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IzzyS

IzzyS

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Thanks for all the rates through the years. Its the end of an era - im thankful to all who talked to me. Apologies for the mass postings but I have a ton of film reviews in drafts! ill try to re-rate as many ppl as I can.

Reviews written

since 27/07/2006

809

This is the End (DVD/Blu-Ray) 30/11/2017

A Poignant Film Name For A Poignant Time (the film mildly amuses)

This is the End (DVD/Blu-Ray) - Story - While attending a party, a number of (b to z-list) celebrities find themselves facing the oncoming Rapture (Apocalypse). They desperately band together to try to survive until the very end - will they manage it? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a comedy fantasy film and it covers themes including sieges, panic and selfishness. Its pretty basic, with the comedy being very much of a teenage type, think of the American Pie films and other Seth Rogen films (i.e. quite sexual and drug oriented - quite immature, purile but partially amusing at times). The characters are laidback and even fairly lazy at times but I suppose you could say that makes it seem a bit more realistic, if you believe the stereotype of teens being lazy (ok I'll stop with these not so great comments). I found it amusing how some characters reacted, in terms of their body language, to others who were attempting to show themselves up to the rest of them - there are definitely some awkward social moments, you may find yourself cringeing in response to them!. Unsurprisingly, its an easy, uncomplicated watch and given most of the characters are basically 'playing' themselves (including James Franco, Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen), there was an added element of humour, in that some of them mildly make fun of themselves via the plot and dialogue at times. Its hardly hilarious but its mildly amusing at times. Cast wise, as I say most of the ...

Ex Machina (DVD) 30/11/2017

A 'Real'ly Intriguing Tale Of Our Times

Ex Machina (DVD) - Story - A programmer is chosen to take part in an important experiment in artificial intelligence, involving analysing for any potentially human elements within the latest cutting edge robot. Can there ever be a truly partial human robot? how far can AI go?. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a science fiction based drama film which covers themes including artificial intelligence, deception, self awareness and morality. First off, what I noticed is that this a lot less of a science fiction film than I presumed it to be. Its not set in space or in some far flung distant future either - it could very well be a situation in the near future - probably not in the next few years but maybe a decade or so, rather than in, say, 50 or 100 years time. It has an unsettling and quite mysterious tone to it, with some spooky stringed instrumentation and a general feeling of uneasiness, not being entirely sure how things will pan out, how Ava will develop. I felt very curious about the situation Caleb found himself in and I wanted to learn more, as he did about the situation he was in. The themes are quite big, important issues and I liked that aspect of it. Suffice to say, there's a lot of dialogue, as it is quite a character based drama rather than a visual effects, action based film. There are some pretty good visual effects shown, obviously the robot (called 'Ava') it- or her-self and some of the settings, in a large combined research building and hotel being the main ...

Taken 3 (DVD) 30/11/2017

An Average Action Thriller - The Last In The Taken Trilogy

Taken 3 (DVD) - Story - Former government employee Bryan Mills finds himself accused of a bloody murder which he knew nothing about. He finds himself on another desperate mission, using all his specialist skills to try and prove he's been framed and thus clear his name. Will he be successful? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is an action thriller film, the third in the trilogy and as such it is similar to the previous films, so if your familiar with them then you'll know what to expect, such as betrayal and deception, fugitives and hostage situations. It starts off as quite a slow moving, yet tense, although the plot pace does very much increase after the first twenty minutes or so. I thought it seemed a somewhat gritty and slightly sinister seeming film, with viewers clearly getting the feeling that something big is coming their way but its not entirely clear quite what it is. I noticed quite early on that there was a lot of shaky and jerky camerawork, which on one hand I suppose added to the sense of things being on a knife-edge, of things being quite unstable. Following on from previous Taken films, Mills utters the words - '...I don't know why, I don't who but im going to find them' regarding the perpertraitors of the murder and with an element of somewhat overly enforced melodrama by way of female characters putting on a 'tear-fest' of sorts and quite a strong use of orchestrated music during the more emotional moments, you ...

Hacksaw Ridge (DVD) 30/11/2017

An Intriguing True Story - A Worthy War Based Watch

Hacksaw Ridge (DVD) - Story - This film tells the story of US army medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa and during which he refused to kill anyone, becoming the first man in US history to receive the Medal of Honour without having killed anyone. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a biographical drama film, with a historical element to it and obviously its mostly in a war based setting. It features themes including war combat and pacifism. The film starts out with a large battle underway, with action slowed down, as if we're viewing a someone rewinding the memory of what happened. From there we see Desmonds life at key times and its made clear that he was a very caring and thoughtful person. I found the story quite interesting, not least due to it being a true story - I feel what he did was quite admirable. However, some of the scenes did seem perhaps a little overly sentimental, with Desmond seeming somewhat introverted and I thought he came across as a bit of Forrest Gump type character. Suffice to say that if your hoping for a constant action packed, violence filled film then you may find the start a bit disappointing but I felt it was important to build up a decent picture of Desmond's life, his background/upbringing and so on. It is definitely a biographical drama film rather than an action adventure film or otherwise. Plot wise it is quite slow, as I say but it does well at portraying a reasonably clear picture of what Desmond was like and how ...

