FMC Critic's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

Raging Bull
Raging Bull(1980)
½

DeNiro completely disappears into this role. His commitment of gaining 60 pounds to play the tarnished fighter is indeed remarkable and incredible. His on-screen relationship with Pesci is brotherly which is perfect for the character relationship. Pesci's performance here as Joey LaMotta is as good as, if not better, than his abrasive portrayal of Tommy DeVito in GoodFellas. Scorsese's directing is excellent as ever and his risky ambitions of using authentic black-and-white film pays off. This film is also funny in the dialogue which helps to relieve one of the heavy two-hour epic (for the impatient.) This is not my favourite DeNiro film (I still hold Taxi Driver in higher regard) however it is my favourite biopic as it is delicately executed with finesse. - Mark Jenkins

Kung Fu Panda 2

Doesn't match the panache or hilarity that the original drew us in with. However it is still "awesome!" Why did I enjoy this movie then? Partly because Gary Oldman's voicing of Shen came across as a pleasant surprise AND the action was great! However the villain is sadly not as bad-ass as Tai Lung from the original and sadly both villains do share a familiar style of voice (posh/aristocratic.) The Furious Five use their unique abilities to enhance the action and the 3D effects are amazing. If you liked Shifu from the first KFP then you maybe disappointed as he takes a backseat for most of the sequel to allow Po's character to shine more and make way for the introduction of Croc and Ox (actually shown in the first film briefly in a cartoon sequence in Po's dream!) This is a must see for KFP fans as well as Dreamworks fans (as it is their best sequel to date.) Watch this one.(3D)- Mark Jenkins

Attack the Block
½

Alien meets KiDULTHOOD meets Dog Soldiers: an interesting combination. A good effort from first-timer actors. Frost is as funny as usual. However, the film has many clichés and horrendous scene-ending lines and the general acting was not superb (I particularly didn't like the efforts from the teenage girls...) and the dialogue is packed with unnecessary slang and sounds unrealistic. I know because I live in London and know many people like this. It should have been toned down a bit. Having said this, the film is very entertaining but you may find yourselves prioritises characters. I know who I wanted to die first.... - Mark Jenkins

Schindler's List

Brilliant and quite necessary. Spielberg's most relevant and extraordinary film. The film is authentic and is very accurate. The harrowing experience lasts three hours but it leaves an impression and edifies us of Oskar Schindler's heroics and Unterstermfuhrer Amon Goeth's devilry. Ralph Fiennes steals the show as SS Goeth and Neeson and Kingsley are magnificent too. This may hit a sensitive chord but it is a must see. Full marks for Spielburg et al. - Mark Jenkins

Awakenings
Awakenings(1990)
½

A keen psychology student- I felt I needed to watch this. A enthusiastic religious DeNiro fan- I needed to watch this. Worshipper of Robin Williams as a general person (for his comedy)... I definately needed to see this. I'm so glad I did. I've always wanted to see DeNiro play a neurotically disabled man and he broke my heart in this film (in a good way.) Watching his character suffer tore tears from my eyes and the story left me a satisfied viewer. This is based on the book "Awakenings" by Oliver Sacks and even though I have not read it, I did enjoy reading "The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat." I find Sacks and pretty much any psychiatry extremely interesting, and although you might think this is not your cup of tea, you should still go and see it. This is a beautiful and yet sad true story. - Mark Jenkins

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
½

Definately one of the best in the series... a bit on the long side though. This is probably the best performance I've seen from Radcliffe throughout the series... although I'm not particularly fond of him. There are some fun elements to the screenplay (including a duelling scene, regurgitating slugs, a pheonix, and a vain charlatan named Gilderoy Lockhart.) There is some sexual tension seen between Ginny and Harry although it is miniscule. The introcuction of Dobby is a delight, and the scripting is well done. - Mark Jenkins

My Neighbor Totoro

A beautiful and delicately sweet primarily children's film, yet something that all generations can appreciate. My Neighbour Totoro is a cute story about friendship, love and imagination. The animation is simply marvellous and awesome. Where this film fell short for me was the sudden ending, I really wanted to see more! The theme song is catchy too. Please go and see! - Mark Jenkins

Finding Neverland

This surprised me. Depp is good. Winslet is good. Hoffman is good. And Crook's small performance is good. The story of inspiration is magical and touching and of course, nostalgic. One can't but reminisce and reconcile with the classic Disney cartton as Barrie pieces together the scattered ideas. However Highmore doesn't do anything for me, mainly because every role I've seen him in is no different from the other. You should give this one a try.

Dude, Where's My Car?

When I was in my younger years, I saw a trailer for a stoner-teen comedy simply called "Dude Where's My Car." It seemed like a laugh, sadly I was deprived of it utill I was older. Once I hit the teenage years of my life I saw a side to this film that older views may not see. It appeals to teens that want a laugh over a dramatic plot, admittly the secondary characters can be wooden, yes, the plot is hard to follow, yes, it is full of clichés (which add to its comedy and charm) and yes, sexist stereotypes reign supreme; underneath these foibles lies a warm unlikely-to-occur tender movie that your teenage kids will love and cherish for the rest of their lives. Great light viewing if with some mates or a girlfriend. It is a memorable flick that paved the way for the like of Harold & Kumar, and some of these low-ended critiques are quite unfair to a film that has brought a lot of enjoyment to a younger generation. - Christian Hayward.

