9,826

Re: Last film seen...

Is Spanish Fly an 'enjoyable romp'?

A mid-70s Britcom, with stalwarts Terry-Thomas and Leslie Phillips.
It's the sort of post-Brexit film that pops up on new knackered old channels like Talking Pictures.
It exerts a grim fascination though I've seen worse...
The stars seem to play two salesmen of the kind who get to travel abroad and bed young lovelies half their age by dint of having a car, a blazer and the ability to pay their way.
Phillips - it is a given - will bed all the women thrown his way by the company on his travels, it is odd but then not dissimilar to a plot line in Love, Actually when young Kris Marshall unexpectedly gets to bed all the women thrown at him while abroad. Difference is, perhaps, in the earlier film it's almost 'expected' while in Curtis' film the joke is that it goes against all expectations. It's all in the nuance.
In one scene the Aussie lady gets in the shower and we from the front see her knockers (it's the lingo for the times) in all their bouncy, unabashed glory but of course, really how is that worse than any modern day porn? It isn't, it's quite wholesome. The fact that Phillips is urged to soap her down - her back, anyway - while being bashful and at arms length means it's actually social distancing, so quite in vogue.
Amazingly, Phillips is still going in his 90s, last was heard he married his East European carer - if the cynics thought it would lead to him being knocked off his perch in a year while she copped the money, well, seems it gave him a new lease of life!

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

9,827

Re: Last film seen...

The Gauntlet

The same year as Roger Moore dodged a helicopter in his white Lotus in The Spy Who Loved Me, Clint Eastwood starred in this low-budget romp about a cop who finds he's being fitted up by his own side AND the mob.
In some ways it anticipates Midnight Run, released just over a decade later, though it's not as funny nor meant to be, and less long-winded I guess.
It turns into a bit of a road film, albeit not a very long road, being set in Arizona and going from one state to another. Eastwood - not as different an actor to Moore as you might think, both have a limited if effective range - is joined by his then partner Sandra Locke whom he has to turn in to bear witness, of course she knows too much.
What is interesting is that Clint plays a cop who is not the sharpest tool and she - a prostitute - has to fill him in on what is going on and how he is being set up. There's some very good dialogue here. 'Welcome to the ranks of the disenchanted!'
It isn't quite as right on as it seems, he doesn't seem too grateful to her.

It's disturbing how straightforward it is that of course cops are bent, I guess it's the same here now but not openly acknowledged as a narrative by the press, same with social services. You have to read between the lines - see Haringey Council and paedophile abuse in today's press - basically a lot of local authorities appear complicit in various paedophile rings but all family court judges have to express 'incomprehension' at all this - but I digress!

The action in The Gauntlet becomes more incredible as it goes on for the kind of film it is, and while it fits the imperialistic idea of the film - the Enemy shooting at our heroes from on high, never from on the ground where they might get a decent shot - it is rather implausible.
The chopper/chopper chase is good fun but a bit implausible.
The mega OTT shoot outs echo the finale of Bonnie and Clyde, as if to make a point.
That said, our hero is no member of the counterculture, as an encounter with a bunch of hippies/hells angels reveals.
I first saw this film as a scout - they showed it in the early 80s on a small portable colour TV - a treat! Looking back, it does seem 'inappropriate' for 11 year olds, lots of raunchy talk and so on. I lobbied for a Bond film to be shown - Live and Let Die to be precise - but I'm not sure it was available on video back then.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

9,828

Re: Last film seen...

I never cared for THE GAUNTLET, and a recent rewatch pretty much confirmed my opinion of the film.  The characters are all completely unappealing, the 'humor' never really works, and the tone is never consistent.  One minute it's a gritty cop thriller, the next it's just shy of high camp.  If it had committed fully to a tone and stuck with it, it probably would have worked much better.

Nice write up, though!

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9,829

Re: Last film seen...

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

A lavish and outlandish fantasy that delighted me a lot more than I went in expecting it to. The stunning visuals and effects are all the more impressive considering they were made in the pre-digital age, and I suspect that the film might not be as charming were it made with all the modern CGI effects possible today.

I am not well versed in the work of Terry Gilliam apart from his Monty Python contributions, but my experience with Baron Munchausen will certainly encourage me to watch more of his films.

9,830

Re: Last film seen...

