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Showing posts from October 14, 2012

Review: Wild Geese II

Brother and sister John Terry and Barbara Carrera, who work for Robert Webber’s TV network, hire stone-faced Lebanese-American mercenary John Haddad (Scott Glenn!) to snatch famed Nazi Rudolf Hess (Lord Laurence Olivier) from an impregnable Berlin prison and bring him back so the aging Nazi will reveal all his secrets about Hitler. Meanwhile, a German working for the Russians (Robert Freitag) is also after Hess, as are the British, led by Kenneth Haigh, and even the Palestinians have an interest in things. Edward Fox plays a British sharpshooter and the brother of Richard Burton in the first film, Paul Antrim is a British Sergeant-Major on Haddad’s team (which also includes a French driver and a smart-arse IRA guy), whilst Ingrid Pitt plays one of Freitag’s assassins, and Patrick Stewart (who regrets appearing in this, apparently) plays a Russian.

The original “Wild Geese” was a terrific entry into the all-star ‘guy movie’ genre (sitting just a rung below the likes of “The Dirty Dozen…

Review: Femme Fatale (1991)

Nature reserve ranger Colin Firth (!) meets mystery woman Lisa Zane and seemingly instantaneously falls in love with her. Soon they are married, but then she disappears on the night of their honeymoon. Distraught and confused, he tries to locate her, leading to some very seedy locations, and equally shocking revelations (drug dealing, avant-garde, softcore S&M art projects, etc) about the wife he frankly barely knew. Meanwhile, some thugs (including the intimidating Pat Skipper, clearly having fun) keep smacking him around for some reason. Lisa Blount plays an actress who claims to have been very close to Zane back in the day. Billy Zane plays Firth’s sardonic artist buddy, whilst Scott Wilson is a psychiatrist who is crucial to the mystery.

Directed by Andre R. Guttfreund (who has directed episodes of “Picket Fences”, “Knots Landing”, and “L.A. Law”), this 1991 thriller isn’t especially good. Lisa Zane is clearly out of her depth in an impossible role, and Colin Firth, whilst lik…

Review: Paul

Best friends and sci-fi nerds Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are on a road trip in the US to Comic-Con and a bunch of alien-related landmarks like Roswell, New Mexico and Area 51, Nevada. On their way to the latter, the two Brit twits see a car crash, and when stopping to help, they come across something out of their wildest fantasies (well, not the ones involving chicks with three breasts- oh, I’m so with you there, guys!). They encounter a small alien being. It turns out that his name is Paul. Yes, Paul. Voiced by the very recognisable Seth Rogen, he’s a foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, smart-arse, completely unlike anything you’d expect. Whilst a bunch of spooks led by humourless Agent Zoil (Jason Bateman), and dispatched by an entity known as The Big Guy (but you can call her Zuul), are chasing after Paul, the two buddies are now forced to drive Paul to a rendezvous with his spaceship. Along the way they pick up a one-eyed, religious zealot (Kristen Wiig) whose faith is totally obliterated…

Review: Burke & Hare

Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, in the 1800s, Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis star as the title duo, ne’er-do-well Irish immigrants who find a lucrative trade in supplying Dr. Robert Knox (Tom Wilkinson) with cadavers for anatomical study. Knox is rivalled by Dr. Alexander Monro (Tim Curry), who tends to get all the freshly hanged bodies of criminals for his own school, but Burke and Hare have a unique way of acquiring cadavers: murder. How long can Burke and Hare keep making a killing (quite literally I might add) until the militia (headed by Ronnie Corbett!) catch on? Meanwhile, Burke is smitten with an enterprising, wannabe actress (Isla Fisher, of all people), who needs funds to put on an all-female stage play of Shakespeare’s ‘Scottish play’. Jessica Hynes plays Hare’s opportunistic wife, Hugh Bonneville is a local Lord, Christopher Lee plays Old Joseph, and Bill Bailey is a hangman who serves as the film’s narrator.

I wouldn’t exactly call this a return to form for director John Landis (