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13 reviews in total 
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Marooned (1969)
Good movie, but not for those looking for wall to wall action, 2 January 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As others have said, this is a good movie. It does have minor flaws for those used to modern CGI effects, but this is in my opinion a minor distraction.

I cannot fathom how people can claim that this is possibly the worst movie ever. (See previous reviews). I'm guessing that some people cannot bear a space movie without explosions and wall to wall action, and have the attention span of a gnat. Heaven forbid any of them would ever watch Tarvosky's original "Solaris".

Given that others have reviewed this movie, I'll pick on one point for this review. That is the cooperation between the Russian and American rescuers. It could easily have been done in an over-dramatic way. But the two of them just get down to the job, using the limited communication (no radio with comical accents etc.), such as the Russian shining his torch on the floating astronaut. The looks on their faces and the glances exchanged when in the Apollo (Ironman) capsule are subtle and meaningful. Well done to the director for not over-egging the omelet.

Overall, while the effects do date it, this is an engrossing, thoughtful, quality movie. Highly recommended.

6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A very serious message, 2 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is definitely not a movie to watch if you're after car crashes, action heroes saving the day, and happy, fully resolved endings. So, if that's what you're interested in, stick with the Hollywood blockbusters.

But, if you're prepared to look beneath the surface of a movie for the true meaning, and wish to be challenged by films, rather than just following a simple story, then this is definitely a film to see. If you expect all the actions of characters to be realistic, avoid. If you're prepared to accept that what you see on the screen may be a symbol, see this movie.


While I don't want to give the story away, the film starts off full of hope, with the idea that a simple Afghani girl can sneak away from her father, obtain an education, and even become President of Afghanistan. A bit like 'The American Dream' as in any number of Hollywood films? Well, no. Even from the start there are subtle hints that this is just a delusion, and as the movie progresses, this becomes more and more obvious. And the ending is incredibly depressing as the true situation of the family is made clear. This is certainly a movie that made me think, and when I read newspaper articles and other news reports on Afghanistan, this is going to colour my view of what's written. And how many Bruce Willis epics can you say that about?

Stranded (2001)
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Quite Good, 24 November 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There seem to be a variety of opinions about this movie, some people loving it, some people hating it.


First, the worst point about this movie. I must admit that I wasn't impressed by the acting. Generally I'd expect people who consider themselves doomed, or people making the greatest discovery in the history of the human race to show just a little bit more emotion.

But, compared to most current Sci-Fi movies today, I think this is clear above average. I think the basic story isn't great, but it isn't bad. Unlike some others, I liked the ending. Given that you accept the aired regions on Mars, then leaving the remaining crew in the 'life bubble' (for want of better words) to attempt to survive in that landscape is a great way to end. I hope the people who didn't like the ending would not have preferred Bruce Willis to have flown a converted 747 from Earth to swoop in and save them at the last minute. Nor for the crew to find a sole remaining alien spaceship fully fueled up so that the crew could master the controls in five minutes and fly it back. Nope, the ending was the best choice, IMHO, made in the movie.

As for the rest of the movie, it was fine. Not great, but OK. The effects weren't groundbreaking. But, they were sufficient. The plot wasn't that original, but it was OK. Definitely worth a look if you're interested in SciFi, and don't expect every movie to be the best ever.

Rain (2001/III)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
About that ending..., 13 November 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An interesting film with better acting from the child actors than the adults, and great songs from Neil Finn.


I think the ending is far more complex and subtle than people seem to assume. I see Jim's death as symbolising the end of childhood that comes at the end of the movie. Remember that in literature and movies, events are not always what they seem. As someone else mentioned, after his death, she can never go back to the simple play they enjoyed. Some of the previous comments say that the movie should have ended differently, and even give details of better approaches. I disagree. Sometimes it's better to leave the story incomplete, and leave the meaning ambiguous. That's what this movie does.

