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since 25/10/2009


Skeletons (DVD) 25/11/2017

A somewhat oddball film

Skeletons (DVD) RELEASED: 2010, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 34mins DIRECTOR: Nick Whitfield SCREENPLAY: Nick Whitfield, Andrew Buckley & Ed Gaughan PRODUCERS: Tracy Brimm, Paul Welsh & Kate Myers MUSIC: Simon Whitfield MAIN CAST:- Andrew Buckley as Bennett Ed Gaughan as Davis Paprika Steen as Jane Tuppence Middleton as Rebecca Jason Isaacs as The Colonel Josef Whitfield as Jojo Keith Lancaster as The Father ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Bennett and Davis work together, travelling around and visiting people who request their services. These services largely consist of Bennett and Davis, with the aid of a mysterious little hand-held machine, working their way around their clients’ houses looking for energies that suggest there are skeletons in the people’s cupboards and it is their job to, using the gadget, reveal what these skeletons are. Bennett’s and Davis’s services are largely used by people wanting to discover as to if their partners, friends or family members are hiding something from them. The Colonel, who is Bennett’s and Davis’s boss, sends them to work on a case that could prove quite difficult, but if they are successful, they both are promised promotion. The job is at the house of Jane whose husband went missing eight years previously, leaving her to care for their two children….Jojo who is a bright and curious boy, and the very taciturn teenaged Rebecca. However and despite all their efforts, things don’t quite run to plan for ...

A Christmas Horror Story (DVD) 22/11/2017

Not the most enjoyable way to spend Christmas!

A Christmas Horror Story (DVD) RELEASED: 2015, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 39mins DIRECTORS: Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban & Brett Sullivan SCREENPLAY WRITERS: Jason Filiatrault, James Kee, Sarah Larsen, Doug Taylor & Pascal trottier PRODUCERS: Steven Hoban & Mark Smith MUSIC: Alex Khaskin MAIN CAST:- William Shatner as Dangerous Dan Zoe De Grand Maison as Molly Alex Ozerov as Ben Shannon Kook as Dylan Adrian Holmes as Scott Orion John as Will Olunike Adeliyi as Kim Alan C Peterson as Big Earl Percy Hynes White as Duncan Amy Forsyth as Caprice Corinne Conley as Aunt Edda Julian Richings as Gerhardt Jessica Clement as Grace George Buza as Santa Claus ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW It is Christmas and Dangerous Dan is a radio DJ. During his lengthy holiday period broadcast, odd things begin to happen to four sets of people, some of which Dangerous Dan is required to report over the airwaves to the listening public. STORY ONE – Dylan, Ben and Molly break into their school during the Christmas holiday as they wish to investigate a couple of murders that happened on the premises a year or so earlier. However, once they start their work (that they intend publishing upon completion), strange things start to happen, especially to Molly’s personality. STORY TWO – Scott, who is a police officer, takes his wife Kim and small son Will to the woods which are owned by Big Earl so that he (Scott) can chop down a Christmas tree, hopefully unseen and hopefully without paying ...

Island Of Terror (DVD) 20/11/2017

An experiment goes wrong

Island Of Terror (DVD) RELEASED: 1966, Cert. PG RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 29mins DIRECTOR: Terence Fisher SCREENPLAY: Edward Mann & Al Ramsen PRODUCER: Tom Blakeley MUSIC: Malcolm Lockyer MAIN CAST:- Peter Cushing as Dr. Brian Stanley Edward Judd as Dr. David West Eddie Byrne as Dr. Reginald Landers Sam Kydd as Constable John Harris Carole Gray as Toni Merrill ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW A man goes missing on a remote Irish island, then is found dead by Constable John Harris. The dead man appears to be missing all of the bones in his body. When local doctors are unable to work out why the corpse has lost all his bones, the help of eminent London pathologist Dr. Brian Stanley is sought. Dr. Stanley travels to the island and collaborating with the local medical staff plus the police, it is discovered that an experiment by Dr. Lawrence Phillips – who had been working on a cure for cancer – had gone terribly wrong. It is then a race against the clock to save the islanders from marauding, bone-sucking tentacled creatures which are breeding like rabbits and feeding on human skeletons. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Island Of Terror is one of these sci-fi tinged horror films from the 1960s containing a cast of actors who either were or later became much-seen faces on our cinema and TV screens. Leader of the pack, acting-wise, is Peter Cushing who as we know was one of the kings of horror in his heyday. Some rather dramatic music opens Island ...

