Film Reviews by dl

Welcome to dl's film reviews page. dl has written 18 reviews and rated 132 films.

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The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist

Euro-caper goodness

(Edit) 12/12/2016

Doesnt quite live up to or match the sheer brilliance of Lenzi’s other Euro-crime caper Almost Human but does end up being a very enjoyable and above average euro thriller, its fun right from the off has Maurizio Merli a retired cop takes the law into his own hands, the way he kicks down doors bitch slaps and gut slugs nearly every one he meets pays off enormously making great use of them good old dub sound fx, the support players featured here are great treat too we get Tomas Milian who throws in some great one liners has the new rising hoodlum making his mark against John Saxon’s NYC Rome based mobster, storywise its nothing that special but is made up for by so many memorable scenes that include high wire heist’s hospital assassinations obligatory car chases and a great scene showing off Saxon’s macabre golf expertise that was clearly an influence on the later Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, and with the added superb soundtrack this one is well worth checking out for any Italian crime lovers out there.7/10

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Pierrot le Fou

Overcooked

(Edit) 04/12/2016

I keep trying with Godard out of the 12 or so films I’ve seen from him only a couple remain bonafide classics for me (Le Mepris, Vivre Se Vie).I really thought this one was going to be added to that list especially after a fantastic colourful and very playful first hour which flowed so effortlessly and with such charisma from the always delightful Anna Karina, she is so very infectious to watch as she plays with the camera at times and in the moments she suddenly starts to sing her lines out, but then unfortunately Belmondo joins in and immediately ruins the whole effect, and i think this is where the movie really started to fail for me… Belmondo he just feels like he is so disinterested with the whole thing in that he becomes so very monotonous and awkward to watch he really kills the playfulness of that first hour and leads it to a grinding halt. Without A doubt though it’s such gorgeous movie to look at with it’s striking use of primary colours its music and in its very experimental techniques which where very groundbreaking for its time, but in the end it all becomes such a frustrating and incoherent mixture/mess of movie genres that i could not wait for them end titles to appear.6/10

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Napoleon

Must see if you have the patience

(Edit) 02/12/2016

Over 5 and half hours long 3 discs and 3 sittings and oh my what a film for silent lovers, it was such a joy too watch this at home and at my own pace, It’s a very disjointed film but most of the time it really doesnt matter you get so wrapped up in the visual splendour be it the epic begining of a very young Napoleon waging battle in a snow drenched school field to the epic battle scenes that come later, the way these battles are filmed mostly by handheld camera really are quite astounding to see especially with the deep red tint that fills the screen so vividly, and then there is Napoleon himself played brilliantly by Albert Dieudonne every time he fills the screen it turns into something special the facial expressions the close-ups and the soft glow that always seems to surround his presence by the staggering lighting effects on offer, i’d be lying if i said it was all fantastic as you do get some long lulls especially surrounding the Josephine romance which does go on far too long but its soon replaced by that wonderful epic ending.A magnificent gem filled with great technique powerful performances and spellbinding use of colour.8+/10

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The Friends of Eddie Coyle

American gem

(Edit) 02/12/2016

Another great low key American crime drama featuring Robert Mitchum as the too old for this sh*t low level gangster whose desperately trying to get his upcoming sentence quashed, your soon thrown into a world of bank robbers, gun runners and double dealings a plenty, but this is not your usual run of the mill gangster shoot em up saga this one thankfully is more restrained by giving its downbeat world a set of believable characters to work with and ones that come equipped with smart engaging dialogue thats played out so realistically given the situation and predicaments that unfold along the way.The only downside for me was it was over to soon i could have easily spent a bit more time in this 70’s dog eat dog crime world.8/10

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Chevalier

Worth a watch

(Edit) 02/12/2016

While this sort of goes nowhere it does become quite fun getting there, its concept is pretty simple but a neat one, several men take to the sea’s on a luxury yacht play a series of games that eventually ends up turning into who is the best person among them all, it soon gets petty as the competitiveness drives them against each other by scoring marks on everything about their manliness and insecurities, the further it goes the more absurd it gets with quest that include silver polishing, who can put up ikea units up the fastest too who as the biggest erect penis ect. The performances and the dry humour works really well along with the great shots of Greece and its coastal line, it will be a one time watch but that doesnt mean to say it wasn’t an enjoyable one.7/10Worth a watch