Tomorrow, When The War Began (DVD) 30/11/2017

A Sobering Teen Based Dystopian Action Film

Tomorrow, When The War Began (DVD) - Story - Eight teenage students come together to fight after their country becomes invaded and their families are taken. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is an action adventure film, which features themes including the military, camping, shootouts and pacifism. I found this film a little underwhelming at first but it did become somewhat surprisingly engrossing after a while. There is a fairly decent variety of characters present - a religious girl, the 'high school hottie' girl type and numerous others. Its far from greatly original but I found the action scenes, the more faster paced ones to be relatively engaging regardless. I thought the plot was a little confusing at times - I suppose it isn't one to overly analyse as such, although it is an adapatation of a well regarded YA (Young Adult, i.e. books written for teenagers) novel. I didn't find myself utterly losing interest in it, so it was still a semi-decent watch regardless. It is certainly pretty far fetched but then it is a dystopian/war based story, so it is somewhat inevitable. I've noticed that Australia have produced numerous examples of these kinds of rather dark toned films - on a smaller budget than your average Hollywood equivalent but some may be better for dealing with some subject material which may not naturally be covered by Hollywood equivalent films, although not so much this particular film due to its younger target audience. From a visual point of view, this isn't as gory or ...

Hugo (DVD) 30/11/2017

A Charming & Pretty Family Friendly Film

Hugo (DVD) - Story - Set in Paris in the early 1930s, this film is about a young boy who has been orphanged and lives in the walls of a train station. His name is Hugo Cabret and it seems he has his personal mystery to resolve, one involving his late dad. What secrets will he find out about? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a family film which is mainly adventure and drama centred. It features themes including entertainment, film making as an industry, dreamers and carpentry. I noticed two things from early on, within minutes of the film starting - one being the beautiful visual effects or more generally the cinematography and the other being the quite charming and mostly Parisienne sounding music. Suffice to say, its quite an atmospheric watch - an immersive one at that. I do appreciate a good family friendly film, although im not always bothered by, or interested in, especially dumbed down kids films as such, just to make that clear lol but this film I enjoyed as I thought the plot was quite curious and it looked, visually, very much like a film that had been well thought out in advance. I found the main character, the titular Hugo, Hugo Cabret, to be quite an intriguing person. There's a lot of mystery surrounding him and his background and I felt as eager as he likely was to try and learn more. I thought it was interesting that we see the films events almost entirely from his visual viewpoint, watching other adults bicker ...

Easy Virtue (DVD) 30/11/2017

An Easy Watch - Amusing and Entertaining

Easy Virtue (DVD) - Story - An Englishman marries a rich American and when he brings her back home to the UK, to meet his family, she is regarded quite the talk of the town. Her culture and attitudes challenge those of his family - will his family eventually accept the American? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a period drama, or costume drama, romantic comedy film which covers themes including parent and child relationships, unhappy marrirages and country life. I found it to be a light and easy watch, with some interesting characters, a surprising number of recognisable well known people in the cast and some pretty witty instances of dialogue. This is very much a character driven drama, as most period pieces are. I thought it was fairly stylish in terms of the costumes worn and settings. It didn't surprise me that it was originally based on a play by Noel Coward, as I felt it did have quite a strong feel of a play or some kind of theatrical production - I also liked the music played, sometimes in the background as its quite underplayed and subtle but enjoyable none the less. Its quite an easy watch, the main plot is far from complicated and there are some nice instances of cinematography at times, showing the family estate at the start of day, the lavish indoor garden and other such things. However, I did think that if anything, the plot was a little bland at times but I kept watching and found it entertaining for the most part ...

Joe (DVD) 30/11/2017

A Gritty, Bleak Film - One Of Nicolas Cage's Better Roles

Joe (DVD) - Story - An ex convict called Joe encounters a 15 year old boy and finds himself having to decide whether to take him in or continue his ruinous lifestyle. What happens? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a drama film which features themes including beating, alcoholism and father to son relationships. Joe is shown to be a fairly well regarded handyman type character from reasonably early on in the film. Some of the other characters are shown to be blaggers and the general tone of the film, in terms of setting and peoples circumstances for the most part, is somewhat bleak and gritty. It is quite a dark film in general, so don't be expecting an easy and joyful watch but hopefully you wouldn't expect that anyway. The setting is very much deep south America - with characters having distinctive southern 'drawl' type dialects. I felt the plot pace was a little unnecessarily slow, with me wondering when things may speed up a bit or otherwise the direction become a bit clearer but it does do that after a while. I felt it did well at putting across a quite unsettling, tense and eery atmosphere - I felt that some of the characters seemed quite volatile and I was unsure when they may potentially snap. It seemed like one of those films in which the viewer tries to get under the various characters skins, wondering what peoples backgrounds may be and so on. It also seemed a bit of a parable of adolescence, to an extent. I think ...

