Film Reviews by AW

Welcome to AW's film reviews page. AW has written 9 reviews and rated 65 films.

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Torn

TORN is an apt description

(Edit) 13/12/2020

Thoughtful, tearjerker insight into what might happen when a family discovers the child they lost on a beach at 4 years old is still alive and well, 11 years later - after being well cared for in the interim by the abductor and her husband.

Story is all about a mother never letting go of the hope of finding her missing child. (One could even equate it with the McCann case...what on earth might the parents do if Maddy ever was found alive? Could she really ever be returned? The whole of the life of that child is upended and the original parents expect her to return to the fold just because she's there and alive?) Hmn.

Lots of arguments abound and you can see both sides of each argument. It's a real conundrum. (Much the same I feel at times like an adopted child seeking out a birth mother - risking the almost inevitable schism of being pulled by both sides.)

Holly Aird leads the story as a tortured maternal soul, her husband is a philanderer but even his protestations have a valid point; the 15 y.o. finds the pull from both sides confusing and difficult; and especially, one sees the effect this all has on 2 younger children of the family.

What a tortured web we weave...

Slightly trite dialogue too but should be worth a watch.

3 episodes on this Disc. Not sure at this stage if it's more than 3 episodes, as I'm still watching Ep.3 - CP lets me order it again but doesn't particularly say Disc 1 or 2. Looking like only 3.

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Airplane 2: The Sequel

Great comedy takes off!

(Edit) 26/10/2020

People have reviewed this film on IMDB saying it wasn't as good as the original. Well, some may not be, but to me this wasn't one of them. I only vaguely remember seeing the 1980 original some years ago and it held up well; had loads of sight and comedy gags and was well received. This one has a slightly more skewed theme of a shuttle trip to the moon (in '82 ?? So you travel dressed in a suit, with your dog and suitcases??) but honestly I laughed myself silly as the gags just kept coming, in practically ever scene.

Frankly it merits a 2nd or 3rd viewing just to see what you might have missed!

Several clips refer back to the original and are blended in well. Julie Hagerty's breathless little girl voice was a tad annoying but Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves reprise their roles and provide a lot of sight comedy, with Wm Shatner and Chuck Connors lending lots of star power (instead of Leslie Nielsen and Robert Stack).

A lovely respite from the trying times in 2020.

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Blind Spot

So So 1950s B&W

(Edit) 20/08/2020

Can't find any info on lead actor Robert Mackenzie or Anne Sharp.

RM starts out ok with an American accent, playing a war blinded Capt. in a nice US Army base hospital but his accent changes to mashed Scottish for the rest of the film.

That just blew it for me.

He was reasonable in his role but when he mysteriously regains his sight it all went downhill and became a bit humdrum. Michael Caine appears for only seconds at the end with a passable plummy accent. Ernest Clark, Arthur Lowe (garage mechanic) and John Le Mesurier are further familiar faces.

Basic 50s B&W mystery. 68 mins long.

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Wild Bill

Guns and violence

(Edit) 17/03/2020

Right from the word Go it was wall to wall classic old Western violence: guns and more guns, wholesale street fistfights, blood, bar wrecking, broken glass and matchstick furniture, surly characters, heart of gold saloon girls, irrational hate leading to senseless violence and deaths.

Jeff Bridges was Wild Bill but despite the lanky hair and beard I kept telling myself it was Kurt Russell. Nearly switched off after 1st 5 minutes but kept it on while I did other things in the vague hope it might improve. Nope. A waste of film time. Not even sure if it was accurate to history. Probably not.

Meanwhile I read up on his internet biography which is more illuminating but based a lot on hearsay and legend.

Be it on your own head. Watch at your peril.

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Lost Sitcoms

New versions

(Edit) 20/07/2019

I didn't read the blurb and just assumed it was real episodes of old sitcoms that have been resurrected but this is actually some original scripts that were not performed at the time with the original casts. In this case, this disc, 3 episodes (Hancock's Half Hour, Steptoe and Son, Til Death Do Us Part) done by modern actors. Tony Hancock played by Kevin McNally is pretty close, both in looks and voice, old Steptoe sounds remarkably like Wilfred Brimble played by an almost unrecognisable Jeff Rawle, and Simon Day is Alf Garnett.

Robin Sebastian is a hoot as the Kenneth Williams character and John Culshaw does a creditable Sid James turn. Played in a theatre like setting with spare metal staging, all a bit odd to look at but look beyond it. The content is interesting all the same.

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The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer: Complete Collection

Averagely average

(Edit) 02/09/2018

In the first 10mins or so I thought I'd made a big mistake in ordering this as one of my selections in CinemaParadiso rentals. I hadn't really seen R&M's comedy before and like Vic from a number of more recent dramas in which, for a comedian, he turns in a good performance. Initially this show of sketches looking ridiculously infantile, with Vic and Bob prancing about like lunatics. However I persevered and in fact it got a whole lot better and more intelligent. There were some genuinely funny sketches later on and R&M don't seem to mind dressing up in the most preposterous costumes.

Evaluation: somewhere between 3-4 stars altho' I'll leave 3 stars. It's OK.

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North Sea Hijack

Note: Different title

(Edit) 21/08/2018

I didn't look closely enough at the description, just thought it was another vehicle with Roger Moore or James Mason, only to realise I've already seen this 1980 film several times as it was originally entitled "ffolkes" .

Pretty good drama however about the highjacking of a North Sea oil rig.

Anthony Perkins, Michael Parks, George Baker, David Hedison, Faith Brook, and Jeremy Clyde also star.

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Father Brown: Series 4

What's not to like?

(Edit) 18/05/2018

As several versions of the Father Brown stories have been made there is ample choice around but for my money I find this particular and latest series sweet and gentle. Good mysteries and a very deprecating performance by Mark Williams with Sorcha Cusack as his housekeeper/parish secretary, usually providing hilariously prim and proper but hopelessly biased views which the good Father swallows and manages to counter by the application of logic and fairness.

Lovely location and sets in a yellowstoned Cotswold village. A bit like Misnomer Murders, a lot of people get bumped off !

Has run to 6 series and 70 episodes so there's plenty to enjoy. Loads of well know guest stars. Frances Barber, Martin Kemp, Pennie Donnie, Selina Cadell, etc.

Theme music composed by Debbie Wiseman.

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It's a Grand Life

A Classic B&W for viewing the early 50s but little else

(Edit) 14/02/2018

Frank Randle was just before my time but I chose this on Cinema Paradiso because I was interested to see a comedian who was particularly big up to the 50s but then seemed to be virtually forgotten afterwards. There's hardly any plot to this drivel and far too much time is spent with Randle endlessly going on with an almost unintelligible delivery, not much of which was funny or even worth a chuckle. Could really have done with subtitles but with the machine-gun delivery I suppose it could never have kept up. He endures an awful lot of action and movement and slapstick discomfort but again very little is subtle or hilarious.

Diana Dors at the beginning of her career is splendid and shows how polished and committed an actress she always was, never mind the blonde bombshell association.

Apparently includes Arthur White (David Jason's older brother) but unless I misheard the character's name, Pte.Pendergast seemed to be a minute wizened looking man who looked old even then. I'm wondering if the billing is mistaken.

First time I'd seen or heard Winifred Atwell's playing although I'd heard of her and knew she was big. Almost worth seeing this film for that alone. Hard to think that even then she fought prejudice and discrimination because of her colour but she lived happily for many years accepted by the Australians. Embarrassingly the Americans failed to extend the same warm welcome as this was nearly 20 years before the American fight for Civil Rights.

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