Saturday 23 February 2019

Spy, action, general psychoronic weirdness - 109

The Long Voyage Home (1940 - B/W) - Might be John Ford's best. Gregg Toland's cinematography is excellent. Thomas Mitchell actually sounds Irish. John Wayne's Swedish sounds Southern.

The Canterville Ghost (1944 - B/W) - Laughton's presence fails to eniven what is transformed into a schmaltzy wartime culture clash comedy.

THE STRANGER (1946 - B/W) - Typical noir, with Orson Welles, though seeing Orson getting impaled on a motorised gargoyle is a memorable climax.

The Boy with Green Hair (1948) - Dean Stockwell in a strange, schmaltzy Oirish-tinged fantasy. But still, Stockwell proves he was always an admirably quirky performer.

The Woman In White (1948 - B/W) - Hackneyed, VERY American take on Wilkie Collins. Saw it on, so skimmed it along.

Whisky Galore (1949 - B/W) - It's picturesque, but it's not my thing. I find Ealing comedies not especially funny, though I did get tickled at Gordon Jackson playing a character called George Campbell, which in a thick Hebridean twang, sounds like "George Cowley". 

Little Red Monkey (1955 - B/W)  - Merton Park/Monogram thriller with Richard Conte, typical British B-movie excitement-induced tedium., with organ soundtrack. This sort of Brit not-quite-noir I'm not quite  a fan of, but still I have an entire Edgar Wallace box set to rifle or stifle through.

Moonfleet (1955) - I can see why Stewart Granger hated this. It's an odd film. Nothing feels authentic. The West Country setting is so obviously Hollywood, that even Fritz Lang's very European direction doesn't help. And even Joan Greenwood is out of place.

Captain Lightfoot (1955) - Similar fare with Rock Hudson, notable for being almost entirely shot in Ireland, with lots of Irish support. But not much cop, fairly anachronistic.

The Scapegoat (1959- B/W) - Dated, uninteresting melodrama with two pints of Alec Guinness for the price of one. Typical "women's picture" of the 50s. Needed more pep. Bette Davis hams it up.

In The Dog House (1961 - B/W)  - Sporadically entertaining quasi-Carry On. Peggy Cummins oddly reminiscent of Shelley Duvall. The stuff with animals trashing a brass band is fun.

The Naked Edge (1961 - B/W) - Confusing, sub-Hitchcock thriller, despite sterling cast.

Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece (1961) - Baffling live action adaptation, despite having a parrot in a helicopter.

Two Weeks In Another Town (1962) - Though not my sort of drama, interesting to note that however much an evocation of the American-Italian film industry, how much of it ironically is actually the MGM lot. George Hamilton is ridiculous.

Judex (B/W - 1963) - The soundtrack is typical Jarre, bits of Island at the Top of the World and Jesus of Nazareth crop up. Attempt by Franju to make art out of pulp. Doesn't quite work. Needs speed and verve.

Kali Yug Die Gottin Der Rache (1963)/Aufruhr in Indien (1963) - A clear attempt to repeat the success of Fritz Lang's Indian adventure. This has a strange cast Lex Barker, Ian Hunter, Michael Medwin, Senta Berger - and as Indians, Sergio Fantoni, Claudine Auger and yes - Klaus Kinski blacked up (not browned up, blacked up, this isn't just some boot polish, he is darkened to the point it becomes Uncanny Valley), plus actual Desi I.S. Johar. But while Lang's film(s) felt interesting and vivid, this lags.

7 Seas To Calais (1963) - Boring Italian-set-in-Plymouth actioner about Sir Francis Drake, with Rod Taylor and Keith Michell. 

A  Shot In The Dark (1964) - Oh well... It's a strange hybrid. At times, it's a straight mystery. When you realise Clouseau is shoehorned into a preexisting story, plus Clouseau wasn't really CLOUSEAU! until the later films, it makes sense...

