Film Reviews by JG

Welcome to JG's film reviews page. JG has written 43 reviews and rated 375 films.

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Accused: Series 2

Dutch version of English series.

(Edit) 26/09/2021

This disk is for the Dutch market. The film itself is English with an English soundtrack but the menus are in Dutch. Dutch subtitles are on by default but can be turned off, select UIT under subtitles. There are no extras, so select Play all (speel alles).

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The Rhythm Section

Whatever

(Edit) 15/07/2021

I wrote this once but you logged me out without saving it. I'm not typing it all in again.

I wrote this once but you logged me out without saving it. I'm not typing it all in again.

I wrote this once but you logged me out without saving it. I'm not typing it all in again.

I wrote this once but you logged me out without saving it. I'm not typing it all in again.

This should be 100 now!

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The Whistlers

Difficult for the hard of hearing.

(Edit) 18/06/2021

I didn't finish the disk so my 3 stars is a guess (maybe overly generous from reading the other reviews). From the film description it sounds enjoyable but everything is let down by the subtitling. There is nothing for the hard of hearing, and if you select subtitles, they are only displayed when people are speaking Spanish. When they are speaking English with a thick Spanish accent it is very difficult to follow (unless you are Spanish perhaps). I gave up.

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Dark Waters

Do you know about Teflon? If not, watch this film.

(Edit) 16/06/2021

If you enjoyed Erin Brockovich then this is another one for you. They are different films, but both important in highlighting the abuse of power by large corporations.

This one may surprise those who do not know about the DuPont scandal involving Teflon which was a world wide money spinner for them. Since 2013 Telfon products are no longer allowed to contain PFOA, but Teflon is still dangerous to health if you let it get overheated. See https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/nonstick-cookware-safety for more information. It is not an exciting, gripping movie but it is well made, moving and well worth a watch.

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The Lovely Bones

Unusual approach to a crime drama.

(Edit) 16/06/2021

It seems that if you have read the book first, the film may disappoint, but if you haven't then you may find this film enjoyable. A serial killer, killing a child is not a subject for an uplifting film, but the way this film is constructed does just that. The young actress and the director have pulled off a magical and a fresh way of looking at the story. There is plenty to think about in this film after you have watched it, particularly the symbolism used to portray the concepts of heaven and hell. Since two of the reviews think the film didn't match up to the book, if like me you enjoy the film then the book may be worth reading too.

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Hope Gap

Serious look at human relationships.

(Edit) 10/06/2021

A lot of the reviews here are pretty damming, maybe they were expecting Coronation Street or East Enders. This is fiction but ir is drawn from the author's experiences and so is real drama, not shouting matches and car chases. It is a film that you can reflect on which explores the human condition in a way that may be painful for anyone who has experienced such relationships and moving for anyone with empathy. The acting is good, the three main characters carrying the film. There is no overdone melodrama, but sympathetic portrayals of the characters that were scripted. One of the best films I have seen this year. I enjoyed the featurette too.

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Better Call Saul: Series 5

Prequell to Breaking Bad.

(Edit) 11/01/2021

These two series stand alone and either can be watched without the other, but you will get more out of it if you watch both. Breaking Bad was made first and then Better Call Saul was written as a spin off to explain how Jimmy McGill aka Saul Goodman came to be where he was. Many of the characters are common but some are unique to each of the series. They are both quite long. Breaking Bad is complete now but Better call Saul has one more season yet to air. Cinema Paradiso have seasons 1 to 5 available with 5 having only just arrived at the end of 2020.

It is all about drugs and sharp practices and most of the characters are either amoral or have weak streaks, but somehow they are all likeable. Jimmy seems a bit of a loser, at least most of the others think that of him, however he is actually quite a sharp cookie, especially in the courtroom. There is one person who really understands him though and realises his skill and this comes out strongly in season 5. The story arc is easy to lose track of with all the day to day goings on, so this is best if it is binge watched. If you spread it out over several years (as it was aired) you are in danger of forgetting who did what when and get confused when they pickup from something that happened in a previous series.

Providing you don't take it too seriously, it is a good watch. I enjoyed it.

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In the Bedroom

Ignore the title, it explains nothing (at least to me).

(Edit) 11/01/2021

This is not a raunchy piece about bedroom intrigues but is a story about relationships between people, not just couples, but everyone. There are no car chases or massive CGI set pieces so if that's what you are looking for, look for another. If you like human drama and character development then this is more your cup of tea. Tom Wilkinson plays a man from Maine so a soft accent is fine. I often have troubles with the dialogue in American films as my hearing is not so good now, but I had no problems with this one, which is just as well as the dialogue is important. This could work in the theatre with minimal adaptation, but it is not static, in watching it you get drawn in and follow the action as it unfolds. Not a box office hit but an enjoyable film that is worth watching.

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Total Recall

30 years old but still worth a watch.

