27 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Too dull by half
23 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
JJ Abrahms apparently went to extraordinarily long lengths to keep the plot twists of this film secret. And I did watch it unspoiled. Problem is - every plot twist was the predictable, dull choice.

The main antagonist should have been anyone other than Kahn. There should have been much, much more intelligence on display. The plot was just so pedestrian and derivative.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Star Trek (2009)
Fun romp... just don't analyse
23 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I am a Star Trek fan, a ST:TOS fan. And therefore I was (as many were) sceptical of a reboot of our favourite characters.

But from a character point of view, I think the casting was great, the dialogue fun & witty, I enjoyed the pop-corn ride and wanted more from this crew at the end of the film. In sense, this film was a resounding success, great fun, I've re-watched it a number of times, because I enjoy my time & journey with the characters. It is also surprisingly respectful of TOS.

There are problems - and the biggest is the plot is awful and the motivations are totally unbelievable. There is no just credible way that Spock would have been blamed for failing in a last ditch attempt to save an already doomed planet. The Romulans were never that illogical!

But I still rate it highly because the whole experience is just such fun!
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Doctor Who: Listen (2014)
Season 8, Episode 4
Nearly very good
29 December 2014
Apparently - there is a massive difference between being able to submit an episode or two into another persons show, and having the responsibility of running the whole thing. Steven has actually met and beaten my expectations for orchestrating seasons of Doctor Who - but unsurprisingly this has come at the expense of his own stories lacking the punch (and vivacious originality) they had in the RTD era. Problem 1, they no longer have the contrast to Russell T. Davies. Problem 2, we might suspect that Steven cannot dream up as many superlative ideas per season that a Show Runner requires compared to an occasional contributor.

Listen - however, is almost Steven Moffat at his best. The only bit that doesn't work for me, is the 2-3 minutes of the Doctor's self-indulgent soliloquy at the beginning. It is totally unnecessary, and has some of the most flawed Doctor logic ever put on display - suggesting late night - half-a-bottle of wine- Steven Moffat. Why is hiding not a defence? Why is a Cheetah an anywhere near perfect predator? (it is empirically far from perfect, more often failing to catch its prey) Take this scene out, and you have a slightly under-running episode (perhaps the reason for it's inclusion?) - but it doesn't feel under-running - it feels perfect! It's fabulous and I want more. Thanks Steven. Ignore my criticism, ignore everyone's. Cherry pick the positives - be inspired - write more!! (perhaps stay off the wine too?)
5 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Ideal Summer Event Movie
2 August 2014
Awesome songs from the 70s and 80s?

Five losers who you quickly grow to love?

A gun-toting raccoon and an inarticulate tree who grows on you in may ways?

Join the ride, because with "Charm +42" beaming from all angles, Star Lord (or Peter Quill) is easily the most likable anti-hero since Han Solo, although the fashionable comparison is unfair as there is actually very little in common with that character. Rocket the Raccoon is the real Han Solo in this film and Groot the Tree is his Chewbacca: Rocket just hasn't met his Leia yet...

I have no qualms putting this in the 10 category (the top 10% of movies I have ever seen). There is an emotional journey for all five characters that feels truly earned, and far surpasses any such attempt in previous Marvel films.

It isn't perfect, the music score (beyond the picked songs) is tuneless and so-so (no John William's class here). The enemies are truly cardboard and dull (although there is an excellent pay-off for this). Karen Gillan is the most poorly short-changed by the family-movie rating as her psychopathic character isn't seen killing a single person removing all fear from her implied awesomeness. Glen Close's Nova Prime is flat and John C Reilly's cop's important character arc is seriously underdeveloped. The antagonists or the hero's don't even have the most awesome kill scene, you'll have to whistle for that!

But don't let any of that put you off. The five protagonists are what this film is about, the plot is a distraction, you will just want to spend time with these people: again and again. I love it. I hope you do too.

