his exciting film based on the terrifying story by Stephen King… Morehis exciting film based on the terrifying story by Stephen King contains chills , thrills , suspense , and supernatural situations . The picture succeeds because the thriller , tension , suspense , as well as a superbly written script delving into the human psyche in such extreme situation and ours instinctive urges for survival . The screenplay manages to be intelligent , intriguing and thrilling , the good thing about this film is that the director made it on an acceptable budget only having to do a few sets , yet the movie works on many levels but is constantly reconfigured . Extraordinary performance from John Cusack in his second appearance in a Stephen King film adaptation , the first was Stand by Me. The picture bears certain relation with ¨The Shining¨ both movies were also shot at the same studio - Elstree, in London . The story this film was based on was almost never written ,Stephen King originally created the first few pages of '1408' for his nonfiction book, "On Writing," as an example of how to revise a first draft. The story, however, intrigued him, and he wound up not only finishing a complete draft, but adapting it for an audio-book compilation of short stories. Colorful and evocative cinematography by magnificent cameraman Benoît Delhomme . Thrilling and suspenseful musical score by Gabriel Yared who had formerly won an Academy Award for Anthony Minghella's The English patient . The motion picture was compellingly directed by Mikael Hafstrom , an expert on terror and sinister atmospheres as proved in ¨Drowning ghost¨, ¨Evil ¨, ¨The rite¨ , and of course ¨1408¨, he's now filming ¨The Tomb¨. Rating : Good , above average . The picture will appeal to Terror buffs and Joan Cusack fans .This is without a doubt a thought-provoking and mysterious film to be liked for terror fans , turning out to be one of the most original horror movies of the last years . 3 1/2 Stars 11-6-07 (Updated)
"The Three Swords of Zorro" has resurfaced recently from well deserved… More"The Three Swords of Zorro" has resurfaced recently from well deserved obscurity, thanks to a public domain DVD release. The DVD itself sets new standards for "Low-tech" as it looks as though it was recorded from an EP VHS playback, with pathetic sound recording.
Guy Stockwell (brother of Dean) portrays the title character, orphaned son of the original Zorro (Dad's been rotting in jail for the last 15 years, and doesn't know that his abandoned son has taken up the mantle of "Defender of the oppressed"). Zorro defends the local peasantry from the evil governor's oppression, re-discovers his real father is jail and frees him and sends the corrupt Governor and his cronies to the hoosegow in the film's brief running time. He get's the girl, too!
One of the many European action flicks to flood theatres and American TV in the early 60's, "The Three Swords of Zorro" pales in comparison to more the more mainstream Zorro outings produced before and after. Tyrone Power, Antonio Banderas (and even Guy Williams) fared much better than poor Stockwell in establishing the legendary status of this famed fictional hero of Old California. 2 1/2 Stars 2/26/14
Evan Almighy is a big success. It's not the worst movie ever and it… MoreEvan Almighy is a big success. It's not the worst movie ever and it made over one hundred million dollars at the box office. Bruce Almighty is better, but Evan Almighty deserves credit. This time around, congressman Evan Baxter has to build an ark before God punishes the world with a flood. Steve Carell did a good job, even though once or twice he got on my nerves. He was pretty funny. I think the funniest parts of the film is when Wanda Sykes is in it. She is made me laugh the most. It kind of amazes me that this comedy can turn into a CGI thriller in a blink of an eye. The effects were awesome, as with most big-budget movies. I recommend this film to everyone. 5 Stars 12-12-07 (Updated)
From The Mill Creek 50 Movie Dark Crime Collection. ou really have to… MoreFrom The Mill Creek 50 Movie Dark Crime Collection. ou really have to put your brain on auto pilot to watch this flick, because not a whole lot of it makes any sense. I can see where you could come up with a boxing story with the basic premise of fixing the big match by committing murder, but why in the world would you go to the trouble of killing a couple of palookas along the way on the outside chance of getting to Madison Square Garden? The movie is filled with a lot of 'Whys?', and I keep asking myself why they were in there.
Like this - did I hear this right? Claire (Lucille Lund) explains she can't marry Gene Harris (Eddie Nugent) for seven years because he just got out on parole. What?! Where's that in the marriage rule book? Claire just might be the most unbelievable character in the story; can you imagine someone like her hooking up with Monte Blue as fight manager Bert? You would think he'd be the first guy she would want to take out after the first amorous advance.
I'm convinced that B movie writers of the era regularly failed to put their stories up to a sniff test for even a hint of believability. Chinese herb poison in the towel that absorbs into the bloodstream resulting in death? If that were the case, Charlie Chan would have come across it in one of his flicks for sure.
