Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza)

SF: I've been attempting to classify this film with no luck. After a very long drawn out intro that appears to make no sense the protagonist appears. He seems to flit from one social gathering and introspective wandering to another, showcasing Rome. Some scenes are very beautiful but others dull and I'm missing the point of it all. There is one very lovely piece of music that play throughout which I did rather like. However The film is not really my taste but I can see how others would love this. 4/10

50eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: Stunningly beautiful, strange and eccentric. A film about nothing and everything, the frequent references to philosophy might strike some as pretentious though. I loved it. I stayed all the way through the credits to the end and could quote easily have watched it again straight away. I should also say it is in parts utterly hilarious- the cardinal is particularly funny. 9/10

Overall: 6.5/10 (which is ridiculous it should either be high or low)

Monday, September 23, 2013


SF: Brilliant and enjoyable movie following the start of Jackie Robinson's prolific career in baseball. Harrison Ford gets one amazing line after another, which really adds a great deal of humour. A good balance of serious issues, baseball and entertainment (after all its still a film). The acting is spot on, the production design looks authentic to me and the result is a film that leaves you feeling a little inspired. I'm only sad this isn't getting a wider release in the UK. 8/10

50Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: What a week its been for sport films. Another film designed to appeal to the Blue Donkey. Its a terrific film because it has one at its heart a powerful and moving story about Jackie Robinson's first years in the Dodgers organisation breaking the baseball colour line. If the film does nothing else but introduce more people to the great human beings who were, Jackie and Rachel Robinson, Branch Rickey, Pee Wee Reese and Red Barber that just might be enough. They are magnificent and inspiring company during the film and  anyone who wants to know more should check out The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn; also about the Brooklyn Dodgers. Go see the it if you can. 8/10

Overall: 8/10

Sunday, September 15, 2013


SF: This film is nothing short of brilliant. Following the rivalry between formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, I felt this had the right balance of racing and investment in the main characters. Not being a fan of the sport I was worried I'd be a tad bored but within ten mins I was hooked and the pace is consistent throughout. The last ten minutes of the film in Japan were so tense I almost asked DonkeyB to tell me what happens. Well worth a viewing on the big screen. 8.5/10

50Eggs: At last F1 gets a decent movie (I'm excepting Senna on the grounds that it was a documentary). More than decent, in fact it's one of the best films of the year. My knowledge of F1 only stretches back as far as Nigel Mansel so I didn't know the plot at all and consequently was enthralled. The drama is intriguing, the racing exciting and the cast is brilliant. And I don't usually notice music in a film but it really added to the racing scenes in this instance. 8.5/10

DonkeyB: I am/was a big F1 fan, and a monster history buff; so while not having been born when the 1976 season played out, I knew every detail of the story of this film before I even knew it existed. There are probably space nuts out there who were in a similar position with Apollo 13. The film is good, it's not great. It's largely accurate but I found the fake tv anchor grating, but I have to say Simon Taylor's presence was great fun and a nice nod to F1 aficionados. Taylor was in his first year as the BBC's radio commentator in 1976, and apparently he helped with the film production. It was a nice and fairly authentic touch to include him for some exposition along the way. 

There were other minor things that annoyed; Taylor pinched a Murray Walker line, the cut from Hunt joining (or re-establishing membership of) the mile high club to the pistons of his Cosworth engine was crass and they transposed the famous incident of the gear knob coming off from a non championship race in 1974 to the final race at Fuji in 1976- the story and the race are dramatic enough without that. 
I also thought they over played the rivalry, Lauda and Hunt were friends as they came up through the junior formulas. There was lots they left out which was excluded for length (not least Hunt's disqualification at the British GP) , but all these quibbles are additions which were unecessary. 

Nevertheless it is a thrilling story, well shot and Daniel Bruhn truly excellent as Niki Lauda. I think they captured the grimy glamour, spirit, speed, terror and occasional horror of what was probably the greatest season of F1. 8/10

Overall: 8.33/10

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


SF: This was utterly pointless. Save your money. Essential they've made a less interesting version of Pitch Black. Except this time all the good parts were gone. I honestly kicked myself for not having a nap. Even Katee Sackhoff couldn't do anything to make this less boring. What I can't understand is why they bothered making this. Little to no plot, the acting barely registered and even the effects were merely ok. I'm only giving marks because the dog thing was cute.

50Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: Green screened to within an inch of it's life. Misogynist and homophobic, not helped by the morons who were in the screening with us laughing along with the attempted rape scene. Also deeply, deeply boring. A film of absolutely no merit whatsoever. Comparable only to seven psychopaths in how much I hated it. 1/10

Overall: 2/10

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We'e the Millers

SF: More entertaining than expected, not bad at all for a Jennifer movie. Surprisingly funny, excellent outtakes - 3 green dresses from me!

50eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: Here it is- as the poster suggests; in which Jennifer plays a stripper. Not just any stripper but a stripper with a heart. You know what? It's funny- its funnier than almost all the Project Jen films so far. Damning with faint praise? Maybe but at this point in the list beggers can't be choosers. The film's cliche, the review is cliche. Does anyone care? 3 and a half green dresses: the top half- what a shame it would be to cover up Ms Aniston's bottom after all the work she did to get it into the film.

Almost forgot- two degrees of separation news Jason Sueikis is present (again)- he's also much the best thing in the film and presumably responsible for at least one of the hilarious outtakes.

RATING 3.25 Green Dresses