kieranjlee's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

The Source Family

Fascinatingly detailed account of The Source Family and the influence of its leader primarily over the span of a mere five years


Watched the extended cut. Shame that, ironically, legal woes meant it didn't get a wider release as it's an incredible piece of work

Assassin's Creed

There are some good practical stunts and interesting visual effects but the entire film appears to be shot through a filter to emulate a video game. Also the structure makes for very little tension and the whole film is little more than a setup for a proposed series.


Done in effectively one take, this is quite an achievement with impressive camerawork and incredible performances particularly from the two leads who need to run the gamut in over two hours without stopping to take a breath. It does seem a little odd that no-one else ever seems to be outside though.


Thanks to an Apple glitch may be the most expensive film I've ever watched. This film brought back memories of my grandmother who I seldom got to see and died almost 30 years ago. The recurring picture phone joke is great and at least a decade ahead of its time.

La La Land
La La Land(2016)

Chazelle continues to demonstrate that he could be both the Scorsese and the Woody Allen of his generation. This homage to the golden age of musicals may be a bit overly ambitious and some of the scenes in the first twenty minutes could have been culled but just as with Whiplash the nuanced writing, directing, and choreography lead us to an incredible climax.

Bridget Jones's Baby

Some amusing social commentary which I expect will be far surpassed by Trainspotting 2 and in the same regard date the film within a few years. it is entertaining but the characters mainly remind those who have watched from the first film how old they have become. The flash backs from the previous films just serve to amplify this. Great to see Neil Pearson again.

The Edge of Seventeen

A frank and funny look at a contemporary teenager (possibly with high functioning autism or similar) living in a dysfunctional family. The ending doesn't quite strike true, or at least it's hard to trust her motives, but there are some great beats along the way.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

A light horror fantasy film for kids in the tradition of Doctor Who. The kind of thing that will have the kids squealing with excitement while hiding under the covers. The time travel conceit falls apart a little toward the end and the two love stories seem forced but Burton keeps it interesting and fun with some nice stop motion fight scenes.


A fun Disney animation that transposes the basic plot line of the original Star Wars trilogy to the pacific islands and with musical tributes to Neil Diamond and David Bowie. Moana and Rogue One even share Alan Tudyk as the copilot comedy relief. It's greatest achievements appear to be that little reference is made to the lead's gender, there is no love interest, and she isn't an orphan, finally bucking a long standing Disney trend.

The Accountant

Essentially a comic book film, Affleck's character is how you imagine your high functioning autistic kid might grow up to be if he elected to combine being Batman with accountancy. Affleck does a good job in his portrayal and the comic book aspect provides a competent if perhaps slightly overlong study of both him and his pursuer. Some reviewers have suggested that this muddies the waters between feeling empathy and expressing it but this isn't really the case.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Tudyk was great as always and there is an impressive.'cameo' but suffers from heavy reliance on "Easter Eggs" and digital rather than practical effects. It's the Lucas prequels all over again. They (and obviously the reviewers who are repeating the trap) have learned nothing.

Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa.)

Interesting premise that takes you places you don't necessarily expect to go. I was a little disappointed by the ending though as they could have taken it in a more interesting direction.


You may cotton on to what's going on early in the piece but the journey particularly the revelatory third act is amazing

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Doctor Who must be in the public domain because this simply emulates that with a wand and odd critters in lieu of a sonic screw driver and aliens. Right down to the baffled assistant, Tardis, arch-nemesis and flamboyant outfit only none of it makes much sense. It even shares some of the cast. Some smashed heads aside the kids should enjoy it though.


My six year old daughter enjoyed it but imagine an animated version of Glee with trolls. ugh

Doctor Strange

Cumberbatch's accent is a distraction and the first act wandered a bit too far into comic book nerd territory for me but there are some good gags and entertaining set pieces. Perhaps best to avoid the post credits sting as it detracts from the premise set by the rest of the movie.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Assured direction and the chemistry of the protagonist trio largely compensate for the utter predictability of the plot though some times it is just a tad too corny. In contrast fight scenes have a post-Raid brutal veracity.


Pure genius. Another classic appearance from Jonathan Banks of Breaking Bad fame. Guest starring Donald Trump as the autopilot.

The Magnificent Seven

Critics have been decrying the lack of diversity in cinema. Despite this the most diverse mainstream film of the year has come along and it has largely received unfavourable reviews. Perhaps this is because it is a none-too-subtle allegory of the American brand of capitalism and US foreign policy. Chris Pratt tries to play serious, resulting in him scowling for the greater part of the film, and it really doesn't suit him and doesn't sit well with the moments of levity in which he is involved. The rest of the seven are much more charismatic, particularly D'Onfrio whose performance is the highlight. Pratt's character tells the same joke as McQueen's in the original only given that it's 2016 he has to explain the punchline. That pretty much sums up the film.


The funniest, most imaginative and well written children's animation from the US I've seen in some time. Written by Nicholas Stoller who wrote and directed the (Bad) Neighbpurs films and you can tell but don't let that put you off. Exec produced by Lord and Miller. Andy Samberg puts in one of his best timed comedic performances and Key and Peele are excellent as a pair of adversarial wolves.


Great cast of character actors, some of whom I haven't seen in a decade, and not too melodramatic other than the piano score that plays whenever Sully speaks to his wife. Eastwood still manages to keep the film tense despite us knowing the outcome. There are a few small flaws however. Hanks doesn't look like he's in the kind of shape where he'd have a resting HR of 55, some of the characters are played by their real life counterparts and it's immediately apparent, particularly in the case of a ferry captain, that they aren't trained actors and the director betrays his age as everyone is using home phones and flip phones like its 1999 rather than 2009, two years following the release of the iPhone.

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

Well put together historical account of the early days of the Beatles though Pete Best, Stuart Sutcliffe don't manage to get a mention. It does a great job of capturing the unique Beatles phenomenon which was largely built on the camaraderie and casual political activism of the Fab Four as well as their incredible songs. This includes a subtle reminder that on September 11 (1964) they refused to play a concert if the audience was segregated, effectively ending segregation at US concerts, and this date should be used to promote unity rather than division.

In Her Shoes
In Her Shoes(2005)

One of the better films about siblings, just don't go in expecting a rom com. RIP Curtis Hanson

Captain Fantastic

At the beginning Captain Fantastic was my hero. By the end his kids were.

Don't Breathe

Lang is a fine actor and thus sustains some degree of tension. Maybe it's getting a good reception on the basis of Raimi and Tapert but the story doesn't make a lick of sense and the jump scares are utterly predictable.

Kubo and the Two Strings

Star Wars (and Kurosawa before it) meets Swiss Army Man meets The Terminator. With stop motion origami. Even the song that plays over the credits is a tad meta.

Maggie's Plan

Character study of a woman who over-complicates her life until the final scene gives her an easy out. Guest starring Moorie's accent from The Big Lebpwski.

Blood Father
Blood Father(2016)

Whatever mistakes Gibson has made in his personal life, he and the director channel them and his previous roles into this film and it's all the better for it. The opening scene in which he doesn't even appear is an instant classic.

Train to Busan (Busanhaeng)

Brilliant and terrible in almost equal measure. One case where the inevitable Hollywood remake should actually be better in the right hands.

Sausage Party

Imagine an abandoned Woody Allen project from the 70s script doctored by Rogen and Goldberg and animated with out takes from Preacher


Scotty doesn't know. Superior utilisation of cameos and interesting stylistic choices sets this apart from your average post American Pie teen comedy.

Jason Bourne
Jason Bourne(2016)

A technically competent entry in the Bourne franchise with its focus on upping the ante on practical stunts but it doesn't really have anything new to say. It's telling that it's written by the director and editor of this and the previous two core entries. Still, it's the best of the two spy thrillers that Vikander has appeared in over the past 12 months. Riz Ahmed joins Goggans, Monaghan and Bruhl from the previous core entries to appear just as he is on the brink of hitting the big time. The little remarked upon choice in casting him in that role is the most inspired decision made for the film.

Suicide Squad

The CGI maguffin villains are crap but thankfully have minimal screen time and I don't know why people keep hiring Jai Courtney. Otherwise the cast, particularly Smith, Davis, and Robbie, is great and there is a nice blend of pathos and fun along with enough nods to the animated series and video games to keep the fan boys happy.

Star Trek Beyond

Exactly what you'd expect from a Justin Lin / Simon Pegg Star Trek. The villain, albeit combining the two go -tos for US blockbuster cinema, is eerily prescient.

Everybody Wants Some!!

Linklater brilliantly captures the essence of the early 80s, without any of the shit music,,college and living in a house with seven other "students"


The ghosts are very well executed culminating in a fun final reel but unfortunately you have to sit through 90 minutes of flat comedy and dull exposition to get there. Despite being set in the modern day the fashion and music also gives it a vey dated 89s vibe. Perhaps they were attempting to appeal to the hipsters. Someone must have slipped a hallucinogenic substance in the water or piped through nitrous oxide at the press screenings. Even the cameos are squandered.

Hardcore Henry

Sharlto Copley turns in a fantastic performance and the film utilises innovative editing and use of GoPro cameras but the POV concept feels like it has outstayed its welcome long before the end of the film leaving you with a bit of a headache

The Nice Guys

Vintage Black - all the trademarks without the big studio watering down. Another great Christmas movie to add to the collection.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

The second best of this years three super hero battle movies. It does fairly well given that DC attempts to achieve in a single 2.5 hour film what Marvel did in 13 but the last act is nonsensical and the lead characters go from mortal enemies to besties for no apparent reason.

Green Room
Green Room(2016)

Brilliant but brutal thriller-cum-horror film without a hint of the supernatural. My phone deciding to go into SOS mode at the end of the film merely added to the authenticity.

Captain America: Civil War

There are a few shaky moments near the beginning but beyond that we have some great action set pieces and every one of the characters manages to have their moment

The Interview

The dialogue is like something Kevin Smith would produce on his worst day. Beyond that there are a couple inspired action sequences and my daughter thought the puppy was cute. Stoners will probably love this silly movie.


The structure and what passes as a plot are rather predictable but bolstered by decent performances, a couple of good set pieces and Nolan's directorial flare. Almost as many endings as Lord of the Rings and every bit as schmaltzy.

Mozart and the Whale

The story of my early 20s only with less booze, more animals, self aware characters and a happy ending.

Gone Girl
Gone Girl(2014)

Worth seeing at the cinema as the the reaction by the audience to the behaviour of the characters is as interesting as the film itself.

The Equalizer

There are a couple good scenes and Fuqua's direction elevates it beyond the standard B actioner but unfortunately it's the stylised brutality that ultimately distinguishes it from the pack. After a long absence it was a shame to see Pullman in a wasted cameo. It is capped off with a bizarre Eminem / Sia collaboration playing over the end credits.


Beautifully shot film that manages to explore not only an unconventional woman and her nieces in a 60s small town but also the relationship between siblings. It made me want to take the family and move to the mountains for a while.


Predictable time travel movie made up for by some interesting characterisation

22 Jump Street

Tatum cements his ability to do comedy here. An even funnier outing than the original, Lord and Miller give us some great visual gags and in-jokes. Schmidt's walk of shame (twice) is genius.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The most audible reaction from the audience was the nude scene when the 70s incarnation of Jackman's Wolverine is introduced - and he is huge. Other highlights of the film are a great slow mo sequence while Quicksilver has some fun, Magneto's tantrum on a plane, and the use of 70s news reel film stock in a couple of key scenes. The 70s wardrobe is also great. The ending will also bring a tear to the eye of anyone who has come to empathise with Wolverine over the past few movies. It's a shame that most of the filler is a little so so, largely comprised of unnecessary "emotional" exposition scenes a la Dark Knight Rises. It is an interesting reversal to the Hollywood archetype that while most of our heroes are played by Brits, an Aussie and an Irishman, the baddy is an American.

The Long Good Friday

Some terrific performances particularly from Hoskins and Mirren. Enthralling viewing. Also watch out for a baby faced Pierce Brosnan and a prepubescent Dexter Fletcher.

Mrs. Doubtfire

Other than the American insistence on referring to Britain as "England" given that Williams gives a passable Morningside accent this holds up rather well 20 years on. The then 46 year old Sally Fields looks as great as ever, Williams has some great moments of improv, and it has quite a progressive stance for its time on gender roles and managing custody post divorce. It feels shorter than its two hour running time as it is never dull. Williams gets his shot at Bond a couple years before his co-star which is a bonus.


Opening to a breathy track from The Breeders was a great start, Theodor comes across as part Leonard Hofstadter / part Magnum PI. An insightful look at the human condition. Anyone still unconvinced as to Kristen Wiig's sex appeal won't be after experiencing her performance as Sexy Kitten here.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

An improvement over the previous entry, the relationship between Parker and Stacey is developed well. It's a shame that can't really be said of the one between Parker and Osborn.

Ghostbusters 2

There are a couple good gags but otherwise it's simply a less funny retread of the original only where good vibes save the day.

Three Days of the Condor

Prescient as ever, the final shot is chilling

Captain Phillips

Greengrass is a master of manipulation and while Phillips is portrayed rather more heroically here than his real life counter part it's interesting to see the relationship with his captors unfold. The use of a real life navy crew on the ship sent to Phillips' rescue is also a nice touch.

Muppets Most Wanted

Personally I preferred this to the previous installment despite the suggestion of the opening number. Much has been made of this being cameo heavy but there are no more than in the previous film, they are just distributed more evenly throughout. In general this film is much more focused on The Muppets with some of the more obscure muppets getting their own cameos. Throwing in a GoT reference also shows they are clearly not pandering to the kids.


Sure this is a TV movie but the VFX are astoundingly bad. Extra half star for the final scene reaching new levels of ridiculousness.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Second act was a bit sluggish but things picked up again once they got back in the arena and weren't too drawn out. And unusual for this kind of film there was only one ending.


The animals and the sequence where Noah describes the first seven days are beautifully realised in CG. However the rest of the film is pretty hokey with some nonsensical aspects and comes across as just another biblical TV movie. It's a pretty big leap portraying Noah and family as radical vegans and everyone that uses animals for food as evil. In fact this directly contradicts the description of the ark given in the bible.

The LEGO Movie

Some good jokes but it takes a while to get going and there are a few too many refrains of Everything is Awesome dotted throughout. All in all bearable for an animated movie but you keep waiting for some Stone and Parker genius to break out but while they are often imitated here they are sadly not involved.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Solid story that actually has something to say about contemporary politics, strong character development, nice action set pieces, and some great Easter eggs

No Way Out
No Way Out(1987)

The computer stuff is silly in retrospect but there is a half decent chase scene and Costner manages to carry the picture pretty much single handedly. The throw away coda tells us that in Cold War America it was still better to be a Russian spy than gay. Not a cellphone in sight.


It's a bit hard to get past those painted on eye brows and a couple aspects in the performances which I suppose come down to culture but Rashomon's influence on film narrative is well known and it's a very interesting look not just at characters' points of view but also their motivations.

