Film Reviews by Rob S

Welcome to Rob S's film reviews page. Rob S has written 30 reviews and rated 50 films.

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A Most Wanted Man

Intelligent Thriller

(Edit) 01/02/2015

Well what a pleasure to see Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of, if not his last, film appearances and boy does he own this one. He's in most of the scenes and plays the part of a the head of a German undercover security force based in Hamburg aiming to prevent terrorism post 9/11. The film, based on a John Le Carre novel, follows a detailed but, to some, slow (not boring) story with only a few action scenes, but it is worth sticking with for the finale of which I won't say more. The film is brilliantly filmed by ex photographer (I know his work from various Depeche Mode projects) Anton Corbijn who has a real eye for detail and the fantastic architecture of Hamburg. All in a good watch and recommended 8/10

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Lincoln

Rather boring

(Edit) 18/01/2015

With Steven Spielberg at the helm I had high expectations for this and usually enjoy films covering political history, but sadly I didn't get to the end of this one. It is all about the 13th amendment (abolisition of slavery) and how Lincoln toils with this versus the ongoing North / South civil war. The initial scenes are great with some gruesome battle action and Lincoln in the field speaking to frontline soldiers. After this good start we move to Washington and commence at least 90 mins of mostly men speaking in dark smokey rooms about the issues of the day. It is very dull and unengaging. It is not entertaining at all and became a chore to watch with so little going on (which is why I switched off about 100mins in). The acting is first class as as is the filmmaking itself, but the story and script are tedious. Can't recommend unfortunately.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Anonymous

Shakespearian Delight

(Edit) 29/05/2012

This film tells what is, to be honest, a very plausible view as to who the real author of Shakespeare's works was. Whether you agree with the way the film tells the story or not, to me, does not affect the enjoyment of the film. The angle of the film is that Shakespeare was a 2nd rate actor who seized an opportunity to take advantage of Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who the film portrays as the real author of the works. The film is very well acted especially by Rhys Ifans who I have not seen better in a role. The whole supporting cast is excellent and the story zips along at quite a pace. Roland Emmerich (of blockbuster disaster movie fame - think Independence Day) directs very well although there is a touch too much green screen CGI of old London (although they probably had little choice). In summary the film is an enjoyable period piece filmed with a sizeable budget with a good script and excellent performances. The only issue is whether you believe the story. It's also worth watching the disc extra regarding who wrote Shakespeare's plays as it adds some more insight into the background of the story. The Blu Ray scores 4.5 for picture quality (detailed image with no grain) and 4 for sound (strong soundtrack and some detailed use of the rear channels).

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Set Up

Avoid

(Edit) 23/04/2012

This is sold as a Bruce Willis film but he is only a bit part character. The 'star' is 50 Cent whose acting is very limited. Also stars Ryan Phillippe as the bad guy who also is not very good in this. The script and direction is the real issue as it's stale, derivative and predictable. Production values are high though (although I read that this was a straight to disc release) so it looks ok and the starting scene draws your interest, but by about half way through and having only seen about 5 mins of BW, I gave up on this and decided to watch some paint dry as it was more interesting!!

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Knocked Up

Shocker!!

(Edit) 28/09/2010

Well, this has got to be the worst film I've seen for a good few years. It's not funny, the script and story are as dull as dishwater and the whole cast, apart from Katherine who just about holds onto her professional credibility, are under the illusion that what they are doing is so clever and interesting. Sadly, it is not. It's overlong, has totally unnecessary shots of childbirth (yeah the bit no-one wants to see), no laughs and I couldn't wait for it to end (in fact I wish I hadn't). Avoid this at all costs.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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I Am Legend

Excellent entertainment

(Edit) 08/07/2008

Having not seen the other filmed interpretations of this story and not having read the book, I came to this not knowing anything more than what I had heard and read in other reviews. I was therefore expecting to be disappointed as that seems to be the general critical opinion of this piece, to such a degree that I only recently placed this in my list. I'm pleased to say that I thought this was a great movie with some excellent scenes (especially when Smith - who is excellent in this btw, follows his dog into the dark, as well as the opening sequence with the red Ford Mustang - great shots of an empty, overgrown NY City). Most people seem to have an issue with the creatures, but I must say that I thought they were OK. Certainly scary and believable - yes, they probably could have been done better, but hey, didn't spoil it fo me.

The film itself resolves itself nicely and makes sense, which is more than can be said for many movies. So all in an entertaining film and better than the critics will have you believe.

In terms of extras, it's very disappointing with only a few animated comics which relate to the story, but there is no making of etc.

The one thing that did impress me was the picture quality of this disc - really stunning and looked like HD to me, especially the opening sequence.

Overall recommended and scores a 4.5 out of 5.

