Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Theory of Everything

SF: As far as real life bioptic movies goes this only mediocre. Yes Professor Stephen Hawking has
achieved a great many things and his struggle with motor-neuron disease is amazing but I don't think this film is much more then OK. I wasn't terribly invested in any of the characters, I don't think the actors really captured the depth of emotion I'd expect to see in this type of drama. While the the film makers did manage to encapsulate England and each decade well I didn't see much else that stood out. It's nice is the best review I can give it, I wouldn't rush to the cinema for. There was nothing about Professor Hawking I didn't already know. 5/10

50Eggs: I had expected the focus of the film to be about how Stephen Hawking came up with his theories, but turns out that's really not the point here. What it is is a really fascinating insight into the life of an ALS sufferer, and it's all the more powerful for it. Watching the portrayal of the breakdown of Hawkings body is painful, but pails in comparison to the heartbreak of the subsequent breakdown of his relationship. Eddie Redmayne deserves an Oscar for this but he wont get one as all the 'acting ill' awards have already been used up in recent years by McConaughey, Firth, Hoffman and Crowe. 8.5/10

DonkeyB: I see other people are comparing it to Imitation Game and I think that is interesting, its a much better film than that, and Redmayne's performance as Hawking is extraordinarily good. I have to say that I found Felicity Jones's character bordered on the ridiculous, she is so angelic as to not seem like a real person to me and far to pouty too I thought; the film is based on her character's memoir so maybe that explains it?

There have been a lot of films this year that seem to have been set in a time period that I guess my parents would recognise very well, and I sort of recognise and feel a kind of nostalgia for. In real life the previous decade's fashions and fads don't disappear they persist, I think at least some of my warm feelings towards the film were that I recognised the type of people and the locations, they looked a bit like looking through old family photo albums of my parents before I was born and there is something familiar there. 8/10

Overall: 7.2/10

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

SF: Finally a Hobbit film I liked! Just like the previously two installments there are plenty of added extras that really have no place being there but most of them I could live with. The pace was good, I didn't fall asleep or notice the three hours. A visual feast and a nice recovery for the series. As a bonus the ending doesn't take twenty hours! If your a Tolkien fan you've probably already seen it but if you haven't them I pleased to say this is worth a watch. 7.5/10

50Eggs: I reckon this is my favorite of the Hobbit trilogy, just edging Desolation of Smaug. There are some fantastic fight scenes but the best bits were again the added exposition that didn't appear in the original book, which add much needed weight to the story. So that's the end of the road for the Middle Earth films, but there's one more I'd like to see...a 'what if' story showing what would happen if Smaug had killed Bilbo and claimed the One Ring for himself. 8/10

DonkeyB: n/a

Overall: 7.75/10

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


SF: This is simply wonderful. DonkeyB did have to persuade me to go and watch this but I'm glad he did. Ben Whishaw brings Paddington to life brilliantly and the whole cast make this an adorable treat. The animation is fantastic, I love how much of London you see, lots of humor for an audience of all ages and tonnes of elements from the books. Any Paddington fans won't be disappointed and I might even go see it again 7.5/10

50Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: A lovely kids film, but I'm such a fan of the books that I can't help being disappointed that my favourite Paddington escapades didn't make it into the film. There are loads of set pieces from the books I felt would be perfect for a film and I thought it was telling that the best part of the film is near the beginning in a scene in the bathroom which is lifted almost directly from a book albeit with a little cinematic license. I thought the scenes set in Peru were entirely unnecessary, and it was quite boring to have to see them twice in effect. I am a Paddington fan and I was a bit disappointed, sorry. 6/10

Overall: 6.75/10

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Horrible Bosses 2

SF: I thought the first installment of this film was fairly mediocre but there were enough funny bits to make it bearable. The sequel doesn't even come close. Those wishing to see Jennifer Aniston and under wear won't be disappointed but that would be the only reason I can think of to bother with this dull sequel. The story doesn't hold you attention, the jokes are predicable and I can't recall one but I really laughed at. I won't even bother mentioning the performances because there really is nothing to see here

50Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: Execrable, misogynist drivel. Hateful in every way. Not funny. 2/10

Overall: 2/10

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Imitation Game

SF: There are a number of things I really appreciated about this film. Mainly its understated tone, despite having an endlessly fascinating topic and an open door to lots of drama the mood is very down played. Everything unfolds at a decent pace, the characters are developed well and while the tension is somewhat lacking the film is still very compelling. The fact it never really descends into a thriller or overly emotional film is really a testiment to the directors ability to make the subtle appealing. Benedict Cumberbatch is his usual brilliant self and Matthew Goode is great in the supporting role. Another bonus is that Miss Knightly didn't annoy me half as much as she normally does. While people will moan about the historical inaccuracies and I concede there are a number - mainly that Turing did not remain at Bletchley Park for the entire duration of the war I felt that alteration worked within the film. This film was one I really enjoyed and would suggest be one of the few worth seeing this year. 8.5/10


DonkeyB: I can't really see what all the fuss is about. Its only ok. The Russian spy subplot is as advertised (overblown and ridiculous) and while Cumberbatch's performance is good I didn't think it moved much beyond a high budget made for tv special frankly. 6/10

Overall: 7.25/10

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


SF: I still don’t know if I liked this film. So far it feels like Nolan can do no wrong but then there are always bound to be hiccups and this I think is it. The film is far too long, while I enjoy character development the introduction and final 45 mins can all be condensed and have just as much impact. The other draw back is that the trailer gave away most of the plot highlights so I felt there were very little surprises left. The performances are fine enough but no one really stood out. The plot while being interesting seemed to have no pace and real drama. In fact most the film came across flat despite having a number of very intriguing scenes and elements to the story. On the hold the visuals might be worth a cinema trip but it wouldn’t be my first choice. 5/10

50Eggs: Here's my issue with this film. The poster says 'Experience it in IMAX' and in an interview, McConaughey said 'you need to watch this on the biggest screen you can find'. So you can forgive me for expecting this to be an eye-candy extravaganza, painting inspiring vistas of the cosmos and leaving me slack jawed. You can imagine my disappointment when the visuals turned out to be rather bland, and not even a patch on last years Gravity. That film, despite being set a lot closer to home, did a much better job in conveying the wonder of the universe and our place in it. Back to Interstellar the story and concept are good, and whilst I left the cinema in a bit of a mood, I will say that I have thought on the film a fair bit since and will definitely watch it again at some point. 7/10

DonkeyB: "Relatively inferior to Gravity" would be a good one line review for the poster. Its boring is the main problem, waaaaaaaay too long and stupider than it has any idea. Anne Hathaway's character would have spent 4 billion years inside an airlock if I was commander of the spaceship, but I did enjoy fat Matt Damon. I could come a cross as much harsher on this, its no Prometheus for example, much better than that, but it is much less than the sum of its parts and the ending is preposterous. 4/10

Overall: 5.3/10

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Mr Turner

SF: Being a fan of Turner's work I was happily anticipating this film, the fact it was Mike Leigh directing was a bonus. Sadly I can't say I found this film at all enjoyable, it was at best mildly interesting. I found the music jarring, the tone depressing and the overall film a let down. While Timothy Spall gives another great performance and the film is very informative I didn't find it particularly emotive. While I can se the appeal to others this wasn't the type of film I like watching. There are some great scenes and I've no doubt that devote fans of both Turner and Leigh will lavish praise upon this. The best praise I can give is that the cinematography is wonderful. 5/10

50Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: I loved it, its not going to be popular with the comic book fans, but from the opening  scene the cinematography does a magnificent job of bringing Turner's world to life. Tim Spall gives one of the all time great grunting performances in the history of cinema, and its a longer history than you'd necessarily expect if you think about it. It is poignant and funny and while I have no idea whether it is an accurate portrayal of Turner's life, entirely believable, making him seem both human and yet not taking away the feeling of unknowable otherworldly genius that you get when looking at his paintings next to a Constable (for example). Special bonus points for the prominence given to 'Slave Ship (Slavers throwing Overboard the Dead and Dying, Typhoon Coming On)', which is perhaps his greatest work, though less well known in this country as its one of the paintings that wasn't left to the nation because it was already in private hands when Turner died. 8/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Monday, October 27, 2014


