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7/10
Very good mystery-thriller
24 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Despite the odd reviewer who seems to think that everything should revolve around amazing cgi effects and sensationalist monsters, with perhaps even gore and scare tactics, this film stimulates thought and imagination.

Although made in 1957, the effects are not only good for their time, but absolutely sufficiently modest for the intended purpose of the story.

Dana Andrews (although often described as a somewhat 'wooden' actor) perfectly portrays the skeptical psychologist, and seems to make a good cinematic pairing with Peggy Cummins. Similarly, Niall MacGinnis is perfectly cast as the apparent 'Grand Wizard' and plays the part with just enough latent malevolence.

The film is thoughtful in presenting the ultimate dilemma of whether or not all the supernatural events were indeed supernatural or contained within the believing minds of the participants.

The greyscale/'black-and-white' filming was (like the Quatermass series) perfect in adding to the sense of the macabre of the theme.

Overall a very good and adequately played mystery-thriller.
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4/10
Not very good, I'm afraid
23 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Quite disappointing.

I enjoyed the opening credit graphics sequence but then, unfortunately, the film seemed to deteriorate from the beginning.

The film does boast a lot of interesting 'names' in both the cast and the production, including the gorgeous Fenella Fielding and the very sweet Janette Scott. However, their prestigious standing is wasted by the terrible script and poor dialogue.

I had planned on giving a generous 5/10 but, after seeing the antiquated concept of wild animals (sources from a local circus, no doubt) held in small cages and looking like some sort of weird collection, it's now a 4/10.

Poor show, and reflective of a bygone age of lack of compassion for animals.
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Dark (2017– )
5/10
An exercise in utter boredom
22 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I just don't get it....!

Am I living in some twilight zone? Some parallel universe populated by weirdos unable to apply any sense of critical appraisal? So this... THIS... is rated on a par with "The Apartment" (1960), "Gone With The Wind" (1939), and other such *brilliantly* directed, produced, written, acted classics that REALLY DO merit as high a rating as 9 & 10/10...???

This is such an exercise in utter boredom. It completely fails to hold attention. Talk about 'slow burn'... it's almost at a standstill. In fact, considering its underlying theme of going back in time... I'm not too surprised, as it seems so slow as to be almost in reverse gear.

I was finally ready to abort this towards the end of the second episode, when the time-travel concept was offered... then my interest piqued.

Okay, so I haven't seen the whole season/s (and the feeling I get is that I won't). My sense, my fear is that despite this injection of interest, it will continue to 'slow burn'. However, I'll give it a further chance and watch episode three... which has now just started.

Okay, I've just watched episode three, and what a shame! For such an interesting and potentially good, radiation-induced time-travel concept, it's no more than yet another 'yawn-fest'.

Again I've not seen the whole season, only three episodes, but my sense of its prognosis suggest that the whole thing, with a good director, could have been very effectively completed - and with a better, faster and more interesting pace - in a single feature-length film.

The congruence between 1986 and 2019 is clumsily portrayed and just doesn't quite work, giving very long periods of attention to each with little running reference back to either's counterpart.

The acting is reasonably okay, direction fine... but the story/writing is just too long-drawn out.

I'll award - at a stretch - a 5/10 but, despite the positive production values etc previously mentioned, I am really struggling to find it in me to confer a single point more. Maybe 5.5 would be about right.
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6/10
Standard formula, old-school murder mystery
16 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Intriguing old-school murder mystery, with a nice angle on an old theme.

The story was reasonably well-presented although I feel the amnesia theme was considerably better handled in the classic Ronald Colman/Greer Garson movie "Random Harvest" (1942).

The film is competently directed by Richardson although, accomplished actor that he is, I wasn't too impressed with his performance in this movie. I felt his portrayal was a bit - let's say - 'overdone'.

The wonderful Jack Hawkins is his usual wonderful self, but I think he'd have been much better cast as the detective inspector rather than the doctor.

