The Hobbit : The Desolation of Smaug (2013) Film Review


I was pleasantly surprised by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and so I looked forward to getting this out of the DVD shop. I enjoyed it. The group continue on their journey, there is a dragon, there is lots of running and fighting and it’s good. I liked it a lot. I kind of want the journey to be over now, though. I know that there are financial reasons for releasing them one per year, but I don’t like waiting. It builds anticipation but it also builds apathy.

The Hobbit : The Desolation of Smaug was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Visual Effects and Best Achievement in Sound Editing.

Match Point (2005) Film Review


Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) was a professional tennis player, travelling the circuit but not getting through to the finals. He decides to retire to London, taking on a coaching role at an exclusive health club. There, he meets Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode), striking up a friendship and quickly becoming a part of his family. Chris dates Chloe (Emily Mortimer), Tom’s sister, with the blessing of her parents Alec (Brian Cox) and Eleanor (Penelope Wilton). However when he meets Nola Rice (Scarlett Johansson), Tom’s American actress fiancé, an obsession develops. A very dangerous obsession.

I really don’t like Woody Allen onscreen. Luckily, he is not in Match Point, and there is no character like the typical Woody Allen character either. I didn’t mind the film, although it seemed a bit long and rambling. The really interesting stuff happens in the last forty minutes or so, and had there been more of this part, I think I’d have enjoyed it more. As it was, I didn’t mind it. Didn’t love it, but didn’t mind it.

The Way (2010) Film Review



Give a film wide shots of beautiful landscape and it is hard to go wrong. The most marvellous thing about The Way for me was the inspiration to go to Spain, to walk El Camino de Santiago (the pilgrim’s walk) to laugh, to love, to eat, to drink, to live. It also had Martin Sheen, who I adore, playing Tom and also Emilio Estevez at his goofy, grinning best, as Tom’s son, Daniel. Emilio directed the film, and I can’t help thinking that that is the main reason that a big name like Sheen would be on such a small production.

The Way is a gentle film, exploring the journey of a grieving father as he travels the pilgrim’s walk in Spain.

It’s not an in-depth study. Several of the characters feel incomplete and superficial, lacking the depth of reality, although this did mean that when Estevez hit the mark, it was strong. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite hit the mark all that often. A lot of the poignant moments were veering far too close to cheesy to cause an emotional reaction.

Along Tom’s journey, he meets several characters who, against his and sometimes, their will, they end up travelling together. It had a bit of a Wizard of Oz feel, even to the point that the large Dutchman seemed quite lionish, and the spindly smoking Canadian had straw-like hair. At times, this seemed unlikely, and when they eventually get a night in a good hotel, the coming together of the group seemed forced and false. But despite the holes in the story and the under-developed characters, I quite liked this film.

See this if you have been to Spain, or if you’d like to. Enjoy the views. Be inspired. Gently.