C

CABARET (15)
D: Bob Fosse
ABC/Allied Artists (Cy Feuer)
🇺🇸 1972
123 mins

Musical/War

W: Jay Presson Allen [based on the novel 'Goodbye To Berlin' by Christopher Isherwood]
DP: Geoffrey Unsworth
Ed: David Bretherton
Mus: Ralph Burns; John Kander & Fred Ebb         
PD: Rolf Zehetbauer
Cos: Charlotte Flemming

Liza Minnelli (Sally Bowles), Michael York (Brian Roberts), Helmut Griem (Maximilian Von Heune), Joel Grey (Master of Ceremonies), Fritz Wapper (Fritz Wendel), Marisa Berenson (Natalia Landauer), Elisabeth Neumann-Viertel (Fräulein Schneider), Sigrid Von Richthofen (Fräulein Maur), Helen Vita (Fräulein Kost), Gerd Vespermann (Bobby)

Ensemble piece musical set in pre-WWII Berlin, a hot bed of anti-semitism and tension.     
Sally Bowles is a singer and dancer at the Kit Kat Klub where she puts on a nightly revue to entertain the German hierarchy.
She shared her lover (York) with a German baron and her Jewish best friend (Berenson) also has a world of troubles.
Cabaret is the last truly great musical before the genre became obsolete. Liza Minnelli is excellent in the lead performance and Joel Grey is also incredibly memorable as the cuttingly incisive MC at the Kit Kat Klub.
Brilliantly directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse, it remains his all-time best work.
The film won 8 Academy Awards, but did not win Best Picture. The figure remains a record haul for a film not named the best picture of the year (The Godfather won).
8/10

"You think you know the story."
"You think you know the story."
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS (18)
D: Drew Goddard
Lionsgate/Mutant Enemy (Joss Whedon)
🇺🇸 2012
95 mins

Horror

W: Drew Goddard & Joss Whedon
DP: Peter Deming
Ed: Lisa Lassek
Mus: David Julyan

Kristen Connolly (Dana Polk), Chris Hemsworth (Curt Vaughan), Anna Hutchison (Jules Louden), Fran Kranz (Marty Mikalski), Jesse Williams (Holden McCrea), Richard Jenkins (Gary Sitterson), Bradley Whitford (Steve Hadley)

The Cabin In The Woods sprinkles a little satire over the standard teenagers-in-the-woods horror framework, making for a bit of originality with its twist in the tale.
The usual character types go for a weekend in a cabin and when the cellar door flings itself open, the group soon find themselves at the mercy of bloodthirsty zombies, but not all is as it seems as the frightening events are manipulated by a higher power.
Though it is a new twist on familiar themes, the plot clearly draws inspiration from much better films, particularly Cube (qv) and The Truman Show (qv).
It's increasingly ridiculous the more you think about it, and could have done with a bit of tweaking with the narrative series of events, which give up the big surprise far too early.
Enjoyable enough, and there's plenty of references to horror classics packed within, but the film itself falls somewhat short of classic status. Good fun though.
6/10

"There's no such thing as free cable."
"There's no such thing as free cable."
THE CABLE GUY (12)
D: Ben Stiller
Brillstein/Brad Grey/Mueller Film Corp. (Andrew Licht, Jeffrey A. Mueller & Judd Apatow)
🇺🇸 1996
91 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Lou Holtz, Jr.
DP: Robert Brinkmann
Ed: Steven Weisberg
Mus: John Ottman
 
Jim Carrey (Cable Guy), Matthew Broderick (Steven), Leslie Mann (Robin), Jack Black (Rick), George Segal (Steven's Father), Diane Baker (Steven's Mother), Ben Stiller (Sam Sweet)
 
Matthew Broderick is a straight-laced suburbanite who slips the cable guy $50 for free premium service, the cable guy however becomes obsessed with his new customer and wants constant attention and friendship from him.
What could have been a black comedy about obsession is just straight up slapstick with Jim Carrey in the title role.  The screenplay is incredibly weak and worst of all, it simply isn't as funny as it really ought to be. 
Amongst the biggest disappointments of 1996.
5/10

CADDYSHACK (15)
D: Harold Ramis
Warner Bros./Orion (Douglas Kenney)
🇺🇸 1980
98 mins

Comedy

W: Brian Doyle-Murray, Harold Ramis & Douglas Kenney
DP: Steven Larner
Ed: William Carruth
Mus: Johnny Mandel

Chevy Chase (Ty Webb), Rodney Dangerfield (Al Czervik), Ted Knight (Judge Elihu Smails), Michael O'Keefe (Danny Noonan), Bill Murray (Carl Spackler)

Hit and miss comedy about a collection of characters at a golf club.
The highlights include Bill Murray as a crazy groundsman feuding with a gopher who's tearing up the course.  Meanwhile, Chevy Chase and Rodney Dangerfield have a rivalry of their own going on. Go team Chevy!
A sequel emerged in 1988, but the less said about that, the better.
6/10
 
LA CAGE AUX FOLLES (aka BIRDS OF A FEATHER) (15)
D: Edouard Molinaro
United Artists/PAA (Marcello Danon)
🇫🇷 🇮🇹 1978 (released 1979)
91 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Francis Veber, Edouard Molinaro, Marcello Danon & Jean Poiret [based on the play by Jean Poiret]
DP: Armando Nannuzzi
Ed: Robert Isnardon & Monique Isnardon
Mus: Ennio Morricone
 
Ugo Tognazzi (Renato Baldi), Michel Serrault (Albin Mougeotte / Zaza Napoli), Claire Maurier (Simone Deblon), Remi Laurent (Laurent Baldi)
 
Classic French farce about a homosexual nightclub owner who is persuaded by his heterosexual son to behave straight in front of his girlfriends parents, but the night of the meeting descends into chaos.
This was remade in 1996 as The Birdcage. The original version is much funnier.
7/10
 
"Where The Stone Age Meets The Rock Age."
"Where The Stone Age Meets The Rock Age."
CALIFORNIA MAN (aka ENCINO MAN) (12)
D: Les Mayfield
Hollywood Pictures/Touchstone (George Zaloom)
🇺🇸 1992
88 mins

Comedy

W: Shawn Schepps
DP: Robert Brickmann
Ed: Eric Sears & Jonathan Siegel
Mus: J. Peter Robinson 

Sean Astin (Dave Morgan), Brendan Fraser (Link), Pauly Shore (Stanley 'Stoney' Brown), Megan Ward (Robyn Sweeney), Robin Tunney (Ella), Michael DeLuise (Matt Wilson)

Retitled California Man in the UK because we don't know where the hell Encino is.
Two Bill & Ted like high school students discover a caveman in their back yard and when he thaws out and comes back to life they take him to school with them so they can hang out with the popular kids.
The film is typical American high school nonsense with all the usual clichés. The enjoyment level heavily depends on whether you find humour in the way Pauly Shore speaks.
I don't, buuuuuddy.
4/10

"The best two-hour vacation in town!"
"The best two-hour vacation in town!"

CALIFORNIA SUITE (15)

D: Herbert Ross
Columbia (Ray Stark)
🇺🇸 1978
103 mins

Comedy

W: Neil Simon
DP: David M. Walsh
Ed: Michael Stevenson
Mus: Claude Bolling

Michael Caine (Sidney Cochran), Maggie Smith (Diana Barrie), Walter Matthau (Marvin Michaels), Elaine May (Millie Michaels), Alan Alda (Bill Warren), Jane Fonda (Hannah Warren), Bill Cosby (Dr. Willis Panama), Richard Pryor (Dr. Chauncy Gump)

The misadventures of various guests at a Beverly Hills hotel are told with four non-interlinking stories.
Paul Simon adapts his own stage play for screen, but the humour isn't consistent with each of the four stories, leaving an impression that perhaps not all four segments were written by the playwright. 
Enjoyment of each tale varies with taste, with the Michael Caine-Maggie Smith opening bitchfest arguably the best of the quartet, with Bill Cosby & Richard Pryor's slapstick finale left for the end.
It's quite an irony that Maggie Smith won an Oscar for her performance in this comedy, where she portrays an actress who has just returned from the Academy Awards as a loser.
6/10

CALIGULA (18)/(X)
D: Tinto Brass, Giancarlo Lui & Bob Guccione
GTO/Felix/Penthouse (Bob Guccione & Franco Rossellini)
🇮🇹 🇺🇸 1979
150 mins

Historical

W: Bob Guccione [based on a screenplay by Gore Vidal]
DP: Silvano Ippoliti
Ed: Nino Baragli
Mus: Paul Clemente
PD: Danilo Donati

Malcolm McDowell (Caligula), John Gielgud (Nerva), Peter O'Toole (Tibierius), Helen Mirren (Caesonia), Teresa Ann Savoy (Drusilla), Giancarlo Badessi (Claudius)

Dire historical and occasionally violent biopic about the life and times of a Roman Emperor, which might have been a powerful historical drama had the original screenwriter and director had more control over the project.
An uncut version, filled with additional sex scenes directed by Bob Guccione, received infamy for featuring hardcore pornographic material (the owner of Penthouse magazine was the film's producer).
This film is completely left without identity due to the producer's meddlings, and is a perfect example of too many cooks spoiling the recipe.
3/10

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (15)

D: Luca Guadagnino

Sony Picture Classics/Frenesy/La Cinéfacture/Water's End/RT/MYRA (Peter Spears, Luca Guadaganino, Emilie Georges, Rodrigo Teixeira, Marco Morabito, James Ivory & Howard Rosenman)

🇺🇸 🇮🇹 🇫🇷 🇧🇷 2017

132 mins


Drama


W: James Ivory [based on the novel by Andre Aciman]

DP: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom

Ed: Walter Fasano

Mus: Sufjan Stevens


Timothée Chalamet (Elio Perlman), Armie Hammer (Oliver), Michael Stuhlbarg (Mr. Perlman), Amira Casar (Annella Perlman), Esther Garrel (Marzia)


Despite being one of the most critically-lauded films of 2017, Call Me By Your Name was also met with much controversy, albeit for the wrong reasons by many people who haven't seen the film and quite possibly refuse to.

This coming-of-age drama focuses on a gay relationship which blossoms between 17-year-old Elio Perlman and a 24 year old university graduate in the rural settings of Northern Italy during the early 1980's.

Claims that the film and its story promote pedophilia are completely unsubstantiated, primarily because its the younger of the two men who initiates the seduction, and also because the age gap is no different from that in a film about a lesbian romance (2015's Carol) or even a straight one (1987's Dirty Dancing). It also has to be said that the romance is very tastefully done, with the message of the film presented that the first love of a gay person can be just as confusing, intense and heartbreaking as a straight relationship.

Personally, I would have preferred a little more conflict in the story, other than the internal conflict between the two main characters who feel they have to keep their sexuality secret despite the chemistry between them, but the performances are very well handled, especially Timothée Chalamet with a breakthrough performance that was rightfully rewarded with an Oscar nomination.

For wrong reasons or otherwise, it's a divisive piece of filmmaking, but those who berate it really should watch it before judging.

7/10


CAMP BLOOD (18)
D: Brad Sykes
Astro/Dead Alive/Burning Moon/Razor Digital (David S. Serling)
🇺🇸 2000
73 mins
 
Horror
 
W: Brad Sykes
DP: Jeff Leroy
Ed: Jeff Leroy
 
Jennifer Ritchoff (Tricia), Michael Taylor (Steven / Dr. West), Tim Young (Jason / Det. Hamlet), Bethany Zolt (Nicole / Nurse)
 
Ultra low-budget straight to video slasher nonsense about a killer clown hacking his way through a group of college kids in the woods. It makes no attempt to be good in anyway, using the same actors in secondary roles and ripping off Friday The 13th even down to the using the location name Camp Crystal Lake.
It is entertaining enough if you're surrounded by friends and several cans of beer (or whatever floats your boat), but it is by no means a good film. Everything about it, from direction and performances to photography and editing is bargain basement poor. 
A glut of sequels followed, some of which had absolutely nothing to do with the events in this film.
2/10

THE CANDIDATE (PG)
D: Michael Ritchie
Warner Bros. (Walter Coblenz)
🇺🇸 1972
110 mins
 
Comedy/Political
 
W: Jeremy Larner
DP: Victor J. Kemper
Ed: Robert Estrin & Richard A. Harris
Mus: John Rubinstein
 
Robert Redford (Bill McKay), Peter Boyle (Luck), Don Porter (Sen. Crocker Jarmon), Allen Garfield (Howard Klein), Karen Carlson (Nancy McKay), Quinn Redeker (Rich Jenkin), Morgan Upton (Henderson), Melvyn Douglas (John J. McKay)
 
I might have enjoyed this more if I had any interest at all in American Politics, but the simple truth is, I don't.
Nevertheless, it's a well-made and well-written political comedy about a young, liberal civil rights lawyer (Robert Redford), who is convinced to run for an upcoming campaign for senator. He wins the hearts of the Californian people by tailoring to the needs that matter to them.
Perhaps you have to be an American to truly appreciate this movie. It just didn't really do anything for me.
6/10
 
CANDLESHOE (PG)
D: Norman Tokar
Disney (Hugh Attwooll)
🇬🇧 1977
101 mins
 
Comedy/Adventure
 
W: David Swift & Rosemary Anne Sisson [based on the novel "Christmas At Candleshoe" by Michael Innes]
DP: Paul Beeson
Ed: Peter Boita 
Mus: Ron Goodwin
 
David Niven (Priory), Helen Hayes (Lady St. Edmund), Jodie Foster (Casey Brown), Leo McKern (Bundage)
 
Twee Disney children's film about a young girl who has to pretend to be a heiress with the help of a noble butler.
It's adequate entertainment for a rainy weekend or a bank holiday for young'uns, but it's not worth going out of your way for.         
6/10

CANDYMAN (18)
D: Bernard Rose
Columbia Tristar/Polygram/Propaganda (Steve Golin, Sigurjon Sighvatsson & Alan Poul)
🇺🇸 1992
93 mins

Horror

W: Bernard Rose [based on the novel by Clive Barker]
DP: Anthony B. Richmond 
Ed: Dan Rae
Mus: Philip Glass

Virginia Madsen (Helen Lyle), Tony Todd (Candyman), Xander Berkeley (Trevor Lyle), Kasi Lemmons (Bernadette Walsh), Vanessa Williams (Anne-Marie McCoy), DeJuan Guy (Jake)

Amongst the better horror movies of the early 1990's about a mythical hook-handed serial killer who appears when you look into a mirror and say his name five times.
Virginia Madsen plays an anthropology student who aims to prove his existence.
It's unfortunate that the film ends on incredibly predictable note, but it's an effective bogeyman/slasher film, which also has allegories towards slavery and racism which are quite clever. An impressive horror for the early 1990's, when the genre gravitated mostly towards hashed sequels and scary toys.
A sequel followed, but it lacked the recipe which made this a worthwhile watch.
6/10
 
"You'll root for them all, but you'll never guess who wins."
"You'll root for them all, but you'll never guess who wins."
THE CANNONBALL RUN (PG)
D: Hal Needham
Warner Bros./Golden Harvest (Albert S. Ruddy)
🇺🇸 1981
95 mins
 
Comedy/Adventure
 
W: Brock Yates
DP: Michael Butler
Ed: Donn Cambern & William Gordean
Mus: Al Capps
 
Burt Reynolds (J.J. McClure), Roger Moore (Seymour Goldfarb), Farrah Fawcett (Pamela Glover), Dom DeLuise (Victor Prinzi) Dean Martin (Jamie Blake), Sammy Davis, Jr. (Morris Fenderbaum)
 
A motley crew of competitors compete in an illegal coast-to-coast race.
A comedy extravaganza with an all-star cast which borrows some of the plot points from films of two decades earlier, with many actors sending themselves up.
It has occasional moments of comedy, but not many, and many of the cast members are wasted.
4/10
 
