Film Reviews by WA

Welcome to WA's film reviews page. WA has written 18 reviews and rated 27 films.

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Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula

Very disappointing

(Edit) 07/01/2021

I am a great fan of Train to Busan, consequently very much looked forward to seeing Peninsula. What a let down. The story was shaky, the acting ahhh, it was ok, but when Asian cinema does "drama" it does tend to significantly over-romanticise - Chinese film especially - with soaring score and highly unlikely denouement. The CG was poor to be honest, and a significant portion of the film relies on CG generated effects, so this was detrimental. The zombies were good, but zombies alone can't carry a film, and Peninsula, in much the same way that Equalizer 2 and the subsequent John Wick movies are, is a poor pale shadow of the original concept which was highly original and supremely directed. I would buy TtB and Seoul Station, but Peninsula is utterly forgettable and will not be forming part of my collection.

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Birds of Prey

Surprisingly enjoyable

(Edit) 07/01/2021

I must say Margot Robbie is fast becoming one of my favourite female actors. I thought she was really good in Once upon a Time in Hollywood, which I enjoyed very much, and the Wolf of Wall Street, which I don't particularly care for. In Birds of Prey once again she displays that air of joie de vivre which was so captivating in OUaTiH, and although the violence is occasionally gratuitous, and the amount of swearing unnecessarily excessive, Birds of Prey was well done and the female characters I thought well developed. I kind of went in to this not really sure what to expect and came away pleasantly surprised. The film has the DC trademark grittiness, but is OTT in a fun way and well worth a watch.

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First Love

Excellent

(Edit) 09/10/2020

Thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Enough twists and turns to stimulate interest and a couple LOL moments. Was not keen on Blade of the Immortal, but this one pressed all my buttons. Reminded me a bit of the original Equalizer due to the setting of the climax, but a really well thought out, acted and filmed movie which I highly recommend.

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Gamera: The Guardian of the Universe

Great stuff.

(Edit) 09/10/2020

I'm a big Godzilla fan, was not sure what to expect from this movie, but in the end very watchable and enjoyable. The blu ray quality was outstanding, the acting, direction and effects (for the time) very good. If you're into the kaiju genre this is a must. I've now included the other 2 Gamera titles in my list. It's just a shame one can't buy the trilogy here in the UK format.

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The Courier

Don't bother with it

(Edit) 26/08/2020

I enjoyed Momentum. This was terrible. Set in an underground car-park, with lots of shooting and chasing and hand to hand combat. Kind of a poor man's John Wick. The witness was charmless, Olga: pretty wooden, Gary Oldman spends most of his time on the end of a mobile phone (what he was doing in this picture I cannot fathom). Lots of unnecessary swearing. Just a poor film made to a budget. Don't bother with it.

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IT

Far too long.

(Edit) 26/08/2020

Started off well, carried on quite nicely, kids played their parts convincingly, bullies were nasty, but just went on and on. In the end, when it got to the part where our heroes go down the well and discover the "hell" or whatever it is that "It" inhabits, I just switched it off. Just couldn't be bothered. I understand there is a sequel. Can't understand why to be honest.

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Aniara

Existentialist nonsense

(Edit) 09/06/2020

Save yourself the trouble and avoid this film like the plague. Terrible film shot in a mall made out to be a spaceship with unremarkable characters and utterly nonsensical premise. Don't know what made me include it on my watch list, I suspect cinemaparadiso snuck it on there lol.

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Alita: Battle Angel

Good movie

(Edit) 07/11/2019

Saw this in the cinema and rented it after release on blu-ray. I'm a big fan of the original anime although not the manga so it was satisfying to see so many references to that movie. My 10 year old son also enjoyed it very much and we would recommend it. The only criticism is the casting of the actor who played the boyfriend Hugo - we both found him a bit annoying. Otherwise plot, action, and effects were impressive, as were the extras included on the disc. Hope there will be a sequel. Its also worth mentioning that once you get over the novelty of the lead character the rendering of that character is so good that you very quickly forget it's a cgi, and rapidly immerse into the film. 5 stars.

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A Tale of Two Sisters

Utterly confusing to me

(Edit) 07/11/2019

First off I'm a massive fan of Souht Korean cinema and Kim Jee-woon movies. But this one just leaves me cold. I've watched it twice now, and the second viewing even knowing what's coming still baffles me with how events turn out. Technically a masterpiece, but terribly slow and ponderous, guess I'm just not smart enough to appreciate the plot twists. Consequently, I can't recommend this for anything other than amazing camera angles and impressive production and direction.

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Flu

Better than I expected

(Edit) 07/10/2019

Enjoyable movie, typical Korean in that it takes a genre that appears to be done to death and revitalises it. Reminded me a bit of Train to Busan and Shin Godzilla with the political angles and the USA "assistance". Good production values, good acting and direction, my only provisos are 1) the mother being such a self-centred individual and 2) the fact that her daughter keeps wandering off despite being told firmly to stay put. Definitely worth a watch on a long winter's evening.

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Bleeding Steel

Terrible

(Edit) 07/10/2019

I have always been a fan of Jackie Chan but his 21st century cinematic offerings have gone from mediocre to downright terrible, and this one is in the terrible category. Poor old JC is really showing his age these days and the stunts, fights, and humour that were so effective in his 20th century film gallery are just not there in any way any more. This nonsense is just not worth wasting your time watching it grieves me to say, but sadly time has caught up with Jackie and he should really pack his bags and head off into the sunset.

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Mother!

Interesting concept, but so boring

(Edit) 04/06/2019

A nice idea, but I found the incessant close up and following of Ms Lawrence as she walks around, goes upstairs, comes back down, goes to the basement, comes back up, shouts at people, on and on and on.....in the end I watched the last third on double speed just to get through it. As I say, interesting concept, but 2 hours of my life I won't get back (unlike Mr Bardem) lol.

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Gotti

Terrible

(Edit) 22/05/2019

2 stars as John T actually physically resembles the character he is playing. But that's it. I'm a fan of "underworld" movies: Godfather etc. sadly Gotti comes across as a mess of a story: just a series of apparently unrelated set pieces with little or no character development, left me sitting looking at my watch wondering how much longer I had to endure. Not recommended.

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Hangman

Awful

(Edit) 22/05/2019

This came across as a made for TV movie with a cast of unknowns but featuring Al Pacino. If Karl Urban is Mr Pacino's sidekick, he needs to go back to drama school. Terrible acting. And as for the female interest, just a meaningless character adding nothing to the already pretty ropey story. The plot itself has so many holes and is so banal, I wonder how I managed to watch it through to the end. But I did, and won't be getting that time back sadly. Do yourself a favour and avoid this at all costs.

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Siberian Education

Very watchable

(Edit) 06/12/2017

Good movie, interesting plot-line with the interspersing of different stages of chronology which provides the background for the denouement. Cinematography is impressive with the ice-patterns in the river of particular note, capturing the bitter environment in which the film plays out. Well worth a watch despite John Malkovich's presence (which is not overly intrusive).

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