SF: Jake Gyllnelhaal is nothing short of creepy brilliant. This film manages to be darkly entertaining, twisted and strangely captivating. The trailer implies that this film this is nothing more than a standard thriller, mandatory twists and all, however the reality is much better. It never reduces it self to cheap thrills and predictability. The characters are complex, well portrayed and never dissolved to stock figures and while there are no traditional twists there are more than enough disturbing plot moves to keep you enthralled. Well worth a watch and one of the better films of this year so far. 8/10

50Eggs: N/A

DonkeyB: So this is where all the good films have gone! The poster (left) isn't a particularly good advert for the film, although you do spend a good portion of the film staring at Gyllenhaal's face, the striking thing are his eyes and in reality the star of the film (or at least co-star) is Los Angeles, in this way it reminded me of James Elroy and Michael Connelly novels (both set most of their books in LA), its dark and ambiguous and seems to inhabit the characters as much as they inhabit it. 8.5/10

Overall: 8.25/10

The bozos behind us on the way out "loved the mise en scène"

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


SF: I never thought there would be a film about a Gay and Lesbian support group for Miners on strike and therefore was more baffled than anything else when this can along. I'm happy to say this was a delight to watch. Both entertaining and factually interesting. I left the cinema with that cliched phrase "Who knew" but genuinely happy that I'd seen the film and did have a look at the Wikipedia page on the way home. The acting is so good it appears effortless, the characters endearing and the entire story heartwarming. Well work a watch. 8/10

50Eggs: N/A

DonkeyB: Its practically perfect. I cried at least three times and laughed many many more. As my Facebook friends know, my kitchen scales made a cameo appearance, I can confirm they are older than me and therefore definitely period, props to the props dept. Paddy Considine needs some award recognition, and Bill Nighy gives a speech about the seam of coal running from Spain to Pennsylvania via south Wales which is word for word perfect to one it felt like i heard hundreds of times when I lived in Wales. 10/10

Overall: 9/10

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Gone Girl

SF: When I left the cinema I wasn't sure if I liked this film or not. I've enjoyed most of Fincher's movies and with the author writing the script, I'd have thought this would be amazing. There were plenty of things I enjoyed about this film, good bursts of excellent entertainment and thrilling plot developments but overall this felt like a great excuse for one twist after another. At some point the impact is reduced because you left waiting for the next big twist. The film does well to keep you watching two thoroughly unlikeable characters. I can't help but compare it to things like The Prestige or Memento which take a similar style but are executed in a far more intelligent manner. I'd be in no rush to see this again and the more I think about the more I dislike. However I can see this being a thriller genre fan's ideal cinematic experience, so for that audience it certainly delivers. 6.5/10

50Eggs: My partner wanted to see this one, so I went along to do my duty of seeing what I assumed would be a 'pink' film. Wrong. This is a a really tense and intriguing film. Not knowing anything about it beforehand was a boon as I couldn't figure out where it was going, and thus it kept me gripped for the duration (and its pretty long). Recommended. 8.5/10

DonkeyB: I felt like the film ended up being less than the sum of its parts [cliché, see if you can count the rest]. Rosamund Pike gives a stunning performance, but it turned into too much of a Paul Verhoeven bunny boiler for my liking and it was definitely too twisty for its own good too. My least favourite Fincher, going to watch Zodiac again because it will eventually be considered his masterpiece. 5.5/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Inbetweeners 2

SF: I really wanted to like this but it just didn't happen. There were a handful of bits I thought were funny but only one made me actually laugh. The first hour seems totally pointless, it felt like they managed to get everyone in front of a camera but had no idea what to do with them. Considering how good the series was and the last film I'm astonished they bothered making this one, as it only ruins a great track record. Watch it if you must but you assure you skipping it is a better idea. 4/10

