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Wild Mountain Thyme

Plot unrealistic but excellent performances
Really struggling to find any decent films to watch but stumbled on this .Reviews rate it at 5.5/10 but the performances of all the actors were excellent. The accents were decent but essentially they caught the characteristics and irrationality of human nature .It's essentially a fairytale and as such unrealistic but within the confines of the plot it works .


Mirren is shockingly bad
Could have been a really good thriller but for two things .The action sequences are so over the top ridiculous that you just roll your eyes watching them and secondly the terrible acting by Helen Mirren .Her Russian accent was bad but her acting was totally unconvincing and made her character a joke . The other actors were fine and the twists and turns were clever but that's what makes the faults in the film worse.Very few films are as clever as this but bad acting by Mirren and unrealistic action scenes spoil what could have been really good

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Terrible film
Love watching Cary Grant films and was looking forward to enjoying this one .Unfortunately it just doesn't work on any level.No wife would put up with such an incompetent husband .I didn't laugh once and I repeatedly watch his films .The writing is truly awful

British Agent

Curiosity value only
With Michael Curtiz as the director I was expecting better .Howard had very little to work with and though Kay Francis was beautiful and acted well enough but the relationship fails to convince .Not enough time is taken to make the relationship believable and the writing is really poor; it's a pity because it could have worked.

A Discovery of Witches

Going downhill fast
Watched a couple of episodes because I love fantasy and in the first couple of episodes thought Teresa Palmer looked stunning .Unfortunately the plot is way too slow not that clever and has become tedious and boring .

The 39 Steps

The director should be shot
Terrible copy of an absolute classic.Always liked More but he is not a patch on Donat and Elg is terrible.Everything that made the original great ,the tension ,humour and romantic chemistry between the lead actors is missing .Anyone who has watched the original couldn't give this more than 3 stars


So overrated
Loved Fringe but this doesn't get off the ground .The script was totally implausible (not necessarily a fatal flaw )but the problem is that it is sited in today's world The scripts are repetitive and really have no characters that you care about.I am astonished it lasted 5 seasons ,I bailed after season2


First two and a half seasons are great
Loved the first two and a half seasons of Chuck were great entertainment.Well written beautifully acted with Zach andYvonne playing Chuck and Sarah to perfection.The comedy was well played with great scenes with Jeff ,Lester,Ellie and Morgan .There was plenty of tension and the idea of the intersect being kept in some geniuses brain was very clever The show faltered at the beginning of Season 3 but still had some good episodes but after ep 13 of Season 3 the show was absolute garbage .Still for two half seasons it was brilliant

The Host

Clever and definitely worth watching
Stumbled across this on film 4 and it caught my attention immediately.The conflict inside the host was well written,acted and directed .Most Science Fiction is full of aliens with massively distorted features which is incredibly boring .This film focuses on the inner torment of an alien who is conflicted by the actions of her superior who despises humans ,while she slowly comes to question this rigorous view. Both dramatic and humorous it isn't brilliant but definitely worth watching

House M.D.: One Day, One Room
Episode 12, Season 3

Top notch acting and writing
Watched this episode some years ago and rewatched a couple of nights ago and it gets even better with age .The writing was so good I looked up the writer and found out it was David Shore the creator of the show Hugh Laurie was brilliant and he met his match with Winnick whose performance was mesmerising but it could only be so because the writing was so damn good.Slowly and carefully Laurie and Winnick dismantled each other's defences and it was beautiful to watch -it managed to bring intelligent debate about the purpose of life and death and at the same time be thoughtful ,entertaining and full of tension Watching it was like listening to a brilliant peace of music To those who gave it anything below 7 all I can do is repeat one of Houses favourite quips "Ignore them they are idiots"

No te puedes esconder

Really enjoyable
Have been waiting to watch a good thriller for ages.Imagine my disappointment when I turned on this programme and found out it was in Spanish with English subtitles.Watched the first episode and there was enough in it to keep going (I switched off the Irishman after half an hour)It keeps you engaged , Bianca Soto and the alcoholic ex cop are excellent with most of the actors being more than competent.The writing is mostly excellent with enough twists without going overboard Is it perfect ?No but better than 95% of crap they serve up nowadays

I kinda hope there isn't a season 2 because as much as I love the characters my gut feeling is that the story has run its course

Separate Tables

Beautifully written and well acted
Loved David Niven books and loved Wendy Hiller in Pygmalion so decided to watch this film.Both got Oscars but Nivens performance was undeserving in my opinion-a similar role in Paper Tiger was far more accomplished.Hayworth and Lancaster were excellent but the standout performances were from Gladys Cooper and Deborah Kerr .As I have got older I find myself watching old black and white films and in so many cases the writing and acting is far superior to the special effect bonanzas that are served upto us today.