"The popcorn's in the lobby. The nuts are on the screen."
"The popcorn's in the lobby. The nuts are on the screen."
CANNONBALL RUN II (PG)
D: Hal Needham
Warner Bros./Golden Harvest (Albert S. Ruddy)
🇺🇸 1984
108 mins
 
Comedy/Adventure
 
W: Hal Needham, Albert S. Ruddy & Harvey Miller 
DP: Nick McLean
Ed: William Gordean & Carl Kress
Mus: Al Capps
 
Burt Reynolds (J.J. McClure), Dom DeLuise (Victor Prinzi), Dean Martin (Jamie Blake), Sammy Davis, Jr. (Morris Fenderbaum), Jamie Farr (Sheik Abdul Ben Falafel), Ricardo Montalban (King Abdul Ben Falafel)
 
Rather pointless rehash of the first movie with a larger prize fund being offered to the winner of the coast-to-coast race.
More guest stars appear, presumably because they had bills to pay. The film marked the final screen appearances of rat pack members Frank Sinatra (as himself in a cameo role), Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.
4/10
 
CAN'T BUY ME LOVE (PG)
D: James Foley
Warner Bros./Touchstone (Thom Mount)
🇺🇸 1987
94 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Michael Swerdlick
DP: Peter Lyons Collister
Ed: Jeff Gourson
Mus: Robert Folk
 
Patrick Dempsey (Ronald Miller), Amanda Peterson (Cindy Mancini), Tina Caspary (Barbara), Darcy DeMoss (Patty), Seth Green (Chuck Miller)
 
A geeky student hires a popular cheerleader to be his girlfriend in the hope that it will increase his popularity.
Surely this film just glorifies prostitution??
It's just another film in a long line of teen-orientated comedies released after the success of The Breakfast Club and the rest of John Hughes' output.  It lacks longevity and has very little appeal to anyone over 16. If it weren't for the title, named after The Beatles' song, it simply wouldn't be remembered at all.
5/10
 
CAN'T HARDLY WAIT (12)
D: Harry Elfton & Deborah Kaplan
Columbia/Tall Trees (Betty Thomas)
🇺🇸 1998
98 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Harry Elfton & Deborah Kaplan
DP: Lloyd Ahern
Ed: Michael Jablow
Mus: David Kitay & Matthew Sweet
 
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Amanda), Ethan Embry (Preston), Charlie Korsmo (William), Lauren Ambrose (Denise), Seth Green (Kenny)
 
An attempt to recapture the essence of other teen-orientated movies of the 1980's, taking place at a house party to celebrate high school graduation, with unlikely teenage couples falling in love. 
Unfortunately, many of the characters are irritating and unlikeable and the soundtrack has an obsession with Barry Manilow songs. 
It's just not American Graffiti.
4/10
 
CAPE FEAR (15)
D: J. Lee Thompson
United Artists/Melville-Talbot (Sy Bartlett)
🇺🇸 1962
106 mins

Thriller

W: James R. Webb [based on the novel 'The Executioners' by John D. MacDonald]
DP: Sam Leavitt
Ed: George Tomasini
Mus: Bernard Herrmann
PD: Robert Boyle & Alexander Golitzen

Gregory Peck (Sam Bowden), Robert Mitchum (Max Cady), Polly Bergen (Peggy Bowden), Martin Balsam (Mark Dutton), Lori Martin (Nancy Bowden), Jack Kruschen (Dave Grafton), Telly Savalas (Charles Sievers)

Brilliantly atmospheric and chilling thriller about an ex-convict who stalks the lawyer who failed to successfully defend him, with intentions of raping the lawyer's wife.
A 1991 remake by Martin Scorsese rejuvenated interest in the original film, which is a foreboding, yet unpleasant piece of work with a menacing performance from Robert Mitchum and iconically haunting music from Bernard Herrmann.
6/10
 
CAPE FEAR (18)
D: Martin Scorsese
Universal/Amblin/Cappa/Tribeca (Barbara de Fina)
🇺🇸 1991
128 mins

Thriller

W: Wesley Strick [based on the 1962 screenplay by James R. Webb]
DP: Freddie Francis
Ed: Thelma Schoonmaker
Mus: Elmer Bernstein
PD: Henry Bumstead

Robert DeNiro (Max Cady), Nick Nolte (Sam Bowden), Jessica Lange (Leigh Bowden), Juliette Lewis (Danielle Bowden), Joe Don Baker (Claude Kersek), Robert Mitchum (Lieutenant Elgart), Gregory Peck (Lee Heller), Martin Balsam (Judge)

It's incredibly rare that a remake is superior to the original film, but Scorsese's film is just that. The storyline and music are the same from the 1962 original, but Robert DeNiro is even more menacing as the psychopathic ex-convict Max Cady, seeking revenge against the lawyer who failed to successfully defend him. Cady stalks lawyer Sam Bowden's family, who have to flee their home in terror to escape the madman, culminating in a thrilling ending aboard a houseboat.
DeNiro steals the movie, but all the other performances are excellent, especially Juliette Lewis as Sam's naïve daughter who becomes the chilling obsession of Cady.
7/10
 
CAPOTE (15)
D: Bennett Miller
Columbia Tristar (Caroline Baron, William Vince & Michael Ohoven)
🇺🇸 🇨🇦 2005
114 mins

Biopic/Crime

W: Dan Futterman [based on the book by Gerald Clarke]
DP: Adam Kimmel
Ed: Christopher Tellefsen
Mus: Mychael Danna
PD: Jess Gonchor

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Truman Capote), Catherine Keener (Harper Lee), Clifton Collins, Jr. (Perry Smith), Chris Cooper (Alvin Dewey), Bruce Greenwood (Jack Dunphy), Bob Balaban (William Shawn), Amy Ryan (Mary Dewey)

Phillip Seymour Hoffman delivers an excellent performance as Truman Capote, researching a real-life crime in Kansas as the basis for his famous book "In Cold Blood".
The movie is less a biopic and more a criminal reconstruction which attempts to get inside the mind of two murderers, one of which develops a special friendship with Capote.
The 1967 film version of In Cold Blood tackles the story better in all honesty, but this is still a very good drama with excellent central performances. A solid directorial debut for Bennett Miller, who found himself nominated for Best Director. The film also weighed into the Best Picture race and Hoffman took home the award for Best Actor.
7/10
 
CAPRICORN ONE (15)
D: Peter Hyams
Associated General (Paul N. Lazarus III)
🇺🇸 1977 (released 1978)
128 mins
 
Science Fiction/Thriller
 
W: Peter Hyams
DP: Bill Butler
Ed: James Mitchell
Mus: Jerry Goldsmith
PD: Albert Brenner
 
James Brolin (Col. Charles Brubaker), Sam Waterston (Lt. Col. Peter Willis), O.J. Simpson (Comm. John Walker), Elliott Gould (Robert Caulfield), Brenda Vaccaro (Kay Brubaker), Hal Holbrook (Dr. James Kellaway)     
 
Brilliantly deft conspiracy thriller about a NASA mission to Mars being a hoax and an investigative journalist setting out to discover the truth. 
The movie has parables with the moon landing conspiracies which have become even more prevalent since its release and despite a couple of silly moments (Telly Savalas and the airplane chase), it remains a minor cult classic of its time.
Personally, I find it shocking that it was completely shut out of Oscar consideration. It certainly deserved some recognition... could the fact that it didn't be telling us something. Ooh, the plot thickens indeed.
7/10

CAPTAIN AMERICA (PG)
D: Albert Pyun
Castle/21st Century/Marvel (Menahem Golan)     
🇺🇸 🇷🇸 1990
97 mins
 
Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction
 
W: Stephen Tolkin
DP: Philip Alan Waters
Ed: David Reale
Mus: Barry Goldberg
 
Matt Salinger (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Ronny Cox (President Tom Kimball), Ned Beatty (Sam Kolawetz), Scott Paulin (Tadzio de Santis / Red Skull), Kim Gillingham (Bernice / Sharon)
 
Cheap comic book adaptation, seemingly filmed without a budget.
The movie is often classed as one of the worst superhero movies of all time and it's very difficult to disagree.
Captain America, a super soldier created in a top-secret military laboratory during World War II, foils a plot to launch a missile at The White House and awakens from a block of ice in the present day where he discovers his old nemesis, The Red Skull, is living in Italy and still up to his dastardly shenanigans.
It's worth watching just for the ridiculous scene where The Red Skull chops off his own arm (because he is stupid), but anyone watching in the hope that they'll see some breathtaking special effects or pulsating action scenes will be very disappointed. There aren't any. Unless you count a scene where Captain America steals a car by outrunning a fat guy (this seriously happens).
Unintentionally funny moments don't prevent this from being a bonafide turkey though, every stage of the filmmaking process is so badly done, from a screenplay filled with horrible dialogue to the terrible acting which has to deliver it. The unconvincing sets, costume design, makeup and inaudible sound recording only compound this.
It was released straight to video in most countries, much to the disappointment of the producer, Menahem Golan, who had already suffered a string of flops before he began work on this film.
2/10

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER (12)
D: Joe Johnston
Paramount/Marvel (Kevin Feige)
🇺🇸 2011
124 mins

Action/Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely [based on characters created by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby]
DP: Shelley Johnson
Ed: Jeffrey Ford & Robert Dalva
Mus: Alan Silvestri
PD: Rick Heinrichs
Cos: Anna B. Sheppard

Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Hayley Atwell (Agent Peggy Carter), Sebastian Stan (James 'Bucky' Barnes), Hugo Weaving (Johann Schmidt / The Red Skull), Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark), Tommy Lee Jones (Chester Phillips), Stanley Tucci (Abraham Erskine), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury)

Having previous experience with The Rocketeer, Joe Johnston was the right choice to direct this and remains true to the source material by keeping it as a period piece set during WWII.
A weedy but earnest soldier becomes a guinea pig in an experiment to make him a super soldier, with optimum strength, speed and tactical knowledge as America draws deeper into involvement in the Second World War. 
Despite the experiment being successful, any chance of more super soldiers being born are quelled by the villainous Red Skull, who becomes Captain America's greatest nemesis.
Chris Evans delivers a fine performance here in a role which is it's felt he's tailor-made for, a far cry from the arrogant dick he plays in Fantastic Four. Tommy Lee Jones is the best of the supporting pack with some of the best one-liners in the film, while Hayley Atwell makes a perfectly perky love interest.
It may end on a major downer, but with the Avengers Assemble movie on the horizon when this film was released, this provides a brilliantly entertaining origin tale on one of Marvel Comics' biggest characters.
7/10
 
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (12)
D: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Disney/Marvel (Kevin Feige)
🇺🇸 2014
136 mins

Action/Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely [based on characters created by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby]
DP: Trent Opaloch
Ed: Jeffrey Ford
Mus: Henry Jackman

Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson / Falcon), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / The Winter Soldier), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Frank Grillo (Brock Rumlow), Robert Redford (Alexander Pierce)

As entertaining and enjoyable as this film is, it does pale in comparison to the 2011 Captain America movie and the action-packed Avengers Assemble, although, as far as sequels go, it is a decent one.
Following on from the events from it's predecessors, Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) is struggling to settle into modern day society in-between his covert missions for top secret agency Shield. 
Following an attempt on Shield director Nick Fury's life, the agency becomes corrupted by a new operations director and Captain America goes on the run with Natasha Romanov (aka Black Widow) to solve the mystery. 
As always, the visual effects are flawless and the action set pieces are more than satisfying, but what made the first film so refreshing was that it pitted a lone superhero in a period setting, making him a one-of-a-kind hero against an almost unstoppable army. In this sequel, he's joined by fellow superheroes Black Widow & Falcon and although it remains reasonably faithful to the Marvel franchise, all the films are starting to become somewhat formulaic and incredibly predictable (this is without doubt, the most predictable Marvel film this far).
Still, it could be much, much worse, like the incredibly shoddy 1990 version of Captain America which has to be seen to see how atrocious it is.
6/10

"United we stand. Divided we fall."
"United we stand. Divided we fall."
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (12)
D: Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
Disney/Marvel (Kevin Feige)
🇺🇸 2016
147 mins

Action/Adventure/Science Fiction

W: Christopher Marcus & Stephen McFeely [based on characters created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby]
DP: Trent Opaloch 
Ed: Jeffrey Ford & Matthew Schmidt
Mus: Henry Jackman

Chris Evans (Steve Rogers / Captain America); Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man); Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanov / Black Widow); Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier); Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson / Falcon); Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch); Don Cheadle (James Rhodes / War Machine); Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton / Hawkeye); Chadwick Boseman (T'Challa / Black Panther); Paul Bettany (Vision); Paul Rudd (Scott Lang / Ant-Man); Daniel Brühl (Helmut Zumo); Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter); Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man)

The Avengers really do assemble for this instalment to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which could just as easily have been titled Iron Man 4 or the third sequel to The Avengers rather than the Captain America series.
Like the rest of Marvel's movies, it follows on from events in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, so it's of huge importance to have seen the preceding films so you know the characters and events being referenced. 
A rift emerges in the superhero elite due to a government crackdown, brought on by the collateral damage that the avengers have caused from saving the world (in previous movies). Captain America and Iron Man both stand on opposite sides of the fence, but when terrorist attacks occur, attributed to super assassin The Winter Soldier, the former allies prepare to go into battle with each other, all armed with their own superhero chums.
Though the action scenes are hugely impressive, the plot ultimately boils down to a rather unconvincing revenge story. Still, the huge cast, superb action scenes and technically impressive visual effects make it all worth watching.
Much, much better than the hugely disappointing Batman v Superman. The only question is: how can Marvel possibly top the action on display here?
7/10

CAPTAIN EO (U)
D: Francis Ford Coppola
Disney/Lucasfilm (Rusty Lemorande)
🇺🇸 1986
17 mins

Science Fiction/Musical/Short Film

W: George Lucas, Rusty Lemorande & Francis Ford Coppola
Mus: James Horner

Michael Jackson (Captain EO), Anjelica Huston (The Supreme Leader), Tony Cox (Hooter), Debbie Lee Carrington (Idey)

Captain EO was a 3-D short film which originally ran at Disney theme parks from 1986 until 1994. The film also incorporated effects in the auditorium to truly bring the screen events to life.
The film marries two of the most culturally popular elements of the 1980's together, Michael Jackson and Star Wars, with the King of Pop playing the title character, a spaceship captain who aims to defeat the forces of evil with song and dance.
The attraction was re-opened in 2010 following the death of Michael Jackson, and though it has closed again, converted 2D versions exist on the black market.
By cost-per-minute, Captain EO is amongst the most expensive films ever produced, and though the spectacle will be lost watching on home screens, this was an incredibly popular attraction at the world's most iconic theme park.
6/10

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (15)

D: Matt Ross

Universal/Bleeker Street (Monica Levinson, Jamie Patricof, Shivani Ravat & Lynette Howell Taylor)

🇺🇸 2016

118 mins


Comedy/Drama


W: Matt Ross

DP: Stephane Fontaine

Ed: Joseph Krings

Mus: Alex Somers


Viggo Mortensen (Ben Cash), George Mackay (Bo Cash), Samantha Isler (Kielyr Cash), Annalise Basso (Vespyr Cash), Steve Zahn (Dave), Kathryn Hahn (Harper)


Viggo Mortensen received his second Oscar nomination for his performance as Ben Cash, a former liberal activist who raises his six children in the wilderness of Washington state, away from capitalism so he can teach them about philosophy, survival skills and left-wing politics, all of which don't help them when they experience the real world following their mother's suicide.

The quirky comedy will draw comparisons with Wes Anderson's work, so it's fair to say that this an acquired taste. Viggo Mortensen's performance may well be fantastic but the film itself, not so much. 

