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GALAXY QUEST (PG)     
D: Dean Parisot
Dreamworks (Mark Johnson & Charles Newirth)
🇺🇸 1999
104 mins
 
Science Fiction/Comedy
 
W: David Howard & Robert Gordon
DP: Jerzy Zielinski
Mus: David Newman
PD: Linda DeScenna
Cos: Albert Wolsky
 
Tim Allen (Jason Nesmith / Cmdr. Peter Quincy Taggart), Sigourney Weaver (Gwen DeMarco / Lt. Tawny Madison), Alan Rickman (Alexander Dane / Dr. Lazarus), Tony Shalhoub (Fred Kwan / Sgt. Chen), Sam Rockwell (Guy Fleegman), Daryl Mitchell (Tommy Webber / Lt. Laredo), Enrico Colantoni (Mathesar), Robin Sachs (Sarris)
 
Pretty much a one-joke movie which pokes fun at the world of Star Trek. The series, it's fans and the world of conventions.
Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and others are former stars of the cult TV show Galaxy Quest, but now ply their trade living off their past glories and charging fans for autographs at conventions. They are then abducted by an alien species who believe footage of the TV series to actually be factual, and count on the Galaxy Quest cast to save them from an intergalactic war.         
Tongue firmly in-cheek, this film may only have one real joke to run with but it does it very well and with far more invention and intelligence than most other spoofs.
Trekkies may not appreciate that they're the ones being poked fun at, but everyone else should find this refreshingly enjoyable.
7/10

"Are you ready to play?"
"Are you ready to play?"
THE GAME (15)
D: David Fincher
Polygram/Propoganda (Steve Golin & Céan Chaffin)
🇺🇸 1997
128 mins
 
Thriller
 
W: John Brancato & Michael Ferris
DP: Harris Savides
Ed: James Hayhood
Mus: Howard Shore
 
Michael Douglas (Nicholas Van Orton), Sean Penn (Conrad Van Orton), Deborah Kara Unger (Christine), James Rebhorn (Jim Feingold)
 
***SPOILER WARNING***
For me this was a huge disappointment, although many people who have watched it have thoroughly enjoyed it. 
I can only, of course, review this from my own perspective and my reasons for not enjoying it includes a major spoiler, so if you've yet to watch it, it's best to not continue reading.
For the most part, David Fincher presents an intriguing thriller which sees Michael Douglas get dragged deeper and deeper into a conspiracy and lose complete control over his life, to the point of utter despair... then the twist comes and ruins everything, giving a giant finger to anyone who's immersed themselves in the plot so far. "Ha ha ha! The joke's on you... It was all a game! Happy Birthday old mucker... Was gonna get you a sweater, but thought this would be a much better gift!"
Considering the title of the film, it shouldn't really come as too much of a surprise, but it was delivered so unconvincingly that the film becomes nothing but a load of bollocks!
5/10

"This is not a game."
"This is not a game."

GAME NIGHT (12)

D: John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein

Warner Bros/New Line/Access/Dune/Aggregate (John Davis, John Fox, James Garavante & Jason Bateman)

US 2018

100 mins


Comedy 


W: Mark Perez

DP: Barry Peterson

Ed: Jamie Gross, Gregory Plotkin & David Egan

Mus: Cliff Martinez


Jason Bateman (Max Davis), Rachel McAdams (Annie Davis), Kyle Chandler (Brooks Davis), Jesse Plemons (Gary Kingsbury), Billy Magnusson (Ryan Huddle), Sharon Horgan (Sarah Darcy), Lamorne Morris (Kevin Sterling), Kylie Bunbury (Michelle Sterling)


David Fincher's 1997 film The Game (qv) is given a comedy makeover, a la Date Night for this rather predictable, not particularly funny timekiller.

Jason Bateman & Rachel McAdams play idyllic suburban couple Max & Annie, who host weekly game nights. Max's successful brother Brooks attends one week and a sibling rivalry becomes apparent between the two. Brooks invites the group to his house for the next game night and they all accept.

On the evening, Brooks unveils the rules of the game - someone is going to be kidnapped and they will have to rescue them, on the way events will occur and the group will have no idea whether it's all part of the game or not. It's quite handy he got that last part in, as he is promptly kidnapped by bad guys and the evening gets underway. The "twist" is that it's a real kidnapping.

Though watchable and entertaining enough for its duration, the biggest problem of the film is that you can see the plot points and jokes coming from a mile off. 

Rachel McAdams is delightfully kooky as the lead actress, but Jason Bateman can only play the same one-note character regardless of the movie, in which case he gets a bit lucky that it fits this one. The best performance of the movie belongs to Jesse Plemons as a creepy neighbour who gets expunged from the group of friends, it's the scenes featuring him which offer a couple of moments to raise a chuckle, but that's not really good enough for a comedy. 

Unfortunately, Hollywood seems to be treading carefully with the genre nowadays because they don't want to offend people. Meh. 

All in all, it's about as much fun as a game of Monopoly, and will probably culminate in less arguments.

5/10


"It took one remarkable man to defeat the British Empire and free a nation of 350 million people."
"It took one remarkable man to defeat the British Empire and free a nation of 350 million people."
GANDHI (PG)
D: Richard Attenborough 
Columbia/Goldcrest/Indo-British/IFI (Richard Attenborough)
🇬🇧 🇮🇳 1982
188 mins 

Biopic/Historical

W: John Briley
DP: Billy Williams & Ronnie Taylor
Ed: John Bloom
Mus: George Fenton & Ravi Shankar
PD: Stuart Craig
Cos: John Mollo & Bhanu Athaiya

Ben Kingsley (Mohandas K. 'Mahatma' Gandhi), Candice Bergen (Margaret Bourke-White), Edward Fox (Gen. Dyer), John Gielgud (Lord Irwin), Trevor Howard (Judge Broomfield), Martin Sheen (Walker), Rohini Hattangady (Kasturba Gandhi)

The picture begins with a caption stating that no man's life, no matter how great, could possibly be completely captured in a biography. Therefore, it's forgivable that Richard Attenborough's schoolbook history only focuses on a handful of key moments from Gandhi's life.
Ben Kingsley is absolutely mesmerising as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, later given the name Mahatma (which translates as "great soul"), a lone civil rights activist whose efforts to the cause managed more with words than entire countries have attempted with firearms.
The story begins with his assassination, before showing key moments via flashback, starting with his journey to South Africa during apartheid, where he first spoke out for change.
The second act switches back to his life in native India, still under British colonial rule, where he played a key role in the country's independence, by inspiring his countrymen to civil disobedience through non-violent means. 
Though incredibly well directed by Richard Attenborough and well written by screenwriter John Briley, the film seems satisfied to canonise the historical figure rather than provide a real in-depth study into understanding his actions.
Still, on an epic scale, the production is sweeping, just as it did at the 1982 Academy Awards, where it won 8 Oscars, including Best Picture.
8/10

"America was born on the streets."
"America was born on the streets."
GANGS OF NEW YORK (18)
D: Martin Scorsese
Miramax (Alberto Grimaldi & Harvey Weinstein)
🇺🇸 2002
167 mins

Drama/Historical

W: Jay Cocks. Kenneth Lonergan & Steven Zaillian
DP: Michael Ballhaus
Ed: Thelma Schoonmaker
Mus: Howard Shore
Pd: Dante Ferretti
Cos: Sandy Powell

Leonardo DiCaprio (Amsterdam Vallon), Daniel Day-Lewis (William 'Bill The Butcher' Cutting), Cameron Diaz (Jenny Everdeane), Liam Neeson (Priest Vallon), Jim Broadbent (William 'Boss' Tweed), John C. Reilly (Happy Jack), Henry Thomas (Johnny Sirocco), Brendan Gleeson (Walter 'Monk' McGinn), Gary Lewis (McGloin)

In mid 19th century New York, a young man seeks to avenge the murder of his father while native gangs battle Irish over the land they live on in the five boroughs.
Nominated for 10 Oscars, but leaving the awards ceremony empty-handed is a record which doesn't surprise me, since I found this film grossly overrated. 
Leonardo DiCaprio & Cameron Diaz are terribly miscast and it's only Daniel Day-Lewis' sublime performance as 'Bill The Butcher' which makes this at all watchable. The last 30 minutes fall apart, as though someone had butchered the negative and left it on the cutting room floor (perhaps this was Bill the Butcher too). 
Martin Scorsese can do much better.
6/10

"No names. No badges. No mercy."
"No names. No badges. No mercy."

GANGSTER SQUAD (15)

D: Ruben Fleischer

Warner Bros/Village Roadshow (Dan Lin, Kevin McCormick & Michael Tadross)

🇺🇸 2013

113 mins


Crime/Thriller


W: Will Beall [based on "Tales From The Gangster Squad" by Paul Lieberman]

DP: Dion Beebe

Ed: Alan Baumgarten & James Herbert

Mus: Steve Jablonsky


Josh Brolin (Sgt. John O'Mara), Ryan Gosling (Sgt. Jerry Wooters), Sean Penn (Mickey Cohen), Emma Stone (Grace Faraday), Nick Nolte (Chief Bill Parker), Anthony Mackie (Det. Coleman Harris), Giovanni Ribisi (Det. Conwell Keeler), Michael Peña (Det. Navidad Ramirez)


The Untouchables meets L.A. Confidential, but lacking panache in the script to make this truly memorable.

This fictionalised crime thriller pits a team of detectives out to take Los Angels mob boss Mickey Cohen down by hitting him where it hurts.

Attention to the period is given its dues, with excellent production design and costumes, but the story is a pale imitation of other, better films, even forcing in a boring romance between Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone's characters which doesn't seem to drive the story forward and doesn't really have much resolution. The most pointless thing about the film is the makeup for Sean Penn's Mickey Cohen, looking particularly amateurish for such a luxuriant production.

