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  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,365MI6 Agent

    Well, @caractacus potts there's this thing called imdb... maybe my talk of Likely Lads has put you back in the 70s...

    This seems to be the film you're looking for, though it might also be To The Ends of the Earth. Actually, most of these films listed I'd fancy seeing on TV but never seem to get aired, it's like the movies shown are from a specially restricted pool.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    yes I think it must be Cornered. "with uncredited help from Ben Hecht" a year before Notorious could even explain superficial plot similarities!

    excellent sleuthing Napoleon

  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 2,162MI6 Agent
    edited November 4

    ‘Last Night in Soho’

    Had been looking forward to seeing this for a while and it didn't disappoint. The recent accolades from people such as Stephen King only whetted my appetite further.

    This psychological horror, set in London between the swinging sixties and modern day oozes atmosphere, fun, suspense, sadness and takes the viewer on an emotional ride.

    The cast is excellent with Bond Alumni present in the form of the late great Diana Rigg and Margaret Nolan. Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy are both mesmerising in their roles. Great performances. Matt Smith and the legend that is Terence Stamp, were never going to disappoint either.

    Edgar Wright's direction is superb. He really captures the spirit and sense of the time. For us Bond fans the huge Thunderball poster adorning the outside of the cinema with the sights, sounds and almost smells! of London in its most flamboyant, yet decadent and sinister hey day, is a joy to behold.

    There are plenty of twists and turns and of course, with any film of this genre, one has to suspend belief for the most in part, but the crux of the film's story is hard hitting and poignant.

    The soundtrack, as you would imagine for a sixties themed film, is great. Classic Cilla, Dusty, Petula et al. It not only elevates the film but the songs are placed perfectly for each scene and create real depth to the story.🍸️👗

    On a side note. I now want a TR4! and Sam Clafin's very brief appearance shows he could be a great Bond.

    This is a film suitable for both Ladies and Gents. I highly recommend.


    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,365MI6 Agent

    This is showing at my local. Reviews have been not great but I will see it anyway because I fancy a night out at the pics.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • GymkataGymkata Minnesota, USAPosts: 3,487MI6 Agent

    Finished off the RESIDENT EVIL films

    RE: RETRIBUTION (2012)

    Pretty decent. Bringing back old characters in 'different' personalities made for an entertaining twist. The high concept of there being a facility on the ocean floor in Russia that has different zones modeled after cities (New York, Moscow, Tokyo) for experimentation was pretty cool and the film made good use of the setting. The action was decent and engaging. The ending promised a rather cool finale in the sixth film...

    RE: THE FINAL CHAPTER (2016)

    ...and we didn't get it. It's like the whole cliffhanger from the previous film was jettisoned completely. You get a line or two to hand-wave away things and it doesn't work. Whatever. In general, this film is terrible with some of the worst editing that I've ever seen. Seriously, the editing in this film makes QUANTUM OF SOLACE look like a masterpiece in comparison. Add in the fact that the story doesn't 'end' things in a satisfying way and does, in fact, leave the door open for further films. Thank God they didn't make any more of them.


    If I were to rate the series in terms of my overall level of enjoyment, I'd have to go in the following order:

    1. 3 (Extinction)
    2. 5 (Retribution)
    3. 1
    4. 4 (Afterlife)
    5. 6 (The Final Chapter)
    6. 2 (Apocalypse)
    Current rankings:
    OHMSS>FRWL>CR>TSWLM>YOLT>MR>SF>FYEO>GE>OP>DN>
    TWINE>TND>QOS>TB>TMWTGG>GF>LALD>TLD>AVTAK>SP>DAF>LTK>DAD
    Bond rankings: Lazenby>Moore>Connery>Craig>Brosnan>Dalton
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent

    THE EXORCIST (1973)

    Unusually compelling shock-chiller about a twelve year old girl, Regan [Linda Blair] who inexplicably appears to be possessed by a demon. Her distracted actress mother, Chris O’Neill [Ellen Burstyn] tries all routes offered by science, but is eventually forced to confront the possibility this may be a supernatural manifestation of evil. Desperate, she employs a lapsed Catholic psychiatrist, Father Karras [Jason Miller] who, only partially convinced, contacts an old, missionary come archaeologist, Father Merrin, a man with experience in matters of demonology.

