Mike has written 11 reviews for films rated ★★ .

  • Inkheart



    Despite the cast an Oscar-bait movie would kill for, let alone a matinée movie such as this, and a premise rife with possibility, Inkheart felt flat, lacking in magic. Which was a little bit disappointing, as if there was one thing this movie relied on, it was magic.

    Despite the fact I've never read it, I suspect children (and children at heart) would get more out of reading the book this was based on.

  • Battleship



    I feel a little dirty inside.

    While my higher brain functions were going "Argh! Slingshot a radio signal? WTF? They create a giant impermeable shield, and they can't spare a couple of watts to send a radio signal?" (see Note), some lower functioning system kept shouting "Take that you goateed hipster alien fuckers! It's a BATTLESHIP and it's going to BATTLESHIP your ASS! Yee-HAA!"

    One star for having the audacity to circumvent my higher faculties. Plus one for having a battleship.

    Note: Only one of many concerns. My higher brain functions cried all the way through this movie.

  • The Way Back

    The Way Back


    Was this really the Peter Weir that did Master and Commander and Dead Poets Society? It's not terrible, but I felt no tension and fatally didn't care about the characters. Yeah, OK, maybe I couldn't get into this because I was playing GTA and twitting my bookfacers at the same time. But — but! — maybe it was because I couldn't get into it that I resorted to mowing down grannies and telling my interpeeps about it.

  • In Time

    In Time


    Right chaps, one hour to write a film. Go.

    An hour? What could we do it about? An hour.

    Yep, one hour. One h…Oh, 59 minutes, 20 seconds. 19. 18…

    Oooh, it's about time!

    Brilliant! Quick, time sayings: not enough hours in the day.

    Don't waste my time!

    Wait, is that about what we're doing now…?

    Real time!

    For a few to be immortal, many must die!

    Yes! Er…?

    No one has to die before their time!

    Oooh, just smoosh those together!

    We need a star who's name works in…in…in…Justin! Just. In. Time. Get it?

    No. Wait. Yes!

    Man, this stuff writes itself...

  • Safe House

    Safe House


    For much of its length, Safe House is adequate: there's the usual plethora of competent action, there's dependable Denzel reprising his tried-and-true morally ambiguous schtick, there's Ryan Reynolds playing the not-quite-superhero, there's a great locale in Cape Town and its environs. But then. There's the end. Anything promising that had been building dissipates in a mire of confused motives and why'd he shoot him and not him and why bother keeping him alive and how much are those henchmen getting paid, because it's not enough. Bleh.

  • Cube



    High-concept, intriguing setting, philosophical tosh. I think the film-makers were aiming to show something of human nature, but really, I don't think so. The high-concept shines so bright I think it blinded the creators into forgetting to write a half-decent story.

  • Highlander



    I first saw this as a newly minted teen and was taken away to another world, as were most my age, practicing my swordplay with a wooden ruler, listening to Queen and saying "It's better to burn out than to fade away" to any and all. Now that I, and this film, have aged I can look back and see it for what it is: a little bit rubbish. And to top it all off, was the casting agent drunk? A Scottish Egyptian with a Spanish name? A French Scotsman? A giant American playing an immortal Russian? You be the judge.

  • The Perfect Storm

    The Perfect Storm


    A slice-of-life that may as well be a documentary with "recreations". As we all well know, the only reason to watch this film is to see the giant wave that sunk the Andrea Gail. If all you want to see are giant waves, then why not edumacate yourselves at the same time, instead? I suggest the excellent BBC Horizon production Freak Wave. Freakin' freaky freak waves.

  • Intacto



    Intacto takes its central, intriguing concept ever so seriously. Too seriously: the film is almost all conceit, a flash exterior that's empty inside. The narrative hangs together — just — but believability is often strained, and not just by the supernatural elements. What is worse, the "lucky" characters lead such austere, fearful lives and seem so miserable that if these people are the fortunates, God help the rest of us.

  • Centurion



    Disclaimer: I've never seen a real-life melee akin to those depicted in this film. But in truth surely there is not so much CGI blood. Over-the-top gore is not the main problem, though. I enjoyed the gore, even if I think the movie is hurt by its overuse, which at times bordered on the cartoonish. No, the main reason this film is barely mediocre is gore alone cannot replace a compelling story and characters.

  • Green Lantern

    Green Lantern


    Quite forgettable. No unforgettable parts, otherwise I wouldn't have forgotten them. The only nice thing I can think of is that if it had been made 50 years ago, it would have gone down in history as the first computer animated film that used the odd piece of live action to augment it. Unfortunately it wasn't, and WALL·E (and probably quite a few others) beat it to the punch.