Post It Notes 17/11/2017

A genius invention!

Post It Notes First of all, in Ciao's Specific Criteria section, it is requested that Cleaning & Maintenance and User's Manual be commented on via the slide bar. As this is a product which requires no manual or cleaning/maintenance, I have gone for middle ground simply because none of the options in those sections apply to Post-It Notes. Also in the Specific Criteria section where it says 'How much did you pay?', the only figure the system will allow me to insert is 150 which is grossly misleading and should be read as £1.50. Back in the dark ages (pre-Post-It Note times) of office work, I clearly recall having to carry out the same tasks as would be in a modern-day environment, yet we didn’t have as many tools of assistance as there are now. Lots of handy little inventions have since become a clerical way of life with perhaps quite a few of them being all that younger workers have known, and my favourite has always been that of the now possibly humble Post-It Note. After having spent almost 20 years of my office working life without the aid of many different gadgets (for instance, when I left school and went into clerical work in 1969 at the tender age of 15, photocopy machines were the new ‘in’ thing being all the rage, and items such as staple removers were merely hovering around the inventive corner, yet still to be taken advantage of). Flagging things in a clerical environment has always been an essential task, and back in those days we would staple or clip coloured pieces of paper ...

Fright (DVD) 15/11/2017

Classic 1970s psychological thriller/horror

Fright (DVD) RELEASED: 1971, Cert. 18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 27mins DIRECTOR: Peter Collinson SCREENPLAY: Tudor Gates PRODUCERS: Harry Fine & Michael Style MUSIC: Harry Robinson MAIN CAST:- Susan George as Amanda Ian Bannen as Brian Honor Blackman as Helen George Cole as Jim Dennis Waterman as Chris ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Helen and Jim are going out for the evening and leave their young child with new babysitter, Amanda. Amanda is a student and seems a very capable girl. There is some tension between Helen and Jim as they set off towards the restaurant where they are to have a meal. Something is on Helen’s mind and she is worried that Amanda might not cope. In the house alone with the child, Amanda starts to hear noises then discovers her boyfriend Chris outside. She lets him in and it is obvious he has nookie on his mind! However, what later comes to light is that Helen’s first husband, Brian, has escaped from a secure mental hospital and still desperately wanting his wife back, he turns up at the house where Amanda is babysitting…..and, what began as a quiet evening turns into one of terror. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ Fright is one of these golden oldies from the early 1970s when – love them or loathe them - horror films had a particular charm all of their own. I did manage to see most of them as they made their travels throughout the cinema circuit, but for some reason this one escaped me. However, I recently have at long ...

Incendiary (DVD) 13/11/2017

A thoughtful drama

Incendiary (DVD) RELEASED: 2008, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 36mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Sharon Maguire PRODUCERS: Adrienne Maguire, Andy Paterson & Anand Tucker MUSIC: Barrington Pheloung & Shigeru Umebayashi MAIN CAST:- Michelle Williams as Mother Ewan McGregor as Jasper Black Matthew Macfadyen as Terrence Butcher Nicholas Gleaves as Lenny Usman Khokhar as the terrorist’s son Sasha Behar as the terrorist’s wife ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Stuck in a loveless marriage to a bomb disposal technician, Mother (whose name in the film is never revealed) dotes on her little son. One evening Mother is bored out of her brain whilst her husband is out at work, so she leaves her son with a neighbour just while she pops out for a quick drink. In the pub, Mother is approached by a young man (Jasper) who is an investigative journalist and he takes a fancy to her. They both end up at her place and have sex. The following day, the little boy is taken to a football match by his dad and Jasper returns to see Mother, they having sex again, then there is a newsflash on the TV to say that there has been an attack at a football ground, which is suspected to have been the work of a gang of suicide bomber terrorists. Distraught, Mother takes herself to the football ground where she knows her son and husband are, only to discover they have both been killed in the blast. Her dead husband’s colleague tries his best to offer support and comfort, as does Jasper, but both ...

