Film Reviews by MD

Welcome to MD's film reviews page. MD has written 58 reviews and rated 57 films.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Deadpool

The epitome of modern cinema

(Edit) 13/01/2017

Call me old-fashioned (and I'm sure many folks will do much worse), but this film struck me as the ultimate modern movie - utterly slick, very clever in a way, and using an in-your-face script and every movie trick imaginable to maintain its high octane entertainment level throughout.

Trouble is, if you are old-fashioned like me, it's all utter rubbish. The totally OTT violence, the endlessly repetitive bad language, the gratuitous sex, the crass main character, the ridiculous plot, etc, etc, do not do a damn thing for me, no matter how cool/exciting/smart we're supposed to believe it all is.

So, I'm sure many folks will enjoy this, but just make sure you know what you like before renting it. It may be a 2 hour delight, but it could equally be two hours of hell.

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Disorder

Very poor

(Edit) 08/01/2017

I give this film one star for making a stab at showing the effects of modern warfare on the ordinary soldier, but in every other respect it is a complete clunker, extremely dull, lacking believable situations or characters, and wholly pointless. At the end I wondered why I had bothered.

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 Secret Life of Pets

Why the fuss?

(Edit) 08/01/2017

Everybody seems to have been talking about this film as if it were the next big thing in animated movies, but what a disappointment it proves to be! It has a few cute characters, a few laugh out loud moments, and is certainly fine for young kids, but very little about it seemed original or stimulating or engaging. Talking animals in themselves are no longer enough to put a spark into a movie, and without any really intelligent ideas or a groundbreaking new angle on an old theme, this limps along in an all too predictable way to an all too predictable conclusion.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Now You See Me 2

Now You Don't!

(Edit) 08/01/2017

I loved the first film, a great and original idea that made for a terrifically entertaining movie, so I groaned the minute I saw they were doing this sequel because the original was truly a one-off.

Full marks to the scriptwriters for the way they managed to create a second movie by twisting virtually everything from the first, but really this was just unbelievable hokum, played at a frenetic pace to hide the numerous cracks in every aspect of it. I found myself not caring about either the characters or the story any longer, and I commend Isla Fisher on her impeccable taste in deciding to give this one a miss!

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Finding Dory

Perhaps Dory should have stayed lost

(Edit) 08/01/2017

This is, for me, the movie which confirms once and for all that the old Pixar is dead. The independent studio that gave us a string of the most brilliantly inventive, funny and magical films of all time has finally succumbed to the corporate will of its parent company, Disney, and the result is a sad day for cinema.

Obviously, given the box office returns, I may be in the minority here, but I would not mind betting that many of those who did fork out to see this at the cinema and who are old enough to remember Finding Nemo would agree this is not a patch on its predecessor.

The fact that it is a sequel is in itself a bad start. Finding Nemo was a great stand-alone story, and piggy backing on the ideas and characters from that film is a weakness throughout. Dory in her supporting role in the original film was fine, but here she is incredibly annoying, and there are far too many irksome and repetitive scenes that highlight her inadequacies.

The octopus is a great new character, but too many others are stereotypical and well-worn, and the writing is neither as fresh nor as inspiring. In fact, considering it was written by the same person who did Finding Nemo, it just shows how the dead hand of Disney has influenced the outcome. This film is overly wordy, overly moral and high-handed, and overly stupid - the final 20 minutes is utterly conventional formulaic nonsense that would never have seen the light of day on Steve Jobs' watch.

I guess a country that can elect Donald Trump is not a very critical one, hence the gushing reviews for this, but if you must watch it please don't say I did not warn you. Brilliantly inventive, funny and magical this certainly ain't!

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 Nice Guys

Oh Dear!

(Edit) 11/11/2016

Where to start with what's wrong with this movie?