5/10


GANJA & HESS (aka BLACK VAMPIRE) (18)
D: Bill Gunn
Kelly/Jordan (Chiz Schultz)
🇺🇸 1973
110 mins

Horror

W: Bill Gunn
DP: James E. Hinton 
Ed: Victor Kanefsky
Mus: Sam Waymon

Duane Jones (Dr. Hess Green), Marlene Clark (Ganja), Bill Gunn (George), Sam Waymon (Rev. Williams), Leonard Jackson (Archie)

Released during the height of blaxploitation cinema, this twist on vampire movies stars Duane Jones as a New York anthropologist who develops a blood lust after being stabbed with a Myrthian dagger by his crazed assistant.
Clearly filmed on a super low budget, the film does get bogged down in a lot of cultural references and a lot of boring chit-chat.
The film developed a cult following, even inspiring a reimagination from director Spike Lee.
6/10

"Out of the garbage pail and into your heart."
"Out of the garbage pail and into your heart."
THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS (15)
D: Rod Amateau
Atlantic/Topps (Rod Amateau) 
🇺🇸 1987
97 mins
 
Comedy/Fantasy
 
W: Rod Amateau & Melinda Palmer [based on characters created by John Pound]
DP: Harvey Genkins
Ed: Leon Carrere & M. Edward Sallier
Mus: Michael Lloyd
 
Mackenzie Astin (Dodger), Anthony Newley (Captain Manzini), Kate Barberi (Tangerine), Ron MacLachlan (Juice)

For those who don't remember, The Garbage Pail Kids were a series of trading cards which were popular during the early-mid 1980's, featuring mutant characters with nauseating features and grotesque names and while it's perfectly understandable why they were a school playground favourite, the crossover to the big screen really doesn't work well.
The film is puerile nonsense featuring a bullied kid who inadvertently discovers the garbage pail kids hiding out in a junk shop and they help him get one over on the bullies.
The film has little appeal for anyone who isn't prepubescent, despite having a 15 certificate. The makeup and visual effects are disgusting, which may well be the point, but these characters will actually make you sick.
It's just one of those bad movies from the 1980's which needs to be left in that decade and forgotten about completely.
1/10

GARDEN STATE (12)

D: Zach Braff

Miramax/Fox Searchlight/Camelot/Jersey Films (Gary Gilbert, Dan Halsted, Pamela Abdy & Richard Klubeck)

🇺🇸 2004

102 mins 


Comedy/Romance


W: Zach Braff

DP: Lawrence Sher

Ed: Myron Kerstein

Mus: Chad Fisher


Zach Braff (Andrew Largeman), Natalie Portman (Samantha), Peter Sarsgaard (Mark), Ian Holm (Gideon Largeman), Jean Smart (Carol)


With his popularity soaring due to the television sitcom Scrubs, Zach Braff wrote, directed and stars in this charming semi-autobiographical comic drama in his native New Jersey.

He plays a depressed Hollywood actor who returns home following the death of his mother and reunites with some friends and family for the first time since his departure and also finds time to embark on a romantic relationship with Samantha, who seems to be the only person about town who empathises with him.

Braff's script is reasonably well-written, with quirky characters and sharp dialogue, but the plot of the film is all quite sketchy, like a series of skits which don't quite all tie together particularly neatly. It's still worth a watch though.

6/10


GARFIELD: THE MOVIE (PG)
D: Peter Hewitt
20th Century Fox (John Davis)
🇺🇸 2004
80 mins

Comedy

W: Joel Cohen & Alec Sokolow [based on the comic strip created by Jim Davis]
DP: Dean Cundey
Ed: Peter Berger & Michael A. Stevenson
Mus: Christophe Beck

Breckin Meyer (Jon Arbuckle), Jennifer Love Hewitt (Liz Wilson), Stephen Tobolowsky (Happy Chapman)
voices of: Bill Murray (Garfield), Nick Cannon (Louis), Alan Cumming (Persnikitty), David Eigenberg (Nermal)

The laconic, lasagne-loving cat from Jim Davis' comic strip gets his big screen outing in this live action disaster featuring a poorly animated cat.
Bill Murray was the perfect pick to voice the character, but little effort went into the rest of the production, including a lacklustre script which will provide adequate entertainment for the under 8's but very little for everyone else.
An even weaker sequel, Garfield: A Tail Of Two Kitties, hit the screens two years later.
4/10

GARFIELD: A TAIL OF TWO KITTIES (aka GARFIELD 2) (PG)
D: Tim Hill
20th Century Fox (John Davis)
🇺🇸 🇬🇧 2006
85 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Joel Cohen & Alec Sokolow [based on the comic strip created by Jim Davis]
DP: Peter Lyons Collister
Ed: Peter S. Elliot
Mus: Christophe Beck
 
Breckin Meyer (Jon Arbuckle), Jennifer Love Hewitt (Liz Wilson), Billy Connolly (Lord Dargis)
voices of: Bill Murray (Garfield), Tim Curry (Prince XII), Bob Hoskins (Winston), Rhys Ifans (McBunny)
 
Following in the footsteps of the first movie by having Bill Murray's voice give the cartoon cat some personality but the script lacks any jokes to make adults laugh. The cartoon cat looks awful for a big budget movie made in 2006.
For kids only. Adults needn't bother.
3/10
 
"Pray it's not too late."
"Pray it's not too late."
THE GATE (15)
D: Tibor Takacs
Vista (John Kemeny)
🇨🇦 1987
92 mins

Horror

W: Michael Nankin
DP: Thomas Vamos
Ed: Rit Wallis
Mus: Michael Hoenig & J. Peter Robinson 

Stephen Dorff (Glen), Christa Denton (Al), Louis Tripp (Terry), Kelly Rowan (Lori), Jennifer Irwin (Linda)

Low budget Canadian horror from the 1980's which hasn't dated too well but for its time the special effects are rather impressive, especially considering the meagre roots of the production.
This almost feels like two films with a change in tone towards the end of the second act, it starts with two kids discovering a hole in their back garden which leads into hell, unleashing demons unto the earth. They then manage to seal the gate, but something has remained within this realm.
There's some effective scary moments, but the end descends into ludicrous comic-book territory and tries too hard to make sense of something which should have been left open for a viewer's imagination to fill in the gaps.
Hugely enjoyable for its duration, but not enough to merit a sequel (Gate II: Trespassers, released a few years later). Cheesy 1980's horror fun.
6/10

GATTACA (12)
D: Andrew Niccol
Columbia Tristar/Jersey Films (Michael Shamberg, Danny DeVito & Stacey Sher)
🇺🇸 1997
106 mins

Science Fiction

W: Andrew Niccol
DP: Slawomir Idziak
Ed: Lisa Zeno Churgin
Mus: Michael Nyman
PD: Jan Roelfs

Ethan Hawke (Vincent Anton Freeman), Uma Thurman (Irene Cassini), Jude Law (Jerome Eugene Morrow), Alan Arkin (Det. Hugo), Loren Dean (Anton Freeman), Gore Vidal (Director Josef), Ernest Borgnine (Caesar)

A decent directorial debut from Andrew Niccol, writer of The Truman Show, amongst others. Gattaca has a unique visual style which expertly captures an alien, dystopian future where the lives of the planet's population are pre-destined at birth by genetically engineered DNA. Physical perfection is normal, and those who don't meet the standard are considered flawed and form the lower class "invalids" of society.
One of these "invalids", Vincent Freeman (Hawke), set with an ambition to succeed in the Gattaca space programme regardless of his lack of "qualification" borrows the identity of Jerome (Law), a crippled "valid" who is happy to provide blood, tissue and urine samples in return for financial gain.
A murder-mystery subplot sidelines the main story around the halfway point, making the film rather predictable, but it's still a very decent sci-fi effort, complete with a rather downbeat, non-Hollywood ending.
6/10

THE GAY DIVORCEE (PG)

D: Mark Sandrich

RKO (Sandro S. Berman)

🇺🇸 1934

107 mins


Musical/Comedy


W: George Marion, Jr., Dorothy Yost & Edward Kaufman [based on the stage play "The Gay Divorce" by Dwight Taylor]

DP: David Abel

Ed: William Hamilton

Mus: Max Steiner 


Fred Astaire (Guy Holden), Ginger Rogers (Mimi Glossop), Alice Brady (Aunt Hortense), Edward Everett Horton (Egbert 'Pinky' Fitzgerald), Erik Rhodes (Rodolfo Tonetti)


This film was Fred Astaire's and Ginger Rogers' first partnership for which they received top billing, reworking Dwight Taylor's stage musical 'The Gay Divorce' by composing a large collection of new songs and tweaking the title, since it would be improper in 1934 for a divorce itself to be deemed a happy occasion.

Astaire plays Guy Holden, a dancer who meets and becomes smitten by Mimi Glossop, an American woman who travels to an English seaside resort, seeking a divorce from her absentee husband.

Though much of the story, dialogue, mannerisms and musical numbers are dated, the film still carries a good amount of charm, humour and it's easy to see why Astaire & Rogers would go on to make several more films together.

Cole Porter's 'Night & Day' is probably the most famous song from the film (& stage play), while the 17-minute-long show stopper 'The Continental' became the first winner of the Best Original Song Oscar.

Conservative, quaint and ridiculously dated, but still very much enjoyable.

8/10


GENEVIEVE (U)

D: Henry Cornelius

GFD/Sirius (Henry Cornelius)

🇬🇧 1953

86 mins


Comedy


W: William Rose

DP: Christopher Challis

Ed: Clive Donner

Mus: Larry Adler


John Gregson (Alan McKim), Dinah Sheridan (Wendy McKim), Kenneth More (Ambrose Claverhouse), Kay Kendall (Rosalind Peters)


Classic British comedy in which two couples compete in the annual classic-car race from London to Brighton. The title comes from the name of the vehicle owned by Alan and Wendy McKim, who invite their friends Ambrose Claverhouse and Rosalind Peters to the friendly contest, which becomes increasingly competitive on the return journey to London.

Considering the age of the film, it's quite impressively well made, with sprightly performances from the ensemble and a memorable music score.

One of them bank holiday movies which will be a delight for some but might provoke others to go for a drive.

