Profile for Sevvysgirl > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Sevvysgirl
Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,336
Helpful Votes: 320

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Sevvysgirl (Kent, UK)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3
Pompeii [Blu-ray]
Pompeii [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Kit Harington
Price: 13.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood meets Pompeii!, 15 May 2014
This review is from: Pompeii [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Whilst this film could definitely be described as 'entertaining', it would be fair to say it should also be labelled as 'complete fantasy' ... then again, if it's an accurate portrayal of what happened in Pompeii that you want, don't expect Hollywood to come up with the answers - in other words, if it's historical fact you're after, head for the local library! Therefore I, like most others I suspect, knew from the outset what I was letting myself in for. What I probably hadn't bargained on, however, was just how far into 'fantasy' this film would delve and, most especially, its confusion as to its genre: One minute you seem to be watching a gladiatorial-style action-adventure, the next a disaster movie and the next super-hero-style escapism. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's not worth a look because, for all its flaws, and as I've already said, it is most definitely entertaining and, fortunately, not too long.

Not being a great fan of gore and graphic fight/slaughtering scenes, I rather wished the film-makers had glossed over some of the nastier aspects (though I suppose that's ancient Romans for you) but, equally, I have to give praise where praise is due and some of the gladiatorial amphitheatre mass fight scenes were choreographed and filmed to perfection. I even found myself wanting to shout out loud and cheer on the 'good guys' as there were certainly some great victories for the 'under dog' and comeuppance for the baddies, which I like to see! And the relationship that developed between the gladiatorial champion 'Atticus' (powerfully and mesmerizingly played by the superbly-named Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje) and the film's hero 'Milo' (Kit Harrington - reminding me a little of a young Harry Hamlin from 'The Clash of the Titans' early 80's movie - which I'm well old enough to have seen at the cinema on its release) was actually quite touching, if a little predictable.

Having visited Pompeii myself, I can actually state that some of the everyday scenes of shops and bustling streets were superbly accurate in their setting, and in fact I wish more time had been spent on such; it would have been nice to have got more of a 'feel' for the place and its occupants before disaster struck.

So, on many levels, the film was good, and it most certainly had fantastic special effects (only to be expected really in this era of sophisticated CGI.) But its failing, in my opinion, was that a little too long was spent on the 'back story' before then veering into such total disbelief. When the hero manages to single-handedly kill off all and sundry and emerge unscathed from every possible near-fatality - including not being turned to toast by close-by searing molten lava - it's easy for your mind to start wandering into what to have for next night's dinner or to question if you left the gas on. And of course every school-child knows that it was ash, rather than lava, that killed the inhabitants of Pompeii. Also, having actually stood in Pompeii's amphitheatre myself, I can confirm that it wasn't destroyed as shown towards the end of the film. However, as already established, this is the land of Hollywood and director's egos, which seem to have the right to trample historical fact. I have to confess though that I thought the romance between hero Milo and young noble-woman Cassia (Emily Browning) quite a sweet touch (and in keeping with the whole unrealistic feel of course!) Without wishing to spoil it for anyone who's not yet seen it, I thought the ending, with the two lovers, inspired. And, even though I'd suspended belief long previously in the plot, this kind of brought it back to realism in a way and I therefore couldn't help but be touched at the very last.

Family Sweet Sentiment Embroidered Verse Cushion - Family is a little world created by love Design
Family Sweet Sentiment Embroidered Verse Cushion - Family is a little world created by love Design

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet little cushion with cute, stand-out eye-catching design, 3 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a sweet little cushion - extremely eye-catching with its stand out, colourful red and pink butterflies. It's a good size as not too big and not too small - ideal for sitting on a shelf or windowsill. The really cute design and quote are perfect for big softies, like me, who appreciate a bit of sentiment in life now and again! As a mum soon to be suffering from 'Empty Nest Syndrome', I found it particularly endearing - although I shall probably burst into tears every time I catch sight of its wording! :-)

Ladies Womens Plus Size Faux Fur Trim Collar Large Buttons Flower Detail Cardigan
Ladies Womens Plus Size Faux Fur Trim Collar Large Buttons Flower Detail Cardigan

