Film Reviews by HM

Welcome to HM's film reviews page. HM has written 99 reviews and rated 101 films.

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Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Slice of (criminal) life

(Edit) 24/03/2020

A true story of an alcoholic self-loathing author down on her luck. She decides to pay the bills by forging letters attributed to famous authors. It can't last of course. Along the way she meets an alcoholic gay partner in crime and the story revolves around this relationship and the crime caper.

These two live comic tragic lives, which amuses as well as appals in equal measure. A fascinating glimpse into unexpected misfit lives. Kept me gripped in the same way you watch a car crash in slow motion. Definitely a true slice of life drama, which makes you pleased to be 'normal'.

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Fisherman's Friends

Entertaining but a well trodden path

(Edit) 10/03/2020

One of those 'Ye Old England' meets the modern world. The Cornish characters reminded me of the Yorkshire Moors men in the pub during opening scenes of American Werewolf in London. Naturally old world charm disarms the city slickers from a record company who kid one of their own whilst driving around Cornwall that they would like to sign a bunch of local fishermen to make an album.

Left to his own devices muggins attempts to sign them up whilst ogling the daughter of one of them (Tuppence Middleton; yes please!).

So, romance, humour and pathos. An OK movie best consumed with a few beers/gins to lower your cliché monitor. Safe to watch with partner and probably best bet!

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Booksmart

Comic drama

(Edit) 10/03/2020

Girl buddies movie. Endearing, witty and just plain daft. Goes out of its way to entertain with some silly characters. However, it never gives the impression of leaving reality behind so that you lose empathy with the characters. One you can watch with your partner (maybe not Grannie) safely!

Two college girls feel they have missed the racy side of college life so set about a pre-graduation day spree; if only they can find the 'big' party the in-crowd are going to. During the search they discover things about themselves and other people, so gain valuable lessons on life.

Leaves you with a glow that the human race is OK really, maybe a bit gooey. Recommended as a good drama, comedy, life reaffirming movie

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Joker

Adult version

(Edit) 03/03/2020

This is my kind of 'superhero' movie. Loved Watchmen. The hero genre is tired and childish. The original Joker was born of an accident and was hitherto a petty criminal, he transformed into the psycho Joker as if by magic. Here, we see him go insane and another version of himself starts to form; much more convincing. This version is perhaps the precursor of more adult versions of the comic book characters otherwise we will be in for more reboots of the kids comic books.

How about a new set of characters conceived for the adult market. Anything to get away from Star Wars in costumes. I like this direction and hope we will see more like it. Top marks from me.

No CGI to make up for a lack of a decent script. No tag team smackdown goodies v baddies finale. An intelligent turn at the crossroads. More please.

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Brightburn

Horror show

(Edit) 01/02/2020

A grown up super hero film? Yes, nasty violence too. Unlike Watchmen it is really a horror film, the super hero part is minimal. Creepy and shocking, the main character is a boy from another planet but has serious social issues! An interesting concept: what happens if Superman is an evil dude? You find out.

Good entertainment but be warned, it is a horror movie...

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Short Cuts

Overated

(Edit) 14/01/2020

People's lives brush against each other as they pan out as a series of accidents. Intellectually interesting I suppose, but boring from the point of view of entertainment. Maybe even pretentious? Overlong to no great end frankly.

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The Endless

Atmospheric

(Edit) 04/01/2020

A bit Village of the Dammed, where people are not what they seem, that kind of thing. Two brothers return to a UFO cult village and encounter a series of odd events; is there a secret power at work or not? Time loops and Groundhog events stir things up for the hapless two. Atmospheric with a sense of menace growing by the minute, the movie does engage you and lets out its secrets one by one. Pretty scary but with no slasher nonsense a psychological thriller really.

Enjoyed it; more intelligent than many bigger budget SF movies.

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Toy Story 4

As good as the rest!

(Edit) 04/01/2020

Never mind the critics, this is an entertaining, sentimental, romantic, wonderfully crafted film, just like the previous 3. Funny, charming and high level entertainment. You are just going to enjoy this unless you don't want to and even then you may have to!