I want more, and more and more. I want Star Lord and team to meet Loki - there's an antagonist who just might dance back!
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hercules (I) (2014)
Trailer misleads badly- the movie's not bad at all
26 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
OK the trailer said this wasn't the legend we had heard. But the trailer did showcase mythical creatures and implied we would still see "The Son of Zeus"

And here lies the film's problem. And it isn't really the film's problem at all - it is the trailers!

It simply means that the entire audience start watching the film and within 5 minute experience a massive downer on the film as it appears Hercules is a fraud, a common mercenary living off his fake tales.

If the trailer was done properly this would not be a problem, because if you can put the trailer and the marketing out of your mind, what you actually have is a decent popcorn flick that is by far the most compelling telling of Hercules on-screen since the animated Disney tale, and in many respects it surpasses that tale in a much more satisfying manner.

The trailer should NOT have shown any of the mythical elements, which belong to dream sequences and tales within tales, barely 5 minutes of the movies running time.

Forget the trailer, enjoy the movie for what it is. It is not first class, but for Brett Ratner it is surprisingly coherent story-telling, and The Rock and his fellow actors sell the rather predictable twists with surprising humanity. Much worse is offered at the summer box office.
13 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Almost brilliant
2 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
In some ways this is the strongest of the "Blood & Ice-cream" trilogy, but it a serious flaw. The setup - which takes nearly half the film, is just not very funny. It's important, and it does pay-off, but it really lacks pace - 'pace' missing from an Edgar Wright film? Can it be true? Yes it can. The jokes are two sparse in the pre-alien part. And that's nothing to do really with the sci-fi element, and all to do with holding Nick Frost back.

There is a key-point in which the film suddenly comes together, and it is the heart of all three films - it is when Nick Frost's character "Andy Knightley" realises that he has to give in to Simon Pegg's "Gary King" no matter how stupid that decision seems. It coincides with the first proper fight scene, and from that moment on, the film is easily the best of the trilogy. Nick Frost shows how the Hulk should really be played and the force of nature that is unleashed it the real marvel (pun intended).

The epilogue is also slightly unnecessary, but I love the Mad Max (without the cars) vibe it gives off - so I'll forgive it.

Still it's a solid 8/10, because, as with ALL of Edgar Wright's output it has endless details that reward multiple viewings.

If this film demonstrates anything - it is the sheer talent of Nick Frost and how much you don't want to hold that back.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Comfort food
21 September 2013
I can't really fault this movie. I have come back and back to this movie continually since 2003, and I never tire of watching it. It is (for me) the ultimate movie comfort food.

Nothing much happens, and yet so much happens. Ultimately a life-affirming movie that asserts the value of friendship (even if unwanted) trumping all odds.

The only problem I really have is it is difficult to really articulate to friends why they should watch it. Telling the plot is generally a turn off. It's really not about plot, it's about character.

If you can set your expectations away from the sugar-coated Hollywood thorough-fare: there is no action, there is little love, there is little plot: then you have a chance of finding this movie one of the hidden gems of movie-making; and you will miss none of the attributes I listed. And - to be clear - it is about much more than a person of less than average height!
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Ballykissangel (1996–2001)
Addictive comfort entertainment
13 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Great series, certainly for the first three seasons. After that, it loses its way somewhat.

People debate, defend or prevaricate as to whether Father Clifford and Assumpta should have consummated their relationship, but it wouldn't be true to the heart of the series if they did. It is the very point that Peter cannot turn against his beliefs thus providing the seeds for his downfall: a downfall which would have happened in some way regardless of the fate of Assumpta. This is why I think I find the first three seasons so eminently re-watchable - it displays a human struggling for an unattainable ideal - ultimately failing - but the struggle was noble and inspiring. It isn't the failure that is important - it is the struggle - we all struggle.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Side Effects (I) (2013)
In danger of not caring...
18 March 2013
I usually love Steven Soderbergh films. And this one starts off with his usual brilliance and had me hooked for the first half of the film.

The first of the film is well-acted, well-crafted, smart and involving.

