12 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Pretty fine movie overall ( spoilers)
28 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
One thing I believe this movie does well is the portrayal of the Turks as a complex, cultured people. The excellent actor Yilmaz Urdogan is a major player in this of course, but credit must go to Russell Crowe for his direction, and though he has himself starring, he is a generous lead actor and not at all afraid of portraying a character less than utterly heroic. The almost supernatural element of his water divining and , by extension, the ability to know where his sons fell was fine by me, I don't need total realism to like a movie or a book . Where I found it less than likely in an unacceptable way was around the finding of the surviving son. If one is to believe he was so damaged and guilt ridden as to give no word - at all - for four years - to parents (whom he knew loved him greatly) then I find his apparent sudden and complete return to normalcy on meeting his father completely unlikely. Granted he confessed and explained and was forgiven but that might have been done by letter years before . He seemed so returned to normal as to be able to make little jokes even . Not believable to my mind. Also a false note, I thought, was connected to Ayshe's son. It was clearly a cultured, middle class family , even if a little short of money. I found it unlikely she would have allowed him to be down at the docks touting for customers. He'd have probably loved it, being just at the age to be adventurous and want to feel useful. I just think she would have been less than happy about it. And his conventionally-minded uncle certainly would ! And while I'm discussing what IMO were weaker parts, I could actually have done without a the love story angle, which felt like an addition for box office purposes, though a well executed one admittedly . I really liked the gravity and dignity with which they both approached each other however, and I am always more moved by a gesture and a intimate smile than the tearing off of clothes. So well done, if superfluous, if that makes sense .

All in all, a good Boxing Day movie and I am glad to have seen it and glad to find Russell is still my favourite leading man !
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Loved it spite of the bad bits
12 December 2014
First , I do have to agree with reviewers who noted anachronisms of language and highly unlikely behaviours - Georgiana falling to her knees crying in front of male servants in the public rooms being one of the most obvious. I do not believe for a moment in the central premise that Darcy and family would be cast into Outer Darkness socially because his brother-in-law was a criminal. Gossiped about undoubtedly, but bad apples among the aristocracy are hardly uncommon now or then.

I feel also critical of the costuming and general appearance of Elizabeth , it become clear at the end as to why she might have looked tired but why she should be so badly dressed is beyond me . One coat-like garment resembles nothing so much as a hessian bag and she appears to only wear two plain dresses for weeks on end. Georgiana seems to have only one - though it is a nicer one . And Elizabeth's hair seem so be permanently dishevelled for no good reason. While I'm carping , I also have to say I don't understand why there appears to be almost no upper servants in the vast edifice of Pemberley. Such an establishment would have a steward and/or butler, several footmen and under-footmen and Mrs Reynolds would have many maids under her . Ah well, no matter really I guess.

On the plus side, I thought all the acting was great , especially the female cast. Lydia was beautifully cast and played, as was Lady Catherine and Mrs Bennett . I wish they could have had bigger roles in fact . So, in spite of the above mentioned criticisms, I have to say it was a very watchable period drama and , actually, much more fun than the the book . I like PD James very much , but this was NOT her best work and frankly rather a tedious dry read .
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13 Steps Down (2012– )
A satisfyingly frightening villain
29 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Luke Treadaway does, I think, a great job in this. His character, deeply flawed and damaged from childhood abuse unfolds in a believable and quite frightening way. His acting is good enough to even have you feel sorry for the child he was, despite his hideous behaviour to women as an adult. Geraldine James is Miss Chawcer, fossilised and acerbic and not without pathos of her own. Her high handed, upper middle class attitude to the working class and ( at first ) pathetically aspiring Mix is a clear pointer to trouble to come. Ruth Rendell is very good, very practiced at this kind of thing and both actors brought this less-than-pleasant aspect of Englishness to life brilliantly. The actress playing Mix's obsession, model Nerissa Nash was, to my mind the weak link. Very beautiful and well able to portray vulnerability, I found her responses to Treadaway's psychopath less than convincing. She appeared somewhat worried and nervous rather than terrified. Wonderful atmospherics, almost Gothic in tone. Loved that aspect .Also, the clever and sad little episode with Nerissa's would-be saviour.

The ending , with the Christie lookalike added nothing,and was frankly a bit silly. Overall, damn good .
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Call the Midwife (2012– )
Love it
10 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I do agree with those reviewers who have pointed out that this is not a documentary but a drama. Yes indeed some details are wrong ( I grew up in the UK in this era so have some knowledge of it, tho not quite so grindingly poor) True, that the nuns are not, to me, very believable, appearing, apart from the lovely chanted prayers, to have no spiritual life or discipline at all . Still they are good TV , though not as utterly great TV as Miranda Hart as Chummy. I think it unlikely that Lady Fortescue Cholmondley -Brown would have capitulated as easily as she did, but who cares .It was worth it if only for Chummy's line "Sorry Mater, not entitled any more" when exhorted to wear white for her wedding...
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The Darling Buds of May (1991–1993)
A timeless idyll
28 February 2012
I just caught some re-runs of the on ABC iviews of this and I'm struck by how completely watchable it still is. Though I have lived for many years in Australia, I'm English country born and bred and the evocation of the countryside is just wonderful ( yes, I know it's not really like DBOM all the time )

Casting is, as others have said, utterly spot on and the ludicrous anonymous 007 who preferred an American film version - which, incredibly , relocated this quintessentially English scene TO America, is simply to be ignored. As, I would think, should be the film . I wonder what HE Bates would have thought.

