Reviews written by registered user
|107 reviews in total|
Perhaps if I'd never grown up and still been the ten-year old boy I was
when I first sat down to watch the TV series I would have come away
from this film with a big smile on my face. It's difficult to see who
this appeals to - if you're old enough to remember the original series
then you must surely be too mature to find anything worthwhile about
this pap. If you're too young to remember it, then what's the point
going in the first place?
This is a film so in love with it's own idiocy that it feels like a party you haven't been invited to. It looks like it should be a barrels of laughs, but you'd be hard pushed to raise a smirk. The whole enterprise hasn't an ounce of invention or wit, and the cast of characters are two-dimensional stereotypes with little or no redeeming features. Script, direction and acting are all abysmally amateur. The self-referential nostalgia factor (everything from "Smokey and the Bandit" to "Wonder Woman" is obvious and embarrassing, and Jessica Simpson should be taken out the back and shot for her performance (which is what you'd expect to happen in Georgia if you believe what you see in this film). William Scott's gurning isn't much better.
Awful in almost every aspect, don't waste your money for a few moments of great car stunts.
The first thing to get past is the fact that this straight-to-video
thriller is shot on video, and, as such, looks low budget, and feels
like a TV show. But once you can get past that, the video works in its
favour, encouraging you to take more from the performances and the
story. It's seemingly more realistic, with, literally a clearer view of
what's going on. The direction is very simple, but this helps to
concentrate on the characters and the plot.
The three leads give credible performances, and there are enough ambiguities in the story to keep you guessing until the end (despite some unfortunate holes in credibility). A bigger budget and bigger stars would easily see this type of thing in your local cinema. As it is, a competent thriller, a surprising straight-to-video hit.
Not bad, made-for-TV movie from Aaron Spelling and co. Although
predictable for the most part, it has engaging lead performances and a
sense of straight-laced melodrama that offers up a few surprises
intermittently. Fans of "Charlie's Angels" will be interested to see
Jackson here before she went on to bigger things, but the lead
performance from Pamela Franklin is just as noteworthy (whatever
happened to her career?).
Moderately successful atmospherically, but hardly ground-breaking, it nevertheless isn't the worst of the wave of similar films from the same period, and it certainly has its moments.
Last summer I spent a few hours on a boat on the Thames in the company
of deranged cabaret duo Kiki and Herb. It wasn't the first time I'd
experienced life through the eyes of the gin-soaked Kiki, and won't be
the last if I can help it. These lives shows fused a knowing irony of
contemporary pop songs, skewed into barely recognisable, angst ridden
torchsongs, with the desperate (and desperately sad) musings of a woman
who's lived a coke-fuelled, battle-scarred life, and who still stands
tall and does it her way. Justin Bond's slight frame holds this beast
at bay until the moment she storms the room in a deluge of bitterness,
rage and child-like innocence, making Liza look astonishingly
It's difficult to make any connection between that night and this movie, as the energy and spontaneity of Kiki and Herb's live show is lost. The character is so firmly embedded in Bond, and so lived-in, that we never doubt for a moment that she exists - that the desperate naivety and need for acclaim is genuine. But the film relies solely on this personality, and offers very little to compare with the live experience. The build-up is too long, and despite the (often very funny) repartee it begins to flag. Without the songs and the tragedy of her past Kiki comes over as just another drag queen, all mouth and no trousers, and the bitching begins to drag after a while.
Kiki and Herb deserve immortality on the big screen, but this isn't it. They deserve to have their story told, their live show celebrated. But this film does none of those things. See them live.
A inventive conceit is given lacklustre treatment in this homage to the
great silent horror "Nosferatu" (1922). Merhige's film is a strange
amalgam of genres, straddling horror, comedy and costume drama, but
never really settles into a comfortable position. There are some
astonishingly eccentric performances (as you would expect) from the
likes of Malkovich, Dafoe and Izzard but the story never opens up
enough to remain consistently interesting. It's a marvellous idea that
Murnau found, in Schreck, a real life vampire to bring a genuine horror
to his seminal movie, but the narrative doesn't develop beyond the
obvious bemusement of his fellow cast, and the maniac compulsion of an
obsessive director aiming to finish his 'masterpiece'. The characters
remain largely two-dimensional, and the full horror is never fully
exploited, leaving a half-formed horror parody, complete with
torch-wielding eastern Europeans and cross-bearing local innkeepers.
