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All reviews - Movies (108) - TV Shows (28) - DVDs (14) - Books (35) - Music (49) - Games (24)

Single Father review

Posted : 6 years, 9 months ago on 8 January 2011 03:22 (A review of Single Father)

The blandest thing about about this series is the name. The overall storyline is basic, a family dealing with the loss of the mother/wife and the first episode covers the basic ground pretty well. Starting with the second episode, it becomes abundantly clear that this is the BBC, not Hallmark.

The writers introduce a number of twists - secrets tumble out, grief and doubt make the characters do some uncharacteristic things and the family dynamics undergo plenty of strain. So much so, that they almost threaten to overdo it by the last episode and slip into soap opera territory. Fortunately, since there's only 4 episodes, the craziness has a limited shelf life.

The disappointing thing is that with all the great buildup in the first three episodes, they could have come turned it into something special but the writers ran out of ideas by then. The acting is really good all around, which is impressive considering the large number of children in the cast. The characters are well drawn out with shades of grey, and that is largely what keeps things interesting till the end.


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True Grit review

Posted : 6 years, 9 months ago on 8 January 2011 01:12 (A review of True Grit)

Quite possibly the best movie of 2010, in my opinion. The Coen Brothers know how to deliver a classy western (like pretty much every other genre they have tried), proving that 'No Country for Old Men' was no fluke. There's shades of Fargo in here too, in that they both had a improbably strong female protagonist. The story is simllarly straightforward.

A 14 yr old girl wishes to find the killer of her father and hires an aging US Marshall, with only one good eye but a fearsome reputation, to do the job. They are accompanied by a Texas Ranger, who is after the same man for different crime. As they chase the fugitive, an interesting chemistry develops between the three of them. With equal parts violence, thrills and humour, it's a greatly absorbing and deliberately paced movie.

Superb acting by Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, truly outstanding stuff. They both know how to play quirky characters with complete conviction and authenticity. The actress who plays the third part of this odd set, Hailee Stienfeld, was also excellent. She joins the ranks of such actresses as Kirsten Dunst and Jodie Foster who had the ability to deliver great performances even at young age. If this movie doesn't pick up a handful of Oscars in 2011, it would be a great shame.


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Elizabethtown review

Posted : 6 years, 11 months ago on 9 November 2010 04:04 (A review of Elizabethtown)

Has a really cool soundtrack and a really dull plot. Orlando Bloom is a limited actor and Kirsten Dunst is wasted as his sidekick. There are fleeting moments of chemistry between the two but nothing that sustains for the length of the movie. Most of the characters are written with an attempt to make them quirky but all of them come off as ridiculous. The movie rests on Orlando Bloom's inadequate shoulders and he isn't up to it.

Other than the mediocre acting, nothing in this movie made any sense whatsoever. How can one lose a billion dollars on one shoe design? How stupid would the CEO of such a company be? Is it possible to lose a billion dollars on a single shoe design? Every shoe company I know of has dozens of designs at any one time. Why was the airline running a flight with only one passenger? Such a flight would have been cancelled days in advance. Why did Claire send Drew on a meaningless road trip?

Why did I watch this movie?


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30 for 30 The Two Escobars review

Posted : 6 years, 11 months ago on 6 November 2010 07:59 (A review of 30 for 30 The Two Escobars)

Stunning documentary about Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and football player (and captain of the national team) Andrés Escobar. Both Escobars rose from the city of Medellin in Colombia and their lives would intertwine for decades. Both Escobars met with violent deaths, allegedly by the hands of the same people. The movie isn't just about these two people, it's about everything that surrounded them. You could accuse the filmmakers of being melodramatic at some points in the film, but you can't deny the truth of the events and their power to move you.


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Laws Of Illusion review

Posted : 7 years ago on 17 October 2010 08:56 (A review of Laws Of Illusion)

Sarah McLachlan's formula hasn't varied since Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and Surfacing. This album uses almost the exact same template as the former. Kick off with a rocker, follow up with ballads and mellower songs, throw in a few rock flourishes in-between. I'm not really complaining though.

McLachlan's songwriting and singing are still exceptional as ever. The album grows on repeated listens, revealing the intimacy and honesty of her songwriting. In fact, this is easily her her most consistent album since the breakthrough of 'Fumbling'. She may not have the freshness of that album anymore, but she compensates with a mastery over all her musical skills that is unparalleled in the rest of her work.


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Never Let Me Go review

Posted : 7 years ago on 11 October 2010 12:13 (A review of Never Let Me Go)

The premise was very interesting (and relatively original) and the acting was great. Overall, the movie would have been much improved if we got more insight into what the characters were thinking and feeling. It isn't until the last 30 mins that you really start to get a feel for the characters. A better director might have helped.


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Salt review

Posted : 7 years, 2 months ago on 20 August 2010 07:57 (A review of Salt)

Unmitigated garbage. The plot is ridiculously convoluted, actually it's just plain ridiculous. The script seems to have been written by an adolescent with a fascination for trashy spy fiction or bad Robert Ludlum novels. Nothing, absolutely nothing about the stale plot was even faintly surprising. All that is made worse by how seriously the whole plodding enterprise seems to take itself. A little bit of humour might have injected some life into the movie and maybe distracted the audience from the littering of bad clichés in second half. Easily the worst movie I've seen this year.


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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World review

Posted : 7 years, 2 months ago on 16 August 2010 06:57 (A review of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)

It's a clever movie but has trouble consistently funny. I lost count of the number of video game references there were. Once the novelty of the video game invading the real world wears off, the story or the characters aren't enough to see it through to the end. Kieran Culkin nearly steals the show as Scott's gay roommate. He's about the only character that is consistently interesting (and surprising). Overall, I have to say this was a disappointment.


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Alice in Wonderland review

Posted : 7 years, 5 months ago on 22 May 2010 05:24 (A review of Alice in Wonderland)

Absolutely gorgeous looking movie, Wonderland has never looked this good on film before. Unfortunately, the story is not up to scratch. Instead of a straight adaptation of the book, the film makers decided to be clever and crafted up a 'sequel' of sorts with a grown up Alice. Despite the beautiful conception of Wonderland, the movie is pretty dreary for the most part. In the process of growing up, we've lost the sparkle of the original story. Such a wasted effort, really. As a side note, I absolutely loved Stephen Fry's voicing of the Chesire Cat, it complemented the beautifully rendered cat on-screen perfectly.


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Lost in Austen review

Posted : 7 years, 5 months ago on 3 May 2010 06:02 (A review of Lost in Austen)

If you loved 'Pride and Prejudice', or even the excellent BBC mini-series based on it, 'Lost in Austen' will very likely appeal to you as well. The story uses the familiar 'hidden door to another world' plot device to place our contemporary heroine into a Victorian world inhabited by the characters of Jane Austen's book, taking the place of Elizabeth Bennett, who is transported into the real world.

Our heroine, Amanda Price then proceeds to raise hell in Austen's world in her attempts to keep the story on track. It is fun to see Austen's serious world being rocked by the unconventional Amanda as well as watching the original story go so completely off the rails. Characters are played around with and morphed and eventually it's not Austen's story anymore, despite the strenuous attempts of Amanda to keep it on track. While the story doesn't exactly break all the conventions of a romantic comedy, it still breaks enough of them to give it charm.

Be warned, unless you know the original story pretty well, you'll not derive any of the humour that comes from toying with it. However, if you have read the book or even the aforementioned mini-series, this could be right up your alley.


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