New Film review blog – how I missed Star Wars, caused an earthquake, fell in love and gave Wolverine a High 5….

Note : For listings of this week’s films in the Amsterdam Area go here :


In 1977 in West Sussex in southern England seismologists recorded what seemed to be a major earthquake taking place on a Saturday afternoon. No one died. No building fell, but it is possible that cracks appeared in the crystal wine glasses at a window display at Bentall’s shopping emporium. I was 6 years old and in the queue to see Star Wars Episode 4 – A New Hope, having successfully badgered my mum to take me to the Odeon in Worthing with my relentless begging and irrepressible charm. The identikit queue was composed almost uniquely of boys my age with a parent. Freckles, flairs and bad haircuts were all the rage. I was so excited to be seeing this film. Everyone at school was talking about it.

Who could resist this in 1997 and beyond..

Laser guns, space ships, a death star ? News of the amazing space opera was everywhere. The special effects were very special, literally mind-blowing. The word on the street was that it was ‘far out’, whatever that was. Then the earthquake hit. Expecting volumes of starry-eyed space cadets, the cinema had employed the daytime services of two massive bouncers from the nightclub around the corner to keep the peace. One man mountain door unit brutally cut the queue 2 metres in front of us announcing that the cinema was all sold out for the day and that’s the exact moment when the seismologist’s needles started to scribble a dark mass of ink on the paper roll. It nearly caused a riot. Suddenly, getting very angry was all the rage and the roller coaster of emotions did not stop there, oh no. Seeing the distress my mum suggested that we grab tickets for the only other film we could see that day. There was a re-run of the child-friendly classic ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’. That is what is called an aftershock.


That was my first visit to a cinema and that is the moment I fell in love with film. Many thousands of hours of my life have been passively spent watching some of the greatest stories ever invented. I cannot get enough of going to the cinema. I will see reruns of films that I have already seen too many times if it is on at the cinema.

With all that now in context, I have started this blog to do regular reviews of the films I go to see at the cinema and hopefully inspire you to go an buy a ticket and enjoy 2 or so hours of escapism hopefully enjoying what I saw or, on the other hand, avoiding what I panned in a review here.

So, take this a as roaring lion moment from a MGM introduction. And it’s Art Gratia Artis and I’ll scratch yours. Here is the very first review – Logan.

I admit it. I love an action blockbuster. It can be such a fun way to be distracted for 100+ minutes without any brain work to do as the action scenes and fireworks intensify right up until the final moments where the good guy (or girl) protagonist wins / gets redemption / gets revenge / kills their nemesis or comes full circle on the dramatic setup all the while leaving the way forward for a sequel. The economics behind the sequel are well documented by the big studio bean counting money men. Any successful film must have a sequel as it is guaranteed to generate at least 60% of the profits of the first outing. That, films fans, is money in the bank. The Marvel franchise knows this and has been pumping out sequels and follow-ons so fast that Los Angeles and New York barely have time to rebuild themselves before a fresh onslaught starts. But wait, what’s this ? A trailer for the latest X-Men film that appears to show two of our favourite super heroes looking old and knackered with a Jonny Cash as the theme tune.  This trailer got my full attention a while back and I knew then we were looking at a new angle to this franchise. 


Set in 2029, we have a tired and jaded Wolverine, aka Logan (Hugh Jackson) taking care of Professor X (Patrick Stewart) who is suffering from Dementia and needs meds to stop his runaway mind wreaking havoc on the surroundings. Logan makes ends meet as a chauffeur, not the perfect job for a functioning alcoholic. The mutants are a spent force and the future is bleak. This is a stark contrast to the glitz and glamour of other X-Men films with their ‘kill the baddie’ showniess and polished CGI fight scenes. This is down at heel, gritty and more human. Things get exciting when Logan gets a transport request for a special client – a girl, but no ordinary girl. She has a unique set of fighting skills and shares some DNA with Logan. The problem for Logan is that she is a wanted package and the military will do anything to get her back. Logan has to protect her and the Professor, but he knows that he is getting too old for this and might just need to save himself. He still has reserves though and you should never, ever consider giving Wolverine a High-5.

This film gets 9 / 10 stars from me. This is a high score and worthy of it because the writers and the director to a massive gamble with the franchise. It could not go on forever and this return to a narrative-driven character-based storyline makes this the best of the franchise and is a win for everyone, especially fans of great films.


Note : For listings of this week’s films in the Amsterdam Area go here :