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IzzyS

IzzyS

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Thanks for all rates. Let me know if I dont re-rate you - I will rectify it ASAP. My thoughts go to all affected by the recent tragedies.

Reviews written

since 27/07/2006

737

Welcome to the Punch (DVD) 23/09/2017

A Disappointing Watch - Impressive At First But It Doesnt Last

Welcome to the Punch (DVD) - Story - Jacob Sternwood, an ex criminal, finds himself having to return to London to help his son, after he becomes involved in a heist which went awry. In so doing, detective Max Lewinsky is given his final chance to get his hands on Jacob but will he manage to catch up with him or not? what might they both discover? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is an action thriller film, featuring themes including conspiracy, police, heists and flashbacks. Its quite fast paced, starting in the middle of action with a number of people quickly doing a getaway through London on motorbikes at night. It seemed quite slick and gripping based on that initial scene and certainly got my attention to start with. The fact its set at night also adds a sense of mystery and tension. The 'bad guys' sound like fairly typical London gangster types i.e. lugubrious. The camerawork was a little too jerky for my personal liking, during the faster, chase type scenes, it was quite disorientating and I found that frustrating. Some aspects of the plot are a bit predictable but it was tense enough to keep me watching regardless and its not so long as to become overly tedious, which is good - it has a total running time of about an hour and thirty nine minutes, for the record. Cast wise, the good guy (cop) Max Lewinsky is played by James McAvoy. He comes across as an enthusiastic, up and coming young police officer determined to get his way, while ...

Cold Mountain (DVD) 20/09/2017

An Eery Civil War Related Epic

Cold Mountain (DVD) - Story - Towards the end of the American civil war, an injured soldier undertakes a long and hazardous journey back home to so called Cold Mountain in North Carolina, with hopes of reconvening with the love of his life. Will things work out? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a historical period drama with obviously war and adventure elements to it. It covers themes including civil war and the walking wounded, friendships, the countryside or rural life in general and loneliness, among others. I quite enjoyed this film, as it features some relatively feisty, well thought out characters. There is a good use of background music, a quite unsettling, mildly sinister or creepy slow classical type of music which is quite quiet and not at all over powering or over bearing, not making the dialogue hard to follow, thankfully. The film did seem quite atmospheric due to the good use of music and it doesn't shy away from depicting some relatively gruesome aspects of war at times as well. I found myself feeling gripped to the TV set, to see what became of certain soldiers, how people managed to pull themselves out of very difficult, harrowing situations. Of course its easy to see why this could be regarded as a very grim film but yet it didn't feel entirely grim as such. There is an element of optimism about it - a sense of hope present, although its hard to explain this fully in such a review. Suffce to say, there are different ...

Driving Miss Daisy (DVD) 17/09/2017

A Delightfully Touching Character Driven Drama

Driving Miss Daisy (DVD) - Story - Set in the 1950s, an elderly Jewish widow (Daisy Werthan) finds herself unable to drive safely and so her son (Boolie Werthan) insists that she have a driver to chauffer her. Boolie hires a man called Hoke Colburn, who Daisy doesn't take too kindly to on principle but over time they become friends and the film depicts their slow evolving friendship and respect for each other over many years. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a drama film featuring themes including old age, civil rights, racism and anti semitism. I found it to be an easy watch, with intriguing characters. I thought it was a good example of historical social commentary. I found some of the dialogue quite amusing - Daisy is very much a stubborn, principled lady, who seems very much aware of what she values and how she expects things to be and won't shy away from saying such. The way she argued with him could seem a bit infuriating at times but I liked his come backs (I found myself cheering for him, as he is a bit of an underdog character) and although there is relatively little, content wise, that goes on, I found it very much to be a watchable and entertaining film regardless. Cast wise, Jessica Tandy plays Daisy. She looks very much the prim and proper type, with quite a sharp tongue. Meanwhile, Morgan Freeman plays Hoke. Given this film was released in 1989, I can only imagine that he had makeup (or otherwise) to age him, as he can't have been as old as his character appeared, I'd ...

The Road (DVD) 16/09/2017

Hope & Desperation In A Desolate Setting - A Sombre Watch

The Road (DVD) - Story - Set in a post apocalyptic world, this film follows one mans journey with his young son to try and find a more hospitable place to live down south. Do they find any such place? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is an adventure drama film, which covers themes including the apocalypse, survival, journeys and fear. This starts out very bleak and indeed it is an extremely bleak film, in terms of the plot and the setting, with many barren landscapes slowly trudged across by our two main characters (father and son). A lot of scenes are dark, with low levels of lighting. I suppose electricity wouldn't necessarily still be around(?). The film features many instances of dark, sombre sounding musical pieces played in the background. As I may have mentioned in other film reviews, I felt the sometimes lack of noise added a chill to the scenes, with it bringing to our attention just how devoid of others the once busy metropolitan or otherwise residential (etc.) areas now are, as depicted in the film. The music featured features fairly slow tunes played on pianos - some quite subtle pieces. The dialogue is quite hushed at times, with some being a bit hard to follow. The father and his partner are shown whispering to each other in flashback scenes, for example. I suppose some of whats told (by way of narration) by the father could be thought of as somehow prophetic, only looking back on what was, moreso than for whats to ...

