Sandy’s Film Reviews
About me: John OShea at the Onslow College Film Club helped open my eyes to quality movies in the early 60s. Since then I was a regular at the Auckland Film Festival and later the Wellington Film Festival from 1983. My taste is very wide; currently documentaries (truth is very edgy), including blues music & other popular genres. Great films seen include the Iranian film The Separation and Marcel Ophuls Memory of Justice...and many more!
My website: Takaro.
392 Films have been rated or reviewed by Sandy.
- Ghost in the Shell (2017)
- Technically impressive & well–acted by Scarlett & Juliette. Unfortunately the silly plot doesn't match the production. Not recommended.
- DVD $39.95 | Blu-Ray $44.95, $49.95
- Brief Encounter (1946)
- Not dated, thanks to the cracking script full of wit, eg preview of "Flames of Passion" followed by an pram ad! Impressive acting & quality of reprocessed film & sound plus train punctuality before Thatcher's privatisation.
- DVD $20
- Cranes are Flying, The (Letyat Zhuravli) (1957)
- Beautiful print & fine acting, especially by Veronica, Feodor & Grandma. Complex Soviet anti–war film with amazing hand–held camera–work, never bettered. Slightly stilted plot & fine clothes for USSR in 1945 remind us that this classic is 60 years old
- A Decade Under the Influence (2003)
- Comprehensive, but basically just "talking heads" (directors) interspersed with brief clips. Deals with style rather than substance of Hollywood movies of the era. Credit given to the "60s" avant–garde from France & Italy (but not Germany or Britain).
- DVD $29.95
- Loving (2016)
- Low–key, slow–burning drama–doco on race law in US not long ago. Packs a helluva punch because of its gentle style. Bravery of Mrs Loving stays in the heart due to Ruth Negga's gritty performance. A tribute to humble folk facing the hangover of slavery.
- DVD $34.95
- Ronin (1997)
- Well–plotted action thriller with enough car chases to satisfy the French for the last 20 years! Stars the towns of Nice, Arles & Paris. Most of the sites are fun to visit.
- Blu-Ray $29.95
- Marie-Jo and her Two Loves (2002)
- A middle–aged woman is equally in love with two similar–aged men. But in real life, love is never quite equal. She leaves her husband for the exotic mariner – then returns. So? Great acting & Mediterranean scenery do not compensate for a weak plot.
- Marius et Jeannette (1997)
- What a joy! A subtle & funny plunge into believable working–class lives instead of yet another exploration of the indiscreet charms of the bourgeoisie. Extremely likeable.
- Elle (2016)
- Vicious look at aspects of middle–class French life – apparently the preoccupation of French filmmakers since Godard. Tiresome compared with, say The Separation (Iran). Best part of the DVD are the extras – as always truth outshines fantasy.
- Captain Phillips (2013)
- Surprisingly good & realistic. Even Tom Hanks is excellent. An good adventure movie portrayal close to the truth.
- DVD $15, $39.95, $44.95