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Wong Fei Hung II: Nam yee tung chi keung

Pure entertainment!
Highly recommended: Once Upon A Time In China II (1992). Amazing Kung-Fu! It's darkly funny, it's got romance, stars Jet Li, the fight scenes are just incredible. There's a teetering-table fight that took my breath away and made me shout out loud! Very interesting historical subtext going on with the Boxer Rebellion and Dr Sun Yat Sen just adds to the interest.

The Ref

This is terrible. I managed to grimly hang on for 45 minutes of this boring, trite, unfunny movie and then I had had more than enough. I can't imagine how people thought this was amusing. It isn't.


Lacks a plot, no love interest.
It's OK. Always a pleasure to watch Tom Hanks. However... Chappie is far, far, far better. The problem with Finch is that there's no real antagonist, and just as bad, there's no story development. I'm a novelist, I understand plot. A story demands tension between the characters and if there's no antagonist then there's no tension. In the case of Finch, the writer seems to be using the dystopian Earth as the antagonist but it isn't enough. Further than that, there is no love interest either, no female character. And the ending. How truly disappointing. The whole film made me feel down. I give this 3 stars and that's only because of Tom Hanks.

Trump vs the Illuminati

A failed comedy.
The special effects of space ships and so on were actually quite decent. The Trump clone voice was good enough too. It's meant to be satire but lacks imagination.

Honor Amongst Men

I wasted my time
This is unremittingly awful. After about 1/3 I put it on fast forward to see if anything actually happened. Nope...

County Lines

Scarifying view of a modern problem
Remarkable acting, script and life story. Would have been a 10/10 if it had not been for the peculiar old-fashioned screen dimensions, which made it look more like a 80s TV movie than a modern widescreen film.

The way in which Tyler is recruited into the County Lines drug dealing network, becoming the 'Jim Line' is both convincing and disturbing. The film shows the social problems that lie behind the recruitment of youngsters into these criminal schemes, even the school life is shown -- and I have to say I would not want to be a teacher in that school. There's a lack of explanation of certain things. I'm not sure a US viewer would know that a PRU is a pupil referral unit.

Things Don't Stay Fixed

Had to pinch myself to keep awake
I couldn't get further than the first ten minutes or so. Nothing happened. Zero apparent story or development. It became apparent that it's a film in which mostly talking takes place. So at that point I turned it off.


Goes nowhere in the end.
I watch almost anything SF. Lapsis disappointed me on several levels. Basically it is a story about pyramid selling. You're probably familiar with the idea: money isn't made by honestly selling a product, but instead, by recruiting an ever growing number of other "sales people" who are required to first buy stock before they join. Amway, Swipe. many others work like this. The star wants to buy expensive treatment for his brother's chronic fatigue condition but the viewer can easily conclude that his brother is a useless layabout. This makes me think the star is a simpleton. Then he gets sucked into a pyramid selling scheme based on cabling optical fibre. For me, this was the worst, most stupid part, because I used to be a project manager in a fibre optic comms company. And the tech aspects were just complete and total nonsense. I will spare you the details. So for me, the "McGuffin" was nonsensical and didn't work. The acting was quite decent so I managed to watch it to the end and ... it just faded away.


A genuine ten star review
I cannot fault this film. Its creepy yet surreal atmosphere reminded me very much of a Polish version of Alice in Wonderland I watched years ago. The child actor who plays the puppet acts his part superbly. In fact all the acting is just great. The part of the snail lady is simultaneously very creepy and heartwarming, a combination that few films have achieved to this degree. The cinematography can't be faulted and the musical score is appropriate and adds to, rather than detracts from, the story. The transformation of the puppet into the boy was so well executed that I almost leapt out of my chair. It is very very rare for me to award ten stars to a film but this one deserves it.

War Machine

Brad Pitt the zombie actor
I couldn't watch more than 20 minutes of this dreck. Brad Pitt seemed to have lost the power of speech as well as the power of acting. Just stood around like a zombie. He looked as if he had dementia and couldn't figure out what he was supposed to be doing on the film set. Not only that; the whole film is destroyed anyway, by being narrated by a really annoying voice-over person.


