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 What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Aug 05, 2014 4:03 am

The Roaring Twenties (2nd view) - Probably around 12/13 since I first saw this, it felt almost like a new watch. Superb film and Cagney was rarely better - 4/5




A Clockwork Orange (2nd view) - Another one I haven't seen for a little over a decade, but I remember more of it than Twenties, perhaps due to over-familiarity with the soundtrack. One of Kubrick's best films, sublime score and cinematography - 4/5




The Purge (1st view) - Great premise that the film doesn't live up to - 3/5*


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Aug 07, 2014 12:56 pm

The Armstrong Lie (1st view) - Interesting doc. Lots of this was new to me as pretty much all I knew about Armstrong was he was a cyclist who'd won a few races, lied about taking drugs and turned up in Dodgeball - 4/5*




Night Of Truth (1st view) - Not seen that many African films. In fact, Moolaade might be the only other one. This, about a possible peacful resolution between two warring tribes, is the lesser of the but still a good watch - 4/5*




_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:39 pm

Becket (1964), based upon the 1959 play of the same name by French playwright Jean Anouilh, which was optioned by producer Hal B. Wallis (True Grit (1969)), and directed by Peter Glenville (Hotel Paradiso (1966) and The Comedians (1967)), this is a power character drama which put two of the most enigmatic actors of the time together on screen. It makes for a riveting period piece that is beautifully put together. Set between 1160 and 1170, it focuses on the friendship between Saxon protégé Thomas Becket (Richard Burton) and King Henry II (Peter O'Toole). When Henry makes Becket his Lord Chancellor, it becomes a decision he soon comes to regret, and after falling out with Theodore of Bec, the Archbishop of Canterbury (Felix Aylmer), Henry appoints Becket as the new Archbishop of Canterbury, but after Becket excommunicates Lord Gilbert (Donald Wolfit) over the murder of a priest for misdemeanors. Henry completely loses it, and Becket escapes to France, where he goes to French King Louis VII (John Gielgud), where they discuss what Becket's next move should be. It's a well made film, maybe a little overlong for it's own good, but it benefits from lush cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth, but it's worth it for the battle of wills at the heart of the film played out by Burton and O'Toole, who play off each other brilliantly. O'Toole reprised King Henry II for The Lion in Winter (1968). 4/5



In The Electric Mist (2009), directed by Bertrand Tavernier (Round Midnight (1985), Life and Nothing But (1989) and The Bait (1995)), and based on the 1993 book In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke, the book was the 6th in Burke's Dave Robicheaux series, the character had been done for the screen before in Heaven's Prisoners (1995), this is a dark piece of Southern Gothic, full of damaged souls. In Iberia Parish, Louisiana. Detective Dave Robicheaux (Tommy Lee Jones) has just arrested Hollywood stars Elrod Sykes (Peter Sarsgaard) and his girlfriend Kelly Drummond (Kelly Macdonald) for drink driving. Elrod tells Dave about a decaying body they found. Dave investigates further, and finds there are similarities to previous murders gone before. All fingers point to Mafia associate Julie "Baby Feet" Balboni (John Goodman), who claims not to know anything. Meanwhile, Dave investigates the film production being made nearby that Elrod and Kelly are in. Dave interviews the film's producer  Michael Goldman (John Sayles), who is vague with details. It's a good murder mystery, and it benefits from having a good setting in the exotic landscape of Southern Louisiana, it has a good ensemble case as well and this should have been given more recognition than it did, it went straight to DVD in America, where it was recut heavily, which is a sad shame really 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:36 pm

Funny People (2009), Judd Apatow directs his third feature film and his umpteenth as writer and producer. Now at the top of his game, and with quite a few successes to his name, he had the power to now take a bit of a gamble with his next film, and mix some serious drama into it. It's a big risk, and sometimes it mars the film, but for the most part, it does work against the odds, and it has some brilliant performances in it. It begins with world famous comedian George Simmons (Adam Sandler), who learns that he has a terminal disease, a rare form of leukaemia. Now having to reassess his life, he meets rising stand-up comedian Ira Wright (Seth Rogen). George takes interest in Ira's style of comedy believing it could give his career a much needed boost, and he hires Ira as his personal assistant. Ira helps George to come to terms with his treatment, and to patch up bad blood with George's ex-girlfriend Laura (Leslie Mann), but she's now living in San Francisco, married to Clarke, with two children. So, George and Ira end up going to stay with Laura, with mixed results. It's a touching film, (ever so loosely based on The Great Gatsby), but it has heart and a good sense of humour. It's very frank, and it shows the dark side of fame, but the stand-up routines are genuinely funny. Sandler and Rogen make a good pair, and the support from Mann, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzmann are equally as good. 3.5/5



30 Minutes or Less (2011), directed by Ruben Fleischer, (Zombieland (2009), Gangster Squad (2013)), this is a stoner comedy which shares blood with Pineapple Express (2008), but the humour in this is blacker, and it has moments of suspense, action and very funny dialogue, which makes for a good mixture and a good 83 minutes of film. Fleischer has the makings of a great director, and he does well with his second film. In Cedar Rapids, Michigan, stoner pizza delivery driver Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) lives the life of a slacker, getting by on weed and bumming off other people. However, he gets more than he bargained for when he delivers to Dwayne King (Danny McBride) and Travis Cord (Nick Swardson), two psychotic delinquents who have a plan. Dwayne is sick of being overpowered by his father, The Major (Fred Ward), and he wants an assassin to pick off his Dad, but he needs $100,000 to do it. So, he straps a bomb to Nick, and tells him to rob a bank, otherwise Nick dies. Nick ends up getting his friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) involved in trying to rob the bank as well, but nothing goes to plan, and Nick and Chet try to play Dwayne and Travis at their own game. It's a very good film which manages to do a lot with short running time and a limited budget, kinda like what Zombieland did. It's got a funny script and good performances by Eisenberg and McBride. There are bits that do suspend belief, but maybe that's the point, it's rude and down n' dirty and proud of it, and it works too. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:14 pm

