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Mike Wilder brings you movie reviews. Each week a Selection of reviews for new releases and older films plus movie comparisons.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Review of A Lonely Place To Die (2011) by Mike

Title: A Lonely Place To Die

Original UK Release Date: 9th September 2011

Original US Release Date: 9 April 2011

UK Rating: 15

US Rating: NR

Director: Julian Gilbey

Genre: Thriller

Plot: A group of climbers stumble upon a kidnapped girl. The kidnappers pursue them in a deadly game of cat and mouse. The girl’s father has employed a team to recover the girl further complicating things.

Mike's Review

            This was a film that I didn’t know much about prior to watching. It had fairly good reviews so we gave it a go. The cast is pretty much unknown actors with the exception of Melissa George. Although I have no idea why she chose this film as it is not what we are used to seeing her in. This is not to say she is bad, she is very good in this but I was just surprised as I guess I am expecting bigger roles in bigger movies for her. You may also recognise Ed Speleers from the title role in the film Eragon.

            The film starts off well, after a little too brief introduction to the climbers, they set out on a climbing expedition in a remote part of Scotland. Soon they stumble across a young girl locked in an underground wooden box. They free her and the group split up, the fastest two of them head off to find help while the remainder follow behind with the girl. The kidnappers pursue them in an attempt to recover the girl.

            This is a good film, the camera work is used well to show off the locations and emphasise the peril the climbers are in. The characters are believable for the most part. There is one scene where a character sacrifices themselves that for me didn’t make sense. I have a theory but won’t reveal what as I try to avoid spoilers. If you are interested please email me.

            The stand out performance for me was Sean Harris as Mr Kidd (The Kidnapper). His portrayal of the character was chilling and ruthless. You believe that he will do anything to accomplish his goal.

            This is a good film. It is no Hollywood blockbuster but a very well made, well acted British film that doesn’t try to take the story too far and keeps things believable. There are plenty of twists and parts that keep you guessing, but you won’t always be right.

7 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Sean Harris as Mr Kidd (The Kidnapper)


Friday, 27 January 2012

Review of Xmen: First Class (2011) by Mike

Title: X-Men: First Class

Original UK Release Date: 1st June 2011

Original US Release Date: 25th May 2011

UK Rating: 12

US Rating: PG-13

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Genre: Action

Plot: The first mission for the X-Men who team up to prevent World War III

Mike's Review

I am a huge fan of action and comic book movies. The first X-Men films were great, I even liked the third one. I had very high expectations for this one. Fortunately I wasn’t disappointed.

The film is about the first meeting of the mutants and the struggle they face in the world. Sides are chosen and teams are formed. What makes this film work so well is the cast. They portray the characters in the early stages of their lives so well. Charles Xavier/Professor X (James McAvoy) & Eric Lehnsherr/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) are great first as friends and then against each other. But they are not alone. Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) makes a great villan .The rest of the characters are portrayed well and the turmoil each of them face acted out well but the stand out performance for me is Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholm/Mystique. All she wants is to look normal and to be accepted and you see and feel her pain and anguish.

There are a few plot discrepancies if the film is to fit in to the established X-Men of the movies, but most of these can be explained away. However it looks like this could be a complete reboot of the franchise. Either way, the next film should answer this. Hopefully Brian Singer will return to produce it as his versions of the X-Men are far superior to anyone else’s efforts.

I was fortunate to know one of the camera men working on this, Martin Hume. He is a veteran camera operator working on films for many years including Aliens, First Knight, The World is Not Enough & The Bourne Ultimatum. He said it was one of the more challenging films he had worked on, but also one of the most visually amazing. What I found out was many of the scenes that I thought would have been CGI were in fact filmed on location. For instance the beach scene climax was filmed on location and not in a studio or green screen. This for me gave me a new perspective on the film and a new respect for the makers of the film.

If you are a fan of comic movies this is one not to miss.

10 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkholm/Mystique


Saturday, 21 January 2012

Review of The Breakfast Club (1985) By Mike

Title: The Breakfast Club

Original UK Release Date: Unknown

Original US Release Date: 15th February 1985

UK Rating: 15

US Rating: R

Director: John Hughes

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Five high school students, with almost nothing in common, have a Saturday detention. It will change their lives.

Mike's Review

            I decided to review this film mainly as an excuse to see the film again (although it’s only a few months since I last saw it).