5.0 out of 5 stars Really unusual and vintage-looking jacket!, 3 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was attracted to this jacket/cardigan because it seemed so unusual - almost vintage or retro in appearance! The embroidered flowers, huge (!) buttons and fur trim all combine to make it a really 'quirky' addition to the wardrobe ... It certainly looks great on and is lovely and chunky and cosy, but not so thick and warm that you get too hot in it. This makes it an ideal winter-to-spring or autumn-to-winter jacket - which is exactly what I'd hoped it would be! :-)

The Love Punch [DVD]
The Love Punch [DVD]
Dvd ~ Emma Thompson
Price: 10.00

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A punch with not much kick!, 3 May 2014
This review is from: The Love Punch [DVD] (DVD)
This was an amusing film - but nothing more than that really. In my humble opinion it fell short in a number of ways and missed out on several opportunities to play on the 'middle age/getting older/struggling-to-cope-with-the-modern-world' jokes. When it did do this however, it was very funny - but there were never really those laugh-out-loud moments that one would have hoped to find in a film with a cast of such combined considerable talent and experience. Unfortunately, there seemed to be this constant feeling that the four main actors involved (Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie) were holding back and could have done better - although it has to be said that the chemistry between all four (and most especially Thompson and Brosnan as ex-spouses) worked really well. However, the stunning locations of Paris and the French Riviera definitely help with taking your mind off the rather silly plot; I ignorantly didn't realise parts of France are so stunningly beautiful. Emma Thompson in particular does her very best with the weak (or should that really be inconsistent slightly 'off-piste') material, proving, as if I didn't already know, that she is one of the most versatile and talented actresses around.

But, for me, the film's main downfall was the sheer over-the-top far-fetchededness (yes, I realise there's no such word) of the whole thing. Of course comedies are quite often just that - far-fetched I mean - but, equally, they often thrive on the fact that the audience can either believe or relate to what they're seeing ... on both counts I felt this film failed. The laughs are usually obtained by having either complete fantasy or reality with a humourous twist. The script for this film seemed to 'fall between two stalls' as it were and was neither one thing or the other, resulting in a sort of grey mishmash of hit-and-miss humour and genre. Perhaps it just tried too hard to be clever and witty, and it may have just been a simple case of 'less is more' - it certainly seemed to thrum along at a fair pace and complexity of plot. Having said all of that, it still has its merits: I certainly chuckled for much of the time and I'm sure that there are many worse ways to spend an hour and a half. It may well improve on a second viewing, and I'd be willing to give it a go when it's finally released on DVD, but I doubt it will be top of my 'must buy' list as, on the whole, it was, sadly, rather disappointing.

The Book Thief [DVD]
The Book Thief [DVD]
Dvd ~ Geoffrey Rush
Price: 9.99

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a thief, just a borrower, 5 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Book Thief [DVD] (DVD)
Having read reviews of this film suggesting its viewing should be accompanied by a box of Kleenex, I promised myself from the outset that I would simply not cry over this one. (I have a reputation for being somewhat emotional, even when just watching TV adverts.) However, my resolve went out of the window as, after having now seen said film at my local cinema last night, I came away desperately dabbing at my eyes in the hope that my economy mascara had not smudged too badly. For it is indeed an emotional film. It is also quite an unusual one in that it mixes the abstract with intense drama. I have not read the book (though I fully intend to now) but understand that it has a much more ethereal quality about it. Thus, it would have been difficult to reproduce that on the screen, other than in limited amounts. Therefore the film starts, and is infrequently returned to, narration by a storyteller who is in fact `death' personified. And this, along with spectacular cinematography, helps to give it a kind of misty-eyed, almost magical feel.

The subject matter, however, is far from that. The viewer is shown the harsh realities of life in Nazi-rising WW11 Germany. And, it's quite a shock actually to discover that they, like us Brits, were just as scared, just as poverty-stricken and just as much at the mercy of the Hitler-led regime. Young Sophie Nelisse, the actress in the lead-role of Liesel, lends a wide-eyed innocence to the whole proceedings and is well supported by a talented Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson in the roles of her adoptive parents, who take her on (for money ) when she is removed from her own communist mother's care. Harbouring a young Jewish man, Max, is the centre of the story and it is Liesel's relationship with all three of the afore-mentioned, and a neighbouring school friend, Rudy, that fuel it.

