Film Reviews by DW

Welcome to DW's film reviews page. DW has written 67 reviews and rated 65 films.

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Memories of Murder

If this is the type of entertainment South Koreans like, well good luck to 'em!

(Edit) 04/03/2021

I watched it right through because I wanted to see who the serial killer was but I found the entire experience to be thoroughly underwhelming.

In the final scenes, the picture quality improved enormously: I wonder why that wasn't the case for the rest of this film. Had it been, I might've given it 2 stars.

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Woman at War

This is a truly special foreign language/sub-titled film from Iceland. 100% absorbing.

(Edit) 28/01/2021

Category 12 (no swearing or sexual content) with a fully relevant eco message, this a great opportunity to watch as a family unit.

Credible story line, family bonds on display, make-your-own-mind-up ending, amusing cameo performance from a character who excelled at being in the wrong place at the wrong time, questionably "typical" Iceland music from a non-speaking trio plus songs from another trio in authentic Icelandic garb!

Plenty for a family of 3 or more to discuss, as the closing credits roll by.

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Deception

A highly improbable load of old rubbish.

(Edit) 02/01/2021

I had to feel sorry for Geoffrey Rush, trying his best with a daft plot & script in company with over-the-hill veteran actors or youngsters straight off the Drama School production line.

Steer clear, would be my advice or watch "The King's Speech" again to see Geoffrey Rush lifting a good film into a brilliant one.

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Courted

Congratulations to all concerned in the making of this terrific film.

(Edit) 02/01/2021

The secret to its brilliance is that it has totally credible reality, this could easily occur in the real world. A division of the French legal system nearly gave this a film a docu-drama format, especially as all the actors were depicting truly ordinary people.

Away from the main story line, I thoroughly enjoyed the Judge's ancient housekeeper, his wife & the pharmacist. Cleverly, they included a court artist who talked through the legal proceedings with a colleague which helped us to work out what was going on.

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Biutiful

Realism, 10/10. The opening credits could well have said "Based on a true story".

(Edit) 06/11/2020

A moving depiction of a right man in a wrong world, a principled man in an unprincipled world. As my mother might have said, "The poor man couldn't do right for doing wrong." (She would never have expected to get a "name check" in a film review)!

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Tangerines

Here's yet another positive review!

(Edit) 05/11/2020

It's a gem..............

..................& the gem is a beautifully worked diamond that embellishes a simple story-line, slowly told "on location" to give complete authenticity. So much work must've gone into the making of this fine film.

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The Third Murder

I can hardly be bothered to post a review of this load of tosh.

(Edit) 30/08/2020

Just like reviewer DB, I couldn't figure out the ending but I couldn't care less anyway.

Two hours in conversation with my mother-in-law would be more fulfilling.

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Of Horses and Men

Despite some negative reviews, I thoroughly enjoyed this unusual little film.

(Edit) 27/08/2020

One reviewer likened the location & its inhabitants as similar to County Roscommon, Eire. I'm never likely to visit Iceland so County Roscommon, I'm on my way to you!

A film of 2 hours duration is just right for me so this 80 minutes entertainment felt too short. Another 20 minutes or so filling out the backgrounds to the characters would have altered the dynamics nicely. Whilst the characters were fictionalised for comedic effect the same is not true of the beautiful horses & terrific countryside: they were both just as nature intended. Finding so many suitable actors who are totally at ease with horses was a major achievement. Hats off to the camera men who captured some wonderful scenes of non-domesticated horses., in full majestic flight.

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Inheritance

The central character isn't the central character. His mother is.

(Edit) 23/08/2020

The beauty of this entirely relatable film is that its credibility is absolute; this really could happen & probably does.

Blood ties & the family responsibility of an only son comes into conflict with his lustful love for a self-absorbed woman: a totally engaging "blood thicker than water" guessing game............right up to the final scenes! The hub around which the push-and-pull of allegiances dance backwards & forwards is the matriarchal mother whose subtlety of touch in human relationships is faultless & a joy to watch.

I suppose the affluent life styles of the wealthy middle classes are the same the world over but I was fascinated to be shown this Danish version, even though it's fictionalised.

If you've got this far then I know that you share my admiration of the films of modern World Cinema: this one is superb.