The lovely Margaret Leighton, as the Richardson character's wife may easily be perceived (looking from today's standards) as perhaps a little strange and overly submissive, but it must be understood that this film reflects early 1950s sensibilities.

This film follows the old-school, standard formula of:

Missing person - Murder - False accusation - Mystery solved - Happy ever after.

Unfortunately, the film fails to allow us privy to the mechanisms of the detective work through which the mystery is solved. We're merely made aware that the true killer has been found, with a superficial indication of how... but no real substance.

Regardless, the film is enjoyable. I think it deserves a 6.5/10 so, as half-points are not possible... it's a 6/10.
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Dead Like Me (2003–2004)
3/10
Unsurprisingly disappointing waste of time
16 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing all the high ratings, I wondered why I hadn't heard about this 2003 show long before now, and now I know why... it (unsurprisingly) flopped.

It's - frankly - understandable as this was/is a load of utter, badly conceived, badly written rubbish.

I fail to understand how so easily pleased people are that they'd award such high ratings.

There is really nothing clever, witty nor redeeming about this show, least of all with its string of unlikeable characters. The first is Georgia, with whom we are supposed to feel endeared to while, in reality, she is a truly obnoxious and immature, yet supercilious, young woman.

The show seems to revel in showing off the most distasteful aspects of human personality, and has no direction whatsoever. What is the point of the show? Is there a glimmer of resolution? All we get is repetition after repetition after repetition.

A senseless waste of time.
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Last Breath (2019)
6/10
Amazing story, albeit overlong
15 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I felt this docu-drama was - frankly - a little too much drawn out, which at times made me a bit restless and fidgety through intermittent periods of boredom... although "boredom" is perhaps too strong a word.

The information was conveyed well, though, about the inherent dangers of deep-sea diving, and the human element of the story proved heartwarming at two key points:

i. When they found Chris, and we saw him twitching and struggling to survive.

ii. When he was successfully returned to "The Bell".

It was - obviously - also heartwarming when we discovered that Chris had survived, although I think the intended 'surprise' transition to letting us know he *had* survived was somewhat clumsily handled by the director.

Although I do feel this could easily have been successfully done as a 40 minute document-drama rather than spun out as it was, it was an interesting insight into a dangerous occupation that we are rarely ever made aware of.
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8/10
Compelling rolling snapshot
11 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Despite pertaining to a past age, this David Lean masterpiece relates in many ways to today's perceptions, sensibilities and personal relationships. A rolling snapshot of social and political culture over (approximately) a 20-year period from the end of WWI into WWII, it delivers a homely perception of the trials and tribulations of one family as it changes and evolves respective of contemporary everyday life and changing international politics.

Capturing a perfect sense of nostalgia of contemporary, ordinary, everyday life, excellent acting performances as given by such great names as Robert Newton (as Frank Gibbons), Celia Johnson (as Ethel Gibbons), Stanley Holloway (as Bob Mitchell), John Mills (as Billy Mitchell) and, amongst others, Kay Walsh as 'Queenie'.

Some may be distracted by the heavy use of artificial lighting, which adds a *slight* falseness to the (already pre-mature) colour technology, but I wasn't particularly phased by this. In fact, I quite liked it as a refreshing contrast to many of the contemporary movies and newsreels of the time that made it easy to perceive life then as having been in 'black-and-white' (greyscale). However, we must remember that life was in colour... even in those days!

This is a movie very worthwhile watching, especially for younger people. It gives quite an interesting pre-WWII insight relative to some of the current political posturing.

Excellent movie.
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4/10
Lacking in resolution...
9 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Another "Bird Box", but without as much left-wing political propaganda. Having said that, is it now Hollywood policy that in *every* movie there *must* be portrayed a mixed-race marriage? Now, I don't have a problem with that as it's up to people what they do and who they marry. However, what I *do* have a problem with is its portrayal 'just for the sake of it', for political correctness's sake. There is, though, a seemingly loud left-wing anti-gun message being delivered here. Perhaps it tries to demonstrate how guns may lead - in certain scenarios - to vigilantism, to kangaroo courts, to lawlessness...? This is all as boring as the movie was.

