Film Reviews by DB

Welcome to DB's film reviews page. DB has written 27 reviews and rated 72 films.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Midway

3rd time unlucky

(Edit) 13/03/2020

There have been several attempts to tell this story fom "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (1970) ,then "Midway" (1976) to this one . They all have been a case of diminishing returns if you ask me. This one does at least try to rescue the contribution of the pilots and give them at least as much weight in the story as the navy , but that's about as positive as I can be about it. Otherwise this is war in pastel colours and soft focus as only the most average CGI can give you ( thats not to say it isn't good but such is our standards with CGI these days this does feel a little off ).

In truth I still think we are waiting for this story to be told well , but I'm not sure it ever will be - Midway was a huge battle and most of the ships were never in sight of each other ( despite what this movie suggests ) and the respective fleet commanders were left to make nuanced decisions from incomplete and inaccurate information. In truth the battle really turned , against the overall balance on the day, from a lucky piece of timing for the Americans (10 minutes or so ) in a battle that lasted all day. I'm not sure that's a story cinema can tell well , you might be better off trying to find a good book about it .

If historical accuracy is irrelevant to you and you are just out for an adventure movie this might suit but it's not really more than that.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Head Hunter

Set you expectations .

(Edit) 30/01/2020

The barriers a film has to hurdle these days just to get made let alone distributed in theatres or on DVD are high, far higher than they used to be. As a result, we have kind of lost touch, I think, with low budget releases and as a result we tend to assume all movies should stand comparison with the big budget epics that come along.

This is a low budget movie that has to fill in the CGI gaps with either dark shadows or off-screen action. So, set your expectations accordingly and give the movie a chance. What you will then watch is a rather slow fantasy flic but with some real imaginative flair on display; with a bigger budget behind him this director might well end up being someone to watch.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Orville: Series 1

Wanted to like it , but ...

(Edit) 29/01/2020

I'm a a big fan of Star Trek (in all its guises ) and I'm also sympathetic to the kind of fan-fiction that a series like that can engender so I came to this with more than an open mind , I really wanted to like it. The simple fact is that it is just is not that funny. So sorry but it has to be a thumbs down from me .

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

QT8: The First Eight

More of a love in than a review

(Edit) 26/01/2020

One of the extras on the DVD for 'Ronin' is an interview with the director John Frankenheimer in which he talks very straightforwardly about how he , as a director, puts a movie together and why he makes the choices he does i.e. why did he choose this lens , why that soundtrack , why are the people in the scene situated as they are , how to convince an audience of the passage of a significant amount of time using just a few seconds of screen time. I mention this because I was really hoping for something of the same from QT in this retrospective of his work, imagine my surprise and disappointment then that he does not even appear in it! What we have instead are a revolving group of actors and associates offering some anecdotes, reminiscences, toasts to the great man. It's interesting for a while but honestly not for the length of the whole film. The only person in the entire movie whose actions are critiqued and whose motives are speculated upon is Harvey Weinstein. Now given that all of QT's movies , that fall within the scope of this documentary, are produced by HW ( and others ) it’s perfectly fair that the people involved should have some insights on the man but I can't help feeling that they should have been collected and presented as an extra on the Blu-Ray instead rather than included here and given how quickly ( although belatedly ) QT has tried to distance himself from being associated with Weinstein I'm sure he would have appreciated it too.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Anna

Bonkers

(Edit) 15/01/2020

Sasha Luss is undoubtedly a very beautiful woman , and this is important as it makes it easy to keep watching what is otherwise a completely preposterous and bonkers movie.

An actress who looks like she would have to work up a level of anger to find the strength to break a breadstick is somehow able to massacre (no other word is appropriate) a horde of opponents and not just not once but time and time again. It is perhaps just as well the story has a fragmented timeline as otherwise the holes in the over complicated script would be all the more obvious .

Watch it, have fun, but don’t whatever you do expect anything anything other than a live action cartoon.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Game of Thrones: Series 8

Enoyed it more than I expected

(Edit) 09/01/2020

Having heard all the fanboi feedback on the final series I had pretty low expectations of this one.So consider me surprised but I enjoyed it. Maybe it helped that I binge watched it so some of the momentum of the mid-series episodes was still being carried forward into the conclusion , I don't know. Maybe people took against it because the series makers decided against the more predictable fairytale and consequently denied the fans what they they craved for. Although I can't, for the life of me , undersand how anyone who has been following the series should be surprised by a storyline with abrupt changes in the story arc of major characters.

Anyhow , whatever the issues you might have read about , give this series a chance ; there were a lot of story threads together and it did a pretty good job of it

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Lot of fun

(Edit) Updated 23/11/2019

OK , lets be honest . Even before you put this on you can pretty much guess the plot. Yes there are monsters , yes they fight , humans look on in awe and wonder and fear.

Nobody comes to a godzilla movie without a very clear idea of what to expect and what they want. If it is a godzilla movie you came for you've arrived at your destination. If you took a wrong turn somewhere and came here expecting some other movie with an insightful and subtle human interest story told in artfully constructed , grammatical sentences you are going to be dissapointed.

Don't get me wrong it does makes an attempt at a plot , but it doesn't really bear much scrutiny so forget it and just look forward to the next collapsing building , demolished city or exploding volcano !

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Apollo 11

Great story , well told

(Edit) 22/11/2019

As someone with an interest in space and spaceflight in general I thought that over the years I'd seen pretty much all the footage publicly available as far as the Apollo 11 mission was concerned so while I was looking forward to watching this documentary, I wasn’t particularly expecting to see anything new. How wrong I was, I would guess, that at least 70% or more of the footage used was new to me so I suspect it may be new to you as well. So, thumbs up for that.

