Reviews written by registered user

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481 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A Gregory Peck film that should be much better known, 1 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I Walk The Line is directed by John Frankenheimer, has a screenplay by Alvin Argent and is based on the novel by Madison Jones. The film stars Gregory Peck, Tuesday Weld, Estelle Parsons, Ralph Meeker and Charles Durning.

Peck plays Henry Tawes, a married Sheriff in a small American town. The story takes place during the depression years. Henry's ordered life is turned on its head when he meets the Alma(Tuesday Weld). The pair are drawn to one another and begin an affair. Henry struggles with his feelings for the much younger woman.Henry also has to deal with Alma's terrible father (a terrifying Ralph Meeker)and his own devious deputy(Charles Durning).

Peck is utterly convincing as the man struggling against his own feelings and willing to risk all he has to have Alma. I think he gives one of his best performances here.

Weld is excellent as the flirty Alma, who is torn between her way of life and the possibility of a different kind of life with Henry.

Estelle Parsons doesn't get much to do as Henry's wife, I would have liked a few more scenes of her character, Parsons delivers a solid performance despite the short screen time.

The film has a soundtrack by Johnny Cash, the theme song is that most famous of Johnny's songs Walk The Line; and it fits the story perfectly.

I think it's a real shame that this is not one of Gregory Peck's better known films. His performance here is one of his best.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A deaf child learns to cope in a hearing world, 1 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Mandy is directed by Alexander MacKendrick. The film stars Jack Hawkins, Mandy Miller, Phyllis Calvert and Terence Morgan.

I enjoyed this one very much. I'm extremely impressed by the performance of Mandy Miller as Mandy, she has the difficult task of conveying what her character is going through by facial expressions only; and she does such a fine job and is utterly convincing and natural in the role. I'm going to try and check out more of her work. She is so good in this film, perfectly conveying how introverted and shy Mandy has become.

Mandy(Mandy Miller)is born deaf, her parents Christine and Harry(Phyllis Calvert and Terence Morgan)raise her at home. Because she can't speak, she can't communicate with her family or anyone else and as she gets older she becomes hard to control.

Eventually she is taken to a residential deaf school, which is run by Jack Hawkins progressive teacher, Searle. Here, Mandy can at last make friends and learn how to communicate in a hearing world. The growing friendship between Christine and Searle, that so easily could have developed into a romance is touching and well conveyed by Hawkins and Calvert.

I really hope that people who saw this back at the time of release came to understand that deaf people(and anyone else with a disability)are just as normal as anyone else. I hope this film helped educate people about those who are deaf.

I loved the part where Mandy's mum discovers the teacher she has been talking to perfectly normally is actually completely deaf, but can lip read and use her voice normally; that scene perfectly shows that deaf people can exist just as normally as those of us who can hear.

Jet Storm (1959)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Attenborough and Baker are the only reason to watch this, 1 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jet Storm is directed and written by C. Raker Endfield. The film stars Richard Attenborough, Stanley Baker, Paul Eddington, Diane Cilento, Harry Secombe and Hermoine Baddeley.

I have mixed feelings about this one. Excellent lead performance by Richard Attenborough and solid support from Stanley Baker. Nice to see Paul Eddington and Harry Secombe.The rest of the film isn't as good though.

Most of the passengers seem way too calm and unconcerned with the terrifying situation they find themselves in (that couple who play cards and joke throughout the whole thing among others). I found the lack of reaction quite laughable to be honest; I know we have the stiff upper lip here in Britain, but these passengers are all taking it to a whole other level.

Ernest Tilley(Richard Attenborough) is a bereaved father, who puts a bomb on a passenger plane. He plans to detonate it to kill another passenger who killed his daughter. The pilot(Stanley Baker)has to discover where the bomb is and find a way to talk the man out of his plan.

Also, I was left wondering as to how Attenborough's character knew that the man he was after would be on that particular flight, on that particular day? There are some tense moments. Attenborough gives a very good performance, the scene between him and the boy near the end was quite moving. There is a very impressive and dramatic scene(you will know it when you see it) that was really the only highlight of the film.

I had been looking forward to seeing this for a while, but was left quite disappointed. It has its moments, but they are few and far between. A mixed bag, but well worth a look for the performances of Attenborough and Baker.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Hope at the Hanging Tree, 1 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Hanging Tree is directed by Delmer Daves and Karl Malden. The film has a screenplay by Wendell Mayes and Halsted Welles which is based on the novel by Dorothy M. Johnson. The film stars Gary Cooper, Maria Schell, Karl Malden, George C. Scott and Ben Piazza.

I was very impressed with Cooper's performance here. Frail is a much darker and complex character than we are used to seeing Cooper play. I loved his scenes with Maria Schell. The title song by Marty Robbins is extremely catchy; once the film is over, go back and listen to the song again, it is all about Frail and the story about to unfold.