    Superficially intriguing from a point of view of faith – the man questioning his beliefs is tested by the devil, fails then reforms – and tremendously gripping early on; as the girl’s slow wind to full possession takes hold, each incident and attempted solution become steadily more shocking and more personally intrusive. Director William Friedkin employs a documentary style, adding a sense of normality to the quite horrendous experiences the family is suffering, interlacing them with Georgetown night-and-day life and doctors scratching their heads when confronted with an unsolvable problem. Extracts from Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells are the only musical accompaniment and this too allows the audience to fully immerse themselves in both the everyday lives of the characters and the dramatic storyline they underpin. Music would also have ruined the soundscape, as the surreal audio effects raise the suspense to extraordinary levels, contributing to the creeping, cold atmosphere of the girl’s bedroom. Robert Knudson and Chris Newman won an Academy Award for Sound Recording, but it was really the effects editing which deserved to be scored.

    Overall the feel of the film is higher than the look, which in fact is quite sparing in its ability to shock. I remember watching this in the early nineties at a special screening, at the Ritzy, I think, and the audience found many of the possession scenes quite laughable. On my own, in a dark room, with no distractions but my own thoughts, the film isn’t so clumsy. The effects are tremendous given the constraints of the 1970s and it’s fair to claim they are probably still more realistic than a lot of the CGI stuff we see today simply because they are down-played and relying on physical movement to create their surprises. The screenplay and dialogue is a bit ordinary. The devil, voiced superbly by Mercedes McCambridge, has all the best lines, but its equal moments of insight and insult seem at odds with each other and a lot of the physical self-abuse seems unlikely even for an angry demon.

    My favourite moment is Max Von Sydow’s entrance into the O’Neill house, all in shadow like a western movie villain, a man as intense and intent as his rival. Father Merrin’s presence is so powerful even the demon recognises his spirit and calls his name – they have previous, both in Borneo and Iraq. He issues instructions to Father Karras, but the poor man still envisions a psychological solution and wants to explain the case history. “Why?” asks Merrin. He knows what’s important. Oh, this man knows, all right. Unlike the saying, the devil really isn’t into detail. Cue an unremitting climax.

    Highly influential, and banned in the U.K. for many years, The Exorcist all seems a bit tame these days. It’s underlying theme of temptation and redemption is more interesting than the devil eviction. The victim is innocent in all this, as it’s never made clear why the demon chooses Regan, other than she likes playing with a Ouija board. So, if there is a message, it might not be trust in God, but more likely don’t play with a Ouija board.

    Oddly satisfying.

  • Bond fan from OzBond fan from Oz Posts: 62MI6 Agent

    The Suicide Squad (2021)

    Terrific comic book popcorn movie starring Idris Elba, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis and QOS' Joaquin Cosio.

    Good for at least one viewing; if you see it, watch from beginning to very end, including the credits.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent

    KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE (1966)

    Oh, goodness, where to start?

    I think @caractacus potts wrote a review explaining the plot and the background of this Dino di Laurentis entry into the Euro-Spy genre. I can’t remember if he enjoyed it or not.

    Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die is a horrendous film full of some of the most wooden acting and low-level suspense I have ever come across on screen. It is humourless, has a convoluted plot of mind-numbing ridiculousness – stolen piece meal by Christopher Wood for Moonraker and improved on simply by injecting laughter and suspense – we don’t mind a bonkers plotline as long as we can be carried away by decent acting, a sense of danger and some deadpan humour – and an annoying continuous chimmering music score which sounds as if its been borrowed from a Jack Jones live show.