First up: Gemini Man, with Will Smith as an assassin and his clone.  For about the first hour I wondered what all the bad reviews were about: it seemed a nifty spy thriller with a sci-fi premise.  Then, once Will meets his clone and starts talking to him it becomes a weird family melodrama.  Clive Owen is also aboard as the villain, doing his godawful attempt at an American accent.  There are so many great actors from the UK (and Australia as well) who can do flawless U.S. accents; Owen typically tries to mix up Brooklyn and Chicago accents and then mumble throughout.

Next: Parasite, the South Korean film that surprised everyone by winning the Best Picture Oscar.  What surprised me by this is that it's actually a dark comedy that skewers class relations.  Is it the Best Picture?  Who knows?  Who cares?  I enjoyed it.

Vox clamantis in deserto

9,831

Re: Last film seen...

Golrush007 wrote:

I am not well versed in the work of Terry Gilliam apart from his Monty Python contributions, but my experience with Baron Munchausen will certainly encourage me to watch more of his films.

Be sure to watch Brazil,
my personal subjective opinion: it might just be the finest motion picture ever filmed!

9,832

Re: Last film seen...

seconded on BRAZIL.  It's an amazing movie.  12 MONKEYS is also very, very good.

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9,833

Re: Last film seen...

Brazil and 12 Monkeys are very good movies.

9,834

Re: Last film seen...

Brazil and 12 Monkeys are both on my list to watch in the near future.

9,835

Re: Last film seen...

Also be sure to watch The Fisher King, with Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges. its the one that came in between.
12 Monkeys is going to mean something different in these coviddy times. Interesting context to watch it in. No further spoilers on that one!

He's released several films over the last couple decades I didn't even realise had come out.
The most recent one I saw starred Christopher Waltz (he's one of ours) as a sort of mathematician who has delved too deep.
But definitely watch those other three first, especially Brazil.

9,836

Re: Last film seen...

Thanks for the advice. I'm looking forward to watching these films.

9,837

Re: Last film seen...

Great expectations (1946)

This Charles Dickens novel was filmed by David Lean in 1946. I'm trying to watch some British cinema classics during the Corona lockdown, but I have to admit I was unsure about this one. I expected a slow-moving costume drama with few qualities other than being "worthy". Thankfully that didn't happen. Great Expectations isn't as epic as most David Lean movies, but it's still a great movie. The story and characters is interesting and captivating, and the story has momentum all the time. Lean also shot this in a exciting and stylised way that I suspect was inspired by German cinema in the 1920's. This is a classic that's classic for good reason.

9,838

Re: Last film seen...

I recently finished all four of the LETHAL WEAPON films.  I hadn't seen any of them in years and it was fun to whip them all out, one after the other.

LW>LW2>LW4>LW3.

Only the first two films are of real quality, in my opinion.  The first one is particularly strong as the comedy and action feels a lot more grounded and real.  The second one starts to go pretty broad with the humor, but the plot itself is strong and the character work all gels together.  The third and the fourth films really drop off in quality...too much yelling and running about, and too much broad comedy.  I give the edge to LW4 for the fact that there's an actual plot to drive the narrative and Jet Li makes for a really good villain.  LW3 is essentially devoid of plot and is really just a bunch of scenes put together.

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9,839

Re: Last film seen...

A very moving film, with a superb supporting cast. It really is Dickensian, unlike a good many other adaptations. Edit: I mean Great Expectations, not Lethal Weapon, I took so long writing this another review got in between!  ajb007/biggrin

The 'what have I done?' line by Miss Haversham is echoed by Alec Guinness - also seen in this film - in Lean's Bridge Over The River Kwai.
The film isn't perfect, but it feels it. I mean, Mills is really too old to be playing Pip in his 20s. Valerie Hobson is nothing like the young Estella - couldn't they have got Vivien Leigh? She would have been a better match for the young actress - although that would have been ironic as both were involved with Laurence Olivier.
The movie is more a gothic melodrama and mystery rather than a tale of social climbing, snobbery, sexual jealousy and misplaced ambition that the book was (though I've not really read it). Mills is too mature and dignified to look like he could be tormented by the wiles of the grown-up Estella.
None of that stops the film being hugely entertaining, impressive and moving.

