Reviews written by registered user

10 reviews in total 
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38 out of 43 people found the following review useful:
Edge Of Darkness, State Of Play, Tinker Tailor and now this, 26 May 2011

Edge Of Darkness and State Of Play have already been mentioned, but come episode two and we have an obvious reference to Tinker Tailor. This show is not overshadowed in such illustrious company. It is a deep, dark labyrinthine plot carried by a superb cast, each member on top of their game. The dense text will not be to everybody's taste, but for those who enjoy the likes of Bleasdale, Pinter and Potter this will probably be the first great television masterpiece of the 21st century. It is hard to pick out one performance that outshines the rest. Chiwetel Ejiofor is truly sympathetic as the cop who has to battle with memory loss to discover whether or not he is corrupt. Leslie Sharp battles to retain her fast fading memory as she descends into the Hell that is Althseimers, whilst her husband played by Christopher Ecclestone, juggles an Hogarthian cast of crooks until he can make his last deal. Rafe Spall gives a magnificent over-the-top performance as the deranged nephew of Mr. Big and then in comes Stehopen Rae as the villainous Alec Guiness style dark brother of GEORGE smiley. Absolutely wonderful!

"Treme" (2010)
52 out of 63 people found the following review useful:
A major artistic achievement from David Simon, 25 April 2010

My first impression, from watching episode one, was that the writing did not have the flow of "The Wire" it was trying too hard to register the many characters and to quickly tick off the various "types" that make up New Orleans society. Bunk and Freeman were too firmly placed in my memory for me to make the leap to Antoine and Albert. As for the Steve Zahn character, I instantly took a dislike to him and found him unrealistic in the extreme.

By the time we had reached the scene with the Big Chief emerging from the dark, I had become hooked. The characters started to make sense. The generous helping of musical scenes produced what must be the finest portrayal of live music and musicians I have ever seen. I could not wait to catch episode two.

I have now watched the first two episodes twice and all my first impressions have been blown away. Once you get to know the characters and can watch their introduction again, things start to make sense. Steve Zahn? What a brilliant comic creation. Just watch the intro to episode two, his creeping around Elvis Costello, his first day on the job. Absolutely first rate, The shocking introduction of violence, suddenly alters ones perceptions of a major character. Bunk, still lingers in the memory, but Antoine's blowing is going to change all that. I was not familiar with Khandi Alexander, but am now a major fan. Her performance is charismatic in the extreme.

I know that this series is not going to be to everyone's liking, but then neither is Shakespeare or Dickens. However, for those who enjoy a multi-faceted piece of work that can examine society in minute detail whilst never failing to entertain, this will surely rank as a major piece of American art.

83 out of 108 people found the following review useful:
An Instant Classic, 13 March 2010

After reading some of the reviews here, I came to this film expecting to be disappointed. How wrong I was! It turned out to be one of the funniest, most powerful films that I have seen in years. It reminded me of some of the great movies of the sixties and seventies. Times have changed and it seems that people no longer get the kind of satire that grabbed us back then. I was constantly reminded of films like "Catch 22,"" M.A.S.H." "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," and "Steelyard Blues." In those days, we got it. Now, people see that "Hippy Philosophy" thing as a cliché. They cannot see the relevance to today's world, which is a pity. "The Men Who Stare At Goats' is a genre film, in the tradition of those great comic satires that challenged the status quo so effectively, 40 years back. I truly believe its reputation will grow, over the years.

7 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
This is why we should retain the licence fee., 6 March 2010

One of the finest pieces of television drama of the last decade. Throughout the five hours, ones perceptions and sympathies are constantly challenged as it explores many facets of modern day British society. David Morrisey is, as usual, brilliant. At first coming across as a heavy handed copper in conflict with the heroine, but then proving to be intelligent and caring, as he works with her in uncovering the truth. I have never seen Surrane Jones before. I believe she comes from the world of television soaps. Her performance was magnificent, as she maintains her humour and composure whilst trying to balance the demands of the case and the stress of caring for her mother. I could go on and talk about every member of the cast who contributes to this magnificent drama, but their efforts would mean little without such an absorbing script that constantly challenges your assumptions about any of the characters. It is programmes like this that restore one's faith in television drama, whilst at the same time making it almost impossible to settle for most of the garbage that is increasingly filling the airwaves.