50Eggs: If ever there was a film worth watching for one joke, it's this. The waterslide scene had me literally creased up and in tears, and that moment alone gets this film all the way to 5/10. There are a few other very funny moments, but it has to be said there are several that misfire.Worse is that the story is lame. Of course the story in this type of thing is always going to be lightweight, but at least lets have it it was in the first film. 6.5/10

DonkeyB: Ugh, not funny enough. I like the TV show and the first film had me laughing out loud in a theatre full of two people, unfortunately this is just not very good. The premise is weak even by TV to film conversions, the boys all feel and look too old to be quite so dumb and gullible. There is one scene which is very funny but apart from that nothing to recommend it. 3/10.

Overall: 4.5/10

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

SF: Marvel studios have done it again. For once this wasn't a comic I'd read before and knew very little about the characters for plot. However withing about 5 minutes I was hooked. As seems to be becoming a pattern, excellent special effects, well laid out plot, good amount of humor and overall a most enjoyable movie. This one also has a fantastic soundtrack. I'll say that there were a few hammy lines and yes, maybe Draxx wasn't the most three dimensional character, but this delivered in every way that mattered and I'll planning on seeing it again on the big screen before the month is over. 8.5/10

50Eggs: There was a point when I thought I wouldn't bother watching any more Marvel films, given how low the quality had dipped. But I was tempted into seeing this due to hearing it was 'the new Star Wars'. That may have been a bit of an exaggeration, but it is certainly very good. The best compliment I can give it though is that's is actually a very funny film, on purpose. It does a great job of being both light hearted whilst still having a decent story. 8.5/10

DonkeyB: N/A

Overall: 8.5/10

Thursday, July 31, 2014


SF: A wonderfully moving filming. I've seen a huge amount of cinema and a lot have attempted to capture the same sense of realism and emotion that this does, but none are half as well conceived. It is an entirely character driven film and in reality very little happens while at the same time everything is changing. The acting is superb and direction flawless. To start with I was waiting for the pace to pick up or something shocking to happen but it never gives way to any cliche and I found myself being totally drawn in. I can't see there being another film like it - after all this only took about 10 years to film. While I'd be unlikely to buy this or watch again it is well worth  viewing 9/10

50Eggs: When so much time and effort has gone into a film such as this, it seems to me that a film fan has an obligation to see it. The story here is solid but really plays second fiddle to the passage of time, which is captured perfectly not only with the genuine ageing of its cast but also through it's little nods towards the changing technology, culture and politics. I hope they carry this on and release it every ten years with a new chapter. 8/10

DonkeyB: Linklater's masterpiece. Filmed over a few weeks every summer for 12 years with the same cast it manages to capture growing up in a way no other film I've ever seen does. Its definitely the best film we've seen this year. Everyone should see it, and unlike SF the first thing I wanted to do when I to out of the cinema was get another ticket and watch it again. 9.5/10

Overall: 9.25/10

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

SF: What struck me about this was how emotive this film was. At no point did the illusion disappear and if I can echo part of my review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes Andy Serkis's performance as Caesar is nothing short of amazing. The passage of time was nicely explained and the quick introduction of characters worked well so that the plot could move forward relatively quick. At no point did this lose me at all considering so much of it is CSG without real people. There were nice nods to the previous film and I really enjoyed this overall. A worthy sequel. 8/10

50 Eggs: The first 15 minutes of this contains not a single human, and virtually all words are communicated by Apes using sign language. And yet it's totally believable. It's a trait that continues throughout the film and the only surprise is that none of it seems surprising, but rather totally natural. The plot too is grown up and very engaging, an allegory for all wars. A must see that's as good as the first, if not better. 9/10

Donkey B: Its a terrific and thought provoking sequel to the first film. Serkis is magnificent. There are problems though and I did find myself thinking about them during the film so not quite up to the mark of the first one but still very good. 7.5/10

