Casablanca (1942 USA)

casablanca01If any visitor to this blog doesn’t read this review, they’ll regret it. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of their lives.  I have to give credit to screen writer Julius Epstein for all his quotable lines. One of the greats is: “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.” Such throwaway chit chat has become the stuff of legend of course but I have to admit that it is Humphrey Bogart that is numero uno for me here. He had a timeless masculinity that is reassuring. His nasal whine was so confident that he seemed tall, although he was short by modern standards. He was attractively ugly. Whatever he had, the man was magic and probably the best Hollywood actor of them all. [Read more…]

Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)

harry potterBetter latent than never. OK, millions of children and tweens kiss these holy pages every night and morn, and it’s quite sweet. But, having read all of them and a load of actual literature, I am inclined to think this is poppycock. And what is all this nonsense about it being so original. Platform 9 and 3/4 ?! Has any one ever read Eva Ibbotson’s The Secret Of Platform 13? A secret platform on Kings Cross station that leads to a magical castle. Sound familiar? The plot lines are all pinched from folklore and superior children’s literature. [Read more…]

Family Plot (1976 USA)

family plotOne man’s horrid past starts to intrude on his equally despicable present. You can hide, but you can’t run. This is one of my favorite Hitchcock films, alongside things like Psycho & North By Northwest. The lack of suspense makes for a pleasant change. Although Hitchcock applied the magic directorial touch to many of the sequences, I can’t help but feel it is a small team of performers who make this a fun film to watch over and over again. [Read more…]

People Of The Lie: The Hope For Healing Human Evil (M Scott Peck)

People Of The LieOur ultimate personality disorder. This author really did everyone a service by giving us this gift. This is worth 100 ‘self help’ paperbacks by Wayne Dyer and his ilk. This book will question your character. Oh boy, does this describe so much of humanity. Particularly certain parents and the way they cover up their abuse. In this book you will meet a couple who encouraged both their sons to commit suicide. And they refused to admit it when confronted with the facts. The build up to their-hoped-for suicide of the second son is particularly shocking. In fact it is no good even reviewing this classic work. I shall just quote extensively from it. I hope it will give you the flavour even though some of the psychiatric case back stories are missing, so possibly some of the meaning may be out of context but its worth it…. [Read more…]

The Three Musketeers (1973/74 Spain/Panama/UK)

61163_Raquel_Welch_0_The_Four_Musketeers_16_122_34Of the countless screen versions of this classic French tale, this one (paired with the sequel “The Four Musketeers”) comes closest to the vision and spirit and story of the novel. There are still some variations, but, for the most part this succeeds very well, even improving on things occasionally. Director Richard Lester pulls off a marvelous adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’s venerable classic cloak and dagger novel.
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The Coca-Cola Kid (1985 USA)

YooniqImages_102407030  Ooh you handsome devil! Julia, eat your heart out.

(This review is in no way sponsored by Coca Cola or the Coca Cola bottling company) Now that’s out of the way… Strewth! Gidday mate and put another shrimp on the barbie etc. This is the ugly face of American Imperialism. When company trouble-shooter Becker (Eric Roberts) declares, “The world will not be truly free until Coke is available everywhere,” he’s speaking without irony. We have been warned. This story is about Becker’s attempts to help Coca-Cola colonize Australia, 198os – style. [Read more…]

The Immortal Story (1968 France)

The-Immortal-Story-images-5b006a21-2bf1-4c4e-92c2-a3801ed656aBecause Orson Welles directed this, of course it is going to be obscure and pretentious and his ego insisted the man himself star in it too. This is an arty piece about a bankrupt merchant (Orson Welles) who for some unknown reason wants to turn a myth into reality by hiring two people to play out the theme of a story the townspeople have turned into a myth. [Read more…]

Total Recall (1990 USA)

total_recallPaul Verhoeven’s paranoid fantasy `Total Recall’ is a dazzling futuristic sci-fi. The short story by Philip K. Dick is adapted brilliantly, and in many ways is similar to`Blade Runner’. The main difference is that this is more of an adrenalin – pumping audience pleaser, and that’s a good thing. But there are many things that separate this from your average gung-ho action movie. Its bold and brash and I like it for all the wrong reasons, but who cares? [Read more…]

Science (Ricky Gervais)

Gervais - ScienceI suppose this is closest to a TV show so under television it is. After an elaborate voiced introduction, on he pads – in trademark black jeans and T-shirt, cheesy grin at the ready. The set resembles a mock-up of Frankenstein’s laboratory – with a brain in a vat, and various tubes bubbling away – but this show has about as much to do with Science as Mother Teresa had to do with tap-dancing. [Read more…]

The Raven (1963 USA)

raven02An absurd adventure – styled comedy. The plot is thinner than a supermodel’s waistline and even at 85 minutes it outstays its welcome. But I will be kind. Edgar Allen Poe may have turned in his grave, but the rest of us get to have fun as we see horror gods Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre, not to mention Jack Nicholson ham it up in style as the weird and wonderful cast of this very silly story of wizards and hocus pocus. [Read more…]

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