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The Night Watchman's Journal (2014)
For Adolescents Of Any Age
Lets cut to the chase here; there is more corn than in a big field of corn, an enormous field of corn at that.
It is a soap of epic proportions, the acting both dramatic and delightfully ham, the inspired mix of more than adequate CGI and palpably 1970's cinema effects put me in mind of watching Monkey (Saiyûki) King on a Friday night in the 80's, a classic of it's time. Just this time it's Demonic Spirit Monster kicking Korean fantasy madness instead.
All the things that are right with it work well and all the things that are wrong with it just seem to make you feel little tinges of joy as they pass by.
Turn your brain off, muffle your intellect with cotton wool, don't worry too much if the storyline seems a bit complicated and confusing at points (it all kind of makes sense in the end) and enjoy an entertaining show.
The Good Italian (2015)
A few short, agreeably filmed minutes of pleasant strangeness with the most subtle hint of wrongness.
Shinobi no kuni (2017)
EVERYONE IS WELL DONE!
If you can get past the first half an hour (as a non native language speaker) you get a good old school romp.
It is difficult to be completely fair about a Japanese ninja film I saw with some of the most surreal subtitles possible, "We will attack Iraq soon", "this is money....Yongle hundred money". To add to the confusion whoever was translating names made a splendid job with often quite literal translations, Big Meal, Ah and No Door amongst others, names that blended almost unobtrusively with the generally confusing goings on.
It was however enough to follow a film that I suspect was filmed in 2017 using 1950's script and technology, what was produced can be described as full ninja anime. To make up for the somewhat obscure start the film transitioned into what was an excellent portrayal of an archetypal ninja culture, warmongering, money hungry and fun hungry, martial art living badasses.
There were some sublime parts of this film that made it worth the watch.
A 7 for trying damn hard :D
Sword of the Dead (2018)
Brimming with Potential
A short sharp little film, worth a watch as well filmed and played.
Clearly a tiny budget but it left me wanting to know what happens next.
Give this man more money, a longer piece of screen time and keep the main character, cool and kickass and you've got a quality film in the making.
A Most Enjoyable Thriller
This was a well balanced mini-series, the plot was told evenly over the series keeping the content refreshing with enough to keep your attention without sinking into a sea of information.
The actors were excellent though the roles of Roxanne played by Julie De Bona stood out along with Alma her teenage daughter played by Laura Genovino, which is saying something amongst a pretty fine group of actors .
Each episode was fairly evenly spread with suspense, plot twist and development, emotions, romance,some action, with the highest amount first on the list :) I enjoyed every episode individually and if I were to sum it up; its like a high death rate Agatha Christie, intense but never gratuitous. I would recommend a watch.
sub standard advertisement for the bible
the short was well acted and filmed and for this warrants the 2, however the entire film is based on one chap chatting about how great the bible is and the other chap deciding whether to kill him or not, and in the end deciding not too after remembering how great the bible is..... utter tosh sadly.
If you like the dark crime thang stop here.
This is a very dark, well filmed and well acted complicated(ish) European crime drama. I watched and enjoyed the film in subtitles, well translated and the story flowed.
I particularly liked the main protagonist 'Police officer Iza', she played her part remarkably well. She was pregnant in the film and played a range of emotions in response to some very difficult situations, not a hint of sentimentality she was real and a pleasure to watch.
The rest of the cast was pretty top notch and some excellent acting all round. Gritty and quite realistic portrayals of violence which without being graphic added weight to the whole undertaking.
This is a good film in it's own right and worth a watch.
Claycat's the Raid (2012)
If you liked the raid AND like Plasticine cats........
This is short enough to not cause any pain watching it, and it gave me a bit of a chuckle, although done roughly it is done well and bizarrely represents the film RAID.
I like a bit of animation and this is clever and funny, worth 3 minutes of anybody's time.
Lip sau ze (2013)
A scrabble to shock does not make a good movie
I watched this as I am aware some martial arts films do not get a good rating if badly subbed or dubbed, I like this genre of film, it was borderline so I thought what the hell....
For the most part it was a bland, reasonably acted film put together with little thought. At points there was genuine tension so I was close to rating it a 6. The rather bizarre and poorly stylised sex(ish)scenes knocked it down to a 5 but still a bearable effort until the "heavy" storyline about a hubby looking for revenge peaked.
I have watched old boy and can cope with some damn weird sh*t but this took the biscuit, I became aware that one of the main protagonists had a DVD of the baddie raping and torturing a girl, what I did not realise at first was that it was the other protagonists wife (he was out for revenge.) OK if a bit misogynistic so far but when we got to join her husband on the couch as he watched her poorly dramatised rape and mutilation I gave up.
I appreciate a little "protect the chicks" is standard fare in a lot of action flicks but this moved a bit too close to a sick and unpleasant voyeurism, sadly I had watched most of this film before this drab yet disturbing (and not in a good way) scene arrived and I lost any will to watch it further.
