We just watched a pretty fun movie called BOSS LEVEL.
It's another time loop movie ala EDGE OF TOMORROW or GROUNDHOG DAY but it's executed with a lot of video game tropes in mind. Frank Grillo plays Roy, an ex soldier who keeps waking up to people trying to kill him. When they DO kill him, his day resets. What's different this time around is the journey to find out why this is all happening, and there is plenty of well directed action to be had along the way.
It's not very original but it's well executed by director Joe Carnahan. Good action, good humor.
as an update on BOSS LEVEL:
There are apparently two versions of the film out there.
The version on Hulu (in the USA) is the edited cut. it runs something like 96 minutes whereas I understand that the original cut is something like 20 minutes longer. Based on what I've read about the other cut, you definitely want to find this edited cut. It was fun, it was fast paced, and it had a fun kicker of an ending. Without spoiling, you want the 'piece of cake' ending.
Of note: apparently Blumhouse is suing the producers and Hulu. They were promised a stake in the sales of the film that they put time into fixing, and everyone apparently reneged on the deal.
Tonight I re-watched (1991) with my nephew. He liked it. The movie's villan is played by Higgins' favourite actor, Timothy Dalton. The leading lady is played by Jennifer Connelly whom I've been in lust with since I saw her .... the movie in the cinema. It's a charming and fun movie. I noticed a detail this time. Someone (not Dalton) says: "..... scared the living ..... crap out of him".
wait, did you forget to include a title, or is 1991 the title?
I know the film 1941, that's a classic, and of interest to all historians of course, but I've never heard of 1991.
based on the cast, he's referring to THE ROCKETEER.
And yes, Jennifer Connelly is luminous in the movie.
Yes, I forgot the title and it's Rocketeer. 🤣
It's a shame that movie never got sequels.
I like, don't love, THE ROCKETEER. It's missing one more big action sequence. You have that great BIG SCENE where he rescues the clown in the plane and then a bunch of smaller scenes here and there. It's like they had enough money in the special effects budget for that one big scene and that's it. Even the climax doesn't have a lot of actual flying in it, just some fisticuffs.
Still, it's a solid movie and fairly entertaining. The leads are great and Dalton looks like he's having a lot of fun as the bad guy. Paul Sorvino is also quite good and probably has the best line in the entire movie (when he switches sides).
I'd say the fight in the nightclub was a pretty big action scene and the airship finale was absolutely a big action scene. It struck me how well structured and inventive the story is.
Already in 1991 I imagined a sequel involving the Japanese. The finale would be a chase scene involving fighter planes and the Rocketeer on Manhattan.
Jennifer Connelly is one of those lucky actresses who are blessed with both great looks and great talent. She's one of the actresses who should've been Bond girls. She would've been a perfect Christmas Jones. Connelly was 29 at the time and was making movies like "Inventing the Abotts" and "Dark city".
oh man, she's glorious in DARK CITY.
She was. That was in 1998, one year before TWINE.
Watched ANNA tonight. Not a bad female driven action film. It's very similar in many respects to LA FEMME NIKITA in terms of plotting but it has a very different vibe. It plays more like ATOMIC BLONDE in many ways.
Regardless, it's a pretty solid film, much better than I thought it would be. The newcomer female lead impresses.
I wasn't over-impressed with Anna
I don't disagree with your assessment. This film is what I call 'product', essentially a mishmash of everything you've seen before in other and better films. At the same time, there's some good stuff in there. The fight scenes are pretty well done (there's a great restaurant fight that really stands out) and it's well acted.
I also agree, this is a very solid score from Eric Serra. I wish we'd gotten THIS instead of that abominable GE score.
I've only just got round to watching this clip from The Big Bang Theory which ties together the problems with the plot of Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's brilliant! But yes spoilers re the ending of Raiders if nobody's seen the film (unlikely)....
You could do something similar for Casino Royale however, I feel... Without Bond, Le Chiffre lives but so does Vesper and so does that nice Venetian house...
OCEAN'S 8 (2018)
This movie wiled away a couple of hours on Sunday night. It's directed by Gary Ross who twenty years earlier made the fantastically beautiful and emotionally satisfying fantasy drama Pleasantville, one of my favourite films of the 1990s. Ross is not ever going to be Oscar material, but he makes serviceable movies. Ocean's 8 is a sideways spin off from the George Clooney / Brad Pitt Ocean's Trilogy which Steven Soderbergh related so superbly, albeit with diminishing returns. He's in the producer's chair, but you rather wish he'd been involved behind the camera and not just behind the money as the film leans to flat and uninvolving.