Crimson Peak (DVD) 30/11/2017

A Stylish Drama With Fantasy & Horror That Isnt Perfect

Crimson Peak (DVD) - Story - Following a tragic event, an up and coming author finds herself having to choose between the love of an old friend and the lust of a new and mysterious outsider. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a horror fantasy film which features themes including the supernatural, incest and loss. It features quite bright and vivid colours, with one of the settings being a almost larger than life old mansion type of an house, a regal place. It had the look of a Tim Burton film I felt, with the style, bright vivid colours, plus some eye catching characters. It has quite a strong mysterious feel to it and it is fairly atmospheric. There is some sinister background music played quite quietly, which I felt added to the sinister tone of it. Its one of those films where you find yourself trying to second guess what secrets may be around and what causes what etc. I found it surprisingly absorbing and so quite entertaining. Some of the dialogue is quite good and I'd say there's a definite element of melodrama present but not necessarily in a purely negative way. This is mainly a period drama, although it does undoubtedly feature fantasy, horror and mystery elements as well but if you think of it as being like a period drama with some fantastical elements and a few scares perhaps, then you should have a good rough idea what to expect. Cast wise, Edith Cushing is played by Mia Wasikowska. She seems quite a worried and potentially vulnerable lady - her role is played ...

St. Vincent (DVD) 30/11/2017

Sickly Sweet Yet Entertaining - A Good Watch

St. Vincent (DVD) - Story - A young boy (Oliver) comes across the neighbour, a Vietnam veteran called Vincent, who lives a rather hedonistic lifestyle. After being bribed, he agrees to babysit for the boy, called Oliver and they slowly become unlikely friends. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a comedy drama film featuring themes including friendship, school bullying and apologies. The plot reminded me a bit of Drillbit Taylor, featuring layabout Owen Wilson as Drillbit, who gets persuaded to protect a bunch of young kids from bullies in school. Oliver is someone I found it easy to feel sorry for. Ok so the main plot is far from original but I enjoyed it, as I liked the characters and the cast. There is definitely an element of predictability but I think its the sort of story that a lot of people can relate to and can enjoy the film because of that. The fact that both Vincent and Oliver are somewhat overlooked, outsider type people (having said that, its perhaps easier to feel sorry for Oliver than Vincent) - you could call them underdogs. The one main term to come to mind when describing this film, or Vincent himself, is begrudging, or begrudgingly. Cast wise, Bill Murray plays Vincent, a real wiseguy type but someone who has a wicked (if dark) sense of humour, unsurprisingly. Murray is one of my favourite actors and I enjoyed his role in this film - he plays his part well, seeming both quite begrudging and also secretly enjoying teaching Oliver things in the way of life, ...

Trishna (DVD) 29/11/2017

A Film About Culture, Trust & Tradition

Trishna (DVD) - Story - Loosely based on Thomas Hardy's novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, 'Trishna' tells the tale of a women who finds herself in love but with someone tradition dictates she can't be with. This happens through her being offered work in Jaipur by an English Indian man whose relative runs a hotel. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a drama film which features themes including culture, tradition and ambitions. I found it a rather sobering and thought provoking watch. At the start, the plot pace was quite slow and it seemed a little rambling perhaps but I became more interested after the main character, Trishna, leaves to take up employment in Jaipur. However, its made quite clear from early on that there's a definite culture clash present (more on that later). I've always been curious about different world cultures - I find it fascinating to learn how people in other parts of the world live, the rules they give themselves etc. it is certainly food for thought in this film, although its more a drama than a documentary per se. I liked the characterisation and respected Trishna for how she put her trust in Jay from quite early on. Also, I liked the cinematography, with some lovely shots of India bringing the vivid colour of the country really to life!. I noticed the music, with a few pieces of sometimes light sounding classical music played, plus more what I imagine to be typical Indian folk style music and some piano based tunes. These, I felt, were well picked ...