If after reading this you find you have few/no friends and are looking to improve the quality of sad messed up deviant you already are this film is waiting for you.
Entertaining Little Number
This is a well put together film, the storyline itself is not original... everyone wants the secret. However the Spanner concept is quite interesting and the actors portrayal of themselves as Spanners moving around a world of different mortality's worked well. Their lack of interest in the idea beyond the specifics of each individuals ability allowed you to explore past the oooh bit a lot of special ability films stop at.It gave the film a few more layers of interest and complexity.
There are two things that stop this film hitting an 8, the first is it is an unfortunately bad title; In Britain, at least, a spanner is not a positive description of another individuals ability to cogitate so film full of meaningful intense people striding around darkly and calling each other "spanners" does detract a little.
The support cast was a bit light in the acting skills department at times but the leads were solid and competent. The film was dark at points, some suspense, a hint of humour and enough philosophy ( not quite star trek but...) and enough thinking about being different.
Good solid Sci-fi, easy to watch and entertaining, blockbuster it ain't but better for it. What I liked was seeing the limited budget for special effects actually put to work work effectively, the real was stretched rather than turned into a Day-Glo nightmare. Apart from the Trogs (which are the second reason this film is not an 8).
Yu Qian Shi Wei (2011)
A not quite fascinating midge modge
This apparently was made in 2011, I experienced it as filmed in 1972 and dubbed in 1956. I gave it a 5 as there is a possibility that it is not as bad subtitled or for viewers fluent in the language.
The actual film is a lot of people making a lot of short journeys over a short amount of time and meeting with a confusing amount of other people and each other, I think. This is interspersed with regulation action sequences often leading to boss fights that were akin to poorly executed modern dance.
to have produced a film of this quality in 2011 you must have broken into a well mothballed studio and utilised the worst 1970's production values, it was odd to watch.
What made it worthwhile was the dubbing, these people are genius, the lip syncing was actually pretty good, but the hamming.... at times almost made the film worth watching.
Chao ji bao biao (2016)
this is a MARTIAL ARTS movie
I confess I really enjoy a good Asian martial arts movie. And this ranks amongst the best.
It is a solid old school brutal fight with enough reason to glue beautiful set piece after set piece of glorious violence together. I was completely held by all of the fight scenes. The quality of the stunt work is awesome, do watch the bit at the end where you see the work and hurt the actors had to manage, it is very impressive.
The actors are all pretty good with the lead roles excellent. There is enough story available to allow the melodrama of the fairly bog standard love/family/friendship/angsty stuff story lines to thread some powerful emotional scenes (nothing to soppy you'll be glad to know)and holds the film together adequately. This adds enough cinematic quality to raise this film above the herd.
This also allows you to enjoy the film fully without that enjoyment being interrupted by having to concentrate on the plot too hard :D For any fan of martial arts its worth the watch.
Asian Ghost Story (2016)
I can't be quite sure this counts as spoilerful in the true sense of the word as I reveal nothing of the actual film or the not quite shocking conclusion, however I possibly describe the essence of the film with all the accuracy at my command to the degree that you will only need to watch the other 50% of the film (this will have no impact on the time you spend watching the film).
I had a few moments of excitement when I thought it was an animation. Next the introduction (a surreal infomercial of sorts)which, in honesty, I needed to push myself through. I am glad I was able to.
The opening credits are most enjoyable and I would enjoy the work of these animators again.
The film started gently with some rather unfortunately dressed young men and a narration which ensured that if I had missed any of the subtleties of the film during the introduction I would be fully refreshed at this point.
If you are only wearing denim shorts; you need a belt!
Everywhere seems to be a long walk, or similar mode of perambulation, from everywhere else. An almost eerily long way. A long long long eerie way. But that's Canadia for you.
The acting is acceptable as is the score.
There is a plot which seems to involve even more unfortunately dressed young men arriving. With equipment. And plot refreshers for those of us with quite serious memory problems. And those who struggle to work out what is going on with just watching the film. And those who struggle with contextual subtexts. If you are not sure of what any of these statements mean, or cant remember them, this film is highly recommended.
Underpants. You will have to watch it yourself to appreciate the consideration for costumery from the costume department in terms of both quantity and quality of underpants. Does make a change from the obligatory bikini shots in its favour. Though neither would have worked equally well.
Feelings of quite mild suspense dissipate with the epic hiking done between the mildly suspenseful parts.
Oh my god.....there's more unfortunately dressed people. And epic gaps between the mildly mild suspenseful bits. I am almost overwhelmed with a feeling of a sort of bliss.
Not sure about the Asian Ghost itself to be honest. Kind of didn't fit with the rest of the film. Weird thing to happen in a film really. Still if there wasn't an Asian Ghost it would have spoilt the title. Which is, as you can tell,by my being grabbed by the title quite the eye grabber.