Once A Thief (1965  - B/W) - Bland, arty attempt to make Alain Delon in Hollywood.

A Thousand Clowns (1965 - B/W) - Sub-Neil Simon comedy full of wiseasses, especially Jason Robards' nephew.

A High Wind in Jamaica (1965) - Susan Who and Martin Amis get adopted by pirate Anthony Quinn in this Disney-ish pirate Railway Children. Slow, hulking.

Harper (1966) - Again this kind of noir, I find a kind of proto-TV movie blandness in a lot of 60s US studio thrillers, as the studio system crumbles, made in ignorance of what is going on. 

Let's Kill Uncle (1966) - Utterly contrived cop-out kiddie matinee from William Castle. Nigel Green is fun, but it's a one-joke scenario.

Modesty Blaise (1966) - A massive folly full of "hey, it's a comic strip so it has to be random and full of circus acts, eh?", rather than a clean adventure. Dirk Bogarde I find even sillier than usual (the trouble with Bogarde is I find him ridiculous because as a twelve year old, Channel 6, a failed TV channel in Ireland would show Stella Street, and I became hooked, and John Sessions' flowery, tweedy posho just ensured I can never take Bogarde seriously). Why is there a random musical number? It's indescribably awful, rather than just bland per many spy films of the era.  Monica Vitti looks lost, and it feels improvised.

Rotten To The Core (1965 - B/W) - Stodgy heist comedy. Anton Rodgers is stifled because he's forced to inhabit a role that Peter Sellers was pegged for. Charlotte Rampling is the "crumpet".

Our Man Flint (1966)/In Like Flint (1967) - There's just something about the US Bond knockoffs that I never got. Maybe, it's the studio  backlot nature. Although these films don't have especially strong villains, which is what a good spy film needs.  All a bit too goofy. They seem to undercut everything. 

Three Fantastic Supermen (1967) - Italian superhero knockoff, where the heroes are merely acrobats who dress like superheroes for the sake of it. Energetic, but still blatantly nonsensical and irritating.

Operation Kid Brother (1967) - Even though I don't really do Eurospy films, it's hard not to enjoy probably the most blatant Italian Bond imitation of them all. I like the theme, except the bit where Kristy sings, "He seems to be the one for me" in a sexy Arthur Mullard voice. Like all the Bond knockoffs of this era made in Europe, it mistakes the weaknesses of the Connery Bonds as their strengths. Though this, in apology for the usual sexist hero, gives Lois Maxwell more to do than twenty five years as Moneypenny ever did. The American inflected dubbing is rubbish, though. The Thanatos meeting scene is a copy and paste of the British Intelligence gathering in Thunderball. But this is terribly made. Even though the Connery Bonds have dated very badly, even this, which by Eurospy standards is plush, is still a tough watch.

Danger Route (1967) - Richard Johnson in Amicus spy tosh. Little plot, just lots of affairs. Sub-ITC. Crappy back projection ahoy. Anita Harris sings the theme.

The Killing Game (1967) - Wobbly psychedelia about cartoonists with Jean-Pierre Cassel and Claudine Auger.

Les Bicyclettes de Belsize (1967) - A rather inconsequential and cloying but interesting musical short, in debt to Demy, but directed by Douglas Hickox, who hints at the style he'd perfect in Theatre of Blood.

In The Heat of The Night (1967) - I'm not a fan of films set in the South or cop thrillers. It's undoubtedly a well-made film, but I find cop films set in rural areas just not my jam. It's also kind of muddled.

Two For The Road (1967) - Isn't it just that No, Honestly with Pauline Collins and John Alderton, but with Finney and Hepburn?

The Corrupt Ones (1967) - Proto-Raiders with Robert Stack, theme by Dusty Springfield, written by Brian Clemens. 