7/10


GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT (U)

D: Elia Kazan

20th Century Fox (Darryl F. Zanuck)

🇺🇸 1947

118 mins


Drama


W: Moss Hart [based on the novel by Laura Z. Hobson]

DP: Arthur Miller

Ed: Harmon Jones

Mus: Alfred Newman


Gregory Peck (Philip Schuyler Green), Dorothy McGuire (Kathy Lacey), John Garfield (Dave Goldman), Celeste Holm (Anne Dettrey), Anne Revere (Mrs. Green), Albert Dekker (John Minify)


Though this 1947 Best Picture Oscar winner is quite dated in its execution, the message that it conveys is still very much relevant.

Journalist Philip Schuyler Green (Gregory Peck) moves to New York with his mother and son and is given the task of writing an article on anti-semitism. As a writer whose best work has come from experiencing things first hand, he feigns Jewish heritage to see how differently people treat him and gets deeply involved in his project, even to the point that it causes tensions amongst his family and a rift between himself and love interest Kathy Lacey (Dorothy McGuire).

At its heart, Gentleman's Agreement is a very powerful story, with some impressive performances from a solid ensemble cast. The love story feels a little forced, but one has to remember that it was from an era where almost every film had to include an element of romance. The story itself could possibly make a great modernisation, with a little bit of fine tweaking.

7/10


GEORGE OF THE JUNGLE (PG)
D: Sam Weisman
Disney/Mandeville (David Hoberman, Jordan Kerner & Jon Avnet)        
🇺🇸 1997
92 mins

Comedy/Adventure

W: Dana Olsen & Audrey Wells [based on characters created by Jay Ward]
DP: Thomas Ackerman
Ed: Stuart H. Pappé & Roger Bondelli
Mus: Marc Shaiman

Brendan Fraser (George), Leslie Mann (Ursula Stanhope), Thomas Haden Church (Lyle van de Groot), Richard Roundtree (Kwame), John Cleese (voice of Ape)

Disney's pantomime-esque send up of Tarzan, based on a TV cartoon series, is complete with apeman George, talking ape and a pet elephant.
George meets humans for the first time and falls in love, while a villain plans to abduct the talking ape for financial gain.
George Of The Jungle is great entertainment for kids, with some good animatronics and computer effects to capture their imaginations. For adults, it's simple, unchallenging, unsurprising but enjoyable cartoon-esque nonsense.
5/10

"Brave The Storm"
"Brave The Storm"

GEOSTORM (12)

D: Dean Devlin

Warner Bros/Skydance (Dean Devlin, David Ellison & Dana Goldberg)

🇺🇸 2017

109 mins


Science Fiction/Thriller


W: Dean Devlin & Paul Guyot

DP: Roberto Schaefer

Ed: Ron Rosen, Chris Lebenzon & John Refoua

Mus: Lorne Balfe


Gerard Butler (Jake Lawson), Jim Sturgess (Max Lawson), Abbie Cornish (Agent Sarah Wilson), Ed Harris (Leonard Dekkom), Andy Garcia (President Andrew Palma), Alexandra Maria Lara (Ute Fassbinder), Robert Sheehan (Duncan Taylor)


Preposterous mash up of Armageddon, 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow, directed by Dean Devlin, a producer of Roland Emmerich movies who felt he could just as good a job as his former colleague.

Gerard Butler plays the inventor of a satellite network, utilised for climate control, who is called into action when the programme malfunctions and adverse weather conditions cause disasters around the globe.

Meanwhile, his ambitious younger brother who he has a tetchy relationship with investigates a government conspiracy involving the president, since presidential scandals were incredibly topical in 2017.

Everything about this film is a mess, from the recycled plot to the unconvincing acting, shoddy visual effects and even a romance crammed in despite being completely ancillary to the plot.

It's quite possible to enjoy this film if you remove enough of your brain to engage any logic, but it still isn't a good movie.

4/10


GET CARTER (18)
D: Mike Hodges
MGM (Mike Klinger)
🇬🇧 1971
112 mins

Crime/Thriller

W: Mike Hodges [based on the novel "Jack's Return Home" by Ted Lewis]
DP: Wolfgang Suschitzky
Ed: John Trumper
Mus: Roy Budd

Michael Caine (Jack Carter), John Osborne (Cyril Kinnear), Ian Hendry (Eric Paice), Britt Ekland (Anna)

Michael Caine is absolutely fantastic as the cockney gangster Jack Carter, who travels up to Newcastle-upon-Tyne to investigate the death of his brother.
Get Carter is a superb British crime thriller which doesn't waste a single character and presents a gritty, ruthless protagonist who you root for despite his unlikeable traits.
Who the hell thought that a Hollywood remake would be a good idea? Idiots!
8/10

GET LOW (PG)
D: Aaron Schneider
Sony Pictures Classics (Dean Zanuck & David Gundlach)
🇺🇸 2009 (released 2010)
100 mins

Drama

W: Chris Provenzano & C. Gaby Mitchell
DP: David Boyd
Ed: Aaron Schneider
Mus: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek 

Robert Duvall (Felix Bush), Sissy Spacek (Mattie Darrow), Bill Murray (Frank Quinn), Lucas Black (Buddy Robinson), Bill Cobbs (Charlie Jackson)

Get Low is a low key independent film featuring a strong performance from Robert Duvall as a mysterious hermit in 1930's Tennessee who, after decades of living as a recluse, decides to celebrate his funeral before the grave, so he can explain himself better to the townsfolk who have misunderstood him and give away his land via a raffle to one of the attendees.
Though the plot sounds like something more familiar to a black comedy, this is squarely in drama territory, especially when it comes to Duvall's lengthy speech in the final act.
Bill Murray also offers sterling support as a business-minded funeral director who makes the possible arrangements.
Based partly on a true story.
6/10

"Just because you're invited doesn't mean you're welcome."
"Just because you're invited doesn't mean you're welcome."

GET OUT (15)

D: Jordan Peele

Universal/Blumhouse/Monkeypaw (Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm, Jr. & Jordan Peele)

🇺🇸 2017

104 mins


Horror/Comedy


W: Jordan Peele

DP: Toby Oliver

Ed: Gregory Plotkin

Mus: Michael Abels


Daniel Kaluuya (Chris Washington), Allison Williams (Rose Armitage), Bradley Whitford (Dean Armitage), Catherine Keener (Missy Armitage)


Guess Who's Coming To Dinner meets The Stepford Wives for this satirical horror movie from debutante director Jordan Peele.

Photographer Chris Washington reluctantly goes to his girlfriend's rural retreat for the weekend, asking before the trip if they're aware that he's black. Her nonchalant reply is that they're open-minded liberals who "would have voted Obama a third term if they could." 

On his arrival, Chris finds the parents a tad inappropriate, but things become even more sinister when the mother of the family hypnotises him under the guise of helping him quit smoking.

As a modern spin on Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives, Get Out really does work quite well, and is certainly amongst the cleverer Hollywood horror movies released in recent times. As a satire of liberal racism, it really is an acquired taste. Some people will find it controversial, some people won't. The overall result is quite intelligent, but it really isn't as much as it wishes it was.

7/10


"Attitude plays a part."
"Attitude plays a part."
GET SHORTY (15)
D: Barry Sonnenfeld
MGM/Jersey Films (Michael Shamberg, Danny DeVito & Stacey Sher)
🇺🇸 1995
105 mins
 
Comedy/Crime
 
W: Scott Frank [based on the novel by Elmore Leonard]
DP: Don Peterman
Ed: Jim Miller
Mus: John Lurie
 
John Travolta (Chili Palmer), Rene Russo (Karen Flores), Gene Hackman (Harry Zimm), Danny DeVito (Martin Weir), Dennis Farina (Ray 'Bones' Barbone), Delroy Lindo (Bo Catlett), James Gandolfini (Bear)
 
Get Shorty is a film which went down well with film critics but wasn't so well received by the mainstream audiences. It probably helps if you're a film buff, since the comedy's main joke is to poke fun at Hollywood.
John Travolta plays Miami loan shark for the mob, Chili Palmer, who follows a bad debtor to the Californian Coast and gets himself involved in showbiz as a film producer.
Based on Elmore Leonard's novel, the film features snazzy characters, snappy dialogue and some very good performances, but it's also very understandable why some people didn't fall for it's charms.
6/10

"Saving the world... and loving it."
"Saving the world... and loving it."

GET SMART (12)

D: Peter Segal

Warner Bros/Village Roadshow/Mosaic Media/Mad Chance/Atlas (Leonard B. Stern, Alex Gartner, Charles Roven, Andrew Lazar & Michael Ewing)

🇺🇸 2008

110 mins


Comedy/Action/Thriller


W: Tom J. Astle & Matt Ember [based on the television series created by Mel Brooks & Buck Henry]

DP: Dean Semler

Ed: Richard Pearson

Mus: Trevor Rabin


Steve Carell (Max Smart / Agent 86), Anne Hathaway (Agent 99), Dwayne Johnson (Agent 23), Alan Arkin (The Chief), Terence Stamp (Siegfried)


Taking its inspiration from a television series which ran from 1965-1970, this spy spoof stars Steve Carell as Max Smart, a government analyst who turns field agent when a potential terrorist attack rears its head.

Accompanying Smart on his mission is Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), who also doubles up as a love interest as the plot thickens.

Overall, this is an enjoyable caper, though the comedy isn't consistent and it's clear that much of the dialogue was improvised and several scenes pieced together in the editing room, still it works due to the on-screen partnership of Carell and Hathaway, who do make a fine double act.

It isn't as smart as it could have been, but there are much worse ways to spend 110 minutes.

