Film Reviews by AM

Welcome to AM's film reviews page. AM has written 20 reviews and rated 17 films.

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The Last House

Amateur hour

(Edit) 08/06/2021

Apart from one or two inspired moments this film has the hallmarks of a poor student project (even students can be creative).

There's little back story and a narrative which is full of holes, unexplained causes and consequences.  Washed out colour looks like an attempt to add  grit and a range of camera styles and lighting confuses the atmosphere. No real story. Hitching a ride on the bandwagon of revenge movies - not coming close to tension or threat. Waste of time, waste of money. I will add that the actors have potential but not with this director.

Again no subtitles for those of us with hearing issues.  

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Doctor Sleep

More Insubstantial Stephen King fare

(Edit) 10/05/2021

Stephen King is the emperor in his new clothes - nobody says it - it’s thin. One unexplained idea done to death with no explanations for events. The only thing holding The Shining together was Nicholson and the rest of the cast and crew...brilliant film making whitewashing dull Stephen King narrative. This is the same. Excellent cast, crew and direction of a dull insubstantial plotless farrago  by King. King is full of malevolent entities never explained.

Great film, dishwater story.

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Becky

Solid predictable revenge.

(Edit) 10/05/2021

Well paced, well acted and directed - ticks all the revenge movie boxes. It’s predictable - but then all revenge movies are pretty much the same - this is a good one. You can believe Becky is capable - an excellent performance from Lulu Wilson.

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Knives Out

Christie revisited

(Edit) 23/04/2021

As first glance this is tame. But the excellent actors, intriguing story, excellent photography and editing bring this Agatha Christie style 'murder in a house' mystery to fruition. Craig as the Poirot style detective, (with a cajun /French bayou background) takes a little warming to - were used to seeing him as the Englishman or American...here he's from the Deep South - a sort of Sherlock wannabe, and there are little digs in the script about his accent and his propensity to see his sidekick protagonist as Watson. The twists and turns in the plot leave no holes unfilled as people cover their tracks and secondary plot lines re-emerge to throw Craig's "Benoit" off the scent. Good stuff - well above some of the fare on offer at the moment made by actors taking on scripts as their bank balances diminish.  

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The Owners

Great fun!

(Edit) 22/04/2021

Well paced and darkly humorous - even though you know what might happen it's way better than what you thought!

Great Fun, Excellent. 

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Cosmic Sin

Oh dear! Oh dear! Eyewateringly bad!

(Edit) 16/04/2021

Edward Drake must have found plenty of cash to lure Bruce Willis into this quagmire. Has this been made in the hope of cult status? It can be the only excuse for the banal cliche'd story, the abysmal direction, laughable acting (even Bruce looks bored stiff with it all) - aliens threaten to wipe out humanity and we fight them off in the 26th century with 20th century assault rifles...painful to watch as bullets fly to keep the gamers from returning to the x-box. Old factories painted and cleaned (well sort of cleaned) to represent future interiors, a bit of forest probably somewhere in Romania to represent "another planet!!" a replica 50 times life size of a germanium crystal (remember crystal sets?) to look like a bomb that can produce a black hole. I wouldn't be surprised if Star Trek doesn't sue for  the stealing of 1960's story lines - They didn't have CGI then and this rubbish looks as if Edward couldn't afford CGI now because he spent all the cash on Bruce. A complete and utter waste of my time and money...I only watched to the end so I could honestly write this. The only saving grace? Altitude provides subtitles, thanks Altitude.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Turtles Are Surprisingly Fast Swimmers

A gentle comedy deeper than it looks.

(Edit) 21/04/2021

A lovely absurd comedic idea. Beautiful filming, and acting bringing nuanced performances and 

naturalistic Japanese care, delicacy and composition to a simple warm story. "Turtles"

touches on aspects of Japanese life and environment familiar as small town Japan

and reveals deeper aspects of Japanese character. The restaurants, fishing festival, the need to conform,

tiny living spaces, rural architecture and infrastructure found everywhere in Japan. This was filmed

at the end of the southern Tokyo Bay peninsula but could have been in Kyushu way down south or

Hokkaido in the north or even on any of the larger islands.

