Film Reviews by Colin Taylor

Welcome to Colin Taylor's film reviews page. Colin Taylor has written 11 reviews and rated 1190 films.

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Dean Spanley

Best in show!

(Edit) 14/10/2013

Not to everyone's taste perhaps, but I thought it was a beautiful film, so much so that I watched it twice in one day. The acting is exquisite, the script is perfect;the long last scene at the dinner party is quite perfectly done. It's gentle, its moving,its thoughtful; its a real treat. I watch all sorts of films,but this really stood out for me. More meat on the bone than many action films, or any predictable costume drama....Peter O'Toole at the top of his game, a great role for Sam Neill, and Jeremy Northam too, what's not to like?

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Odd Man Out

One of the classics

(Edit) 23/09/2011

Pure and simple: one of the classics of British cinema.Directed by Carol Reed, the director of 'The Third Man',its a film not to be missed. James Mason, in his best and his own favourite role, plays an IRA man on the run through the dark wet streets of Belfast. Wonderfully evocative,it features Robert Newton(who played Long john Silver in the original Disney film)in a magnificently OTT role as a painter, amongst a superb and varied (mostly Irish) cast. Worth it alone for the fantastic brawl in the pub,its a real gem that can be enjoyed again and again.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Wonder Boys

Wonder film

(Edit) 29/08/2011

Still one of my favourite films...rather in the style of 'Big Lebowski' and 'Withnail and I',but arguably better than either, an intelligent and funny portrayal of one weekend in Pittsburgh, following the complicated life of an English college professor(played by Michael Douglas in one of his best roles). From a book by Michael Chabon, its one of those films where the script is razor sharp and engaging, and all the characters are noteworthy;the film somehow retains a warmth to it as we follow these characters in their messed up lives.Tobey Maguire, Robert Downey Jnr,Frances McDormand, Rip Torn, title song specially written by Bob Dylan, whats not to like? Why isnt this film better known? I find myself quoting from it at inappropriate moments....

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Family Stone

A christmas pudding of a film

(Edit) 22/08/2011

One of those US films where the extended family gathers for Christmas; lots of snow, they all help with the massive tree,lots of personality clashes that somehow all get solved in the end...theres the gay couple, the quirky slacker one, the uptight rich one. Perfect viewing at Christmas, but only if you suspend your disbelief and you are near the end of that first bottle of wine. The film (and the wine) will leave you with that Christmas glow.

Actually, I do it a disservice-it tries to cover all aspects of life,and does a reasonable job. Theres a subplot of one character with cancer, which is handled rather movingly(so its not all a bundle of laughs). If you liked 'Brothers and Sisters', the TV show, you'll like this....

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The King's Speech

Unmissable!

(Edit) 07/02/2011

A magnificent film with all round excellent performances.Colin Firth must win the Oscar for this.Is this the first positive portrayal of a stutter ever? You get a strong sense of the Kings agony and discomfort, yet appreciate his bravery to face up to his responsibilities.Unlike some modern films which tend to give characters from the past an emotional range which they didn't and couldn't possess, this is true to life, and shows rather well the growing friendship between KG and his speech therapist. I know that sounds quite unappealing as a premise for a film! Its almost irrelevant that its about the royal family actually- I love the fact that the film is claustrophic with the world outside icy and cold, to reflect his buttoned-up life, and his difficulties in communicating.A film to enjoy again and again.

2 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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Wyatt Earp

Not OK Corral

(Edit) 23/09/2010

A boring and predictable film, done with zero originality and panache. Costner can be very hit and miss at times, and in this his portrayal is merely one-dimensional. Compared to great westerns like Open Range and The Outlaw Josie Wales, it just plods along, and you find yourself studying the costumes and predicting the tired dialogue. Like the 'Little House on the Prairie' with guns, the best bits are those magnificent moustaches that everyone wears!

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Tokyo Sonata

A cracking little gem!

(Edit) 23/09/2010

A cracking little gem of a film and well worth watching. Not only does the life of the unemployed man inevitably fall to pieces, but all of those around him too because of his actions. Suburban life is shown as limiting and claustrophobic, dehumanising and demoralising those who live within it( interesting though to see a depiction of grubby backstreet Tokyo ).

The film is about making good choices to escape life's pressures, and finding your own way. And if that sounds naff, it isn't; in the hands of Hollywood this script/film would be nigh on unwatchable, but in Kurosawa's hands its a moving and beautiful redemptive tale!

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Jindabyne

A classic, pure and simple

(Edit) 05/12/2009

Jindabyne is quite simply one of the best films I've seen this year. Director Ray Lawrence doesn't make many films, but the films he does make are worth the wait. A murder is the starting point of the film, but though you see the murderer,none of the action focuses on the investigation at all,and he is never apprehended. The film prefers to concentrate on those who are affected by the body's discovery.

The reality of the relationships on display is heart rending, and the performances are excellent. If you want a film that is atmospheric and moving, that will stay with you,then I would recommend you watch Jindabyne.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Me and Orson Welles

A touch of genius!

(Edit) 11/01/2011

A hugely entertaining film and well worth watching.It tells the story of Orson Welles' production of Julius Caesar, focusing on the rehearsals and backstage life before the play opens. You dont need to know anything about either Shakespeare or Welles to enjoy the film-it zips along with wit and charm,and the characters are well drawn. Told from the point of view of Zac Efron's character, a schoolkid who somehow blags a small part in the production, its very much an education for him as he rubs shoulders with its eccentric cast- especially Welles himself, who is brilliantly played by Christian McKay. Similar to those early Woody Allen films that are set in 30s New York and have a similar fantastic soundtrack, its not to be missed.

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Italian Job

Its no classic!

(Edit) 01/01/2011

If you like Michael Caine and Minis,and the idea that the sixties was all about winning the World Cup and beating Johnny Foreigner, then you might like it, I suppose.

While watching it I was reminded of TV show 'On the Buses'-in which men who are way too old cop off with 'dolly birds' all the time and think that thats what the sixties were all about.Its got Benny Hill in it, for goodness sake!

Its no classic, and has dated terribly-all the women are excitable idiots who scream when the lights go out during a power cut, and are there as decoration only.

Why the fascination with gangsters and heist films, is that the only films Britain is good at?

Admittedly I watched this having just watched 'Casablanca'-theres more to that in the first 15mins before we even see the main characters than in the whole of this tosh.

0 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Taking Woodstock

Far out man

(Edit) 23/09/2010

I enjoyed this film immensely. The cast are great and obviously having a wonderful time with a cracking and witty script. Worth it alone for Imelda Staunton's bonkers mother, even the cameos are spot on- from a drugged up Paul Dano to the transvestite Liev Scrieber(director of the equally wonderful 'Everything is Illuminated').It reminded me of the TV version of 'MASH'-funny and human with an unforgettable range of characters.

Encapsulates the era perfectly, and if you are in the mood, take a 'trip' back to the 60's!

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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