I think that almost everything that can be said about this trilogy has… MoreI think that almost everything that can be said about this trilogy has been said already, but still I will try. There are so many films that destroyed the beauty and perfection of the novels they have been built upon, not this one. In front of an amazingly beautiful scenery, Peter Jackson was able to create a fantasy-movie, which unlike so many others before did not deal with old clichés and thus is far away from any trash-movie a lot of people had expected it to be beforehand.
Although I am sure that the cast of this film will soon be forgotten, The "The Lord of the Rings"-trilogy will stand the times and be one of the most renowned pictures of the last decade. 4 Stars 9-12-07
This Movie is from the Spagetti Western Bible Vol 3. This Movie has… MoreThis Movie is from the Spagetti Western Bible Vol 3. This Movie has Many Names, The Beast, The Bell and Rough Justice, none of which seem to fit. Klaus Kinski popped up in a sizable number of spaghetti Westerns throughout the 60's and early 70's; he was usually cast in secondary parts as nasty villains. Kooky Klaus lands himself a juicy lead role as Crazy Johnny Laster, a foul, twitchy, and deranged sex maniac who comes up with a plan to abduct a lovely heiress in order to obtain her considerable inheritance. Johnny and his gang become wanted fugitives after the plan goes disastrously awry. Writer/director Mario Costa ably crafts a sordidly compelling portrait of a severely sick and twisted piece of sniveling low-life work: the plot unfolds at a steady pace, the tone is appropriately gritty and serious, and the exciting action scenes are staged with real skill and brio (the shoot-outs in rock quarries are especially gripping and thrilling). Ironically dressed in white, oozing oily charisma from every rotten pore, and jumping on beautiful women every chance he gets, Kinski's Johnny makes for a fascinatingly creepy and monstrous brute. Kinski is simply spectacular as this gloriously repellent character; he receives fine support from the luscious Gabriella Giorgelli as sweet, fiery saloon girl Juanita, Steven Tedd as the cheery Riccardo, Giovanni Pallavicino as ruthless band gang leader Machete, Giuliano Raffaella as smart lawyer Gary Pinkerton, and Paolo Casella as Johnny's sensible parter Glen. Kudos are also in order for Stelvio Cipriani's moody and spirited score. Well worth seeing for Kinski fans. 3 Stars 5-15-13
From the Mill Creek SciFi Clsddics Collection. The Amazing Transparent… MoreFrom the Mill Creek SciFi Clsddics Collection. The Amazing Transparent Man is very similar to The Invisible Man and one main difference with this movie is that involves the Atomic Age, radiation etc.
A criminal who has escaped from prison is made invisible by a mad scientist and gets him to steal nuclear fuel to help with future experiments. Things go wrong when he robs a bank though as becomes visible and is also dying through radiation poisoning.
This movie has some good special effects considering the low budget. Highlights include the "one man" fights.
The cast includes Douglas Kennedy (The Land Unknown) and Marguerite Chapman (Flight To Mars).
The Amazing Transparent Man is worth watching if you get the chance. A great way to spend just under an hour. 3 1/2 Stars 5-10-13
This film is from the Spagetti Western Bible Vol 3 Collection, it has… MoreThis film is from the Spagetti Western Bible Vol 3 Collection, it has about as many different names as I have friends. Suave gambler Clay Watson (smoothly played by the always excellent John Saxon), cocky sharpshooter Moses Lang (a lively turn by Antonio Sabato), and wily thespian Edwin Kean (a fine and likable performance by Frank Wolff) are a trio of criminals in the Old West. The motley threesome are forced to make an uneasy alliance in order to find $400,000 dollars in stolen money. Director Enzo Castellari, working from a breezy script by Augusto Finocchi, Vittorio Metz, and Jose Maria Rodriguez, relates the blithely goofy story at a constant snappy pace, maintains a properly lighthearted tone throughout, and stages the rousing shoot-outs and plentiful rough'n'ready fisticuffs with real skill and aplomb. The broad slapstick gags are admittedly quite silly (the scenes with Kean brazenly impersonating a priest are especially funny), but still get big laughs just the same. Saxon, Sabato, and Wolff all make for engaging leads; their nice and natural on-screen chemistry keeps things bubbling along. Moreover, there are sturdy supporting contributions from the fetching Agata Flori as fierce spitfire Rosario and Leo Anchoriz as ruthless bandito gang leader Garrito. Longtime favorite character actor Victor Israel has a nifty bit as a chef. Both Alejandro Ulloa's crisp widescreen cinematography and Carlo Rusticello's jaunty, harmonic score do the trick. A fun flick.2 stars 5-8-13
An inferno against a night sky opens Bury Me Dead, with the whinnying… MoreAn inferno against a night sky opens Bury Me Dead, with the whinnying of high-strung horses as they're being led from their burning stable. Still inside the tinderbox, all those present assume, is a well-to-do young married woman (June Lockhart). But later, at the burial, a mysterious veiled mourner hitches a ride home with family lawyer Hugh Beaumont and reveals herself to be the presumed contents of the casket.
She does her own version of the dance of the seven veils by dramatically appearing to her various survivors, who greet her re-emergence with a multicolored outbursts of consternation, shock and relief. (Lockhart's such a sweetie she can't bring this off with the panache it demands.) Among the surprised are her husband Mark Daniels, whom she suspects of setting the fire, and her spoiled and wilful kid sister Cathy O'Donnell (who oddly takes top billing). One by one, they and others relate to the police, in flashback, their own recollections of the night of the fire. One big question remains: Whose remains were laid to rest?
Starting off with a great premise - the fantasy of being present at one's own funeral - Bury Me Dead soon finds itself running low on ingenuity. Not completely out, just low. On the plus side, it boasts expectedly fine cinematography courtesy of John Alton, just before he embarked upon his legendary collaboration with director Anthony Mann. But here the director was Bernard Vorhaus, nearing the end of his humdrum career if not of his life, which would last almost half a century after his last movie (he fell victim to the Hollywood blacklist and relocated to England).
In a style inexplicably popular in crime programmers of the late '30s and early '40s, Vorhaus decides to leaven the homicides with laughs. Yet Bury Me Dead manages to pull short of the brink of one of those ghastly slapstick mysteries - not by much, but still short. (As a beef-witted prizefighter, Greg McClure shoulders most of the ungainly comedy on his very broad frame.) With its pleasant but low-voltage cast getting little extra juice from Vorhaus, Bury Me Dead doesn't quite count as forgotten treasure, even by the forgiving standards of nostalgia buffs and film-noir freaks. But it's not a disaster, either, in length and appeal. 3 1/2 stars 5-8-13
The previews and commercials for Dream House led one to believe it was… MoreThe previews and commercials for Dream House led one to believe it was a horror film, it is not, not at all. I think that is where a lot of the disappointment is coming from. It is a pretty good thriller, once you get used to the fact that that is what you are watching. The storyline, basically that horrible things have happened and we the audience have to figure it out along with the main character, is not the tired thriller standard, or at least the details are different enough to not seem tired. It's actually intriguing and the answer to the mystery is not obvious miles out, even if the climax sort of is. The acting is really quite good too. People who like mystery thrillers should enjoy the film, fans of scary movies will mostly not like it. 3 Stars 5-9-13
The first half of the movie was very good. Why? Because Amazing… MoreThe first half of the movie was very good. Why? Because Amazing Fantasy #15 was one of the greatest stories from a comic book and the movie adapted it very well. The other half of it was just as standard as other (comic book) movies . This is a bad sign for the next movie!
1 Star 9-27-07
Imagine growing up in a family of academics, musicians, and Jewish… MoreImagine growing up in a family of academics, musicians, and Jewish mystics. When 12-year-old Eliza (Flora Cross) wins both the district and regional spelling bees, her father, Saul (Richard GereJewish mysticism, begins to tutor her daily. Not only is he preparing her for the state spelling bee competition, but Saul is also training his daughter to be the mystic he wasn't able to become. Bee Season is not only a movie about meditation, but it is also itself a meditation. This family is consumed with finding God, but they all look outside of the family to find it, and in the process, the family falls apart. Eliza's older brother Aaron (Max Minghella) is so jealous that his sister is getting all of the family's attention that he goes off and joins a Buddhist cult, and everyone in the family is so focused on their own problems that no one notices the mother (Juliette Binoche) going slowly insane! Bee Season is transcendent and thought-provoking, and it even makes me want to go out and look for God. 3 Stars 5-2-13
A mentally ill prisoner, through some sort of yogic meditation,… MoreA mentally ill prisoner, through some sort of yogic meditation, manages to make himself invisible and escapes. As a child, he'd been unwanted by his celebrity mother, who nevertheless kept him close to her and didn't let him create a life of his own. He had strangled her, and apparently other women, giving him the nickname of "the celebrity strangler."
Having escaped, he goes after celebrity women who had testified against him. The police, having learned he was into reading mystical books in prison, for some reason contracted a para-psychological institute. The institute thinks perhaps the strangler is killing women by astrally projecting himself. In reality, he's merely strangling them while he is invisible (and naked). He nearly gets caught when to reach one woman, he has to don a scuba suit to get out to her boat. It's more interesting when he manages to strangle a woman in front of many witnesses simply because they don't realize what is going on. Eventually, a trap is set for him.
I kind of wonder if this was originally done as a TV movie, perhaps as a pilot. There doesn't seem to have been any reason for introducing the lead cop's girlfriend/wife Candy and the psychics unless they were to return in subsequent episodes. It's not very good, but it's not terrible. 3 Stars 10-10-08
Gammera, one of the most famous Japanese monsters to hit the big… MoreGammera, one of the most famous Japanese monsters to hit the big screen in the 1960s makes his debut in this zero-budget, politically charged monster thriller. It is interesting to consider the tensions that were taking place between certain nations at the time that the movie was made, especially between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. There is no effort made to disguise the animosity that existed between the two, more than likely since that bitterness was needed as a catalyst to bring Gammera back from 200 million years of hibernation. The U.S. shoots down a suspicious bomber, which turned out to be Russian, over the arctic region. As is to be expected from those sneaky Russians, the bomber was loaded with hydrogen bombs which, upon impact, explode with sufficient force to not only thaw but also infuriate the sleeping Gammera. Lots of havoc is wreaked upon poorly constructed models of cities and airplanes and landscapes and such, and there is some strange subplot about a little boy obsessed with turtles who wants to expose Gammera for the gentle creature that he really is. Inspiration for the Iron Giant, maybe? The special effects are astonishingly bad, but there was no budget and in the movie's defense, I have to say that the people involved in making it knew that they had no budget but they took very seriously their task of doing as much as they could with as little as they had. 3 stars 8-21-08