Film Reviews by MM

Welcome to MM's film reviews page. MM has written 8 reviews and rated 211 films.

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The Goes Wrong Show: Series 1

Brilliantly acted and choreographed

(Edit) 07/06/2021

When I first started watching I assumed it was actually performed live as a play in front of TV cameras, and was amazed: the actors seem to have no problem falling several feet onto a wooden stage (even head first!) without injuring themselves. If you watch the 7 minute featurette you discover that there is a certain amount of TV editing going on, and they are really falling onto crash mats as you would expect, but that's all part of the brilliance of the show — it looks completely real. Every mistake is perfectly scripted and choreographed, and the actors do an incredible job of pretending to be bad actors, while the real acting is in how they respond to each disaster as if it's completely unexpected.

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Inland Empire

Utterly incomprehensible

(Edit) 25/03/2021

The only film I've ever given up on halfway through because it was a completely incomprehensible waste of time. I've never experienced a psychotic break or a brain haemorrhage but I imagine it must be something like watching this film. Perhaps it makes more sense if you watch it stoned.

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The Lion King

Better graphics but nothing else

(Edit) 21/05/2020

Aside from the CGI rendering, which is so realistic it might as well be a nature documentary, it's difficult to see what this remake adds to the original. Most of the songs are the same, but the changes they have made are certainly not improvements — "Be Prepared" is reduced to about 45 seconds of mostly spoken chanting, to make way for "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and some shouty auto-tuned rubbish by Beyoncé. Mufasa and Scar have decent voice actors but the rest are pretty mediocre: child Simba is just a generic whiny American kid while adult Simba sounds like a comedy actor who is out of his depth in a serious role. The film is almost a shot-for-shot remake but somehow manages to be 30 minutes longer without actually adding anything of value, which in a way is something of an achievement.

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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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