Even the final infomercial seemed to be a long walk away from the rest of the film.
In essence not a terrible film done on a budget but a further 5 minutes in costume design would have gone a long way. Also an occasional attempt to step outside the boundaries of the story line of thousand films everyone has already seen would have taken it a step above mediocre.
Equally you have to give something not Hollywood box office a try occasionally and have given the film a fair rating for the enjoyment I got watching it.
The Brothers Newport?
Imagine the brothers Grimsby. You then remove the slapstick humour and replace it with alleged humour. There's no million dollar sets or crew..... its actually a cheap camera and one bloke with a fag in his mouth. You mix in the Welsh chav from Newport(proper welsh wales)and his love for his possibly polish girlfriend. In many ways this film faithfully recreates a night out in Newport except there's more lager in the real one. The cast seems to be made up of professional bouncers and their mates. As a result they manage some OK to good fights (they actually do this bit fairly well). There's more Newport in case you forgot what it's like. While it's not the best film but OK for ironing in front of the telly. I also enjoyed hearing a lot of welsh accents. Given a five for a good effort.
Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot (2015)
off beat chaotic little gem
this is a slow, somewhat disjointed little number. it holds an enjoyable darkness that keeps you just out of your comfort zone.
better subtitles would have helped along with less random plot lines, however there is a lot to make up for that, it is cleverly filmed and you are left with a feeling for a grimy cheap world of an Italian underclass.
the psychopath is a delight and the random criminal activities lurched from surreal to weird without quite hitting the mainstream.
I would recommend it of you are looking for something a little different from the usual mainstream pap.
Yi wan nian yi hou (2015)
decent animated adventure romp
this is an interesting story which was put together well. the animation is pretty good.
the story is a bit jumpy and it wasn't always clear who were the goodies and who were the baddies (they were baddies but it wasn't clear why.
I gave it a seven for overall effect and enjoyment but there were a couple of problems for me in what was essentially a Lord of the rings type of story-line (Frodo's bit anyway).
my main issue was the heroine wasn't the most easy to identify with, she was a bit too passive, in fact she seemed more a children's film character.
The impact of this was it was like a kiddies gore fest, a children's film with some quite respectable chopping and grinding of bodies. still worth the effort though.
righteous silliness, boo yah to the haters
I loved the original and avoided watching because of the negative reviews.
A FOOLISH ERROR this was silly slapstick at it's best.
There were enough nods to the original but the film made its own mark. Funny, well acted, cracking cast and enough storyline (see virtually every other lightweight comedy ever).
I enjoyed a well crafted lightweight funny film, the four leads played their parts perfectly and the dim eye candy for the ladies did a storming job of the dumb blonde giving the role it's properly ironic status.
The only reason it didn't get a 10 is it was an 8 and I was not willing to lie just to challenge the weird hater politics that had such a negative impact on a sound film.
I Saw the Light (2015)
Startlingly poor bio
While I found the film itself quite a dull soap type of story the acting was OK it was the music that rendered it almost unwatchable.
While not a country fan I quite like Hank Williams and am aware both of his importance to the genre and that he has quite a distinctive voice. While Mr Hiddlestone is a passably good singer he was not able to reproduce the distinctive sound or atmosphere in any way shape or form.
As an actor fine, but I would have been as disappointed if he had done the same to Elvis for instance.
Maybe they could have used original recordings, his grandson Hank 3 has a more than passing vocal likeness, anything but portray his singing as anodyne pop country.
A real pity as with a better script delving a bit more into the complexity of the man and relevant good music would have meant not wasting some good performances.
The Chemist (2016)
A B movies B movie.
I was astounded to see this movie has received awards for action scenes (amongst others) I can only assume from the same website I got my degree and title (sir Clevertimfish).
The acting was OK it was the screenplay and poor choreography that let it down, imagine the b*stard child of every John Claude Van Damme film and every Assassin film you've ever seen and you have assassin x.
Frankly a grueling watch and my standards are low, I love a good action flick, even a bad action flick....but this....
Not recommended unless you need a slightly jarring soundtrack to practice poking your own eyes to.
Central Intelligence (2016)
Painfully Funny Slapstick
Sat down wanting to shake off the day over a couple of jars and a few jokes. After allowing for the slightly clumsy though well acted set-up the pace did not let up for a moment. With two high quality leads and excellent scripts this "brain off" funny movie left me and my family in stitches.
I want slapstick and with this vehicle for visual and verbal jokery and was rewarded in spades, this was not an intellectual chuckle, I hurt from laughing.
Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Harts swapping of funny/straight lines was done crisply and the best comedic talent was bought out of both actors who balanced hamming it up with some excellent down the line acting.
The support cast of wives, friends, CIA etc. come straight out of every American movie you've ever watched and were done to perfection.
Well worth it humour for teens and up..