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Farewell [DVD]
Farewell [DVD]
Dvd ~ Guillaume Canet
Price: 5.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not fulfilling..., 17 Jan 2013
This review is from: Farewell [DVD] (DVD)
I adore love Cold War thrillers. The idea of a French view on the era - especially one based on a true story was enticing. I looked forward so much to watching it - conceivably, it could not live up to my expectations.

The cinematography was excellent; I really liked the look of the film. However, the American aspect of the story was very 'hammily' portrayed.

Whilst we patently have so much to thank the French for - they managed to appear extremely supercilious in this movie. Undoubtedly, it is of especial interest to see a Cold War film from a French perspective. However, it manages to convey a smug 'the French knew best' sanctimoniousness. Possibly they did, however, they have their own faux pas - e.g. 'Rainbow Warrior'.

I liked the film - but didn't get to like anybody in the film - and I think this was the failing for me. So, liked it - didn't love it.

Sleepless Night [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Sleepless Night [DVD] [2011] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Serge Riaboukine
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: 9.58

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous film!, 17 Jan 2013
This is a relentless thriller - no small feat when you consider 99% of it occurs within a single building. It has fabulous plot twists and turns - and you can never be sure who has the moral high-ground. Presumably, it was made for a comparatively small amount of money. Therefore, it is incredible that the scale manages to be so grand. Compared to the high budget thrills of something like'...Ghost Protocol' - 'Sleepless Night' knocks it into a 'cocked-hat'. Furthermore, the plot makes a great deal more sense and is infinitely more engaging.

A great movie that I absolutely recommend!

Skyfall [DVD]
Skyfall [DVD]
Dvd ~ Daniel Craig
Offered by filmrollen
Price: 10.94

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good - could have been better., 4 Jan 2013
This review is from: Skyfall [DVD] (DVD)
`Skyfall' is an entertaining movie and incorporates some sublime actors. However, after re-reading all the Bond books - the best, in my mind, being the Sebastian Faulks addition to the series, `Skyfall' follows its celluloid predecessors - and could have been so much more superior if it incorporated more of the style of the books.
`Skyfall' forgoes story, ergo substance, for the sake of relentless action. Aspects of the plot are non-sensical as a result. The incredible options that lay open to the makers of the film, courtesy of the phenomenal actors they had at their disposal, were not acknowledged.
Conceivably, Bond stories should have been left in an era no later than the early 1960s in order for the stories to be logical. I would also have enjoyed some Le Carre-esque, intelligent, gritty aspects to the story - hence less action.
Everybody I speak to appears to have loved `Skyfall'. I certainly enjoyed it - but am left feeling that there could have been more depth to the story-line, and more intellectual tension.
I would also add that Daniel Craig is the best Bond to date. To some this is calumny - since Connery is usually touted as the greatest. Craig is a better actor - and his dourness, even his maturity make him, in my mind, the most perfect Bond we have witnessed.

Jo Nesbo's Headhunters [DVD]
Jo Nesbo's Headhunters [DVD]
Dvd ~ Aksel Hennie
Price: 4.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Undoubtedly worth a watch!, 4 Jan 2013
This review is from: Jo Nesbo's Headhunters [DVD] (DVD)
I suspect many of us were looking for more Scandinavian movie quality post the `The Girl...' Series. As such, `Headhunters' will not disappoint. The movie is generously tinged with irony that is not a feature of the Larsen-based movies. However, `Headhunters' lacks the amazing cinematography of the formerly mentioned.
`Headhunters' is quirky, Hitchcockian and, therefore, highly entertaining. If you watch the dubbed version - this aspect of the movie is better handled that `The Girl...' series - hence, I much prefer to watch the latter with sub-titles.
An excellent film, amply demonstrating the ability of Europeans to more-than-challenge their counterparts from the States.

Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012]
Boardwalk Empire - Season 1 (HBO) [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Steve Buscemi
Price: 12.50

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, 13 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Boardwalk Empire is a breath-taking series. Over the years, I have tended to avoid the vast majority of US tv series. However, when I read the provenance of this one I was intrigued - and when I commenced watching, hooked. The period detail is sumptuous, the casting phenomenal - but it is the story structure, how the protagonists relate to each other, that is 'four dimensional'. This series is so Shakespearean; I keep referring, in my mind, to Shakespeare's plays as I watch it, as I see the inclusion of so many characterisations and plots from them...
This is a superlative series. Undoubtedly, for adults to watch - unreserved recommendation!

