zalfunk

IMDb member since August 2019
    Lifetime Total
    50+
    IMDb Member
    1 year, 4 months

Reviews

Buried
(2010)

Uncomfortable.
What would you do if you were trapped in a box? A coffin to be more precise. In Iraq. With a mobile phone. Make a few calls. Great premise. Man's inhumanity to man is vividly on display here. Uncomfortable to watch. Uncomfortable to be in the box. Uncomfortable ending. Original and intense.

Pride and Glory
(2008)

Old school. Top of the class.
Who needs Bob De Niro, Al Pacino etc? JVoight, ENorton, CFarrell (he can act - who knew?) JEhle and the rest of the cast put in a great performance. The character build up is strong to give the viewer something to engage with. The inevitable destruction of the family unfolds with a twist that is a joy to behold. If you can foresee the scene, you must have seen it all. Or be a writer. Breath-taking. And it's not the only really strong scene. The violence is strong, very telling and totally in keeping with the story. All for the pride and the glory. Old school. Class.

Flightplan
(2005)

Good but over the top plot.
There's drama which builds up to a crescendo. Jodie Foster is great in the lead role. Sean Bean is a little ordinary as the pilot. Then pow - there's a twist. A good one. Things get bit misty and ponderous after this. Then there's the ending. And another twist. Plus, a bit of 'told you so' to finish. Good but over the top plot.

Ali
(2001)

Unrelenting and enjoyable
I enjoyed this film. It's well made and highlights MAli's 10-year period from 1964 when he faced major change and personal strife. 3 wives at every hurdle is a hefty negative but that's key to the overall picture - it wasn't all good. The GForeman fight in Zaire appeared very realistic based on my own personal recollection - great acting and camera shots to show the pounding he received and defence turned into offence by the great one. Fights don't usually come out so good when Hollyweird gives it the 'cinematic' treatment. Unrelenting and enjoyable.

The Aftermath
(2019)

The piano and a cigarette case.
Lots of broken people. The setting is post war and the personal lives of those involved in sorting it out. Slow. Poignant. Powerful. Circles are completed and healing has begun. The script is subtle and the roles well executed. Perhaps the leads are the piano and a cigarette case?

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
(2009)

Heavy duty and believable
The premise is good. It's a thriller utilising some standard traits - the '% time remaining' window to transfer computer data before being caught, dramatic car chase etc. But it's all good - just enough to move the plot along with some tension. Justice is achieved. Against all the odds. Crime doesn't pay. Even for the high-profile lawyer Mark Hunter played by MDouglas. There's a twist. It's a good one. Supporting roles are well executed and the plot is complex, original and incisive. A good, 'what if' scenario to expose the wrong doing. But there's a twist. A good one. Heavy duty and believable.

Kalifornia
(1993)

Just another road movie
Car. Trip cross country. Strange companions. Strange reason behind the premise. Job done. BPitt keeps it all together. He can do psycho very well. MForbes doesn't do much. DDuchovny is good at being DDuchovny. JLewis is up there with BPitt. The ending is twisted and horrific. Just another road movie.

The Wife
(2017)

Stunning
A life from the other. For another. The son's embroiled too. History repeats itself and no-one's the wiser. The twisted havoc we reek. Explicit performances by the 2 leads GClose and JPryce. A key portrayal of the journalist with slippery intension by CSlater. It may highlight a well-worn trail but it's done so well. With some heavy-duty smoking to boot. Stunning.

The Big Short
(2015)

Hey-ho.
The credit crunch of 2008 was ugly. This film portrayed ugly well. Betting against success is ugly. Case closed. Hard to enjoy a film that shows economic destruction. Again. At the cost of the poor. Well told and explained by breaking the 4th wall, but the message is undeniable. Greed is ugly. Hey ho.

The Invisible Man
(2020)

The perfect thriller.
All thrillers are the same. Not anymore. Six points to back this up; She phoned his mobile and the vibration was in the loft. Above. Tick. The perfect crime. She slits her sister's throat. But she didn't. Tick. The perfect revelation. Your other option is to have his baby. And get back with him. Double-tick. An unbelievable fight sequence. Tick. A major revelation under the mask. Wrong brother. Triple-tick. The ultimate perfect crime twist. She's put the suit on. OMG. The perfect crime. The perfect thriller.

The Limey
(1999)

Not Alfie but almost.
Slow. Sparse. Direct. Atmospheric. Some flashbacks to develop the back story. Black comedy and searing violence. Laidback performances and a loose script. Not Alfie but almost.

Capote
(2005)

Lofty objective and gilt-edged opportunity
A lofty objective and gilt-edged opportunity with which to do it. TC identified his route to success and jumped right in. Some personal soul searching didn't detract from the main goal. Combining a startling lack of trust, straddled with deceit and a healthy disregard for his client along the way, TC patiently and ruthlessly made his case. With amazing access to confidential information allowing a unique perspective and a gold-plated opening to pursue his own ends, couched by his own abilities to network, extract what he wanted and generally grease the wheels TC delivered his master plan. Superb film. Slowly, sparingly and thoughtfully acted out.

