Film Reviews by HM

Welcome to HM's film reviews page. HM has written 74 reviews and rated 74 films.

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Stan and Ollie

Joy!

(Edit) 28/07/2019

I remembered part way through this movie why I Ioved Stan and Ollie so much when a kid and why I still do; I smiled in every scene they made and likewise this movie is just the same. It is an affectionate portrait of the two men in their career twilight years. The script is sensitive and respectful to the great men whilst shining a light on their conflicts and friendship. Delightful; see it!

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Annihilation

Clever Sci-Fi

(Edit) 21/07/2019

Absorbing movie. A mystery story really, with an imaginative backdrop scenario. I wish more Sci-Fi were like this; I don't need outer space cowboys as in Star Bores or magic super heroes, but some thing actually to do with science. A movie story like this has credibility to my mind. Enjoyed it. Into ray gun fights and spaceships whizzing around? This isn't for you. It is intelligent.

Fine performance by Portman too.

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Eastern Promises

Strong stuff!

(Edit) 21/07/2019

Heavy violence in London's den of multi-culture. A Russian émigré family mired in criminality find incriminating evidence in the possession of an English girl of Russian decent; a diary to be precise. Crime caper unfolds as we glimpse into the world of the Russian mafia.

Suspense, mystery and action combine to keep you gripped until a surprise ending. Worth a watch without doubt. Cronenberg likes his layers as this onion script unpeels.

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First Man

Gripping reality movie

(Edit) 06/07/2019

Having a good sound system is essential as you are popped into the cockpit of Armstrong the test pilot. Did these guys actually do this for a living? Scary.

This is a slice of real life as the anal retentive personality of the man is torturously revealed. Nerves of steel and an ambition to take it to the edge shine through, although you may miss it if you have your 'action movie' goggles on. This is real life stuff and all the more startling as the moon mission takes off making you share the environment with the astronauts. I really did feel I was right there with these guys and it was a hollowing out experience I can tell you. Much recommended; it explains a lot about what mind set it takes to live like this. No need to make stuff up, reality is sufficient.

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Widows

Much better than I thought!

(Edit) 06/07/2019

Not your usual heist movie; a tangled plot gives plenty to be interested in. The characters stand alone well and do not merely prop up the plot. Fine performances all round. Criminals' wives are pressured into getting their hands on money to stave off a gangsters' desire to get his money back stolen by their husbands. Exiting, action, plot; the lot. Deffo worth a viewing.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Good reimagining.

(Edit) 24/06/2019

Reviews ecstatic, so didn't believe it would be all that good (see reviews of Black Panther; adored by critics but the usual CGI mash-up and slated by members of the public). Actually it is well paced, imaginative, funny and action packed with purpose rather than for its own sake. Great entertainment. Enjoy (you will).

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Bohemian Rhapsody

Joy!

(Edit) 24/06/2019

Some people seem to think this should be like a 2000 page biography; it is a movie, therefore events have to be rolled together to give the flavour of key moments of somebodies life. In this respect the movie works very well. It outlines his beginnings, ability, creativity, sexuality and his sometimes strained relationship with the other band members. And there is also his ego, eccentric behaviour and his emerging sexuality with insecurities to go with it. All in all a blast of a movie condensing (by necessity) his pop group life into a very enjoyable 2 hours plus. Of course, the music helps being pretty spectacular with or without visuals. Loved it.

If you want the full bio, read the book!

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American Animals

Engrossing

(Edit) 08/06/2019

How not to carry out a robbery. A true story (well probably approximate) unfolding the ludicrous idea of stealing rare books from a library in the states. Basically the gang is a bunch of useless students with a grudge against authority. Believable all the way and if you just forget this isn't a daring heist movie with the usual guns and over the top characters you will enjoy it for what it is. Interviews with actual participants and parents in the farce are slotted in at intervals to add to the feeling of authenticity. I loved it as I always feel a true story is better than fiction and often weirder!

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Crazy Rich Asians

Romantic comedy

(Edit) 08/06/2019

American Chinese girl is in a relationship with the son of a high status mega rich Hong Kong Chinese family. Family disapproves and she gets batted about when she lands in the Hong Kong social and family swirl. Entertaining and light hearted, it has similarities to Brit Rom Coms without the ingenuity. Eye catching (particularly when a rich guy throws a birthday party on a container ship flying guests in by helicopter to be met by hundreds of bikini clad girls) and stylish it is pleasing on the eye without troubling your intelligence. Popcorn and beer entertainment, basically good fun. Enjoy.

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Death Wish

Poor remake

(Edit) 26/05/2019

Started ok bringing the story up to date in the mobile phone/camera and CCTV age. Not so easy going around shooting people with electronic eyes everywhere. It quickly becomes a search for the men who assault his family and so ends up a weak thriller with shoot outs. An opportunity to analyse the Vigilante impact on the public and police, the psychology behind it. The movie fails to take the subject seriously enough and so the original is still the best bet if you haven't seen it.

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A Prayer Before Dawn

True to life

(Edit) 14/05/2019

Pretty grim but realistic. The movie gets better as it goes along. Never hyping the scenario up, you are left with the impression that this 'true story' is actually true. A tale of a drug addict earning a living as a Thai boxer who's life is spiralling out of control and who ends up in a prison you just don't want to be in. A hard watch but rewarding; see this movie. Not for the kids.

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Maps to the Stars

Old hat

(Edit) 14/05/2019

A mocking of selfish Hollywood egos turns into a self parody of a film. Aging actress is desperate to get a part in a film about her own mother; or any part for that matter. Squabbling siblings meet again after a tragedy laden family split years before, one of whom is now working for said aging actress. Cue an insiders (Cronenberg) micky take of film people's egos. Probably amused Hollywood actors more than any audience for this 'up its own backside' film. Give it a miss frankly, not particularly entertaining and impossible to like or sympathise with any of the hapless characters

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Early Man

Good but not great

(Edit) 30/04/2019

Better stuff form Aardvark usually, an over used plot about winning a football match, but some laugh out-loud moments. Kids will love it but adults may find it a bit hackneyed.

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Beast

Gripping mystery

(Edit) 30/04/2019

So who is the serial killer? Maybe a girls new boyfriend, but she is suffering metal health issues so maybe it is her? Excellent thriller, twists and turns. Had me edge of seat (and I am not easily pleased or deceived). Definitely a good watch; beats Hercule Poirot any day!

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Mandy

Ugh?

(Edit) 05/04/2019

Cage is as charismatic as an actor can get. He lifts a movie, like Bad Lieutenant. But there has to be a decent story to lift. This is a 70's slasher nonsense of B movie credibility. Badly edited, clumsy script. Cage likes an eccentric storyline, which enables him to over act or bring character to the role, make your own mind up. This is amateurish nonsense. No need for the RSPB to get involved in identifying this bird; it's a Turkey!

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