Film Reviews by JF

Welcome to JF's film reviews page. JF has written 5 reviews and rated 10 films.

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Game of Thrones: Series 8

Watch in a dark room

(Edit) 03/06/2021

Episodes 1-2 preamble to zombie battle Episode 3. Unfortunately, I couldn't see much detail in episode 3. Got the general idea, though. Episode 4 preamble to battle in 5 and then 6 provided a neat ending. Maybe some fans did not like this series because they knew it was the last series and the production had already delivered so much. Perhaps also some were unhappy with a lack of justice; but that's life, and GOT. It was faster moving and less subtle than previous series. Varys and Tyrion were not quite displayed as the intelligent characters built. As if the idea that the best leaders are not those who seek power had not already been reflected upon by Varys and Tyrion; obviously, they both would be very well aware of this fact. Daenerys turning into a mad tyrant was also a bit blunt but I guess there was no time.

For me, the most disappointing aspects have been the supernatural elements. I enjoy much sci-fi and fantasy but the problem for me was that there was no pseudo logic to much of it. The Night King's zombie magic was used to create an external force everyone would (almost) unilaterally army against. Other than that, he was not relevant. It could have been done in a less crazy supernatural way. I was reminded of Jason and the Argonauts. I am guessing the detail is in the books that I haven't read, but the magic in the TV series has come across as being pretty random and spurious (I guess it supports an idea of some unpredictable omnipotent being running the show and keeps the world firmly in fantasy land rather than overlapping with our own). The never-ending dragon fire seemed to vary in strength, often shown instantly blowing away solid bricks and mortar as if straw. It just seemed like the magic was inconsistent and a bit of a cop out.

Come on, though, surely you make a movie dark when you want to hide bad set and SFX detail. Was it really so bad? It was a very self indulgant editing decision. If I like I can turn my screen brightness down. But I cannot turn it up high enough.

The televised GOT has been an outstanding epic story telling display. The grit, gore and grimness have really been special.

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Cloverfield

Blair Witch's NY holiday

(Edit) 29/04/2021

I could not physically watch these vapid characters in the first part of the film. Just way too boring. Skipped to the action. I guess the first part is to get the audience to invest with the characters; no investment I could ever make would get me to like these self absorbed morons. The film follows a group of townies who just can't cope with any situation that does not involve gossip or drinking at a bar with their buddies. The home movie maker is meant to be, I guess, so annoying that nobody minds what happens to him. Great effects but fly on the wall following a group of artificial characters with no brain cells in a crisis is just not my thing, regardless of the cuddly monster.

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A Quiet Place

Nice idea - but too far fetched

(Edit) 11/06/2020

Not going to repeat what others have put. Not sure what the creatures are but, assuming they have evolved into what they are and are not some form of radioactive Marvel mutation (could be...), such a top predator would surely have evolved echo-location. This means they generate noise and measure the reflections coming back to them. In this way, they would easily be able to 'visualise' humans standing away from larger objects. It's the same reason that bats do not get caught up in your hair. It's a bit far fetched that these creatures have not been wiped out by the military. How are we expected to believe this family survived over 400days? I mean it is possible, maybe, but it's all just a tad too far fetched without offering some explanation. And yes, the parents really should have stopped at two; at least until you have built some decent fortification or moved underground, huh?

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Arrival

True science fiction

(Edit) 05/03/2020

This was truly the first new science fiction story I have come across in a long, long time. I haven't read everything out there, but I've watched most of it and I found this to be a breath of fresh air. Year after year, most science fiction films have become dumber and dumber relying purely on effects and action. This film deserves real respect. Sure, there were unrealistic aspects but good science fiction is about setting a scene well enough not to break its own rules while stimulating the viewer's brain and I loved this film for the manner in which it did this. No good science fiction should end without questions.

(As for the review by Count Otto Black, I think you may have missed some of the ideas. I believe the 'third act' to be superb. I don't think you understand what the story is suggesting regarding time and Louise's daughter, or what the gift is that has been given to Louise. It wasn't a plot twist in the boring traditional sense. The movie was a little like an attempt to translate a circle into a line, which fits beautifully with other visuals. Also, it's rather arrogant to decide the scope and bounds of how the aliens were able to interact in our time and space. As for the suggestion that the director does not know what he was doing visually; I believe both the visuals and score were designed marvelously.)

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Lost in Space: Series 1

Humourless

(Edit) 17/01/2020

The original Lost in Space series worked because of the antics of Dr Smith, Robbie the Robot and Will. The character interactions were comical. This new series has fantastic effects abounding but with incredibly unlikely plot contrivances put on a background of nonsense science. It could get away with the nonsense science if only it did not take itself so seriously. The modernisation of the new characters is interesting, but with the typical cheap flashbacks to fill in the back story obviously, I guess, because it was felt that the plot is not strong enough for chronological portrayal. It's the cheap modern way. The 'robot' should have been given more character and communication; it's the Data character and story line that was absolutely core to the appeal of Star Trek TNG.

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