Dansmith14

IMDb member since July 2004
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Gemini Man
(1976)

Boring
It was a very boring show; slick, good looking and sharp. The general gist of it was that a man touched his Omega watch and turned invisible. It was put on as retaliation to The Invisible Man which was a much more sophisticated and elegant animal.

There was an obligatory husky voice over and pin sharp editing but it pushed disbelief just one step too far. The soundtrack was horns and stabbing but the clarion didn't really come off for anything other than switch over and put something else on.

Hugo
(2011)

Pension Plan
Couldn't see the Maestro's hand no matter how hard I watched. It's very slick and does nothing wrong but it doesn't too much right either. The production values and acting are spot on but there are holes in the script and the jokes and values telegraph themselves way before.

However, don't take it too much to heart (I am 48) and my niece was entranced. Nice to see The Maestro changing genres again and I hope for my niece it is the same experience I had with After Hours which virtually changed my world view when I saw it as a seventeen-year-old.

Anyway, nice to see he's still working.

Open Season 3
(2010)

Fell Down On Distribution
It's a shame Hollywood is churning out so many films these days; this was a formulaic film that ticked all the right boxes but ended up in the bargain tub.

Lots of good things come up in basements and bargain bins; and I hope someone digs this out and at least gives it an airing on TV.

Many actors do their best work; Stallone, Italian Stallion, Madonna, A Certain Sacrifice; which find their way into video shops, but are too graphic for young people; but not dirty enough for teenagers.

Anyway; one of the great directors said: "they are like orphaned children and you love them a little bit more."

Luna
(1983)

Ms. Kensit
Luna was a charming children's tea time comedy; starring Patsy Kensit as the alien girl in a family. Dressed in close-fitting clothes and skirt (ahem), Patsy knocked everybody dead including this fourteen year old boy.

With a supporting cast of nurturing parents and family, Ms. Kensit's spaced-out performance was at once singular and projecting all at the same time.

Being ITV it was a bit dayglow but it was a nice little drama from happier times.

Lion
(2016)

Technical
I'm not going to criticise the artistic side. The technical aspect was wonderful, full vision, 5.1 Sound Surround; echoing FX cues: truly a modern masterpiece and a technical achievement. The camera-work was superb and lured and lulled the viewer. Really enjoyed it and it showed the complexity of film. The titles were clean and alluring with none of the gimmickry associated with other titles.

There were lenses on some of the cameras and some tricky camera pulling which added to the film rather than detract from it. Never laboured, but with sleight of hand, Lion delivered a satisfying whole which is a compliment to the Producers, Studio, and Production Team.

Le grand bleu
(1988)

Good
I had always winced at the idea of watching The Big Blue - the title, on release, put me off. Anyway, for my 48th birthday I puckered up and watched it; and what a relief I have.

It's a great film...very mildly directed, but actually puts a bit of magic back into film (are you listening, Hollywood?)

The acting is first-rate; and there is a great number of stars, which is good for people of a certain age (yes, I do mean me).

Technically and Production Value-wise it is a peerless. Luc Besson sure knows how to place the camera for the maximum reward; and the music is faint, yet pleasing, courtesy of Eric Serra.

Lovely to watch, it has put a spring in my step all day.

Closing Ranks
(1988)

Excellent Drama Doc on Policing
Closing Ranks was an excellent drama doc, from the esteemed Mr. Graef about the Police force, and how, in the 1980's it was very difficult for normal people to find out exactly what had happened in terms of death in custody, public disorder and so on.

Beautifully shot and acted it was a sobre look at how our streets are policed and some of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that goes on with the cops.

The central drama was good as was the overall motif about policing, civil life and the sometimes messy area where everything gets smudged.

Critical, without being rude; Mr. Graef shone a light.

A-Z of Horror
(1997)

Great Idea
When I was a student at Hull University, in the early 1990's I applied for a BBC Production Job with the pitch for The Intelligent Horror film, films I loved as a teenager. I got the lecturers's secretary to type it up on her golfball.

Anyway I didn't get the job, but a few year's later I was living in Muswell Hill and rang the BBC on spec and landed a tiny role on this show.

It was in White City and I rang up a few shops to get some black paint for the Production.

It was a free, internship, but I met Dev and the researcher, and a few of the other members of staff who were swanning around White City; both of whom were very nice.

Pity I couldn't afford to work there!!!!!

Crimewave
(1985)

Kinetic
I loved this film when I saw it on BBC 2 midweek in about 1989. Fast, furious and very funny Crimewave jumps out of the screens in a hullabuloo of noise and shapes. I don't think it would be popular with everyone but I was still a teenager when I saw it and it appealed to me very much.

I think it was Sam Raimi's second outing in the chair and was less anticipated than his other films. However, the trademarks where still there and it was obvious that Raimi was a major talent with lots of signatures. Busy in the extreme, Crimewave is fairly unapologetic in its needs and doesn't Kow-Tow to anyone apart from itself...I think the Latin is Sui Generis.

Bruce Campbell was brilliant, as were the rest of the cast and the action is pretty non-stop and hilarious. A must for anyone interested in neglected/below the radar movies and devotees of Sam Raimi's oeuvre. Put your head back and laugh.

