Film Reviews by CD

Welcome to CD's film reviews page. CD has written 154 reviews and rated 159 films.

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From Dusk Till Dawn

Good Acting and Exciting Special Effects

(Edit) 25/03/2024

It is always a pleasure seeing the acting talent of George Clooney, particularly in this film where he brings his comic side together with tougher action. The film is pretty violent the whole way through and the comedy is dark. How you rate this film very much depends on how much you like the extraordinary twist half way through. For me, there was enough of an interesting drama arising from the chemistry between Harvey Keitel, the actors playing his character's children George Clooney, and Quentin Tarantino to have made this a good film, without the horror twist. The musical score is great as well.

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Inside Llewyn Davis

Thoughtful and Beautifully Acted

(Edit) 25/03/2024

This a really well acted and directed film. The music is great and allowed to come through in full. The pathos of the lead character's plight is spiced with some light comedy moments and some bizarre characters. Carey Mulligan does a great job in support and John Goodman has a great cameo role as a jazz musician en route to Chicago. It's quite quirky but well worth an evening's viewing.

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Hombre

Beautifully Shot and Intelligent Western

(Edit) 09/03/2024

This film well deserves its good critical reviews. The acting is great and the characters are build up carefully, even in the minor parts. Paul Newman is well cast and convincing in the lead part. The pace of the film is excellent with some great photography and just enough action to keep things interesting. Strongly recommended for those wanting a more "modern" style of western, with moral points that are kept admirably open for thought.

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Tell No One

Enough Action and Good Acting, but Plot delivers rather late

(Edit) 03/03/2024

Quite entertaining, but too much of the plot is loaded to the back end of the film, which adversely affects its balance. The acting is strong and the foot chase through the streets is well done. The police are quirky, which adds to the entertainment. Overall well worth a watch. I found the subtitles not distracting at all.

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The Driver

Great action and car chases

(Edit) 21/02/2024

Really enjoyed this 1970s Walter Hill directed classic. The car chases are superb, but so also is the cast, both the leads and supporting actors. Ryan O'Neill's obsession with being the best driver but not caring much for the money is carried through really well. The dialogue is quite witty and the plot, while basic, makes senses and works through to a good conclusion. Thoroughly recommended.

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Major Dundee

Disappointing in spite of the restored original footage

(Edit) 21/02/2024

I found the short special feature about Sam Peckinpah and the making of this film (included in the DVD) more interesting than the film itself. The film is built upon the tension between two former comrades in West Point (acted by Heston and Harris) who are divided by the Civil War and have become enemies. I understand that there was a lot of competitiveness between the two actors during the making of the film, and it certainly shows, and not to the film's advantage. Heston is very stiff and awkward and Harris is annoyingly cavalier as the confederate officer released from prison, both rather coming across as caricatures. The Apache theme becomes steadily lost and the film meanders into scenes in a Mexican village, complete with fiesta, before becoming a rather unbelievable showdown with a French army. All very disappointing.

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Hindenburg

Disappointing except for the Airship

(Edit) 12/02/2024

All rather disappointing except for the Airship itself, the filming of its explosion, and and the final film track by Bob Beeman "I got you". The plot is rather unbelievable and characters, especially the Nazi officers and Airship captain come across as caricatures. It gets better as the film progresses but I struggled to keep my attention to the end.

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The Warriors

Impressive Action

(Edit) 06/02/2024

This film is well acted and unsentimental with a terrific momentum all the way through. In a New York that seems like a 1970s dystopia, the attractiveness of belonging in a gang is brought out.  The music is great and there is a colourful array of other gangs and characters. The violence is never excessive and some of the choreography of the action scenes in the stations is really terrific.  Overall very entertaining.

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It Must Be Heaven

Quirky and Artistic Gem

(Edit) 27/01/2024

It took me about 20 mins to get into the gentle pace of the film, but then I really started to enjoy it. The clever and varied scenes and observations reminded me of Jacques Tati films, although the lead character in this film is almost a bystander observing the strangeness and comedy of human behaviour. While there is a backdrop of Palestine in the film, the message has a strangely optimistic one of human universality, although there are also themes of alienation and fear of authority. The camera work is brilliant and the music and locales are consistently interesting. Strongly recommended for those who like a film to get them thinking.

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The War Below

Worthy but rather lacking in Drama

(Edit) 20/01/2024

In the grim context of WW1 and the Somme battlefront, there is relatively little action and excitement in this film. The lead actors are strong but the story follows a rather predictable course, with nothing that really gives the audience any real insight into the tunnelling, and how it was done.

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Last Night in Soho

Impressive and Stylish

(Edit) 10/01/2024

Very impressed with the re-creation of 1960s Soho and the excellent acting. The film is quite dark, and occasionally scary, but builds empathy for the characters. The music is very evocative and the thriller gets into the grim reality of how young people were exploited in the entertainment industry. The end part of the film is cleverly constructed. Overall a challenging but rewarding film with real panache from the director.

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Black Robe

Tour de Force

(Edit) 06/01/2024

A brilliant and sensitive film based around an excellent novel by Brian Moore.  Coherent plot, beautifully photographed, excellent acting and very thought provoking, it keeps up the tempo to the end. 

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Southern Comfort

Brilliantly Directed and Acted

(Edit) 30/12/2023

This is the third time I have seen this film over the past 20 years and I have taken different things from each viewing. It is often compared with the film "Deliverance" (which is also well worth watching if you like films around a battle for survival in a hostile environment), but for me this film is superior. The performance of the two lead actors Keith Carradine and Powers Boothe is excellent, and there is a good cast of misfits around them. The plot, camera work and music are very good and the Cajun culture and environment adds a whole dimension of extra interest, particularly towards the end of the film. It is tempting to see the parallels with Vietnam, and the sense of abandonment and isolation that some US soldiers experienced there. Powers Boothe's character raises the suspicion that the luckless reservists have been set up to be lost and hunted down as part of the mission. Whatever the intended context, this is a survival film par excellence which keeps its momentum to the very end.

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A Haunting in Venice

Ponderous and slow

(Edit) 28/12/2023

I am a big fan of Kenneth Branagh but this film does not come to life for me at all. There is the usual challenge in an Agatha Christie novel about casting the array of characters in a believable and interesting way, but added to this is the choice of an extremely gothic set with lots of night shots that makes it hard to see what is going on (despite picture adjustments on my TV). It was hard going to get even to half-way and I struggled with the storyline. There is some good acting and innovative camera work but sadly this is not enough to compensate for a film that seems slow and ponderous.

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Lullaby

Well directed drama

(Edit) 21/12/2023

I was expecting more of a horror film and less of drama, but this is an extremely well made film with excellent acting and an intelligent script. It is subtle and sympathetic in the way it presents all the characters. The children give amazing performances and the whole film is very realistic and convincing with enough small twists to keep it interesting. The photography is also very impressive.

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