3 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
A Tribute to the last Merchant/Ivory production
2 April 2006
A Final Gem from this brilliant duo

I don't want to spoil this film for anyone at the moment, I would just like to say that it is worth watching, not just for the wonderful sets and for the haunting score but also for the fine acting performances of Ralph Fiennes and Natasha Richardson and the rest of the Redgrave family, amongst others.

Its wonderfully restrained but still powerful and although it takes a little while to come together, as do so many good films, it does so quite beautifully and is well worth the wait. You might well learn something about people on this movie journey and at best you will enjoy a great work , albeit the last, from the Merchant/Ivory team. I fitting tribute to their genius. Go see it and make your own mind up.

In short a film of broken lives and broken souls, finding their way to live and love again, in very different ways, amid a backdrop of 1930's Shanghi on the brink of war. Let the film unfold for you, as it is meant to.
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Manhattan (1979)
who could ask for anything more?
16 December 2004
This is my favorite Woody Allen film and I have them all.

Its a magical film shot in black and white in the most atmospheric way. Its shot with great love of the city of New York and of the characters therein. The score by Gershwin is sheer perfection and makes it a work of genius.

Its an extremely funny film, which switches between humor and pathos, and has that bitter sweet quality that I love in most of his films. He deserved the Oscar nod for it and should have received it. Oddly enough its not Woodys favorite, of his many works of sheer sublime genius. But I feel its his best. From Annie Hall and Play It Again Sam to Hannah and Her Sisters straight through to Manhatten Murder Mystery and The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. All of them gems.

For those of you who haven't seen the film, its essentially about an ensemble cast dealing with relationships and the fear of missing out on what might have been, rather than appreciating what you have. Of course there is love lost and love found and back again.

The Cast is excellent from Dianne Keaton to Meryl Streep and a very young but excellent Hemmingway. The film is really an homage to Woody's New York and his love of Gershwin and the films of the 30's are very visible in this film.

I don't want to spoil the film if you haven't seen it and if you have watch it again, it worth watching again and again. Its vintage woody.
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The Phantom (1996)
good old fashioned ripping yarn
16 December 2004
I watched this movie on TV last night and found it great fun.In the best sense of the word.

Old fashioned film making, good guys and bad guys, clearly defined and a good tale, well told. OK there were flaws in there also(mainly the interior set pieces which look like sound stages), but they should be overlooked, as its not a serious film and is not pretending to be anything other than it is. Its a fantasy/adventure film, in the best tradition, the kind they don't make anymore,no special effects, to speak of, but good action, wonderful locations and some good acting, for this genre.

I expect in this day of high tech special effects, it may seem less alluring to the more high tech minded but if your looking for some good old fashioned fun, this is one to watch. Not my favorite film, by any means but worth a look and deserves more than 5 out of 10, I give it 7 and hope somebody enjoys it for what it is, rather than what they feel it should be.

A film for the family to enjoy on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
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