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Killing Your Daughter

Absolute trash - even the production team caterers deny working on it.
Storyline is pointless to cover. To say the acting is bad, would be an insult to bad actors elsewhere. The "Dad" actor is up there with: Muppets, Sand, Dog poo, discarded cardboard, methane. The "Mom" actor is on medication throughout. Script Extract: Mom & Dad argue about getting rid of daughter: (Dad> to Mom) "How can you ask me to kill our daughter - we're a Family for God's sake" That's it.


Even all these years later - it is still a maudlin stinker. Don't waste the hours on it
38 years after it was released - and now I watch it for the first time on TV. My first thought was how good the cinematographer was with shots in focus, steady and well lit, for such a claustrophobic script and atmosphere. My second thoughT was what a corny, stupid, narrow and pointless exercise this was in granting Streisand a vehicle for her to do...what ? Mess around with Directing? Sing maudlin, meandering songs that would look embarrassing written out in a cheap Christmas card? The core issue with this film is that virtually nobody gives a damn about a cross-dressing Orthodox student and the idiotic set-ups she gets involved with. It is utterly ridiculous on any level - and even the songs are forgettable exercises in mock-emotion. I guess that's why it's never on TV.

A Bride's Revenge

Why bother making the film - budget could have financed a real hair salon
Wow, the lead women in this debacle... they have more chin than a Chinese phonebook: the Casting Director must have a fetish. There's little budget here, but what budget was available wasn't spent on the script, Actors or technical. At one point an "old lady" has to be killed. She's upstairs, so the protagonist edges towards her and she delivers the "oh no, stop, don't" line like she was reading out a recipe. She then says "Nooo" at the top of stairs. Next shot: old lady lying on floor at bottom of stairs. The rest of the drama is of similar quality. I love the closing scene: now relieved couple get married and everyone is laughing - which is what you do after your girifriend-nutcase is shot dead, after she's killed your Mom. Ha ha ha, go the crowd, death was yesterday...plant 'em and move on... ha ha ha...where's the honeymoon... Death Valley...ha ha ha.

The Nice Guys

Moves at real pace - is slick - maybe too slick for it's boots. But that's spoof 4 U
It was good. Moved at real pace. Plenty of slick Cinematography,Edits,Jokes,Tricks and Homage. At times there is the issue of "comedy" ultra-violence. The jokes and prat-falls are there, so Scene X, Y or Z must be funny - surely? But sometimes it doesn't lock those concepts together so well and I am not a sensitive snowflake. This is entertainment and takes its clue from Bond, Red or even Tarantino. At times though, it really was just too smart about itself - and was a whisker away from being embarrassingly self-aware and trite. The saviour is that Gosling & Crowe are confirmed visual magnets, so it would be tough to create a mutt out of that pairing. As someone else said, the young girl as Gosling's daughter is a superb talent for such a young actor. I'd like to see Gosling and Crowe in a different, serious, pairing - but that's unlikely now. It's worth a viewing and it will be over before you realise.

Taken Too Far

Might address a USA phenomenon, or not. It's mostly a low drama timewaster
Some other reviewer said: "I was glad to see a movie finally addressing the 'dance mom' crazed mothers" .Not sure this subject matter ( handled in this rather cheap way) was some sort of artistic present from Movie heaven. This film is a competent piece of B movie built around a 19th century ballet dancer who poisons the Court of Pope Pius the 8th in a plot to deliver a Protestaent coup. Actually I lied - the plot is in the title. What is true is that this mindless daytime soap turned-into-film could have done so much more about nutcase Soccer-Dance Moms, but instead it was just a rather sad shoot set up somewhere in no-hope USA. What was noticeable was that servants and bribe-able/duped persons were all Mexican.

27 Dresses

It is what you would expect - but- it is better than most
RomCom stuff - but, the script is tighter and more original than most and that is then supported by good Editing and Directing. The secret of this film is Katherine Heigl, who delivers with integrity, a professional performance. She should have got much more work after this - deservedly. You can watch this movie to the end without getting angry.

