Film Reviews by DW

Welcome to DW's film reviews page. DW has written 38 reviews and rated 42 films.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

The Men Who Built America

19thC America's mega-rich magnates.

(Edit) 13/11/2018

I've awarded three stars largely because overall these DVDs were informative, giving some interesting background to names familiar to me but not, until now, in particular detail. Rockefeller et al, these were hard men who may have through their determination and ruthlessness made the United States the pre-eminent industrialised nation but who did so at great cost to those in their employ. Carnegie, for instance, I had associated mainly with the public institutions which bear his name and which he generously supported. How he made his vast wealth, however, rather takes the shine off his benevolence.

These two discs contain six TV programmes made by PBS. Unfortunately, presumably because they are made for (American?) TV the seams show where they break off for adverts and, even worse, after each obvious break much of what had gone before is given a resume as though one couldn't keep in mind what had gone before. Ditto at the beginning of each of the six programmes when even more time is wasted replaying a fair bit of what had been previously shown on the earlier disc. I shall therefore avoid anything other than purposely made, stand alone, documentaries when making future choices of viewing.

One last thing,: Henry Ford is given equal billing to Vanderbilt and the other magnates at the beginning of each section and yet is allowed no place in the stories we are told here. Odd.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Michael Clayton

A cracking thriller

(Edit) 13/11/2018

i had already seen the film when it was first released. It had great impact.then and, although I had remembered the ending so no surprises there, it hardly mattered as a second viewing kept my full attention throughout. It was perfectly cast with Clooney at his most mesmerising as he always is when the script and story-line have weight and sophistication. The plot, I have to acknowledge, does resemble that of Erin Brokovich but that's hardly surprising when there seem to be a number of class-action cases such as these prevalent at any time. I could write more in praise of the film but I'll recommend you read those reviews which are generous in their praise. I heartedly endorse what they have written.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

El Amor Brujo

Not what I expected.

(Edit) 06/11/2018

I am familiar with the El Amor Brujo of Manuel de Falla and was very much looking forward to Carlos Saura's interpretation. I had loved his Blood Wedding and imagined his interpretation of de Falla's music, full of passion and drama, to be a very special event indeed. Alas, the Blood Wedding dancers are present but the music used is not de Falla's nor the music used hold much interest for me.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Hollywood Musicals of the 50's

Don't bother

(Edit) 02/11/2018

I had expected something more than a sequence of trailers with poor quality of both picture and sound, some of the latter not even synchronised. A real disappointment as I had really looked forward to being reminded of a number of musicals I had very much enjoyed when very young.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Raiders of the Lost Art

Real life Monuments Men

(Edit) 02/11/2018

An interesting documentary, especially perhaps to those who didn't get around to seeing The Monuments Men. Yes, they really did exist as a collection of art experts attempting to discover hidden treasures stolen by the Nazi top echelon for both their own collections as well as to provide Hitler with a source of art works to enable him to create a museum in his home town of Linz in Austria once, as they fully expected, their war was won.

Other tales are told here in which the Mona Lisa and Munch's The Scream are both stolen then recovered but the the World War 11 operation is by far the most interesting, to me at least.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Annie Get Your Gun

An absolute treat.

(Edit) 02/11/2018

A real pleasure to see this film again, apparently for the first time since 1973. The quality of picture and sound is just wonderful as a result of a very satisfactory restoration job and this in turn leads to a most pleasurable viewing. If you like big, bold musicals that is and, obviously, I do.

Irving Berlin's songs retain their vitality and tunefulness and the performances are top notch, especially with Betty Hutton and Howard Keel at their very best. There are a few uncomfortable moments of misogyny and racism here and there, very much of it's time one has to recognise. Viewers will have to decide for themselves, I guess.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

In Search of Chopin

Well worth a watch.

(Edit) 23/10/2018

This proved to be a much more interesting watch than I had expected. Quite often biographical portraits of composers are superficial and sentimental, particularly when the music, as here, is heartrendingly beautiful.

Instead, whilst the story of Chopin's life is well documented here, we are also presented with an intelligent and extremely well-informed analyisis of Chopin's music by musicians such as Daniel Barenboim, Leif Ove Adnes and many more pianists expert in the theory, practice and interpretation of playing this gorgeous music.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Not Another Celebrity Movie

I wouldn't bother.....

(Edit) 23/10/2018

......... unless you're heavily into celebrity culture and can readily recognise who's being spoofed. I didn't so gave up after fifteen minutes.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Ballets Russes

Fascinating piece of dance history.

(Edit) 23/10/2018

I have long been fascinated by the story of The Ballet Russes and their innovatory, even revolutionary, use of composers, choreographers, artists, designers to fashion an entirely new approach to ballet/dance which completely changed how many aspects of the arts would develop throughout the 20th Century.