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Twilight's Last Gleaming

Nukem

(Edit) 24/11/2016

My god the first ten minutes of this and i was ready to turn it off, it just immediately screams low budget tv fodder 70’s style it really looked that bad, and what became more surprising was the cast which includes cinema giants Lancaster,Cotten and Widmark among the many others, who where all utterly dreadful delivering their lines of cheap dialogue in such a very tellingly and awkward manner, but here is the thing even after all this badness i just couldn’t bring myself to turn it off it became so moreishly fun and bonkers that i just had to see where this one was going and what the hell the outcome would be.Beneath its where not quite there cast and cardboard looking settings this nuclear nut job story had somehow got me hooked and gripped making it either the best worst movie I’ve seen or worst best movie I’ve seen i’m really not quite sure.7/10

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The Saragossa Manuscript

Not quite surreal enough

(Edit) 22/11/2016

Being a big fan of surreal cinema this was one i had been looking forward to for quite a while.Ive only seen Wojciech Has later film The Hourglass Sanatorium which interested me visually so was up for this 3 hour epic.Things get off to a great start the atmosphere the characters and the restoration looks absolutely fantastic.As we move on though the films narrative structure becomes both a curse and blessing its very imaginative in its way of interweaving its tales from one character to the next gradually unfolding its puzzle but it does come at a price has the majority of its tales come off a bit over indulgent extremely long winded and very repetitive using the same locations over and over.It’s also not quite as surreal as i was hoping/expecting but did have one or two moments that come off very memorable thanks to its brilliantly executed visuals.Usually long films don’t phase me but had to do this one in two sittings which kind of tells me this will be a one time watch.6/10

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Purple Noon

Fantastico

(Edit) 22/11/2016

The first movie outing for the talented Mr.Ripley and also the first full feature for one Alain Delon which catapulted him onto international stardom, I can totally see why he totally nails this performance with such onscreen coolness charm and believability and fully succeeds in maintaining this creepy elegance for the films entire duration.The whole film really was just a total joy to watch from begining to end from its psychological intrigue too its moments of passion envy and murder.And along with Delon’s remarkable performance we also get and are treated to some stunning jaw dropping cinematography thats set adrift and onshore fully capturing the feel and look of its beautiful sun drenched Italian settings, it’s a real thing of beauty and fully brought to justice with a spot on restoration the colours, place and sounds just scream take me there.Really not sure why it took me so long to view this very classy and Classic piece of filmmaking from Clément 8+/10

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City Girl

Farmhouse blues

(Edit) 17/11/2016

Another gem from the silent age and like all the good ones makes you forget your watching a silent by using its visual storytelling that effectively, At its heart it is a simple love story but one that does feature a fair amount of dark moments and one that also delivers memorable scenes by the bucketload that evoke everything from solitude,loneliness anger and joy all shown in a realistic and natural manner. Perfomance wise this one doesnt suffer at all its not that overly dramatic especially in its gestures thats usually associated with the silent era, it was also nice to see a strong willed woman character take the centre stage and to see her stand against the strong violent and domineering Father figure.Although it's not my favourite by Murnau but one i would happily sit through again thanks to its excellent restoration.7+/10

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Accattone

Decent debut

(Edit) 17/11/2016

This film had such a great start for me which had me thinking great this is going to play out like a backstreet Godfather with a hint of Goodfellas but done with that added neo-realism by adding non-professional actors and entirely filming them against the backstreets slums of Rome.Unfortunately after the decent start things become quite staid as all we do is follow Accattone the main character going about his daily business roaming the streets pimping his prostitute girlfriends and committing various petty crimes ultimately getting nowhere, i get the realism of its vicious circle and loved going through the streets of this film but in the end its story just didn’t grab me and started to feel even longer than its runtime.Its probably the easiest and most straightforward film by Pasolini to crack and a competent debut but not one that i would really recommend.6/10

