Reviews

195 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
7/10
Long but worth it for the great story it tells
6 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"The Hobbit -An Unexpected Journey" is an enjoyable movie that lives up to the high standards of director Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Some sequences are too long such as the feast scenes where we meet the dwarfs and the escape from the Goblins. However this doesn't take away too much from the high quality of the movie.

The story of a hobbit joining the dwarf's quest to recover their gold from a fierce dragon is just that - a great story- and Jackson tells it well, with plenty of help from a rousing score, New Zealand scenery and CGI effects.

The acting is good though none of the characters has a lot of depth. Martin Freeman, in particular, is good as Bilbo Baggins, who surprises himself by deciding to leave the quiet Shire to wander through Middle Earth with complete strangers. The scene where he meets Gollum, played by Andy Sirkis, s particularly memorable.
0 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Pitch Perfect (2012)
6/10
Has enough quirky bits to be enjoyable
15 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"Pitch Perfect" is an enjoyable comedy that will appeal to a wide audience. Anna Kendrick plays Beca, a girl starting college. She wants to go to LA to get involved in the music industry but as her father is a professor at the college she is getting free tuition. Initially she has no interest in mixing as she intends leaving as soon as she can but her father insists that she participate in college life so she joins an all girl "A Cappella" singing group in the college, because wouldn't you know it, she has a terrific voice.

The group came close to winning the National title the previous year but one of its leaders (Anna Camp) had an unfortunate nausea caused event on stage in the final, ruining their chances. Therefore the group's leaders are even more determined to do well this year. However they aren't interested in trying out new styles of performances that Beca suggests. Even more importantly members are not allowed to fraternise with members of the all male group in the college. You can see where this going.

There are rehearsals to find new members and a varied bunch of girls (including a black lesbian, and a whispering Asian) is recruited. This part of the movie has some good laughs in it. Of course Beca REALLY likes one of the members of the male group but as she finds herself taking her participation in the group more seriously she decides to avoid temptation by avoiding him.

There is nothing very original in the movie but it doesn't take itself too seriously and there are enough quirky characters and dialogue to stop it becoming too bland. The cast also seem to be enjoying themselves. Rebel Wilson has a lot of the best lines as "Fat Amy". The singing sequences are good and don't last long enough to bore viewers who aren't "Glee" fans.

Elizabeth Banks is a producer of the movie so I presume it was her own idea to play half of a commentating double act we see at each competition, along with John Michael Higgins. I think they are trying to something similar to what was done to good effect in "Dodgeball", with Gary Cole and Jason Bateman as the ESPN 8 commentators. However here the lines just aren't funny enough.

An undemanding but enjoyable comedy.
0 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Two Lovers (2008)
7/10
Thoughtful movie about relationships
9 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"Two Lovers" is a slow moving thoughtful drama that examines the lives of three vulnerable thirty something New Yorkers.

We meet Leonard (Joaquin Phoenix) at the start of the movie, as he attempts suicide. He hasn't gotten over the break up of his engagement. He lives with his parents and has a job in the family business. His parents introduce him to Sandra (Vinessa Shaw), a daughter of family friends. She is beautiful but shy and quiet. It is clear the parents of both people would like to make a "match". Sandra and Leonard get on very well so it looks like their parents will get their wish.

Then Leonard meets Michelle (Gyneth Paltrow), who has just moved into the same apartment building. They also get on very well. Leonard is very taken by her beauty and lifestyle, which seems much more exciting than his. She has a boyfriend, who is very rich and treats her badly at times and it clear that Leonard that wants to "rescue" her.

Of course things don't go smoothly in this love triangle as Leonard starts to go out with Sandra, while still keeping contact with Michelle in the hope that they will somehow become a couple.

The ending may not be to everyone's liking but I enjoyed the movie. There are good performances from all the three lead actors and I particularly loved Isabella Rossellini as Leonard's mother, always worried about her troubled son and hoping that he will find happiness.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Less than the sum of its parts
8 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Michael McDonagh's first movie as a director was the universally acclaimed "In Bruges" so I was looking forward to "Seven Psychopaths". Along with McDonagh's reputation as a writer and director the movie has an excellent cast including Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell.

However I was slightly disappointed. The movie starts slowly and I kept expecting it to "get going" but it never really did.

