Film Reviews by AM

Welcome to AM's film reviews page. AM has written 14 reviews and rated 52 films.

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Oliver!

Oliv-yeah!

(Edit) 14/06/2020

I like this flick a lot. I was surprised at how many of the tunes I knew already as they've crossed over into popular consciousness. Oliver Reed is simply terrifying as Bill Sikes. What an actor - he should have been the most celebrated actor of his generation, if it wasn't for his well-documented personal demons.

Ron Moody's Fagin is also fantastic - and his rendition of "reviewing the situation" probably the film's highlight.

A word too for little Oliver - Mark Lester following many child-stars into obscurity but he shines in this.

A triumph. Musical Bananas!

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Titanic

Titan-sic!

(Edit) 14/06/2020

It's good this. It's not as amazing as it gets credit for, though. And that CGI (which in its day WAS simply mind-blowing), looks like something the Oliver Twins put out on an Amstrad in 1987 in comparison to modern day cinematography. But that just shows how far CGI has moved on in the past 23 years, and you can't really criticise Titanic for that. And the end scene of the sinking of the ship, is still frankly jaw-dropping in its scale and realisation.

But the story itself, and I'm sorry to say the dialogue and much of the acting, is pretty poor. Hammy the Hamster himself couldn't have hammed it up more even with some honey-cured ham in his big ol' cheeks.

But overall, the scope of the filmmaking, genius of the cinematography for its time - gives this a favourable overall review. And you get to see Kate Winslet's norks.

Iceberg bananas!!!

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Network

Inter-Network

(Edit) 08/06/2020

Hmmm, what a queer one! Starts off very strong and with some laugh out loud moments too. But tailed off a bit in the middle and I wasn't sure where it was going by the time we got to the end. It's a bit heavy-handed with the satire at times, and the whole side-plot of the "Mao Tse-Tung Hour" left me a bit cold as to the point of it, but I guess all leading in one direction. Faye Dunaway is superb in this - as is William Holden (I'd have given him the Best Actor Oscar to go along with Dunaway's, rather than Finch). But it feels as though just as it was getting up to speed it sort of petered out and lost direction.

Still - for a scathing satire on corporate America and the TV network system, go no further!

Where are these Bananas going?!!

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Ben-Hur

Ben-Hurrrrrgghh!

(Edit) 07/06/2020

Let's get this straight - the chariot race scene towards the end is one of the absolute classic sequences in all of cinema history. Worth watching just for that. And Heston brings his mighty presence to the film and gets his Oscar deservingly. But this is at least 45mins too long, and the "ooh look, it's Jesus!" finale almost ruins the film. I understand it's adaptation of a novel, and that novel had a subtitle of "A tale of the Christ" - so the Jesus story in the background in and out is kinda the whole point of the narrative (and a clear inspiration for Monty Python's Life of Brian, too!). But to be honest, it could have completely been left out and this still would have been a great story of a proud man, sold into slavery and rising again to have his revenge on the Roman who wronged him (Gladiator, anyone?).

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The Reader

The Peader

(Edit) 05/06/2020

Really good and unusual film, dealing with a very unusual premise - a former Nazi war criminal Winslet having a bit of how's your father with a schoolboy. It's remarkably romantic considering the circumstances, and Winslet gives a phenomenal performance as the poorly educated and emotionally crippled protagonist, for which she received an Oscar, rightly. Her young lover was played by David Kross - a relative newcomer at the time and should have won more accolades for. Fiennes also good although possibly underused. Bruno Ganz wonderful as Kross' Uni lecturer.

A very beautiful, poignant film - but also troubling.

Lots of flesh.

Dirty Bananas!!!

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Around the World in 80 Days

Around the World in 80 YAYS!

(Edit) 02/06/2020

I loved this so much. Perfect Sunday afternoon film, wonderful locations, some fabulous cameos from big stars of the age (Sinatra, Dietrich, Coward & Gielgud!), but the shining star being the Mexican Charlie Chaplin that is Cantinflas - playing Passepartout. Can't but smile when he's on screen, playing the merry japes. All framed by Niven as the unflappable English gentleman, Fogg.