Only God Forgives

Requires work by the viewer - which is not so bad a thing
Other reviewers have done a better job than I could. In all truth - i think I really have to see the film again. It's a movie that will offer up levels, after review( I think...maybe) At times I was thinking: Tarkovsky.

Book Club

A cynical contempt for audience - and for the concept of movie making - avoid
So, the "vehicle" is that some Old Girls read 50 Shades of grey. Here's an early scene: Old Girl is reading the book while watering her plants...and a close-up of the plant moisture meter shows the needle rising - and Old Girl goes "Wow" .That's the level for the whole film that follows. This is a classic "ensemble performance" by some old Actors needing to buy a condo with the fee.It is shameful, badly done and pathetic at any level. EVERYTHING: every sentence, every joke, every entendre, every facial smirk, every aside,every incidental musical parp is signalled using a theatrical loud hailer. The Male partner performances are bordering on cruelty - as they resemble animal impressions rather than acting, as the film's inevitable slides into a cynical contempt for the audience and the whole history of cinema. Life is short and you will never get the hours back wasted on this trash. Keaton (who has been over-rated her whole career) is beyond apalling and ensures the whole effort eventually sinks into the mud. And for the "technical" staff that would claim they have to pay the rent - no excuse, because quite a bit of the this film was poorly edited, lit, directed and sound recorded. Maybe the crew just couldn't believe what crap they were involved in and forgot basic standards.

The Way Way Back

Pacing and cast eventually settle down into a great little movie
Camera, lighting all good. Early on, there was some danger of overacting by the young male lead- but that was the fault of the Director not assisting a young actor. Some of the adults could have reigned it in, a bit, and not rush through the script. Eventually, the cast calms down and the story starts to breath into an inventive and beautifully funny coming of age movie. This film is 2013 - so how strange to see the start of mobile phone dependence.Rockwell and the Lad have the smart lines and the neat scenes and they deliver them well, even if the end does get touched with some schmaltz. Strange that Carell can get cast, sometimes, as a Mr normal with underlying nastiness - perhaps that says more about Carell than should be discussed. However, I could do without his face in movies, for awhile, thanks. But, the movie is bigger than Carell and by the end you realise you've caught a real gem. Certainly worth the time.

Bad Tutor

have to admit it moves along - from nowhere everyone goes dumb and /or nuts.
Reviewers have been too harsh on the younger woman (Frnka) she is a very pretty girl, possibly naturally pretty. Though there was one scene, where she awoke from a kind of date rape drug... with full make-up on. Hittinger was suitably creepy- but as we progressed, he got comic-book creepy - and thus comical. The quite sexy milf "Mom" appeared to be dating her grandpa, while worrying about her daughters grades. The film is a mess - because of 2 small things : a useless script and an amateur Director.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Even as another Jurassic - professionalism should be present - it really isn't
It's part of the Jurassic franchise... so it's not going to be that wonderful. The best you can hope for is that the Directing is sharp, the pace holds up and the Actors do a good job of keeping the cartoon going. Strangely, the Directing is not great here (or maybe it's the Editing - but that's a Director's job too...) which is not normal for Speilberg. But, maybe he's forgiven, because this is a complete mutt of a script and the key performers (Mr Ham) Goldblum and (Mrs Ham) Julianne Moore are utterly apalling - if you add in Vince Vaughn ( God Help Us) the chances of tuly bad are going to be high. I expect poor performace from Goldblum as he is a rubbish actor, period. Moore should have dragged in some basic skills, even if she's just doing it for the paycheck - but, oh no. They both put the kiss of death onto a badly scripted and badly paced film. Jurassic was over by the time this second rate meal came out but somebody should have shown some pride in their work. The audience were treated with contempt and therefore the film should be equally treated the same way. Do Not Bother.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Moves along and is entertaining chewing gum. Director/Editor: very very good
It's juvenile and often silly, of course it is, this is a Jurassic franchise for G's sake. But, this is suprisingly well directed film. The action shots are very well paced and set up professionaly. This film really moves along and none of the cast are embarrassing: they do a professional job of getting the script completed. So, to waste an hour or so, it's OK. The only downside is near the end - when the appalling ham Goldblum phones in a cameo appearance. Not sure why anyone thought it necessary. I don't understand the Goldblum thing because he is such a bad. selfish and crap Actor it's beyond understanding that he is invited onto any set. Maybe it's a "chosen" thing.