Then comes the crunch: without spoiling, the second half of the film is quite different. In a sense the "smart" of the film just becomes an exercise in how "clever" the plot can be at the expense of any emotional truth to the characters. I stopped caring for the ensemble as they started to feel like lifeless pawns following the whims of a "how clever am I?" plot-line. You'll enjoy it if you like a Sunday Afternoon TV Detective movie and like solving the puzzle, but this is not great theatre.

It is better than most films, but only just. Certainly one of Soderbergh's most disappointing. Rooney Mara makes it still watchable - an actress to keep following.
118 out of 161 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Pie in the Sky (1994–1997)
Comfort-Food Detective Drama
16 August 2012
You had me at "Richard Griffiths"... add Maggie Steed and the staple Detective Show format with a food twist, and there is barely an unwatchable episode.

That doesn't mean there aren't a multitude of flaws: the character of Cambridge is both appalling uninspired in creation and woodenly acted; the "Hooperman"-arc opportunity is wasted; staff changes at the restaurant are clumsily handled - not one well-handled exit; and the reason Henry is doing two jobs is inconsistent and illogical.

But we can all turn a blind-eye to these shortcomings, as they are not really important to most episodes which stand on their own merit.

But mostly I watch it because I salivate at Henry's Steak & Kidney Pie... we all have our weaknesses!
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Submarine (2010)
Divine Debut Film - please do not be a one off!
11 June 2012
This is easily the best 'adolescent love/right of passage' film I have ever seen. That includes The Breakfast Club, Gregory's Girl two name two extremely contrasting examples of the genre.

It is also a debut film for the writer/director Richard Ayoade, better known as a Comedian/Actor with a fine knack of brightening up some of the dullest material.

Essentially the film stays tightly and supremely professionally focused on the two central adolescents and their awkward developing relationship. There are no Wes Anderson-style artificial over-indulgences in making characters quirky just for quirkiness' sake. Nor any fat in the story by losing focus from the central characters and their drama. Many great writers/directors don't get this sort of thing right till several films into their career! I don't know why, but the film feels so real, so unpretentious, and yet so thoroughly absorbing. This is a difficult combination to achieve, with many films either veering to over-complicate, or over-engineer the technique of story telling to the point of distraction or implausibility - alternately there are films that feel very grounded and yet are thoroughly dull and tedious to view.

The only real criticism is that the screenplay is rather too TV-like: rather than taking full advantage of the extended story-telling language, the extreme visual/surround sound/large screen world that cinema can afford. That is NOT a budget criticism, and it is low budget, but that is not holding the film back one iota.

But it's a first film! And the pluses of the film, including the brilliant script, acting, and character direction more than make up for any shortfalls.

I can recommend this wholeheartedly.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good, in an eclectic, marmite kind of way...
11 June 2012
With visual references to 1970s BBC comedy - "Dad's Army" (q.v.), quirky use of several of Benjamin Britten's works, heavily stylised dialogue and a strange insistence that every character (however minor) must be eccentric in some way - it is easy to understand why a number of people may find this movie too much, over-directed, too comic-book stilted to take seriously.

In fact, as a pure comedy, I'm not sure I rate it. And as a young children's romance it is nowhere near as polished, powerful or satisfying as Submarine (2010) (q.v.), for instance. In fact that film and its debut writer/director Richard Ayoade simply get elevated in my estimation by the comparison.

But for all its flaws (including relying on a large number of children of variable acting skills, the unnecessarily poorly written Social Worker - wasting Tilda Swinton's talents, and a number of rough edges left on the plot/motivation front), this film exudes a charm through attention to detail, wonderful cinematography, uniform brilliant acting by all the adults, and inspired choices for the two child leads. Whilst it may have too many quirky characters which can be distracting, a good handful of them are so interesting I am happy to overlook the others. This is wonderfully complemented by the musical combination of Benjamin Britten and Alexandre Desplat.

Plus it is excellent to once again be reminded that when presented with a good script and director, Bruce Willis remains one of the USA's most compelling screen talents.

