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I review many films and books that I read on Sam's website Revado and they are all listed below. Click on anyone of them to be directed to his site to read them in full.

I also do a large number of Shorties on Revado which are reviews in less than 125 words. Please take a look at them!
Big Hero 6Image
Big Hero 6
Film
27/03/2016
 
"An origins story ripe with innocence and loss, this anime-inflected treat harks back to Disney’s big-hearted heritage even as it looks forward towards new worlds of innovation."
 
Mark Kermonde, guardian.com
 
The Theory of EverythingImage
The Theory of Everything
Film
03/01/2015
 
“Here is an unexpectedly charming, moving and powerfully acted film about the enigma that is Stephen W Hawking…”  
 
Peter Bradshaw, theguardian.com
 
The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyImage
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Film
05/01/2014
 
Team Jackson looks outside the novel’s narrative (which, while quicker than Rings, is still rich in detail and packed with incident) to the Tolkienverse yonder, and unashamedly treats The Hobbit as a prequel in which the return of Sauron The Deceiver is foreshadowed ominously. 
 
Dan Jolin, Empire
 
GravityImage
Gravity
Film
15/12/2013
 
Alfonso Cuarón's glorious creation, less sci-fi and more a thriller set in space, makes you breathless with excitement
 
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
 
The Hunger Games: Catching FireImage
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Film
25/11/2013
 
The sequel to the Hunger Games may smack of second helpings, but it nonetheless remains surprisingly tasty
 
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
 
The Secret Olympian - AnonImage
The Secret Olympian - Anon
Book
05/11/2012
 
"An irresistible proposition ... an insight into the life and mindset of a professional athlete. Anon shows us something more real: the myths, absurdity, frailty and futility that are the constant companions of the all or nothing, four yearly bid for sporting immortality"
 
John Crace, Guardian.co.uk
 
The Hunger Games - Suzanne CollinsImage
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Book
28/02/2012
 
...enthralling, imaginative and creepy...”
 
Los Angeles Times, http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/
 
Rise of the Planet of the ApesImage
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Film
29/08/2011
 
"It's a smart and highly entertaining popcorn thriller from British-born director Rupert Wyatt, cheerfully satirical in the tradition of this movie series, yet unpretentious at the same time."
 
Peter Bradshaw, guardian.co.uk
 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2Image
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Film
17/07/2011
 
"From the sinister opening sequence – in which students are marched rank-and-file through a misty courtyard, surrounded by a horde of cloaked Dementors – to the monumental closing battle that reduces it to smouldering rubble, this certainly isn’t the warm, fuzzy home-from-home we’re used to."
 
Richard Jordan, TotalFilm.co.uk
 
HannaImage
Hanna
Film
15/05/2011
 
A woozy mix of hard-as-nails actioner and modern-day fairytale, there are times when this surreal trek across Europe feel as if Hans Christian Andersen has rewritten The Bourne Identity.
 
James Mottram, totalfilm.com
 
The Girl Who Played With Fire / Kicked The Hornet's Nest - Stieg LarssonImage
The Girl Who Played With Fire / Kicked The Hornet's Nest - Stieg Larsson
Book
01/01/2011
 
'I was completely absorbed by the complexities of this Sweden-set page-turner with its unlikely heroine - the book is on one level a gripping thriller, on another a compelling morality tale about the abuse of power'
 
Vince Cable, Guardian
 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1Image
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Film
08/12/2010
 
Let it be said straight away that the seventh film in the Harry Potter series, by now a predictably reliable brand, achieves precisely what it sets out to do, laying the groundwork for next year’s final episode in this decade-long franchise.
 
David Gritten, www.telegraph.co.uk
 
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg LarssonImage
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
Book
30/11/2010
 
Several cuts above most thrillers...intelligent, complex, with a gripping plot and deeply intruiging characters.
 
Philip Pullman
 
InceptionImage
Inception
Film
23/07/2010
 
Christopher Nolan returns to the audacious concepts and narrative trickery of Memento with this slippery and cerebral summer blockbuster
 
Xan Brooks, guardian.co.uk
 
Toy Story 3Image
Toy Story 3
Film
23/07/2010
 
Pixar's greatest characters are back. We've been waiting 11 years for Toy Story 3. But we never imagined it would be this good.
 