The film itself - although adequately acted - gives no final resolution, nor does it give any indication what happened to Stanley the dog. The impression I get though (and I could be wrong), is that whatever it is that 'comes at night' manifests as a disease through the dreams/nightmares of the victim. Having said that, how did Stanley become diseased? What happened to him in the woods? There is just no resolution anywhere... and not least in the sexual tension created with Travis's (Kelvin Harrison) youthful crush/lust for Kim (Riley Keough). Seemed quite a pointless inclusion.

Overall, although the film is watchable, it does lack substance, hence why it's considerably overlong... padded out with a lot of boredom so as to reach feature-length time.

As referred to at the beginning, the theme of this film has been done before... about 50,000,000 times and mostly better (except that nonsense "Bird Box".

The IMDB 6.2 rating is way too high on this movie, and I really despair about the lack of critical thinking displayed by many IMDB reviewers who - by awarding a 10/10 - seem to think it lies at the same classic level as (for example) "Gone With The Wind" (1938), "The Maltese Falcon" (1940), "The Apartment" (1960)... etc.

My rating? 4/10.
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6/10
Borderline noir...
7 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a BIIIGG noir fan to the extent of my writing, producing and acting in my own noir show (twice) in the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe.

However...

Having only today watched "Scarlet Street" for the first time (although I've - obviously - known about it), I'm disappointed to find myself a bit dubious regarding its standing as indeed a Film Noir.

Despite the usual excellent Fritz Lang directing, as far as I can see the film boasts limited characteristics of film noir, and those elements it does feature are pretty diluted and insipid compared to the likes of "Double Indemnity" (1944), "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1946), "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) etc.

There are good performances by Robinson (Chris Cross), the gorgeous Bennett (Kitty), and Duryea (Johnny), although - for me - the former is just a little unsuited to portraying the weak-minded bank clerk type. His character is written as one to be sympathised with while, in reality, he is not only weak-minded but possesses all the misgivings of quite an untrustworthy and unlikeable person. He himself engineers quite dastardly acts, one of which we see him laughing while his 'wife' is being murdered. This just doesn't seem to fit the character with whom we are supposed to identify. Thus, it is very difficult to feel and sympathy or kinship with him at all.

The storyline is a bit weak and not quite tight enough, carrying some silly sub-scripts such as Adele's husband coming back 'from the dead' and trying to blackmail Cross. Cross refuses, the blackmailer gets up indicating he's not going to bother carrying out his threat, and Cross then telling him not to worry as he'll get the money for him! Ehhh??? Just doesn't make sense! Completely unnecessary insertion, the point of which could've been conveyed much better.

There is no satisfactory resolution to the issue of the painter's identity (in reality, Cross) and so we are left with a sense of frustration as Cross becomes a 'down-and-out' suffering unrequited memories of his own failings and - in fact - criminal acts... not least in knowingly allowing another man (Johnny) to be executed for a murder Cross himself committed.

Again, the film is nicely directed and filmed, but I have issues with its categorisation as indeed a "Film Noir", and the story and script/dialogue.

I'm surprised this film has reached the rated level of 7.9 on IMDB, which is a similar rating to other - much, much better and *true* - film noir.

I'm afraid my rating can't be more than a 6/10 for this, despite Fritz Lang's name being attached to it.
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Hard Times (1975)
8/10
No punches pulled... Gritty and realistic
6 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
(aka: "The Streetfighter")

I first saw this film not long after it's release. I've seen it many, many times since but the last time being 20+ years ago.

It was a pleasant surprise to have spotted it on the TV guide today, and so I watched it again. I wasn't disappointed, it was as good as I remember.

There is no pretentiousness about this film. It's as straightforward, plain-speaking, to the point and gritty as both the main protagonist and the actor himself, Charles Bronson.

Reflecting the 'hard times' of the early 1930s post-great depression America, the movie highlights the wandering destiny of lone drifter Chaney (Charles Bronson). Concealing a mysterious, undisclosed background, we can only assume he is one of the (affluent or underprivileged) casualties of the financial crash.

