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B Jervis (New Zealand)

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All the King's Men [DVD]
All the King's Men [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Jason
Price: 4.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant film, 15 May 2013
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This review is from: All the King's Men [DVD] (DVD)
A personal favourite of mine that I have watched several times. This is a beautifully made film based within the context of the fighting on the Gallipoli peninsular in 1915. A special group of men, special only in that they were workers from the Royal Estate at Sandringham, loyal to their King and Country, who were confronted with the realities of war. Most of them are killed. There is a mysterious element to the incident which gives the story added interest. The reality of what happened though is clearly addressed in the special feature. It is a simple story which is simply told. That is its appeal. The acting is first class. It is a very English film in that all the parts, large and small, are played to perfection and each is important in its own way for this moving story to be told.


Nicholas Nickleby [DVD] [2003]
Nicholas Nickleby [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Charlie Hunnam
Price: 4.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer delight, 14 May 2013
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What a pleasure this film is. Just a joy to watch. Hugely entertaining with a great cast. Such a well-known story but as fresh as ever in this production. We have Charles Dickens to thank yet again for the array of colourful characters he seems to endlessly provide. Top marks to the Director, Douglas McGrath. What I notice in more recent productions of Dickens is the fluidity and pace they seem to take with what seems a lot more money to spend on such productions. Living as I do in New Zealand to see our neighbour from Australia on screen, Dame Edna, was an added treat She didn't manage to get 'Hello, possums' into the script!!!


The Iron Lady [DVD]
The Iron Lady [DVD]
Dvd ~ Meryl Streep
Price: 3.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking film, 14 May 2013
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This review is from: The Iron Lady [DVD] (DVD)
This was a compelling story about a woman who provoked both antagonism and admiration. That she was the first and only woman prime minister of the United Kingdom underlines the importance she played in the country's history. During her premiership the country went through enormous change. For that you needed a strong leader. She was certainly that. But her own self-belief in what she was doing was right left many people destroyed of work and self-worth. History will be the best measure in the end of her legacy. But the film was extraordinary for two reasons. One, the performance by Meryl Streep was exceptional. And two, the film was developed from old age when Margaret Thatcher was declining into dementia. That brought humanity to the story and an intimacy that otherwise we would not have considered. Since this film was made Margaret Thatcher died. Watching her funeral a few weeks ago left me with very mixed feelings. Reality and art seemed to enmesh somehow. I cannot totally explain that.


A Tale Of Two Cities/Oliver Twist/Great Expectations [DVD]
A Tale Of Two Cities/Oliver Twist/Great Expectations [DVD]
Dvd ~ Dirk Bogarde
Price: 7.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic films, 14 May 2013
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The age of black and white films is no longer with us. Their art and skill was in the use of light and shade. The story stood on its own merits. I saw all of these films many years ago. Probably at the local Odeon. So it has been a great pleasure to see them all again now. I feel they have stood the test of time very well. David Lean's Oliver Twist and Great Expectations thrill me now as they did when they first came out. A Tale of Two Cities is not quite in the same category but I still enjoyed it. I think it would have looked better in colour which the director himself felt with hindsight he should have done. All three films draw upon Charles Dickens' immortal characters that are forever with us.


David Copperfield [DVD] [1974]
David Copperfield [DVD] [1974]
Dvd ~ Arthur Lowe
Price: 15.86

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars David Copperfield, 14 May 2013
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Perhaps it is because the story is so well known. Or maybe not. But I was disappointed to a degree with this BBC adaptation. Not that I am usually disappointed with BBC productions. Superb and familiar actors we know so well. This may be the problem for me. There was too much playing to type. Also I feel the style of the production reflects its age. It seemed flat. Today's technology and more fluid interpretations of a story have moved stories on. It is worth watching though if only to see familiar faces who in most cases sadly are no longer with us.


