Reviews & Rants, Films for You?

  1. Love Lies Bleeding
    [13/may/2024] Score 4/10
    A taught drama with some intense performances let down by a dire ending that lunges into fantasy territory and leaves you tumbling in the wind. Sounds like the director or writer got a little too enthusiastic about the emotional and sexual content and allowed total fantasy to out-play what was a neat little emotional, sexual, crime drama in some grubby little world.
    As I said, the performances where intense and dirty grubbiness of their world was not to be whitewashed away in any mainstream Hollywood style. The cast played good dramatic roles well, but for the other underlying theme of “Hulk-like” monstrous transformation that went completely out of this world.
    Verdict: Let it lie?
  2. Fall Guy
    [4/may/2024] Score: 5/10
    Crashing, bashing, whirling and hurling through the skies, windows, doors and floors, the Fall Guy returns to our screens after decades away and forgotten. For simple, mindless comedy and romantic fun this is a good time filler but they loved to take the “fall guy” theme to the extreme, as every fan will be expecting, and throw almost every kind of practical special effects action stunt at you.
    If you love this kind of action-comedy then this will perfectly fit your bill. If you want anything meaningful then perhaps you’ve fallen down the wrong rabbit hole.
    Verdict: Not too stunted entertainment.
  3. Abigail
    [20/april/2024] Score: 5/10
    It’s a haunted house, again, and there’s a gang, of course, who’ve committed a terrible crime of kidnapping a small girl, and they’re about to meet their doom, in the most bloody, blackly comic fashion we’ve seen time and time again with the slightest suggestions of twists, which won’t surprise the knowledgeable visitor to any cabin in the woods.
    If you’ve missed one of these then here’s your fill, but that’s about all I can say.
    Play is fun, and the shift in style from crime drama to silly slaughter eases you through the process to help you start laughing right through to the traditional bloodfest ending.
    Until next time..?
    Verdict: A little ballet of blood.
  4. Civil War
    [12/april/2024] Score: 5/10
    We’ve been here many times before, following some traumatic event through the eyes of “innocent” travellers, often journalists and in this case war photographers following the end of America as they know it as civil war tears America to pieces.
    No background to such events, no thought about anything other than a journey through this form of apocalyptic world, so it makes a change from zombies.
    The playing is okay, moderate drama, simple characters on fairly-predictable story arcs to their grand finale and confrontation with the Big Bad, the wise old hand and the new young novice discovering the truth about the world they have chosen and all its moral aspects. The idea of yet another end to America is told in this road trip as we’ve seen many times, a slow pace, with no vast dramatic action, just the brief brutal moments to photograph while travelling through what amounts to a desolate wilderness.
    Take it for that kind of simple road trip through an apocalypse and it’s good enough to pass the time, but there is no deeper story here, just like reality in fact.
    Verdict: A quite civil trip.
  5. Monkey Man
    [11/april/2024] Score: 6/10
    John Wick has a lot to blame for this genre of sudden-battle and fist fighting as this character, the Monkey Man, takes on a path of brutal revenge against those who did him, his family and village, wrong long ago.
    A slow burning but brutal fuse suddenly explodes into furious action in a series of well-directed fight scenes that emulate all we’ve seen from Mr Wick, and he’s even referred to once or twice in here just to remind the audience of where we are and where we are likely to be going.
    In many senses this is a traditional story arc as we see the character’s story, history, the targets he’s aimed at, the fights, the traditional retreat to heal his wounds before the final confrontation battle through the enemy home. We’ve seen it many, many times and it’s just following a friendly familiar route to its destination. The setting, India, does add a new, to Western audiences, perspective and spicy flavour to the telling of this, along with a touch of Indian mythology to add a spiritual aspect to the whole.
    If you’re missing Mr Wick then this will fill the void.
    Verdict: Good Monkey business.
  6. Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire
    [30/march/2024] Score: 5/10
    Big noisy monsters, shouting at big noisy monsters and trashing a few cities along the way , while a handful of humans acts as spectators.
    So if you like that sort of thing then this should be big enough, noisy enough and monstrous enough for you.
    Solving the world with big noisy monster violence.
    Verdict: LOUD!
  7. Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire
    [23/march/2024] Score: 7/10
    Back in New York there are ghosts of films past. Hauntings seen in The Mayor’s Office, and hauntings in old fire stations where you’re gonna call if you need a ghost dealt with. And there are lots of ghosts of actors past and present to startle you.
    Reaching out to that heroic time of the original Ghostbusters, Frozen Empire, brings back a lost spirit of humour and adventure we thought had gone forever. But no! The Ghostbusters are back in town!.
    Verdict: Call in to see it.
  8. Dune: Part Two
    [2/march/2024] Score: 8/10
    For all the Dune purists this is somewhat different from the novels, but then they don’t have enough time to cover everything while giving us more dramatic thrills of politics and big battles. However, despite some glaring differences it does give the general audience another deep dive into the dunes and the mystical journey of little Paul as he heads towards godhead. Here, this time around, are the galactic politics leading up from the murder of his father and people to the confrontation with the Emperor and all the twists and turns of politics and religion that lead you do it, and all the consequences of that moment.