Colin Farrell plays a Hollywood screenwriter who is struggling to turn an idea, a movie about seven psychopaths, into a finished script. This may be because he spends a lot of time drinking with his deadbeat friend, Sam Rockwell. Rockwell is an actor between roles and wants to help Farrell's character finish the script but makes a living by kidnapping dogs and getting rewards from their owners when they are returned. Christopher Walken plays his partner in this "business". In the background we hear of a series of criminals being murdered by a vigilante type killer.

The dog kidnappers get in way over their heads after kidnapping the beloved dog of a mobster, played by Woody Harrelson.

From here the movie switches between comedy, violence and thoughtful ruminations on friendship and the creative process but doesn't deal with any of them in a completely satisfactory way. There are echoes of Tarantino's movies in the setting and dialogue of many scenes.

An enjoyable movie but one that is less than the sum of its parts.
0 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Zen (2011)
7/10
Good police series set in Italy -surprised only one series made
4 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed the only series made of Zen and was surprised that the BBC haven't made any more. Each episode is 90 minutes long and features Aurelio Zen, a detective in the Rome police force. Zen, played by Rufus Sewell has a reputation for doing things by the book, a trait that doesn't seem to be shared by all of his colleagues.

This reputation means that he is asked to undertake specific "sensitive" investigations by representatives of the Italian government, who want them to be handled in a particular way. They also make it clear that if the results aren't to their satisfaction his career will be in jeopardy. The viewer wants to see how Zen can stay true to his morality without ruining his career. We also get to see his private life, which is also pretty complicated!

The series was shot in Italy but with actors playing the Italian characters being nearly all native English speakers. This is fine but then along comes Italian actress Caterina Murino playing one of the characters with strong Italian accent. This piece of casting jarred for me a little but since Caterina is gorgeous I've learned to be okay with it.

Rufus Sewell is excellent as the suave but vulnerable Zen, always trying to do the right thing, usually under difficult circumstances.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Gritty crime movie
2 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I loved Andrew Dominik's "Assassination of Jesse James". In "Killing Them Softly" he is clearly aiming to make more than just a run of the mill movie about criminals in "Killing Them Softly".

The basic storyline is about a small time crook in an unnamed and unpleasant looking US city who decides to rob a local poker game protected by the mob. He thinks he is very smart and that another local gangster will get the blame for this. He recruits two of the most hapless criminals you could find to do the job for him.

The movie really gets going after the heist as a mob lawyer (Richard Jenkins) is put in charge of sorting out who did what and ensuring everyone gets what's coming to them. He turns to hit-man Jackie (Brad Pitt) who sets him straight on what the criminal underworld expects to happen in these situations. There are some great scenes where Jenkins and Pitt sit in a car discussing in a very matter of fact way whether someone should be killed or just badly beaten.

Throughout the movie the soundtrack often plays US politicians including President Obama speaking about how they intend to bring the "true" America back to its former glories. Their rhetoric is in contrast to the matter of fact way in which we are seeing the criminal underworld sorting out its problems.

There is a lengthy diversion when Jackie brings in a New York hit-man, Mickey (James Gandolfini) to do some "work" for him. Mickey turns out to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown and a lot more trouble than he is worth. Maybe this is meant to show us that even mobsters can go off the rails in the end.

Jackie ends up getting his hands very dirty as he sorts everything out. At the end of the movie he says that, in contrast to what politicians say, the US is not a community of people "all in it together". He believes the true spirit of America is about looking after Number One.

I enjoyed the movie a lot. The gritty urban settings added to the sense of dread as the gruesome action is played out. However I thought the director was pushing his "message" about the dark heart of America a bit too strongly at times.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Argo (2012)
7/10
Excellent political thriller
2 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Ben Affleck is developing a decent track record for himself as a director. Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now Argo are all very entertaining. More than just pretty face then! Argo is based on the true story of six American Embassy employees who escaped when the Embassy in Tehran was attacked in 1979 by protesters against the US giving the Shah sanctuary following his fall from power. They find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador and the US authorities have to find a way to get them out of Iran before the local authorities realise they are there.

Be warned though, from comments on the movie it seems clear the movie is a highly dramatized and not very accurate portrayal of what happened.

Affleck plays Tony Mendez, a CIA agent specialising in these operations. He has contacts in Hollywood and comes up with the idea of setting up a fake movie to arrange a trip to Tehran to scout locations and bringing the escapees home on the way back as part of the crew.

The movie is good in showing us the tension felt by the escapees in Tehran and by Mendez in the US as he tries to make his scheme workable.