    This film is abysmal in almost all areas. I’ll give it some marks for attempting to be exotic [Rio de Janeiro and its sites and sights are well used] and some of the set design has that funky swinging sixties vibe I generally appreciate, but oh, boy, the acting, the script, the action sequences: I was flabbergasted by the ineptitude. Director Henry Levin went on to helm [ahem!] a couple of Matt Helm’s and this makes his work on those look like genius.

    Mike Conners is the hero spy Kelly – might be his first name, might be his second, might be a cover – and he looks as if someone drugged him and dragged him to the set. His expression doesn’t change from one moment to the next. He’s bemused and befuddled and bewitched by everything around him as well as Dorothy Provine’s upper class British spy Susan Fleming [!!!] who is a posh bird in the Lady Penelope mould – she even has a chauffeur in full Thunderbirds Parker mode – played with his usual disdain for everything beneath the level of upper class refinement by our own Terry-Thomas. There’s a good fight scene in an empty, moonlit piazza where Thomas karate dispatches a chasing group of hoodlums, arguably the best action scene in the whole film. I can’t remember why it occurred, but there you have it.

    Dorothy Provine’s legs look amazing.

    There are obvious parallels with Bond films both past and future [the film was made in 1965, post Goldfinger but pre-everything else] and you do have to believe that Roald Dahl and Christopher Wood had both seen it as they pinched so many ideas, in Wood’s case a whole scene – the one where Bond and Holly flirt over silly gadgets in Venice. The most watchable thing in the film – apart from Miss Provine’s legs which I’ve already mentioned – is Raf Vallone, who cuts quite a dash as a Brazilian oligarch who wants to sterilise the world. The writers don’t have a clue where to go with this fiendish idea so they send it into space [literally] and instead spend most of their time confusing sterility with impotency.

    It’s rubbish, it really is. Maybe I was too tired at 10pm to appreciate it [past my bedtime these days, right?] or maybe I’m missing something [sense of humour failure? It has been known.] Apparently Quentin Tarantino marks Kiss the Girls… as one of his favourite films. My appreciation of that guy has been going downhill since the abomination which was Inglorious…. and info like that does not help his reputation.

    You know what? I’m not really commenting on the film anymore, so I’ll stop. Suffice to say, I do not recommend this unless you want to torture someone. 

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,365MI6 Agent

    Yeah, Tarantino has form on this - he did a series of intros to his fave films and one of them was the final Matt Helm movie with the star who would go on to be portrayed in his Once Upon a Time in Hollywood film, Sharon Tate, who in the film is a sort of quirky, kooky character, along the lines of Tiffany Case in DAF. Well, okay, but the film is pretty awful imo - actually a couple of ajb members like it, but it's pretty ropey.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent
    edited November 8

    chrisno1 said:

    KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE (1966)

    Oh, goodness, where to start?

    I think caractacus potts wrote a review explaining the plot and the background of this Dino di Laurentis entry into the Euro-Spy genre. I can’t remember if he enjoyed it or not.

    I filed my report here.

    I liked it mostly, thought Dorothy Provine and Terry Thomas were hilarious, and since I can never suspend disbelief enough to appreciate the Thunderbirds was happy to a see live action version of the Lady Penelope character. I thought the film was funnier than some of the stoopidest SpySpoof stuff that was coming out around that time, and a better product than most of the cheapie EuroSpy stuff I've seen from the same era.


    My brain cant do the ranking thing others here do, but I'd love to see someone attempt a ranking of the Bond rip-offs from the mid60s.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,365MI6 Agent

    Was this film on telly or did you both watch it on YouTube? The fight the Christ the Redeemer statue sounds like the climax of the Jean DuJardin spy spoof sequel of some years back. We haven't heard too much of that actor since The Artist some years ago.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,138MI6 Agent

    I like Kiss The Girls And Make Them Die, any film with the genius Terry-Thomas in cannot be all bad. Dorothy Provine is lovely and kooky as she was in all her stuff from the 60’s, It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World being her highlight. I have said before on this site that I love the 60’s spy craze, and I give special exemption to this genre of movie, in that I overlook much of the shortcomings that occur in them.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent

    Napoleon, I catch most of these on OK RU, which usually has original versions. Sometimes the movies are subtitled. You Tube doesn't always have all these old cult movies.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,365MI6 Agent

    Vertigo

    The main gripe here being of course the age gap between the leading man and his romantic interest...

