Film Reviews by CS

Welcome to CS film reviews page. CS has written 29 reviews and rated 162 films.

Predictable, by the numbers.

We rented this because of its good reviews but while the fight scenes have clearly been choreographed with care the narrative arc of crisis to success has been overdone in this franchise. For fans of Rocky and the Creed reboot it may be enough to see the same story played out with variations in pitch, tone and character, but for anyone wanting something fresh which promised new directions to traditional scenarios this was disappointing.

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Kaiser! Online DVD Rental

Story of a con man

I remember being at the Southampton match when Ali Dia was brought on by the then manager Graham Souness, and then substituted shortly afterwards having run around like what Matthew Le Tissier later described as 'Bambi on ice'. Dia was given a month's contract on the basis of a phone call to Souness from someone who claimed to be George Weah. The whole thing was a scam, and a hilarious one too. Well, that's got nothing on this tale of a footballing con man who talked his way into being signed for numerous clubs yet managed to avoid for years the fate of Dia by hardly ever venturing onto the pitch to actually play. An interesting tale that would have made for a belting 30 minute documentary. Stretched out to around 90 minutes, this gets a little repetitive but it's still an interesting and at times sad tale of an individual who played to his strengths by contributing far more off the pitch than he ever did on it.

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Solid

Ruth Ginsburg has been a hugely important figure in the legal campaign for women's rights and equal opportunities and remains an influential figure in the Supreme Court. This worthy documentary details her background and rise to influence and is well worth a look for anyone interested in her story and the issues surrounding America's gradual acknowledgement that women deserve the same treatment as men.

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Engrossing movie - well worth watching

So, most people will know about the original lead, Kevin Spacey, being replaced after his immersion in sex abuse accusations, but many will not know the story of the kidnapping of Getty's grandchild. This film dramatises the events surrounding this incident, reminds engaging throughout, builds tension effectively as the narrative progresses, and is excellently acted by all. We really enjoyed this film - an unexpected (to us) hit.

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Gripping labyrinthine curio.

Told from multiple perspectives in an overlapping time frame, revisiting the same event from different points of view, this was an engaging film which was at times shocking in its use of unexpected violence. The film starts with different characters turning up at a hotel that has its share of secrets, and plays out in the different rooms occupied by the guests. Jeff Bridges is superb - as ever - and the quality of the acting and cast (Jon Hamm among others) kept me engaged throughout. Weird it absolutely was, but in an entertaining way. Good fun.

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Massive disappointment

Given all the fuss that has been made about this film we were hugely disappointed. While all of its lead characters may be Asian - something embarrassingly rare in Hollywood movies - it needed to be more than a contribution towards representational politics to constitute a good film. There were slight variations and nuances on the traditional rom com - and if it is a put your brain on hold rom com you want then maybe give it a go - but this didn't do enough to make it an engaging watch.

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3.5 stars for Trumpisms

If you've seen the other Purge films you'll know what this is about, but it does provide an interesting backstory to the origins of the

event in a story that has some uncomfortable parallels with what is going on today in terms of the resurgence of extremism in the USA. This is not high brow cinema but it is entertaining enough and worth a watch for sure if you enjoyed its predecessors.

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Gripping and highly relevant

Spike Lee at his best as director in a gripping tale based on a true story that stretches credulity (as does much going on in America now as then). The idea of a black cop infiltrating the KKK sounds fantastic, but the manner in which this is done and the risks incurred form the base of a tense and exciting plot that highlights themes about racism that - as the ending of the film illustrates - remain all too pertinent. Excellently acted and told. Surely a strong Oscar contender?

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Does what it says it will do...

A home invasion in reverse film which may draw on a paint-by-numbers formula but does a good job in getting stuck into the action and drawing viewers along with the plot's action. 'Don't mess with mum' could have been a suitable subtitle . Hardly a classic but I'd give this a 4 star (just) as the momentum never let up and it maintained its entertainment value. At under 90 minutes it also had the advantage of not stretching an idea beyond its welcome. Good fun.

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Dull as beautiful ditchwater

Nice to look at - sumptuous scenes of rural Italy made me want to go back there for another holiday. As for a film though, while it beats watching an apple core go brown the dull, dull, dull story of a gay relationship between a teenager and youngish academic really didn't do enough to stir excitement or interest.

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Fascinating Biopgraphy

This film may not look entertaining on the surface but is an excellent auto/biographical portrait of Leon Vitalli, a successful and highly promising actor who became fascinated by the mechanics of film production after working with Kubrick and gave up acting in order to work with the great director as a personal assistant involved in every aspect of movie making. This sacrifice - which is what it seems in many respects - takes some explaining but that is what is so interesting. Well worth a look if you want something a little different from Hollywood action movies or art film pretentiousness.

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Not as good as the first.

I enjoyed the first of these - a revenge movie based in significant part within B&Q type store has lots of tongue in cheek possibilities for extreme pay-back - but I'm afraid Denzel couldn't keep me awake until the end of this follow-up. He's now into taxiing, righting wrongs during his time off, but friends and others are being killed off (dangerous to be a friend of this character, though he will get even...), and there's clearly a conspiracy afoot. A fair bit of action and some excellent fight sequences but you know the script and could probably write it. Denzel is class, but better vehicles for his talents needed.

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Excellent drama/thriller.

Superbly acted, atmospheric and brooding, this tale of family, community and personal strife grips from early on and builds to a dramatic climax. Very impressive and absolutely worth watching.

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Mesmeric

A small scale but ultimately profound exploration of one man's journey through a few days which is also a contemplation

on old age. Brilliantly acted by Harry Dean Stanton - with appearances from the likes of David Lynch - in what

was his last screen performance, this is an excellent film well worth catching.

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