You're Next (DVD) 11/11/2017

A dreary gore-fest

You're Next (DVD) RELEASED: 2011, Cert. 18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 35mins DIRECTOR: Adam Wingard SCREENPLAY: Simon Barrett PRODUCERS: Simon Barrett, Jessica Calder, Keith Calder & Kim Sherman MUSIC: Mads Heldtberg, Jasper Lee, Kyle McKinnon & Adam Wingard MAIN CAST:- Sharni Vinson as Erin Wendy Glenn as Zee A J Bowen as Crispian Davison Joe Swanberg as Drake Davison Rob Moran as Paul Davison Barbara Crampton as Aubrey Davison Nicholas Tucci as Felix Davison Margaret Laney as Kelly Davison ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW You’re Next opens with a brief but rather energetic scene of a couple having sex. After the deed, the young woman seems bored and unfulfilled whilst the man vanishes into the shower. On emerging from the shower, the man finds the girl dead with the words “You’re Next” scrawled across a yellow wall in what presumably is her blood. The man then is attacked by a masked-intruder and killed. The film then moves onto the Davison family who are congregating to celebrate Aubrey’s and Paul’s (the parents) wedding anniversary which takes place at their newly-purchased, very large country house. During the celebrations and whilst a heated family argument is in progress at the dinner table, an unseen figure shoots a series of crossbow arrows through the window, killing Tariq and injuring Drake. Aimee tries to run for help but has her throat cut by a line of chicken wire which has invisibly been threaded over the door, then the other family members ...

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection (Box Set) (DVD) 08/11/2017

Watch out….Spencer's about!!!!

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em - The Complete Collection (Box Set) (DVD) FILM/PROGRAMME ONLY REVIEW Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em was a popular British sitcom which ran on TV from 1973 to 1978. In the first series, we are introduced to the main character, Frank Spencer, very ably played by Michael Crawford. Frank’s long-suffering wife Betty was played by Michele Dotrice. (For ease of typing and reference, I shall from hereon refer to Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em as SMDAE) Straight away the situation of this comedy is plummeted into and we meet the endearing, yet haplessly accident-prone Frank Spencer. Frank is probably supposed to be aged in his early to mid-20s (although the actor Michael Crawford was older than that). Depending on what he is doing, Frank dresses in casual trousers with a shirt and tank-top style jumper or for things such as job interviews, a smart suit. His outer clothes are always the same…..a flasher-style raincoat with a flat beret perched on top of his head. Frank has an array of body movements and facial expressions which he utilises each time he does something wrong – which is quite often – consisting of a pained, confused look on his faced accompanied by a finger pressed against his cheek or lip. When things get really awkward for him, he will straighten one arm and nervously slide it up and down the side of his body and leg. Apparently, if my memory serves me correctly from many years ago when I watched a TV programme where Michael Crawford was being interviewed and questioned about his Frank Spencer character, he claimed ...

Planet Of The Apes (DVD) 06/11/2017

Rubbish, but a classic!

Planet Of The Apes (DVD) RELEASED: 1968, Cert. 12 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 52mins DIRECTOR: Franklin J Schaffner SCREENPLAY: Michael Wilson & Rod Sterling PRODUCER: Arthur P Jacobs MUSIC: Jerry Goldsmith MAIN CAST:- Charlton Heston as Taylor Linda Harrison as Nova Kim Hunter as Zira Wright King as Galen Maurice Evans as Dr. Zaius Roddy McDowall as Cornelius James Whitmore as President Speaker Woodrow Parfrey as Maximus James Daly as Dr. Honorious Lou Wagner as Lucius ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Taylor and his spacecraft crew crash-land on a planet several thousands of light years from earth, in another galaxy. The crew abandons ship and once they realise what has happened, they step out of the craft to have a look around. On this earth-like planet, the men find that there is life in plant form together with water, then Taylor spots a roaming gang of humans dressed in animal skins and loin cloths. These humans are mute and apparently confused. Taylor and his colleagues are then approached by a troupe of high-functioning apes who can speak English and have a complex, sophisticated society, their main philosophy being that humans are the inferior species to that of the superior apes. Zira is in the ape world, a behavioural psychologist and she manages to communicate with Taylor (two of his colleagues are killed by the apes, and the other is captured and held prisoner with the intention of being experimented upon). A battle of wills then ensues as Zira tries to ...

