It hard to know where to place blame for this film's lack of an… MoreIt hard to know where to place blame for this film's lack of an audience connection: a terrible script that makes stilted decisions, wooden acting, or a director seemingly uninterested in any of it. Nonetheless it might pass kiddie review standards ...
Boyle's entry to the space opera category begins well; crew… MoreBoyle's entry to the space opera category begins well; crew introduction, personality dynamics, and plot direction, only the finale gets murky as the mission to save the Earth gets closer to resolution, as the ship gets closer to the sun.Still a worthy effort.
What's an urban pretty boy to do in the post-apocalypse once he's… MoreWhat's an urban pretty boy to do in the post-apocalypse once he's broken his favorite bit of indispensable technology and nobody makes replacement parts anymore? That's the opening gambit in this sci-fi romp that's more comedy/romance than sci-fi, a tip of the hat to the old pulp days of the genre. Melanie Griffiths is the star and she's actually good in this = surprise.
What gives this sword and sandal actioner it's real flavor is that it… MoreWhat gives this sword and sandal actioner it's real flavor is that it fairly reeks Nordic, from the locations to the accents and motivations ... you can nearly taste the history of the northern people's. ("Hmmm, it's a little rank ... ") Meanwhile the story is a typical one as a powerful baddie decides to take over by force, until a hero rises to ... I did say it was a typical story.
Or: I Haven't Had Quite Enough Of The Smiles These Guys Regularly Deal… MoreOr: I Haven't Had Quite Enough Of The Smiles These Guys Regularly Deal Out. Although disguised as a documentary about the boys it's really no more than an opportunity to spend just a little more time in their presence. Does it seem as if they are together some wonderful and grandiose gift from some supernatural higher power that we are collectively unworthy of, or it that just me?
Although Babs had her some little personal experience in the burlesque… MoreAlthough Babs had her some little personal experience in the burlesque game, and though she gives it her "that's show business!" all here (there's one scene she dances onstage that'd play any modern day medium ya got) she cannot save this "backstage at the burlesque"/murder whodunit that suffers from a screenplay that, while quick with the witty one-liners, unfortunately plays fast and loose with the intended conclusion.
Mel Brooks goes to the old Universal horror franchise and tries for… MoreMel Brooks goes to the old Universal horror franchise and tries for another parody homage like Young Frankenstein, this time with the vampire branch of operations. Strangely though he only chooses unknown actresses for the female leads (except for an uncomfortable cameo by his wife lampooning the great Maria Ouspenkaya) which is a substantial break in the formula. So, while laff-out-loud funny in parts, in other places not so much = an uneven offering. The result is that Peter MacNicol as Renfield is the only one in the cast who seems to know he's in a Mel Brooks comedy. Harvey Korman does a good Brit accent but essentially has nothing to do the whole piece, has only one, count 'em, one joke. A tragic misfire, but not a total loss.
Update the classic High Noon, say, set it in space, cast… MoreUpdate the classic High Noon, say, set it in space, cast uber-charismatic Sean Connery as the lead, and lose all that time wasting moral implication stuff = well, two out of three ain't bad. Who knew that all that moral stuff was actually the heart of the piece, and not the action???
And w/o those important considerations, the piece just ain't got the legs.
It does have Sean Connery though.
In a British military prison camp harsh measures are taken to "turn… MoreIn a British military prison camp harsh measures are taken to "turn these men into soldiers". When is too much discipline too much?
Excellent performances, brisk direction, spare writing all combine to make this truly a potboiler of a work that you may have never heard of.
I first saw it at a drive-in, back when it was first released, 49 years ago. Holy smoke.