Film Reviews by BG

Welcome to BG's film reviews page. BG has written 35 reviews and rated 256 films.

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The Lighthouse

Boredom makes men into villains.

(Edit) 23/10/2020

Although set in a lighthouse, this is a very dark film. For me, the environment represents Hell where the new recruit is condemned and judged by a devil. There are bad omens, surrealism, hallucinations, alcoholic binges, violence, confessions, murder and madness. In order to seek salvation into Heaven, symbolised by the "light", the soul is cast down, falls down the spiral stairs, and is tortured.... Perhaps for Eternity.

I can understand viewers disliking this grim tall tale, but I found it mesmerising. With it's TV aspect ratio and stark black and white white photography, this is a million miles away from glossy, vacuous Hollywood formula. The acting from the two leads is the most powerful I've seen in a long while.

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Disturbing the Peace

Don't Bother

(Edit) 06/09/2020

I won't bother writing about all the unlikely events in this silly film. At times it seems to be emulating a Western, even down to Pearce riding a horse chasing the villain on a motorcycle whilst packing a Colt. 45 and a Winchester rifle. Even the women aren't good looking. Contender for a raspberry award.

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Countdown

Not a film based on the TV quiz show

(Edit) 23/07/2020

SPOILERS.... It isn't good to download certain apps, especially those that inform you when you are going to die. A nurse does this and is told that she has three days to live. She's haunted by a figure in black, her younger sister and her new boyfriend are also in danger, a randy doctor gets her suspended when she refuses him, a jokey priest is delighted to be taking on a Demon, and a deadpan phone-salesman/hacker with a dry sense of humour also tries to help. Elizabeth Lail is good in the role: intelligent, resourceful (attempting self-sacrifice to save her sister), and she reminds me of Emily Blunt. The film started promising in a similar vein to IT FOLLOWS, and included a bit of THE DEVIL RIDES OUT inside a protecting pentagram, but eventually relies on cliché jump-scares and a "Its not really over" ending, in case of a sequel. Despite the flaws I quite enjoyed it. ??

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The Nightingale

Unflinchingly Meditation on Violence

(Edit) 11/06/2020

SPOILERS... In Tasmania, 1825, former Irish convict and now servant Claire (a superb Aisling Franciosi) is raped by British soldiers, her husband and baby murdered, so enlisting aborigine tracker, Billy, she persues them through the wilderness to seek bloody revenge. During the journey there are gradual transitions. At first Claire is demented with rage (naturally) and savagely kills one of the soldiers, but as her nightmares increase, she seems to lose a grip on reality as well as her blood-lust. Her negativity towards Billy decreases as they strike up a bond; him realising that she is justified seeking revenge, and she begins to sympathise with his plight of prejudice against his people. As further atrocities occur against the aborigines, roles are reversed, and now it is Billy who is after revenge.

An angry film from the director of THE BABADOOK, and you're going to HATE these officers, longing for their comeuppance. This powerful film has a poignant ending as Billy, gutshot, sits by the shoreline watching the sunrise as Claire sings an Irish song... like a "nightingale". This story could have easily been a Western, with Indians substituted for aborigines.

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Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw

Mick Jagger.... Never Fails

(Edit) 14/03/2020

I keep reading reviews about the Fast and Furious films, most along the lines of "Turn your brain off and enjoy it." Not a problem for me since I don't have a brain anyway. Reviews are superfluous with this franchise; you know more or less what you are going to get. The plot here seems almost relevant which concerns the fight for a deadly virus, but in this case it isn't the coronavirus. Aside from the impossible action scenes, some of the humour is a bit shaky, and the two main leads squabbling and hurling insults wore a bit thin. Nice to see Vanessa Kirby do some action stuff (check her out in a more serious film, Mr. Jones), and Idris Elba as a determined terminator. There's even a well worn message that humans are better than machines. Sure, this is silly, cartoonish, etc, etc... but I would sooner watch this than Downtown Abbey.

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The Lion King

Can You Feel the Love? Again?

(Edit) 12/03/2020

I prefer the original version, but I have to say that I was very impressed with the way they got those animals to act the way they did! It must have been a nightmare training those lions for a start. Usually you get a wildlife photographer on his own for a year, buried in a hide in the middle of nowhere in South America, and all he has to show for it is some footage of a chinchilla having a s**t.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Apollo 11

Giant Step

(Edit) 20/02/2020

After all the films and documentaries on Apollo 11, this is my favourite. I liked it because there was no voice-over narration and talking heads this time, as we have seen that all before. I also appreciated the use of 65mm film in some of the footage, and on blu ray this really pays off and looks like it was shot recently rather than 50 years ago. When played via my amplifier, the sound is tremendous; the rocket launch and the descent to the moon's surface absolutely breathtaking. I was right there in the LM with Neil and Buzz. I am still reminded of facts I didn't know or had forgotten, like the hydrogen leak that had to be quickly repaired before take-off, and the fact that the astronauts arrived four minutes ahead of schedule on the moon. The coolness and humour of the intrepid explorers comes across too. While some of the technicians at the control centre show signs of nerves, Michael Collins jokes: "Don't worry, guys... I'll tell you when I stop breathing!"

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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In Fabric

Dress To Kill

(Edit) 19/02/2020

There have been haunted houses, hotels, and cars, but this film centres around a haunted dress. Significantly a red one. As the dress passes through several people, all manner of weird and horrific things happen. You mustn't take this film too seriously, as I saw it as an inventive tongue in cheek homage to Dario Argento. I appreciated the humour, which ranges from a disastrous blind date in a Greek restaurant, an elderly gentleman getting excited over a female mannikin, some biting satire on retail nightmares, a terrifying boss who just STARES at you, two pathetic Job's worths in suits, the most boring man in the world who fixes washing machines, and his fiancé who chats about the mundane and trivia while making love. This is really something completely different.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Anna

I Work For the KGB, Baby!