Having arrived illiterate, Liesel is taught to read and write by `Papa' Hans Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush), whose patience, kindness and humour are ever to the fore, and which contrast sharply with the "thunder storm" (Liesel's words) that is his wife, Rosa (Emily Watson) - who actually is not quite as formidable as she might at first seem. Liesel's quest for books, reading, and words in general, is further aided by Max's enthusiasm for such. He relies on her to keep him informed of the world, as his view is somewhat marred by being kept in the dark, cold basement of the house, unable to see the light of day. Liesel's hunger for books is both sated and increased when the local Mayor's wife allows her access to the mayorial household library - from where she later `borrows' the odd tome after creeping in uninvited. (She insists she is not a "thief" - as the film's title would suggest!)

I will not spoil the plotline for those who have not yet seen this little gem of a movie, suffice to say that, as mentioned in the book's 'blurb' I believe, "death visits Liesel three times". She certainly grows up quickly and, like so many of that era, witnesses things that young eyes should really not see. But it is how she, and those around her, cope with adversity that is central to this film, where hatred and morality vie for places, and where neighbour is turned against neighbour and fear and suspicion are the order of the day. Surviving can only make one stronger and there are some surprising twists that develop in that very plot-line; fate can indeed be teasingly, and often ironically, fickle.

I hope this film gets the appreciation (and awards) it deserves as it is beautifully scripted, sensitively directed, superbly acted and tantalising to watch (I didn't even notice that two and a half hours had passed.) The sadness and sheer stupidity of fascism at its height is off-set by the realisation of the strength of the human spirit to transcend such darkness. In the end, I was left feeling sad (in that sort of deeply moved way that only a great cinematic experience seems to evoke) yet also inspired and uplifted.

Philomena [DVD]
Philomena [DVD]
Dvd ~ Judi Dench
Price: 7.00

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Love, 8 Nov 2013
This review is from: Philomena [DVD] (DVD)
This is a truly beautiful film. All too often really tragic stories transfer to the screen as just that, making for difficult viewing. But, due to the insightful, clever and empathetic writing skills of Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, what you get is the warmth, humanity and, above all, humour from this real-life, tangible and moving tale.

Whilst not being a particular Steve Coogan 'fan' (mainly because I mostly only think of him in his Alan Partridge persona), he shines here in a more likable, serious and sensitive role. It goes without saying that Judi Dench is superb in anything she cares to take on, but here she takes 'gentle' to the extreme - and that includes her lovely, soft, almost-not-there Irish lilt. (Bearing in mind that the real Philomena Lee has spent 50 years of her life in England, I would imagine that the accent is pretty accurate.)

Also, as it turns out, by putting these two amazing actors together, you get the kind of rapport only rivalled by the likes of Ant and Dec or Morecambe and Wise - only funnier at times, in a more subtle and realistic way! Although journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) and grandmother Philomena Lee (Dench) look from the outset as likely to have an awkward, stilted partnering and friendship, they bounce off each other superbly and clearly end up with a great deal of respect and fondness for each other.

But, what I liked more than anything else, was the fact that Philomena was not portrayed as a victim, or even as being particularly vulnerable; merely as a mother wanting to trace her son and never giving up on that hope of finding him in her almost-lifetime pursuit.

I came away from seeing this film with less anger than I had anticipated I would. Apart from the not surprising need for some tissues to wipe the residue from my eyes, I felt more humble and inspired than anything else. I couldn't help thinking that somehow, despite Philomena's great sadness and personal loss at not having had her own son in her life, her final scenes showed what real faith and humility is about. I ended up feeling much more sorry for the nuns than Philomena herself: After all, God has to judge Catholic nuns too - not just young mothers who have apparently 'sinned'. And, as far as I'm concerned, I think I know whose side He'll be on when the time comes ... It was actually very satisfying to see the smug look on an elderly nun's face wiped so clean.

