Reviews written by registered user
John von K

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17 reviews in total 
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"Sherlock" (2010)
22 out of 44 people found the following review useful:
Oh dear...it's becoming Dr Who!, 15 January 2012
6/10

Series 2 opens with the camp Ant and Dec lookalike Cheeky Chappy Jim Moriarty..."The greatest criminal mind in Europe" What? He couldn't run a gang of glue sniffers on a housing estate!

Mark Gattis should have played Moriarty...When he first appeared in episode one of the first series I thought "Wow...he's Moriarty, wonderful" and then how my heart sank when Ant and Dec appeared.

The first episode of series 2 was like a Tom Baker Dr Who episode crossed with "Carry on Baker St."

It looks like they are throwing the baby out with the bathwater as they desperately try to update Sherlock Holmes. The 2 leads are now wasted in this comedy fantasy...shame. As episode 3 is based on "The Final Problem" I assume that Jim (Ant and Dec) will be back.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A tight "Old School" Caper, 30 June 2011
8/10

The joys of this caper/heist film are good pacing and top order performances from the ever reliable Geoff Bell and the under used Johnny Harris 2 wonderful solid gold British character actors, Bell exudes a crumpled John Wayne aura and Johnny Harris provides another solid, totally naturalistic performance amid all sorts of dramatic scenery chewing (See him in "London To Brighton" for a completely different and funny but scary role.)I thoroughly enjoyed it apart from the rather tacked-on postscript..............and what is really refreshing is that there is no clichéd Hero or Anti Hero...so no stars and no tacked-on romance...just a tight caper/crime thriller! 8/10

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Towering performance by Stanley Baker., 30 July 2010
9/10

Well, I was astonished by how good this film is. Made by Hammer Films in 1959 and despite being shot entirely on set in England it has a deep sense of the grime, heat and fear of the Borneo jungle during WWII.

What really holds it together and creates the powerful generator for this film is a gritty, un-theatrical,un-sentimental performance by Sir Stanley Baker. He creates a 3 dimensional character and (Amazingly for a top ranked star) never tries to get the audience to "like him".

Other fine performances from Guy Rolfe and Leo McKern make this absorbing film seem way too short. The director Val Guest struggled to have the film released without any soundtrack music and this really helps the atmosphere and leaves it up the the actors to create tension without music bailing them out. There are quite a few unexpected twists and surprises too.

The subject matter in 1959 was rather brave and controversial so well done Hammer! It doesn't seem to be available on DVD or Blu-Ray so that goodness for Stagevu otherwise I might never have seen this little gem.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Bourne 4, 3 December 2008
5/10

On arrival at my local multiplex I asked for 2 tickets for "Bourne 4" and and the ticket seller knew exactly what I wanted - he didn't bat an eye! It's not a Bond film, it's a bland B movie with expensive action sequences that are neither exciting or fresh and the editing is of the "Let's agitate the viewer's eye and they'll think that they are excited rather that simply irritated" - the editing is so frenetic that you I really found myself drifting off - at one point I went "Oh Bond is hanging upside down - how did that happen?" Henchmen who couldn't hit a barn door and a lead villain who is bland. But then so is Bond/Bourne played by a tired looking, short, fair haired, middle-aged character actor with narrow shoulders. On radio Mr Craig would be a perfect Bond but visually it should be James Purefoy, Gerard Butler etc; Nice theme tune though and soundtrack music.

6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Sentimental, unrealistic rubbish, 8 January 2008
1/10

All through this film you are aware of the writer sitting at his Keyboard trying to be profound and deep.

The result is a self important wafer of a film.

There is no sense of the real suffering these men went through all the actors have healthy white teeth and apart from a few token skinny actors they all look well fed and cared for.

The hell of the camp and building the railroad is simply a background for pretentious waffle.

There is absolutely no cinematic flair. The narration is cringe-worthy and naive.

Try Byan Forbes' harrowing and realistic "King Rat" instead.

King Rat (1965)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Great example of 60's British film, 2 January 2008
9/10

My wife - who wasn't even born when King Rat was released - fell in love with George Segal as we watched this film last night. This film really does stand the test of time. Apart from Mr Segal there is wonderful naturalistic work from James Fox and Tom Courtney, fully rounded cameos from Denham Elliot, James Donald and John Mills but for me the treat was the performance of Patrick O'Neal as Max. This American actor was never again put to such use on screen. John Barry's music is spare and works to. It's moving, frightening and dryly amusing. Fans of the novel will not be disappointed in Bryan Forbes adaptation or his sharp, unfussy and unsentimental direction.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Quinn is a revelation, 10 April 2006
9/10

They really could not make a film in this way today. It takes it's time but gives us lots to see and listen too.

On DVD it looks like the big epic drama it intends to be. The film is let down by Olivier's sleepwalking performance and a dreadful Russian accent.

Oskar Werner is moving as the dying priest and Leo McKern does a lot less mugging than usual. Even the usually bland David Janssen convinces during the Pope's death commentary.

However, the film's heart and soul is Quinn's sincere, underplayed performance, filled with tiny touching moments of subtext.

Imperium: Augustus (2003) (TV)
18 out of 23 people found the following review useful:
On the shoulders of Peter O'Toole, 2 October 2004
6/10

Well I have not the faintest idea how accurate this mini-series is historically but it's not as bad as previous IMDb reviewers have suggested.

It is a talk-athon and some of the dubbed actors are really out of their depth. The young Augustus is played well, multi-layered and rather complex and unpredictable. Mark Anthony and Cleopatra are an aside, and performed in a bland obvious manner. Charlotte Rampling is frighteningly real.

But it is O'Toole's show all the way as the older Augustus.

After 30 years of "wafer thin ham" acting this and his performance in "Troy" show what an experienced actor can do with a good part. It is a grand part for an actor and makes the 3 hour journey quite moving at times. So the grand total as an entertainment experience is....6/10

The Alamo (2004)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
All on the weight of one man's shoulders., 29 September 2004
6/10

This is a flat, confusing mess.

Dennis Quaid has a large cameo, Jason Patrick is asleep or seems to be most of the time and the itself film dozes off when Billy Bob Thornton is off-screen.

It never really stirs the blood, the battle scenes are tame and flat.

It's like an edited down TV miniseries. But when Thornton is on screen the film takes off. It is a rare example of a good actor carrying a movie.

The John Wayne version was very long but Wayne and co. bailed it out with charisma and it was the "Epic" that the subject deserved.

This version is astonishingly flat considering the commitment expressed by everyone in the DVD featurettes.

Dragonfly (2002)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Towering Costner performance in a small film., 29 June 2003
6/10

I thought Sixth Sense was a predictable TV movie with a boring hero out of his depth but Dragonfly was a more enjoyable entertainment . The film is directed rather blandly and yes, there are some eggy moments from the usually fail safe Joe Morton and Kathy Bates but Costner is believable and painfully moving throughout and the ending was a complete surprise. And my partner leapt up in the air screaming 3 times.... Wow! 7 out of 10.


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