Showing posts from February 3, 2013

Review: Savages Crossing

A group of strangers take refuge in an outback pub, during a freak rainstorm and flood. Among them are mother and son Angela Punch-McGregor and Charlie Jarratt, who have apparently fled from Phil (John Jarratt), the supposedly dangerous, drunk husband and father of the aforementioned. Other stranded peoples include lesbian Sacha Horler and best mate Rebecca Smart, and the pub owners Craig McLachlan and Jessica Napier. Phil turns up, of course (apparently out of jail...or was it rehab?), to involve everyone else in his domestic squabbles, which apparently revolve around money Phil feels he is owed. Also turning up is Chris Haywood as a cop who has been hired by Punch-McGregor to take care of Phil, if you know what I mean. With the flood keeping them trapped, and the increasingly frazzled and unstable Phil ranting and raving, everyone’s lives are now in danger. Or is his unstable behaviour mostly a result of his unfair treatment by a greedy wife?   Although directed by Kevin Ja

Review: Fluke

The title character (played in doggie form by Comet, who starred on TV’s “Full House” . I think he played one of the Olsen Twins) is first seen as an orphaned Labrador puppy picked up by a homeless woman, who later dies of a heart attack. From there, Fluke hangs out with street-smart dog Rumbo (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson), who helps him adjust to life on the mean streets. But Fluke is no ordinary dog, it seems. He’s having visions of what appear to be a former a human...and seeing the lovely Nancy Travis. Rumbo wants Fluke to forget all that, but Fluke is determined to track down this woman, and her son (Max Pomeranc) and fill in all the gaps to this mystery, which also includes a slicked-back businessman played by Eric Stoltz. Bill Cobbs plays a vendor with a special rapport with Rumbo, Jon Polito turns up as a gruff but amiable-type who looks after Rumbo, and Ron Perlman plays an antagonistic thug who takes an intense dislike to Fluke. Have you ever heard that yo

Review: Prometheus

Set in 2093, after scientists Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green had discovered ancient cave paintings in Scotland a few years earlier depicting man reaching for the stars, literally. Now the duo are part of a crew aboard the spaceship Prometheus on a mission sanctioned by the Weyland Corporation (dum-dum Dum!) to search for the planet closest to the star system depicted in the cave paintings (which are also found in other locations on Earth). Two of the more important figures on board are the ice-cold Weyland Corp representative Charlize Theron, and an android (Michael Fassbender) who seems modelled after Peter O’Toole in “Lawrence of Arabia”. Both of these two seem to know a lot more about this mission than they are letting on (Theron, for instance, is rather unenthused about the scientific possibilities of the mission, and yet she was also in charge of most of the recruitment for the mission). They soon land on the planet, and after some exploration, they make some rather astou

Review: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

In Switzerland, Leslie Banks and his sharp-shooter wife Edna Best are caught up in assassination plot when a dying secret agent whispers something into Best’s ear. The bad guys (including deadly but outwardly polite assassin Peter Lorre) kidnap their daughter to prevent them from revealing what they apparently know. Hugh Wakefield is pretty good as a friend of the family. 1934 Sir Alfred Hitchcock ( “Strangers on a Train” , “The 39 Steps” , “The Wrong Man” , “Vertigo” ) thriller (said to have originally been conceived as a “Bulldog Drummond” serial entry) is actually about on par with the same director’s American remake. That film was slow and long, whilst this film is slow and short, although it picks things up a bit towards the end, thankfully.   This one doesn’t seem to have as much feeling to it, the two parents never seem all that bothered by the kidnapping of their young girl, something the remake conveyed a bit better. This one does, however, contain Peter Lorre

Review: Gunfight at the OK Corral

Rigid lawman Wyatt Earp (Burt Lancaster) saves the life of Doc Holliday, a tubercular gunslinger/gambler/dentist and the two subsequently form an uneasy bond. They both end up in Tombstone, Arizona, with Wyatt leaving behind pretty gambler Laura (Rhonda Fleming), much to her chagrin, after a short romance and a promise that Wyatt would settle down and retire. Wyatt has ventured to Tombstone in order to help his town marshal brother Virgil (John Hudson) and brothers Morgan (DeForest Kelley) and James (Martin Milner) take down the Clantons and McLowerys (the latter including cockeyed Jack Elam), a gang headed by Ike Clanton (Lyle Bettger) and including wily gunslinger Johnny Ringo (John Ireland), who has taken up with Kate Fisher (Jo Van Fleet), Holliday’s occasional lover and more than occasional sparring partner (it’s a volatile relationship to say the least). Meanwhile, Doc’s health continues to deteriorate. Ted de Corsia plays nasty cattle baron Shanghai Pierce, Frank Faylen is the

Review: Pinocchio

Timeless classic about a lonely toymaker named Geppetto (voiced by Christian Rub), who creates a wooden marionette boy he names Pinocchio. Seeing a shooting star one night, he wishes for a real boy of his own. He then goes to bed, along with his pets, Cleo the Fish and Figaro the Cat. Meanwhile, the Blue Fairy (voiced by Evelyn Venable) appears and turns Pinocchio into a living but still wooden boy (now voiced by Dickie Jones). So long as he promises to be good, she will eventually turn Pinocchio into an actual boy. The next morning, Geppetto is overjoyed, and eventually sends Pinocchio off to school. Unfortunately, along the way, Pinocchio runs into a fox named Honest John (voiced by Walter Catlett), who leads Pinocchio astray, wagging school and Honest John and his mangy cat companion make a buck off of Pinocchio’s ‘living puppet’ status, and putting him into the clutches of the nasty impresario Stromboli (voiced by Charles Judels). The inimitable Cliff Edwards voices Pinocchio’s

Review: Die

A bunch of seemingly random people wake up to find they are locked in cells at an unknown facility, greeted by a man (John Pyper-Ferguson) who forces them at gunpoint to engage in a series of die-rolling scenarios whereby the fate of one of the others is determined. How severe that fate actually is, is left up to the chance roll of the die, but it’s extremely likely that something bad will happen. Meanwhile, the group try to figure out just what it is that they share, which has brought them into this situation and try to forge an escape plan. Away from all this, police detective Caterina Murino is trying to track down her missing partner Elias Koteas, a depressed cop who happens to be one of the unwilling participants in this sick and twisted game. Stephen McHattie has a cameo in a prologue as the father of Pyper-Ferguson. This dreary 2010 Dominic James (his first major directing gig) film tries to take the basic “Saw” idea and transplant it into the psychological thriller g