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71 reviews in total 
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Incomplete, 4 February 2011

This film is not the true version of "Blake of Scotland Yard." This is a truncated feature-length version of a 15-Chapter Serial. Its more than 400% shorter than it was intended to be and hence that accounts for all the issues you will read about in other reviews. This is truly unfortunate because it means the ruination of a great serial. If you visit the serial's IMDb page ( you'll not that it's average user rating is double what it is here.

Unfortunately, this false version is the only one which is available from Amazon so it truly is a case of buyer beware. Please don't judge this work by the worst version of it but instead look for a full version which is 15 chapters and 303 minutes long.

41 out of 59 people found the following review useful:
Zzzzzzz, 28 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I came. I slept. I left. I wasted my time what a piece of garbage. The thing doesn't move at all, it lasts forever, scenes are overly drawn out and several of them are redundant. It took the film about an hour to establish some sort of premise otherwise it was just wasting its time with eye candy and gimmicks. The acting, including Johnny Depp who was great in the first film, was all flat and boring. The grotesque sea creates Davey Jones and his minions lost whatever appeal they had the feeling of repulsion separated from all other emotion isn't effective. The Black Pearl had at least some legs to stand on, however, wobbly. This series followed (or follows I shudder at the thought) a progression of getting progressively worse and longer. The first was good but too long by a half an hour, the second bad and too long by 45 minutes this one was god awful and shouldn't have started in the first place. Orlando Bloom's character doesn't really die which is a joke and I didn't care about anything that happened in it for a second. And the ending, or should I say endings, may be in fact worse than The Return of the King because at least those multiple endings were preceded by a great film. This one was barely watchable. I liked the first Pirates of the Caribbean a lot and felt, due in part by running time, that I wanted to see the story resolve itself though I really could care less. Now I wish I hadn't.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A Masterpiece, 12 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Fanny and Alexander not only encompasses all the work that Ingmar Bergman ever did. It is truly a symphonic film experience. It is musical in the way it flows visually the way the shots move and the way the story moves about from character to character. The music itself is sparse and perfectly placed the monotonous and ominous notes add the perfect weight to nearly the last half hour of the film.

In this film there are so many brilliant and unforgettable scenes: Carl's breakdown in front of Lydia, Alexander's Story about the Ghosts, Alexander's Interrogation by the bishop and Alexander's meeting with Ishmael are all the quintessence of Bergman's greatness and absolutely unforgettable.

In a much overused film cliché literally every frame of this film is a Rembrant and is also Sven Nyqvist's most accomplished work.The colors are vibrant and brilliant and the frames are intoxicating.

Sight and Sound magazine consistently has placed Fanny and Alexander in the top ten films of the past 25 years a few years running and it is well deserved. It is absolutely brilliant and a masterpiece that is nearly without parallel.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A testament on behalf of us all, 2 May 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

-possible spoilers-

The Passion of the Christ is most definitely a film by Mel Gibson. With this film we see a man stake his claim as an elite director. Even prior to hearing about this project I had eagerly anticipated Gibson's 3rd Film.

His first two films in my eyes were a resounding success. The Man without a Face is a harrowing tale about redemption and the living past in small town America. In it Gibson played a man who was accused of inproprieties with a former student. Eventually, he had an accident and had his face burned and was convicted of manslauhgter of the same student. Several years later he is seen as a freak and lives as a hermit in a small town. He gets a chance to teach again when a young man Charles Norstadt, played brilliantly by Nick Stahl in one of the top screen debuts of the past 15 years, needs his help to pass a test and escape his broken home.

Gibson's directing style was non-existent in this film. It was invisible cutting and the classic Hollywood technique. Yet the results were extraordinary. What we get is a testament of friendship and a denouncement of persecution that is as moving as it is enthralling. Due to its subject matter The Man without a Face hardly made a dent at the box office and hardly garnered Gibson notoriety for his skills as a director.

A few years later, however, came Braveheart. It was a critical and financial success. While some people find Gibson's use of slow motion to be heavyhanded, Braveheart and subsequently The Passion of the Christ show Gibson to be the shrewdest innovator in the use of slow motion effects in god knows how long because I generally hate them. There isn't a thing about this film that isn't great. Gibson has probably also received undue criticism because he was the second actor in a short period of time to win the Oscar for Best Director (Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven) yet both were very well deserved.

