The Madness of King George (1994) Film Review


King George III (Nigel Hawthorne) is not himself. If he were to be given a chance to recover, perhaps things would be okay, but his son, the Duke of Edinburgh (Rupert Everett) is plotting against him.

It’s a fabulous film – Hawthorne is just so good running around in his nightshirts and being charming and obnoxious at every turn. Despite not have any real investment in what happens (well, it happened, didn’t it?), it’s easy to engage with this, and to hope that George III comes through. Even if only for his lovely wife, Queen Charlotte (Helen Mirren).


RED 2 (2013) Film Review


Post – RED, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) has well and truly hooked up with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) and they are living, well, some kind of a life. He’s fearful, she’s bored. Then Marvin (John Malkovich) turns up dead; at least for a moment, and Victoria (Helen Mirren) is charged with killing them, and it’s on. Awesome times. And then add in Bailey (Anthony Hopkins) and you’ve got a fabulous romp.

I absolutely and totally loved this. I love the humour, I love the action, I love the casting, and I kind of hope they made more, but I suspect they won’t. Wait… According to IMDB, Red 3 is in development. Yes!!!


The Queen (2006) Film Review


In the nineties, the British royal family were struggling. There were several divorces and the public were less and less engaged with royalty. Then Diana died and the country needed leadership. Very difficult for Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren), who was unwilling to break royal protocol for a woman she despised. Receiving conflicting advice from her husband, Prince Phillip (James Cromwell) and mother, the Queen Mother (Sylvia Syms) to her son Prince Charles (Alex Jennings) and Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen), these are the private struggles of a very private woman.

I enjoyed it. As a child and teenager, I grew up a bit of an Anglophile (though I’d blame The Goodies, Kenny Everett and The Young Ones more than the royal family). I was in the UK at the time that all of this madness happened (and by that, I mean the massive outpouring of grief and the media hounding the queen for a response. I’ve no idea if any of the behind the scenes stuff is vaguely close to being accurate, but it could be.

Helen Mirren won an Oscar for Best Performance in a Leading Role. The Queen was nominated for an Oscar for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Stephen Frears), Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Peter Morgan), Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.

RED (2010) Film Review


Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is retired and living a quiet life. His favourite thing to do is flirt with call-centre worker Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) – until he is forced out of retirement. He is an ex-assassion, now categorized as RED – Retired Extremely Dangerous. To get his freedom, he needs to assemble a team of other REDs including Joe (Morgan Freeman), Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Marvin (John Malkovich), dragging Sarah along with them.

I loved it. I loved seeing Helen Mirren wielding a machine gun and just all the running and shooting and explosions, humour, of course, and Bruce Willis doing what he does best. Kicking ass.


Brighton Rock (2010) Film Review


First, there was a book by Graham Greene then a movie in 1947 and then this, the 2010 remake of the film. It follows a sociopathic gang member, Pinkie (Sam Riley) who marries Rose (Andrea Riseborough), a waitress who witnesses some violent acts. Her old boss Ida (Helen Mirren) sees the danger Rose is in and tries to help her.

I was bored throughout this film. I didn’t find any connection to Pinkie at all, he was just a prick and I wanted him gone. Rose was alright but her naivety annoyed me. And even the violence was tedious. Then only thing I really enjoyed about the film was the set and costume design – Brighton in the 60s looked awesome, and the outfits of the Mods and Rockers were very cool.


Monsters University (2013) Film Review


So how did Sully (John Goodman) and Mike (Billy Crystal) become such a successful team? This takes some of our favourite characters from Monsters Inc back to their past at university –  with Sully as an arrogant jock, Mike a mega-swot desperate to become a scarer and Randy (Steve Buscemi), the future bad guy, as a geek and a nice guy.

I liked it. It was fun, the characters were as strong as in the earlier film, and it had the great sense of humour of so many of the Pixar flicks. It is a tricky task – to take characters that people love and put them in a different scenario. Especially as, for some parts of the film, the audience really doesn’t like Sully. I’ve heard many criticise that it was too similar to Monsters Inc and I reckon that is a stupid argument. Remember, this is still a film aimed at kids; if you expect something totally different, watch something totally different. Grumble over.


Hitchcock (2012) Film Review


Surely, everyone has seen Psycho. If you study Media at high school, you’ve probably studied it. It’s a great film, well structured, and has given the world the shower scene, one of the most well-known attack scenes ever. I’d never thought about the process of getting it made in 1960. The film has adultery, robbery, murder, cross-dressing and whatever it is called with the dead mother’s corpse. Really, it is a surprise that it was made.

Hitchcock tells the story of Alfred (Antony Hopkins) and his wife Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), their love and her role in his career. It’s a good film. It’s better than good, but a long way from great. The performances are strong, and I wasn’t at all bothered by the extreme make-up used on Hopkins to make him look like Alfred Hitchcock. The story is complete and concise, and tell the story well. But it didn’t blow me away. Interesting, but not overly exciting.

Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel have been nominated for an Oscar for Makeup and Hairstyling

Helen Mirren was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama, and was nominated for a BAFTA for Leading Actress