Author Topic: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar  (Read 108395 times)

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #555 on: July 09, 2015, 02:34:03 PM »
Revenge of the Zombies (5-025539-960583)
United States 1943 | Released 2001-09-03 on DVD from Orbit Media
59 minutes | Aspect ratio Non-anamorphic 1.33:1 | Audio: English Dolby Digital Mono
Directed by Steve Sekely and starring John Carradine, Gale Storm, Robert Lowery, Bob Steele, Mantan Moreland

Down in the Bayou scientist John Carradine is creating a Zombie army for the Nazis. His wife played by Veda Ann Borg has also been made into a Zombie and when her relatives arrive to investigate her mysterious death, they begin to unearth the evil doings of the mad Dr. Max Heinrich von Altermann. Can they stop him before his army is unleashed on the world?

My thoughts about Revenge of the Zombies:
Why Revenge of the Zombies, you may ask. Well, the other day I watched Voodoo Woman. Feel free to read my review of that one to understand why I watched it. It came on a double feature DVD. And guess what the second feature was ... Revenge of the Zombies.

I wouldn't have bought Revenge on its own, but now I had it. And I noticed that it was directed by Steve Sekely who directed one of my guilty pleasures, The Day of the Triffids, so I figured "How bad can it be?"

Apart from Triffids, the only other Steve Sekely film I had seen was Waterfront, which I thought was OK, even if it was no masterpiece. But Revenge of the Zombies? The best thing about it is that it's short - 61 minutes (59 with PAL speed-up). The worst thing - in my opinion - is Mantan Moreland doing his "Scared Negro" routine. And yes, I know that the n-word is considered derogatory, but Moreland's whole schtick IS derogatory, so it fits. I guess this kind of thing was acceptable in the 30s and 40s, but it sticks out like a sore thumb today.

As for the zombies, well suffice to say that pre Night of the Living Dead movie zombies weren't very scary. Here they mostly walk around like obedient robots. And as for John Carradine, he is quoted as saying "I am a ham! And the ham in an actor is what makes him interesting." Well, I'd agree with the first part of that statement. But personally I never found him terribly interesting. Given how prolific his career was, I guess I'm in a minority there.

The story is thin, but not entirely uninteresting. However, this being a Monogram picture, everything about it has that Monogram cheapness. So my advice would still be - move along, nothing to see here.
I rate this title

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #556 on: July 23, 2015, 04:10:25 PM »
The Great Race (085391-109129)
United States 1965 | Released 2002-06-04 on DVD from Warner Home Video
160 minutes | Aspect ratio Anamorphic 2.35:1 | Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital Mono
Directed by Blake Edwards and starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Peter Falk, Keenan Wynn

Crank your engines! With a roar, sputter and pop (and more Academy Award®-winning Best Sound Effects*), drivers wheel westward in wacky turn-of-the-century autos for a New York-to-Paris race. Ahead lie 20,000 miles, a barroom brawl, a sinking iceberg, 2,357 pies in the face and incalculable laughs.

Blake Edwards turns a marvelous cast loose on a round-the-world highway booby-trapped by some of the funniest screen gags ever. Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk are nasty Professor Fate and his dim henchman Max. Tony Curtis is their good-guy nemesis, the Great Leslie. And Natalie Wood is cheroot-puffing suffragette reporter Maggie DuBois. Zestily scored by Henry Mancini and ravishing in a new digital transfer with revitalized digital audio from restored elements, The Great Race is great fun!

*1965

My thoughts about The Great Race:
The Great Race is a fun movie with many great gags but it has some problems.

The great humor in the movie comes mainly from Professor Fate's misadventures. The trouble is that the movie spends too much time in various subplots, making it drag. At 2 hours 40 minutes it's almost an hour too long. I guess long roadshow movies with intermission were very much in vogue in the sixties. But there just isn't enough story to support it.

The film could do without the suffragette subplot. In fact, as much as I love Natalie Wood, her character could go as well. The Great Leslie isn't very exciting, but he is necessary as a foil for the professor. Miss Dubois isn't.

The saloon sequence is nicely done, and I like Dorothy Provine's song "He Shouldn't-a, Hadn't-a, Oughtn't-a Swang on Me!", but the whole sequence would work better in another movie. Here it just slows things down.

