Film Reviews by SM

Welcome to SM's film reviews page. SM has written 6 reviews and rated 9 films.

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The Little Hours

Appalling

(Edit) 09/03/2019

Not so much 14th century Italian nuns, but 21st century foul-mouthed brats with American accents. No subtlety, credibility or humour.

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Black Beauty

Charming American Version

(Edit) 07/11/2018

The great heart-tugging story by Anna Sewell of the life of a loved horse in good times and bad is in this version set, instead of England as the original, in the eastern United States in the 1890s. It is not to be confused with the earlier British TV version. However, the essence of the story is well captured and few horse lovers will not shed a tear. The cast is extensive and it is generally well acted, particularly by Black Beauty himself, even if the star on his head is chalked on. And Ginger is played incorrectly by a grey. It is authorised for educational use, and would hence suit children as well as adults. It shows its age technically, in 4:3 format and somewhat deteriorated picture quality. Runs over 3 DVDs.

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American Graffiti

Absolute Classic

(Edit) 30/05/2018

One of my top 10 films of all time. Teenage rite of passage; side-splitting humour; poignancy and a superb sound track. Not to be missed.

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Murder on the Orient Express

Sadly disappointed

(Edit) 29/05/2018

Given the cast and the budget, providing spectacular view and scenery, the film was rather tedious and disappointing. Hence I am not surprised my wife slept through the second half. A poor attempt at a remake.

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The Singing Detective

A truly great TV series

(Edit) 23/05/2018

Probably the best TV series of all for me, providing laugh-out-loud moments, such as Marlow trying to distract himself from being totally greased by the gorgeous nurse Joanna Whalley, and the fantasy dance of the medical staff to "Ezekiel cried 'dry bones'". It is also semi-biographical, with seminal scenes from Dennis Potter's childhood, deep in the Forest of Dean. As well as great music from the era of the Second World War, sexual passion and the wit of the crime novel is rife. Do not miss.

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Dunkirk

Fails to encapsulate properly a critical moment in British history

(Edit) 23/05/2018

I was looking forward to being stirred by probably the greatest "victory gained from defeat" in British, if not world, history. However, It was dramatically unconvincing and historically inaccurate. For most of the time, the beaches are almost deserted, when in fact there were over 400,000 men filling them. If they didn't have the budget to make this realistic, even with CGI, then they should not have used broad panoramic shots of the vast beaches. The lead spitfire seems to have inexhaustible fuel and ammunition, and when it does run out of fuel, still manages to shoot down a Luftwaffe bomber, an impossible feat. And it was the Hurricane that did most of the hard work, there being few Spitfire available at that point. No mention is made of the critical and tremendous Royal Naval planning of the exercise from Dover or of the call for prayer by King George VI, leading to the miraculous evacuation of 330,000 men when only 30,000 were thought possible, so we could carry on the fight against the Nazis and win the war. And Michael Caine, who is uncredited, only does a brief voice over as an unseen pilot. So if you want to see him, as headlined by CinemaParadiso, you will be sadly disappointed - a sentiment that summarises my feelings about the film.

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