Last film seen...

1406407408409410412»

Comments

  • HarryCanyonHarryCanyon Posts: 188MI6 Agent

    FEAR IS THE KEY (1972) with Barry Newman, Suzy Kendall, John Vernon, and a very young Ben Kingsley in his film debut.

    The premise: Newman is John Talbot. As the film begins, he's on the radio listening to a plane go down in the ocean. Three years later, he's causing a scene involving a trial, shooting, kidnapping, a long car chase, and a whole lotta other nonsense to eventually get captured by John Vernon's Vyland (with Ben Kingsley as his henchman). Vyland needs Talbot for a salvage operation. To say anything more would be to go into spoiler territory. Suffice to say, hijinks ensue.

    It's...ok? This is one of those 'what the heck is going on?' kinda films that keeps holding back information from the viewers in order to hit them with a twist. That's fine if done right, but it's done rather clumsily here. With no clear understanding of how the opening sequence relates to the antics of the first act, I was frankly baffled as to what was going on. What are the motivations? Why is he doing what he's doing? Who are these people? Am I supposed to care about any of this? Eventually the WHY of the situation is revealed and the viewer can now follow the main throughline of the plot, but it still doesn't hit in a satisfying way. All of it carries through to the finale and a final revelation that ties everything together.

    The film lacks oomph. There's a solid but overlong car chase in the opening act that adds some thrills but nothing else in the film really works in terms of adding tension. Also, Barry Newman was a pretty limited actor and a lot of things that he's asked to do in the film are frankly out of his range, especially hurting the revelation scenes. Ben Kingsley is interesting to watch here (he has hair!) in a role that doesn't require much. You can see glints of what he'd become 10 years later in GANDHI but he's otherwise unremarkable.

    From an Alistair MacLean novel that I suspect was much better than the film.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    Thanks for that review @HarryCanyon You should repost it in the Alistair MacLean thread The Alistair MacLean Thread — ajb007

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,155MI6 Agent

    THE THING WITH TWO HEADS (1972).

    Ray Milland is a prime example of an Oscar-winning actor reduced to starring in bottom-of-the-barrel horrors (literally) in order to pay the mortgage.If you thought FROGS (1972) was an embarrassment for Ray, you haven’t seen this crazy blaxploitation effort, helmed by infamous grindhouse director Lee Frost. Milland plays a grumpy multi¬millionaire who’s the founder of the famed Transplant Foundation. When he’s diagnosed with cancer, the Doc plans to transplant his entire head onto a donor’s healthy body—and then have the original head chopped off. Of course, volunteers are thin on the ground until death row convict Rosey Grier lumbers onto the scene.

    So, a white racist’s head is sewn onto a black man’s body. The resulting fiasco veers wildly from the tasteless, to the silly, to the downright banal. After the anesthesia wears off, Ray and Rosey spend the second half of the movie connected at the spine, running from cops and arguing with each other in what is supposed to be witty repartee - it isn’t. It all ends with a tedious motorcycle chase through the hills, with Rosey looking particularly stupid with a cheap latex Ray Milland head strapped to his shoulder. Milland doesn’t attempt to act, Grier can’t, and though you keep wanting to laugh at this brainless concept, the filmmakers ignore every possible straight line. What a wasted opportunity. Even a cameo appearance by Rick Baker as a two-headed gorilla can’t save it from being a big bore fest.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,155MI6 Agent

    DANGER: DIABOLIK (1968)

    Directed by cult legend Mario Bava this has everything you could possibly ask for in a high camp caper movie—garish colours, outrageous sets and hokey dialogue. Suave super-criminal Diabolik who has a fondness for fast cars, gorgeous women, stolen cash, and making the police look like idiots is played by John Philip Law, a larcenous James Bond, with his good looks and black leather body suit making him the coolest criminal on the planet. The film kicks off with a ten million dollar heist perpetrated in broad daylight, and after that, it’s off to Diabolik’s secret, high-tech, underground lair, which comes complete with a selection of expensive sports cars, a swimming pool, a circular revolving bed, and (most importantly) an alluring babe whom he makes love to while rolling in his stolen cash. Meanwhile, the clueless police are checking out hallucinatory nightclubs and even trying to recruit a Mob Boss (our own Adolfo Celi) to help track down the super-thief. There’s no serious character development—but it’s perfect that way—because this is gaudy pop art taken to its extreme limits, and every sequence has something to gawk at. There’s fabulous cinematography by Antonio Rinaldi, a supporting cast that includes a big favourite of mine, Terry-Thomas, and a bevy of scantily clad beautiful women.

