Film Reviews by CJ

Welcome to CJ's film reviews page. CJ has written 22 reviews and rated 24 films.

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Cats

unnecessary partially computer generated cats

(Edit) 27/06/2020

This film initially looked quite innovative but soon turned into something less amazing than it could have been, and that's really down to the computerized cats themselves I feel. To be honest I think that you could have achieved much better results by simply dressing the cast in updated fur cat suits than trying to turn them into cats with computers. Or alternatively give all the cast animated cat faces to go with the cat bodies. As it stands the characters in the main just look odd with the semi-human heads, and the scale of them looks odd too. If they were cats in a human world, given the size of the beds, it may have been a good idea to see the scale of the computerized cats if you had even seen just one glimpse of a full size person with them.

Additionally the film itself is really one for those who appreciate the dance, as you can expect it's non-stop dancing, and can get bit tedious to the average viewer.

I still think you can't beat the original 1980s version with the cat costumes and makeup, but maybe this version may appeal to the modern youngster. To me it's a bit like comparing the original 1970s charlie and the chocolate factory and it's modern version, it may not be as slick as the remake but it's more enjoyable.

So this CATS update wasn't as great as it could have been really.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Emmanuelle in Soho

It's very tame, and nothing special.

(Edit) 12/01/2020

I was expecting a bit more of this 80's softcore British "sex" film. But as was the case with the sexual content of all such 1980s sex films this was sadly all you were likely to get.

It's really just one step up from the sex comedies like the "confessions of a..." series. A little more nudity but still nothing explicit at all. The story is nothing special either, the 1970s sex comedies are much more entertaining...

Not really even worth renting for 80s nostalgia or fashions.

Hot Gossip and the Top of the Pops dancers of the same eras were doing much more sexy things, albeit without nudity. Would have much preferred seeing a compilation DVD of their dance routines, if only one actually existed!!

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The Tyrant King: Series

Nice series

(Edit) 12/01/2020

Kind of liked this short series.

The story wasn't great, but it was nice to see London and the fashions of the late 1960s.

Mike Hodges is a very good director.

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Grange Hill: Series 5

Maybe even better than when first seen as child...!

(Edit) 18/01/2019

Okay, this nostalgia trip to Grange Hill series 5 was going to be hit or miss, but I could not pass up renting it. However, after watching the first 6 episodes I was surprised to find it time very well spent. I first saw this series as a child of the same age as these first year pupils (in the same year it was broadcast too) and the series was always fun. Seeing it again now as an adult it is still very funny to watch but I can now fully appreciate the other side to the series, that which covered the 'bad side' of being at school. These problems were actually being presented and dealt with in a more serious manner than I recall, and the adult actors handle these situations very well.

I know this was a children's teatime TV series for entertainment, but seeing it now it has also almost become like a historical fly on the wall documentary of early 80s High School. So far they have also brought up things like lack of school books and equipment, and bullying. The actors playing the pupils are great, the teachers are great, Tucker Jenkins and some of the other first series characters are still around too!

It may not be exactly as High School was in 1982 but it is very close and it will make you remember similar, and perhaps half forgotten, things that happened when you were a schoolchild of the same age. Some of which will make you cringe, but just like 'real' school the good bits hopefully make up for the cringe-worthy parts.

I hope all the remaining series make it to dvd too. What with this, and Top of The pops 1980s on BBC4, TV couldn't get more nostalgic for a child of the 1980s!

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Suffer, Little Children

Interesting amateur horror

(Edit) 09/02/2018

Okay the first thing to say is this is a very amateur attempt at a horror film simply because it was apparently made as a school project. It, is, quite a bloody one and if the picture quality was a bit better it probably would have rated higher. It's a simple tale of demonic possession at an otherwise run of the mill 1980s children's home. It is laughably amateurish in places. It cannot be compared in any way to the low budget first films of Sam Raimi or Peter Jackson. It comes across as something a group of children would have sent to 'Why Don't You!" to show what can be done with those new fangled early home video cameras. Having said that, it does have a certain charm and vision and some interesting children's 'school TV' bleak synth background music (which actually obscures the dialog in several places). In the last ten minutes of the film things do get quite unusual in an occult mini rave with strobe lights, and then Jesus appears... And yes at that point you may be sitting watching the film in opened mouthed bewilderment at what you are beholding...

The interviews on the dvd are worth watching to give an insight into the background of this film which just happened to be released during the video nasty era.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Practical Magic

Modern day witch relationships...

(Edit) 20/01/2018

It's not a comedy, it isn't a classic family film, it's not a horror, it's not fairy tale fantasy. It's not going to go down as an all time classic, but it's watchable. A simple tale of adult family relationships in the modern world complicated by the fact it's a family of witches...