32 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
Possibly one of the greatest pieces of television in any genre, 14 December 2009

I have just finished series three, and am left feeling totally in awe of everyone involved in this programme. As a huge fan of The Wire, I am glad that one does not have to judge the merit of a programme in terms of how it rates against another. Suffice it to say, The Thick Of It succeeds on every level. Not only does it work as a comedy, but it turns out to be a tremendously powerful piece of drama. Full marks to the cast, who give a powerhouse performance that is absolutely staggering. Particular praise must go to Rebecca Front, who I have always admired, but who has produced here an award-winning performance and I hope that she does receive recognition for this. I could mention every actor who has appeared in the series, they are all wonderful. If you have not seen this show, do so and follow it to its amazing climax.

"Mad Men" (2007)
15 out of 45 people found the following review useful:
The greatest television series of all time., 12 May 2009

Series two of Mad Men, which I finished watching last night, revealed a depth and complexity that I have rarely seen on television. Critics are often bemoaning the passing of a golden era of television drama, but nothing has equalled this show. After, reading the Guardian blog, which is populated by adoring fans, pawing over every line of its exquisite writing, it has proved to be something of a shock to read the many negative comments on IMDb. However, I am becoming resigned to the fact that there is a strong correlation between quality and rejection on this board. Many of my favourite television experiences have captured the attention of the television public in a big way ( although The Phil Silvers Show was massive in its day )

"Cranford" (2007)
50 out of 50 people found the following review useful:
A female "who's who" of British acting!, 17 December 2007

Not a dry eye in the house as this came to a close last night. Absolute perfection. Never has a better cast been assembled for a t.v. drama. For me, Imelda Staunton shone, with her fantastic comic timing, but they were all excellent. A departure from the usual Dickens or Austen ( which I adore) in that the plot is more episodic and less dark. There are no obvious villains and few mysteries to unravel. More of a 19th century Archers. However, the insight into the people of the time and into social history is fascinating. Some hilarious lines mixed with occasional haunting tragedy which makes you empathise with its many characters regardless of their faults. Everyone I know has been watching this and all would rate this as the best thing on t.v this year.

10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Gripping realistic crime drama., 26 January 2007

My wife and I have watched the first three episodes in one sitting and am counting the days to the last two. What elevates this above the usual police procedure series, is the way that it examines the crimes through the eyes of all participants. The police, the journalists, the families, the neighbours and the workmates are all examined in detail showing how serious crimes can affect a whole community. The acting is superb, particularly that of the older generation, played by Patrick Malhyde, Penelope Wilton and Edward Woodward. A nice Jane Tennyson type character played by Janet McTeer her boss Hugh Bonneville and Phil Davies as a hardened reporter all contribute to some fine ensemble acting. The stories of the many characters gradually come together in a way that constantly challenges your perceptions of what is going to happen next. Reminiscent of the story-telling style of 'Crash' or 'Short Cuts', this is superior television and should not be missed.

20 out of 44 people found the following review useful:
The worst film of 2006, 4 October 2006

I was greatly looking forward to this film, as I like Clive Owen and am a big fan of Julianne Moore. I had done some work on some of the locations and was intrigued by the vision of the near future that was displayed. As it turned out, the film was a complete turkey. There was absolutely no narrative drive, the various fighting factions were not explained, the sight of the young mother and her baby surviving explosions and bullets ad nauseum was ludicrous. The characters were unsympathetic and (in some cases ) poorly acted. I lost interest well before half way and was praying for the film to end. I almost walked out, I was so bored! This is a shame, as there were elements that were quite interesting. I liked the look of the film and the little visual jokes such as the Pink Floyd pig, the broken David etc. The Michael Caine character was o.k. The total decay of everything, the dirty vehicles, the rickshaws were all well done. However, at the end of the day the drama of the first child born in 18 years was never given the power that it deserved and the film was just one long chase. I am at a loss to understand most of the positive views expressed on this forum. in fact, I am stunned. When I left the cinema, I had the general impression that people shared my view that the film was a dud. This is the first time I have been at odds with the contributors to this site.

De-Lovely (2004)
7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
I never expected to cry!, 4 October 2004

Maybe it was recent events in my personal life, maybe I'm a sucker for a great song, but the final section of the film saw me fighting back the tears and left me speechless. This film may not be historically accurate, some of the vocal performances may have done the songs less than justice, but this was a great, great movie. The performances of Kline and Judd were magnificent. The use of Porter's songs was astonishing. The sets and costumes sublime. However, it was the way that the director swept you along and hurled you into the final sequence with Porter saying goodbye to Linda and going to meet his maker that will linger in my mind forever. With the possible exception of Moulin Rouge, the only musical film of the last 40 years that could live up to those of the classic era.