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Showing posts from January 11, 2015

Review: Action of the Tiger

Set in Greece and Commie Albania (the latter role played by Spain), Van Johnson is a boat captain and cynical soldier of fortune (!) hired by a French woman (Martine Carol) to smuggle her into Albania so that she can organise the rescue of her imprisoned political prisoner brother (Who is blind, of course). A group of Albanian refugee children are also in need of rescuing (once again, of course), much to surly Johnson’s annoyance. Herbert Lom turns up as an amorous, gregarious Albanian bandit roped into helping them out, though his main concern is taking the French girl for himself. A young Sean Connery plays Johnson’s frequently drunk and volatile first mate.

Surprisingly lousy C-movie from director Terence Young (“Dr. No”, “From Russia With Love”) and screenwriter Robert Carson (“A Star is Born”, “Beau Geste”, “Western Union”) features a decent cast, but goes nowhere for far too long. By the time lively Herbert Lom shows up he doesn’t have to do a whole helluva lot to steal it, and …

Review: Edge of Tomorrow

Earth has been invaded by a war-mongering alien race called Mimics, who are seemingly unstoppable, though we’ve just scored a minor victory in battle. Enter Major Tom Cruise, a Communications officer (PR guy for the military) and frankly a bit of a smug coward. General Brendan Gleeson thinks it might be a good idea to send him to the front lines to film the latest battle, thinking things are headed in our favour. Cruise objects, is tasered and wakes up in an infantry unit, demoted to Private for desertion and sent into battle with no weapons or special armour training whatsoever. It doesn’t go well, his entire platoon is wiped out, and although he somehow manages to take out a Mimic, he also gets killed. It’s almost as if the Mimics knew they were coming and were fully prepared. The next thing he knows, Cruise has woken up to the same day, the same events, and the same conclusion. No matter how hard he tries to avoid the outcome, death keeps coming to him and his platoon. Eventually h…

Review: American Hustle

Inspired by real events and starting in the late 70s, Christian Bale (with a bad comb-over and “ET” stomach) plays a middle-aged con artist who along with his sexy partner/lover Amy Adams is forced to work for unorthodox FBI man Bradley Cooper in bringing down as many corrupt Jersey politicians and officials as possible. One man in their sights is passionate Jersey mayor Jeremy Renner, a family man who genuinely wants to do right by the city, but is willing to do the wrong thing to get there. Complicating matters is Bale’s immature, shrill wife Jennifer Lawrence (who is immediately jealous of Adams), as well as the involvement of the Miami mob, represented by Robert De Niro. Louis C.K. plays Cooper’s long-suffering FBI boss, Alessandro Nivola is Mr. C.K.’s superior, Michael Pena plays an FBI agent who poses as an Arab sheik, Shea Whigham is a criminal associate, and Anthony Zerbe appears briefly as a corrupt politician.

One of the bigger disappointments of 2013, this crime flick has so…

Review: The Scapegoat

Sir Alec Guinness stars as a rather despondent English teacher on holiday in France, who runs into his seemingly exact double, a wealthy Frenchman (also played by Guinness), at a pub. After some heavy drinking, the Englishman wakes up the next morning a little worse for wear, and his French counterpart nowhere in sight. However, the latter’s chauffeur (Geoffrey Keen) believes him to be the Frenchman, and eventually Guinness agrees to go to the Frenchman’s lavish estate to meet him and clear the confusion up. Unfortunately, his double is not home, either, and his eccentric family members refuse to believe his crazy story that he’s really an English tutor and bachelor. The Frenchman’s Italian mistress (Nicole Maurey) won’t hear of it, either. And then the wife apparently falls from a window to her death. Accident or foul play? Bette Davis plays the Frenchman’s bed-ridden mother, Annabel Bartlett is his precocious but slightly odd daughter, Irene Worth plays his wife, Pamela Brown is the…

Review: The Spectacular Now

Miles Teller plays boozy high school senior Sutter, a party animal with seemingly no direction in life and an absentee father whom his well-meaning mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) won’t tell him anything about. He stupidly seems to avoid any thought towards the future, content to drink, hang out, and live in the now. That sees him lose a girlfriend (Brie Larson), but there’s clearly something damaged inside of Sutter that may explain why he is the way he is. After a night of hard partying, he wakes up on the lawn of a neighbour. He gets to talking to this neighbour, nice, comic book geek Aimee (Shailene Woodley), who goes to the same school as Sutter but obviously runs with a different social crowd. A relationship develops between the two (After their hangover-inspired ‘meet cute’. Yep. That’s romantic), though Sutter tells his peers that he’s just bringing the girl out of her shell. It’s obviously something deeper for Aimee (a virgin who has never had a boyfriend), but the question rem…