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The Walking Dead: The First Day of the Rest of Your Life
Episode 16, Season 7

So many sad mindless haters, such a great episode.(Spoilers)
Great episode. Wonderful writing, outstanding acting and terrific plot. So many great moments in this episode and it was really wonderful to see Micheal Culditz again. No 1, The flashbacks to Abraham's and Sacha's last moments in their home were so touching and romantic. Three hankie weepy to really p*ss off the adolescent male action junkies and to warm the heart of the adult fans.

No 2, Rick and Michonne getting all discomfited and embarrassed at Jadis' advances. You could see their thoughts written all over their faces, no way lady...get lost.

No 3, Sasha taking control of her life and death and taking out that 0 Savior who gave Enid a hard time at Hilltop as well. Bonus points for scaring the sh*t out of Negan as well. Goodbye Sasha, enjoy your afterlife with the people you loved and lost.

No 4, The tiger. What more can you say...nothing. It was great.

No 5, the callbacks to earlier Seasons and the tribute to Glen. This was the best Finale in years.

Last but not least, the bad-assery of Carl. Do not mess with Carl...ever.

A Royal Night Out

Slight but fun
This film is really very funny, I don't know how else it could be described. It's not history and it's nowhere near accurate, but the jokes are delivered well and some are really laugh out loud funny. I would say take the plot with a pinch of salt and prepare your self for a fairy tale. Bel Powley is a hoot as P.No2, Sarah Gadon is the lovely P.No1 who finds a guardian angel in Jack Reynor. Rupert Everett made for a rather charming King George but I did wonder where Queen Elizabeth's (the Queen Mum) famous charm went. Emily Watson didn't really display much of it. All in all if you want to watch a really great staging of London celebrating VE Day 1945 and get some understanding of how stifling life in Buckingham Palace would have been for two very young girls. you could do a heck of a lot worse.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Good news & bad news.
The good news is that Joss Whedon's dialogue is just as witty as ever. His characters sparkle with wit and it's fun just sitting there and watching the Avenger's have a good time. Their good time is infectious. The bad news is that there is so many of them. James Spader's Ultron is charismatic and very powerful is another piece of good news, his Minions are not as much fun as Gru's from 'Despicable Me' though. And if like me you find yourself folding your hand bag strap as small as you can and then counting the loops, well think of all those poor boys in the audience who don't even have a handbag strap to fold. I was rather disappointed to tell the truth.

The direction is good, the acting is good, the action is getting very old hat by now. The 3D, well what can you say. I didn't notice anything great about it. When all you are noticing in a film is the fact that Thor's hair could really use a good shampoo and blow dry, the story isn't really holding your attention.


When a film is this charming and lovable it leaves you with a warm glow. I left the cinema with a smile on my face and a deep desire to find Paddington and give him a warm hug. Voiced by Ben Wishaw, Paddington is the bear we all wish we could find who needs a home, even if he doesn't know how to use the 'facilities' very well. I think Colin Firth made the correct decision to bow out, he has a great voice but it's not really Paddington's. That Paddington is found by the Brown family is our good luck. Great performances by all the cast, a funny and clever script and great direction, this is the perfect family film for all to see and appreciate. It's not to little to say I loved it.

From the opening scenes with Paddington and his family in 'Darkest Peru' to his search for a home on the cold streets of London our heartstrings are pulled, tugged and then wrapped tightly around him. And I hope that all those people who feel strongly about illegal immigrant children entering countries by unconventional means can find it in their hearts to welcome him also. After all, he has such good manners.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

Politics, politics.
War movies have always been a favourite genre for me, and in Mockingjay we get war in all it's horror and heroism all tied into a comprehensive and intelligent bundle that is carried effortlessly by Jennifer Lawrence. The direction keeps us focused on Lawrence, she is in 95% at least of the scenes and she dominates. Her portrayal of Katniss as a damaged, fragile and very young girl who is also the main prop of a rebellion against horrific oppression is spellbinding.

The fact that the script makes no concessions to the action junkie is IMO at least, only to be commended. The rest of the cast seem to have been inspired by her formidable work. Everybody has raised their game to match her, I can't think of a weak link in the rest of the cast's performances. Liam Hemsworth at last make Gale real. There are too many really to list here. Stand outs for were Josh Hutcherson's Peeta, Elizabeth Banks Effie, Philip Seymour Hoffman's Plutarch and of course Donald Sutherland's Corialanus Snow. A great story needs a great villain and his Snow is both fascinating and repellent.

And on a final closing note, this film makes the eternal whining of the so-called BR 'fans' look more pathetic than ever and leaves you scratching your head wondering what film they saw.

