Mike has written a total of 1,196 reviews with an average rating of 5. Mike particularly liked Fight Club (1999), Se7en (1995), Snatch (2000), Gladiator (2000), V for Vendetta (2005), The Matrix (1999), The Corporation (2003) and Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008).
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Precinct Seven Five (2014) - 6/10
There are bent coppers who turn a blind eye and take a little off the top and then there is the likes of Michawl Dowd who are criminals first and foremost and police officers second. It's incredible what he got away with but even more incredible that he even had the balls to do many of them in the first place. And this sort of thing probably still goes on the world over, too.
Train to Busan (2016) - 6/10
You've heard of snakes on a plane? Well this is zombies on a train. And they're what I would call proper zombies, not the aimless shifting around uninterested types. These are the ultra agressive, want-to-rip-your-throat-out types. If zombies are your thing, you'll enjoy it.
The Mauritanian (2021) - 6/10
I'm getting a bit sick of seeing this guy in everything nowadays. It would seem any time you need a brown fella then he is the Go To. He's like the Muslim Will Smith. Bravo to this agent, I reckon. Anyway, in this he plays a guy who finds himself in Guantanamo and in it we discover exactly what he did - or rather, didn't do - to get there. Obviously there is loads of torture and loads of subsequent forced confessions and, of course, it's based on a true story because they actually did all those disgusting things to people. Americahhhh, fuck yeah!
There Will Be Blood (2007) - 7/10
This is a film about a man who keeps getting woken up from his drunken slumber with bad news. He's an oil man, which means he's an expert at digging holes, most of which he does whilst looking for oil. He's also a horrible, horrible man and a terrible father. But, you know, power and money etc. Like many of his films, this is worth watching just to see Daniel Day-Lewis do his thing. For a guy who has only ever been in 21 films, the fact that he has won the Leading Role Oscar in three of them is fucking preposterous.
Honey Boy (2019) - 6/10
Shia LaBeouf is obviously a fucking nutcase; the type of nutcase that is the product of dysfunctional parenting and that's what makes him perfect for this film because that is what this film is about. About how easily, as a parent, you can fuck up your kids. It's scary, to be honest. This, actually, was written by La Boeuf and is basically a biographical account of much of his own childhood. Which explains why he does such a good job with the role of the father because he's lived with it his whole life.
News of the World (2020) - 5/10
Wasn't expecting much from this because generally stuff set in the far past usually doesn't tickle my balls in the same way that present day set stuff does. It was alright, like. Basically just show much of a dangerous place America was back in the day, when everyone had a gun and you were always likely to be shot up just for eyeballing someone in the wrong way... Much like it is today.
Our Friend (2019) - 7/10
This is the incredibly sad and true story of a young mother who dies from cancer. But wait, it gets funnier. A friend of the couple from college moves in to live with them to help out with the kids whilst they are occupied with her illness. This shit happens to people all over the world every day and it is sad as fuck. If you have kids or have suffered loss of a loved one in a similar way - which, let's be honest, is most of us - this will probably bring you to tears. I think it's fair to say that I speak for all of us when I say, "Fuck cancer."
Cape Fear (1991) - 6/10
The moral to this story is that you should always do your best when doing your job because, if you don't, some mad bastard might try and murder your family. It was made around the time when both De Niro and Scorcese were at their absolute peaks but, watching it now, it hasn't aged the best. All the camera tricks, blur outs, fades, walking at the camera shots and the almost constant soundtrack with suddenly extremely loud notes just make it appear terribly dated with a modern eye and ear. On a long enough timeline, everything gets old; and this film, sadly, has done that already.
Mexico is fucked, mate. It truly is a failed state in which the criminals run amok. On average 10 women are killed there every day and 97% of those murders go unsolved. This documentary is just one example - amongst a sea of them - that shows how there is no justice in the world, especially in places as fucked and as corrupt as Mexico. Avoid going at all costs.
