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|1132 reviews in total|
A rather splendid 1947 b/w film from the Ealing Studios. I find a lot of these films a little too sentimental and the acting a bit too stagey but this is a real surprise. Great dialogue, convincingly conveyed and together with super cinematography combine to make this a truly enjoyable if nostalgic view. The locations are more Camden than the East End, except for glimpses of Whitechapel at the start but no matter, it all looks good and the views of the railway marshalling yard at the end quite stunning. There is a central story but is is intercut with others and the whole thing bounces along nicely. Even the kids are all right and the amusing bits still amusing. Really though this is a very believable view of London's East End just after the war. Bomb sites, rationing and everyone trying to make the most of what they had. Also there was a feeling that the cops and robbers weren't really that different from each other, just on different sides and the important thing was to survive. Well worth a watch.
Before setting out to see a preview of this film I glanced at the host of enthusiastic reviews on this site and then noticed that most of them were 'reviewed' by folks who had reviewed nothing else. This made me suspicious and I felt that the film would be a sad and silly mess. Not so! The movie is nowhere near as funny as suggested or intended but the look of it is stunning. set design and costume stars should win awards, almost ever scene looks fantastic with decrepit, stained interiors, literally dripping with blood and crazy costumes that help maintain the right feel for what is essentially a vampire flat share. The mockumentary format works well initially and there are quite brilliant sequences as each creature gives his back story and this is illustrated with a fantastic array of old prints, paintings and vampiric illustrations. However as the film progresses, the format shows its limitations and things become just a little static. The introduction of werewolf creatures is helpful and provide the best exterior sequences and I just wish I liked the whole thing more. A lot of love and care and enthusiasm has clearly gone into this but it didn't quite seem to have enough edge. For all the projectile blood vomiting and killing this remained a nice film about vampiric creatures managing to live as best they can. Maybe thats enough.
This low budget effort was clearly made because someone got permission to use some pretty astonishing Egyptian locations and they had some film school drop-outs to use as extras and just went out there and made something up. The more structured dialogue is the most putrid nonsense and the rest more or less evolves around the leading lady, Daniele Giordano, in and out of clothes, running about and asking people to help her. From what, why and who cares I cannot be troubled to relate and yet I didn't hate this movie. At first there is a dreaminess to it as we ponder what might be going on and then the exotic locations captivate us whilst the dramatic shifts in music keep us awake. All leads, of course to our poor heroine being tied naked to a rock whilst those about her cavort in dry ice. She looks great spread out as she is but she's probably there for ten minutes of film so goodness knows how long she actually spent there. Still, lots of funny cigarettes seemed to have been smoked and I'm sure a very good time was had by all.
Really good, tight thriller from writer/director, Dan Gilroy. He gets a great performance from Jake Gyllenhaal and from all concerned though I think this must be because the script is so fine that the actors probably didn't need that extra coaxing into their roles. In any event this is very engaging, if unpleasant and even amusing, if most tasteless. A point was reached some two thirds of the way through where I began to wonder if this was not going to prove rather predictable and then we launch into the most incredibly bravura final section. The film had been good up till this moment but then becomes pretty delirious and including the best car chase I've seen for some time. Apart from the thriller aspect and unusual storyline this film also raises questions about news coverage, particularly TV news and whilst not labouring the points, does certainly set us wondering about the purity of our daily news intake.
Very tight and very good thriller that really surprised me. I must have picked the DVD up for almost nothing and it has sat with others while I vaguely wondered why I had bought it. Rather annoying and bit off putting at first with video multi screens and flashy effects but once this settles into the phone booth - what a gem! Colin Farrell is so very good but so is Forest Whitaker in another vital role. Between them the two basically run the show but the fantastic script from good old Larry Cohen is a great asset and it was probably difficult to go very far wrong especially as this is virtually a single set film. Not overlong by any means and it is a wonder nobody insisted on extending it for commercial reasons but we have what we have and that is a near perfect film that makes you wonder if this is so effective when it is so simple, why do we get presented with so much junk?
Very silly, very early 1960s, very Italian, very stylish and in the end very sexy and very amusing. This variant of The Dangerous Game does not start well and is far more confusing than it need be but the more it goes on and the more we saw of Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress the more fun it gets. Having recently seen Andress give a great performance with Stanley Baker in Perfect Friday, I was delighted to see she is just as good here, helping proceedings enormously with her great looks and performance. Mastoianni is as reliable as ever but doesn't look so good with blond hair and doesn't seem 100% comfortable all the time. Hard to classify and also hard to rate because although by the end I was smiling broadly, was not anything like as happy at the start. Very strange film and it sits even more strangely within the output of director, Elio Petri but certainly worth seeing and if you like Andress, you will love it.
Early and most enjoyable hardcore effort by unnamed director that stars Darby Lloyd Rains, who I confess I did not know, although she made over 50 such films including the marvellous, The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann. Here the bubbly lass with the whitest of white skin deals almost single handed with some eight guys even if they don't all exactly rise to the occasion. As with the horror genre I always think its a risk to mix humour in such a film but this has to be the most successful example, I even found myself smiling whilst still finding it erotic. The speeded up threesome was a real treat and there was a really good feel throughout the movie, helped by a decent and not too repetitive score and that indefatigable performance from the lovely Ms Rains.
If you like low to medium budget horrors with plenty of gore, you will not be disappointed in this and Paul Clemens does very well in the lead. Nobody else seems to try too hard, they seem more interested in outdoing each other in wearing the most outlandish wigs. Very watchable despite its shortcomings although it almost comes to a halt on several occasions. The set up is fine, if a little predictable, but the wild and terrible story could have been better told. At first this seems like a Jekyll and Hyde variant, then a vampire tale before it gets back to what it really was at the start, a gruesome tale of rape and impregnation by some swamp like creature. Nice idea and lots of nastiness but not very convincing and too many people wandering in and out to little effect. Have to say though, one amazing and absolutely disgusting transformation sequence at the end.
A solid enough horror from Friedkin but he is let down by some rather mundane performances and general lack of charisma. Jenny Seagrove is the exception here, not someone who I know much of, apart from her relationship with the late Michael Winner, but she is very strong here. Indeed, the only actor who is consistently believable throughout. She does well as the sweet girl who may not be so sweet, deals well with the nudity and lets it all hang out in the tumultuous finale. Overall though the film lapses occasionally into silliness now and again and this detracts from the fact that it is an original film that tries to do something different and if it is not quite as disturbing as it wants to be, it certainly contains plenty of gore and violence.
I was disappointed in this, somehow never having seen it through the years, I thought a decent print of the uncut version would come as a welcome surprise. Actually, of course, the 'uncut version' is really the original version beefed up with sex and gore. Original director, Barbara Peeters wasn't too happy apparently and declined to shoot the extra footage herself. I'm not sure why, she had already been involved in several soft core sex films, but maybe she thought this was more 'serious'. Indeed, I think this might be the problem here. The acting is terrible and the direction too lame to cover that up and instead of getting some pace and excitement going we get serious talk about, conservation, discrimination and the evils of big business and dangers of messing with DNA. A simple exploitation movie can do without these diversions. So, for me the added footage is fine and the original, lifeless and dull.
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