Reviews

6 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Enchanting
13 December 2003
A little surprised about some of the negative comments this little gem has received. Still we all have different tastes and expectations.

Personally I found this a delightful film to participate in - yes nearly everything is 'telegraphed' and the mid-story turn points and ending are highly predictable.

It's a story simply told, well acted and directed. I would even go as far to say that you could watch this film in its native language with little or no knowledge of French and without using subtitles* and understand it all.

* The English translation is particularly good and uses common expression rather than the more formal in keeping with the original dialogue - thus it tends to be more European English than American English.

Like a lot of European films it is filmed as a snapshot of real life - at no time do you have to suspend your belief. The story is simply an amalgam of real documented events.

If you like films crafted as Art then this will probably appeal to you. Switch of the phone, put the kids to bed, open a bottle of red wine and chill-out.

The soundtrack is particularly good and cues the emotions and actions perfectly.

Watch the film to its real end. - Under the end credits.
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Dahmer (2002)
Disturbing
9 December 2003
This is a disturbing film both in its subject matter and in the way it

was filmed.

Clearly a difficult subject to cover without sensationalising events

and to that end David Jacobson did a good job on the screenplay

and script and stops just short of being truly pornographic (in the

wider sense of the word)

The direction, which at times tries to mimic that of David Lynch's

masterpiece Eraserhead, falls flat on its face and slows the pace

of the film to almost a dead stop.

The pace and the constant use of flashback just adds to the

confusion without really creating the tension the director was

looking for.

Good performances from Jeremy Renner, Artel Kayaru and Matt

Newton.

Film watchers hoping to see something like Hannibal or Henry are

going to be disappointed.
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9/10
My one word summary of this film would be `Excellent'.
29 September 2003
This is Not a Love Song.

My one word summary of this film would be `Excellent'.

It probably won't appeal to the mass movie watching public – it's a

film that forces you to participate. You observe, think, and question.

Comparisons could be made with Deliverance (Topic/Theme) and

perhaps with The Blair Witch Project for overall filming style.

However this film stands unique against both.

The cinematography effects (solarisation, freeze frame, blur etc)

have been seen before but they are used most effectively in this

film to underpin the natural tension of the story.

Acting is raw, menacing and utterly believable.

The real theme of the film is about friendship; the title really gives

the game away. It's probably not the kind of friendship that most of

us have experienced or indeed would want to.

It is a love song.
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Spider (2002)
10/10
This film is nothing short of a Masterpiece
17 April 2003
This film kept me totally engaged during every single second. The acting was no less than you would expect from such a talented cast - brilliant performances from all. Ralph Fiennes is just superb. Gabriel Byrne in probably the most difficult role of his career to date keeps the `secret' to the end. John Neville and Lynn Redgrave, provide the supporting roles with a flare that never upstages the lead actors. Bradley Hall as the Boy Spider gave a fine performance as only child actors can. But it was the Chalk and Cheese characters play by Miranda Richardson that for me stole the show and clearly shows how deep her talents run.

The script, adapted by the author of the book, was powerful without going over the top and was very authentic. Even throwaway lines by supporting actors had meaning and helped convey the power and momentum of this masterpiece `.. seven packets of Crisps and a packet of Embassy.' Many times have I uttered similar words in a London Pub.

The locations were so real, you could smell and tasted them - I grew up in such a places and in the same period as the Boy Spider - every single and highly accurate detail brought my childhood memories rushing back.

The story is real - events like the critical event in this film really did happen and still do.

For international readers, England from the late 70's onwards adopted a 'Care in the Community' programme and every city and major town has halfway houses, like the one portrayed in this film, where newly released inmates of mental institutions are ordinarily just dumped to fend for themselves.

This film is nothing short of a Masterpiece - the real pity is that it won't appeal to a wider international audience.
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Amen. (2002)
8/10
A must watch film
15 April 2003
This is a must watch film. It's a complex and controversial story, well written, well acted, and the direction is superb.

The one dimensional nature of the main characters works very well - we see but a snapshot of the complexity of human nature and this begs you to ask the question of what would you do if you found yourself placed in such circumstances.

This is perhaps a trademark of Costa-Gavras's work (Mad City, Missing and Z in particular)

It is not just a cold view of the history of the time nor is it seeking to provide an answer to the big question - just shed light on the circumstances and on human nature.
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Heist (2001)
8/10
Good Action - Good Laughs
12 December 2002
This is definitely one of the best films I have seen this year - I missed it the first time around. Hackman and DeVito are on Top Form throughout. I would even go as far as saying that this is DeVito's best performance since One Flew Over The Cookoo's Nest - Hackman is Hackman: who never gives less than 100% committed performance in everything he does. The plot never gives up and twists and turns as you race to the final scene.

Formulaic yes - but very enjoyable - Think that it is wrong to compare this film with Heat and It is better compared with the Alec Guinness Ealing Gangster Comedies - such as the Lavender Hill Mob. This film is a comedy at its core - with action. >
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