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94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Underwood a sociopath? You may think so but he couldn't possibly comment
From what I remember of the 1990 BBC version of House of Cards, this one is spiritually faithful but sufficiently different to make watching both a satisfying experience. The central dynamics remain - the sociopathic politician whose asides to the audience reveal the Machiavellian nature of his schemes & the extent of his contempt for those around him, like a predator...
Published 12 months ago by Sam Woodward

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars House Of Cards
Not sure if I am reviewing this as a physical item or as a movie critique. As far as the DVD goes, then it plays fine and also has, importantly for me, hard-of hearing subtitles. I find I need these for most drama and all American drama. As a movie, I have to say I am somewhat disappointed. After the rave reviews in the press I expected something exceptional especially...
Published 15 days ago by Tony H


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94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Underwood a sociopath? You may think so but he couldn't possibly comment, 12 April 2013
By 
Sam Woodward (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: House of Cards - Season 1 (DVD + UV Copy) [2013] (DVD)
From what I remember of the 1990 BBC version of House of Cards, this one is spiritually faithful but sufficiently different to make watching both a satisfying experience. The central dynamics remain - the sociopathic politician whose asides to the audience reveal the Machiavellian nature of his schemes & the extent of his contempt for those around him, like a predator curling up its nose at its prey; his equally ruthless wife, for whom getting her own way is justified by virtually any means; the naive yet ambitious journalist who lets Underwood manipulate her in exchange for career progression; and occasionally they even slip in that tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of hypocrisy, the memorable mantra 'you may think so but I couldn't possibly comment'. Indeed, the opening credits cite Michael Dobbs (writer of the original novels) & Andrew Davies (who adapted them for UK screens) as being Executive Producers for this series.

Nevertheless, transplanting the story to the good old US of A with its different political system has ensured this series is very different from the British one. This newer version is more visually striking, no doubt due to the reigns being held by David Fincher, director of aesthetically bold Hollywood films including Fight Club. Fincher decided to work on an ongoing series because of its greater scope for character development & analysis, which this setup delivers in spades. Fincher previously worked with Spacey in Seven & has gotten a superb performance out of him here. His Underwood is boiling rage tempered only slightly by cold contempt, masked with Southern charm & held in place with inhuman self-control & subtlety channeled with animal cunning. Yet part of what kept me hooked throughout this series were the occasional moments of ambiguity surrounding both Underwood & his wife (particularly, in my view, the latter) as to whether they really are as uncaring as they often seem, or whether they have a small chance at redemption.

In summary - brilliant acting, fascinating characters & some beautiful cinematography which does for Washington what The Apprentice does for London. It's going to feel like a long wait for series 2. This was Netflix's first stab at creating its own original programmes for its online streaming service & one which is bound to leave an indelible mark on the map.

Incidentally, I've just watched the first episode of Boss - Season 1 & feel it may appeal to fans of this series, just as long as you can stomach its wobbly camerawork without getting dizzy.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power Begets Power, 14 Jun 2013
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This review is from: House of Cards - Season 1 (DVD + UV Copy) [2013] (DVD)
The future is now, that is according to popular downloadable TV services. Why wait a week for your TV fix, when you can grab an entire series in one go. Boxset fans have known about this for years, readily absorbing entire runs of a show in a weekend, rather than waiting until 9pm on Thursdays. `House of Cards' promises to be the future, yet here we find it out on boxset, the place we all know and love. Show run by David Fincher `Cards' is very well shot and the HD version of the physical medium is the best option, but what of the show?

Kevin Spacey plays Francis Underwood, a Machiavellian politician who even The Prince would be wary around. He uses his political and none political influences to steer the President, Senate and Congress to his way of thinking. Over the course of a series he pulls the strings of power leaving him on the precipice of great things. Here is a man willing to do anything to gain power, but behind every great man is a greater woman, in this case Claire Underwood (Robin Wright). She has her own agenda as well as selling the Underwood brand. As a couple that make Macbeth and his Lady look like the amateurs they were, can they succeed where the Scottish Play did not?

