hesketh27

IMDb member since February 2001
    Lifetime Total
    75+
    IMDb Member
    20 years

Reviews

The Bay
(2019)

Accent "criticisms"
Unbelievable that there are some criticisms about not understanding the accents in this programme. So what? In Britain vast majority can understand differing regional accents and this is a BRITISH programme made for BRITISH native English speakers. If you don't understand put the subtitles on your tv. Do you complain about not understanding Spanish , French or other foreign shows???? It's not particularly good by British drama standards but the accents have nothing to do with it. Deal with or or don't watch!!!

Jamestown
(2017)

Totally hooked & hoping for a third series!
Am now halfway through box set of Series 2 on NowTV and loving every minute of it! I am addicted to historical drama / fiction but if you are expecting much accuracy in 'Jamestown' then forget it. The acting quality ranges from excellent to poor but any shortcomings are compensated for by the attractive ensemble cast and lush photography that makes full use of the stunning scenery - this show is beautiful to look at. It's very easy to become totally involved in the life of the characters as this is purely and simply a soap opera in fancy dress. Don't bother to analyse - switch off your brain for 50 minutes sit back and enjoy!

The Green Mile
(1999)

Pitch perfect performances - great film!
I originally saw 'The Green Mile' after the DVD was released. To be honest, I was not particularly interested in seeing the film, but a friend who is a big Stephen King fan loaned me the DVD. When I saw the running time of the film I sat down rather reluctantly to view it. I remember becoming engrossed in it & never noticed the three hours passing by - always a sign of a good movie. Yesterday I returned to the film again after 16 years and although this time I did feel it's length somewhat, it had lost none of it's power to thoroughly captivate. Perfectly cast and performed, it provides amusement, high drama & ultimately for the audience - tears. It is a fable / fairytale for adults with important & poignant messages about life (and of course death) that we all need to consider. If you have not yet seen this picture please give it a chance - it is doubtful that you will regret it and it is likely to remain with you for a long time.

Hetty Wainthropp Investigates
(1996)

Wonderful now classic TV series
I own the complete DVD box set of Hetty Wainthrop Investigates & have watched each series at least 3 times. The show is now being shown again on UKTV Drama so I am dipping in and out of the episodes once more. HWI is a quaint & quirky detective drama series with flashes of added humour that never lets you down. Comforting like a well loved blanket it is one of my favourite shows of all time. The cases that Hetty & Geoffrey investigate are mundane downbeat and in real life would only be of interest to those involved in them but the homely, warm feeling that the episodes radiate are pure gold. Quintessentially (Northern) English it is one to be reached for when you want an hour of harmless entertainment - the end of each episode will leave you feeling all is right with the world.

A Lonely Place to Die
(2011)

Could have been a great film but...........
Firstly, there are some very positive points about this film. All the performances are very good, the photography is excellent and the basic premise of the film, that five mountaineers find a kidnapped child buried in a forest is a solid basis for a gripping thriller. I cannot help but feel that the whole thing could have been so much better. So much more suspense could have been wrung out of the story as the group play cat and mouse with the villains without resorting to the big guns and shoot- em - up action that spoilt the film for me. The finale in particular I found totally unconvincing and rather disappointing with its reliance on gratuitous violence. OK - I know the story rests on the unfeeling nature of the villains and their quick resort to killing (and those who are in pursuit of them)but I still cannot help feeling that with a bit more subtlety this could have been a really great thriller. Full marks for trying and a good effort for low budget British flick but could have done much better!

The House of Eliott
(1991)

Missed it first time round - glad to be catching it now!
The House of Elliot is currently being shown each weekday evening on ITV3. I never saw it first time around in the early '90's - for some reason, it just did not appeal to me despite its original popularity. I'm glad I didn't see it actually because I would have been denied the great pleasure of seeing it for the first time now! All I can say is what a great programme it is. The likable characters soon have you completely involved in their trials and tribulations.If anyone is looking for great art, this is not it - however, it is an engaging, undemanding and enjoyable way to pass an hour's viewing. The period settings, costumes and attention to detail are fantastic - the show must have cost a fortune to make. Particularly impressive was the episode set in Paris, which was obviously filmed on location - all I can think was that the outside scenes must have been filmed at some unearthly hour in the morning when the city was quiet - however it was done it was an amazing feat! Well done to all concerned with this gem of a series.

