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(1955) Bette Davis, Richard Todd, Joan Collins, Jay Robinson, Herbert Marshall, Dan O'Herlihy, Robert Douglas. Dir: Henry Koster.
Review No:1009
The Virgin Queen 50 Word Film Review

The ambitious Walter Raleigh manages to curry the favour of Queen Elizabeth. The costumes and colour are ravishing, and Davis’ performance is barnstorming. Not that Todd or Collins aren’t good fun themselves too - this fanciful historical romp hits all the right notes.

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(2014) Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine. Dir: Matthew Vaughn
Review No:1008
Kingsmen the secret service 50 word film review

A tearaway is recruited into a secret spy agency by an agent who knew his father. Generally good fun, but the joke starts to wear thin by the end, when it very much becomes the genre it was initially sending up, and not particularly spectacularly.

DDDd

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Cube 50 Word Film Review

February 22nd 2015 21:21
(1997) Nicole de Boer, Nicky Guadagni, David Hewlett, Andrew Miller, Julian Richings, Wayne Robson, Maurice Dean Wint. Dir: Vincenzo Natali.
Review No:1007
Cube 50 Word Film Review

A group of strangers awake in a strange maze of rooms, many containing lethal traps. It has its good points - some very successful suspense sequences and character arcs you might not have predicted. But the script is a bit weak, and the conspiracy theories/hypotheses thrown around are complete cobblers.

DDDd

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Inherent Vice 50 Film Review

February 17th 2015 21:59
(2014) Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Martin Short. Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson
Inherent Vice 50 Word Film Review

A stoner PI is tasked by an ex-girlfriend to prevent her boyfriend from being committed by his wife. Knowing film noir and the American crime fiction tradition will help in understanding this postmodern pastiche. A witty, surreal and rewarding experience for those who can digest it, but too long.

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A Most Violent Year 50 Word Film Review

February 12th 2015 23:15
(2015) Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, Alessandro Nivola, Albert Brooks. Dir: J. C. Chandor.
Review No:1005
A Most Violent Year 50 Word Film Review

An oil distributer struggles to grow his business without resorting to the criminality of his competitors. Cements Chandor as one America’s best new filmmakers. A tense slow-burn that asks just how we define criminality, and looks forward to the corrupt business empires of the modern world.

DDDDd

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Asphalt 50 Word Review

February 8th 2015 01:06
(1928) Gustav Fröhlich, Else Heller, Albert Steinruck, Betty Amann. Dir: Joe May.
Review No:1003
Asphalt 50 Word Film Review

A policeman is consumed with guilt when an attractive jewel thief seduces him to avoid arrest. The story is paper thin, but the cinematography is exquisite and there are moments of strong drama and eroticism to maintain the interest.

DDDD

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The Big Circus 50 Word Film Review

February 5th 2015 13:16
(1959) Victor Mature, Red Buttons, Rhonda Fleming, Kathryn Grant, Vincent Price, Gilbert Roland. Dir: Joseph M. Newman.
Review No:1002
The Big Circus 50 Word Film Review

A circus owner must tolerate an accountant and a PR woman as his show struggles to break even. A lot’s been spent on the production, it’s just a shame the results aren't more impressive. It’s watchable, but neither the script nor direction raise much higher than average.

DDDd

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American Sniper 50 Word Film Review

February 1st 2015 22:53
(2015) Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Kyle Gallner, Sam Jaeger, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict. Dir: Clint Eastwood.
Review No:1002
American Sniper 50 Word Film Review

Story of Chris Kyle, who during the Iraq war became America’s most lethal sniper. Divisive, depending where your political ideals lie. To Eastwood’s credit, he does provide food for scepticism, questioning military practice and black-and-white thinking. But ultimately he’s for Kyle, and perhaps he could be more balanced.

DDDD

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The Great Gabbo 50 Word Film Review

January 31st 2015 01:12
(1929) Erich von Stroheim, Betty Compson, Donald Douglas. Dir: James Cruze.
Review No:1001
Great Gabbo 50 Word Film Review

An arrogant ventriloquist drives his wife away and starts believing more and more in his puppet. Even for an early sound movie, this is a chore. Stilted dialogue and stiff camera work are bad enough, but story’s so thin - an excuse for lots of tedious music numbers - it’s near unwatchable.

DDd

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(2014) Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee. Dir: Matt Reeves.
Review No:1000
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 50 Word Film Review

Searching for power and resources, human plague survivors must enter the territory of the evolved apes. Superior sequel. Hollywood’s franchise factory would be more bearable if they all had the Apes’ series emotional resonance and skilled, ambitious realisation. This is drama of near Shakespearian proportions and the action utterly thrilling.

DDDDD

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See also: Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.



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