Film Reviews by MN

Welcome to MN's film reviews page. MN has written 24 reviews and rated 71 films.

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Drowning by Numbers

Eccentric, bizarre, brilliant.

(Edit) 17/07/2020

It wont be for everyone but if you know Peter Greenaway you know what you're in for. If not, the Draughtman's Contract is probably a better place to start. Bizarre games, numbers, lists, sex and murder. An exquisite british comedy of the highest calibre, and I must say that the bluray looks stunning.

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The Green Ray

Decent but not Rohmer's best

(Edit) 10/07/2020

I came to this film directly from Pauline A La Plage which I'd loved and had heard this was even better, so maybe I was setting myself up for disappointment. Delphine's summer plans fall through and instead she spends her summer travelling from place to place unable to make meaningful connections with the people she encounters. In the end, the film heads for a final moment of meaning which feels a bit too telegraphed. Not bad but it felt a touch laboured to me.

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Bastards

Not dreadful but not really successful either

(Edit) 30/06/2020

I'd have no problem with the fragmentary plot, unlikeable protagonist and the slowness if it ultimately felt like it was in service to something. But it's a film about bad men doing bad things, and that's about all we learn about anyone in it. I think it would probably benefit from a second viewing but i'm in no hurry to see it again!

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All Ladies Do It

Pure camp silliness.

(Edit) 18/04/2020

After regularly seeing ladies' bums peering out from covers of Tinto Brass videos lining the higher shelves at the rental shop as a young lad, I'd always wondered what the deal with these films was. Well, at last I finally know the answer: pure camp silliness. From the extreme closeups of bums and pubic hair, to the extremely ridiculous prosthetic phalluses the male leads have protruding from their zips for what seemed like half the movie. Only really good for a cheap laugh at what a very dated sex film looks like.

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Before We Vanish

A middling effort from the other Kurosawa

(Edit) 05/04/2020

It feels like Kurosawa is on the verge of a second wind and recapturing some of his late 90s, early 00s magic but sadly this isn't it . What starts out as a very funny and quite charming comedy horror about alien invaders soon wears out itself out and becomes tedious. By the time the WTF handbrake turns come, it's almost too late. Not bad by any means, just not great either.

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I Spit on Your Grave

Completely irredeemable trash.

(Edit) 05/04/2020

Recently I decided to fill some gaps in my horror knowledge and watch Last House on the Left and now this. This film is basically a direct copy of LHOTL but with somehow even more amateurish filmmaking. There's nothing interesting about it, it's a simplistic rape revenge horror that is best left in the midnight porno cinemas it came from.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Piercing

Enjoyed the novel but...

(Edit) 05/04/2020

this film adaptation isn't up to much, unfortunately. Spirited performances from both leads but ultimately unsatifying and too bizarre for its own good. And then... it ends, after 80 minutes. You should definitely watch Audition instead.

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The Wild Blue Yonder

Charming but slight

(Edit) 05/04/2020

This lesser known Herzog film features a great performance by Brad Dourif as a bemused alien doing a monologue to camera, intercut with space travel and 'alien worlds' footage. It's a wry and amusing film but its ideas don't quite stretch to support its full runtime, and it is short! Maybe one of rthe Herzog diehards only.

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L'Amant Double

Camp, silly, flawed

(Edit) 05/04/2020

If you've seen any of Ozon's films you know that they are always titillating and rather silly. This one is a fairly extreme example that mixes camp with body horror. There are some groanworthy twists but it is rather visceral and does a few things well. Would recommend Cronenberg's 'Dead Ringers' over this any day though!

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Barry Lyndon

Brilliant, but also a slog.

(Edit) 05/04/2020

Kubrick's directing here is faultless and with many interiors lit only by candlelight, the cinematography is exquisite. Every frame a painting. The humour is bone dry and perfectly observed. That said it is a rather exhaustive history of our protagonist and I was struggling by the end. Perhaps worth watching in two parts as there is an intermission!

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Let the Sunshine In

Brilliant but certainly not for everyone

(Edit) 06/01/2020

This was my first Claire Denis film but it certainly wont be my last. It's a middle-aged dating film about people with too much baggage and neuroses coming out of their ears trying to make connections. It's funny and charming but in a very lowkey manner which people might find too subtle - there are none of the usual cheap sex or dating gags, just the natural comedy of people awkwardly trying to get along. It should go without saying but Juliette Binoche is an absolute treasure and gives so much to every role, I thought she was fantastic in this, even while playing a character who is very difficult to love.

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Apocalypse Now

Great... except for *that* scene.

(Edit) 26/04/2018

On the whole I'm a big fan of the redux. Adding a good hour of footage gives it an even more languid and meandering feel as it slowly edges its way up the Nung river and towards its inevitable conclusion, but the plantation scene, as numerous others have noticed proves a big exception. It's too long, boring and heavy-handed, and just feels completely superfluous, especially coming so late in the film when you feel it really ought to be moving towards the main event.

Otherwise, the bluray looks and sounds fantastic - stunning even, and without that one scene, I think this version could be near-as-damnit perfect.

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I Am Not a Witch

Really good, especially for a debut feature

(Edit) 18/04/2018

Thoroughly enjoyed this. It's a smart, has an offbeat sense of humour and is shot in quite a minimal style. I found it to be pretty refreshing and unpredictable. It wont be to everyone's taste but if a coming-of-age film about a young 'witch' in Nambia doesn't intrigue you then maybe give it a miss.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Sweet Bean

Very good, if a little slight!

(Edit) 16/01/2018

This was my first Naomi Kawase film and I enjoyed it but it is very light and easygoing almost to a fault. On the whole, the film achieves a very naturalistic and understated style which I like a lot but I did find that it got a little schmaltzy in some key places - never offensively so, just a touch. The director seems to prize amateur actors and I thought they all did really well here. I've heard this is Kawase's most mainstream film so I'm looking forward to check out something a bit more challenging by her.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Moebius

Thought this was really poor.

(Edit) 10/01/2018

This film wont be everyone's cup of tea mainly because of its themes - genital mutilation, rape, incest, violence - but on a more basic level, the filmmaking here is really rough. The cinematography is horrible and the editing scrappy. I'm sure it's intentional, but it lends the film a feel of cheapness like daytime tv. Beyond that, it's a fairly extreme exercise in oedipal themes, but it strikes a very odd balance between humour and darkness. I didn't find it particularly distressing to watch, but didn't find it funny either.

I don't like to just purely criticise a film without trying to find something positive to say for balance, but i'm really struggling to think of anything! I know Kim Ki-duk is capable of brilliance, a few of his films are really great, but for me this one seems like a failed experiment.

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