No Surrender
(1985)

Worst film I have ever seen!
I saw this film for the first time last night on DVD. I was prepared to give it a go as I do like most of the cast. The film is quite simply appalling and frankly I am surprised that any of the players ever worked again. The script stinks, the acting is dreadful, the comic timing and delivery of lines woeful. In particular, Joanne Whalley's scouse accent is risible. It seemed to last forever and considering it was supposed to be a comedy I sat through it without so much as raising a smile. I was soooooo grateful when it was finally over. Do not waste time on sitting through this car crash of a film, life is short and you will never get the time back again.

Taken
(2008)

Liam - you must REALLY have needed the money!
Each time you see a lousy film, you think nothing could possibly be worse until along comes something that blows the previous one out of the water for sheer awfulness. This is true of 'Taken'. Up to pres, it is the worst pile of junk I've had the misfortune to sit through in quite some time. Quite simply I am outraged that this should score so highly on IMDb and that I should have been taken in by it! Liam Neeeson goes through this looking like some badly made -up corpse, gaunt old features emphasized by an appalling hair-dye job, calculated to make him look younger and perversely emphasizing his age. Lousy script, lousy acting -the worst of which being the daughter who behaves like a demented 6 year old rather than a 17 year old asking to tour Europe. Why would anyone allow an obviously backward/retarded girl to do this? This film absolutely STINKS - it is utter RUBBISH!!!!!! Dozens of gangsters firing automatic weapons at one man and all missing the target etc.. the usual clichés, in fact its so bad its like a parody. Only watch this if you are a particularly unsophisticated/immature 15 year old boy because that's the only type of person who could possibly enjoy this garbage. Everyone has to pay their bills and Liam Neeson must have seen this as a way to pay his, because my God- he can't seriously have thought 'I've just GOT to play this role!' when the script landed on his mat! TRASH that hits a new low for the braindead.

The Oxford Murders
(2008)

Absolutely awful!
This really is a poor film. It has a fine cast and it should have been much better, but it has all the hallmarks of an international co-production - bad direction, leading to poor acting (an astonishingly hammy / embarrassing piece of acting from the usually good Burn Gorman),confusing storyline, poor sex scenes etc.. etc.. The whole thing just does not hang together and the ending is just appalling. The pretentious, intellectual mathematical mumbo jumbo spouted throughout just makes your eyes glaze over I'm afraid. If you are a discerning film watcher you will know exactly what I mean. There is NO WAY that this could even remotely be called good. It isn't anywhere near as entertaining as even Inspector Morse or Midsomer Murders so take my advice and give it a wide berth!

Le serpent
(2006)

Goes off the boil!
For the first two thirds of its length, this film is a first rate thriller. It establishes the characters very well and you quickly become engaged in the plot, which is made very easy to follow. The acting is excellent,( in particular Clovis Cornillac as the malevolent private detective Plender). There are moments of true tension. Its definitely one of the most enjoyable films of its type I've seen in years. Then BAM - Vincent is arrested for murder and the plot descends quickly into the worst kind of overwrought Hollywood action flick - the kind of thing that Harrison Ford does when he's in his innocent man wrongly-accused mode (complete with implausible stunts). I was really disappointed as the characters become involved in a melodramatic pantomime. What the hell happened?? A superb thriller ruined in the last half hour!!! I have given it a six rating because I enjoyed more of it than not - had it not been for the last half hour it would have got a nine!!

Eastern Promises
(2007)

How has this scored so highly on IMDb?
From now on, I do not think that I shall really take any notice of the scores that films get on this site. How on earth this effort with a weak plot and dreadful acting can score almost 8 is beyond me. One of the most grating aspects of the film are the ridiculous accents which sound like a parody. The switching back and forth between English and Russian is embarrassingly awful. Vincent Cassel wins the award for hammiest actor with his pantomime villain, (the scene with the baby by the river is cringeworthy!!) the Naomi Watts character is as weak as dishwater and Viggo Mortensen has to be one of the most over-rated actors of all time. The 'plot', such as it is, has no tension whatsoever. I'm sure I would have loved the violence when I was 14 but more sophisticated film - goers should not be fooled by some of the positive comments others have placed here. The film's a stinker, pure and simple.

Mamma Mia!
(2008)

Oh dear.........
Just got back from an afternoon screening of this film. Even though the film has been showing for almost three weeks now, the cinema was PACKED with (mostly) over 50s. Firstly, I am a HUGE fan of ABBA (have been since the early 70s, even before their Eurovision win) and I so wanted to enjoy this film but I'm afraid that I felt like watching it with my hands covering my face and peeking through my fingers, such was my embarrassment! Overacted to the extreme by all concerned it is truly cringeworthy. The dreadful Julie Walters was the usual awful hammy, mugging Mrs. Overall persona that she always is (you may have guessed that I can't STAND this particular 'national treasure'.I really had to force myself to go to see it knowing that this ghastly woman was in it.) The music is actually tolerably sung by most of the cast (with the exception of Pierce Brosnan) but the 'OMG' hystrionics of the actors to show that they are having 'fun' is just appalling. Incidentally, not one person in the cinema laughed at the 'funny' bits. All in all, a miscast (the leads were WAY too old) misfire and one that any discerning cinema goer will find poor.

Jump!
(2007)

Awful - just awful!
This mess just reminded me of one of those 70s pan European co-productions that were so prominent at the time. The characters inhabit a Disneyesque, sanitised version of 1920s Austria where everyone and everything is scrubbed shinily clean and everyone walks aboutwearing beautiful clothes. The story itself would be a good basis for adecent dramatic film but as soon as I heard the dreadful dubbed voice coming out of Heinz Hoenig's mouth I knew this was a stinker! Why does the film show Halsman alive and well in America in the 1950s spoiling any dramatic tension - we already know in the first 2 minutes of the film that he is going to be free, whats the point watching any further? (I personally didn't know who he was before watching the film) Why does Martine McCutcheon have to talk with that ridiculous American accent in a film set in Austria????????? All in all an unwatchable mess. Badly scripted, badly directed and badly acted. AVOID!!!!!!!!!

Männer wie wir
(2004)

Charming comedy
I really enjoyed this lighthearted 'feelgood' comedy. OK, it might be a bit old - fashioned and predictable when it comes to portraying gay stereotypes, but it is an affectionate and completely inoffensive film that passed an enjoyable 90 minutes or so for me. The film is populated by a cast of likable characters led by the sweet Maximillian Bruckner as 'Ecki', a young man who plays in goal for a smalltown football team and who is outed as gay by his teammates. The team and some of the townsfolk are particularly cruel to both Ecki and his parents following the 'outing'. (The running gag of the old man coming into the family's bakery shop and telling 'gay' jokes is quite funny however.) The film concentrates on Ecki's determination to put together a gay football team that can take on his tormentors and win. This leads to an enjoyable series of adventures in which his family, particularly his father, have to come to terms with his sexuality and in which he manages to find love along the way. Altogether a nice fairy-tale (excuse the pun!) - everyone even manages to live happily ever- after! See it and enjoy!

Pacific Heights
(1990)

Tense thriller
I just finished watching this again for the second time having seen it originally some years ago. I enjoyed it the first time I saw it and was glad to find that my enjoyment has not diminished. I couldn't believe its now 18 years old - frightening where the time goes! Although it can hardly be described as a cinema great, it certainly has its share of tense moments and Michael Keaton makes a good, believable psycho. You definitely feel for the Griffiths / Modine characters, especially if you've been driven to the edge of insanity by the behaviour of another tenant in an apartment block (as I have!) - very uncomfortable viewing indeed! All in all, an enjoyable roller coaster that seems to be under -rated.

