Reviews written by registered user
christopher-underwood

Send an IMDb private message to this author or view their message board profile.

Page 1 of 116:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]
1155 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
a mighty achievement, 22 May 2015
8/10

This is a mighty achievement. In a time when film after film comes along with loads of hype and then fizzles out in the theatre, this is a most welcome success. Clearly miller has a clear vision and goes to great lengths to create just what he wants. For me the relentless opening escape sequence was too long and without proper introduction of characters, I felt lost and alienated, as if watching someone else play a computer game. But then we meet the ladies! Suddenly all begins to make a kind of sense and a ferociously enjoyable movie unfolds. I liked the action, the costumes, the pathos, the humour, the violence, the whole unstoppable caravan of carnage. Girls and even old ladies in prominent roles was a nice touch and if this sidelined Tom Hardy so be it. Charlize Theron was surprisingly good and the young ladies effective enough. Apart from my own problem with the opening, this is very hard to fault and is a most spectacular and brash addition to the Mad Max portfolio

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful., 20 May 2015
9/10

I loved this and sat entranced from beginning to end. Despite there not being much physical 'action' this is most beguiling, Helped enormously by a fine performance from Juliette Binoche and a surprisingly good one from Kristen Stewart. There is something about films about the making of plays that always seems to fascinate and it is a useful device because it compels us to see the characters as actors. We cannot lapse into some luvvie appreciation society like state. the cinema performers are constantly talking about how they will play their role so we have to separate and it gives great opportunity for depth. An opportunity not missed here as a slightly bossy Binoche seems to fall for her young assistant as they work together on a play in which Binoche will play the older, having years ago played the younger. i must also mention the third star of this production, the Sils Maria cloud formation itself, a snake like phenomenon, worming its way down the mountain side and through the valley. Wonderful.

(1963)
0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Cinema!, 3 May 2015
9/10

Caught this magnificent film at the start of an extended run at BFI Southbank, London and it seemed as fresh as ever. From the claustrophobic opening sequence, trapped inside a car and watched by surrounding travellers, to the exhilarating ending where everyone joins hands, this is confident and bold and always visually stunning. Many images I remembered from my last viewing, many years ago, and they made me smile with recognition, like old friends. Claudia Cardinale is not given an awful lot to do here, she just has to appear as the perfect fantasy beauty and that she does to perfection. I had, actually, forgotten that Barbara Steele was in the film and was startled to see her pop up, with her distinctive and luscious features. Anouk Aimee is great as the director's wife in a very tricky role as she comes to terms with his friends, male and female. Sandra Milo is the fourth fine actress helping this vast venture with her blowsy and bosomy performance. I am surprised and glad to note that these four are all still well and working today 50+ years on. There are so many vignettes one could draw attention to but, suffice, I think to say that despite (or maybe because of) the many imponderables and failures illustrated, this remains a most life enhancing movie. Too long? Well maybe just a shade but who would dare to put their scissors to this work of genius? PS: I notice that amazingly i have written this piece and not mentioned the towering and pivotal role played by the ever excellent, Marcello Mastroianni. Whether seen quick stepping away from an unwanted encounter, liaising with one of his ladies or simply seen in close up peering over his glasses he seems to be the very essence of 'charismatic'.

Don't expect non stop sex and violence and you'll be fine., 30 April 2015
8/10

I really liked this, even if it wasn't quite what I expected. Sold, very much, as a 'pinky violence' movie, it has far more connections with earlier samurai movies. Someone mentioned that the film has a slightly dated feel and that is partly because of this harking back element but also the glorious wide screen b/w cinematography. Pinky or not there is plenty of vigorous action here and many a sexual situation, even if not particularly sustained. Junko Miazono is fabulous in the main role and if she doesn't get into revenge mode until the final third, it is always bubbling and she is great at it when it comes. The film is very well constructed and although we get several scenes that could have been over long, like the heist and the torture and tattoo scenes all is dealt with very well. Indeed, at the start we get considerable back story without a moments hesitation or even a screen wipe. Oh and the very beginning of the film on the bridge across the river is stunning. Well worth a watch, just don't expect non stop sex and violence.

Trittico (1971)
Acid erotica!, 19 April 2015
8/10

The only person, so far to have reviewed this movie on IMDb does a pretty good job summing up the slight story and certainly helped me out! However I'm not sure he quite does justice to just what a heady brew this is. Always stunning to look at, style over substance all the way and the girls can't wear much in the way of clothes for very long. The music, yes completely unoriginal but irresistible nevertheless, thank you Mr. Cipriani compliments this sparkling giallo like production perfectly. No killings that I was aware of, oh come to think of it I suppose there were, deaths at least. Veteran actor, Rossano Brazzi, Barefoot Contessa, South Pacific and many others moved into TV in the eighties but in the seventies it seems he lent his name and presence to several of his brother's films, of which this is one. Sex, drugs and r&r must also have been involved in the transaction going by this little number but I'm sure much fun was had. Sylva Koscina who is taken along for the ride looks wonderful throughout, wearing some stunning dresses when she can be bothered, appeared in several gialli and will be a much loved and familiar face to many. Not much here by way of sophistication but suffice to say this goes straight into my little list entitled, Acid Erotica!