6/10


GETTING EVEN WITH DAD (PG)
D: Howard Deutsch
MGM (Katie Jacobs & Pierce Gardner)
🇺🇸 1994
108 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Tom S. Parker & Jim Jennewin
DP: Tim Suhrstedt
Ed: Richard Halsey
Mus: Miles Goodman
 
Macauley Culkin (Timmy Gleason), Ted Danson (Ray Gleason), Glenne Headly (Det. Theresa Walsh), Gailard Sartain (Carl), Saul Rubinek (Bobby Drace), Hector Elizondo (Lt. Romayko)
 
Ted Danson plays the dad of the title, an ex-convict trying to go straight, but falls into the temptation of one last job, but the plans hit a snag when his son takes the loot and refuses to reveal where it's hidden until he gets some much needed attention for being abandoned when he was younger.
The story is all quite basic, but would have been a lot more enjoyable if it weren't for Macauley Culkin's smug, charmless performance which will only make you side with Danson's hoodlums and wonder why they didn't shoot the little shit.
3/10

"Believe."
"Believe."
GHOST (15)
D: Jerry Zucker
Paramount/Koch (Lisa Weinstein)
🇺🇸 1990
128 mins

Fantasy/Romance

W: Bruce Joel Rubin
DP: Adam Greenberg
Ed: Walter Murch
Mus: Maurice Jarre
PD: Jane Musky
Cos: Ruth Morley

Patrick Swayze (Sam Wheat), Demi Moore (Molly Jensen), Whoopi Goldberg (Oda Mae Brown), Tony Goldwyn (Carl Bruner), Rick Aviles (Willie Lopez), Gail Boggs (Louise Brown), Armelia McQueen (Clara Brown), Vincent Schiavelli (Subway Ghost)

A love story which made women all over the world cop and swoon is made accessible to make audiences by having a thriller subplot thrown into it's supernatural backbone.
Patrick Swayze plays yuppie stockbroker Sam Wheat, who moves into a new apartment with his girlfriend, Molly, but as the paint is still drying in their new home, Sam is murdered, leaving Molly a grieving wreck while Sam is stuck in limbo of walking the Earth as a ghostly spirit, attempting to solve his murder from the other side with the aid of a bogus medium (a scene stealing Whoopi Goldberg).
Sometimes silly, sometimes soppy, Ghost has the right mix of ingredients to make a successful movie, with the added bonus of appealing to either sex, although the end will have the female half of the audience weeping while all the men will gleefully enjoy the "revenge is good for the soul" moral. A surprise smash of 1990, receiving a Best Picture Oscar nomination in the process and winning two awards (Supporting Actress & Original Screenplay).         
8/10
 
"Read between the lies."
"Read between the lies."
THE GHOST (aka THE GHOST WRITER) (15)
D: Roman Polanski
Summit (Roman Polanski, Robert Benmussa & Alain Sarde)
🇬🇧 🇫🇷 🇩🇪 2010
128 mins
 
Thriller
 
W: Roman Polanski & Robert Harris [based on the novel by Robert Harris]
DP: Paweł Edelman
Ed: Hervé de Luze
Mus: Alexandre Desplat
 
Ewan McGregor (The Ghost Writer), Pierce Brosnan (Adam Peter Bennett Lang), Olivia Williams (Ruth Lang), Tom Wilkinson (Paul Emmett), Timothy Hutton (Sidney Kroll), Kim Cattrall (Amelia Bly), Jon Bernthal (Rick Ricardelli)
 
Not a supernatural tale that the title would suggest but a political thriller about an unnamed ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) hired to put the finishing touches to the autobiography of a politician (Pierce Brosnan) caught up in scandal.
As McGregor becomes increasingly suspicious of his subject's behaviour, he discovers that the writer who preceded him was murdered and the crime was covered up.
The story does occasionally drag in places and Pierce Brosnan is very underused, but it does have strong moments of tension. It's not one of director Roman Polanski's better films but it's a better film with him at the helm, not afraid to close the film with a surprise 'Un-Hollywood' ending.
7/10
 
GHOST DAD (PG)
D: Sidney Poitier
Universal (Terry Nelson)
🇺🇸 1990
84 mins
 
Comedy/Fantasy
 
W: Chris Reese, Brent Maddock & S. S. Wilson
DP: Andrew Laszlo
Ed: Pembroke Herring
Mus: Henry Mancini
 
Bill Cosby (Elliott Hopper), Kimberly Russell (Diane Hopper), Denise Nicholas (Joan), Ian Bannen (Edith), Christian Ebersole (Carol)       
 
Bill Cosby does his usual act in this sentimental comedy about a businessman father who is involved in a traffic accident and becomes a spirit only his children can see. Unfortunately, the jokes are as invisible as Cosby's character. Ian Bannen cameos as a character called Edith. That's about as funny as the whole thing gets.
The film was roundly panned by critics when it was originally released and wound up on many worst of 1990 lists. Rather harsh, considering this was the same year as Troll 2.
4/10
 

GHOST IN THE SHELL (12)

D: Rupert Sanders

Paramount/Dreamworks/Reliance (Avi Arad, Ari Arad, Steven Paul & Michael Costigan)

🇺🇸 2017

106 mins


Action/Science Fiction


W: Jamie Moss, William Wheeler & Ehren Kruger [based on the graphic novel by Masamune Shirow]

DP: Jess Hall

Ed: Neil Smith & Billy Rich

Mus: Clint Mansell & Lorne Balfe


Scarlet Johansson (Major Mira Killian / Motoko Kusanagi), 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano (Chief Daisuke Aramaki), Michael Pitt (Kuze / Hideo), Pilou Asbæk (Batou), Juliette Binoche (Dr. Ouelet)


Based on a graphic novel which itself was made into a 1995 anime film (considered by many to be the best Manga movie of all time), this sci-fi action could almost be described as Frankenstein meets Blade Runner.

Set in a future where humans have robotic enhancements, Major Mira Killian becomes the first of her kind. A victim of a car accident, her brain is saved and placed in the body of a cyber-enhanced android soldier, owned by the government for the purposes of stopping the most dangerous criminals.

The film is very much style over substance, owing a rather large debt of gratitude to Blade Runner for its production design. Scarlet Johansson is very miscast in a role that really should have gone to an oriental actress and this was highlighted by the media and fans of the original source material.

The visual effects are decent and the music is particularly good, but it won't have much appeal to those who haven't seen or have no interest in the original film or comic book. Even those who are fans will prefer the 1990's version.

4/10


"His curse became his power."
"His curse became his power."
GHOST RIDER (15)
D: Mark Steven Johnson
Columbia/Crystal Sky/Relativity Media/Marvel (Avi Arad, Steven Paul, Michael DeLuca & Gary Foster)       
🇺🇸 2007
110 mins

Action/Adventure/Fantasy

W: Mark Steven Johnson, David Goyer & Shane Salerno [based on the comic book created by Gary Friedrich, Roy Thomas & Mike Ploog]
DP: Russell Boyd
Ed: Richard Francis-Bruce
Mus: Christopher Young
PD: Kirk M. Petrucelli

Nicolas Cage (Johnny Blaze / Ghost Rider), Eva Mendes (Roxanne Simpson), Wes Bentley (Blackheart / Legion), Sam Elliott (Carter Slade), Peter Fonda (Mephistopheles)

One of the more disappointing comic book films of the late 'noughties' directed by Mark Steven Johnson, who helped the likewise disappointing Daredevil to the screen.
Nicolas Cage is completely miscast as the vigilante hero, stunt rider by day, ghostly spirit by night, and his performance isn't really bettered by the rest of the cast.
Not completely atrocious, but such promising material should have been a much a better film.
4/10
 
"It's all about time."
"It's all about time."

A GHOST STORY (12)

D: David Lowery

A24/Sailor Bear/Zero Trans Fat (Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston & Adam Donaghey)

🇺🇸 2017

92 mins


Drama/Fantasy


W: David Lowery

DP: Andrew Palermo

Ed: David Lowery

Mus: Daniel Hart


Casey Affleck ('The Man'), Rooney Mara ('The Woman')


Ghost meets The Tree Of Life for this infuriatingly pretentious arthouse fantasy which might have worked much better as a short subject.

Casey Affleck plays an unnamed man who becomes a ghost (represented here by a bedsheet with eyeholes cut out) and remains in the house he shared with his unnamed wife and watches her carry on from beyond his grave. 

It's possible that there will be an audience for this film, but for everyone else it will be a snorefest.  The pacing is ridiculously slow to the point that there are long lingering shots where no dialogue is spoken and nothing of note happens. Like all arthouse films, it's polarising, and although I didn't enjoy it, nor would I recommend it to others, I do appreciate that there is a market for films like this.

4/10


"Accentuate the negative."
"Accentuate the negative."
GHOST WORLD (15)
D: Terry Zwigoff
United Artists/Granada/Jersey Shore (Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich & Russell Smith)
🇺🇸 2001
111 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Daniel Clowes & Terry Zwigoff [based on the comic book by Daniel Clowes]
DP: Affonso Beato
Ed: Carole Kravetz
Mus: David Kitay
 
Thora Birch (Enid), Scarlett Johansson (Rebecca), Steve Buscemi (Seymour), Brad Renfro (Josh), Ileana Douglas (Roberta)
 
Indie comic book adaptation about two non-conformist teenage girls which seemed to be adored by critics but flew under the radar of mainstream audiences.
Thora Birch is great in this, however, her career seemed to fade into obscurity soon after while Scarlett Johansson became a global superstar. Steve Buscemi is the true star of the show as a delightful oddball, providing the majority of the film's best moments.
7/10
 
"They're here to save the world."
"They're here to save the world."
GHOSTBUSTERS (PG)
D: Ivan Reitman
Columbia (Ivan Reitman)
🇺🇸 1984
107 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Dan Aykroyd & Harold Ramis
DP: Laszlo Kovacs
Ed: Sheldon Kahn & David Blewitt
Mus: Elmer Bernstein
PD: John de Cuir
Cos: Theoni V. Aldredge
 
Bill Murray (Dr. Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Dr. Ray Stantz), Harold Ramis (Dr. Egon Spengler), Sigourney Weaver (Dana Barrett), Rick Moranis (Louis Tully), Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz), William Atherton (Walter Peck), Ernie Hudson (Winston Zedmore)
 