I Am Legend
(2007)

I am flabbergasted
Yes, I'm flabbergasted indeed that vacuous junk like this continues to get a release in the UK. The complete stranglehold that Hollywood has on our cinemas means that while there are dozens of home grown, continental European and some good independent US films gathering dust in a cupboard, boring, formulaic dross is allowed to infest the multiplexes. I really wanted Will Smith to be eaten by the rabid mutants as quickly as possible, boy did I want that, in fact as my brain began to atrophy I would willingly have offered myself up to them so that I could escape from my misery! There is little plot, poor CGI and the theme has been done to death in countless other films. Just HOW MANY crazed flesh eating zombie / mutant pictures can we take? JEEZ....or rather ZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!! Absolute rubbish.

Vanity Fair
(2004)

Complete misfire
I saw this last night when it was premiered on network TV. I must admit that I knew next to nothing about the story of Vanity Fair not having read the book or seen a previous dramatisation. I do understand, however, that in the novel, the character of Becky Sharpe is not a likable one and that she uses her guile to help her climb the social ladder. Unfortunately, this just does not come across in this film at all. Becky is shown as a kind, caring and loving character who climbs the ladder because she is in the right place at the right time and is admired for her intelligence by the 'upper classes'. There is a half hearted attempt in the last half hour to make Becky seem a bit more 'wicked' but it just flops completely and some of the things she says / does is just completely out of sync with the character that has been shown for the rest of the film. The film drags quite a bit in places and I'm afraid I was not impressed at all. Britain is rightly famed for the quality of its classic period productions. Alas - this is an exception to the rule. I am tempted to read the book now, to see how it compares with this adaptation.

Fanny Hill
(2007)

A thoroughly entertaining romp
This adaptation of John Clelland's 18th century novel was broadcast on BBC4 recently. Telling the story of an innocent northern country girl who travels to London to seek her fortune it certainly gallops along at an entertaining pace. Along the way, Fanny falls into the clutches of brothel keeper Mrs. Brown, finds her true love, finishes up in the gutter and finally....well, you'll have to watch it yourself to find out! The cast ranges from beautiful to grotesques, all play their parts with gusto and the tongue in cheek script provides enough material for all of them to shine. Everyone looks as if they are enjoying themselves. Made with the BBC's usual high production values and eye for historical accuracy, it's naughty, it's bawdy and an enjoyable, lighthearted piece of entertainment. I'm sure that this will eventually find its way onto BBC 2, it certainly deserves a wider audience - so keep an eye out for it and enjoy!

The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle
(2007)

Appalling
This so called comedy is probably one of the unfunniest that I have ever had the misfortune to watch. For a start off it is years too late to parody trash talk shows. Anyone going to do it should have done it years ago when they were relatively new. Secondly, it seemed to rely on the use of obscene language throughout to try and get laughs. Absolutely Fabulous was a genuinely funny classic piece of TV, but is this puerile nonsense the level that Jennifer Saunders has sunk to? Similarly Miranda Richardson, what on earth was she thinking taking part in this garbage? There wasn't a single thing in the half hour that even made me smile let alone laugh. How on earth it was ever commissioned is beyond comprehension. Truly, truly awful and definitely not worth watching again.

Miss Potter
(2006)

Just wonderful!
I hired this DVD from my DVD club simply because it was one of the newer films, rather than actually having a desire to see it. It languished in a drawer for a while and I pondered about sending it back unwatched - but hey - I'd paid for it so might as well watch it. Well - what a mistake I would have made to send it back unwatched!! Right from the start I was captivated by this beautiful film which manages to be both amusing and touching in turns. Excellent performances from the whole cast make this a magical experience and it turned out to be just the thing I was looking for to make a perfect evening. A fantastic antidote to the constant stream of cr*p that is pumped out by the big studios and forced onto people around the world. There's no teens, no sex, no blood, no swearing, no explosions and no car chases. In other words this is just a GREAT family film which made me realise how desperate I was to see something like it. A big thank you to every single person concerned in the making of this marvellous film, it's just wonderful!

