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We seem to be spoilt for good films at the moment and today was no different. I have just seen Dallas Buyers Club, the David and Goliath story of one man's battle to get appropriate medical care for the early victims of HIV. This is a story that is worth telling and they told it very well.

Much has been made of the huge weight loss from both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto which is impressive but not as impressive as the performances they put in. In fact all the performances are faultless but in the last year Matthew McConaughey has shown indisputably that he is one of the best actors of his generation. 

The camera work is generally great but the rodeo scenes were incredibly well shot and the metaphor of the bull ride is such a great statement on which to end the film.

This is an excellent story well told and beautifully filmed. If there is any justice then this film will raise the name of Ron Woodruff to the same heights as that of Karen Silkwood and Erin Brockovich.




 
 
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Drug fuelled, high octane debauchery from the start. It may well be 3 hours long but it’s such a fun ride it really doesn’t feel like it. Leonardo DiCaprio is brilliant as Jordan Belfort and he is ably supported by Jonah Hill in what must be his best performance to date.

The writing is excellent and some of the dialogue reminded me of Quentin Tarantino at his best. Those nonsensical, drug filled conversations were very reminiscent of the tipping scene in Reservoir Dogs. The uncontrollable hysterics of the newly rich, quaalude fuelled brokers was so well acted as to make me suspect that some of the actors may have done a fair bit of research.

The scene in which Belfort takes too many out of date ‘ludes and loses all control of his body in an attempt to drive home was a highlight of the film for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film from start to finish


 
 
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12 Years A Slave is nominated for all the awards and talked about with huge praise. Well sorry, but having just seen it, I have to disagree. It's 2hrs 13mins of hardship.

We have seen powerful films in the past that have dealt with injustice and suffering, films like Schindler's List, The Color Purple, The Killing Fields etc., but all these have managed to get across the horror and suffering whilst keeping me engaged. Unfortunately, 12 Years was just suffering.

I felt the film really dragged. Much has been written about how Steve McQueen is very brave to hold shots for a long time. The film is littered with shots that linger for an age while little or nothing happens and I say that if you notice that a shot is long then it's too long and doesn't work. Surely if this was a good thing you wouldn't notice it. I noticed it, and noticed it and noticed it.

I was so pleased when Brad Pitt showed up, not just because he is always good to watch but his role is that of a saviour and believe me, at that point the film needed a saviour. He has a line that sums up the film "Yours is an amazing story but not one point of it is good".

The final scene really killed it for me. This man has been away 12 years and when he meets his family does he run crying into their arms? No. Does he whoop, laugh and shout with joy? No. He sadly stands and meekly asks their forgiveness for his shabby appearance. Arghhhhh!

I cry at movies. I am an embarrassment as I cry that easily. Guess what? Not a tear. For a movie that deals with the horror of slavery that's a terrible thing.

 
 
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Just seen The Railway Man starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. It's a very powerful film based on the true story of a man broken by torture in WWII.

Brilliantly filmed and directed. The scenes where they are building the railway look horrendously realistic. The scenes of brutality made me hold my breath.

The whole cast is excellent (although Stellan Skarsgård has to work very hard to come over as English). I always find Nicole Kidman watchable and she is spot on here. (How can she still look so good in a knitted cardigan and beige skirt?) Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine both play Eric Lomax at different stages in his life and it's very easy to believe in them as the same person.

Colin Firth gives his best performance ever.

This is a great film. I can only assume that the book on which it is based is equally brilliant. The ultimate conclusion, whether expected or not, is wonderfully realised.

It doesn't take a lot to make me cry and this had me sobbing.


 
 
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American Hustle is a great film.

The 70s setting is scary, especially for the men's fashion. The opening scene with Christian Bale organising his hair is just wonderful and the film continues in this odd way of being a great drama but also hugely funny at the same time.

The story of the con twists and grows and twists again. Great writing and faultless acting make this an engrossing couple of hours. Jennifer Lawrence is superb and Amy Adams is simply beautiful.


 




 
 
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You should never go to the cinema because you feel duty bound to see something rather than because you are really excited but that's how I felt about this one. I knew I was going to see a middle section of a story and following from the first Part of The Hobbit I knew it would be visually interesting but probably arse-achingly long.

I was right about the length but the visual appeal is waning. I really liked LOTR and the visuals were stunning but we are used to that style now so the other elements of the film have to be much stronger. With this one they really stretched the story. I didn't appreciate the changes that meant that there were orcs everywhere along the journey. This simply lead to overlong, over-choreographed fight scenes where I felt I was watching a computer game.

The huge scenes in the mountain with dragon fire and falling buildings became tedious. Dwarfs were being thrown all over the place and not one was even slightly injured. Not even dwarfs would believe that covering a fire breathing dragon in molten gold would be of any use. The whole piece about molding a giant dwarvish statue was just silly.

Yes I will slavishly be back for part 3 because these movies need to be seen on the big screen but again it will be a sense of duty (with a huge dollop of hopefulness) not pure desire that drives me to buy a ticket.



 
 
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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was an absolute delight. I worried that having seen the trailer (massively overlong trailer) I would have seen pretty much the whole film. I was pleasantly wrong.

The film is very warm and funny. I am not a big Ben Stiller fan but his portrayal was very contained and not his normal over the top characterisations. Kirsten Wiig is as good as ever.

It's the overall composition that steals the show though. From the manic superhero like special effects scenes to the sumptuous vistas the movie is a visual treat.

Even the opening titles have a touch of magic about them.Ben Stiller's directing is great and whoever put the soundtrack together was spot on.

Absolutely wonderful.

 
 
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I loved the first one. Who didn't?

So I was really looking forward to Anchorman 2. It was good but I didn't laugh as much as I had hoped to and I am not sure why. Some of the jokes just didn't hit their mark and it has to be said that the film was overlong.

The comedy seemed to lull and the film started to drag when Ron lost his sight although the huge fight scene with its great cameos really lifted it again.The best bits of the film certainly went to Steve Carell in his role as Brick. Hilarious.

Overall it was a bit of a let down




 
 
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Although I really like Harry Hill I wasn't exactly excited at the prospect of a Harry Hill film. I went to see it at the cinema because my son was lucky enough to work in the art department on this film. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be better than I expected.The story was potty but this is Harry Hill and if you don't expect stupidity then you shouldn't have chosen to watch it. Johnny Vegas does a great job of voicing Abu the hamster and Julie Walters is very funny as Nan. The whole supporting cast was very good.I thought the jokes were great. Quite often they were terrible jokes but they still made me laugh. Again, if you don't like silly jokes then you really shouldn't be watching a Harry Hill movie.The look of the film was incredible. They caught a real 70s vibe with really vibrant colours. The puppets were great and the costumes of the shell people were really well done.I really liked it. If you like the Harry Hill, The Mighty Boosh and daft kids TV shows like Rent-a-Ghost then you'll like it too.


 
 
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Just been to see Saving Mr. Banks. Great movie. The script is very well crafted. Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks are superb as expected, really fantastic performances, but the supporting cast is faultless (especially Paul Giamatti who turns in the sweetest performance). Even Colin Farrell steps up his game and turns down his accent.
A lovely, heart warming film which has me wanting to go to Disney again, but Disney 1961 which they create so well in the film.

Lovely