Film Reviews by MB

Welcome to MB's film reviews page. MB has written 8 reviews and rated 9 films.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

We Are the Best!

Delightful, amusing, moving

(Edit) 03/05/2020

Wonderful character study of three teenagers - feels like eavesdropping at times because the friendships feel so authentic and true (fun, disagreements, naughtiness, affection). Captures the hopes, frustrations, questions (God, gender, romance, etc) and energy of early teens. Covers many bases: coming of age story, flashback to the 80s, finding who you are through friendship - and, of course, a passion for music and what it means to us in our teens. I would say this is arthouse cinema that is accessible to those more at home with mainstream movies. Give it a go!

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Endless

Alternative

(Edit) 03/09/2019

Wanted to endorse the positive reviews. I had the similar idea that people who liked Coherence would like this. I rented it on the strength that it was 'sci fi', knowing little else - which I think is a good place to start sometimes. This is a quirky film that is a slow-burner at the start but becomes increasingly intriguing with surprises. The power comes from the ideas rather than the action.

There's also a hilarious DVD extra - when a cast member shot an on-set video diary.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn

Worth a go if you're ok with oddness

(Edit) 17/07/2019

If you like Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation) and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), then there's plenty in this film for you to enjoy. Both are on great form, with Clement's character not dissimilar to the one he played in the excellent Eagle vs Shark.

The story is minimal, but that's not the point. The focus is on the left-field comedy, which is seldom laugh-out-loud, but more a kind of celebration of oddness, social awkwardness and the bizarre. I think what saves the style of comedy is that we are not being asked to laugh at people because they are 'weird', rather I sense in the film a compassion for the oddness that is in all of us. In a way, every character in the film is a variation of Napolean Dynamite.

Having said all that, the story is intriguing enough and it builds to a final showcase that had me laughing my socks off - so it was all worth it.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Annihilation

I loved it - a real brain-scratcher

(Edit) 30/05/2019

I want to add some balance to these reviews because Ioved it. Admittedly, it may have helped that I had already read - and loved - the book it is based on, so I had already absorbed (and enjoyed) the various concepts this movie plays with.

Without giving any spoilers, the premise is that something from outer space has crashed into the earth and turned an area of swamp land into an unearthly/alien ecosystem - with new life forms, etc, etc. Then a bunch of scientists/soldiers go in to investigate.

What is life? This movie raises the biggest philosophical and existential questions. In the spirit of the best sci-fi, the movie is really inviting us to question into our own lives *today*. For my money, Annihilation challenges our basic, unconscious, assumptions about life and nature.

What is your view of "nature": is it inherently benevolent or evil or neither? What if our beliefs about nature are actually a projection of our own inner world: our hopes and fears. What if nature "just is" and we project onto it our personal struggles to understand ourselves. In other words, when we talk about and think about nature and our environment, we're really asking "Who and what am I?"

My point is - aside from thrills and spills, intriguing plot and sometimes beautiful visuals and sounds - what you've got here is a real brain-scratcher.

This is more than futuristic fun, this is delicious - and challenging - food for thought. I found it inspiring.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Americans: Series 3

Complex slow burner

(Edit) 17/12/2018

At first, this third season seemed to lack the drama and thrills and spills of the first two seasons. But as it develops, the story lines become increasingly loaded and complex. The characters find themselves in grey areas, being pulled in different directions by conflicting motives and aspirations. There is the usual Russian-American drama, but the real grit is in the relationship dilemmas which build and build.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

England Is Mine

Morrissey fans, don't be afraid !!

(Edit) 17/12/2018

Well done to the filmmakers for taking on what seems like the impossible task of portraying Morrissey. I've no idea how accurate this portrayal is, but it's certainly a enjoyable speculation of what for me, and other fans, is a mythic episode in rock/pop history.

There's no Smiths music, but that doesn't matter because The Smiths only form at the end of the film. Marr is well portrayed.

This is a 'mood piece' type film - lots of still shots and artistic Manchester rain. There's also a nice touch of earthy northern grit, so to speak, which, on reflection, I could be a tribute to Morrissey's fondness for the new wave British cinema of the 1960s.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Bronson

Surprised me

(Edit) 16/11/2017

I generally avoid films with violence in - but rather than feeling gratuitous, this portrait of 'Britain's most violent prisoner' is presented more as a puzzle: 'Why was he so violent? What lies beneath the violence?'

The presentation is more arthouse than, say, The Sweeney (that's the best reference I can come up with, I said I don't watch violent films) - it's quirky and stylish without being pretentious.

Tom Hardy is great - and the whole supporting cast is believable. Left me feeling intrigued and curious to know more about this guy.

Great also to hear New Order on the soundtrack.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Trip to Spain

Superb, yet again

(Edit) 16/11/2017

All three 'Trip' series are superb, in my opinion. It's rare that I find myself laughing so much. It's partly scripted and, I presume, partly or largely improvised. Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan become caricatures or versions of themselves and then proceed to jibe, banter and battle with each other - competing over which of them is the most successful and the best impressionist. It's interesting to hear them critique each other's impersonations - quite an insight into the art of it. Their Mick Jaggers are brilliantly funny.

You'll like this if you're happy to meander with them through Spain, visiting restaurants, eavesdropping on their chatter about something and nothing. But don't be deceived, this isn't just whimsy and silliness - there are profound major life themes running underneath, about love and ageing, fidelity and parenthood.

It's subtle, clever and silly comedy for grown-ups. Not only that, but it's beautifully filmed, lovely scenery, interesting to see the chefs in action, and wonderful snippets of piano music from Michael Nyman.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.