After Earth
After Earth(2013)

The most un-Shyamalany of Shyamalan films save the much hinted at vomit inducing ending

Vampire Academy

I know this is supposed to be ironic and satirical about high school but this is neither Clueless nor Mean Girls and certainly not Heathers. The performances, with the exception of Sarah Hyland, and direction are terrible and the plotting has been done a hundred times before. It's never explained why all these European families go to school in the US or why the accents and basic ability to speak English are all over the place. Perhaps I would have liked it more if I were a 16 year old girl but apart from a few amusing PG-13 insults and pushed up boob shots it didn't have a lot going for it.


Ok film but covers a lot of old territory and left me wanting to read the book and do other research to find more about Robyn Davidson and the other key characters given the limited scope of the movie. Also a shame that once again none of a film largely based in Western Australia was filmed there. The casting was pretty inspired though.

Drinking Buddies

Olivia Wilde's Kate is a stunning mess and Jake Johnson's Luke is a wonderful human being and friend. Kendrick's understanding of their relationship given Kate's desperation and her own indiscretion is a little more hard to swallow. All in all it's stretched a bit thin and feels a lot longer than its 90 minutes.

Before Midnight

This is 40 .... Only good and disturbingly close to my life. Damn, when did we all get so old?

Lone Survivor

While the ending is like something out of a Delta Force movie and apparently almost entirely a work of fiction, the rest of the movie is a well written, brutal account of the skirmish that broke out when a well trained, well equipped four man team was outnumbered by the Taliban. The survivor Marcus Luttrell has an uncredited role as a crewman that has discovered a taste for pies in the past few years. Not nearly as Jingoistic as the critical consensus seems to hail it, sure it depicts US navy men and ergo their point of view but the folly of their skewed view of their military superiority when outnumbered is also shown.

Dallas Buyers Club

Great performances and Garner does her doe eyed look to perfection throughout and she must be the only adult actor that can still cause a reaction through the selective use of the word 'fuck'. Works wonders with the limited budget though a few obvious anachronisms and prop issues (much of the film is spent vilifying a drug and then Woodruff is shown taking a branded version of it as an alternative for example). Spent much of the film trying to identify Griffin Dunne he has transformed so much. Never gets overly mawkish and the one courtroom scene is mercifully short and uneventful. All in all a worthy film that examines individual determination against the odds and the fallibility of bureaucracy. Can't wait for the Dallas Buyers Club diet book to come out.


Ignoring plants, as this film does, the film opens with the philosophy that we should have the same respect for all other species on the planet as we do humans. To do otherwise is akin to racism or speciesism. This is a sound point and the film does well to highlight examples of how humans mistreat animals to serve their own purpose. However I suspect the film's producers are vegan or at the very least vegetarian and as such have opted not to present alternatives that could be taken. For instance, American farming practices such as branding and dehorning without anaesthesia are demonstrated as well as inept use of a bolt gun and the use of antibiotics and hormones to maximise food production. These practices are less common in other markets such as Australia for instance and are not used in organic or free range farming but none of this is mentioned in the film. It is fair to argue that we should know where our food comes from and this film is certainly a step in the right direction.


Enjoyable enough with some good ideas and a solid cast. I imagine it would have been all the better if the director had more creative control and the R rating he wanted. Welcome to Hollywood Jose.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Those young upstarts can still learn a thing or two from Uncle Marty. This is how you make a movie kids. From the moment I saw her on Neighbours I knew Margot Robbie was destined for bigger things and it doesn't get much bigger than this. If this were to come out on VHS there'd be a few worn spots on the tape a la Basic Instinct.

12 Years a Slave

The photography is immaculate, the takes long and confronting. It is harrowing to think of what we have done and continue to do to other human beings out of ignorance. The only thing that detracted from the picture for me was Fassbender's spot on impression of Jim Carrey. If you don't shed a tear by the final scene then you're not human.


A truly incredible story. Philomena, as portrayed brilliantly by Dame Judi Dench, is a great character. Fucking Catholics!

American Hustle

We have an epic three act structure, multiple voice overs, a solid 70s contemporaneous soundtrack and Robert DeNiro. O'Russell may be a fine director but he's not Scorsese, not even a Soderbergh, and this is no Goodfellas. Cooper puts in the best performance in the film and his character has the greatest arc but oddly he seems to be the one missing all the plaudits. The third act is a vast improvement but in the first act in particular the voice overs are too numerous and for the most part redundant. Apart from one scene which ties directly into the conclusion but you'd be forgiven for forgetting by the time that comes around most of the half hour could have been excised and the film would have been all the better for it.


It might have been quite enjoyable if not for almost a third of the movie comprising terrible songs


Disturbing and heart-breaking and set to be thoroughly overlooked during awards season

We're The Millers

They had me at "black cock down" - extra points for the mid trailer out takes

Machete Kills

Thoroughly enjoyed the first one, this one not so much. Since when did Rodriguez start peppering his films with Star Trek and Star Wars references?

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The story was still a little bloated but the technical aspects of the film, particularly the lighting and 3D photography, were a great improvement on the first instalment.

Hudson Hawk
Hudson Hawk(1991)

Villains, production design, costumes etc were a bit cartoonish for my liking but Willis was great as always and as far as Bond parodies go I still preferred it to Skyfall

Dial M for Murder

Grace Kelly is definitively stunning. No one can make a series of static takes as captivating as Hitchcock did.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Ben Stiller gets a surprisingly understated performance from his lead. He also does well not to overly indulge the blurring of fantasy and reality. There are a couple of mawkish scenes but overall a thoroughly entertaining film.


Simply breath-taking. At 50, Bullock is truly amazing. I hope to see more of this and less of The Heat over the next few years.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

Dare I say it, I preferred it to the first one (but then I preferred Wake Up to that too). It mostly benefits from the bigger budget though there is a little flab and there are a couple moments of near genius hilarity.

About Time
About Time(2013)

Some nice in jokes, nothing too dramatic, and it's fairly engaging but it essentially follows the Richard Curtis rom com template. Apparently the definition of true love is being able to pass up a chance with Margot Robbie. Seems fair to me.

Behind the Candelabra

It's a shame that this was denied a theatrical release in the US as it features great performances from a terrific cast, not least of which from the two leads. Soderbergh as usual employs his flair to keep things interesting. It is a worthy swan song for his feature film career. It is incredible to be reminded that most of the world was convinced that Liberace was straight when it was obvious to me he wasn't as a child of 10.

Side Effects
Side Effects(2013)

Soderbergh's direction and the performances allow just enough room to keep you wondering who will prevail in this 'homage' to Schaffer and Hitchcock


I'm not sure what I was expecting following the buzz but what I got was a slightly above par found footage movie.

Olympus Has Fallen

For this one, the audience definitely have it over the critics in giving it a thumbs down. It's Die Hard in the White House without the style or sense of humour. Three great actresses are relegated to a few minutes of screen time each and the sound track is completely over blown. It's quite watchable but predictable and full of plot holes. On the plus side its a shade better than the most recent Die Hard film primarily because there are no expectations.

Stories We Tell

A fascinating family story told in a unique and brilliantly conceived way with a great punch line.

This Is the End

Genuinely funny. The guys obviously had a great time making this and there are some wonderful cameos, particularly Michael Cera.

Still Mine
Still Mine(2013)

One man's fight against bureaucracy to build a home for his wife. The kind of film only Canadians seem to make these days.

Zero Dark Thirty

While the beginning appears to play out in real time things move into gear for the second half and there are solid performances particularly from Chastain

A Band Called Death

Great music and glad to see it promoted, but the film is a bit dull and repetitive and filled with religious fervour

Office Space
Office Space(1999)

More than a decade on I can appreciate this film all the more as it is now a close facsimile of my working life


The characters and their motivations are largely believable. There are impressive and fresh makeup and visual effects. Copley plays the villain brilliantly, treading close to the line but even in the latter part of the film never quite falling into camp territory (Mangold would have been well advised to use his bio suit for the silver samurai instead). The ending is well balanced, neither too morose nor corny. This is what the Total Recall remake should have been. The only question is who does the lawns and cleans the pools for the rich people on Elysium? Unseen robots?

End of Watch
End of Watch(2012)

Great script with well-defined, convincing characters. Strong ending. The use of different film stock when dealing with different individuals is a little intrusive but not overly so.

Take This Waltz

Michelle Williams appears to have taken over Juliette Lewis' mantle for playing delayed adolescents. Sarah Polley brings us another sharp exploration of love and the changing dynamics of relationships and the parts we play within them over time.

Fast & Furious 6

Fun, albeit ridiculous, instalment with plenty of eye candy for everyone and a Stath-tinged sting that keeps you wanting more.

The Brothers Bloom

Few films end well but one thing that can be said about this film is that it ends well. The principals' commitment to their roles is impressive and the female characters in particular are great but beyond the end what we get is a caper styled somewhere between Blake Edwards' Pink Panther and Tim Burton with all the expected quirkiness that entails..

What Maisie Knew

The conclusion is inevitable but its interesting to see almost the entire film presented from something approximating Maisie's perspective. May have been all the more interesting if it had been viewed entirely from her perspective. Joanna Vanderham as Maisie's nanny-cum-stepmother is also someone to watch out for.

The World's End

Like many nights out the music is great but its all a bit tedious until you get to the third pub then things start to get a bit interesting. Beyond that its like an extended episode of Doctor Who with Simon Pegg's Gary King likened to the good doctor on a bender.

The Great Gatsby

I watched this in 2D but it looked like the visuals would pop all the more in 3D. Once again we're back on familiar Luhrmann territory. Star-crossed lovers, with at least one doomed by his desire. We get more parties, more terrific outfits, more jump cuts, and more sensational outfits and production design from Catherine Martin. Only this time we get an obvious orchestral soundtrack and other than the Gershwin the music is crap. Bisley is unrecognisable. Still DiCaprio is great and its well worth the watch; the almost 2.5 hour running time doesn't feel bloated.


Extremely confronting encounter between two tortured souls


Danny Boyle's stylish direction and Rosario Dawson's sublime body salvage this otherwise predictable thriller

The Story Of Luke

Sweet and funny film about an autistic young man's mission to integrate into 'normal' society. If the photography looks familiar its because its by Kevin Smith regular David Klein who also lenses True Blood. To that end, it was odd watching Kristin Bauer without anyone getting staked.

Electrick Children

A sweet film with an angelic lead but you are left to fill in too many gaps in the narrative or to believe that our heroine is psychic as well as the subject of immaculate conception.


Another beautifully shot and unique film from the fevered imagination of Ben Wheatley and his two leads

Pacific Rim
Pacific Rim(2013)

The usually dependable Del Toro disappoints with this slice of American cheese. It's entertaining enough but plot holes abound and it's corny as hell. Oh, and the 'Australian' accents are abysmal.

The Maltese Falcon

The stuff that dreams are made of. The pace is glacial by contemporary standards but it allows for some great characters, particularly the main protagonist Sam Spade, and the interaction between them to be fully realised.

The Wolverine

You get what's written on the box. Jackman is ripped and the film keeps you entertained with some good set pieces and a sense of humour. Yukio is fascinating to look at, sort of Christina Ricci as painted by Picasso. It could have done without the unnecessary romantic angle though or the horrible CGI of the Silver Samurai and there are a couple of contradictions that are never explained (Logan appears to have regained all his memories and has bone claws in WWII). Be sure to stick around for the mid credit sting.

Fat Girl
Fat Girl(2001)

An intelligent portrayal of adolescent female sexuality and self esteem, sibling rivalry, family politics, and sexual manipulation. The ending comes straight out of left field.

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies(2013)

Romeo and Juliet with zombies. I should have loved it, but I didn't. Good as Nicholas Hoult is they relied on too much voice-over for the first two acts, abandon it completely for the third and needlessly resurrect it for the epilogue.


This film explores Assange's background, motivations and first brush with the law which is great for those like myself who weren't aware of them. However, the attempt to make a thriller out of the associated police investigation or to dramatise the breakdown of his relationship with the mother of his child is rather feeble. The epilogue tells us he was a single father for 10 years following a bitter custody battle despite the film depicting him as an absent father to his newborn child as he pursues his obsession with revealing the truth. Also, no-one in his family appears to work yet Assange sets up home with his pregnant 17 year old girlfriend and has a fine line of computer paraphernalia with the mystery of how they earn an income (the dole?) never explained,


While it was a great way to demonstrate the capabilities of my upgraded surround sound system, this is basically a Hallmark movie of the week, complete with corny dialogue, only with marginally higher star power. Of course The Rock goes all vigilante and kicks ass at the end.

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)

The time travel conceit cunningly allows the writers and director to reinvent the franchise. The film entertains. Given the number of Star Wars references employed here one wonders what Abrams will have left for Episode VII or if he'll go with Star Trek references there instead.

Star Trek Into Darkness

The reviews and marketing have been so good as to not give too much away so I won't either. Abrams continues to pay homage to Star Wars in a number of scenes and the writers do what has worked best before and focus on the relationship and banter between the main characters, particularly Kirk and Spock. Otherwise it's what we've come to expect from the better entries in the series only with more (lens) flare.

West of Memphis

Probably the weakest of the documentaries supporting the West Memphis Three if only because they were already free by the time of the film's release. The details of the new evidence potentially linking Terry Hobbs to the murders is interesting and the political posturing presented by the prosecution is frightening but given that much of the other material has been covered extensively in previous documentaries the film should have had a much shorter running time.

A Good Day To Die Hard

Die Hard in name with a few shots and musical stings borrowed from the original. Other than that its a run of the mill action film with a few decent stunts, mostly pulled off using blatant CGI. Basically with its wide open spaces, use of CGI and the heroes appearing to be indestructible it is the antithesis of what the original Die Hard had going for it. After watering down McClane's catch phrase in the previous outing to secure a PG-13 rating for some inexplicable reason Fox decided to hand this entry to a hack and film it is an R with more uses of the F-word than the previous four entries combined.


Forgive the obvious budgetary constraints and its a great treatise on the title subject


A timeless Wilder classic

The Hunt (Jagten)

Children lie and don't understand the consequences. This film looks at one such lie and it's impact on a rural community's attitude towards the victim of that lie. Confronting and gripping stuff though, lie rather than misunderstanding aside, its essentially a remake of a brilliant episode of The Street.

The Thomas Crown Affair

The wardrobe is obviously a major inspiration for Mad Men, the editing is unconventional, two future Bond villains have bit parts (one uncredited) and the film was remade 30 years later twice with two former Bonds. The chess scene is a classic and the dune buggy is awesome. The story is simple but its an example of how two charismatic film stars can provide a film with an enduring appeal.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3(2013)

What should have been a great chapter in the Iron Man saga is ultimately a disappointment. As expected the film is set at Christmas, but this is about the only element consistent with Black's previous output. There is some good banter between Stark and a kid that enjoys a brief spell as his sidekick, Ben Kingsley puts in a brilliant performance, and there is a fairly impressive aerial stunt sequence but beyond that this is an overly long by the numbers action film with nothing we haven't seen many times before. The principal characters never really seem to be under any real threat, Stark takes action at the end he could have taken much earlier and spared us all an hour of viewing, and you can predict the major 'plot twist' in the movie within about the first five minutes. It's hard to tell if Black dropped the ball here or studio involvement and the desire to market it for the lowest common denominator resulted in yet another generic action film reliant on visual effects over story rather than another Shane Black classic.