            The description of the film sounds awful. Five students get a detention! Seriously what kind of film is that and what strings did the director, producer and writer, the late John Hughes, have to pull the get it made? Most of the cast were relative unknowns, up and coming stars including Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy and Paul Gleason. The film is set almost in one location over the course of one Saturday. It is hardly the formula for a great movie. But for some reason the film turns out to be amazing. It went on to become the 16th highest grossing film of 1985 (the top film that year was Back to the Future). It is a true master class in film making. It shows what you can accomplish with the right script and the actors who can bring the characters to life. The cast is perfect, every one of them brings something great to the film from the teacher in charge of the detention, to the janitor. But for me the stand out performance is from Judd Nelson’s performance as John Bender. At the time Judd Nelson was 25 playing a 17/18 year old, but it took the maturity of age to play such a troubled and messed up character. A character who’s tough exterior hides the anguish of abuse. His is the most interesting journey in the film.

            The performances in it are so good because of the rest of the cast. Each actor feeds off the other actors performances and every one of them is better for it. This is what many films are missing, a great young talented cast putting it all out there. Other films that use this include The Outsiders, Young Guns, Red Dawn and St. Elmo’s Fire (coincidentally all apart from Red Dawn star Emilio Estevez but it does star his brother Charlie Sheen so I guess it must be in their genes!).

            I absolutely love this film. It is in my top movies of all time and I never get bored watching it.

            If you haven’t seen this film please give it a go. It is a true love it or hate it film. A film that can be watched over and over. A timeless classic.

10 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Judd Nelson as John Bender


Review of Gladiator (1992) By Mike

Title: Gladiator (1992)

Original UK Release Date: 26th June 1992

Original US Release Date: 6th March 1992

UK Rating: 15

US Rating: R

Director: Rowdy Herrington

Genre: Action, Sports

Tommy Riley has moved with his dad to Chicago. He tries to keep to himself. However, after a street fight he is noticed and quickly falls into the world of illegal underground boxing - where punches can kill.

Mike's Review

            I remember getting advance tickets to this the year it was released. A friend and I went along to see it not knowing what to expect. We knew absolutely nothing about the film. Sometimes this can be the best way to experience a film and occasionally you discover a cinema gem, like this one.

            The film is about Tommy Riley (James Marshall), a teenager who is forced to move with his father from Bridgeport to a run down, troubled part of Chicago. Once there he discovers that his father is in debt to a loan shark. He is then drawn into a world of underground boxing to pay his father’s debt.

            The boxing scenes are well shot and choreographed, the cast including James Marshall, Cara Buono, Cuba Gooding Jr., Robert Loggia, Ossie Davis, John Heard & Brian Dennehy really make the movie. If it wasn’t for their performances the movie wouldn’t be half the movie it is. Robert Loggia & Brian Dennehy are great if a little over the top, but the over the top performances work in this film. But it is James Marshall as the lead that gives the film the humanity it needs. His portrayal of the troubled teen forced to fight is great. However the standout performance has to go to Cuba Gooding Jr. He stands out in this film as a true rising star. Unfortunately a few years later after he won an Oscar for his performance in Jerry Maguire he seemed to give up on the more challenging roles.

            This film should be more well known, but it seemed to fall under most people’s radar. A shame as it is a very entertaining film. For pure entertainment this is one of the better films released in 1992. If you like boxing films then this one is definitely one for you.

9 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Cuba Gooding Jr. as Abraham Lincoln Haines


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Review of The Expandables (2008) By Mike

Title: The Expendables

Original UK Release Date:

Original US Release Date:

UK Rating:

US Rating:

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Genre: Action

Plot: A group of mercenaries travel to rescue a girl from a corrupt military group

Mike's Review

When I first heard about this film I had really high expectations. Sylvester Stallone writing, directing and starring in an action film. He was trying to bring together some of the greatest stars of action films past and present, it sounded too good to be true. As the months went by I kept hearing rumours as to who was in it. Pretty much every name from action films was mentioned. Then the biggest rumour of them all, it was going to star Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger! Never gonna happen I thought. I was never so glad to be wrong. The scene they appeared in may only be a few minutes long but it was perfect.

I went to see this film the week it came out. The cinema was fairly full, and as the film started I noticed something about the audience, they were loving the movie. As the film continued it started to feel like I was seeing this in my living room with a large group of friends. Everyone was laughing, gasping and really getting into the spirit of the film. This really added something special to the film. I have not experienced this during a normal screening of a film.