    As such a journey has to focus on more themes and arenas we don’t get the depth of focus we have had in the first film, and this might leave you feeling disoriented, but the vast scale and good length of the story leaves you with plenty to go on if they ever commit to filming the next novel or two.
    Similar to the people and events this one doesn’t leave you as much time to just admire the subtle visual and musical composition of the original.
    Verdict: The sands of time move.
  9. Wicked Little Letters
    [23/february/2024] Score: 8/10
    Not for the faint-hearted as filthy, disgusting and other fun words are belted out of mouths for almost two hours while discreet, patient detective work attempts to unravel the hidden petty little truths of a small English town hit by the horror of scandal – gasp!
    Based, somewhat, on a true story from olden days before the world was governed by the cancel culture of the woke zombies, a time when you had to button down your emotions tighter than a vicar’s trousers and just suffer the endless despair of not letting it all run riot, until-
    In a gleeful array of performances the cast allow it all to run wild and loose, and i’ts to be savoured for the story, the performances and what it tells us about then and now, and whether anything has really changed?
    Verdict: f***ing brilliant!
  10. Madame Web
    [17/february/2024] Score: 6/10
    Let’s be clear. This is NOT as bad as many of the reviews have been saying and scoring online.
    Yes, it is a generic origin story and yes, as with almost all Marvel stories, she/they are orphans or almost, and mostly rich with it too; but this should not take too much away from an alternative approach to the spider-bitten heroes, or in this case heroines.
    In this case the principle heroine is the rise of Madam Web in her destined role to protect and nurture her three little weblets, her spider chicks, with whom, with great responsibility, will come great power, and all that. So what more can you ask for while Miles Morales and the Peter Parkers are busy biting off more than they can chew, I mean Gwen Stacey can’t be everywhere on behalf of girl spider-power?
    Like most of these origin stories there’s a lot of potential to go in a more dramatic direction to pull out all the emotions and drama of discovery and mastery, of coming-together and finding their destiny; but like all things there is never enough time, or writing skill, to bring everything out and explore the identities and subtleties of every character, so we have a rush through the story, a shorthand for what could have been.
    There are one or two key issues, that generic style of story spoilt by some very poor action camera work, a very unsteady-cam with jump-cuts that left my head spinning at the fast-ambulance chase sequences, but once you get through those issues and the camera settles down it’s just a story of a woman discovering her inner power.
    So, spider-girl power, times four, confronting one murderer with his own powers and finding their future roles in fighting for justice, and all that. Nothing classic but probably worth your time for a little Spidy-escape.
    Will it ever end up mashed into the rest of the Marvelverse, or mind-boggling Spiderverse?? Who knows?
    Verdict: Worth getting tangled in this web to pass the time.
  11. Bob Marley: One Life
    [16/february/2024] Score: 8/10
    Just one part of the story of music revolutionary Bob Marley in his brief world-changing life. For anyone who loved his music and those who want to learn more and understand the background to his rise to world fame and glory.
    Might need a lot of sub-titles for some audiences in the world as it takes you into the religion of his world and its influence.
    Verdict: Rastafari.
  12. Argylle
    [3/february/2024] Score: 6/10
    Wild, noisy, silly spy romp in the style, and hinting at future instances, of The Kingsman, as a lady romantic adventure writer discovers she has hidden depths to her creativity as she unravels a true spy mystery and other mysteries hidden with the wrapping.
    And a cat.
    Verdict: Furry.
  13. The Beekeeper
    [27/january/2024] Score: 7/10
    The name’s Statham, Jason… etc. You get the idea. good guy with “a set of special skills” and soft spot gets to wield said skills on a raging path of revenge against the baddies who are abusing their power and destroying the lives of good folk, and so Sheriff Statham gallops off to the rescue, typically over a long road littered with assorted and colourful dead characters (insert characters, names and wackiness as appropriate).
    Verdict: Buzzin’
  14. Poor Things
    [25/january/2024] Score: 8/10
    An Adventure. An adventure of discovery, of the strange and mysterious world we all face, of accident, trial, error, with much sex, weird, hilarious, and sweet, while maintaining a somewhat sensible head on sturdy shoulders, briskly cutting through all the nonsense of “proper” society.
    If you want your perceptions of the world twisted around, knotted and ripped apart in a colourful blossom of good fortune, adventure, with added sex, then this is the medicine you needs for a desperately soulless world.
    Verdict: Rich.
  15. Ferrari
    [1/january/2024] Score: 7/10
    One moment, which might be seen as a turning point, in the history of the Ferrari company, its founder Enzo Ferrari, his relationships with a furious wife and strong lover, his children and so much more. Gathering all these threads into drama that also embraces the core of motor racing with the race that they had to win in order to survive. Pure drama, pure entertainment, pure engineering on all levels.
    Verdict: The grand prix.
  16. One Life
    [1/january/2024] Score: 10/10
    There is little you can ever say against the quite man who just gets on with all he can, accepts what he cannot, then moves on with his life, with humour and quiet determination. So forget all the fantasies of heroic adventure and battle against the odds, go watch a comicbook movie if you want that nonsense. This is the reality of one man and a small group of associates making a small contribution to saving a few lives in the face of world-shattering monstrous horror, and in their own way changing the world.
    Verdict: Let this change your world.