Flash Gordon

BBB (out of 5) The popular serial of the 1930s is turned into a film that features terrific special effects, rich production design and an even more unabashed sense of kitsch than the movies whose footsteps it follows (Superman comes to mind).  Sam J. Jones, his dialogue dubbed due to salary disputes with producer Dino…

Rate this:

The Oxford Murders

B.5 (out of 5) Elijah Wood shows up at Oxford to study mathematics and, almost within minutes of arriving, finds himself embroiled in a web of murders.  While running from victim to victim trying to make the connections that might solve the case, he also sparks up an affair with sexy Leonor Watling and befriends a…

Rate this:

A Month In The Country

BBB.5 (out of 5) This mild British drama features powerful acting and a warm, enveloping storyline as it follows three post-World War I characters and their experiences in a small English village. Colin Firth is an artist who has shown up to restore a five centuries-old mural that has been hidden under layers of white paint…

Rate this:

The Advocate (The Hour Of The Pig)

BBB (out of 5) In the Middle Ages in France, animals were considered as equally subject to the law as humans were, and therefore the crimes they committed were brought to public trials complete with lawyers and a jury. Sounds more like a comedic skit, but this film is actually dead serious in its depiction…

Rate this:

102 Dalmatians

BBBB (out of 5) The smarmy, overlong and annoying 101 Dalmatians directed by Stephen Herek gets a huge lift from a highly superior sequel, this time directed by Tarzan‘s Kevin Lima. More faithful to the original animated version of the 60s than its predecessor, Lima keeps the pace going and keeps the action lively. This…

Rate this:

Richard III (1995)

BB.5 (out of 5) So much effort has been put into the design of this stylish adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most violent plays that the original material is sunken into the background to very bad effect. Set in a magical fantasy version of World War II, the film stars Ian McKellen as a Naziesque Richard…

Rate this:

The Golden Compass

BBB.5 (out of 5) The first book in Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy is an exciting, highly imaginative romp with Dakota Blue Richards giving a wonderful performance in the lead.  She plays the centre of a prophecy in a world parallel to our own, where everything is pretty much the same except for, among a few other minor differences…

Rate this:

The Madness Of King George

BBBB (out of 5) King George III (Nigel Hawthorne) is suffering from an unknown ailment that threatens to render him unfit to sit upon the throne of England. This is a huge problem considering that his ambitious son (Rupert Everett) is looking to overthrow him and may now have the perfect opportunity to do so….

Rate this:

The Witches

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Superb adaptation of the equally delightful novel by Roald Dahl. After having been told by his grandmother (actress and filmmaker Mai Zetterling) all about the existence of witches, a young boy (Jasen Fisher) is totally surprised to stumble upon a witches’ convention at the hotel where the two of them are…

Rate this:

Bright Young Things

BBB (out of 5) Delightful adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies, and a promising directorial debut by actor Stephen Fry. Stephen Campbell Moore is wonderful as a London journalist and impoverished aristocrat who travels the 1930s party circuit with his posh girlfriend (Emily Mortimer), hoping to marry her as soon as he has enough money. The…

Rate this:

Grave Indiscretion (Gentlemen Don’t Eat Poets) (The Grotesque)

B (out of 5) Sting looks a bit embarrassed to be in this terrible thriller-comedy produced by his wife Trudie Styler. Originally titled The Grotesque when it played film festivals (that’s also the name of the original novel), it was changed to Gentlemen Don’t Eat Poets for its theatrical release and then given the name Grave…

Rate this:

My Week With Marilyn

BBB.5 (out of 5) The ancient tradition of coming-of-age stories is once again trotted out as Eddie Redmayne abandons his aristocratic homestead in the country and heads to Pinewood Studios in search of his dream of making it in the movies. Thanks to family connections and his own dogged determination to not be turned away,…

Rate this: