Film Reviews by CD

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

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Color of Night

Chaotic characters and plot, but some bright spots

(Edit) 21/05/2023

Bruce Willis puts in an excellent performance in this quite high action “shrink” film involving the psychology and therapist world.  I enjoyed the 1990s low technology LA setting (with Bruce Willis making calls from his car with a large corded phone).  There is also a good car chase and the famous sex scene which goes on so long you may be tempted to press fast forward.  The characters and plot leave a lot to be desired,  but if you like 1990s style cop films and TV serials, you might like this.

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Up in the Air

A really excellent comedy with some profound moments

(Edit) 02/05/2023

This film really exceeded my expectations. Excellent casting in all the roles and great acting by Clooney in particular. The storyline moves along well and at no stage compromises the characters. Clooney's character remains quite inscrutable throughout but the onion is peeled sufficiently for one to be able to glimpse what drives him (beyond the air-miles). A really worthwhile film that leaves you thinking.

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EO

Sad film - beautifully shot

(Edit) 02/05/2023

I am not sure that the trailers really prepare the viewer for what is in store, which is quite sad and poignant. The photography is brilliant as is the way the focus is on the donkey's view of the world. The scenes are sufficiently strange to keep the film interesting. The lack of really developed human characters works well and keeps the sentimentality out of the film.

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The Dark and the Wicked

Atmospheric and cleverly shot

(Edit) 22/04/2023

I was not expecting too much of this film, but from a slow and low key start it grows into quite a creepy and memorable film.  The acting is very good and the music score and arty film shots add a lot to the atmosphere.  The creepy cameo roles of the priest and the visiting young neighbour contribute to the film’s strangeness - well worth a watch.

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Shutter Island

Challenging and Impressive

(Edit) 20/04/2023

A disquieting film which hangs together around the superb acting.  The flashbacks, hallucinations and dreams come thick and fast but the storyline hangs together okay  - psychological illusions and reality become blurred, but it is much better done than in many films.  An extra bonus is the superb filming of the landscape around the cliffs.  Recommended but rather dark, and perhaps best to take a breather half way through.

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The Father

Superbly acted and poignant

(Edit) 04/04/2023

I was in two minds as to whether watch this film as the subject matter sounded grim.  I am glad I did because the actors are superb and the scariness and disorientation of dementia is really brought out both by Anthony Hopkins’ character and the family and helpers around him.  The tensions created by a person suffering from dementia are well shown as are the battle between being compassionate to the sufferer, acting is their best interests and carrying on with one’s own life.  The final scene is really transformative and very moving.  Hats off to the director, actors and everyone involved with this great film.

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Compartment No. 6

Did not fulfil its promise

(Edit) 02/04/2023

This film had good characters and fine acting, but the storyline is not strong enough and it moves at too slow a pace. It is pleasantly unpredictable, but unlikely and rather unconvincing as a result. Worth watching for the interplay between the two main characters and for the interest of the Russian train and its arctic environment. The culture difference between the Finn and the Russian is also interesting. Overall I would tentatively recommend but prefer many other "journey" films.

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Village of the Damned

Some nasty moments but generally entertaining

(Edit) 29/03/2023

I enjoyed this film for its 1990s backdrop (with almost no technology in view), a chain smoking MD, and glimpse into small town America of the time. As a sci fi horror film it is a bit silly, not so much for the underlying plot but for the silver hair and behaviour of the children which varies from the mundane to the scary. The actors are sound even though many characters are hardly developed in the film at all, and the pace of the film is good. Overall quite entertaining and worth a watch.

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David Copperfield

Worthy Film of the Dickens Novel

(Edit) 29/03/2023

I was not sure about the casting of the actors playing the young and older David Copperfield, but in the second part Hugh Dancy does very well in the title role. The support actors are very strong, in particular the actor playing David C's Aunt Betsey Trotwood, who introduces a kind of Mary Poppins energy to the role which works well. The adaptation is well paced over the two parts and the Irish film locations work well. The actor playing Uriah Heep is suitable "humble" and obsequious, and Micawber is given an interesting comic uplift . Overall a good watch.

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Audition

Well made but disappointing given the reviews

(Edit) 05/03/2023

I found this film very well acted with a good plot, but ultimately a bit unsatisfying. Having built up the characters well, the second half then moves into a rather bewildering set of hallucinations and flashbacks (a bit reminiscent of the 1987 Micky Rourke film "Angel Heart"), including some gruesome scenes. Interesting alone for the 1990s low tech far eastern context and the very fine acting and direction on display, but not a truly great film in my view.

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Ravenous

Brilliant characterisation and acting

(Edit) 05/03/2023

I really enjoyed this film which has brilliantly created characters and a lot of dark humour amongst the cannibalistic goings on. The 19th California setting is a good one to choose, and the lack of any clear heroes is a plus. There are also some clever moral dilemmas and twists, and more than one surprise in the plot that keeps this film going strongly to the end.

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The Night

Well crafted, occasionally scary thriller

(Edit) 28/02/2023

It takes time to work out the context but the film seems to revolve around Iranian emigres in a US city.  The characters and actors are good and the hotel and manager are suitably creepy.  There are some stock horror moments, but through the film there is a more subtle creepiness that makes it quite absorbing.  My only criticism it that it seemed rather long and could have been reduced by 15mins to tighten it up at the end.  Overall worthwhile and recommended for those who like hotel based creepy films.

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The Last Duel

Well made mediaeval epic

(Edit) 18/02/2023

The period of the 100 years war is a good one to choose for a bloody tale of rivalry and misdeeds. Matt Damon seems a little miscast as the rough hewn knight facing a much more charming rival to his wife's affections. Jodie Comer is excellent as the wife. I agree with some other reviewers that the mix of accents grates somewhat, and also that the film is a bit long due to the technique of showing three viewpoints of the same event. This can work well if those viewpoints are very different, but not so well in this case where they are not. The film brings out the sheer brutality and chaos of the age well, but could have provided a much clearer historical context for those not so familiar with the events. It is never very clear as to who is fighting who and why, especially in Scotland. The Trial by Combat at the end is expertly done and with a great cameo role from the actor playing the young French king, it's a satisfying if very violent film. 3.5 stars for ambition.

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She Dies Tomorrow

Very original and powerful drama

(Edit) 18/02/2023

If you are looking for a horror movie this is probably not for you. It is a very well acted, highly atmospheric and at times quite disturbing film about auto-suggestion, the power of suggestion from others and the realisation that life, which before was certain, is now so transient and about to be lost. The best scenes are the ones where several people are confronted by the assurance of one person that they themselves will die, and the impact that this has on their confidence. Also the admissions that people make to each other about how this changes everything for them. The script is quite limited but very powerful in places. As a watcher one finds oneself consciously shying away from even considering that one might die tomorrow in case one gets pulled into the action! - surely a testament to a very strong theme, expertly executed.

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Suburbicon

Superbly acted black comedy

(Edit) 07/02/2023

This is the second time I have seen this film since its release and I really enjoyed it again.  The acting is superb and the suburban caricatures make for an amusing, sometimes challenging (as in the case of the racism theme), and highly entertaining film played with true gusto by the cast. The plot moves along at a good pace and the baddies are truly mean.  The little boy’s expressions and gestures are beautifully done as he finds himself a pawn in the game.  

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