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Profile for S. R. Cantle > Reviews

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S. R. Cantle "Filmlover" (Hampshire UK)

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House Of Cards - Season 2 [Blu-ray]
House Of Cards - Season 2 [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Kevin Spacey
Offered by Savings2you
Price: £14.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime Spacey, 17 Feb. 2015
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Quite simply the best TV series I've watched since 'True Detective'. Hard to choose between the two really. But House of Cards takes it solely on the strength of Kevin Spacey's stand out performance portraying the scariest politician ever to grace the TV. Hard to know where they'll go with this series now, but I guess Spacey clinging on to power will be just as nerve-jangling as was his pursuit of it.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Superior iPad, 17 Feb. 2015
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Superb value

The Theory Of Everything [DVD] [2015]
The Theory Of Everything [DVD] [2015]
Dvd ~ Eddie Redmayne
Price: £5.00

6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly inspirational story of a brilliant mind, 4 Jan. 2015
This movie truly hit the spot for me; a wonderfully moving story of a man and his wife's determination against appalling physical difficulties. Few actors I believe could have carried off the portrayal of Hawking. The story begins with Hawking as a gawkish, yet funny undergrad with his heart set on scientific advance and the beautiful Jane, and changing gradually into the same man but with a body contorted with disease able to communicate only by machine. Eddie Redmayne succeeds brilliantly in capturing the gradual physical deterioration of his character in a standout performance of great subtlety. The film for me worked on so many levels; first as a charming love story between two extraordinarily determined characters; second, in the portrayal of the rarefied atmosphere of Cambridge undergraduate life in the 1960s; and finally capturing the wonderful magic of true scientific advance - a world where gifted individuals look for answers to questions that matter. The slowly changing period detail of film is also utterly convincing as are the performances of Felicity Jones as Hawking's wife and the lovely Maxine Peake as Elaine Mason, who got Hawking talking again. Go and see this film and be inspired.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 5, 2015 6:35 PM GMT

Dates [DVD] [2013]
Dates [DVD] [2013]
Dvd ~ Sheridan Smith
Offered by Discs4all
Price: £8.17

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate entertainment, 25 April 2014
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This review is from: Dates [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
I loved so much about this series of short interconnected films, which was orignally made for Channel 4 and broadcast during 2013.
The cast is outstanding, especially, I thought the less well-known actors, Sian Breckin, Montana Thompson, just to pick out 2, who I'd never seen before. As explained by the series writer, Bryan Elsley in the extras the cast had to be this good as the stories are mostly talking heads across tables, so it all turns on the dialogue and the performances. So it's great to see outstanding British actors, Sheridan Smith, Will Mellor, Ben Chaplin et al utterly convincing as their flawed characters deal with the tensions of their, at times, very funny dates. An online dating site is what sets up these encounters, but its the characters, created by Elsley that makes it all thoroughly believable and entertaining. A special mention also for the beautiful opening/end music by Irish singer, Hannah Peel, for me reminiscent of the haunting music of 'The Bridge' series. This first-rate series is not to be missed.

The Killing: All Debts Must be Settled, Complete Season Three [DVD] [2012]
The Killing: All Debts Must be Settled, Complete Season Three [DVD] [2012]
Dvd ~ Sofie Gråbøl
Price: £19.99

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense compelling drama easily the best of the series, 8 April 2013
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Without doubt this is the best of the recent Danish Noir thrillers. More intricately plotted than the previous 'Killing' series, its intensity grabs you early on and just won't let you go. Praise first must go to the writer Søren Sveistrup; who has again produced a cleverly intricate but totally plausible crime story. The main story is again offset by an equally absorbing political drama, which enables you to catch your breath before the main narrative leaps forward again, with the police trying desparately to keep up with the 'killer'.

At the centre of it all is DI Sarah Lund (Sofie Gråbøl), an actress brilliantly able to inject the same convincing intensity to her character as the story she is entwined in. There are many other excellent performances, especially Lund's boss, DCI Lennart Brix (Morten Suurballe), who clearly appreciates Lund's detective inventiveness and is prepared to cut her the necessary slack when her hunches back-fire.

It all makes for compelling television, and sets what might be an impossible standard to better for what might come next.

She's Out Of My League [DVD]
She's Out Of My League [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jay Baruchel
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 5 stars lovely, warm-hearted movie, 20 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: She's Out Of My League [DVD] (DVD)
First and foremost a comedy, this movie really grabbed me at the start and never let go. The story fairly zinged along, helped in no small part by an excellent script and by a great cast, all on top form. I guess that has to be huge credit to the Director, Jim Field Smith, who's new to me, as were many of the cast, apart from Alice Eve, who is sort of unforgettable once you've seen one of her films. In this one, as a bonus she's cast alongside her actual parents, Trevor Eve and Sharon Maughan - who are playing her character's parents in the film.

The hero Kirk, played by Jay Baruchel carried the film for me, along with his friends at the Airport. The characters, Stainer and Devon are big parts and both actors, TJ Miller and Nate Torrance really lifted this movie up and away from the ordinary. Their, at times appalling advice to their pal Kirk had me rolling about, but their feeling and concern for their buddy came across as genuine, adding hugely to the warmth of the movie.

'Cos the story plays out from Kirk's side, we get little really about Eve's character Molly, and perhaps a little more with her and her hilariously rude side-kick partner, Patty (Krysten Ritter) would have plugged that gap. But it's not really a criticism of what was a hugely enjoyable film.

