John Neville

John Neville

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A Royal Night Out Trailer


Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth are distinctly unworldly despite their prestigious education as young women, but when World War 2 comes to an end in 1945, even their parents King George and Queen Elizabeth can't deny them the chance to celebrate. And so it is that the girls are allowed to venture out into London, to join the men and women of the country in their parties - albeit going incognito and on the one condition that they are chaperoned by two soldiers. As it turns out, it's impossible to hide their identity for long and soon everyone knows that the future Queen of England and her sister are out fraternising with soldiers - and their royal parents are faced with worry when they are out much later than they should have been.

Continue: A Royal Night Out Trailer

Far From The Madding Crowd - Teaser Trailer


Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is a beautiful young, yet poor woman. After saving the life of a young farmer, he falls utterly in love with her, yet she moves away after realising that she did not love him. When a fire destroys his farm, he goes in search of a new job - finding one as a farm hand, working for Everdene. But as she begins to earn the interest of a further two suitors, Everdene is caught up in a whirlwind of intrigue and controversy. Will Everdene discover true love? Or will she bring destruction to all those who fall under her spell?

Continue: Far From The Madding Crowd - Teaser Trailer

Sunshine (2000) Review


Excellent
Now that the 20th century is finally over, I guess it's time to start re-interpreting it. Hopefully, summarizers of the century will follow the example of Hungarian director Istvan Svabo and honestly face the truth, no matter how painful. (Unfortunately, many intellectuals don't always seem interested in the truth --- especially about subjects like communism, which many continue to embrace.)

In Sunshine, Svabo looks back through the last 100 years of his country's history for meaning, and finds some --- enough to fill a three-hour, soapy epic about the century's chaos. The film mostly works, and is a worthy addition to Svabo's art.

Continue reading: Sunshine (2000) Review

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen Review


Good
Before he made The Brothers Grimm, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was arguably Terry Gilliam's least popular film. The story is slow to start, takes too long to finish, and meanders almost irredeemably until finally paying off in the end. The story is adapted from the "tall tale" book of the same name, which gives us a self-proclaimed baron (John Neville in a career-defining role) who regales anyone who'll listen with story after story, each more absurd than the last. The highlight is the film's first major storytelling sequence, a flashback that involves Munchausen and his band of misfits trying to win a bet -- and doing so in amazing style. But so much of the film is so irrelevant that these feel like huge highlights lost in a sea of mediocrity and bad editing.

Sunshine Review


Excellent
Now that the 20th century is finally over, I guess it's time to start re-interpreting it. Hopefully, summarizers of the century will follow the example of Hungarian director Istvan Svabo and honestly face the truth, no matter how painful. (Unfortunately, many intellectuals don't always seem interested in the truth --- especially about subjects like communism, which many continue to embrace.)

In Sunshine, Svabo looks back through the last 100 years of his country's history for meaning, and finds some --- enough to fill a three-hour, soapy epic about the century's chaos. The film mostly works, and is a worthy addition to Svabo's art.

Continue reading: Sunshine Review

Separate Lies Review


Good
A film that would be perfectly at home on the BBC or PBS, Julian Fellowes' Separate Lies is a solid if somewhat stolid tale of romance, betrayal, and deception that's something akin to Gosford Park (which Fellowes' scripted) by way of In the Bedroom. Adapted from Nigel Balchin's novel A Way Through the Wood, Fellowes' directorial debut is much like its upper-crust married protagonists James (Tom Wilkinson) and Anne Manning (Emily Watson) in that its competent and classy exterior masks a messy, banal interior as it charts the couple's slow disintegration. With made-for-TV blandness, the film chronicles adultery, murder, and deceit involving callous young stallion William Bule (Rupert Everett) and the Mannings' loyal maid Maggie (Linda Bassett). That isn't to say that this well-acted, tasteful film is a waste; rather, it's simply a somewhat stuffy British production whose boilerplate melodrama leaves little room for a revelatory examination of selfishness, sneakiness, self-preservation, and sacrifice.

