Film Reviews by RP

Welcome to RP's film reviews page. RP has written 50 reviews and rated 1355 films.

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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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Unhinged

Guilty Pleasure

(Edit) 19/06/2022

Here is the thing. The film title and the synopsis gives you a pretty good idea what you are going to be watching. This isn't a deep meaningful film full of subtle nuances about the meaning of existence. It is a thriller. A late night violent film to make you want the baddie not to win and then go to sleep mindful of how you treat fellow drivers the next day. With that in mind it ticks the boxes. We have a baddie who is going through an upsetting time and hates everybody because of it. We have a stressed victim who frankly does what most people do and only thinks about themselves. Then we have a chase and violence and victims and more violence. With that in mind it works very well and is enjoyable. A guilty pleasure of a film.

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The Place Promised in Our Early Days / Voices of a Distant Star

The Place Promised in Our Early Days.

(Edit) 16/05/2022

One of those films with multiple and complex ideas all surrounded by a science fiction world and wrapped up in a simple love story. But don't let the last bit put you off because even the love story is very heavy with complexity. So much so that a quick repeat showing of the film may be worth the effort. On the surface the film is simply about struggle. A World, its people and the mystery that we need answers to. Even in the World of Science nothing is what it seems. If we can dream then why can't planets dream? Complex enough for most people. A fascinating film with plenty of ideas. Or just a good yarn about identity and loneliness. Well worth checking out.

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Ace in the Hole

Based on a true incident

(Edit) 20/11/2021

One of the great films. Ace In The Hole is as relevant today as it was when it was made. The cynicism of a press to manufacture a story out of peoples trauma at their most venerable. A public happy to appear to be supportive while enjoying the carnival atmosphere of a tragedy. Like cars slowing down at an accident hoping to gawp at the twisted metal and worse. A few close relatives only happy to find a way to exploit the situation and escape their dull lives. Brilliantly acted and directed, Ace In The Hole is the type of film that would be hard to make nowadays. There is simply no redeeming features of the lead characters. Everybody is out to get what they can from a tragic situation. Kirk Douglas was rarely better in a role. There a victims and there are those out to exploit them. Nothing changes. A film that everybody should see at least once in their life.

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Torpedo: U-235

Boys own adventure

(Edit) 21/09/2021

Sunday afternoon on tv in the old days used to have a war film showing. As kids we used to happily sit down and watch the film and let the often silly plot lines pass us by for the excitement of the adventure on view. This is just such a film. Admittedly with a bit more swearing and the odd exploding head. The fact it is based on a true story just makes it even more Boys Own Adventure fare. It may not engage the adult audience that much but it has its moments.

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Six Feet Under: Series 4

Hard work

(Edit) 17/07/2021

After the highs of the first three series. This fourth season felt a bit bitty. Only the last episode had a hurried explanation for what happened at the end of the last season. Plus one other episode that felt meaningful. Otherwise it all felt a bit like filling the hole with dirt dug up from another hole nearby. Too much naval gazing without ever finding a continuity. Oddly the only season that has so far felt dated.

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Yield to the Night

Well acted Warning

(Edit) 17/07/2021

Diana Dors is often remembered by the roles she played later in life. But this film reminds us what a good actor she was. The film has a cast that makes every part, big or small, meaningful and important. The story of a good girl driven bad is not so interesting as the scenes in the prison itself. The Prison Guards waiting with the condemned criminal. Passing the time, with their own small bits of life and interests. While awaiting the all too meaningless waste. Often over looked but a film that should be among the very best of classic British cinema.

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Possessor

Assassin with an agenda

(Edit) 17/07/2021

An assassin can have their brainwaves transferred into the inner circle of those that are to be killed. The only way back is for them to die themselves. Seems simple enough. But when something goes wrong and the assassin has problems finishing the task we have a whole plethora of confused identity. There is a nice twist and the plot is well acted with plenty of well known actors playing their parts convincingly. At times we have a Hammer House Of Horror amount of blood and gore but for all that I enjoyed the film. Good twist and plenty of questions about identity and what it means. Next time I raid the chocolate and biscuits I will know it isn't really me. I have been taken over.

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Seberg

Worth saving from the burning stake.