The second film for a director is usually his make or break film if his first is a success. Gibson knew that Bravheart was a hard act to follow but he found a way to try and outdo himself. He went behind the camera and stayed there to make The Passion

Stepping back from the film for a second I want to wonder for a moment why people are so surprised Gibson set out to make this film. Mel Gibson operates his own production company called Icon Productions, the logo is apparently an Icon of the Virgin Mary. The seeds were sewn long ago. More importantly we must note that every great director has either made a film about Jesus or has contemplated it.

Gibson's style is hardly unchanged. A detractor may say he took the Braveheart formula and applied it to the Passion but what we find here is Gibson's emrgence as an auteur. A man possessed, intent on making his film his way and may all those who don't like it please step out of his way. The first bold and brilliant move on his part was to shoot the film in Aramaic and Latin. While I was skeptical at his chances of having it released without subtitles, having seen them with subtitles I can honestly say they well could've been removed. We don't necessarily see this film, analyze this film or appreciate this film so much as we experiencce it. It couldn't have been any more difficult or real if he made it in 'real time.'

My favorite part of the film is that Gibson cuts away from the Stations of the Cross and the Crucifixtion itself to: The Last Supper, The Kiss of Death, Jesus washing the Disciples' Feet, The Sermon on the Mount, The Stoning of Mary Magdalene, to put into focus, to make real to us that through his death Jesus would absolve us of our sins and give us life everlasting; to show us that even amidst the brutality and the humiliation he suffered there was a reason to it. I seriously considered taking a break from the torture of seeing this film. I found myself questioning Mel Gibson at times in the film but I feel what really bothered me was that Jesus had to go through this. It was painful to watch but that doesn't make it any less real or artistic. There is a scene where he is being flogged by Roman soldiers that is so incessant that just hearing numbers shouted out in Latin sends shivers down your spine.

As violent as the film was it makes the miracle of Easter which we witness for but a brief second at the end of the film all the more amazing and all the more of a blessing. Yet The Passion of the Christ takes on an added dimension because it is also a brilliant document of those who witnessed and suffered through Jesus' death, as we too suffer and witness it. One of the more brilliant moments in the film is when an unnamed woman risks her life to run past soldiers and gives Jesus a cloth so that he can sop up the blood on his face. It is obvious this is the Shroud of Turin but it is so subtley and beautifully done its a highlight in the film. Another amazing aspect of the film is the depiction of Mary. I like most Catholics I hold Mary dear to my heart, she is the ubermother for lack of a better word. Yet cinematic depictions of her always seemed to fall short of accuracy for some reason left unknown. Gibson points it out where Mary is snapped out of her suffering and is a mother. She runs to her son's aid. Jesus at this point gives Mary a huge kiss on the cheek. That coupled with a great flashback scene really show the fullest relationship between Mary and Jesus I think I've seen. We also Peter's denials of Christ done in a very original way along with Judas' suicide.

Ultimately, it took me a while to draw these conclusions about the film because it is such an atypical film. Its not entertainment and its not a docummentary. It's quite simply a man's love letter to Jesus Christ. A testament on behalf of us all that we are 'not worthy to receive him' yet so great is his love that he receives us all.

Peter Pan (2003)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Best Film of 2003, 10 January 2004

There should be a rule that bars people from remaking a story when the definitive edition has been made. While I loved the much maligned 'Hook' and Disney's version PJ Hogan created the perfect version of this tale. It uses more from the book than ever and even improves on some elements. The proper theatrical conventions are kept like Hook and the Father being played by the same actor and also the proper ones were done away with like a woman playing Peter's role

This is the way the story of Peter Pan should be told The imagery is balanced between fantastical and realistic. Every single character is perfectly cast, especially Jeremy Sumpter as Peter. The special effects were so amazing and unique I was actually surprised to see that Industrial Light and Magic did them. The film flows beautifully with scenes that seem as if they are pulled straight from my dreams.

This is a story that has alway been very dear to me and I feel that people are making way to much of this film. Peter's escape embodies a fear all children suffer from at one point or another: growing up. This is the essence of the film and the conflict is heightened by the fact that Wendy loves Peter and for him to love her back he knows he'd have to grow up. One day we know we must grow up. As children we envy Peter's being but know that our destinies are more those of Wendy, Michael and John. As adults we find Peter's dream of perpetual childhood beautiful but as we see his heart breaking because he cannot change who he is and live with the Darlings, so do ours. For that is our plight. There is not an audience this film can't play to for that very reason.

