Reviews written by registered user

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65 reviews in total 
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45 out of 58 people found the following review useful:
Dalton's first is a good one, 17 July 2004

One thing that can be said about Timothy Dalton's two appearances in the role of Bond is that both efforts where excellent.

This one is more in the traditional Bond mould than the much darker Licence To Kill that followed it but was still quite a fresh, well scripted and acted story.

It is a bit of a shame that the original plan to have General Gogol throughout rather than General Pushkin had to be dropped due to Walter Gottel being unavailable but even still, John Rhys Davies does well in his role.

Bond girl Myriam D'Abo is a great improvement on her immediate predecessor even if she does not have a huge amount to do and the quality of the photography, particularly the Afghanistan sequences, are excellent.

Unlike many of the Roger Moore Bond's there was a fresh air of originality here unlike previous efforts, which in many ways where bits of old Bonds remixed, reheated and served up.

It is also a refreshing change from the previous A View To A Kill to not have Bond bedding everything female in sight for once!! AVTAK produced four conquests for the rampant fossilised babe magnet (!) Moore, here just the one and discreet at that.

Thankfully silly gimmicks such as another of M's silly offices (Back of a Hercules plane this time following previous instalments in a submarine, Egyptian ruin, sunken ocean liner and a monastery!) were dispensed with quickly and never really seen in the Bond series again after this.

A cracking soundtrack from John Barry (quite possibly his best)finishes off this excellent instalment, which saw the farewell performances of two more stalwarts of the Bond series, Walter Gottel in an all too brief cameo as General Gogol and soundtrack master extraordinaire John Barry (he actually appears here as the orchestra conductor at the Opera House at the very end).

All in all a really good one……

37 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
An all time classic that did NOT need a remake!, 29 July 2004

I was fortunate that Channel 4 in the UK showed this original classic film at the same time the new remake was about to hit the cinema screens. Many thanks therefore for providing two hours of classic cinema that showed clearly why Americans should not bother with naff remakes.

A classic ensemble of some of the UK's finest acting talent o the time pull of a heist in the centre of London but when their landlady finds out what they are up to, a bizarre sequence of events leads the gang to turn on each other in a brilliant and amusingly written, directed and produced film.

Whilst railway nostalgists will be wondering at the vintage footage of steam hauled trains coming out of St Pancras station and goods yard, others will be marvelling at the brilliant characterisations and script that makes this a timeless classic from Ealing studios.

And then the Americans decide on an Americanised remake – WHY?!? Apparently we are promised [unnecessary] remakes of all of the Ealing comedy classics – can't wait for the Titfield Thunderbolt to be remade with a Class 66 and a 4-VEP then!

15 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
A misunderstood and often unfairly condemned entry in the Mad Max series, 28 August 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A misunderstood and often unfairly condemned entry in the Mad Max series


In the beginning was the era of the White Line nightmare, the collapse of civilisation as a few struggled to keep law and order against the rising tide of anarchy. That was Mad Max the original movie.

Then came Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior) and the story moved on, the struggle to survive after the collapse that had begun in the era of the first film.

Beyond Thunderdome attempts to bring the saga full circle as some resemblance of civilisation and organisation begins to rise from the ashes and the cities become populated once again, hopefully setting the scene for the battles and action in the forthcoming Fury Road.

Thunderdome does suffer from a slight 'Hollywoodisation' and many will recognise a few elements straight out of the action movie handbook probably at the insistence of the studio.

However the spirit of Mad Max is still there, the struggle to survive against the odds in the ever changing world. Many have bemoaned the lack of decent car chases in the same way as the previous two films, which is understandable, however it must be remembered that this is fifteen years after the fall of civilisation and oil is non-existent practically.

A chase between a train (we will skip over the nicely maintained track myster!) and various bespoke vehicles is a bit of a rehash of the excellent chase from Road Warrior but fills the bill. It does appear a little stilted and short though as though there was meant to be more of it but we will probably never know.

