mjarvis0

IMDb member since December 2002
    Lifetime Total
    50+
    IMDb Member
    18 years

Reviews

Crystal Inferno
(2018)

Change the formula
I have been a fan of the disaster movie genre ever since I saw 'The Towering Inferno' in the cinema back in the day. And since then every disaster movie seems to follow the same formula. A couple, children, a builder etc. Having said that I thought the strain between the couple was well set up. I can accept the not so stellar special effects I can even take dodgy acting but please change the formula re children.

Lost in Space
(2018)

Looking forward to season 2
When I watched the first couple of episodes I must admit that I was not happy about what I was seeing. You see I grew up with the original Lost in Space and it was good family show where the Robinson's stuck together. What we get we get with the 2018 reboot is a family at odds with each other and Ma Robinson not happy (to say the least) with Pa Robinson. And as for Dr Smith I wanted to climb into my TV and do some hurting. But it grew on me and now I wait eagerly for series two. I like the way Ma and Pa got close again, I like the story lines are good. So I have watched the first season and I eagerly look forward to season 2.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
(2016)

I think Jane would like it
I have to admit that I'm somewhat disappointed to see the average rating of this film not climbing above 6. I would've expected it to be above 7.5 at least. Having said that judging by the box office receipts, many people disagree with me. So here's my take. I have read Pride and Prejudice and I've seen most of the TV and film adaptations. And of course the 1995 BBC adaptation is by far the best in my opinion and there is no finer Mr Darcy than Colin Firth. I believe that Sam Riley comes a creditable second to Colin in exuding the prideful, arrogant nature of Jane Austen's hero who falls to the conqueror of all of us, love. Lily James is an excellent Elizabeth Bennett again only second, in my opinion to Jennifer Elhe. Lily like Jennifer brought the strong, independent and fiery nature of Jane's Elizabeth to life. So why the poor reviews and box office receipts? The answer I suspect is that people could not accept the classic horror crossover. But I insist that it works. Mr Darcy being a respected soldier works, Elizabeth being a martial artist that can kick ass works. And has England been subject to a plague in its history. So I highly rate this movie, I've watched it about five times now and a fully believe that in a few years many will be looking back and saying hey this is a good movie.

The Long Kiss Goodnight
(1996)

Highly under rated.
I watched this movie a couple of days ago as I have had it in my DVD collection for years. At first I thought it was a female Bourne Identity rip off and then I realised that this came first! The long Kiss Goodnight is packed with witty one liners that would make James Bond proud and it is quite chilling the idea of the West blaming others for terrorist atrocities that they have done themselves. I am talking before 9/11. The movie is smart believable great one liners and a great chemistry between Gina and Samuel. In fact I like this movie so much as soon as I finish this review I am going to watch it again. For those who compare this movie with Bourne, you have to remember that the lost memory angle and being a spy is the only similarity. Okay they are major similarities but Long kiss is light whereas Bourne is a very serious movie. Bourne works hard to make sure innocent bystanders are not caught up in the killing whereas in Long quite a few bystanders bite the dust. Any how well done Gina and well done Samuel I thoroughly enjoy this film and I am extremely happy I have it in my DVD collection.

Why Did I Get Married Too?
(2010)

Good acting bad storyline
To appreciate why my review is below average you will need to see 'Why did I get married' Basically you have four couples in the original and each have their issues and by the end each issue is resolved one way or the other. So the problem for the sequel is how do you follow up on issues that have already been resolved. The answer is to create new issues or rehash old ones. This is how the sequel goes. So we have four couples each dealing with issues again. Now there's nothing wrong with that if the issues are plausible and played out properly and have credible endings. This is where 'Why did I get married too' goes sadly wrong. Some issues were credible but the endings were not or were not given an ending whilst the most prominent issue, well I'm struggling to understand what it actually was. I had no empathy with the female lead and felt that she should have been charged with crime and I think in real life most of those characters would have nothing to do with her after what she directly caused. Sadly this is a sequel that should never have been and I can only speculate that it failed because a certain actress only signed up for the sequel so she could have the most prominent role and in so giving it to her the movie failed. You will know to whom I refer when you watch this movie. So watch this movie if only to understand why a lot of sequels fail miserably as this one did!

