Reviews written by registered user

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408 reviews in total 
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The Walk (2015/II)
Not for acrophobiacs, 10 July 2017

This is a splendid film in all respects. The acting has a highly effective subdued quality. There is much creative photography, for example some of the early shots of Petit riding his bicycle that have colour highlighted on a black and white scene. There is comedy, drama, suspense and interestingly drawn characters. It captures the essence of both Paris and New York. Of course the scenes from the top of the World Trade Centre are spectacularly good. I was amazed to read here that it was shot in Imax 3D. I'm thankful I didn't see it that way because even on my flat screen TV, the shots from the top of the tower were so gut wrenching that I had to turn away. (I'm a bit of an acrophobiac myself.) I was disappointed that there were no details on the IMDb on how the World Trade Centre was recreated so impressively. This was shot 14 years after it was destroyed on 9/11.Also curious how they put Petit at the very top of the Statue of Liberty for his narration. It must have been a set but it was hugely effective. There also must have been a great deal of computer generated effects. A really impressive film!

4 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Awful, 21 June 2017

It starts out pretty well as you settle down for 90 minutes of what promises to be action, excitement and drama.But the clarity is soon engulfed in clouds of confusion and downpours of bad taste. I don't know if anyone has actually clocked the number of times the "F" word was used including to and by a child. There is also graphic, gay sex which I found repulsive. But by the end --- in fact by the middle --- you are totally confused as to who these people are and why they're all shooting each other dead. I give it a big "A". For AWFUL!

Deadly Hope (2012) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Torn two ways, 3 June 2017

This is a very neat nail-biter, very well done with a dandy surprise ending. Writing, acting, cinematography...all first rate This is a very watchable movie. But it is a Canadian production, shot in and around Montreal and SUBSIDIZED BY THE Canadian AND QUEBEC GOVERNMENTS AND PRODUCED FOR Canadian MOVIE CHANNELS!!! Why then is it set in Washington DC??? This is far better than most of the dross shot under these circumstances.It's a gripping story about blackmail, revenge and murder stemming from the death of a patient at a fertility clinic. But why could it not have been set in Montreal or Toronto or some other Canadian city? But no. It's Washington, even dupliciously inserting some stock footage of the Washington skyline to prop up the counterfeit credentials. While most countries use their film industries to tell their stories, Canada grovels and grinds out pseudo American films, not having the courage to tell Canadian stories set in Canadian places to Canadian viewers. This craven and contemptible practice may create jobs in the US dominated Canadian film industry for the hacks who have not yet fled to Hollywood. But what does it say to Canadians? ...that we are timid butt kissers who believe everything in the United States is far superior to anything in Canada? Fine movie this time instead of the usual pallid products. But it is a fluke, one diamond in a pile of shoddy broken glass.

6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Splendid!, 15 May 2017

This is a powerful, superbly done, compelling film, produced with that wonderful "European" quality that Hollywood never has been quite able to replicate. It's apparently a true story although, even being a war history buff, I had never heard of it. I suspect it may have been tarted up a bit for dramatic effect. If so, fine! It is a great and captivating couple of hours with brilliant cinematography and wonderful sets that capture the flamboyant Nazi pageantry of pre-war Germany. Most of the characters look real: Pavel Kriz as Hitler, Jan Lepsik as Himmler. But the key character, Joseph Goebbels, played by Viktar Preiss, looks nothing like the man. An intriguing snip of history most effectively converted to an engrossing movie.

Bang Bang, 4 April 2017

This is not a great film, a powerful drama or a meaningful social commentary. However it is a damn good action film with good acting, impressive effects and never a dull moment. Things explode, get shot, crash, collide and plummet to doom and disaster almost from the opening scene. But although the violence is excessive, it's violence of the James Bond/Bugs Bunny variety: so fast paced and excessive it's inoffensive and entertaining. This is a 20 year old movie yet the effects are as impressive as anything done today, including a nuclear explosion. And if you are a rail buff, the first thirty minutes or so are a real treat. It's flat out escapism. But that's not always a bad thing. Just the thing for a rainy Monday night!

