Film Reviews by BN

Welcome to BN's film reviews page. BN has written 7 reviews and rated 53 films.

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Funeral for an Assassin

70s adventure yarn in South Africa

(Edit) 02/02/2021

The transfer of original has suffered, the copy and colours are faded and muddy. Soundtrack on the DVD I got is muffled and sadly it had no subtitles for the Afrikaans and other local dialogue. That really gets my goat when none of this is translated as it may well be germane to the plot but you're never given a chance. Many dvds do the same thesedays. I think it's the height of arrogance to dismiss what characters say, so often it's just described as "Speaks in French, German or Russian..." etc. or even the laziest of lazies "Speaks in Foreign Language" !!! You can't even be bothered to find out WHAT language it is on feel it's important ??? Sheesh.

I did wonder how Vic Morrow got involved in this, it's an ok part and he plays...well, Vic Morrow! Peter vanDissel is the good-looking driven detective risking his job chasing a wily assassin bent on eliminating the people who put him in prison.

I like watching these older films to get a taste of the times and locations, this being steadfast apartheid S.Africa. And the cars!

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Wind River

An eye opener to indifference

(Edit) 25/09/2020

OK, it's a long time since I watched this film, but certain films do stay in the mind. I thought at the start it had good potential, the plot seemed interesting on the CP blurb. Ok it was a bit slow but I don't mind that with beautiful landscapes to look at.

One reviewer here says they needed subtitles, they're not the only ones! I frequently need them on American films because modern actors seem to mumble or have difficulty enunciating their words and use mountains of slang. Sometimes, too, as also highlighted here, unnecessary soundtracks obscure dialogue. I have excellent hearing but often miss a lot due to ALL these factors, so I really NEED those subtitles to wind back (thank goodness for DVDs & subtitles) to see what I've missed, even more so when it's something important to the plot.

The characters all seemed unnecessarily hostile. Jeremy Renner seemed to fit his character but why would the FBI send a gorgeous female out unprepared to a reservation where women who disappear are never reported? All it shows too is Native Americans seem to have a 200+ year old chip on their shoulders & bleat on about racism & how badly they're perceived to have been treated yet their women are not important enough and are treated as chattels?? That really grated on me. Plus the scene in which there's a circle of people with guns seemed totally ludicrous to me. The idiots brandishing those guns didn't think if everyone fired they wouldn't hit each other? Instant bloodbath. Sheesh. Maybe that's what filmmakers assume moviegoers crave. Violence and blood everywhere?

Anyway, the film's still worth a look. Assess for yourself.

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The Glass Menagerie

It's a classic

(Edit) 27/05/2020

OK it's supposed to be a classic from a 1944 play by Tennessee Williams. Several film versions have been made, the one here made in 1973, one in 1950 with Gertrude Lawrence and Jane Wyman as mother and daughter, and 1966 with Shirley Booth and Barbara Loden as same, then a newer version directed by Paul Newman in 1987 with his own wife Joanne Woodward and Karen Allen.

Kate Hepburn here is the lace hanky totin' , grande old dame somewhere in the south, never shutting up as she spouts well out of date gentilities to two adult children in the household. I never bothered to find out why the son was there, but honestly I switched off halfway as I could no longer stand KH's screeching voice with its fake southern accent slipping every now and again. Maybe I'm missing something profound here, it's supposed to be a story about an angst ridden mother desperate to marry off her painfully shy (& sexually repressed) crippled daughter to A Man Who Came To Dinner, but she's stuck in a time warp, trying to maintain stiff moral codes through her ingrained southern gentility whilst shouldering the shame of being abandoned long before by her husband, but for me eventually the dialogue was like nails clawing down a blackboard.

I even have a Poundstore copy of the romantic comedy Bringing Up Baby (1938) with Kate and the always excellent Cary Grant and although the storyline is kooky and frenetic, I realise it's the same - Kate spends the whole movie screeching in the same way even thought she's at least 30 years younger in that one. I always thought she was wonderful and the snappy dialogue in it clever and witty, but gradually I'm realising in most of her films, she's pretty well always the same...a bit of a whiner or a Moaning Minnie.

No offense Kate, but I may give yours a bit more of a wide berth in future. Luckily on Cinema Paradiso I can just package it up, send it back, and get the next one.

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Jam Series

Just Wierd

(Edit) 14/01/2020

I got this, thinking the blurb on it here on CP described a quirky and interesting series, although the filming and content was just bizarre and terribly confusing. It's described as a comedy and one or two funny moments lighten it but the rest is quite frankly cringeworthy.

Not worth anyone's time to watch except to see how much odder in subjects a programme can go.

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Paris When It Sizzles

1964 outing for Wm Holden and Audrey Hepburn

(Edit) 20/07/2019

Madcap story of Holden the scriptwriter tasked with delivering a script to exacting producer Noel Coward in 19 weeks but he's been goofing off, boozing mainly, until a critical 48 hours before Coward appears in Paris on Quatorze Juillet (Bastille Day) expecting a completed screenplay. Hepburn is the secretarial temp who helps writer Richard Benson (Holden) to imagine loads of different scenarios for his script ranging from spies to vampires to costume balls to international safecrackers & the Mafia, to virtually....anything! All supposedly under the title of the Girl Who Stole The Eiffel Tower.

Frank Sinatra sings a short intro theme song and Marlene Dietrich does a beautifully coiffed tiny cameo getting out of a Rolls and going into the Dior Boutique, although costumes in this were provided by Givenchy. A young suave Tony Curtis has quite a big role, yet is uncredited.

Had never heard of, or seen it before, but it's sorta fun and worth a gander.

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Inspector George Gently: Series 1

Gently does it

(Edit) 24/05/2018

Good TV series but first disc I got (from Cin Para) only comes with Episode 1 and some special features. I thought I'd at least get a

couple of episodes per disc !!

The inimitable Martin Shaw stars as George who considers retiring from the Metropolitan Police in 1964 after a personal tragedy but encounters Sgt John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) on an external investigation and decides to take him under his wing and stay working.

A focussed copper, honest and intent on finding proper evidence in his cases but meanwhile fighting the endemic police corruption of the time.

Capital punishment did not cease until 1965 in England.

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Sisters in Law

Great in fascination factor

(Edit) 28/07/2016

Initially as no reviews were available, I rather naively thought from the cover picture and title that this would be an interesting drama about sisters in British law, having just watched a couple of UK legal dramas so was surprised to find that this was not only a documentary film but took place in the West African country of Cameroon.

I was under the impression Cameroon was French speaking but in this apparently Muslim dominant state they seem to use English and pidgeon English. Definitely needed the subtitles!

The sisters are a hard-hitting judge-prosecuter and a lawyer doing their best against entrenched ideas of male superiority and features several real cases mostly relating to children and women woefully abused by both males and females. Gripping stuff.

Surprises me that the sisters as a formidable force don't get a lot of retaliation as they tend to state very feminist views (good for them!) but the like of which would be bound to piss the local men off - and is Cameroonian law so advanced that it affords inherent governmental legal protection for defenceless women against centuries of Islamic codes of conduct and the still commonly held views that women are simply chattels and objects for sexual gratification, both in or OUT of marriage?

What is not explained is either of the sisters' backgrounds - where were they were trained, or their reasons for why have they taken on the local establishment ? An interesting eye-opener nevertheless.

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