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All reviews - Movies (2) - Books (1)

The Krays review

Posted : 2 years, 1 month ago on 20 September 2015 01:00 (A review of The Krays)

The Krays is less a biopic and more a character study of two sociopathic, narcissists. A difficult task for seasoned actors, I should have thought, but for relative acting newcomers, the Kemp brothers (Gary only had three previous acting credits, and Martin, only one) it must have been a mighty challenge. But, it's a task, to which, they are both equal.
Gary plays Ronnie Kray as a terrifying mixture of dark, brooding energy and ferocious, sadistic fireball. Martin plays Reggie, the 'sensible' twin, as a more measured, perhaps more 'normal' man, whose character flaws – a narcissism equal to his brother's and a vicious temper – put pay to his marriage (which ends with the suicide of his wife, Frances (Kate Hardie)), and the life of thief and thorn in the twins' side, Jack 'The Hat' McVitie (Tom Bell).
Gary and Martin are both brilliant as the East End crime bosses. The Spandau Ballet pop stars are every bit as good as actors as they are as music icons. Their performances are captivating. They both exude charismatic menace, and ably stand shoulder-to-shoulder, in acting terms, with legends Billy Whitelaw and Steven Berkoff.
The movie is not completely factually accurate, but I don't think that really matters. What does matter is how well the actors do with what they're given, and I don't think any of the principal cast have any worries on that score.


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Freaks review

Posted : 3 years, 6 months ago on 23 April 2014 11:11 (A review of Freaks)

Let me tell you right from the off, that I am a fan of most movies which aim to rattle cages, push the boundaries and force audiences to ask themselves what they find acceptable.
1932's “Freaks” is just such a movie. It was made to cash in on the horror surge of the time, following smash hits like Dracula, of which, “Freaks” helmsman, Tod Browning, was the director.
Browning promised the studio 'the ultimate scary movie', and he delivered big time. As a matter of fact, the picture, which cast genuine circus and side-show performers, only had a brief run in cinemas, as it was met with genuine horror and disgust from audiences. In these, more enlightened times, the feeling people get from watching the film is more one of interest.
If I have a problem with the film, it's not the cast, or the title (though, it does make me cringe slightly), it's that Browning is obviously not sure as to how he wants to present the performers. For most of the movie, they are represented as sympathetic characters, but in one scene, they are depicted more as creatures, as they crawl in the mud.
My favourite part of the film is the ending, when the gold-digging trapeze artist is taught a lesson in the harshest of ways, and it plays like the punchline to the blackest of jokes.


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The Exorcist review

Posted : 3 years, 6 months ago on 23 April 2014 08:56 (A review of The Exorcist)

An excellently written, slow-burning horror with convincing, relatable characters. An absorbing page-turner. Once you start reading, you can't stop until you've read the last word.


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