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Showing posts from April 6, 2014

Review: Silver Linings Playbook

Bradley Cooper plays Pat, who has lost his house, his job, and his wife, and he has just spent eight months in a mental health facility. But now he’s out, diagnosed as having bi-polar disorder and living with his parents (distant, sports-betting father Robert De Niro, loving mother Jacki Weaver), and...he’s still obsessed with getting back together with his wife. This makes his family and few friends worry that Pat is headed right back to the ‘loony bin’ if he’s not careful. But Pat is determined to talk to her, and a little restraining order isn’t going to deter him from his mission. To help him, he enlists the aid of Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a somewhat guarded girl with seemingly deep-rooted issues of her own, who will deliver a letter to the wife, but with a price. Tiffany is a dancer, though not the kind of dancer girls named Tiffany usually are. No, she wants to enter a dance competition, but needs a partner, and ropes Pat into being said partner. Neither of them are professi…

Review: Circus of Fear

We begin with a daylight robbery of an armoured car in London, which eventually sees most of the crooks nabbed by Scotland Yard inspector Leo Genn, whilst the search continues for ‘inside man’ Victor Maddern who has been instructed by an unseen boss to hide both of their shares of the loot in a secure location, whilst the Yard manage to track down some of the rest of the loot. The trail leads cluey Genn to a circus owned by Anthony Newlands, whilst another gang member (Klaus Kinski) is also skulking about, no doubt up to some kind of no good. Poor Madden finds himself dead before long, however, and soon there are other bodies too. And no trace whatsoever of the money. It appears a masked murderer is bumping people off, and the circus is full of extremely dubious suspects including; Masked lion tamer Gregor (Christopher Lee) whose face was scarred by a lion a few years ago, Carl the ringmaster (heavily accented Michael Pate lookalike Heinz Drache) who seems very interested in the inves…

Review: Seven Psychopaths

Colin Farrell plays a boozing, idiot writer who has come up with a great title: ‘Seven Psychopaths’. And that’s about it. Oh, it’s going to be a pacifist story, too (!). He’s about to get some up close and personal inspiration, though, and not just because he has placed an ad in the paper for psychos to sell their stories to him (An idea possibly born out of idiocy or alcohol, maybe both). Farrell’s idiotic unemployed actor friend Sam Rockwell has a dog-napping/reward grabbing scam going with Christopher Walken, whose wife is in the hospital with cancer. They kidnap the Shih Tzu (unknowingly the pride and joy) of psycho gangster Woody Harrelson, who is looking for blood. Michael Pitt appears in the amusing opening scene as a would-be hitman, Abbie Cornish plays Farrell’s fed-up girlfriend, Tom Waits and Harry Dean Stanton play colourful psychopaths (the former a killer of other killers), Olga Kurylenko plays Harrelson’s girl, Gabourey Sidibe plays a woman who gets on the wrong side of…

Review: She (1965)

Set in the Middle East in 1918, ex-soldier John Richardson, and his companions Peter Cushing (an adventurer and archaeologist) and Bernard Cribbins (a loyal manservant), get embroiled in some ancient tribal hokum after Richardson becomes besotted with the beautiful Ayesha (Ursula Andress), who gives Richardson a map and urges him to prove his worth by coming to find her. Upon arrival he finds that Ayesha is otherwise known as She Who Must Be Obeyed, an unbending ruler who believes Richardson to be the reincarnation of her dead lover. Together they must bathe in the Flame of Really Bad 60s Special FX. Or something like that. Christopher Lee plays scheming high priest Billali, who is the man behind the woman behind the title of the film.

Directed by Robert Day (“Corridors of Blood” with Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee, “The Haunted Strangler” with Boris Karloff), this 1965 adaptation of the H. Rider Haggard (“King Solomon’s Mines”) adventure novel is, like most Hammer films impressive…

Review: Chasing Sleep

Jeff Daniels’ wife is missing, he can’t sleep (though he seems to have trouble keeping track of the time), the police (led by Gil Bellows) are possibly suspicious of him, and oh yeah...he’s starting to lose his freaking mind. Did I mention the severed finger that just won’t flush down the toilet? Well there’s that, too. Meanwhile, college professor Daniels is also being tempted by one of his lovely students (Emily Bergl) who makes a home visit when he fails to turn up for work. Julian McMahon plays one of his wife’s colleagues, whom she may be having an affair with, whilst Zach Grenier plays a not very helpful police shrink.

Written and directed by debutant Mike Walker, this 2000 horror/thriller is one of those films that you feel like you’ve seen a bunch of times before. It’s typical “Twilight Zone” or Stephen King stuff about insomnia, missing persons, holes in the wall, old drain pipes and so forth. Nothing you really need to see again. And that’s a shame, because it features a per…