Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Ricardo Cortez

The Conjuring (2013)

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. 
Nicely assembled old-fashioned haunted house movie; the problem is that it has all been done before with much more thrills. 

Maltin**1/2: "Well made and well acted, this is an intelligent horror movie (based on supposedly real events) but there's nothing new here. Incidentally, no conjuring takes place."

Steffi Duna

Ender's Game (2013)

A young boy is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, a genocidal alien race which nearly annihilated the human race in a previous invasion.

An above-average sci-fi drama with an adequate cast hits a sour note with its unabashed militarism which is not softened with a half-baked appeal for entente cordiale at the end of the movie.

Maltin**1/2: "Elaborate rendering of Orson Scott Card's beloved novel...Creditable adaptation of the youthful empowerment novel by writer-director Hood is great looking and extremely well cast. If only it didn't drag toward the climax."

Sunday, 28 August 2016

The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)

Sanctum (2011)

An underwater cave diving team experiences a life-threatening crisis during an expedition to the unexplored and least accessible cave system in the world.

Nicely photographed, but otherwise mediocre adventure drama with no surprises.

Maltin**1/2: "The characters are painted in the broadest strokes (in keeping with prducer James Cameron's m.o.), but the underwater is consistently exciting - and convincing. Makes excellent use of 3-D."

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

The Breaking Point (1950)

An otherwise moral captain of a charter boat becomes financially strapped and is drawn into illegal activities in order to keep up payments on his boat.

A more adequate and more serious adaptation of Hemingway's To Have and Have Not than John Huston's attempt, but less entertaining; excellent cast and good details.

Halliwell*: "Adequate if slightly humdrum attempt by Warner to atone for what they had done to a Hemingway novel, the infidelity of To Have and Have Not and the unauthorized variation of Key Largo."

Maltin***1/2: "High-voltage refilming of Hemingway's TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT...Garfield and Juano Hernandez give superb interpretations."

Keira Knightley

God Told Me To (1976)

A New York detective investigates a series of murders committed by random New Yorkers who claim that "God told them to."
A bit over-the-top and illogical horror thriller that nonetheless is an unusual and intense mixture of crime mystery and the supernatural.

Halliwell (no star): "Unsavoury mix of several genres, insufficiently well written to compel."

Maltin**1/2: "Weird, confusing shocker...Some good scenes."

Ray Corrigan

Cry, the Beloved Country (1995)

A South-African preacher goes to search for his wayward son who has committed a crime in the big city.
Intense drama about guilt and forgiveness, wonderfully photographed in South African landscapes and with an admirable performance by James Earl Jones, but the sententiousness of the dialogues are hard to get used to.

Maltin***: "Heartrending story chronicles racial divisiveness (and its roots) in South Africa without resorting to preachiness."

Yvette Duguay

New acquisition: L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close) (2011)

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Moon Zero Two (1969)

Blondie (1938)

Dagwood loses his job on the eve of his and Blondie's fifth wedding anniversary.

Likable, but very lightweight comedy that still does manage to entertain.

Halliwell*: "Dagwood Bumstead and his wife Blondie were Mr and Mrs Small Town throughout the thirties and forties, and received their perfect screen incarnations in this unambitious but quite watchable series, which provided familiar and often quite observant fun."

Maltin***: "First in the series...with a typically amusing plot..."

Friday, 26 August 2016

Wendell Corey

Slaughterhouse-Five (1972)

A man tells his story of how he became unstuck in time and abducted by aliens.
An unusual, but effective adaptation of a complex novel, at heart an anti-war movie, but wandering through various time zones (including a world beyond the realm of earth), sometimes a bit bewildering.

Halliwell*: "Interesting but infuriating anti-war fantasy for intellectuals."

Maltin***: "Sometimes draggy,sometimes on-target, sprawling view of life...Big-budget adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's bizarre fantasy novel is hard going for those unfamiliar with author's point of view, , gains through repeat viewings."

Ellen Drew

The Phantom Planet (1961)

After an invisible asteroid draws an astronaut and his ship to its surface, he is miniaturized by the phantom planet's exotic atmosphere.

Risible sci-fi adventure, quite poor in all departments, doesn't achieve the quality of even the worst Star Trek episodes.

Maltin*1/2: "Fascinatingly terrible movie."

Samuel L. Jackson

New acquisition: The Childhood of a Leader (2015)

Soundtrack by Scottwalker

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Janette Scott



Lemmy (2010)

A documentary on the life and career of revered heavy-metal musician Lemmy Kilmister.

Although more a homage than a documentary this film does offer some insights to a beloved and legendary rock musician and is quite entertaining as well.

Hakuchi (1951)

I am Divine (2013)

How Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, became John Waters' cinematic muse and an international drag icon.

Comprehensive and often stirring portrayal of an unusual star with an even more unusual career does justice to a lovable, but controversial figure.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Anita Page

New acquisition: The Front (1976)

Harry Cording

The Brain (1962)

A millionaire businessman's brain is kept alive after a fatal accident, and communicates clues to a doctor on the trail of the killer.

Above-average sci-fi drama with a good cast and some excellent cinematography; the plot is silly, of course, but is treated more like a crime mystery.

Halliwell (no star): "Twisty remake of Donovan's Brain, not too badly done."

Maltin***: "Good remake of DONOVAN'S BRAIN..."

Detour (1945)

New acquisition: Le pornographe (2001)

Simone Simon

Born Yesterday (1950)

A million dollar Tycoon hires a tutor to teach his lover proper etiquette.

Competent and fairly entertaining comedy-drama made with wit and good timing;  Judy Holliday, however, steals the show.

Halliwell**: "Pleasant film version of a cast-iron box-office play, subtle and intelligent in all departments yet with a regrettable tendency to wave the flag."

Maltin***1/2: "... Garson Kanin comedy...Priceless Judy repeated Broadway triumph and won Oscar for playing quintessential dumb blonde."