The Perfect Holiday
(2007)

A good Christmas film!
I have to say that I'm a bit disappointed to see this film getting a below average rating. Being quite a romantic man I have seen most of the Christmas romantic comedy such as 'Christmas in Boston', 'His and Her Christmas', 'Christmas do over', 'The Twelve days of Christmas Eve' etc and I am adamant that 'The Perfect Holiday' stands level with these and in some cases it's better. The story is simple and real to life and believable and the acting is excellent. Gabrielle Union is one of the best romantic comedy actresses around, probably the Afro American equivalent of Katherine Heigle. I just wish she got more starring roles, Gabrielle Union is a truly beautiful woman. I gladly give this film a seven out of ten, my only concern is what was the Queen Latifah and Terence Howard characters. Nevertheless I loved the film and I am watching it again as I write this review.

Numb3rs
(2005)

Simply excellent
The strange thing for me is that I purchased the series one boxset because the write up interested me and the price was excellent. Then I watched Numb3rs and I have been hooked ever since. Most of us know the story one brother is an FBI agent and the other is a mathematician and the mathematician helps his brother solve crimes by the application of equations to every life situations. Sounds simple but the characters and the story lines and the real maths that is applied make this for me an excellent show and I put my money where my mouth is. I have purchased every Numb3rs box set and I am eagerly waiting for series 5 to be released on DVD. So if you want to see a show with intelligence interesting story lines engaging characters get the numb3rs box sets before CBS realise they have selling them too cheaply.

The Incredible Hulk
(2008)

A very good movie among its genre
To comment on this movie I will do a comparison between the Eric Bana (EB) version and this the Edward Norton (EN) version. The first thing to say is that what the EN version has demonstrated is that with some screenplays/directors you can tell a story in 2 minutes what some screenplays/directors take half an hour to do. The EN version told us the audience in two minutes how Bruce Banner came to be the Hulk while the EB version took half an hour of valuable film time. Secondly the EN version stuck more or less to the TV series of the Hulk that featured the late Bill Bixby while the EB version went off on some weird tangent bringing in Bruce Banner's father into the equation. I was also particularly touched by the tribute to Bill Bixby that was in the EN version while also giving the great Lou Feringo (He is the TV version of The Incredible Hulk if you didn't know) a speaking part with him exchanging dialogue with his alter ego (David Banner) so to speak. To be fair the Hulk action scenes in the two versions were comparable but the idea of the super soldier in the EN version was easier for me to accept than the Father Son conflict as given to us in the EB version. I also liked the way the EN version once again paid tribute to the Bill Bixby TV series. This was done when Bruce Banner met Betty again. For those of you too young to have see the television series of the Incredible Hulk, the regular feature in that series was Bruce Banner thumbing a lift. So I have given this version of The Incredible Hulk 9 out of Ten and hope to see more!

Emma
(1996)

Good but lets compare!!!!!
This first thing to say about Jane Austen's Emma is that to really have done it justice it should have been over six episodes like the great 1995 Pride and Prejudice! What we have instead is two versions of Emma that came out within a year of each other. The Gwyneth Paltrow (GP) version and the Kate Beckinsale (KB) version. Both are feature film length with the GP version being approximately five minutes longer. So how did it do? Well the important thing about cramming a five hour story into 1 hour fifty is to know what to leave out and what to keep in obviously. There are several aspects of the story that must be brought to the viewers attention. First is that Emma is a match maker and both the GP and KB versions did this. Second is that Emma takes Harriet Smith under her wing and again both versions managed this. Thirdly that Miss Bates is a bit of a chatterbox and both versions managed this and then there is a divergence. An important part of the story is the arrival of Frank Churchill and his seemingly indifference to Jane Fairfax and his caring for Emma. In the KB version this is accurately portrayed with him seemingly reluctant to call on Miss Bates hence Jane Fairfax and his adverse comments about Jane's complexion and his hints that Jane had a thing for Mr Dixon. However in the GP version it was barely touched on and he did not appear to favour Emma over Jane. For instance he sang with both Emma and Jane and at the picnic he sat by Jane and not Emma whereas in the KB version he only sang with Emma and at box hill he sat with Emma. Another telling divergence is that Harriet Smith's liking for Mr Knightly is not properly shown to us in the GP version. In the KB version at the dance we see Harriet quite clearly being blanked by Mr Elton and then Knightly seeing this and making a point of dancing with Harriet and Harriet's happiness that Mr Knightly did dance with her. In the GP version we saw the blanking but it was not made clear that Knightly then danced with Harriet himself. This is important because it reveals why Harriet thinks that Knightly cares for her. I gave the GP version 7 out of ten because of Sophie Thompsons portrayal of Miss Bates. The scene at box hill when she is insulted by Emma was brilliant. I had a tear in my eye when Miss Bates realised she had been insulted by Emma. So while the GP version of Emma was good in my opinion the KB version is superior because it does bring out the points in the story that need to be brought out.

