Three Kings (1999) Review

There seems to be a pattern with war films, of any war, to either be a silly comedy or more commonly, a serious drama with an underlying, deeper theme or message. The old days of a fun war film, that had more of an adventure feel to it rather than a serious, heavy theme, seems to be over. I think there is still place for films that get shown on a Sunday afternoon. The kind of films your Dad tells you is a classic and you sit down to watch and find yourself entertained but not preached too, usually for … Continue reading Three Kings (1999) Review

Brazil (1985) Review

Films set in a dystopian future will hold your interest for maybe the first half an hour but will always, eventually, need a decent story or at least a narrative that makes sense, to maintain my focus and attention. Part of the “fun” with a film set in a dark, grim future is the unfolding of the world. What are the “rules” or “laws?” What makes this future scary, stupid or ridiculous? What part does our “hero” play in this dark, new and maybe inevitable world? These intriguing questions will only last for a while before you need your hero to … Continue reading Brazil (1985) Review

Arthur (2011) Review

It’s a risky move casting a stand-up comedian in a film role because ultimately, they will play themselves and that only appeals to some of the audience. These decisions are usually made because it’s a great way to cash in on the growing or already huge fan base of a particular comedian and the first few roles are just that comedian being himself in a specific story. Comedians can then become great comedic or even dramatic actors. The first few Eddie Murphy films were just Eddie Murphy being Eddie Murphy but soon he managed to make films that were less reflective … Continue reading Arthur (2011) Review

Conspiracy Theory (1997) Review

I get frustrated when it seems all the ingredients are there for a great film but the makers or studio or whoever, seem to take the easy, more common or just wimpy option. This decision can come from a mistrust of the intelligence of the audience, trying to make a film fit in with a certain trend or style that is popular in other films or the worst yet, just adding a tacky, happy ending. The worst culprit of this for me is still I Am Legend. All the way through the film I thought I’d figured out the obvious … Continue reading Conspiracy Theory (1997) Review

Caddyshack (1980) Review

Some films have performances from certain actors that are so good, they actually bring the whole quality of the film up around them. This can be so effective that you can almost be “tricked” into thinking a film is good because an actor is so brilliant in it. It works particularly well when the actor who puts in a good performance is actually the centre of the film, the main part. Unfortunately for Caddyshack, the two performances that I am talking about are not central to the movie. Those performances are of course Bill Murray and Chevy Chase. These two actors … Continue reading Caddyshack (1980) Review

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) Review

Sometimes, making films with your friends makes for great entertainment. When you can see that a cast genuinely really like each other, they have great banter and can spark off each other, especially in scenes that are clearly improvised, the end product is usually a very entertaining film. We’ve seen this a lot recently, particularly with the films produced by Judd Apatow. The same actors end up in each film and the result is usually very entertaining, though not always hilariously funny or a “classic” comedy. Dodgeball fits this description perfectly. The same actors end up playing the same sort … Continue reading Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) Review

A Cock and Bull Story (2005) Review

The fact that this film had a unique style and structure meant that I was always, quite inevitably, going to have an issue with aspects of it. In my opinion, when a film tries something a bit different, it’s either brilliant (like Memento) or it’s actually only ok (like The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.) The positive aspect of a Cock and Bull Story is that I was really interested in half of the film, one aspect of its unique structure but then bored or puzzled by the other half. The film is an adaptation of the book Tristram Shandy but also the “mock-behind the … Continue reading A Cock and Bull Story (2005) Review