Debbie Ocean [Sandra Bullock] is Danny's sister, fresh out of gaol and looking to steal a $150m Cartier necklace from the shoulders of Anne Hathaway's society banner Diane Kluger. She's aided by an all-female crew comprising Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Rhianna, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina and Helena Bonham Carter. The characters are as shallow as their male counterparts. They are also just as skilful, resourceful and successful [no surprises]. The film is mildly amusing. It's good to see a female cast, but it isn't a strong female cast and the women are all stereotypical - harassed mother, bratty geeks, streetwise skater girl, daft as a brush middle-aged English woman for comic relief - you know the kind of thing. It's disappointing Quin Shaobo pops up as Yen the Contortionist, as it rather defeats the point of an all girl's blazing movie only to have the heist performed by a man, but hey...
It was great to watch a modern film which entertained me without obscenities, sex, endless scenes of violence, tremendous background noise, horrendously long-winded backstories, no sequels or prequels or universe to bother about, no flashy camera work [not much anyway], and generally a good all-round show. It could have done with a lighter touch, for the scenes tend to lumber when they should fizz - this was Soderbergh's problem with Ocean's 13 as well. The humour for the most part is only smile inducing until James Corden's put-upon insurance agent flies in from London to investigate the heist. I don't like him, but he's quite good here. The robbery itself is a trifle of delight, despite being hopelessly unlikely, and I do like Sandra Bullock, one of the few Hollywood actresses able to "do plain" and yet still look gorgeous, and "do gorgeous" by looking remarkably plain.
I'm not complaining.
FATHER OF THE BRIDE (1991)
Steve Martin is in top form here as the father, George Banks, who does not want to let go of his daughter when she announces that she is to marry. Martin Short co-stars as the wedding coordinator, Franck, in many hilarious scenes. I particularly like the reaction to George’s shock at the price of the $1200 wedding cake when Franck says “ welcome to the 90’s Mr. Banks” 😂
Very funny and, if like me, you have had a daughter who has married, there are some poignant scenes and reflections on life which resonate with real life.
LIVE AND LET DIE and THUNDERBALL
There is a new cable channel over here called Tap Action Flix HD, it’s replaced the Fox Movie channel which no longer broadcasts in Asia. They appear to have the screening rights to the Bond movies and are showing 2 per night from 8pm. I have all the films on Google Play but I did watch them last night and they were uncut with no adverts! As Mrs CHB is away at the moment I think I will tune in every night 😃
LALD is a decent middling entry and TB is top drawer stuff, Connery at his very best as Bond. TB holds a special place in my heart as the build up to its release was immense and I still have the bubblegum trading card set and the Bond vs Largo board game from that time along with the original UK quad movie poster. I was 9 when it was released and even at that young age I fancied Fiona Volpe so much 😂, Luciana Paluzzi is the horniest Bond girl of them all.
THUNDERBALL ... holds a special place in my heart as the build up to its release was immense and I still have the bubblegum trading card set and the Bond vs Largo board game from that time along with the original UK quad movie poster.
These sound exciting, like the STAR WARS merchandise of my own impressionable youth. Any more details on the board game or other collectibles? What type of game was it, a variation on Snakes and Ladders or such?
Was Thunderball the BondFilm with the most merchandising?
CoolHandBond also said:
I fancied Fiona Volpe so much 😂, Paluzzi is the horniest Bond girl of them all.
This would be a good topic for discussion, a welcome variation to yet again debating the scenes where Bond was the unwelcomed aggressor. Just thinking through the first seven movies or so, Fiona Volpe may indeed be the most sexually aggressive, the most uncompromisingly proactive in getting our hero into the sack. Who else could compete? Does the record still stand til this day?
(and of course Luciana Paluzzi led Napoleon Solo into her bedroom a year earlier, so yes this actress specialised in such characters)
@caractacus potts The board game looks spectacular, it is a 2 player chess style game which recreates the underwater battle at the end of the movie. One player plays Largo and his men who attempt to get the bombs to Miami and the other player plays Bond and his men trying to stop them. There are also submersibles and sharks pieces. When I’ve got time I will post some pictures. On reflection, I think the game was called 007 Underwater Battle. There were many collectables produced for TB, I also had some jigsaw puzzles and the soundtrack album from TB but I sold these (and a host of other memorabilia from movies of the 60’s and 70’s) before I emigrated to the Philippines as there simply was too much to transport. I wish I hadn’t now and filled a few more boxes, but that’s life!