Who ya gonna call?
Originally intended as a vehicle for John Belushi & Dan Aykroyd, much of the plot changed when Bill Murray and the rest of the cast signed on, making Ghostbusters arguably the comedy event of the 1980's.
Though fundamentally silly, there's also a lot of reasons to enjoy this film, from its memorable title song, the introduction of Slimer, inspiring a television cartoon series and a 1989 sequel (as well as, regrettably, a remake *sigh*).
The story follows three slacker university professors who uncover paranormal goings on, but not before being expelled from their campus. They go into business for themselves and as the title may suggest, bust ghosts.
Comic delivery is very much the key to the film and nobody does it quite like the brilliant Bill Murray, delivering one of the most laconically laid back, yet gut-bustingly hilarious movie characters of all time. 
A 2016 remake wasn't wanted or needed, but Hollywood's arrogance and greed still greenlit the project. A decision which has been much derided by fans of this original film and it's very understandable why. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
10/10
 
GHOSTBUSTERS II (PG)
D: Ivan Reitman
Columbia (Ivan Reitman)
🇺🇸 1989
108 mins

Comedy

W: Dan Aykroyd & Harold Ramis
DP: Michael Chapman
Ed: Sheldon Kahn & Donn Cambern
Mus: Randy Edelman

Bill Murray (Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Raymond Stantz), Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler), Sigourney Weaver (Dana Barrett), Ernie Hudson (Winston Zedmore), Rick Moranis (Louis Tully), Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz), Peter MacNicol (Janosz Poha), Wilhelm von Homburg (Vigo)

The Ghostbusters have been out of business since the events in the first film, but must reunite after a river of ectoplasmic slime is discovered oozing under the streets of New York City and they discover a link between the gunk and the negative vibes of the city's population, both of which are giving life force to an ancient warlord whose spirit lives in a painting at the museum of art.
A sequel which captures the basic essence of the first film with its creepy goings on, funky soundtrack and keeping much of the original cast together, especially Bill Murray, who steals all the best lines of dialogue once again. Unfortunately, the screenplay is very light on the jokes, at least in comparison to the first movie and it lacks the middle finger to bureaucracy which gave the original its most memorable moments of conflict.
6/10
 

"GHOSTBUSTERS" (GHOSTBUSTERS: ANSWER THE CALL) (12)

D: Paul Feig

Sony/Columbia/Village Roadshow (Ivan Reitman & Amy Pascal)

🇺🇸 🇦🇺 2016

116 mins


"Comedy"


W: Paul Feig & Kate Dippold [based on "Ghostbusters" by Dan Aykroyd & Harold Ramis]

DP: Robert Yeoman

Ed: Brent White & Melissa Bretherton

Mus: Theodore Shapiro


Melissa McCarthy (Dr. Abby Yates), Kristen Wiig (Dr. Erin Gilbert), Kate McKinnon (Dr. Jillian Holtzmann), Leslie Jones (Patty Tolan), Chris Hemsworth (Kevin Beckman), Andy Garcia (Mayor Bradley), Charles Dance (Harold Filmore)


I have so little respect for this film, I won't even be publicising it with a poster or its trailer (which quite fittingly and deservedly received a record amount of dislikes on YouTube). The reason I have so little respect for this film is because it itself and everyone involved in it seems to have so little respect for the original 1984 film, which still holds up after 30 years and didn't need to be remade. This isn't just the corporate greed of Hollywood at work though, this is virtue-signalling in the worst possible way. The media have been pushing the myth that there aren't enough strong characters for women in the movies, so they decided to take a 1980's classic, still adored by millions for a gender switch.

The trouble is, 1984's Ghostbusters was hilarious, the humour in this remake is so pathetically unfunny it resorts to fart jokes and ladyparts humour. Excuse my while I sew my sides back up.

The original film also had a sly dig at bureaucracy, with the film's main villain being a smarmy suit from the Environmental Protection Agency. The villain in this is ALL men. Everywhere. Because men are scum. Seriously, all the men in this film are painted as chickenshit, dumb or simply evil for the sake of being evil.

The market demographic for this movie is clearly Buzzfeed readers, which is fine, but if you're gonna remake stuff, leave the fucking classics alone. This isn't about feminism, or misogyny, it's about leaving our childhoods the fuck alone... and it doesn't wash that "the original film is still there to be enjoyed", when a remake tries to deny all existence of said original film. I may have been onboard with this had these female characters been daughters/nieces of the original members, but it's actually asking us to ignore that the original 1984 film happened. Fuck off!

It's worth noting that this is the only film on my website to score less than zero out of ten.

-1/10


"They'll get you in the end."
"They'll get you in the end."
GHOULIES (18)
D: Luca Bercovici
Empire (Jeffrey Levy)
🇺🇸 1985
88 mins

Horror

W: Luca Bercovici & Jeffrey Levy
DP: Mac Ahlberg
Ed: Ted Nicolaou
Mus: Richard Band & Shirley Walker

Peter Liapis (Jonathan), Lisa Pelikan (Rebecca), Michael Des Barres (Malcolm), Mariska Hargitay (Donna), Jack Nance (Wolfgang)

Schlocky Gremlins rip-off about a couple who enter a mansion occupied by a satanist wizard and his horde of demonic creatures.
Cheap rubbish which would make perfect entertainment for a bad movies night. 
A trio of sequels followed, all of varying quality, although the first of which, released in 1988, was (slightly) better than the first film, changing the formula slightly and relocating the action to a fairground carnival..
3/10
 
G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA (12)
D: Stephen Sommers
Paramount/Spyglass/Hasbro (Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Bob Ducsay & Brian Goldner)     
🇺🇸 2009
118 mins

Action/Adventure

W: Stuart Beattie, David Elliott & Paul Lovett [based on characters created by Hasbro]
DP: Mitchell Amundsen
Ed: Bob Ducsay & Jim May
Mus: Alan Silvestri

Channing Tatum (Duke), Marlon Wayans (Ripcord), Sienna Miller (The Baroness), Christopher Eccleston (Destro), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Cobra Commander), Lee Byung-Hun (Storm Shadow), Rachel Nichols (Scarlett), Ray Park (Snake Eyes), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Heavy Duty), Dennis Quaid (Hawk)

It was inevitable that after Transformers hit the cinemas that another of the cartoon series of the 1980's would get the big screen treatment. This movie however is not a faithful rendering of that childhood favourite. The screenwriters obviously didn't watch the cartoon and clearly used wikipedia to do their research.
Stephen Sommers' direction is as ham-fisted as Steven E. de Souza's effort on the Streetfighter movie, but where de Souza can be forgiven for being a directorial debutante, Sommers had pedigree, having directed the first two Mummy movies. The action scenes are very badly photographed & edited, so much so that it's difficult to tell what's going on. The visual effects aren't terrible but are terribly visualised, most of the action takes place in darkness and shadow. The only watchable set piece is the Paris scene which goes on and on like a Peter Griffin chicken fight.
The casting is completely uninspired. Dennis Quaid does his best with what little dialogue he's given, whilst Channing Tatum gives Keanu Reeves a run for his money as the most wooden action performance of all time. Marlon Wayans is irritatingly miscast and the less said about Sienna Miller the better. Everyone else just seems to be there to pick up a paycheck and a credit.
Having nothing to do with its source material, this becomes just another generic action movie with yet another way to destroy Paris. America 1 France 0... Yeah, Go Joe!
4/10

G.I. JOE: RETALIATION (12)
D: Jon M. Chu
Paramount/MGM/Spyglass/Hasbro (Lorenzo di Bonaventura & Brian Goldner)                 
🇺🇸 2013
110 mins

Action/Adventure

W: Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick [based on characters created by Hasbro]
DP: Stephen Windon
Ed: Roger Barton & Jim May
Mus: Henry Jackman

Dwayne Johnson (Roadblock), Bruce Willis (Gen. Joseph Colton), D.J. Cotrana (Flint), Byung-Hun Lee (Storm Shadow), Adrienne Palicki (Lady Jaye), Ray Park (Snake Eyes), Channing Tatum (Duke)

This sequel isn't much better than the first film (The Rise Of Cobra), but it generally captures the essence of the cartoons, features some lively action scenes and even has the balls to kill off some major characters.  Still, the script is rather terrible and very lazily written. The screenwriters really didn't do enough research into this at all, settling on a generic action film with no real links to it's source material. It's also a complete waste of Bruce Willis.
4/10
 
GIANT (PG)
D: George Stevens
Warner Bros. (George Stevens & Henry Ginsberg)
🇺🇸 1956
201 mins

Drama/Western

W: Fred Guiol & Ivan Moffat [based on the novel by Edna Ferber]
DP: William Mellor
Ed: William Hornbeck, Fred Bonahan & Philip W. Anderson
Mus: Dimitri Tiomkin
PD: Boris Leven
Cos: Marjorie Best & Moss Mabry

Elizabeth Taylor (Leslie Benedict), Rock Hudson (Bick Benedict), James Dean (Jett Rink), Carroll Baker (Luz Benedict II), Jane Withers (Vashti Snythe), Chill Wills (Uncle Bawley), Mercedez McCambridge (Luz Benedict), Sal Mineo (Angel Obregon II), Dennis Hopper (Jordan Benedict II)

Edna Ferber's family saga about three generations on a cattle ranch gets the sprawling epic treatment, akin to Gone With The Wind.
Directed on a grand scale, with some very good performances, but far too long.
It has the distinction of being James Dean's final movie before his premature death, and in that respect, it's a fine swansong.
7/10
 
"The only witness to the crime was not even there."
"The only witness to the crime was not even there."
THE GIFT (18)
D: Sam Raimi
Paramount/Redbus/Alphaville/Lakeshore (Sean Daniel, Ted Tenenbaum, Gregory Goodman & Robert Tapert)
🇺🇸 2000
110 mins
 
Mystery/Thriller
 
W: Billy Bob Thornton & Tom Epperson
DP: Jamie Anderson
Ed: Arthur Coburn & Bob Murawski
Mus: Christopher Young
PD: Neil Spisak
 
Cate Blanchett (Annie Wilson), Giovanni Ribisi (Buddy Cole), Keanu Reeves (Donnie Barksdale), Katie Holmes (Jessica King), Greg Kinnear (Wayne Collins), Hilary Swank (Valerie Barksdale)
 
Deep South mystery starring Cate Blanchett as a widow with psychic abilities who holds the key to a murder investigation, but the local folks cause mischief.
Blanchett's performance lend credibility to this otherwise ridiculous hokum which throws in far too many characters simply for the hell of it. Katie Holmes, as the victim, tries to shed her wholesome image by shedding her clothes, but is woefully miscast for the role, with a diabolical Southern Belle accent.
It's also quite ironic that, for a film about a main character with the gift of clairvoyance, the majority of an audience can anticipate what will happen long before she does.
5/10
 

GIGI (U)

D: Vincente Minnelli

MGM (Arthur Freed)

🇺🇸 1958

119 mins


Musical


W: Alan Jay Lerner [based on the novella by Colette]

DP: Joseph Ruttenberg

Ed: Adrianne Fazan

Mus: Andre Previn; Frederick Loewe & Alan Jay Lerner

PD: Cecil Beaton

Cos: Cecil Beaton


Leslie Caron (Gigi), Louis Jourdan (Gaston Lachaille), Maurice Chevalier (Honore Lachaille), Hermione Gingold (Madame Alvarez)


A classic it may we'll be, but it's no My Fair Lady. Set in Paris at the turn of the 20th Century, a young beautiful woman is trained by her aunt to be a woman of high society. 