(Edit) 05/06/2021

At times an overly simplistic version of events in a brief period in Jean Seberg's life. But well worth watching if only as a brief education to the times that are portrayed. The character portrayals are well done if a little one dimensional. The frustrated, neurotic and ultimately tragic figure comes over well enough.

There may and probably will be a better film made of the life and times of Jean Seberg. Nevertheless, I didn't think this film was quite as bad as critics at the time and since would have us believe. Especially for those who know nothing of the times or the famous people portrayed.

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Star Trek: Short Treks

Shorts worth a longer look

(Edit) 11/01/2021

Based around the Star Trek Discovery period although not exclusively. These short episodes cover everything from the birth of the Tribbles to the day Spock first arrived on The Enterprise. Mainly live action but with a few animated episodes as well. The popular Star Trek franchise is long overdue some snack size episodes to enjoy. Some work better than others but there isn't a wasted episode as such. Extras on nearly all episodes give a nice background to the making. Not necessary to be a fan as all of the episodes can stand by themselves But it helps the enjoyment if you know the background. Enjoyable addition to the World of Star Trek.

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The Blacklist: Series 7

More intrigue and double dealing.

(Edit) 05/12/2020

This season starts and finishes with more intrigue and more doubt and more double dealing than most series pack into several years. For the first time we see Raymond less secure than he has been with less trust for those around him. With the loss of a favourite character last season, this season introduces a new replacement that slips in nicely. More back story to investigate in the future no doubt.

A baddie that may not be a baddie but is too easily able to infiltrate into the lives of our hero does feel a needless plot weakness but soon the show returns to galloping ahead. The established cast and characters are now strong enough to be entertaining even with plot weakness.

The season ends with an episode that was put together despite the nightmare of the Covid pandemic stopping production. The surreal nature of the episode and the additional computer animated scenes actually work well enough. The cast and crew bookend the episode to remind us what a weird World we live in beyond the intrigue of The Blacklist.

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The Fallen Idol

Fallen Innocence.

(Edit) 22/11/2020

Ralph Richardson is perfect as the Butler to a French Diplomat. The Butler and his wife keep the embassy house going and clean and tidy The Diplomats young son with little to do but keep little creepy crawlies as friends and pets, finds a friendship with the only adult that will give him the time of day. But the wife has little time for mess or the young boys pets. She seems to have little time for her husband either.

With the Diplomat away, the house relaxes. But while the boy wants to play, the Butler has formed a relationship with a young secretary. After a shocking accident the boy is torn between what he thought he saw and his friendship with the Butler.

A satisfying film with lots of actors popping up who are well recognised from old British films. Sonia Dresdel, who plays the wife, may occasionally break into being a pantomime villain but She does it well enough and all the cast make this a perfect Sunday afternoon type watch. The sort of film British studios once did so well. Very glad to see this again and still a great film.

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The Assistant

The reality of hope.

(Edit) 09/11/2020

Your parents are proud of you. You worked hard at school. Now you have the job that you hope will lead you onto reaching your ambition. But you have to put up with a few setbacks along the way. Working long hours,trivial paper work, mind numbing monotony. But this job will lead somewhere. Then you have to clear up the bosses office. The jewelry off the floor, the odd stains on the couch. But this job will lead somewhere. Then a new young assistant, pretty and naive, an ex waitress gets an assistants job. 'The Assistant' does its best to wring any hope out of young ambition. Complain and it is you writing an apology. Every one knows what is going on and there is plenty of gossip. However it doesn't do to complain. After all you'll be safe. 'You are not his type'. The job will lead somewhere?

I understand that this film isn't to everybody's taste. Nothing major happens and the story is a familiar one. But it is well done and the frustration of The Assistant is well realised. A million miles between the hope and the reality. Just like most peoples lives.

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Pennyworth: Series 1

Worth Every Penny

(Edit) 31/10/2020

Original and well crafted prequel series. In a World where England is in the midst of Political upheaval and criminal gangs. Albert Pennyworth in torn between small time crime, marriage, a past life in the army that comes back to haunt him and outside influences in the political and royal confusion. Racing along between action and sadness all the many characters are memorable. One doesn't even need to know the backstory of what is to come in the future of Albert Pennyworth to enjoy the series. But if you are only too aware of what becomes of Albert, the series adds to the enjoyment. Cracking atmospheric series that hopefully will continue in season two to live up to this seasons promise.

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