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the great war
I found this DVD boxset by accident as I was looking into information concerning WOI which is in the Netherlands not that much of a big deal history wise as we were neutral (and were left to our selves by the Germans).
It does give some serious insight into the history of the first big War and does place it well into context, doesn't fall into the trap of focusing to much in one particular battle but tell enough, so that if the viewer is interested he/she can go and find out more themselves on the specifics.
The shocking bits are the actual images of real footage from that war, that make it so much more dark.
A very well balanced documentary on one of the largest wars of the last 100 years. Should be considered watching for all.
The Saint in New York (1938)
The Saint starts his cinema career
Simon Templar aka the Saint started his long and illustrious career in 1929 with the release of Meet the Tiger as written by the brilliant Leslie Charteris. By the time this movie came along The Saint was already a very popular book character. And while most people know of Roger Moore, Ian Ogylvie, Simon Dutton or George Sanders playing the Saint this first one is played by Louis Hayward (he played in the first movie and the last one of the b/w series) and he does it very well. This Saint is light years away from the later suave performance of Sanders or Moore. This is a straight "revenge" story in which the Saint takes care of the organized crime in New York, by means that are not available to the police. In the book he has stay clear of both parties but in the movie, a knee fall to morality of those days, he is more or less asked by the police. The Saint does so in a whirlwind 48 hours. The 60 odd minutes the movie lasts fly by and leaves you with the feeling to see more.
In a recent movie by Tarantino (Inglorious Basterds) he kinda gives a wink to the Saint by letting his heroine read a novel "Le Saint a New York", which proves that the Saint is still out there. With a new TV-pilot just behind the horizon.
Now if the powers that be only released a full DVD-boxset of all b/w Saintmovies I for one would be a very pleased person.
Highlander: The Source (2007)
continuing the highlander - series
This review is based upon the Dutch official release in September 2007.
Having enjoyed the original movie long ago its sequel was a kick in the groin. Then came the series that took some time to establish itself but with six seasons of Duncan Macleod of the clan by the same name he had created a character that had surpassed the original Connor and shown an immortal that wanted to leave the game and was sorely tested by its bloodthirstiness. Highlander endgame was flawed because it was neither Duncan nor Connor.
Highlander 5 is the continuing story from season 6 where Duncan is no longer the bright hero but a man who carries guilt, loneliness and many questions around. he no longer seems to want to be part of the game of immortals. This happened after he married (Tekla Reuten) and she left him because she wanted the impossible, a baby. She seems to be followed around in some apacolypical surroundings always being followed she feels by Duncan. Due to some ancient legend other immortals are chasing a mystical source (of great power to the immortals) and Duncan gets pulled back into the life he left behind, Dawson of the Watchers & Methos. In the end this movie is less a quest for immortals but more about Duncan finding himself.
The baddie is a sheer invincible immortal who moves in a mind numbing speed, the world is seemingly crowded with cannibals that see other folks as a nice snack. Yes it is a dark tale that lacks the great fights that the series always gave us, but then again this movie was never about death and killing but about hope, love & life.
For folks expecting a Connor Highlander story, they are in for a bad surprise. These are the continuing adventures of Duncan the Highlander and his search for answers. He not unlike us flawed mortals seeks for the reason that made him immortal and what he lives for.
A very dark and enjoyable tale in which the Queen songs are re-interpreted by other bands who lack the greatness of Freddy Mercury but are good enough. The music itself is very well done.
great line by the baddie: There can be only one me.
I would look forward to the next installment of Duncans adventures but I fear that this movie is not the movie the fans wanted. It dared to enter a new course and direction away from the road already well traveled by the Highlander franchise. It just might be the one that does kill the franchise because the complaining fans never did give it a chance and actually just wanted more of the same. The Source is just not more of the same.
Adrian Paul did a great job and in the role of Miss Macleod Thekla Reuten is very impressive, she's quite believable the star of Duncans universe. The supporting cast from the series Dawson & Methos do what they aways were bound to do they give Duncan his mythical greatness.
Arsène Lupin (2004)
Arsene Lupin in a try for epic movie, smart move????
Might contain some spoilers.
In this vehicle from 2004, we get after the movie Vidocq, we get the next hero from the old days. Arsene Lupin the French counterpart of the English gentleman thief Raffles, while Raffles adventures are limited Arsene had a long list of books they could film.
This movie however took the road of an epic movie, it cuts through the life of Arsene to highlight one of his great adventures and thereby leaving out the portion what made the man so charming namely his gentleman thiefery adventures. Yes we get a little peak of a few episodes but mostly AL is busy not stealing in the most genial ways but having a grand adventure. Is the movie therefor less entertaining, no it is not as epic adventure stories go it is a nice and fun movie that uses this classic hero in a positive way. It fails to deliver the gentleman thief however, which is one of the reasons why I like the character.
However the main character monsieur Lupin does strike me as a Vincent Cassel light, he does his job well enough but he's for me not powerful enough. Kristin Scott Thomas is besides a gorgeous woman also a devil in this movie, she gives the movie it's strength (bond villains have a look here how it's done). her part also gives the movie that fantasy aspect that does sit rather well in this story. Eva Green is a vision of loveliness so when the inevitable moment comes you really care.