Annoyingly Brian May who did the amazing soundtrack for the first two Max films was passed over here in favour of Maurice Jarre (Studio insistence?) However he still manages a good soundtrack here (sadly missing several key sections on the CD of the music). Tina Turner does the contractual obligation of most films post 1985 by providing opening and closing songs.

Overall the performances are good as usual from Mel Gibson as our slightly reluctant hero. Tina Turner lords it up for all she can get as Auntie, the leader of Bartertown with the usual supporting cast of henchmen and loonies in weird outfits driving even weirder machines!

Of the supporting characters, Helen Buday was excellent as the young warrior princess Savannah Nix which makes it a shame she has not done more film work, Robert Grubb as Pigkiller was a character I felt needed more explanation and development whilst Bruce Spence is back as a similar (although apparently different!) character to his Gyrocaptain from The Road Warrior.

Nothing however compares with the quite simply stunning closing sequence with the ruins of Sydney (Harbour Bridge, Opera House, etc) that was achieved with amazing accuracy using real models - who needs CGI?

This and the other Mad Max films do deserve decent DVD releases though with load of extras, the full soundtrack and deleted scenes I feel if they are to bring any justice to them. Hopefully with the new Fury Road on the way, someone at Warner Bros DVD Dept might take the hint?

So with Savannah closing with her 'tell' we see Max set off into the wasteland sunset hopefully to return in Mad Max 4 - Fury Road.

19 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
A disaster movie in more ways than one – but I like it!, 23 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Primarily I like this movie for its comedy value, this is your typical band of standard characters in group jeopardy disaster type movie so beloved of the 1970's (see the various Airport films, Towering Inferno, etc for more examples of this classic ‘unintentional comedy' genre).

The usual slightly bored all star cast who need the cash, this time are sealed on a non-stop train with a deadly virus, a couple of dozen gun toting goons and a hundred or so extras who met various violent deaths either at the hands of the virus or other more violent means.

The reason this film is so funny is that you can sit back and relax and watch the endless errors – the non stop train that manages to change locomotive mid journey, the scenery going by the wrong way outside the train windows, the same scenery going by several times on a loop, the electric locomotive that still manages to keep going when the electrical supply disappears every so often, the red kitchen car that manages to turn round and change places in the train, not to mention the final coup de grace with the extra ten or so carriages of cannon fodder extras that mysteriously appear at the front of the train just in time to be tipped over the bridge to their deaths.

The scenario is so ludicrous and the dialogue so clichéd that it makes me laugh out loud whenever I see it, not least that concept that the train is sealed – yeah right – and that they are all cured by the pumped air – so then what do they do? Break a few windows to try and escape – good one!

Still it fills in an afternoon, amazingly this rubbish has actually been released on DVD - whatever next?

Poseidon (2006)
7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Not bad at all, there have been worse remakes...., 21 May 2007

Whilst not holding a candle to the far superior original in terms of script, plot and acting, this remake of the classic 1972 'The Poseidon Adventure' is at least watchable which is more than can be said for a lot of the seemingly endless tide of remakes hitting cinemas these days.

The characters (for want of a better word) are a bit thin and cardboard and the plot really is just a long string of reasonably predictable set pieces but at least it entertains. The best bit is the special effects which are absolutely top drawer. For some reason Hollywood can do some really good FX and CGI when it comes to boats and the CGI rendition of the Poseidon itself in the opening scene is incredibly well done.

Top marks also to the Producers for making sure the Poseidon is a proper British flagged Southampton registered ship and not some Americanised tub.

Much like its predecessor though I fully expect this version to become stable Bank Holiday afternoon television filler material for the next twenty years. Just a pity a remake of 'Beyond the Poseidon Adventure' can't be done from this.

7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Off we go in search of that elusive treasure - a decent script!!!, 10 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Well that was poor… Now don't get me wrong, the first National Treasure was silly but enjoyable and had at least a decent thread of a plot running through it, therefore imagine my disappointment when I put the sequel in my DVD player.

