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!

Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) Film Review

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has another impossible mission. And he has some of his old friends with him, and some new folks. Who can you trust? Anyone? No-one? I predict no-one most of the time. Certainly, there is bound to be a lot of double and triple crossing.

The difficult thing with a series like this is that every film needs to be bigger and better than the last, and eventually there is only so much bigger you can get. The scenes in Paris are fun, but the end sequence up in the mountains with the helicopters? Ridiculous. Stupid. Perfect for this film. At least Ethan Hunt was looking tired at times, I mean he is incredibly fit and can still run like no-one else, but Tom Cruise is no spring chicken and I think he’s allowed to get out of breath once in a while.

Also, I will watch more of these. I don’t care how ridiculous they get, I will continue to watch them.

Mission : Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015) Film Review


Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is back. And looking a lot older – for someone who’s coming close to 55, he looks almost forty. He needs to relax and let himself age – so long as the cartlidge is all holding together, he can still do his awesome Tom Cruise running. Oh, sorry, so sidetracked, back to the film.

So, there are a bunch of bad guys in a kind of alliance, only no-one really believes they exist, but they do. Hunt and his mates William(Jeremy Renner), Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) need to prove it is real and then beat it. And there are a whole bunch of cool explosions and some gadgets, and the wonderful Simon Pegg gets to do a whole heap more. One big problem (well, two, but why the hell should this film have any decent female characters? They almost got close with one, almost) – it really is a cinema movie. I was a bit too busy having a life (or perhaps not having a life, as the case may be) and missed it, and watching it on a little screen in the loungeroom just don’t cut it.


Star Trek Beyond (2016) Film Review


Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is approaching the birthday that will make him older than his father ever was, and it’s having an effect. He’s unhappy, and thinking about a change. But then another mission calls and things get exciting and he’ll just have to leave his pesky emotions behind. A bit glib? Yeah, sorry. I just can’t say that I really get Star Trek. It is probably because I’ve never really watched it, and I can see the various reasons why it is loved by many, and this script is quite funny and has a lot of awesome explosions and running scenes and all of the stuff I like in an action film. I should have enjoyed this a lot more than I did, but as it happens, I spent a lot of time urging the film to just hurry up.


Mission Impossible 4 – Ghost Protocol (2011) Film Review

Mission Impossible Four

Everyone knows I love a good Hollywood blockbuster, blow ‘em up, smash ‘em up type movie, and that’s exactly what this is. Lots of fantastic explosions with bits flying toward the camera, lots of Tom Cruise running, lots of masks being ripped off and hidden technology and all that kind of stuff. What more could I want?

A bigger screen, really. Boo to Palace Cinemas (who I usually love, but this is a definite mark against them) for putting such a big movie in a tiny cinema with a tiny screen. Having said this, I am actually not sure that I would have made it through the climbing-on-the-tower scene in a larger cinema, but that is unimportant. If you are going to take my money for a blockbuster, put it on your big screen. Complaint over.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the previous installments – you don’t really need to know who they work for or why. This film is Tom Cruise at his best. He doesn’t need to smile much, but rather can just stand around looking intense. Jeremy Renner does a great counter-intense character and Paula Patton plays the token strong woman well – although it does feel like her character is only there to wear the short skirts and have a catfight. Note to action movies – we want more strong women. Like those in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Long Kiss Goodnight.

Mission Impossible Five is apparently to be released next year. I will definitely see that one in a cinema with a decent sized screen.

The Adventures of Tintin (2011) Film Review


As a little kid, I loved reading Asterix comics. I know, I know, that’s not Tintin, but they always looked kinda similar – same size and shape, kind of. Yes, I do judge a book by its cover. That’s just me, I’m afraid. When I attempted the Tintin comics, I didn’t really get them. There wasn’t much humour and I wasn’t really interested in the whole mystery aspect. I tried again a few years later and I enjoyed them a lot more – still not as much, but I liked them.

I was pretty concerned when I heard that there was going to be a live action motion capture animation film. Was it going to look as crap as that Tom Hanks Christmas film many years ago? I still haven’t seen that one – Polar Express, I believe. I just couldn’t get over that scary face from the trailer. I still have nightmares.

