Film Reviews by Champ

Welcome to Champ film reviews page. Champ has written 22 reviews and rated 21 films.

I can see how some people might love this...but I hated it!

This is a well made film, with great performances throughout. However, I had not the slightest interest in any of the characters, or anything they did, and came to actively dislike them all by the end of the film. I can understand that some might enjoy it, but the Daniel Day Lewis character is so appalling, and not remotely sympathetic, that I actively wanted him to die (spoiler: he doesn't; I was dissappointed).

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Multi-faceted story, brilliantly realised

I enjoyed this film a lot more than I expected (and I did expect to enjoy it, else I wouldn't have had it on my list!)

My first impression was how amazing it looked. We're all used to amazing screen realisations of SF stories, but the ship looked incredibly believable, and the first 10 minutes almost took my breath away. And then the film did what great SF usually does, and made us focus about the inner psychological state of it protagonist. This only intensified when Jennifer Lawrence joined the story.

My interest waned slightly when the third act turned into a more traditional "peril in space" story, but it did act as a believable catalyst for the reconciliation of the two main characters, and I found the final ending really touching.

And Martin Sheen play a brilliant robot barman :-)

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Funny but chilling

On the surface, this was a fairly outlandish romp, with Cruise perfectly cast as the pilot with the million dollar smile and negotiable morals.

But the laughter freezes a little when you realise that most of this actually happened! The killer moment for me was seeing Nancy Reagan on TV with her "Just say no" message, while her husband's government is actually helping import cocaine.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, and rate it nearly has highly as The Big Short, which made me feel much the same.

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You'll have a hard heart if this doesn't provoke a tear

I loved this film. While the Pooh books are a part of my childhood, I don't feel any tremendous affection for them, so it's not down to that. I think the film does a great job of capturing the stilted and frozen emotions of the English upper classes of the time, and how that was passed on down the generations by the use of nannies. Christopher Robin clearly loved his nanny "Nou" much more than his mother, who was more interested in being a socialite in London. The film captured this very well, and also how the mother's distance allowed a closeness to develop between the child and his father, that eventually led to the Winnie the Pooh books. It doesn't shy away from the exposure and impact that being the inspiration for the books had on the young boy either, and his determination to break away from that and join the army and fight in WW2. The film takes some liberties with the truth on what happens next (no plot spoilers here), but CR's rapprochemont with his father at the end of the film is incredibly moving - or it was for this viewer, anyway.

Highly recommended.

PS: if you want to see how brilliant and versatile an actress Margot Robbie is, watch her in I, Tonya (also extremely good) the night after watching her play CR's uptight mother in this film.

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Amazingly uplifting story

The synopsis of this film would put most people off - a man is paralysed from the next down after contracting polio, and then lives with it for 30 years. But in fact, the film is wonderfully uplifting and inspiring, and great illustration of the tenacity of the human spirit. Of course, the tragedy of the story is very tragic indeed, and the tears definitely flowed at some points of the film, but the was lots and lots of laughter too.

The cast is excellent throughout, but Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy deserve to be singled out for portraying what is essentially a deep and moving love story. The phrase "love conquers all" is the sort of cliche that would normally make me gag, but in this case it damn well did!

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A little predictable, but still very enjoyable

There's nothing groundbreaking or new about this film, and in many ways it is a very typical British comedy-drama. But it does have a great cast, and they are all at the top of their game, managing to turn in very good performances with a somewhat variable script. The humour was laugh-out-loud funny, and the sad parts were sad enough to elicit a tear from this viewer.

This film fits the audience demopgraphic establised by Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and if you liked that you will definitely like this. I did.

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It sticks with you

I had two distinct experiences with this film

While watching it, I can't say I enjoyed it. None of the adult characters were people I could identify or empathise with, and this just made me feel sorry for the young children who are running around and making play, oblivious to the poor environment they are in, and the choices their parents have made. But it did engage me, I wanted to see what happened, and the atmosphere of the protagonists environment, and even the heat, was palpable.

But when it finished I didn't think I'd enjoyed it.

But then it stayed with me. And stayed with me. And, a week later, I'm still thinking about it. The acting and evocation of the characters, some desparate, some trying to do their best under dificult circumstances, is superb. And the kids, especially Moonee (played by as Brooklynn Kimberly Prince), is incredible. So now I think this was a genuinely great film. But it gave me something different than I expected, or even realised at the time

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Beautiful, worthy...but a bit dull

This film looks wonderful, is beautifully acted, and covers ground that mainstream cinema is only now starting to embrace. It's received great reviews, which is why I rented it, but ultimately my reaction was "what was the fuss about". The characters were interesting, but never really grabbed me, and I found myself urging the film to get on with telling me the story.

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A film that makes you laugh, and then question your humanity

This might be the blackest of black comedies that I've ever seen - but to call it a comedy pigeon-holes it and undersells it.

I really enjoyed it, but I felt a little uncomfortable in my enjoyment. Some of the events referenced and depicted are so awful, that laughing at the way they are satirised just feels wrong! But it's a sign of the supreme skill of Armando Ianucci's writing and directing that he's managed to pull this off. I should stress that this film is much more than a satire, and I while Beria, Kruschev, Molotov and Zhukov are names I knew from history, I didn't know about Malenkov, or Stalin's son and daughter, who I then went and read about them.

In a way it's a lesson from history, about how power can utterly corrupt and destroy the things it professes to value.

Watch it - and forgive yourself when you laugh!

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Great idea, but only one idea

This film is a great antidote to the usual Hollywood shoot-em-ups, where bullets either kill you immediately or miss completely.

The setup was great, with Tarantino-esque dialog, delivered by distinct characters, and it built a sense of real tension. When the tension finally explodes, the film really delivers, and keeps you on the edge of your seat. But's just more of the same, and it started to feel like the film only had the one idea. But, having said that, it's still a good idea!

And the film should definitely get extra kudos for its use of John Denver :-)

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Not Sorkin, but still worth your time

To criticise the script as not being quite as good as Aaron Sorkin's work is perhaps unfair - little is, after all. But it tries hard, and is full of smart people with smart dialogue trying to show they're the smartest person in the room. I understand that this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it's definitely mine. If you like the West Wing, you'll like this.

It does require some commitment, however - the first 30 minutes especially require all your attention to keep up, but your focus is rewarded as the story unfolds.

Everyone has commented on how Chastain carries the film, and she does - an absolutely riveting performance.

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