Film Reviews by RS

Welcome to RS's film reviews page. RS has written 14 reviews and rated 127 films.

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Hacksaw Ridge

Overrated!

(Edit) 21/06/2017

Desmond Doss must have been a remarkable man, but this is not a remarkable movie. The first half of the film is largely taken up with Doss's childhood, youth and a rather sentimental love story. This is followed by basic training in the U.S. army that seems like an abbreviated version of the first half of Full Metal Jacket. Mel Gibson is well known as a very conservative Catholic and treats Doss's conscientious objection with respect.

The second half of the film is mostly bloody war scenes which Gibson seems to relish filming. If you like dismemberment, disembowelment, spurting blood, and incineration by flamethrower, then this is definitely the movie for you. It is as though Gibson watched the action scenes in every war movie you have ever seen, and then tried to top them all. The action sequences in films like Full Metal Jacket and saving Private Ryan feel realistic (whether they actually are or not), but the sequences in this film felt way over-the-top.

Hacksaw Ridge has very high user ratings so clearly many people disagree with me.

5 out of 7 members found this review helpful.

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Jackie

Makes you wish someone would shoot you in the head.

(Edit) 31/05/2017

This movie is a very impressionistic portrait of Jackie Kennedy between the Dallas assassination and Kennedy's funeral, told in flashback whilst Jackie Kennedy talks to a writer. I was looking forward to the film due to the great reviews, but found it very slow and lacking any real plot. Although impressively shot, it suffers from very intrusive music, with sweeping strings semaphoring what you are supposed to feel. Natalie Portman's performance was very good, but although the film is only 95 minutes long, it felt much longer, and by the half-way point I was beginning to wish that someone would shoot me in the head.

2 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

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Christine

A study of a woman slowly going to pieces

(Edit) 03/03/2017

*** SPOILERS ***

Christine is the true story of a TV journalist at a small Florida TV station in 1974, whose career and mental state slowly disintegrates, resulting in her on-air suicide. Rebecca Hall's performance as Christine Chubbock is totally compelling, and the period detail of broadcasting techology, clothes, interior decor etc. is convincing. If the film has flaws, it is that the subject matter makes it increasingly difficult to watch (especially as you know how it will end), and that at almost two hours it is probably twenty minutes too long. This is definitely not a fun movie, but if you like serious dramatic films you will be impressed.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Rams

This is a comedy?

(Edit) 09/01/2017

"Twelve Years A Slave" had more laughs than this. The film is slow and bleak, and has little dialogue. It is interesting as an insight into rural Iceland, but as with many independent films, it seems to run out of plot before the end. At least you can surf the web whilst watching it and not miss anything!

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Meddler

I can't believe this film is only 99 minutes long.

(Edit) 17/11/2016

It seems more like three hours. If you like movies about the inconsequential lives of neurotic, self-involved, middle class Californians then you'll love this, otherwise you'll have more fun watching paint dry.

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Heaven's Gate

Not worth seeing for curiosity value - it's still a turkey

(Edit) 11/07/2016

I don't mind slow paced films, but Heaven's Gate is a glacially slow, self-indulgent, director's folly. The impressive cinematography and production design cannot make up for the dull acting, mediocre characters and weak plot. This film was critically panned on release and bombed at the box office for a very good reason. This is three hours and twenty-seven minutes of your life that you will never get back.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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A Bigger Splash

Ralph Fiennes gives a superb performance as a really annoying character

(Edit) 03/07/2016

Unfortunately he is so annoying that I had to give up on this film after an hour and a quarter. Tilda Swinton plays a rock star who has lost her voice, so she doesn't say much. Matthias Schoenaerts plays her drippy filmmaker boyfriend, and Dakota Johnson plays a really annoying American. Fiennes is Swinton's former lover and descends uninvited with his daughter (Johnson) on Swinton and Schoenaerts Italian island hideaway. He then proceeds to annoy the hell out of everyone with his manic exuberance whilst seemingly trying to win Swinton back.

Maybe the final thirty minutes were a lot more interesting but as the characters were unsympathetic, the plot very slow, and Fiennes such a pain in the derriere, I will never know. I think that this is the sort of film which critics like a lot more than the public.

3 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

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Phoenix

Disappointingly slow and implausible.

(Edit) 04/06/2016

I don't understand why this film is so highly rated by critics. It tells the story of a holocaust survivor who, after receiving plastic surgery for a face wound, returns to Berlin after the end of WW2 to find that it was her husband had secretly divorced her (was that possible?) and then betrayed her to the Nazis. The husband assumes that his wife is dead (for no obvious reason), and doesn't recognise her despite her minimally altered face, her voice, gait, and handwriting. The wife doesn't tell him her true identity (again for no obvious reason) and he plots to use her to seize his wife's inheritance. I won't spoil the ending, but I assure you that it is not worth waiting for.

The pacing is very slow and the plot rather implausible. I suggest you watch something more interesting, like paint drying.

1 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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A Most Violent Year

Good but slow

(Edit) 12/05/2016

This film is well acted (especially Oscar Isaac) and atmospherically filmed, but the pace is quite slow, so you may find yourself looking at your watch before it ends.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Inherent Vice

Incomprehensible and Inaudible

(Edit) 12/05/2016

I stopped watching this film after about forty minutes because the plot was hard to follow, and (more importantly) I could not understand the mumbled dialogue. I fail to understand what the voiceover describing what the viewer could already see on the screen was meant to contribute to the experience. Paul Thomas Anderson used to make good movies, but now he makes self-indulgent tosh. There are far better movies to occupy your time.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Whiplash

Yawn

(Edit) 02/05/2016

Unlike other reviewers I think that you really need to like jazz drumming to like this movie. The film follows an obsessive music teacher bullying a student drummer for the first hour and fifteen minutes, and despite the good acting, all that drumming really got on my nerves. The last twenty minutes of the film is more dramatic but even then the climax of the film is a jazz concert. I wish I had given this movie a miss.

0 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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Straight Outta Compton

This film may be great, but I just couldn't understand the dialogue.

(Edit) 03/05/2016

Two hours and forty seven minutes of African American street slang. It looked good, but I'm afraid I just gave up because I couldn't understand it.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Brooklyn

Overrated

(Edit) 27/04/2016

Brooklyn is beautifully acted and filmed, but has ponderous pacing, and is just a bit dull. The plot follows an Irish girl emigrating to the USA and making a life for herself in New York. To describe the plot further would spoil the movie, because there really isn't very much more plot to describe. I can see why this film would resonate with an Irish or Irish-American audience since it deals with Irish emigrant experience, but others may find themselves dozing off.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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45 Years

Superbly acted but utterly boring.

(Edit) 11/03/2016

This is a film in which almost nothing happens. It reminded me of the film "Lost in Translation", in which Bill Murray's character doesn't quite manage to have an affair with Scarlett Johansson's character, but was even more dull. I was waiting for the film to end with a massive bust-up between the main characters, but it just petered out. I must be a Philistine because critics seem to rate these kind of films very highly. As the most exciting visual moment is when a motor cruiser on the Norfolk Broads slowly passes the camera, the whole thing could have been performed as a radio play.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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