Operation St. Peter's (1967) - Edward G. Robinson and Heinz Ruhmann (playing a character called Cardinal Braun, so that the film can be marketed as part of the Father Brown adaptations that Ruhmann starred in) in jokey, unmemorable Lucio Fulci-directed Vatican heist movie. Music by the Swingle singers. 

The next year's Vatican Story (1968) is almost the same film, but with Walter Pidgeon, and Klaus Kinski. It has a lot more style, even though it is ridiculous. Pidgeon as a blind art expert/thief. Though down to the casting of Klaus Kinski, and with the central idea of an elderly American star as the mastermind, it borrows a lot from another Edward G. Robinson Euro-heist -

Grand Slam (1967) Also starring Janet Leigh, Robert Hoffmann (TV's Robinson Crusoe), and Adolfo Celi. I'm not a fan of heist movies in general.But these two Italian heist films of this era seem to have that something that lacks from more personality obsessed heist fare and indeed  Eurospy fare. They seem more polished, more visually stimulating. They lack that skankiness. And Grand Slam has a great twist ending.  

1001 Nights (1968) - Shonky late period peplum nonsense with Raf Vallone and Luciana Paluzzi.

Boom! (1968) - I wish this Burton/Taylor indulgencefest would explode.

The Birthday Party (1968) - Maybe I dislike Pinter, but the fact it is directed by a certain Mr. Friedkin perhaps makes this uncomfortable for me. Weird to see Patrick Magee with his hair dyed brown, and looking almost his real age. Robert Shaw is a bit childish. Not much happens.

In Enemy Country (1968) - Anthony Franciosa and an incongruous Tom Bell in this Universal TV-like WW2 boreathon so obviously filmed in Little Europe.

Wonderwall (1968) - Confusing, bemusing George Harrison concoction. Surrealist cartoonish weirdness with Jack McGowran, looking quite like a consistently baffled John Hurt. Pervy, endearing scrapes with Jane Birkin, a bit Reggie Perrin, infuriating in your face at most times, but utterly unique in its own way.

Return of Monte Cristo (1968) - Pierre Brasseur is almost unrecongisable from his days of lifting girls' faces off as a drunk in this strange, decent for a Eurospy modernisation of the old story. Action-packed if quite televisual in its style. 

Golden Claws of the Cat Girl (1968) - Daniele  Gaubert in desperate female Diabolik.

Assignment K (1968) - Grim spy vehicle for Stephen Boyd. Just because it is about a toy company rep who is a spy doesn't make it the fun nonsense it sounds like.

Subterfuge (1968)  - Are we sure this isn't an episode of the Adventurer? Gene Barry potting about in London... Written by Dr. Who showrunner David Whitaker. Ron Pember shows up, and that's the highlight.

The Assassination Bureau (1969) - The sort of overblown Victorian romp I should like, but I find terribly self-indulgent and "oh, we're so clever, aren't we?". Even Frank Thornton looks smirkily. Vernon Dobtcheff in a large role billed over giallo-starlet Annabella Incontrera, George Coulouris, Jess Conrad and Kenneth Griffith.

Angel, Angel, Down We Go (1969) - Typical AIP youth nonsense, bar an attempt for Jennifer Jones to go almost psycho-biddy.  Seems to predate John Waters' oeuvre with a merrily large heroine. Obsessed with sitcom-level parachuting. Roddy McDowall plays a tennybopper drummer despite being over 40, and the Beatle wig makes him look like a bad Pat Troughton cosplayer.

The Big Cube (1969) - Would make a good double bill with the above, though much better - which isn't saying much. Lana Turner's not-quite-psychobiddy venture into hippy exploitation. Featuring "Daniel" O'Herlihy doing a sort of West Brit accent, 35-year-old George Chakiris as a college student, Swedish-Mexican Karin Mossberg may be one of the worst performances in any film I have ever seen, complete with weird Harfynn Teuport accent. It seems to think drugs make one do wacky paintings. Plus lots of Hispanic extras trying to pass as WASPs, with dubious dubbing.

