Reviews written by
|34 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I absolutely loved this episode, especially as it came so early on in
the first season. There is a real chemistry between Angela Lansbury and
Andrew Stevens, despite the age difference, and it really pays off well
in this episode.
The ending of the episode always lingers with me as well. It has a very ambiguous sentiment at the end, and you're left never being totally sure if David (Andrew Stevens' character) is a killer or not, despite someone else committing the episode's murder. It's a very smart story with strong central performances, with the sort of ending the show didn't have many of.
Well, I don't have much to say that hasn't been said already about this
All I will say is I think van Sant has hit it just about right, making a great recovery from his more recent commercial efforts.
And now I see the IMDb has upped the number of lines you have to write in order to get a review posted from 4 lines to 10, hence this inane banter I'm typing now.
Boy, it's late. Time to go to bed. It's after midnight, you know, here in London. AAARGH! Just take the damn review!
I remember this show so well. The opening theme music, right from the old HTV logo and then down into the caves. The music was really eerie. I remember the three kids being sent into the labyrinth by Rothgo (although I never knew who Ron Moody was when I was 8!). I remember how sad I felt at the end of the first series when they got out and couldn't remember where they'd been. Then they were taken back in (by Belor I guess) and we had the second series. They all got out in the end. I remember how excited I was when I saw there was a third series starting, and I ran all the way to my friend's house to tell him. Sadly, it wasn't as good, as only one of the original kids, Phil, was in it, and Ron Moody wasn't either. It wasn't nearly as good with this new arrangement, but I was pleased it ran for three years.
Kenneth Johnson's superb 1983 mini-series might have dated in its visuals, but this is easily overwhelmed by the power of his writing and direction. 'V' is perhaps as fine an example as you are ever going to find of how visual effects (and some of those here are of a poor standard) serve a story, not compensate for the lack of one.
Populated by dozens of characters, this story actually centres (initially) around a young medical student called Julie Parrish (Faye Grant). It is through her that other characters come together to ally against the invading 'Visitors'. These characters cross all colour and religious lines to unite against the fascist, genocidal alien regime.
Despite the immense scale of the project, 'V' has its strongest moments when the visual effects are absent, when the aliens are not on screen. Of course, the excitement rests in the suspense and secrecy that pervade the Resistance's fight with the aliens, but the true heart of this film resides firmly within its characters, with their losses and their triumphs and the implied feeling that at some point in our lives, we won't get by without the help of others. The KEY scene in Johnson's film, which he also wrote, is when the Bernstein's fight over allowing the Maxwell's to take refuge in their home. The reading of a letter reminds us that what is taking place here has gone before, and perhaps if we remember that then we might prevent it from happening again.
A truly wonderful film, let down by the space opera 'V - The Final Battle' the following year, and the laughable TV series that ran from 1985-6. Forget them. You don't need 'The Final Battle', because if you pay attention, you'll know how this should end.
Once Upon a Time in the West is arguably Sergio Leone's best work, and
possibly the best western made.
A revisionist western, the film examines the stereotypes of its genre through Claudia Cardinale's Jill McBain - who is far more than any other whore we've seen - and the three gunslingers (Fonda's Frank, Robard's Cheyenne and Bronson's Harmonica). Each of these characters has embedded within their portrayal a motivation for their actions. Where most western gunslingers simply are, these men are drawn with so much more detail.
It is the mysterious motivation driving Bronson's character, for example, which drives a large part of the story, resulting in perhaps the most satisfying pay-off ever seen in cinema. It is hard to conceive how the showdown - and the rich history motivating it - at the end of this film could ever be eclipsed. In addition to this climax is one of cinema's most brilliantly executed entrances, equalled only by Orson Welles in The Third Man and possibly Max von Sydow's in The Exorcist. When the camera tracks forward and turns onto Fonda's face, we are witnessing cinematic perfection.