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The Tin Drum

Masterpiece

(Edit) 14/11/2016

Caught this one years ago probably mid 80’s C4 didn’t really have much of an effect on me except for the young lead (David Bennent) and his instantly remarkable features that immediately make this film so recognisable.Fast forward 30+years and we not only have a restoration but an all important directors cut, this film is pure gold i was left totally blown away from its almost 3hr runtime, it plays almost like your typical coming of age type drama thats set among the early rise and fall of Nazi Germany but this became so much more by including some fantastic and sometimes very risqué surreal moments which are explained wonderfully by Volker Schlondorff on the included extras.To get such an emotional and powerful performance from a young boy aged 11 was a great achievement and now will be down as one of my favourites and most memorable performances by a child ever.Really can’t fault this movie everything from the performances/cinematograhy and its wonderful score make it a genuine classic.Great great film that i will revisit soon maybe giving the theatrical cut a tryout which should never of happened according to its Director speaking on UA’s involvement, burn Hollywood burn.9+/10

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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The Commune

Decent character piece

(Edit) 13/11/2016

While not quite as good as i hoped and not quite on par with Vinterberg’s previous outings, he’s still a fine director that still manages to get under your skin with some very out there and very awkward themes, this is no different centering on the beginnings of setting up a commune in 70’s Copenhagen and in the introducing of some well drawn out characters, its all pretty decent and performed extremely well, it does work best when the group are together round the dinner table making jokes and arguing points, and when it finally kicks off you really feel the tension and unease round this table and the effect it as on these individuals, these moments where great but for me the film was far to focused by the main couples mid-life crisis/breakdown and in doing so taking its centre stage far to often.Its not quite a blip on Vinterberg’s career but just comes off a bit to cliche in parts, he also nearly managed to pull a tear from my eye.7/10

Other rec’s The Hunt, Submarino, The Idiots

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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

Essential Volker

(Edit) 13/11/2016

Wrong place wrong time and the wrong person to get involved with this is Katharina Blum’s story, a scathing look into Police manipulation and the endless character assassination tactics used by the German press.Set in the troubled terrorist years of early 70’s West Germany but still bodes well in todays times of counter terrorism.Performance wise its spot as you get behind Angela Winklers title role, your really not sure whats going on with this girl, the deeper it gets the more it throws at you in terms of subplots ect. With having two directors working on this film it works a treat and pays off surprisingly well one taking charge of the characters and one on the forensics and background procedure it all fits and blends together perfectly,A very Intelligent drama that delivers its message of corruption and manipulation clearly.8/10

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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Electra, My Love

Essential Jancso

(Edit) 11/11/2016

Only the 4th I’ve seen from prolific Hungarian director Miklos Jancso although his films can be difficult this was pretty much a breeze to sit through once you become familiar with its Hungarian settings and the wonderful symbolism thats on show.Its rise and fall of a tyrant story is told with little dialogue but told more within its fine use of expression and movement, it’s striking to see it unfold especially from the brilliant way its background and foreground performers all in perfect sync utilise some really fantastic choreographic movements, the way the camera glides in and out following these players is nothing short of brilliant no wonder its acclaimed for its groundbreaking use of tracking/zoom shots and for it's extremely meticulous long takes.Pretty much essential viewing for anyone interested in Jancso’s works.

Other rec’s ...The Round-Up,No Way Home,The Red and White.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Jules and Jim

Essential viewing but not Truffaut’s best

(Edit) 11/11/2016

You can see just from the first 10 mins how much of an influence this as had on the filmmakers that followed, it’s so full of life exceptionally filmed and features a well fitted and magnificent soundtrack, the only place where i found it lacking was in its love triangle story it worked fine for the first hour or so but after that just got a bit too repetitious, the acting is mostly spot on and features plenty of them cool swagger moments, saying that though i felt Jeanne Moreau seemed misplaced and looked quite old haggard at times and left wondering why she had such a hold these young men, maybe it was in tone for the free spirit the film tries to capture ect but i did find it just a bit unbelievable at times.While it is a definite must see i just can’t see myself being drawn to visit it again any time soon.7/10

Other rec’s The 400 Blows,Shoot the Piano Player,Day for Night

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
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