Futz (1969) - AIP's farmer version of Corman's Gas. As idiotic as that sounds. 

That Smashing Bird I Used To Know (1970) - Dennis Waterman, Patrick Mower and lesbian schoolgirl Maureen Lipman in nonsensical school sexploiter.

Mr. Forbush and the Penguins (1970) - John Hurt in his cheeky scamp days  moons over Hayley Mills and chases penguins and go-go dances with them. Interminable.

The Delta Factor (1970) - RTE used to show this quite a bit. I remember it in listings, and being surprised a Christopher George starring vehicle was on. So I knew it'd be cheap-ass exploitation hell, but nowhere near as cheap and weird as this, even though it's by Raoul Walsh, Mickey Spillane and Tay Garnett, made independently in 1970, and released by Medallion, who mainly did peplum, but were part of Continental-Walter Reade, whose output was a mix of kitchen sink classics and being the folk behind the iconic double bill of Doctor Who and the Daleks and Night of the Living Dead. It feels like an Al Adamson film, and the hero, Morgan is maybe the most awful sexist hero in spy movies, and he has competition. He points out it is okay to rape a wife, as he has married his co-agent Yvette Mimieux.  And it feels like it is stuck in the 50s. Tay Garnett was 75 when he made this. Not his last film. He did a few regional family programmers for the likes of Howco.

Le Voyou (1970) - Typical arty French crime film. Attractive but not much there.

The Outside Man (1972) - Jean Louis Trintignant again, in boring American coproduction with Roy Scheider that shows how boring LA really is.

Wanda (1970) - Odd, unfriendly, uneasy feminist exploitation film.

Cover Me Babe (1970) - Hateful countercultural moviemaking satire with Sondra Locke and Robert Forster.

Mr. Superinvisible (1970) - Shonky nonsense aping Disney movies. At least Dean Jones dubs himself.

The Grissom Gang (1971) - Made by Robert Aldrich for ABC TV's film arm, Selmur, this feels quite like an episode of the Waltons (Ralph Waite even appears), and also not too far off Corman's ___ Mama films. I always found Scott Wilson a unique presence in his youth. I once met him at a lift in a con, and I did say I did like his performance in Exorcist III. The garish sets look almost Batman-esque. Kim Darby is odd, as always. Based on the Fauxmerican No Orchids for Miss Blandish. Setting it in actual rural America as opposed to a fantasyland New York jars with James Hadley Chase's unique vision of American gangland, to Britain what Karl May's American west was to Germany.  But this feels weirdly comic.

Quackser Fortune Has A Cousin In The Bronx (1971) - Weirdly, I had never seen this before. Clips, yes. Despite being a fan of Wilder, despite stories of the production being a constant in my grandad's house. It certainly paints a glorious picture of Dublin. Even though it uses that funny "Celtic" font that the 1972 Hound of the Baskervilles does. Waris Hussein ("the Indian", as my grandad derisively called him) and Gil Taylor have made Ireland look distinct. They have made Dublin look like an industrial metropolis on the edge of ruin. Some of the Doobalin accents can be a bit grating, and that's just the acting style. In fact, Wilder's goofish eejitry may be more convincingly Irish, even if the accent is odd, and his mother doesn't even look old enough to be his big sister. His accent is strange. It's similar to Pat Troughton in The Omen, in that they are somehow dirty and haggard enough to pass as Irish. But the Irish actors' performances, especially Eileen Colgan feel like they're in ads. But worth it for the picture of Dublin, Wilder adjusting his hair outside the Ambassador Cinema, full of hoardings for Oliver. The romance element with Margot Kidder is sweet,  but it's more about the man himself. There's a wonderful scene where he frees all the horses intended to be slaughtered, my grandad I think appearing somewhere. It might be Waris' best work.

