In Cinemas Now: About Time (12A)


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Every parent wishes they could turn back time at least once don’t they?
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A Review of New Year’s Eve (12)

So, following on from the success of The Dark Knight Rises, I wondered if those lovely PR peeps at Warner Bros. could make it a double whammy and decided to watch New Year’s Eve (12), the second DVD they sent in our Christmas stocking. However, Mayfair Dad couldn’t commit to making it a date night, as he had some work to do, so I pulled up a box of Christmas chocs and watched it solo.

Film info:

  • Length: 113 minutes approx
  • Director: Garry Marshall
  • Stars: Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Robert De Niro, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Hilary Swank, Sofia Vergara
  • Rated: 12
  • Genre: Romantic/Comedy
  • DVD Price: £8.00 on


Described as an all-star ensemble romantic comedy, that’s pretty much what this film is. If you want a film that is going to move you but not turn you into the emotional equivalent of a spineless jellyfish, (quite a popular choice I imagine for those of us who, post-partum, can’t even watch an advert for Children in Need without breaking down!), then look no further! Love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts are all over this baby like a bad nappy rash. Set in New York it follows various mini stories.

So what did I think? Well, reading the reviews from the film’s launch, I prepared myself for disappointment, as those worldly and well-watched critics didn’t exactly rate it as Oscar material…

“…films don’t get much more dispiriting than this…” said The Guardian and gave it a mere 3.1 out of 10!!

Well, I found it easy going to watch. I felt the stunning array of cast members pulled off a convincing portrayal of their characters and yes, it was a little hard to see Jon Bon Jovi as a “star attraction” for Times Square on arguably the biggest night of its year, looking as he did, a bit middle-aged and sensible to be “rock ‘n roll”. The first mum to “pop” (give birth) after midnight also seemed a little like they threw it in for laughs at the last minute but genially I enjoyed it. Maybe I was in the mood for something easy to watch, nothing too intellectually challenging, ground breaking or soul searching but it was just a fun, harmless story for a cold, run of the mill Saturday night.

Link to official trailer here.


Given that I had no strong feelings about this movie, neither loving or hating it, I’ve given it an equally middle of the road score. But sometimes middle of the road is what you want and mediocre is actually excellent!

Likeability of characters:7/10
I particularly loved Michelle Pfeiffer’s character – the gutsy middle-aged woman with a list of life changing resolutions to complete by midnight – kind of inspired and worth watching just to see her of the Fabulous Baker Boys trying to act like she can’t dance…!

General story line: 5/10
The main story was New Year’s Eve itself, with a host of mini stories revolving around it, rather than tying together, as the director’s previous film, Valentine’s Day did.

The Ending: 6/10
You were expecting some kind of final scene, that tied up or rounded off something. I shan’t spoil it but there was nothing stunning or totally unexpected so I’ve scored accordingly.

Overall score? 6/10

Overall impression:

Not much more stimulating than an episode of Friends really, but given that was probably one of the USA’s most successful shows ever, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, is it?

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on any of the Amazon links embedded in this post and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. But first, try your library or local independent book store. 

A Review of The Dark Knight Rises (12)


So Father Christmas Warner Bros. sent the Mayfair Mum Household an extra Christmas stocking this year packed with lots of goodies for us all.

First up was the final film in Christopher Nolan’s latest Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises (12). No, it’s ok, we didn’t let Little Chap (4) watch it too! With reviews of 5 stars and quotes like “Awesome” and “Brilliant”, this was either going to be a great evening in front of the tv or a complete flop! For the first time ever, I think, Mayfair Dad got just a teeny tiny little bit excited about my getting to work with some lovely PRs on my blog.

Film info:

  • Name: The Dark Knight Rises
  • Certificate: 12 (contains moderate violence)
  • Length: 160 mins   
  • Director: Christopher Nolan  
  • Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Morgan Freeman       
  • Rated: 7.5/10      
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • DVD Price: £10 (on Amazon at time of publication) 

A disgraced Batman is in hiding (but clearly not forgotten), having taken the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, eight years ago. However,  the appearance of a cunning cat burglar and the arrival of a ruthless madman, Bane, changes everything. Batman is forced out of his self-imposed exile by Bane’s reign of terror and results in the ultimate battle for Gotham City’s survival…but will Batman survive too?

Our first reaction was “What the… is going on?” as Mayfair Dad and I realised we hadn’t seen either previous film yet, a fairly crucial requirement for the end of a film trilogy (yes, I know, hardly the credentials of a bona fide film critic!). However, once we had got over ourselves, the plot gathered pace enough for us to calm down and get into the film. We enjoyed it. There were some great gadgets  – a batmobile/plane, a batmobile bike that drove sideways to turn corners where police cars could only stand still and wonder how?! There was a truly dreadful bad guy and more than the usual touch of futurism/make believe that makes the Batman/Gotham City fantasy package what it is.

Link to official trailer here >>>

Overall ratings: 7/10

In general we thought it was a good film and felt that if we’d spent the money on a copy of it ourselves, we wouldn’t regret it.

Likeability of characters         8/10

Characterisation in such a well known story is important – it has to be true to the stories and chemistries seen on screen before or it doesn’t ring true – a bit like a Bond film where Moneypenny doesn’t drip with sarcasm and suggestion. In this case, there was evident chemistry between Batman and Catwoman – it would have been too disappointing if that hadn’t been the case, in deference to Michelle Pfeiffer’s feisty portrayal of the feline creature. Though I can’t say the same for the “attraction” between Batman and the other love interest.

General story line       7/10

This is a hard one to score as we did agree the last 30-60 minutes drag out just a little. Not in a dull way, just in a “Oops! We forgot to tie that loose end up too, so how shall we do that…?” way. That having been said, the plot was convincing enough and had an awesome twist in the tale. The only possible exception to this was the ending concerning Batman’s ultimate fate…(I’ll say no more!)

The Ending     6/10

Fairly low score, I know, but again, this isn’t because it was a bad ending. Just that it felt a little contrived and just a teeny tiny little bit… well, unlikely.

Overall score?                        7/10

Overall impression:

Overall, we both agreed that we’d enjoyed an action packed evening’s viewing. I mean really, what’s not to like? With more than its fair share of world class actors,  a dash of humour in the right places, LOTS of action (= happy Mayfair Dad!), some special effects, a plot with a wicked twist (no clues here!) and actually a pretty good soundtrack to boot, this was living up to the reputation that came before it.

Turkey it wasn’t (which was just as well, as there’s been enough of that around lately!).

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on any of the Amazon links embedded in this post and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. But first, try your library or local independent book store.