James and Anne's wealth affords them life's finest luxury accoutrements (residences in both London and the country, fancy cars, servants), but restlessness simmers underneath this apparently cheery, perfect veneer, with Anne soon catapulting their domestic bliss into chaos when she begins a torrid affair with William. When a mysterious Range Rover runs down Maggie's husband, Anne and William come under suspicion for the murder from both the police and James, the latter of whom endeavors to protect his wife (and, equally as important, his own reputation as a big-time barrister) by helping to cover up her possible role in the crime. Fellowes wastes little time on mystery, however, as his prime preoccupation is the method by which relationships crumble due to tragedies both big (the hit-and-run death) and, just as vitally, small (James and Anne's lack of warmth, inability to communicate, and joint desire to sweep unhappiness under the Persian rug lest it disrupt their comfortable existence). And with Anne unwilling to cast aside her youngish paramour to return to her husband, the film quickly becomes a case study in people's inability to fully suppress their most urgent desires and discontent.

Continue reading: Separate Lies Review

The Statement Review


Bad
No matter how much leeway you want to give certain films - whether they star an actress you like or are about a worthy subject - it just isn't enough, and you will end up disliking them no matter how much you don't want to. With some of these films, like The Statement, you end up coming close to actually hating the thing and hoping bad things happen to it.

An ostensible Nazi-hunting thriller that's far too impressed with its supposed moral ambiguity, The Statement is about former Vichy militia Pierre Brossard (Michael Caine) who, back in 1944, helped the Nazis round up and execute seven Jews in a small French town. It's based on the true story of Paul Touvier, who ordered such an execution on June 29, 1944 in southwestern France, and was sentenced to life in prison in 1995.

Continue reading: The Statement Review

Goodbye Lover Review


Good
Patricia Arquette plays a Sound of Music-obsessed, Martha Stewart wannabe, psychotic killer in this slightly clever but ultimately not-clever-enough comedy/film noir. While Arquette is delish, the story ultimately lacks much compelling material that isn't lifted from Double Indemnity or one of its contemporaries. Okay for a Sunday night, but hardly great filmmaking, especially from Roland Joffé, who's done better.

Spider Review


Good
The strangest thing about David Cronenberg's Spider is how out of sync it is with the director's other works. Slow, laconic, and intermittently fascinating, Spider is a movie in which virtually nothing happens. Placed amidst an oeuvre that includes eye-poppers like The Fly, Shivers, Videodrome, and the recent eXistenZ, the movie stands as his most understated piece since 1988's Dead Ringers.

The pacing of Spider is totally understandable, seeing as it entirely takes place in and around a halfway house for recently-released mental patients -- and, obliquely, within the mind of its central character. "Spider" (Ralph Fiennes) is a muttering mess, a paranoid schizophrenic who wears four shirts atop one another and scribbles illegibly in a little book he carefully hides at the end of each day. Just out of the loony bin, Spider hops a train to London, finds his depressing room at the inn, faces annoyed berating at the hands of stern Mrs. Wilkinson (Lynn Redgrave), and immediately begins shutting himself into a cocoon. "Caterpillar" might be a better nickname -- for the man and for the movie.

Continue reading: Spider Review

Hollywood North Review


Good
Here's an idea for a Canadian movie: Canadians make a movie!

Any cinephile knows that Canada's government will gladly fund the production of just about anything a Canadian wants to produce, no matter how bad the script. All it takes is a Canadian cast, crew, and shooting in the country.

Continue reading: Hollywood North Review

John Neville

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John Neville Movies

A Royal Night Out Trailer

A Royal Night Out Trailer

Princess Margaret and Princess Elizabeth are distinctly unworldly despite their prestigious education as young women,...

Far From The Madding Crowd Trailer

Far From The Madding Crowd Trailer

Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is a beautiful young, yet poor woman. After saving the life...

Sunshine Movie Review

Sunshine Movie Review

Now that the 20th century is finally over, I guess it's time to start re-interpreting...

Separate Lies Movie Review

Separate Lies Movie Review

A film that would be perfectly at home on the BBC or PBS, Julian Fellowes'...

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The Statement Movie Review

The Statement Movie Review

No matter how much leeway you want to give certain films - whether they star...

Spider Movie Review

Spider Movie Review

The strangest thing about David Cronenberg's Spider is how out of sync it is with...

Sunshine Movie Review

Sunshine Movie Review

"Sunshine" is a complex, cross-generational saga about the social, romantic and soul-searching struggles of a...

Spider Movie Review

Spider Movie Review

David Cronenberg's "Spider" is a mesmerizing immersion into the precariously unstable mind of a psychiatric...

The Statement Movie Review

The Statement Movie Review

Michael Caine is in the midst of a career Renaissance, giving some of his all-time...

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