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Thanks for all rates. Let me know if I dont re-rate you. For my recent birthday, I got a Netflix gift card - I've plenty more films to watch now!.

Reviews written

since 27/07/2006


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (DVD) 22/02/2017

A Slick Action Adventure Sequel

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (DVD) - Story - New York finds itself under attack by Oscorp and its left up to Spiderman to try to protect it and those he loves from the new threats. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a slick action adventure film, with sci-fi elements. Its the sequel to 'The Amazing Spiderman'. Themes covered include adolescence, family, friendship, anger and loneliness, plus the age old 'good vs bad'. Its fairly fast paced and it features a decent amount of character development, with the start revealing what happened to Spidermans parents when Peter Parker was young. The special effects (mainly CGI, from what I could tell) are quite impressive, they seemed realistic to me. I felt it was a relatively immersive film overall, with me feeling quite intrigued by the mix of the plot and probably moreso the visual effects which kept me watching. Cast wise, Andrew Garfield plays the title character as Peter Parker, while Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy. I felt that Garfield gave a particularly good performance in his role, to me he's the better Spiderman, compared to Tobey Maguire - he seemed more believeable somehow, although I'm not sure quite how to explain this. Other cast members include Jamie Foxx as Electro (aka Max Dillon) Felicity Jones as Felicia, Paul Giamatti as Aleksei Sytsevich, Sally Field as Aunt May. I also liked Jamie Foxx's performance, as he portrays someone who is quite unlike Foxx as a performer is, that is to say someone over looked and a bit of an ...

The Black Mountain Poets (DVD) 19/02/2017

A Quirky British Film - Darkly Comic & Amusing

The Black Mountain Poets (DVD) - Story - Claire and Lisa are two sisters who find themselves suddenly on the run, following a botched attempt to steal a JCB digger. Having managed to drive off in a nearby car, they decide to assume the identity of the cars real owners, who, it turns out, are internationally famous poets called the Wilding Sisters. They were due to appear at a poetry retreat in Wales and so the sisters suddenly find themselves having to fit in and somehow be regarded as said Wilding Sisters. Will the others at the retreat believe who they are? you'll have to watch the film to find out, of course. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a drama featuring dark comedy and it features themes including personal identity, acceptance and nature and the countryside. First off, I would describe this film as being quirky, featuring moderately darkly comic (or should that be comedic?) wit (which feels particularly British, in a sense). I thought that the two main characters, Lisa and Claire, were quite good in terms of both character development and plot development- I found it hard not to both like an element of them, for their sheer determination to keep up their disguise, as well as finding their reactions to being in some awkward and unfortunate situations, quite amusing at the least. There is definitely a sense that they don't really know what their doing in the medium term, seeming rather hectic and bumbling to an extent, yet they seemed somehow likeable. Their individual ...

Being John Malkovich (DVD) 18/02/2017

Surreal and deeply bizarre - an Intriguing film - Wont Suit All

Being John Malkovich (DVD) - Story - A puppeteer from New York (Charles Schwartz) finds himself struggling to get employment and is reluctant to give up his loved profession as a puppeteer, although jobs are extremely few and far between. His wife (Lotte) becomes disillusioned and Charles bites the bullet, responding to an ad for people with nimble hands. He finds himself on a very narrow floor (floor 7 1/2) of an office building, where things seem somehow quite unrealistic and this just gets worse as he uncovers a hidden portal which leads to him being in the mind of actor John Malkovich for a period of time. He tells his wife who is sceptical to say the least. What will happen? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This film is more than a little bizarre, featuring a mix of dark comedy, fantasy and sci-fi elements, although in my mind it seemed most like a quirky sci-fi drama, although you could argue that its a film of its own genre. The film covers themes including power and control, telekinesis and moreso (if it counts as a theme?) seeing things in a surreal and abstract, almost dreamlike, way. This film won't suit everyone, as it is certainly baffling in terms of the plot - I have little doubt that some would struggle to fully understand the intended plot intricacies and the perhaps slightly hidden wry jokes, which are there but don't necessarily seem all that obvious at first. Some of the comedy is visual based but not entirely slapstick - the ...

The Witches Of Eastwick (DVD) 15/02/2017

An Amusing & Entertaining (While Very Saucy) Comedy/Drama

The Witches Of Eastwick (DVD) - Story - Three good friends who are single find themselves being seduced by a mysterious newcomer to their small New England town of Eastwick, called Daryl. They slowly start to realise that he seems to have sort of a hold on them and in time they realisie that something sinister is going on. They then decide to get their own back by experimenting with witch craft. How does it end? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This film combines a mix of fantasy, mild horror, mystery, comedy (relatively dark comedy at that) and drama - I suppose if anything its mostly a comedy drama, although it would also be fair to say that its a bit of a 'chick flick' as well, in as much as it features many female characters who are clearly good friends and are seen gossipping often. The main theme present in this film is obviously black magic, although sexual harassment does also play a part. It is quite dialogue heavy and the plot pace seemed relatively slow to start with. However, the film does well to build a sense of mystery, so as a viewer your left wanting to keep watching, to try and discover why things are as they are. It may seem a bit mundane at first and there isn't a great deal of obvious comedy as such from the get go but it is present as the plot builds. I found myself giggling at times due to the social faux pas situations that ocurred. It'd be fair to say that there is a definite element of eccentricity present in some of the ...

