The Eiger Sanction (USA 1975)

A retired assassin, resigned to a life as an art professor and collector, one Jonathan Hemlock (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly agrees to take on the task of one last “sanction” when he learns that the targets are responsible for the death of an old friend. Discovering that one of the killers is among an expedition to climb the Eiger, he must discern the identity of the target and take him out, all whilst scaling the deadliest mountain in all of Europe. He must also show off his physique, know his wines and encounter some mean bitches along the way. In other words, Clint must try to be James Bond–but he doesn’t have that certain je ne sais quoi.
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Incident At Victoria Falls (1992 Europe/International)

incidentIf you didn’t know better, you’d take this for one of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot stories. Just add twenty years and make the hero short and squat instead of so tall and narrow that he seems to be on stilts. Imagine Holmes and Watson in pith helmets and white suits, tramping through the jungle in an exotic location. But really, this TV movie is not to be taken seriously. Its a light-hearted romp with an enjoyable train journey as the highlight. [Read more…]

Force Majeure (2014 Sweden)

pegasus_LARGE_t_1581_106451741Yet another European tale about the hidden misery of the bored and comfortable. Force Majeure requires some patience, but if you’re immune to the slow, steady, painfully long-take language of auteurs such as Aki Kaurismaki, then you are sure to be in good hands. At least its far more realistic than what Hollywood considers a disaster picture. Thank goodness. [Read more…]

Dance Of The Vampires (1967 UK/USA?)

fearless-vk-2A Xmas post for any passing soul. Sharon Tate remains the reason to watch this film for me. Her grace and beauty are immortalized, when she was to leave so abruptly and violently only two years after shooting this film, making this a time capsule that preserves her loveliness forevermore. Has a redhead ever looked more ravishing on celluloid? I think not. [Read more…]

Rogue Male (Geoffrey Household)

A-new-jacket-for-a-reissu-002A big game hunter gets arrested on the point of shooting at a character who is probably Hitler, escapes death after horrible torture and spends the rest of the novel evading recapture. How the world has changed since 1939. Our hero here felt that man was not intended to travel over 40 miles per hour, and he’s troubled by litter from paper bags. [Read more…]

El Cid (1961 United States/Spain)

elcidAn epic in every sense of the word, `El Cid’, boasts everything one would expect to find in a film of its kind: huge crowd scenes, massive battle sequences, and a strong, controlled presence at its core. It achieves the latter in the form of Charlton Heston, who has carried as many epics on his back as has any actor in Hollywood history. [Read more…]

THE TRIAL (France 1962)

l_57427_0bda35dcA harmless, inconsequential clerk wakes up one morning to find himself accused of something (he never discovers what). Secret policemen enter his bedroom and subject him to a frightening interrogation in which every answer provokes a new line of questioning. [Read more…]

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