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The Northman

What could have been...
I'm struck by such a distinguished cast, with such a great story about a young man seeking vengeance against his uncle for the death of his father.

How could it go wrong with Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Alexander Skarsgard, Willem Dafoe and Ethan Hawke. Where did it go wrong?

Well let's start with often wooden performances, mostly poor acting, diabolical dialogue delivery with awful accents, with only Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicole Kidman holding their own and even then not for all scenes.

The sound track for such a big budget film was pretty B movie. And some of the imagery was comic book- like.

Then the poor photography and lighting, technical skills that are known to students, yet lacking in this movie with a budget of $60 million.

Then the deplorable direction. You could clearly tell even the veteran Nicole Kidman failed to sparkle, mostly because it's plain she was not being directed to give her best.

This is one of the best examples of "What could have been" but ended but "Has been."

The Survivor

A rare, beautiful film.
This is not a war movie. It's not just a love story either.

This is a film about enduring memories, and how we live with them, suffer them and move on from them.

The story is simple, a man looking for his lost love, but falls in love while looking. But he can never forget... The acting is beyond the pale and I truly don't understand how Foster has not had an oscar yet. He reminds me of a young DeNiro in the way he takes on all of his roles.

The photography is absolutely exquisite, the direction superb, the dialogue always wise and meaningful Every performance in the film is great but Foster is out of the league altogether with his.

If you love cinema and acting, watch it.

The Batman

Be prepared to yawn a lot
I like Batman. I think the casting for years has ben questionable, but I like the character. And I've always managed to watch the other Batman movies til the bitter end.

But I tried 5 times with this one and could just not complete it.

It's laughable at times, boring at other times, and Pattinson looks as though he is utterly non interested in whatever is going on.

The plot/story is like wading through molasses.

I've deleted it now I won't be returning to finish it off. I was being generous when I gave it a 3.

A Cowgirl's Song

Appalling, don't waste your time.
The movie starts with factual errors, then moves on to stilted acting. Then horror of horrors, Cheryl Ladd shows how not to act. I can't believe she is still on screen after all these years.

The dialogue is awful, the story old and tired, the acting appalling and tbh I could not make it right to the end. I felt so sorry for myself I wanted to put myself out of my misery by turning it off so I did.

Darci Lynne Farmer is the only bright spot of the movie I gave it 2 only cos of her. Shame we didn't hear her singing as she is fantastic. I wonder why that decision was made?

Lovely to see Darci making something of herself but apart from that, sheer torture. Give this a miss.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

The very finest film in many years
I was a little cautious going into this movie as I despise of anything religious. But the names Chastain and D'Onofrio lured me in so I decided to watch it one evening.

I did not move even a single inch from in front of the screen during it's whole two hours. And at the end I wanted to know more, I didn't want it to stop.

Chastain brought such energy and such complete and utter devotion to the role, you'd thing she genuinely believe in and loved god. She sucked me in and made me believe 100% in her and her faith. Her performance was nothing short of astonishing.

The direction, music, cinematography, production, acting were all sublime and faultless. But Chastain deserved her oscar for her role more than most. She was flawlessly magical.

I will never be a believer or enjoy any Christian shows and music, but this one film is one of my all time favourite biopics.

The Green Knight

There is art, and there is rubbish masquerading as art
OK let's just go through the numbers.

Soundtrack: orchestral and odd sounds which become overbearing and overwhelming and after a while you turn the sound off cos there's nothing to miss anyway.

Cinematography: raw and contrasty and cold and uninteresting.

Story: Not a clue tbh. Tons of symbolism but no idea what it all means.

Direction: Awful. Amateurish. There are long scenes which go on forever but don't add anything to the story, and the rest of the time it's hard to tell what is supposed to be happening.

Acting: Appalling. Sean Harris retains his standoffish, mysterious appeal but the acting throughout the very long and boring film was pretty B movie.

Screenplay: Lots of symbolic but esoteric gestures, long close ups of faces, lots of imagery but nothing that actually helps you understand what's going on.

Have I missed anything?

It's overly long tripe, don't waste your time on it. There is not one single redeeming factor to this garbage.

The Adam Project

The first Ryan Reynolds film I have ever enjoyed
Reynolds plays a man going back in time to meet his 12 year old self to fix a historical problem.