The Bad Education Movie (DVD) 13/09/2017

Puerile sillyness galore - its the film version of Bad Education!

The Bad Education Movie (DVD) - Story - This is a film version of the BBC Three comedy TV show in which Mr Wickers and his class go on a trip after they've finished their GCSEs, with some unforseen circumstances. What happens? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a comedy film which features themes including rebellion and self deprecating humour. It is quite immature in comedy but it wasn't without its amusing moments - if you've seen the TV show this is a spin off from then you'll have a good idea of the type of comedy to expect. Its pretty silly and flippant at times and it most certainly doesn't take itself seriously, which I think is frankly just as well. The first scene (after an initial build up of the first 3-4 minutes or so) is an obvious, clear spoof of a well known classic 80s sci-fi film. The film is quite rowdy and madcap in tone, with the various classmates of Alife Wickers doing their best to run circles around him (as viewers of the TV show will know, there's nothing new there then). Cast wise, Jack Whitehall plays Alfie Wickers, the main character. He isn't afraid to send himself up in this role and literally be the butt of various jokes. Meanwhile, his father, Martin Wickers, is played by comedy legend Harry Enfield (who doesn't feature often enough as far as I'm concerned), Matthew Horne plays the head, Fraser and Nikki Runeckles plays Chantelle. Joanna Scanlan plays Susan Poulter, someone sent along with Alfie and his schoolmates ...

Bernie (DVD) 10/09/2017

A 'dead' good quirky comedy about a mild mannered mortician!

Bernie (DVD) - Story - Bernie Tiede is a 'larger than life' undertaker (no pun intended - no, really.), i.e. a somewhat large man, who wears his pride like a badge. He becomes friendly with a local widow, although we realise things become somewhat sinister when she appears to control him quite a lot. Does she have sinister motives? you'll have to watch the film to find out, of course. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a biographical comedy film, with crime elements and it includes themes such as charity and selfishness. This is quite a light hearted film, although it obviously deals with serious subjects, such as (the most obvious) death and the funeral business or industry. The comedy is relatively black, thus, as is fairly inevitable, its dark in tone but it features quite mild mannered characters, especially the main character of Bernie himself. Perhaps some may feel its a little disrespectful in the way it lightly pokes fun of the industry, of people like Bernie but I didn't feel it to be an especially offensive film as such. There again, I'm somewhat open minded in terms of death, what happens (or not) and moreso the way societies deal with death culturally. Its safe to say that this film gently pokes fun at the chaotic situations families can find themselves in when having to deal with organising funerals, with Bernie hoping to be allowed to make key decisions, clearly showing his pride while demonstrating his knowledge of the funeral homes various coffins and ...

Midnight Special (DVD) 09/09/2017

A Film About Human Vulnerabilities & Special Powers

Midnight Special (DVD) - Story - After a young boys father realises that his son may have special powers, he fears for their safety, as word gets out and a rather spooky cult starts to have interest in his son. Will they be safe and does his son really do have special powers? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a drama, mystery and science fiction based film and it covers themes including cults, father and son relationships, police, homage and faith. First off, I felt confused by what was going on in the first part of the film, as it very much starts as if we're half way through whatever is going on and the viewer is left in the dark. Speaking of dark, there are numerous scenes set during night and thus which have quite low lighting. This along with the rather sombre and doom-laden tone music certainly did leave me wondering what had led up to the events we're shown. I felt it seemed quite sinister and I found myself feeling eager to understand more about this somewhat secretive cult that seemed to be at the heart of the plot. There are moments when things happen really quite suddenly, taking me aback. I think its fair to say that this has the feel of some sci-fi drama shows, perhaps like The X Files. Science Fiction is definitely an element of the plot but on the same hand, it is also quite a 'human' film as well, being set in modern day, with human vulnerabilities very much being of importance in terms of the plot. While the plot is ...

The Sapphires (DVD) 06/09/2017

Watch These Sapphires Shine!