So, if you like 'real', gentle and moving, this film is a must-see. Whether you catch it now at the cinema, or later on DVD, don't make excuses and end up missing it!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 8, 2013 4:32 PM GMT

Gambit [DVD]
Gambit [DVD]
Dvd ~ Colin Firth
Offered by Discs4all
Price: 5.72

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not So Much A Masterpiece As Painting-by-Numbers, 15 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gambit [DVD] (DVD)
Having been disappointed at missing Gambit when it was on at my local cinema a few months ago, I have now at last got round to watching it on DVD. My main criteria for watching this particular film is that I am an avid `Rickmaniac' (Alan Rickman fan) and, having got most of his films/TV work on DVD, felt I owed it to my allegiance to add this one too!

So, as Colin Firth himself said in an interview, this film is not ground-breaking - all the old `clichés' from 60s and 70s capers seem to be there, along with `Pink Panther'-style farces - from Colin Firth without his trousers (time to move over, Brian Rix ) to a dig at the Japanese, American, Germans and indeed Brits, with all their stereotypical idiosyncrasies to the fore. All that seems to be missing is Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau, complete with trilby hat, magnifying glass and his trademark distinctly ridiculous French accent. Then again, it's what we, as Brits, do best - the fact that we haven't really done so since the 60s and 70s is neither here nor there. The other fact being that the Coen brothers, who wrote the script, ironically, are in fact American. Then again, the original of this was made in the early 1960s (with Michael Cain and Shirley McClain in the lead roles, and I'm led to believe that the original writer was in fact English, though please don't quote me on that.)

The role of Harry Deane, the put upon Art Curator at the heart of the story, is not one that you would automatically think of Colin Firth for. And, although he does his very best, I spent most of the time I was watching him thinking that someone else (not sure who) might have been better. He wasn't terrible by any means but I personally think there are better comedic actors out there. Alan Rickman himself is larger than life as the selfish, arrogant media tycoon boss that Deane is trying to con, and Cameron Diaz plays her part well as the ditzy rodeo rider, `P.J' Puznowski, called in to help Deane. Maybe her 'Texan-ness' is somewhat over the top, but then again, I'm guessing that was deliberate too.

Without giving away too much of the plot, I have to say I found some of the first part of the film a little confusing, but once the penny dropped, it all fell into place and totally made sense.

However, side-splitting this film is not, but it does have its moments - such as a highly amusing scene in the Savoy Hotel foyer when two receptionists (superbly played by Pip Torrens and Julian Rhind-Tutt) get the wrong end of the stick re a conversation between P.J (Diaz) and Harry Deane: This is innuendo at it's very best and, in a way, the rest of the comedy from then on is a bit of a let down by comparison.

Whilst it would be fair to say that this film would be unlikely to make anyone's `Top 10' (or probably `Top 100' for that matter), I'm sure there must be worse ways to spend 85 minutes. I can honestly say it was a fun, cheery `caper' that certainly left more than a hint of a smile on my face. (Not least because you get to see Colin Firth sans trousers, and more of Mr. Rickman than most of his other films have revealed; the latter not necessarily a good thing at his age of 67, I hasten to add, but I admit to being easily pleased at my own age nowadays!) The twist at the end though is definitely worth waiting for and elevates the film to slightly more than your average comedy, e.g. it has a plot!

Quite what other reviewers have meant when they've said things like "the worst film ever" and "totally unfunny" (as some professional review claimed), I'm really not sure. Have they seen some of the movies out there? Trust me, this was one of Alan Rickman's better ones (though hardly a glamorous role, and playing a rather nasty character in a kind of endearing way that only he can) - and I should know - I've sat through them all!