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Wonderwall

Very colourful

(Edit) 17/01/2018

A very bright and colourfully filmed movie featuring some great looking swinging 60s ladies. Overall, watchable but not great... It's a bit like an overextended pink floyd style promo video with a 'story'. I was hoping for something a bit more fantastical.

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The Queen of Versailles

Interesting enough real life character documentary

(Edit) 17/01/2018

A documentary about a rich american family. Typical content, nothing dozens of other documentaries haven't done before really...

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Mrs Henderson Presents

Run of the mill period drama

(Edit) 09/12/2017

What can I say, it's a pretty ho-hum run of the mill modern made historical musical drama on how the London Windmill Theatre came into being. Was hoping it would be bit more like a Ken Russell style musical, given the risque subject matter. But no such luck... Boo...

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Naked as Nature Intended / Secrets of a Windmill Girl

Two mediocre films for the price of one...

(Edit) 09/12/2017

The main feature is 'Secrets of a Windmill Girl'. It's a 60's docu drama look into being a Windmill Girl at the London Windmill Theatre coinciding with when the theatre closed for good. Sadly looking at the content of their musical reviews in the mid 60's it really had become a bit tired compared to its prime in the 30's and 40s. Sadly it does only focus on the 60s era.

The bonus film on this dvd is 'Naked As Nature Intended'. Not an excuse for an entire film to have naked female actresses? Or just an advert to show the healthy naturist lifestyle? Well it's not overly 'adult' in content by todays standards. It's a kind of staged documentary affair of several female friends experiencing a day on the English coast minus bathing costumes. Yes, we would all love to be free of clothes but there are quite a few reasons why outdoor naturism has never become popular in England. The main one being the weather. So this remains a historical fantasy where the experience of being free of clothes in the sun can only ever be a dream. I think I would quite like to see a non-sleazy modern remake of this film, but the 60s version is a bit forgettable...

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Amazing visuals, lacklustre story

(Edit) 03/12/2017

This film has a quite amazing intro showing a peaceful alien planet and the inhabitants way of life. However as the film progressed it became very much a run of the mill affair concentrating on the two main characters weak, love relationship. Although the leads lead characters were okay, its's a great shame that rather than focusing on human characters it could have focused more on an alien story and an adventure of the like we have never ever seen (but not like Avatar please...).

So overall, this film is a bit of a disappointment because we've seen virtually all the elements here in other films. Many sci-fi console games tell a better story. Yes the visual style is stunningly bright and colourful but was lacking something emotionally engaging. It could have been much cooler and sexier. Come on, the Japanese were creating better animated stories in the 1980s than this! Why not give us 'Dirty Pair', of which this film reminded me for an instant, or 'Bubblegum Crisis'.

That said, Besson is one of the few directors that can capture alien and sci-fi imagery in a way that reminds me of the early 1980s 2000ad weekly comics I loved as a child. If only someone could make some film versions of the 2000ad stories besides Judge Dredd (or just some of the better Dredd stories). I would love to see an authentic ABC Warriors/ ro-busters movie (though not if they do a transformers style reboot).

1 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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The Horse Dancer

Pleasant enough

(Edit) 12/11/2017

A fairly plain tale of girls trying to get along at an all girl summer camp.

Unfortunately, very little actual horse dancing. Which was a bit disappointing given the apparent emphasis in the trailer and dvd cover.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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The Voyage of the Rock Aliens

If you love Pia Zadora, it's bearable

(Edit) 28/10/2017

I may have enjoyed this film more if the quality of the dvd was much better. This 4:3 version is quite poor with a dull picture, dull sound, and occasional horizontal lines. The film itself is an awful mish mash of poor comedy, dire musical songs, and plays like a series of low budget pop videos linked by a forgettable story with forgettable actors. Is it a spoof, is it just an awful attempt at a cult musical? Who knows. What I do know is it has Pia Zadora starring, and really that alone almost makes it bearable. She's not the greatest singer, or dancer, or actress, but she's got a lot of energy and she's incredibly cute and adorable. I love Pia and if the film had only consisted of Pia dancing with an occasional change into different 1980s costumes for a full 90 minutes, with no other characters at all, it would be a dream come true. I say again, she's cute, she's adorable. Pia I love you!

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Zombie Creeping Flesh

Mediocre video nasty, so bad it's almost good.

(Edit) 03/10/2017

This 1980s entry into the walking zombie genre is a bit hit and miss. Plus points are, the style and the gore. Minus points are that this movie comes across as a comedy (it isn't a comedy) rather than a tense horror. It plays like a mish mash of the 1970s Dawn of the Dead (complete with the music) and Zombie Flesh Eaters, padded out with footage from a wildlife documentary. This is a shame because if it had been edited well the good elements would be very good. This movie won't frighten you, the gore is gory but on closer inspection very poorly executed. However, if you want to have a laugh with your mates at the many unintentionally comic moments it's worth a look.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.
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