It is probably fair to say that if you don't like any of the rest of Wes Anderson's ouvre, you will probably not like this. But for me, this was like the delight on being delivered the most delightfully inventive fresh fruit salad, full of succulent treats from far away, after been huddled away on a dull 1950's housing estate under grey raining clouds for 3 months on a diet of frozen pizza. The rays of sunshine from that dessert will keep me warm and inspired for many days to come. Enjoy.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Blitz (2011)
Immoral, gritty, strangely compelling
31 May 2011
One of Statham's best. Jason, as usual, plays himself, although this time in perhaps his most realistic settings. No wires, no kung-fu, no sixth sense. Just an unhealthy, alcoholic, total b**stard of a cop.

This film starts out at best amoral, and I can only conclude by the end that it is positively immoral, with many things that are very objectionable. The few characters with hope or any redeeming qualities all get dragged down into the mire, and London has rarely looked so frightening and depressing and worryingly real.

And yet the film is compelling viewing. It won't do well because the action is not the point, and what action there is (and there is plenty) all has a bitter taste rather than the usual cathartic "it's an action flick" joy. Equally, because it is Statham, and the action is so prevalent, it will probably be critically lambasted. But it is really quite a thoughtful film.
65 out of 98 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Flash Gordon (1980)
Inner-child inspiring joy
14 July 2010
I can quite understand the relatively low score this film has on IMDb. From almost every logical and dispassionate level of movie analysis, this film should probably score a "2/10". And yet, in a way that defies analysis, I do not hesitate to give it an 8, and I understand those who unashamedly give it 10/10.

The common media conception seems to be that this movie is a "badly scripted, awfully acted, saved but dated by its sound-track" affair that is only like by "childish" people. "Childish" in this context used absolutely in its derogatory form.

I agree with the analysis except the "Childish" part. Rather it inspires in me a child-like joy, makes me feel like an 8-year old in a very good way. That ability in a film is worth its weight in gold. And I pity the adults around who simply cannot find in themselves a way to relax their critical facilities and just get submerged in the naive and innocent joy of the film. Perhaps this is the sort of adult who sends their children to boarding school?

Of course, every now and again the adult in me wishes that the script had been written by somebody who had actually got through puberty. But then I quickly stop myself: if the script was fixed, what would I quote? This film is packed full of more quotable gems than any other film in history. And I mean that!

"Gordon's alive!?" (bellowed at a decibel level only achievable by Brian Blessed) "Go! Flash! Go" "Flash, Flash I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!" "This Ming is a Psycho!" "No! Not the Bore Worms!" "I'm a New York City girl. It's a little too quiet around here for me." "Klytus! Are your men on the right pills? Maybe you should execute their trainer!"

It just goes on and on. Enjoy.
6 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Bonekickers (2008)
Massively disappointing
30 July 2009
(1) I live in Bath and was thrilled to see a prime BBC drama set in my home city (2) Adrian Lester usually picks excellent parts, anything with him in is usually top-notch (3) This is created by the team that borough us Hustle & Life on Mars - truly superb drama (4) And despite many comments to the contrary, the premise for the season should have legs and could dramatically work

But this show is a complete and utter failure on so many levels we must wonder what everyone involved was thinking! I guess we all have "off" days.

In a sense, it is a series so bad, that it is almost fun to watch how awful it is. As they casually dig up priceless mythical artifacts all within a few miles of the city, usually within a couple minutes of saying "Let's Dig" at the first place they try.

Julie Graham and Hugh Bonneville are horribly miscast into badly conceived characters which will instantly convince you they have no acting talent at all - which isn't quite true - although it is undeniably the effect!

Watch only if you want to enjoy how poor writing and poor acting can actually be quite funny. Probably not best approached sober.
9 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
House: It's a Wonderful Lie (2008)
Season 4, Episode 10
Favourite scene so far
20 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not saying this is the best "House, MD" episode: it isn't. It's a fairly average episode of House: which is still above average TV.