Who Killed Mary Whats'ername (1971) - Peculiar hard-boiled mystery that seems to be a parody but isn't, despite weird humour moments and Red Buttons.  An early Cannon film. Feels very experimental and underground like a lot of pre-GG Cannon, the likes of Joe, which are all "hey, we're in a revolution!", but they're almost like a cousin of early Troma. Cameo by Jake Lamotta.

Lady Liberty (1971) - Idiotic comedy about Sophia Loren, William Devane and a sausage. 

Zachariah (1971) - Don Johnson in this is pretty but annoying and looks goofy when he pulls a certain face. A western but with deliberately anachronistic touches.  Dick van Patten plays a horse salesman. Nice soundtrack. But not my thing.  From the director of Wonderwall.

Mad Bomber (1972) - Drab Bert I. Gordon policier enlivened by explosions. Has a pre-Scanners body explosion of Chuck Connors.

The Assassination of Trotsky (1972) - Despite an enjoyably hammy Richard Burton, this historical Europudding is a turd.

Pickup on 101 (1972) - Peculiar attempt to crossbreed AIP youth operas with Harry and Tonto, though before the latter, with Jack Albertson, Martin Sheen and Lesley (and) Warren. Albertson has a hilarious slow motion death scene with a train that barely touches.

Innocent Bystanders (1972) - Derren Nesbitt billed over Warren Mitchell in this Stanley Baker vehicle. Weird fish-eye shots of Nelson's Column as Dana Andrews and Donald Pleasence walk, with montage shots. More exciting than the average British actioner of the era. Some of the most unconvincing doubling for NYC, i.e. a woman with poodles and some US cars, almost on a level of Superman IV. Based on a novel by Callan creator James Mitchell,  and there is a lot of that nihilistic view of spying in there, with Andrews and Cec Linder as CIA men who use torture on Baker. Pleasence plays a character called Loomis, which means he's probably a cousin of his Halloween character. But it gets rather dreary, and there's no real drive. Geraldine Chaplin isn't great, but Warren Mitchell steals it as an Akubra hat-wearng Australian-Turkish ANZAC bar owner called Droopy Drawers Omar. But there is striking production value. The ending has a silly day for night scene in "Cyprus", while we learn of a big bad called Asimov.

Gordon's War (1973) - Paul Winfield is good as always, but this is typical blaxploitation. Grace Jones pops up.

Executive Action (1973) - Bland, unexciting docudrama, almost on a Sunn Classics level, despite Lancaster, Ryan, Will Geer... Little period detail.

Hex (1973) - Awful 1910s hippie biker western horror with Gary Busey, Grizzly Adams, Keith Carradine. Nonsense. 

Wedding in Blood (1973) - Pervy Claude Chabrol arty nonsense. Does not know how to pace a thriller.

Together Brothers (1974) - A strange, not wholly successful attempt to mix docudrama, blaxploitation and the Hardy Boys. The murderer turns out to be a transvestite mama's boy who dresses like a disco Navajo chief. Nice soundtrack by Barry White, though.

Sunday in the Country (1974) - Unusual rural exploitationer. Set in a peaceful, almost Waltonsesque rural Americana (though clearly Canadian), church-going grandad Ernest Borgnine driven to torture after rapist thugs assault his granddaughter.  Slow and tonally all over the place and anticlimactic.  Another Canuck Deliverance imitation, SHOOT (1976) is a dreary, boring Canadian Borgnine rural exploiter, with Henry Silva and Cliff Robertson trotting about. 

The Driver's Seat (1974) - Another dreadful, "artistic" Anglo-Italian chunk of Lizploitation, with Andy Warhol as an English lord. 

Dead Cert (1974) - Uninteresting Dick Francis thriller with Judi Dench and Michael Williams. 

The Parallax View (1974) - An otherwise well-staged but mundane and somewhat vaguely filmed conspiracy thriller notable only for the incredible montage brainwashing. Thor cameo! Features both William Jordan and Edward Winter billed together, Winter later to take over Jordan's role in ITV filler Project UFO.

Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) - Didn't do much for me. Feels silly yet not very funny. An action film filtered through a New Hollywood buddy "bunch of eejits" movie glaze.

Capone (1975) - Fox-Corman coproduction, so heavy use of the Fox lot, which mars this artificial, TV-rate biopic with Ben Gazzara, plus a young Sylvester Stallone as Frank Nitti, but a good cast rendered identikit via lazy styling and photography. The hammier The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967) is  almost definitely better, directed by Corman and actually looks like a film, to the point you expect Jason Robards to burst into song. And progressive (Jamaican Frank Silvera as a Mafioso).

Mr. Sycamore (1975) - Quirky comedy drama that feels like a serious indie take on a Disney movie idea. Jason Robards wants to be a tree. As good as that sounds.  At the end, he wills himself. Not to be confused with dire Canuck James Coburn-Fionnula Flanagan "thriller" Mr. Patman (1980).

The Big Bus (1976) - Saw this as a kid on TV3, back when they showed weird movies. Jokes don't really work. It isn't quite outrageous to beat, say, Airport '79. It takes a while to get started. I still remembered Stockard Channing being called Kitty. The cheers joke seems to be one of the few obvious jokes. Richard Mulligan is fun as the madly-in-love yet near-divorcee to Sally Kellerman, but it's nowhere near as outrageous as it needs to be. It doesn't sparkle. The farmer's son who appears nears the end, Dennis Kort played Pike in the failed US Dad's Army pilot with Lou Jacobi. No one is given great material. It ends quite suddenly.

Crime and Passion (1976) - For years, I presumed this was a tacky Euro-romance AIP released starring Omar Sharif and Karen Black, mainly because of American International's poster. And though this isn't incorrect, as it does have lots of slushy montages and skiing, it turns out it is  an adaptation of a James Hadley Chase novel, produced by William Richert, with a strange genre-melting style not unlike his later Winter Kills, but directed by Ivan Passer. Sharif is chased by a crazed fat woman in a comedy sequence, but then a scary castle and a supposed ghost pop up, revealing this to be basically a giallo, down to the fact it was retitled in some territories, "Frankenstein's Spook Castle". However, despite  a macabre ending, involving the frozen count that Black has married, it has a happy ending for Karen and Omar. And is really just a bland Euro-romance at its heart.

Echoes of A Summer (1976) - Canadians jumping on the Italian dying child bandwagon, with Jodie Foster and Richard Harris, the latter singing the theme song, "Deirdre", which he apparently wrote himself. And indeed sounds like the work of a man from Limerick trying to combine the oeuvres of Gordon Lightfoot and Joe Dolan. It's like an extra-tedious ep of the Beachcombers. At the end, they put on a panto. Literally. See also the similar Harris venture Bloomfield, which is just as bad, if not worse. An Israeli Match of the Day meets the Champ. 

Find the Lady (1976) - It has taken me this long to see a film set in a fairground starring John Candy, Dick Emery, Mickey Rooney and Peter Cook. This Canadian-British comedy is awful, and I don't like it, because it doesn't seem to hold together at all. Emery does his voices. It's almost a sequel to Ooh, You Are Awful. Still, seeing young pre-fame Candy and the ageing Emery together is something. It feels like the New Avengers in Canada. 

American Hot Wax (1978) - 50s-set biopic/concert film about DJ Alan Freed, feels like a Pepsi ad in that very 70s portrayal of the 50s.

Money Movers (1978) - Typical 70s crime caper, very Euston but Aussie. Not quite my thing. Bryan Brown, Charles Tingwell, Jason Donovan's da and half the Skippy cast enact it.

The Brinks' Job (1978) - Not a Friedkin fan, but this is weird. Not funny, not suspenseful, an ambling TV movie-ish journey about some great character actors wasted in silly parts doing a heist.

