Film Reviews by RP

Welcome to RP's film reviews page. RP has written 63 reviews and rated 1580 films.

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The Exorcist: Believer

Believe

(Edit) 02/03/2024

When the original book came out. It was a sensation. When the film came out it was a sensation. I have it on DVD and the extended version and it still works. The films that followed never quite hit home but a sequence in one, the nurse walking across the corridor followed by.....oh the chills. So naturally we should be cynical about this film. It will never be able to hold onto the coat tails of the original. After all we live in times where everybody is possessed. Every bill we receive fills us with shock and fear. Every person who is supposed to help us feels possessed by greed. The past is literally rewritten so as not to shock us with the attitudes of the past. So how can a film like this manage to survive without us just dismissing it.

The acting is brilliant and so too are some of the speeches. The introduction of a couple of old characters does feel good. But it stands and falls by the belief that those affected and in need of exorcism are genuine. Here the young actresses are just wonderful. The adults around them give a fine supporting belief. Yes we should be cynical and yes the film will never live up to the original. But is it a good scary and entertaining film? I thoroughly enjoyed it. For me the fear or everyday life scares me more. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a good horror. 

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Birdy

Birdy flying high

(Edit) 14/11/2023

While the film falls well short of the brilliant book. It is well worth rewatching what I remember was an outstanding and atmospheric film. The leads are good at what would turn out to be the beginnings of great carers for them both. Underlying the basic plot is the need to stay safe in the security of happy times while pushing out the nightmares of later experiences. 

The soundtrack by Peter Gabriel regurgitating some of his music from earlier albums also works really well. Although maybe the film feels a bit dated now. It still has an atmosphere and style that still packs a few surprises. 

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Encanto

Enchanting Encanto.

(Edit) 03/11/2023

A family that has so many talented and gifted people. A Family whose gifts and magic support the town. But there is one who has never been given a gift. She must just grin and continue her life while helping where she can. However the true meaning of the film is expectations, hope and the constant need to please instead of simply enjoying life. 

With the subtitles turned on I enjoyed the music and the characters. When a film is not aimed at the adult in me I am happy to take a back seat. But often these films mean more to the adult than to the kid. Certainly the colour  of the film is maximised and the songs are happy, catchy but with an underdone of philosophical meandering. However I was happily swept along and in the end the meaning of the film, the dynamic was well revealed. We all have a gift even if we don't know it. Just a shame so many want to make sure we never are given the time to show it because we are bringing governed by outside forces. Ah yes all life is here. Enchanting. 

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The Pope's Exorcist

Fun Romp as the Devil gets Typecast again.

(Edit) 23/10/2023

Now we need the head swivel. Check. Oh and the growly voice and the evil skin eruptions. Check. Oh and some plot of buried evil. Check. Poor old Devil looks at the script and says, here we go again. But then what is there to do but enjoy yourself and have fun. Not likely to give anybody sleepless nights but it is all done with a straight face and the heroes do their bit. The old Priest helped by the young inexperienced one. Mum and daughter, who despite living in a cold ruin insists on wearing shorts all the time. Are naturally asked to run and scream a bit. The young kid in bed asking if his agent is available.

Fun, pointless, repetitive and yet for all that worth it. Just like the old Hammer films. You end up not wanting to be too critical and just enjoy it. 

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Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Fun and light hearted adventure romp.

(Edit) 03/08/2023

It all depends on your level of expectations with this sort of film. We all know what sort of romp this will be. Adventure with a mixture of heroes, some of whom have little belief they can make it while others are heroic and wily.  We have a powerful baddie and we have some interest in seeing our heroes being successful. Do we care enough about the characters and the quest? 

In the end if you laugh at some of the set pieces. There is a scene in a graveyard that relies very much on a tried and tested routine. Which had me snorting loudly. I feel almost ashamed. Then you come away highly entertained and glad the time went so quickly. Fun, light with nice special effects. No need to tax the brain just sit back and enjoy it. Don't feel guilty about laughing at the silly bits.  

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Dirty Games

Nice parcel shame about the delivery

(Edit) 28/07/2023

The idea behind Dirty Games is that wanna be empty headed pretty people are invited onto an on line show where they have  the chance of winning lots of money by showing off and doing outrageous things. The sort of stuff sadly reality shows actually do now. Problem is they are asked to do more and more outrageous things until.........On paper this  was a good idea. It could have been an insightful look at how debased reality shows have become. Plenty of pretty people having sex, topless shots of lovely girls and the undercurrent of danger.

Except nobody has the charisma for us to care about them.  Not Sure if the film wanted to go for a very soft porn vibe  with awful porn music to announce the carry on type scenes. Or the awful acting from day one of how to suck any life out of a scene. Or the bland writing that the characters have to  deliver. But hey we have the growing undercurrent of growing dread. Except we don't. It never delivers and despite the possibility that the pretty parcel of a film will live up to its promise. It never delivers. Even the ending seems to have failed to deliver the meaningful nod of disproval. Great shame because this should have been so much better. 

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Pleasure

Not much fun making it in the Adult World.

(Edit) 27/05/2023

A young woman wants to make it in the Adult film World. Her ambition sometimes overshadows what she is comfortable doing. That really is all the plot there is. Whenever a new technology comes along for entertainment. Cine Film, Video, Laser Disc, DVDS, Computer streaming. The Adult Industry are the first responders. Yet as time has gone on it is still an industry that has an almost one man band feel to it. Agents push the best and most popular stars but there are so many waiting in the wings waiting for a call. You have to want to be successful. 

