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christopher-underwood

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1110 reviews in total 
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What a shame!, 6 August 2014
5/10

What a shame! Long lost 1965 film from Massimo Pupillo turns up with wonderful print with stunning b/w cinematography and is such a let down. Starts well enough as the tale is set up but then seems to take forever to inform us of the terrible tale that will eventually unfold. As it happens, very average though the main bulk of the film is, when we finally get to the actual 'vengeance' it is another drawn out sequence but more akin to US TV's 'Bewitched' with puffs of smoke, comedic falling about and appearances and disappearances. All the more shame because Barbara Nelli and Erica Blanc are stunning throughout (if a little over dressed) and there are some decent scenes that really should have been developed. As it is we have a film with great potential, just thrown away because nobody could decide if it was to be a Gothic horror, a tale of revenge, high drama or a comedy.

fairly decent Italian crime movie, 29 July 2014
7/10

This is a fairly decent Italian crime movie but I was expecting something a bit more special from Umberto Lenzi. There are some good sequences, including a very good car chase and things get particularly nasty with the vigilantes but I was expecting more of a revenge movie. So when the beginning becomes rather drawn out with more and more going wrong for our hero, I imagine the eventual revenge will be that much more fierce. Doesn't really happen, we get a most depressing picture of Italy and Milan in particular mid 70s and in the end it all seems rather sad. Things are not helped by henry Silva, there is nothing really wrong with his performance but he's not the most charismatic of actors and here doesn't seem to be able to move up a gear. Music again is fine but its not Morricone.

I was expecting a bit more, 27 June 2014
7/10

I was expecting a bit more from this 1970 film starring Peter Cook and a host of other British comedy stalwarts including John Cleese. There was a certain amount of originality and some flair with the direction but decent enough though the script was, the jokes just weren't that funny. On reflection this came just as British comedy was about to change drastically and was probably left high and dry as a consequence. There are several Python people here and on a couple of occasions it seems like some crazy anarchy might be about to break out but we are grounded by the old traditionalists like Ronnie Corbett and Arthur Lowe and writers writing specifically for them. Sad to say that maybe the biggest problem is that Cook who takes the lead so manfully is crashingly irritating as he brings everyone around him down in a most one note performance. Worth seeing, of course, because of how interesting it is to see this transitional film and all those wonderful comedy people beginning to wonder just what is about to hit them.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
babies everywhere, 12 June 2014
5/10

Maybe it's because I came to this after already having seen the TV series, The Trip. In the TV series, of course, much of the kidding between Brydon and Coogan has been enjoyed in a much more distilled form. Here there is the, not uninteresting, business of the making of a film and telling something of the Tristam Shandy story.

But there seems too much of Coogan worrying about his height in relation to his old pal and far, far too many babies. Being born and crying, babies everywhere plus the excruciating stuff with Coogan in the womb. I may have enjoyed this more without having seen the TV but it seems to me this is a very brave effort to do something very ambitious with limited resources and the two main guys just itching to get it down to simply something involving the two of them.

Death Bell (2008)
Korean torture slasher, 10 June 2014
6/10

Korean torture slasher set in a school and the torture element actually adds something different to the usual Korean/Japanese school gore fest movie. I was very surprised to find that these short set pieces were very much the best thing about the film. Nasty, gruesome, suspenseful but not drawn out to the point where the audience is also tortured, these were well executed. The rest of the film was much more formulaic and somewhat confusing. The elite students having to solve some question or one of their number dies before them was a fine idea but for some reason was made over complicated and it seemed that right or wrong the victim still got it . I didn't really care about anybody, so as one after the other died it just became a bit of a carrousel , a bloody one, granted. A great start and not a bad finish, surprisingly high production standards apparent but I just lost some interest somewhere along the way.

robbery against the backdrop of Tower Bridge, 9 June 2014
6/10

This is likable but perhaps in the end a little too keen to confuse. With more sex and violence this would have been a giallo and we would have worried less about one after the other being made to appear the guilty one. Great start with robbery against the backdrop of Tower Bridge and we proceed with a fantastic little river trip amidst the docks that were. Hard now to recall just how dismal, dirty and downright depressing some of these bits of London were in the early sixties. Great to see now though and contrast with today.

The story slows as we go to the circus but there are plenty of period vehicles and fairly interesting turns to watch. Klaus Kinski, and Suzy Kendall have far too little to do and whilst not wishing to spoil anything, what a strange part for Christopher Lee!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
So stylish at the start, 5 June 2014
5/10

This film is completely demented. It starts with great flourish, violence, gore and excitement with only a hint of just how over the top it will become. There is a semblance of story at the beginning, however, strange and there is a mystery for us to work out and much extreme violence to deal with.

As the film progresses, though, it begins to get a little bit silly and gradually story and suspense give way to increasingly stupid and facile action which would not have been out of place in a comic. So stylish at the start it is a crime that in the end bombs are being tossed about in some disused quarry.

Mai Zetterling was wasted, 5 June 2014
6/10

This started really well and up until about halfway I was totally involved and enjoying trying to work out, as was Stanley Baker's character, just what was going on. But then around the time we visit a cemetery and there is much discussion about whether or not a body should be interred, I begin to lose it.

I think in a similarly confusing giallo there would be much more vivid and colourful aspects to maintain an interest that here just waned. It ends well enough and Baker is at his very best here although I thought Cushing only just held his end up. Mai Zetterling was wasted in a lousy role.

very worrying, 3 June 2014
8/10

This is a very worrying and concerned look at US gun control, or rather the lack of it. Written and directed by Tony Garnett, there is never any doubt that this is going to be a passionate and personal statement. Indeed at first it seemed that it was going to be too determined and well intentioned to work properly as a film but was i proved wrong? Believe it or not this almost documentary like film ends up being a rape and revenge movie. Without, I hasten to add any exploitation elements, which isn'y yo say that it is not harrowing. The rape sequence despite not being sexually explicit, has to have been the hardest to watch that I have encountered and made all the more difficult because the perpetrator, an attorney, is taking great care throughout to ensure that it is all her fault. Karen Young gives an astonishing performance, convincing as a very young and nervous child like person at the start before she converts into her role as woman of vengeance. All I can really fault the film for is some of the visuals are a little lacking in depth or imagination, the cinematography gives this the look of a TV movie and whilst it may have been so intended and get a realistic look, I think this was a mistake. That aside it is faultless and a very worthwhile watch.

there is a warmth in the stupid relationship and a feeling of belonging, 2 June 2014

I really liked this film a lot and I'm just struggling a little to work out quite why. On the face of it a British road movie with a fairly deranged Eunice, played by Amanda Plummer and Wendy played by Kathy Jamieson who gets attracted to her, despite herself. And that's it really apart, of course, from all the bloody killing and Eunice's weird and plentiful body piercings. Plummer is brilliant and completely believably, convinces as the needy sort of lost soul who might do anything if riled or if they feel like it. Jamieson is equally good and it is shameful she has made so few films. Here she plays a more gentle and innocent lost soul, trying to 'look after' her new found friend and finds herself getting very involved indeed. Despite the wild, craziness of this, 'Thelma and Louise meets Silence of the Lambs' (as my box references it) as with so much of Winterbottom's work, it remains essentially a very English film. The motorways and traffic, couldn't really be anyone else's, the landscape and skies, similarly and the uniquely awful roadside petrol stations, stores and eateries. This is such a dark film filled with horrible happenings and yet there is a warmth in the stupid relationship and a feeling of belonging. Maybe I should try and compile a list that represents 'England'. Anyway, this has certainly prompted me to see even more of the directors many and varied output. Excellent.


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