The Star Chamber (1983), directed by Peter Hyams (Capricorn One (1978), Outland (1981) and End of Days (1999), from a script Hyams co-wrote with Roderick Taylor (American Outlaws (2001) and The Brave One (2007)), this is a thought-provoking thriller which focuses on the injustice of technicalities in the judicial system and an alternate way to sort out criminals. It's a good thriller, one of 80's cinema's best kept secrets. Los Angeles Judge Steven Hardin (Michael Douglas) believes in the law, but he's let down time and again when criminals who are clearly guilty of violent crimes are being let off the hook due to technicalities with how the evidence was obtains by officers not going by the rules. After having to let two criminals go, which leads to a shooting in the court room. Hardin loses patience, but his friend and fellow Judge Benjamin Caulfield (Hal Holbrook) lets him join The Star Chamber, where he and other judges go after criminals who were let go due to technicalities. Hardin joins, but after learning that one criminal is in fact innocent, Hardin has a change of heart. It's an indictment on how the law works, and it does show that the law is an ass, but vigilantism doesn't make it right. It has a good cast, and it's a bit of a forgotten 80's thriller, and even a remake wouldn't hurt it, as it's socially relevant now as it was back in the 1980's, it's also one of Hyams best films as a director. 4/5



The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), after the successes of The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958) and The Mummy (1959), Hammer Films decided to take on Sherlock Holmes, by adapting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1902 Holmes book The Hound of the Baskervilles. It's mix of gothic horror and mystery made it perfect material for Hammer, and it's actually one of the best Sherlock Holmes films of them all too. Sherlock Holmes (Peter Cushing) and Dr. Watson (André Morell), are approached by Dr. Richard Mortimer (Francis de Wolff) to investigate the murder of Sir Hugo Baskerville (David Oxley), who was mauled on the moors surrounding his grounds by some beast. Watson goes off first to meet the new owner of Baskerville Hall, Sir Henry (Christopher Lee), Hugo's brother who has arrived from South Africa. Watson also meets locals Stapleton (Ewen Solon) and his daughter Cecille (Marla Landi), who seem to have an agenda all of their own, and they have something to have. When Holmes arrives, he also suspects that Stapleton has something to hide. This film should have had Hammer making a franchise of Sherlock Holmes films, but sadly, this was the only one they made, which is a shame, as Cushing makes a brilliant Holmes, and it's one of Hammer's most lavish films, and it's one of the few they spent big bucks on. It's suspenseful and very compelling to watch. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:47 pm

The Phantom of the Opera (1962), from Hammer Films, and directed by Hammer veteran Terence Fisher, (The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958)), this one came about after Hammer joined forces with Universal Pictures, who owned the screen rights to Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera. With Hammer's reputation as a successful horror studio on the rise, this was a great project for them, and it shows. Set in Victorian London in 1900 at the London Opera House, a new opera by the pompous Lord Ambrose D'Arcy (Michael Gough) is plagued by incidents at the hands of an alleged Phantom. This puts D'Arcy at loggerheads with opera house manager Lattimer (Thorley Walters). Meanwhile, chorus girl Christine Charles (Heather Sears) hears voices, something opera producer Harry Hunter (Edward de Souza) reassures her over. When more accidents occur, D'Arcy resigns as does the shows star Maria (Liane Aukin). Then, Christine comes into contact with the Phantom (Herbert Lom), who explains why he sabotages the opera, and the vendetta he has against D'Arcy. This is a very lavish film, and the production, including the opera scenes are very well staged. However, it was a troubled production, which went over budget and even Fisher fell out of favour with Hammer for a few years, which is a shame, as it's actually a good one. 4/5



Paranoiac (1963), from Hammer Films, this was one of their suspense films, written by Hammer veteran Jimmy Sangster (The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958) and Fear in the Night (1972)), and directed by Freddie Francis (The Evil of Frankenstein (1964), Hysteria (1965) and Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)), this is a suspenseful film which was based on the 1949 book Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey. Set in the South of England, it focuses on the decendants of the wealthy Ashby family, the mother and father of the family were killed in a plane accident, and the 3 children have been raised by their aunt Harriet (Sheila Burrell). The oldest child Tony committed suicide when he was 15 by throwing himself into the sea. The second son Simon (Oliver Reed) is a nasty alcoholic who squanders his money, while the daughter Eleanor (Janette Scott) was driven insane by Tony's death. However, with the family being split apart, a man claiming to be Tony (Alexander Davion) turns up claiming he faked his death, but Simon doesn't believe him. It's a good thriller, and it has some good moments of suspense throughout, and it does actually mirror what Reed became in real life, but he does turn in a very good, powerful performance. The film is benefitted by some brilliant widescreen cinematography by Arthur Grant, shot in a stark, sharp black and white. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:08 pm

