Kaleidoscope (2016)

Director: Rupert Jones

Writer: Rupert Jones (Screenplay)

Starring: Toby Jones, Anne Reid, Sinead Matthews


Plot: A psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between a middle-aged man and his mother.


Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Starts on a High, Falls Downhill Afterwards


Story: Kaleidoscope starts as we meet lonely middle-aged man Carl (Jones) who has been trying to put his life back together after a stint in jail, he goes on a date with Abby (Matthews) which ends in a disturbing way, a way he can’t explain, all this when his controlling mother Aileen (Reid) is planning to visit him. Carl must figure out what is real or what is in his mind before he gets himself into trouble once again.


Thoughts on Kaleidoscope


Characters – Carl is the middle-aged man trying to keep his life together after spending time in jail, we don’t learn what he did to end up there, though he does keep himself to himself, he doesn’t have many belongings and lives in a housing estate. He goes on a date which sees the lady return to his flat, but what happens here is stuck in his head, forgotten and with his mother’s visiting his life becomes to come undone in his mind. Aileen is Carl’s mother that comes to visit, she has had a strange relationship with her son, she wants to rebuild their relationship. Abby is the woman that Carl has a date with, she is bubbly and been through a difficult relationship, she wants Carl to loosen up and enjoy their time together.

PerformancesToby Jones is unsettling through this film, his performance shows us that this single age can become difficult to get through without having problems in your life. Anne Reid brings a disturbing presence to go with her desperate need to rebuild the relationship with her son. Sinead Matthews brings the energy to the film.

StoryThe story here follows a middle-aged man trying to put his life back together only for it to come crashing down around him as he needs to figure out what is real or not. This story starts on a high with the discovery in the bathroom, which does drag you into wanting to see how this story unfolds, the problems soon mount up though because the non-linear storytelling makes everything difficult to keep on top of, along with not being able to tell just what is real or not, even with subtle hints, we also focus too heavily on the colours he sees, which being colour blind is hard to pick up certain hints. Th story focuses too heavily on the idea that Carl isn’t right mentally, rather than showing us just how calculated he would need to be.

ThrillerThis film does start very impressively, it gives us a mystery as to what happened and makes us want to see how it unfolds, only it just doesn’t reach the heights that are shown early on.

SettingsThe film is set in a housing estate which is meant to show how much of a mediocre life Carl is living doing nowhere.

Scene of the Movie –
The morning wake up banging.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How everything unfolds.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that just doesn’t reach the potential it showed, it just seems to drag along without doing anything it promises from the opening sequence.


Overall: Fails to launch.




ABC Film Challenge – Favourite Film – F – Field of Dreams (1989) Movie Rob’s Pick

Head Over to Movie Rob’s Site for more reviews

“We just don’t recognize life’s most significant moments while they’re happening. Back then I thought, “Well, there’ll be other days.” I didn’t realize that that was the only day.” – Dr. Archibald “Moonlight” Graham

Number of Times Seen – More than 10 times (Theater in 1989, cable, video, DVD, 22 Nov 2001, 7 Apr 2014 and 4 Mar 2020)

Link to original review – Here

Brief Synopsis – An inexperienced farmer hears a voice that tells him to build a baseball field and is taken on a wondrous journey to finding his purpose in the world.

My Take on it – This month, Darren really challenged me to decide what films to choice because I have hundreds of favorite films and any of them would have been the right choice.

In the end, I chose this film because I hadn’t seen it in years and had the urge to rewatch it.

I recall seeing this movie in the theater when it came out over 30 years ago and it still is so amazing to watch again and again because the story is so uplifting and enjoyable to watch unfold.

This movie finds a way to be so moving and inspirational at the same time and it stays that way from start to finish.

Kevin Costner was perfectly cast in the lead role and is able to make us truly believe the physical and emotional journey that he must take.

They find a way to set this story up really well and then take us to visit people and places that we never expected to meet and it does so in such a great way that it enhances the setting of the story over and over.

The movie has some great interactions with the past and they do this all in very subtle ways that helps make the story even more realistic despite its fantastical nature.

James Horner does an amazing job with this film’s musical score and helps give it an even more inspirational tone to all that these characters experience.

In addition to Costner, the supporting cast is also great and we get some very moving performances by Ray Liotta, Burt Lancaster and James Earl Jones.

Amy Madigan plays Costner’s on-screen wife and the chemistry that the two of them have is great and it feels so genuine and believable throughout.

This film was quite deserving of its Oscar nomination for Best Picture in addition to nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Original Score yet didn’t manage to win any of them.

Bottom Line – Amazing film that is both moving and inspirational at the same time. Costner is perfectly cast in the lead role and makes us believe the physical and emotional journey of his character.  The story is set up really well and takes us places that are quite unexpected and this enhances the setting so much. The interactions with the past is done in a very subtle way that works and helps make us believe everything that transpires. The musical score by Horner is quite moving and helps give the story a more fantastical feel to everything that happens. The supporting cast is also great and we get to see some great performances by Jones, Lancaster and Liotta.  Costner has wonderful chemistry with his on-screen wife played by Madigan and their relationship is quite believable throughout.  Very deserving of its 3 Oscar nominations including for Best Picture even if it didn’t manage to win any of them. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – After the movie was completed, test audiences didn’t like the name “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, because they said it sounded like a movie about a bum or hobo. Universal called director and screenwriter Phil Alden Robinson to tell him that “Shoeless Joe” didn’t work, and the studio changed the title of the film to “Field of Dreams”. When Robinson heard the news of the change, he called W.P. Kinsella, the author of the book, and told him the “bad” news, but apparently he didn’t care, saying that “Shoeless Joe” was the title the publishing company gave the book. Kinsella’s original title was “Dream Field”. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

ABC Film Challenge – Favourite Films – F – Face/Off

ABC Film Challenge

Favourite Films



Why I’ve Picked this choice – This action movie follows FBI agent Sean Archer (Travolta) whose son is killed by terrorist Caster Troy (Cage) and has spent 6-years hunting him down, before eventually catching him, seeing him fall into a coma despite having a bomb planted in the city. The only way Sean can defuse the bomb is to go in for a medical procedure which will see him have his face removed and replaced with Castor, making him become his own worst enemy, only Castor doesn’t remain in the coma for as along as planned and decides to become Sean, killing anyone who knows the truth.

This is a completely over the top action film, where Nicolas Cage takes everything to a new level, with both his villainous character and the good guy with the villains face, Travolta enjoys the same, as the stylish action film will be remembered for years to come.