Likewise the whole Prince Hapnik subplot, although I have to admit that the pie throwing sequence is hilarious. And then there is a subplot within the subplot; the takeoff on The Prisoner of Zenda. It is quite good, but again not really relevant to the main story.

The unfortunate result of this is that the funniest part of the movie is the part before the race actually starts. Then the story starts to bog down. Sure, there are several good laughs within the race as well, but it never really lives up to the expectations that were built up before.

In comedy, repetition is part of the fun. Up to a point. I feel that Blake Edwards is milking "Push the button, Max" a little too much. But even though the film is much too long, it's worth watching (and re-watching) just for Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk.
I rate this title

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #557 on: July 25, 2015, 04:44:36 PM »
Guardians of the Galaxy (8-717418-440114)
United States 2014 | Released 2014-11-24 on Bluray from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
121 minutes | Aspect ratio 2.40:1 | Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Spanish DTS 5.1, Hindi DTS 5.1, Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo, Commentary Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo
Directed by James Gunn and starring Chris Pratt, Zoë Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper

From Marvel, the studio that launched the epic franchises of Marvel's Iron Man, Marvel's Thor, Marvel's Captain America and Marvel's Avengers Assemble, comes an unlikely new team – the Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe expands into the cosmos when brash adventurer Peter Quill steals a coveted orb and becomes the object of a relentless bounty. To evade his enemies, Quill forges an uneasy truce with Rocket, a gun-toting racoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly assassin Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb, he must rally his ragtag band of misfits for a desperate battle that will decide the fate of the galaxy. Featuring amazing new characters and exclusive bonus features, this must-own blockbuster will have you hooked on a feeling... of pure adrenaline!

My thoughts about Guardians of the Galaxy:

Curiosity got the better of me. I should have known I was going to dislike this movie strongly. And here is why:
- As a general rule I seldom like movies that are over 2 hours. It takes a lot to keep me interested that long.
- As a general rule I don't like anything Marvel. Daredevil is the exception. The show, that is, not the movie. God no, not that!
- I don't like overuse of CGI. For me less is more. And there are few more "lessless" movies than this one.

It's not entirely without merit, though. It has a few great songs on the soundtrack. Especially the one with Björn Skifs & Blåblus. Oh, yeah, most of you may not know who they are. That's because that name would have been hopeless in an international launch of that song. So you might know them as Blue Swede instead. Björn is still going strong and performing, 68 years old.

This was a one star movie for me, but I'm adding another half star for Björn and for dancing baby Groot.
I rate this title

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #558 on: August 10, 2015, 02:30:44 PM »
Contamination (5-027035-012827)
Italy 1980 | Released 2015-07-06 on Bluray from Arrow Video, Arrow Films
95 minutes | Aspect ratio 1.85:1 | Audio: English PCM Mono, Italian PCM Mono, Commentary Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo
Directed by Luigi Cozzi and starring Ian McCulloch, Louise Marleau, Marino Masé, Siegfried Rauch, Gisela Hahn

Starring Italian horror veteran Ian McCulloch (Zombie Flesh Eaters), Contamination, from director Luigi Cozzi (Starcrash, Hercules) is one of the brightest stars in the firmament of early '80s Italian Splatter.

A cargo ship drifts into New York harbour. Its crew: all dead, their bodies horribly mutilated, turned inside-out by an unknown force. Its freight: boxes upon boxes of glowing, pulsating green eggs. It soon becomes clear that these eggs are not of this planet, and someone intends to cultivate them here on Earth. But who? And to what end?

Contamination takes the premise of Ridley Scott's classic Alien and peppers it with exploding guts galore and a dangerously infectious soundtrack from celebrated Italian prog-rockers Goblin (Deep Red, Suspiria).

My thoughts about Contamination:
First of all, let's make it clear what this film is not. It's not an Alien ripoff. The eggs are clearly inspired by Alien, but that's pretty much it. And another thing - it's not a big budget movie. In part it looks better than it deserves, especially on Arrow's blu-ray release. Some of the acting is so-so, but judging Italian actors by the English dubbing is a bit unfair. Ian McCulloch is quite OK.

Why this was classified as a video nasty is beyond me. I guess it was because of the exploding bodies, but they look more comical than horrific. Back in 1980 no Swedish distributor even tried to get it past the censors. Well, those were different times. Today it hardly raises any eyebrows.