Song for Marion [DVD] [2012]
Song for Marion [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Gemma Arterton
Offered by FILMNIGHT
Price: 6.49

108 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who Needs Hollywood Blockbusters anyway?, 27 Feb 2013
This review is from: Song for Marion [DVD] [2012] (DVD)
Who needs the likes of Hollywood blockbusters, with all their computerised wizardry, on-screen action and hard-hitting loud music, when you can have this? For this is home-grown sentiment at its very best ... a gem of a little film with superb understated performances from the likes of British acting stalwarts Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave, accompanied by the often over-looked talents of Christopher Eccleson, and the obvious charm of relative newbie Gemma Arterton. This is a very 'un-film-like' film - so much so that, at times, it simply feels like a 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary - almost every scene could be that of the local housing estate anywhere in England -with buildings, a village hall, and indeed the aging community of typical haphazard characters thrown together through their joy of singing. And those at the centre and heart of the story - Marion, her husband - the grumpy but silently-hurting Arthur - and their father-rejected son James and granddaughter Jenny - just any family from the world over. But this is where the film's strength lies - this is real life: with all its heartache, sorrow and vulnerability dolloped out in cold brutality; yet with the warmth of humanity thrown straight back in tender counter-reaction. This is a gentle, touching and wryly humorous look at the effects of illness within the heart of a community and, more especially, of the legacy of strength and love on those left behind. Not a film with massively broad appeal I guess, but one that will perhaps strike a chord with many and certainly stay in the hearts and minds of the sentimental few who have the privilege of seeing it.

The Woman in Black [DVD]
The Woman in Black [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: 4.29

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint-hearted!, 29 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Woman in Black [DVD] (DVD)
Many people have said that this film should have had a 15 certificate, not a 12A, and I agree whole-heartedly with that.

When I went to see it at my local cinema, a group of young girls (no more than 13 or 14 years old) spent the entire time screaming their hearts out and attempting to leave (actions that were just as amusing as annoying to those of us trying to concentrate on the screen-action!)

Whilst initially the plot relies on 'atmospheric creepiness', and the sudden crash of noise/ straight-to-camera action to provide the shocks, the graphics build up, and, by the end, those increased shocks are provided by actual visual stimuli aswell as just the anticipation and suspense of such.

I confess that I sometimes thought this film a little OTT - it certainly has every ghost story cliche in the book - almost to the extent of making it seem like a spoof at times. But, then again, it is a genuinely scary film with a great performance from Daniel ("I'm not Harry Potter really"!) Radcliffe, and good support from Ciaran Hinds and Janet McTeer. It's certainly not a cheery film (but then ghost stories aren't) but I liked the ending, and it made me realise that we Brits probably still do the best ghost stories. I personally would have just preferred it to have continued in the 'psychological shock' vein it began with, instead of increasing to the extent of it playing on the mind of those of us more sensitive souls. (It took me three days to manage to go upstairs on my own - even during the day - and even more time before I stopped jumping at every little creak and noise my normally friendly and welcoming house made!) Be warned: It's not for the faint-hearted!

Nights In Rodanthe [DVD] [2008]
Nights In Rodanthe [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Richard Gere
Price: 2.89

5.0 out of 5 stars A fine romance, 29 Sep 2012
I went to see this film when it was first released in 2008 and have since bought it on DVD.

I thought it was a truly lovely film and - for once - deserved to be called a 'romance'. I'm not a great fan of Richard Gere (very grey now of course!), but I thought he played his part well, as did Diane Lane. Both were very believable, even if the plot was somewhat far-fetched; though no more than many story lines of course (who wants total reality?)

I liked the way it wasn't just about the mother's (Diane Lane) new/budding relationship (with Gere), but also went on to show how it changed things between her and her daughter - who, through seeing her mother's experience, suddenly changed from sullen, aggressive teen to a 'grown up' compassionate confidante and friend.

However, I don't think this film will ever be in anyone's 'Top 10' exactly because it is probably not that outstanding and won't have the 'broad appeal' of most in its genre. (In many ways, it was similar to so many others in the 'weepy' category - perhaps best compared to something like 'The Bridges of Madison County', although not in the same league as that particular memorable and highly-acclaimed film.) But, if you just want to lose yourself for a while and believe in the infinate power of love, this is one to recommend - I honestly don't think you'll be disappointed in the romance stakes, but do remember to keep a large box of Kleenex close by!

Page: 1 | 2 | 3