Film Reviews by HM

Welcome to HM's film reviews page. HM has written 150 reviews and rated 158 films.

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An American Pickle

Mushy

(Edit) 29/03/2021

A few early laughs then a sentimental soap. Goes downhill from about 40 minutes in and never recovers. Give it a miss.

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Akira

Earache

(Edit) 29/03/2021

A none stop shoot out, not a single scene where people are not screaming at the top of their voice. Worn out plot and a million miles from studio Ghibli quality in animation and humanity. Too much violence for a young audience and too stupid for adults. An ordeal watching it.

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Ghost in the Shell 2.0

Poor follow up

(Edit) 16/03/2021

Had to check it was GITS 2 as it looked like the same story and a slight rehash of previous original film scenes. Felt cheated really. It could stand up on is own if you haven't seen the original, which is better than the none animi version. But why would you not see the original first? Avoid this if you have seen first version and skip to watch original if you haven't, so basically don't bother with this rip-off.

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Tenet

Confusing

(Edit) 16/02/2021

James Bond meets science fiction. Glossy and loud enough to drown out the dialogue in parts the movie is an eye candy treat. The story is a time loop cliché first done by Robert Heinlein in his short story 'By His Bootstraps' published in 1941. I may be wrong somebody else may have got there first.

The cast is studded with top quality actors, Kenneth Branagh for one, who plays the baddy very well indeed. Unfortunately the story loses the viewer pretty quickly. What is it all about and how did the time shift phenomenon actually happen? Well you won't be any the wiser as the plot unfolds. Speaking of which, the baddy won't let his ex be owned by any other man and this seems to be his mindset in wanting to destroy the whole of humanity which he cannot own either. Not much of an incentive to work for him eh? Not much of a plot either frankly.

A big old idea poorly executed. Don't build up your hopes; big budget, small return. Tenet? A character in name only, just an action man going through the motions.

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Searching

Engrossing

(Edit) 16/02/2021

It is as it says a 'thriller'. Dad tries to find missing daughter by entering her world via her laptop. This strings the scenes of the movie together and sees the plot progress in episodes. Police are on the job and he forms a relationship of trust with head detective (female). Things develop keeping viewer interested and trying to work out the girl's fate. Enjoyable and seductive; you will be drawn into the story as it unfolds one puzzling bit at a time. Recommended.

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Apollo 13

Heroic and true!

(Edit) 08/02/2021

Brilliant film! An amazing true story; human interest, courage, disaster movie for real! Actual life events are always more interesting that fiction; mountaineer movies about actual climbs for example are always more captivating. In 5.1 the rocket take off is a cracker, it fills the room and makes you realise how dangerous it is to be sat on a giant bomb.

Direction is well paced and the story convincing, nothing needs to be exaggerated and is one of the most gripping disaster stories ever told. See it and marvel!

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First Reformed

Compelling but weird

(Edit) 08/02/2021

Hawke performs out of his skin as do the rest of the cast; a fine display of American character acting, wonderful in itself. The story however concerns two psychopaths; An environmental campaigner at the end of his tether is counselled by a Vicar at the end of his due to possible ailment and alcoholism. Humanity is missing in their lives and the society around them. These two desperate characters motivate each other in a destructive way until things get violent.

This is not an action thriller or even a deeply plotted tale, just the descent of two people exasperated by the cynical political behaviours around them and hypocritical Church bowing to the needs of big business. What is a sincere God believer or a committed planet saver to do? Find out; it is emotionally grinding and a hard watch sometimes but rewarding as it makes you confront these things and ask what do you think or what would you do? Maybe love is an answer?

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Spider in the Web

Spy tale

(Edit) 27/01/2021

Mossad (Israeli intelligence) is trying to find a Belgian companies' factory making nerve agent gas for Syria. Syrian agents are active in Belgium to protect their interests. Ben Kingsley is a gnarled old Mossad agent prone to falsifying reports to make fraudulent intelligent claims pocketing the reward money himself. Now, having been found out he must investigate the situation or else his bosses will have him imprisoned. A complex web of intrigue and action drive the film along. A few twists and turns revolving around who is deceiving who keep the interest level up. Interesting seeing the lengths Mossad will go to in order to spin a yarn to fool (they hope) their enemies.