A Hard Days Night (1964), The Beatles, the worlds greatest Rock and Roll band, made a brilliant transition to the world of cinema with this almost new-wave style semi-mockumentary. It captures the era it was made in brilliantly, as well as the whole craze of Beatlemania. It would help put it's director, Richard Lester on the map as a truly unique director with an inimitable style, and it reaffirmed the groups success. It follows the lads, John, Paul, George and Ringo, at the height of their fame, in one day. It begins on a train from Liverpool to London, where we meet Paul's mischievious Grandfather (Wilfred Brambell), and their roadies, Shake (John Junkin) and Norm (Norman Rossington), and it ends in a TV studio where they'll be performing live in front of a large audience on live TV. But, the boys are able to find other little pursuits to follow in the run up to the show. Ringo goes AWOL and gets into trouble with the police, and they clash with the show's successful director (Victor Spinetti). It's a brilliant little film, done almost like a French New Wave film, the Beatles give brilliant performances, and they have natural charisma, but Brambell nearly steals the film as the troublemaking grandfather. The songs, as expected, are perfect, and it's different in style and structure from other pop films that were being made by flash-in-the-pan stars of the time. But, The Beatles weren't done with film yet... 5/5



Under The Skin (2013), written and directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast (2000) and Birth (2004), and loosely adapted from Michel Faber's 2000 of the same name. This is one of the most weirdest, and self-indulgent science fiction films ever made, and it owes more than a massive debt of gratitude to the films of Nicolas Roeg. Glazer worked on the adaptation for years until he got an approach he wanted, and it shows. Set in and around Glasgow and into the Scottish highlands, it follows a nameless alien who takes the form of a human woman (Scarlett Johansson), who crawls around the streets of Glasgow in a Ford Transit van, picking up random men on the street, and she takes them back to her house, which is a literal black void, where the men follow her into the blackness before being sucked into an abyss of black liquid. However, after picking up a disfigured man (Adam Pearson), the alien has a change of heart, and allows him to escape. Now there's a motorcyclist after the alien, and now she ends up on the run across the Scottish Highlands. Hardly any of it makes sense, and it does have an ambient quality about it, plus it's interesting to see Johansson walking incognito around Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow, most of the film was filmed with hidden cameras, adding to the voyeuristic quality of the film. But it is beautifully made, but it's a tough nut to crack. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Aug 09, 2014 2:31 pm

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), from Marvel Studios, based on the comic created by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and adapted and directed here by James Gunn (Slither (2006) and Super (2010)), this is Marvel's riskiest film to date, and it could have been an absolutely insane mess, but the final result is a heart-felt, old fashioned sci-fi adventure with some brilliant characters and some genuine belly laughs too. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) was taken by aliens in 1988, and now he's a thief going by the name of Star-Lord, and he's stolen an orb, which is also wanted by the fanatic Ronan (Lee Pace), who sends his personal assassin Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to get the Orb back. When Quill tries to sell the Orb, he's intercepted by bounty hunter Rocket (Bradley Cooper), who happens to be a raccoon, and his personal muscle Groot (Vin Diesel), a humanoid tree. The four of them end up being arrested and thrown in a jail on Kyln. They manage to escape with Drax (Dave Bautista), to try and get the Orb back and stop it from falling into the hands of Ronan. It's a film with one foot looking forwards and the other foot firmly planted in past, giving nods and winks to all the great sci-fi films of the 1970's and 80's, but it's a brilliant origin story and it has a brilliant ensemble cast holding it all together, and the sequel cannot come soon enough!! This is Marvel's best film to date. 5/5



Gregory's Girl (1981), written and directed by Bill Forsyth, who had made his start in film by making documentaries around his native Scotland, but with doing these, he had been able to get funding for his first feature That Sinking Feeling (1980), which the critics liked. After that, he got money from Scottish Television for another film, and it's a sweet, heartfelt romantic comedy about growing pains and love. Set in the Scottish newtown of Cumbernauld, Gregory Underwood (John Gordon Sinclair) is a socially awkward teenager who plays in the football team of his secondary school, but they're not doing too well, and he's hopeless as a goalkeeper. Things change when the team's Coach Phil Menzies (Jake D'Arcy) lets Dorothy (Dee Hepburn) onto the all male team, and Gregory falls for Dorothy. But, his awkwardness means he's not confident enough to ask Dorothy out on a date, however Gregory ends up getting advice from his 10 year old sister Madeleine (Allison Forster), of all people, on how to win Dorothy over and ask her out. It's a lovely little film with some amusing little details, like a pupil in a penguin suit wandering around the school, and it was made for little money, but it helped Forsyth get on the road to fame with the likes of Local Hero (1983) and Comfort and Joy (1984). But, it was the start of a good trio of films from Forsyth. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Aug 11, 2014 3:16 am

How To Train Your Dragon 2 (1st view) - I want a dragon - 4/5*





Robocop (1st view) - Hardly the world's best film but neither is the original and everyone seems to love that - 4/5*




Need For Speed (1st view) - After six years on Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul can do tortured soul pretty well. Dominic Cooper remains charisma free - 3/5*