I watched this the first time 12 years ago. I gave it three stars back then. Today I like it just a little bit better. Perhaps because I know what to expect. Or more importantly, what not to expect. And perhaps because the blu-ray looks so good.
I rate this title

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #559 on: August 17, 2015, 11:32:56 AM »
The Castle of Fu Manchu (827058-100892)
Spain 1969 | Released 2003-09-30 on DVD from Blue Underground
92 minutes | Aspect ratio Anamorphic 1.78:1 | Audio: English Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo
Directed by Jess Franco and starring Christopher Lee, Richard Greene, Tsai Chin, Maria Perschy, Howard Marion-Crawford

Christopher Lee returns as the diabolical super-villain who along with his sadistic daughter Lin Tang (Tsai Chin of THE BRIDES OF FU MANCHU and THE JOY LUCK CLUB) creates a fiendish new chemical weapon that will turn the seas into a giant block of ice. But when his Archenemy Nayland Smith (Richard Greene of TALES FROM THE CRYPT) tracks the madman's trail of kidnapping, murder and massive global destruction, he himself becomes trapped in Fu's impenetrable lair of cruelty. Can any of the world's top secret agents (including a wild performance by Director Jess Franco) now stop the cold-blooded terror that lives in the CASTLE OF FU MANCHU?

Maria Perschy (99 WOMEN) and Rosalba Neri (JUSTINE) co-star in this notorious sequel to THE BLOOD OF FU MANCHU directed by Jess Franco (THE BLOODY JUDGE, VAMPYROS LESBOS) that marked Christopher Lee's final performance as the infamous Chinese madman. This definitive edition of THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU has been newly restored from it's original print and packed with exclusive new Extras for a disc full of Fu Manchu mayhem!

My thoughts about The Castle of Fu Manchu:
I recently got the idea that I should rewatch all five Fu Manchu movies starring Christopher Lee. And I did so in the span of three days. Producer Harry Alan Towers is supposed to have said that Jess Franco managed to do what no one else could - he killed Fu Manchu. And I'm rather inclined to agree, although I think that Towers must bear part of the responsibility. After all, he re-hired Franco for this second film!

So, The Castle of Fu Manchu was the nail in the coffin for the Fu Manchu franchise. And when you watch all five films in close order, the start of Castle really makes no sense. But in order to explain why, I need to describe the ending of The Brides of Fu Manchu.

In Brides, Fu Manchu has developed a weapon that transmits energy in the form of radio waves. When enough energy is transmitted, the receiver turns the radio waves back into energy with a force of a big bomb. And the explosion is supposed to level a large part of London. But the signal is being jammed, and Fu Manchu orders his henchmen to turn up the output beyond the safe level. Feng (played by Burt Kwouk) protests and tries to retract the lever. Fu Manchu shoots him, and when Feng falls on the lever he pushes it down to the point where Fu Manchu's entire lair is blown sky high.

Now, at the beginning of Castle we see the exact same sequence. So is this a flashback? No, because this time the target is not London, but a passenger ship in the Caribbean. And this time the machinery somehow creates an iceberg. So, if this is not a flashback, what is it? Are we supposed to believe that Fu Manchu built a new lair just like the old one, and now commits the same fatal error as he did the last time, in exactly the same fashion? A genius like Fu Manchu? And since he already killed Feng, I guess that this time it's Feng's twin brother being shot?

The fact that the sequence showing the stricken ship is actually lifted from the black-and-white movie A Night to Remember (about the sinking of Titanic) doesn't really make things any more believable. Later in the movie there is even more borrowed scenes, a dam collapse lifted from Campbell's Kingdom.

I guess Franco (like many a b-movie director) is an acquired taste, and one that I never really have acquired. The only Franco film that I have really liked was The Bloody Judge, also with Christopher Lee.

Christopher Lee adds something to any film that he appears in, but even he can't save The Castle of Fu Manchu from being a hopeless mess. Recommended only if you are a Christopher Lee, Jess Franco or Fu Manchu completist. Or if you are a masochist.
I rate this title
« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 11:34:38 AM by GSyren »

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #560 on: August 19, 2015, 08:10:10 PM »
Howling II (5-055201-810359)
United States 1984 | Released 2010-01-18 on DVD from Optimum Home Entertainment
87 minutes | Aspect ratio Anamorphic 1.85:1 | Audio: English Dolby Digital Mono
Directed by Philippe Mora and starring Christopher Lee, Annie McEnroe, Reb Brown, Marsha Hunt, Sybil Danning

Following on from the first Howling the details of TV journalist Karen White's death remain a mystery. During her funeral her brother Ben is approached by a strange figure by the name of Stefan Crosscoe. Stefan claims to be a werewolf hunter and is convinced that Karen had transformed into a creature of the night. He is also convinced that a supernatural uprising is about to take grip of the world. An uprising lead by the evil wolf queen Stirba: mother of all harlots and all abominations of the earth. From the mean streets of L.A. to the surreal, hazardous lands of Transylvania, Ben and Stefan have vowed to destroy any beast that stands in their way and Stirba's plans of world domination.

