4 Jul 2016



Loved the original Star Wars, hated the pre-equals, so it was with some apprehension that I sat down to watch this, the seventh film in the franchise.

Great to see the return of some old favourites (including my favourite Chewbacca), the return of the humour of the original films and, perhaps most of all, no Jar Jar Binks (yeah!). Albeit one feisty woman but I'm not too sure about (main female lead) Rey .... yet. The droid BB8 I however loved - almost but not quite as much as C-3P0 and R2-DT. All in all I enjoyed this film, really enjoyed it. TT

Not having caught the Star Wars bug despite being of the ripe age to do so when the first movie, episode whatever it was, was released. I remain unimpressed. There is nothing new in this one to change my mind. Jungian good versus evil, who is who's father mother, brother, lover and has the biggest light sabre, hero, anti-hero all very basic stuff and completely lacking in any depth or moral. NJT


What can I say?

A poignant film beautifully acted by Ian McKellen as both the elderly (and not so elderly) Sherlock Holmes. I defy any one to watch this without the odd tear in their eye as a lonely Holmes, slipping into senility, mourns his life without family or  friends (with the exception of his housekeeper's young son) as he re-visits his last case. TT 

A delightful fiction on the Sherlock Holmes of dotage as his intellect and deductive powers weaken and drift into senility, he mourns for his life that has left him without family and friends; the shreds of his last case that have never really reconciled themselves and living a sedentary life in need of assistance. 

There were moments in this film where I felt genuinely saddened by the portrait of ageing portrayed in the much reduced Sherlock played haltingly by Ian McKellen with pathos and grace. His relationship with the young son of his intemperate housekeeper provides the thread eventually resolving matters in both the case and maintaining the fire in the old mans belly as he struggles with his mortality and loneliness. 

Good film with some intricate weaving of themes in three inter-twined stories. NJT


Alan Bennett's touching memoir based on his diarisation of dealings with the eponymous character who lodged in her beaten up old Bedford van, parked on his driveway for 15 years. Margaret Fairchild who lived a life hidden, having been a successful concert pianist, remained secluded in this driveway never giving her name, history or origins whilst tormenting the denizens of Camden with her appearance and eccentricities. Good turn as Bennett and his internal dialogue, from Alex Jennings and Maggie Smith lives humour and tragedy with equal aplomb.  Some will no doubt find the film perhaps slow or insufficiently slapstick, and I have heard such, but this is a dialogue of living and dying which is 'mostly true' right up to the end and a glorious ascension... NJT

As always wonderful acting by Maggie Smith but alas not one for me (based on Alan Bennett's book of the same name, I feel I may fare better with the novel).

Annoyingly glib and why oh why the two Alan Bennetts? Yes, I know, as Mr T explained, one was Bennett the individual, the other (the one sitting at the typewriter) Bennett the author. A sort of internal dialogue made both visual and audible if you like but all rather pretentious if you ask me. TT


Kelly said...

I've not see any of these, though my husband has purchased (and watched several times) the Star Wars film. While I enjoyed the original (episode 4), I was always more of a Trekkie. I saw the three prequels when they came out, but never got around to watching The Return of the Jedi or The Empire Strikes Back (which my children would tell you were the best films of all) - therefore I skipped this one, feeling I might not know what was going on.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Totally loved SW! I'll always be a fan even with the not so great ones. LOL This one was good tho, IMO.

All you had to say was Ian McKellen and Maggie Smith. Now I need to see both of these!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

Hubbie has seen all the Star Wars films, although I tend to avoid being stuck in the same room, so we rather go our separate ways on regular 'cinema' nights.

'The Lady In The Van' has proved very popular amongst the ladies I volunteer with, when one of their social groups had an exclusive showing. One or two of them have als read the book and also found that enjoyable.

I am not a huge fan of Ian McKellan, although I can imagine his own personality fits well with that of the character of Holmes, which would be enough to see me pay out for this film. Definitely my favourite 'must see' one from your selection :)

Thanks for sharing.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for sharing! I really need to start reviewing the movies I watch again. I just find I don't always have the time, because I LIKE to schedule ahead if I can.

Anyway, I really want to see Mr. Holmes. Glad you liked it.

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

I liked Star Wars 7 but could've done without yet another masked bad guy. I guess they wanted it to be samey enough to draw fans back :/

I want to see Lady in the Van because it's Bennett and Maggie Smith but I'll keep your thoughts in mind and not get too excited about it!

Natasha Hill said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed Star Wars - you mentioned everything I loved about the originals that the re-boot captured beautifully. Must see Mr Holmes and The Lady in the Van next! - Tasha

Brian Joseph said...

I also grew up with Star Wars and I also had mixed feelings about the series. With that, despite some reservations I enjoyed the original three films.

I also felt a lot of nostalgia in the lead up to this movie. I thought that this film was good in many ways but disappointing in others. I thought that really was two much of a carbon copy of the original. On the other hand it had its moments.

Suko said...

Thank you for your honest reviews. I would still like to see The Lady in the Van though, because I am huge fan of Maggie Smith.

Gina R said...

I've not seen any of them but the first was on my list. I haven't seen the prequels at all and have been told they can essentially be skipped. Thanks for the sneak peek!

Literary Feline said...

Our household loved the latest Star Wars movie. I haven't seen the others you mentioned, I'm afraid.

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

I'd love to watch Mr. Holmes. Just never occurred to me to imagine him old and alone (though of course he would be).

LL Cool Joe said...

I loved Lady in the Van. I haven't seen any of the Star Wars and have no desire to change that. Isn't interesting how we all love different things?