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5 items from 2015

The Ladykillers review – the greatest comedy caper

25 October 2015 12:30 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

(Alexander Mackendrick, 1955; StudioCanal, U, DVD/Blu-ray)

Ealing Studio’s two greatest directors, Robert Hamer and Alexander Mackendrick, both made near flawless black comedies on the state of the nation starring Alec Guinness and involving multiple murders, and there is little to choose between the former’s Kind Hearts and Coronets and the latter’s The Ladykillers, a special edition of which is being released this week to mark its 60th anniversary.

The heist (or caper) movie began with The Great Train Robbery in 1903, and enjoyed its classic decade in America and Europe between John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle (1950) and Basil Dearden’s The League of Gentlemen (1960). The greatest comic example is The Ladykillers.

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- Philip French

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200 Greatest Horror Films (130-121)

17 October 2015 10:13 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Special Mention: Misery

Directed by Rob Reiner

Screenplay by William Goldman

1990, USA

Genre: Thriller

Elevated by standout performances from James Caan and Kathy Bates, Misery remains one of the best Stephen King adaptations to date. Director Rob Reiner is clearly more interested in the dark humour and humanity than the gory detail in King’s novel, but make no mistake about it, Misery is a tough watch soaked in sharp dialogue, a brooding atmosphere, and disturbing bodily harm inflicted on James Caan by sweet old Kathy Bates. I can still feel his pain.

129. Black Sabbath (Three Faces of Fear)

Mario Bava and Salvatore Billitteri

Written by Ennio De Concini and Mario Serandrei

Italy 1960 / Italy 1963

Genre: Horror Anthology

Not to be confused with Black Sunday, Black Sabbath is a horror anthology composed of three atmospheric tales. “The Drop of Water” concerns a nurse who steals a ring off a corpse, only »

- Ricky Fernandes

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School For Scoundrels 1960 DVD Review

9 October 2015 10:30 AM, PDT | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Director: Robert Hamer

Starring: Ian Carmichael, Terry-Thomas, Alastair Sim, Janette Scott

Cert: U

Running Time: 97 mins

Extras: Interviews with Peter Bradshaw & Chris Potter, Graham McCann on Terry-Thomas, Stills Gallery, Trailer

The idea of treating life like a competition and getting one over on potential opponents is commonplace in today’s society. On TV The Apprentice regularly showcases selfishness and avarice in a frenzied clamber to the top. The new Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition is criticized from all quarters for encouraging respectful discourse in politics.

Back in 1960 this attitude wasn’t prevalent, which probably contributed to the success of British comedy classic School For Scoundrels. Reissued on DVD and Blu-ray with a spanking digital restoration, this story of bad behaviour packaged as a knowing wink to the male ego has returned to entertain a new generation. Will they be impressed by the black and white antics of the notorious institution of the title, »

- Steve Palace

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Jamaica Inn | Blu-ray Review

12 May 2015 11:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Cohen Media Group beautifully restores Alfred Hitchcock’s 1939 title Jamaica Inn. A title worthy of reconsideration, considered by many to be an inferior work from the master of suspense, even from the director himself, it’s a definite gem, particularly for fans of Charles Laughton. The actor, whose production company basically commandeered the production, gives a swarthy, deliciously overwrought performance. It’s a standout in a career already filled with such distinction. The film also serves as the film debut of the beautiful Maureen O’Hara, here playing a glorified damsel in distress.

The narrative is relatively simple, set around 1800 as young Irish lass Mary (O’Hara) makes a surprise visit to the Cornish coast to visit her Aunt Patience (Marie Ney) following the death of her mother. Patience lives with Mary’s uncle Joss (Leslie Banks, who vies with Laughton for greatest scene chewer), a man that provides the »

- Nicholas Bell

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Cads Of The First Water! A ‘Mortdecai’ Feature

23 January 2015 5:30 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Charlie Mortdecai, the human shambles in a sharp suit, is leaping off the printed page into cinemas this week. Debonair, cultured and about as principled as a rat in the Queen’s cutlery drawer, he’s brought to life by none other than Johnny Depp. It isn’t the first time Depp has used those relatively fresh-faced looks to an advantage when portraying the morally-quagmired. The actor’s most famous ne’er do’well, Captain Jack Sparrow, is setting his dirty sails for a return in 2017. But Mortdecai is a different breed of fish to Sparrow – equally slippery, but more in the category of “cad”; a gentleman who should know better. A man not above using all means at his disposal, from the depraved to the downright duplicitous, to attain his murky goals. Like many of the best of this species, he comes armed with a moustache, a surfeit of »

- Steve Palace

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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