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Reviews by diogenes

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345 reviews/ratings - 18 pages (20 reviews/ratings per page)

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Baby Bump (2015)

Fascinating and unusual film. Contains some striking visual images.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Barnens ö (1980)

Absolutely stunning coming-of-age movie taking a realistic look inside the thoughts of an introverted and intelligent 10-year-old boy as he approaches the onset of puberty - an event he fears because he thinks it will turn him into a selfish, sex-obsessed 'pig' like the adults around him, and distract him from the big philosophical questions, including the question of his own unique identity and the significance of his individual life. The film boasts an amazing soundtrack courtesy of Jean-Michel Jarre. An absolute must-see.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
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Den Bästa sommaren (2000)

Absolutely stunning. A wonderful film full of gentle humour, but with a serious, even darker, edge, as the kids fight for their right to love, to control their own lives and to live with whomever they like, against adult authority and against the state. Unmissable.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Beau (2016)

Clumsy, confusing and somewhat unpleasant.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed Star 2 / 10
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Bedone marz (2014)

In this film, visual style seems to have been privileged over narrative content, and I'm not sure that the result is entirely successful. In the end, we know too little about the protagonist to care very much about him.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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The Believers (1987)

Some people have spoken a lot of rubbish about this movie, claiming that it constitutes a negative portrayal of the religion of Santaría. In fact, the movie distinguishes between Santaría and Brujería, and ascribes the murderous acts of the cultists to a version of the latter. There are a lot of classic, crowd-pleasing elements here: strange dances to drum music, hypnotic powers, blood sacrifices, etc. It is, in fact, an excellent follow-up to the classic "The Possession of Joel Delaney" (1972) from fifteen years previously. But the villains in this film are nearly all white yuppies. If the film is saying anything, it is saying that the rich white elites in the US and elsewhere will do anything to maintain their power and wealth, not excluding the sacrifice of their sons! I can well believe it! The acting is completely superb. Harley Cross is brilliant, a real talent. At nearly two hours it can seem quite long, but the pace and atmosphere is judged so well by the director that it never seems boring.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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Benidorm (2007-2018)

If you're after beautiful people on the beach... avoid this series! Instead, we get hideously unaesthetic Brits abroad. I did, however, find it a great series to just relax to, and quite amusing, particularly in the earlier seasons.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 7 / 10
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Big City (2007)

A nice concept, but the writers are a little heavyhanded with the political preaching on the theme of the treatment of the negro and the Red Indian by the white man. Can't hold a candle to "Bugsy Malone", but pleasant enough, and Vincent Valladon is very photogenic and likable as 'James Wayne'.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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The Big Show (1923)

The sheer inventiveness and joie de vivre of this film, matched with some of the finest comic acting you'll ever see from the likes of the great Mickey Daniels and his peers, make this an absolute masterpiece from Hal Roach's studios.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
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Bizco (2019)

My favourite of Iván Noel's short films.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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The Black Hand Gang (1930)

It's actually brilliant, and Wee Georgie Wood is brilliant. Very highly recommended.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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Le blé en herbe (1954)

A masterpiece. Pierre-Michel Beck is utterly wonderful.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
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The Blue Lagoon (1980)

The characters are too simplistic and sketchily drawn, so we never really care much about them. Also, there's very little dramatic tension. So although, for example, we learn early on that there are other people occasionally on the island, they never really come across as a threat to the two protagonists' cosy existence. The whole thing is almost like a television broadcast for schools on the changes your body is going through at puberty! Neither of the teenage actors is particularly charismatic. The scenery, however, is very beautiful.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 5 / 10
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Bolshoe kosmicheskoe puteshestvie (1975)

Superb acting from the kids, spontaneous outbreaks of collective dancing - love it!

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 8 / 10
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The Box of Delights (1984)

Based on the 1935 novel by John Masefield, this is one of the finest ever adaptations of a children's novel for British television. There is a great deal to like in this thoroughly English story: suspicious foreigners, kidnapped choirboys, "the wolves are running", servants who know how to make a posset, Master Kay bonding with Herne the Hunter in a primordial English forest, a strange fusion of the Pagan and the Christian, not to mention Patrick Troughton (surely one of England's finest ever actors) adding gravitas to the proceedings, and Robert Stephens hamming it up beautifully as the evil Abner Brown. Devin Stanfield is wonderful as Kay Parker. Devin has a charm that is hard to describe, a sort of slight hesitancy in his gestures - perhaps something to do with his being on the cusp of puberty. Troughton was later to say of the young Devin that he believed that he was the boy whom Masefield himself would have chosen to play the role of Kay - and I think Troughton was right.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 10 / 10
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Boy (2011)

Decently acted and directed, but the film is too much a fragment of a film to make any real impression.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 6 / 10
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Boy Slaves (1939)

RKO's hilariously inept attempt to come up with their own version of the Dead End Kids (one of the cast even looks like a rattier version of Bobby Jordan). The messy plot incorporates a great deal of moral earnestness, and the maudlin sentiment is laid on with a trowel. The boys attempt to reproduce the banter of the Dead End Kids, but it just comes across as weird. They meet Julian Clary driving a cart (no, really). The only thing to be said in favour of this film is that it really is so bad that it's frequently quite entertaining in its sheer maladroitness. Enjoy!

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed Star 3 / 10
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The Boy (2015)

An absolutely superb movie - in fact, something of a modern masterpiece. Jared Breeze is such a star - a remarkable young actor; I think few boys could have pulled off his role as effectively as he did. I have to confess something, though. I couldn't help having some sympathy for the boy's actions at the climax of the film, given the way the adults treated him - particularly the young adults at the end.

Must Watch My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 9 / 10
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The Boy (2016)

The mansion in which this movie is set had a quite sumptuous, gothic look, the doll does get to seem quite creepy, and the plot (despite certain implausibilities) did carry me along. However, I was a little disappointed by the 'reveal' at the end, the overall narrative was quite undistinguished, and the 'jump scares' are such as any viewer familiar with the genre could see coming well in advance. A rather unremarkable, forgettable film - though maybe my horror palate has just become too jaded!

N.B. Jett Klyne only appears in old photos in this movie, not in person.

My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed Star 4 / 10
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Boyhood (2014)

There is no doubt that this film gets pretty dull. The problem is that the narrative revolves not so much around Mason (Ellar Coltrane) as around the adults - Mason's somewhat hippyish parents and particularly his mother's terrible choices of partner. Indeed, what is surprising is how little we learn in the first half of the film about Mason himself - what makes him tick, how he sees the world. The film samples events in his life - such as his getting a severe haircut at the hands of his mother's latest beau - but these pieces are too fragmentary to add up to a portrait. There is therefore no psychological development, just a series of events in his external life involving his parents and (later on) his sometime girlfriends, in what appears a somewhat privileged, if disordered, upbringing. He seems to go from lacklustre child to boring young adult via uncommunicative emo, and at no point do we actually care about him in the slightest.

I will admit that on the technical side the film is very good. It is put together remarkably well and Mason's (and his sister's) growing up is almost seamless. And the adult actors are all superb. But since this film is not really about its nominal protagonist but about the people around him, it isn't in fact about 'boyhood' at all. A disappointment.

Don't Bother My Movie Rating: Red StarRed StarRed Star 3 / 10
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