Dahmer
Dahmer(2002)
½

Renner's creepy portrayal of one of the most nefarious serial killers of the 20th century is extremely disturbing and realistic. There is a lot of subtext in this film and that is fitting because it is Dahmer's psyche that is the focal point of the film. Jacobson displays Dahmer sympathetically and hopes to show him in this way to the audience. He does well to avoid making a cliché slasher 'Driller Killer' style B-movie horror flick. This is not a horror, not at the heart, it is a portrait of a misguided young man... having said that there are still moments which are uneasy for weak-stomachs to watch. The acting in this film is superb by Renner, Davison, Kayaru although can be wooden at times from the peripheral actors (such as the young "ghetto" teen and police officers- unfortunateley these are subject to stereotype even though the event had really taken place in reality.) The private moments of Dahmer's life are told very clearly and shown well in context to the story and of the real life tale. One should go in seeing this with knowledge of the story so as to understand and pinpoint events in the timetable. There is limited gore which is a good thing as it is not intended to be a gorey film. There is a very metaphorical ending which is beautifully shot and open for interpretation. Renner's performance easily goes on my list of top performances. 7/10 for this surprisingly wonderful indie movie.

Mean Girls
Mean Girls(2004)

Not a bad film at all. An enjoyable teen movie, and quite frankly, an accurate representation of 'bitchiness' in todays teenage society. A fun packed film with plenty of jokes and nothing too complex to bemuse its target audience, this is light film to relax to and simply enjoy. Cady's (Lohan) balance of being intelligent and too-beautiful-for-brains is a nice, and funny dilemma for the audience to indulge in (as well as the split between her "real", original friends and the fake "plastics.") A thoroughly pleasant film, and consistently quotable. Worth a watch.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas)
½

A sensitive film without a doubt. The acting is pretty solid from most of the cast (the best peformances are from David Thewlis, Rupert Friend, and Jack Scanlon.)The irony in this film is what makes it stand out. Sadly the film is lazy- there seems to be no effort whatsoever on using accents to indicate clearly that the characters are German (this is the least one could do if not planning to use foreign language throughout.) Whilst I'm sure the book is probably a good read, I found that the ending of this piece tried so hard to be ironic that it was in effect a desperate attempt of tying up the lose ends to the film. Perhaps I am being a little too harsh however, this is probably due to the fact that I found that Butterfield's character was so naive, inane, and by the end of it plain retarded that I couldn't like the outcome. Three stars out of five.

A Bronx Tale
A Bronx Tale(1993)

A beautiful story, DeNiro surprises us again! This time from both an actor role as well as a directorial role. The 60s vibe is achieved immediately with a beautifully shot opening to the do-wap song "I Wonder Why" by Dion & the Belmonts- this opening is so perfectly executed and synced that you can't help but marvell at it. A sensitive film that is poignant when it needs to be, which offers brilliant performances from Chazz Palminteri (who originally wrote A Bronx Tale for Broadway and adapted the script for film), DeNiro (who shows a completely different approach to a father role than his Jack Byrnes character (Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, Little Fockers), and a carefully picked indie cast. Also features a cameo from Joe Pesci. A jewel of the 90s. This is not to be missed!

[Rec]
[Rec](2007)

How do I explain this? Take a cliché horror idea that has bored you senseless and now fails to create that "fear-factor." Now add a claustrophobic apartment building, spanish subtitles, a shaky camera, and a 90 minute cinematic train journey quite litrelly from Hell! Quite possibly the most horrific horror film to hit the screen; the final climax will have your heart palpitating and have you holding your breathe desperately on the edge of your seat hoping to be free from its clutches. A splendid Oscar-deserving effort from Juamé Balagueró and Paco Plaza that should not go unnoticed for any horror-flcik fan. This film is not to be taken lightly.

Slim Shady Show
½

An interesting experience- The Slim Shady Show is an obligatory watch for all Eminem fans although it may not be exactly what the felt they were looking for. It is the type of experience that you can tell would be hilarious if you were watching it under the influence of narcotics and alcohol, if you're watching it whilst sober and drug-clean it is only slightly funny and you may find yourself offering pity-laughs to the forced invective-fuelled jokes. The Slim Shady Show provides Eminem's fanbase with an official cartoon representation of the characters mentioned initially in the album "The Slim Shady LP": Ken Kaniff the lascivious homosexual, Dave the dozy dope-fiend, and Susan. Eminem's focus on his alter-egos (Eminem, Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers, and Ken Kaniff) is an informative idea and a fun one at that. The Slim Shady Show relies on abusing celebrities in a similar way to Eminem's music, but where the music suceeds this does not with a series of moribund jokes randomly targeted at a collection of random superstars (with the exclusion of Everlast who had had conflict with Eminem prior to the making of the film.) If you are a pious Eminem fan, by all means give it a watch, but if not then I wouldn't bother.