Film Reviews by HM

Welcome to HM's film reviews page. HM has written 94 reviews and rated 94 films.

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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.

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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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A Vigilante

Decent thriller

(Edit) 06/11/2019

Abused woman supports other abused women by punishing their bad boy partners. A kind of sex abuse 'Punisher' concept. The violence is played down but obvious so the impact isn't slash and blood, however, the atmosphere is violent. She has a go at a woman child abuser too presumably to slide the character out of the man hating category.

What she really needs to do is revenge herself against her own abuser; cue show down and chase situation. This movie could have broken new ground but ends up following a few old paths. Closer to Death Wish than a psychological analysis.

I found it entertaining and engaging so worth a watch, I have been bored and let down by better known casts and directors believe me.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Green Book

Entertaining

(Edit) 22/10/2019

Best picture? Err no not really. Entertaining; certainly. Heart warming; definitely. A bit Walt Disney version of 1962 race issues; maybe, but a decent drama for all that and anyway, we know about segregation etc so don't need a complete resume.

Performances convincing, pace of story telling very good. As for the motives for telling this story? Well the black race lobby has done a good job making sure they are in every movie made nowadays, but minorities are just that so let's not overdo it! This story however, stands up on its own and is definitely worth telling, you are with this odd couple all the way and hoping it turns out well, surmounting the difficulties of the time.

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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.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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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!

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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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.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
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