PU-239 [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
PU-239 [DVD] [2007] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Paddy Considine
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: 12.58

4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff!, 28 July 2012
This is a very satisfyingly crafted film that is most definitely worth watching. It is set post-Glasnost, as such, whilst it provides both a good dose of the mores and the bleak scenery of Eastern Europe, it is not as 'chilly' as the likes of 'Gorky Park' or 'Citizen X'.

The main protagonist's over-riding tragedy, set against a variety of amoral gangsters (including the Russian authorities...) - some of which provide humour to the plot, suggests that the story could have been lifted from a Shakespearean play.

It is surprising that we have not heard more about this film - especially as the Executive Producers include Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney. I recommend you watch it - it is an interesting and entertaining piece of work.

The Eagle Has Landed (Special Edition) [DVD]
The Eagle Has Landed (Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Michael Caine
Offered by b68solutions
Price: 4.39

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plagiarism personified, 27 July 2012
I can recall watching 'Went the Day Well' as a child in the 1960s. It was. immediately, one of my favourite films, and I am gladdened that it has had publicity over recent years regarding its worthiness. 'The Eagle has Landed', I suspect, is Higgins' most famous book. What I never understood - for decades, was how Higgins' plagiarism of 'Went the Day Well' was not challenged. It is so blatant to be risible. Therefore, I would urge anybody to purchase a copy of 'Went the day Well' before 'The Eagle..'.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2014 11:58 PM GMT

The Backwoods [DVD]
The Backwoods [DVD]
Dvd ~ Gary Oldman
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: 2.54

2.0 out of 5 stars A game of one half, 27 July 2012
This review is from: The Backwoods [DVD] (DVD)
Congratulations to the cinematographer and the supporting cast. Similarly to the concept-provider. Oldman - very good; Considine - OK. Aitana Sánchez-Gijón - competent. Virginie Fernandez - absolutely diabolical...

The story borrows very much from previous movies. However, it fails to deliver. The two female protagonists were afforded diffident, weak roles - though, this does not excuse Fernandez's dire performance. Opportunities to make the plot truly interesting, with the inclusion of 'twists', were grossly overlooked - also, the script incorporates several unanswered 'cul-de-sacs' - which could have been expanded upon to make a comprehensive plot, or embroidered upon to add far more viewer intrigue.

Putting together Oldman and Considine provided immense opportunity - it was this combination that attracted me to watch the film in the first place - but it was missed (almost literally in this case) by a 'country mile'. What a shame.

The Avengers [DVD] [1998]
The Avengers [DVD] [1998]
Dvd ~ Ralph Fiennes
Price: 2.70

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Avengers unavenged, 5 May 2012
This review is from: The Avengers [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I had put off watching this film for an incredibly long time; I recollect it received a poor press when it was released, hence the alacrity on my part.

The original 1960s television series was incredibly gauche for its time - and the mini-stories brilliantly well conceived. Undoubtedly, this film is wanton by comparison.

There is none of the twinkly rakishness that Patrick McNee brought to the character. Both Steed and Mrs. Peel appear 'flat' - their relationship is too bland when compared to the original series.

Shaun Ryder must look at the film and wonder why he turned up...

Maybe a movie was the wrong scale for The Avengers - the tight, short 1960s television episodes remain sublime by comparison.

A missed opportunity...

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People Double Pack [DVD] [1979]
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People Double Pack [DVD] [1979]
Dvd ~ Alec Guinness
Price: 5.75

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Special televisual production, 13 April 2012
I adore these series. They encapsulate a mood that cannot be created on film, as they are allowed a methodical pace, and the smaller scale appears so much more representative of the era. The styling of the piece was probably simply of its time, however, today it makes it something special. The setting feels more austere, the concept of 'cold' is everywhere - including within all the relationships. I can recall the 70s well - and all too often the decade is misrepresented by contemporary media - my recollection was dark days, three day weeks, electricity 'melt downs', Football violence, as opposed to everybody walking around in Afghan coats and being 'funky'. Similarly, whilst we have all become more internationally literate, these series still hark back to a period when for the British, most foreign places appeared or at least sounded exotic.

Quite possibly it is my difficulty,nevertheless, Bernard Hepton's character appears to be so wildly different in each of the productions - I did struggle in understanding why this was the case...

Whilst I really enjoyed Gary Oldman's 'Tinker Tailor...' - it appears very much to be a homage to the original BBC production. Oldman appears to have lifted Alec Guinness from these series and undertaken an excellent impersonation. For this reason, I prefer the television series - and really wish that the contemporary movie had chosen another direction...

Seminal BBC viewing - fantastic!

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