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Gabrielle (2001)
Before-life
8 June 2004
This is a brilliantly simple short production which explores the premise of a soul about to be brought into life. A woman called Gabrielle must choose whether or not to be incarnated after seeing a brief review of highlights from her life. The film is unlike any you will have ever seen - a truly original and unique gem that will keep you thinking long after you have watched it!

This film was included on Volume 2 of the Spiritual Cinema Circle's monthly DVD mailer (Spiritual Cinema Circle was set up by Stephen Simon - who produced What Dreams May Come, Somewhere in Time, Bill & Ted etc.).
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Brain Dead (1990)
1/10
Awful - even for a TV Movie...
29 July 2002
This is one of the worst films I have *ever* seen! It is bad, even at TV Movie level standards. The plot is diabolically flawed, and the known names in this film are wasted on confused, uncertain characters. I don't know how the director managed to keep this excuse of a film together - it is that bad. Billed as a 'Psychological Horror Thriller' - it is certainly Horrific. There is nothing Thrilling about it. And it could do you Psychological damage! The initial opening scenes held such promise - a possible embarkation on whether the soul is just an aspect of the brain, but the utter shambles that followed the car-crash scene is beyond belief. No matter how hard you try, you couldn't care less about the characters. There are so many sprinkled ideas that the film is at best a collage of disconnected phrases from Chinese philosophers, and at worst the film would actually make you go Brain Dead!

I have purchased over 300 films on DVD, and this is the FIRST one I'm going to get my money back on. STEER CLEAR.
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7/10
The Ultimate Murder Mystery
25 February 2002
I have always been fascinated by the Lucan story, perhaps contributed to the fact is that nearby where I live was an old dilapidated house, which belonged to the Lucans, and when I was a child I always thought that the ghastly deeds had been carried out there!!!

Anyway, the film is a kind of docu-drama, which flicks between the events of the time, and a meeting in 1997 between a journalist and a policeman who was on the case.

If you like a good murder mystery, or are just fascinated by the Lucan story, then it's definitely worth a watch. What is interesting is that new facts about Lucan and the whole story come to light - did he really murder the Nanny after all? What was his motive? Was it an elaborate setup that went wrong? And what did the Greyhound boss have to do with it all? Did Lucan kill himself, was he murdered in a bourgeois conspiracy or is he simply on the run?

These questions and more will be revealed!
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Lock Up (1989)
10/10
A perfect film for anyone who has suffered injustice...
10 May 2001
I agree with macnjnc, this is quite an under-rated film. If you have experienced undeserved pain, or injustice in your life, you can absolutely relate to Stallone's Frank Leone character.

Donald Sutherland's performance as the soul-crushing Warden is superlative. At every point in the film, you want to hate this evil character.

In the end, Stallone re-unites with his girlfriend, and he knows it was worth it, hanging on through the torment, and not giving up, as she supported him and would be with him again eventually.

At points, the film becomes a little distant and 'empty', but all in all this is an excellent film.

It is available on DVD in the UK and Europe at the end of May 2001.
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10/10
The greatest animated film of all time...
16 March 2001
Watership Down is the greatest animated film of all time. It really couldn't be portrayed in any other way than animation, and thanks to Martin Rosen, it has become the greatest animated film of all time, yet it is so often under-rated. If you have seen it, then you won't need any introduction, as even just watching this film once, you will never forget it. This is also one of the few films that has been faithful to the original text, and has lost little from the novel by Richard Adams. Some of England's finest actors provide the voices for the rabbits (John Hurt, Denholm Elliot, Richard Briers and the late Sir Ralph Richardson).

The film is also backed up by an utterly superlative soundtrack featuring a haunting instrumental score by Angela Morley, and of course the unforgettable soul-wrenching theme Bright Eyes written by Mike Batt and sung by Art Garfunkel. Even though classified as a U, I strongly advise parents to watch with young children, as there are some powerful sequences that will make them exceptionally upset, though this is a film that all children (and adults if they have not seen it) should watch.

All in all, this is a remarkable film, which not only portrays the ruthlessness of animal life, and in particular of Britain's beloved animal, the Rabbit - but it is also a continual parallel of the human world. It is also a tale of hope, courage and change. And too, the process of life and death.

And to end, a piece of trivia - watch out for when the bird Kehaar gets annoyed - listen closely to what he says and you'll be surprised how they let it slip through!
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