It's a heartwarming, swashbuckling, Funny, adventurous, to say that its an experience doesn't do it justice. This film is truly a dream come true.

It's impossible not to like this movie. Open your heart, shut off your brain and watch Peter Pan the way it was meant to be seen.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
One of the Year's Very Best, 22 November 2003

Love Actually is one of those brilliant experiences where a trailer sends a jolt through your soul and whets your appetite. You anticipate the film hopelessly counting down the days but trying not to think about because you're afraid you'll hype the film to death.

Then you see it and are dumbfounded. They caught lighting in a bottle. You get what the trailer promised and more.

This film has no pretensions and doesn't do those stupid reversals most romantic comedies do when the result of the story is pre-ordained. This film is no more or no less a tale of people seeking to find happiness in their lives and to share that with someone else. It's a romantic comedy for real people. And for those people in the cliché of ‘people who hate romantic comedies'

This film makes you glad to be alive. It's cinematic bliss. If you're looking for a purely visceral, emotional experience with a lot of laughs you should definitely see this film.

All the storylines do not detract from the emotion or the narrative structure. Upon first viewing pieces of each characters tale may seem as if they're spread too fart apart. And you find you want to get back to the Prime Minister's story or Jamie's but by the end you love all the stories. And the pay off is great.

It's one of the year's very best.

Almost Escapes Being A Waste of Time (SPOILERS), 15 June 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film actually manages to be mindless enjoyment for 2/3 of the journey. Sadly, the film ends up being too 'confused.' While I know some of the plot contrivances are standard of 'buddy cop' films I got drawn in to the characters who foil each other brilliantly but in the end the film relies too much on chase sequences as a crutch and I lost interest.

The filmmakers did a great job of getting the characters alone and doing their own thing and we got to see who they are and identified with both cops early on. We formed our own opinion instead of being force fed a view of them through constant bickering.

In the end there is too much going on and it detracts greatly from what could've been an enjoyable piece of escapism. Here's what's concerning Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) at the end of the film:

1. His real estate deals 2. His affair with a radio psychic 3. He's being investigated by internal affairs 4. The homicide investigation

If you add in Casey's concerns you fond out he wants to be an actor and avenge his father's death. Now some of these things do come together and even come together well but all the plot elements come together amidst this bogus chase that is so long and pathetic that I hardly have time to break my ennui and give a crap about what just happen. The impressive screenwriting acrobatics cannot overcome the bad filmmaking.

As if a ridiculous chase sequence wasn't bad enough, one which has four separate sections and could last close to half an hour, wasn't bad enough, Joe Gavilan fields calls about his real estate deal while chasing the perpetrator with a gun. All these extra-curricular plot lines and jokes make it absolutely meaningless to me whether or not the criminal gets caught. We already forgot or no longer care about the murder plot at this point because multiple plot-lines and eye candy of the chases have numbed us beyond all comprehension.

While I could go on about the chases and how they ruin a decent story, I won't. This could've been a very enjoyable formula film but it got much too big for its britches and it turned into a redundant waste of time. Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett actually did rather well and a small appearance by Gladys Knight is worth noting. Sadly none of the actors can help this hopelessly misguided film from being forgettable.

While this will probably be better than the likes of "The Hulk" and "Lara Croft II" that still doesn't make this film good. I once heard that Harrison Ford claimed to only make films that eh thought would make money, I'm not sure if that's true or not. What is true is that to get great box office you don't need a great movie or a great actor, this film has neither in its lead roles. My advice to Harrison Ford would be: to stick to Indiana Jones because at least you can still run.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
On the Pilot -- "It's Brilliant!", 11 June 2003

Anyone who doesn't like this has had their mind numbed by the major networks.

First off the premise is a unique one that I haven't seen treated anywhere else. The fact that these children are sheltered sets the tone for the show. Most of all I applaud this show because it's not afraid to be intelligent.

With so many put-downs and inane one-liners on television its refreshing to see television that has snappy dialogue. Every joke absolutely worked. Even the joke about hippies, which are a target I don't understand and the jokes often miss, was great. The test of a good comedy is when you see jokes coming and they're still funny and "The O'Keefe's" passes with flying colors.