- the unbelievably stupid, contrived and annoying plot

- the sheer number of naff scenes that make you either cringe or want to throw something through your TV screen, including surely the most crass "assassination" ever in a film - sorry, there is nothing remotely funny about killing a defenceless young woman in cold blood

- the tediously unfunny script, and utterly flat moments of supposed comedy

- Ryan Gosling's irritating character, or Russell Crowe's dead-man-walking performance, or the complete lack of chemistry between the two of them

I could go on and on, but you get the point. How on earth this got a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes is totally beyond me.

So, anything good to report? Yes, the winning and entirely film-stealing performance of Angourie Rice as Gosling's daughter; thank God for her, otherwise it would be a one star or even no star rating.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Love and Friendship

A New, and Different, Jane Austen

(Edit) 06/11/2016

Just when you thought it impossible that any further ORIGINAL Jane Austen work could be put on celluloid, this turns up. And not only is it new, it's also very different.

Okay, so the period setting is the same, and the recognisable Austen characters are not too far away, but both the story itself and the manner of telling it are far from what we have come to expect of Austen adaptations. This is a fast-paced tale, full of almost soap opera-like content, which focuses on a leading lady who is anything but an Elizabeth Bennett or Emma Woodhouse. In fact, she's a bitch. And a brilliantly played one, too, the surprising casting of Kate Beckinsdale working a treat.

I loved the script, which is both literate and very witty, and the fact that even the more minor characters are given reasonable roles makes for a satisfyingly complete experience, all the more so because many of them, and the situations they find themselves in, are still very relevant to our world today.

Of course, it will not be to everyone's taste, but I think both Austen fans and those new to her work can find a great deal to admire and enjoy in this refreshing 'update' to her filmed works.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Everybody Wants Some!!

Who the heck cares?

(Edit) 06/11/2016

This is a film about the experience of starting college (uni) in 1980s America. As someone who went to university in the UK in the 1980s, all I can say is that only about 5% of it mirrors my experience.

It is a relentlessly male-focused piece of nostalgic masturbation, utterly predictable in its array of weirdo students, their weirdo behaviour, and the alcohol-fuelled pursuit of sex. Large parts of it are mindlessly tedious and seemingly without any point.

Why would anyone want to make this kind of drivel, except to wallow in their own memories of long-lost youth? And, more to the point, why would anyone want to watch it? Answer, ditto, I guess.

Richard Linklater used to make really different and interesting movies (The Before Sunrise/Sunset/Midnight trilogy, for example), but this is an absolute dud. Period.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

A Hologram for the King

Only for those who know the Middle East

(Edit) 31/10/2016

Having lived in the Middle East and knowing quite a lot about Saudi Arabia, much of this film resonated with me, particularly the first half. Indeed, as other reviewers have noted, I found the first half to be pretty good - well set up, and both amusing and enlightening - even though the second half loses its way somewhat.

For anyone who does not know the Middle East at all, though, I am not sure how this film would go down. Even the first half would then seem pretty lame and daft, and the much less successful second half would be almost a complete write off.

My point is that so much that is in the film is TRUE of life in Saudi, BUT for someone who does not know the place or culture, it will come across as stupid and uninteresting.

So, sorry if this does not help much, but my advice would be to watch it only if you have some knowledge of the Middle East and the culture. Then it can be reasonable fun.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Remember

Same old story, same old twist

(Edit) 31/10/2016

This film just never got going for me. Christopher Plummer's 90 year old character with dementia was annoying from the very start, the plot was merely the same ten minute sequence repeated over and over to the point of making me scream, and the twist at the end was so contrived and obvious as to be embarrassing.

I think we have had enough "thrillers" about WWII, the Holocaust, et al, and this was merely the same old tired story playing out its final throes way beyond its sell by date. It is by no means a bad film, just one that lacks any originality, spark or point in my opinion.

0 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

London Road

Strange!

(Edit) 25/10/2016

This has to be one of the strangest films I have seen in a long while, and I mean strange in both a good and bad sense.

It is certainly very different, a boldly innovative drama that starts in dull monochrome and flowers into full colour by the end, and full of people singing and doing dance routines about a serial murder killing prostitutes of all things. You can't help admiring the approach, and it has a poignancy and "bite" that makes the story come alive in a refreshing way.