This film doesn't quite know what to be: horror, social satire, erotica, or feminist manifesto. The main character's conflicts as an adolescent girl torn between preserving her virginity and a new crush which awakens her sexuality are quite well written if not all that well portrayed and there is one sequence which is actually quite erotic. That sequence like the amputations scattered throughout the film as Dawn transforms from preacher on purity to seeking revenge on all males using her vagina as a weapon are quite memorable. The idea promoted that a woman countering male violence against women, or males simply kissing and telling, by meting out violence against horny teenage boys using the most convenient physical weapon she has is rather dubious and ultimately proves the film was written and directed by a man.


Fonda and Law are both gorgeous, of course, Barbarella's camp ship computer is a hoot and there is some great set design but on the whole it's a bad sci fi porn (beaten out by the likes of Flesh Gordon) only without the sex

I Give It a Year

Exactly what you'd expect from a British comedy and not a whole lot more. There are a couple great observations on marriage and its great to see Nigel Planer again but other than that its the usual knob jokes and not much more in between.

The Queen of Versailles

Drags on a bit towards the end but wow!

Iron Man
Iron Man(2008)

The casting of Downey Jr, at the time seen as daring, now seems obvious. The film has a great soundtrack, structure and moves along at a great pace. It's a shame the sequels failed to live up to the first film's promise.

Parental Guidance

Funny at times - it helps that we have a young family - but the biggest joke is Tomei's character is supposed to be 38 and Midler's performance (as ever) is too theatrical


While the photography is great and fans of science fiction may rejoice in its simplistic storyline this is basically a slow-moving facsimile of Total Recall with a minor twist and 'pays homage' to just about every other classic sci-fi film including The Matrix, 2001 and Planet of the Apes. The necessary lovey-dovey angle between the principal characters is also over-played. The denoument is eminently predictable. The visual effects unfortunately are also hokey at times.

Gangster Squad

The criteria by which critics (and audiences) judge films can be baffling. The sub-par Bond film Skyfall was celebrated primarily for its superb cinematography while Gangster Squad appears to have been derided in spite of it. The fact that it takes liberties with historical events (few films don't) shouldn't get in the way of the fact that it is an imaginatively executed film with a brilliant cast and an excellent performance from Sean Penn in particular.


A well constructed and rather unconventional love story. The only question is will Coster-Waldau reprise his role in the inevitable US remake.

42nd Street
42nd Street(1933)

The film that resurrected the musical and saved Warner Bros from bankruptcy. Short, sweet, and much emulated this film has a great nuance or classic line in almost every scene.


The film that launched Sandra Bullock's career and proved Keanu Reeves could carry a movie. Makes great use of an unfinished LA freeway, well executed practical effects, and seminal digital VFX. Still exciting almost 20 years on and the choice of Hopper as villain is inspired. Like all brilliant ideas, the premise was simple and perfectly suited to driving an action film yet no one had come up with it before.

2 ou 3 Choses que je Sais d'Elle (Two or Three Things I Know About Her)

Partly an enduring time capsule of Paris in 1966, partly a commentary on consumerism driving individuals to dubious employment such as prostitution. The latter may have been true then, but it is rampant now.

Beauty Is Embarrassing

Fascinating account of the artist Wayne White and his contemporaries. Interesting insight into the world of animation and the demands of being a relatively successful artist in television and latterly the more main stream world of art.

Ruby Sparks
Ruby Sparks(2012)

Unmitigated genius though the final scene was a bit questionable. As a bonus I did not know the name of the screenwriter until the final credits.

American Mary

Fairly average thriller that, body modification aside, would not have been out of place in the DTV fodder of the late 80s and early 90s. I suspect in Canada though that this is considered a gem. Judging from what we see on Canadian film and television you'd suspect that the entire nation is afflicted with Asperger's and this film is certainly no exception. An extra star from me for the novelty of some of the inspired body modification weirdness and holding mercifully back on the gore quotient minus half a star for the random copper played by one of the few Americans in the film but somehow having acquired an Australian accent.

A Lonely Place to Die

Great to see a film shot almost entirely in the Scottish Highlands. A low budget Cliffhanger style thriller with a dash of horror thrown into the mix to make it infinitely more nerve-wracking. The Gilbeys provide naturalistic dialogue and get great performances from the cast in return. They also make great use of the location. I'd also much rather watch Melissa George run around than Sly Stallone any day. However, given the largely British cast its baffling that they went with her using an 'American' accent.


Cronenberg junior follows his father's footsteps into the world of body horror with his feature debut, There are some interesting ideas and the production design is impressive but it suffers from the languorous pacing.

Sleepwalk With Me

I have been watching the final series of Six Feet Under and wondering what became of Lauren Ambrose. In a fine piece of synchronicity I watched this last night. The answer appears to be she has made some questionable choices. While the film has an interesting premise and is saved from being dull by the fact it's based on a true story and only 80 minutes long it suffers from the fact it is rarely funny. Woody Allen, Birbiglia is not. The highlight of the film is the Mate of States track Now which the film makers are wise enough to use twice.


Amazing account of the photojournalist Don McCullin including his own harrowing recollections and taking in many of the conflicts of the second half of the 20th century and the demise of the Sunday Times. The photographs are incredible.


Most of the film is very well written and it stands out amongst the found footage genre. The ending is a little weak.

Robot & Frank

A whimsical look at the fallibility of memory

Magic Mike
Magic Mike(2012)

Soderbergh's skilful direction puts this a notch above the likes of Coyote Ugly and Burlesque but its still basically the same territory. There is plenty of eye candy for everyone but the plot is paper thin and Cody Horn's idea of acting seems to be to spend most of the time pouting. It certainly helps to have a movie mogul as a father some times.

The Imposter
The Imposter(2012)

What starts off as a straight forward tale about a French-man in Spain impersonating a missing American boy expands into a more intriguing piece involving the police, FBI, and the boy's family. Still the pacing was a bit slow, scenes filmed to look like they were shot on one day are obviously shot days apart, and the shattering twists I was anticipating never appeared. The most interesting part of the movie takes place in one brief scene towards the end of the film but never elaborated on.

Upside Down
Upside Down(2013)

Flawed (the science makes little sense and they should have lost the book-end voice overs) but entertaining tale of star-crossed lovers from twin planets with opposing gravity. As with Cloud Atlas, Jim Sturgess proves his versatility in his other science fiction film from 2012.


The rarity which is a decent character study from big budget Hollywood. Denzel and his support put in solid performances.

As a bonus, boys you finally get to see the Latina chick from My Name is Earl's boobs

The Sheik and I

I thoroughly enjoyed this film even though it was apparent that most of the audience (about a dozen people at an Australian independent film festival) I viewed it with did not. This documentary explores everything from film-making itself through freedom of speech and artistic endeavor, parental concern (the director Caveh Zahedi travels to the emirate of Sharjah with his wife and two year old son whom he integrates into fictional scenes within the film and there are some lovely touches as he documents this process), religion, cultural difference between the UAE and the West, Western ignorance, and so on. While he plays with Western stereotypes of Arabs in order to be deliberately subversive, it becomes obvious in the process of meeting the subjects of this film that these are, for the most part, erroneous and the players in the film are as Zahedi points out "cool people". Instead he focuses more on the road-blocks he starts to encounter while attempting to make and subsequently screen the film from the very people who had the film commissioned.

The film dragged on just a little towards the end but largely because of the ongoing evolution of the project from short film commissioned for the Sharjah Biennial (supposedly without constraints) to a more complex documentary feature and above all the film remains entertaining. The director necessarily goes on to explain the outcome of the film, as it was originally commissioned with the associated political and legal entanglements, and all the involved parties right through to it's reception at South by Southwest in March 2012 edited into the closing credits. This has been compared to the satirical works of Sasha Baron Cohen and, while like Cohen's films, it uses satire to explode stereotypes, it always does so sincerely. Zahedi never claims to be anything that he is not, nor does he deliberately go out of his way to ridicule his subjects. Indeed, with one individual in particular, initial xenophobia and suspicion appear to give way to enduring empathy.

Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas(2012)

Another philosophical odyssey from the Wachowskis and Tykwer. The film successfully blends drama, mystery, and sci-fi genres in separate but plot-lines which are connected both thematically and by the characters with the same actors playing multiple roles. While it is long and requires commitment it is worth watching and then watching again. The performances are astounding, particularly those from Hugo Weaving, and Berry is stunning whether she be playing black, Indian or Jewish, or an old native woman.

The Impossible

While the dramatic irony goes a little overboard on occasion it's well-paced and the story is told well

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Provides some amusing commentary on contemporary culture and relationships but ultimately plays it safe with a largely unsatisfying ending which is meant to show us how the characters, and Jones' character in particular, have 'grown'.

Seven Psychopaths

A good film but somehow is less than the sum of its parts. While its of a similar tone, it's a disappointing follow up to In Bruges.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Good to see the author having the opportunity to bring his story to film as writer and director and he does a reasonable job on his debut. The protagonist's struggles and the soundtrack took me back to being an awkward 16 to 22 year old existing on the fringe never really knowing where he stood, but perhaps not enough to really appreciate it. A couple of scenes in particular smack of wish fulfilment on the part of the writer - who didn't want to be the guy to beat up the bullies and win over his friends and the girl from her college boyfriend or even do a really cool dance to Come on Eileen but life just didn't work that way. Still, it's an enjoyable film and anything featuring Tom Savini and vintage Throwing Muses can't be all bad.

Life of Pi
Life of Pi(2012)

Probably the best use of bleeding edge visual effects to realise a narrative since Terminator 2. Beyond that its simply a great story that has been beautifully shot with few flaws. If possible see this in 3D on the biggest screen you can.

Searching for Sugar Man

Fascinating film that certainly holds plenty of surprises for the uninitiated. As well as an intriguing detective story it also offers a glimpse into the political state of South Africa and Detroit's music scene in the 70s. Unfortunately one of the main questions is left answered. If Rodriguez's albums have indeed had millions of legitimate sales in South Africa then what did happen to the money? Also we are consistently told that Rodriguez was essentially homeless even by his own daughter only for this to be countered by a statement in the closing caption.

God Bless America

Frank is my hero. Bobcat Goldthwait surprises here with a well written and directed attack on the culture of celebrity and as a result I will be seeking out his earlier work. There are some very amusing scenes and the two leads are both relatable and revolting at the same time. The film has one of the best endings in recent years and the film as a whole serves as a liberal wish fulfilment fantasy.

This Means War

This formulaic romantic comedy has few surprises right down to predictable McG 'action' production values

This is 40
This is 40(2012)

While this expands on some of the conflicts in Pete and Debbie's marriage raised in Knocked Up, it doesn't really cover any new ground other than them dealing with an adolescent daughter. There are some genuinely funny moments but most of the time the comedy falls flat and the slow pacing results in the film dragging in between. Knocked Up's Ben and Alison are inexplicably and sorely missed. The film should also come with a spoiler warning for those like me who haven't seen the end of Lost,

Silver Linings Playbook

Back on Spanking the Monkey territory, David O. Russell and his editor do a great job keeping us onboard for two hours with what could otherwise be just another rom com which is why I'm glad he didn't end up casting Whalberg and Hathaway. The entire cast put in great performances with Cooper finally getting the chance to prove he's more than just a pretty face to more than the handful of people who saw Limitless, even Tucker reigns it in enough to be tolerable. The revelation here isn't that Lawrence's character Tiffany is crazier than any other woman you've been involved with but that our recovering protagonist, Pat, through his own craziness has the insight few men have to handle it. The only thing I question is the couple's staying power beyond the ubiquitous happy ending since neither can undergo a complete personality transplant. Plus one for the garbage bag Pat wears while running, minus one for the unavoidably irritating Tucker.


It lacks the style of Leone but its a great spaghetti western nonetheless.

Django Unchained

Tarantino's 'spaghetti western' though it evokes the 70s westerns of Don Siegel, Clint Eastwood, and Arthur Penn as much as it does the earlier Italian films. The film is so engaging that my wife and I were glued to the screen for the near three hour duration despite having a pause button at hand and needing to go to the toilet by the start of the third act. Kerry Washington is, as always, impossibly beautiful, as is Pepper from Huff as Sheba, but I'm still not convinced she can actually act. Perhaps that was an intentional choice by Tarantino to reflect the fact that female characters tend to be peripheral in this genre. Conversely, an overweight Tarantino appears to have discovered that an 'Australian' accent masks his general lack of acting ability in his brief but pivotal appearance. Waltz, Foxx, Jackson, and DiCaprio in particular excel in their roles. The gunfight scenes are innovative with some truly spectacular shots and plenty of scarlet while the scene where Django is first reunited with Broomhilda, while somewhat predictable, moved me to the verge of tears. The script hits all those Tarantino beats to the point that at times the rhythm of the dialogue is distracting and you wonder if Tarantino can make a film that doesn't sound like Tarantino holding a conversation with himself but after a while I could settle in and overlook this and enjoy the ride. And in spite of his detractors there is no 70s funk on the surprisingly eclectic soundtrack. Stay till the end of the critics,

George Washington

While it hits some nice beats, Green is let down by his failure to get the best performances from his largely amateur cast and his decision or inability to use alternative takes.


Frankly I expected a better story from Alex Garland. It may have been unfortunate that this followed so closely in the footsteps of The Raid for, after the initial introduction of the main characters, it follows much of the same plotline but with a fraction of the excitement. The visceral slow mo and psychic intrusion scenes are great but all in all it's a fairly predictable rookie / veteran cop buddy movie. Fortunately the film's short running time and cast save it from being too dull with The Wire's Wood Harris essentially recreating his role as Avon Barksdale.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was overly long and it dragged in parts. The Radagast and Galadriel sections were unnecessary as they don't appear in the book and their appearance didn't really contribute anything useful to the overall story. Some of the battle scenes are also overly long, particularly given they were toned down in order to appeal to a broader audience, so aren't all that exciting. The photography looks beautiful as should be expected and really pops in 3D at 48 fps. However, possibly as a requirement with the high definition digital Red Epic cameras, some of the scenes, the indoor scenes in particular, appear to be overly lit. The Gollum scenes are brilliant though he does appear to have an uncanny resemblance to Helena Bonham Carter and the scenes which followed were also very good. I only dozed off a little during the middle but one guy was snoring away as I left the cinema after the credits.


Thankfully it didn't keep me out of the water, though I do get a bit nervous when hanging in blue water.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Shane Black's directorial debut of his first filmed screenplay in over a decade. It's Christmas again and this time instead of a black guy and white guy / girl our buddy team is a white guy and a gay white guy. There is also a love interest in the form of the absolutely stunning Michelle Monaghan in the film that brought her to everyone's attention (thank you Shane). It's an inventive film noir that isn't afraid to break the fourth wall and is a must for any self respecting film geek.

The Long Kiss Goodnight

Another Shane Black script, another Joel Silver production, another Christmas, another black and white buddy movie. Post Nikita and pre Bourne, this time the white member of the pair is a female suffering from amnesia. Some of the elements are shared with Bourne: the agent with amnesia associated with a CIA black bag operation involving Brian Cox. For the conspiracy theorists, this also somewhat forecasts the events of 5 years later. It's a shame the good script, with some of the choicest lines recycled from the original script for The Last Boy Scout, and the great cast are let down by the mediocre direction. If not for that this could have been a truly great, genre defining movie. Instead, it's best said that at least it's better than Salt.

