Film Reviews by None

Welcome to None's film reviews page. None has written 15 reviews and rated 96 films.

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The Mist

Very nearly 5 star

(Edit) 07/06/2010

This was a terrifying film with a standout performance from Marcia Gay Harden as Satan.( figuratively) by a director who seems to specialise in adaptations from Stephen King. Indeed his adaptation of "Shawshank Redemption" is currently No. 1 on the best films of all time liston the Internet Movie Database. Myself I rate his "Green Mile" even higher. Originally I was disappointed by the ending but after a bit of contemplation it makes total sense. My only major concern was what I perceived as a serious continuity error regarding bullet numbers- if explained I missed it.

The good news is that unlike "Shawshank" this one made money. So who decided to limit it's UK release when grot like "Hostel" & "Drag me to Hell" get full releases?

1 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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Waz

Nasty,derivative & predictable

(Edit) 31/01/2010

The trailer led me to expect an unusual psychological thriller & sadly I didn't do my homework in advance of renting. What we get instead is a sadistic derivative film that borrows much of its plot from Seven (a true masterpiece) & much of its sadism from "Hostel". There's no secret as to who the killer is - what is kept secret is how a slight young person manages to carry several huge men into compromising positions & where she developed the skills to build the torture apparatus. As for the twist- I saw it coming 20 minutes innto the film.

If you're after a good psychologic thriller rerent "Seven". Don't waste any time on this.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Wanted

Dumb & dumber...

(Edit) 01/03/2010

Comic book films are one thing. Incredulous plots with no logic are another. The fact that films like this that exist for one reason only- instant gratification- & then receive critical plaudits & make a fortune at the box office tells us sadly more about current society than even the politicians who the same society elects.

What saves this from a one star rating is some of the directorial skill on display. Why he took the job except for the potential huge cash cheque is another.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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The Wild Child

Aad movie about a sad situation

(Edit) 28/10/2010

Truffaut was probably at his best in the 60's & 70's & this film based on a true story of the attempted rehabilataion of a child find living wild is a case in point. Told entirely from the point of view of the doctor who feels the child can be integrated in to society against the wishes of his colleagues who feel the child is an "idiot" the film is often moving & always compelling. The final sequence tells us all we need to know about the doctor's motives & it's an unpleasant discovery.

If I have one serious criticism- it would have been nice to know what the child's eventual fate was- even in a few lines.

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I'm Gonna Explode

Waht was the fuss about?

(Edit) 09/10/2010

"Sight and Sound"'s film of the month are usually if nothing else worth watching as they are seldom less than intriguing even if like me you find some of their choices (eg Frozen River) inexplicable. "I'm Gonna Explode" however isn't even intriguing- it tells the story of 2 rebellious teenagers who fall in love. They then spend a lot of time talking to each other about nothing in particular & eventually onsummating the relationship. And of course nobody lives happily ever after.

In a film of this nature a lot depends on being able to sympathise & understand the main characters. When instead you just find them annoying & wishing they would show some maturity & empathy with the people who do actually care about them the movie is despite its technical excellence bound to be mediocre.

Not even sure it deserved 3 star- but there must have been a reason the critics liked it apart from the fact that it is now as fashionable to criticise any South American cinema as it is to profess belonging to the Ku Klux Clan.

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Shock Treatment

What tempted Delon?

(Edit) 26/08/2010

Blowing up what could have been a substandard 40 minute TV episode of the X Files to feature length is quite an achievement. What it was that Delon & Girardot saw in this plot- apart from an opportunity to swim naked- that attracted them goodness knows. At least it's not very long & the scenery is nice. The rest of it is unbelievable- to say the least.

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The Silence of Lorna

Ultimately empty

(Edit) 23/08/2010

Interesting & potentially harrowing plot; superb performances; so why does it lead to nothing? I suppose I just could not connect to the lead character who is an extreme opportunist who possibly finds herself at the end while suffering from a delusion. The trouble with films of this nature is that they require the viewer to be involved & when you couldn't care less about the characters involved or find them distasteful then the film will never fully connect.

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Inside

Slightly above average horror porn

(Edit) 09/07/2010

As the Western cinema seems to have abandoned the idea that you can't make a scary film without graphic scenes of violence each new film seems to be trying to find ways of outdoing the last in this respect. To be fair "Inside" is slightly above average in this type of genre- but it's one I wish would suddenly cease to exist.

Fortunately recent Far-Eastern films like "The Ring" & "Tale of 2 Sisters" show that the art of frightening the audience without having to watch gratuitous violence is not lost- but if anyone can think of an example of this that has come out of Western cinema in the last 10 years I'd love to know what it is.