6/10


"Out here survival is everything."
"Out here survival is everything."
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (12)
D: Paul Greengrass
Columbia/Trigger Street (Scott Rudin, Michael DeLuca & Dana Brunetti)
🇺🇸 2013
134 mins
 
Adventure/Thriller/Biopic
 
W: Billy Ray [based on the book 'A Captain's Duty' by Richard Phillips & Stephan Tatty]
DP: Barry Ackroyd
Ed: Christopher Rouse
Mus: Henry Jackman 
 
Tom Hanks (Captain Richard Phillips), Barkhad Abdi (Muse), Barkhad Abdirahman (Bilal), Faysal Ahmed (Najee), Mahat M. Ali (Elmi), Michael Chernus (Shane Murphy), Catherine Keener (Andrea Phillips)
 
Captain Phillips is an absolute nerve-shredding masterclass of thrills and tension, based on a true story of piracy off the East African Coast where a freight vessel delivering aid to Mombasa was boarded by Somali pirates who hold it's captain hostage for ransom.
Director Paul Greengrass brings the same energy he brought to the Bourne films whilst presenting the film as a docudrama, much like he did with United 93.
The claustrophobic photography adds to the tension and the action is quite rightly kept focused on the hijack of the ship and then the capture of Captain Phillips, with cutaways to the rescue operation kept minimal and to the point, with the tension mounting towards a heart-pounding crescendo.
Tom Hanks delivers a fantastic performance in the title role, although his American-Irish accent is a little distracting in the opening moments.  The true revelation however, is the performances of the four Somali captors, each a character in their own right with two particularly nasty bastards, including the leader of the gang, Muse. 
Nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and quite right too. It's most certainly one of the best films of 2013.
8/10

THE CARE BEARS MOVIE (U)
D: Arna Selznick
Nelvana (Michael Hirsch, Patrick Loubert & Clive Smith)  
🇺🇸 1985
75 mins
 
Animated 
 
W: Peter Sauder
Mus: John B. Sebastian
 
Voices of: Mickey Rooney (Nicholas Cherrywood), Georgia Engel (Love-A-Lot Bear), Eva Almos (Friend Bear / Champ Bear / Swift Heart Rabbit)
 
Average, undemanding animated film produced as an advertisement for a range of children toys.
The story is adequate entertainment for the under 8's, following a group of magical bears who try to overcome an evil spirit who wishes misery upon everyone.
Very much a product of its time.
A much darker themed sequel was released two years later, though the animation as a whole was of similar quality.
4/10

CARLITO'S WAY (18)
D: Brian de Palma
Universal (Martin Bregman, Willi Baer & Michael A. Bregman)
🇺🇸 1993
145 mins

Crime/Drama

W: David Koepp [based on the novels 'Carlito's Way' and 'After Hours' by Edwin Torres]
DP: Stephen H. Burum
Ed: Bill Pankow & Kristina Boden
Mus: Patrick Doyle
PD: Richard Sylbert

Al Pacino (Carlito Brigante), Sean Penn (David Kleinfeld), Penelope Ann Miller (Gail), John Leguizamo (Benny Blanco), Ingrid Rogers (Steffie), Luis Guzman (Pachanga), James Rebhorn (Norwalk), Joseph Siravo (Vinnie Taglialucci), Viggo Mortensen (Lalin)

The Untouchables saw Brian DePalma's best work as a director. Since then, his movies have been very hit and miss. Carlito's Way is one of his much better movies and sees Al Pacino deliver a fantastic performance as the title character, a Puerto Rican ex-con trying to play it straight. It's a shame he's upstaged by Sean Penn as a crooked lawyer and Penelope Ann Miller as his love interest. 
On the downside, the movie was a tad too long but the final hour is all quite mesmerising and it's a real shame DePalma ends the movie with a climactic scene set in a railway station, akin to the final scene in The Untouchables. Nevertheless, one of the better gangster movies of the 1990's.
8/10

CAROL (15)
D: Todd Haynes
Studio Canal/The Weinstein Company (Elizabeth Carlsen, Stephen Woolley & Christine Vachon)
🇺🇸 🇬🇧 2015
118 mins

Drama/Romance

W: Phyllis Nagy [based on the novel "The Price Of Salt" by Patricia Highsmith]
DP: Ed Lachman
Ed: Affonso Gonçalves
Mus: Carter Burwell
PD: Judy Becker
Cos: Sandy Powell

Cate Blanchett (Carol Aird), Rooney Mara (Therese Belivet), Sarah Paulson (Abby Gerhard), Kyle Chandler (Harge Aird), Jake Lacy (Richard Semco)

During the Christmas season in 1960's New York City, a department store worker and aspiring photographer develops a friendship with an older, upper-class woman trapped in a marriage of convenience, fighting a bitter divorce and custody battle. Before long, the relationship between the two women becomes more intimate.
This exquisitely filmed, multi-layered melodrama has shades of mystery filtered into the story, based on Patricia Highsmith's groundbreaking novel "The Price Of Salt", and though the story feels a little stretched over the running time, the performances of the two leads are nothing short of excellent.
It may have been a surprise that Todd Haynes' drama failed to be nominated for Best Picture or Best Director at the Oscars, but the real fraud is that Rooney Mara was classed as a supporting actress, despite being the main character in the film to Cate Blanchett's title character. Mara brings a true innocence to the role, with facial expressions which tell a better story than most scripts. 
A beautifully told love story which could be classed as Brief Encounter for a new time and a new generation.
8/10

CARRIE (18)
D: Brian de Palma
United Artists/Red Bank (Paul Monash)            
🇺🇸 1976
98 mins

Horror

W: Lawrence D. Cohen [based on the novel by Stephen King]
DP: Mario Tosi
Ed: Paul Hirsch
Mus: Pino Donaggio
PD: Jack Fisk

Sissy Spacek (Carrie White), Piper Laurie (Margaret White), Amy Irving (Sue Snell), William Katt (Tommy Ross), John Travolta (Billy Nolan), Nancy Allen (Chris Hargenson), Betty Buckley (Miss Collins)

Featuring one of the classic scare scenes in cinema history, Carrie hasn't dated too badly.  Sissy Spacek is exceptionally well cast as the title character, a repressed schoolgirl who discovers she has telekenetic powers, but the film ultimately belongs to Piper Laurie as Carrie's mother, delightfully over the top as a religious zealot and the movies true villain. The first film to be adapted from a Stephen King novel and still amongst the best. 
An inferior sequel "The Rage: Carrie II" followed in 1999, before a remake with Chloë Moretz as the title character.
8/10

"You will know her name."
"You will know her name."
CARRIE (18)
D: Kimberly Pierce
MGM/Screen Gems (Kevin Misher)
🇺🇸 2013
99 mins

Horror

W: Lawrence D. Cohen & Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa [based on the novel by Stephen King]
DP: Steve Yedlin
Ed: Lee Percy
Mus: Marco Beltrami

Chloë Grace Moretz (Carrie White), Julianne Moore (Margaret White), Judy Greer (Miss Desjardin), Portia Doubleday (Chris Hargensen), Alex Russell (Billy Nolan), Gabriella Wilde (Sue Snell), Ansel Elgort (Tommy Ross)

Pathetic remake of the 1976 horror classic for the Facebook generation. 
It's obvious that the filmmakers here failed to realise that the reason the original film was so good was due to the performance of Sissy Spacek, who played the telekinesis-gifted schoolgirl with such demure innocence that she was never the real monster, but her religiously-crazed mother was. Here, Chloë Grace Moretz is always creepy as the shy, bullied schoolgirl, which doesn't help evoke sympathy in the infamous prom scene, which here goes completely over the top with CGI effects and pyrotechnics.
Another lazy remake which should never have been given the studio greenlight. Refer to the 1976 version instead.
2/10

CARRY ON ABROAD (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1972
88 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw, Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth, Jimmy Logan, June Whitfield
 
The usual nudge nudge, wink wink, double entrendes and sexual innuendos from the Carry On comedy troupe.
The sense of humour is practically the same in each film of the long running series and the location is the only thing which differs in each of them.
This one takes place at a Spanish holiday resort and is no better or worse than the majority of the series.
5/10
 
CARRY ON AGAIN DOCTOR (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1969
89 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Ernest Steward
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Barbara Windsor, Hattie Jacques, Peter Butterworth, Patsy Rowlands, Pat Coombs
 
The fourth Carry On film to be set in a hospital and it's clear to see that the comedy is running out of steam.
A barrel-scraping entry to the series and probably one for big fans only.
4/10
 
CARRY ON AT YOUR CONVENIENCE (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1971
90 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Ernest Steward
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw, Hattie Jacques, Kenneth Cope, Patsy Rowlands, Jackie Piper, Richard O'Callaghan
 
More raunchy slapstick escapades in the usual Carry On style, this time concerning the staff and customers at a local plumbing merchandise store.
It goes without saying that it's mostly toilet humour.
4/10
 
CARRY ON BEHIND (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1975
90 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Dave Freeman
DP: Ernest Steward
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Elke Sommer, Kenneth Williams, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth, Jack Douglas, Windsor Davies, Liz Fraser, Patsy Rowlands
 
One of the better Carry On films and the final one of the series before it descended into complete trash.
The comedy this time around takes place on a campsite where archaeologists discover Roman artefacts. The humour is similar to all the other films, but at least the jokes are delivered with a fair bit of enthusiasm, rather than a tired cast simply going over the same old routine.
6/10

CARRY ON CABBY (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1963
91 mins

Comedy

W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Archie Ludski
Mus: Eric Rogers

Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, Kenneth Connor, Hattie Jacques, Esma Cannon, Liz Fraser, Bill Owen, Milo O'Shea, Jim Dale

Battle-of-the-sexes Carry On farce about two rival taxi firms, one staffed by men and the other by women.
It's the usual slap-and-tickle formula for the Carry On series and is decent entertainment for a bank holiday, but it's not a standout from any other films in the series.
5/10

CARRY ON CAMPING (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1969
88 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Ernest Steward
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Terry Scott, Barbara Windsor
 
One of the better known Carry On movies, mostly due to an iconic scene in which Barbara Windsor loses her top.
Aside from that scene, it's a rather standard entry, set at a nudist camp, containing the usual innuendos and double entrendes.
5/10

CARRY ON CLEO (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1964
92 mins

Comedy

W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Archie Ludski
Mus: Eric Rogers

Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Jim Dale, Amanda Barrie, E. V. H. Emmett, Sheila Hancock, Jon Pertwee

Carry On parody of the Elizabeth Taylor film version of Cleopatra.
It caused much controversy at the time for mocking the 1963 epic but it's all rather unspectacular now, although it does have a handful of funny moments.
5/10

CARRY ON COLUMBUS (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Island World/Comedy House (John Goldstone)
🇬🇧 1992
91 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Dave Freeman
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Chris Blunden
Mus: John DuPrez
 
Jim Dale, Bernard Crippins, Maureen Lipman, Peter Richardson, Rik Mayall, Alexei Sayle, Charles Fleischer, Larry Miller, Leslie Phillips, Julian Clary, Sara Crowe, Rebecca Lacey, Nigel Planer, June Whitfield, Richard Wilson
 
The first Carry On film for 14 years and the worst of the lot. By 1992 the formula was tired and there were much funnier things than a innuendo-filled parody about the explorer who discovered the Americas.
2/10

CARRY ON CONSTABLE (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1960
86 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Norman Hudis [based on a story by Brock Williams]
DP: Ted Scaife
Ed: John Shirley
Mus: Bruce Montgomery
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Eric Barker, Leslie Phillips, Hattie Jacques, Shirley Eaton, Cyril Chamberlain, Irene Handl, Esma Cannon, Freddie Mills
 
Parody of the TV series Dixon Of Dock Green in the usual Carry On style.
It doesn't really have a plot and is just a series of sketches following the misadventures of four inept policeman. It does have its funny moments but few and far between.
5/10

CARRY ON COWBOY (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1965
95 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Rod Keys
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Jim Dale, Percy Herbert, Angela Douglas, Bernard Bresslaw, Peter Butterworth, Jon Pertwee
 
Amusing parody of High Noon and other classic westerns when the Carry On series of films was at height of its popularity.
Funny enough if you're a fan of the series.
5/10

CARRY ON CRUISING (U)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1962
89 mins

Comedy

W: Norman Hudis [based on a story by Eric Barker]
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: John Shirley
Mus: Bruce Montgomery

Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor, Liz Fraser, Dilys Laye, Esma Cannon, Lance Percival, Ronnie Stevens, Cyril Chamberlain, Anton Rodgers

One of the weaker Carry On films with the usual slapstick and sexual innuendo, only this time set aboard a cruise ship. 
The plot, jokes and cast are practically all at sea.
4/10

CARRY ON DICK (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1974
91 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Ernest Steward
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor, Barbara Windsor, Hattie Jacques, Bernard Bresslaw, Joan Sims, Peter Butterworth, Jack Douglas, Patsy Rowlands, Bill Maynard
 
More barrel-scraping from the Carry On crew who were clearly running low on ideas.
This time it's a parody of the life of Dick Turpin, named in this as Big Dick. *chuckle*
One of the weakest entries in a long-running series.
4/10
 
CARRY ON DOCTOR (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1968
94 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Frankie Howerd, Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Barbara Windsor, Hattie Jacques, Anita Harris, Bernard Bresslaw, Peter Butterworth
 
The Carry On crew return to a hospital location, this time with a story concerning a patients revolt against an unlikeable matron.
Occasionally funny, but it's not really amongst the better films of the series.
5/10
 
CARRY ON - DON'T LOSE YOUR HEAD (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1966
90 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Rod Keys
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Peter Butterworth, Dany Robin, Peter Gilmore
 
The Carry On cast mock The Scarlet Pimpernel and other Olde English folk tales with their usual "Ooh. Matron" humour. Occasionally funny, but it's just another film in a long-running series which had at least ten films more than it needed to have.
5/10
 
CARRY ON EMMANNUELLE (15)
D: Gerald Thomas
Hemdale (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1978
88 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Lance Peters
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Peter Boita
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Suzanne Danielle, Kenneth Williams, Kenneth Connor, Jack Douglas, Joan Sims, Peter Butterworth, Larry Dann, Beryl Reid, Eric Barker
 
A poor attempt by the Carry On filmmakers to update the formula for a more adult audience and more sexually liberal times, this time infusing their usual humour into the theme of Emmanuelle, a famous erotic movie of the early 1970's.
It didn't work (perhaps because the original film was cheesy enough) and practically killed off the series (until the awful Carry On Columbus really killed it off in 1992).
3/10
 
CARRY ON ENGLAND (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1976
89 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Jack Seddon & David Pursall
DP: Ernest Steward
Ed: Richard Marden
Mus: Max Harris
 
Kenneth Connor, Windsor Davies, Patrick Mower, Judy Geeson, Jack Douglas, Diane Langton, Melvyn Hayes, Joan Sims, Peter Jones, Peter Butterworth, David Lodge
 
One of the lesser known Carry On movies, set in an army barracks during World War II.
The jokes aren't too funny and it's clear that the formula is becoming tired (as are the cast).
4/10
 
CARRY ON - FOLLOW THAT CAMEL (PG)     
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1966
90 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Phil Silvers, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Peter Butterworth, Anita Harris, Bernard Bresslaw, Angela Douglas, Peter Gilmore
 
The comedy talents of Phil Silvers joins the Carry On gang in a farce set in the Foreign Legion. 
It has moments of amusing humour, but the clash of comedy styles doesn't really work.
4/10
 
CARRY ON GIRLS (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1973
88 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Connor, Joan Sims, Barbara Windsor, Bernard Bresslaw, Peter Butterworth, June Whitfield, Jack Douglas, Patsy Rowlands, Valerie Leon, Joan Hickson, David Lodge
 