_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Aug 12, 2014 3:42 am

God Bless America (1st view) - After being fired from his job, realising his daughter wants nothing to do with him and being diagnosed with an inoperable tumour, middle aged Frank goes on a killing, spree ridding America of people he doesn't believe are nice - a bratty reality TV star, folk who talk in the cinema, a man who takes up two parking spaces with his car etc. He's joined on his cross-country cleanse by teenager Roxy, who herself has a long list of people she'd like to see dead. With two great central performances from Joel Murray and Tara Lynne Barr, the digs the films makes might be obvious but it's also very, very funny. I need to check out some more of director Bobcat Goldthwait's films - 4/5*


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:44 pm

Betty Blue (1986), from French director Jean-Jacques Beineix (Diva (1981), Moon In The Gutter (1983) and IP5: L'île aux pachydermes (1992)) and based on the 1985 novel by Philippe Djian. This is a steamy yet engaging erotic romantic drama which focuses on all the phrases of a relationship. The good thing about the film is that nearly 30 years on, it hasn't aged at all, and it's still socially relevant today as it was back in 1986. On a beach shack on the South coast of France lives Betty (Béatrice Dalle) and Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade), a passionate couple. Zorg works as a handyman, and is painting the 500 beach shacks in the community. But, Betty's temper causes Zorg to nearly lose his job, so they both leave for Paris, where after reading some of Zorg's work that he's written, and she urges him to try and take up writing again. But, Zorg finds rejection at every corner. They live with Eddy (Gérard Darmon), but when he inherits a piano shop in rural France, Betty and Zorg move out there with Eddy to breathe new life into their relationship, and they try for parenthood. It's a compelling and moving film, and it's beautifully made as well. It's tone is all over the place, going from passionate drama to amusing farce, however it manages to work well. The 3 hour directors cut might seem a chore, but it isn't, it's a pleasure to watch and it lives up to it's hype. 4/5



Hitman (2007), based on the computer game series published by IO Interactive, directed by Xavier Gens (The Divide (2011)), written by Skip Woods (Swordfish (2001) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)) and produced by Luc Besson. This is a silly action film that adds nothing new to the video game adaptation genre and it doesn't do it any favours either. It could have been a good film, but bad decisions ruined it. Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) along with dozens of other young men, was trained since birth to be a professional assassin, working for a mysterious company known as The Organization. For one of 47's assignments, he's ordered to assassinate Russian President Mikhail Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen), which he seemingly does, but when 47 is told there was a witness to the hit, called Nika (Olga Kurylenko). When 47 intercepts Nika, she tells 47 nothing is what it seems, and Belicoff had a body double, who is planning something deadly. Meanwhile, Interpol agent Mike Whittier (Dougray Scott) is hot on 47's tail, trying to get him. It's all been seen before, and done better, both before and after. It didn't help that this had a troubled production, the first cut was badly received,  Fox had director Gens fired and they had the film re-edited. Even though it did well financially, Fox were so fed up they cancelled a potential sequel, and it's being rebooted now. 2/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:08 pm

The Negotiator (1998), directed by F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job (2003) Be Cool (2005) Law Abiding Citizen (2009)), and written by James DeMonaco (Jack (1996) and The Purge (2013)) and Kevin Fox (TV's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)), this action thriller was partially based on a real scandal that occured within the St. Louis Police Department in the late 1980's, which is used to drive the plot in this twisting thriller. In Chicago, Lieutenant Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson) is one of the top hostage negotiators in the city. After a successful operation, he finds himself being warned by colleague Nathan Roenick (Paul Guilfoyle) about large sums of money being embezzled from the disability fund of the police force. When Roenick turns up dead, Roman ends up being prime suspect. Internal Affairs investigator Niebaum (J.T. Walsh finds evidence that Roman stole the money. With no-one believing him, Roman takes matters into his own hands, and takes Niebaum and a few others hostage and won't talk to anyone but Lt. Chris Sabian (Kevin Spacey), who was Roenick's informant. It's a good thriller and Jackson and Spacey make a good pairing, even though they don't share the screen until much later on in the film. But, it makes for a good film, a lot of 90's action thrillers end up dating badly, but this one hasn't, it still stands up today, and it's one which has brains as well as brawn. 4/5



The Dilemma (2011), directed by Ron Howard, his first comedy since the hugely underrated EdTV (1999), this one came from an idea by Howard's long-time producing partner Brian Grazer, who gave it to screenwriter Allan Loeb (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) and Rock of Ages (2012)), this comedy-drama tries to be something like Howard's own Parenthood (1989), but it doesn't know what it wants to be. Set in Chicago, best friends Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) work for a small car design firm, who are looking to design an eco-friendly car for Dodge. Ronny has been dating girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Connelly) for some time, while Nick is in a happy marriage to Geneva (Winona Ryder). While out for dinner to propose to Beth, Ronny notices Geneva there, kissing another man called Zip (Channing Tatum). This puts Ronny in an awkward jam, as he doesn't know how to tell Nick that his wife is cheating on another man, so he confronts Geneva about it, who then threatens to claim tell Nick that Ronny hit on her, but Ronny won't give in. It should have been a good film, especially with the pedigree of talent on board, but it swerves uncomfortably between cheesy comedy and dark domestic drama, which don't marry well at all, plus it would have worked better had it been made 20 years previously, but it just feels strange rather than funny. 2/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:06 pm