The tension builds as Mendez goes to Tehran and tells the plan to the trapped Americans. Some of them are understandably sceptical. However they have little choice but to go along with it and the final Tehran airport sequence is well done, though perhaps more than a little far fetched.

In fairness to the makers at the start of the movie some time is given to explain the historical background to the unpopularity of the US in post revolution Iran.

Definitely a political thriller I'd recommend, though maybe not for factual accuracy.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
The Bank Job (2008)
7/10
Enjoyable heist movie
2 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is supposedly based on a true story from the 1970's involving compromising photographs of a prominent member of the Royal family.

Mainly though it is an enjoyable heist caper that succeeds because of good pacing, exciting action scenes and a talented cast.

Jason Statham is perfect as the part-time criminal given information about a huge robbery that will set him up for life. Little does he know that agents of the State are only using him for their own purposes. There are the usual scenes for heist movies where we are introduced to the gang members and a comic touch to some of the scenes as it clear that the gang may be out of their depth. Corrupt policemen and shady underworld figures add to the drama and we are left with an enjoyable if not wholly original movie.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Airplane! (1980)
8/10
A great laugh!
2 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Definitely one of the first of the "film genre spoof" movies that became so popular (may be The Big Bus was first?) Airplane! is rightly seen as a classic.

I hadn't seen it in few years and the beginning wasn't as funny as I expected but once the plane takes off the great gags come thick and fast. However if you didn't like the last one, don't worry there will be another one in a few seconds.

Favourite moments: - Otto – what a great idea! - The jive talk translator - Lloyd Bridges picking the wrong week to give up everything - "But that's not important right now"

A great laugh!
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Looper (2012)
7/10
Entertaining Time travel thriller
2 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
If you don't think about the science too much (as Bruce Willis recommends during the movie) you will probably enjoy Looper as much as I did.

It is set in the near future. Further into the future again Time Travel has been invented and is used by criminals there to send people they want to "dispose of" back in time to be summarily executed by "Loopers". Our "hero" is Joe, a Looper played by Joseph Gordon Levitt. They are well paid for this work but know that is highly likely that they themselves, if they live long enough will be tracked down by their former employers and sent back in time to be killed by their younger selves before they know who their latest victim is, hence closing the "loop".

Suffice it to say, Joseph Gordon Levitt changes into Bruce Willis as the years go by and is sent back in time. I'm not giving much away by revealing that this particular loop closure doesn't go as planned. Both versions of Joe go on the run from the criminals that wanted him dead. Along the way they cross paths with single mother, Sara and her rather peculiar son, Cid. They have an interesting part to play in the plot also.

The movie is a satisfying mix of action, sci-fi and even a bit of romance.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Asks questions of the viewer
2 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is a slow moving drama that puts its "hero" in a horrific moral dilemma of his own making and examines his actions. I found it impossible not to wonder what I would do if I was in a similar position, which I presume is what the director wanted.

The main character, Richard, seems to have it all. He is a young man from a privileged Dublin background who has just finished secondary school. He was captain of the school rugby team and is universally liked by everyone. He seems set for an enjoyable summer before he starts university. At a party he meets the girlfriend of a teammate. He "fancies" her and after a while they start going out.

At a later party Richard and the ex-boyfriend exchange harsh words and things soon get out of hand and the ex-boyfriend dies. The authorities don't know who is responsible. Richard has to decide what he will do. We watch him wrestle with the dilemma of giving up his rosy future by admitting the truth or doing nothing and hoping it will all fade away.

There are great performances all round from the cast, especially Jack Reynor in the lead role. Lenny Abrahamson is one of the great Irish directors with movies such as "Garage" and "Adam and Paul" and this movie is up to that high standard.
1 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
The Killing (2007–2012)
9/10
Couln't put it down!
13 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Quite simply "The Killing" is one of the best TV programmes I've ever seen. It succeeds in making a twenty episode series about the investigation into a single murder the equivalent of a book you can't stop reading.

There are many threads to the story, the investigation of the murder of a teenage girl in Copenhagen, the effect of the crime on her family, the relationship between the two main detectives, the unravelling personal life of the chief detective and a bitter election campaign that becomes linked to the murder. The brilliant writing somehow manages to make all the threads fascinating to the viewer.

The acting is superb. Sofie Grabol is amazing as Sarah Lund, who becomes obsessed with the case just as she should be starting a new life in Sweden. Bjarne Henriksen and Ann Eleonara Jorgensen are also brilliant as the heartbroken parents struggling to cope with the shock of their daughter's murder.

