Film Reviews by JR

Welcome to JR's film reviews page. JR has written 34 reviews and rated 807 films.

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Mare of Easttown

Not bad

(Edit) 03/02/2022

It's well acted, decent story, there's nothing wrong with it but I didn't love it.

I wasn't particularly keen on Kate Winslet's character, or indeed any of the characters really. It's a very dry drama with a compelling enough story so I watched it to the end, however if there was another series I don't think I would bother.

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Dune

Just Good

(Edit) 30/10/2021

It's very cinematic, lots of impressive visuals. The sound track is very effective if a little over used in places. Good acting, it's generally a really good film however it left me a little cold, and I found it a little unengaging, much like Blade Runner 2049. It doesn't have the charm of Lord of the Rings, and the characters are less likeable.

I'm a fan of the book and the story in general so my expectations were high going in, and I suspect it maybe one of those movies that needs rewatching to take it all in, especially because it's pretty long.

Overall I would recommend it, and it is worth seeing at the cinema for the big screen visuals, however some may find it nice to watch at home so you can take a break half way through!

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Free Guy

Good Fun

(Edit) 13/10/2021

Fun movie, like a cross between The Truman Show and Groundhog Day. I suspect having some experience of online video games will help with understanding some of the jokes and references, but it's worth a watch even if you don't. It's actually surprisingly heart warming as well.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Perry Mason: Series 1

A Bit Bland

(Edit) 03/09/2021

There's nothing particularly wrong with it, I just can't get excited about it either. I found most of the characters quite bland and lacked charisma, I liked Chris Chalk playing the policeman Paul Drake, but I couldn't warm to Perry Mason himself sadly.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Star Trek: Picard: Series 1

Fun but makes little sense

(Edit) 11/07/2021

If you're the kind of person who likes the storyline to make sense this is not for you. Also, like the other recent films and TV series, it pretty much ignores the older Star Trek material, so if you're a real Trekkie it will probably be disappointing for you as well.

Basically it's a mindless bit of popcorn fodder that doesn't bare any kind of analysis. It has plenty of the older Star Trek Next Generation characters shoehorned in for the casual Star Trek fan. I was ok with it as just a fun piece of entertainment right up to the last two episodes, where they try to explain the story and give a dramatic finale. At which point it descended into ridiculousness and I couldn't suspend my disbelief any more.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Mad Max: Fury Road

Strangely compulsive viewing

(Edit) 24/01/2021

When I first saw this movie after seeing all the glowing critical reviews I thought "Whats all the fuss about?" You could easily describe the movie in a sentence, even just a few words: Post apocalyptic car combat chase. It has the most basic story and pretty much the whole movie is one long violent chase scene.

However it's one of those movies where I keep going back to it, and I have enjoyed it more every time I re-watch it. I can't quite explain it's draw, but now I know what I'm expecting I think I can just appreciate it as the fun violent car chase spectacular it is.

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Succession: Series 1

It's alright

(Edit) 19/11/2020

I think the main problem for me is the characters aren't very likeable. It's a series about a family of rich douchebags arguing with each other about how to run their massive corporation that has made them stupidly wealthy.

I think it's supposed to be funny, and occasionally it is, but most of the time it misses the mark for me. Overall it's well enough written and acted to keep me watching, but I probably won't bother with the second series.

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Bronson

Meh!

(Edit) 06/10/2020

Story of an unlikable scumbag! Hardy is good and the film has a quirkiness to it that's kind of interesting but overall I found it quite boring.

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Birds of Prey

Good Fun

(Edit) 20/09/2020

I'm not a massive Marvel / comic book fan so I start watching these no real expectations.

With that in mind, I thought this was a fun popcorn movie. Margot Robbie is very good as Harley Quinn. After seeing so many comic book movies they can get a bit samey but the action in this movie had a really fun chaotic feel that worked with the character, and it seemed like it had a little more tongue in cheek playfulness than many movies in this genre.

It kept me engaged and entertained all the way through, but it just didn't have the wow factor of a 5 star movie.

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Snowpiercer

Star Studded Stupid

(Edit) 07/08/2020

It's kind of a steampunk post apocalyptic movie, which is typically right up my street. I looked at the cast of well respected actors and I thought this is going to be great. Unfortunately not, at least not for me.

The general idea behind this movie of a train that circles the Earth carrying the last of humanity is unremittingly stupid, and you are reminded of how stupid it is on a regular basis. Add to that some contrived action set pieces and no amount of quality actors and steampunk coolness could save this movie for me.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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Little Monsters

Not my thing

(Edit) 29/05/2020

It's an uneasy mix of cute kids and zombies which didn't quite work for me. It was neither particularly funny or scary and had a real B-movie, slightly hammy feel. If the idea of kids having a sing along while zombies claw at the windows appeals then maybe give it a look. My friend thought it was great, personally I wanted to fast forward past all the cringe inspiring, cute kid stuff, so not really my thing.

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Self Indulgent

(Edit) 29/05/2020

Typical self indulgent rubbish that we have come to expect from Tarantino, I just about made it through to the end.

There's a plethora of good actors so no complaints there. As with almost all Tarantino movies it needs somebody to edit it down by about 30 - 40 minutes because it's filled with aimless, uncompelling dialogue, and pointlessly long filler scenes. Of course he had to shoe horn in some gratuitous violence, but it seemed out of place with the rest of the movie.

Overall it's a dull movie with just enough interesting bits to keep you watching to the end.

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2040

Pretty Good

(Edit) 22/05/2020

I've watched quite a few documentaries relating to climate change so much of the information here isn't new to me, however if you haven't, this is a nicely done film with some interesting info and a more hopeful feel. It also avoids being too sensationalist, unlike many films of this type that try to shock rather than inform.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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You Were Never Really Here

Really slow

(Edit) 10/02/2020

Trying to be arty and worthy but is actually really boring, feels so much longer than 90 minutes.

Movie is going for a gritty, realistic feel, but consists of overly long traveling scenes as the main character gets to his destination, either walking very slowly, or on the train staring into the distance, or vacantly staring forward while driving. A few cryptic cut scenes which I guess are supposed to give the character depth. Some mumbled dialogue with his mother and other characters. It consistently feels like the movie is in slow motion even during the action bits.

Overall there's very few thrills in this "thriller" and I suspect it mainly appeals to pretentious movie critic types because it's not a typical Hollywood style movie.

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John Wick 3: Parabellum

Typical Hollywood Sequel Rubbish

(Edit) 31/10/2019

If all you look for in a film is a selection of well choreographed action set pieces then this might be right up your street. However if you feel there should be more to a movie than a bunch of vacuous action violence with a mindless excuse for a story stringing the whole thing together, then steer well clear because that is exactly what you get with John Wick 3.

It's a classic case of Hollywood having an an accidental hit, then the movie making committee and accountants take over more and more as the sequels go on. It was the same with Pirates of the Caribbean. The problem with movies made by committee like John Wick 3, is they have no soul or passion. The committee tries to assess what made the movie popular in the first place and invariably simplifies it to one thing, then they double down on their assessment for the next one.

With John Wick they thought the action sequences made the movie, unfortunately they ignored all the other great parts that made the movie a surprise hit, and sequel 3 this is what you get, a soulless empty action movie where even the action is boring because there is nothing that makes you care about why it's happening other than your memory of how cool the first movie was.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
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