The Boy Who Could Fly
(1986)

Lovely movie and there could be an interesting sequel
Like other commentators before me I watched this film as a young man and it touched me. In fact it moved me to tears. Now I am older I am still touched by the simplicity of this film and yet it is complex in showing us that from adults to children we all have things to deal with. The reason why Eric Gibb could fly is the most touching of all and in case there are people who do not believe that it is possible for one to sense tragedy in one close to you, believe me it's real.

As I pen this comment I have just watched it again and cannot help but feel that even twenty years plus since this movie came out there is the scope for a sequel 'The Man who could fly' I am not talking about a TV series but a one off movie showing our stars meeting again in adult hood. Something to think about. I liked this movie and I would like to own it on DVD should it be released for the European audience.

Ice
(1998)

Pleasantly surprised!!
I saw this movie quite recently and was pleasantly surprised. At first I thought it was a day after tomorrow rip off especially when the doctor was asked when he had to meet the boat and he said "The day after tomorrow". However when I looked at the year that this film was made I realised that it was ICE that came before DAT. The story was believable and the actors credible, the only thing that made me smile was when the soldiers started firing at our heroes. In theory trained soldiers should have dropped our heroes in seconds but hey they missed. Mind you this happens in most shoot em ups. having said that our hero did get winged or should I say legged and then came the bit when he told his girlfriend that he didn't love her so she'd leave him behind I found that scene quite touching. All in all a good movie the special effects were not to Hollywood standards but they were good and believable. I would certainly watch this movie again and would not be disappointed if someone give it to me as a present.

Emma
(1996)

Excellent!!!!
The minute I started watching this I realised that I was watching a quality production so I was not surprised to find that the screenplay was written by Andrew Davis and was produced by Sue Birtwhistle both of these brought us the excellent 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice! So my only gripe here is that Emma did not run to 3 or 4 or maybe even six episodes like Pride and Prejudice. The acting was superb with I think Prunella scales excellent as Miss Bates but I loved Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong just as much. The language is a delight to listen to, can you imagine in this day and age having a right go at someone without actually uttering a swear word? Samantha Morton was excellent as Miss Smith in fact the casting was spot on much as it was with Pride and Prejudice. I liked it so much that I watched it twice in two days!! So once again thank you BBC for another quality piece of television. I have seen the Paltrow version and it is okay but I do think the BBC version is far superior. An excellent production that I am very happy to own on DVD!!!

Loving Evangeline
(1999)

I liked it.
The first thing I must say is that I have not read the book so I can only go by what I saw on the small screen and at this point a further introduction is necessary. Loving Evangeline appears to be one of twelve Mills and Boon/Shilloute romance novels that have been brought to the small screen. I have seen 10 and these are:- Another Woman, A change of place, The awakening, Broken Lullaby, Hard to forget, The Waiting game, This matter of marriage, Diamond Girl,Recipe for revenge and Loving Evangeline. So to get the best out of these movies or to see the worst you must view them in the context of this being a romance novel brought to the screen. It is a pity if these movies do not follow the course of the original book but still view it as a mills and boon brought to film nonetheless. So how does loving Evangeline rate? Well I liked it! Out of the ten that I have watched I would put it at position 5 and to explain this I will run down what is needed to bring a mills and boon/shilloutte romance to film. First of all the couple must look the part the man must be strong and handsome and the woman beautiful and their must be the chemistry! The background story must not overshadow the romance so to overcome this our couple should be seen together in 70% of the film. The Mills and Boon man must have integrity. For example in Broken Lullaby there was a seen where our heroine was shot at now she was understandably upset and as a result got close to our Mills and Boon man and one thing led to another if you get my drift. The Mills and Boon man should have checked with the lady and made sure it was okay to proceed but in this case he just got down to business. Points lost. Another thing that is essential for a Mills and Boon man is that if he is going to get into a fight he should win. In broken Lullaby and Loving Evangeline both mills and boon men got into fights and lost!! Finally there must be a marriage resolution at the end of the film. Loving Evangeline did not have the marriage resolution and I would not have pegged our hero as a typical Mills and boon man but the film did keep me going because of the competency of the actors and a none too taxing storyline so I did like it!! Now if you are wondering what my top five films are I shall tell you. 5th Loving Evangeline. 4th Recipe for Revenge. 3rd Another woman. 2nd The Awakening and my number one Mills and Boon film is DIAMOND GIRL. I managed to get nine of these films via ebay at extremely good bargain basement prices so you could check out all ten and even get the ones that I have not seen yet and these are Treacherous Beauties and At the Midnight Hour.