Northanger Abbey

Very lightweight
I've watched the film twice now and I have to say, I think this is a very lightweight version of Austen, There is nothing terribly bad about it, but nothing that great either. The one exception I would make is Carey Mulligan's Isabella Thorpe. She is very good as the manipulative and venal Isabella. But she also has a tinge of the pathetic about her. She seems to be a person who is determined to make the wrong decisions. As always in Davies adaptations, it is the 'villains' who are more interesting, but not even Andrew Davies and Mulligan can make John and Isabella Thorpe more than simply manipulative and venal. Felicity Jones is suitably innocent as Catherine, Fields is kind and understanding as Henry. The great Liam Cunningham is criminally wasted as Gen Tilney though. Everyone else is very nice and the costumes are lovely. Lismore Castle makes for a suitably large and intimidating Abbey and Dublin makes for a great 19th Century Bath.

In conclusion it's all very nice and pretty, (a kiss of death IMO) . The biggest gripe apart from the lack of any real tension and conflict in the plot would be Davies obligatory insertion of sexual misbehavior that is just so unlike Austen's novel. The Gothic elements introduced by Catherine's vivid dreams seem to have been heavily inspired by the 1987 version. I could be wrong about that, perhaps every adaptation has these boring dream sequences.

All in all, not my favourite Austen. You should never be bored by Austen.

Sense & Sensibility

I watched this three times because I wanted to be sure I could make my points. For this I deserve a medal. The first time I watched it I thought it pretty good, the second time things started to bother me, the third time I felt like throwing something at the TV screen.

What we have here is a very bad adaptation, very bad direction and pretty poor camera work. We have a Margaret who spouts rhetoric from 'The Female Eunuch'. A Marianne who changes her emotions on a dime while being trained to be the perfect wife for Col Brandon, who is all Regency Action Man alpha male. An Edward who really could use some lessons in handling an axe, an Elinor who also needs some lessons in beating carpets and a scriptwriter who'es earlier successes has given him the inflated opinion that he is a better writer than Jane Austen. He isn't and this pretty poor adaptation proves it.

It had some good points, Anne Steele was funny even if she did have a completely different accent from Lucy.

Cold Dead Hand with Jim Carrey

Hits the mark
One has to say that very few political songs hits it's mark as accurately as this little ditty does.

Judging from the reaction of the right wing media I think it hurt a great deal. So much vitriol directed at a song has to mean that the song hit it's target with deadly accuracy.

And as a huge Charlton Heston fan I think he would have laughed his head off at the song. But it was wonderful to see the right wing media being reduced to apoplexy. Also the song is pretty darn good.

It has good rhythm, clever lyrics, good musicians and Carrey can carry a tune. If only one person stops to think that anybody who needs to prove his maturity with an semi automatic or automatic weapon is really only proving their immaturity.

The World's End

The penalties of growing up and the penalties of staying a child
'The World's End' is such a British film. The bitterness is harsh and the sweetness very hard to find. The darkness of the comedy is simply so typical of the British. This is a film where anarchy is applauded to a certain extent and conformity something to run screaming from. At the same time it recognises the perils of anarchy and why some people like conformity. It is a film balanced on the edge of a sword and having great fun in the balancing act. Pegg and Wright have written both an extremely funny film and a very dark Scyfy horror.

Pegg excels in the role of Gary, the Peter Pan of his generation. The boy all his mates thought was so cool before they grew up and became the adult he refuses to be. They both envy him and hate him. Nick Frost is strong, tough and the survivor. He is the rock to which Gary clings.

I really liked the film. I laughed at all the jokes and all the geekiness of it. I loved the flavour of 'The Stepford Wives' and 'The Invasion of the BodySnatcher'. (The original book that is.) And I loved how Gary King stayed the same and how Nick Frost didn't.

The Internship

It may be a commercial for Google but it's still charming
My header just about sums up this film. It's very predictable and it's a 2 hour product placement advert but it's done with charm and verve. It also has it's heart in the right place and my grandson laughed in all the right places. He also leaned over at one point and told me how to write code. Of course he might as well have been talking Greek but he did enjoy my enjoyment of the Quidditch game. Like I said it's charming and a very pleasant way to spend two hours. Also the acting is pretty good, the script is tight and it hits the funny bullseye more than a few times.

There is nothing wrong with a pleasant film about two lost men finding their way and showing the young kids that life's about more than hitting the correct keys on the keyboard. Like Google itself life is more than what you see on the screen and enjoying a great view can be a great way to end the best night of of your life.

One thing I will say, San Francisco in this film look gorgeous.

