10 minute Film Reviews by Nick Wray — a selection of my Facebook posts (written in 10 minutes or less) reproduced here by popular demand beyond the walled and evil garden that is Facebook.

Cockneys_vs_Zombies (2013) 88 mins
Les Misérables (2012) 158 mins
The Adjustment Bureau (2011) 99mins

  • Cockneys vs Zombies (2013) 88 mins

Clearly “Dombey & Son” has become post-modern rhyming slang for ‘cockney with gun’? Better than the much overrated ‘ Shaun of the Dead‘, but not nearly as good as it could have been.

Nick Wray score — 55%

Rotten Tomatoes score — Critics 70% / Audience 45%

  • Les Misérables (2012) 158 mins

More “Les Risiablés”? Oddly unengaging, over-long operetta (it’s not a musical as there’s no dialogue at all). Hugh Jackman’s good, Russell Crowe, stiff as a stale baguette. Though neither can sing, the gamble pays off with Jackman, his discordance adding some emotional tone to the part, though Crowe’s voice is as monotone and cruel as the ruthless Inspector Javert he plays.

Even with a liberal sprinkling of tricolours and ‘monsieurs’ it’s hard to imagine many follow or would be engaged by the sketchily drawn Napoleonic background to the story. Indeed, the cinema audience where I had taken Aged P (my 81 year old mother) to see the film was largely made up of teens, apparently unable to resist the temptation of checking for ‘LoLs’ and ‘Saaaeered Faces’ on their smartphones every 10 minutes or so when they were not otherwise engaged in feeding frenzies of popcorn gobbling from tumbrel-size troughs of popcorn.

Meanwhile Anne Hathaway reprised a Francophile version of Oscar Wilde’s: “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing”, as we see her fall, from anorexic fashion mannequin to toothless hag.

The Tavern number is shamelessly pick-pocketed from Oliver, and why does Helena Bonham Carter only seems to do Sweeney Todd-esque characters these days? (Personally, I blame Tim Burton). In this case merely swapping her ‘Apple-and-Pears’ from the former for a Francophone ‘Pomme-et-escalier’.

To the guillotine, I shout, though I fear popular support will soon overwhelm my isolated barricade of bemusement. Sacre Bleu!

Nick Wray score — 54%

Rotten Tomatoes score — Critics 70% / Audience 79%

  • The Adjustment Bureau (2011) 99mins

Perhaps more Sci-Rom than SciFi, a slight but still enjoyable adaptation of a Philip K Dick short story with good performances and real chemistry between leads Matt Damon and an excellent Emily Blunt. Manages to combine dinner party ruminations about the nature of free will without being over-demanding. A perfect Friday-night-DVD-with-the-missus-and-a-bottle-of-something-nice package. Second Eleven Dick, perhaps, but better than no Dick at all?

Nick Wray score 64%

Rotten Tomatoes score — Critics 72%/ Audience 67%