Basic premise, but the storyline expands to be most enjoyable, reminiscent of an early Disney offering.

Reynolds is an insufferable fool and yet in this film he manages to make his character appealing, despite himself.

Scobell, who plays young Adam, despite his extremely limited filmography (ie: this is his first feature) is actually the acting epitome of Reynolds and you could easily mistake him for being the real son of Reynolds.

Ruffalo was wasted on his part as his skills just weren't needed but the addition of him, Saldana and Keener did add to the film.

SFX are great, the storyline is engaging and consistent, the pace is great and the directing spot on. Those ingredients bring us to a well defined, well baked film which I think the majority of people are going to really like, despite Reynolds being the star.

There's hidden nods to many sci fi greats that have come before, see how many you can get!

John Carter

It is not possible for anyone to rate this more than a 1 star
The acting is appalling. I mean not just bad, not just dire, it's utterly appalling. I can't comprehend how a director would play back a scene with such disgracefully bad acting and actually pass that scene as complete.

The acting is appalling, that's all you need to know.

Licorice Pizza

What is Licorice Pizza about? No-one knows.
Hoffman played a great part, and I now have a crush on Alana Haim. She shows that you don't need fabulous looks to be great in a film, just great acting chops.

The film charts the so called love story between Alana and Gary, although it's the oddest love story I've ever seen and I would definitely not call it that.

It's a series of disconnected scenes and events that don't seem to bear any relationship to each other, with people who don't seem to have a point in being there.

It's not even glitzy or funny or true to teen life like American Graffiti, it's just oddball meandering through a pseudo story but due to Haim and Hoffman's acting it does keep you interested until the very welcome end of the movie.

I gave it a four and that was only for Haim and Hoffman.


This film cemented my dislike of Naomi Watts.
Never have I ever disliked a film so quickly.

The constant recorded messages, voicemails and ring tones that we all hate so much, are a major feature of this film.

The panic and negativity of a typical pessimist comes out strongly too which is highly annoying as she fears the worst right from the start with no evidence whatsoever to support her fears.

She does not stop using her phone throughout the entire film and I only know that because I skipped the entire movie from 15 minutes in, by 5 minute slots.

I kinda put together the plot and ending just through a montage of shots I saw every 5 minutes and tbh it could easily have been nothing more than a short film.

God knows who financed this monstrosity but I bet they are kicking themselves.


I think this is as close to the perfect Western as you can possibly get
I had watched Yellowstone prior to this, but expected little as it was a prequel, an afterthought. I was struck at first simply by how much like Jennifer Lawrence Isobel May looks. But she is better looking and a far better actress.

The series follows a wagon train heading west to Oregon lead by Sam Elliot's character. The adventures and trials they have along the way try to show what it was like for early settlers and the grit is raw, but in contrast the scenery is spectacularly beautiful and the photography is exquisite enough to capture it at it's best.

Dialogue is kept to what is necessary for the story and nothing else, and acting is directed in a way that always gets the best from the characters and let's you know how they really feel.

The writing is superb and the soundtrack matches it and the pace is perfect in an undulating way, speeding up when necessary and slowing down when the need arises.

The story sucks you in with May's gentle, accented voice over washing over you and seeping into you. May carries this film on her shoulders, ably aided by Elliot and McGraw, and to some extent by Garrett and Hill.

I have never given a 9 before but this is well deserved, and to a large extent earned solely by Isabel May. I will be starting this series all over again now I've seen the end. No other western and few other series of any type is going to beat this one.

This is almost perfect.

Here Before

If I was asked to sum it up in one word it word be...laborious.
I like Andrea Riseborough she is a much underrated actress, but I suspect that's because she does not know how to choose great films that suit her.

This film is definitely not a great film. It's not even a good film. In fact it's a pretty poor film on many levels.

The filming is poor with too much contrast and not enough light. It actually makes you feel miserable.

The dialogue is patchy and lacking any real interest, and more times than I cared to count you can't actually hear what's being said.

The score was I thought entirely appropriate for a deep, meaningful, dark sci fi movie. It does not work at all on this film.

