Sunday, 20 August 2017

The Quiet Man (1952)

On the set: John Ford, the cast & crew, and the local population

The Intruder (1962)

A man in a gleaming white suit comes to a small Southern town on the eve of integration, calls himself a social reformer, but what he does is stir up trouble--trouble he soon finds he can't control.

Quite effective low-budget anti-racism drama must have been audacious at its time; Shatner is very credible in the title role; one of Corman's best.

Halliwell*: "Cheaply-made social melodrama with many effective moments."

Maltin***: "Corman's only "message" film - and one of his few box-office flops - still packs a punch; low budget and location filming aid authenticity."

Psychotronic/Michael weldon: "A well-made, serious look at integration in the South..."

The Born Losers (1967)

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

Visually pleasing and action-ridden installment in the X-Men series is unfortunately over-populated with mutants and stuffed with so many sub-plots that it's difficult to comprehend the individual intentions and rivalries.

Maltin***: "Provocative idea is overcome at times by visual bombast, but the ticking-clock structure works well. New mutants in the future segments don't get much to do;..Not quite a bull's-eye, but still highly watchable for devoted fans, who will also cheer a handful of cameos."

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Starcrash (1978)

New acquisition: Paterson (2016)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

On the set: Kim Hunter and Buck Kartalian

North West Frontier (1959)

In British India, a young prince must be taken to safety across rebel-held territory, and an old train is the only way to do it.

Imperialist gung-ho entertains as a Western-style train adventure with some good settings.

Halliwell**: "Thoroughly enjoyable Boys Own Paper adventure with excellent set-pieces and a sot-the-villain mystery."

Maltin***: "Fast-paced actioner..."


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

On the set: Stanley Kubrick

36 Quai des Orfèvres (2004)

In the underbelly of the Parisian criminal world, the police are frustrated by a gang committing a series of violent robberies, while two cops are seeking promotion, and the imminent departure of the Chief of Police sets the scene for them to compete for the vacant throne.

Excellent tough and very bleak policier exposes police corruption as just as terrifying as the criminal world.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Robert Bresson

SoulBoy (2010)

A coming-of-age drama set in the 1970s Northern Soul underground music scene.
Fairly entertaining period drama is likable for its realistic depiction of 70s English youth and its celebration of Northern Soul. 

Nastassja Kinski

The Devil's Violinist (2013)

The life story of Italian violinist and composer, Niccolò Paganini, who rose to fame as a virtuoso in the early 19th Century.

Trashy bio-pic has some good period details, but a lot of miserable performances;  true, David Garrett knows how to play the violin, but obviously never learnt how to act.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Turhan Bey

The Challenger (2013)

Richard Feynman participates in the Rogers Commission investigation into the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Excellent TV drama manages to hold one's attention while revealing the bureaucratic obstacles that marred the investigation William Hurt is perfectly as Richard Feynman.

King Kong (1933)

New acquisition: Hail, Caesar! (2016)

Day of the Woman (1978)

Wonder Women (1973)

An insurance investigator battles Dr. Tsu and her sexy all-girl army.

Pure 70s Grindhouse trash that somehow combines all the elements you'd expect from such a product: a bizarre plot with some shock value, exotic setting, bad acting, low production value, nudity, violence and even some risible mutants plus a funky soundtrack.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Xiao cheng zhi chun (1948)

A lonely housewife finds her monotonous life altered when her childhood sweetheart returns to town.

Poetic and intense study of a complex relational entanglement; a mature and timeless masterpiece on par with the best similar achievements by Ozu or Bergman.

Alma Bennett


Ghost in the Shell (2017)

In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals.

A fair and visual dazzling live-action remake of the classic Japanese anime, although it not quite achieves the depth and magic of the original and the alternate ending is disappointing;  Johansson in the lead role does her job well.

Lola (1961)

On the set: Anouk Aimée

New acquisition: Orson Welles

Friday, 11 August 2017

Joel & Ethan Coen

(ph: Nicolas Guérin)

Tonari no Totoro (1988)

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.

Wonderful anime fantasy with some quite surreal, but harmless elements; however, its appeal is obviously intended for a small toddler audience.

Maltin***1/2: "Gentle, infectious animated tale...Beautiful art direction and excellent English-language treatment make this a treat for small children an parents; older kids may chafe at the story's leisurely pace. Wait till you see the 12-legged cat-bus!"

Thursday, 10 August 2017

David Cronenberg

(ph: Nicolas Guérin)

Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival (1996)

Feature documentary film of the Isle of Wight Festival 1970.

Excellent and thorough documentary of a festival on the verge of chaos doesn't avoid some uncomfortable insights and still manages to include some great music.

Maltin***: "Top-notch documentary...Priceless footage of rock acts, including Hendrix and The Doors' Jim Morrison just before their deaths." 

Stella Stevens

(ph: Frank Schallwig)