Movie Review: MR.HOLMES – Ian McKellen gives a typically great performance, but this Sherlock Holmes movie might not be what you expect.

Mr. Holmes is the adaptation of the novel A Slight Trick Of The Mind, by Mitch Cullin, a different take on the oft-portrayed Sherlock Holmes.  In a way it’s as different a take as Guy Ritchie’s overplotted action/adventure movies that starred Robert Downey Jr, with the major difference being that Bill Condon’s movie is much more enjoyable.  The trouble is, if you go in looking for a “typical” Sherlock Holmes movie, you might feel hard done by.

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Movie Review: COLD MOON – cheaply made and mostly forgettable adaptation of a classic 80s horror novel

This is a movie I would have reviewed anyway, even if I hadn’t received a screener copy to review by the company promoting the movie, or the invitation to attend the LA premier at the Ahrya Fine Arts Center on Wilshire Blvd, and that’s because I remembered reading and enjoying the novel upon which its based – Cold Moon Over Babylon, by the late Michael McDowell, which is one of the books Stephen King recommends at the end of his non-fiction work Danse Macabre.  High praise, and I recall it being worthy.  The question on my mind was, would the movie adaptation be any good?

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Movie Review: KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE – Impressive debut from Taron Egerton, and Matthew Vaughn’s smart direction just about saves this James Bond parody from being a total disaster.

***Caveat: This review was written as a mere Facebook post upon viewing the movie upon its original US release, in February 2015, but I thought I’d post it here to give some kind of reference to the sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle.***

The clumsily-titled Kingsman: The Secret Service is Matthew Vaughn’s latest adaptation of a Mark Millar comic book, in this case, The Secret Service, by Mark, and legendary Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons. I never finished the actual mini series, but I read enough of it to know that this adaptation is more Wanted than Kick Ass, in terms of how faithful it cleaves to the source material.

Continue reading “Movie Review: KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE – Impressive debut from Taron Egerton, and Matthew Vaughn’s smart direction just about saves this James Bond parody from being a total disaster.”

Movie Review: IT – Very enjoyable adaptation of Stephen King’s iconic novel, but Super 8 and Stranger Things have stolen its mojo.

I read Stephen King’s seminal novel It as soon as the paperback dropped in Scotland, which would be around 1987.  I’d been on a voracious King kick ever since discovering his work in 1980, following the BBC broadcast of the Salem’s Lot miniseries.  King’s work was the perfect reading material for my teenage years, and with the exception of The Dark Tower series (which I’ve still never read), I consumed his books like fire engulfs dry wood.  I have a strong memory of being excited when I read of the then-upcoming novel.  Even the title – It – was evocative to me.  I was already well versed in the works of HP Lovecraft by the time I was 16, and the title, this one, simple little word, was something that Lovecraft would have used.  Oddly enough, as excited as I was to finally read the book, very few memories of actually reading it have remained (and I haven’t read it since), so my review of It, the 2017 movie, is probably going to sound ignorant to some of you.  🙂

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Movie Review: GHOST IN THE SHELL – completely uninteresting adaptation of the famous manga franchise, that plays like bad 80s sci fi.

Ghost In The Shell, Scarlett Johansson’s most recent action movie, can barely be discussed without mentioning the newish cinematic pejorative “whitewashing” as an integral part of any criticism.  I’m not going to put any kind of sociopolitical slant on this review, but if you haven’t heard the term, it refers to white actors being cast in roles that certain groups believe should go to ethnic actors.  It’s not an entirely unfounded criticism (Matt Damon’s recent monster movie The Great Wall was called out for it), and certain movies kinda invite it openly.  Case in point, is Ghost In The Shell, based on the famous manga franchise.  It’s a particularly egregious example – not only does Scarlett Johannson play a character that pretty much should have been played by an Asian actress, but almost all of the main roles are played by white actors.  And they didn’t even bother to switch the action to the west either!

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Movie Review: A STREET CAT NAMED BOB – this true story of a recovering addict and his cat is sweet, surprisingly deep, and genuinely uplifting

In my review of Einstein’s God Model, I described myself as an agnostic skeptic – I’ll add cynic to the list. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say.  When people do bad things, my philosophy is that the underlying nature of the human race is deceitful, false, and hurtful, and I rarely get surprised.  Conversely, when people do good things, I tend to want to know what their true motivations are.  Like Holden Caulfield, I don’t put a lot of faith in most people.  Having said that, I try to keep my cycnism in check – I like people, and I also believe that cynicism is a personal philosophy that, like others, could – and should – be self-challenged.  This is how I choose to start a review of heartwarming British drama A Street Cat Named Bob?

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Movie Review: A MONSTER CALLS – beautiful, poignant modern fable that left me in tears. A must-see.

Image result for a monster calls poster

I hadn’t even heard of A Monster Calls until a few weeks ago, and then only had some interest because it starred Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), whom I like.  Had no idea what the story was about (it’s adapted by Patrick Ness, from his novel of the same name), or if it was live action or animated.  The movie poster is vague to say the least, as you can see.  I put it on the back burner.  Last week I read a short blurb that gave off an Iron Giant kind of vibe, and that kind of tied into the poster.  Not like I had a ton of enthusiasm, but whatever was there ebbed away a little.  Listen, not like I don’t love The Iron Giant like everyone else, but I don’t need to see a knock off.  Movie came, movies went, and last night while home alone I decided to watch a double bill.  The second movie was The Eyes Of My Mother, first was A Monster Calls.  And frankly, it blew me away.

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