countdown boutiques-francophones Learn more vpcflyout Home All-New Kindle sports tools
Profile for Tommy Dooley > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Tommy Dooley
Top Reviewer Ranking: 42
Helpful Votes: 1224

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
El Clan
El Clan
Offered by La Boutique Française
Price: CDN$ 53.57
3 used & new from CDN$ 53.57

4.0 out of 5 stars Argentinean true life crime tale, Oct. 23 2016
This review is from: El Clan (DVD)
After the fall of General Galtieri in 1980’s Argentina; some of the old guard did not accept that democracy and law and order were here to stay. They wanted the old ways back and the money that went hand in hand with corruption. The Puccio family was ahead of the pack, the patriarch was one Arquimedes Puccio played by the ever reliable Guillermo Francella (‘The Secret in their eyes’) and he led his whole family and a gang in kidnap torture and extortion.

His middle son was Alex who was a rising star in Rugby Union and his eldest brother had already done the same but had side stepped the family and escaped to New Zealand. However many hands do make light work and so Arquimedes went out of his way to ensure as many of the Clan as possible were ‘hands on’.

Now this is based on a real story and it is quite amazing that a modern country could allow such atrocities to take place – but that is the way of the World with criminals everywhere. The film itself is Argentina’s biggest earner ever and you can see why. The acting is all great as is the period detail. It jumps around from past to present etc but that is easy to follow. There are some upsetting scenes but the nasty stuff is mostly played down. This is a film that you may get more from on a second viewing but either way it is most certainly worth seeing at least once.

Offered by LOOK&LIKE-CA
Price: CDN$ 22.99
3 used & new from CDN$ 19.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Indian Indie on the lamentable state of the legal system, Oct. 20 2016
This review is from: COURT (DVD)
The basic synopsis is that an aged folk singer and ‘people’s poet’ is arrested mid gig by the Mumbai police. He is taken before a judge where he finds that he is charged with abetting the suicide of a sewerage worker by performing in a slum. This has been done by his suggestive lyrics – and presumably the gullibility of the audience. The film follows the course of his ordeal at the hands of the Indian legal system and of the lawyer who is doing his best to get him released.

Now this is supposed to be a satire but it also comes across as a bit Kafkaesque at times. The acting is all from unknowns and they keep the authenticity level at high by using Marathi, Gujarati, English and Hindu – which is mostly translated well. The camera work is the type where the camera frames the scene and everyone acts within that frame. It has a real feeling of realism as there is always so much going on – just as it would be in real life. The players are not them only players on the stage – just like life where we are only ever the star in our version of reality.

Now I have seen high praise for this film and a lot of criticism. The critics have bemoaned the lack of direction; but that is the point – it is meant to look amateurish as that is how the courts work. The sound levels and white sub titles have caused complaints too, but I was fine with those aspects. It was also panned for the lack of editing – and well I have to agree; there are some scenes that you can fast forward parts as lots of ‘bugger all’ happens. But I think that was done to emphasise the passing of time and the sheer mundanity of the clock ticking being also seen as a weapon of punishment. People being locked up and denied bail is a punishment and it is the passage of that time and it being unlived that hammers that point home. So I think we essentially are suffering for our art.

Anyway it is a compelling watch but will not be for everyone; if you want thrills, action, a love interest or some sort of noir then look elsewhere. This is slow paced in action, takes its time on all levels and has messages both obvious and subtle, but I am glad I stuck with it.

DVD ~ Jose Henrique Fonseca
Price: CDN$ 26.95
11 used & new from CDN$ 5.97

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant Brazilian Crime Story, Oct. 18 2016
This review is from: MAN OF THE YEAR (DVD)
Maiquel (Murilo Benício) is a simple man living in Rio de Janeiro and after he loses a football bet he has to dye his hair blond. When he looks in the mirror he sees a different him and he likes what he sees.

Then on entering his local bar, a local crim and trouble maker, Suel (a very young Wagner Moura), insults him. Maiquel broods on it and then decides to do something about it. This leads to his life changing beyond recognition as his actions catapult him from the scared ordinary man he was to something he had never dreamt of.

Now to say anymore would spoil the plot and, more importantly, the fun, as this is a crime story, a comedy, a love story and a great watch all combined. Everyone plays their parts beautifully and the pacing is perfect. This is one of those films where if you blink you are going to miss something. The humour isn’t forced either as it seems to play perfectly with the actual situations. There is some violence too so this is not a parody or anything and when it need to get serious it does not really pull its punches either.

