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  • Monster Club (1981)

    final Milton Subotsky produced Amicus film , and a mediocre end allbeit with the odd touch of old shchool horror .
    Last edited by AlecLeamas; 8th May 2018, 11:59 AM.

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    • Crimson Peak

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      • The Last Valley (1971). The horror of religious bigotry during the Thirty Years War is on graphic display in an intriguing and at times almost mystical James Clavell production starring Michael Caine and a dodgy accent as the leader of mercenaries who find themselves in an idyllic German valley seemingly untouched by the outside world. But medieval conflict and sensibilities are never far away in any community and death and bloodshed inevitably occur. This is no re-run of The Devil-Ship Pirates as the motivations of nearly all the characters are complex and not well-defined, so there are no goodies or baddies. Omar Sharif does well as the teacher who stumbles into the valley ruled over by Nigel Davenport and Caine's cronies include Ian Hogg, Michael Gothard, George Innes, John Hallam, Leon Lissek and briefly Brian Blessed with villagers in the shape of Florinda Bolkan, Madeleine Hinde, Christian Roberts . . . and Arthur O'Connell ? Per Oscarsson is powerful as the village priest with fanatical tendencies and the production is nicely staged with lovely location photography in the Tirol. John Barry provides the music, somewhat reminiscent of his work on The Lion in Winter.
        Last edited by Gerald Lovell; 12th May 2018, 12:50 PM.

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        • Stars on Parade (1935). A series of loosely-connected flatly and incompetently directed music hall turns, and apart from Robb Wilton, Jimmy James and the ubiquitous Sherman Fisher Girls, the stars on this parade are positively unknown and twinkle-less. Famous, or maybe notorious, for being the first screen appearance of Arthur Lucan and Kitty McShane as Old Mother Riley and daughter.

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          • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
            The Last Valley (1971). The horror of religious bigotry during the Thirty Years War...
            Talking Pictures were showing this last week, and the horror of religious bigotry was matched by the horror of watching a big-budget 70mm production showing in a fuzzy 4:3 ratio print! I gave up after about ten minutes. I'd love to see this film in a proper presentation.

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            • Originally posted by narabdela View Post

              Talking Pictures were showing this last week, and the horror of religious bigotry was matched by the horror of watching a big-budget 70mm production showing in a fuzzy 4:3 ratio print! I gave up after about ten minutes. I'd love to see this film in a proper presentation.
              Yes, as is often the case, only the main and end titles were given a widescreen treatment.

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              • You can get a W/S format DVD of The Last Valley. Yes from the USA and over £60 but the point is why do they show it on TV still Pan & Scan? Being an old cynic I thought Talking Pictures didn't show their own DVD's in appropriate aspect so it didn't spoil their DVD sales if you recorded them off air. It is annoying to see DVD's for sale from all over the world in widescreen but then still get the old P&S print rolled out on TV. TNT are not bad at showing proper aspect prints even with ad breaks but then they go and show P&S just using the mid third of the screen which is even more annoying.

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                • Avengers | Infinity War (2108) Part of it was filmed in Edinburgh. There was a nice scene where Elizabeth Olsen was shown standing outside a chippie and, on the wall inside, there was a sign saying We will deep fry your kebab for you. Nice touch.

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                  • Originally posted by Gerald Lovell View Post
                    Stars on Parade (1935). A series of loosely-connected flatly and incompetently directed music hall turns, and apart from Robb Wilton, Jimmy James and the ubiquitous Sherman Fisher Girls, the stars on this parade are positively unknown and twinkle-less. Famous, or maybe notorious, for being the first screen appearance of Arthur Lucan and Kitty McShane as Old Mother Riley and daughter.
                    I set the Sky Plus to record some of the shorts (like the "Glimpses" series) on Talking Pictures recently but have to say that some are so badly filmed (or the prints in much poorer condition than BFI prints) that they have been a major let down. Others have unendurable and ill-fitting musical soundtracks applied. On a more positive note at least they are showing excellent Laurel and Hardy features and shorts....

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                    • I saw The Wrong Box for the FIRST TIME last night. I had been put off before by the fact that it was so star-studded and I thought it would be an overlong, back-slapping, tiring parade of cameos ... How wrong I was.
                      It was sharp, funny, pacy, light-footed and would have been funny with or without any of the tiny cameos - they were just lovely little surprises. The leads were all superb and held themselves back, not chewing the scenery or shoving their movie/TV personalities centre-stage. (Except Peter Sellers who overacted, but that is what Peter Sellers does - he's one of those very few actors where "overacting" is a joy and a pleasure to behold, and you just wish he would over-overact.)
                      I wish I had seen it years ago and several times since.

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                      • Originally posted by Edward G View Post

                        On a more positive note at least they are showing excellent Laurel and Hardy features and shorts....
                        Yep, I watched "Blockheads" the other night. Not my favourite L&H, but at least I can't moan about the aspect ratio.

