Film Reviews by CD

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

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Eye of the Storm

Impressive Art in a gentle documentary style

(Edit) 03/10/2023

Really liked the amazing landscapes.  The conversations and interviews were less interesting to me, except when the artist talked about his techniques.

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Barry Lyndon

Brilliant 18th Century Drama

(Edit) 15/09/2023

The scale and ambition of this drama is amazing.  Superbly acted, amazing sets, music and filming, good plot and narration and a wonderful array of characters - a real gem of a film.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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To Live and Die in L.A.

High energy 1980s cop thriller

(Edit) 31/08/2023

I thoroughly enjoyed this film which exceeded my expectations from the reviews I had read.  It is not overly violent for its 18 rating. The acting and characterisation are good and the soundtrack is terrific in a 1980s way.  There are some absorbing scenes with Dafoe doing the counterfeiting and a top notch car chase towards the end.  William Petersen as the lead is impressively gritty.  There is also some tongue in cheek humour with for example a running chase in which the crook asks the cop why he is chasing him and the cop replies “because you are running away!’  The ending is a satisfying finale.  

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Right Stuff

Brilliant Air and Rocket Scenes

(Edit) 02/09/2023

Once you get past the sluggish start and rather irritating mannerisms and drawl, this is a wonderful film.  The lead characters and actors are very likeable and the main action scenes are superb.  It is also fascinating to see a view (albeit in a movie but hopefully based on some reality) of behind the scenes, particularly the trials and tests for the pilots/astronauts, the dynamic with their wives and families, and the media and political circus around the 1960s’  US rocket program. It is striking as well to see the lack of diversity in whom was even considered for the space program in the 1960s.  Best seen in a couple of sittings as it is quite a long film, but really enjoyable.

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Wild Mountain Thyme

Pleasant but slow moving romantic comedy

(Edit) 06/08/2023

I enjoyed the main characters and the context of the farm, but the film is very slow and needed more action to bring it to life. That being said, it was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon and the theme of unrequited love is too little explored in modern films. Plenty of animals, wet Irish weather and dodgy Irish accents from the international cast.

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Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Slow start but gets funnier

(Edit) 03/08/2023

I almost gave up on this film after 30 minutes. What improved it was the entry of Sasha Cohen; also it is enlivened by Ricky Bobby’s dad in the film and the sharp and funny dialogue from Ricky’s children.  Not nearly as fun as some other Will Ferrell films, this is still worth a watch for a few of the gags in the second half.

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The Old Curiosity Shop

Good solid dramatisation of classic Dickens' novel

(Edit) 28/07/2023

I was quite familiar with the novel before seeing this dramatisation. The film assembles a very strong cast with Derek Jacobi and Toby Jones particularly standing out, but the actor playing Dick Swiveller (a rakish gentleman who undergoes reform doing the story) is also just right for the part. The film leaves out a number of scenes from the book and several characters, but in the core story is true to the original. In some ways it is sharper than the novel. It brings out more clearly the deceit towards Nell and the selfishness of the grandfather's gambling addiction, as well as the more obvious profiteering evil of Daniel Quilp and the Brass family. It is very unclear where in England the travel part of the story is set, and at some point seems to be in the Lake District (although the West country is mentioned), which gives some pleasant back-drops and countryside. Overall a good watch.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Godland

Brilliant camera work and atmospheric Icelandic 19th century drama

(Edit) 23/07/2023

I first became aware of this film at last year’s BFI Festival in London and wished I had seen it on the big screen.  The landscape of Iceland is austere but fantastic and the photography in this film truly does it justice.  The characters of all the cast are very well articulated and there is sufficient drama and surprise to keep the momentum of the film.  The main character Lucas (a Danish priest) is an anti-hero whose hardness comes out during the drama. Extra bonuses are the animals ( sheepdog and horses) and the songs. It is a longish film but I enjoyed it greatly by taking a break between the main chapters. Highly recommended.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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The War Lord

Excellent Medieval Drama

(Edit) 15/07/2023

This is a really good medieval tale, set in Normandy in the 11th century.  Charlton Heston and the cast are excellent and the story is well told.  The added bonuses are the musical score, film-set and the camera work, all excellent.  There is an exciting and convincing Castle siege and the film assumes Shakespearean proportions as it evolves.  Very impressive and much recommended.

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Crimean War: A Most Desperate Undertaking

Old style low budget documentary

(Edit) 11/07/2023

I learnt virtually nothing new from this Crimean War documentary.  It plods along in a very old style way - even for a 2003 production -  with rather bland contributions from army, medical and historical specialists.  Apart from the paintings  I found little to spark interest and the war is explained very much  from a British perspective and does not include the view of other combatant nations except for references to the french.  The staged accounts of the campaign from actors as Crimean era soldiers are not great.  Hopefully there will be other Crimean documentaries or movies that will do this war greater justice.

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Babylon

Tour de Force

(Edit) 07/07/2023

It takes time to find any shape despite a lot of early action (I almost gave up after 20 mins) and is sometimes completely over the top,  but the film has fantastic energy and is a real treat for the senses.  Anybody who likes film will understand the emotion in the final scene.  Funny in parts and great performances from all the leads. 

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Harry Brown

Vigilante - British Style

(Edit) 27/06/2023

I found this film very slow moving to begin with, albeit with fine actors. Once the violence starts and one discovers Harry's Royal Marines' background it is fairly obvious where this is heading. On the plus side, some of the scenes get into the sheer horror of drug gang morals and culture, but otherwise there is very little exploration of any of the characters, and it is a bleak film in a world where force prevails. Worth a watch, if only for Michael Caine in a UK film role.

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The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Good Acting Performance

(Edit) 31/05/2023

I thought this film might be hard to watch, and so it proved to be.  Andra Day shines in the role and one longs to see more song performances.  Instead, as the title suggests, the film focuses on the political, racial and drug related issues, together with an unsettling array of rather menacing characters in grim situations. It’s no surprise that this is a 2021 film, and it sets out to tell a tragic story of racial discrimination and aggression against an amazing artist.  Well worth a watch.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Drive

Stylish, accomplished but very violent

(Edit) 28/05/2023

This film has many pluses including the joy of seeing Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling acting together, the driving chases, classy camera work and overall good casting.  I would have rated it 4 stars but dropped to 3 stars due to the excessive violence in the second part of the film, which was a real negative for me.  Well worth a watch though for all the other good things about this film.

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Plane

Worthy Thriller with Good Action

(Edit) 20/05/2023

The early dialogue, and the difficulty in hearing it, does not fill one with hope: co-pilot to pilot - example (paraphrased)  “I assume you are English?”; pilot “I would not lower myself to that level - I’m Scottish”.  However, Gerard Butler’s pilot character develops well after that to be an interesting person who cares for his passengers (who are a real mixed bag of personalities).  The scenario of the crash on the Island is not altogether unrealistic and the action sequences on and off the plane are excellent.  The baddies are suitably bad and the momentum of the film is well maintained till the end - altogether a satisfying film to watch.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
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