The story practically apes George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, but with a French twist. Maurice Chevalier doing what he does best, while the demure Leslie Caron lights up the screen whenever she appears on it.

The songs are all wonderful, the sets are lavish, the costumes are beautiful and the cinematography makes it look a lot fresher than 60 years old. It will have its fans, who will doubtless adore every second of it, but if you don't like musicals it really won't have a lot of appeal.

7/10


GIGLI (15)
D: Martin Brest
Columbia/Revolution/City Light (Martin Brest & Casey Silver)
🇺🇸 2003
121 mins
 
Crime/Comedy
 
W: Martin Brest
DP: Robert Elswit
Ed: Billy Weber & Julie Monroe
Mus: John Powell
 
Ben Affleck (Larry Gigli), Jennifer Lopez (Ricki / Rochelle), Justin Bartha (Brian), Lainie Kazan (Mrs. Gigli), Al Pacino (Starkman), Christopher Walken (Det. Stanley Jacobellis)
 
"It's turkey time..." An embarrassing line of dialogue spoken by an equally embarrassing Jennifer Lopez in one of the infamously bad scenes in this cinematic mess. She is partially right however, since this film is one giant turkey, only scraping back $7m of it's $75m budget.
Marketed on the real life romance between Ben Affleck & J-Lo, dubbed Bennifer (which nobody really cared about in the first place), this film casts them as duelling mobsters who get involved with a kidnapping and end up falling in love with each other, even though Lopez' character is introduced to the film as a lesbian. The biggest problem here is that Bennifer deliver absolutely no chemistry and the script is full of rubbish dialogue like the line mentioned above.
Even Al Pacino & Christopher Walken can't save this mess. In fact, they make it even worse with their half-arsed cameos.
Absolutely terrible.
1/10
 
"There never was a woman like Gilda."
"There never was a woman like Gilda."

GILDA (PG)

D: Charles Vidor

Columbia (Virginia Van Upp)

🇺🇸 1946

110 mins 


Drama/Crime


W: Marion Parsonnet

DP: Rudolph Mate

Ed: Charles Nelson

Mus: Hugo Friedhofer

PD: Stephen Goosson & Van Nest Polglase

Cos: Jean Louis


Rita Hayworth (Gilda Mundson), Glenn Ford (Johnny Farrell), George Macready (Ballin Mundson), Joseph Calleia (Obregon), Steven Geray (Uncle Pio)


Classic film-noir, perhaps given even more immortality by its homage in The Shawshank Redemption, although it's Rita Hayworth's scintillating performance which holds up better than the 1940's dialogue.

Glenn Ford gives one of his finest performances as the male lead, Johnny Farrell, a gambler who starts working for a casino owner in South America and makes the startling discovery that his old flame, Gilda, is now married to his dangerous new boss.

The beautiful Gilda, quite enjoys playing her games with her two love interests, as well as the audience, as her mere appearance lights up every scene she's in, particularly her smoking hot introduction, which has become an iconic cinema moment in itself.

The plot is clearly trying to emulate Casablanca, which is where it finds its shortcomings, and though some of the elements feel bound to the period, it still has to be considered a golden age classic of the genre.

8/10


"They don't call it the curse for nothing."
"They don't call it the curse for nothing."
GINGER SNAPS (18)
D: John Fawcett
Lions Gate/Copper Heart/Water Pictures/TVA (Steve Hoban & Karen Lee Hall)
🇨🇦 2000
108 mins
 
Horror
 
W: Karen Walton
DP: Thom Best
Ed: Brett Sullivan
Mus: Michael Shields
 
Emily Perkins (Brigette Fitzgerald), Katherine Houghton (Ginger Fitzgerald), Kris Lemche (Sam MacDonald), Mimi Rogers (Pamela Fitzgerald)
 
In a Canadian suburb, a teenage girl discovers that her sister is a werewolf.
An inventive, feminist twist on lycanthrope legend with some clever allegories. Completely entertaining and engaging throughout it's running time although it may not pass the longevity test. A couple of sequels (one of which a prequel) followed.
6/10
 
"Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy."
"Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy."
GIRL, INTERRUPTED (15)
D: James Mangold
Columbia (Douglas Wick)
🇺🇸 1999
122 mins

Drama/Biopic

W: James Mangold, Lisa Loomer & Anna Hamilton Phelan [based on the book by Susanna Kaysen]
DP: Jack Green
Ed: Kevin Tent
Mus: Mychael Danna

Winona Ryder (Susanna Kaysen), Angelina Jolie (Lisa Rowe), Clea Duvall (Georgina Tuskin), Brittany Murphy (Daisy Randone), Elisabeth Moss (Polly Clark), Jared Leto (Toby Jacobs), Vanessa Redgrave (Dr. Sonia Wick), Whoopi Goldberg (Valerie Owens)

An all-female One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (qv), based partly on a biographical book by Susanna Kaysen (played by Winona Ryder), who, after graduating high school and refusing college for a life as a writer, finds herself committed to a mental health institution, where she and a group of other girls rebel against the authority.
There's many similarities between this and the forementioned classic, but the biggest difference is that this is dull, nothing much happens and it veers completely off plot in the final act for absolutely no consequence. 
Angelina Jolie won an Oscar for portraying the batshit crazy guest of the facilities, and in fairness, she is the one standout in the cast of one-dimensional characters.
The moral seems to be: if you're too lazy to get a job, just get yourself checked into a nuthouse and then write a book about it.
5/10

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (15)
D: Tate Taylor
Universal/Dreamworks/Reliance (Marc Platt)
🇺🇸 2016
112 mins

Mystery/Thriller

W: Erin Cressida Wilson [based on the novel by Paula Hawkins]
DP: Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Ed: Michael McCusker & Andrew Buckland
Mus: Danny Elfman

Emily Blunt (Rachel Watson), Haley Bennett (Megan Hipwell), Rebecca Ferguson (Anna Boyd), Justin Theroux (Tom Watson), Luke Evans (Scott Hipwell), Alison Janney (Det. Sgt. Riley), Edgar Ramirez (Dr. Kamir Abdic), Lisa Kudrow (Martha)

This 2016 thriller starring Emily Blunt doesn't possess the most original story, but the novel approach to the mystery unfolding makes it a very interesting addition to the genre.
Emily Blunt plays Rachel, an alcoholic divorcee with a rather unhealthy obsession with her past. On her morning commutes to New York City, she passes her old picket-fence neighbourhood and develops an idyllic preoccupation with a couple who live next door to the house where her ex-husband lives with his new family.
One day, during an inebriated stupor, she witnesses an event through her carriage window which thrusts her deep into a missing person investigation and subsequently becomes a homicide inquiry, but due to her alcoholism, she can't remember how the events transpired.
The choppy narrative makes it imperative to follow the story closely, as the story of three different women manifests itself, and though the finale feels a little clichéd, the fine performances of the cast hold it all together, particularly Emily Blunt, who I personally think is the best actress yet to be nominated for an academy award. I'm not too sure if this film will see her time come, but it may not be a bad early shout.
The film does draw some comparisons with Gone Girl, but isn't quite as clever. Nevertheless, it'll make a decent night at the movies.
6/10

A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (18)
D: Ana Lily Amirpour
Vice/Logan/Spectre Vision (Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah & Elijah Wood)
🇺🇸 🇮🇷 2014
101 mins

Horror

W: Ana Lily Amirpour
DP: Lyle Vincent
Ed: Alex O'Flinn

Sheila Vand (The Girl), Arash Marandi (Arash), Mozhan Marno (Atti), Marshall Manesh (Hossein), Dominic Rains (Saeed)

'Iran's first vampire movie' so the marketing would have us believe, though the film was financed and shot wholly within the United States, the only real connection it has with Iran is the spoken language (Persian) and the nationality of the cast and film's debutante director.
The burka-wearing girl of the title is a vampire, prowling the dimly-lit streets of Bad City and preying on men who mistreat women, especially drug dealers and junkies.
Though the film does have a fair amount of style with its impressive use of shadows, black & white photography and an interesting soundtrack, it's more a political parable than a standard horror movie, with an obvious underlying theme of sexual equality and women 'taking back the night'.  
A brave film, but the pacing of the crawling, languid narrative serves to eke out the running time when the subject material would have worked much better as a short film.
6/10

"Beauty inspires obsession."
"Beauty inspires obsession."
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING (12)
D: Peter Webber
Pathé/UK Film Council (Andy Paterson & Anand Tucker)
🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇱🇺 2003
100 mins

Biopic/Drama

W: Olivia Hetreed [based on the novel by Tracy Chevalier]
DP: Eduardo Serra
Ed: Kate Evans
Mus: Alexandre Desplat
PD: Ben Van Os
Cos: Dien Van Straalen

Colin Firth (Johannes Vermeer), Scarlett Johansson (Griet), Tom Wilkinson (Van Ruijven), Judy Parfitt (Maria Thins), Cillian Murphy (Pieter), Essie Davis (Catherina), Joanna Scanlan (Tanneke), Alakina Mann (Cornelia)

17th Century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer is portrayed as a man of mystery in this 2003 biopic, treated as such by his family, he labours privately in his studio as his art struggles to flow. 
He soon finds inspiration when a young, beautiful peasant girl comes into his home to work as a housemaid, whom he immortalises with the painting of the title.
Like most period dramas, the film takes a conservative approach to the subtle sexual tension between the two main characters, and though the material is more suited to a mini-series or TV movie, it is wonderfully crafted, with each frame of the film resembling a classic art painting with its polished cinematography and meticulous detail to the period.
6/10

"Our greatest threat is our only hope."
"Our greatest threat is our only hope."

