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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.

461 Films have been rated or reviewed by Sandy.

Soundbreaking (TV Series)Soundbreaking (TV Series) (Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music) (2016)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Fascinating technical PBS Grammy–Award winning PBS doco on the background to the making of popular music. Covers 100 years, but is right up–to–date. Focuses on the most innovative singers, producers & bands. Amazing footage. 425 mins
Tulip FeverTulip Fever (2017)
1 star (Turkey) Facile costume–drama filmed in a most irritating style. Historically ridiculous. Hollywood trash. Even Judi Dench makes a fool of herself!
DVD $29.95
Red ObsessionRed Obsession (2013)
3 stars (Good Enough) Explains why classe Bordeaux unaffordable but a status symbol in China. Empty bottles with famous labels are refilled. Shots of Bordeaux vineyards & interviews with few winemakers esp Moueix. Judges as promoters. 1855 classification made them millions.
DVD $20
Once Upon a Time - French CinemaOnce Upon a Time - French Cinema (2009)
2 stars (Good Try) Documentary on Godard's Contempt, starring Brigitte Bardot in the 50s, & Carne's Les Enfants du Paradis, in German–occupied Paris in 1943. Lacks theme and only for fans. Lots of talking heads & some footage but fails to fit them into a historic context.
DVD $29.95
A United KingdomA United Kingdom (2016)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) Marvellous true tale of love & courage brilliantly directed by Africa's first great female filmmaker. Fascinating slice of history, superbly acted. Moving, gracious & passionate; how Botswana came to be. Reveals Britain's role in the rise of apartheid.
DVD $39.95 | Blu-Ray $44.95
20th Century Women20th Century Women (2017)Aro Favourite
3 stars (Good Enough) Unusual & intelligent. Progressive in many ways, contrasting with the compartmentalisation of character in most American movies. Somehow unresolved; the 'happy ever after' ending was a mistake: better short & less biographical.
DVD $34.95
High FidelityHigh Fidelity (2000)Recommended
5 stars (Exceptional) A real fun movie; a great comedy with brilliant characters, very well acted & directed. Shop "assistants" are hilarious! Don't miss the deleted scenes and other extras. Plenty of impoortant ideas as well as laughs.
Willow CreekWillow Creek (2013)
3 stars (Good Enough) Banal lead characters suggest a possibly dull film & then, just as you relax, the horror kicks in! Clever
DVD $29.95
GirlhoodGirlhood (2014)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) Unique, complex view of black teenage life in the banlieues. A powerful story carried by great young women backed by a memorable soundtrack. One's heart bleeds for their longing to have an existence independent of men, sex, drugs and menial work.
DVD $20, $29.95
Night MovesNight Moves (1975)Recommended
4 stars (Very Good) No–nonsense thriller very well done. Gene Hackman has always been a subtle actor. Swift pace maintained throughout with never a moment's boredom. Good script.

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