Reviews written by registered user

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48 reviews in total 
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"The Keepers" (2017/II)
16 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Powerful and remarkable documentary making, 25 May 2017

This is a remarkable documentary. I am not going to talk about it too much (you will notice there is no Spoiler Warning here), because feel strongly that if you are thinking of watching it. Please do.

What you will see unfold before you is both horrifying and deeply moving. The human beings here searching for both truth and acknowledgment are just the most inspiring and brave people. It reminded me of why we (all of us) should never put all of our trust in powerful Institutions. We need to be vigilant. All powerful Institutions have a habit of lying to protect the Institution, rather than those they are supposed to serve.

It brings the news stories of survivors of abuse directly from the news to the personal. It packs one hell of a wallop.

3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Powerful, Moving and Inspirational, 9 March 2017

This is superb. I have just finished watching the entire series and

feel very emotional and moved by the entire experience.

I am a straight woman. So if you are reading about this series and are not a member of the LGBT community, please watch it. The acting is first class throughout, what you may know already as little 'soundbites' from the news and documentaries are given their personal and human context. I was cheering them on all through their struggles the injustices and the protests. I loved these characters and think you might too.

This is an important piece of television for many reasons. Firstly, these are ordinary people doing courageous extraordinary things. There is a lesson there for all of us who care about human rights and equality, regardless of our gender or sexual persuasion. Secondly, in days like these, it reminds all of us just how much of a battle the LGBT community has had to fight (and continues to fight - particularly in certain parts of the World) for respect and equality. A better World does not come from doing nothing. Whether you feel strongly about workers' rights, (which I do), the will feel in awe of what these people both had to suffer - and what they have achieved.

Respect! Highly recommended.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A cartoon night out., 15 May 2016

I understand that there is a market for cutesy, escapist films about the imaginary past. Most of us film lovers also appreciate that you adjust and accept the style of film as it begins, however:

Even accounting for these things, this is really awful. The story is so wonderful in and of itself there was a genuine opportunity here to make an earthy, human film about not only Royalty but also the exhilaration felt in London (where the film is set) by people of all backgrounds.

Instead of a moving and witty testament to a remarkable moment and two young princesses who were allowed to rub shoulders with the 'masses' for one night, we get a thoroughly cartoon-ish version of both Londoners and the Royal family. One dimensional characters abound here.

Lazy and a waste of talent and time.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Do not bother, 12 December 2015

I stumbled on this film one day and for about thirty minutes was completely spell bound at just how awful it really was. Serious reviewers have made much of the bad wigs - which should tell you everything you need to know! If you are in the right frame of mind you will belly laugh, which seems a very sad state of affairs when you consider this is supposed to be about a young woman who died much too young.

There is one particular scene which is, frankly, bonkers. A better treatment would be put together by a fifteen year old film student.

Look away ladies and gentlemen - nothing to see here.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Mesmerisingly Awful, 24 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Usually, when I watch a film, when it is clearly not my cup of tea, I switch off. The only reason this film gets a three out of ten rating is because, it truly is, mesmerizingly awful. You won't be able to look away, because: 1. There are some seriously good actors here, Tim Roth and Derek Jacobi, Geraldine Summerville, Robert Lyndsay and Nicole Kidman. So watching them all doing their best as it all goes from bad to worse is like watching a car crash. It must have looked so much more compelling in the script yes? 2. The half hearted attempt to make the film as a homage to films that Grace Kelly starred in. (See the nod and the wink when Nicole's Grace drives down the hill - 'To Catch a Thief') There is also the film stock used which is also reminiscent at particular moments of 1950s films. Also, the over wrought music score.

3. By the final penultimate scene when the character 'Grace' (sorry, but it just seems so rude to refer to this creation as Grace Kelly) makes a frankly mawkish and very average will be dumbstruck.......clearly, we, as the audience, are being poked and nudged to 'feel' great emotion over this moment, as if 'Grace' is making a speech on a par with Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech! Oh dear oh dear.

4. The entire narrative premise is dodgy - no matter how the script tries to hide it, this is basically a tale of a very wealthy principality, a tax haven no less, 'fighting the evil Republic' so they can maintain that position.

It is one of those films where you know you are supposed to be cheer leading for the main character, but it all comes across - to me anyway - as extremely forced. Having watched a few documentaries over the years about Grace Kelly, she sounds like a complex, down to earth woman, not the wispy character we see here.

Make your own mind up ladies and gentlemen, do give it a go, because as I say, it is mesmerizing, just not in the way the film makers hoped.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Emperor's New Clothes?, 1 February 2015

I have just switched off The Wolf of Wall Street in.....well, shock frankly. After persevering for quite some time, because this is a film directed by Martin Scorcese for goodness sake! So felt it just had to get better any minute NOW.

Unfortunately, it did not. Flabby and self indulgent. This required an excellent editor to step up and shout over the ego's: 'No really fellas......that just goes on and on and on.....keep it sharp!' Just shocked at how appalling this actually is. If this was a couple of guys just out of film school, would the critics have raved about it? Would it get nominated for Awards?

More evidence of the ridiculousness of big award nights.

I have read the reviews here of people who liked this film, and all respect to you. Everything is perception is it not? Where they see 'innovation' I see self indulgence and lack of editorial discipline. See what you think.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Remarkable piece of social history, 24 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have just been reading the other reviews here - and like so many other viewers clearly were, I too was moved deeply by this excellent and important piece of television. Important? Well yes, because

This is a piece of period drama which manages to somehow capture the pace of life in a small village during the time frame. Every character is richly realised, from the appalling (the 'shrink') to the ambiguous (the ex -Detective with the war injury).

