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Thanks heartily for all the r/r/c to everyone. If it appears that I've not rated you, it most likely will be due to having used up all your reviews and am waiting for your next publication. Also I've disabled receiving alerts via email for a good reason.

Reviews written

since 25/10/2009


The House That Dripped Blood (DVD) 25/05/2017

A house with a secret

The House That Dripped Blood (DVD) RELEASED: 1971, Cert. 12 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 42mins DIRECTOR: Peter Duffell SCREENPLAY: Robert Bloch & Russ Jones PRODUCERS: Max Rosenberg & Milton Subotsky MUSIC: Michael Dress ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW The House That Dripped Blood is one of a series of horror films made in the early to late 1970s which focuses on a particular thing (in this case a house) and a handful of different stories are told in sequence involving the topic of the main body of the story. The film opens with Det. Inspector Holloway (played by John Bennett) travelling to a small police station out in the country in order to investigate the disappearance of an actor who had vanished without trace after renting an old, isolated house. On arriving at the police station, Inspector Holloway meets up with the very sceptical Sgt. Martin (played by John Malcolm) who refers him to A J Stoker, the estate agent (played by John Bryans) responsible for the letting of the house. Stoker has a few stories to tell the Inspector about various events which have happened in the house, all of which are rather gruesome. The film then divides into four stories, as follows:- METHOD FOR MURDER Charles Hillyer (played by Denholm Elliot) who is a writer of horror stories and his wife Alice (played by Joanna Dunham) decide to rent the old house for a few months so that Charles can forge ahead with his new book as he’d made no progress whilst living in their usual London home. Alice ...

Christiane F (DVD) 22/05/2017

One of the most powerful films ever made

Christiane F (DVD) RELEASED: 1981, Cert. 18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 2hrs 18mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Uli Edel PRODUCERS: Bernd Eichinger, Bertram Vetter & Hans Weth MUSIC: Jurgen Knieper & David Bowie MAIN CAST:- Natja Brunckhorst as Christiane F Thomas Haustein as Detlev Andreas Furhmann as Atze Christiane Lechle as Christiane F’s mother Christiane Reichelt as Babsi Uwe Diderich as Klaus Daniela Jaeger as Kessi Jens Kuphal as Axel ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW It is the mid-1970s and a very bored, 14-year-old Christiane F lives in a tower-block flat in Berlin with her mother and sister. Christiane is very bored, largely because she feels as though her mother spends too much time with her boyfriend, thus largely ignoring her and her younger sister. She is also a great fan of David Bowie and his music. One evening Christiane goes to a night-club and becomes acquainted with a group of young people who are heavily into the drug scene. She makes friends with them – especially the good-looking, wide-eyed Detlev : they gradually fall in love – and almost immediately, Christiane starts to take drugs. At first, Christiane uses LSD, but she knows that Detlev and his friends are heroin junkies, so she begs to be allowed just one shot so she can know how he (Detlev) feels and be on his level. It isn’t long before Christiane is a full-blown junkie, and the film takes the viewer through her largely drug-related trials and tribulations. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ...

Your Friends And Neighbours (DVD) 20/05/2017

A batty web of failed relationships

Your Friends And Neighbours (DVD) RELEASED: 1998, Cert.18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 40mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Neil LaBute PRODUCERS: Steve Golin & Jason Patric MUSIC: Nobody credited MAIN CAST:- Aaron Eckhart as Barry Jason Patric as Cary Ben Stiller as Jerry Amy Brenneman as Mary Catherine Keener as Terri Nastassja Kinski as Cheri ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Barry and Mary are husband and wife, bored and each seeks a little more romance in their lives whether with one another or outside of their marriage. A treat of sorts is in store for Mary via Cheri who is an assistant at a small art gallery and Cary is a complete misogynist who thinks he knows everything there is to know about women. Terry and Jerry live together (Terry is female by the way), each one – as with Barry and Mary – needing something different. Jerry is keen on talking about and analysing everything to the point where people lose interest in what he’s trying to say, Cary is a total w***er in more than one sense of the word and Barry tries to improve his sexual prowess through indulging in some quite dramatic ‘do it yourself’ sessions in front of a mirror. As this group of friends in their individual ways tries to brighten up their sex lives, things go pretty wrong! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Billed as a romantic comedy, Your Friends & Neighbors is a film I watched with some reluctance, as often anything made after about 1990-ish which is intended to make people laugh, simply doesn’t hit ...

