Film Reviews by AER

Welcome to AER's film reviews page. AER has written 389 reviews and rated 1911 films.

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il buco

Impressions

(Edit) 27/07/2023

It's a massive achievement to make an immersive film with no dialogue. Just sink into the sounds and shadows and lights as the cavers descend into the depths. beautiful parallels to the life and death of the elderly cowherder. simply beautiful. slow but amazing.

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Leningrad Cowboys Go America

Absurdist wonder

(Edit) 13/07/2023

This Finnish musical is a hilarious, dead pan curio about a Russian Oompa band that go to America to find fame and fortune. Full of sightgags and droll humour, LCGA is an absurdist hit. It's probably Aki Kaurismaki's most famous film even though it was made back in 1990. Still as funny today as it was back then. Who influenced who? Jim Jarmusch's early films are definitely similar - he even has a cameo in this. Once seen never forgotten.

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Cutter's Way

good acting - loathsome characters

(Edit) 12/07/2023

As well made as Cutter's Way is I hated every single character in this. It felt like a slog. The acting by John Heard (HOME ALONE), in one of his only lead roles, is brilliant and committed and he ably supported by Jeff Bridges and Lisa Eichorn (MOON 44) and a cast of faded 70s actors. However, some of the plot is nonsensical with a major player just disappearing out of the story with no explanation. I was glad when it was all over. It's rare I've seen a film where I've disliked the characters so much, and that's not the fault of the actors - it's just it was very convincing. This is usually my kind of thing, but I couldn't get near it.

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In the Line of Fire

Don't watch this in a double-bill with JFK

(Edit) 06/07/2023

I saw Unforgiven a few weeks ago so I was tempted to rewatch his follow up lead role (for the first time since 1993). I thought it was sh*t then, it's ten times worse now after 30 years of improvements to Hollywood dramas. I also watched JFK this morning (sick day off work) and thought by comparison that it was amazing and indepth, thoughtlful and intelligent. In The Line of Fire's villainous spy subscribes to the idea that the Warren Report was factual, so this makes the film look like the Conservative flag waving crap I avoid like the plague. File with Air Force One, White House Down, and Independence Day.... Utterly implausible, bad dialogue, laughable character motivation, sorry plotting. Wasn't good in 93 - even lower grades now.

In the Line of Cack

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JFK

Oliver Stone's best film?

(Edit) 06/07/2023

Centered on the builiding of the only prosecution trail related to the assassination of John F Kennedy, JFK is something of a modern masterpiece. This is possibly one of Oliver Stone's finest films about the diseased politics of 1960s America. It's a mindboggling labyrinth of plot points and names, places, agencies and double-crosses to keep following but somehow you can manage it thanks to a raft of great performances led by Kevin Costner (was he ever better than here)? Whether you trust the theory or not, it's convincing stuff when told from the POV of a crusading director who's film is based on two books - one based on the findings of New Orleans DA Jim Garrison(played by K Costner) which highlights the myriad of cover ups and lies regard JFK's assassination. Oliver Stone hasn't made many great films imo but this could be his crowning achievement. I'm certainly going to revisit some of his 80s and 90s films again.

8.5 out of 10

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Black Beauty

Gathers strength as it goes

(Edit) 28/06/2023

This 1994 adaptation of Anna Sewell's Black Beauty is very much a product of UK filmmaking in the 90s. The horse's narration (by Alan Cumming) is awkward to begin with but then the persuasive tone of the film develops and gets better as it proceeds. Support from Alun Armstrong, and David Thewlis (In particular) give the story extra depth and meaning. It's sad that all the kids in the film are a bunch of wooden planks. Why are kids in big-budget UK films always sooooo terrible? Worth the journey as the source material is so strong you'd be an idiot of a filmmaker to mess this up.

5.5. out of 10

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Fast X

MOT failure

(Edit) 24/06/2023

It's finally happened - this series has run out of petrol. Tired stunts, the word family said 800 times, a string of cameos/lame callbacks, two very crap baddies (Jason Momoa & Alan Ritchson), and you never believe for a second anybody stays dead for long. It's become a parody of its parts. Finally Super Fast has the sequel it's been waiting for.

3 out of 10 - MOT failure - Worst in the cycle by a long way

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Fallen

Great idea badly executed

(Edit) 17/06/2023

Following a blistering opening with an electric Elias Koteas as a serial killer, this supernatural police procedural heads down hill pretty sharpish. There are some great set-pieces in this too as Denzel Washington's cop is tormented by an ancient evil spirit that can embody anyone through touch. It's novel to have an unseen threat and two or three sequences use this device well... however, there's a lot of corny cr*p to wade through first. Not Denzel's finest hout.... Watch for Elias Koteas but he's only in the first 5 mins :)

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1984 (Nineteen Eighty Four)

upsetting and compelling

(Edit) 17/05/2023

This the best film adaptation we could have ever hoped for. Based on George Orwell's classic novel of the same title, this distills all the landmark moments from the book and it's gripping, sad and ultimately crushing. Perfectly cast, the principal trio, John Hurt, Suzanna Hamilton (who ended up in TV's Casualty!!) and in his last role, Richard Burton, all put in note perfect performances. It's a spooky, sad, and upsetting film. The futility of everything permeates everything. CLASSIC>

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Girl Asleep

Fake Wes Anderson film from down under

(Edit) 04/04/2023

Charmless comedy from Australia that borrows stylistics from Wes Anderson and the likes of Napoleon Dynamite without the wit or an ounce of originality. Largely excruciating. Sorry.

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Detachment

Occasionally potent melodrama

(Edit) 29/03/2023

Good performances aid an overwrought melodramatic plot - however there are convincing, heartfelt passages that really resonated... It's an unruly customer like many of the pupils depicted in the film. The ending is particularly affecting as the school is seen in ruins and the narrator reads the Fall of The House of Usher to a full/then derelict classroom. Thoughtful but very flawed but at least it was interesting.

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The Iron Giant

Enjoyable children's classic

(Edit) 27/02/2023

we could all learn al lot from this animated adaptation of Ted Hughe's The Iron Man....which probably inspired ET. Lively, actionpacked with a great voice cast, I;m only sad that I never caught thi sone when I was much younger. Recommended for young adults - it's a blast.

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The Call

Don't pick up

(Edit) 23/02/2023

Sadly the acting talents of Lin Shaye and Tobin Bell (who appear in extended cameos despite the top billing) cannot save this plodding, badly edited, and ultimately very boring horror film. It has a great concept which is thoroughly squandered and for the most part the script and outcome of the plot is dire. Don't pick up the phone.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Clive Barker's: Book of Blood

Book of crud

(Edit) 11/02/2023

Book of Blood is a very poorly scripted horror flick based on two Clive Barker stories. The drama is plodding and the performances stilted. Some of the supposedly sxty dialogue is hilarious! This makes some of the later Hellraiser sequels look like masterpieces. Look out for Doug Bradley in a very short cameo supposedly to validate the Barker connection further. Shoddy SFX put the final nail in the coffin. I think I'd sooner be a Cenobite than watch dreck like this ever again. 0.5 out of 10.

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Summer 1993

cold

(Edit) 18/01/2023

Usually I am drawn to films like this but I felt locked out of this one. It was well-crafted but it bypassed me.

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