Film Reviews by JR

Welcome to JR's film reviews page. JR has written 17 reviews and rated 675 films.

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Mortal Engines

Better than critics say

(Edit) 26/05/2019

Spectacular steampunk fun.

Not perfect, and it certainly has been influenced by Mad Max Fury Road (which I thought was over rated!) and towards the end Star Wars, but the critical panning it's had is completely out of proportion, especially when movies like Snowpiercer got such unjustified good reviews. If you like the idea of the movie it's well worth a watch.

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Wynonna Earp: Series 1

Terrible Cheesey Rubbish

(Edit) 17/12/2018

Imagine the cheesiest, cliched, badly written pile of teen turd you've ever seen and that's what this is. Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer but about 100 times worse, and about 15 years too late.

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Bates Motel: Series 1

Good but not amazing

(Edit) 13/08/2018

Deciding to make a series around the early years of a psycho means they really have to try hard to make you like the main protagonist, and when you see him change into the psycho you are supposed to have conflicted feelings about him. Unfortunately they didn't quite manage this for me in Bates Hotel. I never really liked Norman or his mother Norma, even though they were very well acted.

From the very start, Norman always comes across as a slightly strange, bookish, kid with a manipulating mother and although this relationship is fleshed out later, I never warmed to either character. For some unknown reason Norman seems to be freakishly interesting/desirable to a number of attractive woman which wasn't at all realistic.

My favourite character and storyline turned out to be his older brother Dylan, who gets mixed up in the local towns shady dealings. For me this is the story that kept me watching, and I'd be happy for Norman's story to be a sub plot rather than the main focus.

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Iron Fist: Series 1

Surprisingly Average

(Edit) 26/07/2018

After being spoiled with so many great Mavel based movies and series, it comes as a bit of a surprise when one is merely average.

I think one of the main problems is that Finn Jones is pretty unconvincing as Ironfist. He's a decent enough actor but you can't help thinking he's dancing instead of fighting in some of the fight scenes, and there are some fairly cringe worthy moments as well.

Overall it's an ok, fun series though, so it still worth a watch if you ever run out of other Marvel based stuff to watch!

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Animal Kingdom: Series 1

Pretty average

(Edit) 13/05/2018

I imagine the writer of this series saw Point Break (the original with Keanu Reeves, not the cheesy re-make) and thought it was awesome, then went about trying to write this series. Unfortunately it doesn't really hit the mark. It's not terrible, but it lacks the panache and effortless cool of the movie.

The main downfall is most of the characters are fairly unlikeable crooks, who act like big children when they're not committing crime. Even Josh, who is realitively innocent, lacks the charisma to make you care about him. So ultimately it's combination of extreme sports action (not particularly well done) crime action, and family drama that's difficult to care about.

For me it's worth 2.5 stars really, just about watchable if you've got nothing better to do.

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Black Mirror: Series 3

Outstanding

(Edit) 26/03/2018

Black Mirror is not a series in the traditional sense, it's a collection of individual stories all set in slightly different versions of the nearish future.

Each tale takes it's inspiration from a piece of technology in life now, but then moves into the future and twists it into what it could become, often with fairly horrifying consequences. All the stories are all extremely well written and acted, with the only weakness of the series being the vision of futuristic tech, next to something quite normal like current model cars.

This is the best series yet and will have you captivated and disturbed in equal measure.

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The Mummy

Typical Big Budget Hollywood

(Edit) 05/11/2017

This is such a typical by-the-numbers big budget movie, there is nothing original here at all. Even the sound track is the same constant dramatic classical, just like Speilberg was doing 20 years ago. I actually quite like Tom Cruise when he's given a half decent script and story to work with, but I'm afraid this is not one of those occasions.

2 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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Fast and Furious 8

Ridiculous

(Edit) 22/10/2017

Don't get me wrong, I'm not expecting a Fast and Furious movie to be completely realistic. The first few were silly fun for the car enthusiasts and you could ignore the unrealistic bits, but they are getting dumber and dumber. Amazingly the cast is getting better and better, but even they can not save this movie with its cartoon-like car stunts, lame cheesy dialogue, and ridiculous story. It's a movie very obviously written for it's core audience of 12 year old boys.

