Film Reviews by Jezzer

Welcome to Jezzer's film reviews page. Jezzer has written 5 reviews and rated 221 films.

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The Insider

Over rated, the box office audience was right

(Edit) 30/06/2019

It is easy to see why this film underperformed at the box office as it is boring and tedious. Al Pacino's character didn't have to do anywhere near the level of painstaking investigation of Woodward and Bernstein that makes All the President's Men so compelling. The story just fell into his lap. Wigand, being a wealthy, well-educated and experienced company executive, doesn't evoke the sympathy of the poor, working class mother in Erin Brockovich.

By this time in history, it was already known that tobacco companies had covered up the harm from smoking for many years previously, so Wigand's secret really seems quite trivial in comparison. There are no victim scenes to heighten the drama and give some badly needed human interest.

Russell Crowe was too young to play Wigand, who was in his fifties at the time, so they had to artificially grey his hair which looks stupid.

This is a story with unlikeable and unrelateable people who think they are more important than they are, martyring themselves over an issue that really isn't worth the sacrifice. Its high review ratings come from virtue signalling, Social Justice Warrior types who identify with this film's sense of moral superiority. It's a shame as the screenwriter Eric Roth also wrote The Good Shepherd which is one of my personal favourites.

Give this a miss and stick with All the President's Men or Erin Brockovich instead. Or treat yourself to some fictional equivalents like The Rainmaker or A Few Good Men.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Ghost Stories

A great slice of spooky entertainment

(Edit) 13/10/2018

I watched this film the way ghost films are meant to be watched, which is alone, late at night and in the dark, and it scared me rigid. I thought I was going to have to turn it off several times. The last film to do that to me was The Orphanage.

The film's moody atmosphere must be due in part to being shot entirely on location in Yorkshire, and I recognised a local pub in one short exterior shot.

I did find the ending a bit disappointing, which is why it only gets four stars. It is based on a stage play, and the ending probably worked better on the stage.

But all in all, a great slice of spooky entertainment for ghost film lovers.

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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A Quiet Place

Very over-rated and over-hyped

(Edit) 27/08/2018

This is a reasonably tense sci-fi horror with some effective jump scares but - oh my goodness - it is full of major plotholes and inconsistencies that caused my suspension of disbelief to break at an early stage.

The main one that bugged me is: how are they generating mains voltage electricity? Also, why do they walk around outside in bare feet? And the big one: why are they having a baby in a world where they can't make any sound? Looking at bad reviews online there are plenty of other people pointing out all the others, and there is a lot of them. The questions become increasingly distracting as they mount up throughout the film and are never answered.

Despite that, this horrifically over-rated film is worth watching once.

6 out of 8 members found this review helpful.

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Strange Days

A missed opportunity

(Edit) 13/02/2018

This film has an intriguing premise and could have been a seminal cyberpunk film, but in the hands of Kathryn Bigelow it is a bland affair. She has made some good films, both before and after this, but science fiction just isn't her genre.

Fiennes is too posh and well spoken to pass for a - presumably disgraced - ex-cop who hustles illicit Virtual Reality POV clips in the LA underworld. Filming on real LA streets probably kept the budget under control, but it makes everything too clean and well lit. Everybody is too well-dressed and has an occupation that they carry out conscientiously, a style which must have been great for films like Blue Steel and Point Break, but that fails to evoke the lived-in, grimy street life of BladeRunner, or the urban menace of RoboCop.

There are some jarring contradictions. One character weaves her stretch limousine around streets that we are supposed to believe are in a state of militarised, lawless chaos, but then miraculously the next minute everybody is loving each other in one big New Year's Eve street party.

The Matrix would revisit the subject of VR so much more successfully four years later. I can't help feeling that in the hands of Ridley Scott, Paul Verhoeven or the Wachowski brothers this film could have been so much better. But it was James Cameron's idea, and he was big enough in Hollywood by then to get what he wanted, and he wanted to do a favour for his ex-wife.

I find it quite a boring film and I was easily distracted while watching it, but the subject matter is memorable enough and it has now apparently become a cult film. It is nevertheless a must-see for fans of cyberpunk science fiction.

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Nightcrawler

Not as good people say it is

(Edit) 06/05/2015

I don't think this film is as good as people say it is.

That Louis Bloom is an amoral, sociopathic character is established in the first few minutes of the film, then it is drummed into us at every opportunity so that when we eventually get to the "surprise" ending it isn't really a surprise at all, nothing he does comes as much of a surprise by then.

The message that the media is bottom feeding, degrading business that will do anything for lurid video footage is presented with all the subtlety of being smacked around the head with a cricket bat, and it is not a new theme and not a revelation. There is a character at the TV station who acts as the moral compass who gets to say one or two lines once in a while. If that character had a bigger role and was more fleshed out this would have been better.

Having said that, it is quite atmospheric, and Gyllenhaal is creepy, but not completely convincing.

Worth watching, but I don't agree that this is a classic. Stylistically, it reminds me of Drive, the 2011 film with Ryan Gosling, which I would rate more highly than this.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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