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Rock Around the Clock (1956)
Not for Squares
This is a magic film that captures the excitement of early rock n roll and the people who played it. Bill Haley and his comets are outstanding in what should be officially recognised as part of Movie history. The first ever rock n roll film to be made maybe a bit thin on the plot line, but makes up for it with its exciting dance scenes and thumping jumping music. Some previous comments have said they found the Lisa Gaye and Johnny Johnston characters age gap to be creepy. I didn't have a problem with this at all, as lots of young women married older men during the forties and fifties. Lisa Gaye was over 21 and Johnston was in his early thirties when the film was shot. "Rock around the Clock" is now out on DVD (not sure about the UK yet) and looks splendid in a re-mastered and restored edition that is well worth buying. Check out Earl Barton as Lisa's brother and dancing partner. Barton actually choreographed all the dance scenes and at the time was a much respected Hollywood choreographer. I'm giving this film a ten out of ten Daddio as it was the first and the best of the rock and roll films made during the fifties.
Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001)
The film is a memorial too
I have recently returned from a Holiday to Beautiful kefalonio and I have been there three times now. So on my return I decided to watch again the film version.I feel now that despite the bad miscasting the Director did his best with probably a limited budget and very little running time to go on. If the film had been any longer then maybe it would have been so much better characters more fleshed out or as the case maybe not dropped completely.Carlos the captains right hand man is in fact in love with Correlli.At only one point in the movie is this hinted at. Not so in the book, which makes more of Carlos's adoration and of course his final sacrifice when he saves the captains life by falling on him while being shot.
While on the island on my last trip, I took a long walk towards Argostoli and came a across what looked like the remains of a cavern or quarry protected by a fence. Surrounding it either side was a stony wall.The farmer nearby mowing his field had left the gate unlocked and I walked in and stood at the edge looking down at a plaque on a wall with a bunch of flowers arranged by it. It was here on this spot that I realised 136 men of the Italian Acqui division were shot dead by the Nazis. The Greeks with respect, buried the Italians bodies at the same spot. I felt terrible knowing the view point I had was one that would have been seen by a German soldier as he looked down on these poor men as they were executed.
So many tourists pass this peaceful little place without any idea of its tragic past.The film only portrays one of these terrible executions, but they took place all over the island of Kefalonio. The film and book reminds us that this terrible event should never be forgotten.
The Colossus of New York (1958)
colossus has the best eerie lab scene
Despite some clunky moments I still think the best and most eerie part of Colussus of new york is when the "dead" scientist awakes, and gradually with mounting terror, realises his brain is in the body of a robot! This scene I'm sure influenced Director Paul Verhoeven when he made "Robocop" many years later. look at the creepy visuals in this scene as we see everything from the robots P.O.V and note that its visualisation is similar to what you see on an old Television monitor. those lines spoken by his creator "you can see, you can hear, you can speak and you can move" still sends a chill down my spine. I rate this as one of the best eerie mad lab scenes in the movies.
Hard Times (1975)
amazing hand speed!
I recently purchased the U.K region 2 release of " Hard Times" which was in Anamorphic widescreen and was certainly much better than the pan and scan versions shown on television here in the U.K. I have always liked this film and have a great appreciation for both bare knuckle and gloved up boxers. Charles Bronson displays amazing hand speed and his techniques are well choreographed. Whoever worked out the fight scenes knew a thing or two about bare knuckle fighting technique.There have been other films about Bare knuckle fighters but none can match the power and authenticity of " Hard Times", which has a very gritty feel to it.. If there is going to be an ultimate film about Bare knuckle fighters then that film will be " The Guv'nor", the life story of Britains hardest man Lenny Mclean, which is currently in production here in the U.K.
Bare fist is a knock out!
Bare fist the sport that would not die has long been banned in Great Britain as the censors felt its actual footage of bare knuckle fighting would encourage others to imitate.What cobblers! Here is an intelligent documentary that gives an in depth history lesson about the origins of bare knuckle boxing. As well as including actual bare knuckle fights with a very good explanation of whats going on both mentally and physically by English bouncer and hard man Geoff Thomson.The real treat is that the film is presented and narrated by the late Lenny " The Guv'nor" Mclean, Britain's greatest Bare knuckle fighter who's East end wit shines through out the film.Listen to Lennys funny commentary while two Irish bare knuckle fighters smash into each other in a town square. As one man is held up victorious by the crowd,Lenny says " hold up I think someones won the bingo" , brilliant stuff! we also have a for and against point of view about bare knuckle fighting with members of the British medical council giving their views as well as fighters like Billy Cribb and Paddy Monaghan.The film does not glorify violence, and Big Lenny himself gives his own personal opinion of knife culture that sums up his feelings about cowards who carry such dangerous weapons. The British government would find this scene very effective if used in an anti knife campaign. If you you ever get the chance to see this powerful and well directed film then do so.