Ed Holden, msn.co.uk movies
 
The Twilight Saga - EclipseImage
The Twilight Saga - Eclipse
Film
04/07/2010
 
Twi-hards and dragged-along-boyfriends, rejoice! After the ponderous, dreary New Moon, The Twilight Saga has rediscovered its bite with a flick that ups the action, sex, pace and humour and ditches the constipated moping, flat gloss and atrocious CGI. Yay!
 
Total Film
 
The Associate - John GrishamImage
The Associate - John Grisham
Book
04/07/2010
 
The suspense is there in what is easily his most recongisably 'back to form' novel since The Firm. Grisham has returned with a vengeance to his trademark territory: the grim world of corporate law and the sinister machinations of the men on its fringes.
 
The Times
 
AvatarImage
Avatar
Film
31/12/2009
 
""Avatar" is not simply a sensational entertainment, although it is that. It's a technical breakthrough. It has a flat-out Green and anti-war message. It is predestined to launch a cult."
 
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times
 
Race to the Pole - James Cracknell and Ben FogleImage
Race to the Pole - James Cracknell and Ben Fogle
Book
19/08/2009
 
"Adventure comes no more rugged than RACE TO THE POLE, where James Cracknell and Ben Fogle battle the elements to beat a tough Norwegian team and conquer Antarctica, almost a century after Amundsen and Scott"
 
The Times
 
The Crossing - James Cracknell and Ben FogleImage
The Crossing - James Cracknell and Ben Fogle
Book
10/05/2009
 
"An epic adventure"
 
Andy McNab
 
Drawn to the Rhythm - Sara HallImage
Drawn to the Rhythm - Sara Hall
Book
09/05/2009
 
"A deep book filled with insight and encouragement"
 
Booklist
 
Blood Over Water - David & James LivingstonImage
Blood Over Water - David & James Livingston
Book
17/04/2009
 
"The Boat Race is the most divisive event in rowing...an extraordinary and gripping story of a battle between brothers."
 
Sir Matthew Pinsent
 
The Young VictoriaImage
The Young Victoria
Film
07/04/2009
 
'The rising star Emily Blunt plays the cloistered young monarch with a schoolgirlish playfulness and a lively spirit; Rupert Friend brings a poetic pallor and an endearing awkwardness to Albert.'
 
Wendy Ide, timesonline.com
 
The Last Amateurs - Mark de RondImage
The Last Amateurs - Mark de Rond
Book
11/01/2009
 
"Don't underestimate what an achievement this work is.  The University boat clubs are very tight, closed circles and it speaks volumes for the author that he has become so trusted a member as to be allowed to articulate the reality of a private season."
 
Peter Drury, ITV Commentator
 
East of the Sun by Julia GregsonImage
East of the Sun by Julia Gregson
Book
10/08/2008
 
"When she woke up, she went to the window and watched the sun go and down, and felt homesick for the first time since she's arrived, a sense of the vastness of India all around her..."
 
Cover caption
 
The Romanov Prophecy by Steve BerryImage
The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry
Book
10/08/2008
 
"Perfect for thriller fans and history buffs alike. Fabulous plot twists"
 
David Morrell, author of THE PROTECTOR
 
WantedImage
Wanted
Film
27/07/2008
 
"What did we just see!? The guy flipped his car sideways over the top of the bad guy’s car so he could beat the bulletproof glass by shooting through the sunroof in mid air! Wow!"
 
Ed Holden, www.msn.co.uk
 
Prince CaspianImage
Prince Caspian
Film
19/07/2008
 
"It isn't as good as the first film, but children will enjoy it and there's a profusion of special effects."
 
Phillip French, www.theguardian.co.uk
 
Sepulchre by Kate MosseImage
Sepulchre by Kate Mosse
Book
19/07/2008
 
"Brilliantly absorbing...Richly evocative and full of compelling twists and turns"
 
RED
 
Two Caravans by Marina LewyckaImage
Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka
Book
07/07/2008
 
"Immensely appealing.  All but sings with zest for live...could hardly be more engaging, shrewd and winningly perceptive."
 
Sunday Times
 
Sex and the City: The MovieImage
Sex and the City: The Movie
Film
11/06/2008
 
"Coming very much from the school of 'give them what they want', this is possibly the only TV tie-in film to successfully transplant the essence of the small screen hit onto the bigger canvas."
 