But it does contain my favourite scene: where the daughter tells her mother she is going to die, with House observing. It's House's reaction that sells the moment for me, as he is momentarily moved.

It does seem to be kids who are the one type of patient that ever genuinely surprise/outwit House (see 2.2 Autopsy or even 3.23 The Jerk). Generally speaking I hate kids in TV shows (I did so even as a kid), but "House, MD" usually does kids very well, and the production team cast and direct kids consistently to a high standard.

Liana Liberato's performance here (as the kid) is probably the best performance of the episode.
17 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Can understand many not liking
18 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The Butcher's Wife is a poor film by so many standards it is difficult to list them all. But I like it. I find it immensely re-watchable.

Firstly, I think Demi Moore is horribly miscast. It almost needs an "unknown" to take this lead role, and also someone who can convey vulnerability and innocence - which frankly isn't Demi in this role.

Secondly, I am also unsure of how effective Jeff Daniels is in his role. But the script doesn't help.

However I love all the secondary characters - particularly the Stella/Leo story and the Grace/Robyn story. And I can forgive the very average Directing, below par cinematography, set design, script editing, score - everything. Basically feels like a TV movie.

There is just something in the back of my mind saying if only they gave it a good script-editor, decent director and cast, then everyone else would understand why I like it. Silly, huh?
1 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Brilliant subject, mediocre execution
6 February 2005
Being a Schubertian myself (that is an avid and devoted fan of the music of Franz Schubert), I was naturally immensely happy at the prospect of a film about him with a quality cast including Freddie Jones, Jason Flemyng and Emelia Fox.

However upon viewing I was seriously disappointed in a number of ways:

1) It was only an hour long, and there is little you can do in an hour that does any justice to Schubert

2) The lead role (Simon Russell Beale) looked far too old and too fat to play Schubert (who died before his 32nd birthday). And although friends did describe him as 'round-of-face' there is no evidence he was anywhere near as overweight as this

3) Of course I was expecting large amounts of fiction and conjecture, but instead it distorted the factual events of his life in terms of time-span and ordering; i.e., when he contracted the illness, when he met the Esterhazys, when any of the music was written and so on

4) There are so many relationships to explore (plenty for good television). If he was gay, what about Mayrofer? What about Anselm and Josef Huttenbrenner? Did he visit boy prostitutes (peacocks?) like Oscar Wilde?

5) The poetry/inspiration? Hardly touched

6) Events happening around him (in Music and life?) Hardly touched

It is not awful, but it is neither good drama or good history: and it needed to be one of the two!

All in all, very disappointing. I hope we don't have to wait another 50 years (it was made on the 200th anniversary of his birth) before another better effort is made.

If you're not a fan of Schubert, I wouldn't even mention its existence.
24 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not Only But Always (2004 TV Movie)
Strangely moving
31 December 2004
This superbly acted and directed 'biopic' was riveting viewing for any Peter Cook/Dudley Moore fans. Rhys Ifans was particularly convincing as Peter Cook.

The emphasis is (however) firmly on Peter Cook, even though it is primarily about Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's relationship. The lack of focus on Dudley Moore, is my only serious criticism of the piece. You only really experience Dudley through Peter Cook, yet the film is set up to imply that it is balanced between the both of them.

I have know idea how true it is, but like all the best biopics, it is utterly convincing and compelling viewing. Arguably Peter Cook invented 'alternative comedy' and this film supports this view, and all his personality flaws as well as his genius.

I would liked to know better how Dudley and Peter met, and how Dudley entered the 'business', this is very glossed over; in fact the film doesn't really go into Dudley's equally long list of flaws, which would have been fun, instead the film gives us a strange mixture of 'noble Dudley' mixed with extremely 'shallow Dudley'. However, (as a Peter Cook fan) I was still very satisfied with the result.

This film contains extreme language used in quite nasty ways, in quite large quantities. I have no problem with this, but if you do, you won't like it!
11 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
22 May 2004
I know that some of the series premises were rather predictable, but I still found this surprisingly enjoyable, well scripted, well acted, and I would love to see it again.

