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Showing posts from October 29, 2017

Review: Thunderball

James Bond (Sean Connery) squares off against the criminal organisation SPECTRE after one of their agents hijacks a British bomber and acquires a couple of nukes as well with a big arse ransom demand or else they’ll bomb a city in both the UK and US. Bond’s vacation…er…investigation leads to the Bahamas and eye-patch sporting criminal bigwig Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi). Largo sends femme fatale assassin Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) to take care of 007. Bond, for his part takes to getting involved with Largo’s mistress Domino (Claudine Auger). Molly Peters (who died early in 2017) plays a nurse who attempts to resist Bond’s chauvinistic charms, Martine Beswicke plays Bond’s assistant Paula, and Guy Doleman plays SPECTRE employee Count Lippe.


Proof that not all things Connery and Bond are worthwhile, this 1965 Terence Young (“Dr. No”, “From Russia With Love”) 007 spy-adventure is a middling Bond film only slightly above the flabby and fatuous “Diamonds are Forever” and the awkward outli…

Review: The Magnificent Seven

A village of poor Mexican farmers and their families is constantly raided for what little they have by bandits led by the cruel Calvera (Eli Wallach). Wanting to fight back but not feeling capable of doing so themselves, the villagers send out for hired gunmen to do their bidding. They don’t have a lot to offer, but it’s all they have. First cab off the rank is Chris (Yul Brynner) who despite the black hat, is a gunfighter with a conscience, who can see that these villagers are in dire need of help. He soon recruits his new friend Vin (Steve McQueen), and eventually they are joined by Chris’ gold-seeking pal Harry Luck (Brad Dexter), moody professional gunslinger Lee (Robert Vaughn), expert knife-thrower and gunman Britt (James Coburn), and Bernardo (Charles Bronson) a man who initially baulks at the meagre pay but proves to be noble and even paternal towards the younger members of the village. Rounding the seven out is temperamental young upstart Chico (Horst Buchholz) who thinks him…

Review: Captain Fantastic

Viggo Mortensen is a father of six who has raised his kids out in nature free from technological and modern inanities and learning what he sees as the more important things in life (Ranging from Science, Literature, and Philosophy to knife-wielding skills and self-defence). The kids’ mother had to leave their camp when stricken by some kind of illness (which we soon learn is actually a mental, not physical illness), and it is her tragic death that coaxes Mortensen and the kids out to attend the funeral. A funeral her disapproving father (Frank Langella) vehemently forbids them to attend. Mortensen stubbornly and insensitively defies this request, of course partly because his Buddhist wife didn’t want a traditional ceremony. Mostly because the old man pisses him off, though. Kathryn Hahn and Steve Zahn play Mortensen’s sister and her husband who are a little more polite towards him, but are obviously weirded out by his very strict parenting style.


Some movies you’ll go with the journey…

Review: Blood Father

Mel Gibson used to be a very bad man, even hanging around white supremacists like Michael Parks. That was some time ago though, and after hitting rock bottom he has managed to pull himself together, and is now working as a tattoo artist out of his trailer somewhere in Nowheresville, California where he lives near his AA sponsor, played by William H. Macy. Out of the blue, the recovering alcoholic gets a call from his estranged 17 year-old daughter who has been a runaway for over 3 years. She’s gotten in with a very bad man (played by Diego Luna) and his criminal crew, and she’s in a lot of trouble. Having accidentally shooting someone during a robbery, she’s calling for some money to help her flee trouble from the Mexican drug cartels Luna was entangled with. He meets with the girl, and takes her back to his trailer. Unfortunately, the bad guys snuff out his place of residence and aim to kill the girl. Being a man capable of much violence and having fatherly instincts to protect his o…

Review: Nerve

Emma Roberts lives with single mother Juliette Lewis, and gets hooked on a popular online game called Nerve. It’s a dare-based game where you can either bet someone to take a dare or take a dare on yourself and win lots of cash. On one of these dares Roberts meets slightly older Dave Franco, who has played Nerve before and before long they’re pretty tight, despite essentially being competitors. After a while though, the game starts to get a little too intense (i.e. Life threatening) and Roberts even starts questioning whether Franco can be trusted. Emily Meade and Kimiko Glenn play a couple of Roberts’ friends, Miles Heizer plays Roberts’ protective hacker pal, whilst Samira Wiley plays a character called Hacker Kween, and Machine Gun Kelly also attempts to act playing a rival player.


I’m the absolute wrong person for this 2016 flick from directors Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman (the truly abysmal “Paranormal Activity 3”), but you’re getting my opinion anyway for whatever it is or i…

Review: A Hologram for the King

Based on a novel by Dave Eggers, Tom Hanks plays a salesman going through a midlife crisis. His marriage is basically kaput, and he’s currently in Saudi Arabia to hopefully keep his career afloat. Working for a tech company, he’s in Saudi Arabia to oversee the implementation of IT service for the local royalty. Once there he finds his team are forced to prepare for their presentation in the hot sun in a mere tent. However, that may not be a problem because a) Wi-Fi appears to be down anyway, and b) His client appears to be very hard to track down. In the meantime, Hanks spends his time communicating with his adult daughter back home from time to time, and relationships with two women; A local doctor (Sarita Choudhury) whom he visits with a bizarre cyst on his back, and a Danish contractor who also happens to be in Saudi Arabia. Tom Skerritt appears briefly as Hanks’ disappointed father, whilst Alexander Black plays Hanks’ local driver.


A box-office flop for Tom Hanks and writer-direct…

Review: Back to the Future Part III

In 1955, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) finds out that Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) has somehow ended up in 1885 and is set to be killed by Buford ‘Mad Dog’ Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson). So Marty has to get in the DeLorean, travel back to 1885 and stop this from happening. Wild West-related gags ensue. Mary Steenburgen plays an 1885 school marm named Clara, Lea Thompson and Michael J. Fox (again) play Marty’s 1885 era ancestors, whilst a host of veteran character actors and one kick-arse Texas boogie band turn up in 1885.


Filmed back-to-back with the heavy-handed “Part II”, I actually saw this 1990 Robert Zemeckis (“Romancing the Stone”, “Back to the Future”, “Forrest Gump”) conclusion to the trilogy in cinemas when I was about 10. All I remembered was that it was a bit better than “Part II”, still forgettable, and ZZ Top performed one of their less appealing songs (‘Doubleback’). Looking at it again in 2017, and yeah…that’s still a pretty accurate summary on my thoughts of the film. It’s…