I rated Unlocked 5/10

 <a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1734493″>http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1734493</a&gt;

5/10 some good bits but let down too often to really work.

Noomi Rapace, John malkovich, Toni Collette, michael Douglas, and er yeah Orlando Bloom. How could it fail to be compelling? Well, there’s the lame opening dialog. The linear plot. Oh, and the entirely predictable betrayal. But put those aside and ignore the ‘tie it up right at the end’ wrapper and this is worth watching.

The setting is mostly meant to be grimy, gritty london. This works well.

The not quite as you expect ‘terrorists’ have more depth and interest than typical Hollywood 2D non-characters.

Overall though it’s OK but its weaknesses make it less than convincing and rather ‘made for TV’.

I rated Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 9/10

<a href=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3896198″>http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3896198</a&gt;

9/10 just go see it

The family verdict was ‘better even than the first one’.

The opening scene is a cute and refreshing take on mega monster space battles. The focus on baby groot and mr blue sky creates a great counterpoint to the monstrous battle in the background.

The story is almost a Star Trek one of discovery. Sure, there are some long and weak bits here and there. And it gets slightly overwrought with gomora and her sister. Nonetheless, the less than reverent dialog and character interplay makes up for that. And some of the almost ridiculous events and characters make it rock along.

I saw it in 3D. It took nothing away from this entertaining and at times hilarious marvel event.

I rated Their Finest (2016) 8/10 #IMDb


From the trailer I’d expected this to be typical twee British retrospective comedy.

Sure, it has some of those elements. What makes it so good is its tragedy. It’s realism. And the authenticity of its characters’ journeys through life and death.

Gemma Arterton is brilliant in her portrayal of her character’s development and realisation of her responsibilities and needs.

The real/unreal contrasts of the authentic real world, the real world of propaganda films, and the unreal world of the movies are woven together splendidly. The on-location scenes really get this across as Catrin tries to return to London and meets a harsh reality.

There is British comedy though. The interplay between bill nighy and his agents is so rich in its understatement. And the almost recursive referential nature of the ministry comments on the in-the-film filming needing more ‘oomph’ is hilarious.

This is a surprisingly rich, amusing, tragic, and fulfilling movie. It could have been edited more tightly but it is well worth watching. Go see it if you can get to a cinema.

I rated Fast & Furious 8 (2017) 6/10 #IMDb


You know what to expect. F&F8 provides it. Fast cars. Shaky butts. ‘Family’. Mild mawkishness. Etc.

Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham do a very good job in the setting. Statham really does well.

There are a bunch of predictable one-liners, some peril, lots of guns and explosions, and it all goes together to pass the time surprisingly quickly.

Not bad. And probably tough to avoid at the multiplex. If it does pass you by, just watch one of the other ones on streaming and bump up the sound. Fun.

I rated The Handmaiden (2016) 8/10 #IMDb


I think Its erotica had a small Manchester audience a little squirmy at times but its acting, direction, and storytelling made it well worth watching.

I only found out afterwards that this is an adaptation of ‘finger smith’.

With a plot that makes the most twisty-turny Hollywood movie look like linear perfection, this slick Korean-Japanese movie tells a good story with exquisite and uncomfortable brilliance.

Strange erotic book readings. Difficult relationships. Plots and counter plots. Reckless behaviour. And lust and love.

With what the BBFC call ‘strong sex’, together with what I’d call ‘squirmy violence’ in the midst of a good story well-told this is a movie you need to see.

I rated Beauty and the Beast (2017) 4/10 #IMDb


Despite its nice blend of CGI and real scenes this is a long and unrewarding movie. Typical ‘musical’ songs jammed on to a good story make it easy to lose attention. Add a degree of overstated acting from some cast members more suited to amateur pantomime than Disney spectacular and it all gets a bit much.

Emma Watson does the best job possible in the circumstances. There are a few witty lines and some scary forest and wolf scenes. But being mediocre and long this is a test to watch.

I rated Raw (2016) 7/10 #IMDb


Wow! A challenging movie with some shocking scenes and ideas that will make it unsuitable for some.

Opening with a motor vehicle incident as a primer and then moving on to our protagonist this is not Hollywood.

Justine leaves her coddled home to go to veterinary school. An odd ‘lord of the flies’ sort of place if the induction rituals for freshers are a guide.

There are the usual fresher shenanigans: excessive drinking, drugs, sex, loud music, and so on. But here there are rituals of conformity, degradation, and abuse. Maybe it’s institution-specific?

Justine endures some of these before her hunger starts to develop. Any more and I’ll start spoiling it for you.

If you don’t like retching, vomiting, blood, and depravity then avoid this movie. One brilliant scene involves Justine puking and retching as she brings up several feet of hair into the toilet bowl. 🤢 the sound track is entirely in keeping with the cinematography.

It’s slow at times, but as a tale of non-conformity, distinctiveness, and becoming yourself this is a remarkable feature.