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Top 10 – Unexpectedly great films

10. The Simpsons Movie (2007)
With the show sagging with age, the movie turning out so funny was refreshing. Not as smart as the show’s best, but well worth seeing.

9. The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
The original Rescuers film had some charm, but was mostly forgettable and dull. So the sequel appearing as a fun, exciting family adventure was shocking.

8. Blair Witch Project (1999)

Shot on a budget which Hollywood considers a negative number, by inexperienced teenagers on a handheld camera, but inspired a whole genre of horror films.» >

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Film Review – Escape Plan

Escape Plan can best be described by Schwarzenegger’s approach to life: stupid, but cool. It tells the story of Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone), a hardened dude who breaks out of prisons with the help of his loyal team. Everything goes smoothly, until one day he decides to accept a job out of the ordinary from the CIA. Suddenly he finds himself whisked away to a super secret prison ran by the evil Warden Hobbs (Jim Caviezel) and containing the less evil Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and escape seems impossible for the first time in his life.» >

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Film Review – Captain Phillips

In 2009, Somali pirates boarded an unarmed freighter that was sailing through Somali waters. What followed was a tense stand-off with international ramifications and using the account from Captain Richard Phillips, the captain of the freighter who was taken hostage by the pirates, Paul Greengrass has captured the tension and drama of the events. The film starts off with Phillips driving to the airport with his wife as they discuss their children and the world they’re growing up in.» >

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Film Review – Machete Kills

Machete Kills sees the return of Danny Trejo as Machete Cortez: ex Federale agent, badass revolutionary, ladies’ man and fan of large blades. The original film Machete (2010) began life as a fake trailer for Grindhouse (2007), the collaboration between film-geeks-turned-directors Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. It was an action packed homage to the cheap and cheerful exploitation films of the 1970’s, following Machete’s journey of revenge against corrupt villains played by Steven Seagal and Robert De Niro.» >

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Film Review – Romeo and Juliet

Carlo Carlei is the latest man to tackle one of the world’s most famous love stories. However, unfortunately for Shakespeare (who may or may not have turned in his grave) this particular adaptation of the classics tale lacked spark! Wherefore art emotion? Passion?  Sadly for those of you, who are ‘Classics’ lovers such as myself, prepare to be disappointed and bored throughout, listening to poorly delivered lines from a cast looking as if they have just stepped out of an episode of 90210.» >

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Film Review – Le-Weekend

It would be wrong to call this film a romantic comedy for although parts of it are quite amusing, it is mostly quite uncomfortable viewing, albeit for the right reasons. It follows Nick and Meg Burrows as they ‘celebrate’ their thirtieth wedding anniversary in Paris for a weekend. On arrival, Meg insists that they move to a more upmarket hotel, which is only one subject of irritation between the pair. The situation is complicated further by the appearance of an old college friend of Nick’s, who has just published a new book and invites them to dinner.» >

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TV Programme of the Week – The Wrong Mans

I remember my parents shouting if I wanted to watch this as it was starting and I wasn’t fussed but decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did, as it is a hilarious spoof of the ‘ordinary man turned spy’ plot that featured in films like Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. It is in fact one of the Master of Suspense’s films that this programme takes its name from and adds an ‘s’, with the incorrect grammar highlighting the comic nature of the plot full of espionage, murder and embarrassment.» >

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Film Review – The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate recounts events that everybody in our generation remembers, the Wikileaks scandal and the rise and fall of Julian Assange. Over two hours it shows the fateful meeting of Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his chief ‘friend’ (Daniel Brühl), their rise to notoriety through Wikileaks and their eventual disastrous split.

Serious stuff, and The Fifth Estate treats it accordingly. It’s a very stylised film, building to create an atmosphere of paranoia that is hard to get away from.» >

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