Overall: 8.17/10

Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Train your Dragon 2

SF: After seeing the trailer for this last year I knew I'd be in the cinema in a heartbeat. In fact I've now seen it twice and enjoyed it even more on the 2nd viewing. This has all the traits of its predecessor - decent plot, well crafted characters, amazing animation and the right amount of humor. A good watch for both adults and the kids alike. I have to admit I might like this one even more than the first. Definite cinema watch. 8.5/10

50 Eggs: Dreamworks have out-Pixared Pixar again, with Dragon 2 proving to be an equal to the brilliant original. This is funny, wonderful to look at, exhilarating and even scary at times. If the third film is as good it'll be a must-own trilogy. I am marking it down though for some dodgy character motivations: a mother runs out on her family for 20 years for no particular reason. Said family forgive her instantly, no questions asked. Similarly, a bad guy becomes a good guy in the blink of an eye. I'm guessing these were editing decisions to keep the running time down, but they prove to be the fly in the otherwise silky smooth ointment. 8.5/10

DonkeyB: Coming soon

Overall: 8.5/10

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

22 Jump Street

SF: I enjoyed the first one so why not see the sequel? Well I wasn't disappointing, it was the same old thing and same old humor but I laughed during the whole film. It firmly had its tongue in its cheek and made a huge volume of self aware jokes. If you want a giggle then this is an enjoyable way to pass the time. 7/10

50 Eggs: This wasn't a priority for me to watch but I went along with my Channing Tatum loving partner anyway. I did enjoy the first one but wasn't expecting much here, so it was a Brucey bonus that I actually thought this was better. It is pretty much the same as 21, except for the extra self parodying digs that turned out to be the funniest parts. Well worth watching if you just need cheering up. 8/10

DonkeyB: n/a

Overall: 7.5/10

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Jimmy's Hall

SF: I wasn't certain what to expect from this film and even after it was finished I wasn't sure what to make of it. The story is interesting at points, the life of an Irish communist and his struggle in the society of his day. I just didn't feel it had the emotional depth of Wind that shakes the Barley  or the enjoyable tone of The Angel's Share. The performances were fine but that is the most I can say because I forgot this film within days of seeing it. 5/10

50Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: My fellow reviewers' paragraph above highlights my problem with the film. Irish politics is probably the most nuanced and difficult to disentangle as anywhere I have studied. The film certainly plays down James Gralton's (Jimmy) communist activities on his return from America and plays up the community activities of the hall; instead portraying him as persecuted and forced into exile (both of which are true). The Catholic church in Ireland is not getting a very good press in films at the moment, I shudder to think what we are in for when the revisionism starts. Without a PhD in Irish history I'm not sure how anyone is going to follow who's who let alone what the film is about. I certainly came out of the film and felt like I needed to go and look a whole load of things up- maybe thats a good thing? In this case I'm not sure. 6/10

Overall: 5.5/10

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

X-Men - Days of the Future Past

SF: This righted every wrong in all the X related movies for the past 10 years. Being a Marvel devotee, my love has been tested, again and again. Five minuets into this and all I can say is - you had me at Warpath. This is a fantastic blend of action, story telling, drama and humor. The effects are rather impressive too. Did it divert a lot from the original comic yes, but it remained tantalizingly good.  I've already been to see it twice and the post credit scene has me waiting eagerly for the next one. As there is nothing I can really fault...

50Eggs: I still remember watching the X-Men cartoon doing it's own version of 'Future Past' way back when I was a sweaty teenager. It was a great script then and it still is now, but for some reason I didn't love this as much as I loved the prequel 'First Class'. But considering I gave that 9/10, it's not really a criticism. This is another fine addition to the X-Men series and whets the appetite for the one I've been waiting for for 20 years...X-Men Apocalypse. 8/10

DonkeyB: I rather enjoyed this, I think I sort of understood the ludicrously unoriginal time travelling plot! Read SF's review if you're a comic book adaptation person because she is in a much better to judge on that aspect, but as someone who has universally hated every single one of the X-men films, and actually looked forward to Saturday morning swimming lessons when they clashed with the cartoon all I can say is that even I was pleasantly surprised. Its about as good as Winter's Soldier 7.5/10

