Reviews

This page contains reviews of our films written by the members. We’d be delighted if you’d like to write a review.

For more information, contact Rick Canning

2014 – 2015

Philomena

Sylvia King

So the new season has started,the first film Philomena I did go to the cinema to see as I am a big fan of Judi Dench not so much of Steve Coogan but he did a good job in this film.The subject matter of a woman looking for the son that she was forced to give up for adoption in 1950s’ Ireland is an emotional one.At the beginning of the film we feel that these girls were harshly treated and their babies were “sold” to people who could afford to make large donations to the catholic church.By the end of the film Philomena comes to realise that she could never have given her son the life that he had with his adoptive parents and the nuns were doing the best for the children in their care as they saw fit and she tells the one surviving sister of her time at the abbey that she forgives her.The film avoids being syrupy and sentimental and Philomena herself is a simple down to earth character,writing her story helps Martin Sixsmith come to terms with what has happened in his life.As always the refreshments the refreshments were excellent,Victoria Sponge to die for!!!

2013 – 2014

 

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Sylvia King

13th January 2014

A throughly entertaining film from French cinema.The characters and story were believable,how ordinary people cope when they find themselves in traumatic circumstances,with fear,anger,depression and sometimes compassion.Also when people reach middle age and have achieved a comfortable lifestyle they can rediscover that energy and passion of youth.The film showed us that you are never to old to take on new challenges (Michel and Marie-Claire taking on the care of Christophe’s younger brothers).There were comic moments too,the barman who recommends Metaxa to Marie-Claire as a pick-me-up for the stresses of life.Once again the refreshments were of a very high standard.

Untouchable 

Sylvia King

13th October 2013

Saw the showing of Untouchable on friday evening and thoroughly enjoyed it.Being a comedy that made you laugh at things you feel guilty at finding funny eg:-the shaving scene it hit the mark.Some critics have said that it skims over the serious situations of serious disability,social deprivation and racism but if it didn’t it wouldn’t be a comedy.Both lead actors did an excellent job and it was well written and it made me think more about getting to know people and not judging them by appearance and pre conceived ideas of race or physical ability.Also the Victoria Sponge cake was delicious!

Argo & Untouchable

Andy Blakely

11th October 2013

As a newcomer to FilmCrew I was impressed with the friendly welcome at the ‘front desk’ and the sumptuous cakes provided – worth a visit just to sample those!

The first film on offer this year (September) was ‘Argo’ and it was a splendid opener to the season – at times I found myself holding my breath despite being aware of the final outcome, a truly gripping film.

The second film ‘Untouchable’ (October) had a great storyline and moments of truly amusing hilarity but I came away feeling that it somehow missed the mark. The opening sequence was quite exciting and fairly outrageous but I felt it was perhaps a mistake to place it out of sequence – for me it just didn’t work and I felt it inhibited the development of the story – I think I would have preferred to have seen a paragliding sequence leading to the accident as a way of setting the scene. This would also have given more meaning to the tandem paragliding sequence later in the film.

However overall I felt it was a good film, quite thought provoking with a generous helping of humour – I’m looking forward to the next film in November – ‘Beats of the Southern Wild’ – not least because I really don’t know what to expect of it!

2012-2013

The Social Network
Marcus Barrett (crewkernetown.org)
9th March 2012

We received a friendly welcome at FilmCrew when we turned up as strangers. As non members we paid £5 each but this would drop to around £2 per film if we joined. A selection of homemade tea and cake is something you’d never get at commercial cinema – we also received a hearty welcome from Rick Canning. Intriguing too was Katy Limmer’s brief talk about the director and the film: animated and comparative, it got everyone looking for little details that made the viewing more fun.

Subtitles were a useful trial innovation for the first scene of The Social Network (selected by FilmCrew for this film in order to make the dialogue clearer) but as we got further into the film they did grate on me a bit; no doubt FilmCrew will use them sensitively and only when needed – as Rick helpfully commented. The rapid-fire interrogation-style date between Zuckerberg and his (soon-tobe-former) girlfriend in the opening scene did warrant some interpreting – but by half way through, I think I had forgotten the subtitles were running.