    Now, I love this Hitchcock classic, always have since I saw it as part of a Hitchcock season at a cinema in Tottenham Court Road in the mid 80s. Oddly, it was the first time I saw it as it never seemed to be on telly. And Vertigo didn't do great on its initial release - Hitch blamed the age of Jimmy Stewart for its failure - so it fell off the radar. At some point in the 70s I think it was hard to even find a print in Europe. That's mad, isn't it? Then again that's how it might be - I was a mega Bond fan but only got to see From Russia With Love when I was about 12 - it was on telly. I got to see Dr No at the London Pavilion cinema I think, early 80s as part of a brief season, but neither really got shown much on telly at all - possibly because Cubby Broccoli fixed it so that Roger Moore would be his star man in the late 70s.

    Anyway, Vertigo retained its classic status in France, possibly because its social mores did not have such a problem with an older romantic lead, they're all a bit Maurice Chevalier over there.

    I felt sheepish watching this however, as I gripe about plot holes in recent Bond films but applying the same scrutiny to this film, mmm.... I can't give away plot holes without giving away the plot - luckily the wonderful score pulls you along and the holes don't notice so much on first viewing, only on the second or third time round.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent
    edited November 10

    I believe there were a half dozen Hitchcock films that were out of circulation when I was a lad, for some reason (legal?)

    Vertigo was one, and I think maybe even Rear Window: some of his most important 50s classics, the very ones that are always mentioned in the film history books.

    My recollection is when De Palma's Body Double came out in the early 80s, it was described as the trashy lovechild of Rear Window and Vertigo, yet nobody I knew had actually ever seen these two films that were considered so influential.

    ___________________________________

    EDIT: wikipedia mentions this, but does not explain why the five films were removed from circulation for so long, aside from saying that was Hitchcock's own choice.

    In October 1983, Rear Window and Vertigo were the first two films reissued by Universal Pictures after the studio acquired the rights from Hitchcock's estate. These two films and three others – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), The Trouble with Harry (1955), and Rope (1948) – had been kept out of distribution by Hitchcock since 1968. Cleaning and restoration were performed on each film when new 35 mm prints were struck.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent
    edited November 16

    O.K. Connery, 1967

    as found on youtube

    also known as Operation Kid Brother. Its easy to find online a version of the film with the alternate title, but that's the Mystery Theatre 3000 version with the usual gang of idiots talking loudly in the next row and ruining the film, and scenes missing. But this youtube version is the unobscured original. So you BondFilm completists know what you'll be watching tonight.

    with the (almost) All Star cast of...

    Daniela Bianchi, Adolfo Celi, Bernard Lee, Anthony Dawson, and Lois Maxwell. Even sacrificial lamb Yee-Wah Yang was a geisha girl in You Only Live Twice.

    and introducing... Neil Connery!

    Soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, doing a persuasive Barry pastiche (repeated hints of the bass vamp, and Thunderball style tension raising motif), also drifting into psychedelic rock and the expected spaghetti western-isms


    Adolfo Celi is the big baddie, Mr. Thayer ( codename Beta), living on a magnificent yacht in the Mediterranean, with an all-babe crew. Daniela Bianchi is Maya, the leader of the all-babe crew, and captain of the ship. She gets much more to do here than in her other BondFilm. We learn Celi is Number 2 or 3 man in an evil organization called Thanatos, that has lots of toxic board meetings that usually end with the death of a failed agent. Dawson is Alpha, leader of Thanatos, and Celi is out for his job. After the death of the latest failed agent, Celi is put in charge of the project to steal some sort of "atomic core" mcguffin. It is actually Bianchi who does the practical work of hijacking the mcguffin from the its military convoy, with her all-babe crew cleverly disguised as the "Wild Pussy Club" (the rest of the sign says "and gamble with the wildest pussies in all the west")

