Nocturnal Animals – Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals – Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Synopsis

Nocturnal Animals opens with Susan (played by Amy Adams), a successful Los Angeles art-gallery owner opening an exhibit. Her life, which looks to be very affluent and successful, is anything but. Her second husband is constantly travelling and she sees him less and less. While he is away (on business), she is shaken by the arrival of a pre-release manuscript of a book which was written by her first husband Edward, who she has not seen in almost 20 years. The book tells the frightening story of a teacher who finds a trip with his family turning into a nightmare. As Susan reads this mysterious book, it forces her to examine her past and confront some dark truths about herself and how she treated her first husband.


I was not all too interested in seeing Nocturnal Animals, but having arrived at the cinema too late to see Arrival, which also stars Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals was on in 15 mins, so went to see this instead. I had seen on BBC and a few Irish sites that Nocturnal Animals was a 5 Star film, so my hopes were high. I also noticed Michael Sheen was in the credits and I always like his work.

Brace yourself for a popcorn wrenching opening sequence of a … I won’t tell you, you will just have to enjoy that for yourself. After the opening sequence we find Susan at an art launch, but her husband does not arrive as he is too late from the office. Shortly thereafter the manuscript as mentioned in the synopsis arrives. Susan starts reading the text and the story shows Susan in the present and her imagining the book. The storyline is tense, dark and reminiscent of another film starting Kurt Russell called ‘Breakdown’. There are scenes of some violence in the film so don’t go if you are looking for something up beat as I didn’t find much in this film which I liked.

I didn’t find the story in the manuscript which Susan read very compelling. The story was basic, didn’t have any twists and didn’t go anywhere interesting. Every so often Susan would be startled by a spark from the fire or a bird at the window – this just didn’t add anything to the film.

In conclusion, Nocturnal Animals seemed to me like a rambling stream of consciousness which thought it was going somewhere. My hopes for seeing Michael Sheen were dashed as he in only in 1 scene for about 2 minutes. The plot didn’t form a cohesive intertwining of storyline as was promised by other reviews. The end of the manuscript just left me thinking, is this it?
Overall, I was not impressed and I think there are better films out there.
Maybe Nocturnal Animals is your sort of film – but not mine!

Next up – Arrival !!


  • Overall 56%
  • Storyline 45%
  • Cinematography 68%
  • Chances of Winning an Oscar 25%
Jason Bourne, 2016 – Film Review

Jason Bourne, 2016 – Film Review

I have always enjoyed the Bourne films and with the last film lacking Matt Damon, I was not sure if this film was being made for the right reasons. The story picks up from the last film which Matt Damon stars in. If you have not seen the other films you are not at too much of a disadvantage. Jason Bourne has dropped off the map and the authorities think he is dead.

Basically, Jason Bourne, played my Damon, has remembered more about his past. The whole espionage backstory is very reminiscent of Edward Snowden and is very technology driven. A hacker discovers more about Bourne’s past and passes the information on to him. The rest of the story documents Bourne’s discovery into how deep this project goes both internally and personally.

From about 10 minutes in there are some incredible chases, mainly on motorcycle, on the streets of Athens. They track his every move in an effort to neutralise the threat of exposure.

The film globetrotter from country to country including Iceland, Greece, Germany, UK and of course USA. (In one scene in the UK, the film is shot near Paddington in an area I walked through in April just gone – that scene is very good.)

Tommy Lee Jones plays his role very well, in his typical style, as the CIA director. For me one of the best cast was Vincent Cassel who plays ‘The Asset’. This guy is only out to get rid of Bourne due to past history between the two. Surprisingly enough Matt Damon only has a few lines during the film in comparison to some of the others, but the action surely keep you glued to the screen.

One of the most amazing scenes is the car chase through the streets of Las Vegas, in which the Aria hotel gets a lot of exposure. Many no-claims bonuses list during that chase.

Overall it is a riveting film with plenty of tense, chase and pursuit scenes. The only negativewas the constant flashbacks, which I feel there was no need for that many. Not perfect but a highly entertaining film and the end points to another Bourne film to follow.

Duration Time 2:15

  • Action 95%
  • Storyline 83%
  • Effects 90%
  • Overall 85%
Ghostbusters 2016 – Review

Ghostbusters 2016 – Review

When I first heard the Ghostbusters was to be remade with an all female cast I was dubious. I also thought it would be a flop as I didn’t like the idea of a remake. This for me was a franchise which I grew up with and I didn’t want a remake just for the sake of it. … Having seen it – I was wrong. It is excellent!

The film is rated 12A and from the start it’s obvious that the ghosts are a bit more malevolent than the 1980s Ghostbusters films. It has a real retro feel and the song remains unchanged which I was delighted with.

The all female cast works well and there are some really funny scenes, especially with their hired secretary, Kevin. The secretary has all the phone skills of Fr. Dougal Maguire.

If you watch closely from the start, there are cameos from all the 1980s Ghostbusters cast members, including Egon, who stars via a bronze bust in the University. Slimer is also back… with a friend.