Lethal Weapon 4

After the misfire of LW3 we're back with some more imaginative stunts for Riggs and great martial arts from Jet Li in his US film debut. His casting as a villain probably back fired by alienating the very people it was supposed to attract but it was still enjoyable to watch. A sweet end to a series that outstayed its welcome but still retained some quality while managing to make a social statement.

Lethal Weapon 3

Creative continuity is preserved somewhat with Jeffrey Boam staying on as a screenwriter, Donner as director, and much of the same cast as Lethal Weapon 2 right down somewhat unnecessarily to the carpenter. However, while the main leads still entertain and it's great to see Rene Russo kick ass the plot is paper thin to match the cardboard cut out villain. It's obvious here that Black rather than Boam and the undeniably talented Donner can be credited with most of what made the first two films so great. Here we start to see the genre cliches sink in, with the armoured car chase scene we veer into the farcical, the edginess that made Riggs such an extraordinary character in the story arc spread across parts one and two is barely present, and Getz's shtick has grown tired and is just there to pay fan service, "They fuck you at the hospital". Really. While, other than Getz, it wasn't too tedious they rally should have killed off Riggs at the end of part 2

Lethal Weapon 2

The rare example of a sequel that is widely considered superior to the original. Benefitting from a bigger budget the great character and story arcs do not suffer from compromised production values. Gibson is outstanding here as Riggs while Glover and Pesci provide excellent support. It's a shame the producers were more concerned about the bottom line and weren't daring enough to kill off the main character as Black intended since neither three or four do the first two films justice and Getz's shtick become tiresome after more than one film.

The Last Boy Scout

My favourite Tony Scott film and featuring one of Halle Berry's first big screen appearance this has a great screenplay from Shane Black. Aspects of the execution suffer from penny pinching (reused shots in different scenes etc) but it's still a very entertaining action movie.

Live Free or Die Hard

The best Die Hard since the original and the best action film for years. The fight scene between Bruce and Maggie Q alone, scrub that - Maggie Q, make this film worth watching. Bruce is in great shape. Provided you can get over LA obviously doubling for DC and the inconsistencies in the technoplot you'll find this to be a very entertaining film. Plus, wouldn't his daughter be about 4 years older?

Die Hard: With a Vengeance

McTiernan is back with some great camerawork and there is some great editing. Direct references to the first two instalments are kept to a minimum in an excellent screenplay which amounts to Dirty Harry on steroids. Willis and Jackson are a great double act. Other than the reliance of virtually obsolete phone booths and a great shot of the twin towers the film looks like it could have been made yesterday rather than 18 years ago.

Die Hard 2
Die Hard 2(1990)

While I was disappointed on its first release, it has held up well. Sure, we could do without half the references to the original movie but the stunts are great and Bruce Willis continues to assert himself as a star. We learn of McClane's aversion to technology in a year in which the fax machine and The Simpsons, both featured, were new and still relevant. The film also introduces us to a number of up and coming actors. All in all, an entertaining film.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Very original and the first time director evokes great performances from his amateur cast.

The Sapphires

Like The Commitments only they're the blacks of Australia. While the history is sanitised and much of the music is anachronistic it is a funny and moving story without getting overly schmaltzy thanks largely to the performance of Chris O'Dowd. The rest of the performance are uneven but, despite a bit of early stumbling, improve as the film progresses. It's just a shame that, given the iffy performances, they could only find one actress out of the four girls who could do her own singing.

The Bourne Legacy

Those not paying close attention or who have not watched the Bourne Ultimatum may get a little lost particularly at the beginning but what we get is a pretty well written action film. YouTube anachronism aside, it ties in pretty well with the core Bourne trilogy though one does wonder why these other super soldiers or yet another group of super super soldiers was not unleashed on Bourne. As much as I enjoyed the film it lacked the panache of the other Bournes and I could quite happily forego any further sequels. I did prefer this to Rachel Weisz's husband's latest effort though.

Weekend at Bernie's

There is an amusing boat sequence, other than that I think the 80s must have been a forgiving time for comedies


For their fiftieth anniversary outing the producers and writers of Skyfall have elected, without a hint of irony, to plagiarise from their progeny and the other films these have influenced. The plot line is lifted from the first Mission: Impossible, the tone and character arc from Bond devotee Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, and the framing device from the Bourne series. The set pieces are largely borrowed from the aforementioned films and a number of previous Bonds. They even take one of Bourne's stars in a barely recognisable Albert Finney, a role that should have had Bourne's Brian Cox written all over it. There are a couple good lines but most of them seem to have been produced using the random Bond line generator and are delivered exactly when anticipated. In short what we get is a lazily conceived film delivered by a committee of Hollywood pretenders. Unfortunately what we don't get is a Bond film, just another post Bourne Hollywood-style actioner, save for a few bones thrown to the fans in the third act (Bond's DB5 and the revealing of a key 'new' character). Other than M, female characters share about ten minutes of screen time and all Bond has to do is show up to get laid in stark contrast to Craig's previous two outings (in QoS he never gets laid at all). Which is astonishing given that here Craig has all the charisma of a sack of potatoes. These 'Bond girls' only serve as vehicles for exposition, one doesn't even get a line of dialogue, and one wears just the right amount of lipstick to make you wonder if she's really just a guy in drag. The introduction of Bardem's villain is the highlight of the movie but any promise this scene brings is then completely squandered. There is some particularly poor CGI in the rendering of Bardem's make up and two Komodo Dragons. As the end credits rolled I was left feeling this whole sorry exercise's sole purpose was to introduce three rather dull new actors / characters to the franchise. I'm now resigned to the fact, save for another reboot, we'll never see another decent Bond film again.

Natural Selection

The lead character seems pretty unflappable and tolerant for someone that's spent her entire life within a conservative church congregation and the relationship between her and her husband seems completely incongruous with how we are told they got together but there are a few nice moments in this unusual road movie and I liked the ending.

Hope Springs
Hope Springs(2012)

Perhaps I haven't been married long enough or didn't buy Tommy Lee Jones' transformation but I just didn't see the point

The Sitter
The Sitter(2011)

It's very silly but nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be. Jonah Hill and the kids all do a good job and the very American actress with the very Australian name is very cute indeed.


The rare animated film that actually managed to hold my attention. The primarily native cast helped. She should have said pudding instead of dessert and there were a few anachronisms but otherwise it was a pretty entertaining film.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

I made it as far as Gettysburgh before losing interest altogether.

Cockneys vs Zombies

Swearing OAPs. Check. Honor Blackman with a machine gun. Check. Dexter Fletcher (albeit in a crucial cameo). Check. So far so British. The script contains some great ideas and well written dialogue and there is one moment in particular which is pure genius but somehow the director fails to quite deliver with the execution in his sophomore effort. Perhaps it was a failure in the editing room but there was one scene featuring Richard Briers for example which was aiming for laughs and could have been so much better had it been placed in more capable hands. Ultimately the film fails to repeat the success of its obvious inspiration Shaun of the Dead.

Not Suitable for Children

A so so Australian rom com drama borne out of a man's desire to father a child when he discovers he has testicular cancer. There is no real gravitas or big laughs here but one thing is for certain Ryan Kwanten (and arguably Sarah Snook) has a great agent.

Three Coins in the Fountain

There are a couple good winks to the Hayes Code and it's a fine example of a film of its era that actually centres around three female leads with the males merely providing support. However, while the ending is a convenient and picturesque way to wrap up the story, with the exception of one of the couples, it is unsatisfying and rings pretty hollow. I suppose it is no more than should be expected of films in this genre.

Two for the Road

The stunning Jackie Bisset just about steals the movie in her eponymous role with about 5 minutes of screen time. Audrey Hepburn is a bit on the scrawny side for my taste. If only she hadn't had chicken pox when she was 12. Beyond that the tale of Joanna and Mark Wallace captures marriage / long-term romantic relationships in a nut shell. It was tantamount to watching my life story played out on screen. The film's fast paced editing and nonlinear structure was ahead of it's time. The latter and the principal's family name were later borrowed for Pulp Fiction. It holds up rather well after 45 years.

Roman Holiday

A film that shows just how much the world, and the politics of Hollywood, has changed in 60 years. The mouth of truth scene is a classic and the final non steadicam shot is incredible. Hepburn, of course, is wonderful while Peck and Albert provide excellent support.

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

An interesting idea surrounding the end of the world that starts well before getting bogged down in the unlikely romance of a rather banal couple with little in common other than their place of residence and the fact they were originally trying to escape to elsewhere.

The Expendables 2

It's marginally better than the first one - that's about all I an say in it's favour. Mickey Rourke has the good sense not to return, Jet Li literally bails early, and JCVD (at 52 today the baby in the core cast of action legends) can't even manage to do his trademark splits or beat up a 66 year old man. Willis and Arnie's contribution seems to be limited to a framing device and mumbling out each other's trademark phrases for a few minutes. It's all a bit pathetic really and revealing that these guys, with the possible exception of Willis, are well and truly past their use by date.

Safety Not Guaranteed

At times the film is betrayed by its low budget with Aubrey Plaza in particular appearing like she's in an amateur theatrical production at times. Not having seen much of her previous work (and can't really recall what I have seen) it's difficult to determine whether she or the director is at fault. Otherwise it's an interesting musing on the idea of revisiting old love, making use of the opportunities available to you and starting over. So far it's my favourite time travel movie of the year if only because the result of time travel itself does not manifest itself in the plot.

Killing Them Softly

Impeccable performances, excellent photography, cracking dialogue and a gripping story


Gordon-Levitt looks more like the love child of David Duchovny and Keanu Reeves than Bruce Willis. That aside, the film is very entertaining and engaging though predictable while the nuisance of the time paradox issue only really rears its ugly head at the very end.

The Angels' Share

Nice blend of drama and comedy in this Scotltish set movie. A bit more whimsical than one might expect from Loach but thoroughly entertaining. At the start of the film I was reminded of why I left Scotland in the first place but it was great to see Edinburgh and Irn Bru on film again and I had a big smile on my face as the credits rolled. That reminds me I need to buy that 16 year old Lagavulin tomorrow.

Get the Gringo

Nice gritty 70s style thriller primarily set in a Mexican prison based on the real El Pueblito which closed its doors in 2002. Mel Gibson does what he does best (when relatively sober). The script still manages to veer in a couple unexpected directions and the final denouement pips Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises to the post.

Men in Black III

While not as bad as the second instalment, it starts off well before getting pretty nonsensical from the Chinese restaurant scene on. Once they finally get to the 'chase scene' in Cape Canaveral (which in the context of the film should have been Cape Kennedy) I was drifting to sleep. Sadly that was just the most glaring anachronism and factual error in this poorly researched movie. Josh Brolin does a passable Tommy Lee Jones impression but only just. With the number of digital effects in this movie, and since they never play opposite each other, I'm not sure why they didn't just digitally rejuvenate Tommy Lee Jones. It is obvious that the film was produced without a completed script and the ending which establishes an unnecessary additional connection between J and K is mawkish. The normally gorgeous Nicole Scherzinger just looks like a badly made up lady boy and the film is missing Will Smith's vocals on the soundtrack.

Moonrise Kingdom

Sweet movie about young love. Kara Hayward - someone is going to jail.

The Hangover Part II

An underwhelming film with a handful of stand-out scenes. Paul Giamatti is completely squandered. The photo sequence running alongside the closing credits is by far the best thing about the movie.


Superb entry in the found footage genre that gets increasingly frenetic as the film goes on. Somehow the remake, Quarantine, with Jennifer Carpenter, loses some of that energy. Perhaps the remake didn't use the same methodology to provide the feeling of authenticity. Manuela Velasco pulls off the white vest every bit as well as Bruce Willis.

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

There are a few good sight gags but the running jokes and 'plot' wear thin after a while so I was barely hanging in there by the time it came down to the dramatic finale. Hopefully we're not all bored of Martin Freeman by the time The Hobbit comes out.

The Monitor (Babycall)

Rapace is great as always. The film is intriguing and thankfully compact. Unfortunately you can spot the final denouement a mile away and it ultimately falls short leaving you with more questions than answers.


Another Aliens rehash - This time with drunken Irish people

Martha Marcy May Marlene

A girl suffering PTSD flees a cult while her sister and brother-in-law struggle to deal with her unconventional behavior. Other than some over privileged Americans being made to feel a little uncomfortable not a lot happens. For the rest of us, most of it pretty much sums up our directionless 20s.

The Cabin in the Woods

Filmed in 2009, this is Joss Whedon and Chris Hemsworth's first collaboration before they hit pay dirt with The Avengers. While it is reasonably inventive, has some interesting ideas and it redeems itself somewhat at the end there isn't much in the execution we haven't seen before and if you actually allow yourself to think about it, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill(2011)

Set in the lead up the 2012 Olympics, this captures a slice of contemporary London. While some of the supporting actors leave a little to be desired, this is essentially a solid film about the challenges of fatherhood under far from ideal circumstances.

Top Gun
Top Gun(1986)

It may be a cheesy remake of the classic An Officer and a Gentleman but it's still eminently quotable and good old-fashioned homoerotic jingoistic fun. Tony Scott RIP

The Five-Year Engagement

Some of it was a little close to the bone. Unfortunately not everyone (or anyone) can be that mature in their romantic relationships, particularly when they falter, so the chance of a happy outcome are more than a little against the odds. In that sense the film may lay false optimism at the feet of the broken hearted. But then again this is a romantic comedy after all. The one thing it does highlight is life is short and you shouldn't put things on hold waiting for things to seem perfect. Though again most people probably wouldn't anyway and just perform damage control later. Alison Brie does a poor 'British' accent but makes up for it with a pretty funny Elmo. Jacki Weaver is great as Emily Blunt's mum. There are some gems in there but ultimately it follows the traditional rom com formula. And if only being a psych post doc were really that easy.


Venturing into the same territory as David Byrne's True Stories and the recent Young Adult, in the film the titular character is secondary to that of the town of Carthage itself. While the characters are more interesting than Young Adult and we are introduced to some amusing Texan vernacular unfortunately it moves at just as languid a pace and the small town Texan setting with its quirky inhabitants is more than a little reminiscent of Byrne's seminal effort. The most interesting aspect of this film is that the title character actually exists and we meet the real residents of the town who describe their feelings about Bernie and his victim and the events as they unfolded making it a quasi-documentary.


A detailed documentary on Bob Marley's life and music that should inform even some of his biggest fans. It not only focuses on the late musician but how he came to prominence in a broader religious, political and historical content.

Jeff Who Lives at Home

Susan Sarandon looks every bit as good at 65 as she did at 45. It's a simple little story and there is a nice portrayal of communication breakdown within a marriage. With it's three main subplots the film is essentially about seeking emotional attachment and understanding. However, for a film that stars three high profile comedic actor, it fails to deliver many laughs.

The Running Man

With a dance routine choreographed by Paula Abdul, ironically The Running Man forecast America's obsession with over-produced competitive 'reality' shows and predates The Hunger Games by 25 years. I'm not so sure about Arnie's Bond style quips but the casting of Richard Dawson as the show's host is inspired.