    Bernard Lee is imaginatively cast as head of a branch of British intelligence Commander Cunningham, and Lois Maxwell is his assistant Miss Maxwell. Miss Maxwell is more of an active field agent and gets more to do here than any superficially similar character we might have seen before. (wikipedia also says she got paid more for this role than all her BondFilms combined)

    To bring down Celi and his evil organization, Commander Cunningham recruits Dr. Neil Connery (played by an actor also named Neil Connery, to save any confusion). Connery is a plastic surgeon, hypnotist and lip-reader, exactly the skill set needed to infiltrate Thanatos and save the world. He is also the little brother of Cunningham's greatest Secret Agent Zero Zero... (at which point another character says "yes yes we all know who his brother is, now get to the point"). The unnamed big brother is frequently referred to, but apparently off on another assignment and not currently available. Cunningham persuades Dr Connery through blackmail, threatening scandal courtmartial and harm to big brothers career if he does not cooperate.

    As the plot is an eensy bit formulaic, it's not really a spoiler to tell you that Connery Jr seduces Bianchi and persuades her to switch sides, and even better she wears red leather pants for the final act of the film. Celi by coincidence also dresses in an all-red leather putfit, as he stands manfully in the center of a control room full of blinking lights and blooping sound effects, complete with countdown (I think starting somewhere near "125 and counting", to give the amateur spy plenty of time to save the world). And you know, big brother could not have handled this mission, since lipreading and hypnotism skills are both required before the story is over!

    Final scene shows Connery Jr now moved onto the yacht with the all-babe crew, snogging with the Captain. Hey that's Octopussy 14 years early! I wonder how many other latterday BondFilms stole ideas from this?

    In fact, if Daniel Craig has a brother out there somewhere (and I don't mean Christoph Waltz!) maybe EON can buy the rights to this film and do a remake, as a way out of this corner they've painted themselves into with their latest film's ending.

    Comparisons must be made with Casino Royale (the "funny" version), which came out the same year. That one of course had an actual Fleming title and the legal rights to use the characters and plot elements, yet went perversely out of its way to not even pretend to be a proper Bond film, barely even a spy film. This film has no official legal status whatsoever so far's I can tell, yet uses much of the EON cast, in basically the same roles they play in the EON films carrying out much the same plot moves. And since big brother is off screen, for whatever reason unavailable to save the world this time, this film actually could fit into official EON continuity!


    Since you're probably wondering, here is good clear shot of Neil Connery. I wouldn't have seen the resemblance if I didn't know, but at least he got a bit of work from the family connection (and at a time when big brother was arguing over the pay and threatening to quit). In a later scene he even dresses in a kilt, so that proves it!


  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,365MI6 Agent

    Nice review though again one suspects reading that is better than watching the film itself btw I quite like those Mystery Theatre 3000 things where they talk over the film and take the Mickey. I did watch this on DVD when LoveFilm was a thing - DVD rental service, got hooked on it some years ago - but I couldn't tell you anything of it, I've forgotten much of it. These Bond take-offs lack a certain thing - well, they're exploitation movies really - but they don't have any pretence at a higher thing going on to raise the tone, or a dual narrative. It's just, here's a gimmick, here's a firework.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,365MI6 Agent

    In the Heat of the Night

    If your elderly Dad enjoys a clip of an old film on telly, you buy the DVD for him. Rod Steiger plays the small-town head of police who is called upon to investigate the murder of a big-noise businessman and suspects a mugging from an itinerant. First person who gets picked up is a suited Sidney Poitier who awaiting the next train out of there...