If you have the opportunity to see it in 3D then do. The 3D effects are excellent with the spectres 3D rendered outside the 2 black lines on top and bottom of the film reel so it looks like they are outside the film. (If you get my meaning)! My only problem with the film is that it is as if New York never had the 1980 Ghostbusters team – I went presuming that it was a follow on but it is a total remake/reinvention of the franchise.

There is also no explanation for a hair colour change on 2 cast members near the end of the film?

Overall a wonderful way to spend an evening and I really enjoyed this new reboot of Ghostbusters.
Remember to stay during the credits and also stay until they are over. There is a bit of a reveal in the post credits scene.

Ghostbusters Official Trailer

Film Review. Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Please note there are some small spoiler alerts in this movie review

First off,  This is not supported to be a word for word telling of the famous Alice in Wonderland story – this is actually the second time she has been down the hole. Therefore this is actually a sequel to the Alice in Wonderland story based on the 19th century novels Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is now 19 years old who has forgotten about her last childhood journey into Wonderland – yet her dreams still recall the visit.

Just as she is proposed to by a insufferable bore of a ginger haired “Lord”, she wisely avoids the proposal of marriage and ends up falling down a rabbit hole and falls back down to Wonderland. Of course she thinks this is all just a dream and plays along for a while.

Alice is then given the mission of saving the Wonderland from the madness of the Red Queen played by Helena Bonham Carter (Helena Bonham Carters playing of the Red Queen reminds me of Queenie from Blackadder – even mis-pwe-nounces a wange of words using w’s for r’s). The Red Queen is still as we remember her, obsessed with shouting “Off with her head”. I though it was quite funny the way she always asked for a warm pig to put her feet on – it is this sort of curiouser and curiouser imagery which makes the film work. The film is just unusual – so don’t go expecting straight forward.

One of the main draws of this film is the portrayal of the Mad Hatter by Johnny Depp. This is a very good performance with lots of madness, and a very unusual “Futterwacken” dance, but there is a kind of scottish accent which Depp tries to use but in these places the dialogue is hard to understand. Other characters include the Cheshire Cat which is perfectly voiced by the one and only Stephen Fry.

The film itself has live action and CGI mixed quite well – the film looks amazing … I don’t think it looks like any other film of the last few years in the way digital and film are combined. Don’t go to the film expecting the original “Alice in Wonderland” story – perhaps a title of “Down to Wonderland again” might have been a better title. It is a fun film but there are some scenes younger children might not appreciate (i.e. lots of roaring and chasing monsters).

The film flaws are mainly that the story is not as well developed as it could have been and there is a little drama, but being a Disney film this is to be expected but Tim Burton’s visual creativity makes up for any lacking in the film.
If you can, see this film in 3D as it does add soemthing extra.

Movie Classification: PG
Director: Tim Burton
Film Cast: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helna Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Timothy Spall, Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen

Rating: 8/10

District 9 – Film Review

District 9
This is a film which has received a lot of hype recently, about a spaceship which stops over Johannesburg, unlike other films where it is always New York and Washington. The story is set 20 years on where more than 1m aliens, known as Prawns by the locals, have been shoved into chaotic refugee camps called District 9. Wikus van der Merwe (played by Sharlto Copley) is not really a hero type, more like an office nerd, and is person put in charge of evicting the aliens to a camp over 200 miles away from the main centre of population.

Spoiler Alert

During the eviction procedures, he is exposed to an alien liquid and Wikus starts to turn into a prawn alien. Because he can now use the DNA Weapons that the prawns use, he is very valuable and is hunted by the MNU corporation that he once worked for.


The film which is by Neill Blomkamp is shot like a documentary, with news footage, amateur footage, one on one interviews and live footage. At one point it reminded me of Cloverfield!

What I will say is that at some points it seems more comical than serious. Without too much warning it then moves from comic to squeamish. There are some references to the race card and apartheid as well as referencing the attitudes to refugees.

The film has no real draw and there is very little to keep you interested all of the time, especially later in the film when its run, shoot, run, shoot, bang, splat – nothing really new here.

Go to this film if you like

– new fresh films

– Sci Fi

– great special effects

– lots of action

– a fairly good story

Don’t go to this film if you don’t like

– films which show cruelty (even if it is to CGI Aliens)

– People Exploding in a big bloody splat after being hit by laser beams

– squeamish scenes like peoples fingernails falling off, peoples arms being blown off and people vomiting

– a grown man eating cat food from a tin

Finally : Have a listen to the Wikus character pronouncing the work F**k , as Fooock – it gets really annoying the more you listen to it.

District 9 – Official Trailer I had here was removed from YouTube
so the link to the District9 Trailer is available if you click here.

Overall : 7 ½/ 10

I was tempted to give it 6 out of 10 but the
effects are very good and redeem the films
weak points… I later increased the score
for District 9 due to the performance of the
main actor who is in line for a part as
Howling Mad Murdoch in the A-Team film.

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