Review “Alien: Covenant” (2017)

When I saw the previous Alien film, “Prometheus” I did not like it, the main reason being that characters who were allegedly professionals acted in very unprofessional ways to advance the plot. It was poor writing, basically. But surely, I said to myself, they wouldn’t make that mistake twice, would they? Yeah, they would. (Warning:…

Review “Night of the Eagle” (1962)

“Night of the Eagle” is based on a story by Fritz Leiber, and the screenplay was written by Fritz Leiber, Richard Matheson and two others. It concerns a university professor who is a sceptic, dismissing all superstition and insisting everything can be explained rationally. When he discovers his wife has been practising magic for years,…

Review “Harakiri” (1962)

This is a Japanese samurai film set in the seventeenth century, where the Shogunate’s breaking up of the various clans forced thousands of samurai out of work. One of these samurai goes to a clan’s house to request their premises to commit hara-kiri, a ritual suicide considered honourable by the samurai when they felt they…

Review “Howl’s Moving Castle” (2004)

Directed by the brilliant Hayao Miyazaki, “Howl’s Moving Castle” is an animated fantasy about a young woman who is cursed by a witch, and becomes embroiled with a wizard who lives in a house on legs. The story is set in an imaginary world with steampunk-style technology, and also magic, demons, and so on. Miyazaki…

Review “Christopher Robin” (2018)

When I was a kid, we read books by the author AA Milne, “Winnie the Pooh”, “The house at Pooh Corner”, “When we were very young” and “Now we are six”. Disney currently owns the rights to Winnie the Pooh and friends, so many youngsters these days might be more familiar with the characters via…

Review “Macbeth” (2015)

This adaptation of Shakespeare’s play stars Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as Macbeth and his wife, as well as a solid supporting cast. That being said, I have very mixed feelings about this adaptation. Visually, the film is very striking. Filmed on location in Skye, the wild and bleak Scottish scenery is a perfect fit…

RIP Christopher Plummer (1929-2021)

Yesterday the great actor Christopher Plummer passed away, aged 91. His career spanned many decades, and his brilliance on screen has given joy to many. I won’t pretend I’ve seen anywhere near all of his work, but in tribute I will mention a few that I have particularly enjoyed. Tonight I watched “Inside Man” (2006).…

Review “Return of the King” (2003)

The final installment in “The Lord of the Rings” brought this magnificent film event to an epic and very exciting finish. There were some brilliant action sequences, spectacular performances and thrilling effects. Again, it also contained departures from the book, some of which worked well and others that were not particularly satisfying.   At Isengard,…

Review “The Two Towers” (2002)

Continuing my review of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “The Two Towers” continues this fantastic story, introducing new characters and containing some spectacular action sequences. There are more changes to the plot here than in the first film, though again many of them were in order to expedite the action without losing the…