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Member's Reviews

The Castle of Fu Manchu, a review by GSyren


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


(From Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar on August 17th, 2015)

Member's Reviews

The Departed, a review by KinkyCyborg




Title:The Departed
Year: 2006
Director: Martin Scorsese
Rating: 18A
Length: 151 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.40:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, French: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital: 5.1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

Stars:
Leonardo DiCaprio
Matt Damon
Jack Nicholson
Mark Wahlberg
Martin Sheen

Plot:
Rookie cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) grew up in crime. That makes him the perfect mole, the man on the inside of the mob run by boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). It's his job to win Costello's trust and help his detective handlers (Mark Wahlberg and Martin Sheen) bring Costello down. Meanwhile, SIU officer Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) has everyone's trust. No one suspects he's Costello's mole.

How these covert lives cross, double-cross and collide is at the ferocious core of the widely acclaimed 'The Departed'. Martin Scorcese directs, guiding a cast for the ages in a visceral tale of crime and consequences. This is searing, can't-look-away filmmaking: like staring into the eyes of a con - or a cop - with a gun.

Extras:
Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Closed Captioned

My Thoughts:

I was dragging my ass around work today because I stayed up about an hour later than I should have last night because once I started watching this, I couldn't stop.  :thumbup:

Scorsese really outdid himself with this one. Intense drama, explosive violence and top notch performances across the board from an all-star cast... plus everyone dies! Moles on both sides, double crosses, and sweet revenge... How could you not love this movie?! Mark Wahlberg in particular was stellar in his role.

The only thing that rather surprised me was the inclusion of Anthony Anderson in the cast, albeit in a minor role. Not that I have anything against him, and I felt he did fine in his limited screen time but he just seemed out of place considering the goofball comedies and low rent action flicks I'm accustomed to seeing him in. He must have been just as surprised to find himself being asked to participate in a movie of this magnitude and I'm sure it'll rank high amongst his career achievements.

I'm so glad I decided to make every 10th movie one I get to pick. I feel stupid for waiting so long to watch a movie of such cinematic importance.  :-[

KC


Rating:

(From KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010 on August 31st, 2010)

Member's TV Reviews

My PILOT Marathon, a review by Rich


CHEERS - SERIES 1 - PILOT - Give me a ring sometime



First aired: 9/30/1982   
Stuffy & sophisticated Diane Chambers is dumped by her fiance in a blue collar Boston bar where she meets baseball star-turned-bar owner Sam Malone.

The pilot was totally as expected, introduced the 'friendly' characters in this long running hit that began in 1982 and setting the tone for the remainder of the years. Again for me Cheers is the type of programme you can flick on and off, pick up whenever you feel like it etc. Perfect for when you are eating or just need half an hours untaxing viewing.
I just love Norm (George Wendt), I knew someone just like him who 'lived' on a barstool in a local boozer in UK  :cheers:

Nostalgic viewing



(From My PILOT Marathon on May 19th, 2008)