The Driver (1978) - Not quite my film, not really into navel gazing crime stories. Though the end was more watchable, almost reminding one of Trading Places. But down and dirty crime stories don't appeal.

High Ballin' (1978) - Terrible, shoddy depressing trucker flick with Jerry Reed and Peter Fonda.

Skin Deep (1978) - Amateurish, not very funny but very open picture of 1970s New Zealand.

Zero To Sixty (1978) - "Introducing Denise Nickerson", despite already having been Violet Beauregarde. Ironically, this was her last film. And this is basically what happened next  to Violet. She's now a teenage private eye who drives about. Idiotic sub-Disney larks with Darren McGavin, Joan Collins, Sylvia Miles and the Hudson Brothers, and is dressed in baggy clothes to make her not look like a twenty one year old. She looks vaguely Krankie-ish, even when topless. Yes, and she's supposed to be underage. Yes, and she romances fiftysomething Darren McGavin. 

The Amazing Mr. No Legs (1979) - A vanity project for one Ted Vollrath, with no production value, stolen locations, variety acts to pad up time, and a few names like Lloyd Bochner and Richard Jaeckel. He's not even the hero.Directed by veteran undersea cameraman/Creature from the Black Lagoon, Ricou Browning. 

Times Square (1980) - A bland, TV movie-ish EMI thing about teenage lesbian punks in New York, astonishingly.  Murkily shot.

The Kidnapping of the President (1980) - William Shatner stars in this Canadian tax shelter thriller. Begins with the coldest looking Argentina I have ever seen. Yes, it's sunny, but that's a winter sun. Hal Holbrook is the President, Van Johnson and  Ava Gardner give guest star turns and a lot of stock footage is used to pad this nonsense out to 1hr 50 mins.

The Gong Show Movie (1980) - Terrible, mostly VT footage of the TV series badly transcribed onto film. It's the American Best of Benny Hill. But it's an invaluable document of terrible American light entertainment TV. But that's just the bits from the TV show. The new bits are awful. Someone says, "the Gong Show is now the Goon Show", with seemingly no understanding or deliberate reference.  It seems to keep going back to clips of the TV show in desperation.

Montenegro (1981) - It's like a weird, pornographic Yugoslavian family sitcom.

Cutter's Way (1981) - Cold, unfeeling, bleak noir, hampered by a bizarre performance from John Heard.

The Inquisitor (1981) - Boring Lino Ventura drama about child abuse. 

Not for Publication (1984) - Despairingly ordinary "comedy" from Paul Bartel, with Nancy Allen and David Naughton. 

Bliss (1985) - Strange, surreal but unsuccessful Aussie fantasy, bland style shows the handiwork of post-Corman New World Pictures.

Tampopo (1985) - An interesting, odd, not especially laugh-out-loud but visually interesting treatise on ramen from Toho.

Half Moon Street (1986) - Godawful erotic thriller that makes no sense, somehow features Caine and Weaver. Made in association with Showtime TV. 

Messenger of Death (1988) - Weird to have Bronson paired with Trish Van Devere (herself part of another inseperable husband/wife duo) rather than Jill Ireland. A rather lazy, unoriginal actioner that seems to think Mormons and Amish are the same thing. Ends with a public dinner party assassination.

Mystery Train (1989)  - Memphis is a nice location, but Jim Jarmusch's style is very strange. These are films in which not much happens. He's not interested in excitement.

Thieves Of Fortune (1990) - Goofy South African comedy with Michael Nouri and Lee Van Cleef, sub-Romancing the Stone, with some burning Hispanics, Africa doubling for Spain and England. 

The Ghost and the Darkness (1996) - It begins promising, but Michael Douglas' performance (in an attempt to capture the essence of his father) is embarrassing, and the action is limply directed. And Val Kilmer's accent... yeeech...

Tried Zabriskie Point, and it's two radicals moaning in the desert.

1 comment:

  1. Bloomfield out on Blu-ray soon, the specialist labels are really digging deep now.