It also benefits significantly from , firstly, not having a contemporary voice over telling you what you are looking at , instead there are just the recordings made at the time so the story is allowed to unfold in its own way and secondly by the clever use of very simple on-screen graphics to reveal telemetry changes. I thought that worked really well.

All in all, a great watch, I'd recommend it to anyone.

5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Not great but not catastrophic

(Edit) 25/10/2019

I have to admit , looking at the acting talent on display at this stage of the franchise things do seem to have thinned out more than a bit since the start of the series. The cast tries hard , but they aren't particularly helped by the script and the direction makes the whole movie feel like we've been here and done that.

Its not quite as bad as some say , not a ringing endorsement admittedly, and if you are a Marvel die-hard you should certainly be able to power through to the end.

It all feels very, very tired however and if this is not the end of the X-Men story arc I truly fear what might happen next.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Deadwood: The Movie

One for the fans

(Edit) 19/10/2019

Deadwood was a great TV series and since HBO fumbled its closure fans have been promised and waited for a film that would allow the various hanging threads of the story to be brought together to a satisfactory conclusion. In the first years after the ending of s3 hopes were high but gradually faded as the sets were struck and the actors dispersed to greater or lesser successes. Its a measure of how fondly remembered the show is that 13 years after the shows demise we finally get the film we were promised and not only that but so many of the shows original caste reunited for it.

However Deadwood the TV series was an intricate, oiled and supremely well balanced engine of dialogue, set, acting and direction and it has, so to speak been out in the rain unused for a very long time. On reflection, it was unrealistic of me to expect it to spark back to life exactly as I remember it. The dialogue which once sounded so natural, now sounds a little forced and some of the characters are reprised more successfully than others. The plot is in truth light, and is told over the space of nearly two hours. In the original series the same ground might have been covered in about 25 mins and yet even with all that time on its hands many of the most colourful characters only get a few minutes of screentime.

For fans of the show I find myself conflicted between advising you to watch the movie or to remember the show at its height instead. Perhaps the best I can suggest is that you watch the movie but come to it with a less expectations of it than I did.

For those who don't know the TV series and are wondering if the movie can be watched on its own merits I would say yes but I would advise against it, the show had a lot of characters and in allowing all of them to have a bit of screentime makes the move 'flit' around a lot in a way I'm not sure I'd be able to make sense of if I hadn't seen the show. Instead I'd advise you to watch the original series, then at least, you'll understand what all the fuss was about.

5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

John Wick 3: Parabellum

Not worth the effort

(Edit) 15/10/2019

I really enjoyed the first two of the franchise , yes they were over-the-top in terms of violence but I always felt there was an undercurrent of humour too ; not in this case though ,sadly ,no humour at all just the violence in all its repetitive , tedious forms.

5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Long Shot

Crass and Juvenile

(Edit) 15/10/2019

I can say with some certainty that the people making the movie had an awful lot more fun than I had watching it , I kept waiting for the humour to kick in and then found my attention drifting and then the credits started. If that sounds like a fun way to spend the evening I can thoroughly recommend the movie if not then 'move-on' nothing to see here.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Unmasking a Killer

Really long and very slow

(Edit) 08/10/2019

The format of this probably works if you are viewing it as it was originally broadcast , i.e. with a week between each broadcast.Maybe then the repetition would not be quite so tiresome ; however as currently packaged with the opportunity to binge watch it -as I did-then it becomes really hard going .

Maybe watch every alternate episode perhaps or the first and the last , you'll save hours of your life and not really miss much.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Klute

Great

(Edit) 28/09/2019

If you want to win an argument over how they really don't make movies like they used to then you can always offer up 'Klute' as an example.

Don't get me wrong I enjoy movies as they are made today but ... I can't help but feel they aren't really made for me. That is to say pretty much anyone over the age of 35; modern movies are fine but I'm always aware that my eye is being distracted by a fancy piece of graphics, or my emotions are being manipulated by piece of 'feature' soundtrack or a sense of excitement generated by some rapid editing. It was ever thus, but somehow there was a time when it was generally more subtle and lot less bombastic.

Klute is a movie where people talk to each other , where the camera is allowed time to linger on its subject , where not every thought is expressed and the actors are expected to be able to imply things by actually acting and the director assumes that you the audience are able to infer what is intended by watching that acting. The 70's , it seems to me was the last decade when 'adults' as a demographic was one that Hollywood consciously made movies for - I can't imagine Hollywood green lighting movies like 'The Deer Hunter' ,'Taxi Driver', 'Chinatown', 'The Godfather' or 'The Conversation' - which Klute has a similar feel too. So, I would certainly encourage you to watch this movie and enjoy it, not as curiosity of another time, but as great piece of storytelling.

They really aren't making them like this anymore.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Dragged Across Concrete

Trys hard but very slow

(Edit) 14/09/2019

If a movie is going to ask me to hand over 2hrs and 40 minutes of my life to it then it had better be good. Dragged Across Concrete is nowhere near good enough for that scale of transaction. There is a scene in the movie where Vince Vaughn is eating some crunchie thing ( for some inexplicable reason the film company is so proud of it it appears in the trailer - but in much shortened form ) that just goes on and on and then in what is presumably a knowing wink to the audience concludes with Mel Gibson saying 'he has been waiting hours for that to finish' - not only did I feel the same about the scene I felt it all the more about the entire movie. Give it a miss.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
12

Help & support

Find answers to frequently asked questions and contact us should you need to

How It Works

See prices and levels and find out how Cinema Paradiso service works

Friends for Films

Invite your friends to join and get free subscription each month