The story does slightly sag around the twelfth to fifteenth episodes as there is perhaps one red herring too many but that is a minor complaint.

If you have a free weekend with nothing planned I couldn't think of a better way to spend it than in front of the TV watching this superb crime drama.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Skyfall (2012)
7/10
Bravo Javier!
26 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I am not really a Bond fan but I decided to go this one as I hadn't seen Daniel Craig in the role and the reviews had been good.

I enjoyed the film a lot but there is no doubt the highlight was the performance of Javier Bardem as the villain, Silva. He marks his first appearance in the movie with a memorable speech about rats and after that he steals every scene that he is in.

Judi Dench as M has quite a big part as she and Silva have a history. Craig as Bond didn't really convince me.His acting seems one-dimensional and po-faced. Let's face it. The whole idea of the indestructible, unaging secret agent is slightly ridiculous so it should, up to a point, be played with a slight wink to the audience. Maybe I'm being patriotic Irishman but I think Pierce Brosnan did a better job of it than Craig.

"Skyfall" is good Bond movie, not as groundbreaking as some reviews make it out to be. Bond fans will love its spectacular locations and dramatic action scenes. Others like myself will be giving thanks for Javier!
1 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Total Recall (I) (2012)
6/10
Unrelenting but not much fun
2 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I was disappointed in this remake of Arnie's movie from the 90's. It is really made up of a series of chase scenes with not much else in between. A friend described the movie as unrelenting and that is a good description.

Set in a grim future Colin Farrell plays a factory worker who keeps having dreams where he is a secret agent. His wife, played by Kate Beckinsale, assures him not to worry but he feels that something is missing from his life so he goes for a session of "Rekall", where artificially created "memories" of his choice will be implanted in his brain. This is where the chase scenes start to kick in and the movie hurtles along to the conclusion.

Kate Beckinsale does seem to relish her dual role but of the other actors Farrell and Jessica Biel aren't stretched at all. Bryan Cranston is wasted as a pantomime villain and Bill Nighy has a bizarre five-minute role in which he has to utter some dreadful dialogue.

My memory of the original movie is quite vague (maybe I should get some Rekall myself!) but I certainly remember it being a lot more fun than this.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Ted (2012)
6/10
Not just for Family Guy fans but the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree
17 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Seth McFarlane has a great idea for a story about a little boy who wishes that his teddy bear might come to life. This happens and all is well with the world.

But what happens when the boy grows up and his teddy still wants to be his best friend? It turns out that "Ted" and John (Mark Wahlberg) are still living together along with John's girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis) and they like nothing better than drinking and getting high.

Lori keeps reminding him that he has to get away from Ted and start acting like a grown up. It takes most of the movie for this to sink in with John but there are some funny scenes in the meantime.

It stretches disbelief more than a little that Wahlberg's underachieving character could be going out with a Mila Kunis lookalike for four years but he is a talented comic actor so he just about gets away with it.

There some funny scenes as the obnoxious Ted struggles to start a life on his own. McFarlane also throws in a lot of trademark "edgy" one-liners, mostly spoken by Ted.

However the movie does drag a lot and an unnecessary "Ted gets kidnapped" plot line makes this even worse.

Perhaps best saved for a DVD rental.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Brave (2012)
7/10
Mother and daughter animation movie
17 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This Pixar animated movie focuses on a sometimes-fraught relationship between a teenage daughter and her mothers.

Set in Scotland in "olden times" we meet Princess Merida, who loves nothing better than riding her horse and practicing her archery. However her mother, Queen Elinor, feels she should be more ladylike, especially since she intends to marry her daughter off to one of the sons of the local clan lords for political reasons. Merida is not pleased with this at all and there is a big argument. After meeting a witch Merida asks for a spell to "change" her mother. Of course this doesn't go as she expects and the action really begins.

Unlike most animation movies the plot takes a few twists I didn't expect. As with all Pixar movies the animation is of the highest quality. The makers are obviously very proud of the job they did on creating Merida's red curly hair as it literally shines out from almost every scene! There are familiar voices doing the main roles, such as Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson.

A very enjoyable movie for both young and old
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Grabbers (2012)
7/10
Decent comedy horror flick
16 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Grabbers is a decent comedy horror set in the West of Ireland that doesn't overdo the "Oirish" stereotypes that, let's be honest, we Irish people detest in some movies set in this country.