Blood Work (DVD) 02/11/2017

An average but watchable cop hunts serial killer film

Blood Work (DVD) RELEASED: 2002, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 50mins DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Clint Eastwood SCREENPLAY: Brian Helgeland MUSIC: Lennie Niehaus MAIN CAST:- Clint Eastwood as Terry McCaleb Jeff Daniels as Buddy Anjelica Huston as Dr Bonnie Fox Wanda de Jesus as Graciella Paul Rodriguez as Det. Ronaldo Arrango Dylan Walsh as Det. John Waller Mason Lucero as Raymond Tina Lifford as Det. Jaye Winston ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Blood Work begins with a little introduction whereby FBI criminal profiler, Terry McCaleb, witnesses a murder and does some work on the case, but to no avail. The film then leaps two years forward with McCaleb having retired after receiving heart transplant surgery…..he lives on a boat in LA’s harbour and is close friends with his houseboat neighbour, Buddy, who helps him out (for payment) with things such as driving him around to wherever he needs or wants to go. One day McCaleb is approached by Graciella who informs him he had been the recipient of her murdered sister’s heart, and she begs him to help find her killer. At first McCaleb (who is still recuperating after just a few weeks of receiving his new heart) is reluctant, but at the receiving end of a little bit of emotional blackmail from Graciella in the form of “my sister gave you her heart so in exchange please help me find her killer”, he agrees and privately takes on the task, much to the annoyance of Det. Ronaldo Arrango who is heading the ...

Ae Fond Kiss (DVD) 31/10/2017

A 21st century culture clash

Ae Fond Kiss (DVD) RELEASED: 2004, Cert. 15 DIRECTOR: Ken Loach SCREENPLAY: Paul Laverty PRODUCER: Rebecca O’Brien MUSIC: George Fenton MAIN CAST:- Atta Yaqub as Casim Khan Eva Birthistle as Roisin Hanlon Ahmad Riaz as Tariq Khan Shabana Akhtar Baksh as Tahara Khan Shamshad Akhtar as Sadia Khan Chizala Avan as Rukhsana Khan ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Casim Khan is a DJ at a nightclub and Roisin Hanlon teaches music at a Catholic school. When Casim and Roisin meet through Casim’s sister Tahara who is a pupil at the school where Roisin works, they become instantly attracted to one another and quickly fall in love. However, huge problems present themselves in that Casim, although second generation and very westernised, his parents are devoutly committed Muslims plus he faces the dilemma of an arranged marriage which is imminent. To make things even more difficult, Roisin is Irish Catholic, married but separated yet due to her religion not allowed to divorce. Neither Casim nor Roisin are particularly loyal to the strictness of their cultural/religious roots and desperately want to be together, but quite early into their relationship, the pull of Casim’s family values together with the school’s priest disapproving of Roisin’s relationship with a Muslim, threaten to destroy their future dreams and feelings for one another. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Set in modern-day Glasgow, AE Fond Kiss is a down to earth film directed by Ken ...

Devils Of Darkness (DVD) 28/10/2017

Devil worship, a talisman and a jealous gypsy

Devils Of Darkness (DVD) RELEASED: 1965, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 28mins DIRECTOR: Lance Comfort SCREENPLAY: Lyn Fairhurst PRODUCER: Tom Blakeley MUSIC: Bernie Fenton MAIN CAST:- William Sylvester as Paul Baxter Carole Gray as Tania Tracey Reed as Karen Diana Decker as Madeleine Peter Illing as Inspector Malin Victor Brooks as Inspector Hardwick Hubert Noel as Count Sinistre ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Whilst on a rock-climbing expedition in Brittany, Paul Baxter and his friends stumble across a group of devil worshippers in a small area which is largely inhabited by gypsies. It is soon discovered, with the aid of one gypsy woman’s mild warning, that the local Count Sinistre is up to no good. All Souls Night is imminent, and during the celebrations, three of Paul Baxter’s friends go missing, later discovered to have been killed. Back in England and armed with a talisman he filched from the dastardly Count Sinistre, Paul tries to unearth the real meaning behind the death of his three friends. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Devils Of Darkness is a mid-1960s release, very much in the vein of Hammer Films, yet made on a shoestring budget. I can’t say I was particularly gripped, as before the main storyline begins, a brief scene (possibly set in or around the 1800s) involving people being cursed with bubonic plague and troupes of gypsies dancing around a campfire in the woods is shown and I couldn’t quite work out what was supposed ...

Willard (DVD) 24/10/2017

Oh rats!!!

