One of my favourite films that makes me smile any time I think about it.
Tomei, Pesci and Gwynne are terrific and do justice to the splendid script.
There is reference in the movie to a local staple food, "gritts" if I remember correctly. Years on from when I first saw this film, I still haven't got round to trying this, but I really want to someday - it looks kind of like fried porridge, but I'm really not sure exactly what it is.
A good performance by Duvall, but whilst Downey Jr was good in the various relationship roles he did not convince as an attorney and for me this undermined the film.
The scenes with the weak and and inexperienced lawyer did not sit well in this film. This was no fault of the actor it was just silly plot. It worked in the excellent "My Cousin Vinnie" but was all wrong here.
Overall there are too many story lines going on, many of them sketchy and bitty so not adding anything substantive to the film.
It was interesting seeing the children undertaking their classroom tasks but I am not certain how effective the teaching was - it is not my field so I do not know, but there seemed to be a lot of rote learning without much understanding.
It also appeared to me at times that the teacher was being unkind to the children. However, I have since read in newspaper articles that the teacher and some of the parents of the children have sued the filmmakers and one of the allegations was that a number of scenes were staged. So possibly the scenes that I found troubling (in which, for example, the teacher appeared to be psychoanalysing the children and upsetting them in the process) were staged.
Staged or not it did appear to me that there was unkindness to the children as they seemed to be genuinely distressed.
I liked the stillness of the cinematography and the vistas of Lisbon. I also liked the way that some beautiful live music was worked into the plot. However, I did not find the storylines engaging. They were ponderous and implausible. It also seemed to me that at least one of the actors found the awkward acting style altogether too awkward and so it became clumsy rather than stylised.
A quirky and gentle comedy - high marks for making me laugh a lot
At the beginning I thought this might be rather arty and hard to follow, but it develops into a pleasing story of relationships in village and working life that at times is hilarious. It came out two years after Local Hero to which there appear to me to be quite a few nods.
There are good characters across the generations. The humour is witty, with some darkness and good quality slapstick. Some of the comedy was crafted in a very unexpected way that really made me chuckle and admire the writing and execution.
I lost engagement with this series early on. The pace was rather too slow and the demeanour of a supposedly evil character reminded me of the head teacher in Matilda and so I could not take it seriously. I will mark this review as having spoilers as the Matilda association may mar viewing for others.
Some great characters, gritty story lines and occasional superb gags, but overlong and repetitive in parts
There's a helluva lot of kids called Shorty in Baltimore. Also there are a lot of police officers with a poor grasp of grammar. "I am a police". Do Fire-fighters in Baltimore say "I am a fire" ?
My favourite character was Bubs and he was certainly worthy of a newspaper piece, written in the final series. Fabulous acting by Andre Royo depicting an addict seeking to survive on the streets.
There are some really excellent gags now and then. I loved the line about not being able to wait to go to jail which was set up and delivered superbly and made me fall off the sofa laughing and the "Baltimore traditional" quote, also set up very neatly.
There are good story lines in all the different institutions and concerns the show covers. But I found the newspaper story in series 5 unconvincing. It was more Drop the Dead Donkey than All the President's Men and was implausible.
I enjoyed series 5 though as it was the series in which I most understood who everyone was. There are so many actors on show it's hard to keep up with who is who. The show gives you help and reminders with that from time to time but I was often thinking - who's that?
In the first series I got really weary of seeing the same housing estate grounds. It felt very repetitive. There was more variety of locations in later series.
I also got bored of Bunk and McNulty's rail-track meetings, which seemed superfluous and put me in mind of the "best friend with beer" meetings in Truman.
The dialogue is not always clear and so subtitles help. Sadly the service I use has famously poor subtitling just now.
I watched the Wire for the first time in 2020 and for me it is not up there with Breaking Bad and the Sopranos. Though that's rather unfair as certainly Breaking Bad has plenty of Wire echoes in it including similar dialogue, characters and at least one of the actors.
I enjoyed the racing scenes but it was the strong characterisation that was at the heart of this film. I think the husband and wife and father and son and mother and son scenes were all very good indeed - really natural (apart from Bale's walkabout accent) and the Damon and Bale scenes were a lot of fun.
I enjoyed the dry humour and I really appreciated the minimalist cinematography. The camera does not pan a great deal - we see a series of "stages" both exterior and interior and within each scene objects are pared down to the minimum and we focus on the actors. I find this very soothing and pleasing to watch. A lot of modern films are rather frantic.
