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Campbell's Kingdom (1957)
Good Old British 50s Stuff
I remember the praise being heaped on this film as well as on Dirk Bogard when it was first released. I was about nine years old, and never got to see this spectacle at that time. I saw it for the first time on Film 4 recently, and was quite impressed with the cinematography (It was 1957 British of course), but the casting I felt left a lot to be desired. Plenty of English (and Welsh) actors, with corny Canadian accents (Syd James, who was actually South African), and a terrible accent from one I thought could deliver. James Robertson Justice's effort was terrible. In fact, at an exciting part of the plot when my old hero was barking instructions to a beleaguered cast of mis-fits, his almost falsetto pitched voice reminded me of the Goon Show Bluebottle just before he was blown up! A typical British effort of that time.
Battle Beneath the Earth (1967)
War Of The Worms!
I watched this effort on TCM, and it gave me the laugh I needed after a very miserable week-end! Martin Benson was the mad Chinese general, made up impressively to look like his predecessor, Charlie Chan, complete with bushy, caucasian eye brows! Peter Elliot his head honcho, made up to look like a typical apple pie American, complete with Mikado make up!The late Peter Arne seemed just as at home as when serving in one of his excellent parts in the Pink Panther series of comedies! Remember the great shorts that made up The Twilight Zone? Well, this could've been one if it wasn't just a little bit too long! There were a few Americans in the cast, and even some orientals, but the movie was so obviously British, complete with terrible Las Vegas cops American accents.The background music was a cross between Dragnet and the Johnny Stacato theme. Maybe they should have used worms in the plot instead of Chinese, that would've been a little more believable! A real good laugh though, and I give this a 1 for awful as it is not too bad to even acknowledge as entertainment!
Watch This Film For Lent!
Jeffrey DeMunn and Beau Bridges are two names that I wouldn't expect to be connected to this farce of a comedy! William Sadler was great as The Grim Reaper in Bill And Ted's 2nd movie, so can be forgiven for this!.....But having heard great things I decided to watch it on British TV. Now apart from the odd piece of bathroom humour there was nothing really to laugh at that had not been attempted before! There are 6 full pages of positive testaments to this film, so I don't expect this to be a popular decision, but I've awarded one point for awful for the first time ever on IMDb.Someone actually compared this movie to "What About Bob"....Blasphemy! If you feel guilty about anything in life you could always watch this film for Lent.
The Best Years of Your Life (1986)
I think Lee Whitlock played the part of the young footballer, who'd been diagnosed with cancer. Steve Fletcher played the older brother! Lee Whitlock who played the part of Harvey Moon's son in the original TV series.The screenplay was written by a young boy, who himself was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and was a keen supporter of Chelsea F.C. When this film was first shown on TV in the UK it was introduced by the young man himself. It received much publicity at the time but never reached more than a marginal audience.It would be worthwhile to see this film again just to re-cap the emotions felt at that time. Perhaps it will be shown again on British Television.
Mysterious Island (2005)
The Same Old ,Same Old Really
I'm watching this movie for the first time on Sky One, and am trying really hard to feel surprised at the twist and turns of the (yawn) action!I read all of uncle Jules' books as a boy, and saw all the action movies of the 50s and 60s. I'm sure it's a childhood thing and these stories don't appeal much to me now. One of the previous comments mentions there are women in this movie, and there was none in the original book. This is mainly because our author lived in the days when men wrote about other men as adventurers, and left all the romantic stuff to women authors!So there is room for a little poetic license, or the film would be made exactly like the original! My thoughts drift back to "Of Mice And Men'when George told Lennie his story about the farm they were going to live on and Lennie knew exactly how the story went, but insisted on hearing it anyway! This movie is the kind that attracts the fantasy fan, but I'm watching it all the way through, despite the urge to fall asleep and dream it better for myself! So far I give it 2 out of 10, but this could all change in an hour or so!
0 for 4, better than 2001! Keep 'em coming!
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Kubrick was A brilliant Director!
Before I state anything, let me first say I have the utmost respect for Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C.Clarke, who penned this screenplay. Kubrick is also among my favorite directors, but I have started to watch this masterpiece several times and only managed to see it through on a couple of occasions! There is something about this effort that kills off the insomniac in me. When I first saw this movie in 1969, just before the first moon landing, people were actually holding conversations in the cinema as the film was playing, and I was more interested in what they were saying than I was in the plot! An irate, highbrow friend informed me I was not ready for this futuristic essay, along with just about everyone in the movie theater! At that time this movie had received monster reviews from just about every film critic on Earth, but apart from my learn-ed friend, no one else seemed to think much of this film! In around 2002 my son, who is an avid Kubrick fan, good for him, bought this DVD and states it is the best that Kubrick ever made! I tried to watch it with him and fell asleep before the halfway stage. He kept prodding me awake to explain what he thought was going on. I knew what was going on, but it's just fiction and by definition should be entertaining, not nodding material! I know that most of the audiences are just people who make up the silent majority so I don't expect any kudos from these truths. Perhaps someday there will be a film called 2101 A Space Odessey, made in 2068, and in 2105 there will be a tired old man explaining to his son that it's just fiction, after all that's what it really is!Tell me, when is all this nonsense supposed to be happening? It's just fiction folks!...0 for 2.. Not too bad so far! Do I hear 0 for 3?....Come on all you movie snobs, make it 0 for 3! It appears this film has more fans than it originally had, and the acting has not improved one iota. Even if Rigsby stole one of the scenes!