Overall: 8.75/10

Sunday, May 18, 2014


SF: I'm in two minds about this film. The special effects were nice, the build up was good blend of realism and fun madness (explaining the existence of the awesome Godzilla) but when you get down to what the audience wants - big monster fight...well you are left a bit short. The first fight cuts away before it even begins. The next one does the same thing and when the battle finally gets going everything was too dark. Having said that there was plenty to enjoy and compared to the 1997 offering this is a delight. This suffered from too much human screen time. And why is Aaron Johnson always there? His presence at all the right times just echoed the awful 2012 film I'd rather forget. Also anyone who dislikes Godzilla weight - let me remind you that isn't not easy being Zilla and comfort eating is bound to happen. 6/10

50 Eggs: I have to say I agree completely with SF. There's lots to like about this film but there's also a lot wrong with it, although it's a little difficult to put your finger on exactly what that is. After seeing the movie I went straight on the internet to read the plot synopsis because I was convinced I had missed some exposition somewhere. I hadn't, but I just felt that I hadn't seen the complete movie. Perhaps a directors cut will rectify it, but in the meantime there is some good stuff here - big monsters, great effects, and lots of sequel potential. 7/10

DonkeyB: n/a

Overall: 6.5/10

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Blue Ruin

SF: This film can across as a mix of No Country for Old Men and Winters Bone, however its doesn't come near either in terms of delivery. Which is a real shame, I thought it started really well, peaks your curiosity has a good pace. All the potential was there to be a a gripping and interesting film. Instead the character development is shallow, the acting is just OK and though it should be intense its just rather dull. 3/10

50Eggs: n/a

DonkeyB: I very nearly left, I didn't like it, there are some very unpleasant scenes, I'm always very uncomfortable when it feels like the violence is played for laughs. Maybe it was just the audience we saw it with and a slight Alf Garnet effect was in operation but I was not happy when I left. 2/10

Overall: 2.5/10

Friday, May 2, 2014

Captain American: The Winter Solider

SF: This was as brilliant as its predecessor, in fact I've already seen it twice. Even if you are not a super hero fan this delivers a fun, action packed sky movie. Expect lots of fights, a little humour and some stunning effects. Plus nice use of Marvel in jokes to satisfy die hard fans. Excellently executed and one the best offering from the Avengers movies catalog. 8.5/10

50 Eggs: With the stench of the awful Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 still wafting in my nose, I almost didn't bother watching this. But clearly Marvel have been reading this blog because they massively changed the formula for this installment and it worked a treat. The story is intelligent but entertaining, and the action is more grounded and therefore visceral than anything they have done before. Chris Evans is good as Cap, but once again Scarlett Johansson steels the show as the Black Widow - she needs her own film asap. 9/10

DonkeyB: Captain America is the most successful of the recent Marvel reboot/re-imaginings, in fact its the most most successful of the comic book adaptations full stop. This film once again succeeds because it has a plot and once again you will be rewarded for attempting to follow it (wacky and preposterous as it is), it actually hints at making a serious point about the actual world which at its best sci-fi has always done. 7.5/10

Overall: 8.33/10

Monday, April 28, 2014

300: Rise of an Empire

SF: This offering is a pale shadow of its predecessor, the stylised visuals seem muted, which for me was half the appeal. The sea battle should be exciting but left me bored. I did enjoy the addition of another female lead, Eva Green does well to make such a clichéd character engaging. While it's very cinematic and has plenty to enjoy I just felt less invested in the film overall. Tad disappointed but not awful. 6/10

50 Eggs: I absolutely loved the original, a surefire 9/10, but this isn't in the same league. Gone is the propaganda storytelling that justified the exaggerations of the first, and so too is the strong underdog theme that meant you couldn't help but root for the 'good guys'. And though the action is bigger, the choreography is less balletic this time. Having said that Rise of an Empire is still a good watch with plenty to please the eye, not least Eva Greens slow motion boobs. On that subject, her character Artmesia is the best and most interesting thing about the film. Will be buying on DVD for the visuals. 7/10