(Edit) 09/02/2020

Luc Besson is back in NIKITA territory as assassin/model Anna works for Luke Evans (KGB) and Cillian Murphy (CIA), taking both to bed and killing for each. What she really wants is "out", as assassins end up getting assassinated, but it isn't going to be easy. With Moscow, Paris and Bahamas locations, this is a well made slick thriller, a bit comic-strip, not up there with LEON, but has some nice twists. While I admired blonde-haired Anna in action (Sasha Lust?), fighting and killing in her black stockings, Helen Mirren, a spectacled, grumpy, aggressive, cynical, Rosa Klebb-like KGB boss, steals the film.

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Men in Black: International

Who is the "Mole"?

(Edit) 06/02/2020

In general the film didn't do a lot for me. I wasn't keen on "Pawny" who looked like Humpty Dumpty with a hat on, and the the twin alien killers didn't appear to be that menacing, even though they were hard to destroy. Shame Emma Thompson only had two brief scenes, and criminal that Rebecca Ferguson was in such a short sequence, playing the bad girl again (Doctor Sleep), with three arms and a zebra-striped wig. Nice gag featuring Piers Morgan. I always thought he might be an alien!

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Dead Don't Die

This is All Gonna End Badly

(Edit) 29/01/2020

Probably not up there with some comedy zombie films, there are still things I liked about Jim Jarmusch's latest. Tilda Swinton as a Scottish samurai mortician, an affable Danny Glover, Steve Buscemi as a bigoted farmer, a sexy Mexican girl in hot-pants, a nerdy comic store guy everyone calls "Frodo", Iggy Pop as a zombie addicted to coffee (he was in Jarmusch's COFFEE AND CIGARETTES), Tom Waits as a hermit who comments on events, giving a final summation of our world (no expletives here), and in the middle of this mayhem, two laid-back cops, Bill Murray and Adam Driver, who deliver humour in a Buster Keaton style. In a Monty Python moment, Driver knows it will all end badly because Jim showed him the script. Yet Tilda's sudden exit from the picture was completely unexpected.

I have always enjoyed Jim Jarmusch's films, but you have to be patient with them. He's the master of the slow-burn, dead-pan comedy, and he doesn't follow rules. And as for all those zombies in the film holding mobile phones and muttering, "Wi-Fi!" and "Bluetooth!"... Hilarious. I see them in my town every day!

1 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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Suspiria

As Good As Argento?... NEIN!

(Edit) 22/01/2020

Unlike Gus Van Sant's PSYCHO, SUSPIRIA isn't so much an exact remake but a reimagining. It sticks to the premise of Suzy Banyon going to the German ballet school and discovering witches, but dispenses with Dario Argento's style and pounding score of the original. Politics creep in, fast editing in dream sequences, a dancer gets tied up in knots, and a Grand Guignol finale of blood and guts. The real horror is the film's length. Jessica Harper returns for a short scene, and while a few sequences begin to look promising, I found myself getting bored. That never happened with the 1977 version.

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The Secret Life of Pets 2

A Sequel That Doesn't Copy The Original

(Edit) 17/01/2020

The story branches out into three separate adventures taking place at the same time. Max Tiny Dog gets "coned", has to cope with a new baby boy his owner gave birth to, and goes on holiday at a farm where he meets a dog with dignity called Rooster, voiced by Harrison Ford. Snowball wants to be a Super Hero Bunny, rescuing a timid tiger cub from a cruel circus owner, resembling the dark one from Mad Magazine's 'Spy-vs-Spy' comic strip, who has a pack of wolves. Gidget learns how to be a cat to retreive Max's prized Bumble Bee squeaky ball from a hoard of other cats, owned by a deaf but cool Granny. All three adventures culminate in an exciting chase on a train, which I would have liked to see go on for a bit longer.

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Aladdin

Déjà Vu

(Edit) 11/01/2020

This has all been seen before in a different format. It really demonstrates Disney's paucity of ideas to keep on remaking their classic animated features in live action and CGI. Almost a kind of licensed plagiarism. At least Tim Burton didn't remake DUMBO exactly like the original, and added some stuff of his own as well as omitting other scenes. Not so much for ALADDIN, which has the same plot, songs and characters. No way can Will Smith's genie match Robin Williams' original interpretation. Jafar doesn't seem as evil, Aladdin a bit wet (literally in one scene), but I quite liked Princess Jasmine. If you haven't seen the original, you might enjoy it, but if you love that version.... Mmmmm.

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Big Kill

One of the Better Westerns

(Edit) 02/01/2020

Westerns are generally a marmite thing these days, and most of them go straight onto DVD relegated as B movies. Big Kill is 2 hours long, but I didn't get bored with it. The film isn't up to some of the classics, but that doesn't stop it from becoming entertaining. There is some familiarity and predictability, but I think what carries it is a good solid story and the characters. Lou Diamond Phillips is effective as a killer in a red suit, and Jason Patric is interesting as an evil Preacher dressed entirely in black. There's sympathy for the good natured accountant, Jim, and in contrast, an unhinged woman who relishes sex and violence. There's references to Silverado, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the Italian Western, with soaring trumpet themes, and close ups of faces before the shoot outs. There's also a demonstration that those early Colt pistols were not very accurate.... even at close range.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
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