The organiser of a seaside beauty contest annoys the members of a local women's liberation moment.
The usual formula from the Carry On gang with some occasionally funny moments.
5/10
 
CARRY ON HENRY (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1971
89 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Rod Keys
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Terry Scott, Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth, Peter Gilmore, Patsy Rowlands
 
The story of Henry VIII gets the Carry On treatment resulting in an occasionally amusing farce with the usual jokes and sexual innuendos.
5/10
 
CARRY ON JACK (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1964
91 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Archie Ludski
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Bernard Cribbins, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Juliet Mills, Donald Houston, Percy Herbert, Peter Gilmore, Jim Dale, Anton Rodgers, Cecil Parker, Patrick Cargill
 
Above average Carry On film parodying Mutiny On The Bounty and other sea-faring adventures. No better or worse than the majority of the series.
5/10
 
CARRY ON LOVING (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1970
88 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Ernest Steward
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Terry Scott, Hattie Jacques, Richard O'Callaghan, Bernard Bresslaw, Jackie Piper, Imogen Hassall, Patsy Rowlands, Bill Maynard
 
The misfits of the Carry On cast try their luck at a dating agency, with some funny consequences. It's just another film in a long series of others.
4/10
 
CARRY ON MATRON (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1972
87 mins

Comedy

W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Ernest Steward
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers

Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw, Terry Scott, Kenneth Cope, Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Connor, Jackie Piper, Patsy Rowlands, Jack Douglas

Another of the better Carry On movies. The comedy is set in a hospital again, with a con man masterminding an operation to steal medicines from a maternity hospital.
It's all cross-dressing, toilet humour and sexual innuendos, but it does have its amusing moments which make it worthwhile.
5/10

CARRY ON NURSE (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1959
86 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Norman Hudis
DP: Reg Wyer
Ed: John Shirley
Mus: Bruce Montgomery
 
Shirley Eaton, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Hattie Jacques, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Terence Longdon, Bill Owen, Leslie Phillips, Wilfred Hyde-White, Irene Handl
 
The first real Carry On movie, when the formula was still fresh and it shows with the comedy performances of the cast.
The movie even had decent success away from British shores, unfortunately the films were very hit and miss after this one.
6/10

CARRY ON REGARDLESS (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1961
90 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Norman Hudis
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: John Shirley
Mus: Bruce Montgomery
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Terence Longdon, Bill Owen, Liz Fraser, Esma Cannon, Hattie Jacques, Fenella Fielding
 
The assorted incompetent misfits of the Carry On cast join an odd-job agency, the rest is just a series of slapstick sketches with varying amusement and entertainment value.
5/10
 
CARRY ON SCREAMING (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1966
97 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Rod Keys
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Harry H. Corbett, Kenneth Williams, Jim Dale, Charles Hawtrey, Fenella Fielding, Joan Sims, Angela Douglas, Bernard Bresslaw, Peter Butterworth, Jon Pertwee
 
A parody of Hammer Horror films with a welcome performance from Harry H. Corbett in the lead role. The jokes are hit-and-miss but it's certainly not one of the weaker Carry On films.
5/10

CARRY ON SPYING (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1964
87 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell & Sid Colin
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Archie Ludski
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Kenneth Williams, Bernard Cribbins, Charles Hawtrey, Barbara Windsor, Eric Pohlmann, Eric Barker, Dilys Lane, Jim Dale, Richard Wattis
 
Intermittently amusing parody of the James Bond films from the Carry On crew.
Same cast, same jokes, same formula, same old carry on.
5/10

CARRY ON TEACHER (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Anglo Amalgamated (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1959
86 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Norman Hudis
DP: Reginald Wyer
Ed: John Shirley
Mus: Bruce Montgomery
 
Ted Ray, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Leslie Phillips, Joan Sims, Kenneth Connor, Hattie Jacques, Rosalind Knight, Cyril Chamberlain
 
Amongst the better Carry On films, set at a school where the students sabotage the headmaster's chances of getting a job elsewhere.
The slapstick and jokes were still quite fresh in one of the earlier films from the long-running series.
6/10
 
CARRY ON UP THE JUNGLE (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1970
89 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Ernest Steward
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Frankie Howerd, Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Terry Scott, Kenneth Connor, Bernard Bresslaw, Jackie Piper
 
Carry On parody of Tarzan films. More barrel-scraping with a recycled formula, old jokes and a cast who are back by contractual obligation.
4/10
 
CARRY ON UP THE KHYBER (PG)
D: Gerald Thomas
Rank (Peter Rogers)
🇬🇧 1968
88 mins
 
Comedy
 
W: Talbot Rothwell
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Alfred Roome
Mus: Eric Rogers
 
Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Roy Castle, Bernard Bresslaw, Peter Butterworth, Terry Scott, Angela Douglas, Cardew Robinson, Julian Holloway
 
Arguably the best Carry On film, with the usual misfits and familiar faces defending British territories in India.
The movie features one of the most iconic lines in the entire series of the films and does have many funny moments.
6/10
 
CASABLANCA (U)
D: Michael Curtiz
Warner Bros. (Hal B. Wallis)
🇺🇸 1942
102 mins

War/Drama/Romance

W: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein & Howard Koch [based on the play 'Everybody Goes To Rick's' by Murray Burnett & Joan Alison]
DP: Arthur Edeson
Ed: Owen Marks
Mus: Max Steiner
PD: Carl Jules Weyl
Cos: Orry-Kelly

Humphrey Bogart (Rick Blaine), Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa Lund Laszlo), Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo), Claude Rains (Capt. Louis Renault), Conrad Veidt (Maj. Heinrich Strasser), Sydney Greenstreet (Señor Ferrari), Peter Lorre (Ugarte), Dooley Wilson (Sam)

A timeless classic, as powerful today as it ever was, with the perfect blend of suspense, drama, emotion, intrigue and romance.
Set in French Morocco during the Second World War, a hard-bitten nightclub owner abandons his cynical ways to assist his former love and her fiancé to escape persecution. Humphrey Bogart & Ingrid Bergman demonstrate how powerful screen chemistry can be and all the supporting performances are excellent.
Casablanca is not just a movie, it is a bonafide work of art.
You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. The fundamental things apply, as time goes by.
10/10

"No one stays at the top forever."
"No one stays at the top forever."
CASINO (18)
D: Martin Scorsese
Universal/Syalis D.A./Legende (Barbara de Fina)
🇺🇸 1995
182 mins

Crime/Drama

W: Nicholas Pileggi & Martin Scorsese [based on the book by Nicholas Pileggi]
DP: Robert Richardson 
Ed: Thelma Schoonmaker
PD: Dante Ferretti
Cos: Rita Ryack & John Dunn

Robert DeNiro (Sam 'Ace' Rothstein), Sharon Stone (Ginger McKenna), Joe Pesci (Nicky Santoro), James Woods (Lester Diamond), Don Rickles (Billy Sherbet), Alan King (Andy Stone), Kevin Pollak (Phillip Green), L. Q. Jones (Pat Webb)

A step down from Goodfellas, but still a great gangster movie from auteur Martin Scorsese.
Robert DeNiro plays Sam 'Ace' Rothstein, a former gambler who is put in charge of a Mafia-controlled casino, his attempts to run the casino honestly fall apart however when mobster Nicky Santoro (Pesci) gets involved.
DeNiro delivers a good performance and Joe Pesci's character is even crazier than the one he portrayed in Goodfellas, but the films true surprise is Sharon Stone as Rothstein's drug addict wife with a penchant for embezzling.
It may not be Goodfellas, but it's still very good.
7/10

CASINO ROYALE (PG)
D: John Huston, Ken Hughes, Robert Parrish, Val Guest & Joseph McGrath
Columbia (Charles K. Feldman & Jerry Bresler)
🇬🇧 1967
131 mins

Comedy/Crime/Adventure

W: Wolf Mankiewicz, John Law, Michael Sayers, Billy Wilder, Val Guest, Joseph Heller, Ben Hecht & Terry Southern [based on the novel by Ian Fleming]
DP: John Wilcox, Jack Hildyard & Nicolas Roeg
Ed: Bill Lenny
Mus: Burt Bacharach

Peter Sellers (Evelyn Tremble), Ursula Andress (Vesper Lynd), David Niven (Sir James Bond), Orson Welles (Le Chiffre), Joanna Pettet (Mata Bond), Daliah Levi (The Detainer), Woody Allen (Jimmy Bond)

A spoof of James Bond which wasn't part of the official 007 franchise and rightly so. The movie is a huge mess.
Five directors, several screenwriters but an incomprehensible plot with barely any jokes worth a chuckle. The saying "too many cooks spoil the broth" has never been more apt.
2/10
 
CASINO ROYALE (15)
D: Martin Campbell
MGM/Columbia/Eon (Michael G. Wilson & Barbara Broccoli)
🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇩🇪 🇨🇿 2006
144 mins

Crime/Thriller

W: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade & Paul Haggis [based on the novel by Ian Fleming]     
DP: Phil Meheux
Ed: Stuart Baird
Mus: David Arnold
PD: Peter Lamont

Daniel Craig (James Bond), Eva Green (Vesper Lynd), Mads Mikkelsen (Le Chiffre), Giancarlo Giannini (Rene Mathis), Judi Dench (M)

Bond for the 21st Century, starting afresh with Daniel Craig as a less-suave, more masculine 007 in his first assignment to investigate an arms dealer and prevent him from winning a high stakes poker game which will fund his entire operation.
Despite the movies best efforts to take the franchise in a different direction to it's predecessors, it still relies on references to them and needless product placement at every opportunity.
The action scenes maintain entertainment value, the production values can't be sniffed at and it's infinitely better than the 1967 film of the same name, but it's just trying so damn hard to not be a "Bond film" whilst constantly reminding us that it's a Bond film.
6/10

CASPER (PG)
D: Brad Silberling
UIP/Amblin/Harvey (Colin Wilson)
🇺🇸 1995
100 mins

Fantasy/Comedy

W: Sherri Stoner & Deanna Oliver [based on the story 'Casper The Friendly Ghost' by Joseph Oriolo & Seymour Rait]
DP: Dean Cundey
Ed: Michael Kahn
Mus: James Horner 
PD: Leslie Dilley

Christina Ricci (Kat Harvey), Bill Pullman (Dr. James Harvey), Cathy Moriarty (Cardigan Crittenden), Eric Idle (Paul Plutzker)
voices of: Malachi Pearson (Casper), Joe Nipote (Stretch), Joe Alaskey (Stinkie), Brad Garrett (Fatso)

Updated from a comic book series and several cartoon serials and shorts, this ghostly story for adolescents sees a young girl and her father move into a new house which is possessed with four ghosts, one is friendly and the other three mischievious. 
It's all quite twee without having anything really funny in the dialogue or comic situations, although it does have some rather dark moments which might be a little too much for really young children.  
Good fun for youngsters between the ages of 8-12, but it will hold little appeal for anyone beyond those ages. A string of straight-to-video sequels followed.
5/10

THE CASSANDRA CROSSING (15)
D: George Pan Cosmatos
AGF/CCC/International Cine (Lew Grade & Carlo Ponti)
🇬🇧 🇮🇹 🇩🇪 1976
129 mins
 
Adventure/Thriller
 
W: Tom Mankiewicz, Robert Katz & George Pan Cosmatos
DP: Ennio Guarnieri
Mus: Jerry Goldsmith
PD: Aurelio Crugnola
 
Sophia Loren (Jennifer Rispoli Chamberlain), Richard Harris (Dr. Jonathan Chamberlain), Ava Gardner (Nicole Dressler), Burt Lancaster (Col. Stephen Mackenzie), Martin Sheen (Robby Navarro), Ingrid Thulin (Dr. Elena Stradner), Lee Strasberg (Herman Caplan)
 
An all star cast are wasted in this weak disaster film from the late 70's about a terrorist who releases a deadly plague aboard a train.
There's little drama or adventure in the running time, most of the dialogue is banal and the special effects are so atrocious they may as well have used a child's train playset.
One of the barrel-scraping contributions to the disaster genre craze which swept the 1970's
4/10

"At the edge of the world, his journey begins."
"At the edge of the world, his journey begins."
CAST AWAY (12)
D: Robert Zemeckis
20th Century Fox/Dreamworks (Steve Starkey, Tom Hanks, Robert Zemeckis & Jack Rapke)
🇺🇸 2000
144 mins
 
Adventure/Drama
 
W: William Broyles, Jr.
DP: Don Burgess
Ed: Arthur Schmidt
Mus: Alan Silvestri
PD: Rick Carter
 
Tom Hanks (Chuck Noland), Helen Hunt (Kelly Frears), Nick Searcy (Sam)
 
Tom Hanks deserves all the credit for this movie, carrying nearly the entire film on his own with only a volleyball which he names Wilson for company.
Stranded on a desert island with only a few cargo boxes filled mostly with junk, Chuck Noland (Hanks) adapts to survive in the environment on his own initiative (making fires, learning to fish, etc) after his attempts to escape the island are thwarted by violent sea conditions.
After several years, he finally devises a plan to escape and returns to a world which has moved on in his absence.
The first half-hour drags quite slowly with it's pacing and the obvious FedEx product placement becomes rather irksome, but it's ultimately a powerful drama about lost time, punctuated by a tour de force one man performance by one of the greatest actors of his generation.
7/10
  
CASTAWAY (18)
D: Nicolas Roeg
Cannon/United British Artists (Rick McCallum)
🇬🇧 1986
118 mins

Adventure 

W: Allan Scott [based on the book by Lucy Irvine]
DP: Harvey Harrison
Ed: Tony Lawson
Mus: Stanley Myers

Oliver Reed (Gerald Kingsland), Amanda Donohue (Lucy Irvine)

A lonely Londoner applies to an advert to accompany a man on a desert island as his 'wife'. Although she's not expecting to have sex and he does. 
That's pretty much the crux of the story, which is nowhere near the usual quality from director Nicolas Roeg but the film's problems stem mostly from the story and screenplay (based on the memoirs of Amanda Donohue's character) rather than the direction.
It does feature some stunning locations, good photography, plenty of nudity and a seemingly drunk Oliver Reed. It's not terrible, but simply more fodder from the ill-fated Cannon production company during the 1980's
4/10

THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE (PG)
D: Norman Tokar
Disney (Ron Miller)
🇺🇸 1978
103 mins
 
Fantasy/Science Fiction
 
W: Ted Key
DP: Charles F. Wheeler
Ed: Cotton Warburton
Mus: Lalo Schifrin
 
Ken Berry (Dr. Frank Wilson), Roddy McDowell (Mr. Stallwood), Sandy Duncan (Dr. Liz Bartlett), Harry Morgan (Gen. Stilton), Ronnie Schell (voice of Jake / Sgt. Duffy)
 
The 1970's saw Disney less focused on animated films and more on live action family films, predominantly for a young audience. The output was of various quality and didn't really ignite any sparks at the box office.
This live action offering is about a superintelligent extraterrestrial cat who lands on Earth to make repairs to it's spacecraft.
It's a rather humble film, with no great set pieces or visual effects, but it's pleasing to its intended market, though it's probably only watchable nowadays as a nostalgia piece.
5/10

THE CAT IN THE HAT (PG)
D: Bo Welch
Dreamworks/Universal/Imagine (Brian Grazer)
🇺🇸 2003
82 mins

Comedy

W: Alec Berg, David Mandel & Jeff Schaffer [based on the book by Dr. Seuss]
DP: Emmanuel Lubezki
Ed: Don Zimmerman
Mus: David Newman

Mike Myers (The Cat In The Hat), Dakota Fanning (Sally Walden), Spencer Breslin (Conrad Walden), Kelly Preston (Joan Walden), Alec Baldwin (Larry Quinn)

Since The Grinch (qv) was such a popular film in 2000, it was obviously clear that another of Dr. Seuss' more famous children's book characters would get the big screen treatment. Unfortunately, the result is a huge mess.
Clearly aimed at children under 8, the cartoonish slapstick and chaotic madness of the plot shouldn't disappoint them, but the majority of the jokes are more for an adult or teenage audience, who won't be entertained by the irritating central performance of Mike Myers (beneath cat makeup). The juvenile performances are equally irritating and the adult stars all look embarrassed to be involved in this.
Perhaps it could have been improved upon with a better script and director (whose previous experience was as a production designer).
At 82 minutes, this is still too long. This cat needs to be put down.
3/10

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (PG)

D: Richard Brooks

MGM/Avon (Lawrence Weingarten)

🇺🇸 1958

108 mins


Drama


W: Richard Brooks & James Poe [based on the play by Tennessee Williams]

DP: William Daniels

Ed: Ferris Webster


Paul Newman (Brick Pollitt), Elizabeth Taylor (Maggie Pollitt), Burl Ives (Big Daddy Pollitt), Jack Carson (Cooper Pollitt), Judith Anderson (Big Mama Pollitt)


Tennessee Williams plied his career on writing plays uncovering the brutal underside of seemingly innocent domestic idylls, particularly in the Deep South. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof is of similar cloth, as it takes a closer look at the Pollitt family and the secrets they hold, and while much of the homosexual undertones have been lightened for the big screen transition, the metaphor is still quite obvious to see.

