The Queen (2006) Re-View

When an actor, even a brilliant one, decides to do a biopic and play a popular or recognisable person, the performance, though incredible, is often more of a caricature than a fair or accurate representation. This was put bluntly by David Frost when someone asked him to assess Michael Sheen’s version of himself in Frost/Nixon; “He’s not playing me, he’s playing a version of me.” Sometimes though, an actor or actress can embody the person they are playing to the point where you forget which actor it is you are watching. Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady is a perfect … Continue reading The Queen (2006) Re-View

The Amazing Spiderman (2012) Review

I get nervous watching films that are based on popular characters, particularly ones I love. I get the same nervousness with sequels, films based on novels I love or anything that fits roughly into that category. The key examples that come to mind at the moment are Indiana Jones 4, Superman Returns, War of the Worlds and, quite fittingly, Spiderman 3. In fact, Spiderman 3 is the worst example of this utter disappointment and disbelief. I’ve never been so baffled, amazed and shocked by how you can have two films that are so brilliant, the ingredients for a third film that practically writes … Continue reading The Amazing Spiderman (2012) Review

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