The Woman in Black

Talking of gothic melodrama, I caught this recent film for the first time on the Horror channel, it went out under the Hammer name but I'm not sure what happened with that. It is worthy of Hammer, though lacking the touch of the bizarre or sex that Hammer had.
It's about a young widower, a solicitor, whose grieving means he might get the push from his law firm, so he must make good on his new assignment in another part of the country, a long train ride away.
This really did make the hairs on my neck stand up - maybe I'm more susceptible in lockdown, I don't know. Proper frights. But they're not 'funny' frights. Daniel Radcliffe is v good as the lead, can't fault his acting in this.
I expected another story, thinking it was The Woman in White! Perhaps that helped wrong foot me.
Only the closing scene didn't quite make sense in view of what had come before; I would have opted for something different.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

9,840

Re: Last film seen...

PS I agree with Gymkata about the Lethal Weapon series. The third one really palled and the main problem is you have too much baggage by that point, plus you know that neither Riggs nor Murtaph will ever die, nor Joe Pesci, so it becomes a bit sitcom. The villain in it was no great shakes, nothing compared to Joss Ackland.
Lethal Weapon 2, like so many films that year - Batman, Indy and Last Crusade - had many scenes that could have been from Bond films, while License to Kill just wasn't Bond enough, ironically.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

9,841

Re: Last film seen...

The Red Beret (1953)

This film isn't a British classic, but some of you know it's of special interest to Bond fans. One of the two producers is Cubby Broccoli , the director is Terrance Young, Richard Maibaum wrote the script, the film was shot by Ted Moore and many of the stunts were done by Bob Simmons.
The Red Beret is about the British Parachute Regiment during WWII, a unit Terrance Young actually served in. This doesn't mean the fim is realistic. The British usually hit and the Germans usually miss. Paras pull the pins of hand grenades with their teeth and when they hit their target (they always do) the grenades seem to hold gallons of petrol.
Land mines also seem to be filled to the brim with petrol when they clear a mine field with a bazooka (as a former combat engineer I can only say …  ajb007/amazed  ajb007/rolleyes )
But so what if this isn't Saving Private Ryan? The Red Beret was entertaining enough and offers a glimps of the origns of the James Bond series. Speaking of: In a scene an officer  enters his office and tosses his hat across the room where it lands on a hat rack  ajb007/bond

9,842

Re: Last film seen...

Is The Red Beret available for viewing online anywhere? I haven't come across it before, and I've always been keen to watch it. Letterboxd just has a link to the DVD on Amazon.

9,843

Re: Last film seen...

The Red Beret with subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont … e=emb_logo

The film is also on Youtube without subtitles, but that version is postedin many parts. Here is part 1:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1LRmA9 … e=emb_logo

9,844

Re: Last film seen...

Number24 wrote:

Great expectations (1946)

This Charles Dickens novel was filmed by David Lean in 1946. I'm trying to watch some British cinema classics during the Corona lockdown, but I have to admit I was unsure about this one. I expected a slow-moving costume drama with few qualities other than being "worthy". Thankfully that didn't happen. Great Expectations isn't as epic as most David Lean movies, but it's still a great movie. The story and characters is interesting and captivating, and the story has momentum all the time. Lean also shot this in a exciting and stylised way that I suspect was inspired by German cinema in the 1920's. This is a classic that's classic for good reason.


I watched the 1974 version this week. Can't say I was impressed. I watched it as it has James Mason in (as Magwitch) and I am on a JM binge at the moment.

9,845

Re: Last film seen...

Napoleon Plural wrote:

Is Spanish Fly an 'enjoyable romp'?

A mid-70s Britcom, with stalwarts Terry-Thomas and Leslie Phillips.
It's the sort of post-Brexit film that pops up on new knackered old channels like Talking Pictures.
It exerts a grim fascination though I've seen worse...
The stars seem to play two salesmen of the kind who get to travel abroad and bed young lovelies half their age by dint of having a car, a blazer and the ability to pay their way.
Phillips - it is a given - will bed all the women thrown his way by the company on his travels, it is odd but then not dissimilar to a plot line in Love, Actually when young Kris Marshall unexpectedly gets to bed all the women thrown at him while abroad. Difference is, perhaps, in the earlier film it's almost 'expected' while in Curtis' film the joke is that it goes against all expectations. It's all in the nuance.
In one scene the Aussie lady gets in the shower and we from the front see her knockers (it's the lingo for the times) in all their bouncy, unabashed glory but of course, really how is that worse than any modern day porn? It isn't, it's quite wholesome. The fact that Phillips is urged to soap her down - her back, anyway - while being bashful and at arms length means it's actually social distancing, so quite in vogue.
Amazingly, Phillips is still going in his 90s, last was heard he married his East European carer - if the cynics thought it would lead to him being knocked off his perch in a year while she copped the money, well, seems it gave him a new lease of life!

