Film Reviews by CD

Welcome to CD's film reviews page. CD has written 161 reviews and rated 165 films.

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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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In the Heat of the Night

Well deserving of its excellent critical reviews

(Edit) 21/12/2023

This is a highly accomplished film - great photography and acting all round with a storyline that hangs together. Sidney Poitier shows a hard edge as well as being the voice of reason and Rod Steiger gradually grows as a character to be more than a caricature police chief. The heat and humidity of the South come through nicely, although Sidney Poitier seems to be quite comfortable throughout in a smart suit and tie.

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The Lost World

Well acted, good special effects

(Edit) 01/12/2023

I really enjoyed this old fashioned, very English adventure yarn. The lead actors (James Fox and Bob Hoskins) are excellent and there is a fun cameo appearance from Peter Falk of Columbo fame. The filming, supposedly in Brazil/ The Amazon, is very spectacular and there are some fine dinosaur special effects even though this film was shot back in 2001. A thoroughly recommended family film.

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The Vigil

Scary at times and well acted

(Edit) 01/12/2023

This is my second viewing of this film, which has featured in at least one list of scariest movies in the past few years. It certainly has some spooky moments especially when modern technology gets some demonic interference. One feels very sorry for the main character who you feel has been set up specially for this vigil as part of a grudge against him for leaving his religious calling. There are some dull bits with an extended wavering candle scene, but it is harrowing when he tries to leave the house midway and the end is one of suspense.

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Blindspotting

Disappointing despite the reviews

(Edit) 08/11/2023

This film has a number of strong points, in particular the quality of the lead actors and the vibrancy of some dialogue and scenes.  However it has very little in terms of a plot and the hip repartee becomes a bit tiresome  after a while. I would not describe the film as a comedy.  Worth  a watch for the sharp directing and acting. 

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Black Widow

Disappointing even for the Marvel Movie Novice

(Edit) 04/11/2023

I do no generally watch this type of action film -  it seemed very disjointed and in spite of the good actors, the characters and acting are a bit thin. There are some good moments, particularly in some of the chase scenes, and there is a bit of humour. However, it all seemed a bit stale by the end.

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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Clever Animation but a bit quirky

(Edit) 24/10/2023

Unfortunately I quickly decided after 15 mins that this was not a film for me. The animation is very clever, but the storyline is a bit limited and I found the voices rather irritating. However it may well appeal for PG Family viewing and it has had good ratings elsewhere.

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Disappearance at Lake Elrod

Some committed acting but lacking a real interest factor

(Edit) 24/10/2023

I found this film rather disappointing, and gave up after half an hour of waiting for the action to kick in. The acting is fine, especially from the leads, but the filming has rather dark lighting that makes it difficult to see much in the indoor scenes. There are several similar scenes with the women characters exchanging insights on the disappearances, but the film fails to ignite.

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Limbo

Sombre with some light touches

(Edit) 03/10/2023

I was expecting a lighter film with more comedy, but was impressed with the more serious and thoughtful film that I watched. The characters are well defined and the acting is great.  The sadness of the whole situation is well drawn out.  Strangely, the Scottish Island context is quite low profile and the local characters are limited, although the weather gets its share of attention. 

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