    Works best at the end of the day with a large tipple.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    Sounds like fun

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,929MI6 Agent

    Danger: Diabolik is slick flashy entertainment, as you say great sixties visuals and its sense of movement never stops, almost like a music video

    makes a good double bill with Barbarella, which Dino de Laurentis was producing at the same time with some of the same cast, crew and sets

    aha, it seems to be up on Youtube


  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    Excellent - one to watch !

    Unlike this:

    TABLE 19 (2017)

    I love Anna Kendrick, I really do, but, boy, does she need a decent agent. Table 19 is a relatively unfunny comedy drama set at a wedding where jilted Eloise McGarry attends her best friend’s wedding, having to suffer watching her ex- perform in glorious comfort as best man while she is relegated to the table of death, Number 19, the place for misfits. She should have taken her own advice and stayed away. As Eloise, Kendrick is watchable, in that cutesy, perky manner she has perfected, but she isn’t given much support by her fellow thespians or by Jeffrey Blitz’s script, that threatens to do very little and eventually carries out that threat. The downbeat story never gets out of second gear and crawls to its fairly happy ending via a series of reconciliations entirely designed to allow everyone their moment in the metaphorical sun. It’s The Breakfast Club at a wedding, basically. Hard to believe this was made in 2017; it feels dated already.    

  • MarkerMarker Posts: 45MI6 Agent

    Although I'm no Doctor Who fan, I watched 'Daleks: Invasion Earth' the other day. It wasn't the last film I've seen but it was such an odd choice for me that I thought it worth mentioning. I'm unsure of the release date (late 1960s?) but it starred Peter Cushing as the Doctor. In a break from the TV series, he wasn't a Time Lord but an eccentric inventor. It was cheesy and of it's time, but quite enjoyable nonetheless.

    Author of 'An Ungentlemanly Act' and 'Execution of Duty'. The WW2 espionage series starring Harry Flynn.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,217Chief of Staff

    SHE (1965)

    By coincidence another Peter Cushing film. He's joined by Sir Christopher Lee (naturally) and Bernard Cribbins is along for comedy relief but the spotlight is on our own Ursula Andress (voiced as in DN by our own Nikki van der Zyl) and John Richardson, a Hammer regular who was briefly considered a possible Bond.

    The budget is higher than normal for Hammer and the scenery, locations, music, and effects better than usual- almost an epic. Andress is her customary stiff self, aided hugely by Nikki's voice, and as for Richardson I can only quote the Bride: "another wooden pretty boy".

    Cushing and Lee carry the movie and do it superbly.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,155MI6 Agent

    It’s another one of those movies that incredibly was given an ‘X’ certificate upon release. Hard to fathom why, even in those days.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • MarkerMarker Posts: 45MI6 Agent

    I wasn't familiar with John Richardson, but must have seen him in a few HHoH films, so had to google. IMO he certainly had the look of a good screen Bond.


    Author of 'An Ungentlemanly Act' and 'Execution of Duty'. The WW2 espionage series starring Harry Flynn.

  • MarkerMarker Posts: 45MI6 Agent

    Are we able to extend the thread to last TV shows watched? If so I'd like to mention 'Budgie', starring Adam Faith. I remember the series when it first aired but only watched it occasionally. The first episode aired on TPTV last night. It follows the exploits of a hapless petty crook who gets into trouble with every scam or act of criminality he involves himself in. I'd recommend it to anyone who hasn't heard of it before.

    Author of 'An Ungentlemanly Act' and 'Execution of Duty'. The WW2 espionage series starring Harry Flynn.

  • MarkerMarker Posts: 45MI6 Agent

    'The Eagle Has Landed'. Being one of my favourite actors, I never miss an opportunity to watch Michael Caine. As for the story itself, well it's boy's own stuff and full of inaccuracies but still worth a watch if you've a spare couple of hours. One of the highlights was Larry Hagman's portrayal of the incompetent US Colonel. I don't think I've ever seen him in anything else (I didn't watch Dallas) but he put in a solid performance.


    For those in the UK, it's available on BBC iPlayer.