Falling Down (1993)
Falling Down To reality
I had this movie in my personal collection while living in California, and have been living in the UK for a few months. I parodied many of these experiences in my 20 or so years spent there, and this was always one of my favorites.Michael Douglas' portrayal of "D-FENS" was,I believe, his greatest triumph.William Foster (Douglas) had been canned from his government defence job, and leaves his clapped out old car, with the license plate "D-FENS", on the freeway and embarks on a walking crusade, on a very hot day, many miles to Venice Beach for his daughter's birthday celebration. He first encounters the Korean proprietor of a local convenience store, getting the better of him and relieving him of his baseball bat,used for (De-Fence). He then retires to a nearby park to repair a hole in his shoe, and is accosted by a pair of gang bangers. He uses the bat to see them off in good ol' Amarican boy fashion! He later encounters them again and manages to purloin from them a sports bag full of heavy armoury after they'd crashed the car they were using in the incompetent attempt to dispatch of him drive by style! Robert Duval performs equally well as the henpecked and put upon good guy cop on his last day with the LAPD.His wife has arranged for them to retire to Lake Havasu (London Bridge Havasu?)and he is only retiring early to please her. Meanwhile Foster has made his way to a Whammy Burger joint (very thinly disguised McDonald's) in order to seek some breakfast. He's informed by the very annoying manager that he's 2 minutes late and has to order from the lunch menu, but Foster has a bag full of firepower, so there's really no contest there! He has many more adventures, including giving a heart attack to an old golfing fart and eliminating a Nazi outdoors man store proprietor.Needless to say Duval turns out to be the hero of the day, after punching out an obnoxious colleague, and tracking D-FENS to Venice Pier. He also came out with one of the best lines of the movie, "They lie to everyone, they lie to the fish"! I have to get back to California, it's home to me now, and when I get off that plane I'll kneel and kiss the asphalt! I'll be home with all the other crazies. Just 9 out of 10 for this one cos he still never got his breakfast!
The Addams Family (1964)
Best Of The Best!!!
This was the Best show of the best era for American situation comedies, the 1960s. John Astin was incredibly zany as the good natured, yet macabrely devoted husband Gomez, and the lovely Carolyn Jones played the sexily Gothic Morticia. I find it almost obscene that the show was cancelled after only two seasons, as along with the Munsters, it was still very popular with the masses.Was there an agreement by fundamentalists at both CBS and ABC TV networks to end both these shows? We'll never know! I only know that I much preferred the Addams's as it was just a little more sinister, and like most other teenage boys I was completely in love with Morticia.Jackie Coogan was great as the irrepressible Uncle Fester, causing massive explosions and coming up with weird, inconceivable experiments week after week.Then there were the children of the union, Wednesday and Pugsley. Wednesday was a cute little bag of nuts, her mother in the making, but Pugsley was a reminder to me of the boy who used to chase me home from school when I was about six!Then there was Ted Cassidy as Lurch with his darkly deep "You Rang?" voice, who also had his hand play the part of "Thing" when he was not on camera. Then there was of course, cousin Itt, that hairy little mischief maker that turned up from time to time. Gomez was very musical and of course full of energy, as demonstrated by his working out on the trampoline, and his constant overtures to the Beautiful Morticia. I could only ever give this show a conservative ten out of ten.There will never be another one like it!
The Big Lebowski (1998)
Those Coen Bros!
Those wacky and weird Coen Bros have come up with another off the wall masterpiece, off-beat comedy, crime thriller! The Big Lebowski is a phony business magnate/benefactor, legless war hero, who hires the lesser, and seemingly loser Dude Lebowski to deliver the million dollar ransom for his kidnapped young wife, Bunny, Tara Reid. The turn over of the ransom goes wrong and the bigger Lebowski accuses Dude of stealing the million. The much underrated Jeff Bridges plays the part of Dude, a laid back junkie bowler, to a tee! His best friend, Walter Sobchack is played by John Goodman, in one of his best roles to date. In his quest to retain the ransom, Dude encounters a bunch of Nihilists,A ticked off and thoroughly nasty Malibu police officer, and the daughter of Lebowski, played by Julianne Moore. The well meaning Sobchack manages to vandalise a brand new sports car to the chagrin of the real owner. The third part of the three stooge type bowling trio is played by the ever fluent Steve Buscemi. Ben Gazzara is the smooth operator of a Playboy type mansion, and look out for the cameo role of Sam Elliott, as "The Stranger"!
Three's Company (1977)
This bright 70s show was the US version of the UK sit.com., Man About The House, Starring Richard O'Sullivan. John Ritter was the US carbon copy of Mr. O'Sullivan, and played a great part. The US chicks, however were far hotter than the Brit Chicks and so I would have doffed my cap to the US version. The British George and Mildred Roper were superior, I think,to the American counterparts, so I would have to score this one a technical tie (technical DRAW in UK English). I have to give it 8 out of 10. The plot revolves around the main character, Jack Tripper, a trainee chef, who the young chicks find sleeping in their bathtub after a wild party. They decide, as they have no cooking skills and the young man has great skills in the kitchen, that he should be their room mate.In order to get their landlords to agree to the arrangement, they have to insinuate the young man is gay. The amorous Mrs. Roper is forever pursuing the wary Mr. Tripper, as her husband shows very little interest in her. The hapless gastronomy student, on the other hand, is pursuing the young chicks without success, and the plot was seemingly stretched out over several series. A very funny show, though.