IMDb member since January 2001
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Last Orders

Emotional without being sentimental
I watched this with my sister, who has a severely disabled son. Our father is in hospital, possibly for the last time. So, as you can imagine, I was not necessarily in the best frame of mind, but did not have to reach for the tissues. Brilliant performances throughout, as you would expect from the likes of Michael Caine, Helen Mirren, and the rest: even the younger actors who play the characters earlier in their lives are convincing -- they should be proud to have this on their CVs! A group of four men take the ashes of a fifth to be thrown off the Pier at Margate, in accordance with his wishes (The 'Last Orders' of the title). And throughout they reminisce about him and their interactions with him. Many secrets are revealed, and a mystery is cleared up in the course of the journey. All in all it serves as a eulogy for the dead man, showing a portrait of his life with all its hopes and disappointments. And I am sorry if people across the Atlantic have to use subtitles, but we have the same problem here too -- for example, when watching Billy Bob Thornton in 'Slingblade', I had terrible trouble to start with trying to understand his speech until I got 'tuned in'; if you make a little effort, it is worth it.

Super Size Me

Quite illuminating about the state of USA all round, especially Porky Texas
Not bad. I have just watched this on TV in Britain. Very much in the style of Michael Moore, but without the attempted interview with McDonalds' head of PR, which could have been fun! An awesome array of stats -- too many really to take in. But the overall lasting impression is the long-term impact of all this junk people are eating: I think he said that it is estimated that 1/3 kids born in 2000 will end up diabetic if present trends continue. I feel the most interesting aspect was the brainwashing point -- kids who do not recognize other famous faces like George Washington or Jesus, but instantly name Ronald. Or adults who could not recite the Oath of Allegiance (I think), but could come out with McDonald's advertising slogans. It is quite scary to think how manipulated people's brains are. If these companies continue in their efforts to dominate the world's nutrition, we are in for some major problems in the not too distant future.


Words fail me
If they had tried a little harder, this could have been as good a spoof of the genre as 'Airplane'. It IS a spoof isn't it???? A few more lines like "I'm never flying this airline again" would have worked wonders. And where was Leslie 'Don't call me Shirley' Nielsen??? No, this is unmitigated rubbish. I worked at an airport for many years, and know a little about aviation. Aeroplanes do not behave like the one in this film. And one post 9/11 thought: I believe that cockpits now can only be opened from the inside. Once the co-pilot is incapacitated, no-one would be able to get in.... erm end of film, I think!!!

Frontline: Death of a Princess
Episode 7, Season 23

Should be shown again, twice a week!
A wonderful and deeply affecting film which is sadly still just as relevant as when it was made. The story highlights just one of the many gaping, cavernous differences in attitudes to women between our supposedly civilised selves and other parts of the world. The extreme reaction of the Saudis to the programme at the time indicates just how much of a sore nerve was touched, and since we insist on continuing to interact economically with this regime (sound familiar?) it is high time we exercised some consumer power as this seems to work much better than (for instance) military might. With the freedom to broadcast which we allegedly enjoy it is unforgivable that this has not been repeated as many times as necessary until the situation changes in this part of the world.

Defence of the Realm

Clever stuff
Well put together, and it will not do your paranoia any good at all! (But then, if you're not a bit paranoid, there's something wrong with you!)

Perhaps the characters could do with filling out a little, but on the whole, this is a very well-crafted thriller, to which you have to pay attention, as there are no big info-dumps or exposition: you have to work out a lot for yourself.

Le violon rouge

Intelligent, gripping, wonderful film
Is it a thriller? Is it a horror movie? Is it a biopic?

Well, yes and no... each one, but a bit more as well.. a wonderful mixture of elements of each genre that keeps you gripped all the way through, though you HAVE to pay attention.

An unusual structure, not unlike 'Pulp Fiction', would you believe? Not purely flashback, but returning to previous scenes and situations from different angles, building up the mystery and tension.

And excellent music, thoroughly deserving of its Oscar. I particularly liked the way the actors look like they are actually playing the instrument.

Utterly brilliant!


Who paid for this?
Ropey science, unsympathetic characters, and a virtually complete lack of credibility.

Yup, I didn't like this!!

The science -- it all seemed to happen awfully quickly: it was as if no-one had noticed a build-up of sunspots, and as for the speed with which the climate changed....!

The characters -- quite frankly, I'd have liked to bury them all in a snowdrift. The alleged hero seemed to belong to that strain of LAPD members whom Rodney King encountered some years ago; a racist bully. And the others were little more than cardboard cutouts.

Sorry, I can't go on......

The Exorcist III

A lot better than expected
Our listing magazine gave this 3/5 stars. On an IMDb rating, I would give it 7/10

Some other reviewers criticise the pacing in the first hour or so, and encourage you to wait for the gorefest at the end. Wrong way round!!! The first part is EXCELLENT; they could have made it an out-and-out slasher movie, but chose instead to build the creepiness gradually -- no direct shots of the dead bodies -- lets your imagination work. And then the non-scary scene of the nurse opening the door to find the melting ice, immediately followed by a long hold, as she crosses the corridor to lock another door... then.... .!!!!

I thought it started getting a bit silly towards the end -- where did Nicol williamson pop up from?

But overall not bad!

The Fifth Element

Our listings magazine gave this 4 stars out of a possible 5.... way too generous! Maybe 2... 3 or 4 on the IMDb scale Excellent design and costumes, good action sequences, but otherwise poor. Plot holes galore, and, if you are going to do Science Fiction, why not get your 'tech-sounding' chat right??? The temperatures have already been referred to, but there is also a mention of 'thermonuclear sensing'... what??? at least Star Trek makes stuff sound genuinely realistic. I think the poor soundtrack (at least as broadcast on UK TV last night) makes it hard to pick out much of what people say -- but then we'd be able to spot more holes and inaccuracies all over the place. A sloppy mishmash of 'Indiana Jones', Erich von Daniken, 'Die Hard' and sub-Star Wars

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