Worth a watch and a more intelligent type of spy story than Bond etc

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Legacy of Lies

Hokum

(Edit) 27/01/2021

An action movie with an absence of police when you need them. Lots of agents shooting each other in a plot of simplicity which is action movie standard and banal. The whole thing is in the action universe and a bit dopey. However, it is fast moving and focused on delivering violent excitement and delivers on that level

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Weathering with You

Excellent Anime

(Edit) 20/01/2021

If you are into Japanese anime this won't let you down. Boy runs away from College to Tokyo. There he meets a girl who has ancient magical powers over the weather but there is a price to pay for this. Can he help avoid this? Charming, visually splendid it is another family or adult entertainment. Not a classic like Spirited Away but a worthwhile watch.

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Overlord

Silly

(Edit) 06/01/2021

Germans cannot shoot straight in any film can they, despite being the best trained veteran troops in world war II. Dolby Atmos is the best bit of this nonsense. Some thrills but the modern PC casting rob it of authenticity from minute one. Our goody goody hero loses his helmet from the start so that we see him as an individual in the same way they lose their face masks in superhero films.

Nazis are experimenting with home made zombies and some GIs have to cope with these as they attempt to blow up a radar station in France during the D-Day invasion that could determine the course of the war. Do me a favour. However, as the film is made for the computer game nerd generation they expect their audience won't know much about real events, so who cares?

Light headed horror film, so, so but not for the mature heads out there

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Heart warming

(Edit) 30/12/2020

Hanks gets this most genial of men across very well. The lead character is a sort of more intelligent Forest Gump. A demoralised journalist, too cutting and honest for his own good, is assigned to interview a children's/family TV star. He finds his TV persona is no act and he really is this wholesome caring wise individual. So, the bitter jaded hack learns life lessons from him prompting a revaluation of his life.

The drama deepens as the stakes for the journalist's own private life are raised. A cleverly scripted drama brings a feel good warmth but not without a journey through trauma.

Recommended as an engaging and entertaining film, despite others writing it off, possibly because the true meaning of the men's lives does emerge until later, making it light and even frivolous at first.

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The Street

A story of our times

(Edit) 30/12/2020

A documentary giving local residents a chance to discuss the gentrification of a part of London snuggled up to the ever expanding wealth creating business hub. Interesting characters abound and make it a worthwhile journey for that reason only. The changes to the street seem inevitable as the working class area is upgraded for the young City players crowding into the Capitol.

Touching but not contradicting the morphing of the street, new business residents get a say too. The way of the world in a vibrant place such as London. A very people orientated experience. I enjoyed it, but not Friday night movie/booze/popcorn stuff.

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Free Solo

Wow!

(Edit) 30/12/2020

These guys seem nuts but a brain scan of Alex the guy about to try to scale America's most difficult climb without ropes, just fingers, chalk and feet, gives a strong clue as to why some people (usually men) can only find excitement going to the edge. Not for them getting worked up watching a football game. The excitement is generated because they may fail once and die and plenty of these risk takers have died. It isn't a career choice with a guaranteed pension!

You are with Alex all the way as his preparations sometimes miss-fire and those around him (similar guys, but not friends; it doesn't do to have an emotional connection when a friend may die any time) comment to viewers that now he has a girlfriend living in his caravan as he tours around, he has a distraction. Will she be the death of him?

The views of the climb he is to make and close up camera coverage as he attempts it, a distraction to be sure, are spellbinding and frightening in equal measure.

On the one hand you cannot help admiring these people but also feel that there is no way the risks could be worth it. However, they cannot live without it, but they may die all the same. Exciting and recommended.

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Gretel and Hansel

Oh Dear

(Edit) 13/12/2020

Warning; An Irish Government backed film. They are usually average at best. This is no exception. A reimagining of the H & G tale where she is a teenager and he is a kid. Not particularly scary, but suspenseful. Tries hard but not hard enough. Won't please horror fans.

Passages of the film break up the suspense which is down to poor story telling. Also, a bit confusing in parts. A black actor is given a shot as is obligatory these days. He drones through his lines with little conviction and invests nothing in a superfluous character. Should have got an actor to do it!

A poor effort. Cannot recommend it know you will be disappointed.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
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