The Hunger Games

Battle Royale meets Running Man and run through the PG-13 chick flick filter. The camera work starts off with the operator seeming as drunk as Woody Harrelson's character but thankfully appears to steady after a while. The film is never dull but I found it hard to empathise with the characters and there is never any real sense of dread. The twists, such as they are, are dispensed with quickly before the film arrives at its foregone conclusion. Lenny Kravitz is the stand out here in a minor role and the film could have easily been cut by 30 minutes for tighter pacing without losing anything.

The Dictator
The Dictator(2012)

A handful of good laughs, one great speech but it's not up to the fly on the wall brilliance of Baron Cohen and Roach's previous collaborations.

The Dark Knight Rises

While it wasn't bad this wasn't the conclusion to the Nolan Batman trilogy I was hoping for, it was more like a Burton conclusion to the trilogy Nolan started. The ending was good but unfortunately they opted to devise a nearly three hour storyline to get you there from the conclusion of The Dark Knight. The plot line unfortunately ends up seeming more like a discarded post OHMSS Bond plot than Batman with a heartbroken (super)hero, a pair of paramours whose motives are unclear, an arch villain leader of a mysterious organization in his underground lair surrounded by henchmen bent on destruction, and some great gadgets from Q - I mean Lucius Fox. Anyone familiar with the Batman comics will know exactly how things will turn out at the end. The script is exposition heavy particularly a number of lengthy conversations between Alfred and Bruce purely devised to tie in with the ending. Here the writing could have been much tighter. While there are a few good lines many of the one-liners simply consist of characters stating the obvious and the main villain, Bane, sounds like Jean-Luc Picard doing his impression of Sean Connery as Darth Vader. The police also make some extremely poor decisions (while for the most part the villains seem to conveniently all but ignore two of the other major protagonists) purely as plot devices to enable subsequent plot points to develop. The bat pod is cool though.

WarGames (War Games)

While 30 years on a few plot holes are more apparent, this is still an excellent cold war sci fi adventure

The Dark Knight

Excellent epic marred only by Bale's insistence on speaking like he's got a bad cold to everyone including those who already know he's Batman

Batman Begins

Nolan gives Batman the Bladerunner treatment

John Carter
John Carter(2012)

While it starts and ends quite well, instead of being a great successor to the Indiana Jones films it is rather a poor facsimile of the Star Wars franchise.


A bit more convoluted and hard to predict than the similarly constructed Timecrimes. If you can get past a bunch of Australians auditioning for Hollywood parts and Queensland masquerading as Miami and don't over think it too much it actually makes for a pretty good horror story.

Young Adult
Young Adult(2011)

The creative team that took a unique approach to female adolescence (and male mid-life crisis) with Juno attempt to tackle female mid-life crisis, a subject much more rarely examined on the big screen. Unfortunately while it starts well with establishing the principal character as an author of young adult novels in a rut pining over an ex to a classic track from the Fannies, the rest of the film ambles along without really going anywhere. The main problem is probably that most women, even those in a similar age bracket, will fail to identify or empathise with the character so care little about her fate. And, while we meet a couple of interesting characters from her little home town along the way and learn a little about her, the character doesn't really seem to learn much about herself along the way.

Vigilante Vigilante: The Battle for Expression

The film makes its point in the first half hour: a geographically diverse group of middle aged retired white males with subnormal intelligence and nothing better to do go around painting over (sometimes sanctioned) urban art. The film makes the point that this in itself is illegal and essentially no different from the vandalism that graffiti artists do themselves. The film then spends the next hour repeating this point without any real narrative other than to follow around and mock their subjects. The film takes a novel approach towards the backlash against graffiti artists but ultimately it doesn't cover anything in its 86 minute duration that it couldn't have covered in half that time.

Eames: The Architect And The Painter

Fascinating documentary about the Eames Office, particularly Charles and Ray Eames, their integral part in the development of the US aesthetic between the '30s and '70s, and how their work continues to inform contemporary design

It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine.

10/10 for a novel story, 2/10 for execution. Unfortunately the background to the film and it's star is more interesting than the film itself and the film can only truly be enjoyed within that context. The star, who unfortunately died shortly after filming completed, did however get to live out a fantasy on-screen (unsimulated) to which any heterosexual male audience member could not help but be envious.

Paul Williams Still Alive

A fan, who happens to be a film-maker, seeks to bring his fallen idol back into the public eye only to realize things perhaps aren't so bad for Williams after all. This is an amusing insight both into fandom and the mind set of a celebrity who has moved on from his more notorious past. It also makes me keen to see more of the director's work.

Short Circuit

Goofy Frankenstein remake substituting a robot for a human. An inferior follow up to Badham's better sci fi effort, WarGames, this is most notable for the casual racist comedy employed by the socially dysfunctional Indian (played by a black-face Fisher Stevens) and re-used in a subtler form by a real Indian actor in Big Bang theory and for the featured robot forming a template for Pixar's Wall-E.

Eve of Destruction

A doppelgänger android acts on the id of her creator. It's an interesting idea and Gregory Hines makes the best of what he's given, and is uncharacteristically sweary, but that can't compensate for the 80s TV style direction and non-existent editing. Unsurprisingly, the writer / director went on to enjoy a less than stellar career.

Highlander 2: The Quickening

One of the worst sequels, not to mention films, ever made. Sean Connery's character brings along some good laughs but that doesn't compensate for the terrible plot that negates the entire first film and brings in a ridiculous alien subplot.


Christophe Lambert excels in this underrated action adventure romance about a group of immortals battling it out for the ultimate prize. One tag line for the movie was "There Can Be Only One" - unfortunately the producers failed to heed this and the film spawned innumerable inferior sequels and TV spinoffs which contradict the entire plot of the movie. The soundtrack by Queen is employed to great effect.

The Man From Earth

Fascinating story: a group of academics from different fields gather together to say farewell to one of their number. As they discuss history, biology, and theology they argue over whether their departing colleague is who he claims to be. Simply filmed at a single location, wonderfully acted, and enlightening this is bound to keep you guessing until the very end and make you want to expand your own knowledge of religion in the context of history long after the credits have rolled.

Total Recall
Total Recall(1990)

Great movie - love the hints and ambiguities throughout the movie. And the film that finally propelled the gorgeous Sharon Stone towards stardom ... "consider this a divorce". Though considered ultraviolent at the time it seems positively tame by contemporary standards.

Los Cronocrímenes (Timecrimes)

Predictable time travel movie where the character's motivations are unclear throughout the movie when, given the information they already have, they should know better than to proceed. That is until a convenient decision wraps things up nicely at the end. While it was mercifully brief and never dull it was also extremely frustrating as, it is not until the final scene where he is working off information he has gathered throughout the course of the film, he finally makes the only, albeit controversial, decision throughout the movie that actually makes sense.


Fans of Seth McFarlane's TV fare (most notably Family Guy) will not be disappointed with his feature length and live action debut bromantic / romantic / teddymantic? comedy. McFarlane and friends (there are a lot of familiar voices here) do what they do best within the constraints of the live action (and CGI bear) medium. The cutaways are present but fortunately kept to a minimum. Kunis is gorgeous as always and Wahlberg does a fine job of sending up his Boston persona while a few well-known Boston icons (notably two members of the cast of Cheers including one Ted - get it - Danson), Flash Gordon's Sam Jones and a couple other familiar faces get cameos. There are some great sight gags including a brilliant homage to Indiana Jones though it loses points for plagiarising one scene from Airplane!

30 Minutes or Less

Ansari's one note acting aside, this was a surprisingly entertaining affair that made excellent use of surround sound on BluRay. While not entirely unpredictable, it had some fun characters and great comedy moments and managed to be suspenseful and funny throughout.

It seems that it is now obligatory for Eisenberg to be involved in a Facebook reference in every film in which he appears.


A meeting between the parents of two children involved in a dispute starts off as civil before the facade slowly erodes revealing the fractures within each couple's relationship and the rivalry between the genders. The film betrays it's origins as a play but the actors, particularly Waltz, do a good job of portraying the complexities of adult interaction. Unfortunately the one scene setting renders the experience a little dull (two to the people I saw it with managed to fall sleep). The film is book-marked by two silent scenes that show how much simpler conflict resolution between children can be.


Writer and director make some interesting choices and manage to hold your attention throughout. There are some good ideas and I enjoyed the satirical adverts but nothing stands out and the subplot involving corporate corruption comes as little surprise.

Phil Tippett got overly ambitious with his stop motion work and the ED-209 looks terrible compared to anything he did for the Star Wars trilogy.

It will be interesting to see if the upcoming remake can better the original as there is plenty of room for improvement. Based on Padhila's previous efforts I'm highly optimistic.

American Reunion

The whole gang is back together again for the first time in over a decade (since 2001's American Pie 2) which in some ways is a shame as, by disposing of many of the characters, American Wedding was able to tell a tighter story. While American Reunion may hold some novelty for those that only saw the initial installment or none at all, bar the opening sequence there's not a lot we haven't seen before. Jim gets himself into an awkward situation - check. Stifler is obnoxious but ultimately 'redeems' himself - check. Will Oz and Heather end up together at the end of the movie - check. Ultimately somebody fucks somebody's mother - check. Its all there. It has it's moments but for the most part it feels flat and, at 1 hr 54 minutes it is the longest in the series. New characters are hastily introduced then things drag out a little as the guys reunite before rushing through the cameos, including one of the main characters from the first film, towards the end. I enjoyed the film but, next to American Pie 2, to me it is the weakest In the series. The biggest surprise is none of the boys comment on Vicky's new knockers and, of course, with the core female cast getting on a bit the writer/directors found a way to work in the nubile young flesh of a girl who, we are led to believe, developed a crush on Jim when he was babysitting her when she was, what, 4? And, as the boys say, holy shit! I give the film an extra 1/2 star for Rebecca De Mornay's appearance as Finch's mom and her call back to the classic Risky Business.


While the central premise requires a strong suspension of your disbelief this is a great sci-fi novella enacted on film. Without giving too much away, Rockwell puts in a great performance as an astronaut suffering from cabin fever, in what is primarily a two-hander, as he approaches the end of his three year shift with only a robotic arm for company. However, all is not as it seems ... The film is very intriguing and keeps you guessing the character's fate till the very end.


Interesting coming of age story that takes a very balanced approach to the examination of gender identity and finding your place in the crowd when you are a pre-teen. The director evokes great performances from her young cast.

Ip Man
Ip Man(2010)

Interesting, albeit largely fictionalized, biopic of Ip Man, the Wing Chun grand master who taught Bruce Lee, as portrayed in the context of the Japanese occupation of China. The latter serves more as the subject than the master himself in this particular take on the Ip Man legend given that he actually left Foshan during the conflict after refusing to train the Japanese army. The film also works well as a marshall arts entertainment. Donnie Yen is a competent artist and the fight scenes are well choreographed by the legendary Sammo Hung.

13 Assassins
13 Assassins(2011)

First off Miike establishes just how much of a prick the, literal, bastard shogun Naritsugu is and then we see the formation of the band of samurai put together in order to dispatch him. Of course by this stage you are firmly rooting for their success as they set off on their journey to meet their fate. The action is visceral with the final stand off in the village being particularly inspired. The film is only marred by a few hammy moments, as seems to be obligatory in this genre, including a poorly executed use of CGI in what should be a pivotal emotional scene but ends up as unintentionally funny. Unfortunately the version I saw was the international cut - I would be interested in seeing the original Japanese cut which highlights more of the mythical aspects of the story.

Crocodile Dundee

Watched this for the first time in years and the first time since moving to Australia almost 15 years ago. This time in the original Australian cut which has some extended and modified scenes from the international version. It's easy to see why some scenes were cut in the interest of better pacing and because much would have been lost on an audience unfamiliar with Australian culture even if they did help to clarify a couple of things. A couple of the modifications were obviously included for the benefit of the simpler audience members. The best cut lies somewhere inbetween with some of the original language retained without the unnecessary exposition to be found in either version. Apart from a couple of overdubs, partly for the benefit of the censors, the international cut probably provides the best viewing experience with very little flab to slow the story down. Unfortunately these days most people will see this in a badly cut version on TV which, while a better high definition transfer than that found on the DVD, removes the tamest of language, one in what was otherwise a particularly funny scene, any drug references, and a brief shot of a knife being used on an assailant's clothing.

Dazed and Confused

Like another one of my favourites, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, made 10 years earlier it introduced us to some of the best acting and writing talent of the last 15 years. The soundtrack is great at setting the tone and accounted for about 15% of the budget. It also provided break-out roles for indie darlings Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, Milla Jovovich, Adam Goldberg, Matthew McConaghey, Parker Posey (who hasn't changed in 20 years) and of course Ben Affleck.

Revenge of the Nerds

It has its fun moments despite the entire premise being completely nonsensical. Curtis Armstrong has a nice nod to one of his scenes in the previous year's Risky Business and the film is still being referenced to this day. As a nerd I need to reserve a place for this in my heart.


Fiennes does a fine job both in front of and behind the camera. He uses some interesting camera devices and a powerful soundtrack in this contemporary take on Shakespeare's story. This includes mixing visceral Bourne-style action scenes with news footage and low camera angles of an incensed Coriolanus. The casting of Jon Snow (not the one in Game of Thrones) as a newscaster is an added stroke of a genius in a film that reflects broken Britain. The film falls down somewhat when the pace has to slow down for the characters to interact and explain their motives, primarily when Coriolanus is talking with his mother. This could lead many viewers to switch off.

Eskimo Limon (Lemon Popsicle)

When I first stumbled across this at the local video store in 1985 I assumed it was a rip off of Last American Virgin. Of course, it turned out that it was in fact the other way round and they share the same writer / director.

While Last American Virgin was ensconced in the 80s, this is set in 1959 with a sound track to match. Beyond that it is practically the same movie shot for shot with a few minor differences (it misses a few of the sillier moments from the remake and has a slightly protracted ending) though the performances are more subtle and the characters are all a lot more likeable.

Alien3 (Special Edition)

While beautifully shot by first-time director Fincher, he has disowned the film thanks to studio interference. The film commits the sacrilege of killing a much loved character from Aliens in the opening shots. While it starts off (particularly in this 'Assembly Cut') interestingly enough the bulk of the film involves following the alien around mine shafts and waiting for the company to arrive to stake their claim which is all rather dull.


While beautifully shot by first-time director Fincher, he has disowned the film thanks to studio interference. The film commits the sacrilege of killing a much loved character from Aliens in the opening shots. While it starts off (particularly in the 'Assembly Cut') interestingly enough the bulk of the film involves following the alien around mine shafts and waiting for the company to arrive to stake their claim which is all rather dull.

Alien Resurrection (Special Edition)

Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a great director that knows how to keep you engaged and this, his only English language feature, proves to be no exception. While much maligned including by original screen writer Joss Whedon it features some great dialogue and provides a few more thrills than it's immediate predecessor. Jeunet fails to take onboard the lesson taught by Scott in Alien ad we see all too much of the Xenomorphs, particularly in CGI form which becomes all the more evident on BluRay. Ripley, Ryder, and Perlman also don't disappoint. The crew of the Betty as Whedon originally envisioned them were later recycled for use in the excellent TV series Firefly and film Serenity.


