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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.

479 Films have been rated or reviewed by Sandy.

Citizen Jane: Battle for the CityCitizen Jane: Battle for the City (2016)
5 stars (Exceptional) Brilliantly relevant to NZ doco on this brave woman who stood up against those who would recreate NYC as a giant slum motorway – and won. NYC today is her creation. Familiars of NYC appreciate Jane Jacobs. Vivid footage of street life not in her book.
Lady BirdLady Bird (Ladybird) (2017)Recommended
1 star (Turkey) Terribly disappointing. Really boring!
DVD $34.95 | Blu-Ray $39.95
Game NightGame Night (2018)
3 stars (Good Enough) Very silly, very American, very funny & rather clever!
DVD $39.95 | Blu-Ray $44.95
Edge of Heaven, The Edge of Heaven, The (Auf der anderen Seite) (2007)Recommended
3 stars (Good Enough) Thought\–provoking & mainly very well–acted but the plot structure ultimately lacked substance, I thought.
DVD $29.95
PhoenixPhoenix (2014)Recommended
1 star (Turkey) Disappointing Holocaust movie. Nina Hoss is good; but forget the "plot"!
DVD $29.95
In the HouseIn the House (2012)
4 stars (Very Good) Very amusing family farce. Brilliant witty script by Ozon, as always. Top intelligent entertainment. Has spine as well as humour; leaves one thinking. Excellent!
Woman With the Five Elephants, TheWoman With the Five Elephants, The (2009)
5 stars (Exceptional) An intense, complex, & intimate portrait of a brave, kind and intelligent Ukrainian expatriate. Extremely informative on language, translation, & history. Her return to Kiev after 65 years with her granddaughter is intensely moving. Very fine.
ManipulationManipulation (2011)
2 stars (Good Try) Choppy & incoherent thriller at least exposes extreme 'armed neutrality' of Switzerland which has deterred any external attacks for 200 years, but created a rather strange society. Either fails to develop characters or maybe they are mere functionaries.
DVD $29.95
YellaYella (2007)Recommended
2 stars (Good Try) Very unusual, but manipulative. Fine acting by Nina Hoss, let down by a weak plot. Awful men. A drama for accountants!
Odyssey, TheOdyssey, The (L'odyssée) (2016)Aro Favourite
5 stars (Exceptional) Cousteau's family adventures. Characters true to life, on meeting Cousteau I recognized the ruthless driver behind 60 years of ocean exploration & transition from technocrat to conservationist. No–one has done more for the world's oceans.
DVD $29.95

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