DonkeyB: n/a

Overall: 6.5/10

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


SF: This film had the distinct impression of being derived from films like Dial M for Murder  and  Phone booth however lacks the tension and drama of either. Thankfully its only 85 mins long so at least this isn't dragged out. Also I think Tom Hardy is attempting a Welsh accent but I'm not sure and that is all I can say for his performance, which is a real shame as I normally am most impressed by him. Watch on TV if you really feel you have to but in my opinion not one to rush to see. 3/10


DonkeyB: The plaudits for the film are what made me go and see it. Its not good. If I was being cruel I would say; an inverted feature length Marion and Geoff without the pathos or humour, and I am, so I am. Get the Marion and Geoff box set and try to spot spot Fairwater baths, Ysgol Gyfun Plasmawr (big building yellow panels) etc in the background, much more fun and interesting. 4/10

Overall: 3.5/10

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Monuments Men

SF: This film had a lot going for it. The trailer is has to be said made this look like Oceans Eleven in the war. It certainly wasn't that. While Clooney is normally surprising me with how good a director he is this left me a tad underwhelmed. With such a star studded cast and the words "based on a true story" I was expecting more some how. Perhaps the very mute nature of the film was intentional but I found my mind wondering and having little to no investment in the characters. The acting was fine I guess and the plot passed the time but something was missing. Interesting premise but not one to rush and see. 5/10


DonkeyB: Its not very good. It can't make up its mind if its a caper movie (al la Oceans [insert two digit number here]) or a film about the idea of the ownership of art, its more successful as a mildly amusing caper. Watch The Train instead. 5/10

Overall: 5/10

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Wolf of Wallstreet

SF: This reminded me of a mix between Blow and GoodFellas. On the whole I rather enjoyed the film, the plot was intriguing, the acting from DiCaprio superb and the direction was fine but not Scorcese's best. For the most part you could tell where this was going and it isn't breaking new ground but has enough pull to hold your interest for the most part. However the last hour drags somewhat and for me this could of done with being about 45 min shorter.  7/10

50 Eggs: Two words: Margot. Robbie. SF will be rolling her eyes that she is the first thing I mention in this review, but seriously, Margot. Robbie. On a less important subject, this is a great film with a fantastic 'rise and fall' story. The fall part takes a bit too long to get to but otherwise I cant fault this. 8.5/10

DonkeyB: n/a

Overall: 7.75/10

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

12 Years A Slave

SF: The title should tell you enough about what this film is about. Given that this is a well known subject matter you might think you are prepared for the emotional turmoil this film has to throw at you. At least that is what I thought anyway. It is nothing short of brilliant, horrifying and deeply moving. The score is a beautiful accompaniment to a well directed poignant film. The performance from Chiwetel Ejiofor is flawless, he is able to balance the pain of each situation and and the futility in the face so much injustice with real subtlety. Not one I think I could watch again because of how effected I was but well worth 10/10

50 Eggs: This is a film that is designed to be an uncomfortable watch, so it was quite ironic that I watched this in Gold Class, in one of the special seats with buttons on it that make sure I'm perfectly comfy for the duration.Maybe that is one of the reasons that 12 Years didn't affect me all that much, or maybe it's just because I'm horribly desensitized. Either way, it is still a very good film, with lots of great performances and lovely camera work. It's not the best film ever (as the advert says it is), but it is the best film of 2014 so far (15/1/14). 8.5/10

DonkeyB: It is a masterpiece, clearly McQueen's best film which is quite a statement. It is deeply upsetting- a film that is about slavery. I liked parts of Django Unchained but it was not a film which dealt in any serious way with the subject of American slavery despite Quentin's protestations- he should be made to watch this on a loop until he has disabused himself of the idea. I think there is a potential problem with the Solomon Northup story- does the fact that he is a free black man make his treatment worse or any less morally repugnant than the 'slaves' he encounters?  I thought the film hinted at this dilemma, there is a balance between the personal crime committed against one man and the wider moral crime of slavery in general which his story is used to illustrate. There are no faults with the film at all. 10/10

Overall: 9.5/10