The Downfall Of Berlin - Anonyma [DVD] [2008]
The Downfall Of Berlin - Anonyma [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Max Farberbock
Price: 4.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eine Frau in Berlin, 14 May 2013
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This is a very powerful and disturbing film in which a woman tells of the degradation she and other women had to endure if they were to survive when Soviet troops entered Berlin in 1945. Although the writer is anonymous the detail of her diary authenticates what happened. It is not an easy film to watch and I believe I am right in saying that in recent weeks it has been passed by the UN that rape of women as an act of aggression is now classified as a crime against humanity for which perpetrators can be held to account. Special features are always interesting and of value giving further insights into the stories being told. This is no exception. The director of the film states that he knows the identity of the woman who wrote this diary. This adds further authenticity to the story although her identity is not needed to be known. I felt the title given to this film was misleading.


War Horse [DVD] [2011]
War Horse [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Jeremy Irvine
Offered by Emjays Webstore LTD
Price: 9.97

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars War Horse, 9 Jan 2013
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This review is from: War Horse [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I had seen the film earlier and perhaps this affected how I appreciated the story second time round on DVD. It didn't have the same impact. Probably because i knew both the story and the content of the film too well. I had read the book beforehand. I still enjoyed the story but at times it seemed over sentimental and simplistic. It had been written as a children's book so that was perhaps more obvious to me this time. What I thought was excellent was the cinematography. I had earlier bought Making War Horse the National Theatre Production. I think that moved me the most. You felt the intimacy of the boy and the horses and the horror of the trenches.


Army Of Crime [DVD]
Army Of Crime [DVD]
Dvd ~ Simon Abkarian
Price: 11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Army of Crime, 28 May 2012
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This review is from: Army Of Crime [DVD] (DVD)
This is a compelling story based on true events in France during occupation. It exposes the ruthlessness of a disparate group of resistance fighters in Paris facing the brutality of the occupying German forces. The risks for them are high. They appear unafraid of being captured and tortured. They in turn act violently against the enemy and even their own people if that is necessary. The end for them is therefore inevitable. The central character, the Armenian, also fails in the end in maintaining his pacifist ideals. These men and women are brutalised by what happens to them and to their country. It is a powerful subject and leaves a deep sense of both despair on the one hand and recognition on the other of what people will do to survive.


Appointment In London [1952]
Appointment In London [1952]
Dvd ~ Dirk Bogarde
Price: 12.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Appointment in London, 8 April 2012
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This review is from: Appointment In London [1952] (DVD)
Film making has changed since this film was made. As a result the storyline, the clipped accents, the understated risks of the war, the acting and so forth portray a bygone period. Having said that I still thoroughly enjoyed the film, after having seen it all those years ago. That is how it was. It must have been the first film Dirk Bogarde ever made and I remember he made a great impact. Black and white gives it authenticity and the advantage of being able to incorporate actual newsreel footage of the bombing raids. The final raid was riveting to watch and it reminds us of the dangers these men faced and the bravery and courage they gave. The film did not glorify war.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 5, 2013 11:36 AM GMT


The Peter Kosminsky Collection [DVD]
The Peter Kosminsky Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Peter Kosminsky
Price: 13.75

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Peter Kosminsky Collection, 22 Oct 2011
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This collection of work is intelligent drama about serious contemporay events. Two of the stories are fiction and one is based on fact. In each story the main characters are British subjects and that is pivotal to understanding the context in each story that plays out - be that political, historical or religious. These films are compelling and disturbing to watch. They are not light entertainment. They are intended to make us think and reflect upon these events. There is a sense of failure pervading each story. That is not a good feeling but sadly there is no sense of hope. Truth, lies, alienation, dispossession, war, belonging, relationships, suicide are some of the reasons to be found for explaining the events that unfold in each story. The acting is great in all cases and I found the various commentaries and interviews in the extra features very helpful. There is a great deal more that could be said about this collection of work as it could be discussed on various levels and not, no doubt, without controversy or accusations of bias by some. I was deeply moved by the films and in particular on a personal level The Promise where the young British girl is able to fulfil the task her dying grandfather was unable to complete
during his military service in Palestine in 1947.


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