The Sapphires (DVD) - Story - Set in 1968, this film tells the tale of four close friends who are Australian Aboriginies who decide to form their own girl group and their eyes become open to many things including love and war as they perform for US troops during the Vietnam war. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a musical comedy drama film, which is part biographical and it covers themes including Aboriginal Australians upbringing, equality, auditioning/auditions, the military and of course fame. I was impressed with the singing which is heavily showcased from early on in the film - it is quite jolly and easy to hum along with. Early on, its mostly country music, although it evolves in to soul based music, which is a genre I'm particularly keen on, so I enjoyed that. The tone of the film is relatively lighthearted at first, although its also quite early on that the viewers are aware of how dimly the Aboriginal people people were regarded at the time. I quite enjoyed it as the plot interested me. I thought the character Dave, who becomes the groups manager, was particularly interesting - he is rather quirky and a little eccentric perhaps but his love of music and his belief in the girls is quite believable and fun, if that makes any sense(?). Ok so I can't claim it is an entirely original plot line I suppose, in as much as there are some cheesy aspects within the plot but I very much enjoyed it regardless. Its one of those stories that may make you daydream about what if it ...

Brassed Off (DVD) 03/09/2017

A Rousing Yorkshire Based Comedy Drama

Brassed Off (DVD) - Story - The Grimley Colliery Brass band has been going for over a century and is a well known proud part of the community. However, things take a bleak turn as the miners realise they have to fight hard to try and keep the pit open and so don't have much time to dedicate to the band. A young lady, who is new to the area and who turns out to be surprisingly good at playing the flugelhorn bring the band to life temporarily but the miners struggle to see how the band can continue to play in the national competitions, considering the mine itself may be about to close. Will the brand manage to keep going? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a drama film with comedy elements, with themes including mining, hope and solidarity. I found the characters to be quite relatable - some of their banter being quite amusing at times. The film contains very much a 'them vs us' attitude in terms of the whole mining industry against the government. It had the feel of a Ken Loach style social commentary docu-drama, I felt. I liked that with it being set in rural Yorkshire, nearly all the characters had strong and realistic sounding yorkshire accents - my late maternal grandparents lived in Yorkshire, so I have happy memories of that 'neck of the woods'. The dialogue is relatively witty, there are some amusing and somewhat sharp one-liners - I think its fair to say that the characters are, generally, quite warm-hearted and up for a ...

The Equalizer (DVD) 02/09/2017

A Well Shot, Gripping, Sinister Thriller - If Somewhat Cliched

The Equalizer (DVD) - Story - A man (Robert McCall), decides to put his somewhat shady past behind him and starts a new life, as a regular joe. However, he comes across a young teenage girl who, it turns out, is sadly controlled by some sinister underworld characters and when he finds out, he decides he has to act and help her out of her sorry situation. Will he manage to help her? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is an action based crime film, with a thriller element present. It covers themes including gangsters, vigilantes, justice and deception. This film is, very loosely I believe, based on the US drama show of the same name that aired in the 1980s. It is fair to say it features a fair amount of cliches, with the rich gangsters, a heroic man determined to save the damsel in distress, gunfights and so on and so forth. Within the first half an hour, the film became quite tense, as the plot slowly came to light. There is relatively little background information given about Robert, certainly at first and the film takes on a relatively dark tone and felt quite immersive and tense after the first half hour or so. It is perhaps a little slow to build the initial plot basis but once there, I found it fairly gripping. I have to say, I am quite keen on Denzel Washington as an actor - most of the films of his that I've seen have been good quality and have featured some interesting moral aspects. Ok so this particular film resembles more like ...

Sleepers (DVD) 30/08/2017

A Sobering Watch Well Made, Haunting & With A Great Cast

Sleepers (DVD) - Story - Four adolescents grow up in a rough area and end up carrying out a prank leading to someone getting hurt. They get sent to a detention centre in New York, where they become subject to bullying and abuse by those meant to protect them. Years later, they get a chance for revenge against those they trusted, who turned on them - will they get their revenge? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a crime thriller film, featuring themes including abuse, humiliation and revenge. This film features a surprisingly large amount of background character information, with the plot being slowly revealed. The film is quite long at just under 2 and a half hours and its a sobering watch, with some distressing scenes of blatant child abuse, including sexual child abuse. I found myself feeling quite sorry for the main characters, the 4 boys, for many reasons, most obviously for being victims, victims of more than one type - victims of their adolescence, as well as their abuse. Their depicted very much as being young and scared but trying their utmost not to show it, for fear of obvious repercussions while incarcerated. The film features some relatively jerky camerawork - there are flashback type scenes depicted in which the one visible colour is a very light blue, giving it a spooky, eerie effect. The camerawork gives the viewer a sense that what their seeing is coming from someones dreamlike recollections and is not entirely a ...

