Film Reviews by VS

Welcome to VS's film reviews page. VS has written 7 reviews and rated 4 films.

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The Happy Prince

Congratulations to Rupert Everett

(Edit) 11/12/2018

For Rupert Everett, this film was the project if not of a lifetime, then of many years of struggle to obtain the funds to make a great art movie. He gives his thanks to his friend Colin Firth for lending his name (and presence) to the film. Without his backing it would have been even harder to raise the money. Everett gives the performance (probably) of a lifetime and shows a marked proficiency in French and also tolerable Italian. The other actors are also very good with Boysie looking the part and also giving a very credible version of the young and monstrously selfish Alfred, Lord Douglas. What gives this film an advantage over some other versions of Wilde, is that it looks at the shabby, seedy and sordid post- Reading Jail years. Everett inhabits this older sadder Wilde and through being gay and learned he gives us a very credible version of what it was like to be gifted, gay, ill and down on one's luck in Paris at the end of the 19th century.

2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

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Rebel Without a Cause

A great loss to cinema

(Edit) 14/08/2018

I believe that this was the first of James Dean's 3 major roles in Hollywood films before his very untimely death. It was certainly interesting to watch his performance, but the film has dated rather badly. The parents are stock characters straight out of central casting as is Dean's friend rendered unstable by a neglectful mother. Of course, parents who can't manage to communicate with their teenage children remains a hardy perennial in films. The difference is that we have become used to more nuances and complexities. So I'd recommend this film to either a student of cinema (and "method" acting) or to someone of my age groups who is looking back to her own teens.

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The Dinner

A Dog's Dinner

(Edit) 07/08/2018

I was most disappointed by and therefore do not recommend at all the pretentious, A Dinner. What waste of talent and money, particularly the former granted the participation of both Steve Coogan and Richard Gere.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Westworld: Series 1

Are you taking notice?

(Edit) 14/03/2018

Westworld is derivative both in its use of perfect human look- alikes and in the creation of an artificial world that seems perfectly real. But, then, why shouldn't the series have borrowed from others? That has applied to works of art -- popular and otherwise -- over the centuries. I like its look which you could term "cool" but I'll settle for elegant and stylish. The real world it offers is utterly sombre and unnatural in appearance; not even a pot plant in sight in the offices or laboratories. On the other hand, the cowboy country of Westworld, a luxury holiday destination, looks magnificent with its terracotta colours, canyons and Mexican-style villages. The series is good to watch if you just want to blow your mind but it asks moral questions too, if you prefer to sit up and take notice.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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The Crown: Series 1

First series of The Crown

(Edit) 02/02/2018

I hesitated to follow this series because it struck me as typical of our age: total indifference to the feelings of those in the public eye. We all have a right to consume their private lives. I stlil wish that the producers could have waited until both the present queen and her consort had died but granted they are still alive the quality of The Crown is an indirect homage to their work (and suffering) on the nation's behalf over many decades. I have been interested in how selective the series is. What it omits seems almost as important as what it portrays: No solemn return from Kenya after the death of George V!; no Coronation scenes (expensive) but an emphasis on the private. Most striking for me was the greta fog of 1952 and Churchill (almost but not quite) in his dotage. Having started off with misgivings, I now take off my hat to those who have create the series. You appear to be nothing if not well informed.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Koktebel

Yours bleakly, Russia

(Edit) 03/01/2018

I have an interest in Russia, past and present and have developed a certain patience with their "art" films which tend to be short on narrative and long on stills of their subjects and their background. I've noticed also in Russian contemporary films an emphasis on orphanhood or -- at best -- a single and possibly inadequate parent. Here father, intermittently a heavy drinker, and his son of around twelve travel across rural Russia towards Crimea. As they do so you see how neglected rural Russia is after the Soviet period when there were collective farms and small industries in the towns. Everything looks so dilapidated and in need of an injection of money. Not a film o watch when you are downhearted, but one which provides you with real insights into aspects of life in contemporary Russia.

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Stalingrad

Stalingrad: a Russian view

(Edit) 09/10/2017

Granted the crucial importance of the long battle for Stalingrad in WWII, it's not surprising that there have been several films about it. But this is the first Russian one I've seen and granted how (understandably) Russians developed a visceral hatred of the German invaders, it's encouraging to see that there is a sympathetic portrayal of a battle-hardened German officer. This film concentrates on small numbers of people seeking to survive. The "historical epic" aspects are relegated to the background. The film is tough but charged with a humanity that transcends nations at war.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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