If you can get the books, get any and all, HE Bates was a great writer poetic, funny and profound. Not unlike Thomas Hardy only with a lighter touch.
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Cellular (2004)
Really, really bad
24 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Didn't expect much, an action thriller - maybe with some good acting - after all it has Jason Statham, Willam H Macy and Kim Basinger. We continued to watch it BECAUSE it was so bad, you know one of those movies where you believe it must be going to get better . It didn't. From the first moments of Kim Basinger , at least 15 maybe 20 years too old for the role and looking worse than I have ever seen her , shiny faced, and stringy and strained - to the last with Millam H Macy in the fakest fake blood outside a high school play.

The plot (everybody else has given that so I won't bore on) had potential, and we were prepared to suspend disbelief a bit, but really, so much bad acting and utter nonsense with people hearing music from broken phones hidden under coats across a 20 foot attic space attic , well, please.............

One of those where, when other people's reviews praise it, you cannot believe you watched the same movie
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Missed the mark for me
13 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I had relatively high hopes for this, a Scott Hicks and with Clive Owen in the lead. And set in South Australia where I live..........but I was ultimately disappointed. Clive Owen seemed to merely get by in the lead role, rarely displaying any complexity of emotion, and on occasion (perhaps the fault of the script? ) displaying none at all , for instance in response to such a fraught question as the older son asking him " but why did you leave ME?" Or when the same son cries in frustration and anger. It's not as if he is convincingly showing a man who is bad a displaying emotion either , it's more like he couldn't be bothered. There is a similar non-response when later the boy tells him that his mother , Owen's ex-wife , hates him ( the son)

The young actors were very good indeed, acted Owen off the stage I thought, in the depth they brought to their characters.

I do wish, for once , that a movie about a spouse dying could be made featuring an ordinary ,flawed couple, not always these golden blessed types who gaze adoringly at each other and stand silhouetted against perfects sunsets in each others arms.

And anyone who has been close to someone dying of cancer will find the diagnosis of advanced virulent cancer with NO symptoms other than a dramatic collapse and , eventually a Camille-like elegant fading away in his arms, ludicrous.

Smaller things that annoyed me were how did the kids at the beach party know where to go to gate-crash ? Maybe I missed something.

Planes to the UK seem to be easy to hop on to as well, no booking or waiting about ..and as for the older boy's mother taking him to Heathrow airport to fly to Australia when she had had no communication at all from Owen in response to her telling him that the boy was actually coming , yeah, that's likely

Lovely scenery, good young actors, but that's about it for me.
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Blow (2001)
Casting of the Jung parents
25 January 2009
I was so taken by the strange casting for George Jung's parents that I could hardly concentrate. Rachel Griffiths as Johnny Depp's mum??!! She's five years younger than him ! Ray Liotta is only ten or twelve years older than Depp. So why? The are both ( all) great actors, make up and costume are good and Rachel does a great American accent. But nothing can make her look like his mum -and in any case, why not cast an American actress of more or less right age . I don't understand it. I'm not saying they didn't do a great job, nor that actors alway have to be a within a strict age range for every part, but this seemed so odd that I thought there must be some arcane reason for the choice, but I couldn't see it. Can anyone enlighten me?
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Goodness how some men hate this movie
3 January 2009
Look, for instance at darkfalz' comments. No , on second thoughts don't bother , the man is deranged, I just looked up his record of comments on other films and I see he is perfectly foaming at the mouth when it comes to depictions of women in anything but vapid model-girl roles. Oh yes, and he appears to think female victims of male violence are somehow to blame for it, merely by being there.

I originally saw it as a tortured love story between one deeply damaged, psychotic woman and another who was drawn to her awful power , almost against her will. Perhaps an element of S & M present also. However I see Eu and Mi are interestingly suggested as different personalities of the same person by one reviewer. I'll have to see it again in the light of this comment. I didn't actually think the fact that both were women was particularly significant- not at all meant to be representative of lesbian love or anything like that. In fact the couple could have been a man and a woman or two men, the issue really was the attraction and need the two had for each other. Serious acting and screenplay. The accents didn't bother me, why should they, we hear thick US accents in movies all the time. I never quite understand why some Americans appear to need subtitles for Australian or UK accents
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7 Women (1966)
Oh dear, poor Norah
26 February 2007
This isn't so much a review- indeed I didn't know the film existed and I haven't seen it - as a lament for the late Norah Lofts , a writer of great power and subtlety. I can't begin to say how much it looks like Ford mangled her stirring and poignant tale (surely he was the last director on earth who should have been tackling an intricate female-nuanced situation! ) Suffice to say that Loft's Dr Cartwright, far from being some sort of pseudo man-imitating, girl-cowpoke,and American to boot, was actually an Englishwoman of education and compassion, whose outsider status derived from her non-religious stance and relatively 'liberated' attitude to personal freedom. Words fail me as to the ending ......
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