The movie moves in a decent enough pace, gives us a great and luscious view of old France with some great set pieces like Paris. Greatly filmed and delivers a nice enough epic movie that could have used a little less epic.
I hope that the next movie is a we bit scaled down in size and centers more upon the character Lupin as a master Thief.
And I am now actually looking forward to that moment that is bound to come when the French cinema has a new shot at Fantomas (French greatest villain ever). I feel that the popularity movies as Vidocq & Arsene Lupin will undoubtedly make way for this title.
Perhaps it is time for the UK to dust of their epic hero's like Allan Quartermain (with a preferable SC) or Raffles.
If you like any of the last suggestions make your nose tingle it is a sure sign you most probable going to enjoy Arsene Lupin. Enjoy, I did.
The Shadow Strikes (1937)
Where's the Shadow
For anybody who enjoyed the last movie update of the Shadow, this movie might be a bit of a shock. The movie lacks the character of the Shadow, twice we see the man and even then he lacks the magic and is just a man with a coat and had whom's face you don't see. Never you see why he strikes fear in the hearts of criminals.
It looks like a detective story with as an afterthought the character of the Shadow thrown in. The story is about Lamont taking the identity of an out of town lawyer and in doing so he gets involved in a murder plot. As usual it is about big money to be inherited and gambling. And even the evil gangster in this movie is laughable, he seems to do his own things instead of his men, which proves his downfall.
As a mystery, nice ending, as a Shadow movie a tad disappointing.
The Saint's Return (1953)
A great but late return of Hayward.
Having seen this movie with Louis Hayward I wondered why he did stop with making the saint movies for so long, or why he didn't take the part instead of Hugh Sinclair (i don't like the saint with a moustache). Continuing his strong physical performance for The saint of New York, he's less suave but more the adventurer that Simon Templar is in his earlier years. With Hayward the physical action is believable while this was less the case with Sanders. But for me Hayward is slightly more Saintly. Hoppy Uniatz from the books gets changed in an English valet who does solve crosswords, which is a huge change for those who've read the books. This movie also has Diane Dors in it, the poor man's English Marlyn Monroe. She serves her purpose namely as Eyecandy.
Lets hope for a decent release on DVD for this movie and the series, so they can pleasure the series fans for a long time too come.
King Kong (1933)
Can the classic survive Peter Jackson
This classic monster movie has been one of my pleasures for a long time. This 1933 has as of yet not been matched by any remake or sequel until 2005.
I am afraid that this movie might be forgotten once Jacksons' vehicle enters the cinema. Which is a shame this movie's accomplicements have stood up to the teeth of time. Yet the Ape and dinosaurs look kind of dated but yet more alive then any modern remake has accompliced so far. I remember seeing this movie for the first time and my jaw hit the floor. I've have been in love with Kong since then but I've not seen the new one yet. But i fear that when it's success the Ancient Kong shall be forgotten. So I hope that Mr. Jackson will point out that there's only one Kong and that's the 1933 version. Better yet, release a cleaned up print with every possible extra that can be assembled.
I hope that old Kong does survive the storm this autumn. And not just lives on in the mind of us oldies.
This is comedy
This movie made laugh and does so every time I see it again. Perhaps it won't go down in history as a timeless classic is does deserve it so much. The original premise is a weird one, about transsexuals traveling through the desert of Australia. The sense of humor is very wicked and thank God for small favors not restrained to Hollywood standards. And I've never watched a game of table tennis without a smallish grin on my face which has little to do with the game in it self.
The actors are great an absolute anti choice in the matters of typecasting . The scenery of the movie is great, the bus in the desert are two extra players that give this movie an extra beaut. The extra castmembers are great and unforgettable. Ever since when I watch an episode of Flying Doctors or things in his sort I wonder about the nutty folks out there. the costumes are great and gobsmacking, they perform very well in the musical numbers.
I showed this to my mum, after the initial shock she was very amused and agreed with me that it was a very funny movie.
I will watch this movie a lot in the future, why?? It keeps me laughing every time.
Tarzan and the Green Goddess (1938)
Shock to the system
I got this movie in a box of Weismuller movies and this movie did feel so awfully compared to the MGM movies of Weismuller. The story starts somewhere in the middle (the beginning being the New adventures of Tarzan)about a statue of a goddess, hence the title. It takes place in Central America, and some of the nature shots seem borrowed from other continents. Bruce Bennet looks very Tarzan, but his acting is terrible, Weismuller is oscarmaterial compared to this man. The action scenes in this movie looks bad, the big fight in the beginning of the movie looks so stupid and silly that it takes the need to watch any further away. But I like punishment and occasionally am surprised on the end. It did not happen. As a movie it is awful and I am not sure that the serial is that good either.
This movie has none of the fun a good Tarzan movie should have. It leaves his viewer bewildered which is not good. My advise ignore this "movie" unless you are a Tarzan fan, then you have to watch it I guess.