A young enthusiastic female Garda (Ruth Bradley) arrives on an island off the West coast to help out for a few weeks. The only other Garda (Richard Coyle) appears to be a raging alcoholic and they don't get on well at first. However after a couple of locals disappear they find themselves fighting off alien monsters that have landed on the island and are thirsty for blood. By chance they discover that the aliens find alcohol and anyone who has drunk a lot of it poisonous so they have to persuade the locals to take shelter in the only pub on the island as they ride out the storm that is preventing help arriving from the mainland.

You might say from reading that summary that there is very little originality in the movie and I suppose you are correct but the movie is well made and has enough funny lines and scenes to keep the viewers interested all the way to the wildly improbable ending.
5 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Brilliant not maudlin
14 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I suppose we all wonder at times what we would do if we were disabled in an accident. This movie tells the true story of a man that this happened to.

After a stroke Jean Dominique Bauby has "locked in syndrome" where his mental faculties are unaffected but the only part of his body he is able to move is his left eye. All of the first ten or fifteen minutes of the movie and most of the rest of it are seen from the view of Bauby in his bed or wheelchair but the viewer soon becomes used to this and it doesn't take away from their enjoyment Of course he is inconsolable at first but he realises he must try to make the best of it. The staff at the hospital does their best to help his body to recover in any small way it can. However when a language therapist develops a method of spelling out words by blinking his eye he realises that he can still write about his feelings and thoughts.

What I most enjoyed about the film is that it was not maudlin in any way. After the accident Bauby is the same man he was before it. He has a difficult relationship with Celine, the mother of his kids, mainly because of a long running affair he had with another woman. Even though this other woman cannot bring herself to visit him he admits that he still loves her more than Celine. There is a brilliant scene where he speaks to his "girlfriend" about his feelings for her over the phone with Celine translating his blinks for her.

The phone also plays a part in another great scene as Bauby communicates with his invalid father (Max Von Sydow).

A superb movie in every way.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Dark Horse (2011)
7/10
Dark indeed
14 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I had never seen a Todd Solondz movie before but I was aware of his reputation as a maker of dark movies. The first twenty minutes of this movie hint that he has made a somewhat quirky romcom but don't be fooled.

The movie begins as overweight Abe (Jordan Gelber) gets quiet Miranda's (Selma Blair) number after they share a table at a wedding. He phones her and after a couple of awkward encounters they start going out. Perhaps this will lead to a happy ever after ending as this odd couple discover they are perfect for each other.

Maybe not. Abe lives with his parents (Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow) and works for his Dad. He blames everything and everyone but himself for this situation, his parents, his more successful brother. In reality he is completely self-obsessed. Miranda seems to suffer from depression and is taking a lot of medication. They both desperately want to be loved but perhaps there is a reason that they are unloved. Perhaps they are unlovable and all the wishing in the world won't change this.

Solondz takes an unwavering look at the unattractive traits that we all have and their consequences in our relationships with others. His conclusion seems to be that some people are destined not to have happy lives and perhaps they themselves are the main reason for this. And even if they find some kind of comfort pure bad luck can come in and spoil everything anyway.

Gelber and Blair are excellent in the main roles. In the supporting cast Walken, Farrow and Donna Murphy also excel.

Definitely a film to make you think, though they may not be nice thoughts!
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Analyze This (1999)
7/10
Two big stars and an original idea add up to a great comedy
25 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What a great idea! To cast Robert De Niro as a gangster in a comedy. With Billy Crystal as his co-star.

DeNiro plays a mafia boss (Paul Vitti) who has become prone to panic attacks as an important meeting of all the Mafia families approaches. He goes to psychiatrist, Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal) for advice just as Sobel's wedding approaches.

The best scenes include Vitti hesitantly making contact with Sobel looking for advice for a "friend". Once Sobel realises whom he is dealing with he tries to get out of the situation but he is made an offer he can't refuse. Sobel's attempt to get married in Florida is also ruined when Vitti follows him there for some professional advice. There is also a very funny scene near the end of the movie as Sobel is presented as Vitti's right hand man to the other Mafia bosses and behaves the way he thinks mobsters should on such occasions.

We know from "Midnight Run" that DeNiro is is an excellent comic actor and Crystal also has been in some very funny movies. DeNiro was a perfect choice as he slightly distorts the "tough gangster" character we are used to see him playing to get laughs as the character veers towards a nervous breakdown but still clings to the mafia lifestyle and attitudes he knows best.

