Due to a long running illness, I have been forced to take a few weeks off work, resulting in a lot of free time, time which I have put to good use… Well, I think so anyway. So from the 19th October up until today, I have been in need of something to do with my time, a lot of which is in the middle of the night.

Movies anyone?

Using the time to catch up with so many films which have been on my watch list for years, many of them from 1970’s, there are too many to review properly, at least in the immediate term, though many have been and will be in time. In the meantime here is a run down of the past 6 weeks of film viewing, most of which is thanks to Sky Movies…

I have excluded films which I have reviewed before and most of there films I have not seen before. Those marked with (*) I have seen before but not reviewed yet.  (**) denotes that this was the first ever viewing and I have reviewed the film which you can easily find on this site. No * means that I had not seen the film before.

Out of a total of 50 movies watched in this period, there are only three TOP RATED (Chinatown, 1974), (Back To The Future, 1985), (’71, 2014) and one “Stinker” (Lowest Rated) (50 Shades Of Grey, 2015).

The oldest film was Rebel Without A Cause (1955) and the newest is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (3D) (2015)


  1. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2 (3D) 2015 6/10 “Slow pacing, annoying characters and a plodding plot dampen the fire of what began as a great franchise back in 2012.” (**)
  2. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 (3D) 2015 6/10 “Fun Sequel, though Sony’s product placement is very grating” (**)
  3. 50 SHADES OF GREY 2015 1/10 “A truly terrible movie from start to finish, but not ‘so bad, it’s good’ just BAD.” (**)
  4. ’71 2014 10/10 “A truly engrossing thriller, set in the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland one night in 1971”
  5. WHIPLASH 2014 7/10 “An interesting though relatively plot-less movie. Great performances throughout.”
  6. EX_MACHINA 2014 8/10 “Stylish Sci-Fi harking back to the 1970’s but the plot is a little thin and its conclusion somewhat vague.”
  7. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (3D) 2014 2/10 “Maybe if you’re in to Turtles, but not for me”
  8. AMERICAN SNIPER 2014 9/10 “Possibly Clint Eastwood’s best paced film to date” (**)
  9. THE BIRDMAN 2014 8/10 “Whilst a scathing attack on mainstream movies, this film’s pretentiousness is still entertaining in its own right”
  10. PROJECT ALMANAC 2014 6/10 “Intriguing Sci-fi, even if the plot is a little well worn”
  11. THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING 2014 7/10 “Interesting Biopic of Steven Hawking and his ex-wife, Jane. Oscar bate though.”
  12. NOAH (3D) 2013 8/10 “An ambitious retelling of the classic Bible story, edgier and more fantastical. The 3D version was only shown in certain markets, Europe and China I believe. Not shown theatrically in the U.K. or U.S.” (*)
  13. DESPICABLE ME 2 (3D) 2013 5/10 “Lacking the spark of the first much more entertaining movie.”
  14. EMPEROR 2012 5/10 “What should have been an interesting true story about Japan’s surrender at the end of WW2 was mired in melodrama, poor plotting and an absence of facts. A missed opportunity.”
  15. THE SWEENEY 2012 8/10 “As hardcore as it is entertaining.” (**)
  16. SUNSHINE AND ORANGES 2010 7/10 “A revealing true story about the mass deportation of children from the U.K. from the late 1800’s up until the 1970’s, was mired in over-sentimentality. It still highlighted the issues though…” 



  1. THE HEARTBREAK KID 2008 6/10 “An offbeat comedy which certainly pushed the boundaries.”
  2. THE LOVE GURU 2008 5/10 “Technically rubbish but entertaining if you like Mike Meyers that is.” (**)
  3. THE NEW WORLD 2006 7/10 “Terrance Malick’s bleak take on Pocahontas”
  4. MILLION DOLLAR BABY 2003 8/10 “Not quite the film it starts out being”
  5. SPY KIDS 2001 6/10 “Crazy but fun”