Just a wonderful film. Very highest of Bananas!!!

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Forrest Gump

Forrest Top Trumps

(Edit) 02/06/2020

Well, it IS a bit schmaltzy. But it's difficult not to love this film as a bittersweet American classic.

Who doesn't like Tom Hanks? It does flit around a lot and seem a bit disjointed at times, but it's kaleidoscopic, breakneck journey through recent US history is also part of it's charm. A great film to sit and smile along to.

Very good Bananas!

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Platoon

Plat-ooooooooh!(n)

(Edit) 02/06/2020

This is a (Oliver)stone-cold classic - the best film ever made about the Vietnam war, and in my mind one of the best films ever made. I felt like I was there, amidst the horror and amidst the banality of war and life in-between skirmishes. War is hell.

Horrifying Bananas.

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In the Heat of the Night

In the Heat of the Alright

(Edit) 03/06/2020

This is a very good film - and an important one, made as it was during the height of race riots in US, and dealing with racial discrimination. How pertinent for today, indeed? Poitier is superb as the cool-headed black cop subjected to abuse, discrimination and physical violence as he tries to help a prejudiced small-town Mississippi police chief solve a murder. Rod Steiger won the Oscar for Best Actor for this as the aforementioned chief - and he was great too. But a travesty (and ridiculously ironic, considering the subject matter of the film!) that Poitier wasn't similarly rewarded - he's the real star of this film.

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The Sound of Music

Adieu, Adieu, to yoo & yoo & yoo!

(Edit) 26/05/2020

Obviously this is a musical classic, and one of your mum's favourite films, if your mum is anything like mine. And I bet she is, you little tinkers!

But it's not my bag tbh. I didn't mind it, and it's an exceptionally warm film, both the colours, the songs and the performances. But I found it a little dull myself. Still - been meaning to see it for years and glad I did.

IF YOU LIKE MUSICALS YOU'LL LIKE IT, BOSS! Song Bananas! :)

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

McMurphy aint no Turkey - he's a Cuckoo lad!

(Edit) 26/05/2020

Another film I don't know why I've never seen it. A cold-stone classic, must-see. But I have to be honest, I found it dragged a bit - and perhaps some of the impact of such an important film showing mental illness and outmoded treatments of it, has lost a bit of oomph as the years have passed and more films / dramas have taken this world into account.

Still - some wonderful performances in this, not the least of course Nicholson's Oscar-winning turn as McMurphy. A very young Danny DeVito was also great, and look it's Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd! Well worth seeing it, despite the fact it did seem to plod along at bits rather than truly engage - but I guess that's the point of this film, in truth.

Mentally-ill bananas!

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Amadeus

Ama-Gettin' outta here!

(Edit) 20/05/2020

Deserves no less than a 3 because of F. Murray Abraham's fantastic performance as Salieri - rightly earning an Oscar. But I found the film a bit disjointed, overlong and some of the characterisations grating - notably Mozart himself and his wife. But the sets, costume design and (of course) music were fabulous.

Middle of the road bananas, all round!

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Kiss of the Spider Woman

Hit & Miss of the Spider Woman

(Edit) 20/05/2020

What a strange little film. Certainly would recommend you view it as it's unlike anything I've seen before. William Hurt and Raul Julia are excellent bouncing off each other within their prison cell - the former giving an Oscar-winning performance well-deserved. The contrast between their squalid cell and the fantasy world of the movies Hurt is recounting back to Julia is wonderful. Film doesn't really tie together very well at the end though - was a little disappointed at how it ended - and a big negative is some of the absolutely ATROCIOUS acting from some of the supporting actors; Milton Gonçalves' screeching secret policeman being a particular lowlight.

But over all - Curious Bananas! Give it a look.

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Marty

Super-Marty

(Edit) 19/05/2020

This is a great little film. Simple story where nobody gets punched in the nose, about a simple everyday guy - and a nice guy. Very underrated little film, and Borgnine deserving Best Actor Oscar as the title character in this movie. Top Banana!

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