A Christmas Exchange

So totally poor - nobody should waste ANY time on it. Do not watch, go for a walk
What on Earth did they think they were doing? This is what you get if you have little money, no idea, no care, no script, no energy, no talent. This was an impossibly apalling film with zero redeeming features. It is very rare thing when EVERYTHING is rubbish. Lets get the obvious out of the way: the Male Lead could not act, period. The supporting cast were just furniture. The sets were Rooms on a Lot. All the "pretty" women must have had an eating disorder as they were skeletal in nature and just moving shadows. All the UK actors were partially asleep. All the US actors just did not care anymore. I would say the Lighting Cameraman did OK, shots were framed fine, sort of. Finally, the script: DID NOT REALLY EXIST. There was no conversation of any value between any character - it was just random words from a printer. Ridiculous. Then there's the insulting levels of cheapness...this film turned into a forensic investigation for me. I'm Anglo-French but have spent plenty of time in the USA, so I looked and looked for any hint that anyone was actually shot in the UK or the USA, at all, even for a second. They were not. I believe everything you see is on a lot in Canada. So, everything you see though plastic windows is green screen (maybe just paper posters - they would not pay for green screen) Everyone and Everything is in a Commercial Barn.Once you realise that everything is Sheetrock, paper, and paint, the sadness doubles. One scene involved coming through airport immigration when you realise it was some glass doors and some extras, in a barn, in Canada. The script was so underwritten, that the cast often just "did something" to fill time. The "English Accent" Actors were totally lazy and borderline stupid- it's surprising that they even got dressed for their day's shooting.

A bunch of people, apparently with some skills, turn up in a barn with some money. They then proceed to slowly melt into a cartoon of themselves. The resut is edited- and then someone has the flat-faced nerve to actually broadcast this utter garbage. It wasn't even "funny because it was bad". An insult to any audience.

Merry & Bright

You cannot produce stuff like this and expect anything but antipathy from the audience
A Candy Stick Factory (well as very poor set pretending to be one) and its challenges was the central theme - and if you think that would be devoid of atmosphere, cheap, boring and a springboard to...well...nothing of any worth, you would be correct. A cynical contempt for the audience from start to finish, with occassional sound track disasters to wake you up. The script was juvenile and the cast went through the paces, at best. Unfortunately at the crown of this heap was Jodie Sweetin who literally gabbled her way through the pointless script as if she was selling cattle at the market. She brought nothing to the table, whatsoever, and if the movie was tanking anyway - she blew a hole in the hull, to ensure it was finished off. A pointless experience.

The Christmas Setup

very professional acting by the 2 male leads - it delivered against the odds
This is a strange one.A regular Christmas movie sets you up to expect either poor script, acting, directing etc (or poor everything in many cases) But, here we are, two lead male actors who put in a very convincing performance and gave justice to a well-paced script. Good directing, sensitive editing, good sound and lighting. Supporting cast did very well too - the only weak link was the young female lead and brother - who were dull and stiff simply because everyone else was so solid. The story moved along and concluded well. The question is, when will the 2 male leads get a prime part in a first division movie? They deserve the chance. Sweet.