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Lions for Lambs

Unsurprising critical/box office failure

(Edit) 05/10/2009

The slating this film received by mainstream critics hardly surprises me- the only thing that might have made it worse would have been if the director was Arabic. However the director was Robert Redford who is not exactly known for his John Wayne political views so I suppose that was the second worse thing. Having said that the film tries very hard to sit on the fence- if it doesn't quite manage this that possibly tells you more about the issue at stake & the rights & wrongs rather than the bias offered by the director or writers.

Criticisms? - it is very theatrical & also far too short. One can also grasp at straws like how soldiers can fall 30 meters out of an aircraft & survive. Simplistic? Can any film dealing with the most difficult issues currently facing the West NOT be to some extent?

BUT- gripping, thoughtful,intelligent,splendidly acted.... all the qualities not allowed in current day cinema. Forget anything you've heard or read about it- SEE IT!

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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The Family Friend

No doubt a masterpiece to some...

(Edit) 13/08/2009

Why do we watch films? The majority do it as a form of mindless or semi-mindless way of passing the time- it doesn't matter what critics think of the latest Bond or Harry Potter they're guaranteed a huge audience. For the rest of us there are several reasons- to be absorbed, to be stimulated (ie thought provoked), for "feelgood" reasons etc.etc. What makes a film "good" is when it deeply involves or intigues the viewer enough to make it memorable in a positive manner.

"Family Friend" is a film I may have admired more in my younger days & I can imagine long discussions with university friends about the meaning of this & that abstract scene. However when it boils down to it this is a film full of repulsive characters- there is not one character for whom I felt even a grain of sympathy- all of whom are dominated by a sex crazed 70 year old who is a "tailor" (read sweat shop worker) who is a loan shark; he in turn is dominated by his bedridden mother who watches TV all day long & is waited on hand & foot by him. The cast he wears on his arm & loses in the alternative ending is thus deeply symbolic...

Barely a scene goes by without some obvious sexual reference- be it a group of nubile girls playing volleyball or a seduction scene that may or may not be fantasy. How heavily does one have to have the lead character's obesessions rammed down one's throat?

There are some technically brilliant sequences but unless the idea of the film was to invoke nausea in its audience without showing anything overtly nauseating I don't know what the director was trying to accomplish.

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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The Wire: Series 1

The best ever?

(Edit) 06/12/2008

It's quite amazing that this series was neither nominated for nor received any Emmys. It takes a while to get going & I would strongly recommend watching the first few episodes twice as there are numerous characters to get to grips with & no "stars" to immediately allow one to put face to name. It's totally uncompromising & assumes- unusual for many TV series that its audience isn't just interested in mindless entertainent. For anyone vaguely interested in police drama it's a must.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Back to Normandy

Gentle & compelling

(Edit) 14/12/2009

Thanks goodness for Canal & Channel 4- it would be extremely difficult to imagine projects like this getting funding from any major studio. A strange choice of subject apparently- a documentary looking at the amateurs who starred in a virtually unknown film made 20 years earlier- although at the end the auteur's reasons for making it fall into place. Before then we get a look at the day to day life of the aforementioned in rural Normandy where on the surface things haven't changed much in the last 100 years....

Quietly compelling & never boring though don't expect any thrills & spills, The 12 certificate is almost certainly due to the scenes of animal slaughter which appear genuine.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Freedom for Us

French classic

(Edit) 05/02/2010

To warn certain readers- this is in black & white & subtitled. Personally I feel sorry for people who insist on an English soundtrack as they are depriving themselves of many great masterpieces but that's another story.

Clair's 1931 film does not strike me as being as "wonderful" as some of his later Hollywood efforts- notably "I Married a Witch" but it's an uplifting film that hearkens back to what we think of as a simpler age when shades of grey never entered moral issues. The film concerns the different fortunes of two prison escapees who meet up years later- one remains down & out but attuned with the important things of life- here a beautiful woman- & the other who has become a successful industrialist. It's touching & often very funny & Chaplin's debt to certain scenes which were used in "Modern Times" is obvious. His assertion that he had never seen the film doesn't ring true.

A lovely score from classical composer George Auric & a limited use of dialogue add to the often hypnotic feel of the film. Whether it should be in the NY Times best 1000 films list ahead of some of Clair's later films is more contentious.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Enjoyably but very insubstantial

(Edit) 05/02/2010

Good to look at, wonderful soundtrack, & hugely enjoyable on a mid-brain level. If you're after deep characterisation, discussion of important human (or monster) issues or anything in fact to mark it out from any other comic book adaption look elsewhere. The only reason for its existence is to make money for all concerned- but if studios have no money then how are the more artistic films ever going to be made?

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space

Early colour Dr Who

(Edit) 01/03/2010

Fascinating to watch this in the days when the Beeb had to watch its budget on things. One wonders what the actors were paid in those days. It's certainly not great SF & the plot about wax (plastic) models coming to life predates Dr Who by several decades. But it's interesting for historic purposes if nothing else.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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