I can sometimes get long winded panning films like this but I'll keep this one mercifully short. I'll just close on one more element that defies explanation. Why have Corky the Dog portray Babe the Dog. Why not just let him keep his own name? And why not have HIS picture on the little doggy grave at the end of the picture? Sorry, I said one more element. I couldn't help it. 2 Stars 2-25-14
The Fantastic Four are back the following sequel to the first… MoreThe Fantastic Four are back the following sequel to the first Fantastic Four this time there back in Fantastic Four Rise of The Silver Surfer witch is more fun then the first but still not great The most happiest thing about this Fantastic Four is that Director Tim Story boosted up the action witch was a major flaw in the first the story seems to progress much faster and the characters seem more interesting the story lines seem to be much similar to other 2nd super hero films such as wanted to give up and quite the team much like we seen the hero's quiting in Spider-Man 2 and Superman 2 but this film doesn't quite get anywhere or really get serious with that storyline the main story line is the Silver Surfer a famous character in the marvel comics keeps us not knowing if he's a good guy or a bad guy in the film we think he's the bad guy but we see towards the end of the film he doesn't want to but he's just summand to earth by his leader Galactus who many believe is a giant storm cloud as a comic boom fan myself i am very disappointed with Galactus witch is probably the biggest and most disappointing flaw of the whole film but then again they prolly never had the budget to create him. We also see in this film the return of Dr. Doom who helps reed and the army capture surfer but again turns against them Dr. Doom's look as improved over the first at least this time the mask fits the actors head the special effects and cgi in the film is well done in the most parts of the film. 3 Stars 12-01-07 (Updated)
"Dumplings" tells the tale of a former doctor, who operates a dumpling… More"Dumplings" tells the tale of a former doctor, who operates a dumpling shop from her home with a secret youth creating ingredient. A former actress, past her prime seeks out this special food created by Aunt Mei in order to attract her adulterous husband's attention. Fruit Chan makes no attempt to imply or hide the secret ingredient from the audience, but rather lays out the premise from the beginning, while increasing the graphic details throughout the film. This film explores some disturbingly probable themes, especially how far people will go to reclaim their youth, and the emphasis society places on looking young. He manages to explore the repercussions of this quest for youth, while still leaving some details up to the interpretation of the viewer. The film is exquisitely shot, with some amazing angles and close-ups surrounded by beautiful cinematography, and set design. He manages to bring the viewer into the world of the characters making the theme all the more real and disturbing. Fruit Chan accomplishes this realism by juxtaposing Aunt Mei's blunt and complacent attitude with Mrs. Li's deterioration into desperation. Definitely not for the squeamish, or easily disturbed. To some this topic will be upsetting. However, for those who like something a little different, or fans of such directors as takashi miike or chan wook park, you will love it. I enjoyed it thoroughly. 3 1/2 Stars 2-19-14
Watched "Three... Extremes" last night, and it was insanely good, but… MoreWatched "Three... Extremes" last night, and it was insanely good, but This is the grossest three Asian Horror Films I have ever seen in my life. All three stories I thought were very thought provoking, and again a little frustrating. Here's a short review...
Box-Takashi Miike (Japanese Language) This is a nightmarish tale of a woman's horrifying dreams becoming reality, but then again, maybe not. That's the difficulty with this story, there is so much surrealism, that it's hard to tell. I liked the story, some of which was very frightening. The ending however is completely totally bizarre, and it totally left me clueless as to what Miike intended for the viewer to take away from this, if anything. This is the weakest of the three stories, but still very interesting and definitely requires multiple viewings.
Dumplings-Fruit Chan (Chinese Language) This little story is my favorite of the bunch and also very very disturbing and pretty gruesome. Not because of gore or anything like that, but because of the subject matter. It's no secret or spoiler that this movie is about vanity and a women's need to enhance her physical appearance to try and win her husband back from his whoring around. It concerns as most of you know, the grisly meat a former lady abortionist uses to treat her rich clients vanity needs. This movie made me squirm on more than one occasion as the woman chomps down on the dumplings with a wicked crunching sound of tiny bones. This story has a lot of humor but it is very dark and totally black humor. Some may call it totally sick humor, and all would apply in my opinion. The ending is very confusing for me, especially one particular scene and I hope somebody explains it to me. I'm not talking about the grand finale, where the leading lady commits the ultimate gross-out, but the scene with all the blood where some guy has been attacked by a women. This appears to happen at the apartment of Aunt Mei, and then it shows her packing up and leaving. What was that all about? Who was the woman covered in blood, and the guy that was attacked? Anyway, the grand finale as Ching looks directly into the camera and commits what must be THE ultimate sin is flat out creepy as hell. Excellent short story, and now I'm thinking whether I need to see the extended version.
Cut-Chan-wook Park (Korean Language) Now this is one gruesome story, which revolves around a movie director (Lee) and a former extra of his that's gone completely insane and terrorizes the director and his wife at their home. Park's short story touches on adultery, relationships, regret, fame and childhood memories - as well as featuring amputation, torture, child abuse, and a crazy set - as Lee and his kidnapper spar until the shocking (but not altogether satisfying) end. In fact, the ending is the only bad part about this otherwise intriguing story. This is the most graphic of the three stories, and the most brutal. But the twists and turns that happen towards the end, tend to confuse the whole story. Nevertheless, this is a great little horror movie, and now I'm very hyped to watching my new DVD of Park's "Oldboy".