Trainwreck (DVD) 27/08/2017

A Surprisingly Amusing Unromantic Relationship Comedy Drama

Trainwreck (DVD) - Story - Amy Townsend has been brought up to believe that its not possible to be monogamous, due to the various flings her parents have had. As a result, she has a less than ideal relationship with her dad and its led her to lose her inhibitions however possible, via drugs et al, while pursuing various one night stands. However, her new boyfreind, Steven, isn't aware of her lifestyle and Amy becomes more infatuated with him - will he hang around once he realises what she's like? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a comedy drama film with romance elements and it covers themes including funerals, arguments and father and daughter relationships. Perhaps a better term to use to describe it would be a 'relationship comedy drama', as it isn't really big on romance but its very much about one persons relationships, just not in a sentimental way for the most part. It is a quite contemporary , somewhat slick comedy/drama - I suppose you could say its a rom/com style of a film, only (as you might have guessed) its not exactly full of sentimental romance, featuring more of a 'ladette' character. Some of the comedy I didn't particularly find funny but other instances I did. The comedy is sometimes quite observational based and its fair to say that a number of characters are quite sharp and 'to the point', including the main character, Amy. Her boss, Dianna, reminded me of the bitchy boss in 'The Devil Wears Prada', Miranda ...

Jason Bourne (DVD) 26/08/2017

Bournes Back...Another Fast Paced Spy Film

Jason Bourne (DVD) - Story - The CIA agent finds himself being hunted down by the agency again, after a rogue operative who went underground and helped Jason (Nicky Parson) , finds himself partnered with someone about to whistle blow secret aspects of the CIA. Will the CIA manage to get their Nicky and Jason? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a spy based action/thriller film with themes covered including hacking, chases, casinos and cover ups. This is the 5th in the series of Jason Bourne films, sometimes referred to as Americas James Bond equivalent (although you may be mistaken from presuming its the first due to the titular name). Within the first few scenes, it reminded me quite a lot of the US drama show 24, being fast paced, featuring seemingly complicated IT systems being hacked in to, with various different cities in different parts of the world being focussed on and so on. There is some quite jerky camerawork featured from relatively early on, as if whoever was filming the scenes were a bit nervous or trepidatious - I found it a bit disorientating at times. Plot wise, its quite fast paced and it felt rather volatile, in terms of what was happening on the ground (as it were) and what might be to come, due to those 'behind the scenes' second guessing what may take place. If you haven't seen the previous Jason Bourne films then I'd compare it to a mix of the Mission:Impossible films and James Bond films. Also, og course you may ...

Parker (DVD) 23/08/2017

An Average Action Flick - Not Bad But Not Great

Parker (DVD) - Story - A thief with a strange set set of morals finds himself double crossed by those he trusted and is left for dead. He finds himself forced to adopt a new identity and he tries to get his own back by attempting a heist on those who attacked him. Will he manage to get his own back? you'll have to watch the film to find out. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is an action/crime film, which features themes including theiving, heists, disguises and martial arts. It is quite fast paced, with some decent special effects (explosions and the like). I found some of the plot details a bit far fetched but then I suppose these sort of action films aren't entirely meant to be analysed to death...even so though, I did find myself thinking the main character was particularly lucky at times, so it didn't seem especially believable. There are some instances of witty dialogue and I guess it is relatively slick, at times. While some aspects of this film are unoriginal and thus a bit predictable, I liked that we were shown things from different peoples perspectives, depending on the scene. We're shown things from Parkers point of view and also from that of those who double crossed him. Suffice to say, there's a lot of anger and frustration (masking the underlying sense of fear I imagine) going around from high testosterone men. Speaking of which, cast wise Jason Statham plays the main (titular) character, Parker. This is no new role for him, as he is often found playing ...

Love & Mercy (DVD) 20/08/2017

A Solid, Sad & Sobering Watch

Love & Mercy (DVD) - Story - This is a dramatisation of the Beach Boys leader, Brian Wilson, both in the 1960s, when he struggled to overcome his psychosis, while working on his famous pop music and also in the 1980s, as he struggles to get by while under 24 hour care of therapist Dr. Eugene Landy. - More Info., Thoughts & Opinions - This is a biographic music based drama, which includes/covers themes including psychotherapy, songwriting, therapy, self worth, mental health and trust. It is quite an atmospheric film from early on - I found myself feeling quite sorry for Brian, played by Paul Dano in the 1960s scenes. I should say early on that it doesn't shy away from the obviously quite big issues covered, so its quite an emotional watch. When I was young, my dad used to play the Beach Boys songs on a cassette tape in the car, when the two of us would go in to town, or to the country to ride my bike but in any case, I have fond memories of listening to their songs, such as Barbara-Anne, God Only Knows and so on. I have anxiety - I'm obviously not going to claim to have had issues on near the same level as Mr. Wilson has but I definitely did find myself re-thinking the meaning behind some of his songwriting work, such as the lyrics to 'God Only Knows'. It can come across as quite a dreamy love song but I can clearly see that he must have been in a dark place to have written such lyrics (look them up via Google if necessary). I could relate to his seeking solace in working on writing, as ...
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