The Petrified Forest

The acting is absolutely brilliant
As I get older I find myself watching these classic films .Bette Davis is probably the greatest actress of all and her performances show an intelligence and vulnerability that no actress is allowed to show today .The performances are all the more astonishing because in real life she was far from vulnerable.Bogart was superb and more menacing than in any other film ,while Howard made a complicated role seem effortless-probably the most underrated actor of all time

The Color of Money

Decent film
Watched recently and was impressed by the performances of Cruise but particularly Newman who was outstanding.His frustration and eventual exasperation with Cruises stupidity was incredibly believable

Alita: Battle Angel

Worth watching but not great
Really enjoyed the film but it's not great ;the disappointment is that it could have been .Alita was good but the other actors really didn't convince possibly because the characters weren't developed well enough to make you care for them .The other big problem is the story is only half finished with Nova still in power

The Capture

Started brilliantly but very poor ending
Really enjoyed the first four episodes and gave the benefit of the doubt to the fifth but the last was absolutely rubbish.Clever ,plausible and enjoyable at the start but the test of all good thrillers is if they can bring all the twists and turns to a believable conclusion and unfortunately the Capture totally fails to do so .Even worse than the Games of Thrones ending -it really is that bad

State of the Union

Clever but doesn't fulfil its potential
First couple of episodes were excellent but the narrow scope of the writing strangles the potential of the show .Pike and O Dowd are believable and act really well ,but they need other characters too interact with.When she hears about him voting leave her reaction is priceless and it would have been lovely to see her torture him at some dinner party or the like - keeping just two main character was ok for a while but if the show is to grow new characters need introducing .


A tv show that doesn't deliver
Nice idea that could have worked but tries too hard to be different .Its unbelievable, not one member of the family is normal and they are all unpleasant-why would anyone care if they all died in an crash . Maybe one or two weirdos but the whole family?Trying to be like Game of Thrones with multiple bad characters but you have to have someone to care about ;added to that is the really crap humour which doesn't work ( it's not supposed to work,I hear you say) but it's. not funny on any level , just annoying.

Kate & Leopold

No chemistry at all
Doesn't work mainly because Ryan there is no chemistry at all with Jackman.Its hard for the writers to make legitimate connections between Kate and Leopold - they have nothing in common .The supporting cast are decent enough and Jackman acts his part well but Ryan seems out of place in this movie.Her hair didn't suit her at all and whoever allowed her this style needs shooting


A great film needs more than a Clever story
This film has a clever idea to start with and explains why an established actress like Amy Adams would take the lead .Unfortunately too many obvious faults drag the film down . The idea that the worlds military would attempt to destroy an alien craft that had shown no aggressive intent and whose weapons capability they had no comprehension of is just plain stupid .The superpowers haven't attacked each other because they know the devastation that would entail and yet they are making threats to aliens who have far greater capability than we have -they have space ships that can fly to other galaxies and yet we are making threats against them .Painting the military as stupid is an old Hollywood cliche and should have no part in this film As to the main characters they are just boring .Adams is a fine actress but in this film there was no real acting to do -looking sad and removing your make up is all she had to do -to be honest any actress could have played this role with their eyes closed.. The film needed more interaction with Adams and the White House through an intermediary,with her concerns and what she was trying to achieve and the Presidents justified worry about what should be the most prudent course of action.The joke is we never see a President ,just some gung ho lacky making stupid decisions that are frankly unbelievable. The film paints itself as a work of art and it is far from that .Really annoying was the overdramatised music drowning out what was being said -very amateurish Not a film I would watch again

Man of Steel

Worst Superman movie ever
Opening scenes on Krypton were well shot and Russell Crowe was excellent but other than that it was utter garbage.The sreemplay wast truly awful and the performances by all the actors other than Crowe were unmemorablev(surely the worst thing you can say about an actors performance) The director must take the blame .Not once in the whole film did he introduce any humour and the relationship between Lane and Kent is frankly the worst of all .Lane is always presented as a clever, impulsive ,ruthless reporter but who has a soft side that Supermans naive charm brings out.This Superman has none of that and we never see Lanes defences being dismantled bit by bit.Instead she instantaneously just falls for him and him her-it really is crap

Leap Year

94%. Like rating on google
The critics slammed this movie rather unfairly In my opinion but while looking up the film on google I noticed that this film had a 94% like rating .For perspective this is higher than Love Actually ,Serendipity,Pretty Women ,in fact higher than any other romantic comedy that I could think of .Though far from perfect I think it is a bit of a hidden gem with subtle lines and actions that are only observed on a second viewing. Matthew Goode is charming and nails the irishness of the hurt and cynical Declan ,but you feel ,that in parts ,he is just about holding onto the Irish accent ,still his grumpiness is very realistic (reminds me of an Irish cousin)and his soft heart and decency slowly becomes apparent to all. Amy Adams though given some truly awful lines to say "it's not poo it's romantic"manages to present a character that most men would fall for - classy, vulnerable and easy on the eye.Adams does the humour very well and convincingly shows her slowly growing affection for Declan with involuntary looks and smiles and a realisation that Declan's bad attitude actually masks a recent hurt that he is too proud to talk about .

