Film Reviews by RM

Welcome to RM's film reviews page. RM has written 5 reviews and rated 94 films.

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Paddington

What a delight!

(Edit) 27/08/2021

My partner and I watched this on a whim and despite being a few decades past its intended demographic we found it to be absolutely delightful.

We were in fits throughout at the slapstick adventures and the cultural misunderstandings, while also genuinely moved at how the film tackled issues like the death of a family member and coping with new surroundings. It also dramatised the importance of slowing down our busy lives to be kind and showed how love brings life to a home.

The top-notch special effects never overwhelm the story and there are lots of little visual jokes adding to the fun (the family members hiding in arches under a set of stairs, each perfectly matched to their size for instance).

I see another reviewer found the message about welcoming diversity stuck in their craw, while forgetting that London is probably the most diverse city in the world (albeit nowhere near as colourful and pristine as portrayed).

We'll be buying a copy on DVD to enjoy again and again.

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Hereditary

Unfulfilled potential

(Edit) 21/10/2019

Is madness hereditary? What if you don't love your parents? How can excess grief and guilt warp our sense of reality? These are interesting themes, but they are not fully explored here. Because of Toni Collette's involvement, I was looking forward to seeing a new horror but ultimately it just turned into a rehash of Rosemary's Baby. It wasn't made clear to me, but Toni's character has a history of mental illness and her husband was initially her therapist (a tidbit I only gleaned from the extras). So a lost opportunity there to make us doubt her grasp on reality and to understand her husband's detachment from proceedings. Her mother never features as a character, even in flashback, so there's no concept of her motivations. There are a couple of minor shocks and intriguing scenes, but I never grasped the symbolic role of her artwork and much of the final act was overwrought and illogical.

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Antibirth

It could have been a decent Tales of the Unexpected episode...

(Edit) 24/10/2017

...except it was extended by an extra hour. Characters talk (about nothing, really), then characters drive nowhere in particular for no particular reason and talk some more, then characters light up a bong and talk a LOT more (completely content-free conversations the whole time) then in the last 5 minutes something finally happens that must have cost 90% of the film budget, which explains why during the previous 1 hour and 20 minutes we've been listening to the actors stand around and talking.

Natasha Lyonne could really have shone in the role but did nothing with it, Chloe Sevigny must really have needed the work and as for Meg Tilly, well, it must have been time to buy a new bus pass.

I watched this as an unintentional double bill with Prevenge which was far superior: funny and gory and featuring a plot where things actually happen.

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Nocturnal Animals

Stylish, sumptuous, gripping in parts...but...

(Edit) 02/10/2017

Tremendous acting here from Jake Gyllenhall, Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (you'd never guess he was born in the Home Counties). Their scenes warrant their own movie.

As it happens though, their scenes are from the pages of a novel that Amy Adams is languidly thumbing through and we are subjected to numerous scenes of her supposedly being tortured by her raw memories about its author (her first husband, also played by Jake Gyllenhall). She struggles to sleep, she stares off into the distance, she takes a bath, she rubs her temples, she walks in a daze around her stunning LA home...and herein lies the crux of the matter: it is hard to feel sympathy for someone lounging about in such fashionable clothes, dripping in jewels and being 'trapped' in a gilded cage.

The novel fizzles out though and the film's ending, although mildly surprising, fails to deliver a sucker punch. Worth a watch despite its failings.

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Moonlight

Snoozefest

(Edit) 20/09/2017

I found it impossible to warm to the non-communicative main character, a feeling compounded as time moves on and the actor playing that character changed. Peripheral characters like the fatherly drug dealer were far more interesting but given little screen time.

Also I found the straightforward chapter by chapter chronology stultifyingly dull, especially when key moments (a character's death, for instance) were only referred to in passing and not dramatised. I was expecting the narrative to flash forward and backward like The Hours or 21 Grams.

So little happens in the film, it could easily have been a half hour long. Mega meh.

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