Film Reviews by JG

Welcome to JG's film reviews page. JG has written 13 reviews and rated 74 films.

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Funny Games

Almost unwatchable

(Edit) 30/01/2018

The main questions I have for this film is to ask why on earth would a filmmaker want to make it and how is the viewer supposed to react? It's not entertainment. Is it supposed to be a reflection of the evil that lies in each individual? Is it a film for sadists? Is Hanneke having a laugh at audience gullibility? We don't know what the psychological state of the attackers is, we have no idea of their motivation. There dasn't seem to be one other than sadism. If you as a viewer enjoy watching a family being treated like this before the conclusion of the film, this may be for you. If you look for some redeeming features in this tale, hard luck.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Paterson

Gentle lives calmly lived

(Edit) 26/01/2018

I mliked this film although I had doubts for the first few minutes. Once you get the slow, meditative pace, the way Paterson absorbs what's around him and tried to express it in poems you are hooked. The quality of the poems isn't the point but one spin off from watching this slow chronicle of a mundane life could be the desire to write poems oneself. Seeing how this character turns everday observations into his version of verse is inspiring, not that I'm mad about the results; it's the intention that scores. I liked the repetition of the beginning of each day, the patterns of their lives. The characters in the bar each evening; the fact that the post box is askew each evening and then the revelation of why this is. So much to revel in if you like daily texture. Not for those wanting action, gun battles (although there is one moment) or car chases.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Beautiful Lies

Luvverly!

(Edit) 29/09/2017

Absolutle charming. Excellent performances including from the minor actors. Plot a little silly but the performances make it all a joy to watch.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Elle

Vacuous and depressing unrelaity

(Edit) 27/09/2017

Despite Huppert's rave reviews (well-earned no doubt) I found this film desperately depressing. Ms Huppert likes playing very odd women (The Pianist) and this is probably the most extreme example of this. My objection to this film was that all the characters seem to live in a world I cannot recognise, a value-free self-absorbed universe. I suppose film isn't necessarily about the real world and I very much suspect the world of this film is just the fantasy of the filmmakers (or is it just French?). But it is presented as the real world unlike Harry Potter. The main character seems empty, vacuous just moving from one epidode to another with no feeling or involvement. It's robotic. Does she care about anything? Well yes, there is something between her and her son but despite this she seems to me two dimensional, just a vehicle for Verhoeven's desire for sensationalism. There is no 'value-system' anywhere. Amorality in extremis. A thoroughly lowering couple of hours.

5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

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Ruth and Alex

Real Life

(Edit) 29/12/2016

This film is about a couple in their 'latter years' and portrays them in a clear sympathetic light. They are real, interesting, humane and have a common problem of later life: finding climbing stairs becoming more difficult. So they set out to move. The dialogue is always engaging, the performances very much so as well. These are characters one (this one) can't help but like and feel involved with. I was swept along with the story and I hope you don't have to be a Third Ager to feel sympathy with these two. Their process of going about buying and selling in NYC is another matter: offering something like $950,000 without first being sure of a buyer is a little strange but I don't care. Good flashback story, good subplot on the bridge. I watched it twice.

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Dad's Army

Dreadful waste of time and talent

(Edit) 20/10/2016

With a cast like this one expects a class product. I was prepared for a 'not-wonderful' after the reviews but not for this waste of time of a film. Toby Jones is excellent, Gambon too not bad but for the most part they were wasted on a dreadful script badly directed. You can feel Tom Courtney straining to deliver "They don't like it upp 'em Mr Mainwaiing" in a convincing way and failing miserably. Bill Nighy doesn't even attempt to catch Jones' manner; he just does the usual Nighy thing. One can feel they they all had a whale of a time working together but the result is dreadful. And Zeta-Jones is a pain to watch.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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The Deadly Trap

Quite Awful

(Edit) 02/09/2015

I'm not sure how this film crept onto my list and I wish it hadn't. It's worse than I can describe. Pointless, aimless, pretentious, meaningless, boring are words that come to mind. I gave up after 45 mins but it was going absolutely nowhere. How it ever got to be made is a mystery. René Clément is now on my list of directors to avoid at all costs.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Two Days, One Night

Why the rave eviews?

(Edit) 20/02/2015

It has been said here often enough, but the problem with this film is it repetitiveness. The plot does not develop except in a linear predictable straight line, the only mild 'surprise' coming at the end. Cotillard, in the DVD extra interview, says how much she wanted to work with these two (director and writer) because of their reputation. The theme is well worth an airing but the story just doesn't rise to the reviews.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Q

Nonesense

(Edit) 20/02/2015

This is difficult to categorise except as a bit of porn masquerading as a film with a plot. The summary given under 'General Info' lends serious intent to the story but the idea that love has anything to do with anything going on in this badly written shabby tale is ludicrous. The director just wanted to film blow jobs and similar stuff and justify it with a little serious publicity blurb. The whole thing is pretentious nonsense.

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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All or Nothing

Depressing beyond Belief

(Edit) 31/12/2014

I suppose this is a good film in some ways: acting demonstrating the 'Mike Leigh Method'. And there are some engaging moments . . . yes, there's a 'BUT' and it is that the whole thing is monumentally depressing. The Tim Spall character is at least likeable, the Lesley Manville character seems like a real person. But everyone else has only one repost to any remark tossed at them. When the James Cordon character is mildly told off by his mum (Manville) his response is 'Oh, fuck off'". Everyone deals with every situation with a loud "Fuck off" and this gets repetitive and depressing. The treatment of a girl by her so-called boyfriend is the same, no humanity, just "why don't you fuck off". "I'm pregnant" (an eventuality boringly predictable) and his response is a tirade including (if I remember correctly) "Why don't you fuck off". He then goes off and fucks the Sally Hawkins character. True there are plenty of people who are aimless with little mastery of elegant conversation, maybe no job or prospects for whom a sort of nihilist yelling of the same phrase is a way of life. My point is, why should this be seen as possible entertainment? It's all so bleak and un-entertaining. The audience needs to feel some sliver of interest in the characters, some sympathy, to get involved. I nearly gave up with this grim trudge through the East End but somehow stayed with it. Finally, I feel the citizens of such communities should feel insulted by such a representation, characters with so little roundness and depth. But at least there is only one of those Leigh caricatured characters such as in 'Happy Go Lucky' and others.

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Of Gods and Men

Wonderful

(Edit) 12/12/2014

A fine piece of filmmaking. The actors do seem to inhabit the roles they play; the performances are utterly convincing. A tragic story told with the 'right' mood. There's a good feeling of the relationship between the monks and the local community, the respect of the monks for Islam is clear. Tragic story but well worth watching.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Anne and Muriel

Dated and pretentious

(Edit) 25/11/2014

Truffault wanted to make a reverse image of 'Jules & Jim' with one man involved with two women. He managed that but the characters are false, pretentious, cardboard cut-outs reciting speeches not real people, rather as Rohmer does frequently. The whole piece has no reality, nothing is believable. The acting is mannered and theatrical. Leaud is not good, he never is except in '400 Blows'.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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BBC Shakespeare Collection: The Taming of The Shrew

Disappointing

(Edit) 27/10/2014

I rented this to see how John Cleese did with Petruchio. He was good and I don't mind the studio-feel to the production; that's what you expect from these BBC productions of the 70s-80s (although they could have done more with the studio floor). The problem is that, especially in the opening scenes before the main characters arrive, the lines are gabbled at such a pace they are difficult to follow. So difficult we gave up and fast forwarded. On the whole I didn't like Miller's direction at all.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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