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Like Father, Like Son

You wouldn't want to be in their shoes, would you?

(Edit) 11/08/2020

Two Japanese "chalk & cheese" families who have only one thing in common with each other are drawn into a deep & darkly emotional embrace.

About two thirds of the way through it, the wider significance of the films title becomes clear: blink & you might miss it so no comfort breaks!

Unsurprisingly, the finale is open-ended but even I (a non-parent) could see the way things were going to go in the future for these two contrasting families.

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Monsieur Lazhar

A Category 12 family film at the very highest level: even the sub-titles are family-friendly!

(Edit) 09/08/2020

"Brilliant" is an understatement: watching alone, I was transfixed so I imagined the pleasure for a family-film-night involving grandparents, their children & their children's children. There's something for everyone is this lovely on-location film. The classroom scenes are slow & drawn-out with effective silences: other scenes are very much faster & shorter though significantly relevant to the central themes.

I saw the true-to-life story as a relative lull between two storms: a far-reaching tragedy preceded the film whilst the ending pointed towards more incoming storm clouds. It's another World Cinema film that has a make-your-own-mind-up type of ending that invariably sets me thinking. In my imaginary 3-generation family mentioned above, I bet each person would have their own idea of what happened next.

Call me cynical if you like but if this came from money-grabbing Hollywood I reckon there'd be at least one sequel then possibly a prequel. As it is, it's a stand-alone gem & I'm glad I found it (or vice versa).

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Still Walking

Not for a single second was I distracted from the screen, not once!

(Edit) 09/08/2020

You're in for a treat, it's a cracking film. Might be best to read the resume so that you know the background to this extended family gathering before settling down to some top entertainment, educational too.

I watch a film most evenings, increasing often they're sub-titled World Cinema films so I'm slowly getting to know & admire the genre. I know I won't be distracted by background music, that the ending is unlikely to be fully or even partially conclusive & it's likely to occur suddenly even though I think the plot has more to show. This time I spotted an occasional trait; there isn't always a stand-out central character that the script allows to hog the limelight. Instead, there are scenes that don't include the "star" but which add context to the overall content of this slow-moving on location film. (That wouldn't go down well with some of our more ego-conscious British "lovies")!

The realism level is high so it's fascinating to see the inner workings of sub-urban Japanese life. I felt like an uninvited but welcome stranger on the outer circle of this annual gathering. The external shots of the neighbourhood were educational too though I'm not naive enough to believe that in every Japanese small town road there's a little old lady slowly sweeping the road with a broom & long-handled dustpan, stopping only to respectfully bow to her near neighbours of many years. The things you learn whilst enjoying yourself, who'd have thought it?

Watch it if you can, I'm sorry if you can't.

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Nobody Knows

Please, don't do what I did. Don't waste more than two hours of your life watching this boring film!

(Edit) 10/08/2020

The opening credits promised a fictionalised dramatisation loosely based on a true story: ok so far, I thought.

Too much was expected of the four children in the central roles: not surprisingly, they struggled to deliver but failed.

Those behind the camera elected to shoot in a pseudo-documentary format, intending perhaps to authenticate the fact that four siblings had indeed been abandoned in Tokyo by their mother. Watching overly long repeats of the same daily scenes from exactly the same camera position soon gets extremely tiresome. I like slow but if the "action" was any slower it would go into reverse.

Why did I hang on to the end? Because I hoped the closing credits would tell me what actually happened to these four children & their mother. Fat chance of that, not a word of explanation.

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King's Game

A believable & uncomplicated depiction of political ambition & journalistic determination.

(Edit) 02/08/2020

This is a joy to watch, especially the clear & concise subtitles. It tells a single theme story that moves forward at a steady pace without flashbacks or back stories to cause diversions. Most unusually, the main characters are all in happy, stress-flee marriages: makes a change!

I suppose politics & journalism are pretty much the same throughout the developed world but this had a most enjoyable uniqueness for me. A great watch.

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Love at First Fight

What a disappointment this film was.

(Edit) 17/06/2020

I fully agree with all that reviewer BE has already said. Disbelieve us at your peril!

This is the first of very manly modern French films I've watched that has disappointed me.

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