With that approach there are flaws, though. A thriller it ain't, even though it is based on a real life crime, but nor is it a musical, a documentary, or anything else. The endless repetitions of what people said, the somewhat forced musical numbers and the blatant morality play message - even the darkest cloud can have a silver lining - all jarred for me, and I never quite understood the point of it all.

I guess the best one can say is that it shows a slice of real life Britain, but I think that what each viewer makes of it all will be very much down to personal taste. 3 stars for me because I'm glad I saw it, but I can't say I really enjoyed it.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Miles Ahead

Just another bio-pic

(Edit) 22/10/2016

There seem to have been so many of these bio-pics in the last few years, especially ones about legendary musicians, and for me, despite a great performance by Don Cheadle in the lead role, this had nothing to make it stand out.

On the contrary, it seemed to be the same old story replayed. Miles Davis may have come from a rich family, but the focus throughout on sex, drugs and rock and roll (sorry, jazz!) was unremittingly familiar and not a little depressing - were all these great musicians really such a-holes?

I have to say that there was not even a lot of jazz to brighten things up, so all in all I found it a perfectly watchable movie, but neither a particular enjoyable nor enlightening one.

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 Man Who Knew Infinity

Good movie about an interesting unknown story

(Edit) 22/10/2016

Unfortunately, I did not see this myself, but my wife who did asked me to report that it was a well done little tale that told an interesting story in the manner of other films like "The Theory of Everything". She felt it was very well acted, and though a little predictable, perfectly watchable by a general audience as well as those with a particular interest in maths and science.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Jane Got a Gun

Way, way better than its given credit for

(Edit) 22/10/2016

I can understand why this film may not have gone down too well with either audiences or critics: (a) it is not your usual bang 'em, shoot 'em up western; (b) it is very uneven in quality; (c) it is not a story that will particularly grab your attention first time around.

Watching it, in respect of (b) there were times when I wanted to throttle the director, yet other times when it really had me gripped, and overall it was a film that grew on you the longer it went on. It is, without doubt, quite a deep drama, more akin to what you might see in the theatre than at the cinema, but it did have the virtue of seeming to portray pretty realistically the life of a woman in the wild west.

Ewan McGregor is becoming annoyingly cliched in every role he plays, but even he is okay here, and everyone else does a fine job of portraying the essentially rather stereotypical and shallow characters that play second fiddle to Natalie Portman. She has gone the opposite way from McGregor, leaving behind her pathethic roles like Queen Amidala to become an accomplished actress of some power, and whilst her role here is a touch unbelievable in parts, she commands the screen and delivers a complex, nuanced performance.

With regard to (c), once you watch it again (if you are so minded!) you will find it works a lot better, and comes across as quite a bold and challenging piece of some merit. Ultimately, I decided I liked it a whole lot better than many other more accessible movies, so if you can deal with its challenges and flaws, I think it deserves a viewing - or two!

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Our Kind of Traitor

Lame-ish Spy Thriller

(Edit) 03/10/2016

Yet another film based on a John Le Carre novel, this boasts an impressive cast, yet strangely that combination just does not work on this occasion. Early on, you get the feeling that the set-up is highly contrived, and certainly the way in which a very ordinary university professor is sucked in to the murky world of espionage, mafia money laundering and government level skullduggery is pretty hard to believe.

The middle part was a muddled mix of clues, laboured exposition and gory action scenes that left me not just a little confused but also wanting more coherence - there was no real continuity, and the actors seemed at times to be as lost as I was.

Unfortunately, you could see the ending coming a mile off, but as always these days there was in fact a double ending, you know, the happy bit to offset the fact that everything went belly up first time round. I actually hated this ending: not only was it a cop out, but it was so briefly done that you were left hanging in the air. It kind of summed up the whole movie - badly handled, and inept.

All in all, I'm afraid, a bit of a waste of a potentially good story and a great cast.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
1234

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