8 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Quaint, 18 August 2004

It's difficult for me to comment on this movie. My primary reasons for seeing it were to see the ruins of the Crystal Palace before most of the remaining statues (after the fire) were removed. And, to see both Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier in early, and unusual, roles. Both of these requirements are amply fulfilled. It's difficult for me to imagine how I'd react to this movie if it was set somewhere I've never seen, and if I didn't know any of the actors. But, as there are no other comments for this movie yet, I'll try.

As a movie, I'd compared it to other non-traditional movies such as Robinson in Space, or Derek Jarman's The Garden. Except that The Pleasure Garden is very, very dated. Quaint doesn't even begin to describe it. The plot is simple, and knowing the plot ahead of time is no spoiler. A number of characters (and they are definitely characters) meet up in a strange ruined landscape (that this is Crystal Palace is not part of the story), and discover themselves and each other, all clearly heading in the direction of discovering the, shall we say, joys of intimacy. John Le Mesurier's character Col. Pall K Gargoyle rushes around putting up signs banning almost any sort of fun, and admonishing (and even locking in some sort of prison) those who would dare to enjoy themselves. Into this comes Hattie Jacques' character, Mrs Albion. She is some sort of magical fairy cupid godmother figure who uses her magic to liberate people and set them on the road to, it must be said, intimacy. The climax is a battle between the forces of repression and the forces of quaint hedonism.

This movie could be described as a strange mixture of carry on films, Disney, and art house. But, it is dated. Seeing a woman posing in her petticoat is not exactly shocking in the 21st century. And, did I say it was dated? It's more than just the movie not being explicit. The movie has a fair number of songs on the soundtrack, and they are dated. No pulsating rock track here. The dialog sounds dated. The whole concept is dated.

But, if you're interested in seeing a true curio of a movie. Or, if you just want to see early performances of Hattie Jacques and John Le Mesurier. Or, if you want to see what Crystal Palace looked like in the early 50s, this movie is worth checking out. If you want a Hollywood Blockbuster, you'll be well advised to look elsewhere.

"My Hero" (2000)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A quite good comedy, 13 August 2004

This show does seem dumb at first, but as others have said, it's an unpretentious comedy. If you want bleeding-edge TV, then this is the last show you should be watching. In fact I'd say that The Goodies shows from the 70s are closer to the bleeding edge than this. But, if you leave your brain at the door, it's funny and entertaining.

I don't mind the talking baby at all. In fact, I think it's one of the best jokes in the show.

If people liked the more normal situation comedies from the 70s, perhaps like Open All Hours, and wish that they "still made them like that", then this is definitely worth a look. If you want something with the groundbreaking appeal of watching The Young Ones when it first came out, then it's not for you.

3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Dated, but not *that* bad, 26 January 2000

I'm not sure why this movie receives as bad reviews as it does. Admittedly, Ustinov's performance is the worst I've seen from him, and nowdays the portrayal of Orientals comes across as out and out racist. But, if you forgive the movie these problems (this was 1976 when sensibilities were different) it's not that bad. Not wonderful, but with a few laughs. And I had little trouble following the plot.

9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Not as campy as it seems, 10 January 2000

I was a bit disappointed by this film. Some may see the young star as bravely standing up against the cruel older generation, but personally I just found her annoying.

One previous review talks about how her father was completely unable to accept his wife having been a stripper. His initial inability to accept this is only a brief passing stage, and he does accept his wife. After this scene they both work

together to find his daughter, who is allowing herself to be seduced by a sleazy strip-joint owner (Christopher Lee acting extremely well).

My main disappointment with this film is that it isn't as laughable as the cover suggests. There is a small amount of risible dialog, but not enough.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Stark depiction of one man's ruin, 6 January 2000

See other messages for the plot. Few other movies have made me feel for, and hope for, the main characters as this one did.

Short and enjoyable, 1 January 2000

This movie doesn't attempt for a deep message, or particularly sophisticated humour, but then it is only 14 minutes long. Some good songs by various ex-Crocodiles, and directed by ex-Blerta and Crocodiles man Fane Flaws. A nice bit of unpretentious kiwiana, with a procession of corny jokes leading to a corny climax. But, it's fun to watch, which it appears to be its purpose in life.

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