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (18)

D: Colm McCarthy

Warner Bros/Altitude/BFI/Poison Chef (Will Clarke, Camille Gatin & Angus Lamont)

🇬🇧 2016

111 mins


Horror


W: Mike Carey [based on his novel]

DP: Simon Dennis

Ed: Matthew Cannings

Mus: Cristobal Tapia de Veer


Gemma Arterton (Helen Justineau), Sennia Nenua (Melanie), Paddy Considine (Sgt. Eddie Parks), Glenn Close (Dr. Caroline Caldwell)


*SPOILER WARNINGS*

The Girl With All The Gifts is a film which would be best appreciated if you know as little about the plot as possible, so to review the film with as little reveal as possible may be a challenge.

This adaptation of Mike Carey's novel breathes fresh life into a horror sub-genre which has quickly become stale with so much over-saturation with films and television shows over the past decade.

Set in a post-apocalyptic Britain, a group of young children are kept under strict military control at a subterranean complex, while a team of doctors seek a cure for the plague which ravages the outside world.

After a security breach, a small group of survivors escape with their lives and try to find other human survivors, unaware that their world is serious peril of dying altogether.

Character-driven and with a very intelligent twist, The Girl With All The Gifts is easily the most impressive British horror film since 2002's 28 Days Later, with a solid performance from juvenile actress Sennia Nunua who provokes both sympathy and fear of and for her ailment. Gemma Arterton also delivers her finest acting performance as well.

Recommended, especially to fans of horror who aren't necessarily expecting this type of horror.

7/10


THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (MÄN SOM HATAR KVINNOR) (18)
D: Niels Arden Oplev
Nordisk/Yellow Bird/Music Box/Alliance (Søren Stærmose)
🇸🇪 2009 (released 2010)
152 mins

Thriller/Mystery

W: Nikolaj Arcel & Rasmus Heisterberg [based on the novel by Steig Larsson]
DP: Erik Kress & Jens Fischer
Ed: Anne Østerud
Mus: Jacob Groth

Michael Nykvist (Mikael Blomkvist), Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander), Lena Endre (Erika Berger), Sven-Bertil Taube (Henrik Vanger), Peter Haber (Martin Vanger)

Noomi Rapace is excellent in the title role, an expert hacker called Lisbeth Salander, assisting a disgraced journalist who is recruited into investigating the 40-year-old unsolved disappearance of a millionaire's daughter. 
This version is much better than the US remake in every way (which is a little mean to Rooney Mara, who was very good in the lead role in the American version). I remember thinking when I watched the US version, was a remake really necessary?
In short: no, it wasn't.
8/10
 
"What is hidden in snow comes forth in thaw."
"What is hidden in snow comes forth in thaw."
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (18)
D: David Fincher
MGM/Columbia/Yellow Bird (Scott Rudin, Ole Søndberg, Søren Stærmose & Ceán Chaffin)
🇺🇸 🇸🇪 2011
158 mins
 
Thriller/Mystery
 
W: Steven Zaillian [based on the novel by Steig Larsson]
DP: Jeff Cronenweth
Ed: Kirk Baxter & Angus Wall
Mus: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
 
Daniel Craig (Mikael Blomkvist), Rooney Mara (Lisbeth Salander), Christopher Plummer (Henrik Vanger), Stellan Skarsgård (Martin Vanger), Steven Berkoff (Dirch Frode), Robin Wright (Erika Berger)
 
A decent remake of the Swedish film which doesn't deviate from the original material and is merely an English language version with a different cast (albeit very well filmed, photographed, edited, etc.)
One burning question is that, since both versions are set in Sweden, featuring characters with Swedish names and accents. Was a remake really necessary at all?
Despite all the hard work involved in this, the answer is unfortunately a no. Although those who refuse to watch subtitled films just for the sake of it will say otherwise.
6/10
 
"Fight fire with fire."
"Fight fire with fire."
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE (FLICKAN SOM LEKTE MED ELDEN)(18)
D: Daniel Alfredson
Zodiac/Yellow Bird (Søren Stærmose & Jon Mankell)
🇸🇪 2009 (released 2010)
129 mins

Thriller 

W: Ulf Rydberg [based on the novel by Steig Larsson]
DP: Peter Mokrosinski
Ed: Mattias Morheden
Mus: Jacob Groth

Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander), Michael Nykvist (Mikael Blomqvist), Lena Endre (Erika Berger), Peter Andersson (Nils Erik Bjurman)

The second in Steig Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy" carries on from events in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (qv).
The story isn't quite as memorable in this chapter, though it does appear to set things up for a thrilling finale in The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, the third film of the trilogy.
Noomi Rapace returns as expert hacker, Lisbeth Salander, who, after a year away from Sweden, finds herself framed for murder. Her only hope is her former ally, journalist Mikael Blomqvist, to clear her name. 
Once again, the performance of the two leads are excellent, but the film itself is rather forgettable. Still, it's a finely polished piece of foreign language cinema and fans of the first movie will enjoy it immensely.
7/10

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS' NEST (LUFTSLOTTET SOM SPRÄNGDES) (18)

D: Daniel Alfredson

Zodiak/Nordisk (Soren Stærmose & Jon Mankell)

🇸🇪 2009 (released 2010)

147 mins


Thriller/Drama


W: Ulf Rydberg & Jonas Frykberg [based on the novel by Steig Larsson]

DP: Peter Mokrosinski

Ed: Mattias Morheden

Mus: Jacob Groth


Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander), Michael Nykvist (Mikael Blomkvist), Lena Endre (Erika Berger), Annika Hallin (Annika Giannini)


A rather disappointing conclusion to the Millennium trilogy, culminating as courtroom drama as expert hacker Lisbeth Salander faces trial for crimes against the state for her actions in the first two segments of the trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo & The Girl Who Played With Fire).

It's unfortunate that the second instalment to the trilogy was less memorable than the first and the opening to this movie is choppily edited and doesn't trigger memories of prior events, instead just placing you right in the middle of the story and getting on with it. 

The acting and production values are all fine and it wouldn't be fair to call it a poor movie, it just really helps if you watch all three films in quick succession, rather than wait for an indeterminate length of time.

6/10


GIRLS TRIP (15)

D: Malcolm D. Lee

Universal/Perfect World (Malcolm D. Lee & Will Packer)

🇺🇸 2017

122 mins


Comedy


W: Kenya Barris & Tracy Oliver

DP: Greg Gardiner

Ed: Paul Millspaugh

Mus: David Newman


Regina Hall (Ryan Pierce), Queen Latifah (Sasha Franklin), Jada Pinkett Smith (Lisa Cooper), Tiffany Haddish (Dina), Larenz Tate (Julian Stevens), Mike Colter (Stewart Pierce), Kate Walsh (Elizabeth Davelli)


If Bridesmaids (qv) was the female version of The Hangover (qv), then Girls Trip (no apostrophe) is the African-American equivalent. Unfortunately, it's not very funny, unless you fall into the very limited target group at which it's marketed.

I'm very much outside of this demographic, so can only review it from my own perspective, but the majority of jokes revolve around the main cast being A: Female and B: Black. Side-splitting. The remaining  jokes appear to be either about how big cocks can be or similar puerile, infantile female-variants of fart humour. The story even has a bit of time to rant about cultural misappropriation as though the producers took a backhander from Buzzfeed.

When Jada Pinkett Smith threw her childish tantrum before the 88th Academy Awards and demanded that Hollywood studios make more films that appease her, is this really what she meant?

The funniest thing about Girls Trip is that there's a campaign for it to be recognised at the Oscars. Bitch, please!! 

4/10


GLADIATOR (15)
D: Rowdy Herrington
Columbia (Frank Price & Steve Roth)         
🇺🇸 1992
102 mins
 
Sports/Drama
 
W: Lyle Kessler & Robert Mark Kamen
DP: Tak Fujimoto
Ed: Peter Zinner & Harry B. Miller III
Mus: Brad Fiedel
 
James Marshall (Tommy Riley), Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Abraham Lincoln Haines), Brian Dennehy (Jimmy Horn), Robert Loggia (Pappy Jack)
 
A white high school student moves to a gritty urban neighbourhood and gets involved with a crooked fight promoter and bare knuckle boxing matches. There's a race relations subplot thrown in and a handful of decent performances, but all in all this is just a poor man's Rocky.
Not to be confused with the 2000 film of the same name.
5/10
 
"What we do in life echoes in eternity"
"What we do in life echoes in eternity"
GLADIATOR (15)
D: Ridley Scott
Universal/Dreamworks/Scott Free (Douglas Wick, David Franzoni & Branko Lustig)
🇺🇸 2000
154 mins

Adventure/Historical

W: David Franzoni, John Logan & William Nicholson
DP: John Mathieson
Ed: Pietro Scalia
Mus: Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard
PD: Arthur Max
Cos: Janty Yates

Russell Crowe (Maximus Decimus Meridias), Joaquin Phoenix (Commodus), Connie Nielsen (Lucilla), Oliver Reed (Proximo), Derek Jacobi (Gracchus), Djimon Hounsou (Juba), Richard Harris (Marcus Aurelius), David Schofield (Falco), John Shrapnel (Gaius), Tomas Arana (Quintus), Ralf Moeller (Hagan), Spencer Treat Clark (Lucius)