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                        • Batman (1989)

                          I'm not usually a fan of big splashy US superhero films, that tend to be all effects an no story, but this one from Tim Burton does afford at least a little characterisation in the back story of Bruce Wayne.
                          Michael Keaton wouldn't have been my obvious choice physically for Batman, being slight and not especially tall, but he does a decent enough job here alongside Kim Basinger as Vicky Vale.
                          They are all blown off of the screen though by Jack Nicholson's Joker, who makes Cesar Romero's TV original look as exuberant as Woody Allen in comparison.
                          With Michael Gough, Jack Palance, Jerry Hall and Pat Hingle.

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                          • Villain (1971)

                            Disgracefully overlooked British gangster movie with a screenplay by the marvellous Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Richard Burton plays an East End gangland boss in a very thinly veiled impression of Ronnie Kray. One of those wonderfully gritty turn-of-the-seventies crime capers; a sort of big screen dry-run for subsequent TV shows like The Sweeney and Target, replete with tyre-screeching car chases, stocking masks and graphic, cosh-wielding punch ups.

                            Plot is basic but effective: Burton's mother-fixated, sadistic gangster is tempted out beyond his usual protection racketeering and joins forces with fellow crime boss T.P. McKenna to pull a spectacular wages heist which ends up going wrong. Packed with evocative shots of the era - gin palace boozers (how I wish I could report that I spotted a soda siphon, but alas I did not), routemaster buses, frilly-shirted casino croupiers, John Collier shop window fronts, old panda cars.... it's like a time capsule populated with a parade of familiar faces: John Cossins, the bitter, twitchy inside man, slick "fixer" Ian McShane as Burton's rent boy, Donald Sinden as the slimy, bent MP, Fiona Lewis the sexy tart. Tony Selby, Del Henney and John Hallam are Burton's heavies, with a memorable performance from Joss Ackland as McKenna's belching, ulcer-prone henchman. Nigel Davenport and Colin Welland represent the law as uglier, superannuated equivalents of Regan & Carter. A few nice uncredited surprises too: Michael "On The Buses" Robbins as a restaurater, John "I Didn't Know You Cared" Comer the House Of Commons waiter, even Cheryl "Citizen Smith" Hall is in there somewhere....

                            A long time since I last watched this, and - Burton's variable cockney accent not withstanding - every bit as terrific (in a wonderfully bleak, nicotine-stained, kipper-tied sort of way) as I remembered it. For my money it's easily up there with "The Long Good Friday" and "Get Carter".

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                            • Originally posted by Tonch View Post
                              Villain (1971)

                              Disgracefully overlooked British gangster movie with a screenplay by the marvellous Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Richard Burton plays an East End gangland boss in a very thinly veiled impression of Ronnie Kray. One of those wonderfully gritty turn-of-the-seventies crime capers; a sort of big screen dry-run for subsequent TV shows like The Sweeney and Target, replete with tyre-screeching car chases, stocking masks and graphic, cosh-wielding punch ups.

                              Plot is basic but effective: Burton's mother-fixated, sadistic gangster is tempted out beyond his usual protection racketeering and joins forces with fellow crime boss T.P. McKenna to pull a spectacular wages heist which ends up going wrong. Packed with evocative shots of the era - gin palace boozers (how I wish I could report that I spotted a soda siphon, but alas I did not), routemaster buses, frilly-shirted casino croupiers, John Collier shop window fronts, old panda cars.... it's like a time capsule populated with a parade of familiar faces: John Cossins, the bitter, twitchy inside man, slick "fixer" Ian McShane as Burton's rent boy, Donald Sinden as the slimy, bent MP, Fiona Lewis the sexy tart. Tony Selby, Del Henney and John Hallam are Burton's heavies, with a memorable performance from Joss Ackland as McKenna's belching, ulcer-prone henchman. Nigel Davenport and Colin Welland represent the law as uglier, superannuated equivalents of Regan & Carter. A few nice uncredited surprises too: Michael "On The Buses" Robbins as a restaurater, John "I Didn't Know You Cared" Comer the House Of Commons waiter, even Cheryl "Citizen Smith" Hall is in there somewhere....

                              A long time since I last watched this, and - Burton's variable cockney accent not withstanding - every bit as terrific (in a wonderfully bleak, nicotine-stained, kipper-tied sort of way) as I remembered it. For my money it's easily up there with "The Long Good Friday" and "Get Carter".
                              Loved the scene near the start of the film when Burton splashes himself with Aqua di Selva, my favourite cologne of the era.

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                              • The Jigsaw Man (1983). Cheap-looking reunion for Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier in a Cold War spy thriller unspectacularly directed and photographed respectively by Terence Young and Freddie Francis. Traitor Caine gets a Seconds makeover to return from Russia to England to retrieve the MacGuffin, here a microfilm detailing all Soviet spies since the 1930s - a bit careless to keep them on a convenient list. A frail 75 year old Olivier plays the 62 year old head of MI5, a kind of shouting, foul-mouthed M, while Susan George has the double roles of Caine's daughter and wife in flashback. It's left to senior spy Charles Gray to camp about, and junior spy Robert Powell to run around, the daft plot accompanied by a synthesizer beat score; indeed, the film's titles seem to concentrate on plugging the music credits with Dionne Warwick, who sings the song at the end, getting one of the largest billings. By no means the finest hour and a half for anyone.

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