Film Reviews by AndyM

Welcome to AndyM's film reviews page. AndyM has written 8 reviews and rated 185 films.

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Passengers

Entertaining but implausible

(Edit) 11/04/2018

There were some technical difficulties with the film such as a statement at one point that they were travelling at 0.5 of light speed, but an early sequence of the ship, moving towards obstacles, was at a very very slow speed. They also do a "sling-shot" manoeuvrer, which you can't do at 0 .5 of light speed, and again was presented as if they were moving very slowly: 0.5 of light speed is 93,000 miles per second. There were some visual references to the film "2001", but I guess that is almost inevitable, and not necessarily a bad thing.

The design was all quite imaginative, and the human side was an engaging story, but slightly implausible. (I'm not giving the story away - judge for yourself). The synopsis on this site is inaccurate The two main characters do not mysteriously wake up from hibernation together with 90 years of the flight left to go. It is made clear to some extent why he woke up, but she wakes up about a year after him, for an entirely different reason, and that different reason makes quiet a twist to the plot.

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20th Century Women

Meandering Tale, but Delightful

(Edit) 23/03/2018

This was one of those delightful tales which has no big "message" or action, and just quietly meanders through episodes in people's lives. The characters are only semi-sane, but endearing, and engaging in all their interactions with each other, and are mainly well-meaning but doomed to failure, mainly, like most people in life. I enjoyed it - my kind of film.

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Cinema Paradiso: Director's Cut

Bitter-sweet Comedy - and a Homage to Cinema

(Edit) 30/01/2018

I stumbled on this while searching for Cinema Paradiso when I first joined up after Amazon had bought up, and then closed, Love Film, getting rid of one of their sources of competition. I enjoy foreign films, because they give insights into a different culture, with different customs, values, and sense of humour. Often, foreign films deal more with relationships, and emotions, rather than the Holywood diet of "action", and so are more my kind of film. This film also portrays the importance of cinema in the social life of a small town before the days of TV and the characters are all bound up in the local cinema, the "Cinema Paradiso", and the action is interspersed with clips from old classic films that the towns-folk somewhat rowdily enjoy. There are side issues, making comedy out of the strange discord between the hot-blooded passion of Italian romantic love, and the prudery of the Roman Catholic Church, which furnishes a rather amusing ending. There is also the story of the relationship between Alfredo, the projectionist, and Toto, the cinema obsessed boy, and also Toto's life story, growing into manhood, and middle age, and his one true love.

I found this a very engaging and amusing film, even if a little poignantly sad, in parts. It is well worth watching.

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Arrival

Engaging and imaginative

(Edit) 29/01/2018

To me the delight of science fiction and fantasy is that it can take ordinary people, and put them in extraordinary circumstances, so that the depth of all it is to be human can be brought out and explored. Some Hollywood Sci-fi is like cowboys and Indians in space, but this was very subtle and engaging. I shall not give everything away in my review, as some others have done. I really think people should be required to set a flag for spoilers, or be prohibited from including them in reviews, as in this film, because the puzzle is spoiled if you have the solution handed to you at the beginning - like watching Miss Marple, when you know "who done it". All I can say is that there is an engaging twist in this film, and if you start to think that the continuity people seem to have made mistakes, and that there is something a bit odd about otherwise ordinary scenes, all will be explained by the end. The film relies on relationships, personality, and dialogue, rather than special effects, and is a gentle, emotional film, that will appeal to people with intelligence, and sensibilities. Those looking for high adrenalin "action" and endless special affects, will be disappointed.

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Big Eyes

Not the Nicest Of Subjects, but Interesting

(Edit) 24/01/2018

Although on the surface, this is a bio-pic of an artist, the subject matter is the recently recognised crime of psychological abuse. The female lead is a woman of weak-mind, and a fearful dependent nature, who, in an insecure situation latches on to a man, who appears charming, and as she says "a good provider", but who is actually the very lowest of the low, second hand-car-salesman type who lives by lies, manipulation, and deceit. and quickly takes over this woman's entire life, including her artistry.

There are times in the film where I felt totally exasperated with the woman, as she is so weak and pathetic, and I could feel like reaching into the screen and shouting at her "for gods sake get a spine, and stand up for yourself. Thankfully it all turns out well in the end, but is a bit of an emotional roller-coaster ride to get there.

It was a worthwhile film, and gives an insight into a puzzling, and distasteful phenomenon.

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Wonder Woman

Very Enjoyable

(Edit) 14/11/2017

I very rarely give films five stars, as I reserve that for something I considered outstanding in every way, so a four-star rating is very good from me. The most interesting thing about drama, of whatever kind is the interaction between people. Science-fiction, and fantasy, allow the circumstances of human interaction to be extended beyond the everyday, to explore wider extremes, and possibilities. Stories unfolding at times of conflict and strife, test the strength of the human qualities in each character, and love, loyalty, sincerity, courage, and commitment, can be explored in their many facets. This film worked well at that human level, and the character of Diana displayed an engaging mixture of superhuman strength, power, and courage, and childlike naivete. Her sheltered existence on Paradise Island, would not have prepared her for the evils of 20th-century mankind, and the clash of culture gave opportunity for much humour. it was, also, her first experience of developing a relationship with a man, so exploring an entirely new facet of her personality. Part of her sheltered existence was deliberately imposed by those around her, by keeping her true nature hidden from her, so that she was unaware of the enormity of her own powers. The entire film is a learning experience for her, culminating in a one-on-one dual with the God of War, in which she finally discovers her true nature, and the full extent of her own abilities. (that is hardly a spoiler, as from an early point in the film, her mission is to find and destroy the God of War, Ares. I do not even say whether or not she succeeds).

Other characters in the film are the means of her learning, and development, and her network of practical, and emotional support. All parts are well played, and add to the rich experience of the film. For those who like action and excitement there is plenty of that, too. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and can recommend it to anyone.

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The Equalizer

good example of this type of film

(Edit) 07/11/2017

I suppose it is every man's warrior fantasy to take on all the big bad nasties, and win in spectacular fashion. What makes these films succeed or not, for me, is whether or not I can relate to the central character. The hero must have a certain calm dignity honesty and integrity. They must have efficiency in martial arts but not on enjoyment of violence. The final ingredient is a just cause of some kind for the hero's Crusade. The final ingredient of the fantasy is usually a beautiful and adoring woman, or in this case mildly appreciative woman. This film certainly ticks all the boxes with a subtle script, and good acting without too much reliance on non-stop action. I have no idea how the film would appeal to women viewers: it would be interesting to read their views.

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Wonder Woman: Series 1

Vintage Marvel

(Edit) 07/11/2017

The first series is not quite as polished as the 2nd, and endures the restraint of all the action taking place in World War II. It is very much semi comic, much in the style of the old Batman and Robin, with deliberately Ham acting, and implausible dialogue. It makes entertaining watching, and is an excellent showcase for the feisty Linda Carter to demonstrate all of her talents.

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