Help! (1965), And NOW For Something Completely Different!! The Beatles followed up A Hard Days Night (1964) with this hilarious, zany, surreal and ABSOLUTELY BONKERS comedy caper musical. It's a much better film, and they show greater confidence with their acting. Richard Lester also returned, and he stages some brilliant set pieces with this film. It definitely has an influence of surrealist comedy about it, and that's good. The film has an Eastern cult led by Clang (Leo McKern) chasing Ringo as he has a sacred ring of theirs on his finger, sent by a potential sacrifice victim. It won't come off his finger unless he shows courage, (he has none), and it takes John, Paul, George and Ringo to Austria, Salisbury Plain, Buckingham Palace and the Bahamas. They're chased by the religious nuts, and two mad, bumbling scientists Professor Foot (Victor Spinetti) and Algernon (Roy Kinnear) who could rule the world with the ring, but Klang's assistant Ahme (Eleanor Bron), seeks to protect the Fab Four, and get the ring off. Director Lester is at the peak of his powers here, (it's colour is lovely, as is the camerawork), there's no real plot so to speak, but the zany humour more than makes up for that!! The dialogue is surrealist, ("Hold! Release him or I shoot, and I am a dead-eye shot, shooting!" or "This is no time for foolish tricks, this is a hired-car!"), but and the music and humour make up for any sense... Razz 5/5



Flesh For Frankenstein (1973), after the cult underground success of Chelsea Girls (1966), Flesh (1968) and Trash (1970), directed Paul Morrissey his producing partner Andy Warhol decided to move away from avant-garde film-making, and do something linear, but still provocative. They headed to Italy to do an adaptation of Frankenstein and an adaptation of Dracula. This came first, and it is very shocking to watch. Baron von Frankenstein (Udo Kier) is in an incestuous marriage with his own sister Katrin (Monique van Vooren), and Frankenstein has aspirations of creating the perfect creature, as he's been disappointed with his current creations, as they don't capture the essence of what he wants, which is a a perfect Serbian. But when randy stableboy Nicholas (Joe Dallesandro) and his friend Sacha (Srdjan Zelenovic) go to a local bordello, Sacha ends up being kidnapped by Frankenstein's assistant Otto (Arno Juerging), who takes him back to Frankenstein, who uses Sacha's head for his new creature. By this point, Nicholas discovers what's happening, but he's having a sexual affair with Katrin, while Frankenstein has a female creation (Dalila Di Lazzaro) for his pleasure. This schlocky and gory horror film has Frankenstein utter the following dialogue, "To know death, Otto, you have to fuck life in the gall bladder!" That kinda sums up the whole tone of the film, and it's no surprise that this was branded as a video nasty in the UK back in the 1980's, but it's gory fun. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Aug 17, 2014 11:53 pm

A Bucket of Blood (1959), produced and directed by the great Roger Corman, this schlocky horror-comedy was made for American International Pictures for a meagre $50,000 and filmed in a marathon 5 days, and using left oversets from another American International production Diary of a High School Bride (1959), Corman was able to do a lot with very little, and the quick shoot was something he would repeat a few times. At the beatnick Yellow Door Cafe, dimwitted busboy Walter Paisley (Dick Miller) is inspired to make art after hearing poetry read by Maxwell H. Brock (Julian Burton). He wants to create a sculture of the cafe's hostess Carla (Barboura Morris), but he finds making a sculpture hard, and he's distracted by his meddling landlady Mrs. Surchart (Myrtle Vail). After accidentally killing Mrs. Surchart's cat Frankie trying to rescue it from a being stuck, he takes the corpse of the cat, and turns it into a sculpture, which becomes critically acclaimed at the cafe. Due to circumstances beyond Walter's control, he makes more sculptures from dead people, which makes him a star. It's an incredibly silly film, with a tone that Corman would use again for his later horror films. But it does have a very likable charm, and Corman relishes with having low production values, he makes the most of having nothing to work with. Maybe that's a technique filmmakers should try revisiting today. 4/5



The Inbetweeners 2 (2014), it had to happen, the e4 series was a massive success, and the first film from 2011, which everyone expected to be a complete disaster actually worked as a film, and was a massive success at the UK box-office, raking in £41 million during it's cinema run. A sequel was inevitable, and series creators Damon Beesley and Iain Morris worked on a plot that would work, and thankfully, it does work. Will McKenzie (Simon Bird), Simon Cooper (Joe Thomas) and Neil Sutherland (Blake Harrison) are now all at university, and are unlucky in love. Until they get an email from their friend Jay Cartwright (James Buckley), who is spending a gap year out in Australia, where he claims he owns a nightclub and lives in a mansion. He invites the other 3 to fly out there to see him, when they do arrive, they find Jay is actually working as a toilet attendant and he's living in a tent in his uncle's garden. They decide to travel to Byron Bay, where Will wants to impress his old friend Katie (Emily Berrington), but he's constantly embarrassed by his 3 friends. It could have been a carbon copy of the first film, especially as they've gone abroad again, but it manages to have some genuinely funny jokes, and there's a good sense of camaraderie between the cast in this one, and they make it feel like a true lad's own adventure, with a lot of very dirty jokes and funny dialogue along the way. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:19 am

