Film Reviews by AB

Welcome to AB's film reviews page. AB has written 153 reviews and rated 167 films.

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We're No Angels

A gentle farce

(Edit) 07/10/2020

nice timing, well-acted, family-set film that is a gentle farce with a nice outcome and without any over-action, swearing or shouting!

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Mary and the Witch's Flower

Typically good anime

(Edit) 07/10/2020

Well-drawn, nice storyline with shades of Harry Potter and other magic-based stories. Very un-Japanese characters but that it no way takes anything from the film. One to watch with young children

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She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

What we grew up with

(Edit) 16/09/2020

This is the epitome of what westerns were like when we were growing up - John Wayne, Indians, cavalry, battles, dust, horses being worked too hard

One of several collaborations between Wayne and John Ford (Director) in the western theme, most of which are regarded as classics, and this one is no different AND with a theme that you can't stop whistling!

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Young Adult

Awful

(Edit) 12/09/2020

I cannot believe that the critic's review (below) gave this 5 stars - obviously film critics inhabit a parallel world where unfunny, depressing, pointless films like this one rate as hilarious, uplifting and genre-defining. Avoid at all costs as not even Theron can save this from being only fit for ridicule

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15 Minutes of War

Taught thriller

(Edit) 28/08/2020

I had not heard of this scenario (albeit the film is 'based on true events') but the film is very good at relaying what the whole situation was and what could be (including the normal prevarication of politicians). You *knew* what was coming but even then the resulting firefight was so one-sided as to be embarrassing. Some humour in the film, some anti-authority in the men of the GIGN, but also some pathos when the outcome comes to an end. If even half of the detailed events are true, it is what these sort of men are trained for and it makes me feel a bit safer knowing that they are capable of helping. Acting was good, effects worth their salt. Had to look it up but I didn't know that Olga Kurylenko was fluent in French - thought that she had a fantastic linguistic teacher for the part! Recommended to watch

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Hunter Killer

Impressive, taught, frightening

(Edit) 07/08/2020

I really liked this film - OK it is in the same vein as Hunt For Red October as a submarine-based film but in this film (as in others) you realise the pressures of command that these submarine captains are under - not through leadership of men but the power that they hold in the capability of starting a conflict that will have no winners, and they are asked to play politics as well, dealing with people who drive a desk all day and call it pressure. Submarines are not as un-manoeuvrable as some will have you believe, just slow and steady when required and where everyone has to think in more than 2 dimensions. My one major gripe about the film was the unbelievably simplified scenario that the SEAL team just walked into a Russian naval base. I would recommend this film

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Annihilation

Absolute drivel

(Edit) 05/07/2020

Contrary to the film critic's view, this is not "a masterpiece" nor a "must see" - it is unadulterated drivel, with a premise of a storyline quickly disintegrating into a fairy story and psychedelic over-reliance on the viewer's observation and guesswork. As for the ending, wtf is it supposed to mean? Another of those films that only film critics rave over due to 'atmosphere' 'camera work', 'storyline' or sound-track, but especially the last of those do NOT make a film worth watching. Even the critic below does not know what is going on "What is this main event you may ask? Well, I don’t know for certain:". I do - there isn't one that is worth mentioning but it is rubbish whatever it is

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Police Academy

Very average

(Edit) 03/07/2020

Don't know why this spawned 6 sequels as it was very average with only a couple of amusing scenes with predicable outcomes in the whole storyline

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Memento

Should have looked at Wikipedia first

(Edit) 07/06/2020

Intriguing film but a bit confusing at times - trying to work out what *actually* happened, I turned to Wikipedia where it told me that there were two timelines in play - one in black and white and the other in colour (backwards and forwards). The film might have held it together for me a bit better if I had known that before watching it.

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Bhaji on the Beach

Not great

(Edit) 07/06/2020

This is just a female Indian version of the "Only Fools and Horses" Jolly Boys Outing but with a bit more social commentary, probably more akin to an Eastenders/Coronation Street episode. Most of life's foibles and troubles are here but what spoiled the film for me was the soundtrack - most of the time I couldn't make out what was being said by the characters - accents? poor diction? Poor soundtrack quality?

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Horrible Histories: The Movie: Rotten Romans

Entertaining romcom rather than history

(Edit) 01/06/2020

Wasn't a great deal of actual history in this - sure the outline facts were correct and the film was set in one particular time and setting, but the whole thing was set in Britain, so it was basically about the Romans trying to subdue the Iceni, etc. (despite a side issue to inter-"racial" love story) and nothing to do with their whole way of life, structure, army, conquests, etc The modern-day rapping, dancing and singing would help younger viewers remember some areas of the history but it still left me hankering after the Monty Python "What did the Romans do for us?" scenario

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Grown Ups 2

Only mildly amusing

(Edit) 01/06/2020

Despite the critic's review (see below) I found the opening scene the funniest of the film - not much laughter followed after that because of the paucity of jokes, scenes and situations. Very American in its humour -i.e. puerile, in a suburban setting where everyone has perfect teeth, houses, cars, jobs, money and ways of overcoming any sort of obstacle without getting into any harm

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Charade

Hitchcockian but not by the master

(Edit) 21/05/2020

Nice storyline with several twists to the plot and good acting with Audrey Hepburn looking gorgeous and Cary Grant effortlessly gliding his way through his character. A young James Coburn adds to the faces that you know. Don't know if this is defined as one of the 'classics' but if not, it almost is IMHO. Recommended

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Underwhelming

(Edit) 10/05/2020

To me most of the second half of the film was confusing - was WM's travels to find the photographer in his mind or was it real? Too arty to be a film to recommend with all sorts of morals seeming to drive the story rather than any entertainment value. Characterisations were a bit standardised and the acting wasn't very difficult - lots of trite phrasing and situations. Even the much-sought-after photograph was a bit underwhelming but was a clever denouement. Did like the scene when "Ben Stiller" was showing off "his" skateboard skills whilst his paramour wasn't even paying attention - I hope the real 'athlete' got paid well.

I usually like Ben Stiller's stuff but this is not one of them and the daydream sequences were too overboard to be acceptable - more akin to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's CGI

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The Tin Star

How to act

(Edit) 19/04/2020

Fonda gives a class in how to act cool, calm and collected - even his horse riding seems to be better than everyone else in the film. You know the story and how it will pan out but that doesn't detract from the film's overall ambience and who will get the just rewards, positive or negative.

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