Summary This is one of the most entertaining dvds in the horror genre to come out of Asian for a long time. With three short movies totally over two hours, it makes a great evening of demented entertainment by three exotic filmmakers. The second disc which contains a text portion which explains the plot of each story, and then a "Making Of" extra for all three stories is very good. It's always interesting to see how these directors work and the interviews with the actors is excellent. The other thing I found interesting with this package, is that each movie is in a different language which intrigues me. Since I'm watching so many Asian movies recently, I find the languages of the Chinese, Korean, and Japanese to be so different, but then again similar. This is especially true with "Cut" which has the psycho maniac speaking in a totally different Korean dialect which is almost funny to me being a Westerner, and the other actors speaking in the standard Korean language. Not sure why they did that, but the interview with the actor playing the psycho said he had a very hard time learning and speaking that interesting dialect. I had to watch several parts of each movie over again after I finished the first viewing, because it's pretty hard to figure out what the hell's going on with one viewing. I'll never forget those chilling eyes of Ching in the closing scenes of "Dumplings" and that crunching sound as she enjoys her latest and most extreme serving of dumplings. yum yum........ 4 Stars 2-20-14
From The Mill Creek 50 Movie Dark Crimes Collection. This film-noir… MoreFrom The Mill Creek 50 Movie Dark Crimes Collection. This film-noir may look like a B-film, but it contains two powerful pieces of work, that of actor Edward G. Robinson and composer Miklos Rozsa.
A strange tale, "The Red House" benefits from one of Robinson's most flavorful performances, as a man harboring a dark secret past which returns to haunt him. Ably supporting Robinson is the strong Judith Anderson as the sister, the fine Lon McCallister as a callow but earnest youth, and the striking Rory Calhoun in one of his most impressive roles.
Directed in a somewhat standard fashion by Delmer Davis, interest is maintained by uniformly strong performances, and an extensive, full orchestral score by Miklos Rozsa. As in countless other films, Rozsa, inspired by Ravel (and the generic Debussy) weaves a wall-to-wall tapestry of psychological tension, further raising this enactment above its ordinary production design.
Devotees of Robinson can enjoy their favorite actor in his 53rd film, made at the peak of his powers. His unique film presence boasted a career of 99 films in 57 years, which was preceded by a 15-year stint on the New York stage. Robinson proved that one doesn't have to be unusually handsome to be a star, nor be relegated to minor character parts. Indeed, Robinson played leads in countless classics, with nary a weak performance. Few actors can make that claim.
The DVD transfer is not a restored print, and contains several stretches of poor audio and scratchy images. On a series called, "Hollywood Tough Guys," put out by Madacy Entertainment, one can still be grateful that "The Red House" is available, as respresentative of both Robinson's and Rozsa's unique contribution to film. 3 1/2 Stars 11-10-13
Another Movie from the Mill Creek Mean Guns 20 Pack. Although I have… MoreAnother Movie from the Mill Creek Mean Guns 20 Pack. Although I have seen some bad movies in my day this will certainly rank up there and could be the worst western I have ever encountered. The directing is poor and so are allot of the camera angles that were shot that are just flat out annoying. Another trait of the bad movie that they choose to over abuse here is the silly diabolical laughter that has to be doled out at every and any chance two characters come in contact with each other....I mean jeez, just say your piece and end the scene. The basis of the movie is this band of bad acting desperadoes party with a group of indians and discover gold. Believing they know were there is a serious stash of the stuff wipe out everyone, (with plenty of diabolic laughter) and take a hostage. Another Indian later shows up and upset by what he sees decides he is going to settle the score and provide some sense of revenge for us the viewer who's only crime was sitting down to watch the movie in the first place.
This movie if you can find it for a buck is worth a look if you are like myself that has to watch any movie he can find for a dollar. If your not then this is not for you. 1 1/2 Stars 2-17-14
"Octopussy", the 13th James Bond movie, is Roger Moore's best 007… More"Octopussy", the 13th James Bond movie, is Roger Moore's best 007 picture. This is a very entertaining adventure with some excellent performances from the cast. "Octopussy" takes 007 to India and Germany were he gets in way over his head trying to avenge the death of a fellow agent by stopping some seriously nasty jewelry smugglers who were involved in the death of agent 009. Moore gives his best performance as Bond, and he's surrounded by a terrific cast. Maud Adams (Octopussy) and Kristina Wayborn (Magda) are wonderful as the Bond women; Louis Jourdan (Kamal Khan) and Kabir Bedi (Gobinda) are excellent as two of the main villains. All the other actors in "Octopussy" are cast to perfection except one: Steven Berkoff goes way over-the-top in his portrayl of the third villain, Soviet General Orlov. This character is just too silly here, and I'd wish the writers would have taken this character out. His prescene mars what would have made this a perfect film. However, this character doesn't appear in the film as much as the other two villains and that's good. Berkoff played a much better villain in "Beverly Hills Cop", which came out a year-and-a-half after this. Here, he overacts. Aside from that, "Octopussy" is one of the best James Bond movies ever made. And, Desmond Llewelyn gives one of his funniest performances here as gadgetmeister Q. Lots and lots of fun. 4 Stars 2-16-14