Category Archives: Film Reviews

The Trouble With You (En Liberte!) (2018) Film Review

Yvonne (Adele Haenel) discovers that her late husband, known as a heroic police officer is the idol not only to her and her son, but to their whole city, was corrupt. The man who he framed and was sent to prison, Antoine (Pio Marmai) is being released and while she is convinced by her son’s godfather, Louis (Damien Bonnard) that proving his innocence will destroy her son, she wants to make sure that Antoine is ok. And he is not – being locked up has changed him, and he is now a psychopath.

It’s got a lot going for it – absurd (and very dark) humour, some great action sequences, a good basic concept. But, as a whole, it doesn’t work. The reasons for doing things get lost, and it becomes just far too ridiculous. Still, the acting was pretty fantastic, and it was delightful to see Audrey Tatu in it as the wife of Antoine.

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Filed under Film Reviews, Foreign Language Film

Split (2016) Film Review

Three girls are knocked out and when they come to, they discover they are being held in a locked room. When they meet their captor (James McAvoy), they realise that this is not just an ordinary creep – he has dissociated personality disorder, commonly known as split personalities. Many different characters take over, but being a M. Night Shyamalan film, it’s not as simple as that.

I loved it. I am a bit of a James McAvoy fan, and it was great seeing him playing such a range of characters. I also loved Unbreakable back in the day, and so I was excited to learn that this film leads into another, which is also a sequel to Unbreakable. Oh, I can’t wait!

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Sink or Swim (Le Grand Bain) (2018) Film Review

Bertrand (Mathieu Amalric) is depressed, unable to go to work and his wife is finding it difficult to be understanding. Going for a swim, he sees a notice for a men’s synchronised swimming team and decides to give it a go. They are a bunch of middle-aged misfits – stuck in bad jobs, dealing with anger issues, not reaching the goals they wanted in life. They bond, and then they discover the European men’s synchronised swim team competition and decide to give it a go.

This film is kind of charming, but it drove me a bit nuts. I didn’t love the casual racism and homophobia throughout, and I felt like it was trying to cover far too many stories within the one film. There were moments that I really enjoyed, and I could even appreciate the ridiculous competition, but overall I just didn’t love it.

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Filed under Film Reviews, Foreign Language Film

Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2003)– Film Review

Rodney Bingenheimer is known as the Mayor of Sunset strip. He’s a radio presenter (what appears to be both quite unsuccessful and also extremely influential, which is a mystery). He’s lived most of his life in Hollywood following celebrities. He comes across as a weirdo, but a weirdo that has spent much of his life sleeping with beautiful women and making careers. Somehow – after watching the documentary, it seems like a lot of people feel that he has a lot of power over their careers, but I can’t see how this happens. There is a lot of found footage as well as interviews with a wide range of famous people including David Bowie, Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani, Alice Cooper, the list goes on.

When I started watching it I thought “Wow, what an odd guy, but he’s found his place in the world. Shame he seems so lonely.” But as it went on, he seemed creepier, and there was an interview with one of his close friends who is clearly a sexual predator creep and it just turned yuk. Overall, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

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Filed under Documentary, Film Reviews

In Time (2011) Film Review *Spoiler Alerts*

In a world where there is a limited amount of resources, a built-in computer chip allows people to age up to 25 and then they have a year on their clock. They gain time by working, bartering, stealing, fighting… and pay time for goods and services. A pretty decent system. Of course, it’s not fair. In the ghetto time zones, people like Will (Justin Timberlake) can barely keep enough time on the clock to stay ahead, and in the wealthy time zones they have years, decades, centuries.

So, there’s a guy with over a century on his clock, and he’s had enough, so he heads to the ghetto to let himself be robbed and killed. (There’s pretty much my first issue – there are so many ways to give time away, why let the criminals get it?) Will steps in and saves this guy, so he explains to him how the rich live, gives will his time and drops off a bridge. Will is going to even the score, so he heads to the rich zone where he… goes to a casino? How is that going to give him justice? He plays cards against a very wealthy man, Weis (Vincent Kartheiser) who introduces Will to his beautiful daughter, Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried) and invites his to a party the following night. When Will arrives at the party, Weis introduces Will to Sylvia by saying “I believe you two have met” (either a bad case of script editing or a change in script that wasn’t corrected, or just… bad writing). When the time police, lead by Leon (Cillian Murphy), turn up, Will kidnaps Sylvia and then quickly she falls for him and they start robbing banks and… then play strip poker when they know they are being chased? What? It makes no sense.

I was so disappointed. A pretty decent cast, but a terrible script, and so many major and minor flaws. Plus, the end just made no real sense. Oh, and if you’re a POC, please don’t expect to see any representation – no wait. A time cop who, despite apparently being second in charge, doesn’t know much. Also, if you are rich, you are horrible. If you are poor, you may have a flaw like alcoholism, but you’re going to have a heart of gold. Ugh, I just wanted it to be better.

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I, Tonya (2017) Film Review

In 1994, ice skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked and injured, and it quickly emerged that Tonya Harding and her husband, Jeff Gillooly, were involved. This film tells the story from the fictional perspectives of Tonya (Margot Robbie) and Jeff (Sebastian Stan), with both relatively innocent, or unknowing, or fooled by Jeff’s mate, Shawn (Paul Walter Hauser). It’s a film with ambition, struggle against class and violence in many different ways. And it’s not real.

I enjoyed the film – the performances, the style, the fashion. And what a great true story – only this wasn’t the true story. I don’t think I’ve read as many articles about a film as I did after watching this. The more I read, the more issue I took with the film. I walked out feeling anger at the world which has some people starting so far behind others due to money, or location, or crappy family, or whatever. And then I found that several key scenes in the film, scenes that manipulated my feelings to have some empathy for Tonya and her situation, were totally made up.

Thinking back, I believe the film was pretty open about being a representation of the accounts of Tonya and Jeff, accounts which were inaccurate and, at times, plain lies. Why do I feel so grumpy that I was led astray even as I was told this was happening? I don’t know. I think it is a good film, so long as you don’t actually believe it.

I, Tonya won an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Allison Janney) and was nominated for Best Performance for an Actress in a Leading Role (Margot Robbie) and Best Achievement in Film Editing. It won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Allison Janney) and was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

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Filed under Film Reviews, Oscar nominated film, Oscar winning film

Hot Fuzz (2007) Film Review

Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) is a police officer in the London Met police and he’s just too good for the job – he gets transferred to the small town of Sanford, partnered with Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). But before he can get too bored, ‘accidents’ start to happen, and it is soon apparent that there is more to this small town than meets the eye.

I love Edgar Wright’s work. Spaced was one of my favourite ever TV series, and I’ve liked everything he’s done since. I’m on a bit of a retro binge at the moment, revisiting films I used to love, and it’s always a risk, but phew! This one stands up for me. I loved it. Utterly ridiculous, a little too clever, but not to the point of annoyance. And one hell of a cast! Fabulous!

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