Much Ado About Nothing

This is such a great adaptation. The actors speak their lines with clarity and emotion. The cinematography is great, and the movie is in turns very funny and tragic. A lot will be written about how Hero would never simply die because she was accused of 'not being a virgin', well she didn't. For once when I was watching it I got a sense of what was driving Claudio, his sense of betrayal and hurt. What he did was reprehensible but you could understand that he did have what he thought was good reasons. And for once I got a sense of real threat from Benedict's challenge. Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof made a delightful Beatrice and Benedict. You could feel the attraction there and you knew why Don Redro had such an easy time of it convincing his fellow conspirators to get them together.

What really impressed me about this film is how obvious it is that the cast is having a good time. The acting seems to be effortless and it is all spot on, and Clark Gregg/Nathan Fillion/Reed Diamond are hilariously funny. I think this is how Shakespeare should be done, as simply great entertainment. When you have that, you have the complexities laid out before you and like Claudio's anger you can see the reasons for the actions of the characters plainly.

'Much Ado About Nothing' has been very well served by Wheedon and his company of players, such a joy and that can be so rare in films nowadays.

Beautiful Creatures

Don't watch if you are prone to numb bums.
I thought it was never going to end. I would not have cared if it had been a good film, but......well the plain truth was it wasn't. What a waste of talent on the actor's parts. A good editor could maybe have tightened it up, but plainly the editor didn't know he was supposed to do a job of work, in other words earn his/her salary. A more bloated film I have never seen. I kept thinking does this scene have to be stretched like a piece of elastic until it snaps. To sum up, nonexistent editing, bad direction that substituted long scenes for sharp direction. Dull storyline and a thread of mysoginy a mile wide. Can girls never be anything else but cardboard cutouts of either 'bad' girls or 'good girls and the boys...well they grow up to be men?

Snow White and the Huntsman

Kind of blah
It's a pity. I was looking forward to seeing this film. I really love the old fairy tales and was looking forward to a powerful take on the Snow White tale. I was disappointed. Charlize Theron certainly gave a new look into the Wicked Queen, and Chris Hemsworth was dashing enough as the Huntsman. Even if his accent wobbled all over. The Dwarfs were good value. The weak link was Kristen Stewart. She delivered a very one note performance, the highlight of which was when she was playing the comatose Snow White. As a corpse her deficits as an actress were not so noticeable.

The biggest problem with this film is that the director couldn't make up his mind. Themes, creatures, back-stories were introduced and then forgotten about. One minute we were in a river-land the next a mountain. I found myself wondering where the heck we would find ourselves next. The film meandered and that was fatal. It didn't have the courage to fully explore a new side to Snow White and it didn't have the courage to tell the old side of Snow White. It meandered between the two and told neither of them well.

The Hunger Games

At last, a first class adaptation of a first class book.
I have always thought that The Hunger Games was a very good book with a lean and powerful way of conveying the plot. The film has a lean and powerful way with showing this. Going beyond strict adherence to the book it translates the story into a cracking cinema experience. The director got first class performances out of his cast, his vision of the books was spot on and I really did not notice the 'shaky-cam' camera work. I also have to commend the wardrobe dept, the fashions of the Capitol were truly bizarre and Katniss and Peeta's 'Fire Costumes' were just right. I in fact thought the red interview dress was better than the one described in the book. The killings in the arena were brutal and tragic. The death of Rue was just as heart wrenching as the book and I thought Jennifer Lawrence wonderfully conveyed her dilemma over her feelings or Peeta. I also really enjoyed Josh Hutcherson's portrayal of Peeta. He was great in a very difficult role to pull off well. On re-reading some of the reviews I find it so amazing that some people are still trying to say that Collins 'ripped-off' an obscure Japanese film that was never released in the US till after this film was in the cinemas. I just find it so difficult to believe that she 'stole' ideas from a film that never played in her country. It's just so hard to steal ideas that you don't know were made, and did the fact that Takami seems to have 'stolen' his idea for 'Battle Royale' book from a previously published book called 'The Knights of the Forty Islands' count as a rip-off' as well?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

OK film, terrible adaption
Deathly Hallows works all right as a film, I suppose. My enjoyment of it was just spoilt by the total lack of respect shown by the director and scriptwriter for the source matériel. The book had a rather good plot and not bad characters. Would it have hurt the film that much to include any of that. No, all of that was junked to put in scenes that had nothing to do with the plot of the book, twist and slant other parts of the book plot, ignore quite a lot of important book points and simply never refer to the main plot point of the book at all. Does anyone recall anything about what the Deathly Hallows actually were and how many Harry had, if indeed he had any?

So OK film, terrible, terrible adaption.

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