"Blair Witch Project" in uniform.
About half way through this film I realised I was watching the Blair Witch Project but in uniform, and with the annoying girl replaced by the corporal. In each movie, bad things happen and are obviously going to get worse, but for some reason (the screen writer's desire to 'make a story out of nothing') the characters just follow the leader and get bumped off one by one as a result. This is not a film in which you might see some actual war action. It's a psychological thriller just as the BWP was, with the witch replaced by an unseen sniper. I managed to get through the second half of it though by that time I was regretting wasting my life watching it.

The Gentlemen

Just terrible. Overacted and Unconvicncing.
I'm usually a big fan of UK crime films but this one got up my nose from the beginning with its senseless idea of 'story telling; the film. Basically, one of the bad guys explains the whole film to us in a sardonic way. It is utterly offputting and made even worse - much worse - by the sarky snidey guy, totally unlikable, who narrates and explains this bilge. The story, such as it is, is so ludicrous as to be a pastiche.

Saving Mbango

Family drama in West Africa
This is an unusual film, it was shot locally with local people who, I dare say, had no acting experience. Yet it is interesting. I was unaware of where it was made when I began watching it, and it began to drive me mad trying to guess where. The actors were speaking in pidgin English, I could understand a lot of it, and it is West African pidgin, as I learned in Nigeria. But I did not recognise the local language and there were aspects of the surroundings which made me conclude quite quickly that it wasn't Nigeria. I thought it might be Ghana (Nigeria's northern Neighbour) but it turns out to be Cameroon, to the south of Nigeria.


Cozy turns slasher
This film hit all the right buttons for me. The heartless woman who fires 90% of the employees. The robot with the failing battery. The fact that repair costs more than replace. The switch from "cozy, heartwarming" to frightening on-the-edge-of-my-seat stuff was unexpected, sudden, and effective. I don't really understand what the negative reviews here are about. I loved this film, my wife did too.

Framing John DeLorean

There were elements of this where I expected a lot more -- for instance the car factory barely gets a mention. The whole thing needed compressing to about a quarter of its length, it seemed to go on forever.

Freeway: Crack in the System

I should have spent time watching paint dry, instead. That would have been more interesting.

Ruta Madre

Stereotypical but moving
I'm very impressed by this film. It's stereotypical, as I know - I've lived in Mexico 25 years - but basically Mexican at heart and all the funnier for that. The scene with the street 'Banda' was very funny and typically Mexican although I have also seen the same in Nicaragua. And if the ending doesn't make you cry I will be surprised.

Captain Black

Unintended consequences
Mike has an incredibly boring job - he works in a restaurant. (One of the things I learned from this film is, do NOT tell restaurant staff it's your birthday. Several times a day they have to pretend to be happy while singing happy birthday to the customers, while inside, they hate it.) Mike gets into a graphic novel, yes a comic, about a little known superhero called Captain Black. He decides to do a bit of cosplay, beginning with rescuing a cat from a tree. The neighbours are unimpressed. He improves his getup and goes to a Halloween fancy dress party, and across the room spots a woman dressed as Captain Black's female sidekick. It's immediate 'basic instinct'. Unfortunately for Mike, he goes along with what comes next, no questions asked, until reality sets in. And then his life falls apart. This wasn't the movie I expected to see. I'm not sure what exactly I expected but it wasn't this. However, I was impressed by this film. Good acting, good direction, all too plausible.


You will cry.
Film of the week. No, month. No - film of the YEAR! It is indeed a musical. And normally I am not a fan of musicals, because, you know, The Sound Of Music and all that tat. But this one ... the songs are first, Elton John, and secondly, all the performers can sing really damn well. The production values are superb. It will almost certainly make you cry. And laugh. I cannot recommend this too highly. 10 out of 10.

Greyhound Attack

Ghastly waste of time
The supposed plot of this movie has little or nothing to do with what appears on screen, and the title has nothing to do with the movie either. The whole thing appears to be a rather pathetic attempt by a bunch of students to make a movie; with zero success. It is so pathetic it's not even funny. If you would like to watch a "WW2 fighter pilot" be played by some juvie wearing a smoke respirator and no actual real background or effects or anything, really, then go ahead and waste your life.