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
the lovely Laure awaits the attentions of both, 18 April 2015
9/10

I nearly didn't watch this after reading the very few IMDb reviews which seemed to suggest the film was dull, uninteresting and suitable for twelve year olds. Something intrigued me, however, and I couldn't see a Trintignant film was likely to be completely without merit. In fact this is a must see film, yes, Trintignant is great and the other two leads, Carole Laure and Richard Berry are also very good and the tale is so well told. Yes, it is understated and I guess i wouldn't describe it as 'exciting' or 'fast paced' but I was hooked from the start and most intrigued for the duration. Nothing is overtly explained and we just have to watch as Berry as the lonely serial killer goes about his stuff, Trintignant similarly about his, as a most unorthodox cop, and the lovely Laure awaits the attentions of both. Some difficult territory explored and welcome recognition that desire and love and friendship do not all line up as we might wish.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A fine film with much violence., 30 March 2015
8/10

Really good, from the languorous, elegiac opening to the full throttle finish, I enjoyed it all. I note that IMDb shows a running time of 95 minutes whilst my new Arrow DVD runs nearer 115. Can that be so, 20 minutes cut from the previous print? It is just possible for there is a surprisingly large amount of time given to introduction of the characters and the town so that we might become totally involved. Goodness knows what anyone would make of much of this film without the precious opening ten minutes where Giuliano Gemma is introduced to us, literally as a sh*t shoveler before coming under the wing of the majestic Lee van Cleef. The famous Almeria set and surrounds plays its part well too and whilst the tale is fairly simple (revenge!) it is so well told and whilst the opening scenes seem to show a ghost town by the end we have seen it teeming with folks from all around. A fine film with much violence.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
I liked this a lot, 30 March 2015
8/10

I liked this a lot. Bit of a confusing and strange start, a young boy in a room, a nurse with a hypodermic and all within a convent of singing nuns. And who is that guy on the motorbike getting in the way of the police? Oops, he is the police! I guess this just about qualifies as a giallo for while it doesn't have the stylish look or garish details, there are the sudden kills, the child always there mysteriously in the background, not to mention the cat and the bouncing marbles. Compelling and absorbing, this is well directed and we have to gradually piece things together as best we can to keep apace. And then there is the extraordinary scene where the priest flagellates himself for his guilt over his lovers, yes two of them. Oh and that is nothing to what we are treated to once the nuns decide to do the same - en mass! Good resolution always helps and so in summary a good yarn intelligently told and peppered with enough sex and violence to keep the most jaded giallo fan happy.

Wise Blood (1979)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
some find the film to be a black comedy, 27 March 2015
8/10

John Huston's films, ranging from his classic noir, through The Misfits with Marilyn Monroe in her final film to his adaptation of James Joyce's, The Dead, completed just before his own death, are many and varied, with some, not least Wise Blood as downright, quirky. Very much the tale of the blind leading the blind, this is a sad, wry tale of the misfit reaching out for followers. The southern preacher spouting nonsense to a congregation, presumably seeking something, though they know not what. I find myself writing this as the news swirls all about regarding the Germanwings aviation pilot who seemingly took himself and his passengers to their death in the French alps. In the film one character seeing children queue up to shake the hand of a man in a gorilla suit, steals the same suit so he might go about the town having people shake his hand or in his mind, be friends. This would be funny if it were not so tragic, indeed some find the film to be a black comedy. Me, I wasn't laughing.

12 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
profound and engrossing, 20 March 2015
10/10

This is a profound and engrossing film. Peter Strickland is clearly less a fan of cinema than a fanatic for film and there is a difference. He believes that film does not depict reality but is a reproduction of reality and therein lies his fascination. He is excited by this process and through his films similarly excites us. In this film, ostensibly about a couple of ladies living out a BDSM relationship in a rambling old mansion, his filmic inspiration is Stan Brakhage. Brakhage, who died only a few years back. experimented with film all his life, and was introduced to me many, many years ago as I sat in a mattress strewn room, four floors up in an otherwise derelict building in Camden. One of Brakhage's early films was Mothlight (1963) and was made without the use of a camera, by pressing the wings of moths into the negative that was then projected giving and unworldly effect that was not unlike staring at a light surrounded by fluttering moths. Strickland replicates this wonderfully in a sensational dream sequence in his film and is the reason for the insects featuring so prominently. As in his previous films, Strickland is as fascinated with sound as much as picture and here the soundtrack is punctuated with the scratchings and flutterings of butterflies and moths, the purring of the cat and a madam snoring. With so many visual and aural treats we sometimes tend to lose focus on the two ladies but are soon brought back by another twist in the tale. On the face of it this tale of a dom and a sub should be simple enough to tell but the director takes his time to establish the exact tone he wants so we can accept as 'true' what we see before us, even as it changes before our very eyes. As you may have gathered from my rambling, this is no ordinary film and the expected, bare flesh and lashings do not appear but plenty more does, more or less on screen, including the 'human toilet' and a fantastic masturbatory sequence with verbal instructions. So, to conclude, for me Strickland has done it again, a wonderful film, almost out of nothing as he allows his love of 'this unexplored corner of cinema that is still seen as disreputable' (principally, giallo and sexploitation) to colour his vision (and sound) for our delight.


Page 1 of 116:[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [Next]