In the end we are left with an industry few talk about, few make big money out of and few remain untouched by.  'Pleasure' has some nice acting beyond the Adult Stars and is worth seeing for the final scene in the film. Bob Hoskins in the final scene of The Long Good Friday played out all the emotions  while sitting in the back of a car. This may not have been quite in that league but the final line of the film says it all. Sometimes you know when you have had enough. 

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Jurassic World: Dominion

By the numbers

(Edit) 09/03/2023

The viewer knows exactly what will happen in the film. Old faces are reunited and a wicked greedy organisation is going to destroy the World. Oh and we have dinosaurs that are either bad or cute. The plot doesn't really matter as any feeling that may have been extended into suspense is soon cut short. Oh look the heroes all meet up suddenly by accident and having introduced themselves. Off they go again.

But this is all fine. The film is comfort food. We need to sit down when the World around us is ghastly in real life and enjoy watching people running around that we know will be safe unless they are bad and deserve a horrible end.

By the numbers comfort food for the brain. Fun but leaves no after thought.  

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Westworld: Series 4

From a resort plaything to self aware bored god

(Edit) 08/03/2023

This last season of WestWorld manages to be both confusing and awkward and exciting and well realised. What happens when the lunatics take over the asylum? What happens when those that were once slaves become the enslavers. What is real and what isn't. All these questions are welcome and there are some interesting revisits to earlier set behaviours in different Worlds. How much you enjoy it very much depends in how willing you are to retread old arguments and believe in the idea that anyone or thing would not already realise the hole in the system. Whoever is running the show. 

Still it does make for an interesting counter argument on the society we actually do live in and allow to control us. With all its obvious flaws and unfair systems that allow the few with and power the wealth to govern the  rest. As a bit of entertainment the seasons of WestWorld have been diminishing as they went on. But this last season is a decent conclusion and if you don't like the series you can have endless discussions on the meaning of live and control. 

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Twilight's Last Gleaming

Still packs a punch

(Edit) 22/02/2023

I remember watching this when it was first aired on tv. Later I had a video machine and taped it. I came to this again wondering if it still packed the same punch it once had. Now the secrets that the System manipulates us with today are not the same as simply lying about Wars. However they are probably more likely to blow themselves up and us along with them through stupidity than any need to show off to another superpower. 

With a stunning cast and some fine acting the film does have that punch for me. The extras on the DVD about the making of the film are genuinely interesting for once and I learned a lot that I had known about. But the frustration and hope by the Burt Lancaster character is still the one that hurts the most. People still believe that they can force change by threatening honest people in a dishonest system.

Still love the film and glad to see it again. Glad it still brings out the emotion.  

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Our Little Sister

A film that just shines

(Edit) 01/02/2023

If you put the plot of the film down in detail. It still wouldn't take up more than a few sentences. There are no manufactured moments to make an audience react in a certain way. There is no great shock or surprise. But the acting, atmosphere and wonderful pacing make the film a classic. The relationships are true and unsentimental. Based on a Graphic Novel. A film I just couldn't  imagine being made in the West. A film that leaves you genuinely moved and happy to spend time with these people. A film that just shines. 

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Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Entertaining Marvel nonsense as good as any.

(Edit) 27/10/2022

If you are a fan of Marvel Avengers then you know what to expect. The difference is that the characters here actually have some substance to them. I actually cared about them a little more than if they were dressed up in tights and masks and had shields and magic hammers. Yes this is still pure fantasy with monsters and dragons and a baddie who is just misguided and sad but still bad. As much as I love the original arc in the Avengers films. I do lose track of what I have seen and where we are at. So with this new film franchise at least if it continues, as long as they don't overdo the number of characters. We are in for a fun rollercoaster of nonsense.

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Evil: Series 1

Evilish

(Edit) 16/08/2022

The series premise is very good. Three people with different viewpoints and varying expertise . Encounter possible pure evil or just humans with problems. That part of the series works well. As the series goes on we start to encounter the private lives and family lives and that tends to drag the plots a bit. In the last few episodes we change tack again and we are not sure if we want to be involved in various film parodies. Or is it comedy or is it just a clumsy set up for the next series. All in all a bit uneven but there is enough to enjoy in the good bits.

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Escape Room 2: Tournament of Champions

Formulaic but Fun

(Edit) 10/07/2022

If you have seen films like The Cube and you have seen the first Escape Room. Then there isn't much doubt you know what you are going to see in this follow up. It stands or falls on the characters and if they are different enough from each other for you to care what happens to them. With this in mind Escape Room Two works very well. We have two characters we know from the first film. The unoriginal nightmare scene, the introduction to the new characters and we are away. No great shocks but a few twists is enough to make you feel sorry for them as they meet their inevitable conclusion. Enjoyed the first film then this is more of the same. ,

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Relic

A Metaphor for Old Age

(Edit) 03/07/2022

Old Woman goes missing. Comes back. Behaves oddly and erratically. The old house she lives in looks remarkably well kept. Until the second half of the film when we discover there is more to the house. Or is there? Or is it just a metaphor for the confused old lady being reflected onto her child and grand child? Or is it just an attempt to draw out a few scares? As films go it would have been nice to have some idea of the layout of the house at the start. Or maybe that was the point. To make it confused and big and rambling. Like the old lady. Nicely acted, a little confusing and an ending that will puzzle many. Or will it? Or is it just a metaphor?

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