Reviews written by registered user
|94 reviews in total|
It is indeed a shame that the excellent and pioneering Willis O'Brien film of the Conan Doyle masterpiece is not being granted the decent big-budget re-make it so rightly deserves. Instead we have, in recent years, been lumbered with a lot of tacky, vacuous, half-hearted re-makes. This TV series has nothing to do with the Conan Doyle story "The Lost World". The name is merely used as a blanket title to attract viewers to what is a completely unremarkable series, little more than an excuse to show uninteresting and woefully cliched 'butt-kicking babes' saving pathetic, inadequate men from computer game sprites. The storylines are slow and tedious, Challenger is feeble, nothing like the fiery character he was in the novel or the 1925 film, the natives are just laughable, and the dinosaur sequences are leaden and unexciting. The Lost World? Conan Doyle would be ashamed to have his name associated with such bottom-of-the-barrel tosh as this, and O'Brien would wonder what special effects have come to.
For some reason or another, a photographically-enlarged lizard foot keeps squashing people whilst boy racers zoom about. Slow-moving, this film has very little to recommend it to anybody but the most dedicated monster-about-town fan. Some nice scenery, but you'll probably fall asleep.
One of Ray Harryhausen's earlier films, this is among the best monster-on-the-rampage movies from the fifties and sixties. An expedition to Venus returns to Earth, bringing with them a strange alien creature which soon begins to grow to giant proportions. What makes this film is Harryhausen's superb animation. The alien 'Ymir' is imaginatively-designed and is an interesting and, as with a lot of Harryhausen's monsters, you feel real sympathy for it. Look quickly for a cameo from Harryhausen as a zoo keeper.
The first true Harryhausen films, and it's a real landmark film, the first
of the atomic age monster movies (and one which led to the creation of a
certain Japanese monster).
Atomic tests in the arctic release a prehistoric beast which has been trapped in the ice for millions of years. In no time the mysterious creature is wrecking havoc, but sceptical scientists refuse to believe in the existence of such a thing.
In common with a lot of Harryhausen's creations, the Beast itself has a real character, is a believable animal rather than just a monster. The film is cleverly-written and the characters are well-thought-out. A first-rate tale.
A bona fide atomic age film. A group of military men and scientists go looking for a missing rocket, soon find themselves making their way up onto a mountain where dinosaurs still roam. Alright, so it's The Lost World with an atomic rocket, but the characters are well-thought-out, the film is highly entertaining, the green tint was an original idea and there are interesting and thought-provoking pieces of atomic age tension. The bonus is that this film differs from a lot of monster movies of the fifties in that the dinosaurs are stop-motion rather than photo-enlarged lizards. Well worth seeing if you're a fan of dinosaur films, or sci-fi in general.
A hard-to-come-by film, which is a shame as this is a real gem. A group of space travellers are accidentally stranded on a distant alien planet which turns out to be inhabited by prehistoric monsters. This is real edge-of-seat suspence from beginning to end, and you really feel for the characters. There is plenty of appropriately chilling scenery (and I couldn't see any houses or roads), a superbly eerie soundtrack and some dramatic, impressive stop-motion dinosaurs including one of the scariest Tyrannosaurs ever to dominate a movie screen (it even kills the Beast from 20,000 Fathoms at one point, the Harryhausen monster's cameo a nice touch). An under-rated classic, up there with the best dinosaur films.
Victor Meldrew, retired security guard and human sponge 'soaking up every misery in the world' will surely be remembered in many years to come as one of comedy's greatest creations. Not to say that 'One Foot in the Grave' is strictly 2-D comedy. As with all the best of these kinds of things, it is more of a drama series which just happens to be funny. There is a good cast of genuine characters, all played with believability. Among them are Victor's long-suffering wife Margaret, her friend Mrs Warboys (who always seems to end up on the wrong end of disaster), next-door neighbours Patrick and Pippa (the former a Victor-in-the-making), and the enigmatic Mr Swainey who lives with his mysterious never-seen mother. And the programme certainly manages non-stop hilarity and plenty of genuine belly laughs throughout its six series and various extra-long specials. Well-written,inventive and clever plots involve everything from the everyday to the bizarre. Especially notable are hundreds of garden gnomes turning up on Victor's doorstep, Victor and Mrs Warboys both getting a foot stuck in a bag of plaster and having to heave it along with them as they attempt to find their way out of 'the set from Apocolypse Now', a caravan which contains the ghost of a devil worshipper, a chimpanzee which has a 'thing' for Victor, a scorpion talisman which brings down a plague of bad luck on its owner, and a guest house which is 'more like a wildlife kingdom'. Also memorable are the episodes involving one long scene - Victor stuck in a traffic jam, waiting for a telephone call and sitting in a waiting area. The fact that a half-hour episode in which nothing actually happens can be hilarious, entertaining and meaningful demonstrates the skill and depth of writing and the high quality of acting present throughout the series. Victor himself, despite initially coming across as a grumpy old man, is actually one of the most sympathetic characters ever created. Everybody can relate to the problems he faces on a daily basis, and everyone can cheer him on as he says and does the kinds of things we've all longed to do in certain trying situations. If you're a fan of any kind of comedy then this is unmissable.
Far from being a monster movie, this is a realistic and gritty example of a town which relies on summer trade having its beaches invaded by a dangerous shark. There are genuinely suspenseful sequences, a first-rate soundtrack and believable people. The character development of the three men in the boat shows there's a lot more to this film than just a rubber fin. I'd recommend this and Jaws 2 to any fan of drama/thrillers.
The definitive sequel to one of the finest thrillers ever made, this continues the story of Amity Island, which is now facing the problem of another man-eating shark. Unlike most sequels, this is just as good as the original. The characters are as strong as before. Chief Brody now comes across as a more embittered figure than previously, and you often feel a combination of shark and apathetic councillors have taken their toll on him - a sequence in which he runs across a crowded beach with a gun poised to shoot something in the water which turns out to be a school of fish is an especially powerful scene. The feel of the first Jaws is well-imitated. Yes, there are teenagers, but they are more likeable and better actors than the 'Friday the 13th' types, and very little would happen for the last half an hour without them. Highly recommended to fans of the original Jaws, but ignore the further sequels and rip-offs which follow.
A TV programme which doesn't seem to have got the recognition it deserves,
which is a pity, as it is the best original creation for years. The series
is based around Eric Feeble, 40-year-old divorced father who, as the title
suggests, is forever under strain. At home he has to cope with his
alcoholic au pair, autistic son and a daughter who is allergic to just about
everything. Added to that are Eric's hippy ex-wife who keeps turning up
when he least expects it, and next-door neighbours the Perfects, who seem to
make it their business to out-shine Eric at every turn. At work things are
no easier. The quite irritatingly handsome and wonderful Ray Perfect is a
highly successful executive at Eric's place of work, Eric's secretary is
forever on the telephone organising her social life, and the boss. P.P. (who
is incidentally my favourite character in this series, apart from Eric
himself) rules the business with an iron rod. Other regular characters
include Eric's psychiatrist Doc (an age-ing swinger) and elderly neighbour
Mrs Wilson, who's trips out to post a letter always end in
There is plenty of biting humour and some great comedy moments. Storylines include a nativity play, an old flame of Eric's turning up, a desperate hunt for a potato, a parents V pupils cricket match and many more. What makes this series stand out is the fact that comedy is combined with darker undertones, reflections on the pressures of modern-day life and the cast of interesting, genuine and often not unsympathetic characters. A second series was broadcast in 2000. Let's hope for a third.
|Page 1 of 10:||         |