Channel 4 reviews
 
America Unchained by Dave GormanImage
America Unchained by Dave Gorman
Book
05/06/2008
 
"A freewheeling road trip in search of non-corporate USA"
 
Cover caption
 
Meridon by Philippa GregoryImage
Meridon by Philippa Gregory
Book
05/06/2008
 
"In other hands this would be a conventional historical romance.  But Ms Gregory uses her historical knowledge of the haves and the have-nots of those times to weave a much more subtle and exciting story"
 
Daily Express
 
The Last Empress by Anchee MinImage
The Last Empress by Anchee Min
Book
01/05/2008
 
"Empires crumble, hearts are broken"
 
The Times
 
The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniImage
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Book
30/04/2008
 
"It's remarkable.  It's like a condensed history of Afghanistan, mixed with a Shakespearean tale of friendship and love...brilliant"
 
Ben Fogle, Daily Express
 
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa GregoryImage
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Book
10/04/2008
 
"Two sisters competing for the greatest prize...the love of a king"
 
Cover caption
 
Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny ScheinmannImage
Random Acts of Heroic Love by Danny Scheinmann
Book
09/04/2008
 
"Tender and insightful"
 
Observer
 
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniImage
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Book
08/03/2008
 
"A triumph"
 
Financial Times
 
Arthur and George by Julian BarnesImage
Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
Book
03/03/2008
 
"Richly accomplished...Dazzling"
 
Sunday Times
 
A Life Time in a Race by Matthew PinsentImage
A Life Time in a Race by Matthew Pinsent
Book
01/03/2008
 
"The most insightful of the post-Olympic books in which the super human rower demonstrates a reflectiveness that is rare amongst sportspeople.  He writes superbly."
 
Simon O'Hagan, Independent On Sunday
 
St Trinian'sImage
St Trinian's
Film
05/02/2008
 
"The truth is, the original Belles Of St Trinian's (1954) would eat these newbies for breakfast. As the school's headmistress, only Rupert Everett shows true bulldog spirit, but it would be a stretch to see him back for a second term."
 
Stella Papamichael, www.bbc.co.uk/films/
 
The Lord of the RingsImage
The Lord of the Rings
Musical
01/02/2008
 
"Some will prefer the slick grandiosity of Peter Jackson's films; others will sneer at the very idea of singing hobbits. It's their loss. Warchus and his team have a created a brave, stirring, epic piece of popular theatre that, without slavishly adhering to J.R.R. Tolkien's novels, embraces their spirit. The show has charm, wit, and jaw-dropping theatrical brio; crucially, it also has real emotional heft."
 
Sam Marlowe, The Times Online
 
Wideacre by Phillippa GregoryImage
Wideacre by Phillippa Gregory
Book
01/02/2008
 
The eighteenth-century woman is a neglected creature but, in the figure of her heroine, Phillippa Gregory has defined a certain kind of wilderness...  This is a novel written from instinct, not out of calculation, and it shows.
 
Peter Ackroyd, The Times
 
EnchantedImage
Enchanted
Film
14/01/2008
 
"Disney takes a pop at its own back catalogue in Enchanted, a sprightly spoof on fairy-tale lore that both embraces and subverts its cartoon clich鳢
 
Neil Smith, BBC Film Reviews
 
Never Let Me GoImage
Never Let Me Go
Book
13/01/2008
 
"A page-turner and a heartbreaker, a tour de force of knotted tension and buried anguish"
 
Time
 
The Golden CompassImage
The Golden Compass
Film
09/12/2007
 
Free will is the object of the game in The Golden Compass, a big budget exercise in orienteering where witches and polar bears point the way to enlightenment. You'll have to look between the CG seams to find the original intent of Philip Pullman's atheistic novel, but this isn't the overriding problem. It's that writer/director Chris Weitz doesn't convey a strong enough sense of purpose. Thank goodness for the star presence of Dakota Blue Richards.Free will is the object of the game in The Golden Compass, a big budget exercise in orienteering where witches and polar bears point the way to enlightenment. You'll have to look between the CG seams to find the original intent of Philip Pullman's atheistic novel, but this isn't the overriding problem. It's that writer/director Chris Weitz doesn't convey a strong enough sense of purpose. Thank goodness for the star presence of Dakota Blue Richards.
 
