Bernard Fresson

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French Connection II Review


Good
Popeye Doyle is back -- seriously, what else could 20th Century Fox choose to do after the box-office bonanza of The French Connection and an Oscar win? -- and he's still on the case.

In a lot of ways, French Connection II -- that's right, no "the" -- makes sense. The abrupt ending of the original French Connection had French bad guy Alain Charnier(Fernando Rey) escaping the cops despite dozens surrounding him in a New York warehouse, never to be found. Not a very satisfying ending to have our hero come up emptyhanded -- and not just that, we're merely told about it via title card right before the credits roll!

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The Tenant Review


Excellent
Another classic Roman Polanski freak-out, new to DVD. It's The Tenant, the ultimate look at paranoia and real estate.

In the film, Polanski plays a quiet man who moves into a small apartment recently vacated by a woman who committed suicide by jumping out of the window -- for unknown reasons. Polanski's Trelkovsky quickly becomes embroiled in mysterious goings-on, including a dalliance with a stranger (Isabelle Adjani) he encounters at the hospital while visiting the former tenant's death bed, endless creepy apartment-mates, and a slow descent into insanity as he becomes obsessed with the life of the former tenant.

Continue reading: The Tenant Review

Place Vendôme Review


Good
This French thriller gives us Catherine Deneuve at the top of her game, but unfortunately it gives her little to do. Newly widowed and permanently insane and alcoholic, she finds herself in the possession of seven enormous diamonds -- certainly stolen -- and has to muddle her way through an attempt to sell them. Soon enough she's in this together with her dead husband's much younger mistress (Emmanuelle Seigner), and while no one wants to pony up cash, everyone would be glad to take the diamonds off their hands.

Continue reading: Place Vendôme Review

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