Your question of whether TB was the Bond film with most merchandising - probably, but I’m sure someone else would be able to confirm?. The build up to the movie was huge, it really was the Biggest Bond of All.
@CoolHandBond IT REALLY WAS THE BIGGEST BOND OF ALL.
Slightly off topic, but in terms of watching Bond in a cinema the only films which genuinely excited me and left me feeling I have just had a true cinematic experience were Thunderball and Moonraker.
MR I was only a kid, but when I saw it a few years ago, all those childhood feelings flooded back and I left the show uplifted and smiling and loving Roger Moore's suave interpretation. The music, the sets, the non-stop action, the jokes, the beautiful photography, the gorgeous girls, hell, I could even forgive the bloody pigeon.
Thunderball, having watched it several times on TV, was simply amazing in the cinema. The Panavision 70mm screen, the sound effects, the visuals, the women, the fights, the music, Connery with probably his smoothest, most effortless and unaffected performance, OMG I was blown away. This film was simply huge. Its hard for anyone who hasn't seen it in the cinema to "get" it, how it operates as a visual and audio experience. Superb.
That board game sounds fun too.
Moonraker was the real deal. It seemed to build on previous Bonds in subtle way - in particular YOLT, as this time Bond actually goes in to space, and the reptile pool - only this time it's Bond taking a dip.
It wasn't just the Star Wars thing that was big - the whole Buck Rogers in the 21st Century - which personally I preferred - made sci-fi all the rage then, and Moonraker came with its bubblegum trading cards, I never bothered with the gum. Actually, I think they were cigarette sweeties.
The film came out in the summer, as was tradition then, so I associate it with the school holidays and chlorine at the local swimming baths.
They show re-runs of MR at the BFI Southbank but the screens there are never cinematic, if the Imax were to show it again I'd be there like a shot. OHMSS was great on that screen.
I did catch Thunderball at the Empire Leicester Square but it was a rubbish print and I have to say it didn't assist my impression of the movie, I preferred it on the flatscreen with a glass of rose.
This is a very fun little sci-fi action film that's worth checking out.
Basic premise: It's the near future. Grey, the main character, works on restoring older cars for wealthy individuals. His latest client is a computer tech billionaire who is working on a computer chip called 'STEM' which will change the future. On the way home from delivering a car to this billionaire, Grey and his wife get forced into a car accident...men arrive and kill Grey's wife and render him a quadraplegic. The billionaire arrives and offers to implant STEM into Grey to help him walk again.
What results is Grey and STEM essentially sharing the same body. They can talk to each other and assume control of the body from the other entity when necessary. In a way, it's an action version of ALL OF ME (with Steve Martin).
It's a pretty fun movie with a really nice, dark sense of humor to it. Logan Marshall-Green does an amazing job as Grey in terms of physical acting, able to convey very specific body language depending upon who is in control. He does this while also staying 'Grey' from the neck up, resulting in a lot of humor in the fight sequences when he goes into superhuman mode.
It has a great, unexpected ending to it. I thought I knew how it would end but I was completely wrong.
The personal history of David Copperfield (2019)
There has been many versions of Dickens' famous books on TV and movies, but I don't think any of them succeded like this movie to make the story come alive and be entertaining.
Dev Patel plays Copperfield. As we know Patel is etnically Indian and the character in the novel isn't. I'm a history nerd and often find this kind of casting difficult. Many historical movies made today cast one or two non-white actors in parts where the people were obviously white in real life. The black ambasador and east Asian lady in waiting in "Mary Queen of Scots" are examples of this. I assume it's done to give non-white audiences someone to relate to and not just the servant or the slave. This is in some ways understandable. But I fear audiences who don't know much history are tricked into a false idea of what (in this case) Victorian England was like, while history nerds like me grind their teeth at the historical incorrectness. This politically correct stunt casting sticks out like a sore thumb.
