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Reviews by Cinefan

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276 reviews/ratings - 14 pages (20 reviews/ratings per page)

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Undertow (2004)

A gritty film with superb acting from Jamie Bell who seems to have mastered the American accent. Along with Devon Alan this is a dramatic boy movie with, what some might consider, an incomprehensible ending.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Voces inocentes (2004)

If that is really what went on in the El Salvadorian civil war then it's inhumanity makes your heart sink. Carlos Padilla was remarkable as Chava, a boy struggling to be a boy yet surrounded by abject poverty, death and depraved brutality. The people had nothing and yet they were caught between the soldiers and the partisans who cared little about human life. Carlos could be nominated for a BA Oscar as his performance was so outstanding. How children could survive such a horrific environment makes you realise how tough a child like Chava had to be. A great film interspersed with the occasional humour like Chava's 'farty' sister and the boy getting a job on the bus.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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The Walking Dead (2010-????)

A gripping series and well written keeping you on the edge of your seat as our heroes battle the undead. Chandler Riggs is an added bonus and we literally see him grow up over the series.. Everything goes okay until Season Seven when a character called Negan enters the fray and we are confronted by a psychotic and sadistic lunatic whose endless speeches of utter depravity get somewhat wearisome. Why didn't someone just put a bullet in his head and get on with the story?

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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War of the Buttons (1994)

A well made film with humour and pathos and the director managing to achieve almost the impossible these days, or in 1994 for that matter - getting boys to run about in their birthday suits. The scene with the battle at the castle was very well done, something that was missing from the French original. Plenty of action with plenty of boys though this time with the inevitable intervention of some girls. Ah well.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007)

A pleasant tale of a boy and his ... water horse for want of a better name. Fantasy adventure with good acting from Alex Etal.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Way Down South (1939)

Another slice of nostalgia in this vintage movie which is redolent of the attitudes to black people in the thirties. The plot is farcical and could do with Bobby Breen singing more often than he does here. However, his rendering of an old Southern song about Lou-Lou-Lou Louisiana is notable.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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When Zachary Beaver Came to Town (2003)

An entertaining little movie of typical Americana. Sasha Neulinger is impressive as the fat showboy, Zachary Beaver, who has an answer for everything. The friendship between Toby and Cal is nicely explored. The scene where Toby dances on the main street with the attractive young blond girl is poignant. Good film that sort of washes over you. Slight mistake in the editing: When Cal comes into Zachary's caravan angry with Toby and throws the money he owes at him he's wet through. But the scene where he and Toby fall in the lake isn't until later. Just a mild mistake in an otherwise plesant film that should reside on any enthusiast of the boy actor's DVD shelf.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Where Eskimos Live (2002)

A great film with Bob Hoskins playing a pretty awful character as a fake UN official in wartime Bosnia. He's looking for a boy to take back to Poland to be adopted. In Bosnia he meets Vlado (Seguisz Zymelka) who both go on a horrendous journey through the country. Serguisz, who is actually Polish, gives a fine performance as the boy witnessing many of the horrors of war. Apparently, he had to learn his lines in English for the part.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Max Records plays his part well. The mumbling creatures he meets on the island are not only strange but downright dangerous with their rough games. They could be menacing as well as friendly. There are some moving scenes but I was glad when the boy got into his boat and sailed away from the weirdos.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Whisper (2007)

I enjoyed this film even if the unfortunate kidnappers were on a hiding to nothing up against David (Blake Woodruff) and his ability to use the supernatural in his weaponry. Blake was the ideal boy to play the part with his outward innocence until you went into close-up and saw those eyes and that menacing smile.

The DVD even had an alternate ending in which David survives. The extras included a 'making of' feature which showed Blake being typically boyish around the set. It seems he even had a stuntBOY to do the scenes where he had to fall off the roof and that.

Great boy horror film with good support coming from the adult actors.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Wide Awake (1998)

A moving film of the relationship between grandad and grandson. A sprinkling of the supernatural does nothing to detract from this pleasant and often funny film. A fine performance from Joseph Cross of course.

What no mention of Michael Craig Bigwood who played the mysterious little boy/angel? I think he was the son of James Bigwood, the co-producer.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Peter Ostrum is great as Charlie Bucket while Gene Wilder excels as the whacky Willy Wonka. I liked the scene towards the end where Wonka refuses to accept Charlie who then gives him back his everlasting gobstopper.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Witness (1985)

Charming performance from Lukas Haas though how true the film is to the ways of the Amish I wouldn't know.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Wonder (2017)

Dealing with an emotional subject but in a typical glossy, Hollywood fashion. What should have been a gut wrenching story of a boy facing innumerable problems with his disfigurement is here portrayed as almost a fairy tale where everything turns out nice. The other boys act in ways no kids would act in such a situation, they respond too grown up. While Jacob Tremblay's acting is quite good this film certainly wouldn't be nominated for a BA Oscar.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (2013)

An interesting film with a great performance from Kyle Catlett.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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The Young Messiah (2016)

I didn't think Adam Greaves-Neal's accent added much to the character he was portraying, it sounded too, too British and somewhat amateurish. However, never mind Adam, who the hell was that dusky beauty playing Eleazer at the beginning of the film? Jacopo Alaimo was stunningly beautiful and the obvious choice for the main role but then these casting directors do make mistakes now and again.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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