Disconnect (DVD) 12/02/2017

Loneliness in the digital age - a contemporary film

Disconnect  (DVD) - Story - Disconnect features different people who are somewhat vulnerable and who seek solace in the wider digital world (i.e. the internet) with hopes of making genuine connections with other, similar people. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a mix of drama and thriller and it features themes including connection i.e. personal, human connection and friendship, plus digital social networking, identity theft and obviously victimisation and bullying, among others. I felt the topics were well handled - I liked how the film contained numerous sub-plots, all of which are, of course, related. Its a subject area that I find quite interesting and its fair to say that I have, shall we say, some personal experience when it comes to loneliness and wanting to find genuine connections online. Its often surprised me how honest and open people seem to be online, moreso than I feel I'd automatically be if I were having a face to face conversation but then thats probably mainly due to my social anxiety and thats a whole other subject. Suffice to say, I'm curious about the psychology of the subject area. I'd heard recently that loneliness is becoming more prevalent in society, which, considering how quick and easy it is to communicate with people online nowadays (and also cheap, given what equipment would have costed some 10-20 years ago), is somewhat surprising. I felt the film was quite tense and it did grip me from fairly early on - whether im especially biased due to my ...

Syriana (DVD) 11/02/2017

America, the Middle East and Oil - An Eye-Opening Drama

Syriana (DVD) - Story - From what I could tell, Syriana tells the story of numerous people, both Americans and Middle Easterns who are involved in the oil industry, some just trying to get reliable a job and others inevitably exploiting the fragile political and economical situations for their own reasons. It partly takes place in Iran and Beirut. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a drama film which covers themes including greed, desperation and exploitation. It is quite a sobering watch, one which could be said to rely on rather aged cliches, in as much as the Westerners trying to 'milk' the resources for their own financial gain/profit and the like. I did think it was somewhat eye-opening, in terms of some of the tactics used by different characters, how they reacted to certain scenarios. I thought it did well at showing both sides of the preverbial coin - how the local people dealt with things and how the foreign investers and politicians reacted and interpreted things. The film features a decent cast including George Clooney as Bob Barnes (a both quietly observant and also outspoken and motivated CIA agent), Kayvan Novak (perhaps more well known for his Channel 4 practical prank TV shows Fonejacker and Facejacker) as Arash and Christopher Plummer as Dean Whiting. Matt Damon plays Bryan Woodman, a fairly clued up agent who is under a certain amount of pressure to get a particular outcome, while also being reasonably stressed and frustrated and trying to look out for ...

The Butler 08/02/2017

A sombre, sad and generally thoughtful film

The Butler - Story - Based on a true story, The Butler takes you through the life of Cecil Gaines, who starts out as a labourer picking cotton and ends up serving as a Butler in the White House staff, serving no less than 8 administrations. The film highlights the various cultural issues of the time (mainly the 1960s), including the civil rights movement and the Vietnam war. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a biographical historical drama film, with themes including racism/cultural acceptance, more specifically segregation and civil rights, and societal ettiquette. I note that Ciao has placed this film in the 'documentaries and biographies' category of the DVD section, its a dramatisation based on said Butlers real life biography, so it is not a straight documentary as such. I found this film to be relatively shocking in parts, although not for the reason you may be expecting. Its true that it doesn't hold back as far as racial slurs and the like are concerned, even though most of the film shows Cecil in very upper class surroundings. One scene quite early on started with another character talking very sexually explicitly, which took me aback. Its certainly fair to say that characters are more informal when in their working quarters, compared to when their anywhere near whats referred to as 'the white man' and understandably so, I suppose, although I felt sad from early on at how marginalised Cecil was treated, both by specific personal acts and by society in general, ...