2 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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The Disappearance of Alice Creed

Low budget but plenty to admire

(Edit) 13/12/2010

This is a low budget UK film. There are only 3 members of the cast and the action takes place mostly in what appears to be a flat. The basic story is that of the kidnapping of a young woman planned to perfection to extort money from her rich father. The protagonists are two ex cons who, at the start of the film, we see thoroughly preparing the location where they will keep their hostage. Everything looks meticulous. Only once they have there hostage do things start to go wrong. I can't give too much away, but there is one major flaw that you will not expect. The story and script are pretty good and keep you guessing as to what will happen. The cast are all excellent especially Gemma Arterton in what must have been a difficult role. The film moves along quite quickly and doesn't drag. All in all if you don't mind a film without big hollywood stars and you like a bit of tension and twisty plot, then I would recommend this. Film 4/5, Blu-Ray Picture 3.5/5, sound 3.5/5

4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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W.

Better than expected

(Edit) 30/07/2009

Having read some fairly mediocre reviews of W, I wasn't expecting this to be up to much, but I must say that I really enjoyed this film. It is told in both flashback to W's youth and more recent decisions around the Iraq war. The cast is superb and I thought Brolin was excellent as W. It's not a heavy film in the same way as Oliver Stone's other presidential movies (i.e. Nixon) and actually has quite a few laughs as you spot the various Bushisms. Overall it's a great insight what drove W to get where he got and ends witha rather sad press conference seen which kind of sums up W's presidency. This is recommended to those who like a bit of a political drama and even those who don't as it's more about the man than the politics.

In terms of the Blu Ray, the picture quality is a 9 out of 10 and sound 6 out of 10 (there are not a lot of action scenes).

4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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Sunshine Cleaning

Family Drama

(Edit) 07/09/2010

There are a couple of laughs in this but not enough to classify it as a comedy (although I've seen less amusing comedies!!). The subject of crime scene cleaning is an interesting one and something which I would imagine does pay well. The story revolves around two sisters (Amy Adams and Emily Blunt) who lose their jobs and venture into the CS cleaning to make some quick cash. Initially they have no clue as to what they're doing and incorrectly dispose of soiled mattresses etc. They get better with time and bond well, but then there is an incident which changes everything. It's a quirky little tale of not much substance but if you're after a light hearted family drama with a good performances and not a lot of thought required, then give this a spin.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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The Fourth Kind

Unsettling

(Edit) 07/09/2010

The 4th kind is about alien abduction and is a re-enactment of events that happened in an isolated town in Alaska in 2002. In mixes 'real' video footage with re-enacted scenes. If you buy into the concept and believe what you are seeing, then this is pretty disturbing stuff. Of course, it doesn't actually show any aliens but there are some voices and shadows and a general unsettling feel. It basically leaves you to decide, so from that aspect the ending comes up quite fast and personally left me wanting more. My wife was really spooked by this, but would recommend that you research this on the internet after you've watched it (imdb.com). The soundtrack is very well done as well as it merges the 'original' audio with the remade audio very well by splitting it between left and right side which gives a eerie feel. Recommended if you want something a bit different. There are a couple of shocks in this as well to keep you on your toes.....

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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The Last Station

Stellar Cast

(Edit) 13/09/2010

This is the story of the last months of the life of Leo Tolstoy (Plummer) and what would become of his copyrights and wealth when he dies. Wife (Helen Mirron) needs the money to support her after his death, but Chertkov (Giamatti) wants him to leave everything to the Russian people. Between the two is his assistant Valentin (McAvoy) who medaites between the parties and trys to understand what Tolstoy really wants. It's an interesting historical record of this strange man and the way he was idolised during his life. The cast are all excellent, especially Plummer, Mirren and Giamatti but the film is quite slow, and with no set pieces as such (as you would expect in this type of film) it does drag on slightly. Having said that, the film is very interesting and well made and has some quite emotional scenes, especially at the end. Recommended for fans of period dramas or anyone interested in Russian history.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Taken

Tight but predictable thriller

(Edit) 13/09/2010

Taken is an above average thriller in the similar vein to the Bourne movies and features an excellent central performance from Liam Neeson. He's ex military and when his daughter is kidnapped into a human trafficing ring in Paris, he is literally on the next flight. The film is fast paced, once it gets going at about the 30 minute mark, and contains a number of well executed stunts and fight scenes (the editing of which, in particular, is excellent). It's a little far fetched in places (Neeson survives being shot at by a machine gun), but all in is entertaining and enjoyable and has enough thrills and spills to keep the viewer interested through to the end. Note - as this is a French production, the extra's are sometimes in French with no subtitles, so you'll need to select this on your remote.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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2012

Not very good

(Edit) 07/09/2010

Great effects, especially the escape scene in the limo (albeit completely daft and unrealistic), but overall the film is dull and way too long. If you must watch something in this genre I would recommend The Day after Tomorrow which is much better.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Righteous Kill

Dull

(Edit) 07/09/2010

Sorry to say (as I love both of the stars) that this was a major let down. Formulaic and dull, predictable and by the numbers. Filled an evening, but left me wanting so much more.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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The Taking of Pelham 123

Very Average

(Edit) 07/09/2010

This film is average at best. It's well made with good acting, especially from Washington, but the whole thing is quite light weight and forgetable. Can only recommend if you can't find anything better to watch

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.
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