    This film uses the 'n' word a few times so ironically can't be shown much now despite it being a big thing about race relations, the so-called n word now having the explosive, socially disruptive power once accorded to conventional swear words. Aside from that, and the adult themes, this is an A certificate film that nonetheless threatens to get nastier. The interchange between Steiger and Poitier is what makes it, it's a two-hander. The hoodlums in the film seem to resemble the US pop band that sung about Farmer Brown on the Ed Sullivan Show and seem resentful that it was the Beatles that went on to fame and glory and not them. One woman who is of dubious morals turns out to be 16 when she looks all of 30. Generally, the dialogue and race commentary is the reason to watch this as the detective part of the story left me cold, I couldn't quite fathom it and tis wasn't the first time of viewing. Norman Jewison directs with economy and a few shots of real flair, he also did Pacino's And Justice For All, a 70s film which is never on telly now.

    Aspects of the film anticipate Stallone's First Blood, though that went in a very different direction!

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent

    @caractacus potts OK Connery sounds both hilarious and awful at once. I bow in awe of your perseverance.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,138MI6 Agent

    JUNGLE CRUISE (2021)

    There probably is not a single original element in this movie, it draws from Indiana Jones, The Mummy (1999), Pirates Of The Caribbean amongst others, but it is surprisingly entertaining, mainly due to the lead performances of Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall. The brilliant Paul Giamatti is underused as a rival to Johnson’s character.

    Siblings Lily and MacGregor hire jungle cruise operator Frank Wolff to take them down the Amazon in search of the Tree Of Life. There are several excruciating jokes as per the theme park ride at DisneyWorld and the leads play off each other nicely.

    Undemanding fun but 15 minutes too long.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,602MI6 Agent

    The last emperor (1987)

    I particularely enjoy movies about places, cultures and times we rarely see in movies. This modern classic is an example of this. We are shown the life of Pu Yi who became the emperor of China as a toddler in 1908 and died as a gardener in 1967.

    This is a true epic. I actually remember it used in promos for the cinema experience as oposed to TV. This movie was the first Western movie to be shot in China after the revolution and the very first to be shot in the Fornuften City. The acting, music, cinematography and story is first rate. If you haven't seen it I urge you to watch it on the biggest screen possible.

    Sean Connery was offered the role as the emperor's Scottish tutor, but turned it down.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 4,138MI6 Agent

    THE REPTILE (1966)

    In a Cornish village locals are dying from a form of Black Death which turns out to be caused by a woman biting them, who has changed into a snake after being cursed by a cult in the Far East.

    A typical Hammer movie that would have been better if Cushing or Lee had been involved. Nonetheless it’s a pretty decent effort with good make-up for Jacqueline Pearce as the titular monster.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • Bond fan from OzBond fan from Oz Posts: 62MI6 Agent

    Dances with Wolves (1990) - theatrical cut

    Grand, sweeping epic film with a nice score by John Barry (sounding very "Barryesque").

    Kevin Costner is quite good in both acting and directing departments.

    My one complaint about the film is that it's long; I wouldn't want to watch it again.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent

    THE ROCK (1996)

    I didn’t mean to watch this, but it was on and as I caught the beginning it seemed churlish not to finish it. Jerry Bruckheimer’s masterful high-octane action movie about U.S. mercenaries holed up on Alcatraz Island threatening San Francisco with rockets full of deadly poison. Nicholas Cage’s F.B.I. chemical weapons expert teams up with Sean Connery’s ex-S.A.S. non-person, the only inmate to escape Alcatraz prison, to thwart the bad guys. Cue a ton of explosions and machine gun bullets, car chases, fights, tension, grand gestures, throw away humour and incidents which are completely ridiculous but really don’t matter any as the whole picture is faintly ridiculous.

    Normally I dislike this sort of fare, but for some reason The Rock remains extremely watchable, even after the fourth time, and very enjoyable. Good casting and acting all-round helps. So too the production values. Very much an American product with global appeal and featuring one of Connery’s most gleeful and glimmering performances.