The Boxtrolls (DVD) 29/11/2017

A Quirky, Endearing Stop Motion Animation

The Boxtrolls (DVD) - Story - A young orphaned boy is raised by creatures who live underground in caves and who collect trash (litter). He realises that said creatures are slowly being wiped out and so he vows to save them. Will he succeed? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is an adventure comedy film, featuring themes including genocide, adoption and prejudice. It was filmed using stop motion animation and indeed it reminded me of the Nick Park Wallace and Gromit films at first, with shots of old cobbled streets and rather quirky old buildings shown, plus numerous examples of our titular people. The only trolls I knew of in my childhood were the tiny Scandinavian made ornaments with brightly coloured hair but thats just a sidenote lol. I liked the sound of the story and I'd heard this film was recommended by BBC film critic Mark Kermode, so thats why I decided to give it a watch. I did think that it appeared slightly dark at times, in terms of lighting, including quite early on, during scenes set on streets outside. This could perhaps be an issue depending on the environment your in when you watch such a film. I was left thinking about when I was much younger and struggled to be able to view films clearly in full as a large window was right behind our one TV screen back then and in summer, obviously the sun had a habit of causing a lot of reflection, which was never entirely fixed by curtains, so trying to watch what were quite prevalent ...

The Birdcage (DVD) 29/11/2017

A Brilliantly Flamboyant Film With Heart

The Birdcage (DVD) - Story - The owner of a gay cabaret and his partner attempt to hide their sexuality so that their son can introduce them to his fiancees parents, who are very right wing. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a comedy film covering themes including farce, transvestism and politicians. If I had to describe it in one word, from very early on the word that came to mind was flamboyant! having said that, I didn't feel that the gay characters were especially ridiculing the type of people they represent - yes there's a bit of 'over-the-topness' but I did feel like the characters were shown to be, at the heart of it, quite caring and not meaning any real harm, not uncaring and if anything, I liked how they weren't always entirely bothered about what others thought of them. The comedy is, as would be expected, quite slapstick and visual based for the most part and I found myself laughing quite alot but not so much at the characters as much as with them, due to the rather unlikely circumstances they find themselves in. Sometimes the uncomfortable silences said more than any specific dialogue could have and of course there's a fair amount of emphasis on body language and mannerisms but, as I say, I don't feel this is done in an utterly piss-taking sort of a way. Its hard to entirely explain why but thats what I thought anyway. If it felt entirely dismissive and ridiculing then I think I'd feel a lot less comfortable about it but I felt this film was well made. Cast wise, ...

Big Trouble In Little China (DVD) 29/11/2017

A Highly Entertaining Classic 80s Fantasy

Big Trouble In Little China (DVD) - Story - A trucker, by the name of Jack Burton, accidentally finds himself involved with an old mystical battle in the Chinatown region of San Francisco, after his friends fiancee is kidnapped at the airport which Jack and his friend Wang Chi go to meet her at. Will Jack manage to get Wang's fiancee back? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is an action adventure film which is very much fantasy based and it covers themes including street gangs, ceremonies and martial arts. First off, I hadn't planned to review this particular film but I like it so much I decided i'd review it anyway. I know its regarded as a bit of a cult classic and I can see why - it is very much dated, having been released in the 1980s (1986 to be precise - the year the first Back To The Future film was also released, which, ironically, now can seem like a fair bit of time in the past!). I think the fact that it seems dated, in terms of the special (visual) effects, accounts for some of its charm, with naturally a nostalgic element to it but having said that, I imagine some (I wouldn't like to generalise but some) younger people may not be entirely taken by it, as such. If I had to describe it, I'd say parts of it are a bit like a mix of a 1980s Matrix film, although its not sci-fi, more in terms of the martial arts coreography, Labyrinth in terms of the puppetry used (which I imagine to be from the Jim Henson 'factory', as in Labyrinth), the dark-ish ...

The King Of Comedy (DVD) 29/11/2017

A Sad & Poignant Satirical Film About Delusions & Fame

The King Of Comedy (DVD) - Story - Rupert Pupkin is desperately trying to become a big name in the comedy circuit. When he manages to speak to his idol, the TV talk show host Jerry Langford and pleas to be given a chance to do a set on his show, he's not treated entirely seriously. This makes him all the more determined to get his break and so he begins stalking the host, with no plans to lay off until he gets his way. Will things end well for either Rupert or indeed Jerry? you'll have to watch the film to find out, of course. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a comedy crime drama film, which features themes including the pursuit of fame, kidnapping and ambition. I thought it was quite amusing but also sad, for fairly obvious reasons. I found it very watchable and I thought the main theme is still very relevant nowadays (the film having been released in 1982), if anything more than ever. The plot is quite intriguing - I found myself second guessing what Rupert might do next, how he would respond to setbacks and the like. I felt quite sorry for Rupert, although some would probably say that he's quite selfish and even greedy but I saw him as someone obsessive, someone who felt the need to escape in to their insular world, presumably due to most people barely acknowledging him. He seems a very enthusiastic person, a pretty harmless guy, although someone who is clearly quite deluded. Suffice to say, while there is comedy in the film, its very much of the dark variety and its quite ...
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