BiC 4-Colour Ball Pen 18/05/2017

A brilliant writing aid

BiC 4-Colour Ball Pen I first used a BiC 4-Colour Ball Pen when I won it as a prize in a game at a friend’s birthday party when I was aged just 14, so that shows how long this product has been around and I have been regularly using these pens ever since, both at home and in various office jobs I’ve had. Price-wise and these days, I generally find that BiC 4-Colour Ball Pens can be picked up for anything between 99p and about £2.00, depending on where you shop. Somewhere like W H Smiths would sell them at full price, but they would be considerably cheaper in a Pound Shop or from a market stall. The lower half of the case of the pen is white with the upper half being a kind of dull blue colour and the different colours to be chosen for writing (red, black, blue and green) are selected by pushing the little lever at the base of the pen in an upwards direction….hey presto, the colour you want to use is then operative. To change colour, simply re-choose and repeat the process. By twisting the upper half of the pen casing, you can also render it such that none of the pen nibs will pop up, and this will prevent marking onto clothes and things – when you want to use the pen again, simply twist the pen casing around the other way. When grasping the pen to write with, the casing is quite thick in circumference and this can take a little while to get used to, especially if you normally use standard thickness pens. However, I’ve never found this to be too much of a problem. The different colours which ...

Burning Plain , The(DVD) 15/05/2017

A totally baffling albeit classy film

Burning Plain , The(DVD) RELEASED: 2008, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 47mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Guillermo Arriaga PRODUCERS: Laurie MacDonald & Walter F Parkes MUSIC: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Hans Zimmer MAIN CAST:- Charlize Theron as Sylvia and as Mariana (when adult) Jennifer Lawrence as Mariana (when younger) Kim Basinger as Gina Joaquim de Almeida as Nick Martinez Robin Tunney as Laura John Corbett as John Brett Cullen as Robert Danny Pino as Santiago Martinez (when adult) J D Pardo as Santiago Martinez (when younger) Rachel Ticotin as Ana ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Gina is having an affair with Nick Martinez and teenage Mariana discovers what she sees as her mother’s indiscretions. Gina is a waitress in a restaurant in another part of the USA to where I believe the crux of the story lies, but she seems to have a death wish, a strange man follows her around and she appears to want to have sex with everything in trousers. A light aircraft crashes close to Mexico and that is how Gina gets to know who the strange man who follows her is, plus various things from her past come to the surface that she previously hadn’t known of plus other various things which she’d have preferred to forget. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Firstly, I do hope my above description is as accurate as can be, simply because I didn’t find this an easy film to understand. I also hope I’ve got everybody’s (the cast) names right, as they did keep changing around. The ...

Mandy (DVD) 12/05/2017

Surrounding silence

Mandy (DVD) RELEASED: 1952, Cert. PG RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 33mins DIRECTOR: Alexander Mackendrick SCREENPLAY: Nigel Balchin & Jack Whittingham PRODUCERS: Michael Balcon & Leslie Norman MUSIC: William Alwyn MAIN CAST:- Mandy Miller as Mandy Garland Phyllis Calvert as Christine Garland Terence Morgan as Harry Garland Jack Hawkins as Dick Searle Patricia Plunkett as Miss Crocker Edward Chapman as Ackland Godfrey Tearle as Harry Garland’s father Marjorie Fielding as Harry Garland’s mother ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Christine and Harry Garland are happily married with a two-year-old daughter, Mandy. Christine is becoming increasingly worried that Mandy hasn’t yet uttered a single word, whereas the children of her friends are easily picking up the basics of language. Whilst squeezing a squeaky toy right by Mandy’s ear, Christine notices that there is no reaction from the child, so she tries a few experiments….all of which strongly indicate that Mandy is deaf. When Christine tells Harry at first he disbelieves her, but after seeing the evidence for himself, comes around to his wife’s way of thinking. Christine and Harry decide to keep Mandy at home in order to protect her from the world, but by the time she is aged seven, Christine realises something has to be done despite being told by the family’s GP that there is no hope. Mandy is taken to her grandparents’ house where she is given private tutoring, but still no progress is made. Mandy ...

Hearts In Atlantis (DVD) 10/05/2017

When two minds meet…..