This is a film I completely loved and it is in Portuguese with some good sub titles, but not the best, and is one of those films where if you were not a fan of World cinema before you watched it, then you most certainly will be by the end.

Behold the Dreamers: A Novel
Behold the Dreamers: A Novel
Offered by Random House Canada, Incorp.
Price: CDN$ 15.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Well realised tale of one families attempt to live the American dream., Oct. 18 2016
Jende Jonga is newly arrived from Cameroon, he is applying for asylum in the USA in order to get a Green Card and be entitled to live and work and realise his dreams of self improvement. He also has his wife and child desperately waiting for him back in his hometown of Limbe.

Then Jende lands a job as a chauffer to a top banker from Wall Street, which pays handsomely. This is all before the World of banking imploded with the sub prime crisis and the pickings were far from lean. Then he can bring his wife over and start to realise their dreams. Neni is that wife and essentially this is her story as she has suffered and waited long and hard for the chance to become a pharmacist and live in the greatest city in the World – New York. So she embraces all that the Big Apple has to offer and starts her studies with gusto.
As the fortunes of the World turned so do those of the family; but husband and wife see things from two opposing perspectives.

Now this is a very well written and realised book. It has a lot of ethnic references but they are done in such a way as to slide nicely into the narrative. The characters are well realised and are all given enough space to be seen to grow or indeed whither. It is a linear plot – mostly – and is a life drama and not a thriller by any sense of the imagining.

It is also taking a look at the way people see immigrants and any promised land – not just America. That part of it could be explored further but using the vehicle of the family as its primary context means that to have done so would have lacked the requisite realism. I actually really enjoyed the read and found that as I turned the last page I was going to miss the characters – especially Neni, so that is some achievement and so I can happily recommend this book to any reader who likes a human story that is told with sensitivity and style.

The Daughter
The Daughter
DVD ~ Sam Neill
Price: CDN$ 17.47

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Moving Australian drama, Oct. 15 2016
This review is from: The Daughter (DVD)
Henry (Geoffrey Rush) is the master in a town where his logging company is the main attraction. His wife has passed away long ago and so he decides to remarry. This coincides with his decision to close the logging factory due to falling sales. The town is imploding but he wants to pull out all these stops for his wedding day.

His estranged son, Christian, has also returned from America and immediately reconnects with old friends and this includes Oliver and his wife and daughter. He has long born a grudge with his father and as old tensions resurface so do nagging questions from the past. It is the answer to those questions that are the setting for the calamity of the future and a delve into the darkness that the past can often hold.

This is a smouldering watch, all the performances are brilliant especially Odessa Young as Hedwig and Ewen Leslie as Oliver. We also have a fine performance from Rush and the ever reliable Sam Neil – both acting royalty in Australia. It keeps the tempo up almost from the start and is a credit to Screen Australia for investing in such a commendable piece of cinema.

Too Late for Tears [Blu-ray] [Import]
Too Late for Tears [Blu-ray] [Import]
Price: CDN$ 60.10
9 used & new from CDN$ 37.38

5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Noir with a great central performance, Oct. 4 2016
Made in 1949 this is one of those films that is a must for all noir fans. Do be warned though as this fell out of copyright some years ago and was widely duplicated – often very badly – but this is the restored version and is an absolute gem.

Late one night a couple are driving to a party that is far from inviting when a slow car tosses a bag into their open top car. The bag is choc full f cash. The wife is Jane Palmer (Lizabeth Scott) and she decides that she is going to hang onto the cash – despite what her husband wants. So she decides to convince him to keep it. He is cut from a different cloth and it soon becomes apparent how far she will go to keep it.

Now Lizabeth Scott is a show stealer here and that is even though everyone else is great too. She is so convincing as the manipulative and self centred vixen and I just loved it. As I said earlier watch out for poor copies or better still get the restored version. For those of you that love fashion, there are some timeless and elegant gowns on display here too and the men all wear zoot suits so you can’t win ‘em all. This is a must for all fans of the genre and one that has aged with style.

The Case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste: The Case Files of Jack Wenlock, Railway Detective by Malcolm Pryce (2015-03-12)
The Case of the 'Hail Mary' Celeste: The Case Files of Jack Wenlock, Railway Detective by Malcolm Pryce (2015-03-12)
by Malcolm Pryce
Edition: Hardcover
3 used & new from CDN$ 59.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Period Comedy thriller from the Master of Aberystwyth., Oct. 4 2016
Malcolm Pryce has struck gold again with this great book. Set just before the nationalisation of the Railways we meet Jack Wenlock a ‘Railway Gosling’ of The Great Western railway’ a rail detective. He and his fellow Goslings are all named after Railway stations and he is on the hunt for the nuns that went missing during the Great War.

