Posts Tagged ‘British’

Lost and Found

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Lost and Found (2008/ Dir. Philip Hunt/ Entertainment One and Studio Aka)
Here is the short version of this review: Go buy this, it’s excellent.

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The Snowman (1982/ TVC London/ Dir. Dianne Jackson)

This is a cartoon for which I have no nostalgia. I only saw it for the first time last year and was so exhausted that I fell asleep during part of it. If I can offer an untainted perspective on any holiday movie, this HAS to be it. I only bought it because it has a tremendous reputation. The fact that it came on a DVD with The Nuttiest Nutcracker had nothing to do with it. I still haven’t watched that second feature, mainly because I watched the trailer. But we’re talking about something that I’ve been told by English and Canadians is the height of their VEWPRF season. So I bought it and watched it, and now I shall write my review of that movie. How did I think it help up? You’ll have to wait and see…

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Wait, I’ve been away how long? It’s been when since I last wrote a review? Where was I during that time. Oh yeah, that. Well, if I don’t get back on that horse, I may never get back on. The problem of course is that the longer you’re away, the bigger your return needs to be. I need to go either really obscure or really popular. The problem is that I also need to get back up to speed, so I’ll go for something in between. This is both obscure and popular.

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Rollerball (1975- United Artists – Dir. Norman Jewison)

So this one has sort of an odd story. Rollerball was mentioned in the essay “You think that movie is bad?” and since then, Rollerball has become third in the list of search terms used to find this little blog. I found it sort of depressing that people might be coming here looking for a review of the movie and not finding one, despite it being one of my Sci-Fi Greats. So let’s talk about one of the truly great sci-fi/corporate nightmare movies. Really though, it’s just a dystopian movie because, there isn’t much that’s really advanced technology in the movie. Take away the strange TV sets and one scene with a laser gun and it could have happened in ‘75 when the movie was made. The only things that are required for this to become a reality are all social developments.

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Wallace & Gromit – A Matter of Loaf and Death (2008/ Aardman Animations/ Dir. Nick Park)

I really hate doing this. I hate having to be the one to do this to a franchise I like so much, but there is nothing for it. I am not a hipster, I do not watch things “ironically” and not just because that’s not what ironic means. I don’t seek out things because I know they will be horrible, even though I will occasionally seek out things that I know won’t be very good. I don’t watch old Hercules movies so I can laugh at their lame production value or sneer at the lousy translations, but because I genuinely enjoy them. Even something like Hercules and the Captive Women, I decided to watch and review it with the hopes that it would be charming and fun. However, that movie wasn’t fun and this movie isn’t fun. That’s what I hate about this, I hate having to tell you that this is just really, really terrible.

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Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1 January, 1995 Carnival Films Dir. Edward Bennett)

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David Suchet has been playing the Belgium Detective Hercule Poirot for about a million years on England’s ITV, which is different from the BBC in several ways that are important to them, but not to us. Mostly, they have commercials. In the 1995-96 series of episodes, they stopped doing hour-long episodes and just stuck to feature length (for TV) movies. This is the first of those movies and hey, it’s a Christmas episode! That’s so convenient, you’d think I grabbed this episode out of a stack just to review it! This is based on the 1938 novel of the same name and as far as I remember the book, it follows pretty faithfully. I haven’t read it in years and years, so I could be mistaken. I’ve looked it up and some sources claim a few characters are deleted from the book, but that tends to happen when one must condense a book for the screen anyway. I’ll mention glaring issues as I notice them.

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I decided, in order to make up for the abysmal showing of my 100th review, I would make up for it by showing off something special. Something foreign with an exploitative topic of a man murdering his brother so he could bang his wife and steal the inheritance. The story of a son, discovering his father murdered flies into a murderous rage. A young girl’s boyfriend takes sexual advantage of her, murders her father, and then leaves her to fall into insanity, eventually driving her to her own suicide. It’s even got a supernatural element, just in case you were afraid that this could in anyway be considered classy. A man even gets two of his old school chums murdered, more or less for the lulz.

What is this movie you ask?

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Word up for The Bard bitches!


Hamlet (1996 Castle Rock Entertainment Dir. Kenneth Branagh)

Now I know what you’re asking… am I kidding? NO! I am not. Had this been written in 1975, entitled “Prince of Blood” or any of a dozen alternate titles, and made for under $100K it would be looked down on as much as any other exploitation movie. It’s got all the nasty hooks. Ghosts, revenge, sexual shenanigans, murder, a hint of incest, bad action, characters that pop in and out of the tale at random, and huge events happening off camera. Not to spoil it for you, but one of the most important side characters in the entire play dies off screen! This is not a classy play, let’s be clear on that. This is an exploitation movie, plain and simple. It just happens to get a larger budget and better actors than most exploitation flicks. Because of that, it’s a great exploitation movie, don’t get me wrong, but it is still exploitation. Not only that, but it’s a really silly exploitation movie. Let us be perfectly frank about this so called Greatest Work of the English Language. If the script for Hamlet were handed in today, zombie Louis B. Mayer would rise up from the grave and slap the taste out of Shakespeare’s mouth.

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Tales from the Crypt (1972 Amicus Productions Dir. Freddie Francis)

Tales from the Crypt! No, not this Tales from the Crypt, nor this one, not even that one that had Dennis Miller in it, but the 1972 UK movie. The Stories are based on the old EC comics though, just not all of them are from Tales. One is from The Vault of Horror, two are from The Haunt of Fear and two are from Tales from the Crypt. However, as they were all owned by EC Comics, I’m sure it doesn’t matter. Most the guys who actually wrote the stories that these short films were based on worked on all three comics so there was a lot of cross pollination and I’m sure it really didn’t matter too much which comic they actually got published in as long as there was money involved. Hell, since The Old Witch, Vault Keeper and the Crypt Keeper kept showing up in all three titles, I’m pretty sure any given artist or writer had no idea what title would end up being slapped on any given book on any given day! “Enough history!” I hear you cry out. “What about the movie?”

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