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Showing posts from July 1, 2018

Review: Sayonara

Southern-accented Korean War pilot (stationed in Japan) Marlon Brando tries half-heartedly to dissuade fellow soldier Red Buttons from marrying sweet-natured Japanese woman Miyoshi Umeki, and ends up falling in love with a local himself, revered entertainer Miiko Taka. Things work out OK for one couple, but the other...not so much. Patricia Owens plays Brando’s increasingly impatient fiancĂ©, with three-star General Kent Smith her father, who is also a friend of Brando’s father, and goes along with military policy of soldiers not fraternising with the locals. Martha Scott plays the typically annoying, ignorant American, Owens’ mother, who actually seems scared of foreigners. James Garner is likeable as a fellow soldier who first introduces Brando to Taka. Ricardo Montalban, under much makeup, plays a Kabuki theatre actor friend of Owens.


Hokey, but sincere and likeable 1957 Joshua Logan (“Picnic” and the outstanding Marilyn Monroe vehicle “Bus Stop”) film is one of the better Hollywood …

Review: Jerry Maguire

Tom Cruise is the title top sports agent, who in a somewhat alcohol-fuelled epiphany pens a long ‘mission statement’ urging his company to refocus on being more people-based, less money-oriented, and stop indulging the egocentric, overly pampered athletes. Quietly, everyone pats Jerry on the back for it. But at work? Well, he finds himself out of a job, replaced by soulless Jay Mohr, and with only faithful employee Dorothy (Renee Zellweger) willing to jump ship to work for Jerry. Dorothy is a single mum with an extremely precocious, but ill child (Jonathan Lipnicki) to look after. They don’t even have a very promising client list, either, with only Rod Tidwell (Cuba Gooding Jr.) staying loyal to Jerry. Tidwell is a talented footballer, but a massively egotistical and easily distracted one. Meanwhile, romance blossoms between Dorothy and Jerry (who adores young Lipnicki), but is workaholic and noted commitment-phobic Jerry able to make it work? Jerry O’Connell plays another athlete wit…

Review: Harry Brown

Michael Caine stars as the title character, an aging pensioner and former Marine who lives in a London housing estate that is going to hell due to drug-dealing young thugs. His friend Len (David Bradley) has had enough and has resorted to carrying a weapon, something Harry warns him against. When Len is stabbed to death with his own weapon, Harry, whose wife has also recently died after a long illness, is distraught. The police, led by Emily Mortimer are unable to do anything because the youths will be seen as having acted in self-defence. Then one night on his way home from the pub, someone tries to rob Harry...and they’ll soon wish they hadn’t tried it. Perhaps ‘ol Harry (who put away his violent past and natural tendencies once he got married) has found a form of justice far more satisfactory to him than that which the law can provide. Ben Drew plays one of the main hoodie-wearing thugs, Iain Glen plays the police superintendent, Liam Cunningham is a local bartender in a role that …

Review: Ong-Bak

Tony Jaa is Ting, from the Thai village of Nong Pradu, who ventures to the big smoke when a no-good druggie thug steals the prized head of the title Buddhist statue to pawn off for money. He meets up with a wayward former villager named George (played by the decidedly un-George like Petchthai Wongkamlao), who is now somewhat of a small-time hustler. George, selfish bugger he is, wants nothing to do with Ting or his quest. But then he sees the naive hick fight. Ting only gets into a fight when a lead has him arrive at a club where a local crime boss runs illegal fights for money. However, Ting realises his best chance is to infiltrate the gang by fighting at the club. Pumwaree Yodkamol plays Muay, a street kid with a love-hate relationship with George, meaning that the latter finds the former supremely irritating 99.9% of the time.


All martial-arts fans owe it to themselves to see this 2003 Prachya Pinkaew martial arts movie from Thailand, and in fact, most of you probably already know…

Review: Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey

Set in 14th century, in a small Cumbrian mining village ravaged by the Black Death (i.e. the plague). Hamish McFarlane plays a young boy who claims to have had a vision that told him that the plague will pass over the village if they all make a pilgrimage to a mysterious land, carrying a cross to put atop a church. This involves digging a huge tunnel through the centre of the Earth...which leads them to present day New Zealand! Needless to say, the Christian villagers are bewildered, frightened, and obviously fish out of water. In a cast mixing Aussies and Kiwis, Bruce Lyons, Chris Haywood, Paul Livingston (better known as oddball Aussie comedy character Flacco), and Marshall Napier are amongst the villagers. Jay Laga’aia turns up as a modern day Kiwi welder.


Everyone’s been through it. Dragged to the cinema by someone (usually a date or your parents) to see a film you have absolutely no interest in, but they’re really excited to see it. ‘It’s critically acclaimed!’ my father assured …