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All reviews - Movies (6)

Tenderness of the Wolves review

Posted : 6 years, 9 months ago on 16 October 2011 06:20 (A review of Tenderness of the Wolves)

Well, I think 5.3's rather rough on this. It's hardly a masterpiece, but it is consistently not-bad, at the very least, with brief elements of greatness. Most of this is due to the fact that, with little to none of this "direction" business, and a couple of shaky lines (sorry, Herr R) it's chiefly up to the actors to move the story along, and it's in more than capable hands as far as that went. Kurt Raab wrote himself an entirely great role, at the least, and acted it with equal (and occasionally startling) aplomb.

If you like Fassbinder's crew, but don't necessarily require the inherent talent of Fassbinder behind the camera, you should certainly see this.

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Eternal Love review

Posted : 7 years, 1 month ago on 17 June 2011 07:24 (A review of Eternal Love)

Not one of the better examples of either John Barrymore or Ernst Lubitsch, but given their respective normal standards, that hardly disqualifies the term "good picture". It's a solid enough piece, beautifully filmed.

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Sherlock, Jr. review

Posted : 7 years, 1 month ago on 17 June 2011 07:19 (A review of Sherlock, Jr.)

While not my favourite of Keaton's excursions, there's an undeniable charm to it. Never mind the reference to Sherlock, though; I think, after having seen this, that Buster Keaton should be more widely credited as the first Bond!

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Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pryde review

Posted : 7 years, 1 month ago on 12 June 2011 08:54 (A review of Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pryde)

I come at this from a biased standpoint, I'll admit: I loved the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde movie that this is based on and am always excited about well done spoofs. This is a very well done one: Stan Laurel's John Barrymore is spot-on, and the hijinks gets up to genuinely made me laugh so much that my face ached (thank god it was only a two reeler!). It's probably funnier if you're familiar with the original, but it has enough merits aside from that to make it enjoyable for most silent comedy fans.

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No victim to time

Posted : 7 years, 3 months ago on 4 April 2011 04:42 (A review of Victim (1961))

Victim is absolutely beautifully crafted, which makes the impact all the more raw. Dirk Bogarde in the lead was the most perfect casting I could imagine, and he plays it on top form - consistently visceral and occasionally genuinely startling in ferocity. This performance, though, is hardly aswim in mediocrity, either - there's no clunking elements whatever. That's pretty remarkable, frankly.

It's interesting in that it's after sympathy, but not pity, which makes a key difference in how it's aged. It's one of the most personally distressing films I've seen and, after all these years, still rings a little too true.

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Posted : 7 years, 4 months ago on 26 March 2011 06:11 (A review of Reflections in a Golden Eye)

I wanted to like this. Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Harris directed by Huston in a film of a novel I liked? This sounded like a dream. And, well, I'd rather it had been.

For starters, the gold-tinted version is borderline nauseating; it's like watching it through a jar of honey. It makes the film unpleasant to look at it, which isn't a good starting-point, no matter what it may hold. The trouble is that it tried to hold too much and ended up dropping the ball.

The main issue I have with this is that half of the emotional thrust of the film is placed on a character (Brando's Maj. Penderton) you don't learn enough about to truly sympathise with. We're introduced to him constantly on breaking point, but we have no normality from him to compare it with, so he ends up coming over as crazy rather than troubled. Yes, you get the point, but that's hardly enough, and what should have been the easiest job in the world is somehow botched. It takes away from the emotional impact one feels watching him go through the things he does. Without that impact, there's really no point other than voyeurism.

The story with Julie Harris's character is handled much better, but, regrettably, it's also less interesting.

The actors try their damnedest to make it salvageable, but there's only so much they can do with what they're given. The screenwriters had a diamond of a subject, and they managed to turn it back into coal.

As an added bonus atop all of this, the ending has what must be the hokiest camera work I've ever seen. It's absolutely hilarious, and it really shouldn't be.

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