The End of the Affair
(1999)

Bitter to the end.
If he knew what he had, compared with what he indignantly demanded, would his desperate, tortured life have been different? The story is told from both points-of-view giving a clear and heart-achingly dramatic twist in a tale of love and loss. Religion and war play a part too. The spurned lover, always bitter. Dramatic and beautifully acted. Excellent.

Reprisal
(2018)

Keech is the (Scottish) word.
Don't. The ending is horrendous. The beginning isn't much either. The middle's not good. BWillis phoned this one in. Favour for the director? Don't. Disappointment guaranteed.

Identity
(2003)

Hitchcock is dead
At first, some low grade acting and an over the top plot. Don't be put off - it's worth sticking around. A high-class finish and a twist which beckons Hitchcock. Strange but good. Hitchcock is alive and killing.

Allagash
(2020)

Bleak but uplifting?
Slow. Sparse. Real. Mournful. Bleak is probably the correct adjective. Suspend belief? And some. Jim Reed isn't Ethan Matthew Hunt but he should be to perform the things he does. With one knee, a bit of timber and a lack of blood. In minus temperatures too. The ending is surprising. And worth the wait. Maybe.

The Favourite
(2018)

Period drama with balls.
Scrumptious. Divine. Oscar worthy. OColman got the Oscar but RWeisz and EStone merited too. The language, drama and acting is stupendous. Period drama with balls.

Hereditary
(2018)

More than deeply dark.
If you like down-trodden and uplifting, Toni Collette in Muriel's Wedding is just for you. If something darker and more terrifying is what you crave, Toni Collette in Hereditary is your port of call. Stay away from Hereditary if romantic comedy is your thing and deeply dark isn't. The ending is a tribute to some excellent clues along the way. PS Joanie is the word. Don't be afraid. Deeply dark is excellent.

The Bookshop
(2017)

Slow and incisive.
The beach moment between Florence Green (EMortimer) and Edmund Brundish (BNighy) is exquisitely painfully real. And beautiful. Milo North is acutely well played by James Lance. All the characters are so well cast and played. The script is deep and excellently told. Violet Gamart (PClarkson) is so well played within such little onscreen time. Stupendous. The evil inflicted by so many is depicted so well. Slow and incisively.

Danger One
(2018)

Mad crazy bonkers.
A black comedy with a delightful premise and a truly great ending. When an emergency call is taken by those who committed the crime minutes earlier, that's a great piece of script writing. If you like everything straight up, perhaps with a twist, this isn't for you. If mad crazy bonkers suits you with a killer finale and a stunning twist to finish on, delve in.

The Horse Whisperer
(1998)

So much more than a tear jerker.
There are moments when the emotional content may overpower you but there is more to this film than just sentiment. Some of the dialogue exchanges are short and pithy. There is some cheese but what's wrong with that? It was directed by RR after all. The parallels between the horse and surrounding people from the perspective of who's teaching who is very meaningful. The husband summarises this very well at the end of the film - a little unexpected I thought but a strong good metaphor for the story being told and a reflection on life itself.

Les Misérables
(1998)

Dramatic, gripping epic tale.
Betrayal, kindness and the crime of being poor. Human frailty, acts of kindness, pompousness and downright cruelty. The interaction between characters, in particular; Valjean (Liam Neeson) and Fantine (Uma Thurman), Valjean v Javert (Geoffrey Rush) and Javert v Cosette (Claire Danes) is exceptional.

Kings
(2017)

Meaningful drama
The personal focus on one family of the impact of a wider event is a great way to tell a story. Unfortunate events turn out to have tragic consequences. Tragic events are unfortunate but tragic nonetheless. The spiralling effect of a major social issue is highlighted from very personal perspectives on both sides of the divide. A meaningful and dramatic film.

Traffic
(2000)

Strong drama.
The film is shot in through a polarizing filter giving it a dramatic, intense feel. The eerie musical backdrop is a little over-used throughout but it gives you time to reflect as the plot gathers momentum and develops quickly. Revelations come and can be brief in detail - you need to piece things together for yourself. It's not all laid out for you. The cast is excellent and the 4 interwoven stories are cleverly told with subtly and nuance highlighting vast competing issues. The political, social and personal aspects are expertly explored with some great dialogue, for example the exchange between Robert Wakefield and Seth Abrahams as they desperately search for his daughter is very illuminating. An interesting take on the big US drug issue which has grown into an unbeatable foe.

Cold Mountain
(2003)

Couldn't stop watching until the credits. Superb.
Difficult to stop watching before the credits. Strong performances by the cast (including JLaw). A great story, well told. Great production, dialogue and violence to suit the narrative. RZellweger was worth the Oscar and PSHoffman, RWinstone and NPortman delivered excellent supporting roles. Long and superb.

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