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) - 6/10
This is about a man who gets so bored of fucking Scarlett Johansson that he starts with Natalie Portman. I mean come on; that's the fucking dream right there, isn't it? We all know Henry VIII was a top shagger but this is probably about as historically accurate as Scientology. It's ultimately a story of how far a man will go to get his dick wet so it's no surprise that the film itself has an irregular rhythm - which is much too rushed in many places - whilst still, fittingly, building to quite the crescendo.
The Father (2020) - 7/10
A heavy watch, this. Very heavy, indeed. Dementia is about so much more than just forgetting things and this film does a brilliant job of explaining how things can feel to someone who is suffering through it. The way it shows him getting mixed up with times, events and even recognising who people are - and who people aren't - is great. I would recommend it to everyone, especially if you have a loved one with any form of dementia. It is truly a horrendous end of a life for all involved.
A Quiet Place Part II (2020) - 8/10
This is even better than the first one, largely because you get to see more of the aliens. And the start is fan-fucking-tastic. One of the best starts I've ever seen, in fact. It had me gripped, fiercely, by the balls immediately. I like how it follows on so soon after the first too, because it would be unrealistic to imagine that they'd keep a noisy fucking newborn alive for any great length of time. I'd happily watch these films 'til the cows come home.
This is basically another story - based decades ago - about an angry young man sent to a young offenders institute and causing mayhem. It's got all the usual stuff - bullying, abuse, escape attempts and ultimately bonds built amongst people that started off hating each other. It's nothing new but it's worth a watch.
This just made me sad. I've seen loads of these documentaries about how much we've fucked the planet but this one hurts the most. What sort of world are we leaving to ours kids? In a couple of decades from now - as the ice caps finally melt, as species after species goes extinct, as wars are fought over fresh water supplies and with all the corals bleached - our kids are going to ask us what we did to prevent it. And what will you say? Nothing, I imagine.
Loveless (2017) - 6/10
This is unquestionably the winner of the Most Unnecessary Sex Scenes gong in the 2021 What A Film Awards. The message here is to be 100% sure, before having kids, that you definitely are ready to take on the responsibility and that there is no dout about the love you have for the person with whom you're having them. Because too many people and they end up being horrible parents who don't even deserve the title bestowed upon them.
This is more about his life, about how he got successful and the relationships he made along the way; whereas the other documentary about him that I watched recently was more about the latter stages of his life and how it ended. Loving misery as much as I do, I preferred that one. However, this one does a better job of showing his work and, therefore, proving how much of a genius he was. I think, ultimately, he found his ideal place in the world, and both he and all of us, benefitted greatly from his career.
Minari (2020) - 6/10
There are two lessons that come from this film. One, don't buy a farm. Two, don't let your mother-in-law move in with you. In any normal year, this is never nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. I'm normally into these real life struggle films but this one wasn't the best. It's neither uplifting enough nor grim enough to stand out.
The Godfather Part II (1974) - 7/10
I've never thought this was as good as part one. In fact, I think it owes much of its reputation simple because it comes after part one and people were so keen to know how the story continued. For me, there's much too much of Vito's storyline. However, Al Pacino is absolutely fucking spectacular in this. Every scene he's in is just dripping with pure class and, with hindsight, you can see this is the film where he became the actor he was going to be for the next 3 decades.
The Godfather (1972) - 8/10
Don't get me wrong, this is an all time great. I adored it as a kid but having watched it again recently, I could tell it was 50 years old. I mean, I can't see modern kids falling in love with it in the way that previous generations did. I have always struggled to relate to films set so much before my time and that is certainly the case here.
So strange that these intelligent, reputation-obsessed celebrities are so keen not only to join Scientology, but to shout as loud about its benefits as they can. Like all religions, Scientology is a load of fucking bollocks. The difference between Scientology and every other religion is that the events it is based on happened so recently so we know for a fact its all bullshit, unlike, for example, the stories of Jesus, which we also know is bollocks, but, has slightly more authenticity due its durability over the millennia.