Dying of cancer, Big Daddy Pollitt (Burl Ives) has become disenchanted with his two sons, one of whom, Brick (Paul Newman), an alcoholic ex-football player has fallen out of love with his wife, Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor).

Though it's evident that the content of the play has been toned down for a cinema audience, the main trio of performance are nothing short of excellent, particularly Burl Ives, who steals the movie, but some may say that this is representative of Elizabeth Taylor's finest acting performance.

8/10


"She was marked with the curse of those who slink and court and kill by night."
"She was marked with the curse of those who slink and court and kill by night."
CAT PEOPLE (PG)
D: Jacques Tourneur
RKO (Val Lewton)
🇺🇸 1942
73 mins
 
Horror
 
W: DeWitt Bowdeen
DP: Nicholas Musuraca
Ed: Mark Robson
Mus: Roy Webb
 
Simone Simon (Irene Dubrovna Reed), Kent Smith (Oliver Reed), Tom Conway (Dr. Louis Judd), Jane Randolph (Alice Moore)
 
Unique twist on werewolf legend, starring Simone Simon as a Serbian woman, living in America, who believes she can turn into a panther-like creature.
Considered a landmark horror movie, Cat People has some notable scenes of genuine suspense and is the first monster movie to refrain from showing it's beast, creating a golden rule which others should (but don't always) follow.
Truly impressive considering it was originally released in the 1940's.
7/10

"An erotic fantasy about the animal in us all."
"An erotic fantasy about the animal in us all."
CAT PEOPLE (18)
D: Paul Schrader
Universal (Charles Fries)
🇺🇸 1982
118 mins
 
Horror
 
W: Alan Ormsby [based on the screenplay by DeWitt Bowdeen]
DP: John Bailey
Ed: Jacqueline Cambas
Mus: Giorgio Moroder; David Bowie
 
Nastassja Kinski (Irena Gallier), Malcolm McDowell (Paul Gallier), John Heard (Oliver Yates), Annette O'Toole (Alice Perrin)
 
Sexed up remake of the 1942 movie where the main female character changes into a panther-like creature after sexual intercourse, and must kill in order to become human again.
The eroticism and incestuous scenes were needless in all honesty, as was this remake in general. Though it is notable for David Bowie's theme song ("Putting Out Fire" - also used in Inglourious Basterds), Giorgio Moroder's electronic music score, as well as Nastassja Kinski's leading performance, easily the best on show.
The original version is much better, but this will be recommendable for those who don't wish to watch a black & white horror movie from the forties.
5/10

THE CAT THAT HATED PEOPLE (U)
D: Ted Avery
MGM (Fred Quimby)
🇺🇸 1948
7 mins
 
Animated
 
W: Heck Allen
 
Voice of: Paul Frees
 
Classic animated short in the usual 1940's style about a misanthropic cat who decides life will be better on the moon, but when he gets there finds it even more annoying than Earth.
At 7 minutes long, this is well worth a watch. A great advertisement for animated short films of the time with more than enough cartoon violence to satisfy the Tom & Jerry fan.
6/10

"The true story of a real fake."
"The true story of a real fake."
CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (12)
D: Steven Spielberg
Dreamworks/Amblin (Steven Spielberg & Walter F. Parkes)
🇺🇸 2002
141 mins

Comedy/Drama

W: Jeff Nathanson [based on the book by Frank W. Abagnale & Stan Redding]
DP: Janusz Kaminski
Ed: Michael Kahn
Mus: John Williams
PD: Jeannine Oppewall
Cos: Mary Zophres

Leonardo DiCaprio (Frank W. Abagnale), Tom Hanks (Carl Hanratty), Christopher Walken (Frank Abagnale, Sr.), Martin Sheen (Roger Strong), Nathalie Baye (Paula Abagnale), Amy Adams (Brenda Strong), James Brolin (Jack Barnes)

Based on the true story of Frank W. Abagnale, a teenage runaway who played cat-and-mouse with the FBI for years, whilst embezzling money from big corporations, impersonating employees of high standing and living the life of a fraud.
Some might say it's a strange film for Spielberg to direct, but it has his usual trademark of a lead character from a broken home, plus other of the director's usual flourishes. It's a mite overlong, with some scenes delivering nothing to the plot, especially the opening which seems to take place on a gameshow, but isn't referred to again after the credit sequence.
Perhaps if this were structured better, it would be a better film, but it does feature good performances from it's two leads and a fantastic performance from Christopher Walken as the fraudster's unmoving father.  Well worth catching.
7/10

CATCH-22 (15)
D: Mike Nichols
Paramount (Martin Ransohoff & John Calley)
🇺🇸 1970
121 mins
 
War/Comedy
 
W: Buck Henry [based on the novel by Joseph Heller]
DP: David Watkin
Ed: Sam O'Steen
PD: Richard Sylbert
 
Alan Arkin (Capt. Yossarian), Martin Balsam (Col. Cathcart), Richard Benjamin (Maj. Danby), Art Garfunkel (Capt. Nately), Bob Newhart (Maj. Major), Anthony Perkins (Chaplain Tappmann), Paula Prentiss (Nurse Duckett), Martin Sheen (Lt. Dobbs). Jon Voight (Milo Minderbinder)
 
Joseph Heller's classic anti-war novel gets it's big screen adaptation which left purists a little peeved, but is good enough entertainment for those who've not read the original book, bolstered by Alan Arkin's performance as Captain Yossarian, an American pilot whose attempts to have himself grounded by the medical personnel are futile, since they declare anyone who is willing to fly during air raids must be crazy, therefore asking to be grounded prove that he is of sound mind. The paradoxical catch-22 of the title.
The film depicts an empty, philosophical vision of war, with moments of black comedy, but ultimately it's Arkin's performance which keeps up the viewer interest.
6/10

"Who will you root for?"
"Who will you root for?"
CATS & DOGS (PG)
D: Lawrence Guterman
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow/NPV/Mad Chance (Andrew Lazar, Christopher DeFaria, Warren Zide & Craig Perry)
🇺🇸 2001
87 mins
 
Adventure/Fantasy/Comedy
 
W: John Requa & Glenn Ficarra
DP: Julio Macat
Ed: Michael A. Stevenson & Rick Finney
Mus: John Debney
PD: James Bissell
 
Jeff Goldblum (Prof. Charles Brody), Elizabeth Perkins (Carolyn Brody)
voices of: Tobey Maguire (Lou), Alec Baldwin (Butch), Sean Hayes (Mr. Tinkles), Susan Sarandon (Ivy), Joe Pantoliano (Peek), Michael Clarke Duncan (Sam), Jon Lovitz (Calico), Charlton Heston (The Mastiff)
 
007-style adventure with domestic pets about a cat's sinister plans for world domination and a puppy's attempts to stop it.
It's all very silly, but found it's audience of under-10's chuckling along with it's banality.
As a family film it isn't terrible. It certainly could have been worse (represented by the sequel, subtitled "The Revenge Of Kitty Galore" which was released a few years later).
5/10

CAT'S EYE (15)
D: Lewis Teague
Famous Films/Dino de Laurentiis (Martha Schumacher)
🇺🇸 1985
93 mins
 
Horror
 
W: Stephen King [based on short stories from his 'Night Shift' collection]
DP: Jack Cardiff
Ed: Scott Conrad
Mus: Alan Silvestri
 
Drew Barrymore (Amanda), James Woods (Dick Morrison), Candy Clark (Sally Ann), Alan King (Dr. Vinny Donatti), Kenneth McMillan (Cressner), Robert Hays (Johnny Norris), James Naughton (Hugh)
 
With a screenplay adapted by horror maestro Stephen King, it's difficult to tell if this is a horror movie for cat enthusiasts or a black comedy.
It doesn't really work on either level and comes up as a half-arsed attempt to recreate the television show, The Twilight Zone.
Three semi-horror stories are interlinked by a cat (kind of) but only the third and final of the trilogy is particularly memorable, starring a young Drew Barrymore who is visited at night by a troll hiding in her bedroom wall and the cat attempts to stop it from stealing the child's breath. The first two stories are hampered by terrible dialogue ("Oh look! A cat.") and rather shoddy acting (aside from James Woods in the opening segment about a non-smoking organisation's radical attempts to get their members to quit).
The cat brings no real significance to the first two stories, only becoming integral to the plot in the last.
As a retro film, it's entertaining enough for it's 93 minute left, but it could have been marginally better if not for Alan Silvestri's ghastly electronic music score.
4/10

CATWOMAN (12)
D: Pitof
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow (Denise Di Novi & Edward L. McDonnell)
🇺🇸 🇦🇺 2004
104 mins

Fantasy/Crime

W: John Brancato, Michael Ferris & John Rogers [based on characters created by Bob Kane]
DP: Thierry Arbogast
Ed: Sylvie Landra
Mus: Klaus Badelt

Halle Berry (Patience Phillips / Catwoman), Benjamin Bratt (Det. Tom Lone), Lambert Wilson (George Hedare), Frances Conroy (Ophelia Powers), Sharon Stone (Laurel Hedare), Alex Borstein (Sally)

If you're expecting some sort of commercial tie-in to Batman, be disappointed. This really has nothing to do with Gotham City and barely touches on the DC comic universe at all.
The movie itself performs an almost impossible feat, it takes Halle Berry, amongst the sexiest film stars in the world at the time of its release, and the sultry, sexy villainess Catwoman, and makes a truly repugnant character out of the two of them.
As an origin story, it doesn't really deliver anything new to the character and eventually boils down to two women arguing over makeup and cosmetics (seriously, it's true).
A fine example of a terrible movie. Put it down immediately.
1/10
 
"Back when you had to beat it before you could eat it..."
"Back when you had to beat it before you could eat it..."
CAVEMAN (PG)
D: Carl Gottlieb
United Artists (Lawrence Turman & David Foster)
🇺🇸 1981
91 mins
 
Comedy/Adventure
 
W: Rudy de Luca & Carl Gottlieb
DP: Alan Hume
Ed: Gene Fowler
Mus: Lalo Schifrin
 
Ringo Starr (Atouk), Dennis Quaid (Lar), Shelley Long (Tala), Jack Gilford (Gog), Barbara Bach (Lana)
 
Lumbered and regrettable attempt to launch ex-Beatle Ringo Starr as an actor. It's all fart jokes and unfunny puns in this adventure of a prehistoric Neanderthal.
Perhaps Mel Brooks or the Zuckers could have made a good film out of the story, but this is all rather lame and not worth giving up an hour-and-a-half of your time for. 
3/10

THE CELL (18)
D: Tarsem (Singh)
New Line/Radical Media (Julio Caro & Eric McLeod)
🇺🇸 2000
107 mins

Horror

W: Mark Protosevich
DP: Paul Laufer
Ed: Paul Rubell & Robert Duffy
Mus: Howard Shore
PD: Tom Foden
Cos: Eiko Ishioka & April Napier

Jennifer Lopez (Dr. Catherine Deane), Vince Vaughn (Agent Peter Novak), Vincent D'Onofrio (Carl Rudolph Stargher), Jake Webber (Agent Gordon Ramsay), Dylan Baker (Henry West), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Dr. Miriam Kent)

Strange psychological horror tale about a child psychotherapist who must enter the mind of a comatose serial killer in order to discover where he has hidden his latest victim.
The story is nonsense and the acting performances are all rather average, but where the film excels is in its unique visual style which is quite unlike any other film which follows a similar plot route.
Jennifer Lopez is completely miscast in the lead, but doesn't do a terrible job despite this. The film received an Academy Award nomination for its achievement in the makeup category.
6/10

CHALET GIRL (PG)
D: Phil Traill
IFC (Wolfgang Becker, Pippa Cross, Dietmar Guentsche & Harriet Rees)
🇬🇧 🇩🇪 🇦🇹 2011
96 mins

Comedy/Romance

W: Tom Williams
DP: Ed Wild
Ed: Robin Sales
Mus: Christian Henson

Felicity Jones (Kim), Ed Westwick (Jonny), Tamsin Egerton (Georgie), Bill Bailey (Kim's Dad), Brooke Shields (Caroline), Bill Nighy (Richard)

Dirty Dancing meets Bend It Like Beckham with snowboards, starring beautiful English rose Felicity Jones as a poor London girl who takes a job as hired help at a ski chalet, where in-between being in the service of a family of posh arseholes she practices snowboarding for an upcoming contest.
Though the script is turgid, predictable and quite irresponsible, the film succeeds where it needs to, with Felicity Jones rising above all the dross with a delightful leading performance as the natural and very likeable lead character. It's just a shame that the script called for her character to spending way too much time chasing a tedious pretty boy who doesn't deserve her. 
4/10

THE CHAMP (15)

D: Franco Zeffirelli 

MGM (Dyson Lovell)

🇺🇸 1979

122 mins


Drama/Sports


W: Walter Newman [based on the story by Frances Marion]

DP: Fred J. Koenecamp

Ed: Michael J. Sheridan

Mus: Dave Grusin 


Jon Voight (Billy 'Champ' Flynn), Ricky Schroeder (T.J. Flynn), Faye Dunaway (Annie), Jack Warden (Jackie), Joan Blondell (Dolly Kenyon)


This remake of a 1931 drama was released at the tail end of the 1970's and scored a legion of fans, especially male boxing fans who hail it as one of the biggest tearjerkers of all time.

Wallace Beery won an Oscar for his performance in the original movie, replaced in this remake by Jon Voight, off the back of an Oscar victory himself for his performance in 1978's Coming Home and amongst the biggest male film stars at the time of filming.

Voight plays Billy 'Champ' Flynn, a former boxing champion turned horse trainer, raising his 8-year-old son, T.J., on the racing stables of a Florida resort. Billy becomes resentful when his ex-wife and Billy's mother come back into their lives, expecting a relationship with her son following seven years with no contact.

Billy becomes indebted by gambling debts before a short spell in prison, where he plans his comeback in the ring against a formidable opponent.

Perhaps I'm a victim of watching this film too late, but the plot was very predictable, and the late-70's setting just doesn't ring as true as would have in the original film, set during the Great Depression of the 1930's.

Still, the father-son relationship between Voight and young Ricky Schroeder is marvellously well done, and it's easy to understand why many people would be choked by the ending.

