Bill Shakes's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

You've Got Mail
½

A very affable and enjoyable little romcom. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan reunite for the third (and most likely final time) after Joe Vs. The Volcano and the excellent and popular Sleepless in Seattle. They make a likeable couple who met in a chatroom and under the pseudonyms of Shopgirl and NY152 communicate via email (as this film was made in the late nineties, it's rather funny seeing their old computers connect to the internet via dial-up). However, the pair cross paths not knowing that they are in fact emailing eachother. Shopgirl (Ryan) is actually Kathleen Kelly, the owner of a small, independent bookshop on the Upper West Side of New York City. NY152 (Hanks) is the multimillionaire owner of a large chain of bookstores. As time passes, trouble ensues as Hanks discovers that his internet pal is Kelly, but she has no idea. After many ups and downs, I imagine you can guess the ending...

The real star of this film is the soundtrack, with many classic hits from Harry Nilson and the score is undeniably cute and cheerful.

This film is when Ryan was at the top of her game, Queen of the Romcom (whatever happened to her..??), with Hanks also on good form. Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless in Seattle, Julie and Julia) writes and directs this film, proving that she knows how to write a good romantic comedy.

Overall, a charming little film, which, despite being predictable makes for a perfect lazy, rainy afternoon film. Featuring supporting performances by Greg Kinnear, Heather Burns and Jean Stapleton.

The King's Speech

I'm sure anyone reading this has heard rave reviews (all justified) for Colin Firth's performance, but this films is so much more than that.

It tells the story of Albert, Duke of York, who has suffered from a stammer for years. His wife, Elizabeth (later to become the Queen Mother) tries everything to help him, including hiring an unorthodox Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue. Albert and Logue create a bond between them as he teaches Bertie (to his family) to speak without a stammer. Bertie is pushed into the limelight when his brother abdicates to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, and becomes King George VI. And so the story continues...

After hearing such great things, I couldn't wait to see this film. It has an amazing British cast (one of the best in history) including Oscar-worthy Colin Firth (Bertie), Geoffrey Rush (Logue), Helena Bonham Carter (Queen Elizabeth), Michael Gambon (King George V), Guy Pearce (King Edward, Bertie's abdicating brother), Derek Jacobi (The Archbishop of Canterbury) and Eve Best (a delightfully cold Wallis Simpson).

This film also has plenty of laughs, something I really wasn't expecting, but something I really enjoyed. It has an excellent screenplay and is well-made. I also found it really inspiring and I sympathised and liked all the characters (except those you weren't meant to, of course). As a whole, this film is pretty darn brilliant, and I urge you to go see it (and also, you don't need to be a real history buff to enjoy it).

Mulan
Mulan(1998)

Criminally underrated, a great addition to the Disney Renaissance. Well-drawn with beautiful landscapes, a simple story of a girl being different. Finally a kick-ass Disney Princess that makes her own descisions, not like some who just walk around being pretty and talking to animals.

Casablanca
Casablanca(1942)

"You must remember this..." - You most certainly will. This film is an absolute gem. A beautiful, moving love story set against a dramatic wartime backdrop. Sublime performances, especially Bogie and Bergman and a truly great screenplay that will even make you laugh (especially the scene where Rick explains how he came to be in Casablanca). A classic that will stand the test of time and ring true for generation after generation (even if I'm the only person my age who has heard of it... but I'm trying to correct that, believe me).

If you haven't seen it, find it, watch it, love it.

Beauty and the Beast

Disney at their best, one of the animated greats. A wonderful story, beautiful animation and superb songs. Seeing it again years later I was shocked by how fresh and smooth this film was, it's simply great.

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3(2010)

Pixar finishes the Toy Story trilogy on a high note. This near-perfect movie has laugh-out loud moments, as well as tender ones that will leave a lump in the throat of even the toughest cynic. A brilliant film - and amazing to watch. Pixar strikes gold again. The ending was perfect, I just hope and pray that they won't make another Toy Story film, as this (and the two before it) simply cannot be bettered.