The central family, as are all of the working people here, are portrayed with respect and humanity, whilst not avoiding the weaknesses of individuals. The drunk husband and father for example. One of my favourite scenes was of the women of the village gossiping in the public baths - perfectly realised.

If you want to see a fresh perspective on the commemorations for World War One - please see this. The final episode, for me, is a poignant reminder of just how much the commemoration of all the dead was not a 'given', but an emotionally powerful battle as to the nature of that commemoration. When Maxine Peake's character stands up and argues that the one moment every year to 'remember' is just another way for those in power to control the way we remember.......welling up just thinking of it actually. Similarly, as a response to Downton Abbey and the 'golden days before the first war', she also states it was not so golden for most people. I know there are many other reviewers here who felt as strongly affected by this as myself.

Trust us - it might be a slower pace than other television, but sit down, switch off the phone and allow this programme to wash - first over you - and then right into you. It will steal your heart and make you reflect, not just on the past, but on the present.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Robert Redford, quietly, makes another gem of a film., 28 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is an excellent film in my estimation.

All of the acting is first class, there is no weak link letting the side down here. All the more remarkable when it is considered that many of the cast are speaking in accents not their own. I am not an North American, but familiar with the accents from numerous films, television programmes and to me, they were faultless. It would be unfair of me to pick any performance out for special mention, they are all perfect.

As a history film / television production / documentary nerd, this does what a retelling of history has the power to do when an intelligent film maker and scriptwriter join forces. It brings something new and moving to an event that you think you already know all about. For example, there can be few people out there who do not know about the assassination of President Lincoln. What really 'got' me at the beginning of the film was the genuine horror I felt watching this event unfold on the screen. The relaxed theatre goers, some sitting watching the production, some gathered in the bar area, clearly happy and enjoying a night out. No doubt with extra joy at the final cessation of the bloodshed of the Civil War.

What else it brings, is no less important in a film about the past. It has direct and powerful reverberations of our present. It was hard to watch the frustration of James McAvoy's character as it slowly dawns on him that 'revenge' and 'anger' does indeed either destroy or weaken the Law and Constitutional Rights of individuals. As the film reveals slowly, we are all diminished when the Rights of individuals are curtailed. I kept thinking about Guantanamo Bay and the slow erosion of individual freedom post September 11th. In this way, regardless of your point of view, the film is very much a meditation on the past and the wars and trials of the past ten or so years.

The sheer brutality of the death penalty is brought home to the viewer, every bit as poignantly as the brutal murder of President Lincoln. It begs questions.

When the final bits of information come up on the screen, the fact that John Surat, tried in a Civil Court (not Military like his mother, Mary) after the initial shock of the President's murder is over, is released after there not being 'sufficient evidence' - it says so much about the danger to individuals when passions are high and people are baying for revenge, rather than justice.

If you enjoy a well acted, thought provoking film, I highly recommend it.

5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Deeply moving., 3 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As I have confessed before, do have a bit of a 'thing' for UK police dramas - like any little genre in which we become immersed, some are okay, some absolutely awful - and then something like this: VERY VERY GOOD INDEED.


As other reviewers here have pointed out, this is the true story of five young women who were first reported as 'missing' and then found murdered. They also happened to be heroin addicts and prostitutes.

They also happened to be much loved daughters, sisters and friends.

Over the past twenty years there have been hundreds, perhaps thousands of films and television programmes made that use the death of women (and it is usually women) as the central foci for a narrative. The camera probes in the obligatory 'on the slab' Forensic Post Mortum - where the 'body' becomes distant, a silent receptacle for the rest of the cast to gravitate.

This television programme deserves 10 out of 10 for resolutely refusing to transform a serial killer narrative into the same old pattern.

We (the viewer) is never EVER allowed to forget that these young women are suffering heroin addiction, rather than some 'life style' choice, rather than some 'dim witted' woman who really should know better. It is explained to us - refusing to let us distance ourselves from the victims.

....and there are plenty of victims here. The grief and stress of the young women trying desperately to change their lives ('I want to stop'), plus the grief and stress of the families who love them. ('She's speaking in that silly accent again.') These are not stupid people, but people caught up in a kind of hell. The acting is uniformly excellent, some of the scenes are so subtle and believable.

This is the first time that a programme dealing with this subject has reduced me to tears. It made me think - long and hard - about my obsession with police drama.

Deeply moving, revealing and a complete subversion of stereotypes of 'working girls' and addiction.

Next time you hear a news report describe a murder victim as a 'prostitute' - call the station and complain. The murder victim is a woman.

Someone's daughter.

9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
The first few seasons are the best, 4 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you are wondering whether or not to give this a go, then my advice is to always make sure the character of Pat North is in the Cast. Excellent, well rounded character who proves a brilliant foil for (at times) nasty Mike Walker.

While I understand that in 'real life' police are not all good or all bad for that matter, did we really need the appallingly two dimensional - and thoroughly unlikeable - Roisin Connor?


A genuine low point in La Plante's characterisation work, this woman is so awful you want to punch her.......or the script writers. Not believable at all. As the Seasons go on, her character turns more and more into a Panto Villain Cop, if you can imagine this nightmarish vision.

.....and did we really need yet another nasty Irish woman stereotype?

Again: NO.

This is a good strong entertaining English cop drama if you like the genre (and I do), but the Pat North years were definitely the best. Those would be a 9 out of 10. Wonderful stuff.

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