Hearts In Atlantis (DVD) RELEASED: 2001, Cert. 12 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 41mins DIRECTOR: Scott Hicks SCREENPLAY: William Goldman PRODUCER: Kerry Heysen MUSIC: Mychael Danna MAIN CAST:- Anthony Hopkins as Ted Brautigan Anton Yelchin as Bobby Garfield (when a child) David Morse as Bobby Garfield (when adult) Hope Davis as Liz Garfield Mika Boorem as Carol Gerber Will Rothhaar as Sully ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Hearts In Atlantis begins with adult Bobby Garfield attending a funeral. At this funeral he sadly learns that Carol, his close childhood friend, died some while ago. The film then moves back in time to when Bobby was aged 11 or so, living with Liz, his selfish widowed mother. Bobby isn’t too happy at home, preferring to spend time with his friends Carol and Sully, but one day a strange man appears out of nowhere who introduces himself as Ted Brautigan. Ted is looking for accommodation, so Liz reservedly allows him to occupy the upstairs flat in the house. Under Liz’s watchful eye which is partly jealous and for obvious reasons she partly being wary of the man’s intentions, Ted and Bobby quickly form a close friendship with one another, seeming to be on the same wavelength. Ted, whose eyesight is failing with age, pays Bobby a dollar a week which he puts aside to save for the bike he so dearly wants, for reading the newspaper to him and he (Ted) also speaks of some people which he refers to as the Low Men and believes they have a kind of ...

Little Voice (DVD) 08/05/2017

Hiding one's light under a bushel

Little Voice (DVD) RELEASED: 1998, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 37mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Mark Herman PRODUCER: Elizabeth Karlsen MUSIC: John Altman MAIN CAST:- Jane Horrocks as LV Brenda Blethyn as Mari Michael Caine as Ray Jim Broadbent as Mr Boo Ewan McGregor as Billy Philip Jackson as George Annette Badland as Sadie ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW LV is a very quiet, shy, reclusive young girl who lives with her overbearing mother Mari. Billy is a pigeon racer, also shy and quiet, and he works as a telephone engineer with George. One day when Billy and George visit Mari’s house to repair their phone, Billy sees and becomes shyly interested in LV. However and after tentatively trying to have a conversation with her, he discovers that LV won’t speak. Constantly at the butt of insults from her sex/man/booze-mad mother, LV sits in her room pretty much all the time, playing old records of music from the 1940s and early 1950s, desperately missing her dead father who she has a photo of on her wall. LV also likes to sing, copying the style of her musical heroes from a bygone era. Ray runs a sleazy social club where Mr Boo is the resident compere and is having an on/off affair with LV’s mum Mari. One evening when Ray accompanies Mari home, he hears LV singing upstairs and highly impressed, instantly wants her to perform at his club. However, LV isn’t that easy to persuade, but eventually she – with great hesitation – agrees to give a one-off ...

Christine (DVD) 06/05/2017

A car with attitude!

Christine (DVD) RELEASED: 1983, Cert.18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 50mins DIRECTOR: John Carpenter SCREENPLAY: Bill Phillips PRODUCER: Richard Kobritz MUSIC: John Carpenter & Alan Howarth MAIN CAST:- Keith Gordon as Arnie John Stockwell as Dennis Alexandra Paul as Leigh William Ostrander as Buddy (Also featuring Harry Dean Stanton as Det. Junkins) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Teenage Arnie is a bit greeky, somewhat socially awkward and has his eye on Leigh, one of the girls at his school. Arnie frequently falls foul of school tough-nut bully Buddy and his gang plus he only has one real friend, the amiable Dennis. Not only is Arnie a misfit at school…..he also has very strict parents who try to rule his life. One day Arnie spots an old 1950s car which is in dire need of repair and he offers the owner quite a lot of money for it, after learning that the car has been nicknamed Christine. After negotiating with the rather hostile owner of a car repair plant, Arnie works hard at getting Christine back to its former 1950s glory – also, he begins to change himself, discarding his glasses, toughening up, making a serious play for Leigh and standing up to his over-protective parents. Dennis has a bit of a ‘to-do’ with Buddy, ending up in hospital and becomes very concerned about this change in Arnie who visits him frequently. Gradually and as Arnie becomes more and more obsessed with Christine almost to the point of aggressively ...

The Cassandra Crossing (DVD) 03/05/2017

Another 70s disaster movie!