Diamond Girl
(1998)

Good if you know what you are comparing it too.
In the UK we have a publishing house called Mills & Boon who specialise in romance novels. These books are not long about 230 pages and does what it says on the tin!! It is about the meeting and falling in love of two people and the obstacles they face along the way. Now if you have read any of these books you WILL appreciate Diamond Girl. I am not ashamed to say that my wife and I have read a number of Mills and Boon and this film is a good tribute to those books. The story was simple and the chemistry between the actors was there and I think Jonathan Cake is a classic Mills & Boon man. I enjoyed this film immensely and I am very happy to say that I have it as part of my DVD collection and when I need to some light entertainment to get me through an hour and a Half I will happily turn to the film Diamond Girl.

The Awakening
(1995)

A romantic movie that I liked very much!!
I was drawn to this movie and from the first few scenes I knew I'd like it. It is the classic romance formula. Boy meets girl boy antagonises girl, girl falls for boy, boy falls for girl but won't admit it. They have an adventure and eventually boy realises he loves girl tells her and they live happily ever after. The actors were credible and if there is such a thing as on screen chemistry they had it. In fact if I was Cynthia Geary's real life husband I would have been a bit nervous. This film is not designed to make you question the way the world is run but is an entertaining way to pass an hour and a half. I liked this movie and have it on DVD so when I want light entertainment I will be watching it again. Nothing beats a good feeling like a good romance.

Another Woman
(1994)

I really liked it
First the revelation - I read romance novels and as any serious reader will know it can be quite hard to transfer the emotions described in a book onto film. This film managed it. Why? Because the acting was believable, there was chemistry and the story line was entirely plausible. I own this movie and I am happy to own it and I think the best compliment I could give is to say that as soon as I watched I wanted to watch it again. This is a feel good movie. If you're not romantic or a parent you might not get it but I loved it hence my 8 out of 10. And now I'm off to watch it again!!! Ps Justine Bateman - need to see her more on TV as she portrays emotions excellently. Not many actresses cry real tears!

Me & Mrs. Jones
(2001)

Not sure of the message
I was drawn to this movie on the basis of the synopsis given by a well known Internet shop. So I figured that Me and Mrs Jones would be some sort of Disclosure variant where you have sexual harassment but from the lady to the man. So we see our hero (Tracy) get the job and it is obvious that his boss (Mrs Jones) is attracted to him but he makes the first move by kissing her! So then he embarks on an affair and then meets Desiree and he tries juggling the two relationships til at last he plumps for Desiree. I was confused because this film was not about a man dealing with sexual harassment so in the end I felt quite sorry for Mrs Jones. She was tough but sometimes in business you have to be and I do not feel Tracy came of it smelling like a rose. There are things he could have said and done that would have given him the high ground such as "I've met someone else and I'm in love" but he did not. So to sum up watch 'Me and Mrs Jones' and come to your own conclusions.

Bionic Woman
(2007)

Special effects!!!
Over the past few months us TV viewers have been given two shows that feature strong female characters. Terminator - The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Bionic Woman. Now both have the potential to be really something but what lets Bionic Woman down can be summed up with two words Special effects. Ever since the late and much respected Christopher Reeve brought us Superman the general TV watching and theatre going public have been treated to what should be seen when a film is portraying and person with superhuman abilities. The scene when Superman has Lois Lane in one hand and a helicopter in the other is a classic. So us viewers know when we are being fobbed off. This is where Bionic Woman lets itself down. first they give us another bionic woman so when she and our Jaime have a fight there's few special effects and then when Jaime fights an ordinary mortal blows that should knock the mortal out still has them on their feet seemingly giving as good as they get! Whereas with terminator you see in the first instance that super strong androids are fighting. Producers must realise that when you embark on a TV show that features enhanced human beings you cannot skimp on the special effects budget.

Stranded
(2006)

Liked and not just for the obvious reason!
Have you ever turned on the TV and found that there was a film on and even though you've missed the first twenty minutes you decide to keep watching? Well that's how I came across stranded. I have to admit that the young ladies were extremely good on the eye and the story line was familiar but what kept me watching was surprise surprise the acting. This film was not about good looking women running around an exotic landscape they could act!! I recognised the baddie from the film Hitch (Boy I need to get out more!!) but I did not recognise the leading lady as being on Smallville (Boy I need to stay in more!!). All in all I liked stranded and if I come across it in the TV listings or on DVD I will certainly give it a second viewing.