Camelot - Season 1 [DVD]
Camelot - Season 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Jamie Campbell Bower
Offered by HarriBella.UK.Ltd
Price: £9.75

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Young Arthur caught with his pants down, 20 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Camelot - Season 1 [DVD] (DVD)
After the deserved success of 'The Tudors' the writers/producers took a huge gamble skipping from storylines based on the lives of real Kings & Queens and into the realm of hardcore folklore. Whereas 'Tudors' plotlines are more or less sketched out for you by past events, with folklore anything goes really, and therein lies the problem. With 'Camelot' the writers faced a huge task. Not only have they got to flesh out characters, they have to come up with a plausible sequence of events to carry the narrative along. One reviewer suggested there was an attempt to match 'Game of Thrones', but with GoT, as indeed with 'Lord of the Rings' the writers had a first-rate series of books on which to base their visual representation. Not so with Camelot. Legend, by its very nature is wooly, and in the end the lack of a solid narrative proved too big a task and the whole thing failed as a result - the storyline and script was just not good enough.

A first-rate cast can't in the end make up for the weaknesses in a story, and even those assembled for Camelot couldn't make this watchable. In fact having got about half-way thru' the series I simply lost the will to carry on watching this. Not surprisingly this also happened for many viewers when the show was originally aired.

To finish on a more upbeat note, there are some stand-out performances in 'Camelot'. James Purefoy is a delight as the power-crazed King Lot, resurrecting his role of Mark Anthony from 'Rome'. Eva Green also tries hard to do power & scheming as the sinister magician, Morgan. But brilliant as a Bond-girl, the part of Morgan was just too flimsy & ridiculous for this first-rate actress, and you could see how much she had to struggle to make her character believable. But, in the end, the best part in anything Arthurian will always be Merlin. As in John Boorman's excellent 'Excalibur', in which Nicol Williamson stole the show as the 'tortured' Merlin, this time it was Joseph Fiennes who stepped up to once again show what a brilliant performer he is.

The Bridge - Series 1 [DVD] [2011]
The Bridge - Series 1 [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Sofia Helin
Price: £12.99

50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another 5 star thrilling crime drama, 3 Jun. 2012
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Hats off to the writers of this brilliantly constructed thriller series. On the credits there were a whole team of them, and that's got to be the way to craft such a complex original plot into such a must-watch television series. So often our own domestic tv crime drama is the work of a single person who can't possibly compete with a team creatively.

But to me it matters not a jot as clearly the BBC Acquistions team have shown they can spot brilliance in the output of other countries' television production companies. After 'Mad Men' 'The Killing' etc now we have 'The Bridge'. Over 10 episodes its a visual treat, with locations changing continously, with the combined Danish/Swedish police forces always several steps behind the fast-moving story. Character-development is a key ingredient and in this there are so many well-drawn characters to root for - just as in 'Mad Men'. I especially liked the Danish actor playing Martin, and also his mercurial wife, Messe, I think she was called. But there's many more to enjoy as the entwined plot unravels.

A DvD treat not to be missed
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 26, 2015 10:55 AM BST

Justice [DVD]
Justice [DVD]
Dvd ~ Nicolas Cage
Offered by wantitcheaper
Price: £2.69

3.0 out of 5 stars Nicholas Cage; a huge talent - excellent in this, 20 April 2012
This review is from: Justice [DVD] (DVD)
When the end titles roll on this movie, you're left with one over-riding thought - what on earth was that all about!

Maybe in the end such things matter little in what's basically a most entertaining, action-packed thriller, driven along by another strong performance by the lead. As pointed out by one reviewer Cage appears to be 'our present day Michael Caine' who years back found it hard to turn down any role. Cage has been in some cracking films mind you, with steely-tight storylines - I'm thinking of 'The Rock' for one. But there's been some bummers in between - 'Wicker Man II'; 'Season of the Witch' are just two. And 'Knowing' also fell short of the mark in my opinion. 'Justice' sort of falls inbetween all of these. Enjoyable, if a wobbly storyline is not so important for you.

January Jones alas, is totally mis-cast as Cage's wife. No Chemistry, nothing really. Disappointing from one of the star performers of 'Mad Men'. But to be honest it must be hard to get a look-in opposite Cage, as he has such presence on the screen, and (I'm guessing here) film concepts seem to be woven around him, providing little space for others to shine.

Love Birds [DVD]
Love Birds [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sally Hawkins
Price: £4.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rom com Kiwi-style, 16 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Love Birds [DVD] (DVD)
Set in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand this movie is something of a departure for the Kiwi film industry, which is perhaps better known for its Oscar-winning fantasy franchises, featuring little folk living in holes in the ground. But that's no reason not to have a crack at a Romantic comedy.

The film is enjoyable on plenty of levels, not least the Queen music which punctuates the story. The male lead is Kiwi comic Rhys Darby, who I'd not seen before and his match is Brit Sally Hawkins, who was brilliant as Anne Eliot in 'Persuasion' and has been in countless goodish films ever since. Hawkins is the star here, playing a fairly strait-laced 35 year-old vet & mum opposite the rather oafish, immature character, played by Darby. They meet after he takes in an injured shellduck that crash-lands on the roof of his bungalow. The supporting cast all locally cast are excellent, especially the young lad, Beck Taylor who plays Hawkins' son, and there are some great locations, including a recent NZ vs Oz cricket test match.

The duck features a lot in the story-line, rather too often in my view (unless you are really fascinated by ducks), but the writer has tried hard to make this first and foremost a comedy, and it just about works on that level. There are plenty of funny moments amidst the emotional turmoils between the two leads, which, I have to say was mostly driven by the classy Hawkins.

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