The Holy Mountain (1973), written and directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose avant-garde acid western El Topo (1970), had become a critically acclaimed underground cult hit, Jodorowsky was given money by ABKCO boss Allen Klein, as well as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, to make a follow-up film. Filmed entirely in Mexico on a budget of $750,000, it's one of the most insane films ever made, but it's absolutely unforgettable. A thief (Horacio Salinas) goes to a big city to make money from tourists, which he does so by his resemblance to Jesus Christ. After noticing a crowd gathered around a large tower, the thief decides to try and go up to the tower, especially when he hears there's gold up there. He gets up to the top of the tower, where he meets the Alchemist (Jodorowsky), who gives the thief a choice of being his apprentice, and the Alchemist shows the Thief seven people who represent the planets in astrological terms, and they are gathered before the Alchemist where they burn their money, and set off as a party to Lotus Island to discover the secret of immortality. If you've seen El Topo, you'll probably know what to expect with this, but it does have some scenes that you'll never see in other films, like human excrement being turned into gold. But it's a shame Jodorowsky hasn't made more films, as he has a way of filmmaking like no other, and this has a touch of what he could have done with Dune. 4/5



The Double (2013), directed by Richard Ayoade (Submarine (2010), co-written with Avi Korine (Mister Lonely (2007)), and loosely based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's 1846 novella. This is a bleak thriller and a pitch black comedy all in one. It owes a lot of the works of Franz Kafka, David Lynch and Terry Gilliam, and it's a major step forward for Ayoade as a director, after this, who knows where he'll go, he's made an indelible mark. Set in a bleak future, Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg) lives a quiet existence, but he gets treat badly by most people he encounters everyday, even his boss Mr. Papadopoulos (Wallace Shawn) ignores him. However, when Simon meets co-worker Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), who lives in an apartment opposite him. He feels he can get ahead in life, but he gets the shock of his life when a new worker starts at his workplace, James Simon (Eisenberg again), who is identical to Simon, but has a more abrasive and impulsive than Simon. Soon, James takes over Simon's life, and this drives Simon to near insanity, and he has to take action. It's a dark and mysterious film, and certainly not a film for everybody. But Ayoade gives it an offbeat edge with a lot of visual wit on display and a lot of colourful characters. You won't see another film like this soon, but it shows what can be done with a lot of imagination and a limited budget. Absolutely brilliant. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:45 am

Father's Day (1997), directed by Ivan Reitman, this is a Hollywood remake of Francis Veber's Les Comperes (1983), this is a very funny comedy that sank without trace upon release, but time has been kind to this film, and it's alot funnier than most comedies out today, and it's one of the last good comedies directed by Reitman too. 17 year old Scott Andrews (Charlie Hofheimer) has ran away from home, and after mother Collette (Nastassja Kinski) has no joy in trying to find him, she turns to two former lovers she dated around the time Scott was conceived. Lawyer Jack Lawrence (Billy Crystal) who is hard-nosed and cynical, and then depressive, suicidal wannabe playwright Dale Putley (Robin Williams), she tells both of them that they are the father, but by an unfortunate coincidence, Jack and Dale end up meeting and they soon discover they are looking for the same boy. It takes them from San Francisco to Sacremento to Reno, where they discover Scott is with friends following rock band Sugar Ray, Scott is in shock when Jack and Dale tell him who they are, but they soon discover that Scott is in big trouble with drug dealers. It's an amusing farce with some good moments of farce and it's stars play well off each other too, it was a massive flop unfortunately, but it manages to hold one's attention for 90 minutes, and it's a good laugh as well. 4/5



World's Greatest Dad (2009), written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, (Zed in Police Academy), this was his 4th film as director after Shakes the Clown (1992), Windy City Heat (2003) and Sleeping Dogs Lie (2006). This is a shocking black comedy which touches on subjects which shouldn't be bedmates for comedy, but it is, and it works too, plus it's star turns in a brilliant performance. English teacher Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) is stuck in a rut of a life, his job is under threat. Lance is an aspiring author, but his submissions to publishers have all been rejected. He's a single father as well to his foul-mouthed, perverted slob of a son Kyle (Daryl Sabara), who is obnoxious and rude to everyone. Just as when things are starting to look up for Lance when he starts dating fellow teacher Claire (Alexie Gilmore), Kyle accidentally kills himself during a bit of autoerotic asphyxiation. Lance is stricken with grief, but he doesn't want people to know how Kyle died, so he stages it to look like suicide, and writes a suicide note, which touches the hearts and minds of everyone at school, and Lance writes a journal that passes off as his son's own work. It's such a dark and tragic subject matter, it's a wonder there's anything comedic about it at all. But, Goldthwait does it in such an offbeat manner that makes it funny, and it's good to see Williams back doing what he does best, and black comedy seems to suit his talents, (see Death to Smoochy (2002)), Goldthwait is a good writer and director, and it would be good to see more from him. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:02 am

I really want to see Flesh For Frankenstein.

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Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:20 am

Brace yourself then!!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:25 am

Blood for Dracula (1974), after making Flesh for Frankenstein (1973), director Paul Morrissey and producer Andy Warhol, shot this very gory take on Dracula back to back with the Frankenstein film in Italy, using much of the same cast and crew, and much of the film was improvised on the spot. It has a schlocky, Euro-pudding spirit that separates it from the cheesy Hammer Dracula's that were being made around the time. In the 1920's, Count Dracula (Udo Kier) is dying and he must drink the blood of virgins in order to survive. He has his servant Anton (Arno Juerging) transport him from Transylvania to Italy after Anton suggests there might be more virgins in a Catholic country like Italy. Dracula takes up residence in a grand estate belonging to Marchese di Fiore (Vittorio De Sica), who is trying to marry off his daughters in order to get some money. His daughters are Esmeralda (Milena Vukotic), Saphiria (Dominique Darel), Rubinia (Stefania Casini) and Perla (Silvia Dionisio), 2 of them have it off with handyman Mario (Joe Dallesandro), but that doesn't stop Dracula's wicked ways. It's a very daft film, but for it's low budget values and dodgy acting, it does have a likable and compelling charm about it. There is a lot of blood and gore on display, and it's interesting that Kier's portrayal Dracula is a very ill man, which gives it depth. Plus it does have a shocking conclusion which is quite effective. 4/5