The Great Gatsby (DVD) 05/02/2017

A Lavish, Stylish Depiction of the Roaring 20s (to start with)

The Great Gatsby (DVD) - Story - This film is set in the 1920s, often referred to as the 'roaring twenties'. This particularly applies in relation to this title as it concentrates on more artistocratic, lavish, upper class people of that time. It follows the curious neighbour of a rich man called Jay Gatsby in Long Island, New York, who wishes to find out more about the mysterious man who holds vast lavish parties frequented by other aristocratic people from the nearby area. It is a film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a drama film which, as I've already mentioned, is set in the 1920s. It has romantic elements to it as well and it covers themes including greed and excess. I felt it was quite a mysterious film from early on, with some impressive visual effects. The film starts off with what appears like a kaleidoscope shape graphic/slowly moving images which the camera zooms in on and which morphs in to something different, which is quite spooky in a sense. It seemed, certainly to me, to be intriguing and possibly a bit bizarre and that definitely helped to pique my interest in it. As the next few scenes started, it appeared more like a traditional film, with characters coming and going and a fair emphasis on dialogue. The furnishings of the various houses featured is both bright and unsurprisingly quite decadent and I enjoyed watching it if only to take in the environments its set in. The film seemed quite immersive to me, with the ...

Out of the Furnace (DVD) 04/02/2017

A Bleak, Moody Film - Gritty, Well Cast But Not Especially Great

Out of the Furnace (DVD) - Story - Russell and his brother, Rodney, live in a deprived area and have dreams of moving out and getting a better life for themselves. In a cruel twist of fate, Russell finds himself inamongst the most feared and infamous local criminal ring of the area. Russell decides to not accept it when the local police are slow to try to track him down after he seems to disappear and so he tries to search for him, with hopes he can get to him in time. Does he manage to? you'll have to watch the film to find out, of course. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a crime/drama/mystery film with themes including anger, revenge and distrust. It is quite a gritty watch, gritty and urban, with the criminal underworld, including drug use, being featured and it certainly doesn't hold back as far as strong language is concerned. The characters mostly have an element of bravado, presumably so their not bothered too much by others in their neighbourhood. I'd say this is a fairly character development heavy film, in terms of the plot - I found myself wondering what I presume Russell must have wondered, wanting to solve the mystery myself. Visually speaking, the film is quite dark, with many scenes shown taking place at night. It adds to the mysterious atmosphere, which is predominantly quite tense too, understandably so. I felt that the plot was a bit slow to build, with the first half an hour or so being a somewhat depressing-ly bleak view of the area and the presumably mostly ...

Batman Begins (DVD) 01/02/2017

A Decent Batman Adaptation Worth A Watch

Batman Begins (DVD) - Story - This tells the story of how Batman came to be, from witnessing his parents murders to being trained while in Asia and becoming the corruption fighting superhero, defending citizens of Gotham City against villains including Scarecrow and the League of Shadows. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is an action drama film, based on the DC comics characters. The main themes covered are justice, morality and determination to help those who can't help themselves. It is a relatively dark film, both in terms of it being quite serious and slightly sinister in tone (conveyed by the instrumental pieces played) and also, at times, in terms of the physical lighting. It is, of course, live action and so particularly young kids may find it a bit boring, as it is relatively dialogue heavy, although there are some fast and exciting action scenes but there's also a decent amount of emphasis on character background/development (mostly the main character, Bruce Wayne). I definitely felt that this film did well in putting across a chilly sense that something big was going to happen sometime soon-ish. I would say that its perhaps mildly frightening but I don't think thats the best term to use - all I can think to say is that I was intrigued to keep watching, as it felt like there was a mysterious element, the impending doom style musical score and the way the plot slowly played out made me feel like I wanted to see how things would work out and learn why things are as they ...

The Nice Guys (DVD) 29/01/2017

Witty, Amusing Look At A 70s Based PI Story

The Nice Guys (DVD) - Story - Set in the 1970s, this film tells the tale of two friends who work as private investigators (aka PIs) in Los Angeles, who find themselves attempting to track down a missing girl while also investigating the death of a porn star, known locally as Misty Mountains. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a crime action comedy, with some mystery elements and themes including good cop/bad cop (in as much as the film has a buddy cop type feel to it, although strictly speaking they are P.Is rather than cops), corruption, childhood/adolescent maturity and conspiracy. The comedy is quite funny - it is relatively sharp and witty and I liked how the female characters, both younger and older ones, were quite prepared to defend themselves against sexist remarks and the like. This film, while regarded as an action crime film, which I guess it is really, features comparitively relatively little in the way of fast paced, special effects laden scenes and is more dialogue heavy but the script isn't half bad and there are a few scenes whereby things suddenly change and the pace heightens, if but for a while. It is slower in the first half of the film rather than the 2nd half but I enjoyed both parts of the film really. I think it'd be fair to say that this is relatively mad cap in terms of the plot and some of the situations that characters find themselves in. It very much looks the part of a film set in the 70s, with the film titles appearing in a bright 'funky' font ...