In the times of the Roman Empire, a general is betrayed by a tyrannical Emperor and sold into slavery, where he fights for his freedom and, ultimately, revenge.
Gladiator is a lavish, spectacular epic which revitalised a dormant genre and captured the hearts & minds of many, and while it's a magnificently produced piece of work, it's not quite the champion it's hailed as being, and certainly not deserving of the heaps of Oscars praised upon it. Firstly, it's at least half-an-hour too long, mostly due to an elongated start and a few narrative drags towards the end of the second act. The performances are generally good, but this is far from Russell Crowe's best work (the Australian accent doesn't help), while Joaquin Phoenix is incredibly hammy- which he only gets away with because the character calls for it, but the best performance on show goes to Oliver Reed, with his final screen portrayal and arguably his finest ever performance.
Visually, the recreation of Ancient Rome, the Colisseum and all aspects of the production are brilliantly reconstructed and photographed, although some effects aren't quite as convincing (the scenes involving tigers are a good example), but all the technical achievements are generally top notch, especially the stirring music by Hans Zimmer, with haunting vocal arrangements by Lisa Gerrard.
8/10

GLASS (12)

D: M. Night Shyamalan

Universal/Blinding Edge/Blumhouse (M. Night Shyamalan, Jason Blum, Marc Bienstock & Ashwin Rajan)

USA 🇺🇸 2019

129 mins


Thriller


W: M. Night Shyamalan 

DP: Mike Gioulakis

Ed: Luke Ciarrocchi & Blu Murray

Mus: West Dylan Thordson


James McAvoy (Kevin Wendell Crumb / The Horde), Bruce Willis (David Dunn / The Overseer), Samuel L. Jackson (Elijah Price / Mr. Glass), Sarah Paulson (Dr. Ellie Stapler), Anya Taylor-Joy (Casey Cooke), Spencer Treat Clark (Joseph Dunn)


A sequel to both Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016), both of which were also directed by M. Night Shyamalan and considered amongst the filmmaker's best works.

It's imperative to have seen both preceding movies and it's impossible to review this movie without spoilers for them. 

In the closing moments of Split, it was hinted that it took place in the same cinematic universe as Unbreakable, thus giving birth to this sequel which takes place an unspecified amount of time after that movie ended. James McAvoy's schizophrenic Kevin Wendell Crumb and his horde of multiple personalities is still at large in the city of Philadelphia, and still abducting teenage girls to satisfy a bloodlust of The Beast, one of his multiple personalities that doesn't identify as human. Meanwhile, Bruce Willis' David Dunn is avenging vigilante justice in the city, dubbed The Overseer by the public, and is dedicated to hunting down the schizophrenic serial killer with the help of his son from their family-run security business.

The two men meet in an early skirmish and are both subsequently arrested and put under the care of Dr. Ellie Stapler at a psychiatric hospital, where she attempts to explain their phenomena with practicalities and science. Another patient at the hospital is Elijah Price / Mr. Glass, Samuel L. Jackson's character from Unbreakable, who plans to manipulate the arrival of the two new residents for his own means.

While the film gives another stage for McAvoy to showcase his excellent acting talents and wide range as he becomes the multiple personalities while incarcerated, Jackson isn't really given much to do except act cunning and Bruce Willis pretty much spends the entire movie moping in the background.

Unfortunately, the film concludes with an underwhelming climax right out of the left field which some may consider a twist, but I think it's more a giant middle finger to those who invested nearly 6 hours into the story and characters. Understandably, Shyamalan is a filmmaker who likes to play tricks with the audience and plot twists have very much become part of his repertoire, but the route he decided to go down with this was an insulting cop out.

Glass, for me, was amongst the most anticipated films of 2019, but unfortunately, it was a massive disappointment. 

This glass is definitely half-empty.

4/10


GLEAMING THE CUBE (aka A BROTHER'S JUSTICE; SKATE OR DIE) (15)
D: Graeme Clifford
Rank/Gladden (Lawrence Turman)
🇺🇸 1988
105 mins
 
Thriller
 
W: Michael Tolkin
DP: Reed Smoot
Ed: John Wright
Mus: Jay Ferguson
 
Christian Slater (Brian Kelly), Steven Bauer (Al Lucero), Richard Herd (Ed Lawndale), Le Huan (Col. Trac), Min Luong (Tina Trac)
 
Christian Slater plays a skateboarder whose adopted Vietnamese brother is murdered, compelling Slater to track down the killer himself.
This dated film from the 80's had some promise, but doesn't really work under it's premise or plot. It will probably only appeal to those who understand what the title means (skateboard terminology apparently meaning to push the boundaries of your limits).
4/10
 
"The strange case of a 'man' who changed his sex!"
"The strange case of a 'man' who changed his sex!"
GLEN OR GLENDA (aka I CHANGED MY SEX) (15)
D: Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Screen Classics (Edward D. Wood, Jr.)                    
🇺🇸 1953
63 mins
 
Comedy 
 
W: Edward D. Wood, Jr.
DP: William C. Thompson 
Ed: Bud Schelling
Mus: William Lava
 
Edward D. Wood, Jr. (Glen / Glenda), Timothy Farrell (Dr. Alton), Dolores Fuller (Barbara), Bela Lugosi (Scientist)
 
Terrible exploitation piece in which a doctor (Bela Lugosi) spins a series of stories about transvestites & sex change operations. It's one of many films which helped director Edward D. Wood, Jr. receive the moniker "worst director ever". It has to be seen to believe how truly awful it is, but don't watch it! Seriously!
1/10

"A story for everyone who works for a living."
"A story for everyone who works for a living."
GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (15)
D: James Foley
Rank (Jerry Tokofsky & Stanley R. Zupnik)
🇺🇸 1992
100 mins
 
Drama/Mystery
 
W: David Mamet [based on his play]
DP: Juan Ruiz Anchia
Ed: Howard Smith
Mus: James Newton Howard
 
Alan Arkin (George Aaronow), Alec Baldwin (Blake), Ed Harris (Blake Moss), Jack Lemmon (Shelley 'The Machine' Levine), Al Pacino (Ricky Roma), Jonathan Pryce (James Lingt), Kevin Spacey (John Williamson)
 
James Foley's film is virtually a filmed version of a play, armed with a brilliant, profanity-heavy script by David Mamet.
The story shows the events prior and after a break-in at a real estate agency, where leads are thin and salesman are desperate to close sales, made even more challenging by an opening gambit in which smarmily charismatic sales executive Alec Baldwin tells the group that the worst two salesmen of the firm will face the sack.
Although the one-set drama will probably work best on stage, this film provides a great showcase for some fine performances, most notably Alec Baldwin, Jack Lemmon and Al Pacino.
8/10
 
GLITTER (12)
D: Vondie Curtis-Hall
Columbia Tristar/Maroon (Laurence Mark)
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 2001
104 mins

Romance/Musical

W: Kate Lanier 
DP: Geoffrey Simpson
Ed: Jeff Freeman
Mus: Terence Blanchard

Mariah Carey (Billie Frank), Max Beesley (Julian 'Dice' Black), Da Brat (Louise), Terrence Howard (Timothy Walker), Tia Texada (Roxanne)

Uninspired nonsense which provided pop singer Mariah Carey with her film debut, practically playing herself as an up-and-coming pop star.
Carey's acting abilities leave a lot to be desired and the vapid songs which she warbles for the film's soundtrack aren't anything special either.
For Carey fans only, and even they might feel short-changed.
2/10
 
THE GLITTERBALL (PG)
D: Harley Cokliss
Children's Film Foundation (Mark Forstater)                
🇬🇧 1977
56 mins

Science Fiction

W: Howard Thompson, Michael Abrams & Harley Cokliss 
DP: Alan Hall
Ed: Thomas Schwalm & Nick Gaster
Mus: Harry Robinson

Ben Buckton (Max), Keith Jayne (Pete), Ron Pember (George 'Filthy' Potter), Marjorie Yates (Mrs. Fielding), Barry Jackson (Sgt. Fielding)

Decent British children's short film from the late 1970's about two schoolboys who discover a mysterious alien sphere and try to help it get back to its mothership, but the army and a petty crook try to foil their plans.
The plot may sound like a low-budget British version of E.T., but it's really nothing of the sort. It has dated quite badly and will probably be quite hard to find, even in the bargain basements of a local rental store.
6/10

GLORY (15)
D: Edward Zwick
Tristar (Freddie Fields)
🇺🇸 1989
122 mins

War/Historical

W: Kevin Jarre [based on the books "Lay This Laurel" by Lincoln Kirstein, "One Gallant Rush" by Peter Burchard & the letters of Robert Gould Shaw]
DP: Freddie Francis
Ed: Steven Rosenblum
Mus: James Horner
PD: Norman Garwood
Cos: Francine Jamison-Tanchuck

Matthew Broderick (Col. Robert Gould Shaw), Cary Elwes (Cabot Forbes), Denzel Washington (Pvt. Trip), Morgan Freeman (John Rawlins), Jihmi Kennedy (Sharts), Andre Braugher (Searles), John Finn (Sgt. Mulcahy), Donovan Leitch (Morse)

Sanitised schoolbook historical account of the first black regiment and their contribution to the American Civil War efforts under the command of the young, inexperienced Colonel Robert Gould Shaw.         
While it's clear to see that liberties have been taken with fact for dramatic purposes, the film holds interest with it's tense battle scenes and strong performances, especially Denzel Washington as former slave Private Trip.
In fact, all the performances from the black members of the cast are impressively strong, but the white characters (Broderick, Elwes, etc.) are quite poorly written, either as bullying commanding officers or racist thugs, which may have well been as the cloth was cut during the time and accurately portrays civil war politics, but maybe the message would have been stronger had the perspective been shown solely from the black soldiers, all as equals, so not to make any point or reference to race, colour and creed.
Nevertheless, a very good war picture, rather old-fashioned for the late 1980's, but beautifully photographed and meticulously produced.
7/10