Newly arrived Doctor Frail(Gary Cooper)saves the life of a gold thief(Ben Piazza). He then makes the other man work for him in return for the Doctor's silence about the crime. A young woman called Elizabeth (Maria Schell)is injured during a stagecoach robbery, Frail tries to look after her and protect her from the unwelcome attentions of a local man (Karl Malden). Frail finds himself struggling with his own growing feelings for Elizabeth.

The film keeps you guessing until the end about the true nature of Cooper's character. Malden is excellent as a lecherous local who tries to take advantage of Schell's character. George C. Scott appears in his film debut, he plays a faith healer who hates the fact that Doctor Frail is taking away his customers.

Good performances all round, and some stunning location work help to make this a must see.

A story to warm your heart, 1 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Deep Waters is directed by Henry King and has a screenplay by Richard Murphy, which is based on the novel by Ruth Moore. The film stars Dana Andrews, Dean Stockwell, Jean Peters, Ann Revere and Cesar Romero.

Donny(Dean Stockwell) is a young orphan boy who is placed with a no nonsense, but kindly woman(Ann Revere). Donny's caseworker Ann(Jean Peters)is in love with local lobsterman Hod(Dana Andrews)who befriends the boy.

Donny has had a troubled past and is wary of adults, he is happiest when he is on his own fishing. As time goes on he gradually realises that bad grown ups are the minority.

Filmed on location in Maine, there is some lovely scenery to enjoy. The film is one of those that leaves you in a good mood at the end. A feel good story that is quite poignant in places.

We are also given a glimpse into how the women of the town cope with the dangers fishing puts their men in. There is a very well done storm at sea sequence which is also very suspenseful.

This is a film that I wish was longer, so we could spend more time with the characters.

Great performances from Ann Revere, Dana Andrews, Dean Stockwell, Jean Peters and Cesar Romero(who plays Andrew's friend and fellow lobsterman.)

Grief, loss and love, 1 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Griffin and Phoenix is directed by Daryl Duke and is written by John Hill. The film stars Peter Falk and Jill Clayburgh.

Geoffrey Griffin(Peter Falk)and Sarah Phoenix(Jill Clayburgh)meet at a lecture, they enjoy each others company; after getting talking they realise they want to spend more time together. Their friendship turns into love. Tragedy lies just around the corner though, because they are both dying.

Neither wants to tell the other the truth, they just want to enjoy the time left to them. They are forced to face the truth when Phoenix discovers Griffin has a book about coping with terminal illness; she thinks he has been snooping around in her life and has found out about her illness, the book was actually for him to read for himself. During an emotional confrontation and argument on the beach, they confront and discuss the truth.

We see how they deal with their illnesses and how they work on their relationship.

This is one of the saddest films I have ever seen. Falk and Clayburgh are both excellent, their performances are so honest; you feel their pain and fear and you want both characters to be happy, even though we know that is only possible for a short time. The argument on the beach is a highlight for me, so powerfully acted. The scene where Falk takes his anger and grief out on his car really got me too. The hospital room sequence completely tore my heart out, beautifully acted by both Falk and Clayburgh.

A moving film about love and loss. There is a remake, which is good but doesn't come close to this version.

Hysterical, 4 December 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

How this only lasted six episodes is beyond me. This is just as funny as the film series. Did the humour go over peoples heads at the time of release? When the film proved a success, you would have thought someone would have tried to revive this series.

The sight gags are priceless and the title sequence(in Quinn Martin style)cracks me up. The Rex Hamilton, as Abraham Lincoln! bit gets me every single time.

Frank Drebin(Leslie Nielson)investigates and solves crimes with the help of his colleagues. As in the films it is Nielson's line delivery and physical comedy that make many scenes funny, he plays it straight and that makes the ridiculous situations even funnier.

As with the films you have to pay attention in every scene here, because there are things happening in the back ground to make you laugh too.

If you love Leslie and The Naked Gun and Airplane films, then you should check this series out.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Peter and Harriet solve crimes, 4 December 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I love this miniseries so much. I think it is such a shame that more episodes starring Petherbridge and Walter were never made.

The stories are very well done and there is a solid supporting cast. The reason I love this series so much though and return to it again and again, is for Peter and Harriet's relationship. Peter saves her and falls in love, but she feels indebted to him and although she loves him she doesn't want to admit it. Petherbridge and Walter are perfect together and do such a good job of conveying the characters feelings for one another.

I have seen the Ian Carmichael series and for me it is not as good as the Petherbridge version. Petherbrige conveys Wimsey's intellect, but he also makes him funny, charming and tragic in a way. Carmichael's Peter just comes across as dull.