Originally titled Stirba: Werewolf Bitch and directed by Philippe Mora (Communion, Pterodactyl Women From Beverly Hills), Howling II stars horror legend Christopher Lee (The Wicker Man, I, Monster) and unforgettable B-movie pin-up Sybil Danning (Amazon Women On The Moon, Panther Squad, Chained Heat).

My thoughts about Howling II:
It took me a long while before I decided to watch Howling II. I had heard that it was bad. But then I thought, it's got Christopher Lee, how bad can it be? How bad can it be? This from someone who had just recently watched Castle of Fu Manchu! It's got Christopher Lee, how bad can it be? HOW BAD CAN IT BE?

Well, I guess I found out. It's an effin' mess. Poor Christopher does his best with what he's given, but that doesn't help much. The best you can do is laugh at this hopeless mess, but I found even that hard to do. How bad can it be? Well, if you haven't already subjected yourself to it, you're better off not knowing.
I rate this title

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7170
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #561 on: August 20, 2015, 06:21:05 AM »
You must have seen bad movies, to understand what a really good movie is.

Just like eating steak and shrimp everyday would not be very special, if not occasionally interspersed with more mundane, even bad food.

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #562 on: September 03, 2015, 12:17:26 PM »
Shaun the Sheep Movie (5-055201-827494)
United Kingdom 2015 | Released 2015-06-01 on DVD from StudioCanal
82 minutes | Aspect ratio Anamorphic 1.85:1 | Audio: English Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo, English Dolby Digital 5.1, Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo
Directed by Mark Burton, Richard Starzack and starring Justin Fletcher, John B. Sparkes, Omid Djalili, Richard Webber, Kate Harbour

When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it's up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.

My thoughts about Shaun the Sheep Movie:
I love clay animation (I won't call it claymation, because for me that means Will Vinton). I especially love Wallace & Gromit, because in my opinion those films combine excellent scripts with outstanding animation into nearly perfect movies.

Shaun the Sheep comes from the same studio, Aardman, and is originally a TV show that was a spinoff off Wallace & Gromit. The show is, understandably, not as complex as the W&G movies. It has simple, yet funny, scripts and a bit limited animation. In order to make an enjoyable movie they had to break out of those limitations. So the story is no longer confined to the farm where Shaun & co. live, and the story is more complex with more advanced animation. The moral of the story is simple enough, though - "There's no place like home".

I really enjoyed this movie. It doesn't reach the same height as the W&G movies, but it's quite good enough. It has something for kids and adults alike. There are some references that the kids will not understand (I hope), like the cat that does a Hannibal Lecter impression. But that doesn't matter. It's good fun and highly recommended.
I rate this title

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #563 on: October 02, 2015, 04:35:57 PM »
The Curse of the Werewolf (5-060057-211090)
United Kingdom 1961 | Released 2015-09-21 on Bluray from Final Cut Entertainment
93 minutes | Aspect ratio 1.85:1 | Audio: English PCM Mono
Directed by Terence Fisher and starring Clifford Evans, Oliver Reed, Yvonne Romain, Catherine Feller, Anthony Dawson

In 18th Century Spain, a small village is ruled over by an evil Marquis. A beggar goes to the castle of this unfair ruler and asks for a small amount of bread and is consequently humiliated and jailed. He is soon forgotten and becomes more animal than human, the only contact he has with humanity is through the mute servant girl who feeds him . When the servant girl is thrown into the beggar s cell and raped in a fit of lustful rage she falls pregnant. After being released from the cell she escapes the castle and is taken in the the kind Alfredo Corledo.

