Film Reviews by None

Welcome to None's film reviews page. None has written 14 reviews and rated 21 films.

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Avatar

Wasn't Expecting to Like it and Didn't

(Edit) 03/02/2011

The director is reported as saying that Avatar shares themes with The Emerald Forest, Princess Mononoke, and with Dances With Wolves. For shame: they were well thought out and nicely delivered. All this film has is a superficial plot and pastel-coloured CGI. It is heavy-handed and trite. As for the many creatures, when they're not playing cutey-pie, they're just silly.

3 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

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The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

The real stars are the intricate sets, props and costumes.

(Edit) 02/08/2011

This film is a fantasy written and directed by Terry Gilliam. It nearly failed when Heath Ledger died part way through filming. His role was taken over by Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell (all portraying the character in the dream world). The Imaginarium is a mirror and a doorway into a place where your wildest dreams become real. It is well acted and directed, but somehow lacks oomph: the boisterousness that the characters all deserve is lacking. But the real stars of the film are the intricate sets, props and costumes.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Through a Glass Darkly

Not a film to "like", but powerful and grips the attention

(Edit) 02/08/2011

Through a Glass Darkly, written and directed by Bergman is like a three-act play about four characters over a 24-hour period. Dealing with a case of incurable schizophrenia and its effects on the other three characters, there is little to lift the mood of this grim film. But the acting and direction are impeccable: 50 years later, it retains its plausible, natural style. The observations into behaviour and interactions are Bergman at his best. Its not a film to "like", but it is powerful, grips the attention and sure tells its story.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Fantasia

Interesting, entertaining, informative?

(Edit) 02/08/2011

This 1940 animated film produced by Walt Disney consists of eight well-known pieces of classical music performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra (conducted by Leopold Stokowski), each with a short introduction. It was a major innovation - and included the first commercial stereophonic surround sound (1940!!). The original underwent a major restoration in 1990.

Interesting, entertaining, informative? Well, yes, I guess a bit of all three - but most interesting is just how dated the more abstract imagery is, compared with the more conventional Disney style (Mickey Mouse, the ostriches snd the Hippo). The centaurs, cupids and fauns are just sickeningly cutey-pie.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Doctor Who: New Series 1: Vol.1

An Enormous Success

(Edit) 21/06/2011

Doctor Who ceased in 1989 and began again after a 16-year absence. There were doubts in the BBC about whether the show would continue beyond a year. But it was an enormous success: the National Television Awards (2005) voted it "Most Popular Drama"; Christopher Eccleston (as the ninth incarnation of the Doctor) won "Most Popular Actor" and Billie Piper (as his sidekick) won "Most Popular Actress". The old serial format was replaced with self-contained 45-minute episodes (in 16:9 widescreen, with some great music by Murray Gold) with multi-part stories (and story arcs to hook you with).

What more is there to say? A national treasure was rescued and goes on from strength to strength.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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The Lives of Others

More of an education than a thrill

(Edit) 17/06/2011

Let's be honest from the beginning - I didn't like this film and was vaguely disappointed. It took me a while to work out why.

Basically, I think its because although the film is brilliant, I didn't like it. In addition, it is billed everywhere as a "Thriller", a "Political Thriller" and a "Psychological Thriller", but a thriller it ain't.

Quite rightly, this excellent film has won awards and plaudits everywhere. It is realstic in minute detail, informative, carefully and subtly plotted and scripted, and brilliantly acted. But there's the problem - as another reviewer says, "it seemed slow and grey".

If you want to be informed, great - but if you want to be entertained, give it a miss.

3 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

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Juliet of the Spirits

Fellini's "Surrealism" at its Best

(Edit) 03/02/2011

My favourite Fellini film, in which his "surrealism" is at its most explicit. Don't worry about the plot (thin at best, and its so-called Jungian resolution hardly matters). Instead concentrate on the images (that, at first, accuse and terrorize Juliet) - it doesn't matter if she reaches emotional emancipation, the journey being better than the destination.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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The Fountain

Maybe You Should See This One Twice

(Edit) 03/02/2011

Like others, I'm not sure I got what this one was about the first time I saw it (on TV). But I realised that (as others say) it is "visually stunning" and so I watched again. Perhaps not the most accessible of films, and certainly not for everybody, it is moody and enigmatic. Whilst there are three intermingled stories and several themes, the real plot is cinematographic, using technique rather that narrative to tell the story. Subtle, huh?

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Rashomon

You Can't Underestimate This One

(Edit) 03/02/2011

Kurosawa is the master - even Bergman acknowledged his influence. And this film is must be about Kurosawa's best. Other influences on this film (silent movies, early popular "modern art") can't take away how innovative it is (plot, technique, direction). But most of all, it is "the lack of a truth" that paved the way for many poor imitators.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Seraphine

Better as a Documentary than as Entertainment

(Edit) 03/02/2011

This award-winning film, with its high calibre acting and fascinating subject should have made a dramatic entertainment. There is drama or lyricism in the subject (her obsessive painting, her belief in her divine inspiration, and her later madness). But the drama is not delivered by the film's flat direction (whilst the film, writing, actress, costume, design, cinematography and music all won their categories at the C├ęsar Awards - the Director Martin Provost did not)

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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Spirits of the Dead

Saved by Fellini?

(Edit) 03/02/2011

Each part of this 1968 film (based on three of Poe's short stories) was directed by a different director (Roger Vadim, Louis Malle and Federico Fellini). It has a cast of big names (Jane Fonda, Alain Delon, Peter Fonda, Brigitte Bardot, and Terence Stamp) and a narration by Vincent Price. None of this quite saves it from being dreadful. The best of the three is the Fellini segment (almost as good as Juliet of the Spirits).

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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The Beguiled

Love it

(Edit) 03/02/2011

This less well-known Eastwood film (made just before Dirty Harry) was a commercial flop but is well-worth seeing. The story is simple: put a manipulative pretty-boy in a brooding community of isolated females and watch the drama (melodrama?) emerge. The unreal plot is produced with gritty realism. No character is excused, and in one way or another, they all get what they deserve.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The Night of the Hunter

strange and unexpectedly ethereal

(Edit) 21/09/2010

I first saw this film in the 1970's and it grabbed me then. Seen again in the 1990's and now in 2010, it still grabs me - but I'm not sure I know why.

It was ahead of its time in many ways and has influenced generations of directors. Originally intended to be a suspenseful thriller, this is no longer the case. The sets and scenery, together with the 1950's acting style make this film more of a fairy tale (it has a strange and unexpectedly ethereal quality) in spite of being based on a real murder.

6 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

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Belle De Jour

Disappointing

(Edit) 21/09/2010

I missed this one 40 years ago and wish I had again. It might have been good once but it looks tired and fake in 2010. The acting is wooden (even Deneuve) and the direction rigid. I saw no "erotic masterpiece", no "collision between fantasy and reality" (they are nearly indistiguishably drear) and no "depravity" (even by the emerging standards of 1967).

Have I missed the point? I don't think so. It claims to be one of the first cinematic explorations of female sexual fantasies and I guess is intentionally dispassionate, but sexual fantasies are about biology, psychology and above all else, feelings - none of which are portrayed here.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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