7/10


"Alex has a lifetime full of wonderful memories. Unfortunately, they're not his."
"Alex has a lifetime full of wonderful memories. Unfortunately, they're not his."
CHANCES ARE (PG)
D: Emile Ardolino
Tristar (Mike Lobell)
🇺🇸 1989
108 mins
 
Comedy/Romance/Fantasy
 
W: Perry Howze & Randy Howze
DP: William A. Fraker
Ed: Harry Keramidas
Mus: Maurice Jarre
PD: Dennis Washington
 
Cybill Shepherd (Corinne Jeffries), Robert Downey, Jr. (Alex Finch), Ryan O'Neal (Phillip Train), Mary Stuart Masterson (Miranda Jeffries), Christopher McDonald (Louie Jeffries)
 
A better than average variation on similar themes, clearly inspired by the 1941 fantasy movie Here Comes Mr. Jordan and its 1978 remake Heaven Can Wait.
The concept is more confusing to read than it is to watch, so I shall try my best.
Cybill Shepherd's husband Christopher McDonald dies in an accident and is reincarnated in the body of (what becomes twenty-odd years later) Robert Downey, Jr., who develops a relationship with Cybill Shepherd's daughter, but their relationship becomes awkward when he remembers the life he used to have when he is introduced at a family dinner.
It has moments of amusement, but if you think about it too much, it's a little bit creepy.
5/10

"To find her son, she did what no one else dared."
"To find her son, she did what no one else dared."
CHANGELING (15)
D: Clint Eastwood
Universal/Imagine/Malpaso/Relativity (Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Robert Lorenz & Clint Eastwood)
🇺🇸 2008
142 mins

Mystery/Thriller

W: J. Michael Straczynski
DP: Tom Stern
Ed: Joel Cox & Gary Roach
Mus: Clint Eastwood
PD: James J. Murakami

Angelina Jolie (Christine Collins), John Malkovich (Rev. Gustav Briegleb), Jeffrey Donovan (J.J. Jones), Michael Kelly (Det. Lester Ybarra), Colm Feore (Chief James E. Davis), Amy Ryan (Carol Dexter)

The title may sound more suited to a horror movie, but Clint Eastwood's mysterious drama is nothing of the sort. The script was inspired by a true kidnapping events which took place in the 1920's and later became known as the "Wineville Chicken Coop" scandal.
The story follows a woman's hunt for her son when he is abducted during the depression years, and the child that the police eventually return to her is an imposter, but the authorities dismiss her claims and have her committed to a mental institution when she presses with her complaints.
Why, oh why did Angelina Jolie spend so many years of her career taking slutty roles and throwaway action nonsense when she's capable of an amazing character performance like the one on display here?
Of course, much of the credit must go to Clint Eastwood's direction and his meticulous recreation of the period.
What begins as a mystery about abduction and mistaken identity segues into a thriller about political corruption and a women's lib picture about a mother's quest for truth and justice.
The only reason this movie falls short of a better rating is that it tries to deal with a little too many issues in it's 2hr plus running time and it doesn't quite answer all the questions raised. It's still a very good piece of filmmaking and an enthralling examination of a true story.
7/10

CHAPLIN (12)
D: Richard Attenborough
Carolco/Canal Plus/RCS/Lambeth (Richard Attenborough & Mario Kassar)
🇺🇸 🇬🇧 1992
144 mins

Biopic

W: William Boyd, Bryan Forbes & William Goldman [based on the book 'Chaplin: His Life & Art' by David Robinson & 'My Autobiography' by Charles Chaplin]
DP: Sven Nykvist
Ed: Anne V. Coates
Mus: John Barry
PD: Stuart Craig
Cos: John Mollo & Ellen Mirojnick

Robert Downey, Jr. (Charlie Chaplin), Geraldine Chaplin (Hannah Chaplin), Paul Rhys (Sydney Chaplin), John Thaw (Fred Karno), Moira Kelly (Hetty Kelly/Oona O'Neill), Anthony Hopkins (George Hayden), Dan Aykroyd (Mack Sennett), Marisa Tomei (Mabel Normand), Penelope Ann Miller (Edna Purviance), Kevin Kline (Douglas Fairbanks)

Romanticised biopic of the comedy legend with a brilliant performance by Robert Downey, Jr. as the title character.
The film opens with an elderly Charles Chaplin narrating his life to (fictional) biography George Hayden, with the rise to stardom and fame taking place via flashback.
Chaplin was clearly a celebrity whom director/producer Richard Attenborough was incredibly fond of. The film portrays him as a rags-to-riches comedy genius (which cannot really be disputed), but only glances over the periphery of the more scandalous moments of his career.
Worth a watch for Robert Downey, Jr.'s portrayal, but it won't tell you much more than you may already know about the Hollywood great.
7/10

"Humanity's last hope isn't human."
"Humanity's last hope isn't human."
CHAPPIE (12)
D: Neill Blomkamp
Columbia/Media Rights Capital (Simon Kinberg & Neill Blomkamp)
🇺🇸 🇿🇦 2015
120 mins

Science Fiction/Crime

W: Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell [based on the short film "Tetra Vaal" by Neill Blomkamp]
DP: Trent Opaloch
Ed: Julian Clarke
Mus: Hans Zimmer

Dev Patel (Deon Wilson), Hugh Jackman (Vincent Moore), Ninja (Ninja), Yolandi Visser (Yolandi), Jose Pablo Cantillo (Amerika), Sigourney Weaver (Michelle Bradley), Sharlto Copley (voice of Chappie)

Chappie is everything that the Robocop (qv) remake should have been, not that it improves upon the 1987 original, but it's certainly better than the lacklustre 2014 version.
Like the same director's District 9, this is also based on a short film he made prior to his 2009 breakthrough. In a future Johannesburg, where the police force is made up of robotic droids, the inventor creates a programme which can make the robots more sentient and uses a scrapped unit as a guinea pig. 
The robot falls into the hands of a  trio of gang members who plan to use it for heists and other criminal activities. Meanwhile, within the police organisation, a corrupt technician plans for his own machine to become the new answer to law enforcement.
There's many similarities to other films, particularly Robocop, but there's also enough originality in the plot.
The final act becomes a bit silly, settling on full-blown action and the finale lacks credibility, but it's still plenty of fun.
The visual effects which bring Chappie to life is the true star, while some of the human performances feel miscast, especially Dev Patel (far too young to be the brains behind the 'bot) and Hugh Jackman, as an underwritten pantomime villain.
5/10

"You can expect the unexpected when they play..."
"You can expect the unexpected when they play..."

CHARADE (PG)

D: Stanley Donen

Universal (Stanley Donen)

🇺🇸 1963

113 mins


Comedy/Thriller


W: Peter Stone

DP: Charles Lang

Ed: James B. Clark

Mus: Henry Mancini


Cary Grant (Peter Joshua), Audrey Hepburn (Regina Lambert), Walter Matthau (Hamilton Bartholomew), James Coburn (Tex Panthollow), George Kennedy (Herman Scobie)


Often considered to be a Hitchcock film, the Master of Suspense's usual style is duplicated with great effect by director Stanley Donen and screenwriter Peter Stone, throwing in plenty of mystery, double-crossing and red herrings aplenty.

A Parisian woman (Audrey Hepburn) is pursued by three shady men following the death of her husband and is offered help by a mysterious stranger (Cary Grant), but are his intentions genuine, or is he the real murderer?

Charade is a mystery-thriller which will always keep you guessing, pepped up with some light comedy and a dash of romance. The pairing of Cary Grant & Audrey Hepburn also adds some Hollywood golden age glitz. Some aspects feel a little dated, but the film remains one of the best from 1963.

7/10


CHARIOTS OF FIRE (U)
D: Hugh Hudson
Enigma (David Puttnam)
🇬🇧 1981
123 mins

Biopic/Sports

W: Colin Welland
DP: David Watkin
Ed: Terry Rawlings
Mus: Vangelis
PD: Roger Hall
Cos: Milena Canonero

Ben Cross (Harold Abrahams), Ian Charleston (Eric Liddell), Nigel Havers (Lord Andrew Lindsay), Nicholas Farrell (Aubrey Montague), Ian Holm (Sam Mussabini), John Gielgud (Master of Trinity), Lindsay Anderson (Master of Caius), Nigel Davenport (Lord Birkenhead)

A rather turgid and pompous movie, which was thought very highly of by the Academy Awards who bestowed it with four Oscars, including Best Picture of the year.
It's a BBC-like drama about a Jewish and a Scottish athlete who represent Britain at the 1924 Olympics. 
Despite being incredibly overrated, it does feature one of the most iconic movie scores of all time which is easily the best thing about it.
6/10

CHARLEY VARRICK (15)
D: Don Siegel
Universal (Don Siegel)
🇺🇸 1973
111 mins

Crime/Thriller

W: Dean Reisner & Howard Rodman [based on the novel 'The Looters' by John Reese]
DP: Michael Butler
Ed: Frank Morriss
Mus: Lalo Schifrin
PD: Fernando Carrere

Walter Matthau (Charley Varrick), Joe Don Baker (Molly), Felicia Farr (Sybil Ford), Andy Robinson (Harman Sullivan), John Vernon (Maynard Boyle), Sheree North (Jewell Everett), Norman Fell (Mr. Garfinkle), Benson Fong (Honest John)

Walter Matthau is fantastic, cast partly against type, as a bank robber who discovers he has stolen mafia money and hatches a plan to throw them off his chase.     
While not being as well known as the director's other works (Dirty Harry, etc), this is a worthy crime thriller of the 1970's which deserves 111 minutes of anyone's time.
7/10

CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (PG)
D: Tim Burton
Warner Bros. (Richard D. Zanuck & Brad Grey)
🇺🇸 🇬🇧 🇦🇺 2005
115 mins

Fantasy/Comedy

W: John August [based on the novel by Roald Dahl]
DP: Philippe Rouselott
Ed: Chris Lebenzon
Mus: Danny Elfman
PD: Alex McDowell
Cos: Gabriella Pescucci

Johnny Depp (Willy Wonka), Freddie Highmore (Charlie Bucket), David Kelly (Grandpa Joe), Helena Bonham-Carter (Mrs. Bucket), Noah Taylor (Mr. Taylor), James Fox (Mr. Salt), Missi Pyle (Mrs. Beauregarde), Christopher Lee (Dr. Wonka), Deep Roy (Oompa-Loompa)

Americanisation of Roald Dahl's classic children's story about a humble boy who wins a golden ticket tour of the eccentric Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, where other golden ticket winners are spoiled children, punished for their selfish actions.
Johnny Depp plays Wonka as a goofy character rather than the partly-sinister embodiment that Gene Wilder brought to the role in the 1971 film 'Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory' and many prefer this remake to that version, but the better film is subjective to the viewer.
I actually prefer the 1971 film, but it doesn't stop this film being a good remake, with the usual Tim Burton flourishes of opulent style and gothic humour.
6/10

CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR (15)
D: Mike Nichols
Universal (Tom Hanks & Gary Goetzman)
🇺🇸 2007
101 mins
 
Political/Comedy
 
W: Aaron Sorkin
DP: Stephen Goldblatt
Ed: John Bloom & Antonia Van Drimmelen
Mus: James Newton Howard
PD: Victor Kempster
 
Tom Hanks (Charlie Wilson), Julia Roberts (Joanne Herring), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Gust Avrakotos), Amy Adams (Bonnie Bach), Ned Beatty (Doc Long), Om Puri (President Zia of Pakistan), Emily Blunt (Jane Liddle)
 
Based on the true story of an American politician who drummed up support for Afghan guerrillas during an invasion by the Soviet Union.
Perhaps I'd have enjoyed this film more if I cared about US politics, but I don't.
That being said, a witty screenplay is given real zest by lively performances by Tom Hanks, Amy Adams, Julia Roberts and a scene-stealing Philip Seymour Hoffman as a disgruntled CIA spy.
A fun history lesson which will mean more to Americans than those on British shores.
7/10

It's not who you love. It's how.
It's not who you love. It's how.
CHASING AMY (18)
D: Kevin Smith
Miramax/View Askew (Scott Mosier)
🇺🇸 1997
111 mins
 
Comedy/Romance
 
W: Kevin Smith
DP: David Klein
Ed: Kevin Smith & Scott Mosier
Mus: David Pirner
PD: Robert Holtzman
 
Ben Affleck (Holden McNeil), Joey Lauren Adams (Alyssa Jones), Jason Lee (Banky Edwards), Dwight Ewell (Hooper X), Jason Mewes (Jay), Kevin Smith (Silent Bob)
 
Kevin Smith's most mature and personal work featuring a surprisingly good performance from Ben Affleck as a comic book artist who falls in love with a female author. The catch? She's a lesbian.
Their friendship eventually evolves into a relationship until he becomes jealous about her sexual history, manipulated even more by his colleague and flatmate Banky, who has his own reasons for his disapproval of their relationship.
Chasing Amy is a refreshing way to look at the pitfalls of love, sex, relationships and licentious behaviour with an important moral delivered by none other than 'Silent' Bob (it's a running joke in Kevin Smith's movies that the one who speaks least speaks wisest).
Many may be disappointed by the unconventional end, but they cannot deny the film's raw power and frank perception on matters of love.
8/10

"If you can't be famous, be infamous!"
"If you can't be famous, be infamous!"
CHICAGO (12)
D: Rob Marshall
Buena Vista/Miramax (Martin Richards)
🇺🇸 🇩🇪 2002
113 mins

Musical

W: Bill Condon [based on the musical by Bob Fosse & Fred Ebb and the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins]
DP: Dion Beebe
Ed: Martin Walsh
Mus: Danny Elfman; John Kander & Fred Ebb     
PD: John Myhre
Cos: Colleen Atwood

Renée Zellweger (Roxie Hart), Richard Gere (Billy Flynn), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Velma Kelly), Queen Latifah (Matron 'Mama' Morton), John C. Reilly (Amos Hart), Christine Baranski (Mary Sunshine), Lucy Liu (Kitty), Taye Diggs (Bandleader)

A musical which rejuvenated the genre after it was practically obsolete for over two decades, even winning the Best Picture Oscar, the first musical to do so since 1968's Oliver!
Based on the Broadway musical by Bob Fosse, which itself was based on a play by Maurine Dallas Watkins, it presents a cynical side of fame and celebrity, with two singers enjoying notoriety after being arrested and tried for murder.
The style of the production is very faithful to the Bob Fosse style with jazzy sets and costumes, snappy editing and great cinematography. All That Jazz indeed.
8/10

"This ain't no chick flick."
"This ain't no chick flick."
CHICKEN RUN (PG)
D: Nick Park & Peter Lord
Pathé/Dreamworks/Aardman (Nick Park, Peter Lord & David Sproxton)
🇬🇧 🇺🇸 2000
85 mins
 
Animated
 
W: Karey Kirkpatrick, Nick Park & Peter Lord
Mus: John Powell & Harry Gregson-Williams
 
Voices of: Mel Gibson (Rocky), Julia Sawalha (Ginger), Miranda Richardson (Mrs. Tweedy), Jane Horrocks (Babs), Timothy Spall (Nick), Imelda Staunton (Bunty)
 
An animated twist on The Great Escape from the animation studio which brought us the Wallace & Gromit films, using the same techniques and a similar sense of humour.
It's not quite the best work from Nick Park, but it's all good fun, with fitting vocal work from the cast of actors.
6/10

CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD (15)
D: Randa Haines
Paramount (Burt Sugarman & Patrick Palmer)     
🇺🇸 1986
110 mins

Romance/Drama

W: Hesper Anderson & Mark Medoff [based on the play by Mark Medoff]
DP: John Seale
Ed: Lisa Fruchtman
Mus: Michael Convertino
PD: Gene Callahan

William Hurt (James Leeds), Marlee Matlin (Sarah Norman), Piper Laurie (Mrs. Norman), Philip Bosco (Dr. Curtis Franklin), Allison Gompt (Lydia), John F. Clearly (Johnny), Phillip Holmes (Glen), Georgia Ann Cline (Cheryl), William D. Byrd (Danny)