This was not my first viewing of this documentary but a second look still held my interest as dancers from the second, post Diaghlev phase, reminisced about their years with the B, R. Many of them are Russian, of course, but some are American or even British, all of them still strong characters here in old age sharing their recollections with us and each other. Even when individual egos promise to overwhelm the collective memory, somehow all is redeemed by the affection the former dancers have for each other and for the unique experiences given to them as members of a most extraordinary artistic movement.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Not my usual fare

(Edit) 30/08/2018

What a weekend. This. viewed alongside I, Tonya, provided an experience of the dark underbelly of American life that was difficult to sit through at times. Both films were shot through with brutality from beginning to end, with physical and verbal violence seemingly part of everyday lives, the only way, it would appear, of resolving even the most minor of issues, not to mention the life and death ones.

Bleak as it was, though, I found the acting, particularly of McDormand and Harrelson, altogether compelling which is why I stayed watching, I suppose.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

I, Tonya

Don't expect Torvil and Dean!

(Edit) 30/08/2018

We watched this at the weekend alongside Three Billboards Outside Ebbing and felt, afterwards, that we'd been witness to a very ugly slice of American life. Both films are full of verbal and physical violence from beginning to end, evidencing only the meanest view of humanity and, in the case of I, Tonya, cruelty of the most extreme kind delivered from mother to daughter, from husband to wife. Tonya Harding being the daughter and wife in question. Poor Tonya, who deserved better, we're sure.

This, of course, is the narrative/history presented to us in this film but periodically we are invited to bring a note of skepticism to our viewing by frequent documentary-style inserts, each of the main characters stating to camera what "really happened" in the history of Harding's ice-skating career and its ultimate, tragic demise.

These changes of direction, in contrast to the main fiictional (?) narrative, often provided odd elements of humour which sometimes contrasted uncomfortably with the tragedy of Harding's life and the waste of her talent.

I could remember the "incident" which brought her career to an end but not much detail so it was interesting, if often depressing, to watch the story unfold. I was curious about how the skating sequences were filmed as it looked as though Margot Robbie was as impressive on the ice as she was at playing Harding. One of the extras provided the answer, and the mind just boggles at the genius behind it!

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Les Paladins: Jean-Philippe Rameau

Not the Rameau I'd expected.

(Edit) 21/08/2018

A real disappointment, Rameau's music absolutely overwhelmed by completely inappropriate production values. So fussy were the cartoon-like projections and the break-dance type "ballets" it hardly any longer mattered how well the singers performed. I gave it about 45 minutes and then felt obliged to retire.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Nowhere in Africa

One of my all-time favourites

(Edit) 21/08/2018

This is quite superb in every way. After a second or even third viewing the film still wholly absorbs one's attention from beginning to end. It tells the story of a German Jewish family in the 1930s who regard themselves as assimilated Berliners but who are driven from home to forge a new life in British colonial Kenya ("Nowhere" to a Berliner), their struggles to adapt to farming life in a remote region and in time, and through various trials, their growing maturity and acceptance of their situation and what might ultimately come from this experience. Every element of the film, cast, script, cinematography, soundtrack blends perfectly under Caroline Link's direction. It is a film in which warmth, tragedy, deep emotion and even humour blend somehow seamlessly throughout. Certainly, I wish it were better known.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Lehar: Die Lustige Witwe

An enjoyable romp

(Edit) 21/08/2018

It's many years since I've seen a live production of Lehar's operetta so I welcomed the opportunity to have a look at this Zurich Opera offering. The music remains joyful, lightweight but always tuneful and was extremely well sung, as one would expect from Zurich. The staging was well-managed and the sometimes lengthy dialogue passages were kept to a swift pace, and even possibly edited, so they didn't overwhelm the musical content.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Write your review

100 characters remaining
4000 characters remaining

See our review guidelines and terms.

Orphee Et Eurydice

An odd production.

(Edit) 21/08/2018

Magnificent singing from Kozena and company but one was utterly distracted by the strange, over-stylised production which quite took away just about all the pleasure I had expected from such a stellar cast and such wonderful music. I had the same reaction to the Rameau opera I had also recently anticipated viewing with enjoyment although, while this production could almost be described as "frozen", the Ramaeu was utterly manic. In each case i was driven to switch off before the end of the first act. How I wish they'd just leave the music to speak for itself.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.
123

Help & support

Find answers to frequently asked questions and contact us should you need to

How It Works

See prices and levels and find out how Cinema Paradiso service works

Friends for Films

Invite your friends to join and get free subscription each month