Dear oh dear, an utterly astonishingly awful sequel of which all the major players should be thoroughly ashamed of even being remotely connected with, heaven only knows what the talents of Helen Mirren, Harvey Keitel and Jon Voight were doing in this dire pile of poo.

Yes it is watchable but that is only because it is so bad that it is utterly laughable, indeed it has been a good few years since I enjoyed a movie because it was so utterly awful. The plot holes (a tenuous description since there was very little plot to have holes in really) were so huge you could drive a bus (or in this case a beer lorry) right through them.

Feel free to sit back and laugh at the inane nonsense of it all as we flash from Washington DC to Paris, then London (cue what should have been an excellent car chase through central London that was very disappointing not to mention geographically impossible!) back to Washington DC and then a few other places by which time I was either losing the will to live or just didn't care anymore until I was asked to believe that a lake had magically been installed at the top of Mount Rushmore so that it provided access to a South American hidden city of Gold.

What a load of cobblers….

As the team carried on in search of the most elusive treasure of all (that would be a decent script I presume as they were desperately in need of one) there was also the horrific sight of the mysterious 'Page 47' which sadly opens the door for the inevitable Disney dash for cash that sends us on a collision course towards a second sequel.

I think I will give that a miss somehow…

Shadow Run (1998)
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Dear oh dear....., 22 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

CONTAINS SPOILERS - NOT THAT YOU ARE MISSING MUCH MIND! There are good bad movies and there are bad bad movies. Then there are British made totally unintelligible straight to video vehicles such as this codswallop.

The plot - for want of a much better word and assuming you can find it that is - basically concerns Michael Caine's dodgy violent armed robber working for an equally dodgy but well connected gentleman (played with slimy smoothness by Edward Fox) in order to lift a van load of banknote paper which we later see, appears to be transported around in the most insecure high security van I have ever seen!! The instrument by which the plot circulates around is something to do with hitting the van when it is in a radio black spot that has been amplified by some steel scaffolding on the nearby cathedral – any science student will tell you this plot device is a load of cobblers for a starter.

Along the way as the film plod very slowly onwards we meet some paper thin cardboard cut out henchman including Leslie Grantham who plays the angry cockney wide boy from the east end of London who provides the muscle for the robbery – in other words exactly the same role he plays in pretty much everything he has ever appeared in so no typecasting there then…..

The script is woeful, the plot almost non existent and the supposedly inter-weaved storyline about the large choirboy, his rather unpleasant mates and the girl he fancies is completely pointless and irrelevant, making up a large part of the film that should have been jettisoned at the first script read through as it would never have been missed.

The clichés are free flowing pretty much throughout. Be it the hilarious meeting of Michael Caine and his employer around a picnic table in the middle of what looks suspiciously like a disused cement works in deepest darkest Surrey or Grantham's stereotype cockney villain.

Along the way we also encounter an escort girl who adds nothing to the story whatsoever except she is nice to look at, some quite nice scenery and actually some decent camera work.

However the heist itself which supposedly is meant to be at the centre of the story takes ages to eventually turn up, is handled badly, has huge plot holes you could drive a bus through and quite frankly the tarted up cheap and cheerful ex British Gas van is not fooling anyone! Also for such a high security cargo, you would expect at least to find a) an armed Police escort and b) a much sturdier van than the second hand rust bucket that this film's budget seemingly only just managed to stretch to.

I can only assume the quite stellar cast were in desperate need of the cash, they certainly would not have done this film to win any awards except maybe a golden raspberry.

And for their efforts, this rubbish that was already old and dated when it was made, lurked on a shelf unreleased for years and then went straight to a £1 DVD release in the 'Cheap Tat' section of my local supermarket!!

