Film Reviews by JR

Welcome to JR's film reviews page. JR has written 15 reviews and rated 14 films.

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Matthias and Maxime

Worth Watching

(Edit) 16/01/2021

Personally I liked this film , and i like much of Xavier Dolan's other work, such as "Heartbeats". It basically focusses on the fine line between long term friendship and love between two men who have known each since childhood. If you love another male friend does that make you gay? ( I loved the scene where Max discovers the old childhood drawing in a drawer) The ending ( without giving it away) is ambigious but i like to think positive, but not in a glib "happy ever after' way. At the end of the day, it depends what sort of films you like, and find satisfying. For me this was a good watch, and well acted, particularly by Xavier Dolan himself.

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Penance

Moving slice of Irish history

(Edit) 06/09/2020

Good film, very well observed with high production values, set during the 1916 Easter Rising and in 1969 at the start of the "Troubles".

Don't want to give away the plot but some characters appear in the 1916 scenes and as their older selves in 1969.

Sad, hard hitting, period drama. Recommended.

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The Cakemaker

Brilliant

(Edit) 12/04/2020

I must agree with the previous two reviews, this film is a gem and a must see for those who like slow paced, lyrical , moving cinema.

It's sad, moving, heart warming, heart wrenching and beautiful. All the actors are so good, even the very small role of the grandmother was so well observed, particularly in a small scene reminiscent of Brokeback Mountain. The central title role is so understated, yet so powerful. The worst thing was i couldn't eat the cakes. they looked really scrumptious!

In essence this is a lovely film about love.

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Heartstone

Quietly powerful

(Edit) 04/01/2020

As the previous reviewers have said this is a powerful, atmospheric and sensitive film. A story of teenage love and friendship powerfully portrayed by the two male leads. The fact the story is played out against the bleak background of rural Iceland makes the the production pack an extra punch. Totally believable and utterly compelling and moving without sentimentality.

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Boys

A good watch

(Edit) 14/09/2019

Well worth watching. Good acting all round, particularly from the young Jonas. The past and present sequences are done well and although you slowly realise something bad has happened in the past the realisation is still a shock. The ending was clever , and not too glib. Throughly recommended.

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Tom of Finland

Interesting biopic

(Edit) 02/04/2019

The story behind the iconic Tom of Finland drawings was OK, but could have been better. The story of the killing of the Russian airman in WW2 was told well in the extras features but did not come across so well in the film itself. The background and reasons why the artist began to draw the images of leather clad men with bugling muscles and attributes was not really covered. Overall the film was well done in many ways but could have been improved . Definitely worth a watch though.

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A Place to Be

Heart Breaking

(Edit) 30/09/2018

Wow! This really took me by surprise - a beautiful and tragic love story with believable and brilliant performances from the two leads.

Without giving anything away , be prepared for what happens in the end! Unless you have a heart of stone this film will totally churn you up! You have been warned ! That said, it is very good.

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From Beginning to End

Beautiful and Touching

(Edit) 15/08/2018

In some ways this is a very simple film. It is a love story, of a very beautiful , tender and loving relationship. It just happens to be between two men who are half brothers. If that offends you then best to avoid, if not you're in for a treat. The two leads are wonderful and totally believable in the roles. It is funny and sad and ultimately uplifting. I really enjoyed this very film. Hope you do too.

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Rebellion: Series 1

Brilliant tale of 1916 Easter Rising

(Edit) 05/08/2018

I really enjoyed this and would recommend to anyone interested in history and/or just good drama. The period detail and atmosphere was spot on and very detailed. The characters were all totally believable and the connections between them all were complex but rivetting. It gave a very human face to a slice of Irish/British history. Without giving the story away - be warned it is very sad at times!

I feel ashamed to say my grand father who despised the Irish was sent in Ireland in WW1 after the rising to put down the rebels .

A great TV series - pity it wasn't on BBC!

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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The King's Choice

Moviing and traumatic

(Edit) 22/07/2018

I really enjoyed this film telling the story of the King of Norway's defiance of the Nazis. It was compelling, very moving a traumatic.

The relationship between the King and his son Crown Prince Olav was beautifully portrayed and very poignant , as were the scenes with the King and his young grandson, now the present King Harvald. The scenes introduced about the teenage soldier ( Frederik Seeberg, also a real person) were inspired. The whole film captured the horror of war on a very personal level. I would not hesitate to rate this film very highly.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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About Us

Sad little fim

(Edit) 14/07/2018

This is a sad little film, cleverly and simply done, of two guys very much in love. Not a lot happens, but it doesn't have to. I liked it a lot.

It was different , moving and just very sad.

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A Love to Hide

Engrossing tale of WW2 France

(Edit) 30/06/2018

This is an engrossing story of a family and friends caught up in events in France during the German occupation in the Second World War. Without giving the plot away , It is moving, and ultimately tragic. Very good period atmosphere. Throughly recommended.

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Byzantium

Vampire 200

(Edit) 02/06/2018

I'm not really into vampire films but this one was a bit different and I liked the "then and now' element , and the seaside setting and atmosphere. The two female leads were good and overall it was a good story, within the confines of the whole vampire genre. I liked the subtle references to John Polidori's "The Vampire' ( using the name of Ruthven - the first literary vampire ) and Lord Byron's "Darvell " character from his " A Fragment" unfinished story. I found the film atmospheric and well done, and would recommend it to people who are not "vampire movie' fans - and those that are but appreciate something a bit different.

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Another Life

Another Life

(Edit) 19/11/2017

Well worth watching. Great period detail and atmosphere. Sticks fairly closely to the facts of one of the most famous murder cases in 1920s. . Good performances from host of well known and talented British actors - Ioan Gruffudd, Tom Wilkinson, Natasha Little, Imelda Staunton et al, including small role for Daniel Brocklebank, later "Billy Mayhew" in "Coronation Street". Recommended.

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The Secret Path

The Secret Path

(Edit) 07/11/2017

This one is a bit of an oddity. A bit amateurish, as if made by film students who don't totally know what they're doing but are really enjoying doing it.

That said there is some great photography, music and sound. It's very "atmospheric' and really has ' something" about it, and potentially could have been very good. The two leads are great - if you're straight or gay Henry Regan looks gorgeous in ( and out) of his period costume as Regency sailor, Theo, and brings a subtle vulnerability to the role. Not sure what the other three characters were meant to be exactly but if have an open mind and like something a bit different, this might be for you. If you're in to Hollywood block busters, best to avoid! I found the ending quite poignant and moving and nicely filmed. Is it a love story, a horror pic, costume drama ? A bit of all three really. An interesting watch, having seen it twice it seems to stick in the mind.

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