The film itself follows a very basic formula, big characters, big explosions, big guns and lots of bad guys dying. But what makes this one stand out from modern action films is it doesn’t try to be anything more. It is a throw back to the great action films from the 80’s and 90’s like Commando, Predator, Die Hard and Rambo: First Blood Part II. Films that are so over the top but so very entertaining.

The cast is an action movie fans wet dream. Action movie legends Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren Gary Daniels and Mickey Rourke star alongside modern day action stars Jason Statham, Jet Li, Steve Austin, Randy Couture and Terry Crews. Add to the cast Eric Roberts, David Zayas and Charisma Carpenter and you have probably the greatest cast assembled since Ocean’s Eleven was remade in 2001. The cast works well. I always believe that if the cast had a good time making a movie then it will show in their performance. They must have had the time of their lives filming this.

A film like this will never get any major awards (it did win awards for the stunt work), but then again you don’t go to see this looking for award winning performances. You go to see this to escape from the reality of life and to just be entertained. I am a major action movie fan and it really doesn’t get any better than this.

10 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Normally this is the point where I would name the person whose performance stood out from the rest of the cast. But with this film I really couldn’t choose just one. So this time I will nominate Sylvester Stallone. Not for his acting but for bringing together an amazing cast and developing the greatest action film. Also for bringing together himself, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, together on screen for the first time.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Review of 2012 (2009) By Mike

Title: 2012

Original UK Release Date: 13th November 2009

Original US Release Date: 13th November 2009

UK Rating: 12

US Rating: PG-13

Director: Roland Emmerich

Genre: Disaster

Plot: When a prediction about the end of the world comes true, the survivors do whatever it takes to survive, no matter what the cost.

Mike's Review

            Roland Emmerich has done it again. He seems to get a kick out of bringing out humanities worst fears and putting them on screen in all its glory. After destroying a large part of the world in Independence Day: ID4, and trashing New York with Godzilla, he decides to go the rest of the way and change the face of the earth forever and in the process kill off most of humanity. What is the enemy this time? Aliens? Nope done that. Monsters? Nope also done that. Bad weather? Once again done that. What is left? I know lets have the sun spit out solar flares that heat up the earth’s core and destabilize the planet! Whatever his problem with humanity is, it translates well on to film. This is an epic disaster movie. No part of the world is safe and there is no magic quick fix here.

            The film itself is simple, massive destruction minimal plot. But in this case it really works. With amazing effects and a great cast that includes John Cusack, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover and the story is played out well and the acting is good. It is not too over the top except the stand out performance from the great Woody Harrelson. He is your go to guy when you are looking for crazy, and once again he pulls off the crazy guy effortlessly.

I really enjoyed this film and I think it has been given an unfairly hard time by critics and movie goers alike. I don’t understand what people expected from this film. It is a disaster film not The Shawshank Redemption! I expected disaster and destruction and it exceeded my expectations. I didn’t expect award winning performances by the actors (many of who are award nominees and winners), and I didn’t expect a plot more complicated than oh shit, we are going to die what can we do? Many viewers and critics must have forgotten the other films by Roland Emmerich when viewing this or they were comparing it to other films that were released at the same time. However I judge a film on its own merit and not comparing it to films that are in a different category. As a disaster movie it doesn’t get much better than this.

9 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Woody Harrelson as Charlie Frost


Sunday, 15 January 2012

Review of Horrible Bosses (2011) By Mike

Title: Horrible Bosses
Original UK Release Date: 22nd July 2011
Original US Release Date: 8th July 2011
UK Rating: 15
US Rating: R
Director: Seth Gordon
Genre: Comedy
Plot: Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness.