Likewise, we agreed that we also forgot we were watching the film in the hall at Wadham School; such is the pull of the screenwriter’s art that one really does get transported to Los Angeles – in this case. This film about Zuckerberg’s idea (or was it?), the trials (literally) and the tribulations (landlords, beware!) of the early years of ‘The Facebook’ showed us a sometimes annoyingly naive Zuckerberg but also a man with a brilliance for lateral thinking and knowing his online market.

It was fascinating to see the impact of others on the Facebook story, from the accidental start of the rate-the-girls experiment which came out of being dumped, through controversy as to whether Zuckerberg’s idea was borrowed from fellow Harvard students, to the corporate rise of Facebook.

The Social Network has some great lines – many rather adolescent put-downs and perhaps a little sarcastic for sensitive tastes. But, like the best satire, sometimes I found myself wincing: “They don’t have roads in Bosnia, but they have Facebook”. And to anyone who thinks the smart-arse always wins the day: “I like standing next to you, Sean; it makes me look tough.”

So, I was pleasantly surprised by seeing a film about Harvard, in my old school hall. The projector and screen package worked smoothly and spoke of the professional quality of FilmCrew’s set-up; good picture and sound quality. Seating was much more comfortable than the commercial cinema at Dorchester; the environment more pleasant that the little cinema at Tiverton and the setting had more atmosphere than the big screens at Yeovil – and how nice not to walk out over heaps of litter, left behind by those too idle to find the nearest bin.

So, FilmCrew have brought yet another opportunity to Crewkerne and I myself hope they will get the support they need to flourish. There can’t be many occasions in Crewkerne for 50 people to come together to laugh, learn and share views on art, culture – and one man’s journey to a billion dollars.

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8 Responses to Reviews

  1. Andy Blakely says:

    As a newcomer to FilmCrew I was impressed with the friendly welcome at the ‘front desk’ and the sumptuous cakes provided – worth a visit just to sample those!

    The first film on offer this year (September) was ‘Argo’ and it was a splendid opener to the season – at times I found myself holding my breath despite being aware of the final outcome, a truly gripping film.

    The second film ‘Untouchable’ (October) had a great storyline and moments of truly amusing hilarity but I came away feeling that it somehow missed the mark. The opening sequence was quite exciting and fairly outrageous but I felt it was perhaps a mistake to place it out of sequence – for me it just didn’t work and I felt it inhibited the development of the story – I think I would have preferred to have seen a paragliding sequence leading to the accident as a way of setting the scene. This would also have given more meaning to the tandem paragliding sequence later in the film.

    However overall I felt it was a good film, quite thought provoking with a generous helping of humour – I’m looking forward to the next film in November – ‘Beats of the Southern Wild’ – not least because I really don’t know what to expect of it!

  2. Sylvia King says:

    The Snows of Kilimanjaro,a throughly entertaining film from French cinema.The characters and story were believable,how ordinary people cope when they find themselves in traumatic circumstances,with fear,anger,depression and sometimes compassion.Also when people reach middle age and have achieved a comfortable lifestyle they can rediscover that energy and passion of youth.The film showed us that you are never to old to take on new challenges (Michel and Marie-Claire taking on the care of Christophe’s younger brothers).There were comic moments too,the barman who recommends Metaxa to Marie-Claire as a pick-me-up for the stresses of life.Once again the refreshments were of a very high standard.

  3. Sylvia King says:

    It was a dark and stormy night as I made my way to Wadham School to watch a showing of The Angels Share and the film didn’t disappoint in raising my mood and helping me forget about the awful weather for a while.Although it dealt with crime and people who many would consider no hopers there were lots of laugh out loud moments.I found myself really rooting for Robbie and his pals to succeed in their criminal venture and hoping that things really worked out for him and his young family.The film gave us the message that some people will succeed if they are only given the chance.The film was enhanced by the beautiful scenery and the uplifting music of The Proclaimers.I personally found the subtitles a tad distracting but understand how some people might find them helpful.The whiskey tasting was a good idea.