Triple Frontier

Deserves 0/10 not 1/10
I wish I could recover the time I wasted watching this piece of utter rubbish. This film is a perfect example of Hollywood scriptwriters walking their actors through a plot that fails to reflect, in any way, what would actually happen in real life. There are many instances that made me want to throw a brick at the TV, but here's just one: Unable to carry all the money bags out, they decide to throw away all the cash by dumping it into a deep hole in the ground from which it can't be recovered. Anyone with any brains would simply have stashed it, walked out with enough cash on them to hire a helicopter no questions asked, and flown back to pick it up. Of course that didn't suit the screenwriters, so they instead make us assume that these guys are all terminally stupid. Is Ben Affleck really so dumb as not to question a dumb script?

Bird Box

Absolute bilge.
It would be hard to spoil the plot of this movie because it doesn't have one. I found it exceptionally annoying due to one thing: we never see, nor is it explained, in any shape or form, what the 'monsters' are. And, frankly, I found the concept of the monsters being able to instantly make people commit suicide, plainly ridiculous. It's just Sandra Bullock and two children (who might as well be stuffed dolls for all the input they create) wandering around with blindfolds on. This film could and should have been so much better. Perhaps the budget was so tiny - maybe ten dollars or so - that the producer found it impossible to create a coherent and convincing storyline. What a waste of time. Even the ending was garbage. No plot. Little emotional content. 99% filler.

Gone To Pot: American Road Trip

I wanted to be on the road trip with them.
This is a hilarious show. It sort of reminds me of Best Marigold Hotel on herb. Actually, being as Best Marigold is set in India, which is a place where hash is freely available, I did wonder why it played no part in the film. Anyway - Five British old codgers take to the roads of the Golden State on a hippie bus in order to try out California's Brave New Marijuana World. It would have been better if Frank Zappa or Hunter J Thompson was along, but unfortunately they're both dead now, so that's not possible. However we do get to see some silly behaviour. Eating a full meal and then 7 scoops of "green" ice cream is pretty much guaranteed to make even the most seasoned stoner hurl. And so it came to pass that I was seriously worried that they didn't seem to have a nurse on board. Perhaps there was a medical team following in a back-up car. Anyway - If you feel in need of a good laugh, I heartily recommend this one.


Like watching paint dry
For some reason in this day and age, Hollis is still taking pictures with an old film style camera when he comes across a good looking female in the park and takes her photo. (My first impression was annoyance; I would be pretty annoyed if people took pictures of me on the street and then claimed the right to do so. Without a model release signature such photos are useless.) After developing the pictures in his darkroom the same woman (Natalie) tracks him down and demands the photo and negatives, due apparently to some bad guys chasing her. This is so improbable I began to turn off at this point. The two of them flee to Phoenix. Supposedly Natalie is a former British spy who got mixed up with a Colombian drug cartel and at this point, I realised that I had seen this movie before, 6 times at least, except instead of "Natalie" it was Vin Diesel / Kiefer Sutherland / Van Damme etc. etc., in the part. The movie has very little action and the plot is a waste of time. Give this one a miss.

Armed Response

Wesley Snipes must be desperate to have lent himself to this.
I wish I could have given this movie a zero because it doesn't deserve even one star. It is impossible to spoil the plot, actually, because there isn't one to speak of. The reason I ticked that box is because I am going to tell you how it ends, which is such a stupid ridiculous ending that I wanted to hurl. A bunch of armed characters - it wasn't obvious what 'agency' - arrive at a penal facility of a rather weird kind that has been compromised. Lots of time is spent checking empty rooms and shouting 'clear' before finally one dead body is found. A maniac is found locked inside a sensory withdrawal tank. The team members get bumped off one by one by some mysterious invisible enemy. Why they blaze away at "it" with apparently useless weapons (half of them only have pistols) is just one of the thousands of plot holes. Anyway, they all get killed in the end. And here it comes - what is the "enemy"? It is the building itself!! How a "building" can mangle them up is not apparent. Guy walking down a corridor suddenly starts blazing away and then argh! kabump! He's dead! Perhaps concrete walls can suddenly become space aliens? Do not waste part of your life watching this drivel. All I can conclude is that Wesley Snipes must be on his uppers and desperate for cash to have accepted a starring role in this tripe. I am certainly going to look VERY closely at the reviews of any more Wesley Snipes movies in future.

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