Reviews

155 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Abortive attempt at chills and thrills
20 November 2017
First question is what's with the eerie, sci-fi creep out music? Sounds like Day the Earth Stood Still! And the opening scene where we watch a claw hammer float through the house drags on,and on,and on! The subsequent action, when it finally occurs, can't be anything but anticlimactic.

The eye candy from the TV show F Troop is the star of our bloody lingerie story, a young woman who's certain something is rotten in the state of the local convalescent home. There is a cast of creeps to keep the audience playing a guessing game...who's the killer?

The problems with this film are 1) it got made, and 2 it offers nothing to horror fans. MGM was slow on the uptake since it clearly wasn't paying attention to independent films that were setting trends for shock and horror. This one plays like a made-for-TV operation. It stinks!
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1/10
1 & 1/2 hours of nonsense
22 October 2017
Its been said that George Washington was the president who couldn't tell a lie, Nixon the president who couldn't tell the truth, and Trump is a president who can't tell the difference. This movie is for consumers of fake reality who, like their idol Trump, seek to "deconstruct" the U.S. Government, much as their intellectual Kommisar, Bannon, has informed them. What a pity that fans of this kind of swill are also unable to discern truth.

The movie describes "evil" institutions--Democratic Socialist of America (Bernie Sanders?), The Institute for Policy Studies (yep!them there college professors are up to no good), and Council for a Livable World (gadzooks! that sounds almost satanic), that are endangering our freedumb! Can't have that happen! Or, you could just roll over, belch and turn off this movie! Absolute krap!
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The Mummy (2017)
1/10
T Cruise v Mummy hottie
13 October 2017
Ah yes! Just when you thought that nothing new might come of an old story, (and an old movie reel-1932), the ever-imaginative mind of Hollywood comes up with an almost new riff on an old line...or maybe not. Tom Cruise, recently stirring up sci-fi and horror genres, after previous more notable efforts as hot-shot pilot, or military lawyer, etc., now gives us the average guy v a horrid, haughty hottie, aka The Mummy, a movie that no one was waiting for. If you saw the trailer for the movie, a sarcophagus being hauled in a large transport aircraft, then you saw the most compelling scene in the movie. Aside from the hot mummy girl writhing in sexually suggestive scenes, or using her powers to forcefully show the vengeance of a woman scorned, there is little that is entertaining in this flick. Watch the 1930's version, or even Hammer Films 1950's take. Both are superior films to this modern remake.
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China Girl (1942)
3/10
probably served its purpose in 1942
4 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
As in most films produced during the war years, at least those that focused on Asian locales, China Girl probably had two important functions when it was made. The first, of course, was to entertain audiences with action and romance, to be profitable, the second was to serve the US war effort though, sadly, there was never much of a US effort made to actually help China until late in the war.

In this film George Montgomery--described by some critics as the actor chosen after Montgomery Cliff or Tyrone Power refused the role-- plays a rakish hustler out to profit from the chaos of war. After escaping Japanese controlled China, he lands in Burma where he meets his China Girl, played by Gene Tierney who looks not a bit like a Chinese woman.

While there is some attempt to inject other elements to the plot, Japanese agents and even a "love triangle", these seem superficially installed for their melodrama and don't do much to draw the viewer into the story. A major part of the plot is that true love can absolve moral failings. How sweet!

There are logistical and factual problems with the story-line: the hero says he has just fled a Japanese military base in Luchow, located in Sichuan, where the Japanese army never advanced to; a World War I vintage biplane carries its passengers several hundred miles over mountainous terrain, surely well beyond such a plane's range; a dispute over destinations has the hero arguing that they will go to Kunming, not Yunnan (Kunming is in the center of Yunnan); the hero and his gal take an evening stroll to the Dhammayan Temple vicinity, about a hundred miles from Mandalay, where they are supposed to be. But one would not expect Hollywood scriptwriters to be familiar with Asian geography,and viewers of that era even less so.

All in all, a mediocre effort to depict a trans-continental romance set against the background of horrendous human tragedy in WW II China. There were some good films made during this period, but this is not one of them.
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6/10
Almost good
25 April 2017
I'll give it a notch above average because it is almost an original type of zombie movie...if there is such a thing anymore. But it has several problems which detract from the film's impact.

The biggest problem is the credibility of the the behavior exhibited by the characters. Given the life or death situation of the story, it is hard to believe several of the people in the story act as casually or as naively as they do, which is a shame as it really reduces the story's impact.

This is probably the reason critics and viewers have posted unfavorable reviews on this site. Better screen writing would have made this a very good horror drama, but the glaring missives make this more of an average film than it otherwise would have been. A pit!
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Doomsday (2008)
1/10
Worst ​post apocalyptic movie ever
21 April 2017
This flick certainly tries to excite and titillate, but it was nearly impossible to sit through. Aside from the low budget, boring ass beginning, the rest of the film comes complete with two old armored cars driving through junk yards,and cheesy Mad Max crazed warriors. Later we even get medieval style castles filled with old Scottish Occupants.

Blended in are elements of Escape from New York, 28 Days Later, and lots of other cheap sets, boring dialogue and girls in bikinis gyrating to the beat of ripped-off pop songs. There is nothing original in the movie.

As for acting and story​, forget it! There is nothing worthwhile for the viewer. I suspect this movie is the shame of Scotland and I hope the producers find meaningful careers in some other work.
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Tang lang (1978)
8/10
interesting tale of conflicting obligations
18 March 2017
This is an unusual and interesting story of the often conflicting, or even contradictory obligations in certain situations in a Confucian society. It is also quite bleak in its conclusion, which often occurs in Shaw Brothers, revenge-driven Kungfu movies, but more so given the conflict of family, romantic and social ties in this film. An oft-recurring theme in Shaw Brothers' films is the lingering Ming resentment of Qing rule, which also is prominent in this one.

There are historic inaccuracies, such as a romantic lead, Chi-chi, who happens not to have bound feet, which would never have occurred in a noble family circa early Qing dynasty, and this would have precluded any martial arts study for women. But the dominant story plot is the hero's conflicting obligations to family, political loyalties and the intimate affairs of the heart.

None of this becomes clear until the second half of the movie, although it is clearly outlined early in the film. Some of the romantic elements develop slowly, perhaps a bit tediously, in the first part of the movie, but conflict deepens quickly with the resultant tragedy and grim conclusion of the film. The "mantis" element in the film seems slightly contrived, and unessential to the broader thrust of the movie, and some of the early fight scenes in the movie lack the luster of other Shaw Brothers' efforts. But the movie is still worth a look!
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7/10
Interesting Chinese fairy tale
10 March 2017
As with most Shaw Brothers productions, Kung fu elements are the most prominent feature of the story. But this film mixes fantasy, a bit of history and the usual combative heroes and villains in a charming story. The hero is Yong Guo, whose father died at the hands of... (?), who must make something of himself in life. After difficulties with one master, he meets the Little Dragon Maiden, a young beauty who has fantastic Kung fu/magical abilities.

Leslie Cheung, who later went on to great heights in Chinese cinema, reaching his pinnacle in Chen Kai-ge's Farewell My Concubine, plays our forlorn hero in this very early role. Those who are familiar with the Shaw Brothers will see several of the usual Shaw stars in the film. While the script at times seems to veer into realism, and then back to fantasy, it manages to combine action, romance and a few unsavory elements into a watchable whole. Not the best of the Shaw Brothers, but one that manages to be a bit different.
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6/10
Interesting if inaccurate historic drama
24 February 2017
Ingrid Bergman gives a strong performance as a sort of Gladis of China, an unusual woman who finds a fulfilling life in a foreign culture and foreign tongue. The first half of the movie offers compelling scenes of her struggle to adapt to a seemingly brutal and difficult life in a small impoverished Chinese village. She is a common woman, who had been deemed unsuitable for foreign missionary work, but one who perseveres to achieve her dreams.

But in the second half of the movie the script goes for high melodrama, including an armed Japanese invasion of Manchuria with bombing and strafing of peasants. In reality the battle for Manchuria was over as soon as it started, as the only combat involved when Japan seized Manchuria was a short conflict in Mukden. There were no bombing raids on small cities. Additionally, a march to Xian would require a journey of over 1,000 miles, which seems nearly impossible given the circumstances of the film.

But, if you are looking for a good story you could do worse than this one. Surprisingly, the film was mostly shot in Wales, the UK.
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Huang tu di (1984)
10/10
A very fine and unusual movie!
19 November 2016
Yellow Earth is a rare film of exceptional caliber, a film that captures the brutal simplicity of traditional Chinese life in northern China. Directed by Chen Kaige with cinematography from Zhang Yimou, Yellow Earth tells the story of a village family visited by a communist soldier who has come to collect folk songs he hopes might motivate his fellow soldiers to fight the Japanese. You could definitely say this is an "art-house" movie, so if you are looking for high drama it's probably not your cup of tea. However, for the patient and attentive viewer, the emotional impact is powerful.

Chen Kaige manages to show us life in the village in a minimalist style, where the bare earth and mountains of north China provide a most unobtrusive background. A lone tree on the mountain is both an anomaly—there are no other trees in the landscape—and a symbol of the isolation of the individual in a society bound by tradition and codes which permit no variation. The young girl, Cuiqiao, hears the soldier's description of life in a modern, communist world, and dares to dream she might escape her fate in the village, where young women are given as brides to older men before they can fully know themselves, let alone aspire to a self-fulfilling life.

Dialogue and overt emotion are sparse in this film, while traditional folk music provides the chorus that foretells the fate of its characters. It is the contextual environment that provides us with the clues to the person's feelings. In this male-dominated society, the young girl sings a song that pleads for pity for the life of a woman. While the setting is north China circa 1937, the problem it depicts remained a vexing social concern in Chinese rural villages well into the 1990's.
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