To be honest it was as good as I expected it to be given its septuagenarian director, cast of thousands in the CGI department (whereas the original had primarily only optical effects at its disposal) and heavily invested studio who made sure an opportunity was left to further expand the series. As is often the case the technology and attitudes on display (one device looks uncannily like an iPad and only one character is shown briefly with a conventional cigarette) are more reflective of the time in which the film was made than any conceivable future but fit reasonably well into the universe created by the previous entries in the franchise. Rapace and her character Elizabeth (Lisbeth?) Shaw prove to be a worthy successor, or is it precursor, to Weaver / Ripley in the survival at any cost stakes and Michael Fassbender works diligently on perfecting his Peter O'Toole impersonation. Theron in turn plays a one-dimensional cardboard cut out villain. At times it feels like the script is trying to pluck at philosophical strands it can't quite grasp and the science is highly suspect but as would be expected from a Ridley Scott film the photography and performances are excellent. I do look forward to seeing the inevitable Director's Cut.


In spite of its supremely cheesy 80s dialogue and dated special effects this remains the best film in the Alien quadrilogy since the original and an action classic


Often imitated never bettered, perfect in pretty much every respect

Elite Squad: The Enemy Within

While the irksome voice-over is less pervasive than the original, the film is also less kinetic. This film largely moves away from the streets, instead concentrating more on the political corruption in Brazil and tries to squeeze 16 years of Nascimento's career and family division between the events of the first film and "present day" into two hours with mixed results. While I enjoyed the film I'm surprised it was so much better received than the previous entry which only needs to span about six months and for me is the superior film.


Michael Shannon obviously aspires to be in every indie film currently being produced. While the performances are excellent and Shannon's character is a jerk, perhaps it's because I haven't been there but as someone who hasn't (as will be the case with the majority of the audience) it is hard to sympathize with the protagonist. Kelli is a non-combatant war veteran, apparently traumatized by her experiences, returning home and facing redeployment amidst a family crisis. The film ends up being a fairly sad representation of the monotony of contemporary working class America.

Tropa de Elite (The Elite Squad)

Interesting and incredibly well written and shot, while morally dubious, take on the complexit of the relationship between the police and drugs gangs in Rio. Where City of God may be Brazil's GoodFellas this is more The Departed. It could have done with a little less of the voice-over (another nod to Scorsese) where the 30 something Nascimento sounds like a 60 year old man.

Machine Gun Preacher

While Sam Childers is a controversial figure it's often difficult to distinguish what is fact and fiction both in his work and in this depiction of it, this is certainly a competently made account of his journey from petty criminal to arch-nemesis of Kony's Christian soldier

A Separation
A Separation(2011)

If this were a novel it would be a real page turner

Frozen River
Frozen River(2008)

Intriguing tale of two mothers from different cultures with absent husbands and the choices they make to provide for their kids

The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)

While the first film was disturbing, while by no means the worst made this is by far the most horrible and nonsensical movie I've ever seen

Siwore (Il Mare)

Love this flick and not just because of Jeon Ji-Hyeon - if you've been tempted to watch The Lake House do yourself a huge favor and watch this instead before it's ruined for you,

The Lake House

Decidedly average. Do yourself a big favour and watch Il Mare instead.


Perfect casting. Impeccable editing. Beautiful women (De Palma and Spielberg grabbed one each). While the build up is slow it allows for some great character development and directorial flourishes and the pay off is brilliantly executed in split screen. Watching on the big screen is a must. The final scene, while a departure from the King novel, has been emulated by many horror films since. While I'm a fan of Chloe Moretz there is only one person who can portray the definitive Carrie White and, at the tender age of 15, there is no way that the pivotal shower scene could remain intact.

The Last Starfighter

As a kid I fell asleep through every attempt to watch this and tonight was no different. It's plot is a poor facsimile of Star Wars and the film is most notable for being the first to have entirely digital effects. And it shows.

The Last American Virgin

Vintage 80s teen movie with a decent soundtrack most of which is unfortunately repeated at least three times. It has the ubiquitous shower scene in the girls' locker room and a harshly realistic ending.


What is the difference between pornography and art? Lighting. And so with that, while it could have done with possibly cutting some flab, we have possibly the most confronting film on intimacy since, well, Intimacy. Fassbender turns in an incredible performance showing why he seems to be the go to guy for the moment while people still can afford him. There are also some interesting scenes which I suspect may not have appeared previously in a mainstream film.

Police Academy

Humorous first entry to the franchise with a couple classic scenes and introducing us to the motley crew of characters. It's easy to see how the novelty wore off with subsequent installments though and it doesn't really hold up to repeat viewings particularly given the nonsense riot scenes toward the end. Kim Cattrall looks fantastic - it's a shame she only appeared in obscure movies (with the possible exception of Mannequin) for over a decade after the success of this and Porky's and opted not to return for any of the sequels.

Men in Black II

Dull sequel that lacks any of the charm of the original, opting instead to rely on a continuous bombardment of poorly rendered visual effects and a script that appears to be targeted at three year olds

Men in Black
Men in Black(1997)

Goofy it may be, but it benefits from tight pacing, a sharp script, an economical runtime, and two great shots of the twin towers (though one is clearly a matte painting). It still holds up well after 15 years.

Fright Night
Fright Night(2011)

Crap digital effects, cheap 3D gimmickry that stick's out like a dog's danglies in 2D, and a less than riveting script make for a sub-par horror movie. David Tennant and Sandra Vergara (Sofia's little sister) provide the film's best moments as Peter Vincent and his bickering girlfriend. Unfortunately Vergara appears on screen for less than five minutes. Poots has a convincing American accent which is more than can be said for Colette despite her having worked in Hollywood for over a decade.


In my opinion the weakest of the series in terms of comedy, most notable for the high content of boobs and bush distinctly absent from the equals and an early Kim Cattrall performance as "Lassie"

Porky's Revenge

Two of the gang have mysteriously disappeared and an exchange student appeared from nowhere in the space of a few months while Pee Wee and Wendy's relationship seems to have reverted to that prior to the second installment. Perhaps the writers never bothered watching the second installment. There are numerous continuity errors in relation to the first film and anachronisms with respect to the '50s setting but, like the previous films, it is both terrible and ingenious in roughly equal measure. Just love watching Pee Wee get his motor running whenever Inga is nearby.

Porky's II: The Next Day

While the title is incongruous and there is a lack of continuity from the original this is hugely entertaining from beginning to end

Adam's Rib
Adam's Rib(1949)

Brilliant portrayal of a husband and wife and the double standards between the genders which is as true today as it was then. Tracy, Hepburn, and Holliday turn in great performances.

Tiny Furniture

While it does a fair job of capturing the angst of one's early 20s, it's all a bit amateur made all the stranger when the main character's erstwhile best friend looks like Anna Paquin on a really bad day. There are a few poignant scenes but it suffers from only having one and a half good jokes.

Marvel's The Avengers

Decent writing, some dizzying set pieces, and a couple brilliant moments make for a highly entertaining night out. Whedon delivers everything it says on the box. Hulk! Smash!

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

The most powerful and compelling of the Paradise Lost trilogy and of just about any legal drama including an unexpected twist where a major antagonist becomes a protagonist. A dramatized account of the depicted events is coming out next year, it's hard to imagine it being anywhere near as good.

Paradise Lost 2 - Revelations

Hamstrung by the success of the first film drawing so much attention to the case, the filmmakers didn't have the unbridled access to the courtroom, lawyers, and the victim's and accused's families which made the first film in the Paradise Lost trilogy such a unique phenomenon.

Only one of the murdered children's parents was willing to participate. As a result, we are introduced to members of the West Memphis Three Freedom Fund and the film, while reiterating the bullet points from the first, basically stretches its focus on a piece of potential new evidence in the form of a proposed bite mark on the face of one of the victims and whether this could be used to prompt a retrial or to implicate the only other person connected to the victims willing to participate in the film of the form of John Mark Byers. For his part, Byers seems to revel in performing for the camera, appearing to turn in a dramatic performance each time he sees the cameras start to roll.

A Matter of Size

Four overweight guys (and a woman) living in the Israeli city of Ramla learn to embrace who they are when they discover sumo wrestling as an alternative to the diet club under which they have been stagnating. Nice idea and there are a few nice moments; while it strays into the territory of rom-com it never quite gets sucked into the melodrama of a Karate Kid or a Full Monty despite sharing the same DNA. At 90 minutes the film just about manages to not outstay it's welcome.

Paradise Lost: Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills

A tad long out of necessity, this fascinating documentary follows the background and original trials of the West Memphis Three. Remind me never to go to Arkansas.

The Artist
The Artist(2011)

Just when you think it's all been done along comes a beautiful piece of innovative film-making that employs the best use of techniques of silent through modern cinema, keeping a contemporary audience engaged throughout. John Goodman as always is a delight and there are a couple terrific cameos.

Burning Man
Burning Man(2012)

A very well-written and highly engaging contemplation on grief featuring one of the finest looking women Perth has produced

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Downey does his thing and it's all very ho hum. The pace never eases off which is something though there is only so much of Stephen Fry one needs to see and I enjoyed my nap

The Snowtown Murders

Well made but slightly confusing, overlong, and downright horrible

Margin Call
Margin Call(2011)

Excellent ensemble cast keeps you engaged throughout

The Hunter
The Hunter(2012)

Like "Aliens" only in Tasmania with a fraction of the budget, infinitely more pathos, and where Newt does most of the swearing. Unfortunately while it's an intriguing premise and it shows off some fine Tasmanian scenery there's nothing new and it suffers from snail like pacing. Dafoe delivers his finest Charlton Heston impersonation to date.

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Permeated with red this joins Kevin Smith's Red State as one of 2011's unique genre bending contemporary horror stories. The film constantly jumps between present and past to tell the story of Kevin from conception through a series of more quietly terrifying acts as he gets older until revealing the mysterious act hinted throughout which devastates both his family and the local community. The only question that is not satisfactorily answered is why his mother Eva is held in such contempt by those around her, particularly given the impact on her own life, the mother being punished for the sins of a child she was powerless to counter. Tilda Swinton turns in a powerful performance as Eva as always while Ezra Miller as the subtly menacing Kevin is definitely a young actor to watch out for. Lynne Ramsay also pulls amazing performances out of the young actors who play the earlier incarnations of Kevin. Guys, if your woman is pestering you to have children this should actually put her off. Scarily though it most likely won't.

Puss in Boots

Great rendering of the characters, a half decent plot, and a few good jokes make for an above average animated film


Art house meets 70s style exploitation flick with a cast and style only Soderbergh could put together. Features a brilliant cameo from a certain Spanish gentleman.


Seann William Scott is huge and very convincing as the hockey enforcer Doug Glatt in this entertaining based on a true story hockey comedy.

American Pie Presents: Beta House

It's no Animal House and it has lower production values than the rest but I found myself chuckling throughout nonetheless and would say it's just as good as the disappointing American Pie 2

Valley Girl
Valley Girl(1983)

There are just enough little touches to rank it slightly above your average 80s teen comedy - a nice little time capsule of the era with just enough boobs and bush thrown in to keep the boys happy

American Wedding

After the speed bump that was American Pie 2 comes the much better produced American Wedding. As if introducing January Jones isn't reason enough to like this film, while Seann William Scott as Stifler was a minor irritant in the first two installments here he show his maturation as an actor and steals the show

American Pie 2

It has a few nice moments - "let's hear it for Petey!" - but lacks the freshness of the original, Nadia keeps her clothes on, and Danielle and Amber still look like a pair of drag queens

American Pie
American Pie(1999)

Revisited this movie for the first time in a decade. While it takes about 20 minutes to ease into the movie, the rest is a delight. Mena Suvari is gorgeous and Alyson Hannigan is a revelation. Unsurprisingly, Thomas Ian Nicholas hasn't gone onto greater things.

The Raid: Redemption

No-holds barred brutal though it is, you'd be hard pressed to come across a cooler action film this year. From the outset the film is on the edge of your seat intense while by the end of the climactic fight scene you will be wishing you had a cigarette or whiskey to calm your nerves. This film pulls no punches but never leaves you feeling like you're watching a cheesy actioner. Sly Stallone take note. The soundtrack reflects the action perfectly throughout the journey. Given that the film is written, directed, and produced by an Welsh ex-pat it was entertaining to see the rather timid Indonesian dialogue subtitled with rather more colourful English exchanges.

21 Jump Street

As someone who never watched the original and therefore had no reference point I found this to be surprisingly funny

We Bought a Zoo

Cameron Crowe revisits Jerry Maguire territory but, other than the brilliant as usual soundtrack, it is nowhere near as interesting. We are kept wondering if Elle Fanning's character has some form of intellectual disability but this is never fully explored and Scarlett Johannson's clothes (including woolly jumper) remain on at all times.

A brief cameo from the real Mee family (enjoying a visit to the US where the story has been transplanted) towards the end is a curiosity soother but other than that the film was, much like Elle's character, nice but dim.

Also someone needs to inform the writers that 2010 is, in fact, the 21st not the 20th century which made the timeline initially somewhat confusing particularly given Johannson's aforementioned late 80s style woolly jumpers.

The Descendants

An interesting character study of Hawaii and some of it's citizens (as is Payne's MO) that goes beyond the beautiful scenery also on display. The film also features a reference to my Hawaiian alma mater (Alexandra's boarding school) though the name has been changed to protect the innocent.

American Pie Presents: Book of Love

Average film, genius cameos. "And remember when it comes to making out put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV"

District B13 (Banlieue 13)

Starring David Belle, the inventor of parkour, this has some inventive action sequences particularly in the early scenes. An above average action film, I look forward to viewing the better received sequel


The nail in the coffin of both Val Kilmer and Ryan Philippe's once promising careers. Despite one of the best named villains and theme songs committed to film this movie fails to deliver anything other than a few repetitive gags and Kristen Wiig is completely wasted. May have another decade for Lorne Michaels to produce a movie that is actually funny.

Safe House
Safe House(2012)

You can spot the denouement a mile away in this sub-Bourne thriller but the ride is entertaining enough

Oranges And Sunshine

Living in Perth (where much of the film is set though not actually filmed) and originating from the UK probably brought added relevance for me but it was an interesting film that never got bogged down in melodrama (surprising given Loach's soap opera pedigree) and made me want to find out more about Margaret Humphreys and the Child Migrants Trust and the legacy of British Home Children policy. The epilogue to the film does make it somewhat ambiguous regarding the number of children resettled to Australia (as depicted in the film) and other Commonwealth destinations and the time span over which this occurred. Still, this does not detract from an otherwise engaging and thought-provoking film.


This bears all the hallmarks of a Steven Spielberg film - absent parent(s), childhood wonder, love of film making, references to war - which is why it is so surprising that it was made by his contemporary Martin Scorsese. Scorsese makes the best use of 3D, by James Cameron's own admission, employed to date in feature film-making only wasting one perfect opportunity in a late scene alluded to earlier in the film. The story itself is a charming ode to one of film's great pioneers by a worthy successor with only the odd bit of schmaltz towards the end which is fairly unavoidable in a film of this nature. Sasha Baron Cohen finally proves he is capable of performing well as something other than one of his own creations.