Old-fashioned style sentimental romance about a school teacher for the hearing impaired falling in love with a young deaf woman.  He tries to encourage her to speak, but she stubbornly refuses.
Marlee Matlin deservedly won an Oscar for her performance, becoming the youngest actress at the time to win an Academy Award, and William Hurt also delivers a good performance with what is a rather indistinctive character.
Worth watching for Matlin's excellent performance alone, and though the story would generally work better as a stage play, this film adaptation is as good as it could possibly be.
8/10

No children. No future. No hope.
No children. No future. No hope.
CHILDREN OF MEN (15)
D: Alfonso Cuáron 
UIP/Strike (Hilary Shor, Marc Abraham, Tony Smith, Eric Newman & Iain Smith)  
🇬🇧 🇺🇸 🇯🇵 2006
109 mins

Science Fiction/Thriller

W: Alfonso Cuáron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby [based on the novel by P. D. James]
DP: Emmanuel Lubezki
Ed: Alex Rodriguez & Alfonso Cuáron
Mus: John Tavernier
PD: Jim Clay & Geoffrey Kirkland

Clive Owen (Theo Faron), Julianne Moore (Julian), Michael Caine (Jasper), Clare-Hope Ashitey (Kee), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Luke), Danny Huston (Nigel), Peter Mullan (Sid), Pam Ferris (Miriam)

Brilliantly adapted from P.D. James's novel about a dystopian future where women can no longer conceive children and humanity is doomed to extinction.
Britain has coped with the impending end of the human race by imprisoning immigrants, causing lawless activists to bomb public places to fight against the dystopia. 
Theo, a bureaucrat and former activist is kidnapped by a resistance group headed by his former flame and is instructed to falsify papers and escort a immigrant girl who turns out to be pregnant to safety.
Despite the story being a tad on the heavy side, the narrative flows clearer than one would expect, mostly because of the fantastic, focused direction from auteur Alfonso Cuaron.
The stark cinematography gives it a documentary feel which instantly drags the viewer into the action, especially during the two electrifying one-shot scenes which left me in total awe. The first of which, involving an ambush on a car left me scratching my head for hours as to how they did it.  The editing & CGI were seamless.
The second classic scene involves conflict in  war-torn, crumbling Bexhill (now a concentration camp for illegal immigrants), with Theo trying to save Kee amongst the gunfire and bloodshed. The production design deserves equally as much credit as Emmanuel Lubezki's brilliant cinematography, presenting a doomed world so convincingly stark.
Clive Owen is absolutely fantastic & all the supporting cast give great performances, especially Clare-Hope Ashitey as the young pregnant immigrant.         
Alfonso Cuaron has made a very special movie here, which didn't seem as appreciated as it deserved to be by both the critics and the audiences.
Nominated for 3 Oscars, though it should have received more. As far as I'm concerned this was the Best Picture of 2006 and arguably the best movie of the "noughties".
10/10

"And a child shall lead them..."
"And a child shall lead them..."
CHILDREN OF THE CORN (18)
D: Fritz Kiersch
New World/Angeles/Cinema Group (Donald P. Birchers & Terence Kirby)
🇺🇸 1984
92 mins
 
Horror
 
W: George Goldsmith [based on the story by Stephen King]
DP: Raoul Lomas
Mus: Jonathan Elias
 
Peter Horton (Burt Stanton), Linda Hamilton (Vicky Baxter), R.G. Armstrong (Diehl), John Franklin (Isaac Chroner)
 
A rather average horror from the pen of Stephen King about serial killer kids in a small farming community. It's quite creepy in places, particularly with its presentation of Isaac, leader of the children, but the rest of the cast aren't entirely convincing and the story just isn't demonstrative of the author's finest works.
The insidiously creepy music composed by Jonathan Elias probably saves the entire movie, aside from that it's rather formulaic and unremarkable.
Many sequels followed, too many in fact, and most were released direct-to-video.
5/10

CHILD'S PLAY (18)
D: Tom Holland
MGM/United Artists (David Kirschner)
🇺🇸 1988
87 mins

Horror

W: Don Mancini, John Lafia & Tom Holland
DP: Bill Butler
Ed: Edward Warschilka & Roy E. Peterson
Mus: Joe Renzetti

Alex Vincent (Andy Barclay), Catherine Hicks (Karen Barclay), Chris Sarandon (Det. Mike Norris), Brad Dourif (Charles Lee Ray / voice of Chucky)

First and best of the Chucky movies, about a serial killer who uses a voodoo-like ritual to transfer his soul into a 'Good Guy doll' to evade capture and arrest, he then goes on a murderous spree whilst possessing the body of the child's toy and tries to devise a scheme so he can return to a human form, which he plans to do by passing his soul into the body of his infant owner.
It's all very silly and quite predictable, but the creepy animatronic effects make this a worthwhile horror movie. 
The film proved quite profitable for MGM, who made huge returns at the box office, as well as selling the rights for subsequent sequels to Universal.
6/10

"Sorry Jack... Chucky's back!"
"Sorry Jack... Chucky's back!"
CHILD'S PLAY 2 (18)
D: John Lafia
Universal (David Kirschner)
🇺🇸 1990
85 mins
 
Horror
 
W: Don Mancini
DP: Stefan Czapsky
Ed: Edward Warschilka
Mus: Graeme Revell
 
Alex Vincent (Andy Barclay), Jenny Agutter (Joanne Simpson), Gerrit Graham (Phil Simpson), Christine Elise (Kyle), Grace Zabriskie (Grace Poole), Brad Dourif (voice of Chucky)
 
A rehash of the first movie with a different cast. 
Alex, the young boy from the first movie is now with foster parents and has the same psycho-possessed doll pursuing him so he can replace the boy's soul with his own.
The story is much weaker in this sequel with no focus at all on characterisation, it also lacks the family unity from the first film for a more depressing tact. Jenny Agutter does a decent job working with the small role that she's given, but the talented actress deserved better than this. 
A third film was eked out a year later.
4/10

"There comes a time to put away childhood things. But some things won't stay put!"
"There comes a time to put away childhood things. But some things won't stay put!"
CHILD'S PLAY 3 (18)
D: Jack Bender
Universal (Robert Latham Brown)
🇺🇸 1991
89 mins
 
Horror
 
W: Don Mancini
DP: John R. Leonetti
Ed: Scott Wallace & Edward Warschilka
Mus: Cory Lerios & John d'Andrea
 
Justin Whalin (Andy Barclay), Perrey Reeves (Kristin de Silva), Jeremy Sylvers (Ronald Tyler), Travis Fine (Col. Brett C. Shelton), Brad Dourif (voice of Chucky)
 
Though released just a year after Child's Play 2 (see above), the story takes place 8 years after the events in that film to take the story on a different path.
Andy, the infant victim of the first two films, is now in his teenage years and has joined a military academy, where he is continually pursued by Chucky, the serial killer possessed doll, who seems to keep getting reborn by those greedy toy manufacturers.
The idea was clearly running thin with this third movie, which was classed as a 'video nasty' in Britain and became a scapegoat following an unpleasant real-life murder which became worldwide news.
The infamy the film suffered doesn't change the fact that it's rather crap.
Another sequel, Bride of Chucky (qv), was released in 1998 and was a huge improvement on both this and the preceding film.
4/10

CHINA O'BRIEN (18)
D: Robert Clouse
Golden Harvest (Fred Weintraub)
🇺🇸 1988
90 mins
 
Action/Thriller
 
W: Robert Crouse
DP: Kent Wakeford
Ed: Mark Harrah
Mus: David Wheatley & Paul Antonelli
 
Cynthia Rothrock (Lori 'China' O'Brien), Richard Norton (Matt Conroy), Keith Cooke (Dakota), Patrick Adamson (Deputy Marty Lickner), David Blackwell (Sheriff John O'Brien)
 
When her father is murdered, a former cop takes over his role as sheriff of a small town and uncovers corruption within.
While this martial arts action flick wins brownie points for the novelty of having a heroine at the helm, it's all rather cliched and doesn't really get much better than its opening action scene, which really is quite a lot of fun.
Despite average performances and a very formulaic plot, it is quite enjoyable, as long you're not expecting too much from it.
5/10

"Today, only a handful of people know what it means... Soon you will know."
"Today, only a handful of people know what it means... Soon you will know."
THE CHINA SYNDROME (PG)
D: James Bridges
Columbia/IPC (Michael Douglas)
🇺🇸 1979
122 mins
 
Drama/Thriller
 
W: Mike Gray, T. S. Cook & James Bridges
DP: James Crabe
Ed: David Rawlins
PD: George Jenkins
 
Jane Fonda (Kimberly Wells), Jack Lemmon (Jack Godell), Michael Douglas (Richard Adams), Scott Brady (Herman DeYoung), James Hampton (Bill Gibson), Peter Donat (Don Jacovich), Wilford Brimley (Ted Spindler)
 
An Eco-thriller which was probably more powerful at the time of it's release than it is now, especially since the events of Three Mile Island occurred only a few weeks after this film received it's premiere.
The story follows a supervisor at a nuclear power plant who blows the whistle on safety flaws which could lead to an impending disaster, a female reporter gets involved to investigate the story but the plants unscrupulous authorities cover up the truth.
The mysteries and conspiracies concerning nuclear power have been much studied since 1979, so the impact the film once had has been much diluted, but it's still worth watching for the two lead performances, a decent screenplay and good production values.     
7/10

CHINATOWN (18)
D: Roman Polanski
Paramount/Freedom Service/Long Road (Robert Evans)
🇺🇸 1974
131 mins

Mystery/Thriller

W: Robert Towne
DP: John A. Alonzo
Ed: Sam O'Steen
Mus: Jerry Goldsmith
PD: Richard Sylbert
Cos: Anthea Sylbert

Jack Nicholson (J. J. Gittes), Faye Dunaway (Evelyn Mulwray), John Huston (Noah Cross), Perry Lopez (Escobar), John Hillerman (Yelburton), Darrell Zwerling (Hollis Mulwray), Diane Ladd (Ida Sessions), Roy Jenson (Mulvihill)

An absolute classic of 1970's cinema which updates film noir for a modern age.
Jack Nicholson gives one of his career best performances as Jake 'J. J.' Gittes, a private eye in 1930's Los Angeles who takes on a case he thinks is simple, but uncovers scandal and murder during his investigations, involving a corrupt politician with a sinister plan to monopolise the city's water supply.
The complex, labyrinthine plot leads Gittes down many cul-de-sacs and twists a wicked web with the unsympathetic characters he meets as he attempts to uncover the truth, before a downbeat but impossible-to-forget conclusion.
The film was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, but lost out to The Godfather part II. May would say that any other year, it would have claimed the prize. Personally, I think it should have.
10/10

A CHINESE GHOST STORY (15)
D: Ching Siu-Tung
Film Workshop (Tsui Hark)
🇨🇳 🇭🇰 1987
98 mins

Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Comedy

W: Pu Songling
DP: Poon Hang-Seng
Ed: David Wu
Mus: Romeo Diaz

Leslie Cheung (Ning Choi-San), Joey Wong (Nip Siu-Sin), Wu Ma (Yin Chik-Ha)

The production details are like a dated 1980's TV show and the narrative confuses as much as it entertains, but A Chinese Ghost Story still holds up as a fine piece of oriental cinema.
A peasant debt collector falls in love with a witch who lives in woods haunted by a tree demon who literally sucks the life force out of its prey. The film is equally an action-adventure and comedy just as much as it is a ghost story and feels like part of its inspiration came from Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead (qv).
Good fun, but utter nonsense.
6/10

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG (PG)
D: Ken Hughes
United Artists/Warfield/DFI (Albert R. Broccoli)
🇬🇧 1968
145 mins

Musical/Fantasy

W: Roald Dahl & Ken Hughes [based on the novel by Ian Fleming]
DP: Christopher Challis
Ed: John Shirley
Mus: Irwin Kostal; Richard M. Sherman & Robert B. Sherman
PD: Ken Adam

Dick Van Dyke (Prof. Caractacus Potts), Sally Ann Howes (Truly Scrumptious), Adrian Hall (Jeremy Potts), Heather Ripley (Jemima Potts), Lionel Jeffries (Grandpa Bungie Potts), Robert Helpmann (The Child Catcher), Gert Fröbe (Baron Bomburst), Benny Hill (The Toymaker), James Robertson Justice (Lord Scrumptious)

Timeless children's movie about a crackpot inventor who turns a derelict car into a flying machine and takes his two kids and his bit of fancy, Truly Scrumptious, to a (fictional) Eastern European country where the government don't like children.  
You'd not be surprised that children's author Roald Dahl co-wrote the screenplay, but the fact that the original story came from the imagination of Bond-scribe Ian Fleming is a real wowzer.  The film carries more nostalgic power than it does entertainment, in the respect that: if you watched it during your childhood, it will carry fond memories, but if you're only discovering it in adulthood, the chances are that you won't enjoy it.
The film isn't without it's faults. The special effects look terribly ropey, it's running time is a mite too long and the songs are as annoying as they are memorable.
7/10
  
"Never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn."
"Never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn."
CHOPPER (18)
D: Andrew Dominick
Metrodome/Mushroom/Pariah/AFFC (Michelle Bennett)
🇦🇺 2000
94 mins

Crime/Biopic

W: Andrew Dominick [based on the book by Mark Read]
DP: Geoffrey Hall & Kevin Hayward
Ed: Ken Sallows
Mus: Mick Harvey

Eric Bana (Mark 'Chopper' Read), Vince Colosimo (Neville Bartos), Simon Lyndon (Jimmy Loughman), Kate Beahan (Tanya), David Field (Keithy George)

This crime film opens with a title card informing us that, although it is based on a true story, written by a convict whilst serving a prison sentence, much has been fabricated for dramatic purposes. What follows is an in-your-face assessment of a criminal, mixing brutal violence with a thread of cackling, dark humour.
Like other films on similar cases, it's the power of the lead performance which makes it watchable, and full credit has to go to Eric Bana, who is plays an unlikeable character with animalistic magnetism.
The narrative of the story itself, which has a tendency to glamorise a thug's behaviour and 'rub your face in it', may stick in your craw.
6/10

"Peace, Harmony, Comfort and Joy... Maybe next year."
"Peace, Harmony, Comfort and Joy... Maybe next year."
A CHRISTMAS STORY (PG)
D: Bob Clark
MGM/UA (René DuPont & Bob Clark)
🇨🇦 🇺🇸 1983
93 mins

Comedy

W: Bob Clark, Leigh Brown & Jean Shepherd [based on the novel "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" by Jean Shepherd]
DP: Reginald H. Morris
Ed: Stan Cole
Mus: Carl Zittrer & Paul Zaza

Peter Billingsley (Ralphie Parker), Melinda Dillon (Mrs. Parker), Darren McGavin (Mr. Parker), Ian Petrella (Randy Parker)

A huge Yuletide nostalgia comedy hit in the native US, but didn't do the same business in the UK and I kind of understand why.

From my point of view, I couldn't relate to it because it wasn't my childhood. Perhaps the reasons are both generational and geographical.

It's set in the late-40's and is told through the rather innocent eyes of a young boy in the build up to Christmas for which all he wants is a BB-gun.  He goes to school, looks after his kid brother, listens to radio shows and gets his mouth washed out with soap & water whenever he uses foul language.

It's not a bad film by any means and the kid steals the show without any doubt. I just couldn't relate to it. Give me A Christmas Carol anyday.