The Cassandra Crossing (DVD) RELEASED: 1976, Cert. PG RUNNING TIME: Approx. 2hrs 9mins DIRECTOR: George P Cosmatos SCREENPLAY: George P Cosmatos, Tom Mankiewicz & Robert Katz PRODUCERS: Carlo Ponti & Lew Grade MUSIC: Jerry Goldsmith MAIN CAST:- Richard Harris as Dr Jonathan Chamberlain Burt Lancaster as Col. Stephen Mackenzie Ingrid Thulin as Dr. Elena Stradner Martin Sheen as Robby Navarro Sophia Loren as Jennifer Chamberlain O J Simpson as Haley Lee Strasberg as Herman Kaplan ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW A strain of pneumonic plague is being kept at the US department of the International Health Organisation in Geneva. One day a trio of terrorists breaks into the building, two being shot by security guards and one surviving. The survivor is a Swedish man, Lou Castel, who is traced as having illegally boarded a train headed to Stockholm from Geneva. A military intelligence representative (Col. Stephen Mackenzie) and a doctor (Dr Elena Stradner) are observing the progress of the train which Lou Castel has boarded, although they disagree as to what should be done about the situation, bearing in mind that it is likely Castel has been contaminated with pneumonic plague and would be a danger to the other passengers. Mackenzie wins the argument with Dr Stradner in that he proposes to re-direct the train to a disused prisoner of war camp in Poland, but to get to this destination, the train has to pass over a bridge known as The Cassandra Crossing, which hasn’t been used ...

Someone Behind The Door (DVD) 01/05/2017

How to commit the perfect murder?

Someone Behind The Door (DVD) RELEASED: 1971, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 37mins DIRECTOR: Nicolas Gessner SCREENPLAY: Marc Behm, Nicolas Gessner, Jacques Robert & Lorenzo Ventavoli PRODUCERS: Raymond Danon, Nicolas Gessner & Maurice Jacquin MUSIC: Georges Garvarentz MAIN CAST:- Charles Bronson as The Stranger Anthony Perkins as Laurence Jeffries Jill Ireland as Frances Jeffries Henri Garcin as Paul Adriano Magistretti as Andrew ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW A man who has lost his memory is taken into a Folkestone hospital, having been found wandering on the beach. Laurence Jeffries is a neurologist at the hospital and after having attended to the amnesiac man, decides to invite him to stay at his home for a while, giving the reason that he can study his condition more closely. Laurence and his wife Frances are on the verge of splitting up, she embroiled in an affair with Paul, using her brother Andrew as an excuse each time she visits her lover, saying she’s going to London to see Andrew. The reason Frances gives Laurence for wanting to end their marriage is that being totally embroiled in his work, he has little or no time for her. As the amnesiac man (whose name we never learn) settles in, Laurence has a rather ingenious idea as to how he can use the man in order to bump Frances off. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Someone Behind The Door (aka Two Minds For Murder) is a French-made film, although it uses a small cast of American and English ...

Dark Places (DVD) 28/04/2017

Uncovering the past, discovering the truth

Dark Places (DVD) RELEASED: 2015, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 53mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Gilles Paquet-Brenner PRODUCERS: Azim Bolkiah & 7 Others (including Charlize Theron) MUSIC: Gregory Tripi MAIN CAST:- Charlize Theron as Libby Day (adult) Sterling Jerins as Libby Day (child) Corey Stoll as Ben Day (adult) Tye Sheridan as Ben Day (child) Andrea Roth as Diondra (adult) Chloe Grace Moretz as Diondra (child) Nicholas Hoult as Lyle Wirth Christina Hendricks as Patty Day J LaRose as Trey Teepano (adult) Shannon Kook as Trey Teepano (child) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Dark Places begins in 1985 where a little girl (Libby Day) watches on as her mother and sisters are murdered. The little girl is forced to give evidence and as a result, her older brother is convicted and issued with a long-term prison sentence in a secure unit. The film then jumps forward to 2015 to Libby Day aged in her mid-30s, a rather grim and attitude-ish sort of person, living an unfulfilled existence. Plagued by flashbacks and nightmares of the day in 1985 when she witnessed the murder of her mother and sisters, Libby prefers to go it alone in life, keeping herself to herself as much as possible. One day a young man approaches Libby, wanting her help. The man introduces himself as Lyle Wirth and says he is a member of a legitimate club which is interested in and tries to solve previously unsolved serious crimes – his organisation is called The Kill Club. Lyle states that he and ...

