Film Reviews by HM

Welcome to HM's film reviews page. HM has written 82 reviews and rated 81 films.

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Cold Pursuit

See the original

(Edit) 16/10/2019

This is a USA version of In Order Of Disappearance a Scandinavian movie. Exactly the same but the comedy element overplayed somewhat with a few changes; Gang boss is bullied by his ex whereas in the original he knocks her out with a punch; got to have strong women in Hollywood these days. Brutal violence and comedy are strange bedfellows and the original plays it better although directed by the same guy.

An entertaining watch but if you haven't seen it don't bother and go for the original version; more authentic and blends the humour and violence better.

Remember 'The Killing' TV series? Original Danish version best, USA remake not as good but Yanks cannot be bothered with 'foreign' stuff so original with sub titles to much like hard work eh? Same equation here really. Originals are always best, after all they are what prompted a remake in the first place.

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The Vanishing

Grim and gripping

(Edit) 16/10/2019

The atmosphere of this movie reminded me of how I felt about Shutter Island, disturbed but engaged. I suspect it could be too grim for most people but when it ends, are you relieved because an unpleasant mood has gone or because you were actually drawn into it and shared the tensions of the characters?

Repulsive, but absorbing, that is the problem; a bit like watching a snake, fascinating but disturbing at the same time. Worth a risk to watch it; yes I think so. Slasher movies are not as squirm making as this is, they are standard pattern pulp. A real life horror scenario is much more disturbing; yes that is the word!

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Captain Marvel

Another super hero

(Edit) 08/10/2019

Well, origin stories are always the best ones (well usually) as there is more background stuff. This film particularly so; interesting ideas and history of the character. Then of course it is over to CGI. Good twist in the story line. All in all a decent watch. Cannot imagine the follow up being anymore than an action mash-up. Possibly the introduction of a cross-over character? Frankly I am not looking forward to it, there is not much more you can do with the super hero format for me. Then again, Star Wars still attracts big audiences no matter how bad and dumb they are. I doubt this character will have 'legs' so enjoy this origin film but don't build up your hopes for a cracker follow up.

One big problem; Nick Fury is a solemn character as a mature head of Shield but in this he is a younger and rather silly excitable person a complete personality change. Doesn't work.

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My One and Only

Captivating Renee

(Edit) 28/09/2019

Another quirky movie she stars in. She plays the hopeless female like nobody else and succeeds here wonderfully. This type of American comedy drama is the equivalent of the British Rom Com genre. Light but moving, some laugh out loud moments, it engages and delivers this semi-true story of a wronged women leaving her husband and doing a road trip with her two teenage sons. Along the way she meets various 'wrong men' as she attempts to find a husband.

Great fun and worth your while watching. Renee is as attractive and charismatic as ever.

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The Favourite

Girls on top

(Edit) 16/09/2019

Good fun, funny and dramatic. Not at all historically accurate. However, if you like Black Adder and don't take this seriously, it is a lot of fun and very entertaining. A total send up of the period and it all looks gorgeous. Women rule throughout the film in a ay they wouldn't have got away with really but it is a feminist view of now looking back for a location to hang this set of attitudes. Go on, allow yourself to enjoy it in the spirit it was made.

Hollywood make this film on its own? No chance, it would be crude and lacking in self mockery. A GB culture slice to be sure, although the writing and directing belong to a Brit an Aussie and a Greek!

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Peterloo

Balanced important drama

(Edit) 03/09/2019

It must have been tempting to have cartoon baddies in this telling of true events. Instead confusion reigns and parties with conflicting interests collide. The film is accessible for people of all ages and delivers an important slice of Britain's political history, revealing complex background stories. Essentially, the land owning class fear a power grab and revolution, French style, so when Manchester locals hold a rally to demand democratic representation, the militia and regular military are sent to break up the meeting.

The real art of this film is to tell the story from the perspective of participants leading up to the event. In this, it has succeeded admirably. Radicals, cynics, innocents and the guilty rub shoulders. This piece of history comes alive. Hard to imagine why it took so long to be told; not in London I suppose…..

Highly absorbing telling of a story that effects us all to this day.

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Peterloo

Balanced important drama

(Edit) 03/09/2019

It must have been tempting to have cartoon baddies in this telling of true events. Instead confusion reigns and parties with conflicting interests collide. The film is accessible for people of all ages and delivers an important slice of Britain's political history, revealing complex background stories. Essentially, the land owning class fear a power grab and revolution, French style, so when Manchester locals hold a rally to demand democratic representation, the militia and regular military are sent to break up the meeting.

The real art of this film is to tell the story from the perspective of participants leading up to the event. In this, it has succeeded admirably. Radicals, cynics, innocents and the guilty rub shoulders. This piece of history comes alive. Hard to imagine why it took so long to be told; not in London I suppose…..

Highly absorbing telling of a story that effects us all to this day.

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Prospect

Outer spac western

(Edit) 03/09/2019

Low budget; people in space suits in a forest. No special effects and no CGI. Rocket capsule with less sophisticated equipment than a washing machine. Reminded me of early Doctor Who. However, it did engage me with its simple action drama. Dad and daughter are prospectors searching for rare stones but collide with outlaws doing the same thing; not to mention forest locals. This story could transfer to the wild west or the frontier of any place, say, the Australian outback in 19th century, it is that kind of story. A 90 minute quick B movie really.

Enjoyed it.

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Stan and Ollie

Joy!

(Edit) 28/07/2019

I remembered part way through this movie why I Ioved Stan and Ollie so much when a kid and why I still do; I smiled in every scene they made and likewise this movie is just the same. It is an affectionate portrait of the two men in their career twilight years. The script is sensitive and respectful to the great men whilst shining a light on their conflicts and friendship. Delightful; see it!

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Annihilation

Clever Sci-Fi

(Edit) 21/07/2019

Absorbing movie. A mystery story really, with an imaginative backdrop scenario. I wish more Sci-Fi were like this; I don't need outer space cowboys as in Star Bores or magic super heroes, but some thing actually to do with science. A movie story like this has credibility to my mind. Enjoyed it. Into ray gun fights and spaceships whizzing around? This isn't for you. It is intelligent.

Fine performance by Portman too.

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Eastern Promises

Strong stuff!

(Edit) 21/07/2019

Heavy violence in London's den of multi-culture. A Russian émigré family mired in criminality find incriminating evidence in the possession of an English girl of Russian decent; a diary to be precise. Crime caper unfolds as we glimpse into the world of the Russian mafia.

Suspense, mystery and action combine to keep you gripped until a surprise ending. Worth a watch without doubt. Cronenberg likes his layers as this onion script unpeels.

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First Man

Gripping reality movie

(Edit) 06/07/2019

Having a good sound system is essential as you are popped into the cockpit of Armstrong the test pilot. Did these guys actually do this for a living? Scary.

This is a slice of real life as the anal retentive personality of the man is torturously revealed. Nerves of steel and an ambition to take it to the edge shine through, although you may miss it if you have your 'action movie' goggles on. This is real life stuff and all the more startling as the moon mission takes off making you share the environment with the astronauts. I really did feel I was right there with these guys and it was a hollowing out experience I can tell you. Much recommended; it explains a lot about what mind set it takes to live like this. No need to make stuff up, reality is sufficient.

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Widows

Much better than I thought!

(Edit) 06/07/2019

Not your usual heist movie; a tangled plot gives plenty to be interested in. The characters stand alone well and do not merely prop up the plot. Fine performances all round. Criminals' wives are pressured into getting their hands on money to stave off a gangsters' desire to get his money back stolen by their husbands. Exiting, action, plot; the lot. Deffo worth a viewing.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Good reimagining.

(Edit) 24/06/2019

Reviews ecstatic, so didn't believe it would be all that good (see reviews of Black Panther; adored by critics but the usual CGI mash-up and slated by members of the public). Actually it is well paced, imaginative, funny and action packed with purpose rather than for its own sake. Great entertainment. Enjoy (you will).

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Bohemian Rhapsody

Joy!

(Edit) 24/06/2019

Some people seem to think this should be like a 2000 page biography; it is a movie, therefore events have to be rolled together to give the flavour of key moments of somebodies life. In this respect the movie works very well. It outlines his beginnings, ability, creativity, sexuality and his sometimes strained relationship with the other band members. And there is also his ego, eccentric behaviour and his emerging sexuality with insecurities to go with it. All in all a blast of a movie condensing (by necessity) his pop group life into a very enjoyable 2 hours plus. Of course, the music helps being pretty spectacular with or without visuals. Loved it.

If you want the full bio, read the book!

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