Take Shelter
Take Shelter(2011)

Excellent character study

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Pretty much what I expected an American remake of the Swedish film to be - no better no worse. I say remake because despite arguably following the source novel more closely than the original TV series it also diverges from the source in some respects (including one key plot point which is conveniently abandoned) and adheres very closely to the original film's structure. The key performances are good comprising a variety of accents with the most prominent Swedish actor's accent ironically the least "Swedish" of the lot apart from Craig who mercifully doesn't even try. All around it was a good film but, unlike the original, not a great one as it suffers from a clumsier handling of the exposition in order to fit in more of the book's character and lacks subtlety in the handling of the relationship between the two main characters and Lisbeth's vulnerability.

The Muppets
The Muppets(2011)

Oz and Henson were sorely missed. The plot was a knowing retread of the original Muppet Movie fused with the plot of Disney's Herbie Rides again. The new songs were alright but the classics shine through while the choice to have Chris Cooper's character rap is questionable at best. Amy Adams looks unusually dowdy as Mary in an unfortunate selection from the wardrobe department perhaps designed to parallel her and Gary's relationship with that of Miss Piggy and Kermit. While the cameos mainly feature a selection of Segel's previous costars there are a few bizarre choices - Dave Grohl is completely wasted just providing background scenery for a few shots, Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory's Sheldon Cooper) is an inspired choice as muppet Walter's human alter ego, while the inclusion of Mickey Rooney seems to be solely to remind us that he is still alive.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Gary Oldman does his finest Alec Guinness impersonation but apart from getting away with some more colourful language than the televised original the tone is rather slow and lugubrious and doesn't really hold the viewer's attention throughout


A well executed examination of a number of key relationships that never outstays it's welcome

A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

While I hope to see this film in the 3D that it so richly deserves, in 2D it still had enough in jokes and puerile humour to keep this film geek laughing for 90 minutes while his kid ran around almost as manically as the one on screen

Captain America: The First Avenger

I managed to stay awake for most of it - pointless romance leads to a great last line

Kill List
Kill List(2012)

Riveting yet ultimately leaves so many questions unanswered

Real Steel
Real Steel(2011)

A better robot movie than Robotropolis but that's not saying a whole lot. Basically a remake of Over the Top only with a robot and the kid isn't nearly as cute.


Pretty awful but mercifully short, Singaporeans should enjoy location spotting and wondering how they managed to clear Pasir Ris for the shoot

Delhi Belly
Delhi Belly(2011)

Bollywood as you've never fucken seen it before. Zena was shaking her ass to the soundtrack

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

There are a few nice moments that betray Brad Bird's background as a director of animation and a couple gripping stunts but ultimately this is little more than a protracted advert for Apple. Simon Pegg successfully makes the transition from a bit part as a lab geek to co-star. Renner is good as always. This film emulates Bond more than the previous films in this franchise down to the lead actress devoid of all but the most obvious of talents and the ironic choice of baddie; the actor's most well-known character to date having recently been recreated by the current Bond, Daniel Craig. The film is overly long but the sound editing is incredible and I give it an extra half star for the final scene featuring a couple of nice cameos marking what is hopefully a fitting end to the series.


Almost achieves the implausible feat of making baseball seem interesting


Inspired though slightly odd casting with the central family comprised of three nationalities and a couple more on the periphery. The biggest challenge was getting Alicia past the dialogue free 10 minute opening sequence. Von Trier steps away from his dogme principles for this venture into science fiction that questions whether there is anybody on Earth worth saving


Rocky with the melodrama turned up to 11 - the scenes with Nolte and the fight scenes are well done but at 2 hr 19 minutes the film could have done with some judicious editing. Still, nice to see an Australian and a Brit out-classing Americans in a Hollywood movie


An interesting way to reunite the cast of Talented Mr Ripley. And what's with Jude Law's teeth and accent?

The Inbetweeners

A fitting send off for the lads - much silliness ensues

The Lincoln Lawyer

Well written if utterly predictable legal thriller

The Debt
The Debt(2011)

Another fine cast, another well executed film that's been done before

Dolphin Tale
Dolphin Tale(2011)

While I appreciate the real life inspirational story, this is truly awful film-making and a real waste of former A-list talent. Time would be better spent bypassing the movie and going straight to

Red Dog
Red Dog(2011)

Lucas and Taylor curiously receive star billing despite having relatively small though pivotal roles. The film manages to avoid either being too schmaltzy or straying too far into Australian caricatures. An extra half-star for Taylor's legs and the cartoon fight scenes between red cat and red dog.

The Ides of March

Nicely shot but doesn't really go anywhere a political drama hasn't gone before


Rivals Hobo with a Shotgun as a contender for coolest film of 2011

Anything Else

Not Allen's finest but he captures Ricci's sexy callousness brilliantly as Amanda who reminds me all too much of the girl I was with at Falk's age

The Help
The Help(2011)

Octavia Spencer (surely a shoe-in for best supporting actress if the Academy has any remaining credibility) and Sissy Spacek are a delight. Emma Stone is reminiscent of a young Spacek with a hint of Kathleen Turner - I'd spend $18 to watch her direct traffic. Thankfully I didn't have too. The film as a whole was too melodramatic and the conclusion too obvious for my liking but I'm sure the chicks will dig it.


Worth watching if only for the cameos and the final line


All kinds of awesome! It's Bruce Willis at Christmas. All that's missing is yippee ka yay mother fucker. Like The Expendables only good, let's hope the sequel doesn't ruin it.

The Expendables

With this cast it had to be seen. Stallone is in better shape than I can imagine any 64 year old being but that hardly compensates for a movie searching for a story and a better polished script. Sadly, as with Iron Man 2, Rourke is squandering his post Wrestler renaissance here. The highlight is the fleeting cameos of former heavy weights Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can't help but wonder how much better this might have been if one of them went in to do the job instead.


Stallone's take on Die Hard in the mountains. The nausea-inducing opening sequence and mid-air plane crossing will get your attention but from there it fails to live up to his promise. Harlin handles the film in his usual perfunctory style and Lithgow carries the film as the most charismatic villain but what's with the British accent?

Rocky Balboa
Rocky Balboa(2006)

First Rocky film with soul since Rocky II (though I'd love to see the Rocky V director's cut) - a nice walk back through the characters' lives though ultimately forgettable

Rocky V
Rocky V(1990)

I was expecting this to be terrible. However, errors in chronology aside (these plague the series) this is a worthy effort concluding in a tremendous street fight. Given that it breaks with formula to some degree and focuses on the father-son relationship between Rockys senior and junior I'd rate this as the second best in the series (pending viewing of Rocky Balboa) next to the original.

Better Off Dead

Enjoyably quirky and featuring two of my favourite young actors of the time but unfortunately not as good as I recalled

Rocky IV
Rocky IV(1985)

After the traditional start (the conclusion of the preceding film Rocky III) we are greeted with a succession of worsening video montages which ultimately begs the question why?!

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

An excellent piece of contemporary film-making marred by a solitary plot-hole (pay close attention to the neighbours) that fits well with the original canon. If only all modern "blockbusters" were this well-made. No sequels please!


Recommend viewing with a strong drink in hand


If Melanie Laurent continues to choose such interesting roles, she should have a promising career ahead of her. I look forward to seeing more.

Midnight in Paris

Yet another Allen classic. Who knew Rachel McAdams had a badonkadonk?!

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

If you don't go in expecting an out and out comedy (there's one real laugh about 90 minutes in) then you should enjoy this contemplation on the challenges in finding one's soul mate. It's an interesting choice by the directors that Carrell's daughter's face is not shown in full light until the final act reveal.


It may have had a foregone conclusion, but wife and I both really enjoyed the ride and that in itself is quite an achievement

Back to the Future

Still holds up well after 26 years (how old am I!). The BluRay transfer is superb.

The Thing
The Thing(2011)

Admittedly the CGI is pretty hokey but tonally this film is well aligned to the 1982 film it prequels. Fans of the original will appreciate the ending in particular.

Friends With Benefits

Gotta admit I really liked it. Kunis is smoking hot and despite the usual rom com contrivances, particularly in the third act, it was an entertaining watch


Entertaining enough, but at the end of the day its just another schmaltzy cartoon.

Balls of Fury

An extra 1/2 star due to Walken's brilliance, but very poor

Two Hands
Two Hands(1999)

Great early outing for Mr Ledger


Very entertaining historical drama with a great cast

Day Watch
Day Watch(2007)

Not so good as Night Watch - though it has classic moments like the shower scene, it gets drawn out toward the end. Would be interesting to see the original cut for comparison. The end raises more questions than answers.

Night Watch
Night Watch(2006)

Liked the style - a tad lacking in substance, but better than the sequel. Would be good to see the original cut.

24 Hour Party People

Excellent piece of post-modernism that I'm sure made Wilson proud. Though it takes some liberties with the truth, anyone with a love of music who grew up in the UK in the eighties can appreciate this film.

Star 80
Star 80(1983)

Eric Roberts puts in a brilliant performance as the insecure, jealous and emasculated husband of the rising star he introduced to the world.

Spirited Away

Beautifully animated. Enough storyline to keep you activated

Girl Boss Guerilla

Miki Sugimoto is hot. A lot more sex and violence than some of the other sukeban films to keep you entertained.

My Favorite Wife

Very amusing little film - Cary Grant is brilliant as always

Away From Her

A Canadian movie with credible acting - probably because most of the actors aren't Canadian;) - manages to just elevate itself beyond Hallmark movie of the week status. Well worth the watch. Not something to watch if you're looking for something uplifting though though it does have its comic moments.

Romulus, My Father

Moving Australian movie with great performance from Franka Potente in particular.

Top Secret!
Top Secret!(1984)

Perhaps I should have seen it when it first came out - while it has its moments, particularly the underwater fight scene, in general it was pretty damn bad! Best to keep your eye on the background and ignore the foreground throughout the movie! Funniest thing about the DVD is the commentary by the writer/directors - they have it spot on!

What's New, Pussycat?

Very funny - it must have been so great to be working in this kind of film in the 60s. O'Toole is beautiful.

A Grand Day Out With Wallace and Gromit

Good first effort, but a tad luckluster compared to the follow ups

Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge(1952)

It would be good if the idiots here new which film they were reviewing. This film stars neither Nicole Kidman nor Ewan McGregor!

Zsa Zsa Gabor is beautiful and Jose Ferrer's wry wit is superb in this classic.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

A very good character study of both Jesse James and Bob Ford and to a certain extent other members of the James gang over the last 7 months of Jesse's life - Andrew Dominik did a good job and I didn't really feel the 2 hr 40 minutes despite the fact I hadn't eaten. Affleck, in particular, puts in an excellent performance.

The Spy Who Loved Me

Moore's best outing as Bond, helped more than a little by having probably the best villain in the form of Jaws and the first time Binder really let rip with the visual inuendo in the opening credits:)


John Waters first entry into the "mainstream" is just as enjoyable almost 20 years on. The only downside to this film is it created a career for Ricki Lake and an international forum for trailer trash

The Departed
The Departed(2006)

Much smarter remake than Cape Fear, almost as good as the original - Nicholson was brilliant and despite seeing the original I still had a knot in my stomach for the last half hour. Scorsese and his crew's rendering of blood splatter in this movie was incredible.

Year of the Dog

As a character study of obsession coming out of loss it had its moments. I'm not really a pet lover and this wasn't really my cup of tea - there was very little humour to be found in this dark "comedy". Regina has something crazy going on with her boobs. Normally I wouldn't have bothered with this movie, but I got to see it for free.

Pan's Labyrinth

A beautiful fairy tale which is actually kept pretty simple. Kept me on the hook for the whole two hours


Good film, particularly the ending. Best watched in a movie theatre or a very good home theatre system for full effect of the ear-ringing.

Factory Girl
Factory Girl(2007)

Looking at the archive footage at the end, Sienna Miller's resemblance to Edie Sedgewick in this film is uncanny. Slightly let-down by Hayden Christen's wooden performance as the "musician" since the producers wimped out in using Bob Dylan's name.


An interesting movie that brings through a few home truths though it does deal in a certain amount of over-simplification... and Jason Statham says cunt alot.


Beautifully made biopic of the late, great Ian Curtis. It has to be said though he wasn't the best husband in the world:(

Pretty Woman
Pretty Woman(1990)

shit sandwich - come on its about a man that falls for a whore, its a derelic man's Breakfast at Tiffany's yet somehow its a Valentine's favourite. What does this at Valentines say to your partner - I think you're a whore, I want to dump you for a whore and "educate" her, what???

8 Mile
8 Mile(2002)

Saw the edited-for-Singapore version so didn't get to see Brits going for it on all her glory - need to revisit

Stranger Than Fiction

Seemed quite entertaining, but I still managed to fall asleep. Felt the weekend was a little week. Perhaps I should watch it again. I guess this is supposed to be Will Ferrell's Truman Show?

A Mighty Wind

Entertaining enough with a few laughs, but nothing out of this world.

9 Songs
9 Songs(2005)

Pretenious backdrop in the antartic, terrible acting particularly from the lead actress, fairly unstimulating porn (Ms Bertani should see 9 1/2 Weeks). The film seed long at all of 69 minutes - the concert footage keeps it up to 2 stars - Mr Winterbottom, what were you thinking?

Donnie Darko
Donnie Darko(2001)

By far the best movie of recent times - perfect combination of soundtrack, story, and performance. Watch the director's cut for more clues as to what the hell is going on. This and Unbreakable are the two best superhero movies of recent years.

Strange Days
Strange Days(1995)

Great, dark movie - gets 4 stars for the Skunk Anansie soundtrack if nothing else:) And good to see Juliette Lewis playing something other than a retard for once.

The Terminator

The perfect no-holds barred action movie - someone that kills without conscience because well he's not human. Shame they seemed to have programmed him with a conscience for the sequel and thrown that conceit out the window but both hold up well and hard to find a better film for your buck.

Vanilla Sky
Vanilla Sky(2001)

Okay - most notable for the feat of being able to clear Times Square. As much as I love Cameron Crowe, this wasn't a patch on Abre los Ojos.

Heung joh chow heung yau chow (Turn Left, Turn Right)

It had a few heart-stirring moments dotted through-out but could have been an hour shorter and it wouldn't have hurt. All-in-all a typically ludicrous Chinese comedy featuring one of Singapore's hammiest actors and that is saying something! Not Kaneshiro's finest moment.

Léon: The Professional

Awesome movie - need to see it again soon.


Brutally honest depiction of relationships I could see a lot of the mistakes I've made in my relationships in this. Scary stuff.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

A classic tale of two whores that fall in love with each other, warts and wall, that still somehow manages to be glamorous. Wonderful stuff that only Blake Edwards could pull off this well. Loses half a star for Mickey Rooney's dodgy Japanese character, but thats simply a sign of the times.

I Capture the Castle

Enjoyed it more than Pride and Prejudice - a little bit more grounded in reality - but now keep getting the two confused in my mind - ho hum.

The Incredibles

Entertaining enough cartoon - still wasn't enough to keep me awake for a second viewing. The wife liked it though.

Pride and Prejudice

Probably deserves a better rating, but I'm not a girl so it really didn't do all that much for me.


Important yet fairly pedestrian film

Alpha Dog
Alpha Dog(2007)

Interesting movie. Powerful performances from all involved (with the notable exception of Mr Timberlake). Does show your suburban drug dealer to be pretty damned stupid! I mean Johnny didn't even flee to a country without an extradition treaty.