Rita, Sue And Bob Too (DVD) 25/04/2017

A sordid depiction of working-class life

Rita, Sue And Bob Too (DVD) RELEASED: 1987, Cert. 18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 33mins DIRECTOR: Alan Clarke SCREENPLAY: Andrea Dunbar PRODER: Sandy Lieberson MUSIC: Michael Kamen MAIN CAST:- Siobhan Finneran as Rita Michelle Holmes as Sue George Costigan as Bob Lesley Sharpe as Michelle Kulvinder Ghir as Aslam Willie Ross as Sue’s Father Patti Nichols as Sue’s Mother ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Rita and Sue are two girls in their final year at comprehensive school. Every so often they babysit for Bob who is one of their teachers, and Michelle his wife. The girls live on a very shabby estate at the rough end of town, but Bob’s and Michelle’s house is a detached job in the posh part. One night when Bob drives Rita and Sue home after one of their babysitting stints, he takes them out onto the moors and has sex with them in his car. Neither of the girls particularly enjoys the experience, but they are fully consenting and it makes them feel grown-up and they want it to happen on a regular basis. Whilst Michelle is ironing Bob’s trousers one day, she finds a packet of condoms inside one of the pockets. On challenging him when he gets home, he makes some pathetic excuses as to what he’d been using them for – then, an argument ensues whereby he accuses Michelle of losing interest in sex. Meanwhile, Rita and Sue are planning their next session with Bob….but can they keep what is happening a secret from Michelle and if not, what is the outcome? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ...

Man About The House - Series 1 (DVD) 23/04/2017

Vintage early 70s Britcom

Man About The House - Series 1 (DVD) FIRST SHOWN ON BRITISH TV: 1973, Cert. PG DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Peter Frazer-Jones WRITERS: Brian Cooke & Johnnie Mortimer MUSIC: Johnny Hawksworth MAIN CAST:- Richard O’Sullivan as Robin Paula Wilcox as Chrissy Sally Thomsett as Jo Brian Murphy as George Roper Yootha Joyce as Mildred Roper Doug Fisher as Larry ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ PROGRAMME ONLY REVIEW (Series 1) Chrissy and Jo share a flat in the house of George and Mildred Roper. One morning after Chrissy and Jo have held a party, they find a man sleeping in their bath. During what at first is stilted conversation, Chrissy and Jo learn that the man’s name is Robin Tripp and that he has just arrived in London, is staying at the YMCA and is at college, training to be a chef. Chrissy and Jo have been looking for a third person to share their flat with them, and after interviewing a few unsuccessful female candidates, they ask Robin if he would like to stay with them so long as he does the cooking (neither Chrissy or Jo have any talent in the kitchen whatsoever) and that he keeps his hands to himself – it quickly being obvious that he is particularly attracted to Chrissy. The problem of how to tell landlord & landlady George and Mildred Roper that a man is to be Chrissy’s and Jo’s new flatmate, is solved by pretending that Robin is gay. Robin settles in, being poorly received by the rather henpecked George Roper, yet it is immediately apparent the bored and frustrated Mildred finds Robin very ...

Small Town Saturday Night (DVD) 20/04/2017

Interwoven lives

Small Town Saturday Night (DVD) RELEASED: 2010, Cert.15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 34mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Ryan Craig PRODUCERS: Ryan Craig, Charlie Mason, Justin Moore-Lewy & Wonder Fortune Serra MUSIC: Stephen Bertrand MAIN CAST:- Chris Pine as Rhett Ryan Bre Blair as Samantha Carson Shawn Christian as Det. Tommy Carson John Hawkes as Donny Watson Robert Pine as John Ryan Adam Hendershott as Les Ryan Lin Shaye as Phyllis Ryan Octavia Spencer as Rhonda Dooley Brent Briscoe as Travis Scott Michael Campbell as Dwayne Murphy Muse Watson as Charlie ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW The setting is a very small California town called Prospect. Rhett Ryan is a promising country singer/songwriter. He and his partner Samantha Carson – who is still married to, but separated from the father (Det. Tommy Carson) of her little girl – are madly in love and are putting the final touches to their plan of moving to Nashville where Rhett believes he can make a successful living as a country singer. Nasty guy Donny Watson has just been released from prison and makes his way home. As soon as he hits his home town of Prospect, he has a mild altercation with Det. Tommy Carson. Donny then tries to move back into his old trailer home but is told by the manager that he can’t until he settles several months’ worth of rent arrears. All Donny really wants is to re-connect with his little son, but he chooses a bad way of going about trying to make that connection. Donny’s father Charlie owns the ...
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