A nice change, 11 March 2017

Not either a great or a memorable film but a pleasant piece of fluff after a week of "heavy" movies and a day where just about everything went wrong. I wasn't in the mood for murders, stabbings, graphic sex, Nazis or natural disasters. This was a needed change with some interesting characters, a silly plot and a few chuckles. There is nothing particularly good about this film. The acting, writing and cinematography are adequate if unexceptional. It's humorous without being hilarious. But neither is there any violence, profanity or message. It fit the bill on a Saturday night when I didn't want to think too much.

25 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Gripping,thoughtful stuff, 23 December 2016

With so much mindless fluff on television, how great it is to see a serious and superbly done docudrama. Tokyo Trial covers the legal and political battles that were bitterly fought behind closed doors for two years after the Japanese surrender. The tribunal wrestled with the issue of whether Japanese leaders could be punished for aggression when there really was no law against aggression and whether the Japanese incursion into China was really any different from the British in India or the Americans' genocide of their native population. We are privy to some superb behind the scenes legal discussions. The series exudes honesty and accuracy. It uses one very effective technique. The scenes in the courtroom are shown in newsreel style black and white while the dialogue is heard in the tinny, halting voice of the translator. Most effective! The various judges are brilliantly drawn. Each is a unique personality. The clothing, the accents, even the body language, are all carefully presented and give the series a genuine " slice of the past" quality that few films achieve. I sometimes despair that we use our amazing video technology for trivialities and trash. This series shows what television can accomplish but so seldom does.

Das Zeugenhaus (2014) (TV)
7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Powerful stuff, 23 December 2016

It's in German. It has "good" Nazis. It even says some nice things about Hitler. And it's a powerful film. Immensely powerful, complex and probing. It's great theatre but theatre on film rather than stage. As the Nuremberg trials got underway in 1945, the US occupation forces set up a residence (Das Zeugenhaus) for people who would be witnesses for both the defence and the prosecution. Some backed the Nazis. Some didn't. Some pretended they didn't. The whole thing was supervised by a Hungarian countess who was chosen for her discretion in a powder keg situation. The characters are complex, conflicted and deeply drawn. Nobody really is who they seem. The existence of the residence (and the countess) is historical fact. The story that unfolds within is fiction but so superbly done that it might have happened just as portrayed.. It's also to the credit of the German film makers that they approach the delicate subject of the Nazi era truthfully rather than with the sort of knee-jerk clichés all too common in movies about this ugly chapter of German history. This is a thoughtful, intense film, beautifully done in every way!.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Well done propaganda, 20 December 2016

The best propaganda is never recognized as propaganda. This is a splendid film, well acted, well produced. But it is a shill for the Pro Life movement. You don't realize that until you sit through the closing credits. For the record, I have no strong feelings about abortion one way or the other. But I do have strong feelings about disguising a political statement as entertainment. They've done it very well. It's a solid tear jerker. There is no preaching. The plot is logical and believable. Rachel Hendrix gives a magnificent performance as Hannah. It's a powerful movie that makes you laugh, cry, get angry and relate. But its raison d'etre is to deliver a loaded political message. As good as it is, the end is strung out far too long with needless new plot developments and too many mushy feel good scenes. I can't say more without creating a spoiler. But it could have ended much more neatly and still delivered the same message if "The End" had been about 15 minutes sooner. Watch it. Enjoy it. Discuss it. Just don't forget it was made not to entertain you but to influence you.

Home Invasion (2016) (V)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Nifty little nail biter, 25 November 2016

Not a great film by any means. But it does what it does well. There are some holes in the plot. The plot itself is predictable and a little ridiculous. But if, like us, you were looking for some diversion on a nasty November night, it kept us entertained and awake. This is a Canadian film. It was shot in British Columbia. And although they don't specifically set it in Canada, they also do not Americanize and bastardize a Canadian city as so many of these films do. We have to sell our films but we should draw the line at selling our identity. Many Canadian filmmakers don't understand that The bad guys are really bad. The kid is a brat. And they never tell us the whos and whys behind the home invasion. The acting and the camera work are very good. Good stuff if you have have a rainy evening to kill.

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