(Edit) 18/12/2020

Like all science fiction it makes some assumptions and then explores what these would mean. The assumption here is that memories and identities can be implanted in a human. Some people may think this is just round the corner, they probably thought so too when the film was first made. The fact that it is still a long way off, if it ever is possible, means this film still works as science fiction. Add to that the fact that they have colonised Mars and we haven't managed the moon yet, and it looks as though it has plenty of life.

Of course it has Arnie in the lead role so if you're not an Arnie fan it may not be for you. There is plenty of action and some twists so it is entertaining enough. After the film you can ponder the questions the film asks. What makes personal identity? Does an implant change a person or just the way he behaves. It comes from an original P.K. Dick story, not as good as Blade Runner but entertaining enough. One interesting point was that their autonomous taxis had dummy taxi drivers, whereas we seem to be able to manage driverless vehicles without a panic attack.

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V for Vendetta

15 years old but very relevant to now.

(Edit) 18/12/2020

The abuse of power and exploitation of the masses for the elite is with us now and may get worse as Covid is used as an excuse to bring in ever more severe restrictions. Worth a watch if you haven't seen it, or it was a long while ago when we still had freedoms.

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Gifted

Worthwhile well made film.

(Edit) 29/10/2020

It would be easy to overlook this film by just reading a synopsis. But if you read the reviews it seems that most people loved it. The young actress was perfect for the part being able to show both childish exuberance when jumping on the bed and singing caroche to adult sarcasm, "I expect she wants to know what one and one are". The story may seem small on the surface but it is well told and explores the issues that arise with a gifted child, should you enable them to attain their maximum potential or let them grow up as a normal child. The film shows both sides of the argument. I am glad that I watched this. I am still thinking about it three days later, always a hallmark of a good film.

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Night Hunter

Maybe OK, I couldn't tell.

(Edit) 24/09/2020

This disc has no subtitles. As I need the hard of hearing text to help out with the accents and mumbled dialogue I had problem in following the plot. I had a fair idea of what it was about from the synopsis but not being able to follow the dialogue left me feeling, "was it worth the effort?".

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Emma

Acting good, casting less so.

(Edit) 10/08/2020

I have seen 5 adaptations of Emma and none have been perfect, each has brought out things the others lacked. But of those that I have seen I rate this the second best. My favourite is the 1972 Doran Godwin version. The others are 1996 Kate Beckinsale, 1996 Gwyneth Palttrow, 2020 Anya Taylor-Joy and this one, 2009 Romola Garai. None of the versions has a perfect Emma, it is a difficult role. On the surface an attractive and pleasant person, but somewhat carelessly spiteful or catty at first with her attempted manipulations of other people, not through malice but merely for her own amusement and pleasure. She is aware that Mr Knightly does not agree with her actions and sees this as a difference between them, only later realising why he is so concerned.

All the portrayals of Emma were well acted, but none quite achieved the transformation in the character that one imagines for oneself when reading the book. One of the pivotal scenes is the admonition of Emma by Mr Knightly at Box Hill. Gwyneth Paltrow, for me, carried this scene off best, her visible grief brought tears to my eyes. Romola Garai did this scene well too. One mistake for me in this production was the omission of the appology to Miss Bates which is crucial to showing the transformation of Emma's character. The director seemed overly concerned with bringing out the reluctance of Jane Fairfax to meet Emma. This is a plot point but hardly a major one. Michael Gambon gave a good interpretation of Mr Woodhouse, equalling Bill Nighy but neither quite outplayed Donald Eccles. The actors all brought their skills to bear on their parts but the casting didn't make their jobs easy. Mrs Elton was perhaps the worst choice. She was too pretty and had to work hard to portray a mean unlikeable character. Jane Austen's characters, like Dickens, are a little over done to make a point and the casting needs to assist in this.

If there is anyone who does not know the plot it is set in the small fictitious town of Highbury, and the surrounding estates of Hartfield, Randalls, and Donwell Abbey and narrates Emma Woodhouse's attempts to make matches for her single acquaintances. Her mother having died and her younger sister and former governess both married, she has become the mistress of the house and cares for her aged father who is constantly concerned for his health and others. He is a gentleman of the old school but is inclined to play upon his presumed ill health. Emma Woodhouse fancies that she has great skill at matchmaking, more than she has, and is impervious to the dangers of meddling in other people's lives.

Being in four episodes there is ample opportunity to deleve into Jane Austen's wit in her words, the voice overs were well arranged and used where needed, helping this production to do this. One day someone may produce the ideal Emma but in the meantime this is a good version to enjoy

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Black and Blue

Plot OK but too much RAP.

(Edit) 15/07/2020

Typical cops against drug dealers with some cops on the wrong side of the law. Plenty of action with a simole plot device that works well. OK if you like RAP. I don't.

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The Villainess

Better for Asian audiences.

(Edit) 15/07/2020

I found it it confusing. I couldn't tell who was who, not helped by many of them being dressed the same. The opening sequence is rather like those shoot em up video games. I'll stick with Nikita.

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