Stella Papamichael, www.bbc.co.uk/films/
 
The Favoured Child by Philippa GregoryImage
The Favoured Child by Philippa Gregory
Book
20/11/2007
 
"For sheer pace and percussive drama it will take a lot of beating"
 
Sunday Times
 
StardustImage
Stardust
Film
22/10/2007
 
"Every shot glitters with detail, every character hints at volumes of tales about them that could be told..."
 
Ann Kelly, BBC Film Reviews
 
RatatouilleImage
Ratatouille
Film
15/10/2007
 
"A sewer rat working undercover at a posh restaurant is a pretty icky premise, but in Pixar's latest and possibly greatest film, you'll be rooting for the rodent."
 
Paul Arendt, BBC Film Reviews
 
Run, Fat Boy, RunImage
Run, Fat Boy, Run
Film
13/10/2007
 
"It's a romantic comedy told from the male perspective, but Pegg, who also co-wrote the script, isn't afraid to reveal a soft, squidgy centre - and we don't just mean the beer gut. Plenty of dry, British humour serves as a counterbalance and makes for a surprising big-screen directorial debut by former 'Friend' (and Pegg's pal) David Schwimmer."
 
Stella Papamichael, www.bbc.co.uk/films/
 
Knocked UpImage
Knocked Up
Film
26/09/2007
 
You could throw a rock at a video shop and hit a movie about the joys of parenting, but very few of those gooey family flicks deal with the actual business of making the baby. That's where Knocked Up comes in. Delving fearlessly beneath the duvet of taboo, Judd Apatow's superb comedy follows the relationship between slobby stoner Ben (Seth Rogen) and go-getting TV exec Alison (Katharine Heigl) from a drunken one-night-stand to nursery shopping and labour pains.
 
Paul Arendt, BBC Film Reviews
 
The IllusionistImage
The Illusionist
Film
20/08/2007
 
'Norton's trademark intensity is perfectly suited to the enigmatic character of Eisenheim. He defies understanding as much as his impressive tricks. And as befits the subject, The Illusionist looks wonderful. Director Neil Burger captures every scene in an evocative daguerreotype tone. Not everyone will be taken in by the plot's final twist, but even if you guess how Eisenheim does it, you'll be won over by his showmanship.'
 
Matt McNally, BBC Film Reviews
 
The Simpson's MovieImage
The Simpson's Movie
Film
10/08/2007
 
For 18 years The Simpsons have been successfully putting the fun into dysfunction on our TV sets. On the big screen, however, the 'funk' comes across almost as strongly. It could be the pig poop that Homer fatefully dumps into Springfield's lake, or it could be the sweaty desperation of eleven writers (including series creator Matt Groening) all sat in a room, struggling to fill 90 minutes of Movie. Okay, so it's quite funny, but sometimes concentration drifts and - mmm, popcorn...
 
Stella Papamichael, www.bbc.co.uk/films/
 
Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsImage
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Book
29/07/2007
 
 
A N Wilson, The Sunday Times
 
Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixImage
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Film
16/07/2007
 
Order of the Phoenix is entertaining enough, but it feels like a stopgap, a stepping stone to later, greater thrills. It takes an awfully long time to get going, but fans will be rewarded with an action-packed final third full of duelling wizards, portentous prophecies and Helena Bonham Carter giving plenty of loony as Bellatrix Lestrange.
 
Paul Arendt, BBC Film Reviews
 
Die Hard 4.0Image
Die Hard 4.0
Film
15/07/2007
 
'It is a truth universally acknowledged that the original Die Hard was one of the greatest action movies of the 80s, so it's no surprise that Len Wiseman's Die Hard 4.0 doesn't cut it as an heir to the throne. Or should that be sweaty vest?'
 
Laura Bushell, BBC Film Reviews
 
Shrek the ThirdImage
Shrek the Third
Film
12/07/2007
 
The summer of threequels continues with Shrek The Third, a serviceable CGI toon with enough wry humour to keep weary parents amused.
 
