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Rating History

A Summer In Genoa
2 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

I am sick and tired of these movies that go nowhere, of reading a entertaining back of a dvd case and waiting in vain till the credits role for the movie to start, Genova certainly falls into this category.
I do get what this film is meant to do to the viewer, its meant to move you and make you think about loss and moving on however I believe there is a better way to show this than Genova.
Michael Winterbottom is a excellent director famed for his realistic feel he gives to films, this skill however was wasted on Genova as it led to the viewer feeling that they were watching a live camera feed from the Italian port rather than a movie.
The pace is also so slow its almost at a standstill, I felt at one point I was watching Colin Firth on his holidays so little was happening.
Very disappointing, Genova adds even with an excellent performance by Colin Firth to the growing pile of Madeira cake being made at the moment, that is films that are alright but don't excite or leave a lasting impression.

The King's Speech
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I always go to watch films that are so greatly hyped and that contain statements on the poster such as "like all great films it simply fills you with joy" with great trepidation but in the case of The King's Speech I needn't have worried.
I agree with Mark Kermode that this movie (if one looks at the events it portrays and the story) on the face of it shouldn't work as well as it does and be a little on the boring side, akin to many roles Mr Darcy has played in the past.
However The Kings Speech is an utterly engaging film of the highest quality and I am particularly proud to say that as is a British film.
The kings speech tells the story of the unexpected ascension of King George VI to the throne against the gathering storm which was interwar Britain and his battle with his stammer.
But the film is so much more than that,it is a tale of human friendship set against duty and responsibility as well in many cases very moving.
The Speech Therapist Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush)and his place in history was previously unknown by me and through the course of the film one starts actually getting angry about this as he obviously was a remarkable man.
The main appeal and in many ways success of the movie is the on screen presence of Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth, in real life Bertie as the King was known to his family came to call Lionel a friend and there chemistry is so successful one can clearly see why.
There has been a lot of Oscar buzz around Colin Firth's almost painful portrayal of the effects of a debilitating speech condition and how it can come to rule a persons life, I personally think this is certainly justified as I was totally convinced from the outset that I was watching King George VI himself but I really hope that Geoffrey Rush's performance isn't over looked as it certainly is as good and certainly adds creditability to Colin's depiction of the king.
Moreover I think what surprised me the most is how much the story pulled me in and certainly how much I was willing the king on in fighting the stammer with out any thought about the fact my history degree tells me he did overcome it.
In fact I am not ashamed though very surprised to admit that I actually had a lump in my throat watching the kings speech (from which the film takes its name) on the outbreak of war in 1939, which as a hardened film critic who normally doesn't really get affected by films in that way is high praise indeed.
In relation to the director who really has been overlooked with all the talk of Colin Firth's performance Tom Hooper clearly is very talented and gives a pace to the regal yet emotionally charged world the king inhibited, clearly contributing greatly to the watchablity of the film as well as the fact that the time passes so quickly.
In conclusion this film is certainly a contender for Best Picture at the forthcoming Oscars and certainly will give inception a run for its money, top quality throughout it certainly is deserving of 5 stars and a great start to film 2011.

Exam
Exam (2008)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Sometimes cinema in it's simplest form, that is without sex drugs and special effects can be beautiful and as in this case produce an excellent movie.
I had a discussion with a good friend recently and she was telling me how all the good films recently have been based on books and was asking "where have all the great films gone?" Well based on this there are still some great movies made that aren't adaptions from books.
Written and Directed by Stuart Hazeldine Exam is so simple yet so clever, 8 candidates go for 1 job and all they have to do is answer one question and right the answer on a piece of paper.
Moreover all the 'action' in Exam is in one room, yes one room with no flashbacks or cheating from its premise you and the candidates have 80 minutes to work it all out.
I believe I actually enjoyed this so much because it was so watchable but had little obvious reasons for being so, it was full of unknowns really and (unusually for modern films) simply relied on a good story.
Put simply this movie needs really no introduction as any real discussion of the characters in any meaningful depth will spoil a viewers enjoyment.
In conclusion this movie has given me some faith back in modern cinema and (as it was made and funded in the UK)made me a bit proud to be British.

Son of Rambow
Son of Rambow (2007)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

I watched this film on Christmas Day but leaving this aside I believe Son of Rambo is a modern classic.
Simply Brilliant this film kept my attention throughout and actually in contrast to many other 'feel good movies' actually made me feel good after watching it.
I really liked the way the movie shown the contents of a child's mind in a interesting and engaging way for adults rather than just a nostalgic homage as in most films.
I felt that Bill Milner and to a larger extent Will Poutler certainly have a future in acting.
Will is simply unbelievable as the rogue sidekick and I felt that he played the character with great charm and skill for someone so young.
In reference to the plot though essentially the idea of a whole movie being dedicated to 2 kids making a film might seem boring, Sun of Rambo contains much more than that.
In the movie the lifestyle of a little known sect of Christianity is shown called the Plymouth brethren and I personally liked how this movie shows the effect of strong religious belief can have in a negative sense on the people (children) that have known no different.
In summary this is a 5 star film that I will be adding to my collection and if you are looking for a movie to entertain and essentially allow you to escape from the annoyances of modern life I would highly recommend.

Saw 3D
Saw 3D (2010)
6 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

Firstly before I delve into the reasons why this movie is actually the worst in the Saw franchise by far and probably the poorest 3d film I have ever seen, I would like to say that before Saw 3d I would have considered myself a total fanboy of Saw, well not anymore.
I am that strange person that has seen all the previous movies and (at the risk of sounding weird) enjoyed them as well as defending there intriguing faux morality and quality script,well I cannot defend this crap.
Firstly the technical quality of the 3d can only be described as piss poor as on many occasions I felt I was watching it in 2d and moreover the scenes specially constructed due to the 3d element were stereotypical as well as poorly executed and didn't really add to the enjoyment of the movie.
Throughout the film my thoughts and feelings really can be summed up in the old saying "been there, done that, got the t shirt" as it was a case of same old same old but actually worse than previous films.
Moreover I have read previous reviews of the film that say that Saw 3d's plot was illogical and I couldn't agree more but I would also add the words, boring, empty and a insult to my intelligence and not worth the vastly inflated ticket price.
It is clear to me that essentially Saw 3d is a "bums on seats film" that is the people behind it just want to get as many people to part with there hard earned cash as possible with no consideration of the quality of the film and the enviable bad reviews it would receive.
Fundamentally this is wrong in principle but against a background of decreasing cash to spend to provide an escape from this increasingly austere world,it makes me very angry.
In short I paid 11.50 to watch this film on Halloween and I wished I hadn't bothered.
The end to the saw franchise could have been breathtaking as well as clever but instead was the film equivalent of processed cheese, that is it was tasteless.