The Aviator (DVD) 28/01/2017

Stylish, Snappy and Slick - a well made biopic

The Aviator (DVD) - Story - This film portrays the career of film director and pilot Howard Hughes, from the late 1920s to the 1940s. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - **This section pretty much inevitably contains some minor details which some people may regard as mild spoilers, although I try my best not to give away what happens to the main character, if you can't stand to read any hints as to what the plot may contain then you might wish to skip this section and scroll down to the 'Would I Recommend It?' section instead** . . . . . . . . . . . \/ This is a historical, biographical drama, which covers themes including excess, wealth, imagination, control, obsession and mental illness. The film is quite stylish and slick from the start, with jolly jazz music played and lots of art deco interior furnishing displayed. The music was at times reminiscent of film noir, or certainly what I think of as film noir (black and white crime detective films). The main character, Howard, was well portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio as sharp, quick witted, flirtatious, determined and impulsive, as well as being a perfectionist (which is something I can relate to personally - it drives me a bit potty quite how perfectly I automatically want to do things but thats a side note). I felt that this character suited DiCaprio well as he does (in my opinion anyway) tend to portray characters of this sort of personality relatively well, that being somewhat greedy or selfish and suave, quick witted men. Other ...

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (DVD) 25/01/2017

A Beautiful, Thoughtful Yet Slow and Somewhat Unoriginal, Watch

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (DVD) - Story - A Japanese teenger called Makoto stumbles on the power to travel back in time and initially she uses it to try and improve her various situations. Its not long before she learns that the consequences affect more than just her though - will she realise and be able to stop any and all negative consequences? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a Japanese animated teen drama with moments of comedy. While the main plot may make it seem to be a sci-fi based film, it seemed to me more of a high school/teen drama than a sci fi film, with relatively little detail given in terms of how, or why, time travel is possible and so on. It covers themes including self awareness, embarrassment and selfishness. Perhaps I should say I have always been keen on films specifically about time travel and I also admire Japanese animation, so when I heard about this I was keen to see it and I can say that it lived up to my expectations. I find there is a certain naivety to the main characters in these types of film, which I find endearing - suffice to say that applies to this title as well as others I've seen. Characters tend to be quite imaginative and dreamy, which is something I can relate to myself, in terms of that I've often got my head in the clouds (metaphorically, obviously, although I have been on flights to be fair lol). That and optimistic too, which is something I wish I was more often quite honestly but thats a whole ...

The Wind Rises (DVD) 22/01/2017

A Richly Indulgent, Very Charming Ghibli Film

The Wind Rises (DVD) - Story - This film tells the fictional tale of Jiro Horikoshi, an airplane engineer who had bad vision and was thus unable to have his dream job as a pilot but settled for designing and engineering aircraft instead. He designed aircraft for the second World War. While Jiro was a real person and he did indeed design aircrafts, details of his personal life as conveyed in this film are ficticious and thus its regarded as a largely ficticious 'biopic' film, which portrays his life mainly in the 1920s. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a mostly family friendly animated film, an imaginative one featuring depictions of dreams and the like. Animation aside, it is a drama, a fictionalised biopic drama. It covers themes such as love, passion (in a non-sexual way) hope and determination (to succeed). I like the detail in the animation - the animation itself is quite charming in being 2D based, like most Studio Ghibli films are but I've always liked and enjoyed this. I feel that such films have more authenticity to them somehow, whereas CGI technology tends to seem, or feel, quite a bit artificial and slap dash. I like that characters are shown in quite a lot of detail, with them shown to run from place to place at certain times for example - the detail in the animation is good and makes it seem surprisingly realistic yet obviously not artificial. I like that shadows are well animated - lots of fairly small seeming details are well portrayed. There are some surprising ...

Ali (DVD) 21/01/2017

An Engrossing Film In Which Will Smith Shines

Ali (DVD) - Story - Ali portrays Muhammad Ali's life during his busiest professional years of 1964 through to 1974, including when he refused to come forward to serve in the US army. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a sporting related drama film, which covers themes including deterimination, standing up for what you believe, prejudice, social injustice and the importance of faith. I felt it was a very watchable, rather engrossing film, which is relatively fast paced - it certainly starts at quite a strong pace. The dialogue is quite sharp and witty, much as the main character was in real life. I felt it was a well made film, quite a thought provoking one at that. It certainly doesn't shy away from the issues of racism and the then lack of civil rights in the US, with Ali's disgust at the past of his people (i.e. slave ownership) being clearly put across. Religion plays a pretty key part in the plot, unsurprisingly given its importance to the man himself. I could almost feel the anger and resentment in myself, that was clearly felt by different people at different times in the film. The film features some African music, played while Ali is visiting certain countries as a guest of honour. Other songs played include numerous Sam Cooke tracks, performed by David Elliot, which include You Send Me, Bring It On Home To Me and Somebody Have Mercy. Other songs featured include Ain't No Way performed by Aretha Franklin and As The Years Go Passing By, performed by Mighty Joe ...
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