I like the way this movie solves the problem. "The personal history ...." cast a lot of non-white actors and spread them all of the sosio-economic landscape. The movie seems to say "We know it wasn't like this and we don't care!". The movie openly disregards realism in other ways too. The movie starts with Copperfield on a theatre stage telling his story to the audience before walking towards the stage backdrop painting and into his movie. Adults litterally reach into David's childhood fantasies and destroy them. Adult David turns up in the childhood scenes to comment on what's going on. All of this works.
The acting by everyone is very good. Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi and Ben Whishaw all play characters different from their typical onscreen personas and breathe life into them. For example Whishaw plays Uria Heep, a rare villanous performanse from an actor who usually play likeable characters.
The whole movie is lively, colourful, imaginative and very entertaining. If you or someone you know isn't into Charles Dickens or period drama in general, this movie is a great way to be introduced to the genere.
We rather liked that one as well, N24.
I too sort of agree with the above review. It's a decent movie, it's just... something about it is a tad hard going and it's typical of almost all such adaptations for the big screen be it Dickens or Austen. There is still nothing of the guilty pleasure going on, in contrast to David Lean's Great Expectations or the Laurence Oliver/Greer Garson Pride and Prejudice of old days.
TWINS OF EVIL (1971)
Sex-horror from those erstwhile gothic aficionados Hammer Studios, this one a second sequel to The Vampire Lovers originally entitled Vampire Virgins, which gives you some idea where the thrust of the narrative is heading. When producer Harry Fine saw Playboy’s Playmate of the Month Sep 1970, a photospread of Maltese twins Mary and Madeleine Collinson, he drastically altered the storyline specifically to accommodate their beautiful figures and expressive faces.
I say that with no sarcasm. The film is enlivened considerably by their presence. Following the sudden deaths of their parents, the Gelhorn girls have found themselves transported from decadent Venice to backward, superstitious Styria and are under the guardianship of their uncle, the pious, authoritarian preacher Gustav Weil, given a frenzied turn by Peter Cushing. Madeleine Collinson is Frieda, the headstrong, sensual, lustful twin, who embarks on a wild affair with wicked overlord Count Karnstein, played with some delight by Damien Thomas. Mary Collinson meanwhile becomes the delicate, submissive romantically inclined Maria, who falls for Anton, the local choirmaster.
Director John Hough and writer Tudor Gates must have spent time watching Witchfinder General [a film I reviewed here recently] as they allow Weil to inhabit the same complex moral position as Vincent Price’s John Hopkins. Caught by a fanatical religious zeal, Weil fails to differentiate genuine evil from desperate poverty and is touring the countryside burning women he believes are witches. Mostly prostitutes and widows, these women scratch a living and are defenceless against the Brotherhood, Weil’s band of prominent townsfolk who carry out these hunts on a regular and punitive basis. Anton knows they are misguided, but Styria has lived in shadow of the devil for so long, the Brotherhood for all its good intentions has come to strike an equal dread on its population. The sight and sound of them, galloping on horseback, chasing down a young flower girl is more frightening than a dozen neck nibbles. Karnstein, the real devil of the detail, laughs in their faces while carrying out debauched Satanic festivals in his crumbling castle.
One of these ceremonies leads to the resurrection of his ancestor Mircalla – an underused Katya Wyeth – who seduces him with promises of eternal life and unending power. This should be a moment of high drama, but after some reasonable smoky special effects, the original succubus arrives clothed in a cowl so thick it reminded me of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come from the Leslie Bricusse musical Scrooge. I almost expected Karnstein to break into song: “Thank you very much, thank you very much, that’s the nicest thing that anyone’s ever done for me…”
This moment of unintentional high hilarity aside, the movie for the most part is sombre, a little silly and quite brutal. The photography is uniformly dark; the sets spare, bleak and grey. Early on there’s a brilliant image of a horse-drawn carriage pulling into the mud-sotted town square and in the background three children are fighting until their mother throws the daily slops over them. Yeah, bleak’s the word alright. The houses and meeting halls of this grim village are as spartan as those in Witchfinder. The environment is depressed and unhappy. The local women find solace in small chatty groups; the men leer and drink and rabble rouse. The village is completely dysfunctional, given over to a form of religious worship so obsessed with the measure of goodness, it has ceased to recognise the evil that breeds within its own society. When the Gelhorn Twins arrive, their presence stirs the males’ amorous intentions to the point this dichotomy can no longer be ignored.