The Family Man

Not an "original" script, so treatment/acting needed to be superb- they weren't
Have to confess from the outset and say that I find Cage, for 90% of the time, an over-acting ham. He just will not stop the gurning and over-playing no matter what part he gets (and I'm so surprised he gets so many parts) OK, this script doesn't allow too much of his usual nonsense but he still stretches anyone's patience. I would imgaine his fellow Actors find him an intolerable selfish bore. This movie's other problem is pacing - becasue it did not prepare the Scenes and Acts properly to deliver a good dramatic pace, for the audience to jump on. That means the Script Editor and Director failed to find any sweet spot. In addition, the rest of the cast were under-written and simply became place markers. Finally, we have Tea Leoni as the temptress/Muse which is a little strange, as she brings all the sexual tension to a scene of a 50 year old virgin Elementary teacher, on an Oklahoma camping trip. She was useless - but maybe she just had to tolerate Cage for the check.

Christmas Town

Script, shooting and virtually all the Cast: good. Lead actress Bure - very very poor
An unusually well-paced and engaging script, shot and edited with some professionlism. The "town" of Grandon Falls doesn't exist - it appears Hallmark splashed out on a full street Set on a studio backlot. All the cast (except one) does a great job. Nobody was over-acting or being amateur. Nobody was over-building their part. The whole ensemble obviously gelled in rehearsals, and it showed. In addition most scenes were nicely done and the story was engaging, wholseome and heartwarming. The real problem was the casting of Candace Bure as the main Female Lead. Unfortunately for Bure is that she is plain, vanilla and unattractive as a romantic lead - and she blundered through her part as if it were a budget sit com. It was not possible for the viewer to have sympatico for her - because she does not exude any warmth (false or actual) Fundamentaly terrible casting. Hallmark and Bure may have got away with it, if it were one of their trashy and uncaring knock-off movies - but this was a strong script and Cast, so Bure shined out as 2 dimensional, fake and uncaring performer. A shame, this one had potential to lift itself out of the normal Hallmark sludge - but Bure undermined a quality effort. I don't know what she does normally - but would steer clear of wasting time on anything she "acts" in. Observation: the matriarchal sage who runs the local Cafe gives out so so many cookies, she must be responsible for a type 2 Diabeties tsunami in the community.

Fred Claus

Vaughn might have phoned in a performance - but it would've been as bad if he turned up
Vaughn is a libility as a second character in a good film. As lead in a poor one, it just gets worse. The glittering list of "guest" stars does save many of the thin momenets in the very average script - but not enough to justify wasting time on seeing this movire through to the end.

Snowbound for Christmas

Thin Yuppie adventure on a thin script. A Timewaster
Well done Video Editor. You managed some nice cuts to hide the Director's shot rate errors. Buying-in Library footage was wise. I thought Yuppie movies went out in the last century, but apparently they're still going strong in Harlequin World. The problem with the film is the desperate levels of over-acting versus the underwritten script, versus the need for all the bit-part players to build their scene so they get a showreel out of it. Special commendation for stetched-out, moody mooning and 2nd rate Male Model posing must go to Franco Lo Presti and Joseph Cannata who went full-Zoolander on every scene: making it an unusual malange of Comic-Tragic and Pathetic all in the same take. Being generous, the script could be considered thin, at best. Nonetheless, this didn't stop every cast member from selling their "talent" at every scene. There was so much self-promoting going on, I was expecting the Sound Guy to move his boom into shot, with his Resume taped to it. Shout out to Scott Thompson who camped the worst French-Mystery accent this year (c'est nanar, non?) hope the check was worth it. Overall verdict: "2 dimensional" would be being kind.

On the Waterfront

A masterpiece. Brando at his peak. Cinematography that set the tone for decades
Like all the classics - just watch it, that will show and tell you all you need to know. Just wanted to interject a recent experience. "White Christmas " the Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye film was on the TV. It was also made in 1954. It is very rare to see two ends of a spectrum - but the cynical, empty narcissism and shallow ambition of White Christmas must be the polar opposite of On the Waterfront.