Honky Tonk Freeway (1981), directed by John Schlesinger, who after nearly 2 decades of making quite serious minded films, decided he wanted to try his hand at making a comedy. He was pitched this idea by producer Don Boyd (The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980) and Aria (1987)), which was a satire on American commercialism and America's love with the open road. Some of it works, and some of it doesn't In the sleepy Florida town of Ticlaw, the town's mayor is dismayed when Kirby T. Calo (William Devane) is dismayed when they learn a nearby freeway being built will have no turn off to Ticlaw, even though they paid the road builders to do so. When that doesn't happen, they paint the town pink to attract tourists, and though various circumstances, visitors to Florida from all over America end up in Ticlaw. They include elderly couple Carol (Jessica Tandy) and Sherm (Hume Cronyn); a cocaine dealing hitchhiker (Daniel Stern), apspiring children's author Duane Hansen (Beau Bridges) and two nuns (Geraldine Page and Deborah Rush). It's a very silly film which includes a flyover getting blown up, an elephant on water ski's and a whole town painted pink. Understandably, this made it a very expensive film for it's day, and no thanks to poor promotion, it was a massive flop. It hurt Schlesinger's career for a few years, but it's not that bad, just a mess. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:05 pm

The Trench (1999), written and directed by William Boyd, best known for writing films such as Chaplin (1992), A Good Man in Africa (1994) and the acclaimed TV series Any Given Heart. This war drama is Boyd's only effort as director to date. It does capture the claustrophobic nature of the WW1 trench, but it lacks heart, and the characters come across as a bit one dimensional, despite the good pedigree of actors here. Set in 1916, it focuses on the 48 hours on the eve of the Battle of the Somme, which was one of the bloodiest battles during World War 1. It focuses on one platoon of soldiers, who mostly consist of teenagers, including 17 year old Billy MacFarlane (Paul Nicholls), who is there with his older brother, Eddie (Tam Williams), there's also Colin Daventry (James D'Arcy), Victor Dell (Danny Dyer), Rag Rookwood (Cillian Murphy) and James Deamis (Ben Whishaw). The troops are being led by the battle hardened Sergeant Winter (Daniel Craig) and the intellectual Lieutenant Hart (Julian Rhind-Tutt), who prepare the young troops for what's about to come. It was done on a shoestring, and it sadly shows, as nearly all the action takes place in the trench, and another small problem is that the dialogue comes across as cliched rather than powerful, having said that, it does have some good performances, with Craig turning in a very good performance. 3/5



The Book Thief (2013), based upon the 2005 book by Australian author Markus Zusak, and adapted here by Michael Petroni (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) and The Rite (2011)) and directed by Brian Percival (TV's The Ruby in the Smoke and Downton Abbey), this is a powerful war drama that has an overriding feeling of hope and survival throughout, and it has a brilliant cast too. It begins in 1938, when illiterate Liesel Meminger (Sophie Nélisse) is sent to live with foster parents Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson), as her real mother (Heike Makatsch) is a Communist fleeing the Nazi's. While Rosa is a tough woman, Hans is a kindly man who helps Liesel to read, she also becomes friends with Rudy (Nico Liersch), and they become members of the Hitler Youth movement. Meanwhile, Hans and Rosa take in Jew Max Vandenburg (Ben Schnetzer), and hide him in the basement, meanwhile Liesel takes books from the house of Ilsa Hermann (Barbara Auer), to read, after stealing a book from a book burning bonfire. It's a different kind of war film, which scratches the surface of the horrors of Nazi Germany, but doesn't go into graphic detail. But it is a beautifully made film, very moving and touching, and it's topped off with a lovely score by John Williams, which adds to the atmosphere, but it does play it a little too safe. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:36 pm

Menace II Society (1993), written and directed by twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes, (Dead Presidents (1995) and From Hell (2001)), this is an extremely gritty gang film set in the slums of South Central Los Angeles. It's quite shocking and harrowing to watch in places. The Hughes brothers have a lot of confidence to tackle this for their debut film, and they actually make it a compelling yet difficult film to watch. It follows the life of Caine Lawson (Tyrin Turner), who has always been a witness to violence ever since he was a young boy, when he was 10, he witnessed his father Tat (Samuel L. Jackson) shoot a drug dealer in their own house. Flash forwards, and he now lives with his grandparents (Arnold Johnson and Marilyn Coleman), and he ends up being wounded and his cousin Harold (Saafir) is killed in a drive-by shooting. Caine's friend Kevin "O-Dog" Anderson (Larenz Tate) helps him find the men who killed Harold, and Caine becomes a hustler, but it alienates him from his family and love interest Ronnie (Jada Pinkett), who wants to move to Atlanta, leaving Caine to make a decision. It was made for peanuts, but it's unflinching and shocking depiction of gangster life in the ghetto made it a hit with audiences and critics when it opened, and it put the Hughes Brothers on the map as a talent to watch out for. While most of it may be cliched, it is very violent and not an easy film to watch. 3.5/5



