Film Reviews by MC

Welcome to MC film reviews page. MC has written 11 reviews and rated 303 films.

The Emperor's New Clothes

I like outré films and avant garde cinema but, after a decent first hour, The Killing of Sacred Deer went way past being a clever metaphor and ended up in ridiculous farce. I don't know, maybe you need to have children to appreciate it, but I just didn't find it remotely terrifying or unsettling, just utterly implausible and unconvincing.

The scariest thing for me is just how many film reviewers have given this movie good or even glowing reviews, including Mark Kermode, whose opinion I generally respect. This may be technically a good movie, but what's the point when it (metaphorically speaking) farts in the face of its audience?

I wasn't unsettled, I wasn't scared, I didn't have an existential crisis, I was just bored.

Kubrick this is not.

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Typical Rock fare, but a mediocre monster movie

There have been some great big monster movies in recent years: Pacific Rim, Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island. Rampage doesn't come close to those films - some of the CGI effects are decidedly poor. It's utterly predictable in being little more than a macho posturing vehicle for Mr Johnson (who is still a very likeable actor), but its heart is in the right place and you could do a lot worse (e.g. Pacific Rim: Uprising) if you're after a new big monster fix.

PS My wife thought it was dire.

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Oh dear god

Just an awful, awful film that should prove the final nail in the coffin of the Predator "franchise" (what a distasteful word that is). The dialogue really is cringeworthy at times, and downright sexist at others - let's not forget, a convicted sex offender featured in the cast and had to hastily edited out when this fact was made public.

The risible and unfunny attempts at banter and humour that pepper the film destroy any notion of suspense or anticipation. I found the idea that the Predators sought to "upgrade" themselves with human DNA in order to make themselves better killers was idiotic and utterly half baked, almost as bad as the Prometheus/Alien Covenant explanation for the origin of the xenomorphs. Finally, resorting to a CGI "super predator" that makes the regular predators look like goblins confirmed the farcical, desperate nature of this movie.

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An original, surreal movie

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. It's the kind of film that is probably not going to be fully understood on its first viewing, although the plot is not overly complicated. I found that the suspense was built up quite skilfully so that a film that starts out quite slow actually gets quite tense and "scary" by the hour point. It may be too surreal or avant garde for many, but if you enoy trippy, thought provoking, slow-ish yet atmospheric movies (the music is superbly ethereal on blu ray) then you may well enjoy this as much as I did. If you enjoyed the indie movie "Coherence", you will probably enoy this.

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Awful. I want my 100 minutes back.

I gave this awful film the benefit of the doubt, thanks to the reviews here which were way off, in my opinion. Just the most derivative, asinine, juvenile, intelligence insulting script with the emotional sophistication of a thirteen year old boy. The finale is on a par with Angels and Demons when it comes to the most laughably facile, not-at-all-thought-through ending. A wafer thin, ludicrous plot coupled with cringe-inducing script and the kind of voyeuristic, lecherous direction one would expect of Michael Bay or Zak Snyder. If you enjoy their films then have at it; everyone else, avoid like the plague.

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The Beatles: Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years Online DVD Rental

It's The Beatles

I expected more from Ron Howard and was anticipating footage and stories I'd not heard before. If you've seen the Beatles Anthology (and any self respecting fan surely has) then you won't find much here that you haven't seen before. In fact, some of the interview clips are from the anthology.

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It's an advert for Swiss tourism

This "documentary" literally is an advertisement from the Swiss tourist board, although in that regard it succeeds - the cinematography does a great job of capturing Switzerland's majestic Alpine landscape. If you are a fan of the outdoors and do not feel the urge to at least visit Switzerland after this, you're made of sterner stuff than me.

As a documentary about mountaineering, it's far less compelling than some of my favourites - 'Touching the Void', 'Meru' and 'Beyond the Edge'. John Harlin's personal connection to the North face of the Eiger did move me, however, and there is some great footage of this most challenging of mountain faces.

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Beautifully shot but really quite dull

This is certainly a film with some of the most glorious cinematography I've seen. Unfortunately, the rest of the film really does pale in comparison. Yes there are strong performances but we have come to expect that from DiCaprio, Hardy, Gleeson et al. Yes the bear attack is convincing and shocking but it doesn't make up for a rather incoherent, rambling script that sags badly in the middle. Was there indeed a script? Hardy is barely intelligible for most of the film, whilst DiCaprio spends most of his time grunting and drooling as if he's Jordan Belfort on Quaaludes. That's all well and good, except when it goes on for 149 minutes or so. The history books will show this as DiCaprio's finest moment, when it truth it shouldn't even be considered in his top five.

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Amusing gore-fest. Don't bother with 3D version though.

This remake/reboot lacks the suspense and drama of Joe Dante's 1978 'Piranha', instead resorting to a crazy, blood and gore drenched last thirty minutes. Its tongue is firmly in its cheek, although I personally felt that the CGI piranha, whilst adequately rendered, were too cartoony to be convincing. There is definitely something anarchic or even misanthropic about the film's climax, which I did find very entertaining.

Be warned about the 3D version though - it requires those old fashioned red and green glasses that were briefly popular in the 1970s and 80s, rather than modern passive/active glasses that you get with 3D tellies. They cost pennies from Ebay but the viewing experience is woeful, akin to watching through a glass of beer. To prove that it wasn't the glasses, I looked at some of the 3D images of Mars on the internet and they worked perfectly. Just watch the regular version.

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A bizarre film, but the underlying message is profound and powerful

This really does need to be viewed along with Oppenheimer's other work on the Indonesian genocide, 'The Look of Silence'. 'The Act of Killing' takes an off-the-wall approach to dealing with the profound injustice of the mass murder that was committed in the 1960s. I think I made a bit of a mistake in deciding to watch the director's cut first, which is around 45 minutes longer than the theatrical edition. I found it very hard to watch some extremely unpalatable individuals crowing about murder and rape for over two and half hours.

What disturbs me is that Anwar Congo, the main focus of this documentary, does not appear to be a psychopath or deranged. Whilst he brags, boasts and otherwise appears unrepentant about being responsible for the often brutal murders of over a thousand people, it is clear that has been tormented by his memories of what he has done. This comes to a head when he himself plays the part of a "communist" being tortured and murdered. It's at that point that he understands what he put his victims through. What this proves to me is that anyone can be motivated to commit genocide if they are conditioned into believing that their victims are somehow evil and deserving of death. We in the West like to think that the Nazis were a one off, that it couldn't happen again. And yet it has happened, again and again, and often with the full knowledge of our governments. There is nothing to stop this happening whilst people continue to view the world as "us and them".

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Everyone should see this

It's hard to put into words just how shocking this documentary is. Never has the saying "the banality of evil" been so abundantly demonstrated than in the words of actions of those Indonesians who took part in the 1965, or their friends and family who are so dismissive, so unwilling to face the truth. What I found most uncomfortable is that the people who are ultimately responsible for the murder of approximately one million people are still in power in Indonesia, and that the governments of the US, UK and Australia were complicit in these murders. This last fact is not established in the film but has been the conclusion of a recent independent tribunal. Nevertheless, there will be no Indonesian Nuremberg, no trial in The Hague. That in itself is what is most appalling.

I must pay tribute to the surviving brother who unflinchingly confronts those responsible for his brother's brutal, inhuman murder with preternatural equanimity and restraint, even though the anguish, torment and rage are etched in his every expression. I could not have shown such diplomacy in the presence of people for whom mass murder is an act of patriotic duty.

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