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SteveParkes’s Film Reviews

About me: I'm a former journalist & now work in the state sector. I review films at the popculture blog Poplitiko.
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30 Films have been rated or reviewed by SteveParkes.

Kingsman: The Secret ServiceKingsman: The Secret Service (2014)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) As derivative as it is in some ways, it seems positively refreshing after the "grim and gritty" turn in the Bond franchise. What a "blockbuster" mainstream Hollywood film should be.
DVD $15, $34.95 | Blu-Ray $39.95, $39.95
Avengers, TheAvengers, The (Marvel's Avengers) (2012)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) The multi–superhero epic that should have been made sooner. Unimaginative \'origin movie\' plot aside, everything is executed perfectly by Whedon & co. A good cast support snappy dialogue and some excellent action correography.
DVD $15 $7.50, $39.95 | Blu-Ray $49.95
Let Me InLet Me In (2010)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) I\'m still ambivalent as to whether there is any need for this remake, but that aside it is very well done. It\'s slightly less subtle than the earlier Swedish version, but retains the main qualities: good acting, great ambiance, chilling set pieces.
Let The Right One In Let The Right One In (2008)Aro Favourite
4 stars (Very Good) A horror story with a subtle mythic feel along with unsettling rather than extreme violence. The central relationship is expertly handled – both touching and disturbing. The atmosphere is both figuratively and literally chilling.
Great Gatsby, TheGreat Gatsby, The (1974)
3 stars (Good Enough) A competent if uninspiring & overly literal adaptation of the brilliant novel. Evocative of the period, with generally good performances, especially from Waterston, who portrays Nick Carraway with an appropriate sense of slightly aloof dignity.
DVD $20 $15
WalkaboutWalkabout (1970)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) A nuanced film about culture and communication. Occasionally clumsy in juggling its themes, Walkabout is for the most part mysterious, visually strong, and not a simplistic “noble savage = good; modern life = hollow” tale that some think
DVD $19.95 | Blu-Ray $29.95
Postman Always Rings TwicePostman Always Rings Twice (1981)Recommended
1 star (Turkey) Less interesting than the 1946 version, Nicholson in particular is utterly unsympathetic. More tawdry sex than the earlier film (apparently more like the book), but that\'s all it has to offer.
DVD $35
Asphalt Jungle, TheAsphalt Jungle, The (1950)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) A very influential, archetypal crime movie, The Asphalt Jungle is a must watch for cineasts. It’s got an effective atmosphere, and the untangling of the heist is nicely understated. Engenders a good degree of sympathy in the characters. A little didactic.
Postman Always Rings TwicePostman Always Rings Twice (1946)
3 stars (Good Enough) Good performances, especially from Turner & Cronyn, whose devious defence lawyer may be my favourite part of the movie. There’s a vulnerability to both leads, & a precariousness to their criminal plotting, that lends the movie an odd kind of authenticity.
Mildred PierceMildred Pierce (1945)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Has an essentially conservative outlook, but the social anxieties of the time are nicely laid bare. Based on the novel by James Cain, Ranald MacDougall\'s screenplay is sharp, Michael Curtiz\'s direction slick, the atmosphere subtly bleak.

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