A good set is crucial to episodic television and the O'Keefe's home is a great set that represents their parents protective attitude. Judge Reinhold was actually truly great playing on his strength as a condescending actor brilliantly, and Joseph Cross also plays his character to perfection.

It's one of the best pilots I've ever seen. And with lines like "My dad says watching TV is like letting the media urinate in your eyes," I wish I wrote it.

The Sea (2002)
16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Brilliant, 19 May 2003

It's great to go into a film knowing nothing about it before hand. This was the case when I saw "The Sea." While you can easily see it was adapted from a play the themes are consistent and handled cinematically for the most part.

The first thing that is apparent is that the casting in this film is ridiculously perfect. No actor feels out of place. Speaking of which neither are any of the scenes. It is rare to watch such a multi-character film and never be left confused about who's who. All the characters are sharply defined and they all illustrate the struggle amongst family, between the generations and the joining or avoidance of a globalized world.

The scenes in the pool and the scenes with the black sheep are accessible symbolism that serve comedic or story functions such that the audience is never lost. Another amazing thing is that even though all the characters have undesirable traits they're all funny and identifiable. The only place the film falters in anyway is that the father has a speech that's a little too long at the end. With the way the film cuts the framing of the story is very surprising.

The acting all around is great but those who stand out are Gunnar Eyjólfsson, Hilmir Snær Guðnason, Hélène de Fougerolles, Guðrún Gísladóttir and Elva Ósk Ólafsdóttir.

Whenever watching a foreign film, especially one from a culture I'm not that familiar with, I always look for two things: 1. does it seem indigenous and not overly influenced by Hollywood? 2. While being indigenous does it communicate a universal message and/or theme. "The Sea" succeeds in both cases.

"Rose Red" (2002)
6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
La Danse Macabre, 19 May 2003

From reading "Stephen King's Danse Macabre" I saw what a passion Stephen King had for the haunted house premise in horror fiction. If one watches "The Shining" you may think he already did his haunted house story (after all what is a hotel?), however, the book is a much different creature that goes beyond cabin fever, telepathy and diving into insanity. After 26 years of scaring America the Master of Horror has found its home and it is "Rose Red."

After "Storm of the Century" one could hardly hope for a more ghastly tale to grace the small screen but Stephen King outdid himself again. In the first chapter of the tale dread sets while we learn the histories of all our participants and invariably side with Dr. Joyce Reardon, superbly played by Nancy Travis, having only seen her in sitcoms I was truly in awe of her performance it was one of many which left me spellbound in this film. The second chapter is two hours of gut wrenching taut tension and the end neatly closes up King's tale in one of the finest climaxes he's ever written either in prose or for the screen.

Craig R. Baxley showed that "Storm of the Century" was no fluke. His combination of slow pans, lightning, fast zooms, skewed angles and pretty much the entire mise-en-scene of the piece added to what was already an amazing tale. His directing paired with Gary Chang's chillingly masterful score add to create an atmosphere that is absolutely intoxicating. Along with Nancy Travis another notably brilliant performance was that of Matt Ross as Emery Waterman. Ross completely immersed himself in the part and played King's best pest to date. David Dukes who played Miller was also fantastic and who sadly lost his life after completing this project was wonderful and I also congratulate the producres for not pulling any punches with his character but merely dedicating the entire mini-series to his memory. The colorful interplay of the ensemble characters rival if not surpass his best multi-character works ("It," "Needful Things," "Desperation").

This film also boasts some of the best and most convincing CGI i've seen to date. It was supernatural only when need be other than that it looked utterly convincing and frightening. Another thing that resonates after watching "Rose Red" is that this is indeed one of his nastiest collection of characters not since "The Stand" did he even come close to having a contingent of nasty characters such as this but even still they are all likeable in at least one way or another. The undertones of religion and evil hit home harder than ever before. I'm not going to give anything away but if you analyze it you won't find clear cut good guys and clear cut bad guys.

Stephen King has delivered one of the most bone-chilling suspenseful mini-series of all time. The format seems truly to have been created for his work. In "Rose Red" Stephen King invites us to dance the Danse Macabre.

"It's a dance and sometimes they turn off the lights in this ballroom. But we'll dance anyway, you and I. Even in the dark. Especially in the dark. May I have the pleasure?" (Danse Macabre, 15). Believe me Mr. King the pleasure has been all I mine. I hope we can dance again real soon.

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