Willard (DVD) RELEASED: 2003, Cert. 15 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 40mins DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Glen Morgan PRODUCERS: Glen Morgan & James Wong MUSIC: Shirley Walker MAIN CAST:- Crispin Glover as Willard R Lee Ermey as Mr Martin Laura Harring as Cathryn Jackie Burroughs as Willard’s mother ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Willard is a shy, socially inadequate young man who lives in a fusty old house with his overbearing, bed-ridden invalid mother…..and, a troupe of rats are lodging in the cellar. At work, Willard is bullied by his boss Mr Martin, who is only interested in the young man’s capacity for money as he’d taken over the company after the previous owner – who was Willard’s father – had died. New girl in the office (Cathryn) feels sorry for Willard and tries to befriend him. Willard adopts a white rat who he christens Socrates, then another who he calls Ben. Quickly becoming obsessed with rats who he is starting to consider as being his friends, Willard acquaints himself with the colony of the creatures who have made their home in the basement of he and his mother’s house. However, Willard is becoming increasingly upset by the vile treatment meted out to him by his boss Mr Martin, then an idea occurs to him. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Willard is a re-make of the 1971 original which of course bears the same title. I distinctly recall seeing the original Willard when it was doing the cinema rounds all those years ago, but have ...

Manhunter (DVD) 23/10/2017

To catch a killer

Manhunter (DVD) RELEASED: 1986, Cert.18 RUNNING TIME: Approx. 2hrs DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Michael Mann PRODUCER: Richard Roth MUSIC: Michel Rubini, The Reds MAIN CAST:- William Petersen as Will Graham Kim Greist as Molly Graham Brian Cox as Dr. Hannibal Lecktor Tom Noonan as Francis Dollarhyde/The Tooth Fairy Dennis Farina as Jack Crawford ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW Retired FBI criminal profiler Will Graham is approached by his former boss, Jack Crawford, asking for his help with the profiling of a serial killer. Will Graham previously had to retire from the FBI after being attacked by the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecktor who he did manage to arrest and have imprisoned, but he – Will – was forced to quit his job after Lecktor’s attack on him caused him to have a complete breakdown. Back in business again and promising his wife Molly that he will have no more involvement in the hunt for this latest serial killer (who is nicknamed The Tooth Fairy) other than examining forensic evidence, Will takes on the difficult task of warding off newspaper reports, interviewing Dr. Lecktor in his cell and trying to protect his wife and child once he realises they may be in danger. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Based on Thomas Harris’s novel The Red Dragon (which I haven’t read) – it being a prequel to Silence Of The Lambs – Manhunter is what now could be considered a rather ordinary film about the FBI’s attempts at tracking down a serial killer, yet ...

Mrs 'Arris Goes To Paris (DVD) 19/10/2017

A long way to go for a dress

Mrs 'Arris Goes To Paris (DVD) RELEASED: 1992, Cert. PG RUNNING TIME: Approx. 1hr 32mins DIRECTOR: Anthony Shaw SCREENPLAY: John Hawkesworth PRODUCERS: Susan Cavan & Andras Hamori MUSIC: Stanley Myers MAIN CAST:- Angela Lansbury as Ada (Mrs Harris/’Arris) Diana Rigg as Mme. Colbert John Savident as Mr Armont Omar Sharif as Marquis Hippolite Lothaire Bluteau as Andre Tamara Gorski as Natasha Petitpierre Lila Kaye as Vi Butterfield ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~ FILM ONLY REVIEW The year is 1952 and widowed Ada Harris, who is close friends with Vi Butterfield, is a cleaning lady at a rich woman’s house. One day Ada sees a couple of dresses in her employer’s bedroom and falls in love with them. She then vows to save every penny she can in order to go to Paris for a day and buy a Christian Dior dress for herself. Ada saves very hard and four years later, triumphantly declares she has enough money for her day trip to Paris, to visit the Dior premises and buy herself a dress of the kind she has been dreaming of. However, Ada is shocked to learn that she couldn’t simply go into a shop and buy her dress. A fashion show is being held at The House Of Dior and Mme. Colbert, who is managing the event, arranges it so that Ada can properly attend. Ada finds herself sitting next to the genial Marquis Hippolite, and their paths cross later on, simply because Ada finds that it will take at least a week to make the dress she has chosen. Worried at how she can afford to stay in Paris for that ...
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