Paul Arendt, BBC Film Reviews
 
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's EndImage
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Film
08/07/2007
 
"While Dead Man's Chest was a damp squib enlivened by a giant squid, the third entry in the Pirates series clunks like a rusty anchor. Captain Jack (Johnny Depp) and the rest of the Black Pearl's crew may return, but director Gore Verbinski cares more about tying up every loose end before the bum-numbing, 169 minute running time expires. Talky, action-lite and saved only by Depp's increasingly cavalier performance, it's less At World's End than When Will It End?"
 
Jamie Russell, BBC Film Reviews
 
Blink - the power of thinking without thinking - Malcolm GladwellImage
Blink - the power of thinking without thinking - Malcolm Gladwell
Book
28/05/2007
 
'Trust my snap judgement, buy this book: you'll be delighted'
 
The New York Times
 
Children of MenImage
Children of Men
Film
07/04/2007
 
"A scene where guns are silenced by the sound of a crying baby cuts straight to the heart of the matter and lingers afterwards. Like the film on the whole, the surrounding noise can be distracting, but there are deeper truths that strike a chord."
 
Stella Papamichael, www.bbc.co.uk/films/
 
VolverImage
Volver
Film
24/03/2007
 
'Pedro Almod󶡲 gets back in touch with his feminine side in Volver, the Spanish helmer's most femme fable since 1999's All About My Mother. One of that film's stars, Pen鬯pe Cruz, here takes centre stage as a domestic drudge caught up in family strife - including the return of her supposedly dead mother (Almod󶡲 veteran Carmen Maura). Despite dwelling on death, there's plenty of life in this mix of tears and laughter, although the style's subdued compared with the writer/director's earlier melodramas.'
 
Matthew Leyland, BBC Film Reviews
 
Left Bank - Kate MuirImage
Left Bank - Kate Muir
Book
15/11/2006
 
"A seamless comedy of manners."
 
Independent
 
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina LewyckaImage
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka
Book
19/09/2006
 
'Hugely enjoyable ... yields a golden harvest of family truths'
 
Daily Telegraph
 
Miami ViceImage
Miami Vice
Film
20/08/2006
 
A SLICE OF PURE CHEESECAKE
 
Paul Arendt, www.bbc.co.uk/films
 
Vanishing Acts - Jodi PicoultImage
Vanishing Acts - Jodi Picoult
Book
07/08/2006
 
"The novel is slick and pacey and the author has done her research...if you like a brisk read with a soft centre, then this is the novel for you."
 
The Sunday Times
 
The Time Travelers Wife - Audrey NiffeneggerImage
The Time Travelers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
Book
24/07/2006
 
"Wonky, sexy, incredible"
 
The Times
 
The Da Vinci CodeImage
The Da Vinci Code
Film
24/05/2006
 
"It is a truism that good books make bad films, and vice versa. By that reckoning, Da Vinci ought to be an excellent film, since the prose is awful and the plot is tremendous. But something has gone badly wrong."
 
Paul Arendt, bbc.co.uk
 
Small Island - Andrea LevyImage
Small Island - Andrea Levy
Book
09/04/2006
 
'Is as full of warmth and jokes and humanity as you could wish.'
 
Time Out
 
Cloud Atlas - David MitchellImage
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
Book
07/03/2006
 
'Funny, exciting, imaginative and energetic.'
 
Tim Lott, Evening Standard
 
Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireImage
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Film
11/12/2005
 
In short, it's a focussed, efficient film that lacks charm but gets the job done.
 
Paul Arendt, Film 2005
 
Wallace and Gromit - The Curse of the Were-RabbitImage
Wallace and Gromit - The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Film
15/10/2005
 
'It's a lovely family film packed with cheeky gags and buoyant fun, like the best-ever Bumper Holiday edition of the Beano, with the merest hint of Viz.'
 
Peter Bradshaw - The Guardian
 
The IslandImage
The Island
Film
01/10/2005
 
"Some of the plot links are spongy, but the central idea plays out with much wit."
 
New York Post
 
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz ZaronImage
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zaron
Book
18/09/2005
 
"One of those rare novels that combine brilliant plotting with sublime writing..."
 
Sunday Times
 
Hyperspace, Michio KakuImage
Hyperspace, Michio Kaku
Book
08/12/2004
 
"Among the best of its genre to appear in recent years..."
 
New York Times Book Review
 
 
© Angela J Watling 2006 - 2021  +