Reviews written by registered user
nicholas.rhodes

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390 reviews in total 
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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Beethoven ....je l'emmerde...et en avant la musique !, 21 July 2006
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An interesting and well acted film with stunning performances from Michèle Morgan and above all Bourvil. Bourvil is a calculus teacher looking for marriage thru an agency. Michele Morgans parents come across the advert and try to fix up the two together. It should be said that Morgan is portrayed as initially unattractive ( not very convincingly ). The two marry, go off to Venice for a honeymoon, where things start to go awry. Later Morgan has a face lift to become more beautiful and Bourvil gets jealous of this or rather, he doesn't recognize his wife any more and gets violent and takes to drink, and holds the doctor responsible for the face lift ( played by Gérard Oury ) responsible. He then assassinates him whilst Morgan goes off with her sisters husband who has been deserted by his wife. You think they will be happy together in Montréal, Canada, but Morgan learns about her husband having assassinated the doctor and decides to return to France. Used to seeing Bourvil in comic roles, it is strange and rather unnerving to see him in the role of a violent jealous husband who takes to drink. Indeed the title of my comment represents words he spoke whilst under the influence of alcohol. In fact he only pretended to be interested in Beethoven because Morgans parents told him their daughter liked Beethoven and it was to demonstrate a common interest between the two. Needless to say, Bourvils conversation whilst drunk is impressive and violent, and reminds me of a comic sketch he did later on in his life called "L'eau Ferrugineuse" ( iron water ) in which he also portrays himself as a drunk person albeit this time in a comic rôle and not a serious one. A violent film then, without a happy ending, but nevertheless to be recommended for its magnificent actors' performance. From what I have seen, André Cayatte seems to have turned out a number of good films in his day, notably "Justice est faite" .

4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Wishy-washy and Soporific - to be avoided - prefer Hollywood !, 4 July 2006
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Although experience has taught me that the French are absolutely hopeless at making romantic and passionate films, I had been hoping, when setting out to view this one, that this would be the "exception that confirms the rule" so to speak ! Alas, such was not to be the case, this film indeed confirms the rule but it is no better than the rest of them. I absolutely adore Nathalie Baye but even she could not carry this film single-handed. The other actors/actresses were unknown and completely unconvincing, especially she who plays Bruel's betrothed. As to Bruel himself, he has never been a great actor, though I did enjoy him in "L'Union Sacrée" though somewhat less in "La Maison Assassinée". In this film, he comes over as soft and undecided and not passionate about either of his ladies. The closest we get to romanticism here is the trip to Tuscany and the ride on the scooter but even that seems rather tame and leaves the spectator hoping for something stronger. As to the end, that Bruel should rule out Nathalie Baye (at the airport) and choose to remain with the other lady seems almost unbelievable and too stupid for words ! But as my friends who accompanied me to the movie in Paris, so rightly said, "it's French, so don't expect too much ! It wasn't made in Hollywood ! How true they spoke. I would therefore refrain from recommending this film to any one who is looking for romance and passion, even those people who can put up with sad endings. For here, not only is the ending pathetic ( it's not even heart-tearing ), the rest of the film is pretty soporific as well with pretty uninspired acting ( except, of course for Baye herself ). What a shame for a wasted opportunity.

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A concentrated feast of breathless comedy ! Matière à rire !, 11 June 2006
9/10

No bones about it, this really is a very very good comedy, if a little breathless for the spectator ! It's one of those comedies that accumulate catastrophe after catastrophe and you end up wondering how on earth (or in heaven !) it's all going to work out in the end ! A young man working in the litigation department of a credit company and rather miserly in general to boot, decides to secretly buy a country house for his wife and sell their present central Paris apartment, all unbeknown to her and unfortunately falls upon a shyster estate agent who manages to sell him a ruin and, to make things even worse, furnishes a less-than-completent building team ( even worse than O'Reilly in Fawlty Towers ) who manage to botch up just about every job they undertake ! In addition, Boon's office co-worker is seeking to buy the same house, unbeknown to him and the vile estate agent, played by Daniel Prévost, is disgustingly playing one off against the other ! The rest of the story I will leave for you to discover ! I originally went to see the film because I am very fond of Michèle Laroque as an actress ( I had already noticed her in "Bébé Express" and her other works with Pierre Palmade ) and to a certain extent Daniel Prévost, who had above all stuck in my mind as the memorable tax inspector "Cheval" in "Le Diner des Cons".

Dany Boon is apparently a stand up comedian and not noted for cinema, this being indeed his first work a a director ! Well I thoroughly enjoyed this film and the type of humour it distills. Many spectators will be able to relate to the problems of indebtedness, losing your job, keeping secrets from your wife, incompetent building workers, shyster estate agents ..... OK, in this story EVERYTHING seems to go wrong and it is a little exaggerated but individually, alas, these situations happen to people just a little too often, and indeed the film may at least provide comic relief to some viewers who will take a deep sigh and say "Phew, I thought my situation was bad enough, but this poor guy ...... ! Anyway there's not a dull moment in this film and I would thoroughly recommend it for anywone who's feeling down in the dumps ! Correct international distribution of the work should be able to ensure it worldwide success !

Not in My Family (1993) (TV)
3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Utterly boring ............spare us, Lord !, 20 April 2006
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yet another boring and unbelievable holier-than-thou film along the lines of "Shattered Trust" featuring Melissa Gilbert and Kate Nelligan. I think that this film was even worse and more unbelievable than the other. The line of events and the actors' performance just doesn't ring true and I just wonder why people make stuff like this ! I had really been hoping for something more plot-wise with a little more credible emotion. Still, as they say, "you can't win 'em all", there are a great many TV films that I do like. This particular film is only to be recommended to those people who are convinced that incest is lurking on every street corner !