Hollywood Homicide (2003), written and directed by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham (1988), White Men Can't Jump (1992) and Tin Cup (1996)), this action comedy originally started out life with former policeman Robert Souza, who worked with Shelton on Dark Blue (2002), when Shelton heard that Souza moonlighted as an estate agent, he thought it was a good idea, and used Souza's life as a subplot here. Shame it's all derivative. Sergeant Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) worked for the LAPD, but is finally stuggling, so he has a side job as a real estate agent, his partner is the much younger K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett), who has aspirations of becoming a successful actor. Gavilan and Calden are assigned to investigate the murders of all 4 members of rap group H2OClick. Their investigation takes them to H2OClick's manager Antoine Sartain (Isaiah Washington), who has something to hide. Plus, Internal Affairs Lieutenant Benny Macko (Bruce Greenwood) seems to be on Gavilan and Calden's case all the time, then the pair make a shocking discovery. It should have been a good film, but all this ends up being is a poor man's Lethal Weapon, the comedy doesn't work, there's too much shouting, a lot of celebrity cameos and a stew of half-baked ideas. Which is a shame. Plus Ford and Hartnett reportedly didn't get along during the shoot, and it shows during the film. 2/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:32 am

First films I've seen in two weeks!

Divergent - Post apocaylyptic Chicago divides its citizens into one of five groups - hippie farmers, Amish, lawyers, scientists or people who like parkour, but young Beatrice Prior challenges the order of things when she realses she could be accepted into three of these groups. So much about this film makes absolutely no sense, or the reasoning for things is a simple "just beacuse" with no cause given. Whether this is just poor issues regarding the adaptation or they stem from the original book I'm not sure, but an extra line here or there would help thing make more sense. But I actually liked its clumsy awkwardness, it helped give the film the impression of a crap TV movie, albeit one with a bigger budget. I've never seen Shailene Woodley in anything before, she was quite impressive - 4/5*






Calvary (1st view) - If 2014 gives us a better performance than Brendan Gleeson's then it will be a great year for acting - 4/5*





Under The Skin (1st view) - Hampered by the obvious use of non-actors at times, some of the scenes when SJ is trying to pick up men are embarrassingly awful. But a very good idea with some great visuals and sound. I haven't that much a clue of all what was going on but I liked it, although it won't be to everyone's taste - 4/5


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:43 am

Evasive Action (1st view) - A transfer of prisoners by train goes awry when Roy Scheider's kingpin masterminds an escape. Ray Wise is the cop on the case and Dorian Harewood is the decent prisoner trying to thrwart the bad guys. It's basically Con Air on a train but with added hostages. There's even a famed serial killer character who the other prisoners are afraid of, in this instance Hector The Director, played by Clint Howard, whose kills were based on murders in film and whose entire dialogue is famous film quotes. It's a terribe, terrible film so of course I like it, especially the scene when the train engine crashes into Union Station with effects that come straight out of an episode of Thomas the Tank Engine - 4/5*



_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Aug 31, 2014 11:33 am

Guardians Of The Galaxy (1st view) - An awful lof of fun. Reminded me a lot of Serenity and works well as a film separate from the others in the Marvel series - 4/5*



_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:12 am

The Gumball Rally (1976), directed by Chuck Bail (Black Samson (1974) and Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold (1975)), who came up with the story with Leon Capetanos (Moscow on the Hudson (1984) and Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)). This is a very silly and almost incoherent car race movie, which was inspired by the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. But, the film is a confused mess. It focuses on a number of people who gather in New York to compete in the Gumball Rally which has drivers going across America to Long Beach, California. Competing in the race are businessman Michael Bannon (Michael Sarrazin), who initiated the race. There's Italian race driver Franco Bertollini's (Raúl Juliá), who is a womaniser, mechanic Gibson (Gary Busey), old timers Barney Donahue (J. Pat O'Malley) and Andy McAllister (Vaughn Taylor). They have a nemesis in the form of New York Police Lieutenant Roscoe (Normann Burton), who hears about the race and is looking to put a stop to the race, and even trying to impound their cars. It could have been a good film, but the only thing missing from this film is Burt Reynolds, but his car antic films in the form of Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run. But it's hard to identify or even care about the characters on display, it might have done well at the time, but it's not aged very well. 2/5



The Addams Family (1991), based upon the comic strip created by Charles Addams, which became a classic TV series in the 1960's, it marked the film debut of Barry Sonnenfeld, who was then the cinematographer of films by The Coen Brothers. It was a good start to his career, and it was a dark and gothic comedy, and it had a very wicked sense of humour with some brilliant gags on display throughout. Gomez Addams (Raúl Juliá) had a falling out with his brother Fester (Christopher Lloyd) 25 years previously, and Fester went missing. His lawyer Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya), owes money to loanshark Abigail Craven (Elizabeth Wilson), whose son Gordon (Lloyd again) resembles Fester. So, Alford and Craven come up with a plan to pass Gordon off as Fester. For a while it works, with Craven pretending to be a psychiatrist to make Gomez feel guilty, but Gomez thinks Fester is an imposter, and so does his wife Morticia (Anjelica Huston). Then the children Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) find out about the con. Like most TV to film adaptations, it could have been a mess, but this stays true and faithful to Addams' original comic strip, and it has some brilliant comic moments and some spirited performances, in particular Juliá having the time of his life as Gomez, it's success enabled a sequel which followed 2 years later. 4/5

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