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Assassin's Creed

Very Badly Implemented

(Edit) 16/06/2017

I was hoping that this would be the first good movie based on a video game but sadly not. It's frustrating how badly implemented it is, as the idea has real potential for a movie, it even has a decent cast.

The main problem is they spend way too much time in the "real" world rather than concentrating on the exciting medieval world of assassins and templars. Worse still, when there is action in the medieval world, the film feels the need to constantly remind you it's not "real", with regular flashback type scenes of the main character in the "real" world strapped into the animus machine. It completely breaks the immersion of the scene and is totally unnecessary.

Another incredibly annoying aspect is the amount of dialogue there is in Spanish with no subtitles. Most, if not all of the dialogue in the medieval world is in spanish and there's no subtitles at all, so you just have to guess what's being said.

I could forgive the fairly ridiculous plot, and the asthetic of the medieval world is good, but the major flaws make this one of the most disappointing movies I've seen in a long time.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Preacher: Series 1

Worth a second look

(Edit) 12/12/2016

I haven't read the comic books this series is based on and initially I would have given this 3 stars, but second time watching it through I'm enjoying it more than the first.

It's a strange series not fitting comfortably into any particular genre, there are definately elements of horror with some parts being surprisingly gorey. I found it slower in pace than I expected, there are some good bits of action but they are fairly spaced apart.

The dark humour is good, and stops the feeling that it's taking itself too seriously. Characters are interesting, overall I thought it was well written and acted.

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This Is Where I Leave You

Ridiculas

(Edit) 09/07/2015

Quick review coming up. Not as funny as it looks on the advert, in fact not that funny full stop!

I didn't make it to the end of this movie. Not because it's truely terrible in general, but as soon it becomes obvious the main character is going to forgive his wife for cheating on him for a year because she is going to have his baby I turned off in disgust! What a load of Hollywood BS!

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Originals: Series 1

Lame and contrived

(Edit) 11/06/2015

I admit I didn't watch the whole series because this is dreadful juvenile rubbish. Cheesy script, no imagination, contrived rubbish.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Arrow: Series 2

Batman but not as good!

(Edit) 07/03/2015

Basically the Arrow is Batman in green. He prefers to use his bow almost exclusively, but has his mini team helping with the high tech stuff. Like Batman he's a rich guy who decides to dress up and fight crime, it's fun super hero fluff.

The first series of Arrow was good, a solid 4 stars, the second series is more like 3.5 stars really. The main characters are good and very likeable still, but the second series is already starting to struggle. Like so many series of this type it is already falling into the trap of upping the anti so much that it seems unfeasable for the good guys to win.

It doesn't help that Arrow is annoyingly beaten in pretty much everything he tries to do in series two. He often loses in fights, he fails to negotiate / persuade anyone even when it's a no-brainer, and he always seems to be second to get to an important destination just after the bad guys.

Having said all this, it still manages to be reasonably fun watching as long as you don't think too hard about it and go with the flow.

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Sleepy Hollow: Series 1

Supernatural with a theme

(Edit) 24/02/2015

The more I watched Sleepy Hollow the duller I found it. In fact I'm writing this review while I semi-watch the last episode, that's how bored I am with it!

There's nothing specifically wrong with it, the two main characters are likeable and Ichabod Crane is amusing in places, but somehow it hasn't grabbed my imagination, unlike the first several seasons of Supernatural that covers similar unbelieveable themes. I think the main problem is that it rarely manages to build any tension, so you never really think the main characters are in any danger. It's all a little too obvious and predictable.

Maybe Sleepy Hollow is aimed at a younger audience than me. I think if I was watching it as a teenager I would have loved it, but as a cynical 40 year old it misses the mark.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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300: Rise of an Empire

More 300

(Edit) 24/02/2015

Like the first movie, a load of gory stylized violence. If that's you're cup of tea I'm sure you'll like it, otherwise don't bother.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.
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