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Ambiguous, 20 April 2006
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am a great Brian Dennehy fan and have most of his telefilms on DVD !! This was a most enjoyable film if somewhat ambiguous, I was not convinced that he actually raped the lady, I got the impression she was leading him on by undressing herself and consenting to what appeared to be the beginning of a sexual relation. Perhaps this ambiguity was wanted by the film's director, anyway, I found myself wondering through most of the film whether he was really a rapist or not !! The ambiguous ending also confirms the ambiguity of the film - he is acquitted but is not sure if he he didn't go a bit too far with his sexual advances. One must assume that all this ambiguity was done on purpose to confuse the spectator's mind instead of having a clear cut black and white rape story where the spectator is just waiting for the villain to get his just desserts !

She Said No (1990) (TV)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Excellent acting, 20 April 2006
9/10

Although I am usually wary about films involving rape because it is difficult to define where consent ends and rape begins ( depends on both the man and the woman and their interaction ) I found this film excellent because the conditions are clear from the outset. There was no incitement or provocation to sexual activity on the part of Veronica Hamel and the fault lay clearly in the hands and in the sexual organs of Judd Hirsch ! This all being the case, the spectator witnesses a magnificent actors' performance on both sides and wonders just how Veronica Hamel will win through at the end ! The tension and violence is constant throughout the film and doesn't let up for one minute. Also, Judd Hirsch has a very kind face, and it is difficult to imagine him as a rapist, but there again, we must suppose that all rapists do not sport cruel or evil countenances ! This makes the film ring even more true to life. Definitely to be highly recommended on account of the performances of all involved !

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Incredible Actors' Performance, 20 April 2006
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I recently acquired this on DVD during a recent visit to the UK and was absolutely astounded by the sincerity of Donna Mills' performance. Every time I have seen this lady act in a film I have been impressed but in this film her performance was absolutely faultless and "criant de vérité". Although the plot is quite predictable, this does in no way detract from the emotion felt while watching the film, and I agreed with everything Donna Mills' character did - what other option is there when the justice system is so hopeless at nailing down killers !! I was also highly satisfied with the ending which I found to be a satisfactory compromise. Not being an American myself, the only question I have is "Is the American justice system as bad as this or was it made to appear hopeless just to give the film a meaning". The justice systems of France and the UK certainly seem far too concerned with the rights of the criminal and not those of the victim but I would have hoped that it was otherwise in the USA !!!

Tense and humorous, 20 April 2006
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of those made-for-TV movies which only the Americans seem capable of making correctly and which I enjoy collecting on DVD. Indeed many of the "In The Line of Duty" films are really good fun to watch. This film, with excellent picture and sound quality is above average as far as this type of adventure goes. But it's the principal actor Dabney Coleman, and more particularly that moustache of his, that steals the show. Without him, I'm not so sure the result would have been anywhere near as good. He has a certain sense of humour which pervades throughout the film. The plot may be banal and unoriginal, nevertheless the film is so well acted that it is good fun to watch. Highly recommendable !

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Nicely filmed with some original moments, 18 April 2006
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The best part of this film was the very final scene showing the resting place of the over-zealous pond doctors! Now that DID make me laugh ! My global appreciation remains positive, picture quality is very good and the sets which were shot in Cornwall, England were magnificent. The choice of title was excellent. The sound track was memorable and well suited to the film. I had never seen Rowan Atkinson in any other film outside the Mr Bean series, so it was interesting to see him in another register, albeit a fairly weak one. But he carries his rôle off to perfection. The film has a type of humour rather special and will only appeal to a limited section of the worlds population. The closest I could find to it was the Ealing comedies "Ladykillers" and "Kind Hearts and Coronets", so one must assume that the film is destined to British audiences to be appreciated. I cannot see this appealing to the Americans or the French as their sense of humour is much more basic and slapstick-orientated ( Jerry Lewis "tarte à la crème" style ). It's not the Mr Bean humour either as that is mostly gesticulatory with little oral participation. As to the plot, it is reasonably interesting although it can be more or less guessed from the outset, add to this that I do like most of the actors, Swayze a little less in a comedic rôle but Maggie Smith and KST were both memorable in their performances. I have only watched the film once and reserve my final judgement for after 2 or 3 viewings. Definitely a useful addition to today's ever-growing number of films !

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Might appear Veber-like but is only a pale imitation, 26 March 2006
3/10

The first and only time I saw this film I was naively expecting something on the "comic duo" lines oft employed by Francis Veber in such films as "La Chèvre", "Tais-toi", "Les Fugitifs" to name but a few. I was soon to be disappointed as this is only a pale imitation of the preceding. The plot was over zany and far-fetched, and the behaviour of the characters was so stupid as to be annoying ! There was also over-use of special effects ( useless in a film of this kind ) and to boot the whole picture "looked" over-synthetic without natural colours and over dominance of blue and yellow hues. The other thing was that I didn't find the actors funny at all. That this film, in spite of its numerous failings, had a reasonable success at the box office only goes to show that present-day humour in France is slowly descending towards prehistoric levels of vulgarity, unsubtleness and crudity. This film is therefore destined to an audience with very basic and limited humoral appreciation. Thank God we have the older films and the Vebers to remind us that good, clean, witty and intelligent humour did exist in the past.


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