Mike's Review
Easily my favourite comedy of 2011, with Crazy, Stupid, Love. coming a close second.
The film is about three guys whose jobs are made hell by their bosses. They decide to kill them in a “Strangers on a train” style, where one kills another’s boss so it can’t be traced back to the employee.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from the cast that includes Kevin Spacey, Jason Bateman, Colin Farrell, Donald Sutherland, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Aniston. Each fine actors but how would they fair in this film? Amazingly is how. Colin Farrell is almost unrecognizable as one of the bosses and Kevin Spacey is great as usual. However the stand out performance of the film is Jennifer Aniston. She plays a dentist, the boss of Dale (Charlie Day) and she is sexually harassing him. She really takes the role and plays it to perfection. Dale is her shy assistant who is engaged to Stacy (Lindsay Sloane). He is faithful to her and resists all advances from his over sexed boss. It is not a role we are used to seeing her play but it is a perfect performance. Another great performance was Jamie Foxx the murder consultant they hire.
Horrible Bosses is a great comedy, almost a perfect comedy. The only flaw for me was it was all tied up a little too neatly. I saw the ending coming before it happened and it would have been nice to have an ending a little more surprising. Having said that I can’t imagine how it could have been ended differently.
The film doesn’t have to resort to crude gags and just lets the script and performances of the cast tell the story. This works so well and full credit to the writers for a great comedy.

9 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Jennifer Anniston as Dr Julia Harris
One of the writers is John Francis Daley who plays Dr Lance Sweets on the hit series Bones.


Review of Starship Troopers (1997) By Mike

Title: Starship Troopers

Original UK Release Date: 2nd January 1998

Original US Release Date:  7th November 1997

UK Rating: R

US Rating: 15

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Horror

Plot: In the future, mankind is at war with an alien race of giant bugs. The fight for survival takes place throughout the galaxy.

Mike's Review

            Starship Troopers is a great Science Fiction movie. It is based on a book by Robert A. Heinlein. In the future, mankind is exploring the universe and encroach upon the territory of alien bugs and war begins. The insects are only responding to a threat of their territory and are trying to fight off the invaders. The clever use of insects as the aliens makes this film stand apart from other space movies.

            The cast is great. It is made up of great actors, many of who at the time were  relatively unknown including Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Jake Busey and Denise Richards, mixed with established stars like Clancy Brown, Neil Patrick Harris and Michael Ironside, taking minor roles. The star of the movie is hard to choose between Dina Meyer, Casper Van Dien (both of who suffered injuries while making this, Casper broke a rib and Dina suffered a concussion) and the bugs! However I am going to have to say the bugs are the stars. The use of real and CGI in this film is great. The bugs are a formidable foe and a very creative one. They are numerous and relentless. Cleverly the use of different species of bugs makes for some great surprises.

            The battles are epic and bloody. This is not a film for the squeamish, every battle is like a futuristic opening scene to Saving Private Ryan. People die in horrific ways, bodies and limbs are ripped apart and even main characters don’t always survive, something I always appreciate in a film as it keeps the viewer guessing.

            But it is not all about war, there is a good amount of comedy and even romance in this movie. It is a great film and in the category of action Sci-Fi one of the best.

10 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: The bugs!


Friday, 13 January 2012

Review of Taken (2008) By Mike

Title: Taken (2008)

Original UK Release Date: 26th September 2008

Original US Release Date: 30th January 2009

UK Rating: 15

US Rating: PG-13

Director: Pierre Morel

Genre: Action, Thriller

Plot: When his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) goes missing in Paris, Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) travels there to find her and is thrown into a deadly hunt.

Mike's Review

I saw the trailer for this film a few months before its release. I can’t remember looking forward to a film so much from just seeing the trailer. The Trailer set the film up perfectly. By the time I finally got to see it, my expectations were so high I knew I would be disappointed. Wow was I wrong.

            The film starts off well, good introductions to the key characters. Bryan’s daughter manipulating her parents into allowing her to go the Paris with her friend. She makes the promise to call at regular intervals. A promise that is broken almost immediately. Her father, played excellently by Liam Neeson, finally gets to speak to her on the phone. During this time the house she is staying in is broken into and she sees her friend being attacked. She lets her father know what is happening. He tells her to hide under the bed. Then, shockingly he tells her that she will be taken. His prediction is right and after she is taken one of the abductors finds the phone and hears her father telling them that he will find them and kill them. The abductor wishes him luck and hangs up the phone.

This is also the main part of the trailer. What grabbed me was the way Neeson spoke to the abductor. You would expect panic and anger, but no. He speaks to him in the calmest voice you will ever hear. This tone is frightening. You totally believe that this man will carry out his threat. And he does so with such style and believability. You find out he has Special Forces training and he puts them to use in dispatching everyone in his way. But unlike classic action films, the way he does it I found to be very believable. Everything he does is calculated and no energy is wasted. There are no crazy drawn out gunfights, no spectacular martial arts fight scenes. What you get is believable, he takes out people in his way quickly and efficiently.