The pace is tragically slow. There are scenes that are drawn out and I can't for the life of me see why. They don't even add value to the film. It's a long, drawn out dreary story that ends in a sudden anti-climax.

All in all there's little to recommend with this film except if you are genuinely interested in seeing the mechanics of a bad film and how not to do it, watch this, it's a perfect example of how not to make films.


When you want something simple and undemanding, choose this
The storyline attracted me and I was very much looking forward to watching it but when I finally did I was disappointed.

Some of the acting is full on cartoonish, over dramatic and almost comedy theatre-ish. There are few who act well in this, Jennifer Connelly who is excellent being the main standout performer and who almost single handedly drives the series on. Alison Wright is almost sublime as hospitality Ruth, and Mickey Sumner and Lena Hall (fabulous singing!) also lend a good hand the top tier of acting.

There are far, far too many plot holes to mention although many of them can be overlooked as this is only a TV series, it's not factual.

The story unfolds slowly but very well, but apart from a handful of characters there is no character development at all. A mix of some awful accents ruins this too. Yorkshire, Irish, West Midlands, East midlands, Southern, and of course a variety of American accents. It reminds me of the cockney accents in Les Miserables, a film set in 1800's France, which ruined the film for me.

All in all a very simple watch which is non demanding and if you like Jennifer Connelly as I do then it's worth watching just for her and nothing else.


Fabulous film and Moretz is at her very best
It's a tale of hope, and loss, and love, and mourning. Of dreams dashed and hopes burgeoning. It's a tale of strength and survival and stoicism and it is told by Moretz at the peak of her acting.

I remember her in Hugo as a child and she has matured far beyond what I ever thought she would.

She carried and drove the film, and for maybe the 5th time ever I give this an 8. It's a very powerful and strong film with great direction, fantastic score and superlative acting, don't miss it.

The Lost Daughter

Pretentious bunkum masquerading as art.
So the film starts off with nothing much happening. Then a family come to her favourite beach, and nothing much happens.

Then she steals a doll and nothing much happens.

Cut to numerous flashbacks where nothing much happens, and 2 stories (her as her younger self an d her present day) playing in parallel, and nothing much happens in either of them.

The most mind numbingly boring film ever. I turned it off at 1 hour 25 minutes cos clearly the die was set, nothing was going to happen.

I only gave it 3 stars cos I like Dakota Johnson, even though nothing much happened with her.

The Rhythm Section

Blake is the only Lively thing in this film.
You could tell from the beginning that the directing was weak, although not appalling. And fairly early on you could also tell the character development was lacking to a large degree.

The story is the age old oft repeated revenge/unlikely heroine story and has been better done many times.

However Blake carries off the leading role with aplomb and skill which is more than can be said of the rest of the cast.

The film tried very hard to become a classic thriller and tried to punch way above it's weight. However it failed and only left a mildly appealing what-could-have-been film.

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Astounding film, camouflaged as sedentary mediocrity
Autumn is pregnant and with cousin Skylar they hatch a plot to get an abortion.

You don't think anything is really happening, but the world is happening throughout the film. Poor work experiences, everyday sexism, resourcefulness in the face of adversity, stoic acceptance of difficulties and navigating the unhelpful part of the world are all here in abundance.

It's only when Autumn closes her eyes to finally sleep peacefully that you reflect what has happened to the pair over the last 3 days, and most likely most of their lives. I love this film.

Body Cam

Very watchable but don't expect great performances
I had no idea what this film was about when I started watching, but as the story unfurled I began to enjoy it. The acting isn't fantastic, and sadly Mary J Blige in the lead role was one of the weakest performances in the film.

Also sometimes the pace of movement was very deliberate instead of normal and this dissipated the air of unease that they were trying to build up.

The score was ok, it could have been great, but was also underpaced.

All in all I enjoyed watching it, for the decent scenes, good cinematography and good story. But I placed it at a 4 because the acting let it down as did small parts of the dialogue.

West Side Story

The film deserves an 8 or 9
It deserves an 8 or 9 because it is visually stunning, sticks to the original plot, and the music is superb.

If you liked the original you will love this.

However the arrogant and selfish decision by Speilberg to refuse to add English subtitles as it would "Give English the power over Spanish" is a flawed decision.