A clue to his cloaked background is that he may have had history/experience as a professional boxer/prizefighter. This is hinted at in Pettibon's accusation of him as being a 'ringer', and is understandable considering his (obviously honed) skill as a fighter.

He comes across as someone looking for something to replace what he may have already lost. He displays an element of emotional deflation and tiredness such that any effort necessitated to achieve his lost status is met by apathy and a desire to move on.

The film carries a feeling of low budget filmmaking. This enhances the portrayal of the hardships of that time period, and gives a biting edge to the reality of contemporary life.

The film is extremely well shot, with excellent and realistic fight direction. Bronson himself is particularly suited to his role, and carries his portrayal well... as do all the other actors and actresses in their roles.

Very good film that I never get tired of watching.
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The Ring (1952)
6/10
Gritty drama with a social slant
1 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Quite a good little B movie with more of a social message than one of boxing.

Boxing was (and, to an extent, still is) a way out of comparative social deprivation. This film highlights one youngster's attempts to rise from a society of prejudice and oppression by entering the boxing ring as a professional fighter.

A nice change from the norm is that in this movie the kid turns out to be mediocre and loses enough fights to indicate he's not going to be getting far as a prizefighter.

However, he does well enough to set his ageing father up in business after which he decides to call it a day as far as prizefighting is concerned.

The love interest is played by a young (and beautiful) Rita Moreno.

Nice little cameo performance by Jack Elam.

Interesting and enjoyable little film.
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3/10
Pretty awful
1 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Forerunner to the later - better - movie "The Admirable Crichton", you can't help but nevertheless make a comparison.

Starting with Kenneth More... oh my God!!! Was *that* supposed to be an 'Oirish' accent...??? I've never heard anything so cringeworthy! Competes even with Sean Connery's terrible attempts at accents. Funny thing about More is that I really like him in some things, but heavily dislike him in others. His acting ability is grossly limited, and completely miscast in this film. Contrasting his performance here with his performance in the 1957 "The Admirable Crichton" in which he was reasonably good, we can see the type of character he suits and the type he just does not suit whatsoever. He is not a Daniel Day Lewis by any stretch of the imagination.

Similarly, as an actress, the early Joan Collins is also very limited, but at least she has considerable feminine aesthetic quality to nudge the imagination... thus raising my rating (amongst other things) by one-star.

George Cole, also a limited actor, I feel is a bit more flexible and adaptable than More and has the added ability to impart a comedic aspect to his acting.

Overall, this film is very, VERY poor on all fronts... acting, directing and (especially) the scripting. Perhaps the production and photography fare only slightly better but with the cinematography offering a strange, paled-out, over-exposed hue or colouring.

Also, considering the quartet has been on the island for months, they look awfully pale... virtually no tan.

Fact of the matter, though, is that there *are* worse movies... therefore, I cannot rate it lower than a 2-star + 1-star (see above), giving a 3-star rating.
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Ghost Ship (1952)
5/10
Interesting little curio
1 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, this was by no means a classic, but after a somewhat slow first half, it became reasonably interesting as a late night, around-the-fire ghost story.

For what it is, I suppose I'm giving quite a high rating but... I sort of enjoyed it.

The acting wasn't particularly bad, as such, but passable no real cringeworthy moments.

There were a few issues that didn't make a lot of sense in the writing, one of which being Guy's skepticism finally beaten when he admits he saw a ghost and yet, when his wife talks about the "IIPP" ("Institute for Investigation of Psychic Phenomena"), he immediately fobs it off as "Aahhh, its a load of phoney nonsense".

There was a very nice touch in the film when Guy and Margaret mistook an "odd gentleman" (some eccentric looking character who had just come off the train) as the investigator from the IIPP. In reality, the IIPP investigator turned out to be a 'normal' everyday man in a suit who noticed the mistaken identity with some hilarity.