Muck and Brass
(1982)

Good Early Night TV
Muck and Brass was a good stand alone drama on Independent TV midweek. The plot concerned a northern family and their industry. The acting was first rate and the story lines involving. Muck and Brass was definitely a drama but the characters were stock in trade northerners, which actually made it much easier to follow. I wouldn't say it was comic but there was a certain humanity to the pathos which made the show stick in the mind long after it departed the screens. Technically proficient it was edited and art directed to give a fairly sumptuous production value. Pompous, but in an entertaining way. Strong characterisation and a recognisable storyline made Muck And Brass a genre piece without becoming a cliché.

Pallas
(1991)

Remake
This is a remake of the show that was a spoof on Dallas in the 1980's - why the producers decided to return to such a such a threadbare storyline is anybody's guess - however, there is a veritable role call of stars - presumably they didn't have anything better to do that day.

Richard E. Grant should go back to South Africa, as should Naylor et al. It wasn't funny then and it isn't funny now, when are these people going to get lives and do something constructive with them? Presumably it was a tax dodge to make a fool of themselves on national TV and get away without paying any income tax that year.

Anyway, it has resurfaced like a bad penny and needs to be bludgeoned over the head by a Policeman.

Dying Young
(1991)

Catchy Title - great photography
I'd always wanted to see Dying Young - with its catchy title.

Enjoyed the movie; it's certainly a concept movie; leukaemia patient finds love with his nurse. The production values were absolutely superb as were the interiors and the costumes.

Julia Roberts was great, as was Campbell Scott, and a hint of menace from Vincent D'onofrio.

Enjoyed the wide open vistas of California and the gorgeous towns and building built along the coast The soundtrack was good with a mix of popular and orchestral.

Thoroughly recommend this film as a good all round concept movie which should please most people in the family.

The Black Panther
(1977)

Blood Money
We were all sick to our stomachs when this thing came out in 1977.

The Leslie Whittle case had rolled across the news for months and months and most kids were afraid to go out at night.

Kaye Alexander looked sick to her stomach every time she read the news.

For some opportunistic cast, producer and director to capitalise on the crime and Whittle family misery to make a few quid was absolutely disgusting.

It was centre stage in our local video shop for months and I don't think anyone hired it about from the local weirdos and paedos.

Cheapskate media is always willing to have a laugh at our expense.

Video nasty? Made all the porn films look tame. Hang your heads in shame.

Out of Bounds
(1977)

Good Kids TV drama
It came with a Kraftwerk theme tune, which I think was Autobahn; which put a lot of people off TV and into music - but hey, that's business! Really good photography and the action sequences were just wonderful. The performances were good and the staging of a drama in a school gymnasium was really good too.

Good programming for the 1970's - god knows what kids watch on TV these days but I hope that it is as good and wholesome as Out Of Bounds was.

Can't really picture any of the stars of the show or remember much of the plot.

Tight angles and quick editing made it a really good show that has sunk into my memory quite strongly. As dramas on the box go this one was really good.

Skyfall
(2012)

Great Film For The Dramatic Arts
The acting is completely superb; Judi Dench, Daniel Craig et al really sell the movie.

The directing is strong too; Mendes really creates good pictures and I'll be surprised if some of the iconography doesn't start pitching up in the popular press anyday soon.

Adele's song is a great vehicle for the film and overall I really enjoyed it.

For me though, as I said at the top it is the performances that really carry the film. Javier Bardem adds some new colour to the franchise and is the best baddie that the Bond team have had for a while. Naomi Harris was absolutely delicious as Eva and it was probably good that some of the bump and grind from some of the earlier films has been consigned to history.

Bravo all round.

Malice Aforethought: Episode #1.3
(1979)
Episode 3, Season 1

I Loved It
We sat around as a family and watched this masterful drama and the slow unravelling of the victims and the criminal.

The acting was superb and the entire show was put together with consummate craft and care.

It tickled parts of me that were difficult to reach and had a mordant suffocating creepiness as the characters justified their sad lives and the actions they performed within the drama.

The music was soft and well scored and provided a subtle carriage for the visuals.

All in all SWEET!

The Ghost Writer
(2010)

Good Saturday Night Telly
It was a good film for Saturday night telly (which is saying something) and I quite enjoyed it.

The acting was really good - Ewan Macgregor especially was very believable, while Olivia Williams credible as the caring wife.

Interesting angle for a film as ghostwriters aren't normally very interesting to Hollywood film producers.

Pierce Brosnan carried his role with aplomb and was every inch the Politician.

The sets were great and the directing sound (as would be expected from a master of the genre).

Not Polanski's strongest work but as I said at the top, it was good for Saturday night TV.

Good to see a film about current events and a nod to Tony Blair.

C'est arrivé près de chez vous
(1992)

Great film for 20 something nobodies
Me and my mate went to see this film in 1992 when it came out.

We were 20 something nobodies in London. It was the only friend we had and I think it still is!!!!

We howled all the way through.

The sangfroid with which the killer dispatches his victims. The gutless bumbling of the film crew were just brilliant.

The pieces to camera were great as was the black and white photography.

If I could get a copy of the poster I would hang it on my wall!

Perfect for 20 something nobodies and one of the best experiences I have had in the cinema.

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