Film Reviews by NK

Welcome to NK's film reviews page. NK has written 12 reviews and rated 383 films.

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The House That Jack Built

Not an easy watch

(Edit) 24/12/2020

I watched The House That Jack Built in a cinema and it played on my mind for a long time afterward. It is mesmerising in its creative cruelty as we follow the development of a warped serial killer, but I almost felt ashamed of myself for watching it, as if I had willingly partaken in its cruelties, or had at least somehow permitted them to happen. I'm glad now that I watched it, but I wasn't so sure of that for a long time.

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Not Now, Comrade

Very dated British comedy

(Edit) 19/12/2020

This film starts nicely enough - I enjoyed being plunged back into the world of England in 1976, but even at just 86 minutes this Ray Cooney farce just goes on too long. It's a very theatrical piece with lots of running in and out of the main room/set - the entrance to the hall to the house which, as per any British farce of the time, has to have at least five doors leading in and out of it. Woefully miscast Leslie Phillips and Ian Lavender seen to be on autopilot and Lewis Fiander's leaping around as a claustrophobic Russian ballet dancer just gets tiresome. My viewing of this was interrupted about an hour into it and when I was able to go back to watching it I realised that I had only chuckled once or twice through the whole thing - thank you Roy Kinnear - and just couldn't be bothered.

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Les Vampires

A bad movie in almost every way - although definitely not in a good way

(Edit) 02/12/2020

Despite the French-looking title, this is very much an American movie, set in America and using American "talent". The picture quality (on the DVD version) is very poor - so poor that I couldn't be sure if the guy I saw having threesome sex in the first scene was the same guy coming home to his regular partner in the second scene. This is a shame as a lot of the establishing shots (or filler) are taken along the spectacular California Pacific highway. I suspect that this was shot on VHS video and transferred to DVD. The sound quality was poor - it was hard to hear the dialogue over the background music - not that the "actors" had anything much to say. The direction was inept, such that the story lumbered along. There was no tension, even when the vampire vixens turned up, no sense of dread that a horror movie needs. I doubt if any of the cast were professional actors - the acting was wooden and the delivery of the lines plodding. It starts with a soft-core sex scene, where you get to see the man's bum and the women's nipples, but it really is body-beautiful models just going through the motions. It's tame, even by the standards of American mainstream cinema, I can't comment on any gore or horror content there might have been because I gave up on the film after about twenty minutes and didn't see any - but that's twenty minutes of my life I have sacrificed so that you don't have to watch this turkey. If it's in your Watchlist, do yourself a favour and click 'remove'.

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MaƮtresse

A treat for S&M fetishists

(Edit) 23/11/2020

A French cinematic clasic that has stood the test of time. However, Gerard Depardieu's thuggish, jealous boyfriend quickly becomes tiresome.

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Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages

Ahead of its time - at the time

(Edit) 09/10/2020

Interesting dramatised documentary contrasting the witch hunts of the middle ages, with everyone denouncing everyone else as the witch-finders raked in the money, to the modern-day psychiatric approach ("modern day" of course being 1922). I'm sure audiences at the time were probably wowed by some of the special effects. For clarity, this DVD contains both the original 1922/1941 version and the 1968 release with William Burroughs narrating - the 1968 version also has a way-out jazz score.

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Greed

Everything that's wrong with globalised capitalism

(Edit) 18/09/2020

Steve Coogan plays 'Sir Richard "Greedy" McCready', a nasty, asset-stripping high street vulture in this satire in which Sir Philip Green is bound to recognise himself. Portraying himself as a bit of a cheeky barrow boy made good, a "self-made" man, despite his privileged private school upbringing, 'Sir Richard' sets out to fleece anyone at a disadvantage to him right from childhood. A great comedy which makes some important points about the way obscene wealth for the few is created from the poverty and misery of the many.

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Madness in the Method

Enjoyable Black Comedy

(Edit) 06/09/2020

If the name Jason Mewes doesn't ring a bell, this is essentially a Jay and Silent Bob movie (except Kevin Smith is anything but silent). Jay sets out to use the method to reinvent himself as a Hollywood leading man with lethal consequences. Enjoy the ensuing carnage!

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Simple Men

Hilarious!

(Edit) 26/04/2020

A great, character-driven comedy/drama, delivered in Hal Hartley's trademark deadpan style. Very reminiscent of 'Amateur' (with many of the same actors). For me, what earned it that fifth star was the scene in the diner where the protagonists - two men and a woman - perform a cool, synchronised dance routine, very similar to the cafe dance scene in Jean Luc Godard's 'The Outsiders', except the moves are a lot more eccentric and the tune they're dancing to is Kool Thing by Sonic Youth.

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Wake in Fright

A Nasty Piece Of Work

(Edit) 04/04/2020

Not a nice film and very much 'of its time' (translation - nobody would make a film like this now). The unlikable protagonist is an arrogant, pompous, yet weak-willed school teacher with a plummy actor-ish accent that grates on your nerves and a face you just want to slap. Traveling home from his remote teaching post in the Outback for the holidays he stops off in the town of Bandanyabba, where he gets drawn into a gambling game and very quickly loses all his money. Penniless and destitute in a strange town, the locals take him under their wing and offer hospitality in the form of an extended macho beer-drinking bender, culminating in a kangaroo "hunt". This hunt is an absolute massacre with real footage of wild kangaroos actually being shot, often at close range, interspersed with shots of red-faced blokes laughing and cheering. If this is your kind of thing you're in for a treat - otherwise avoid.

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The Silence of Lorna

An Eye-Opening Thriller

(Edit) 04/04/2020

***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*** A shocking insight into the activities of criminal gangs, when they combine their drugs-trade business with their people trafficking racket. A simple idea, but you'd have to be pretty evil to think of it - the addicts you sell drugs to are eventually bound to get heavily into your debt. The way out you offer them is if they marry a woman you're trafficking into the country - in this case from Albania - so that she can get Belgian citizenship. Of course, once your Lorna has her citizenship, the junkie husband is surplus to requirements and nobody will be surprised when he ODs, leaving Lorna free to remarry. A Russian "businessman" will pay a lot for a marriage of convenience to Lorna, which will in turn earn him EU/Belgian citizenship, but then of course he will want to have his own wife, so now Lorna becomes a liability. All this in a world where our failed war on drugs and our inept anti-immigration policies mean there will never be a shortage of the drug addicts and illegal immigrants that comprise the raw materials for this enterprise - in a parallel universe that exists cheek-to-cheek with ours, where the regular deaths of drug addicts and trafficked immigrants prompt nothing more than a shrug of the shoulders and occasional platitude from our moral guardians.

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Daisies

Probably not worth the effort

(Edit) 21/03/2020

I don't hold with this idea of sticking with something (or someone) in the hope that I will find something worthwhile eventually. There's an old expression about first impressions and if you spend half an your in the company of someone whose antics are just tedious, annoying and unfunny, totally detached from any kind of story or plot or any reason to wonder what might be coming next, then it's probably not going to get any better. The film is of some historic interest, mainly because it was banned by the communist authorities - it would be interesting to know their reasons for doing so. Possibly it could have been because the censors didn't understand the film and just banned it to be on the safe side, in case it held a hidden message - old-school, Soviet-style authorities had plenty of form for that. However, communists could be progressive at times - to me it's possible that what they saw here was two scantily-clad, attractive young women being directed to cavort and act up and roll around on a bed together and generally just act like "naughty girls" for the gratification of some Eastern-bloc, Soviet era version of Harvey Weinstein. It's not my idea of empowerment - I gave up after about half an hour.

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Prostitute

A hugely important film

(Edit) 20/03/2020

Gritty, fly-on-the-wall documentary-style drama from a bygone age. It's hard to imagine anything this explicit on 21st century television. Not just a historical document because the issues raised are still with us today.

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