Overall, a nice little ditty undeserving of the extremely low ratings I've seen here. Fair's fair... and this is certainly not the worst film I've ever seen. It has to be relatively rated (which some reviewers don't seem to do), so my rating is an average 5/10... which, for me, is not bad.
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6/10
Honest little film
1 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Pleasant, honest little film of 'olde-tyme' Scottish highland life.

Some interesting (contemporarily-big) names in the cast added to an interesting tale centred around the building of a suitable road for the community, and also on the local problem of poachers.

Interesting quote/s:

"A man capable of a backward somersault on that scale could be a Prime Minister of England one day"

..."Backward somersaults in politics are invariably performed under pressure"
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8/10
Excellent comedy with elements of old-time farce
1 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Usually, if my appraisal of a movie lies in-between whole numbers (in this case 7.7), regardless I err on the *lower* whole number. However (and unusually this time) I'm awarding upwards to an 8.0 rating.

I first saw and enjoyed this film about 30+ years ago (and many, many times since) and have always retained it in mind as somewhat a classic comedy. In retrospect (and having just watched it again), I think this is because if the cleverness of the script/dialogue and of the undoubted acting talent of the main protagonists. On top of this, the film has an obvious undertone/feel of old-time farce, which I think adds to the production (with some reasonably good directing) of a clever combination akin to an Ealing Studio comedy.

Guinness, as usual, is in excellent form despite another reviewer's assertion of - I paraphrase - a 'below par Guinness', and even himself being 'below par' in spelling Guinness's name incorrectly with a single 'n'...!

Charles Goldner is also excellent as the somewhat sleazy "Ricco", who adds a great deal to the comedy element of the film. "I said I'm not to be disturbed! Take it away! Throw it overboard! Throw yourself overboard! Throw the passengers overboard!"

Yvonne de Carlo is as beautiful and talented as ever, and Celia Johnson her usual effective self, this time as Maud, the Guinness character's real wife.

The sets are not particularly great... they don't have to be. The underlying farcical nature calls for talented technical comedy/farce acting. If done well (and it is) this supersedes any need for great artistic set-making.

Overall, a cleverly written and acted film; very funny in places, humorous in others.

Deservedly a 7.7
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No Way Back (1949)
3/10
Badly composed and making little sense
1 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Started off reasonably well, but became ridiculous particularly on the introduction of the 'gang', and Croucher's subsequent liaison.

This, frankly, seemed like a poor attempt in rivalling similar (but better) American movies such as "White Heat" (1948).

The story was poorly contrived and didn't make a lot of sense from the point the police entered the fray... especially the final shoot-out.
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8/10
History rewritten...?
18 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I have a deep skepticism these days. False 'facts', twisted interpretations, manipulated history... have all served to make me very suspicious of "Based on a true story" movies. Although they're described as such, but only transiently at the beginning, they are invariably passed off and accepted as literal fact.

I don't know for sure, but I very much doubt that one of the team was a woman... and I'm not being sexist by saying that. It's just that my suspicion is that it would not have been the case in that day and age. I suspect it's yet another film industry appeasement to political correctness.

Similarly, although Cumberbatch is a very good actor, I just get the feeling that the real Turing was not the insecure, inadequate, socially inept eccentric he's portrayed as.

However, the film is extremely well made, excellent production values with great attention to contemporary styles/fashion, and is directed well.

Although I'm never particularly keen on Rory Kinnear, he was adequate in his portrayal of the detective snooping into Turing/Cumberbatch's background.

In all, I wonder how much of this movie is actually true to historical fact. This is what upsets me and puts me on edge. Films to do with real historical events should *stick to* precisely the fact... they should not be twisted for any reason, and the least reason for political correctness.

Regardless, although I personally feel this film deserves a rating of approximately 7.7, I shall round up to an 8.
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Dance Hall (1950)
6/10
Surprisingly enjoyable...
18 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, although in no way a 'classic', this film is very watchable and did hold me satisfied, without having become restless and bored.