On Christmas Day, Leon is born. His mother dies at birth and Corledo takes to raising the boy. Leon grows up to be a normal boy until age 6 when he begins to go missing at night and goats are reported savaged the next day. Leon is a werewolf, a condition brought on by his traumatic heritage. However, with love and attention the transformations can be fought and they are until Leon becomes a man. One full moon he again turns into a werewolf and terrifies the town.

My thoughts about The Curse of the Werewolf:
It's been a long time since I saw The Curse of the Werewolf previously. But it's still as good as I remembered it. To a great degree that is of course thanks to Oliver Reed's excellent performance. And of course - like in most of the Hammers filmed at Bray - Production Designer Bernard Robinson, who according to Jimmy Sangster could build great sets "for tuppence ha'penny". In this case the sets were actually built for a film about the Spanish Inquisition that was never shot, so the story that originally took place in Paris was quickly relocated to Spain to take advantage of those sets. But that's not a bad thing. It gives the film a rather unique look.

The film takes it's time setting up the backstory before it comes to the werewolf bits. It seems like many in the modern audience do not have to patience for this. They want to get to "the good stuff" as quickly as possible. Personally I feel that the backstory is as much "good stuff" as the somewhat brief werewolf action. Much of this is because Hammer employs excellent character actors, like for example Michael Ripper.

There is a disadvantage when you know a bit too much about the tricks of filmmaking. When you spot something it can take you out of the story. And there is such a trick in this film. Oliver Reed's character jumps from a balcony, lands hidden behind something, and then immediately reappears and runs towards the camera so we can see that it's actually Oliver Reed. And immediately I know that the jump was made by a stuntman and Ollie was already hiding, ready to jump out. I've seen this trick so many times that I always recognize it.

But hey, if it's a good film, it draws you right back into the action again. And this is a good film. It's only in the last 10 minutes or so that we actually see the werewolf. I would perhaps have liked a little more werewolf action, but that's a minor quibble.
I rate this title

Offline Danae Cassandra

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
  • Country: us
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #564 on: October 04, 2015, 05:45:21 PM »
That sounds good.  I have it in my Hammer collection, and may have to try to watch it this month.
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7170
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #565 on: October 06, 2015, 10:09:40 AM »
I remember seeing this at a relatively young age (may be one of the first horror films I have seen). I don't remember much of it, but am glad to see it may have held up better than I would have thought. I might have to place this in y Wish List as Amazon (UK). The lack of more werewolf action is a small drawback though.

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #566 on: November 04, 2015, 12:39:32 PM »
San Andreas (5-051892-189637)
United States 2015 | Released 2015-10-12 on Bluray from WarnerHome Video
114 minutes | Aspect ratio 2.40:1 | Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 5.1
Directed by Brad Peyton and starring Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Ioan Gruffudd, Archie Panjabi

After the infamous San Andreas Fault finally gives, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake in California, a search and rescue helicopter pilot and his estranged wife make their way together from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter.
But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning. And when they think the worst may be over...it's just getting started.

My thoughts about San Andreas:
Loves: Disaster movies
Likes: The Rock
Dislikes: Illogical scripts
Hates: Overuse of CGI

Let's get the CGI part over with first. I don't hate CGI. However, I hate in-your-face CGI, the kind that screams "Look what we can do!" The kind where they use lots of CGI when just a little would be enough to tell the story. And there are several such moments in this film. But if the action and the acting is good enough I can look past that.

I can also get hung up on illogical details, like - why is the tsunami coming towards the quake zone rather than going away from it? Or - isn't Carla Gugino a bit young to be Alexandra Daddario's mother?

Dwayne Johnson isn't likely to win any Academy Awards, but he works well as an action here. Carla Gugoni and Paul Giamatti are fine. Alexandra Daddario looks fine. The script is a cliché-fest, but who expected anything else? It's dumb fun, but I don't have any problems with that, when it doesn't pretend to be anything else.
I rate this title

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #567 on: November 04, 2015, 03:28:16 PM »
Jurassic World (5-053083-044992)
United States 2015 | Released 2015-10-19 on Bluray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment
124 minutes | Aspect ratio 2.00:1 | Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Spanish DTS 5.1, French DTS 5.1, German DTS 5.1, Hindi DTS 5.1, Italian DTS 5.1, Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo, Audio Descriptive Dolby Digital 2-Channel Stereo
Directed by Colin Trevorrow and starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ty Simpkins

Directed by Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) and executive produced by Academy Award winner Steven Spielberg, one of the biggest movie franchises of all time gets even bigger with Jurassic World. 22 years ago, John Hammond envisioned a theme park where guests could experience the thrill of witnessing actual dinosaurs. Today, Jurassic World welcomes tens of thousands of visitors, but something sinister lurks behind the park's attractions: a genetically modified dionsaur with savage capabilities. When chaos erupts across the island, Owen (Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard, The Help) race to restore order as a day in the park becomes a struggle for survival.