I wish Star Wars lived up to the first 3 films as this does.

Entertainment doesn't get much better frankly; more please!

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Diego Maradona

Imtimate portrait

(Edit) 31/12/2019

George Best had it tough? Nothing compared to the relentless pressure heaped on this magnificent talent. Politics, national pride (in wake of Falklands defeat), the Mafia and huge expectations and fan worship. Add to that his use of trendy recreational drugs (people more naive about their effects back then) and you have a cocktail for disaster. This man's personality shines through and it is a wonder he survived. More protection afforded players nowadays thank heavens. You are left to ponder what he would have achieved in the modern game; awesome outcomes one imagines.

A very good film about a real life hero and controversial figure. A must see even if you don't like football; it isn't really about sport in the end, but fame and the effects of the spotlight.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Avengement

Griiping and brutal

(Edit) 24/12/2019

A good Brit crime movie for a change unlike the dreadful Welcome to the Punch and the last Sweeney effort. Gritty with a dark atmosphere, the story uses few locations but ramps up the tension and the brutality. I found it compelling and watchable with fine intense performances all round. Remind me not to get involved with the underworld it isn't healthy!

Not for the fainthearted, it will satisfy lovers of intense drama and action. Much recommended as a surprise package.

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Same Kind of Different as Me

Nicey nice

(Edit) 24/12/2019

This movie should have been set at Christmas time as it has that 'big hearted' feel to it. It is an attempt to preach about racism whilst contrasting the polished middle class lifestyle of metropolitan people and under class black people. It has a 'magic' black character rather like Green Mile but who manages to re-educate an indifferent husband who learns his ignored wife secretly helps in a soup kitchen for the poor. I am sure this moral message has been done better before. Based on a real life story one does wonder how grounded in fact it really is. The whole thing looks like a collision between America's past and its awkward present. Definitely a Liberal Hollywood creation.

Renee is wonderful in the lead female part; but then I am a big fan which is why I decided to watch this movie in the first place! Guilty. If you like her performances you will not be disappointed, it does tug at the heart strings and she is particularly good at that!

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Below par

(Edit) 17/12/2019

Tarantino lost it a while back. This is self-indulgent stuff, maybe he and his mates get it? Film critics certainly did but is it worth a watch? Well yes, it has its charms, but the drawn out conversations we always get and enjoy seemed tired, just like the Hateful Eight. Maybe some of it went over my head, but aren't these movies supposed to be accessible?

The backdrop real life events are a powerful story of their own and he uses them to tell the tale as a convenience supposedly to say goodbye to a more romantic Hollywood. Frankly it was all lost on me. Entertaining but not as good as critics made it out to be.

Didn't rate Brad Pitt's performance as anything special either; also had some of the duller scenes to deal with. So, so movie.

1 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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Shazam!

Okay fun film

(Edit) 08/12/2019

Funny and a send up really. Mark Strong doing his usual baddy act; talk about typecast. Entertaining hogwash. May as well just make films like this in animation format, most of the good stuff in it is CGI anyway. The Incredibles were much better films and managed to send the subject up too. However, worth a watch, kids will enjoy it most methinks.

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The Whole Wide World

Sweet tale

(Edit) 08/12/2019

An obscure Zellweger movie based on a true story. The author of Conan the Barbarian and other macho fantasy stories finds himself in love with budding author Zellweger. The love story develops nicely as these unusual people gravitate to each other. Touching, engaging and worth a watch; especially Rene fans. Happy, sad and romantic. Why not? Liked it a lot. Rene has the charisma and femininity to attract most men's attention and doesn't fail this time either!

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Alita: Battle Angel

Video game movie

(Edit) 18/11/2019

OK entertainment. If you like Star Wars after all these years go for it. Plot? Characterizations? Forget it, this is kids stuff; bright, breezy and plays out like a shooter or punch up video game. Based on a Manga creation apparently, but actually is a re-run of a popular plot; Privileged rulers live in the sky and mere mortals live a restrained 'big Brother watches' you existence; see Logan's Run, Elysium, etc. Great CGI, switch mind off and enjoy the fun, oh and rollerball makes an appearance too.

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