Review: Viceroy’s House

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I was pleasantly surprised how good Viceroy’s House was. And I admit I was feeling a tad negative going into this one but came away very satisfied. A movie that will appeal to those who like historical dramas; director Gurinder Chadha has delivered a masterpiece. With a relatively short running time of 1 hour 46 minutes this could have easily been twice as long given the epic nature of the story. It’s a tribute to the screen play and excellent pacing that it works so well. A round of applause to the actors. All delivered their parts well but special praise goes to Manish Dayal and Huma Qureshi. If there was anything that could have been done better it would be more time spent on their love story. The film was best when Jeet and Aalia were on screen negotiating their way through the cultural and sectarian pressures of the era.

4 stars.

Review: John Wick Chapter 2

Wick

Was this a film? Or did I just watched a video game pretending to be a film? It certainly felt more like a ‘first person shooter game’ and with a body count to match. An ‘info graphic’ I’ve seen places the count at 128. That’s a lot of killing for one character. And with feck all story to go with it. I’m no prude but the violence was overdone [it’s the non-stop action genre you say]. And the movie is incredibly boring to boot. If it wasn’t for the fact I was trapped in the middle of a row I may have headed out to the cinema bar. Wow – I’m so negative. And I feel I may be going against the grain here as many folk I know liked it. But trust me – this film is pure dreck. I want a refund. Woe is to me. Come on Keanu – you can do better than this – it’s not all just about the money you know…

A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY

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Documentary. [2014]. I caught up on this wonderful documentary directed by Liz Garbus and featuring Steve Buscemi. I did not realize Steve was himself a firefighter for four years. Well presented and heart rending at times. We know fire fighters are regularly scored the most respected people in a society. We love them and thank goodness they are there in times of crises. This film gives an amazing insight into the men and women who work tirelessly to look after the great city of New York. Brutally honest at times, Steve does not shy away from the struggles of women entering the service. And touches on the hard fought battles minorities have faced. Surely a battle fought across such public services worldwide. Thank you Mr Buscemi for sharing this story with us. But I feel there is much more to be told. Me thinks the FDNY needs to be revisited and in particular the so called ‘War Years’ merits a more in depth look. Perhaps another doco or even a feature film.

Goodbye 007

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RIP 007. My James Bond. The best James Bond. Sir Roger Moore you had class and charisma. Your films were something to look forward to and mark on the calendar. One time I could not even get a ticket to a film for two weeks that’s how popular you were. In a league of your own.

14 October 1927 – 23 May 2017

Live and Let Die, 1973

The Man with the Golden Gun, 1974

The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977

Moonraker, 1979

For Your Eyes Only, 1981

Octopussy, 1983

A View To A Kill, 1985

Film Review: Get Out

get out

Brilliant film. Funny at times and every bit scary. A few well timed jump scares. Essentially a ‘mad scientist horror’. It’s very droll – and I like it a lot. And yes there is a social commentary underlying the story. Racism. Crazy white folk. It’s all a bit twisted. Director Jordan Peele has tapped in to the fears of a generation and delivered a mind bender. I don’t want to talk about plot here and give away spoilers. And I’m not gonna write a 1000 word essay. But do you trust me? I’m good at picking cinematic winners in the horror genre so if you trust me go and see this flick. You’ll come out of the cinema with a royal WTF did I just see. And you’ll be digesting it for some time to come. At my viewing the whole row I was in lurched a few times. Whole cinema screamed. What fun!

Verdict 4 stars.

Director: Jordan Peele

Staring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford

Length: 1 hour 44 minutes.

Film Review: Raw

Raw

Raw is the best horror I have seen this year so far. What we have here is a masterpiece from director Julia Ducournau – and I hope there is more from this amazing lady. The film is set during a University’s ‘O’ week and focuses on the veterinary college. There’s varsity hazing. And a slow transformation from veganism to – well you can guess but I’ll spell it out: Cannibalism. Yes it’s a body horror. The story is well written and I did not pick the ending! The screen play has a richness and complexity which I found extremely satisfying. Visually it is stunning and I know I’m waxing lyrical but the cinematography is brilliant. I urge you to see this film – as long as your over 18 y/o. Don’t take your mum. Think before you take that date – but you won’t regret this movie if you like your horror. As for gross factor – not that bad – there are a couple of moments you might look away but Julia does not over do it – she has found that delicate balance and for her the story is king. Reports of cinemas giving out ‘barf bags’ due to the squeamish factor were all overblown hype. Yes it gets pretty gory but no it’s not overpowering. I know that can be a matter of opinion. Finally the musical score/sound track is wonderful – from Gothic melodies to techno trash – just glorious! French language film with English subtitles.

Verdict: 5 stars!

Director: Julia Ducournau

Staring: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella

Length: 1h 39min

Film Review: Denial

Denial

The most important film I’ve seen in this age of ‘alt facts’ and so called fake news. This story reminds us the importance of challenging false information and taking on those who would attempt to rewrite history. I can’t rave enough about this film. A quality production with excellent acting by all those involved. My greatest praise is for Timothy Spall who plays such an odious character [Mr Irving is a real piece of work]. But Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson and Andrew Scott were also wonderful and can take a bow. I urge all of you to see this movie. A well presented courtroom drama.

Verdict 5 stars!

Film Review: Alien Covenant

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I loved it! Thank you Ridley Scott for bringing back exploding guts, face huggers, the big xenomorph, neomorphs & protomorphs! And for showing off New Zealand’s beautiful Milford Sound. Thank you for great casting and I’m thinking about Katherine Waterston in particular whose performance was excellent as Daniels. And not to forget our favorite synthetics David and Walter played by Michael Fassbender.  Yes people – you need to see this film on the big screen for big screams. This is the ‘alien horror’ film the world needed in 2017. Big ups also to visual effects and a tight screen play. Good pacing throughout. I could find no flaws and it fits in nicely with the other films of the franchise.

Verdict: 4.5 stars