The turning point in the relationship is whenDeclan apologises after he learns of Anna's fathers feckless nature .She is visibly taken back -this is not the man she thought he was. Shortly after Declan shocks her again and she exclaims "you surprised me me ,you keep doing that" This is from someone who said to Jeremy "You know I don't like surprises "

From that moment on the film is a delight .Anna now smiles instead of growls at his jokes and the kiss with Declan is a perfect illustration of the state of their relationship .Initially hesitant she is aroused by Declan's passion but it's a wary Declan (who has only recently been hurt)that finishes the kiss early .

Though they argue at the wedding Anna is surprised again to learn that Declan was once engaged but her attempt at sympathy is brazenly rebuffed by a jealous Declan who knows that Jeremy cannot be the right man for Anna

Her drunken claim "that she cannot stand him "is immediately betrayed by her attempted kiss and her insistence that he earns his money and takes her all the way to Dublin shows ,,that she is beginning to fall for him.

The scenes in Dublin show them as one ,concerned about each other rather than their own agendas . The scene at the bridge is sublime with Anna finally earning Declan's trust and Declan reluctant to push his claim to replace Jeremy in Anna's affections

Declan :I'm just the old bag carrier .Why should I care? Anna :So you don't? Declan:Would it make a difference?

He leaves the decision to her

Although the plot is somewhat unrealistic there is some lovely dialogue (When Anna tells about her feckless father and Declan drops his guard and shows he cares) but it has too many lazy moments

for example : where Anna talks about proposing as romantic and the dreadful "heads I win and tails you lose" - even a primary school child wouldn't fall for that Unfortunately these blatant errors make it very easy for critics to slate the film.

The saving grace for this film is warmth and essential goodness and vulnerability that Adams and Goode bring to their roles.The physical attraction between them is obvious but what cements the relationship and gives it authenticity is the growing respect and friendship between the couple .

Some of the subtly is missed on a first viewing :

Anna only says yes to Jeremy's proposal AFTER she sees the glass doors closing and realises Declan is out of her life After Anna sets off the fire alarm Jeremy comes in the room and asks if she has everything she NEEDS meaning stuff but as she later explains to Declan "When her 60 seconds came she realised that what she really needs is in Ireland ."

Even Anna's uncharacteristic desperate need to be married ( unlikely in a strong career woman ) is explained by her confession to Declan about her insecure childhood-needing two part time jobs after school -thus finding the security of Jeremy very appealing.This is fully explained in the one deleted scene that should have been included .She explains to her father that her clock is ticking and Jeremy wants to travel before settling down and if she doesn't propose it could be another 3 years wait .Excluding that scene makes Anna seem a tad desperate -it should have been included.

These little lines are obviously put in by the director and writers and considerably enhance the film

The film is so popular because Anna and Declan are so likeable and believable and the actors make us want them to be together.

It happened One Night was described at the time as the worst film she had made by Colbert but her performance won her an Oscar and is the film that people remembered her by. It's unfashionable for actors to praise romantic comedies and as such Goode and Adams will downplay their performances. I don't -they were both excellent and completely convince as a loving couple -that is the reason this film has such a high rating on google

.As Declan says about his Renault 4 "Shes classic" and in time this film will be seen as such

The soundtrack was decent and Gyneth Herbert's version of Only love can break your heart - melts even a cynic like me

A Fish Called Wanda

Still funny after 30 years
Just watched this film on Netflix and it still clever and funny .The actress who plays John Cleese wife (Maria Aitkin)is particularly funny but all the actors are excellent.Its so well written and it's obvious that the actors loved being in this film .Its rarely on tv nowadays but it's still worth watching if you get the chance

The Greatest Showman

Great songs -poor storytelling
Superb songs ,which was what attracted me to the show in the first place .The storytelling was neither smooth or interesting which led to poor character development.The film needed an extra hour to develop themes and characters which was more than any studio would allow -pity because it could have been a great film

About Time

Not a romantic comedy
The message in this film is that life is finite but beautiful if you only open up your senses and breathe it in.Although the time travel concept is initially interesting and funny it then tries to deliver a deep and meaningful message but descends into a soppy you can live happy ever after despite tragedy message . Though clever the film fails to deliver enough laughs and the chemistry between the two main characters isn't to sell the film.

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