Gentleman sleuth, Lord Peter Wimsey(Edward Petherbridge)solves crimes with the aid of his loyal manservant Bunter(Richard Morant). Peter saves the life of novelist Harriet Vane(Harriet Walter)and falls in love with her. Harriet likes him but doesn't seem able to return his feelings. The pair keep getting brought back together solving crimes and mysteries, the more time they spend together the more their feelings for one another grow.

A very enjoyable mystery series. Petherbridge gives possibly a career best performance, I wish he had played Peter in more episodes.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Past lives and airships, 12 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Mummy Returns is directed by Stephen Sommers and has music by Alan Silvestri. The film stars Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, John Hannah, Oded Fehr, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Alun Armstrong, Patricia Velasquez, Freddie Boath and The Rock.

Set several years after the first film, this sequel finds Rick(Brendan Fraser)and Evelyn(Rachel Weisz)now married. The couple have a young son called Alex(Freddie Boath). The trio are in Egypt looking for artefacts, they come across an ancient bracelet which once belonged to The Scorpion King(The Rock).

The Scorpion King sold his soul to the Anubis, in return he had command over an evil army and was seemingly invincible. Unbeknown to the O'Connell's, followers of Imhotep have once again raised him from the dead, his former lover Anck Su Namun(Patricia Velasquez)has been reincarnated and the pair want the bracelet of Anubis to command the armies so they can dominate the world. Alex tries on the bracelet and discovers he can't take it off, Imhotep and his followers kidnap the boy. Rick, Evelyn, Jonathan (John Hannah)and Ardeth Bay(Oded Fehr) try and get him back and foil this evil plan.

Evelyn keeps having strange visions which we soon discover are past memories, she is revealed to have been the daughter of the Pharaoh murdered by Imhotep.

This film has much more action than the first one, it's a non stop thrill ride and has a cracking score. The special effects are once again not all that great, especially those for the mummy and Scorpion King.

I didn't like Evelyn turning out to have been an ancient princess or what is revealed about Rick, I think that takes something away from the film. In the first film and for the first part of this sequel, Rick and Evelyn are just normal people who come up against out of the ordinary things, they find the strength and courage to fight those things. Making them connected to the past takes away their normality, learning that these things were meant to be just seems unnecessary to me.

The cast once again deliver good performances, Oded Fehr is hysterical as the badass Ardeth Bay. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is chilling as Lock-Nah one of Imhotep's supporters, he's great at playing villains and is very intense here.

Worth a watch, but it's not as good as the first film.

The Mummy (1999)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
If you call that a kiss, 12 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Mummy is directed by Stephen Sommers and has music by Jerry Goldsmith. The film stars Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, Arnold Vosloo, John Hannah, Kevin J. O'Connor, Jonathan Hyde, Patricia Velasquez and Oded Fehr.

If you like the Indiana Jones trilogy this film is for you. A good blend of adventure, action, romance and horror.

Librarian Evelyn Carnahan(Rachel Weisz)and her brother Jonathan(John Hannah), find a map with directions for how to get to the ancient Egyptian city of Hamunaptra.

Adventurer Rick O'Connell(Brendan Fraser)has been to the city before, he agrees to take the siblings there after Evelyn saves his life. As the group begin their adventure, they soon discover another group of people are making their way to the city too. Descendents of the bodyguards of the Pharaoh are following all the explorers, to ensure that what is hidden in the city stays hidden.

Once at the city an ancient book is discovered. Reading aloud from it a curse is unleashed which reawakens mummified high priest Imhotep(Arnold Vosloo). He then pursues the group needing their body parts to restore himself fully to life. Imhotep was buried alive as punishment for murdering the Pharaoh. With the help of Ardeth Bay(Oded Fehr)who is one of the bodyguards, the group must work together to try and destroy Imhotep and save themselves.

I think there is a bit too much humour in this film that makes scenes that should be very scary less so. Imhotep should have been portrayed as being even more evil and there should have been some more horror scenes.

The scenes with the mummy look pretty bad, it's obviously computer generated, it would have been better if the mummy scenes were done for real like in the 1932 film, with Vosloo wrapped up and crumbling makeup applied to him.

As it is though this is perfect family viewing, younger children can enjoy it without being too scared.

The growing romance between Rick and Evelyn is so sweet to watch, Fraser and Weisz work very well together and do a good job of showing us how much these characters are beginning to mean to each other.

The entire cast give solid performances, Weisz is the standout for me, independent, adventurous and proving that brains and words can be powerful weapons too. Fraser is very good as the tough adventurer who will do what he has to in order to get the job done and protect the woman he loves.

Goldsmith's score is epic and one of my all time favourites amongst his work. The cast returned for The Mummy Returns, that is an enjoyable sequel but not as good as this one. The third film starring Fraser but not Weisz is best forgotten.

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