    Top marks, I’d say.

  • Golrush007Golrush007 South AfricaPosts: 3,172Quartermasters
    edited November 18

    I've been indulging in a bit of Noirvember lately, and have just watched a part of 1950s film noirs.

    Firstly, TOUCH OF EVIL.

    Often regarded as the last film of the classic film noir period, Orson Welles' Touch of Evil is a cracking noir thriller, boasting a memorable performance by Welles himself, as well as good work from the other leads Charleton Heston and Janet Leigh. It also has a lot of memorable and stylish cinematography, in particular its famous opening long-take which was something I immediately thought of when I first saw Spectre's opening tracking shot. There are a few different versions of the film around, and the blu-ray I was watching had 5 different options - 3 different cuts as well as different aspect ratios to choose from. I opted for the 1998 reconstructed version in good old fashioned 4x3 Academy ratio. I saw the film previously in my student days and certainly didn't get the most out of it on that first version. I'm very glad to have gone back and rediscovered it now. I am now also curious to go and watch the other versions, although I doubt I will manage to do that anytime soon, given the massive list of films I have to get through.

    Second, NIAGARA.

    After Touch of Evil, Niagara felt like a bit of a lightweight outing, but I nonetheless found it highly entertaining. Unusually for a 1950s noir, this one is shot in 3 strip technicolor, which if nothing else, helps make Marilyn Monroe's red lipstick pop out from the screen quite vividly. Set around Niagara falls, the plot revolves around two married couples. One visiting Niagara falls on a honeymoon, while Monroe's character is plotting to kill her much older husband, played by Joseph Cotten (who had a very brief cameo in Touch of Evil as well). Despite the bigger star names of Monroe and Cotten, I found the most captivating performance to be that of Jean Peters, who is essentially the protagonist of the film. I also enjoyed her performance last week when I watched Pickup on South Street, another 1950s film noir. I didn't have the highest expectations for this film, so it came as a pleasant surprise, and it was a nice break from the usual monochromatic urban setting of most noirs.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    Golrush007 said:

    TOUCH OF EVIL.

    ...in which Janet Leigh gets into a spot of bother in a motel room several years before Psycho

    NIAGARA.

    ...also includes much motel room mischief! this film is a time capsule, Niagara Falls looks nothing like that anymore. Today its lucky tourists can even get close what with all the tacky highrise development now built right up to the edge of the river.

    This film makes a cameo in Fleming's From Russia with Love, including Marilyn's red lips!

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,602MI6 Agent

    The red shoes (1948)

    After watching the great Black Narcissus I promisef myself to watch other movies by Pressburger and Powell, especially this movie. I also know it's a favourite og Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood. The plot is centered around ballet performances, a movie genere mostly involving Black Swann and this movie. A young female dancer and a conductor/composer Are both discovered by an impresario. They find success and the dancer and the composer fall in love, but they are torn between love and ambission in their professions. To further complicate the matter the impresario falls in love with the dancer too.

    The use of colour in this movie is noteworthy. It's one of the ways the distinction between reality and fantasy are blurred, especially during the ballets. A movie focusing on ballets is probably not for everyone, especially one ballet scene lasting more than fifteen minutes. But if you're above average interested in movies and maybe other art forms this is a great movie to experience.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,596MI6 Agent

    number24 said:

    The Red Shoes (1948)

    well I like Fred Astaire movies and Gene Kelly's American in Paris, which also has a lengthy ballet sequence.

    And Kate Bush based her mid90s album of the same name around this movie, so its long been on my list of films to see, though I've never had the chance.

  • Royale-les-EauxRoyale-les-Eaux LondonPosts: 529MI6 Agent

    Red Notice on Netflix - which featured both the line "sometimes the old ways are the best" and a silhouetted fight sequence just like the Patrice Bond one.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 18,602MI6 Agent

    I read somewhere that The Red Shoes inspired Fred Astair to make "An American in Paris".

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