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Mike Church (Kenneth Branagh) is a L.A. gumshoe with a knack for tossing off wisecracks and tracking down missing persons. But Church doesn't have a clue when he's hired to help a beautiful amnesia victim (Emma Thompson) tormented by blood-curdling nightmares. Then an eccentric antiques dealer and hypnotist (Derek Jacobi) leads Church to a startling discovery: The source of the nightmares may lie in a past-life connection to Margaret Strauss, a world-famous pianist allegedly murdered by her composer-husband... in 1948. (Via Vision Entertainment)


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English Dead Again is obviously an ambitious film directed by one of the most respected British film and theater creators, and as such, it is masterfully cast and competently acted. Kenneth Branagh was the life partner of Emma Thompson until their infamous divorce, and so the chemistry between the two main characters truly works. Unfortunately, the form clearly outweighs the content. The screenplay is overly complicated, with a tendency toward pathos, and Branagh fails to understand that today's era is more civilized than the Shakespearean one. Also, the mysterious content goes over my head and I don't really understand the reincarnation and playfulness with fate. The pathos is dominated by the theatrical bloody finale. Overall impression: 50%. ()


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English Kenneth Branagh directed a film that could be called Hitchcockian, both in terms of the tension that is palpable and built on a good script and in terms of the humor used, which is a pleasant seasoning. It works brilliantly until the end, where it almost has a touch of Italian giallo in its madness. It was a surprise to me. ()


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