On his travels he will have to deal with a whole manner of unsavoury types as well as a secretive Government organisation, the depths of darkest Africa and a down at heels gorilla to name but a few. There is also some romance as one would expect from any self respecting book set in the age of steam.

To say this is a great read is a massive understatement and it is also a bit educational especially as to what Dr Beeching did to our glorious rail history. All the characters are perfectly fleshed out and the plot is as twisty as any Nordic Noir but with the added ingredient of well timed and placed humour. I hope he writes another of this ilk it is very easy to recommend.

Les Cowboys [Blu-ray] [Import]
Les Cowboys [Blu-ray] [Import]
Price: CDN$ 34.29
8 used & new from CDN$ 19.06

4.0 out of 5 stars Tragic French Drama on the search for a daughter, Oct. 3 2016
This film starts in 1994 when we meet father and husband Alain Deland who is a lover of all things American – especially both their kinds of music – Country and Western. His family seem more than happy to participate in the group outings too and from an outsiders perspective they are a perfect nuclear family. Then on a day when they are having a festival his daughter goes missing.

What at first seems to be a case of abduction, or indeed worse, take on a different hue when she decides to contact them. That is when the story takes a massive U turn and nothing is as it should be. This is a remake of ‘The Searchers’ which is one of the best westerns ever made and this take – though original – is far removed from the sheer timeless beauty of the original John Ford classic

Now this starts off fairly light hearted at the beginning but it soon gets very dark very quickly – which is like the original. That is where the similarities end. It does have a bristling, brooding quality that makes it very compelling. It is a hard watch in places and that is in part due to the energy that Francois Damiens brings as the grieving father. This is a film that deals with difficult themes in a realistic way and is both well aced, directed, written and is for fans of Gallic cinema.

The Masked Saint
The Masked Saint
DVD ~ Brett Granstaff
Price: CDN$ 14.95
10 used & new from CDN$ 12.84

2.0 out of 5 stars A Faith Based wrestling movie - that sort of fails., Sept. 29 2016
This review is from: The Masked Saint (DVD)
Brett Granstaff plays Chris who is an ex Professional and masked wrestler. He retires to become a Pastor in a parish that is on the wrong side of the tracks. Once there he sees the crime and violence and a church in the grip of a megalomaniac and a congregation that is dwindling beyond the point where the church could be economically viable.

So he resurrects his old job to help his new community. This film is based on the true life of such a Pastor – so is the film any good? Well yes and no, it is watchable in a very basic way. The good guys wear white and the bad guys black. There is no subtlety here at all of ambiguity that would help to give the plot any kind of authenticity.

The acting and dialogue is terrible in places and the direction is almost missable. It is though the story that lacks credibility and the idea of marrying a Christian story with the violence of ‘wrestling’ seems a bit incongruous – and it is. It is funny – when it is not meant to be and cringe worthy when it tries. If you like a guilty pleasure of a film though this sort of works. I found it to be watchable but no one was preparing an Oscar acceptance speech whilst this was in production.

Septembers of Shiraz [Import]
Septembers of Shiraz [Import]
Price: CDN$ 22.58
17 used & new from CDN$ 16.28

3.0 out of 5 stars Good acting in a movie based ‘on real events’ that is far removed from reality., Sept. 28 2016
This was a film I was looking forward to seeing. It is about a Jewish businessman – Isaac (Adrien Brody) who is a successful jeweller. He is married to the wonderful Farnez – Selma Hayek in late 1970’s Iran. We get some scene setting but not a lot about the toppling of the Shah and very little about Ayatollah Khomeini; just that The Revolutionary Guard have taken over .

Then the Guard come calling and Isaac is arrested and their whole World goes south in a very bad way. Now this is not a true story it is based on real events and those events are portrayed in a seemingly black and white way that supporters of the Ayatollah will see as very one sided. There is an attempt to balance the books but it sort of lacks credibility. Some of the scenes too were a bit of a stretch – but to say any of the detail could be a plot reveal – which I do not want to do.

The acting is all very good, but there is some unfortunate CGI, blue screen and the period detail is all wrong. They do not have a single Hillman Hunter on the street shots and at the time 90% of all cars were Hunters, they even assembled them there. The action is also very lame and the actions of some of the players lacked all credulity, it was almost sanitised as I remember all too well the carnage that was shown on our screens at the time. It would have been nice to have had a better portrayal of what actually took place to a country that was at a cross roads in its history and some could say is still paying the price today.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20