Meanwhile, Anton and his sister Ingrid [David Warbeck, Isobel Black, both functional at best] try to educate the young local women. The finishing school is of course attended entirely by teenagers with deep cleavages and gossipy gorgeous mouths. For this effrontery, Ingrid gets murdered by a vampire. The Twins meanwhile spend most of their time in bed, discussing how to escape their uncle’s clutches or pacify his rages, their breasts barely contained by the opaque night dresses they wear.
Madeleine Collinson gives the more attention grabbing performance as the evil sister, haughty and impudent, sexually provocative, she’s enthralled by the satanic rites performed at Castle Karnstein and engages in some cod-lesbianism to prove her devotion to the Count. Lusting for fresh human blood, her eyes flicker with intent over the throat of every man and woman, her bosom heaving with intent, her fanged mouth offering beguiling smiles; she enjoys the seductions and revels in the murders. Earlier, she recoils from the threat of vampirism, but once converted becomes passionate for the strength and freedom it delivers. Unlike Karnstein however, she still fears death, even as an undead, and as the townspeople gather for the slaughter, Madeleine Collinson is suitably perturbed. When Frieda comes to an end it is in a moment of true medieval horror. We assume her soul is saved as her body doesn’t deteriorate. In fact, the mythologies of vampirism are twisted a little to suit the storyline, sometimes for better, others for worse. For instance, I was impressed the undead were allowed to walk around in daylight, less so by the sudden bare-seconds change affected by a vampire’s bite.
There’s an interesting contemporary irony here as the characteristics which mark Freida as evil are the very attributes associated with positive female role models: assertiveness, career minded, mould-breaking, powerful, sexually liberated. She detests the confines of the schoolroom and the house, yearns not only for finery, but for passion, excitement and freedom. This of course also proves her downfall. Hough and Gates seem to suggest that liberation is fundamentally driven by sin, or at least moral ambivalence. I’m not sure that quite holds water, but it is interesting the story’s attention is focussed primarily on Freida Gelhorn rather than her sister.
Mary Collinson offers a quieter presence; obviously timid, she isn’t quite as effective in a role which has none of the scene stealing possibilities of Frieda. Mostly Maria pleads and wrings her hands. So devoted to protecting her twin, she even accepts beatings from her uncle, first when taking the place of her sister, then again for covering up for her. She’s disconcertingly passive about everything, even when heading for the stake. It’s odd the scenes of domestic violence are not shown as the film is one of Hammer’s more noticeably bloody affairs. It might also have raised Maria’s profile to more than a cypher for goodness. Sadly for this viewer, the siblings don’t even have a pillow fight.
Twins of Evil, with its all-encompassing dark tone, allows Peter Cushing to revel in playing the odious puritan. He gives one of his most forceful Hammer performances, never better than when inciting his Brotherhood to go on another witch hunt. As the tide turns against Weil and one of his own kin becomes a vampire, his desolation is keenly portrayed. It’s unusual to see emotions other than fear in a Hammer production and the agony and guilt Cushing allows Weil is welcome. Even when heroic, the preacher retains an air of gloomy fanaticism, as if hell, not heaven, lurks on his shoulder.
The story gets more bloody as it progresses. Roy Stewart [Quarrel Jr in Live and Let Die] plays the mute coachman who delivers and endures gory death. Dennis Price crops up to be bitten by Frieda’s glamourous fangs. The reused or to-be-used sets from several Hammer productions feature highly. The movie’s slick and fast. The climax recalls both Dracula and Frankenstein and it’s rather fitting none of the embodiments of evil survive the final reel. The film holds an audience’s attention mostly through the antics of the Collinson Twins, who despite being dubbed, deliver consummate performances in a movie where the visuals – their visuals – are more important than the whole. The film’s about the twins, it’s in the title and I quite enjoyed watching the Collinsons, Peter Cushing and Damien Thomas giving full vent to the age-old battle of good versus evil.
One question remains: whatever happened to the resurrected Mircalla?
It's 10.45pm and I am a bottle of Malbec down. No way am I going to start reading a @chrisno1 review about a sex-horror movie.
This treat awaits tomorrow.
That’s a great review of Twins Of Evil, chrisno1. It’s one of my favourite Hammer movies. Just one small error, Vincent Price played Matthew Hopkins in Witchfinder General, not John Hopkins.