A film for those who enjoy full blooded performances (although how Cary Elwes ever got an acting job is still a mystery), and have a passing interest in the history of horror. But, sadly, it feels like it could have been so much more.
Another cheapie from Monogram, once again casting Lugosi as a hypnotic murderer, lit from below as is expected. This time, however, he's the innocent victim, entranced by the sight of his 'dead' wife who appears beneath his window and seemingly 'commands' him to kill (rather surreptitiously and for a reason not fully explained). Indeed, most of the plot isn't really fully explained, but it's academic. Instead of the plot, concentrate on the director's unusual flair, and the writers' penchant for a decent gag or two. It's these that elevate this slightly above the rest of its kind. Some interesting panning between rooms, and behind furniture, and a memorable shot of Lugosi leering direct to camera from behind his black robe show that director Lewis had, at least, a modicum of creativity. There's also a wicked sense of humour that takes you by surprise, and is handled well enough to complement the thriller element. Sadly, the performances are mundane, especially Lugosi, who, once again mugs and grimaces his way through the part. The film is stolen by Clarence Muse, superb as the amenable butler, Evans - although he does get all the best lines.
I am at one with the previous comment by Theo. This so-called 'documentary' is one of the most biased pieces of television I've seen in a long time. Irrespective of your opinion on the current case against Michael Jackson, you would still be hard pressed not to find this programme leaving a nasty taste. I find it hard to believe this could ever be shown if the case was taking place in the UK, as the whole tone implicitly suggests that Jackson grooms his young male friends, before rejecting them once puberty hits. There are a few interviewees who support Jackson, however, the editing and script are predominantly misrepresentative. There's a plethora of archive footage to back up the director's agenda, but very little in the way of investigative journalism. Indeed, a very dangerous film.
This is a hastily assembled 'documentary', broadcast on British television shortly after the announcement of Prince Charles' and Camilla's engagement. It trawls through the history of the couple from their first meeting nearly three decades ago, and brings the story right up-to-date. There's barely any new footage, save for a selection of 'talking heads' interviews with those who think they are in the know, with the majority of the programme made up of news footage. A shameless cut-and-paste job that gives you some of the more obvious facts but leaves out anything exclusive or interesting, which may be of interest if you are unfamiliar with the whole saga, or if you've never seen a British newspaper in the last 10 years.
This is just one of many documentaries screened in the build-up to Jackson's trial on allegations of child sex abuse. Most are cheap cash-ins for the TV companies, but this was an interesting and eye-opening account, not of Jackson, but of a group of his fans. In fact, the link to Jackson isn't necessarily the most intriguing part of the film, rather it's the way the adulation is borne out by a group of young, seemingly rational men and women. Leveugle's success is that she never mocks her subjects (which would seem the easiest thing to do) and they come across, for the most part, as people with a passion for their hobby - it just happens that their hobby is following one of the world's most famous men. The film avoids the 'freakshow' elements on the whole (except the inclusion of a Jackson wannabe whose adulation has made him cosmetically change his appearance to resemble the star), and is better for it. This leaves us with a balanced and honest film that goes some way to understanding the power of celebrity and the nature of obsession.
Yet another in the long list of Lugosi's B-movies as his career was in
decline, this is of interest only to those who wish to follow that
downward trajectory. Here he plays a stricken scientist, whose
experiments have rendered him with ape-like instincts and a mass of
facial hair. It's a thankless part that leaves Lugosi stumbling around
for the most part in a simian stoop, leaving the best parts of the
story to his supporting cast. But there's neither suspense nor horror
enough to cover up the limits of the cast and the budget of the
production. Ford and Currie, as the journo duo offering light relief,
seem to have escaped from a different movie, and Urecal's wide-eyed
posturing is ham of the highest order. Pity the unfortunate Van Horn,
who spends his time in an unconvincing gorilla suit throughout. Oddly,
there's an obscure, self-referential ending, which serves little or no
purpose as far as I can see, and which points up the apparent
irregularity of the comedy/horror subject matter.
A short waste of time, but a waste of time nonetheless.
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