Maxine Peake is one of Britains best actresses and I have yet to see her in anything less than excellent.
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9/10
Wonderful
21 November 2017
I really liked this film the first time I saw it on its original release. It has only improved with age. David Hemmings is terrific as an idealistic young officer railing against the awfulness of the soldiers treatment. Trevor Howard is truly hateful as Lord Cardigan refusing to allow any way but his own cruel, bullying ways as the best incentive for encouraging his men to fight. A towering overblown egoist.

Sir John Gielgud is marvellous as an almost permanently confused upper class twit and he steals every scene he is in. A well scripted and wonderfully directed piece of work.
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Sick Note (2017– )
8/10
Love it or loathe it
20 November 2017
I have just watched the first episode of series 1 and I can see that some people will like it a lot and others will loathe it. Rupert Grint is really good in it and Don Johnson is a revelation (I never liked him before). The script is good and I found it very funny - sick but funny. I like the way that the black actors are used in it - their race is totally incidental. A very enjoyable and promising start to a series.
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Men in Black (1997)
9/10
Real fun
12 November 2017
Watched this film again on DVD this afternoon and was so impressed with it as a fun movie. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones make a great team and put everything into it to make it a proper entertaining movie. The special effects are terrific and the supporting cast are great too. Vincent D'onofrio is particularly good as a human redneck taken over by an alien. He is scary and simultaneously funny too. The concept is terrific and while I am aware it comes from a comic source it works extremely well. It as surprised me that the producers have not sought to continue the movies as an ongoing series much like the Bond movies or the Superhero movies which are so prevalent these days. Diminishing returns maybe or a lack of good scripts -who knows?
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Upstart Crow (2016– )
8/10
Different but needs work.
12 October 2017
Ben Elton is a clever guy and I think he has written this to show just how clever he is. There is a lot to enjoy in Upstart Crow and the best in it is David Mitchell closely followed by Mark Heap. The rest of the cast are not so good - in fact Harry Enfield is a dreadful comic actor. Liza Tarbuck is alright but I have seen her better. The funny bits are really funny - like the references to Shakespeare's use of language, but a lot of it falls flat - particularly the scenes involving the actors. The show needs editing and refining and many of the characters could easily be cut. Will's daughter Sue is a case in point - perhaps another actress could make more of it than does the young one who plays her. Overall I will probably continue to watch just to enjoy the better parts of it and tolerate the less successful parts.
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7/10
Why Grace Kelly
8 October 2017
I really have never been able to like Grace Kelly - everything I have seen her in seems to be the same character. There are lots of movie stars from that era that are the same but she is just annoying. That said Dial M for Murder is a satisfying plot, obviously from the stage originally but it works on film. Robert Cummings is another milk-white nonentity in this movie who fits well as Kelly's lover - the best thing about it is Ray Milland, a somewhat underrated actor. John Williams , too is excellent as the inspector and provides the undercurrent of humour throughout what is quite a dark tale. Hitchcock manages to draw out whatever suspense there is in the story - it is after all, his area of expertise.
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Omnibus: Cream's Farewell Concert (1969)
Season 2, Episode 14
3/10
Incandescent
10 September 2017
Cream were one of the most talented band ever formed. The disappointment at hearing they were splitting up was only tempered by the anticipation of the final farewell gig and the fact that it was due to be filmed. Eventually the gig happened - I never got to see it but some friends went and thought it was beyond marvellous. Imagine my and many other's disappointment when we saw the abortion that was meant to have recorded was shown. In my opinion Tony Palmer should have been hung, drawn and quartered for what he did to that film. All we needed to see was Cream playing, all we saw were travesties of film documentation. Closeups and editing cuts were just annoying and made me incandescent with anger. Possibly the worst rock film ever made.
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7/10
A poor comparison
20 August 2017
I am a lover of the version which starred Julie Christie, Peter Finch and the wonderful Alan Bates so it is impossible not to draw comparisons with this new version. Carey Mulligan is a favourite actress of mine but she is not the Bathsheba that Christie was. You could really believe that men would fall head over heels in love with her. Carey Mulligan is just not that beautiful. The new version looks good but again, nowhere near the lyrical beauty of Schlesinger's film. The story is well told but lacking in the power to draw one in like the earlier version. Finch was just superb in the first film and one really felt his anguish and pain due to his love for Bathsheba.