  4. Sylvia King says:

    Concerning the film NO shown on 14/03/14,not my favourite film of those shown so far this year,maybe because I don’t know too much about the subject matter other than General Pinochet was a dictator and some very unpleasant things happened while he was in charge of government in Chile.The film showed that advertising is a powerful medium and that anything can be sold when you have people who are good at what they do.The main character came across as quite cynical who sold a new future for Chile in the same way as he sold a new soft drink,we never really know wether he personally believes what he is saying.I will certainly take advertising by our political parties during the next election campaign with a very large pinch of salt!!!

  5. Back in November we saw “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and I must confess to being disenchanted with it. Apart from a glimpse into a different world I felt it lacked any cohesion and was just a bit too esoteric for a ‘bear of little brain’…

    Decembers film “Lincoln” more than made up for this however and I was thoroughly entertained and somewhat educated with the tale behind what until then had been just a note in my history book.

    January brought us “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and I was a little disappointed that it had nothing to do with the mountain. A little difficult to follow at first it slowly grew more interesting until finally I found myself enjoying it.

    February took us into the world of a Scottish ‘Eastenders’ world and although I found it mildly interesting upon reflection I felt that it was very thin on ‘plot’; a little strained on the ‘character development’ front and basically somewhat drawn-out for a film based around the title phrase of “The Angels’ Share”.

    March was the film “No” which was quite interesting but again somewhat difficult to unravel what was really going on. Mildly entertaining but it left me with the feeling that the opportunity to make a really interesting film had been wasted.

    The final film of the schedule was “Moonrise Kingdom” and as the first ‘Wes Anderson’ film I have experienced its unfamiliar presentation was intriguing. I loved everything about this film despite being aware that I was missing many of the details which I am sure would have made it even more interesting – I kept wanting to ‘pause & rewind’ it!
    ‘Saving the best until last’ FilmCrew? – I enjoyed this excellent film even more than the first film “Argo” – so much so that I have ordered it from Amazon so that I can watch it all over again!

  6. Sylvia King says:

    Moonrise Kingdom,what an unusual film.An A list cast,Bruce WIllis,Frances McDormand,Bill Murray,Edward Norton and two very talented new comers whose names I failed to take note of.It had some very amusing scences that made you laugh out loud and some quite shocking ones,namely when the dog gets killed and the children don’t really show any emotion about it.It was memorable because of its oddness but I am not sure what it was trying to say.It did seem that the children were more mature than the adults.

  7. Sylvia King says:

    I have just spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the first French Film Festival held by Crewkerne Filmcrew.Two entertaining films,a very tasty lunch and some interesting information about the twinning committee and the work they do.Well done to everybody who worked hard to make the event a success,I hope this can become a regular event.As to the films,I have seen The Red Balloon before a long time ago but it was well worth watching again.I heard some people discussing the end scene of the film where the small boy floats off attached to the huge bunch of brightly coloured balloons.they were wondering what it meant,to me the image of the small boy and the brightly coloured balloons against the backdrop of a grey and war damaged Paris symbolises hope for a bright future now that the war is over.The Choir admirably joins a long list of films concerning inspirational teachers.Goodbye Mr Chips,To Sir With Love,Dead Poets Society,The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie etc.Highly entertaining.

  8. Sylvia King says:

    Testament of Youth:-A powerful and moving memoir of Vera Britten’s experiences as a nurse during world war one,first on the home front treating wounded soldiers returning from the fighting in France and then, after the death of her fiance ,actually at the front in France ,where she comes face to face with wounded German troops.As she holds the hand of a dying German soldier she realises that they are not so very different from British troops.Vera’s speech at the meeting discussing wether Germany should be made to pay near the end of the film brings home to us the futility of war.The film also shows us the struggle women had at that time to get an education.Even Vera’s father,an educated cultured man ,states that going to university is not the way to get a husband which to him should be the ambition of every young woman,but by the end of the film he is extremely proud of Vera’s achievements.

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