Takes me back twenty years - both hilarious and somehow depressing at the same time. From the first two lines of pure id uttered, my wife knew this was a film she was going to love. Need to watch it again now I know the ending and won't spend the whole time worrying about how its going to end up.

Amazing Grace

Good movie with a few flaws for dramatic effect (e.g. lords keep popping up in the House of Commons) - just sad to see nothing has really changed in two hundred years. Slave labour has transformed into near-slave labour and corporate Britain and America is still exploiting third world citizens to fill their coffers and politician's continue to support this out of self-interest. Only, instead of, or as well as sugar, its coffee, oil, and tennis shoes. Makes a good companion piece to The War on Democracy. Where are the Wilberforce's today?!!!

As It Is in Heaven (Så som i himmelen)

Beautiful 5-star movie. Deserved the applause it received at the end. Anthony Mullins clear has no soul!

My Best Friend

Amusing enough little film and the time just flew by, but didn't really stand out for me. Not Leconte's finest. Follows the classic American "romantic comedy" formula only applied to friendship and forms the perfect basis material for an already greenlit American remake.

Prete-moi ta main (I Do: How to Get Married and Stay Single)

Highly entertaining movie with a couple of classic scenes. Gainsborough as usual is incredible - how someone so innately unattractive can be so seductive is amazing

JSA: Joint Security Area (Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA)

Very subtly performed and intelligent movie - only spoiled by the fact that that the lead actress's English is so damned bad and Korean given that she supposedly never lived in Korea


Another intense movie from Chan-Wook Park. Nasty twists at the end. Not looking forward to the inevitable watered-down American remake

Take Away
Take Away(2003)

Not that great but I could watch Rose Byrne put up wallpaper. Had some good moments but the ending was very silly indeed.

The Man with the Golden Gun

Finally saw this for the first time - not the greatest movie but great to see a unspoiled Thailand before this film ironically helped spoil it. Shame the Bonds went so downhill in the 70s during the campy Moore period though.

St. Elmo's Fire

A nice little snapshot of life and relationships in the 80s. I saw it for the first time the other day and wish I'd seen it when I was closer to that age. For those that think it sucks, don't hate the players hate the games - very reflective of the times. Is it scary that I relate to Emilio's character and wish I'd had his balls?

The Bourne Ultimatum

A film-making masterclass. The performances were amazing and I had a tear welling in my eye at the end. Should sweep the Oscars, but obviously it won't.

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash

Scary stuff - unlike Inconvenient Truth which puts the cart before the horse (global warming leads to increased carbon dioxide, not the other way around) this shows the dramatic impact that the short term interests that we're complicit in will marr the planet for future generations. The thought that in 20 years time it may not be physically/financially possible for me to visit relatives in other continents is quite frightening.

The Bourne Supremacy

Very fluid sequel in this American take on the super-spy. Just watched it again and this movie is brilliant. Joan Allen is superb!

Cool Hand Luke

Classic - "what we have here is a failure to communicate!"

You've Got Mail

Ephron rehashes her previous opus

Marathon Man
Marathon Man(1976)

Brilliantly acted, classic '70s thriller that pulls no punches. I love John Schlesinger's 70s work - a mixture of surreal imagery and gritty drama. And the piano wire and "Is it Safe" scene still disturb 30 years on.


Pretty full on - played down some of the waiting lists etc you get in the UK but should send alarm bells ringing about health care in many countries around the world. I'd hardly call Michael Moore far left!!!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Once again Harry Potter plunders from the Star Wars franchise. This time throwing in a bit of The Terminator, Superman II, and whatever else they could "borrow" from for good measure. So exciting I fell asleep half-way in, maybe I should have made sure someone elbowed me before the action scene at the end. I guess thats why the Japanese invented the DVD.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Not overly enthused by this series, but it was an entertaining enough movie. Not on the top of my movies to watch again list though. And is Gary Oldman ever going to actually act and play something other than the same character he's been playing for the last 15 years. Come on, Gary, surprise me - you used to be so good!


Brilliant! Keeps you with it for the whole movie.


Captures the essence of a decade yet take away the fashion and its strangely timeless. This also forms the template to nearly every thriller since without tying everything up in a neat little bow.

To Kill A Mockingbird

Duvall puts in a brilliant performance


Not a huge fan of this brand of sci fi. Got so insane in places - didn't know what was going on.

The Simpsons Movie

Best. Animated Movie. Whatever. A tad short though and nothing earth-shattering so not a 5. More of a return to form to those halcyon days of old though. Having watched the entire series 18 in the previous couple of days and barely raising a smile this was welcome relief.
Spider-pig, spider-pig ... And the scene with Bart on a skateboard ... ha ha!


Too many songs, but thats true of most Indian movies. The First Blood-inspired action segment of the movie is pretty cool, but the movie as a whole drags out a little.

Godzilla: Final Wars

A couple cute chicks really doesn't make up for the rest of this shit sandwich - Captain Gordon cracked me up though

The Host
The Host(2007)

Funny and had the missus squirming in her seat a few times:)


Good fun - got a few belly laughs out of this one - for a kids film its pretty darned good. Shame about the sequels!

Last Train to Freo

Great character study - particularly compelling for those of us who live in Perth and have experienced these kinds of characters and variations on this situation ourselves


Vikram Keskar has it spot on - There were some good lines in here, but all in all a pretty routine and expectedly long remake of Reservoir Dogs while lacking the originals style with bits of Heat and Usual Suspects thrown in for good measure.


What can I say - this was extremely entertaining - like something you'd expect from Lucas before he started writing for infants. Its not very often that the entire audience starts to applaud at the end of the movie (although I guess some people might have been glad to get to the end of Gigli:) Watch out for Shia Labeouf - if he chooses his future roles wisely could he be the next Harrison Ford???

Ocean's Thirteen

Fun, stylish movie - gotta love all those little in jokes

Sunset Boulevard

A Billy Wilder classic - genius!

Knocked Up
Knocked Up(2007)

Obviously inspired at least in part by the hit Indian comedy Salaam Namaste, but taken to the limits of bad taste that only an American comedy can. This is better-acted and has a better potrayal of the dynamics of a married couple in crisis and some genuninely funny moments

Shrek the Third

I think I echo most of the reviews here - nothing new and Myers accent was all over the place - a real cash in! To the person that said you hate comedy, but you love this - thats probably cos it wasn't very funny:)

The Brady Bunch Movie

I watched this 'cos a friend told me it was funny - he lied. Maybe there are some good in-jokes if you're a die hard fan of the original series - they were lost on me

Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End

Entertaining enough, but edited with a butcher's knife and it shows


Didn't fair all that well on a second viewing - sent me to sleep. Most interesting thing about the DVD is the making off. Watch the two documentaries about Aileen Wournos instead.

Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Anyone of my generation who saw this in their teens has the image of Phoebe Cates walking out of that pool to the sound of 80s synth as Judge Reinhold does his business etched into their memory. So much so it was parodied just in the last couple of years in Scrubs knowing that a significant section of the audience would get it. Very funny movie and some of the finest acting (and writing) talent of the last 25 years emerged from this one picture.

The Hitcher
The Hitcher(1986)

One of my all-time favourites, Hauer puts in a fantastic performance in this movie as the creepy Hitcher. Went in the cinema to see this in a matinee not expecting much and left pretty shaken (I was 16 at the time). I still remember it pretty vividly 20 years later though.


Great ensemble movie, very intense. Not for the lighthearted.

Air Force One

Gary Oldman becomes increasingly typecast as the psycho and overcasts like all buggery. Harrison Ford is disappointing and some of the plot points are ludicrous. I was severely disappointed by this movie from one of the better directors of the 70s.

40 Days and 40 Nights

Silly movie - I have to say there are many times in my life I've had to go 40 Days and 40 Nights without and I'm still here to tell the tale


A total masterpiece from beginning to end - brilliantly structured, this is one of Scorcese's finest and the ensemble cast are brilliant.

When Harry Met Sally

One of my all-time favourites - haven't seen it for a while, wonder how it stands up now

Dodgeball - A True Underdog Story

I have to admit I'm a big fan of Vincent Vaughn and I thoroughly enjoyed this


Seriously disturbing, but excellent thriller - I was so disturbed I had to stay and watch another movie right after it. That movie - Team America, fuck yeah

City of Angels

Run of the mill remake of Wings of Desire - bit soppy for me


Pretty routine thriller if you asked me with some of the usual far-fetched premises you come to expect in the poorer examples of the genre. I expected better from Foster who just about makes it watchable.

Starsky & Hutch

Gets 3 1/2 stars just for the "do it, do it" scene

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

Very thought-provoking movie dissecting relationships and where we might be if we didn't learn from our relationships, but instead opted to forget they even existed

The Blair Witch Project

This movie didn't scary me at the time, but I had some funky dreams for the next few days after


A tale of two halves - first half is a bit of a road / sex comedy followed by a brutal second half reminiscent of Takashi Miike.

Nacho Libre
Nacho Libre(2006)

I was very disappointed with this follow-up to Napoloen Dynamite. Very hit and miss.


Brad is beautiful as Achilles and there is some great stuff in this movie, but ultimately there is too much exposition between husbands and wives etc. There's a great scene between Pitt and O'Toole somewhere in the middle, the rest of the film is a bit of letdown.

Fight Club
Fight Club(1999)

One of my favourites - a great film from a great book: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham-Carter are on top form

The Sixth Sense

A masterpiece - to anyone who says they saw the end coming, you're lying!

Letters from Iwo Jima

Interesting take from the Japanese point of view - great companion piece to Flags of Our Fathers

Body Heat
Body Heat(1981)

The directorial debut of one of the better 80s screenwriters, still one of my personal favourites - shits all over Basic Instinct. Kathleen Turner in her hey day and great turns from Richard Crenna, William Hurt, and a (slightly) pre-Cheers Ted Danson as a tap-dancing lawyer. Also watch out for an early cameo from Mickey Rourke.

Two Moon Junction

Sherilyn Fenn goes blond (carpet and curtains) and gets her ya-yas out. See it for those reasons or not at all. Fairly lame "erotic" movie from the producer of 9 1/2 Weeks

9 1/2 Weeks
9 1/2 Weeks(1986)

Man or woman - I defy you to see this movie and not get the horn - there is a scene in here which is identical to one in The Fly which is weird


Korea's answer to 9 1/2 weeks maybe. I'm sure there's a deep political message in there somewhere.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

B movie. I did my best to make it through this early Russ Meyer project consisting of a Playboy centrefold and a couple of other exotic buxom babes. I haven't seen any of Russ Meyer's other films yet, but this one definitely wasn't all that great. Even my mate with the breast fixation (he's here on Facebook/Flixster:) didn't make it past the first 10 minutes

Infernal Affairs III (Mou gaan dou III: Jung gik mou gaan)

To me this seemed a pretty unnecessary addition and I ended up sleeping through a ot of it.

Infernal Affairs II

Like a Chinese "Godfather". My personal favourite of the IF trilogy. All I can say if you like The Departed watch this movie!!!

Mou gaan dou (Infernal Affairs)

All I can say if you like The Departed watch this movie!!!

Initial D
Initial D(2005)

Good car action, but how weird was that girl

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Dodgy acting and even dodgier accents abound! An okay movie, but if you want to watch a drift movie watch Initial D instead

Freedom Writers

Overlook some of the major anachronisms in this movie and its quite an inspiring piece

Nae yeojachingureul sogae habnida (Windstruck)

Interesting movie - part comedy, part action movie, part romance, part zen drama. Well worth a watch, particularly if you're a fan of My Sassy Girl (for which this is NOT a prequel).

Yeopgijeogin geunyeo (My Sassy Girl)

Catch this before the inevitably crap Hollywood remake comes out - a beautiful movie.

L' Appartement (The Apartment)

Great movie with very interesting characters, showing how weak and fickle the male protagonist really is compared to the women who love him and the negative impact it has on their lives. Stay away from the Hollywood remake with the crap "happy" ending that totally misses the point of the original.

Wicker Park
Wicker Park(2004)

OK, but not a patch in the original particularly with the bullshit happy American ending. The whole beauty of the original was it showed this guy to be an indecisive idiot.

The Wicker Man

Surreal classic, particularly the soft-porn director's cut version. Why did they think they could remake this?

Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3(2007)

Really enjoyed this movie for what it was but too many new characters and to many plotholes and revisionist ideas trying to link new ideas in this film to the first one as an after-thought.


Probably the best movie of 2005 - even if you didn't see Firefly watch this. Its a work of art. Can't believe this is the same guy that made that Buffy nonsense.

Sin City
Sin City(2005)

Very stylish movie with a few of the most beautiful women in the business - haven't watched the Extended Cut yet, but really looking forward to it.


Cool movie - more style over substance though

The Cave
The Cave(2005)

As a Megalodon diver I had to see this movie, but it wasn't the best.


A very pedestrian "thriller" - the girl is cute, but not that cute.

Fantastic Four

Jessica Alba was hot, the movie was not

Into the Blue

Jessica Alba was hot, the movie was not

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

My favourite of the Bond franchise - possibly since till Daniel Craig he's the only real man to play Bond since Connery. Also the most faithful to the source novel and the only film (prior to Casino Royale) to actually develop Bond's character. Not only that the only Bond film to have a strong independent female character (other than the ubiquitous Moneypenny)

Casino Royale

Short of going period, a brilliant way to revamp the series in the present day while remaining true to much of the spirit of the original story. Possibly the best Bond movie since OHMSS.


Bond goes SCUBA diving and lots of cool toys - what more can I say!

You Only Live Twice

Bond, James Bond - the series "matures", one of my favourites

The Big Easy
The Big Easy(1987)

Simply brilliant! Been a huge DQ fan ever since

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

The only watchable Star Wars film since Return of the Jedi. If Kasdan had been on hand to polish up the dialogue may have even rivalled the originals - the dialogue between Padme and Anakin and some of the "exposition" given through General Grievous was painful to watch.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

The Ewoks mark the beginning of the end of Lucas failing to patronise kids (just look at the difference in tone between the original trilogy, some of the "upgrades" in the special edition, and Episode I and II if you don't follow me) - still a great movie though

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Possibly the best of the Holy Trilogy - anyway, you decide.

Mr. Bean's Holiday

A movie of two halfs about 3 for the first half and 5 for the second (a must if you love movies).

Blades of Glory

Not a fan of Will Ferrel but has some very funny and very painful moments

Welcome to Collinwood

Like someone else pointed out - the anti - Ocean's Eleven. A bit of fun, William H Macy is always good value. Only Isaiah Washington never says faggot, not even once! Would be interesting to see the original.


Women have come a long way since then, but a great movie and it stands the test of time well

Die Hard
Die Hard(1988)

The movie that made action movies "respectable" and still the best action movie ever made. Period!

The Illusionist

Actually I preferred The Prestige. Was more interesting there to see the tensions between two contemporaries rather than between the illusionist and the prince. But it pretty much comes down to Johansson over Biel. Anyone that didn't see the end a mile away needs to get out more - Usual Suspect will blow your mind!

The Chumscrubber

Well made movie - cute chick - what more can I say

Withnail and I

Anyone who has been a student, shared a flat, or been plain poor can appreciate this movie - awesome!

Blade Runner
Blade Runner(1982)

The Sweet Child O' Mine of film - the perfect movie. Saw the Director's Cut three days in a row when it first came out - brilliant!!!