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Purple Noon (1960)
9/10
Great memories
14 August 2017
I was a callow early teen when I first saw this movie. It showed in a local cinema which was a bit of a dive - it has long since closed. the whole thing intrigued me and I cannot actually remember whether it was dubbed or subtitled , it was so long ago. However the convoluted story and denouement fascinated and stayed with me ever after. It was half forgotten until I saw The Talented Mr Ripley and I wondered if it was the same story. Delon and Ronet were excellent in Plein Soleil and the very sexiness of the story held my youthful attention. it was an introduction to a Hitchcockian plot and treatment. I wanted the anti-hero to get away with his awful plan he was a hero to me, even though I was sad to see Ronet as Dickie Greenleaf come to a sad end. A wonderful film - it would be good to see it again.
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Jason Bourne (I) (2016)
8/10
How could they?
13 August 2017
Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this film for what it was - a fast moving thriller with bags of action. I certainly do not think it was as lousy as many other reviewers on IMDb. My main gripe was the awful "song" which they used over the first part of the credits. How could they choose something so very cheesy? Moby is not a good songwriter just a compiler of sounds. Matt Damon must be rolling in money the franchise has been so successful - I guess one could describe them as modern day Bond movies. When the series started Damon would have been my last choice as an action hero but he has acquitted himself well and I have gained a lot of respect for him as an actor. Alicia Vikander is a real beauty who enhances the movie though it is a stretch to see her as a high tech member of a secret service. Tommy Lee Jones sleepwalks his way through this film as it is the sort of part he has done often before. The action sequences stretch ones belief, particularly the climactic chase. Overall though an entertaining film.
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3/10
Oh dear!!
27 July 2017
Kelsey Grammar is, to my mind, a genius of a comic actor. This is based , of course, on his bravura performance on what was possibly the best ever sitcom - Frasier. However he just does not seem to work on the big screen. Breaking the Bank is awful in almost every respect. The combination of American and English humour just does not work. The cast of the movie are seasoned performers with good work in their CV's but this film is not a good addition to them. Tamsin Grieg, Matthew Horne can be great but seem to be phoning it in here. Kelsey Grammar is the best thing in the film but with such a lousy script he is given little chance to show what he can do. Kelsey seems bound to be tied to the small screen - Cheers, Frasier and Boss were all successful ventures - Frasier is legendary, but his large screen outings seem all to have been failures, apart from his Toy Story voiceovers.
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La La Land (I) (2016)
2/10
Seriously?
30 June 2017
Is this the film some (misguided)people have raved about? I am 15 minutes into it and absolutely hate it. Now I love musical movies and treasure the likes of West Side Story, My Fair Lady even The Rocky Horror Picture Show but La La Land seems to miss on every point. The musical numbers are irrelevant as well as being awful and unmemorable. The opening sequence is as far removed from a tasty introduction to the genre as it is possible to be. I find it hard to believe that anyone could have enjoyed this crap. The characters are uninteresting and I am unable to care what happens to them.I cannot see myself making it much further because I am never going to get that wasted time back. The one plus I can give it is the colour and lighting but that is all it has to offer.
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9/10
Terrific - only one fault
10 June 2017
This film does not reach 10/10 because of the absolutely dreadful "song" during the credits! The same happened in The Bourne Supremacy. I do not know who wrote them but they were poor lyrically and the "music" was beyond awful. An extremely poor way to end such wonderful films. I came late to the Bourne movies thinking that I may not like them but once I had dipped into the first , I found them unmissable. Matt Damon plays Jason Bourne perfectly and the supporting cast are equally as good. The action sequences are unbelievably exciting and really well directed and cut. My feeling is that the films are practically perfect. How anyone co-ordinates the teams who film in the many worldwide locations is just beyond me. Morocco,London,Naples, New York, Berlin and Moscow - it is mindblowing how well the sequences fit together seamlessly.
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Red Rock (2015– )
9/10
Terrific with an original treatment
26 May 2017
Red Rock is just a brilliant series. I usually get heartily sick of the predictability of these kind of programmes but Red Rock is different. I really believe in the characters and their predicaments. People who you believe are likable and pleasant, turn out to be real villains and people who present as harmless nincompoops take wrong turns and end up in desperate circumstances. The Garda behave like old friends who have worked together for years and treat each other accordingly. All the actors are first rate and because I am unaware that I have seen them before, they come across as real. I find it compulsive viewing and find myself even watching repeats of the first series on the run up to the second series and getting just as engrossed.
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3/10
Tried twice to no avail.