    Author of 'An Ungentlemanly Act' and 'Execution of Duty'. The WW2 espionage series starring Harry Flynn.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    @Marker try the 'Anything Good on TV' thread

  • MarkerMarker Posts: 45MI6 Agent

    Author of 'An Ungentlemanly Act' and 'Execution of Duty'. The WW2 espionage series starring Harry Flynn.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,155MI6 Agent

    STARCRASH (1978).

    The main reason I watched this was, of course, to see the sultry Caroline Munro starring as the scantily dressed Stella Star. I had long seen the poster of the film in magazines but never seen it until it turned up on my streaming service. Stella is a wanted woman, by every cop in the galaxy for smuggling (and every red-blooded man for other reasons). Others in the cast are the magnificently permed Marjoe Gortner (who famously tried it on with the equally stunning Victoria Principal in Earthquake), and Christopher Plummer as the Emperor of the Universe, (obviously needing the pay-check and hoping the film would disappear into the vortex). The not-so-special effects are cheap and laughable (stars are lit up in prime colours). Anyway, I persevered to see our own lovely Caroline in her skimpy black bikini style outfit and boots. Unfortunately, she's stuck with a dull secret mission to save the Emperor’s son. Accompanied by a robot that speaks with a Texas drawl, Stella visits a planet of similarly scantily clad Amazons, is trapped on an ice planet, and gets rescued by David Hasselhoff.

    Although Munro looks sensational she’s stuck in a movie helmed by Lewis Coates (Luigi Cozzi) who directs with absolutely no artistry whatsoever.

    As with many films the poster promises a lot more than is actually delivered.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,217Chief of Staff

    Haven't seen this, and thanks for the warning. John Barry wrote the score and perhaps fittingly it is one of his weakest.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,155MI6 Agent

    That’s something I forgot to mention. For all the good intentions the whole thing fails miserably.

    I also forgot to add the poster…old age is setting in nicely 😁


    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • MarkerMarker Posts: 45MI6 Agent

    Caroline Munroe still makes regular appearances on Talking Pictures TV, where she introduces films. I must say, she has aged very well.

    Author of 'An Ungentlemanly Act' and 'Execution of Duty'. The WW2 espionage series starring Harry Flynn.

  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 10,270MI6 Agent

    And your doppelgänger (Alfred Burke) shows up in the Talking Pictures TV's reshowing of Enemy at the Door which starts from the beginning in early May.

    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • MarkerMarker Posts: 45MI6 Agent

    That's a good drama. From memory I believe he plays a Nazi officer. 'Public Eye' is currently showing on TPTV.

    Author of 'An Ungentlemanly Act' and 'Execution of Duty'. The WW2 espionage series starring Harry Flynn.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,155MI6 Agent

    GET CARTER (1971)

    This is probably the best British crime movie ever made. Michael Caine stars as Jack Carter, a ruthless gangster who travels to Newcastle to avenge his brother’s murder. He chases all around the city meeting local scum who have information and uncovers why his kin was murdered, then seeks retribution - using a double barreled shotgun. The plot may be as old as the hills but this is a stark, uncompromising tale of vengeance, with director Mike Hodges utilising down-at-heel locales magnificently. Hardline crooks and sexy girls abound (including our own Britt Ekland) and in the middle we have Michael Caine, in a career defining role, expertly playing a heartless charmer who's mightily pi*s*d off from the first frame (and seemingly enjoying getting his revenge).

    In the light of today's avalanche of British crime flicks, this is the granddaddy of them all.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • MarkerMarker Posts: 45MI6 Agent

    @CoolHandBond agreed. Get Carter is one of my favourite Michael Caine films. I had the misfortune to see some of the Sylvester Stallone remake, oh dear.

    Author of 'An Ungentlemanly Act' and 'Execution of Duty'. The WW2 espionage series starring Harry Flynn.

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,515Chief of Staff

    I re-watched Get Carter a couple of months ago…it still holds up…it’s a gritty, dirty film and quite bleak which, I assume, portrays Newcastle very well for the time…the casting is excellent, and Caine just oozes menace…and I love Brian Mosley in this…and one of my fav lines -

    You're a big man, but you're in bad shape. With me it's a full time job. Now behave yourself.

