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9 reviews in total 
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Kenya from a different angle, 31 December 2005

This is probably the best film I've seen for a long time, it is also splendid for its interpretation of Africans as people, real people with emotions, traditions and hopes unlike so many other movies which regard them as part of the scenery. As for the scenery,indeed for those of us who have lived in Kenya we witness good camera movement.

Based on the autobiographical novel by Stefanie Zweig, "Nowhere in Africa" it charts the ups and downs of the Redlich family a German Jewish family seeking refuge in a British ruled Kenya of which its officials were tainted with a small dose of anti-Semitism, but nevertheless was able to offer a few Jewish families shelter from the Nazi madness in Germany.

The acting is splendid, the production led by Caroline Link is marvellous. The use of Swahili, German and English seemed to flow naturally and kept the magic of reality. The leading characters in the story develop and change, become rounded.

This is a film worth seeing and most of all go and read the book by Stefanie Zweig.

Kidnapped (1971)
18 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Its those nasty redcoats & highland bandits, 16 December 2005

Actually, comparing with the many filmed interpretations it is a fair representation of Robert Louis Stevenson's grand story. At least it was filmed for the most part in Scotland and the lovely scenic shots add to the authenticity.

I think there have been some unfair comments made on this particular interpretation but in general I would say it deserves a far better reception than some have given.

I have no problem with the English actors playing Scottish characters, Caine here is a passable lowland Scots as Allan Breck. Actors after all are judged by their skills and interpretation of the character and that's all that matters, it would be a sad day if we have to be Scottish solely to play a Scottish character. However, I'm not sure that Caine's costume would be one anyone would be seen dead in, it was clearly awful, and hardly the sort of attire a rebel would be running around in.

What matters is, that it is a fine interpretation of Stevenson's story.

Kundun (1997)
6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
An excellent high quality movie, 27 November 2005

This movie is like a breath of fresh air, for once a topic well chosen. Very nicely produced, directed and and very well acted. a very moving tale that hinges not only on the 14th Dalai Lama but of the struggle for Tibetan freedom from Chinese communist imperialist rule. This movie should be more widely shown. An interesting portrayal of the cruel,bullying, arrogant imperialist Chairman Mao enjoying the good life whilst his citizens suffered. The film portrays the issues successfully and is memorable.

We should not forget Tibet and the Tibetan peoples' desire for a restoration of independence and freedom. Marvellous just marvellous.

October 17, 1961 (2005) (TV)
9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
A record of terrible events in Paris - October 1961, 22 October 2005

This movie is at the moment being broadcast on the French channel TV5. It shows the events of 17th October 1961 when the police in Paris were ordered to crush brutally a pro Algerian FLN protest against a curfew imposed on Algerians in Paris. What emerged was in short appalling. Police Prefect Papon previously a Vichy boss who was involved in the German expulsion of the French Jews from France. It is thought anything up to 200+ Algerians were murdered in these events, before these events up to 30 police had been murdered by the FLN in Paris hence an urge for revenge existed and was encouraged by the Interior Minister Fey and Prefect Papon. It was perhaps foolish, given these circumstances, for the FLN to engage in demonstrations in Paris given the feelings but it is no excuse for the killings that happened. It is time that these events were officially investigated and those responsible brought to justice whilst they are still alive.

However, whilst it's easy to examine critically the role of the Parisien police in these events and rightly so, we should also remember and have an account of FLN atrocities in Algeria and France.

Well done TV5 for having the courage to show this movie. A movie nicely filmed, good camera work, good acting and continuity, the night scenes in particular are realistic.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
The horror of war, 18 April 2005

Recently this film was shown on BBC3 I agree with the comments made earlier.

This film in quality surpasses Private Ryan in showing the horror of war. Two evil dictators, in this case Hitler and Stalin move their armies in hopeless hideous combat. The earl scenes capturing the horror of Red Army soldiers urged to charge impossibly most being unarmed those who were having little ammunition and then shot at by NKVD for retreating. Ghastly, evil on both sides. The drama and suspense is excellent, the imagery very good. One point though, the leading female actress seemed on occasion too neat for the scenes.

Here we see a cruel Kruschev the Stalinist before his dramatic conversion in 1956. The scenes concerning Major König and Zaitsev were excellent.

This has to be one of the best war films ever.

Rob Roy (1995)
7 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Rob Roy just another romantic tale only the scenery is worth the effort to watch., 20 February 2005

This film inspired by Sir Walter Scott's fictional character weaves a story that portrays exaggerations of character and caricature. It was too predictable from the start and hardly worth the film it was made on or the time spent by its producers and staff, like Braveheart sentimental dribble.

It is clear though that the landowners in the movie are of Scotch origin, that the lifestyle, romanticised by the movie of these persons and the clansmen are sharply contrasted but portraying clan life in the crofts as some kind of ideal lifestyle is too much. The eighteenth century events that form the background to the movie were indeed traumatic for all concerned, the events were not simply those of English and Scottish nobles rivalry for power but also of the need for Scottish nobles to distance themselves from barbarous clansmen.

Red Planet (2000)
3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Good Martian tale showing you should be careful with your robot., 17 January 2004

Mars is very much on our minds at the moment as the Beagle 2 and Mars Spirit probes are in the news. I had seen comments about this movie mostly hostile but decided to give the movie a viewing recently. As yet I've not been able to get my hands on the novel but certainly will try to read it. Having seen the movie twice I can only say it's generally very good. There are the required ingredients: tension, suspense and a plot line.

Basically, another one of those save the earth stories set in 2057. I was struck that one of the characters spoke of web site hits and thought surely by 2057 technology would have moved on. The mother ship, Mars 1. of course having reached its destination has to land a crew to investigate what's happened to the oxygen so carefully nurtured from algae planted by special probes. The solar flare disaster scene was done splendidly but I would imagine such an event would have finished the mission before it had befun. On the whole the players were good, though Terence Stamp didn't really have a chance to develop his character. Carrie-Anne Moss and Van Kilmer played a good team.

Technically, special effects super, the low gravity fires were good, I thought the video screen map used to navigate the Martian surface was excellent as was poor AMEE a much misunderstood super robot, who through no fault of his own, has had his circuits damaged and gives the crew a little problem. The Cosmos lander used as an escape vehicle was too much though. To expect anything made in Russia to work perfectly after 60 years was stretching imagination a little. Anyway see the movie, for in its genre: a sci. fi. movie about Mars it must move to the top.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Comment on this superb production a classic, 12 January 2004

Superb movie. Very good photography of 1969/70 Bolton, which seems now to be a different world. Thoughtful and an excellent dramatisation and production. James Mason a real first class star. It is and I would agree with the above comment that this movie is a national treasure.

Escape to Mindanao (1968) (TV)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Waste of film material, 31 December 2003

The plot is fake: US P.O.Ws, survivors of Bataan, unlike the real P.O.Ws, these film P.O.Ws appear well-looked after by their Japanese guards: seeing a Japanese plane crash, somehow get their hands on a Japanese code machine. Two of these P.O.Ws then escape in search of their army. This must surely have been a different WW2 on another planet. Don't waste your time on this one. Frankly, it's all rubbish.