Joe Viterelli is excellent as Vitti's trusted but not very bright lieutenant.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
9/10
Rightly seen as a classic
18 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I had bought this DVD some time ago but only watched it recently. What a treat it is as the movie certainly lives up to its billing as a classic.

Though made in 1950 the movie is years ahead of its time as director Billy Wilder looks at the very dark side of Hollywood.

William Holden plays a down at heel Hollywood scriptwriter who accidentally becomes first the script editor and later a lot more for a reclusive silent movie star, Norma Desmond, played by Gloria Swanson. Due to his dire financial straits he is unable to escape fro her clutches and, despite himself, he starts to tolerate the bizarre life he has made for himself.

However a chance meeting with a young female scriptwriter reawakens his love of writing and makes him realise what he has become. However Desmond will not let him leave her life easily.

The script was co-written by Wilder and is full of black humour and has some great lines. The voice-over by Holden is occasionally annoying, as it tends to say aloud what the viewer can see on screen anyway.

The acting is brilliant. Holden and Swanson make a great couple, in a peculiar way. Swanson's silent movie acting style is perfect for the deluded character of Desmond. The final scene as she descends the staircase of her mansion to face the cameras is unforgettable. Holden is very good as the brash self-confident writer who has gone as low as he can go.

There are appearances from great directors Erich Von Stroheim, as Desmond's faithful butler and Cecil B. De Mille, as himself. Von Stroheim is unexpectedly touching as the man who does the most to keep Desmonds fantasy alive.

The extras are well worth watching, particularly the very informative making of feature.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Prometheus (I) (2012)
7/10
Well made sci-fi movie but no classic
11 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It is inevitable that this movie is going to be compared to Ridley Scott's Alien, even though they were made more than thirty years apart. Unfortunately and probably inevitably Prometheus falls short of the deserved "all-time classic" rating that Alien has.

Prometheus is very well made. In particular the special effects excellent. However the plot is needlessly complicated and there are too many characters. There are definitely too many annoying scientists who "have to find out the truth" about man's origins no matter what the consequences.

The acting is fine. Michael Fassbender is very good as the efficient yet sinister android David. The action scenes are good but some of the dialogue is dodgy and the end shamelessly prepares the audience for a sequel.

So erase all traces of "Alien" from your mind and you will probably enjoy this movie and then forget it not long after leaving the cinema.
3 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Not really necessary
11 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The first American Pie movie was a very original movie. It's originality lay in its unashamed poor taste and crude jokes. Viewers couldn't help laugh as age old toilet jokes became the plot to a mainstream movie - and it was funny. The second movie was more of the same but not as funny.

So not surprisingly "American Pie:Reunion" doesn't say anything new.

The old gang get together for their High School reunion and the lads are determined to act as though are in High School even though they now have adult responsibilities. There are a few laughs but not that many and most of actors find it hard not to show that their hearts really aren't in it.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Run of the mill story- excellent animation
11 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Run of the mill story – Excellent animation Top class animation doesn't make up for a weak storyline in the latest Ice Age movie but it probably won't matter to the makers. After all it's the fourth movie in the series so they must be doing something right.

There are big names doing the voices, Denis Leary, Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Sean William Scott and even J-Lo! So the budget must have been pretty big and the producers must be confident of still making a profit.

The story involves the characters we are familiar from for the previous movies being separated, as the tectonic plates start shifting suddenly. Will they all be reunited? You'll never guess! One part of the gang meets a band of pirates on their travels and this makes it harder for them to reunite with the others. That's about it really.

Wanda Sykes has all the best lines as Sid's long lost Granny.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Headhunters (2011)
7/10
Far fetched at times but enjoyable and has some great scenes
4 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
One of the other reviewers described Headhunters as implausible but excellent and that sums up my opinion as well.

The story is about a corporate recruitment "headhunter" who has a sideline as an art thief to finance the expensive lifestyle he has with his gorgeous wife. He is deeply insecure about his wife's affections for him, convinced that she is only with him for the lifestyle he provides for them.

He hears of a piece of art that, if he can steal and sell, will mean he will never have to worry about money again. However, as soon as he starts to put this plan into effect things go wrong in a big way, and he ends up fighting for his life. This results in some great scenes and a few gruesome ones also. There is also plenty of black humour.

There are plenty if twists and turns in the plot, some quite implausible but the fast moving pace means you don't get much time to think about them. The ending is tied up a bit too neatly for my liking also.

Still, "Headhunters" is a very enjoyable thriller.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed