Film Reviews by DR

Welcome to DR's film reviews page. DR has written 23 reviews and rated 38 films.

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The Favourite

17th Century romp

(Edit) 01/02/2021

An exercise in female misogyny. Well acted by Olivia Coleman, but the other characters were wooden. Fops abound even in responsible positions, and servant girls are fair game. Achieving a title by a cynical marriage saves the attractive heroine from her vulnerable servant role. Quite lewd but illustrative of class divisions.

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The King's Choice

Norway 1939: An old king must face a sudden new reality

(Edit) 01/02/2021

Norway has not long been independent. Haakon is the first elected constitutional monarch. He is old and ill. Yet he must decide whether to resist or to acquiesce to German occupation. The dignity shown by the king and his cabinet is in striking contrast to the impatience of the German forces' commanders. The Norwegian army, who seem to be young conscripts led by a few experienced officers, is ready to fight a heroic and hopeless battle. The scene is set for an impressive confrontation. The credits of the film suggest that little was fictionalized. It is a pity that the credits and announcements are in very small font. The sub-titling however is perfectly adequate.

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The Passenger

Weak thriller with some interesting locations

(Edit) 21/08/2020

This film has a star-studded cast but is short on dialogue. Why steal someone's identity and then complete their diary schedule, unless you want to be found out by their friends? The opening scenes seem to be shot in the Algerian Sahara or similar, in which there is a surprisingly clean French hotel staffed by locals who are quite sophisticated. Later locations are famous but less exotic. I would rate this as a B-movie.

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Behind Enemy Lines

Convincing WWII encounter between villagers and a lost patrol

(Edit) 21/08/2020

The events take place in what seems to be a Ukrainian village, really a hamlet, during World War 2. A German patrol has been cut off behind Russian lines and takes refuge with the villagers who are as it turns out ethnic Germans. As such the latter are liable to resettlement far to the east but the trucks to take them away do not arrive until the drama with the soldiers has played out. There are no able bodied men in the village, probably because they have been recruited by the Russian army. The fears and conflicts within the patrol and among the villagers and the relationships that develop are engagingly portrayed. The common language and culture of the two groups must be set against the conflicted identity of the villagers. Are they German or Russian, and where do their loyalties lie? Ultimately it is a question of survival, and it must be pursued by the women of the village on the one hand, and the desperate soldiers on the other.

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Babylon Berlin: Series 3

Berlin 1929. Police Commissar Gereon Rath investigates

(Edit) 21/08/2020

Volker Kutscher's plot is loosely followed in which the murder of the leading lady in a film studio leads into underworld involvement. Concurrently there are efforts to obtain a reprieve for a flatmate who has been drawn into a politically inspired assassination. The 1929 financial crash, Nationalist plots, and the growing acceptance of the Hitler Youth are woven into the drama. The exotic scenes of the earlier series are developed with even more mysticism and depravity.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Balloon

Thrilling escape from E. Germany

(Edit) 21/08/2020

A well produced film with a convincing portrayal of life in a rural E. German environment.

The family have good employment, a large house and a relatively good car, access to W. German TV, and they can afford holidays by the Black Sea, but they still want to take a huge risk to reach W. Germany.

The german sound track with english subtitles is satisfactory, but the english dubbed soundtrack is poor.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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Journey's End

An exceptional First World War film

(Edit) 01/07/2019

This is a magnificent film, documenting the destruction of personality, the following of duty when fear and nerves have reached a breaking point in the trenches.

It does not follow the novel very closely, or the stage play, and is seen in its own right. The plot it is virtually the same as in the Royal Flying Corps drama "Aces High".

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Night of the Demon

Dated psychological thriller

(Edit) 03/04/2019

Considering the age of the film, the action scenes are well managed, although currently the appearance of the demon would be more terrifyingly anthropomorphic. The plot develops well, following from initial scepticism to final acceptance of the existence of the demon. The motives of the perpetrator are nebulous. His affluence is attributed to the demon, but the only group of enchanted people encountered seem miserably poor and unable to contribute much to his lifestyle. The origin and transfer of the runes to the intended victims was presented in a sketchy manner. Nevertheless this film maintains drama and excitement to the end.

1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

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A Quiet Place

Intelligent sci fi

(Edit) 03/04/2019

An unusually well conceived science fiction thriller. A family is threatened by murderous blind anthropomorphic aliens having acute hearing. The challenges to each family member are well developed and they respond in credible ways. Essentially they must avoid making any noise. The use of weapons is very restricted, which makes this story exceptional among thrillers of this type.

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The Commuter

Intelligent thriller with interesting story line

(Edit) 16/11/2018

A very well acted thriller with good action shots and gripping revelations. Surreal events but an acceptable exercise in the improbable.

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A Monster Calls

Imaginative thriller with a serious theme

(Edit) 16/11/2018

An extraordinarily good film. Great special effects. A story that seems trivial at first, but develops in remarkable ways, providing unanswered questions that ultimately have a serious but beautiful resolution.

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Escape from the Third Reich

Vienna 1938 et seq

(Edit) 26/06/2018

This was not a good film. Its representation of smart society, moral decadence and political thuggery combined with newsreel clips contained too much hyperbole.

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Anti Matter

Unintelligible science fiction

(Edit) 26/06/2018

In an Oxford University setting, the conversation between the less than brilliant researchers was rapid and gabbled. A B-movie plot ensued.

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The Man Who Fell to Earth

Bowie is low key in this adaptation

(Edit) 31/12/2017

This film failed to capture the subtlety, power, and suspense of the novel.

Bowie's other-worldliness was directed as understated behaviour. The female lead was modified to cast a much younger woman, presumably to sex-up the story. Bowie can be very powerful, e.g. in Labrynth, when properly directed.

Bowie's dramatic arrival on earth was well handled, considering that the film dated from 1976. Shots of the family left behind were primitive however. Continuity was poor and the narrative too obvious.

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The Man Who Fell to Earth

Bowie is low key in this adaptation

(Edit) 31/12/2017

This film failed to capture the subtlety, power, and suspense of the novel.

Bowie's other-worldliness was directed as understated behaviour. The female lead was modified to cast a much younger woman, presumably to sex-up the story. Bowie can be very powerful, e.g. in Labrynth, when properly directed.

Bowie's dramatic arrival on earth was well handled, considering that the film dated from 1976. Shots of the family left behind were primitive however. Continuity was poor and the narrative too obvious.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.
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