Film Reviews by Swambi

Welcome to Swambi's film reviews page. Swambi has written 78 reviews and rated 1093 films.

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Legally Blonde

Unbelievably bonde

(Edit) 05/01/2019

Quite amusing with some funny twists so worth watching - but only once! However, overall it is only mediocre, with acting not always convincing, loud music and unbelievable plot twists and excuses for everyone to break out dancing.

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The Trip to Bountiful

Slow trip

(Edit) 21/05/2016

This film has had generally positive reviews, but I found it only moderately interesting and too long.

The story line is very simple, although slightly contrived and unbelievable [** spoilers follow**]. Mrs Watts has been wanting to return to her childhood home for many years and finally makes a successful escape, only to find that the last inhabitant has already died. Having seen her old home she returns with her son and daughter in law in a better frame of mind (possibly). The plot is almost entirely tilted to sympathy for Mrs Watt's plight, although it seems a slightly incredible situation.

Mrs Watts (Geraldine Page) and to a lesser extent Thelma (Rebecca de Mornay) give impressive performances, but the lines often seemed stilted, the flow of the plot uneven, and characters such as Jessie Mae more caricatures than characters.

The quality of the DVD is somewhat blurry and although the coach travel and recreation of the period are good, I didn't find this compensating for poor script, pointless dead-ends in the plot and the unduly long running time for such a simple story.

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Against the Current

Sad

(Edit) 30/04/2016

The photography down the Hudson River is great. Slow scenes accompanied by gentle acoustic music almost make you feel as if you are on the entire 150 mile trip, broken up with some quirky shore stops. There is some unpleasantly crude language between Paul & Geoff. [*Beware some spoilers follow*] It gradually becomes clear that Paul is haunted by the past death of his wife and wants to commit suicide at the end of his swim. Although romance rapidly blossoms with Liz who accompanies them on the adventure but he is still determined to die. The film finishes with a depressing scene of him swimming out to sea alone.

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God's Not Dead

Watch it

(Edit) 28/03/2016

I would substantiate the critic's review. The film is well made, well shot, has good music and a range of sub-plots and which sustains interest throughout. If you are an out and out atheist, don't bother, but otherwise the interaction and debate between Christian and atheist proposals is excellently presented, thought provoking and worth considering long-after you finish the film. Plenty of human interest, but personally I felt the last part of the film was the weakest, with a 'death-bed conversion' and a concert (ok if it meets your taste).

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Love and Honor

Below par for romantic dramas

(Edit) 05/03/2016

The plot sounds as if it should be good but if you watch it, this film may be a disappointment as the plot, acting and story-line are pretty weak and generally fail to convince.

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Paul Simon's Graceland Journey: Under African Skies

Limited appeal?

(Edit) 06/03/2016

This long film involves a series of interviews and clips on the Graceland project, particularly focusing on the controversy around Paul Simon breaking UN cultural sanctions at the time plus studio shots, reunions and comments by famous people. If you are particularly interested in this background you should find the documentary useful. Some clips of the original African musicians are fascinating. However, overall to me it seemed disjointed and thrown together, with limited cinematographic appeal and no clear story, no full tracks and not many views of "African skies" - so it's general interest may be limited.

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Patience: After Sebald

Limited appeal

(Edit) 06/02/2016

If you have read the book, enjoyed it and want an Open University style review, then go for this film. Otherwise you will find that although there are some interesting clips, most is a disjointed pastiche, referring to a book you know nothing about and combining commentary by a range of literary intellectuals with ancient film clips and random shots of the countryside.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Couples Guide to Great Sex Over 40: Vol.1

Old and dull

(Edit) 06/02/2016

The production quality is poor and grainy - even for videotape and appears badly out-dated.

The film itself is structured with a lot of "expert" commentary, some interviews and some shots of couples, but even for over 40's these are uninspiring and there are some far better couples educational films you can rent.

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Baraka

Art but not plot

(Edit) 23/12/2015

This film compiles beautiful and amazing shots of religion, dance and natural wonder. However, there is no plot, no talking, and rather droning sound, so I found the effect rather likely a slightly random and rather similar to a slightly "New Age" and extended collection of exotic holiday videos thrown together. If you are keen on the art then this could carry you through the film, but if you are looking for any plot, or even information on what you are seeing, then you won't find it here.

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The Missing Picture

Missing focus

(Edit) 23/12/2015

The film combines repeated grainy shots of peasants carrying out forced labour, a laconic, slow and unfocussed story line, and an array of clever clay image figures. This didn't spell out a convincing or engaging story of the horrors of the Khymer Rouge to me, but if the film's approach clicked with you I can see that the off-beat rendering of the very real horrors and suffering would be of interest.

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Letters to Juliet

Sweet story

(Edit) 24/10/2015

This film cleverly interweaves two unexpected romances and a good slice of Italian life which makes an interesting plot and easy viewing particularly with gorgeous landscapes. It is generally well filmed and acted (particularly by Vanessa Redgrave) and includes some humour. However, it is rather predictable and unbelievable and rather too "sweet" at times.

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Nature's Beauty: Beauty of Nature

Disappointing

(Edit) 17/10/2015

From the description this should be stunningly beautiful. In fact it is very like watching a constant series of poorly focused holiday snaps assembled from random sources with new age music in the background. There is no narration, no subtitling, no logical sequence, and the pictures are really low definition, so there is no 'story' (and not that much beauty) to watch here. Come back David Attenborough and the BBC!

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Dangerous Beauty

Can you believe it?

(Edit) 16/10/2015

This film has had many positive reviews and simply in terms of historic costumes, shots of Venice and a fairly straightforward plot (and a happy ending) I can understand that.

However, I found the plot too simple (and bearing little relationship to the true historic story) the acting superficial, the american accents unconvincing, the 'mood music' overpowering, the "sexy" scenes distinctly un-erotic, crude language uncalled for and the entire film lacking in direction. Essentially it recast a historic occurrence into a modern feminist plot, with very little substance and which to me did't make a convincing or enjoyable story.

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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

A beautiful film with a positive message

(Edit) 16/10/2015

A beautiful film, very much in the 'Forrest Gump' classic tradition. The cinematography and landscapes are absolutely stunning, music beautiful, humour clever (including poking fun at dayreaming is place of reality and loss of 'real' things with digitization), minimal violence and gore or bad language, personal interest in the characters enchanting and an ongoing suspense is maintained. For me it was slightly over the top at times, but that is all part of the humour of the film.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Speaking of Sex

Doesn't begin to live up to the description

(Edit) 20/02/2015

This has very poor production values, and appears to hhave been made many years ago stright to poor quality video. It mostly consists of various 'experts' lecturing in a condescending way, with occasional shots interspersed of extremely fuzzy lovers. It is entirely true to the title in terms of speaking of sex, but there are much better disks available on the same topic.

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