Film Reviews by MM

Welcome to MM's film reviews page. MM has written 5 reviews and rated 147 films.

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John Wick 3: Parabellum

It seems so pointless

(Edit) 10/02/2020

I don't expect action films to contain complex plots and characters, but I do expect to get some sense of what the protagonist is fighting FOR. In John Wick 1 he is taking revenge upon people who killed his dog, which was left to him as a goodbye present from his dying wife, giving him a strong motivation that we can empathise with (similar to other revenge movies like "Taken" or "The Crow"). But by this third instalment I really have no idea what the point of it is. John Wick is running from other hitmen who want to kill him over something he did in the equally-forgettable second movie, and seems to spend a lot of time bending the knee to this "High Table" organisation full of people with ugly tattoos. I stopped caring some time after the ten minute mark.

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Ralph Breaks the Internet

Decent, but not as good as the first one

(Edit) 01/12/2019

As an animated parody of internet culture and other Disney princess stories, this film is certainly entertaining, with plenty of easter eggs and meme references that only the adults will get. Plotwise, it's a little weak compared to the first one. I've no problem with making Ralph a big-hearted softie — the first movie already established that he "doesn't want to be the bad guy" but tends to mess things up regardless — but the story shouldn't JUST be about his feelings. The voice acting is pretty good (I liked that almost all of the princesses were voiced by their actual actors, although it's probably not too hard to pull off if you're Disney), but I felt that Sarah Silverman takes the "chipmunk voice" a little too far this time.

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Incredibles 2

Not one of Pixar's best

(Edit) 04/11/2019

To be honest I found the plot pretty boring; in fact I can't really remember much that happened in it. Something about a train and a person who controls people through their smartphones. The film seemed to be less about telling a story and more about pushing fashionable Hollywood social commentary (we're all smartphone zombies who marginalise women, yeah?). The best thing about the film is Violet but there's nowhere near enough of her. The voice acting is decent but the obvious age gap between the actors and their characters is starting to grate — there's only so much even the most talented 49-year-old can do to sound like a teenage girl.

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The Shape of Water

Not as good as Pan's Labyrinth

(Edit) 17/02/2019

Stylistically this is recognisably Del Toro — just like Pan's Labyrinth, it's a sort of fairy tale told in a very dark style with the occasional bit of gruesome violence (both films seem to involve people losing fingers and getting holes cut in their cheek). Storywise, it's so straightforward as to be almost boring: plucky underdogs smuggle an abused captive out from an inhumane government facility, with no surprises, plot twists or complex moral decisions to be found. Sally Hawkins is likeable as the mute Elisa who manages to show plenty of emotion despite not saying anything; most of the other characters are standard Hollywood archetypes. Some of the scenes stretch credulity far too much — filling your bathroom to the ceiling with water by putting a towel under the door might be funny in Paddington, but in a more serious film it is just ridiculous.

I don't know if it affects the Blu-Ray, but the DVD edition doesn't seem to be a very good transfer; there is quite a bit of jaggedness and pixellation visible in certain scenes, which I don't see in any other DVD content.

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Pixels

Two stars

(Edit) 17/02/2019

This film feels like a nostalgia piece produced for the sole purpose of giving middle-aged Hollywood execs a chance to reminisce about the arcade games they enjoyed playing in the 80s. The plot is so painfully contrived it's ridiculous, and every character is an unlikable jerk. If you want to see a good film about video game characters, give this one a miss and watch Wreck-It Ralph instead.

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