Neeson is perfect in this role, not a typical action star, but he pulls the role off effortlessly. You believe in his character and when the film ended I found myself wanting more. For me this is what movies should be about.

The film is written by Luc Besson, a master in this kind of film.

This film ranks in the top films I have ever seen along with Leon: The Professional also by Luc Besson.

10 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Liam Neeson as Bryon Mills


Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Review of The Thing (1982) by Mike

Title: The Thing (1982)

Original UK Release Date: 26th August 1982

Original US Release Date: 25th June 1982

UK Rating: 18

US Rating: R

Director: John Carpenter

Genre: Horror

Plot: Scientists working in the Antarctic are terrorised by a shape shifting alien.

Mike's Review

This is probably one of the best horror films ever made. A true classic.

The film is filled with great moments and incredible effects. Undoubtedly some of the best pre CGI effects ever filmed. The tension the film creates is perfect. The characters are believable and acted well. The story line starts off confusing as a helicopter with a passenger is seen shooting at a dog as it runs away. The dog runs into the camp and is rescued by a group of American scientists. The scientists head over to a nearby Norwegian research station where they discover that it has been abandoned and there are signs of death and destruction throughout. From there the story quickly progresses to one of terror as the scientists are killed off by a mysterious creature that can imitate them.

For those of a squeamish nature beware, the mutations in this film are expertly done giving a real feel of authenticity. It is a very bloody film with many violent deaths. But this is a horror film after all and you really get your money’s worth here. It doesn’t go too over the top like many creature films do. The direction of John Carpenter draws us in and along with it the terror felt by the characters.

In 2011, a prequel to this film was released showing what happened to the Norwegian team.

10 out of 10

Additional Information

It is a remake of a film from 1951 The Thing From Another World.

Stand out performance: The Creature. While the acting in this is good, the use of special effects without the use of CGI is amazing.


Review of The Thing (2011) by Mike

Title: The Thing (2011)

Original UK Release Date: 2nd December 2011

Original US Release Date: 14th October 2011

UK Rating: 15

US Rating: R

Director: Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.

Genre: Horror

Plot: Scientists working in the Antarctic are terrorised by a shape shifting alien.

Mike's Review
This is a prequel to probably one of the best horror films ever made, a true classic and a very good addition to the story. It tells what happened in the events leading up to the original film. The last shot of this film links to the first shot of the original.

At first I was worried about this film for two reasons. First, as the film was set on a Norwegian camp how much reading would I have to do whilst trying to follow the story? Second, the original film is amazing a true classic of the horror genre. Would this film do justice to the story and would the use of modern effects change the feel of the story? My fears were soon put to rest. Fortunately it appears that the universal language for scientists working in the Antarctic is English! There are a few subtitles throughout the film but not that many. Now a big thank you to the producers of this film. It is clear that they are true fans of the original and this is evident in the title. They couldn’t come up with a title better than “The Thing”. They could have gone with The Thing: Begins but nothing sounded as good. This film was made by fans of the original and they have ensured that it links into every reference made in the original to the Norwegian base, even down to an axe in the wall seen in the first film, showing how it got there in this one. The cast is made up of very good actors, none of them are particularly well known to everyone. I recognised a few faces, but this is good as you have no idea who will survive as there no major stars.

Story wise, if you have seen the original you know what to expect but the film makers know this and throw a few curveballs in. The famous “blood test” of the original almost happens here but cleverly it gets change for something else also unexpected. The creatures origins are left alone and rightly so as there is no way of knowing them. It is just a creature trying to survive by killing everyone in its way. Do we really need to know more than that?

The effects are also very good, but this is what you would expect from modern effects. Where the original films effects were ground breaking, the ones here are what you can see in most Hollywood creature films. The difference here is the attention to making the creature effects look like the original. Again the makers of the film have done a great job in making the two films fit together both story wise and visually. I wish all sequels/prequels would have enough respect for the audience like this one has.

Anyone who has read the “About Mike” section will know about my nemesis. They struck again with this film. They rated this film a “good strong 3 stars” asked why not 4 stars they stated that Happy Feet Two was released at the same time and this was a 4 star film and they enjoyed it more. What???! How can you compare a horror with a cartoon? Shouldn’t you rate them as individual films in different genres?

Rant over.

9 out of 10

Additional Information

It is a prequel to The Thing (1982)

Stand out performance: This film didn’t really have a stand out performance for me. Not to say that they were bad just equally good.