  1. ANTZ 1998 7/10 “Early Dreamworks digi-mation with an all star cast and some great visual ideas. The rival to Pixar’s 2nd movie, A Bug’s Life (1998).”
  2. AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY 1997 7/10 “The  weakest of the trilogy but still an entertaining start to the Bond and 60’s spy movie spoofs” (*)
  3. nixonEVENT HORIZON 1997 6/10 Haunted house in space handicapped by hammy performances from an otherwise decent cast.” (*)
  4. SPY HARD 1996 8/10 “Daft but a good 90’s spoof”
  5. THE PEOPLE VS. HARRY FLINT 1996 7/10 “Not as detailed as I would have liked but one of the more entertaining Biopics
  6. NIXON (EXTENDED EDITION) 1995/2008 9/10 “Requires more than one viewing but this is definitely one of Oliver Stone’s best films and one of his most underrated.” (*) (**)
  7. DIANA: HER TRUE STORY (MINI SERIES) 1993 6/10 “Panned as terrible at the time, but besides being a hatchet job on Prince Charles, a lot of this has proven to be true and it is an interesting look at the Royals of that time, if only a loose guide”
  8. THELMA AND LOUISE 1991 6/10 “Entertaining to a degree but it only really picked up pace towards the end and then they drive off a cliff!”
  9. BACK TO THE FUTURE PART III 1990 9/10 “A welcome return to the tone of the original”



  1. BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II 1989 8/10 “This ambitious time travelling sequel becomes a little muddled, losing focus”
  2. STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER 1989 4/10 “The worst Star Trek movie, failing to meet the standards of the franchise and decent films alike.”
  3. CASUALTIES OF WAR 1989 6/10 “An interesting if not one note true story which seems to pause intermittently to preach about horrors of war”
  4. MISSISSIPPI BURNING 1988 8/10 “Gene Hackman leads a solid cast in this “based on a true story” about hate crimes in the deep south in the 1960’s.”
  5. BACK TO THE FUTURE 1985 10/10 “Nothing short of an example of screen-writing brilliance, helping to craft a classic movie”



  1. MARATHON MAN 1976 7/10 “A bleak slice of 1970’s cinema, intelligent and more complex than it may first appear.”
  2. DOG DAY AFTERNOON 1975 7/10 “Interesting, entertaining and pushing the boundaries, Dog Day Afternoon is a true story which was begging to be made”
  3. THE CONVERSATION 1974 8/10 “A slow burn thriller with a brilliant twist, all hinging on the tone of someone’s voice. Brilliant”
  4. MIDNIGHT COWBOY 1974 5/10 “Bleak, grim and confusing. This maybe a brilliant social commentary of 1970’s New York but it isn’t for me”
  5. clockwork_orangeTHREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR 1974 8/10 “A solid conspiracy thriller with a very ‘real’ ending.”
  6. CHINATOWN 1974 10/10 “A complex thriller, the basis for so many more over the years” (**)
  7. BLAZING SADDLES 1974 9/10 “A crackingly well executing comedy from Mel Brooks”
  8. DEATH WISH 1974 5/10 “Better at raising the topic of crime and punishment than it is and executing its own plot. Wooden acting and plotting throughout.” (**)
  9. THE CANDIDATE 1972 8/10 “Before The West Wing, there was The Candidate…”
  10. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE 1971 2/10 “This is either a work of genius as some many believe or an excuse for exploitation. I believe that it is the latter…” (**)
  11. M*A*S*H 1970 8/10 “The basis of the hit TV series and introduces much of the cast, whilst the series would recast others, M*A*S*H is a very innovative movie of its time, suffering now as a result of of comparisons to its more well known offspring.”


  1. THE BEST OF CINERAMA 1963 8/10 “Probably the best introduction to Cinerama as it is consists of clips from all 5 travelogues from its 1952 début to the 1958 “South Seas Adventure”. (This review is of the 2K digital restoration as seen at Widescreen Weekend at Bradford in October 2015) 
  2. HOW THE WEST WAS WON (CINERAMA) 1962 7/10 “The biggest and due to the fact that it is one of only TWO 3-Panel Cinerama movies, the best Cinerama film. A simple episodic story, lacking in depth but still epic and entertaining, this was the culmination of the process and a demonstration as to why it was never going work.” (This is a review of one of the remaining IB Techicolor prints as seen at Widescreen Weekend at Bradford in October 2015)


  1. rebel_without_a_causeEARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS 1956/2007 9/10 “Fast paced, action packed and surprising intelligent sci-fi, or at least it tries to sneak as much of it it as possible, but this looks and sounds great! The colourised version is not bad either…” (**)
  2. REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE 1955 8/10 “Insightful and intelligent examination of teenage angst, at least in a way understandable for a 50’s audience. Also James Dean delivers a fantastic and heart warming performance, balancing cool and rebellious with smart and sensitive..”

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