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Showing posts from June 15, 2014

Review: The Winds of War

Chronicling the exploits of American naval officer ‘Pug’ Henry (Robert Mitchum), who becomes Ambassador to Germany, and his various family members’ activities from 1939-1941. Concurrently, the film also charts the rise of Germany’s Fuhrer Adolf Hitler (Gunter Meissner), and the effects his growing influence has on not only Germans, but the rest of the world, and especially the Jewish people. Polly Bergen is Henry’s increasingly bored, gauche wife, who starts to see an awful lot of widowed uranium scientist Peter Graves (who is working on the atomic bomb!), when her husband is away for long periods of time. This proves to be a very long time, as Henry is stationed in Berlin, London, Rome, and even Moscow, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Ralph Bellamy) himself, to be his observer. But don’t feel sorry for ol’ ‘Pug’ (who also gets to meet Hitler, Churchill, and Stalin!), he’s got the charming young Brit Victoria Tennant to hero-worship him (and more, if he’ll only let her!). Jan-Mich…

Review: A Town Like Alice

Set in WWII, Virginia McKenna is one of a group of women and children forced by the Japanese to march on foot to a prison camp in occupied Malaya. From there they are told there is no room and they must march on to the next camp, and then the next, and so on. Along the way McKenna strikes up a relationship with larrikin Aussie Peter Finch (who really was an Aussie, but has a barely adequate accent here, strangely), a fellow POW (given truck driving duties) who seems to make battling the elements (heat, famine, disease etc.) a little more tolerable, with stories of...well, look at the title.

Simple but generally watchable 1956 Jack Lee (“Robbery Under Arms”, “The Captain’s Table”) World War II POW film (somewhat based on fact, though the characters aren’t) needed to either beef up the relationship between McKenna and Finch, or excise it entirely. It’s an ill fit as is, though there are some strong moments here and there. Finch is particularly excellent and the film is quite grim for a …

Review: Boyz N the Hood

The story of three young African-American men trying to survive their lower-middle class surroundings of gang and crime-infested South Central L.A. Cuba Gooding Jr. plays Tre, whose aggression and rebellion as a child forced his upscale, workaholic mother (Angela Bassett, very good in a thankless role) to send him to the ‘Hood in the care of his father Furious (Laurence Fishburne), an intelligent, discipline-oriented mortgage broker (whom Bassett is divorced from) in order to make a man out of her wayward son. Now in his teens, Tre, against the anti-violence, independent-thinking teachings of his father (who refuses to leave the neighbourhood and his people), falls in with some of the ‘bad seeds’ of the neighbourhood, like childhood best friend Doughboy (Ice Cube), a delinquent who is constantly derided by his mother (Tyra Ferrell), in favour of his athletically-gifted, more promising brother Ricky (Morris Chestnut). Ricky wants a college scholarship, made somewhat difficult by his ne…

Review: Felicity

Canadian-born English resident Glory Annen (who is undeniably beautiful) stars as the title virginal Catholic boarding school student, who after a bout of skinny-dipping with her best friend (Jody Hanson) receives word that her father has arranged for her a holiday in Hong Kong, staying with her aunt. It is here that Felicity will have the sexual awakening she yearns for, getting laid by a moustachioed he-man on the bonnet of a car, visits a brothel-on-a-boat with a sexy local named Mai Ling (Bond girl Joni Flynn), who will later introduce her to the joys of lesbianism, and so on. She also meets a sensitive Aussie boy (Chris Milne) who rescues her from local ruffians, and before long the two are shagging like rabbits in heat. Or something.

It doesn’t reach the softcore heights of “Emmanuelle II”, but this 1978 film from writer-director John Lamond (who has a fun cameo as a peeping tom) is a bit better than I was expecting. Oh, it’s a pretty poor film in any traditional sense, but for …

Review: Wanderlust

Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston are a moderately successful couple who purchase what realtor Linda Lavin calls a ‘micro loft’ (a tiny studio apartment, really), and everything seems to be going swimmingly. Unfortunately, soon after, Murphy’s Law comes around to bite them in the arse, Rudd becomes unemployed and the documentary Aniston is pitching to HBO is passed on. So they move in with Rudd’s douchebag philandering brother (Ken Marino) and family in Atlanta. Rudd’s even offered a job by Marino, but this seems mostly so he can brag and berate his brother. Obviously this situation isn’t going to work, but one day they stumble upon a hippie commune called Elysium. Despite the creepy nude dudes like Joe Lo Truglio, they even stay the night. And through a series of situations that can only happen in the movies, they end up staying longer, even contemplating living there for good. But can their marriage withstand a ‘free love’ lifestyle? When Rudd eyes hottie Malin Akerman, it seems easy..…