A central theme is asylum seeking. But there is much dry humour despite the gravity of this subject matter. Humour can be very subjective. I found it very funny indeed but I daresay many may not.
It could be spoiler to say I'm not sure how it ends. Perhaps I have missed something or perhaps we are meant to be left uncertain?
A cool film with some great twists and turns but lifeless characters
This is a very cool and stylish film with a great score and I enjoyed the plot twists. But I found the characters were too aloof to care about and so there was no emotional investment in this movie on my part.
I'm pretty sure that with just a few letters discreetly changed in his name, the former Chelsea midfielder Dennis Wise is playing Dang Gise, one of the wicked sons of the Grand Councillor. He puts in an excellent performance.
I am seven episodes into this tale of good & evil. It is amusing and unchallenging fare. It's often the case that various characters offer up their lives for sacrifice when they have failed their betters in some way. You don't see much of that kind of thing in the U.K.
Quite a few more episodes in now and I believe that Heuk Soo, the wicked slave dealer, is being played by Bryan Cranston in a very bad wig.
Listen out too for the range of uber-dastardly smirking laughs of the Grand Chancellor - great stuff!
What really caught my eye in this film was the cinematography, especially so a car chase and some foot chases that were very exhilarating to watch. I am not quite sure how they were done but they were excellent.
The plot was rather hard to understand and there were two betrayals and a reprieve that didn't sit right for the characters who carried them out. Additionally, for me the levitating got a bit old and samey very quickly. I think it would've been more effective if he had levitated just the once at the end and the story had been rewritten to build up to that.
This is described on IMDb as a romantic comedy. There's also a lot of action for folk who like a bit of action, including various chases and gun, knife and stick fights as well as hand to hand fighting.
I was engaged by the first episode and addicted after the second episode.
One of the things that I really like about this series is that it has a large cast, but each of the characters is clearly differentiated and interesting. Even characters with very minor parts, such as a chicken delivery man, have something distinct about them. This is really hard to do when you're working with so many actors and the writers and director should be congratulated on this, as should the actors for bringing the roles to life.
This show is often very cheesy and playing on the heartstrings. But who cares, it's great fun. I really enjoyed the scenes with the North Korean soldiers and the North Korean village life. There was a great deal of charm and humour to be found in these scenes.
It was interesting to see the perceptions that the North and South Korean characters were depicted as having about each other's countries and people. I don't know whether this is factually accurate or not but it made for some good dialogue.
The only thing I didn't like was that at the end of some episodes there were previews of the next episode. For a moment you're not quite sure if this is part of the existing episode and so you end up seeing spoilers. This may just be a Netflix thing. You really have to have your wits about you when using Netflix. Another thing they do is to put their plot summaries on screen when you pause. Often these are huge spoilers rather than a description that just gives you a teaser.
Confusing disjointed story, some peculiar casting and dodgy accents
The first and final episodes in particular of this three part drama were very disjointed and confusing. There were a number of characters with moustaches who all looked very similar and became an indistinguishable blur. The story jumped about and the script was at times clumsy and all in all it was hard to follow.
The series did not know if it was stage or screen and this was distracting. Some of the characters e.g. Cumberbatch, were actors in a film others e.g. Hall, were performers in a theatre.
Some good actors e.g. Hall, Graham and Lawson were miscast. Cumberbatch was good on the whole but his accent drifted about at times, sometimes a bit Churchill, sometimes a bit Sherlock.
It almost found its stride in the second episode but went off the rails again in the final episode.
I watched about 3/4 of the film and then felt no urge to go further on with it, which is unusual for me. I've given it an extra point as it may have picked up in the final quarter.
Some parts were funny, reminiscent of SNL. But as a drama it was unconvincing. Some parts were quite charming, but I found the conflict scenes rather stagey, almost robotic at points. The dialogue was often too neat to be realistic.
I must be missing something as so many others evidently enjoyed the acting and the script.
Some lovely scenes of nature. Three children, successful in their careers, whose lives will be made even more comfortable by an inheritance, who have a brief debate on what to sell from their legacy and what to keep.
Some consideration of various works of art including two unremarkable paintings said to be by Corot, which were knocked out of the park by the cheery panels said to be by Odilon Redon.
The acting was competent, but the only characters I warmed to were the housekeeper and her relative in the brief scenes they were in.