It seems to successfully integrate much of the contemporary social culture, with the focal point being the Palais dance hall. I suppose it could be considered a precursor to the rise of the later 'rom-com' genre but without the 'com'.

As a dancer myself, it was very interesting to see the styling of the dance scenario of the 1950 turn of the decade... and the embrace-dancing that was the norm in those days, even including some jitterbug/Lindy-hop which was still around at that point.

The human nature of attitudes, however, hasn't changed at all. Love, jealousy, emotional game-playing, unrequited love, cheating, etc etc etc., seems perennial.

It's interesting also, though, to see the 'older' generation portrayed as - almost - 'fuddy-duddies' when in fact Georgie's (Georgie played by a young Petula Clark) parents, for example would - in the film - probably be in their 50s (possibly even late 40s). Today, that age is by no means considered "old".

Nice to see the up and coming Kay Kendall in a cameo role, and faces such as Diana Dors, Petula Clark, Bonar Colleano, Dandy Nichols and Sidney Tafler, amongst others.

For what it is, the film is reasonably well written and the storyline simple enough and easy to follow, with an excellent running musical backdrop by the Geraldo orchestra.
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Hue and Cry (1947)
6/10
Old school boys' adventure
18 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Although (understandably) dated, this film snapshots post-WWII London and the youthful optimism for the future.

After the initial confusion, the concept becomes much clearer with good directing, and can be understood to be very cleverly contrived.

The lead kid (Harry Fowler, as Joe Kirby), looking for a job, accidentally stumbles upon a scenario that looks all too similar to a story he'd been reading in a comic book. It turns out that the comic book story is being followed by a gang of crooks who are using this as a code for their clandestine operations. In effect, therefore, the author of the comic story is the unwitting mastermind of their plans.

The general acting is stolen by the youngsters in the film... bright, cheery, enthusiastic, clever, presentable, believable. Very interesting also to see the great Jack Warner in a non-police role.

Very good direction and production values.

Unbelievable, but well made and fun nevertheless.
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7/10
Nicely executed, although clichéd
18 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Nicely executed film with a commonly presented maritime theme of submariners trapped in their sunken vessel.

First-of-all, after Attenborough's fine performance two years prior to this movie as Pinky Brown in 'Brighton Rock' (1948), I'm extremely surprised he's listed so far down ('Stoker Snipes') in the end credits. Can't quite work that one out.

Excellent acting performances all round, although I think the statutory 'lovable clown' role (here, James Hayter as 'Able Seaman Higgins') often seen in this type of film can be sometimes a bit wearing and clichéd.

The paranoid claustrophobic role (here, Richard Attenborough as 'Stoker Snipes'), also somewhat clichéd, didn't quite work for me. After his heroic decision to stay down below, his claustrophobia seemed to disappear and was never again mentioned. Although Attenborough is deservedly appreciated as one of the great British actors, this disparity came over as somewhat confusing. Additionally, although his marital relationship was presented as similarly problematic to Lieutenant Commander Armstrong's (John Mills), not a lot was made of the connection.

Another frustration for me was Lieutenant Manson's (Nigel Patrick) illness. All-of-a-sudden he became ill, with no indication whatsoever as to what the problem may have been nor as to how/why he died with it.

The final frustration was the unsatisfactory ending. The impression was that the film perhaps ran out of funding, or it was deemed too long, or simply that a more suitable ending just couldn't be concocted. Either way, although the point was made (i.e. they weren't coming out alive), it did seem a bit of a 'cop-out'.

Nevertheless, overall, due to the acting and production values, I think the film deserves (for me) a 6.7 rating... which I'll round upwards to 7/10.
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8/10
Human nature at its darkest
16 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Excellent film depicting the darker, most profound side of human nature... the potential for vigilantism.

The anti-hero, Richard (played by Paddy Considine) is a para returning to civilian life with revenge in mind. Discovering that, in his absence, his retarded brother Anthony had been severely bullied and abused to suicide by a gang of low-lifes, he sets about exacting the most serious form of revenge... execution.

