Film Reviews by MS

Welcome to MS's film reviews page. MS has written 14 reviews and rated 158 films.

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Black Cat, White Cat

Quite insane -- but in a good way.

(Edit) 10/10/2018

The other two review said the film was quite crazy, and they're right. The plot -- such as it was -- was rambling and weird, and yet it kept your attention all the way through. The characters were attractive and convincingly human, navigating their way through the mad onrush of events. And the music was wonderful. I didn't expect to even like it -- but I loved it.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Great Wall

Very silly and very enjoyable

(Edit) 25/07/2018

I thoroughly enjoyed this film in spite -- or because -- of its ineffable silliness. You just have to accept things like the acrobatic rope dancing female warriors -- embrace them! And their adorable blue uniforms. The acting was quite good, too -- I always find Matt Damon very engaging, but everyone was convincing, given that it's a total fantasy. Yes, the plot was very simple, but somehow it held my interest. And, as others have said, it looked magnificent.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

Too long and unconvincing.

(Edit) 21/05/2018

It's far too long, the story is confusing, and the love affair is unconvincing. Ingrid Bergman is lovely, but her character is incredibly irritating. There are a few good scenes, but they don't make up for the rest.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Wolf of Wall Street

I gave up

(Edit) 22/04/2018

Both salacious and tedious. The acting is good, but I didn't believe any of it. I gave up after an hour. And that was an hour too much.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Mysterious Mr. Wong

No stars is about right.

(Edit) 03/05/2017

Hilariously awful. Though I wouldn't say it was the worst film I've ever seen -- only because it was clear that the actors weren't taking it any more seriously than I was.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Saragossa Manuscript

Beautiful, but tedious

(Edit) 20/10/2016

I've been trying to work out why this movie is so boring. It looks great, it manages to summon up an atmosphere of menace, but it doesn't hold your interest. For one thing, he characters are uninteresting -- the hero is a total cardboard cut-out -- and the individual adventures aren't very interesting either. It doesn't help that there is no point at which you know what's going on. Mystery, confusion, incomprehensibility -- all of these could work, but there needs to be something in the plot that you understand, or at least a main character that you care about. As it was, after an hour or so, you don't care what happens to the hero, or anybody else in the story.

I would also like to add that the women are total ciphers -- they look and act like harem beauties from an inferior Hollywood epic.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Twentieth Century

Enjoyably insane

(Edit) 11/01/2016

John Barrymore is hilarious as the megalomaniac theatre director. The best bits are the most bonkers -- all the scenes from the train station disguise on. I especially enjoyed his depiction of his proposed Mary Magdelene movie -- "she'll be covered in emeralds!" "There will be camels! Elephants! Sand!" (or words to that effect).

The rest of the cast is good, too, but he is brilliant.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Floating Weeds

Moving, realistic, and a glimpse into another world

(Edit) 12/08/2015

Although a little slow in one or two places, this film always held my interest -- partly because the characters were completely believable, and beautifully acted, and partly because it was was a vivid picture of a world that's disappeared. The Kabuki plays shown were fascinating in themselves.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Journey Into Fear

Good atmosphere, and a few good moments, but overall surprisingly bad

(Edit) 07/07/2015

Considering how good the cast is, 'Journey into Fear' is surprisingly bad. The plot is badly worked out -- a major flaw for a suspense film, and the characters aren't developed, either. It's very short -- but still tedious. Potentially interesting characters are introduced, only to be immediately dropped. And the story is so undeveloped, it just isn't convincing, even in its own terms. There are a few well-shot Hitchcock-esque atmospheric scenes -- particularly of the assassin -- but it ain't Hitchcock.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Cold Comfort Farm

Delightful -- and faithful to the book

(Edit) 21/04/2015

This was beautifully acted, especially by the main characters, very very funny, and completely captured the spirit of the book. The music was good too. And it had Rufus Sewell (my heartthrob).

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Gate of Hell

Ravishing -- but the story is simpleminded.

(Edit) 28/04/2015

I've never seen a film that looked more beautiful than this -- full of striking and ravishing images -- many shots were really like works of art. But the story was overly simple, the heroine a cipher, and it had a tacked-on unhappy ending that was downright silly. The tragedy didn't seem in the least inevitable, or even understandable -- but that was mainly because we never had a clear idea what the heroine was thinking or feeling.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Vera Cruz

Good in parts

(Edit) 01/04/2015

Gary Cooper was enjoyable to watch, as always. Though his range was limited, what he could do, he did well. Burt Lancaster (so young!) was very handsome, but mostly acted with his teeth -- how they gleamed! Cesar Romero -- same comment as for Gary Cooper. The plot wasn't too bad, but the numbers of bodies heaped up was ridiculous.

I won't complain about the perfectly dressed, perfectly made-up heroines - so clean, too! - as they were they same in all 50s cowboy movies.

A mediocre movie, but with a few good scenes, and some interesting historical info about one of the many Mexican revolutions.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Where Eagles Dare

Preposterous, but totally enjoyable

(Edit) 25/02/2015

There are too many improbabilities and impossibilities to list -- trying to remember them all makes my brain hurt. Also, you get the feeling that they changed the plot part way through ...

But it was lots and lots and lots of fun. All the acting was at least pretty good, the action sequences were great, and Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton are always good to watch.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Pirate

Amazingly bad, considering the cast.

(Edit) 12/01/2015

We couldn't watch it to the end -- in spite of the excellent cast, the script was badly written, the choreography boring, and the whole effect charmless. I normally adore Gene Kelly, too, and quite like Judy Garland -- all the more surprising at how bad this was.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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