Clapham Junction
(2007)

Throwback to the 80s
Good performances. OK - now wev'e got the only positive comment about this TV film out of the way, let's have a look. What the hell was the point of this? Populated by a group of unpleasant, unlikeable stereotypes, it really looked like something that would have been made 20 years ago. Cliché ridden and unrelentingly grim throughout, the gay characters were either predatory, seedy individuals or had serious repression/hang up or psychological problems. The sex and violence scenes were sensationalist to say the least. This was meant to be part of C4's marking of 40 years of the liberation of gay men from the previous institutionalised repression they had suffered in this country throughout history. There are gay men like the ones in the film, I sometimes meet them, but they certainly do not represent the majority. Nobody wanted to see a positive propaganda exercise about gays, but neither did we want to see this parade of sad / damaged individuals. Whatever happened to balance? A piece of TV that was thoroughly depressing and ultimately, totally pointless.

Children of Men
(2006)

Highly over -rated
I saw the cinema trailer for this film last year and I must admit that it did not really appeal to me. Why did I see it then? Well, I got it from the DVD rental club, purely because it was a newish film and I had seen good reviews of it. Give it a go I thought. I really wish I hadn't. Firstly, it is unrelentingly dark and depressing, then incoherent and very difficult to follow. It is practically impossible to empathise with any of the badly drawn characters. Clive Owen once again proves that he is not up to big screen roles (- don't get me wrong, he's fine on TV but simply can't cut it in films). Basically, it's pretty shambolic. I can't believe the glowing reviews from critics (and many people on IMDb). I'm so glad that I scrolled down and found some other reviewers who think the same way as me regarding this mess, I was beginning to think it was just me who hated it.

Taking Lives
(2004)

An A Grade Stinker
Picture starts off promisingly with geeky teenage lad establishing that he's a dangerous nutter. From there, its down hill all the way. A hackneyed, tired old plot has Angelina Jolie as a consultant from the FBI called in by the Canadian police to help catch a serial killer. Cue the disgruntled local cop (Olivier Martinez) who resents (but really fancies her), the kind, older cop (Jean Hugues Anglade, we know from the first minute what's bound to happen to him), the charming witness (Ethan Hawke) and someone who's role is totally unclear (Kiefer Sutherland...what the hell were you doing in this s**t Jack?) Martinez gives one of the worst, most wooden performances I have ever seen, his mangled English, is often indecipherable, the guy sounds as if he's learned his lines by rote and doesn't understand what he's saying. The fact that the cops communicate with each other in English(even when Jolie isn't present) is laughable, (but then it wouldn't do to have too much subtitled dialogue in a Hollywood movie would it). There is a tacky gratuitous and unconvincing sex scene and a decapitation thrown in to spice things up and the finally, the most hilariously BAD ending I've seen in a long while. Everyone associated with this pile of junk should be ashamed to have it on their CV, it really is a pile of steaming poo! Definitely one for the bargain bin at the video shop! Save two precious hours of your life and go watch the traffic lights change, you'd be more fulfilled. Avoid.

Twisted Nerve
(1968)

Very dated
This is very dated and very much of its time (a capsule of the 'swinging sixties). Strangely set bound (even the exterior scenes are filmed on a set), it has the appearance / atmosphere of a stage play. For such a distinguished cast, there are more than a few shaky performances which makes the direction suspect. Not particularly enjoyable as a thriller, certainly not scary and why the DVD still carries an 18 certificate in the Uk heaven only knows. On any night of the week you can watch more explicit material than this on the main TV channels. Only worth watching as a curiosity now I'm afraid. One thing's for sure, Hywel Bennett would certainly have been better keeping his clothes on in the film, his pasty body isn't a pretty sight!

Asylum
(2005)

A good film but......
This is undoubtedly a good film, well acted, good period feel / details etc.. and I certainly enjoyed it, however, by the time I had finished watching it I couldn't help feeling that the it was somewhat out of balance. The last part of the film is all about Cleave getting his revenge on the errant couple because of his jealousy over the fact that Edgar had been stolen away from him. Unfortunately, the dramatic effect is lessened because not enough is made of his relationship with the pair early on in the film. Hints are given that he has a homosexual fixation on Edgar and that he is jealous when Stella starts to get too close to Edgar. Much more should have been made of this aspect to explain his vindictive behaviour towards the pair when he has them in his control at the climax, especially as the scenes where he deals directly with Edgar are very brief. Whether what we see is as a result of severe editing or whether the whole thing could have been written better I don't know. I plan to read the novel to find out whether more is made of this. Worth seeing, but certainly flawed.

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