Jack is a 'fish out of water' ex-pat who has been a cop in Australia, who now finds himself inheriting his fathers barony, and potentially a share of his company. This is the dull stereotypical part that probably put many critics against it.

What is for it, is Dulice Liecier, David Bamber and Dermot Crowley who provide an interesting set of sparring partners for a private detective series. I liked the plots, and the guitar-based theme tune.

Give me a DVD (or at least some cable/satellite repeats!).
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Life Without George (1987–1989)
Likeable, but average
18 February 2004
I remember this series well, but suspect it hasn't aged well. Indeed it was never shown at prime time when it was premiered. It's your basic will they/won't they get together with Jenny constantly comparing everyone to a long departed (and never seen) boyfriend 'George', and Larry doing everything he can, in a very shy and unconfident way, to persuade Jenny to take a serious interest in him.

Jenny is played by the always watchable Carol Royale, and Larry is played by the equally watchable Simon Cadell who is doing what he did so well, which is playing likeable, intelligent, yet vaguely incompetent, shy, unconfident fool. Indeed, apart from the looks, he coined this act well before Hugh Grant, and it is a great pity he died so young.

Other than that the other main characters are very forgettable (except perhaps Micheal Thomas who played Ben Morris). It wasn't laugh-out-loud funny, and each episode by itself doesn't stand-up too well, but as a complete series I found it quite likeable at the time. It is very inoffensive, too formulaic and not black enough for my tastes these days.

7 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Still underrated
14 February 2004
I love 'the Holy Grail' but it is still a very uneven film, which feels more like a set of good comedic sketches rather than a film.

But Monty Python's ultimate success in the film genre is (in my opinion!) the Life of Brian. It is easily the most satisfying film experience, a fantastic story, laughs all the way, but with a healthy dose of pathos and cutting observation that speaks as much to our weaknesses to-day as to the constant 'civilised' absurdities that repeat themselves throughout history.

So I was surprised to see that The Holy Grail is much more highly rated internationally than Life of Brian: I assume this owes to its popularity in the States. It is also fair to say that I am surprised that either film is rated at all outside of Britain, because comedy rarely travels well, and this is particularly off-beat, surreal juxtaposition of outrageousness with repression. It is also Graham Chapman's finest hour, and the fact that this was one of the few times when he was entirely sober (totally the opposite of the Holy Grail) shines through in a consistent and moving performance that elevates the movie beyond 'just for laughs'.

It is often mistaken for having a dig at Christianity; however it (whether intentionally or not) lampoons fanaticism, faith, organisations, fate and historical accuracy. I suppose if I was looking for a reason for it to 'offend' it would be that it implies that people needed a Jesus figure, and whether one existed or not, they were going to have one (even if it was Brian); but I am also certain that that was not the intentional message of the movie. I wonder whether it doesn't click with people who are keen on 'religious' TV channels, or the preacher culture? I certainly want to know others opinions.

Most importantly, however, is to not take this movie seriously, it is in the end a very funny comedy that can touch you, has loads of applicability (not allegory!), and improves with repeated viewings.
0 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Goonies (1985)
Uneven movie
13 February 2004
I remember watching this as a kid, and being generally disappointed. I was just getting to the age when I had twigged that certain actors, or directors might mean a movie would be better than another. And one of the names I had grasped was Steven Speilberg. The fact Richard Donner (I also like) actually directed it passed me by at the time, but I think I can put the finger on my disappointment:

1. Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark had already fundamentally upped my expectation of what movies could be. 2. Speilberg's Close Encounters, Raiders and ET had all been fantastic 3. I had heard of Gremlims and Jaws but was too young to see them (I know Spielberg didn't direct Gremlins); but heard they were also good (I have a different opinion of Gremlins now...) 4. I think I saw Back to the Future just before I saw Goonies, and I really liked that film - and credited it to Speilberg (again he didn't direct though!) 5. I hadn't heard of 1941... ;-)

I was expecting either Fantasy or Sci-Fi, but what I got was a bunch of cardboard cut-out kids going on what appeared to me (as a child) a rather childish adventure (the fantastical element was fairly minimal). I did like Mikey, I didn't like Mouth (is Corey Feldmans top lip paralysed? it gets on my nerves for no good reason...), I did like Data (hey! I was a kid!), but didn't like Chunk (too stereotypical even for a kid): result, mixed.

