Film Reviews by HM

Welcome to HM's film reviews page. HM has written 168 reviews and rated 178 films.

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A Call to Spy

True tale

(Edit) 09/09/2021

Although there are many more true stories of SOE operations, this film concentrates on the early days and specifically on an American operative and those that were in her orbit in France. The story is all the more compelling as it doesn't bull up the events to overkill. There is a compelling feeling of dread throughout without resorting or being attracted to tales of shoot outs. Fine performances all round and an air of reality.

The Germans are for once not shown as brutal dumb goons, but all the more beleivable for that. A good drama all tound and sincere.

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For the Sake of Vicious

Wow violence!!

(Edit) 09/09/2021

The story takes place in a nurse's kitchen and occasionally adjoining rooms. A man is convinced he knows identity of his child's rapist, captures him and takes him to the nurses home as she treated his daughter. Weird. Torture of alledged perpetrator begins, however, other parties get involved in a way that doesn't make sense. A mass chase round the house results in explicit carnage. I haven't seen this much cringe making violence before.

It is an exciting film but has not got its feet in the obvious reality of calling the police at some point, or neighbours hearing world war III taking place in the neighbourhood doing so. Where are the cops when you need them?

Exciting yes, but not for the squeamish.

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Fanny Lye Deliver'd

Not credible

(Edit) 01/09/2021

After the English Civil War, a puritan couple living in the countrside are invaded by a naked young couple running from the law. Charming at first, they become threatening and the mood darkens. Apparently there was a conflict at that time between the austerity of Cromwell's regime and libertarians having orgies in pubs which the young couple have indulged in. Pull the other one, the young invaders behave more like 70's punks than people of their time. I had a feeling of watching a clash of modern and ancient cultures, but the criminal behaviour of the young couple drains any credibility from their presence in the film. It ends up as a 'liberation for women' tale, liberation from men that is as the puritan life oppresses her and so does the sexual nature of our punky friends.

A mess of a film frankly with any real story buried under violence and comically bad officers of the law.

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The Owners

Formulaic

(Edit) 24/08/2021

Trapped in house with a weird old couple. Violent horror stuff. Proceeds in the way horror fans would expect. A well trodden path, so none horror fans may get more out of it not being used to the formula. Entretaining thrills and chases etc.

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Dark Waters

Brilliant

(Edit) 24/08/2021

Ruffalo and Hathaway are superb in their roles. Erin Brockovich situation; a big corporate company side steps its responsibilities for polution and harming its own employees. The story unfolds as a lawyer changes sides from working for corporations to battling one. A true story and one which confirms everyones worst suspicions about ruthless big business, perhaps other organisations (Catholic and other churches?) covering up their actions from the public and their victims. Not a life affirming story; grim and grinding. The years go by as our hero is banging at the walls of cover-up culture. Recommended for those that like real life stuff, always more intelligent and engaging than the usual holywood fare.

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Godzilla vs. Kong

Formulaic

(Edit) 11/08/2021

No surprises here. Lots of noise and cgi. Worn out plot, wooden acting essential to stay at same level as banal story. Studios churn this stuff out regularly. OK now and then but anyone wanting intelligence with their entertainment is going to struggle these days. This stuff best watched on big screen or good home cinema, I suppose this keeps money rolling in now that Netflix etc have got the market and churn out average dramas but cannot provide sound quality.

Cartoons and cgi are the sad future of the industry, but if you keep paying for this stuff they will just keep making it.

Help, I need good movies!

Kong gets knocked out, he revives in nick of time etc. Little kid uses sign language and Kong gets it. Pardon me, is a little girl the only one with sign skills? Give me a break.

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Sator

Rubblish

(Edit) 11/08/2021

A minimum budget can be just fine with a good idea, an excellent script, quality direction and nailed it acting. Unfortunately this movie has none of these ingredients. Don't waste you life watching this hogwash. Boring, none-sensical codswallop. Go for a walk instead.

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Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Not up to scratch

(Edit) 06/07/2021

Despite eminating from the esteemed studio of Chibli this is a rather unsubtle contribution to their otherwise high standard of excellence in both story telling and execution. Constant over the top action sequences bash the viewer over the head, noisey and rude it lacks the charm of their usual produce. Too much for me I am afraid and overlong at 2 hours!

A crude baddies and goodies plot leave little room for character development that the studio is so admired for. The end result is low level buffoonery which feels like being in an amusement arcade. A dissapointment frankly.

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Hereditary

Tingles but formulaic

(Edit) 06/07/2021

This did make the hairs on my body stand up now and again. However, the innocents drawn into witchy goings on is standard horror stuff by now. The ending is pretty much what you would expect except a bit silly, corpses don't behave with any discipline at all when headless!

A big problem is its length, it drags on somewhat, despite this, the plot doesn't really develop very convincingly. To be fair I am not a horror fan so it was so, so, entertainment but may be 'we have seen it all before' for true horror fans.

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Valhalla Rising

ugh?

(Edit) 27/05/2021

No budget, no plot, no sense. What was the point? Graphic violence with no purpose. A pagan accompanies a group of Christian warriors to the Holy Land for no particular reason (he cannot talk) and they proceed to fall out or fall victim to natives (they improbably end up in Americas - a bit of a journey) so pagans triumph in the end, but so what? Avoid a boring 90 minutes and don't bother.

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Defendor

Good fun

(Edit) 27/05/2021

A naive individual takes up arms against crime trying to eradicate the person at the centre of evil. Deluded up to his eyeballs he forms a relationship with a druggy girl who knows where crime is at. Brave but not entirely competent, we follow his struggles with the police and criminals. Harrelson plays the part with the comic timing we have seen in Zombieland and the movie rests on him to give it allure. Seen 'Super'? The same mix of deluded hero, violence and humour is going on here. It works as a thriller and as a comic drama, very entertaining; you will be watching with interest. A little gem really.

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Saint Maud

Mental health exploitation

(Edit) 20/05/2021

Eternal Beauty was about a girl suffering Schizophrenia but the film lacked a storyline of any interest and seemed pointless. This film is more engaging, but is Schizophrenia a fit subject for exploitation? Not for me. The film doesn't shine any light on the condition, just uses it as a means of telling a horror story of a girl's descent into self deluded madness. Voices in her head convince her of her need to please 'God'. Schizophrenia is an illness deserving better treatment than this. It puts a sufferer into a horror genre for shocks rather than exploration. A shallow motive for a film really, so 'exploitation' is the way I read it. However, if you like sadistic films about medical conditions, go ahead!

Having said all that it has momentum and is well constructed. Up to you if you want to risk this unpleasent treatment of the subject

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Archenemy

Intriguing idea

(Edit) 20/05/2021

A look at what happens when a supethero form another planet/dimension turens up powerless on Earth. however, the battle from his home turns up here. Is he a superhero or a deluded drunk? We find out of course in an engaging conflict between alien forces in volving befuddled humans. Not a blockbuster, but a good idea played out at Dr Who level theatrics and budget.

Entertaining and worth a view. I got fed up with superhero blockbusters covering the same old territory so this, Brightburn and similar explorations of the genre woke me up to a more interesting slant on a tired genre.

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On Body and Soul

Dull

(Edit) 05/05/2021

An unlikely romance blossoms between an ugly disabled man and a much younger woman who is pretty but has a mental health condition. Lingering shock moments in the slaughterhouse where they work seem irrelevant and a bit East Europeon (Hungarian film so to be expected) which distract from the story line of these two people sharing the same dream. Interesting idea. Interesting film? No, very dull and at times boring. Could have been a 1960/70s Russian film e.g. little attempt made to capture an audience just eat your cabbage and behave citizens!

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Eternal Beauty

Dull

(Edit) 24/04/2021

My heart sank when I saw National Lottery funded and that the Welsh film industry (?) was involved. A TV drama slot would have been better for this really, not much life in it or movie craftmanship. A repetative 'she's bonkers' theme carries on with little development of it. Repetative and dull, it drags on. A movie has to be entertaining and this certainly isn't. The subject may be serious but so would a movie about gardening at my place.

The irish subsidised industry does a little better and let's not discuss the Australian attempts at film making. I turned this dross off after 40 minutes, I was in a state of depression having started Friday night off so badly!

Risk boredom if you dare.....

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