Sunday, 8 January 2012

Review of Real Steel (2011) by Mike

Title: Real Steel

Original UK Release Date: 14th October 2011

Original US Release Date:  7th October 2011

UK Rating: 12

US Rating: PG-13

Director: Shawn Levy

Genre: Action/Science Fiction

Plot: A washed up boxer, making a living in the futuristic sport of robot boxing, is reunited with the son he abandoned. Together they make a journey into forgiveness and hope.

Mike's Review

            This film is the reason I decided to do my own movie reviews. After hearing a review for this film from BBC Radio 1’s movie reviewer, I decided to start my own review page. She reviewed this film seeing nothing more than the robots. She totally missed out on the whole plot of the movie, and then her comment “the climax takes a long time to come and it happens right at the end” made me want to climb into the radio and tape her mouth shut. I know where I expect the climax of a film to be, and I know it is nowhere but at the end of the film. Yes this film has big giant robots in it, but the plot is way more than that, it is a story about redemption and doing the right thing no matter how hard the journey. I got that much from just seeing the trailer, she saw the whole thing and missed the whole point.

            Ok rant over.

            This is a good film, not a great film but very good. Hugh Jackman is good in this but to be fair he is good in most things. He gets to show off a bigger range of his acting skills than he has in the X-Men films. He plays Charlie Kenton, a former boxer now heavily in debt due to pushing his fighting robots too hard and expecting more than they can give, like fighting a 300lb bull! This also stars Evangeline Lilly in I believe her first role since the series Lost ended. She is also very good in this. However, the star of the film is Dakota Goya as Max Kenton. He shines as the child thrown together with the father he doesn’t know. He enters the world of robot fighting with his father and manages to rescue a robot from a scrap pile. He then convinces his father to enter the robot in the fights. You really get to experience the wonder of the Robots through him. The other star is the robot he rescues, Atom. Although not sentient, the director manages to bring him to life with good camera angles and subtle sounds. You really start to feel for the robot and you manage to forget the fights aren’t real. The other very clever part of the film is the setting. It is set in the near future, but the only really futuristic thing is the robots. There are no fancy cars or clothes and this enables you to connect with the film easier.

            The climax of the film (at the end!), is a big showdown with the undefeated champion. Instead of just two robots bashing each other, you get Atom, the underdog, controlled by Max, and helped by his father. You see and feel each blow the robot takes and through the acting skills of Dakota Goya, you forget it’s a machine and you can’t help but cheer him on.

            This could have been an average film, but the fine performances by the cast and the skill of the director in bringing Atom to life with just the use of camera shots and clever subtle sounds turns this film in to a joy to watch as you take the journey with father, son and giant robot.

8 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Dakota Goyo as Max Kenton


Review of The Outsiders (1983) by Mike

Title: The Outsiders

Original US Release Date: 25th March 1983

UK Rating: PG

US Rating: PG-13

Director: Frances Ford Coppola

Genre: Drama

Plot: A snapshot of the lives of two different class groups growing up in the 60’s The Greasers, a gang from the “wrong side of the tracks” and the Socs the more privileged gang. Rivals over everything, the violence escalates when a young greaser, Johnny kills a rival gang menber in self defence.

Mike's Review

A very hard hitting and moving story about rival gangs and the effect it has on the lives of the people in and around the gangs. The story follows two of the younger greasers after one of them accidently kills a rival gang member in self defence. They leave town and believe they will have to remain on the run forever.

With a cast to die for, The Outsiders is an incredible, hard hitting film. Portrayed in a believable and moving way, the cast includes Matt Dillon, Emilio Estevez, Diane Lane, Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, C. Thomas Howell and Rob Lowe. But Ralph Macchio stands out in this film as Johnny Cade.

The direction of Francis Ford Coppola along with stunning performances from the cast bring this film to life. You feel for the characters as they take you on an emotional rollercoaster. You laugh along with them and share in the anguish and feel the pain they all go through just to survive. It is hard not to watch the film now without comparing other films the cast have made since this film. But for many of the cast, it is up there with the finest performances of their career.

The film is an adaption of a classic novel by S.E. Hinton who was just 16 when the novel was first published in 1967. It was also her first novel. The book has become part of school English curriculum.

10 out of 10

Additional Information

Stand out performance: Ralph Macchio – Johnny Cade