Film Reviews by Pete W

Welcome to Pete W's film reviews page. Pete W has written 86 reviews and rated 740 films.

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Lacombe, Lucien

Wartime French collaboration

(Edit) 08/05/2012

Malle tackles the difficult subject of collaboration in the second world war in France without taking a judgemental approach. He illustrates how fate can lead an uneducated and weak French peasant boy to back the wrong horse and collaborate rather than join the resistance. Good performance by the amateur Pierre Blaise (sadly killed soon after this film)as the title character. Warning to animal lovers - several scenes of animals being killed, showing the unsentimental way in which the peasant boy treats death.

4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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Goodbye, Children

Touching account of a wartime childhood

(Edit) 21/04/2012

Unlike a previous reviewer, I felt that the performance of the two boys in the major roles was outstanding. The development of the relationship between them, from enemies to friends who share a dangerous secret, is very well handled. The film confronts but does not necessarily judge the reality of French collaboration with the Nazis.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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Donkey Punch

No holds barred

(Edit) 20/02/2012

Three girls out for some fun in the Med fall in with a group of guys on a yacht. Plenty of booze and drugs follow along with some fairly explicit sex. Coitus is interruptus by a shocking act of violence which is the trigger for even more violence as the mainly unlikeable guys get what is coming to them at the hands of the girls. Claustrophic setting on board the yacht at night helps the suspense.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Hallam Foe

Uninteresting

(Edit) 03/05/2009

Jamie Bell is wasted in this peculiar film as a deeply disturbed young man with murderous and voyeuristic tendancies. Weak storyline which goes nowhere. I persevered to the end of the film but got close to giving up on it and switching off a couple of times.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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I Love You Phillip Morris

Comedy?

(Edit) 07/08/2011

I've come to the conclusion that I must be allergic to Jim Carrey as I don't find him either funny or a good actor. In fact, Ewan McGregor acts him off the screen in this one and is much more convincing as a gay man. The film would have worked much better as a drama about a con artist - it doesn't need Carrey's constant gurning. Anyone expecting a laugh a minute comedy, as advertised in the blurb, is going to be disappointed.

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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The Music Lovers

Ken Russell strikes again

(Edit) 10/10/2011

Although this film got dreadful reviews, I think it is a good attempt at a biographical account of the life of Tchaikovsky. It's mid way between the understated Russell biopics of Elgar and Delius and the overblown Mahler and Lisztomania. Richard Chamberlain is surprisingly good and, if he isn't actually a concert pianist, he certainly knows how to act convincingly like one. Watch him bash out the first piano concerto!

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Telstar

Captures the period exactly

(Edit) 26/10/2010

First class account of the tragic 60s indie record producer Joe Meek and his descent into paranoia. Con O'Neill is outstanding but well supported by the whole cast including Kevin Spacey, Pam Ferris and JJ Feild in the unsympathetic role of blond bombshell Heinz. Even James Corden isn't bad. Particularly good at the evocation of London in the early 1960s - I want a red Ford Classic!

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Sherlock Holmes

A new take on Holmes

(Edit) 26/06/2010

While Conan Doyle would recognise quite a few of the elements of the story (Irene Adler as Holmes' femme fatale, Watson as a gambler who needs his chequebook locked away, Holmes shooting VR into the wall of his rooms) I doubt whether he would be too pleased with the end result. So Holmes fanatics steer well clear. But anyone who enjoys a good thriller will enjoy this - well acted by Downey and particularly Law. But I think Holmes and Watson were ripped off by the hansom cab driver who took them from Baker Street to Pentonville nick by heading South across London Bridge. And the sewers of the Houses of Parliament must be extensive indeed if they emerge on the Thames by Tower Bridge.

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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The Night of the Generals

O'Toole at his best

(Edit) 08/01/2011

Thriller which sets the hunt for a serial killer against the background of the bomb plot against Hitler and post war neo Nazism. O'Toole plays a suitably unhinged German general who is a fanatical supporter of Hitler - but is he the killer? Good support from a range of British actors with only Omar Sharif slightly miscast as a German intelligence officer.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Hot Fuzz

Intermittently funny

(Edit) 15/07/2008

Despite a fine cast of British character actors, I'm afraid I found this tedious and rather unfunny. A grave disappointment after Shaun of the Dead.

1 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

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Brokeback Mountain

Masterpiece

(Edit) 29/07/2006

Forget the "gay cowboy" tag, this is just a quality film. Stunning cinematography, score and script. Ledger is absolutely outstanding - I would never have expected a performance of such depth and nuance from him - and Gyllenhaal runs him close. If you are looking for an action movie, you will be disappointed. But if you want a drama that is thought provoking and emotionally gripping, watch this film. I challenge anyone not to have a little weep during it. Once you've seen the film, you won't stop thinking about it - and it doesn't matter whether you're gay or straight or anything else.

5 out of 7 members found this review helpful.

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300

All SFX, no story

(Edit) 28/11/2008

I'm afraid this left me completely cold. I was expecting a vaguely historical story about Ancient Greece but got "Lord of the Rings" meets "Oiled up muscle marys in their pants". Since when was the Persian warrior king Xerxes a giant with an unfeasible number of piercings? Not my cup of tea at all.

0 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Ripley's Game

Psychological thriller with hints of black comedy

(Edit) 25/09/2010

Broadly based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, except that Ripley has moved from France to Italy for some reason. Why don't film makers just film the Highsmith stories without "improving" them - the films would be much better. Biggest problem for me was Malkovich - too old for Tom Ripley, he can do the chilling psychopath pretty well but lacks Ripley's essential charm.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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A Perfect Spy: Series

Classic Le Carre but too slow

(Edit) 18/09/2010

Typical Le Carre country but not up to the standard of the Smiley series. The story seems too slow moving and drawn out. Ray McAnally is excellent as Pym's conman dad and Peggy Ashcroft steals several scenes but Peter Egan just didn't work for me as the lead character.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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The Hurt Locker

Danger is a drug

(Edit) 06/09/2010

A gripping representation of life in an American EOD team in Iraq. This doesn't present the guys as purely heroes but shows the corrosive effect of the constant pressure in terms of their relationship with each other and with outsiders. Not afraid to duck the possibility that the whole adventure may be pointless.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
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