As it happens, Tintin is the absolutely perfect film for this technology.

Herge creates beautiful characters in his books, often with slightly enlarged features, and live capture animation allows these characters to come alive. If you are familiar with the comics, you will share my delight in seeing these characters brought to life – whether it is the sailors or the absolutely wonderful Captain Haddock.

I find it quite hard to critique the acting in the film as the animation dominates the appearance of the actors, and so I found myself relying on the voice to convey the character. Certainly, Andy Serkis portrayed a marvelous Haddock, and Nick Frost and Simon Pegg gave Thompson and Thomson voices exactly as I’d always wanted to hear them, but how much of the credit of their performances should be attributed to the animators? It’s an interesting thought.

Recently, Tintin won the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, and it was deserving of this accolade. The animation is wonderful, and the story is well created, taking elements from several of the books. It is filled with action and humour and after a first watching, I was more than happy to go again with my nephew. The second watching was even better – oh, and I’d recommend a big screen, go for 3D and sit right at the back. It’s worth it.

The Adventures of Tintin was nominated for an Oscar for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score (John Williams)


Mission: Impossible III (2006) Film Review


Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has settled down and is in love. But then there is a mission involving rescuing his protégé Lindsey Ferris (Kerri Russell) and he is drawn back in. Working with Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and Zhen Lei (Maggie Q), he needs to get the better of arms dealer Owen Davien (Philip Seymour Hoffman) before bad things happen to his fiancée, Julia (Michelle Monaghan).

It’s a fair step up from Mission: Impossible II, although you wouldn’t know it from the first scene, where Ethan and Julia are throwing a god-awful party and it is well and truly cheesey as. But then they start running and there are explosions and mini-brain-computer-killing-machines. And Simon Pegg.



A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2012) Film Review

A Fantastic Fear of Everything

Jack (Simon Pegg) is a television writer who is quite a recluse and whose research into serial killers has caused him to be fearful of everything around him. When he is forced to prepare himself for a meetings, even the smallest thing gets out of control.

I almost liked the premise of this, and certainly the art direction has an artistic slovenly filth that I quite liked, but it is just not a good film. I think it has too much set up and not enough story. In fact, it would have made an awesome short film, but a hundred minutes? No way, man. No way.


Burke and Hare (2010) Film Review


Starting with a mysteriously un-mustacchioed Bill Bailey setting the scene in Edinburgh, centre of medical study, in the 19th century. Bodies are require for medical studies and the police are carefully monitoring the cemetery for grave robbers. William Burke (Simon Pegg) and William Hare (Andy Serkis) discover that they can make a living providing the bodies – although it may mean they have to start killing them.

The concept is great but the script is average. The characters are over-the-top and the acting is cheesy, but overall, I didn’t mind it. I think it should have been a lot better, with such an amazing cast, but it was a bit of fun.


The World’s End (2013) Film Review

The World's End

This is the third in a kind of loose trilogy of end-of-days films made by director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. It’s a trilogy without recurring characters, but Pegg and Frost end up pitted against some kind of mega threat; Sean of the Dead had zombies, Hot Fuzz had a sinister Neighbourhood Watch Alliance and this has robots. Sort of. Feauxbots. Nobots. Something like that.

Gary King (Simon Pegg) is pretty much the most annoying person in the world – a guy in his late thirties who has never been able to beat his best night ever, an incompleted pub crawl with his mates when he was eighteen. So, he gets the gang back together; Peter Page (Eddie Marsan), Steven Prince (Paddy Considine), Oliver Chamberlain (Martin Freeman) and Andy Knightley (Nick Frost). It would end up being just a pretty bad night with the lads until they discover the town’s dark secret.

There was a lot in this film to love. Simon Pegg playing the most awful character ever; a group of nearing middle-aged men attempting to beat a power they don’t understand all the time getting ever more drunk; Martin Freeman and his creepy, creepy forced smile. It didn’t quite have the awesome hilarity and impact of Sean of the Dead, but it was a lot of fun. And I kind of like all the not-too-obvious –but-at-the-same-time-not-too-hard-to-miss things for the fans – like the names and the way they relate to the characters. Or the reappearance of many favourite actors in bit parts.