Heaven Sent

Nearly had a concept for a short film- but ultimately it was immature drifting
Consider that work colleague telling you an involved and elongated joke - halfway along you know you can neither care nor be amused at the conclusion. Imagine a child's story they wrote for you. It starts well, with some colorful personalies, but as they're a child, eventually the story has dragons, dead-ends, side jokes and mentions of snacks and cartoon characters because they lost concentration... and they're a child after all. This film has a one-idea script and a cast working hard to sustain the energy levels. But eventually, the juvenile writer who was told to "wrap the story up" and the juvenile that commissioned the script, came to the inevitable confused and desperate ending, to a confused and desperate little film.

Mistress America

Gerwig great -but needs something to bounce against. Directing pedestrian/ stilted
Not really sure of the excellence of the film. Gerwig is, unfortunately in a strange way - so very very good on screen and at occupying her character to the full, that the rest of the cast are left behind in her wake. Which, yes, does reflect the film itself. But this leaves the problem with Kirke, who isn't so all-consuming and isn't allowed (or isn't capable) in the film, to inhabit her full role of observer/recorder. Not allowing other characters to colour-up is the Director's fault. There is a lot of Woody Allen-isms all through the film -and that's not a compliment, because there's so much wrong with Allen's weak films that impersonation of them isn't wise. The rapping back & forth is very sharp, of course, and we're swept along de-constructing the last smart phrase - when the next one is already at our door. This shows such a lot of thought has gone into the script in rehearsals - but the Director forgot that they have a responsibility to also make a film. The directing suggests they're not a visual artist of any great skill. Definately want to hear more of Gerwig.


It's not bad visual chewing gum and Mirren is great - but it is juvenile and doesn't feed.
A "romp" I think they say. Plot is not worth discussing. There's only one way this works - becausee it is TOTALLY a Formula: Get Big Name Stars On a Break between Projects. Pay them off. Shoot quickly. Throw the mud at the wall and see if it sticks with the public. This one stuck , others do not. Mirren is the savior as you are locked into her face when she speaks - and she always takes her acting seriously, even in this piece of fluff. Most shameful effort for the money? Brian Cox - a cynical and mildly offensive performance ....unfortunately a little too close to the real Brian Cox for comfort.

Follow Me to Daisy Hills

Technical disaster -production values are below zero. Insult to the viewing audience
There must be Senior Producers , Directors, Editors at Hallmark who check product as part of their job. Whoever allowed release of this should be sacked - and their saved salary could be used to fund 2 more Hallmark movies (win win situation!) Have seen Williams in another movie where he was bad - where he was upstaged by a horse. I've had salads with more charisma.

Amazing Winter Romance

Real snow & Winter scenes - lovely! Dull script. Shrams: like an 80s sit com reject
Don't understand. Shram is fundamentally unattractive so have no idea why she was cast as "young love" because she seems 10 years older than her male lead and has zero sex appeal, unfortunately. The male lead's Mother was more appropriately attractive for the storyline as was the love rival YOUNG teacher. The age of the "parents" was totally odd. It's possible the lack of apparent attraction between male Lead Nate, and Shrams, is because she comes across as an elderly, plain, sister. Technical heroes: Sound Editor/Sound:very pro job. Camera-mostly fine, if you were in charge of the drone shots, well done!. Steadi-cam: move up to eye level on most of the shot, otherwise you create TENSION where there shouldn't be any. Script:average. Casting:poor. Location Researcher: excellent! You made this movie by getting 90% of your elegant scene backgrounds done for nothing!. Note to Hallmark: your scuzzy little films shot in Boulder backlots in Spring with marshmallow snow piles have all the atmosphere of a dying Shopping Mall. Christmas Movie= Real snow, Trees, cold, ice, kids, animals. Everything is then so much easier and better to shoot.

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