19 May 2017
I am attempting to watch this cr@p again for the second time. It makes no more sense than the first time. Rarely have I seen so may clichés in the first 30 minutes of a film. It is an insult to the intelligence of the viewer. Some of the actors (the new additions) have never been anywhere near an acting class, I am sure. Bits of it look quite good and the CGI is not awful. But it is proving impossible to care about what happens to the characters or even Earth itself. Roland Emmerich should be ashamed to have directed garbage like this. No coherence no meaning and no soul of any kind. The actors from the original movie (which was fun in a B movie kind of way) must have been "phoning it in for a reasonable paycheck.
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7/10
Out of its time.
10 May 2017
Ron Howard has made many wonderful movies but this is not really one of his best. Who had the idea that the cinema-going public would want to see whales being slaughtered for the oil they could supply in a barbarous way? Of course another drawback is the use of CGI which is almost always obvious. The onboard scenes are brilliantly done but at hardly any point does the viewer have any connection to the captain and crew of The Essex. Yes the film is kind of cold and uninvolving which is unusual in a film directed by Ron Howard. One thing the film does point up is the dreadful life the whalers of the time had. Out at sea for months and sometimes years at a time. Poorly fed and badly treated and always in danger of losing their lives in pursuit of a living.
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3/10
Godawful sound
9 May 2017
The sound recording of this film is abysmal - that is the sound mix at any rate. Ryan Kiser as Charlie Manson is pretty good - he certainly looks like him, even if he is no Al Pacino as far as acting goes! It is so difficult to hear what characters are saying at times it spoils the viewing of the movie. The film tries to tell Manson's side of the story - the chaotic upbringing and his spells incarcerated but that side of things is skimmed over and merely mentioned rather than depicted. I guess permissions for music of the times was difficult to get as it seems totally missing from this movie. For the obviously low budget this had it does an okay job but really needed more work on the sound.
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1/10
Cannot stand it!
8 May 2017
This is the dumbest of dumb movies. There is just nothing in it to recommend it to cinema-goers. Obviously shed-loads of money have been thrown at it but they forgot to make it good. It might have been better had the actors been any good but it is hard to say that anyone did a good job of their contribution to this mindless trash. I suppose the special effects and CGI are fairly well done but that is just not enough to make it entertaining to the viewer. A movie has to involve its audience rather than have them checking their watches every five minutes. I think I lost interest in it before the title of the movie appeared on the screen and it just got worse. I am really astonished that the target audience (12-22?) is willing to put up with this - better sci-fi movies have been made with a fraction of the budget and a lot less effort. Perhaps they do so well with these movies because their audience manages to still have hope over their experience. So sad to witness actors of the calibre of Malkovich getting involved in this crap.
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8/10
How many times can one see it?
7 May 2017
The Great Escape is a great film. The main problem with it is that in the UK it has been shown on TV probably twice a year at least since it's first TV showing - in fact it seems like more. When it is on I, for one, usually try to avoid it but if I do catch 5 minutes then I am hooked all over again! The cast is wonderful, a mixture of real stars and character actors. Although it is a long film the pacing is superb and the viewer's attention is held throughout. My favourite characters are played by James Garner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn,Richard Attenborough and James Donald. Steve McQueen plays Hiltz the cooler king in his usual laconic, comic style but I find it annoying considering American POWs did not make such a huge contribution to escapes like these. It was great to see so many actors from The Magnificent Seven (another awesome favourite of mine) back on screen and directed again by John Sturges - he knew what he was doing in casting.
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Elstree 1976 (2015)
4/10
Almost pointless
5 May 2017
I am watching this now as I type.All it is is a series of talking heads, most of which are unknown, that tell stories about how they went to Elstree Studios and ended up in Star Wars. I recognised Dave Prowse and that was about all. I know Jeremy Bulloch but have not got to his section at present.The extras, few of whom are unnamed, tell most boring stories about their experiences. This documentary must only be of interest to Star Wars nerds and completists. Random shots of people in costumes from the films fail to make it any more fascinating as their faces are still not shown. I fail to see why this curiosity was made at all.
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Charade (1963)
9/10
One of my very favourite films ever
4 May 2017
I just love this film! Ever since I saw it at the cinema in the sixties, I have loved it. I cannot count the number of times I have seen it. Audrey Hepburn was never better (except perhaps in The Nun's Story) her comic timing is only equalled by the genius that was Cary Grant. It is funny, exciting and scary and a genuine thriller with so many twists and turns, it bewilders one on first viewing. But the film is good enough to see again and again. Kennedy,Coburn and Glass make terrific villains - funny but truly menacing at the same time. The musical score is sublime and adds to the movie. Matthau is great as a CIA agent and one is kept guessing about Grant's character. A truly brilliant concept which rewards the viewer who can give it their full concentration.
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