Maiden Voyage (2004) (TV)
7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Yet another Die Hard straight to video rip off with cardboard villains…, 4 September 2006

Yet another Die Hard straight to video rip off with cardboard villains… How many more of these god awful cheaply (and badly) made rip off of the more popular action movies of the late 1980's and early 1990's are there still lurking out there? For the record (not that you will care really) this one is yet another blatant rip off of a combination of Die Hard, Under Siege and Speed 2 complete with a full complement of clichés and predictability.

The non descript villains are the usual selection of cardboard cut out gun toting thugs who are dispatched by various means as the film progresses, the hero naturally is an ex cop or something that has family and attitude problems and of course he brings along to the party not only the usual emotional baggage but also a matching piece of eye candy and his annoying son.

The supposed luxury cruise liner that is running between Florida and Mexico is carefully described as a cross between a liner and a ferry – this goes someway to explaining how come they appear to be larking around on a rusty cross channel ferry – in New Zealand! The acting is as wooden as the deck, the script woeful, the one liners predictable, the villains utterly inept and the plot has holes in it you could sail a boat through.

There seems to be a never ending tide of this sort of rip off straight to video rubbish polluting the late night slots of television and the DVD bargain bins of supermarkets everywhere (although even this film is so bad it has yet to see a DVD release yet but give it time!) Is there any chance of something at least half decently made, semi believable and most important ORIGINAL?!? No, I thought not…..

Sahara (2005)
8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining if somewhat daft, 25 August 2005

A sequel to Raise the Titanic this was being billed as, excuse me while I have a quick belly laugh! Adapapted from one of Clive Cussler's popular Dirk Pitt series of novels, this very much Holywoodised adaptation is glossy, well photographed and very slick.

Whilst most entertainment these days can be enjoyed by leaving your brain at the door on the way in, for this, it would be wise not to bring you brain anywhere near the door in the first place as the plot leaves a lot to be desired with holes the size of battleship in it.

The original plot line about the highly unlikely story (or plot device, take your pick) of the lost Civil War Ironclad battleship winding up on the wrong side of the Atlantic in the middle of a desert is seemingly forgotten for the middle two thirds of the film until an urgent requirement for something with armour plating and a convenient working cannon turns up.

Whilst there are good laughs to be had and the casting of the criminally underused Willam H Macy as Admiral Sandecker is spot on, there are other problems, not the least of which is the civil war in Mali that seems to be lacking somewhat. More so as the supposed War Lord is as weak as a dishcloth and has a very small army who surrender in a split second the moment the native rebels turn up on horseback and en-masse.

The biggest failing though is the woefull miscasting of Matthew McConaughey as Dirk Pitt. If Pitt is supposed to be a long experienced old sea dog then he should at least appear older, wiser and less barmy than this, more like Dirk Pitt was portrayed in the dreadful adaptation of Raise the Titanic twenty five years or more earlier.

Overall, its watchable, the special effect are impressive but it is very silly. As this looks like the beginning of a franchise, I hope that they learn from the mistakes made here and consider recasting the Pitt role to someone more mature.

Meteor (1979)
11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Laughable - makes Deep Imapct look like Shakespeare!, 15 September 2003

Good grief this is bad....

Standard Cold War paranoia (Martin Landau suitable wasted here in a 'if I have to talk to the Russians then its not worth saving the planet kind of role) mixes with LOUSY special effects even for 1979.

Throw in some ropey acting, an impressive all star cast that would rather be somewhere else but needed the cash to pay off an urgent gas bill or something and some truly dreadful set design and you have the final nail in the coffin of the 1970's disaster movie genre.

The avalanche was poorly done, too much stock footage was used and the New York collision sequence was unfortunate, particularly with the meteorite fragment going right through the upper part of the World Trade Centre (and its subsequent collapse in flames) being an uncomfortable parallel of tragic future events - this was shown on the BBC two days after the second anniversary of that tragedy by the way....

If they had refined the script and maybe sorted out some better money on the special effects then this could have been good, as it stands however it makes the woeful but similar Deep Impact of some twenty years later look like Shakespeare....

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