5 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.....
16 August 2011
Oh dear. What a tired and tiring film. I found it on Film 4 and found it so slow I watched it on F1 speed. It was STILL slow. The crippled lady who owned the second book had an accent to rival Don Cheadle in the Oceans films. Polanski was clearly asleep throughout the shoot (lucky bugger) as was Depp who was at his least enigmatic. The saving grace was that, toward the end, with the conflagration and the Demonic Mass you could see in the faces of Depp and Langella that they finally understood that they were in a film of diabolic (no pun intended) proportions. They played the end like a Carry On movie. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
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Kynodontas (2009)
A genius film on so many levels
2 May 2011
A great film, and one that must have been hell for the cast to make. It works on so many levels. It castigates those parents who believe that the only way to raise their kids is by shielding them from every outside influence. It derides the use we make of myth, folk tale and downright lies to create an alternative, scary world that they must inhabit. As a system of controlling a nation (and I wonder to what extent this is influenced by the financial problems of Greece) it shows how lies in any closed system can sustain that system for a while but must always end in revolt. The spin of benign nations, too, is crucial in controlling its people. How much does the affair with the cat correspond to the post 9/11 approach of the Bush administration in engendering fear in the populace? A tremendous film.
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The movie promotion killed this film
15 November 2009
I love Winterbottom. Cock 'n' Bull? Sarajevo? Jude? I love supernatural chillers. Don't Look Now? Rosemary...? I can become engrossed in movies about death and grief. The Son's Room? Art-house is great. What really narks me is when the promotion of a film seems to have been hi-jacked by a board of advertising suits who clearly haven't seen the film, or rather, have had a working lunch with a bunch of guys who enthused, "think Nick Roeg, think Death in Venice..... Mike is a great director. Colin Firth is a solid and underrated actor. Genova is a good film. It is, however, not the film that was promoted. "Genova" was promoted as a chiller. It wasn't. It was a sensitive exploration of the death of a loved one. It carried the by-line, or my approximation, "Death is the beginning." The thing is, had the distributors been happy to accept a narrower circulation, then the film could have made the box office returns it seemed were within target. But no. It's kind of a spooky Roeg type thing, right? Well, no. But it could be, right. were we to market it right?

I love art-house. I love spooky. I love visceral slop. I love friggin' (you cannot say frig....without there being a '. The last g is somehow an intrusion on cool.)

Mister Winterbottom. Keep your eye on the ball and your cock out of the mouth of the guy who says he's got good ideas.
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A literal adaptation of a tedious book
14 November 2006
With a Dan Brown novel you can put it down before going to sleep - and maybe that's its greatest attribute. It won't engage your mind enough to cause a disturbed night but it won't annoy you quite enough to feel you're wasting your life. Then comes the movie. A faithful adaptation of the novel - faithful in a Harry Potter way; it's all in there whether it's good or not - but with such a clunking script it defies description. E.g. Tom Hanks: "I need to get to a library. FAST." Bad enough, but they go by double decker bus! The cast make valiant efforts to lift the thing but without success. Plot point are verbally highlighted lest we should miss them in a kind of Roadrunner/TV Batman kind of way. The whole thing feels like a Sunday night ITV adaptation of a novella with which they try to maximise advertising revenue by spreading it over two 90 minute programmes. Don't get too depressed though. They've started work on Angels and Demons.....
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A cathartic film
28 June 2006
I've just joined the club and the first film I felt the need to comment on was this, "Field of Dreams". Why? Because, firstly, it's haunted me since its release and secondly, because it had such a cathartic effect upon me. Like so many young people, I lost my dad when I was in my teens. I was fifteen. I'm fifty-nine now. The lost opportunity, the grief, cling to you like lead. When you need to discuss the paradoxes of this world with someone, you find they are gone. They will not return. Though by no means a perfect film - would we ever really want to see a perfect film? - it has heart, a centre to it that opens gateways for those bereft, even though unaware, by loss. I remember watching it the first time on the back row of a cinema with my ex-wife - long after back rows had any import - and, at the end, having to physically contain the need to sob uncontrollably. This had never happened to me before (unless you go back to Elvis riding into the hills at the end of Flaming Star when I was but a snivelling - and probably dysfunctional - early teen. The movie is a masterpiece in that it lives with you decades after its first viewing. In that you cannot analyse it, breaking it down cynically into manipulative parts. I've seen thousands of films and with each one that I feel has entered my soul I always ask myself, has it reached beyond Field of Dreams? In some respects the answer is yes, yet these are technical analyses of product. I've never had to do that with Field of Dreams. It is itself and defies scrutiny as would Gandhi defy psychoanalysis. It is, to itself, true. The cast are great. To this day, despite much, I like Kevin Costner. My sole concern is, why the hell can't I buy "Shoeless Joe", the novel upon which it was based and which I read in the late eighties? It contains much more background and is, in itself, an absorbing read. Dave Marshall
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