The Painted Veil
(2006)

Previews work!!
I watched this film as a result of seeing a preview of it before another film that I watched. To be fair the preview practically says it all however from this preview I was able to conclude that this was a movie worth seeing with good acting performances. A couple of days I did watch this movie and liked it. I could see where the movie was going but I liked it nonetheless and this was because the acting made it watchable. I am a born romantic so there were some aspects of the film that disappointed me but hey that's life. I think most people might classify the Painted Veil as a chick flick but as it addresses both sides of the relationship divide I think this is a film that will appeal to both men and women.

She Spies
(2002)

What's wrong with light entertainment?
She Spies is easy on the eyes and brains. It is light entertainment that should have been given a longer run. She spies is basically a lighter hearted Charlies Angels. I watch it every morning and find it very entertaining and good on the eyes. The stories have a beginning a middle and an end and all three women are extremely pretty. I think in the beginning it may have been too light hearted but then they brought in Cameron Daddo who does have a greater screen presence then the first head of the She Spies programme and anyway that man was a baddie in Firefly (boo hiss). I also compare She Spies to Cleopatra 2525 that also featured three female crime fighters though I must say that the She Spies are prettier. I for one would like to see two things firstly series two on DVD (all regions preferably) and two a movie spin off or better still a third series. To sum it up if I have an hour to kill I would like nothing better to have my eyes richly entertained by the beautiful She Spies!!

All About You
(2001)

A nice movie easy on the eyes and ears!
This first thing to say is that Renee Goldsberry is a beautiful woman. The movie incredibly sees her being ditched by the man she saw herself spending the rest of her life with. What then follows is how some people would cope with rejection and then along comes Brian and he to has been hurt in the past. What then follows is the things that has happened and will continue to happen in relationships coming together and misunderstandings. What makes this film work is the obvious chemistry between the leading and leading man and what in my book bumps this film up to an eight out of ten is the fact that they sing their own songs. Loved it. My only gripe is that the DVD does not have subtitles.

Chu zha hu
(1979)

An enjoyable Kung Fu film!
I saw this film many years ago and it is one that has stayed with me ever since. Like most of the Kung Fu films at the time the picture quality makes you think you're watching a dud but then as you get into the movie you're just following the story and appreciating the fight scenes. I especially liked the fact that there were a female exponents of the arts and that they were more than able to hold their own against the men folk. The basic storyline is that there is a girl who a man (baddie) wants to marry so her brother says that if he can beat her then him then his other sister at Kung Fu then he can marry his sister (got that?) Needless to say he cannot beat the girl but then has the idea of promising a thousand dollars to anyone who can beat her. That person will get the money when they turn over the girl to him. What you then have is a succession of men trying their luck with no success. In the meantime our hero takes up the challenge and because the girl likes him she lets him beat her. However then the baddies father who is the major kung fu villain steps in. The final fight scene is terrific and the film has genuine funny moments. This film is out of DVD at a bargain price it is a bargain. I would have paid twice as much to own it. A great Kung fu movie.

Waist Deep
(2006)

Violent with harsh language but I liked it.
Waist deep is a variation on a theme. The main character is out of jail and going straight however after his car is carjacked with his son in the back seat he is forced off the straight and narrow. I liked the way he came to the aid of a girl being beaten up and that initially he tried to raise the money to get back his son by robbing the bad guys even though he had to rob bank in order to get to the robbers safety deposit boxes. Well eventually he has the robbers and the police after him and he's faced with a 'Thelma and Louise' standoff. The girl who he saved and eventually hooked up with gets away with his son and you think it ends there. If you see the film you will guess how it ends as I did but I liked it just the same. So what is Waist Deep? It's a familiar story with violence and bad language but I liked it.

Home by Christmas
(2006)

Easy watching but quite moving?
I managed to see this film at the fourth attempt after being constantly interrupted with family matters but I am glad I got to watch it. The story is not new but what is somewhat unusual is that the Linda Hamilton character chose not to take her husband to the cleaners after finding out that he cheated on her. What happened is that through a series of believable disasters she finds herself alone (her daughter goes to live with her father) and she loses her home. I agree with a previous commentator, I think this is one of Linda Hamilton's best performances and my only gripe about this film is that it does not appear to be on DVD as I desperately want to add it to my collection. This is a moving but easy watching film and well worth taking the time to watch if you come across it on your TV listings.

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