The Man Who Knew Too Much, a review by Jon
And we're off! Well done Tom for pulling this together.
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)
4 out of 5
Bob Lawrence (Leslie Banks), is holidaying in Switzerland with his wife Jill (Edna Best) and daughter Betty (Nova Pilbeam). A Frenchman they have befriended is murdered in front of him, whispering about a planned assassination that wil put the British government in jeopardy. Betty is abducted to ensure Bob's silence until after the assassin (Peter Lorre) has carried out his grim task in the planned setting of the Albert Hall. How can Bob do his patriotic duty but at the same time keep his daughter out of danger?
Paul Merton recently called this the first proper Hitchcock movie, after his run of silent films culminated in using sound for the first time in the previous film, Blackmail. That’s as maybe, but it has dated in many respects.
The first half is quite laborious, with the very strange overly relaxed 30s attitudes; a young girl almost causes a fatal accident, then ruins her mum’s chances in a shooting competition, yet they all just laugh and call her a cheeky scamp. Relationships are fuzzy, though I bet if you watch closely enough, that must have been shocking to 30s sensibilities. Later, our reluctant hero on the trail of the kidnappers never forgets his polite humour with Peter Lorre’s fantastic villain, without a trace of irony, even in the middle of a scrap. It’s the old British spirit taken a little too far! In The Lady Vanishes, there are two cricket fans that fall into this style, but they’re funny because of the contrast. Still, a cracking cast able to produce a lot of humour from a serious yarn.
Once the plot is firmly underway though and the action moves back to England, it’s a tour de force displaying many of what would become signature traits. Normal people in terrible peril and involved in a plot much bigger than them (causes a tangible moral dilemma here); fully rounded supporting characters (check out the character details in people turned out of their homes by the police); gags before violence (a wonderful, indulgent scene with wool); gags during violence (chair fight!); an East End gun-fight with police that Michael Mann has probably seen a few times and the magnificent Albert Hall just before it (a plot point recently borrowed for Eagle Eye).
It is a great story, with a delicious premise, in many ways a definitive Hitchcock template, balancing several big set-pieces in multiple locations. It’s just tough for modern audiences to watch and I think one of Hitchcock’s greatest traits has yet to really show: the deep, black humour, which can verge on cruel.
(From Alfred Hitchcock Marathon on April 9th, 2009)
Justice League: War, a review by addicted2dvd
Sean Astin as Shazam
Zach Callison as Billy Batson
Christopher Gorham as Flash / Barry Allen
Justin Kirk as Green Lantern / Hal Jordan
Michelle Monaghan as Wonder Woman
In Gotham City's shadows lurks a mysterious figure, a silent guardian known only as the Batman. While battling crime and an ever-growing public distrust, he faces the injustices of the night alone. During a criminal pursuit, the Batman crosses paths with the arrogant intergalactic cop Green Lantern, and the unlikely duo uncovers an impending threat bigger and more deadly than anything the Earth has faced before. For the Earth to have a chance to survive, it will be a race to forge an uneasy alliance of its greatest super powers, including the Kryptonian alien, Superman; the Amazonian envoy, Wonder Woman; and the Scarlet Speedster, the Flash. Along with newcomers Cyborg and teen super hero Shazam, this awesome assembly of the world's finest are prepared to meet evil head-on and offer mankind its only hope, if they don't self-destruct first!
My Thoughts:I finally got to this one this evening. I been looking forward to it since I got it in my collection a few days ago. But I knew the others in the house wanted to see it as well so waited till we were all able to watch it together. First I must say this animated movie is off the new DC 52 comics so some things are different. Most notibly some of the costumes. Superman's costume I have already gotten used to from the Man of Steel film. But it took quite a bit to get used to the way they did Wonder Woman's costume. And I still prefer the classic costume over this one. And it was also a bit strange seeing her fighting with a sword through-out the whole film. They also made some changes to the look of Cyborg. I missed Flash being the over-confident smart-mouth of the bunch. But at least they still had this fun aspect to one of the heroes... they just switched it over to Green Lantern. The storyline itself was fantastic! I loved every moment of this film! It is just some of the changes to some of the characters that bugged me a little. But if you are a fan of these animated superhero films this one is a must see! And now I am looking forward to checking out the next film coming from the DC Universe... Son of Batman.
(From What Movies I Been Watching on February 28th, 2014)
Tom's Buffy and Angel Marathon, a review by Tom
22. Becoming Pt. 2 (1998-05-19)
Writer: Joss Whedon (Created By), Joss Whedon (Writer)
Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel), Anthony Stewart Head (Giles), Max Perlich (Whistler), Seth Green (Oz), Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Robia LaMorte (Jenny Calendar), James G. MacDonald (Detective Stein), James Marsters (Spike), Juliet Landau (Drusilla), Armin Shimerman (Principal Snyder), Susan Leslie (First Cop), Thomas G. Waites (Second Cop)
Probably my favorite Buffy season finale. I remember first seeing it, when it was first aired in Germany and had to wait months for the new season.
As a matter of fact I think I had it taped, because I was vacationing in the US at the time. There I got to see some episodes from the third season. My first chance to see Buffy in English. At the time it was something special to have the chance to see the original language version. No DVDs and still on dial-up internet connection. I remember that the third season finale was supposed to air, but got postponed. My first taste of English language Buffy were some re-runs (Homecoming, Band Candy, and I think Doppelgangland as replacement for Graduation Day Part II).
(From Tom's Buffy and Angel Marathon on February 15th, 2009)