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All reviews - Movies (5) - TV Shows (1) - DVDs (4) - Music (1) - Games (1)

Patrulla de Alta Mar (2007-2011) review

Posted : 6 years, 2 months ago on 12 May 2012 07:26 (A review of Patrulla de Alta Mar (2007-2011))

Rather enjoyed this. It's not "Master and Commander" or "Das Boot", but as seagoing adventures go it is quite enjoyable. It is set in Northern Australia's tropical border waters aboard a patrol boat guarding that border against illegal fishers, smugglers of various cargo, people smugglers and terrorists. And because the Australian Navy lent a few boats and crew, it is actually good in the props and terminology department (although it has been dumbed down in places: Do the RAN use left/right in place of port/starboard, for ex.?)
Like with all series, there are weak episodes and some very strong ones, and it's not necessarily those that involve the leading characters. Series 4 in particular has a number of dramatically very good stories. It was also the only one that did not have an overall story arc/theme.

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Scotland Yard review

Posted : 6 years, 2 months ago on 12 May 2012 01:15 (A review of Scotland Yard)

This is one of my teenage years' favourites. We spent hours on dark December evenings in our cabin up in the Norwegian fjell, playing Scotland Yard. The rules are easy to understand and it is a kind of hide-and-seek, with the group hunting Mr. X, who travels unseen and pops up every now and then. The only clues the group has are the tickets Mr. X uses to travel around London. It never gets boring, even after almost 30 years.
I managed to score a used box of the 1982 original Ravensburger "daylight" edition (pictured in the Listal listing) last year, which makes me happy :-), I just don't like the current "nighttime" edition.

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Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2008 07:50 (A review of A Good Year)

I read Peter Mayle's book about a year before the film was released, and wasn't too impressed. The story about the winery seemed nice enough, but a few subplots seemed too tacked on. When I heard that a film was being produced, I thought, well, maybe they can salvage the book and make a good film of it. You know it has happened.
I saw the film back in 2006, and while it was enjoyable, it wasn't exactly good. The story was too thin to really hold my interest, and the comedy just didn't fly (but then I am *very* picky when it comes to comedy --makes me run away most of the time!). Also, they couldn't escape some clichés (although some were put to good comical use!). I did keep a few memorable quotes, nevertheless (what was that about the poodle and the balcony?!) The cinematography was gorgeous, though! This, and a story of a summer romance, did make it worth my time, even though I wouldn't rate it among my favourites.

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Dear Da...

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2008 07:38 (A review of Dear Frankie)

Dear Frankie is a family story set in Glasgow, where Lizzie has been lying to her nine-year-old son for years, that his father is a sailor, and has had no chance yet to visit him. Suddenly father's (purported) ship is listed in the shipping new as coming into the harbour... So Lizzie has to find a dad, and quick. Sounds comedic, but is a really nice, serious drama about family, and what it means to be a mum or dad. It avoids almost every single cliché you could think of in connection with the topic. Still, it has the longest-ever build-up to a kiss in cinematic history! *lol* Well worth your time.

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Hold on, that's not Italy!?

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 3 May 2008 07:31 (A review of Beyond the Sea (2004))

"Beyond the sea" is somewhat surreal, it has no linear timeline, and things keep happening that wouldn't happen in real life (like people breaking into dance on the street), but I liked the approach. I had no idea who Bobby Darin was, before. Darin was forever trying to find a place in life, from rock'n'roll to swing to protest singer. I have to say I liked his swing era best. Which is also to the credit of Kevin Spacey, who decided to record the songs himself instead of having playbacks played in the movie.
My suspension of disbelief suffered a major blow though, when I recognised the "Italian" palace and park for what it was: Schloss and park Sanssouci in Potsdam, near Berlin! :-D Turned out that the whole film was shot at Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam.

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Settles in your brain, and proceeds to b

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 2 May 2008 06:56 (A review of Syriana (2005))

When I saw this on the big screen, my first reaction after the lights came on was "I need to see that again!". This is one of those films that keep you on your toes the entire time, and you're constantly asking yourself "What is going on?"
It's not the kind of film that gets under your skin in that you get emotional satiscfaction or a resolution, rather it gets into your brain and settles in a corner and proceeds to bug you.

It tells four stories of people in the oil business, in espionage, in the terror "business", and the legal business, all of them intertwined at some point, and none of the characters are up to good things.

The film has a huge list of characters, so that doesn't make it any easier, but it is definitely an interesting film for those who don't like their films being pre-cut and mashed for easy consumption. I also have to admit that George Clooney has really grown on me. I mean, he was hot all along, and I don't mind watching a few of his earlier films, but hot and brainy is unbeatable :-D.

OK, now that I have place myself squarely in the shallow crowd, you still should have a look at this if you like entertainment with a challenge.

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Want to dance?

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 2 May 2008 04:46 (A review of Parlez-Nous á Boire & More)

I picked this up from a "world music" shop, because it has "Zydeco Gris-Gris" on it, the piece that basically introduced me to Cajun music. Remember the film "The Big Easy" (1987)? It's the title track of the movie. This has a number of pulsating two-steps and waltzes on it that will make everybody want to dance (providing they know how to do a two-step). I know now :-).

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The last refuge of mankind

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 30 April 2008 08:42 (A review of On the Beach)

This film about Australia as the last refuge of mankind after the final nuclear war was based on a book by Nevil Shute and the screenplay for a 1959 film (with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner). I have read/seen both of them, but they failed to move me as deeply as this one did. This film has a special place in my heart.

There are probably a few reasons for it being so important to me. I grew up only 30 km from the Iron Curtain (remember it?), at a time when my country was part of "Battlefield Europe" and I was living at the edge of the "[Link removed - login to see]". This film put a few of my recurring nightmares on-screen. But it's not only that it connected to my experiences, it is also a pretty well written script. The characters, even the minor ones, make an impression, they are not just decoration for the leads but you get to care for them --and it hits you hard when the first of them is going to die (long before the main characters). Since this is a doomsday film, noone's going to survive, but still, hope springs eternal... The story Nevil Shute tells in his book is how people deal with certain death. This film updates his story for the 21st century, and in my opinion succeeds in making the characters believable as of the year 2006. I could actually connect to them and their experiences, something I failed to do while reading the book.

There are a few interesting choices in cinematography and the score by Christopher Gordon (of "Master and Commander" fame) has some very interesting pieces, that can stand alone.

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A classic, but vintage 1950s

Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 29 April 2008 12:15 (A review of On the Beach (1959))

I have read Nevil Shute's On the beach and hadn't I been sitting in a high-speed train where windows cannot be opened, I'd have chucked it out. I wrote a scathing review, instead. I love the remake/new version from 2000 (it's one of my all time favourites and never fails to move me to tears). So I was eagerly awaiting a chance to see this one.
Sigh. Like the book, it hasn't aged too well. It doesn't pack a punch like the modern version does, and the characters don't really get under your skin. What was Moiras problem again beside her drinking too much? And Mary? Both characters are vintage 1950s.
Although I have to admit that Gregory Peck delivers flawlessly, again. And I am thinking of buying it on DVD, because it *is* a classic.

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Posted : 10 years, 2 months ago on 27 April 2008 09:39 (A review of Warriors)

Very few films make me cry. With this I sat on my sofa with clenched fists and wet eyes almost the entire length. Not something I want to watch regularly (I think I watched it once after I taped it in 2003, and only worked up the courage again to watch it in March 2007).
Not melodramatic, not at all, but it hits you like a sledgehammer.

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