Also of considerable note is Ennio Morricone's score. Truly dramatic, each of the four leads has his/her own musical motif which underscores their scenes. Jill slightly nostalgic, slightly mournful tune as she enters to be left alone on the station forces us to care for her, despite the fact that she has only been on screen for one minute. Bronson's famous Harmonica motif is (if a little over-used) unforgettable. Outstanding.
There is barely a criticism to be made of Once Upon A Time in the West. Perhaps a little over-long depending on what mood you're in watching it, but this truly is unforgettable and unsurpassable cinema.
I saw Billy Elliott with little expectation. After all, what could a film
about a boy who wants to be a ballet dancer possibly contain of interest to
a mid-twentysomething male? Where to begin... the acting is outstanding,
especially Jamie Bell and Julie Walters' performances, the subject matter
dealt with maturely and realistically, the characters are all fully
developed and explored... I loved every minute.
I could go on about it all day, and I'd love to, but see it for yourself. Oh, and watch out for the snowman scene between Billy and Michael. Beautiful...
There isn't really much to say about this film, other than the actor Dan Blom, who plays Thor, is truly a striking looking guy. Beautiful face, beautiful physique. It's a shame his emoting as Thor is so wasted in this low-budget, no-thrills piece. Lance Henriksen is reliable enough, but please, if you want to make a low budget success, don't aim higher than you can reach. If you are a low-budget indie filmmaker, take a look at The Outpost/ Mind Ripper and learn from the mistakes of others.
Doing Dallas was screened as part of Channel 4's Dallas night, April 2000
the UK. While it is always nice to see old cast members of shows and
how they are these days (why do we care so much?), this programme had a
terribly depressing feeling to it. It was almost defeatist, instead of
celebrating a great 13-season show, it almost seemed like it was trying to
discredit Dallas' success.
I loved Dallas, and I loved Knots Landing, but if you want to see a celebration of great old shows, give this a miss.
Where to begin...
First of all, it's widely known that Neve Campbell did not want to do another Scream film. So they decided to come up with a script that would work with or without her. Oh dear. Considering Sid is THE central character of the first two films, this was a bad idea to begin with. Just how strong a script can you expect when its written with the LEAD as an afterthought. Hence Sid's part in the first half of the movie is throwaway garbage, with some of the poorest flashback moments ever about her mother. I thought that was the sort of stuff this series was sending-up!
I doubt Kevin Williamson would have gone anywhere near some of the garbage that ended up in Scream 3. And Wes Craven, so masterly is his direction of the first two films, seems to have sleepwalked his way through this. There are no great set-pieces, a few adequate ones at best, and the whole thing is badly structured because it clearly hasn't developed from a stable idea. The Miramax boys should have waited until they knew whether or not Neve Campbell (beautiful as ever) was going to do it before coming up with any script.
A huge disappointment for this very loyal fan. I do hope these lambs have stopped screaming.
The Invaders (a Quinn Martin production!) is widely regarded as one of the
best sci-fi shows of the sixties or ever. I only ever saw it in re-runs
in England, but I just loved the original show. So imagine my excitement
when I started reading in genre magazines that a new Invaders was going to
be made. And Roy Thinnes was in!
The pre-credits sequence was actually pretty good. Somewhere out in the desert a huge and interesting-looking mothership is unloading some aliens and stuff, and there watching it all is none other than David Vincent.
And that was the end of any hope of a good series. The rest is quite frankly too bad to detail. The effects were cheesy, it was PAINFULLY slow, and worst of all, Roy Thinnes has a total of about ten minutes screen-time across the first part and then vanishes. So that's it? They get Roy Thinnes to reprise his near-thirty year old role and THAT'S IT!!!
Roy Thinnes as David Vincent was the only reason I was interested in this. Richard Thomas is pretty good - although he still looks about 25 and as if he just wandered off the set of The Waltons.
All in all, give your money to a homeless person, you'll get better returns.
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