    It’s a really good (but horrible) story too…it doesn’t shy away from grubbiness and seediness of the tale…

    I also quite liked the 1972 version called Hitman starring Bernie Casey…I’ve watched the Stallone version, Michael Caine is in that too, I assume just for the pay check 👀

    YNWA 97
  • HarryCanyonHarryCanyon Posts: 188MI6 Agent

    The Stallone version is...well, let's be nice and simply say it's 'not very good'.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,238MI6 Agent

    @CoolHandBond A good swift view of Get Carter. I think one of those Channel 4 polls saw this voted the Best British Film Of All Time. I think that overstates it's value a little, although it is certainly a very brilliant film and has influence far beyond its dreary 1970s locations, characters and actions. I should watch it again sometime and review it, but you guys amy find my take a bit epic.

    Anyway, you didn't mention the music score from South Londoner Roy Budd, who had just broken into the music business and fallen into movie score writing almost by accident. Director Ralph Nelson wanted a 'hip' sound for his controversial western Soldier Blue and scouted out English composers. Budd got the call by combiing traditional motifs with Buffy Saint Marie's title song. Get Carter was his second score and it is a fantastic evocation of propulsive tension right from the first notes as Jack Carter makes his return home on the train to Newcastle. Budd is sensible enough to keep his themes in the background. An example not just of less is more, but of understanding how much more can be achieved with deft and definate placing of musical cues. Budd went on to have a prolific career in the seventies, including Fear is the Key, which we have discussed on the Alistair MacLean thread and several more Michael Caine films, [The Black Windmill & Kidnapped among them].

    As a side note, my Mum's piano teacher was also Roy Budd's teacher in Mitcham. If Mum arrived early she had to sit and listen to this little boy playing brilliant piano. He was only seven or eight years old, half my Mum's age. Mum told me the piano tecaher reckoned he was a musical genius.

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,155MI6 Agent

    Roy Budd provided some great scores - The Wild Geese is my favourite of his followed by a very undervalued score for Paper Tiger starring David Niven.

    It’s also lovely to read personal background material that would never be available anywhere else. What a great site AJB007 is!

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,155MI6 Agent
    edited April 18

    DARKER THAN AMBER (1970)

    Action director Robert Clouse pumps up the more visceral side of private eye movies as the always reliable Rod Taylor stars as John D. MacDonald’s anti-hero Travis McGee. Authentic seedy Florida and Caribbean locales blend with William Smith’s fabulous portrayal of one of most memorable psychotic bad men that you will ever see.

    When lovely Suzy Kendall is unceremoniously tossed into the river by Smith, Fort Lauderdale detective Travis McGee happens to be fishing after dark and rescues her. Travis wants to know who and why and soon the two are on a mission together. Meanwhile, Smith is on their trail, dealing savagely with anyone in his way.

    The plot gets increasingly complicated as characters are dealt with, hoards of money are discovered, and the mystery gets thicker with Kendall turning up in a second role, utilising a terrible Southern accent.

    The highlight has Smith and Taylor giving it all in one of the nastiest most vicious bare knuckle fights on record - by accounts both actors knocked the hell out of each other for real.

    Clouse would go on to helm ENTER THE DRAGON and Smith would be the antagonist in Clint Eastwood’s underrated ANY WHICH WAY YOU CAN. This is top-notch pulp fiction, make no mistake about that.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 6,155MI6 Agent

    VIOLENT PLAYGROUND (1958)

    Basil Dearden directs this gritty black-and-white drama that stars Stanley Baker as a detective who is made a “juvenile liaison officer” whose remit is to stop wayward kids from going bad. His job begins with a pair of brother-sister ruffians who enjoy shoplifting groceries, but when he escorts these scallies home, he fancies their older sister Cathy (Anne Heywood), trouble is brewing!

    The film gets moving proper when we meet their brother Johnny Murphy, played by a young David McCallum, a sullen leader-of-the-gang who controls the estate. McCallum is electric, with a James Dean appeal of youthful arrogance. Baker suspects Johnny and his roughneck pals are responsible for a series of fires. Johnny attempts to torch the Grand Hotel because they won’t let him in, and that leads to a hit and run murder. Finally, armed with a machine gun, he takes an entire classroom of schoolkids hostage. This leads to a tense finale, with McCallum using kids as human shields, as cops and worried parents fill the playground.

    Shot entirely on location in a seedy Liverpool estate this must have been pretty shocking in 1958.

    Peter Cushing turns up as a priest and our own Tsai Chin is one of the teenagers. It’s a good cast with John Slater, George A Cooper, Clifford Evans and Melvyn Hayes all putting in decent performances. Strangely, I didn’t detect any Liverpudlian accents amongst the main cast, which is the only thing that detracts from this excellent drama.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
Sign In or Register to comment.