`Cards' is an incredibly intense and rich viewing experience. The acting, writing and direction are all top-notch and leave you clamouring for more as every episode ends. Spacey is charming as Frank, a horrible man, but someone I really wanted to see succeed. He appears to show us the true face of many politicians. It would not matter where a show like `Cards' starts off its broadcasting life as it is the quality of talent that matters. Anytime, anywhere `House of Cards' would be great telly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kevin Spacey, 9 Nov 2013
By 
Mrs. B. Daly "Bebbie" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: House of Cards - Season 1 (DVD + UV Copy) [2013] (DVD)
House of Cards was a good viewing experience. The American slant on the old British series was interesting and enlightening for someone who knows nothing about US political life. Well acted by all and especially Kevin Spacey.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars House Of Cards, 1 April 2014
By 
Tony H (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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Not sure if I am reviewing this as a physical item or as a movie critique. As far as the DVD goes, then it plays fine and also has, importantly for me, hard-of hearing subtitles. I find I need these for most drama and all American drama. As a movie, I have to say I am somewhat disappointed. After the rave reviews in the press I expected something exceptional especially with Kevin Spacey - a particular favourite of ours.Unfortunately, he can't quite pull-off the subtle manoeuvrings as did the unforgettable Ian Richardson did in the original version. Kevin Spacey's character seems rather ordinarily American with the scheming very much "on the surface". The storylines we also found rather turgid and heavy-going. I'm not sure either that Kevin Spacey's lines, as an aside, direct to camera come off. Worth a watch but it makes me want to see the original again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love House of Cards, 13 Jan 2014
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This review is from: House of Cards - Season 1 (DVD + UV Copy) [2013] (DVD)
Got this as I didn't want to be tied to Netflix....

Also great for plane, train journeys with no wi-fi
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91 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nasty people, 8 Mar 2013
By 
G. O'Neill (Qatar) - See all my reviews
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I have the original BBC series of the same name on DVD. There is no connection between the two, except the name. Every character in "House of cards-USA" is an irredeemable, amoral, nasty, self-obsessed, insanely driven and selfish monster who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Normal rules of civilisation do not apply. A Wife is fully cognisant of her husband's affair and even approves as the affair may help achieve a goal. Murder is carried out to avoid bad publicity. Power of high office is used almost arbitrarily to crush human obstacles. The glib acceptance of this sociopathic behaviour by the main characters as normal is one of the most striking and well-written aspects of each episode. The incessant and unrelenting tsunami of vile people doing vile things to each other and to innocent bystanders never becomes wearying. The portrayal of the most powerful people in the land as being the most corrupt is an old story but has rarely been told so well. Kevin Spacey will undoubtedly acquire the acting awards here. His character makes my skin crawl, such is the ferocity of the performance. He rarely raises his voice but he is a smiling, softly-spoken, southern gentleman and savage predator. In short, I absolutely loved every episode and I look forward to the next series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spacey Does It Again, 6 Mar 2014
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This review is from: House of Cards - Season 1 (DVD + UV Copy) [2013] (DVD)
At first, I was a little sceptical whether this American version of "House Of Cards" would be a poor rehash of the earlier extraordinary TV series starring Ian Richardson. I thought our version could not be topped. However, whilst both series are set in the world of politics, this new series had me gripped very quickly and stands on its own merits, due to great writing but the fantastic acting skills of Mr Can't-Put-A-Foot-Wrong Kevin Spacey and the rest of the cast. I cannot recommend this series highly enough - great viewing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting TV, 22 Jan 2014
This review is from: House of Cards - Season 1 (DVD + UV Copy) [2013] (DVD)
Needed something to plug the Breaking Bad shaped hole but wasnt expecting this to be quite as brilliant as it is. Superb production values and acting from everyone concerned. Kevin Spacey rightly gets all the plaudits for what must be his finest role to date, but for me its Robin Wright as his equally ruthless and loyal wife Clare, who quietly steals the show. Even if you're not normally a fan of political dramas, this is tv at its very best and deserves to be watched. A must buy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly written and acted, 3 Jan 2014
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This review is from: House of Cards - Season 1 (DVD + UV Copy) [2013] (DVD)
Great, great remake of a classic. Kevin Spacey's best performance by a country mile. A thinking persons drama. For those who love a thriller.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This House is Jerry-built, 31 Mar 2014
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H. G. Shearring (Cliftonville, Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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The British thriller starring Ian Richardson and set in Whitehall and Westminster has been parachuted into Washington DC. Not entirely succcessfully. Unless one is familiar with the American form of government something gets lost in the translation. Brits knew where the characters fitted into our system and could, therefore, relate to them. This need not have been a major problem had the US plot been tighter. The UK plot was clear-cut and logical. It moved steadily towards the goal. This US series lacks pace. Kevin Spacey is a fine actor but, by Disc3, does one really care any more what happens to him? Robin Wright, as his wife, plays a character who makes Lady Macbeth seem cuddly - yet it is a two-dimensional character; a one-note instrument. I suspect this series will indeed appeal to Americans but, for me at least, it was a disappointment.
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