One-by-one, he picks off the gang.

This film poses serious questions about the extent to which the human mind can be pushed to committing such extremes. This concept is reflected in our perverse sense of satisfaction in seeing such punishment meted out to the gang of thugs... these low-level villains.

The movie is acted and directed well, with excellent choices of filming locations.

The whole demeaned of this film smacks of 'cult' status... if now now, as is, then I certainly expect it to be such in time.
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The 12th Man (2017)
8/10
Impressive true story of determination
16 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Although an excellent (based in fact) movie, again it's another overlong one.

Well acted and directed, there are a few suspect instances in which belief is somewhat stretched.

Near the beginning o the film, the lead's big toe and part of his foot shot off, yet he's showing little sign of pain and is walking reasonably well. With such an injury he'd be crippled and barely able to put weight on *any* part of that leg/foot.

Another silly instance is when the escaped man skis through a nazi camp and falls. Trying to remain inconspicuous, he gets up and slowly starts to leave... but doesn't pick up his hat! This draws more attention to himself than if he had naturally picked up the hat.

However, there are very effective and believable scenes of bodily injury and 'bedraggledness' in which the make up artist did a fantastic job.

The pace tends to be quite slow in places and, at times, somewhat plodding. The dream sequence went on too long and with unnecessary cgi effects.

The film boasts some wonderful photography (including of the aurora borealis) with beautiful freezing, snowing mountain scenery that simply makes you want to get into a comfortable, warm bed.

It's amazing to think that this film is based on fact. It highlights a time when the strength to survive against all odds and for a greater cause than for oneself superseded all personal gain.

I think the current IMDB rating of 7.4 for this film is slightly low. Personally, I'd give it a 7.7 rating. However, as I cannot award fractions, I'll err upwards and rate it an 8/10.

Highly recommended although a tad overlong.
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5/10
A quaint and (perhaps) charming snapshot
14 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Although I'm an avid 'old movie' aficionado, this film is... not the best.

Starting with the bad points..

The movie seems quite forced in many ways, not least due to the very poor quality acting. Of course, we mustn't forget that Vera Lynn was in no way an actress but, it seems, neither was anyone else in the movie. The phoney Scottish accents too were pretty ludicrous... and obvious.

The good points...

Although, overall, the film did come across as rather stilted and contrived, it did serve as an excellent, quaint and (almost) charming snapshot of wartime Britain focusing for the majority part on the everyday civilian.

Being from Edinburgh, it was very interesting, at one point, to see a little of the city as was in 1943.

Despite the movie's title, the running theme for the movie seemed to be the song "After The Rain"... so perhaps *this* should've been the title as "We'll Meet Again" was not featured until close to the end... and even barely at that.

The film was made obviously as a vehicle for the young, up-and-coming Vera Lynn.. and it worked well with this, and her wonderful voice, in mind.
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The Dawn Wall (2017)
8/10
The strength of human determination
12 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
A fascinating portrait of the strength of character and dogged will displayed by these modern supermen of rock-climbing.

The amazing photography, with a multitude of varied angles, offered an almost subjective insight into what it must be like to be - in effect - pasted to the side of an almost-smooth, vertical rock-face with nothing but a sheer drop of hundreds of feet to the ground below.

This historical, record-breaking climb is testament to human endurance.

Excellent portrait.
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Adrift (I) (2018)
7/10
Testament to survival
11 May 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Touching, true story movie, with a very good performance by Shailene Woodley as Tami.

Not much to say in criticism except that, in additions to Woodley's fine performance, this satisfyingly-directed film boasts some excellent photography and well-constructed, believable disaster scenes.

I'm usually not one for too much in the way of flashbacks, but the weave and interaction of flashbacks with 'real-time' worked well. It developed a combining sequence that culminated in the flashback catching up to actual event and rescue.

Particularly touching was the rescue towards the end, in which the rescue ship blew its foghorns to let Tami know it had seen her and was coming to help.

This film is testament to the fortitude of the human will to survive.

Recommended.
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