A little jewel for those who relish cultures as they appear to the people who live there.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Anti-Life

Willis must be running out of cash

(Edit) 10/04/2021

Whatever is Bruce Willis doing in this wreck of a film? More rubbish from Signature...one of the worst distributors, no subtitles, low volume (set on 100% full could barely hear dialogue) and dreadful direction, lack of cine-photography, cliche'ed lighting (i.e. copied from successful films - but very badly) you can clearly see the gaffer tape holding the sets together and nails holding the plywood bits to the walls of the interiors to add 'tech' look. There's a brilliant bit where Willis sits on his bunk which is so badly designed that he has to sit bent forward - it's too small to be sat in! In one shot you can see the chipboard floor of the space craft so badly painted and with chipped edges it looks like a student's flat after a party. Just one point...how long could you be firing machine guns in a spacecraft before the outer hull is breached? Can you put a pregnant woman into cryo-stasis? i.e. suspended animation, what happens to the foetus, does it stop growing too? What a waste of my money.

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The Great Alaskan Race

How to sentimentalise Alaska in one awful film.

(Edit) 25/03/2021

Brian Presley shows real talent in reducing an intense true story of a heroic battle against the odds to sickly sweet sentimental mush - predictable images, wooden acting, and the hope that drone shots will salvage banal photography, ill considered lighting and a soundtrack of weeping strings. Add to this a High Fliers DVD with no subtitles ( it should be illegal to omit subtitles.... many hard of hearing rely on them).

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The Unfamiliar

Eye wateringly awful.

(Edit) 26/03/2021

Oh dear, oh dear - never gets going, acting - non existent - not just bad or wooden, non existent.

Comes across as formulaic, cheap and barely worthy of release. No one should have to pay to watch this.

And, a lack of subtitles should be illegal.  

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WWII: The Long Road Home

Possibly the worst film of all time

(Edit) 23/01/2021

Not even up to the standard of a student movie. Acting - there is none. What a mess. I feel that I'm owed a free rental I would never, ever have paid for this complete rubbish

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Imprisoned

Awful

(Edit) 14/12/2020

Awful - they should be ashamed to release this. Wooden acting. that would shame an oak tree, lighting - none, direction - it's

not even up to a student film standard.  I've been to Siberia and it is dirty, backward, cold beyond belief, gloomy and dour - that's just the people,

- the place is worse - and the prisons - certainly not like the four star accommodation in this place - especially in 1945-6.  A waste of my money. 

It's worth seeing the best film probably ever made "similar" to this story  "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Solzhenitsyn - Tom Courtenay as Shukhov  and directed superbly by Casper Wrede (1970).

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The Goldfinch

Deserves blu ray format

(Edit) 29/05/2020

A great and detailed story, beautifully filmed by Deakins but let down by DVD format when only blu ray could do it justice. Very poor choice by distributor.

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Green Book

Not a bad film but a poor copy.

(Edit) 16/06/2019
Spoiler Alert

A poor copy of a French film: Untouchable which is superior in every way, but probably this is a reasonable alternative if you don't like subtitles.

The transposition of the characters from black to white seems crass and unnecessary. The premise is good but why remake an already superb film?

This seems to be the American way - to subsume a plot and a language to satisfy the home market.  At best the US versions are perhaps as good as the original Japanese, Korean, British, French or Czech but few make this grade...most are pale imitations of the originals and this is no exception. Enjoyable only if you've never seen Untouchable.

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Wonder Woman

Not much

(Edit) 04/01/2018

Pretty dull overall...nothing new here. Lame storyline - rehash of Capt America. Wouldn't recommend it - wooden and lacks any real innovation...resorts to paranormal to wriggle out of plot failures.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.
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