Firstly it's released in an English speaking country there fore full subtitles should be available. Secondly, how can a translation be called "taking power"?

I think this is a flawed and very foolish woke decision which did impact my enjoyment on the film s I had no idea what people were saying for a fifth of the time.

Very poor decision Spielberg.

Last Night in Soho

Don't waste your time on this
I am disappointed to say that after watching this on the strength of Thomasin and Anya starring in it, I was wildly disappointed by the weirdness of it all.

Thomasin has not proved the excellent actress she made us expect she would grow to be after Leave No Trace. In fact I struggled to hear her sometimes and felt she sounded like an 8 year old half the time. Anya on the other hand was impeccable.

Nevertheless the storyline was amateurish and lacked real substance and the whole film instead of being focussed on a death, was centred around visions which became increasingly weird and unintelligible. It was hard to see the point the film was trying to make and where the journey was going.

The photography and sets were brilliant, and I think many people are loving the film for those two aspects, but sadly they weren't enough for me.


A simple uncomplicated story
And yet, so much to it about the human spirit, and how it can live on in positivity in the worst of environments.

As a dog lover I really appreciated the lengths he had gone to to ensure Goodyear was looked after.

Tom Hanks always pull sit out of the bag, the film is great, but it's made better by the choice of leading man. First time in a very long tie I've gone as high as an 8.


I think this is supposed to be a comedic drama?
First of all I am a big fan of Toni Collette and as always she brings a fantastic level and depth of acting skill to this role.

Steven McKintosh is also on his best game and is totally believeable in the role.

However, I could not concentrate on the story because of too-loud music that did not always offer anything to the show, and even took away from it. If the story, script and acting are up to par you don't even need music. This show is spoiled by the amount of it and the too-loudness which distracts.

Secondly the photography was appalling. The colour was often off, and the lighting was often flickering as they did not get the lighting levels correct. This was not only unprofessional but really distracted from the story.

Finally, the style of speech for all actors was stilted and bumbled. As if they could not find the right words to say, and very often sentences were left unfinished. Now and again this is obviously fine as it is real. But the entire script seems to rely on this bumbling along never know what they want to say. It became intensely boring and irritating.

I stopped watching after episode 1, life is far too short to waste on very badly produced and directed rubbish like this.


Very poor C movie
I only watched this because Guy Pearce starred. Every single other actor was appalling and unbelievable. The dialogue was stilted and gung ho buddy buddy.

I laughed at parts of it but it's supposed to be a thriller.

Don't waste your time unless you want a giggle.


Absolutely ruined by the lead actor
I desperately wanted to like this, but the lead actors halting, gap ridden voice over is done consistently in the most awful 'fried' voice that it brings one almost to tears.

I can't even recreate the voice, I don't know how it's done but it's a very deep vibrato and it's voiced...with gaps....everywhere...for no...apparent reason.

Absolutely excruciating so i had to turn it off in the end.

It's desperately sad when a series is ruined by something so simple that should have been identified by the editor at the very first stages.

Blue Bayou

One of the finest films about man's inhumanity to man made for a long time
The movie does not start with a bang, and cinema-goers who want an immediate rush from films will miss that fist heady scene, as it does not exist in this film.

However you quickly realise that the entire gamut of human emotion is in this film. Everything from shame, to pride, humility to ignorant arrogance, deep despair to transcendent joy. Everything is there in abundance and there are so many moral questions too.

How far would you go to achieve a common aim? What would you relinquish of yourself to help others, what would you do to shame yourself for the sole purpose of raising others.

There are also modern themes represented such as consent and police brutality, but much older, ancient themes such as morality, values, personal accountability and selflessness.

Sadly this film also shows the flaws of a government that over-rides humanity in it's wild aim to follow policy. A controlling state that whilst it takes in refugees from unsettled nations, it makes refugees of it's own people. And every happiness, every heartbreak, every moment of emotion is finely and superbly acted and directed.

Man's inhumanity to man is a term often bandied about when describing war. But the greatest inhumanity sis the cruelty exacted on people in times of peace, in the name of policy.

There are no great statesman left in the world now who can protect and cherish us and our country. There is only vanity and personal prowess.

Watch this film without any interruptions or gaps and you will see why western countries are nowhere near as great or as free as they like to have us believe.

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