Did I like it? Yes, it had lots of good moments, but overall I felt disappointed that there wasn't more to it.

Last time I saw it I was about 15 (on video), so my views may be much better now - especially in light of it's cult following, and a number of rave reviews on this board. I am curious to see Sean Astin again (now he is even more famous); but I suspect that it will still be rather average.
1 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Very Peculiar Practice (1986–1988)
"They don't make them like this anymore..."
2 February 2004
Firstly, this series is not to everyone's taste. I also wouldn't be at all surprised if it didn't travel too well.

Secondly, it is a 'high comedy', no laughter track, 60 minutes (without adverts) episodes, deliberately slow plot, complex dialogue scenes.

However, now the first series is available on DVD, many can now found out what an absolutely fantastic series this was.

It is based on a 'new' English University Campus, the type built in the 1950's and 60's which display concrete cancer out of every nook and cranny. It has a medical practice to serve students and staff, and every one is slightly mad and eccentric except for the star, Stephen 'Touch Taboo' Daker, his open relationship partner Lyn Turtle, and his roommate (Chen).

Do you like 'The Office'? Well, it is often cited that the prototype for David Brent was Basic Fawlty; but just watch this, and you will know it is Dr Bob Buzzard, what a fantastic creation!

Why is it good?

The acting, the scripts and the direction (even the set design) is fantastic; multiple viewings will be rewarded. Be prepared for a black-edged, intelligent, highly satirical look at University life, complete with a couple of nuns. Andrew (let's do another adaptation) Davies has never really topped this.

I don't think they dare to make slow moving, intelligent, character-based comedy dramas anymore - this is a big pity.

I am curious to know how other people view this, I wouldn't be surprised if there were many who didn't like it. But if you watch this, because of this, or other reviews, and you like it, you will be forever grateful!
23 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Extreme disappointment
22 January 2004
First of all, let me make clear that Highlander is one of my all time favourite movies. It had a slightly naff ending, and didn't require a sequel, but given they were going to make a sequel it didn't mean that the sequel would necessarily suck. But suck it did, and BIG TIME.

Let me get a few things straight:

1. It was bad for being set in a thoroughly depressing future

2. It was bad seriously reducing time-flipping editing which was such an attraction on the first movie

3. It was bad for resurrecting Sean Connery (mistake 1), and then killing him off again (why bother!)

4. It was bad for not having Queen as a soundtrack - mind you they made the right decision to stay away!

5. It was bad for callously dealing with Connors relationship with Brenda (not that the first film was brilliant here either)

But these above reasons, and more, are not the reasons I hate this movie: which I do. The reason is simple, and indeed a mistake made by a certain Mr Lucas:

They tried to remove the mystery and explain it all as the most inexplicable alien punishment ever invented!

Here was I enjoying Highlander, loved the mystery that every now again a mother might give birth to a son who was destined for immortality. That was a beautiful premise, not unlike a mother might give birth to a child who was strong in the Force.

But just like a Metachlorian(sp?) count, the mystery was blown away with several rocket launchers, illusions shattered with baseball bats, and dreams dried up with a hair dryer.

Oh what a waste. If you saw Highlander - and like it, and have not yet made the mistake of seeing Highlander II, and this article puts you off seeing it, then my job is WELL DONE.

To those who like it, I only wonder whether you also liked Mr Lucas explaining away The Force as a predictable device that can be utilised with the correct injection of a few Metachlorians (sp?), assuming a Psychologist can persuade them to cooperate! I am sure there are a few web-sites available where you can purchase them!
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed