220 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
7/10
A very solid early Bond outing that Connery makes his own!
13 October 2017
Sean Connery's second outing as James Bond in 'From Russia with Love' is more darker, edgier and fluid than 'Dr No'. The second film has a more espionage feel to it and Connery also seems to have adapted to the role like a true British spy. Robert Shaw is quite good as the blonde-haired assassin in Red, with a menacing presence throughout the movie. The love interest in Daniela Banchi, as the Russian spy in Romanova who is duped by SPECTRE, provides conflict and a genuine romance for Bond, and Lotte Lenya's Rosa Klepp has very memorable scene as the villainess pulling Grant's string. The film provides plenty of action and locations, and I think it flowed better than 'Dr No'. Granted, I only watched them all in order recently, but I liked how this film followed on from the first one with SPECTRE being more of an established organisation with a structure and system. They are truly evil and failure is not an option if you are going after Bond!

The second installment is better than the first, with impressive action sequences and interesting characters, and no doubt raised hopes for the third installment!

***½ out of *****!
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Short Circuit (1986)
7/10
Fun 80s movie for the family, even if the technology seems a little dated!
7 July 2017
Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy star in this often forgotten but somewhat iconic comedy-adventure with a robot in 'Short Circuit'. This 80s flick, directed by John Badham (Saturday Night Fever, Stakeout, Nick of Time) is funny, with a dash of heroics and that usual 80s trend of discovering new wondrous things- this times through the eyes of Johnny Five, who quickly realises that "disassemble" means death, kaput etc, and he simply wants to be alive. Fisher Stevens adds to the comedy as Guttenberg's co-worker, and G.W. Bailey (Guttenberg's rival from Police Academy) plays another bumbling incompetent glorified security guard for laughs too. Slightly dated, but still fun watching Johnny Five needing input, but with the advent of the internet, the technology does seem less futuristic in this film. Badham even recreates a scene from 'Saturday Night Fever' for laughs, and endears the audience to this robotic hero.

I remember enjoying this film as a kid, and still enjoyed watching it again. Certainly a film in the same vein of 'Innerspace', 'Explorers', 'Flight of the Navigator' etc. If you haven't seen this film, it's still possible you may enjoy it, and I think it's still a decent family movie.

***½
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Dr. No (1962)
6/10
Significant beginning of a franchise.
14 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I remember as a kid that this was one of my least favourite Bond movies, and was significant because it was the first instalment. Upon re-watching it, I appreciated it more, but 'Dr No' takes far too long to introduce the title character- played by Joseph Wiseman- as well as introducing the audience to Honey Ryder, played by the gorgeous Ursula Andress. The film does establish Sean Connery's stamp on the role of James Bond, as we get to see his roguish charm on display, and of course we have the iconic "My name is Bond, James Bond" casino scene at the beginning, as well as establishing the whole universe of James Bond 007.

My other gripe with this film is the Three Blind Mice assassins who disappear completely without any resolution. Anyway, 'Dr No' is definitely worth-watching, particularly because it was the first Bond movie.

*** out of *****!
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Condorman (1981)
5/10
Other childhood films were better!
15 September 2015
'Condorman' isn't in the same league as other of my childhood favourites, and while nostalgia is one thing when revisiting a film, sometimes you realised that the charm would have worn off if you re-watched in your teenage years. Simply put, 'Condorman' is an okay film that is essentially for children and it's a lot better than revisiting 'Howard the Duck'. There was some decent car-chase sequences involving a one-eyed henchman in a bike helmet inside fast Porsches, and some fun comedic where Michael Crawford got to showcase his timing, and I really liked the performance by James Hampton as Woody's sidekick. Oliver Reed was okay as the villain and Barbara Carrera was good as the love interest. The bad was that awful score from one of the greats, and some of the exposition scenes at the beginning felt obvious and seemed to know little about comic-book history, and of course, Condorman in costume having to flap his wings isn't quite the superhero we are used to in films.

Filmed in 1981, 'Condorman' is definitely dated, and maybe only suitable for people who actually remember this as a child. It gets a pass from my older self! **½ out of *****!
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7/10
Definitely for the older Star Wars fans who used to have the toys!
15 September 2015
It's astonishing how a collector can remember his very first Star Wars toy, and I totally struggle to remember mine, let alone the ones I had- because unfortunately, I broke them or grew out of them. This film is pretty much for the people who wish they hadn't conformed to "growing up" and being able to see all these toys again. During the film, I was like "did we have that one?", or "we used to own him/her/it". It was great to see all these collectors display their collections, and accurately know the history of it. So many Christmases I've forgotten which toys I unwrapped, whether it was He-Man, GI Joe, or Star Wars, and the worlds you created with them all. Maybe I was a little too young for Star War toys initially, as I do remember my first GI Joe. But, I digress.

This documentary is interesting for the fans, and the kids who collected these toys, but it also gives major insight into the history of Kenner's acquisition of the products, and how they mass-produced them. It was great to see the designers feel satisfied with their creations upon a generation of children, as well as explaining the history of a certain toy like Boba Fett for example, or attempts at toys- the R2-D2 train was a terrible idea, but it was interesting to see. If you are a Star Wars, or a toy-collector; then this documentary is for you. Documentaries are usually pretty good, and when it's based on a fun topic, then it's especially good.

***½ out of *****!
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Sharknado (2013 TV Movie)
2/10
Ummmm, well, cult or not, still bad.
8 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
OK, while there is some gleeful delight in watching a film about sharks flying in a tornado, and some commentary on disaster movies in general, I am still left aghast as to how bad the experience was when I finally watched it! 'Sharknado' is terrible, and frustratingly silly on all levels- even with the intention of being campy and silly, it's kind of deliberately aiming with the "so-bad-it's-good" territory without the charm of 'Snakes on a Plane', or even the budget. While I understand it's firmly tongue'n'cheek, 'Sharknado' has become a cult success that has plenty of cheap effects, bad acting and all round stupidity. When Cassie Scerbo was freed from a shark's gut after being devoured earlier, well, nuff said. What the heck was John Heard doing in this thing?

* out of *****!
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4/10
Better left in the memory banks for the ones who saw this as child!
22 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
When you were nine years old, it was perfectly believable that a rabbit Wizard would assist a young rabbit to be a patriotic hero who will save other rabbits and animals. Yep, totally legit! However, revisiting this film as an adult induces frequent groans at the dialogue and the silliness of the story- not to mention our hero is called American Rabbit which suggests patriotism is important for the rabbit population.

Okay, I remember 'The Adventures of American Rabbit' being released at the cinemas back in the 80s, and it disappeared during the 90s. Admittedly, I had fonder memories of this forgotten flick, but I guess I was so enamoured by the trailers at the time, that I may have forgotten my disappointment. This is not a great animated film by any standard- especially upon a re-watch! It is worth noting that voice-great in Lorenzo Music (Garfield) was the voice of Ping the Gorilla, and other than that, this film is pretty lame. When the bad guy kidnaps the Chocolate Moose to control New York, this film had good from bad to worse. Hard to find a good quality version of this movie, and that is probably for the best.

** out of *****!
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The Gold Rush (1925)
9/10
'The Gold Rush' still amazes and succeeds in comedic performance, and embodies pioneering cinema!
15 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I must admit, I got a sense of déjà vu when watching 'The Gold Rush', and I believe it's somewhat due to impact of the image of Charlie Chaplin in the social psyche, and the saturation of skits of his work in popular media. So, while I sat watching this film, I felt I had definitely seen parts before, but I've never watched the whole film in its entirety. Judging a silent film from 1925 is a difficult mandate, but I was honestly never bored with this film, and there were so many great scenes and comedic skits. I laughed when Chaplin's tramp was trying to keep his trouser up and secured an unwanted best friend during a dance sequence.

Charlie Chaplin does genius physical comedy as well as acting to boot. Add Mack Swain as Big Jim, and this film is wildly entertaining, as well as showing that silent comedies have the prospect to be comedic gold. I haven't seen the majority of Chaplin's work, but considering the time period and pioneering of visual comedy, I would recommend this to people who want to his work! I don't think is as good as Keaton's 'The General' though, but 'The Gold Rush' is highly regarded as a silent comedy classic. Glad I finally saw it! ****½ out of *****!
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9 Songs (2004)
1/10
70 Looooooong Minutes
15 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Have sex. Watch concert. Talk about Antarctica! Then repeat nine times. Never has a movie outstayed its welcome at 70 mins, and this one was unbelievably boring in every single way. Brave actors getting their kit off- but badly acted, and is a rather pointless slice-of-life movie that is actually directed by a competent and interesting filmmaker; whose resume includes the very excellent 'Cock and Bull Story' and interesting dramas such as 'Go Now' and 'A Mighty Heart'! Though I haven't seen enough of Michael Winterbottom's films to really judge his overall career, '9 Songs' is certainly a blemish on it, but the question is, would I have actually bothered with this movie if the controversial subject matter did not exist? I don't deplore sex in movies, but please have a reasonable plot with this sort of experimental art-house that feels the need to inundate with actual real sex on cinema! Make the plot interesting. This is definitely more raw than pornographic, but if it wasn't for the controversy, I doubt anyone would have seen this rubbish!

0.5/5 or 1/2* out of *****!
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Project X (2012)
4/10
Kids these days!
18 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
MASSIVE SPOILERS!

Admittedly, this film was reasonably well-directed even with the obnoxious flare it embodied. There was gratuitous mammary pool scene that enhanced the crazy party atmosphere of the most-craziest party imaginable. It has the usual plot pointers with the exposition in the beginning such as "don't touch the merc", the acquisition of the garden gnome, and the friend you love to hate who helps spiral this endeavour out of control. There were some humorous moments as well, such as the next door neighbour punching a twelve-year old Taser-wielding security freak, and subsequent Intel on that particular neighbour adding some needed laughs. 'Project X' wasn't trying to be realistic, even though it employed a documentary style of filmmaking- this was exhibited by the complete unrealism of the partygoers remaining silent when the Police arrive initially, as well as putting the dog up in the air via balloons. The film never apologises for being anything more than a silly movie with the initial premise. As the party spirals out of the control as well as the characters becoming more far gone in apathetic bliss (thanks to some ecstasy) as their house and contents are getting trashed, the movie also spirals into more stupidity; with glamorisation of drug-use, dick-punching midgets, vengeful flamethrowers, and more obnoxious behaviour from the lead characters proclaiming the party's greatness because of the sheer insanity! It's like 'Superbad' on steroids and then some, except the former film is far superior, and their kick-ass party is funnier and with less destructive elements. 'Project X' is a well-directed mess much like the party itself, and unlike 'Chronicle', 'Paranormal Activity' or 'Cloverfield', I don't think the documentary style adds to the subject or makes it any less artificial than other similar-themed party movies with spliced footage of revelling overlapped with loud music. In the end, the main character was less of a atypical "loser" in his father's eyes, and popular in high school, and no one got hurt- except for the badly burned should-have-been-dead drug-dealer!

** out of *****!
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