A nice wry review of a film from a bygone age. Phillips did alright for himself in real life. He was married to Angela Scoular (Ruby Bartlett in OHMSS). She also appeared in 1967 farce, CASINO ROYALE as Buttercup.

9,846

Re: Last film seen...

I've recently watched a few films by Peter Bogdanovich, who is a director that I've known about for a long time but whose works I've never checked out. I knew him primarily as an interviewee on dozens of DVD special features that I've watched, usually talking about the works of great directors like John Ford, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles. Having now watched several of his films I see that he has clearly learnt a good deal from his studies of those great artists.

The film that I watched today was Paper Moon, and it is probably my favourite Bogdanovich film so far. It's structured like a road movie, centered around a pair of characters played by father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O'Neal. Their journey is based around Ryan O'Neal delivering the recently orphaned Tatum to the girl's next-of-kin, and the pair scamming a few dollars along the way. Their relationship develops along the way, although they do attempt one scam too many and find themselves pursued by a lawman who bears more than a passing resemblance to our friend Higgins.

The film is a charming and witty comedy-drama, beautifully photographed in black-and-white. As I mentioned before, Paper Moon is probably my favourite Bogdanovich film that I have seen, although the best film of the bunch is probably The Last Picture Show.

9,847

Re: Last film seen...

Napoleon Plural wrote:

The Woman in Black

Talking of gothic melodrama, I caught this recent film for the first time on the Horror channel, it went out under the Hammer name but I'm not sure what happened with that. It is worthy of Hammer, though lacking the touch of the bizarre or sex that Hammer had.
It's about a young widower, a solicitor, whose grieving means he might get the push from his law firm, so he must make good on his new assignment in another part of the country, a long train ride away.
This really did make the hairs on my neck stand up - maybe I'm more susceptible in lockdown, I don't know. Proper frights. But they're not 'funny' frights. Daniel Radcliffe is v good as the lead, can't fault his acting in this.
I expected another story, thinking it was The Woman in White! Perhaps that helped wrong foot me.
Only the closing scene didn't quite make sense in view of what had come before; I would have opted for something different.


I really like this film.

I'm not into slasher type horror films but I do enjoy a good ghost story that is a bit creepy and eerie. This fits the bill.

Daniel Radcliffe is very good and Ciaran Hinds is always good value.

9,848

Re: Last film seen...

Under new Government guidelines you are not allowed to interact with my posts, Lady Rose.

The Day of the Jackal

Always excellent though its excellence points out a couple of snags. Caine wanted to play the Jackal, but got knocked back because he was distinctive and famous, which wouldn't fit the anonymous assassin. That said, it's not like Edward Fox just blends into the crowd.

Moore was also in the frame but got knocked back for the same reason, he got to face off against Michel Lonsdale in Moonraker of course, and the same guy did the cinematography here, it's a treat.

The Liberation Day realisation is a bit daft, you think they'd have figured that one before.
Lovely shots of France and indeed Paris. And a fine supporting cast.

"This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

Roger Moore 1927-2017

9,849

Re: Last film seen...

Captain Blood (1935)

This Errol Flynn starrer is a proper pirate film where some men even have wooden pegs instead of a leg! Errol Flynn plays doctor Peter Blood who gets sent as a slave to the West Indies for giving medical services to the rebels after a battle. Things develop from there.
The pirates are very jolly, and most of all Flynn. He is also the only pirate with a shaving kit and he spends a lot of time standing heroically and pointing, often with a rapier. But he's athletic and has charm. The action and special effects are good for such an old film and can compete with much newer films. We only get one proper fencing duel, but it's a good one.
You'd never guess the leading lady is still with us, but Olivia de Haviland is 103 years old and living in Paris. The dynamic between her character and Blood is more interesting than we usually get. Back in the day (before Doctor No?) they didn't have straight action films. Instead they had war movies, Westerns, pirate movies and other genre movies. It can be said "Captain Blood" is a major pre-war action fim, and good one.

IMDB says one of Errol Flynn's early jobs was "slave recruiter". First of all that's ironic because of the clear antislavery stance  of "Captain Blood". Second: How do you recruit people to be slaves?

Last edited by Number24 (3rd Jun 2020 22:37)

9,850

Re: Last film seen...

CAPTAIN BLOOD is awesome.  I'd like to see that one again.

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