My thoughts about Jurassic World:
Same, same but ... not all that different. Jurassic World is too much like Jurassic Park, but not as exciting. There are very few surprises, it's all so predictable. The mix of practical effects and CGI works well enough, but no better than it did 22 years ago in the original.

In 1993, Jurassic Park was a game changer as far as CGI creatures were concerned. In 2015 Jurassic World looks pretty much like a SyFy movie, although with much more money thrown in. OK as undemanding entertainment, but nothing to get really excited about.
I rate this title

Offline GSyren

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1081
  • Country: se
    • View Profile
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #568 on: November 14, 2015, 03:32:52 PM »
Taste the Blood of Dracula (5-051889-547174)
United Kingdom 1969 | Released 2015-10-07 on Bluray from Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
95 minutes | Aspect ratio 1.78:1 | Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, French Dolby Digital Mono, German Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish Dolby Digital Mono, Spanish Dolby Digital Mono
Directed by Peter Sasdy and starring Christopher Lee, Geoffrey Keen, Gwen Watford, Linda Hayden, Peter Sallis

It's the boys' night out, time for bawdy fun. Yet revelry alone can't satisfy these community leaders out on a lark. There's still an adventure they can be duped into trying, one that will transform a certain Count from moldering dust into blood-lusting flesh.

Taste the Blood of Dracula, the fourth film in Hammer Studios' cycle of hemogobbling Victorian-Era horror, is a showcase of why Hammer became the name in Gothic terror. The solid cast and rich production design raise goosebumps of real-life fear and otherworld dread. And Christopher Lee dons his red-lined cape again to become Evil Incarnate. He's Count Dracula, a being neither dead nor alive... but his movies are livelier than ever.

My thoughts about Taste the Blood of Dracula:
Rewatching Taste the Blood of Dracula, I still don't find it quite satisfying. I know that initially the plan was to do it without Dracula since Lee was reluctant to reprise the role. Hammer had done it before, in Brides of Dracula, and that worked well enough. But in the end they did persuade Lee to come back to the role, and it just seems that the script could have been reworked better to include him again.

There seems to be little logic to Dracula wanting revenge for the three men killing Drac's disciple. After all, if it wasn't for those three, Dracula wouldn't have been revived at all. But perhaps it is too much to ask for logic from the undead?

Also, we really see very little of Dracula. It isn't until halfway through the movie that he is revived. And even then we don't get to see that much of him. And what do we mainly see him do? Count, Dracula! ;)

The ending is really confusing. Probably the worst ending of any of Hammer's Dracula films. A big mistake, in my opinion. The ending of a film is really important. A bad ending can ruin the experience of an otherwise good movie, and a good ending can save an otherwise mediocre film.

Still, Christopher Lee rarely, if ever, disappoints. And the first half of the movie is quite good, even without Dracula (if we don't count the death scene repeated from Risen). So, good enough, but should have been better.
I rate this title

Offline Achim

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 7170
    • View Profile
    • ya_shin's site
Re: Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar
« Reply #569 on: November 16, 2015, 05:20:38 AM »
The ending is really confusing. Probably the worst ending of any of Hammer's Dracula films. A big mistake, in my opinion. The ending of a film is really important. A bad ending can ruin the experience of an otherwise good movie, and a good ending can save an otherwise mediocre film.
I totally agree.

Quote
Still, Christopher Lee rarely, if ever, disappoints. And the first half of the movie is quite good, even without Dracula (if we don't count the death scene repeated from Risen). So, good enough, but should have been better.
I think for the most part it's simply because he didn't put in any effort to begin with, and that was because he just didn't want to do these anymore. Yet Hammer ran after him, throwing wads of cash at him, why wouldn't he do it...? That's why Dracula usually doesn't speak a lot in the later sequels, Lee refused to utter too many of the stupid words that had been written for him.

Funny, really, as it is the main role he will always be remembered by. Except for Lord of the Rings, maybe.