‘Catacombs,’ directed by Gordon Hessler

Movie, 1965 Reasonably effective ghostly psychological thriller, in which some great ideas and scenes are set up, though the pay off isn’t always on the mark. A case, I guess, of a film nearly hitting heights, but not quite delivering. While the marriage at the centre of the story and the individual characters of husband and wife are wonderfully hammed up, the quickly developing relationship … Continue reading ‘Catacombs,’ directed by Gordon Hessler

‘Green Book,’ directed by Peter Farrelly

Movie, 2018 Engaging and emotional film exploring the relationship and social historical situation in the American deep south in early 1930s America. The main characters, both whom are wonderfully acted, are an American night club bouncer and a renowned Indian-American pianist. The relationship between the two men forms the main thrust of the film, though there’s plenty of other themes and currents bubbling under and … Continue reading ‘Green Book,’ directed by Peter Farrelly

‘Recoil,’ directed by John Gilling

Movie, 1953 A bit of a plodding, un-mysterious mystery, in which tension is suggested, then not really delivered. There are a few glimpses of period London and some nice atmospheric touches, but save for a spirited performance by the female lead, the acting and characterisations all seem a little flat. The plot doesn’t help – it’s fine, but it’s rather slim and a little predictable. … Continue reading ‘Recoil,’ directed by John Gilling

“The Voice of Merrill,” directed by John Gilling

Movie, 1952 Effective and well-paced mystery, with noir sentiments, if not stylings, and a love triangle which spins and dramatises the lives of the film’s main protagonists, after the murder of an acquaintance. Some great acting from Valerie Hobson and James Robertson Justice brings some tension along the way, so that even if some of the other acting and the settings are a little down … Continue reading “The Voice of Merrill,” directed by John Gilling

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” directed by Adam McKay

Movie, 2013 Crass, disjointed, ridiculous but funny reprise of a gang of newsreaders and their resurrection following their appointment to the fledgling world of ‘rolling news.’ A film which doesn’t take itself in any way seriously and doesn’t really invite much in the way of comment or critique either, but which delivers some high octane, daft action, plenty of throwbacks to the original film and … Continue reading “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” directed by Adam McKay

‘Ant Man,’ directed by Peyton Reed

Movie, 2015 Super-hero film which swerves around being half-way great entertainment, to occasional ludicrous, too-stretched daft, to just a little confusing, in either the too real stupid action scenes and intertextuality with other Marvel characters. It feels as if the tropes and clichés are given the twist of including intelligent yet brainwashed ants. That’s about it. Otherwise, you have removed parents, a protégé gone bad, … Continue reading ‘Ant Man,’ directed by Peyton Reed

“The Man on the Eiffel Tower,” directed by Burgess Meredith

Movie, 1950 A curious film for a number of reasons – partly the washed-out colour from a weird process and film stock, and partly through the relative lack of suspense and mystery in what feels like it should be a suspenseful and mysterious film, featuring Simenon’s Inspector Maigret. The result is far from unworthy, however; we have a dreamy set of characters and locations, culminating … Continue reading “The Man on the Eiffel Tower,” directed by Burgess Meredith

“The Girl With Green Eyes,” directed by Desmond Davis

Movie, 1964 Edna O’Brien adaptation about a relationship between an awkward shop worker and an older, more wealthy man. For modern tastes, the age gap between Kate and Eugene may be problematic, though it doesn’t feel insurmountable. The film’s a nice mixture of well-observed and lively views of normal life in Dublin, together with some great photography and a few pieces or rather cute and … Continue reading “The Girl With Green Eyes,” directed by Desmond Davis

‘Wonder Wheel,’ directed by Woody Allen

Movie, 2017 A film which looks and initially sounds like a Woody Allen film, with a cosy and vibrantly colourful 1950s Coney Island, and a few narrative conventions lightly trampled. For Allen, however, this is pretty dark territory, as gangsters turn up to ruin the developing family saga, and all manner of references to drama, writing and tragedy are brought very much to the fore. … Continue reading ‘Wonder Wheel,’ directed by Woody Allen

‘The Glass Key,’ directed by Stuart Heisler

Movie, 1942 A somewhat curious political film noir, in which we start by closely examining and exploring the oafish movements of Paul Madvig and his support of a candidate in a city’s mayoral election, before switching to the sharper, smarter exploits of his assistant, Ed Beaumont. The change in gear is a little unsettling, as is quite a lengthy section involving Beaumont’s incarceration at the … Continue reading ‘The Glass Key,’ directed by Stuart Heisler