RSS feed for Mark
  • The Hunger Games

    The Hunger Games 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 13 Mar, 2014

    Following my ill advised watch of One Day on Sunday night, the film adaptation of David Nicholls' bestseller, I got into an interesting discussion about my inability to engage with what others seem to love so easily and totally.

    This discussion led to an accusation that perhaps I'm the sort of person who refuses to readily engage with popular culture. That I probably have an attitude that, quote, 'if ten people like this, I must hate it on principle' and…

  • Prometheus

    Prometheus 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 14 May, 2013 4

    Firstly I need to say I've never been a big Alien fan. I appreciate the original is a seminal piece with a stunningly grubby (is that a contradiction in terms?) set design and a brilliant ensemble cast that changed the way we viewed sci fi whilst still using traditional tropes from that genre, horror movies and 'And Then There Were None' style chillers.

    I totally appreciate it's a solid piece of workmanship, extremely mature, intelligent and aesthetically brilliant.

    But...they still…

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 2014

    ★★★½ Watched 21 May, 2015

    I'd previously had this to say about this film's predecessor, Rise of the Planet of the Apes;

    When Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out you could almost hear the collective sighs go up across the world; at last, they said, a rebooted franchise that didn't sully the original films. It was a neat, smart prequel and great intelligent popcorn entertainment.

    Even I agreed, and I'm a Luddite who has an aversion to CGI. But the work of…

  • Psycho

    Psycho 1960

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 22 Oct, 2013

    Janet Leigh really should have checked on Laterooms before setting out.

    What, do you really expect a proper review? Far better reviewers than me have had a go. Go and read theirs ;)

  • Life of Pi

    Life of Pi 2012

    ★★★ Watched 07 Dec, 2013

    As a proud Northerner I was disappointed to realise that this wasn't the biopic of Greggs the Bakers.

    As such it just wasn't for me, sorry. It was nicely done I guess but this kind of cosy schmozy metaphorically heavy, spiritual 'journey' drama never really rings my bell.

    Always nice to see Gérard Depardieu play Gérard Depardieu though.

  • Wreck-It Ralph

    Wreck-It Ralph 2012

    ★★½ Watched 30 Dec, 2013 2

    I'm too old for modern cartoons I think, as such most Disney and/or Pixar efforts of the last ten years have been placed firmly on the Roger Murtaugh list for me.

    But Wreck-It Ralph *just* managed to sustain some interest overall thanks to its knowing references to computer video games and the assured comedic playing of John C Reilly and Sarah Silverman.

    The nostalgia gained from the gaming set up and references at the heart of the film feels original…

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 2002

    ★★★ Rewatched 21 Dec, 2014

    In which Yosser Hughes keeps going on about ballsdeep or some such, Liv Tyler looks hot and Andy Serkis steals the film.

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark

    Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 07 Jul, 2012

    The ultimate blockbuster.

    The booby traps, Alfred Molina double crossing, Paul Freeman's suave arch rival/nemesis, the stunning locations, the John Williams score, Karen Allen being hot, the Nazi monkey, just shooting the sword wielding bad guy, Ronald Lacey's Peter Lorre homage and THAT coat hanger gag, snakes - why did it have to be snakes?, Pat Roach's burly bald headed mechanic, Wolf Kahler's Nazi, the opening of The Ark and that spooky perfect ending.

    Oh and Denholm Elliott's Marcus Brody here is brilliant, serious and not at all like the comic relief (which was excellent as well) in The Last Crusade.

  • Zero Dark Thirty

    Zero Dark Thirty 2012

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Dec, 2013

    Up until around the hour mark I couldn't see myself giving this anything other than a 3 star rating. I just wasn't that sold. And even now, I'm not sure if I've rated it a bit too favourably.

    So, let's start by the faults; the script is occasionally cheesy and oblique. Some scenes belong in a different far more commercial, no brainer movie ("I'll go and speak with The Wolf" cue really obvious intro of said character performing Ṣalāt) some…

  • Captain Phillips

    Captain Phillips 2013

    ★★★½ Watched 12 Jul, 2014

    A nail biting pseudo documentary narrative of the power struggle between two captains; the titular Phillips played by a career best Tom Hanks, US Captain of a hijacked cargo ship, and the Somali pirate captain Muse played by the electrifying Barkhad Abdi - a real find who won the BAFTA for best supporting actor.

    Whilst some moments remind you of the claustrophobic international terrorism/hostage dramas of the Hollywood of the 1970s, director Paul Greengrass uses all his journalistic and documentarian…

  • Children of Men

    Children of Men 2006

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 26 Jun, 2013 4

    This isn't going to be much of a review, Adam Cook has recorded thoughts on this far better than I could come up with, but needless to say upon a much overdue rewatch my impression that this is the most perfectly realised film in many a year has only been furthered.

    Bit of personal trivia, for those who like such things in a review; the longest/most important r'ship I've ever been in can be summed up in the cinema dates…

  • Foxcatcher

    Foxcatcher 2014

    ★★½ Watched 11 Jul, 2015

    I tell you what, it's good to see Alec Guinness' nose from Oliver Twist working again isn't it? Sixty-Six years between films was too damn long.

    I saw a trailer for Foxcatcher at the cinema at the tail end of 2014 and thought 'oh that looks good, but I'll wait for the DVD' Curiously I never sought to read up online about the film or the true story behind it and now I'm somewhat surprised to see dramatised real life…