6/10

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS: THE DISCOVERY (PG)
D: John Glen
Rank/Peel (Alexander Salkind & Ilya Silkind)     
🇺🇸 🇬🇧 🇪🇸 1992
121 mins

Historical

W: John Briley, Cary Bates & Mario Puzo
DP: Alec Mills & Arthur Wooster
Ed: Matthew Glen
Mus: Cliff Eidelman
PD: Gil Parrando

Marlon Brando (Tomas de Torquemada), Tom Selleck (King Ferdinand), George Corraface (Christopher Columbus), Rachel Ward (Queen Isabella I); Robert Davi (Martin Pinzon); Catherine Zeta-Jones (Beatriz Enriquez de Arana)

Boring, overlong, profligate dross released specifically to coincide with the 500 year anniversary of Columbus' voyage. 1492: Conquest Of Paradise was also released around the same time, and was deemed a much better movie on the same subject.
Unfortunately, this production feels less of a tribute to the intrepid explorer and more like an insult.
The performances range from atrociously miscast to just plain awful.
Amongst the worst films of 1992 and big enough a flop to ensure that Alexander and Ilya Salkind took a permanent break from film production.
2/10

CHRONICLE (15)
D: Josh Trank
20th Century Fox (John Davis & Adam Schroeder)
🇺🇸 2012
83 mins
 
Science Fiction
 
W: Max Landis
DP: Matthew Jensen
Ed: Elliott Greenberg
 
Dane DeHaan (Andrew Detmer), Alex Russell (Matt Garetty), Michael B. Jordan (Steve Montgomery), Michael Kelly (Richard Detmer), Ashley Hinshaw (Casey Letter)
 
There has been a huge growth of this new genre of documentary-style movies, filmed in a home video/YouTube style of all being caught on a single camcorder.
Some of these I really enjoy (Cloverfield, [rec]) and some of them I don't (Paranormal Activity- why it's so popular I'll never know!!).
Chronicle falls between the two stools... It's got a great concept, but there is a definite flaw in its execution. Pinpointed by a very weak final 20 minutes.
The story follows three school friends who document their new-found superhuman abilities on a camcorder, but one of them loses his ability to control them due to a volatile family life and bullying & unpopularity at school. Personally, I felt this film didn't really need the gimmick of documentary-style photography. There's a good film lost here. A real shame as I expected more from a fantastic premise.
5/10

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE (PG)
D: Andrew Adamson
Buena Vista/Disney (Mark Johnson & Philip Steuer)
🇺🇸 2005
143 mins

Fantasy/Adventure

W: Andrew Adamson, Ann Peacock, Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely [based on the novel by C. S. Lewis]
DP: Donald McAlpine
Ed: Sim Evans-Jones
Mus: Harry Gregson-Williams
PD: Roger Ford
Cos: Isis Mussenden

William Moseley (Peter Pevensie), Anna Popplewell (Susan Pevensie), Georgie Henley (Lucy Pevensie), Skandar Keynes (Edmund Pevensie), Tilda Swinton (The White Witch), Liam Neeson (voice of Aslan), James McAvoy (Mr. Tumnas), Ray Winston (voice of Mr. Beaver), Dawn French (voice of Mrs. Beaver)

C.S. Lewis' timeless novel gets the Disney treatment, and it shows. 
Set during the Second World War, four siblings (two boys, two girls) are evacuated from London following the Blitz and given refuge in a country mansion where they discover a portal to a magical kingdom in an old wardrobe.
Greeted as the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve by the talking forest creatures, they are sent on a quest to find a wise lion who needs their help to defeat an evil witch who has made Narnia perpetual winter.
As far as the production values and special effects, this movie is quite a visual treat, but at 143 minutes, it's a build up to a battle which becomes rather anti-climactic.  The religious allegories from Lewis' original prose has been toned down, but certain elements are still a little obvious. Overall, it's the work of the Disney cash-machine rather than a great adaptation. A much better job was done for British TV in the late 1980's.
6/10

THE CIDER HOUSE RULES (15)
D: Lasse Hallström
Miramax/FilmColomy (Richard N. Gladstein)
🇺🇸 1999
131 mins
 
Drama
 
W: John Irving [based on his novel]
DP: Oliver Stapleton
Ed: Lisa Zeno Churgin
Mus: Rachel Portman
PD: David Gropman
 
Tobey Maguire (Homer Wells), Charlize Theron (Candy Kendall), Delroy Lindo (Mr. Rose), Paul Rudd (Wally Worthington), Michael Caine (Dr. Wilbur Larch), Jane Alexander (Nurse Edna), Kathy Baker (Nurse Angela), Erykah Badu (Rose Rose), Kieran Culkin (Buster), Kate Nelligan (Olive Worthington)
 
In New England during the 1940's, Homer Wells, a young man raised in an orphanage grows up to be a doctor, the apprentice of Dr. Wilbur Larch, an ether addict who runs the orphanage and performs clandestine abortions.
Their relationship becomes strained when the older doctor wants his protege to take over the practice from him, but their clashes of opinions over undertaking abortions sends Wells out into the world where he finds work at an orchard.
This bittersweet melodrama captures some simply amazing acting performances, especially from Michael Caine, with a final act which feels like a blow to the solar plexus. 
Based on the novel by John Irving, who also wrote and won an Oscar for his screenplay.
8/10

CINDERELLA MAN (12)
D: Ron Howard
Miramax/Universal/Imagine (Brian Grazer, Ron Howard & Penny Marshall)
🇺🇸 2005
144 mins

Biopic/Sports

W: Cliff Hollingsworth & Akiva Goldsman
DP: Salvatore Totino
Ed: Mike Hill & Dan Hanley
Mus: Thomas Newman
PD: Wynn Thomas

Russell Crowe (James J. Braddock), Renee Zellweger (Mae Braddock), Paul Giamatti (Joe Gould), Craig Bierko (Max Baer), Paddy Considine (Mike Wilson), Bruce McGill (Jimmy Johnston)

A picturesque biopic of James J. Braddock, a boxer during the Great Depression who staged a comeback to win the world title in a genuine rags-to-riches tale.
Russell Crowe almost becomes the fabled boxer in a sublime performance from the actor, whilst Paul Giamatti also steals the occasional scene as the fight promoter.  Renee Zellweger however, is unfortunately miscast as Braddock's wife.
It could have done with having 30 minutes or so trimmed off, especially the more sappy moments inside the Braddock home, but it's a well-filmed biographical film which presents the struggles of the period faithfully.
7/10
  
CINEMA PARADISO (NUEVO CINEMA PARADISO) (PG)
D: Giuseppe Tornatore
Ariane/TFI/RAI-TRE/Forum (Franco Cristaldi)
🇮🇹 🇫🇷 1988 (released 1989)
123 mins

Comedy/Drama

W: Giuseppe Tornatore
DP: Blasco Giurato
Ed: Mario Mora
Mus: Ennio Morricone & Andrea Morricone
PD: Andrea Cristani
Cos: Beatrice Bordone

Jacques Perrin (Salvatore di Vita), Philippe Noiret (Alfredo), Salvatore Cascio (Salvatore as a child), Marco Leonardi (Salvatore as a teenager)

The Guardian newspaper voted this their favourite film of the 1980's and it's quite understandable why. It's a sweet, sentimental nostalgia fable about a young boy who grows up helping the cinema projectionist at his small villages cinema and the friendship they form from the late 1930's onwards.
At two & a half hours, this is a long slog of a foreign language film to get through, but it ticks by quite nicely due to a good screenplay, great performances and a beautiful music score by Ennio Morricone.
A love letter to classic film and a must watch for film buffs.
8/10

CITIZEN KANE (U)
D: Orson Welles
RKO/Mercury (Orson Welles)
🇺🇸 1941
119 mins

Drama/Biopic

W: Orson Welles & Herman J. Mankiewicz 
DP: Gregg Toland
Ed: Robert Wise
Mus: Bernard Herrmann
PD: Van Nest Polglase & Perry Ferguson
Cos: Edward Stevenson

Orson Welles (Charles Foster Kane), Joseph Cotten (Jedediah Leland), Dorothy Comingore (Sudan Alexander), Everett Sloane (Mr. Bernstein), Ray Collins (Boss J. W. Gettys), George Coulouris (Walter Parks Thatcher), Agnes Moorehead (Mary Kane), Paul Stewart (Raymond), Ruth Warrick (Emily Norton Kane), Erskine Sanford (Herbert Carter)

Less a film in the traditional sense and much more a work of art.
Narratively, the film holds less weight than it did in 1941, but is still a landmark picture on the process and execution of filmmaking and production.
A (fictional) biopic of Charles Foster Kane, told in hindsight after the newspaper tycoon passes away, uttering "Rosebud" as his final words, leaving a team of reporters interviewing those he knew to uncover the meaning of the last thing he ever said, with flashbacks of Kane's life from childhood to political scandal and adoption by a newspaper tycoon to be his heir to his failed marriages.
The film received much controversy upon it's release for having parables with real-life politician William Randolph Hearst, who disowned the film and campaigned to have it suppressed.
Away from the scandals of the 1940's, the movie is enjoyed by film buffs as one of the all time masterpieces, voted #1 film of all time by the American Film Institute, where it's place has only very recently been usurped. It's probably an understatement to admit that this a film which will be less enjoyed by modern audiences but deemed a true work of art by film historians & movie snobs (I am a movie snob).
10/10

CITY LIGHTS (U)
D: Charles Chaplin 
United Artists (Charles Chaplin)
🇺🇸 1931
87 mins

Comedy

W: Charles Chaplin
DP: Rollie Totheroh
Ed: Charles Chaplin
Mus: Charles Chaplin

Charles Chaplin (The Tramp), Virginia Cherrill (The Blind Flower Girl), Harry Myers (An Eccentric Millionaire), Florence Lee (The Grandmother)

Possibly the last great silent film and certainly one of the best of Charlie Chaplin's works. The screen legend himself lists it as the favourite of his own works, while other big screen comedians, directors and actors name it as one of their biggest influences. Even if you haven't seen City Lights, so many of the visual gags are so iconic that they've etched their way into popular culture via other mediums, films and TV shows.
Chaplin plays his familiar tramp character, a well-intentioned hobo whose actions always seem to land him in hot water. He falls in love with a blind flower seller in debt, and after befriending a drunken millionaire, finds the money to save her eviction and fund an operation to help her see.
Though silent pictures have since become an archaic part of filmmaking, City Lights stands out as a classic not just for the time, but of the comedy genre as a whole, with brilliantly timed gags, mimes and visuals, from the opening gambit where Charlie's tramp gets caught sleeping on a newly-unveiled statue, to a prizefight which he participates in hoping to win the cash and the girl.
The film was a huge risk at the time for Chaplin, who was under pressure from the studio to move with the times and convert to talkies, instead he went completely against the grain and produced a true masterpiece of golden age cinema.
10/10

CITY OF ANGELS (12)
D: Brad Silberling
Warner Bros./Regency/Atlas (Charles Roven & Dawn Steel)
🇺🇸 🇩🇪 1998
117 mins

Romance/Fantasy

W: Dana Stevens [based on the screenplay "Wings Of Desire" by Wim Wenders]
DP: John Seale
Ed: Lynzee Klingmann
Mus: Gabriel Yared
PD: Lilly Kilvert

Nicolas Cage (Seth), Meg Ryan (Dr. Maggie Price), Andre Braugher (Cassiel), Dennis Franz (Nathaniel Messinger), Colm Feore (Jordan Ferris)

Sappy, slushy and schmaltzy remake of German film Wings Of Desire, relocating the action to America where an angel falls in love with a heart surgeon and wishes to become human.
Even for those who haven't seen the original, this film is so sugary that it should come with a medical warning for diabetics.  
Female audience members seemed to fawn over its romantic story, despite the direction overly trying to tug heart-strings with ridiculous compositions (the scene with Meg Ryan on her bike is hilarious rather than saddening).
The soundtrack features a collection of very good songs, including The Goo Goo Dolls' brilliant 'Iris', but as a film it's trite.
4/10

CITY OF GOD (CIDADE DE DEUS) (18)
D: Fernando Meirelles
Miramax/O2/Globo/Lumiere/Studio Canal/Wild Bunch (Andrea Barata Ribiero & Mauricio Andrade Ramos)
🇧🇷 2002 (released 2003)
124 mins
 
Crime/Drama
 
W: Braulio Mantovani [based on the novel by Paolo Lins]
DP: Cesar Charlone
Ed: Daniel Rezende
Mus: Antonio Pinto & Ed Côrtes
 
Matheus Nachtergaele (Sandro Cenoura), Seu Jorge (Mane Galinha), Alexandre Rodrigues (Buscape), Leandro Firmino da Hora (Ze Pequeno), Phellipe Haagensen (Bene), Jonathan Haagensen (Cabeleira), Douglas Silva (Dadinho), Roberta Rodrigues (Berenice)
 
Based on a brutal, compelling story of rival gangs in Brazilian shanty towns, with members fighting over control of the drug trade from a young age, continuing into adulthood.
Many said this was Brazil's answer to Pulp Fiction, but aside from a non-linear narrative, a rich assembly of characters and the portrayal of personal struggles against the backdrop of crime & violence there are very little comparisons, aside from the fact that they are both excellent films. 
9/10

THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN (LA CITÉ DES ENFANTS PERDUS) (15)
D: Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro
Lumiere/Canal Plus (Claudie Ossard)
🇫🇷 1995
111 mins

Fantasy 

W: Gilles Adrian, Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro
DP: Darius Khondji
Ed: Hervé Schneid
Mus: Angelo Badalamenti

Ron Perlman (One), Daniel Emilfork (Krank), Judith Vittet (Miette), Jean-Claude Dreyfus (Marcello)

A subterranean fantasy about a mad scientist who is unable to have dreams, so he kidnaps children to tap into their imaginations and steal theirs.
Perhaps it's because I watched a dubbed version, but I simply couldn't connect with this film and enjoy it as much as director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's other work (aside from the awful Alien: Resurrection), yet I still have to credit it for being imaginatively directed with fantastic production design and it has many other values such as great cinematography and visual effects.
Perhaps I need to re-review this after watching the original French-language version.
6/10

CITY SLICKERS (12)
D: Ron Underwood
Castle Rock/Nelson (Irby Smith)
🇺🇸 1991
112 mins

Comedy/Western

W: Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel
DP: Dean Semler
Ed: O. Nicholas Brown
Mus: Marc Shaiman
PD: Lawrence G. Paull
Cos: Judy Ruskin

Billy Crystal (Mitch Robbins), Daniel Stern (Phil Berquist), Bruno Kirby (Ed Furillo), Patricia Wettig (Barbara Robbins), Helen Slater (Bonnie Rayburn), Jack Palance (Curly Washburn), Noble Willingham (Clay Stone), Tracey Walter (Cookie), Josh Mostel (Barry Shalowitz), David Paymer (Ira Shalowitz)

Three friends on the brink of a mid-life crisis go on a trip where they drive cattle just like the cowboys of the old west.
On the trip, they discover the meaning of friendship, and of life, before taking responsibility for their own lives and of the cattle drive itself after the head cowboy does and the two other professional cowboys in charge go nuts.
This is most definitely a 'guy's movies', all about male bonding and the simple pleasures that drive them through life.  There's not much else in the way of plot, but the screenplay has several witty one-liners and references to classic westerns, itself classed as more of a 'genre for guys'.  Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern & Bruno Kirby are all great as the three buddies trying to find themselves again, but Jack Palance steals the show as an amalgamation of classic Western hard men.
Keep an eye out for a young Jake Gyllenhaal as Billy Crystal's son.
7/10

CITY SLICKERS II: THE LEGEND OF CURLY'S GOLD (12)
D: Paul Weiland
Columbia Tristar/Castle Rock/Face (Billy Crystal)
🇺🇸 1994
116 mins
 
Comedy/Western
 
W: Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel
DP: Adrian Biddle & Craig Haagensen
Ed: William Anderson & Armen Minasian
Mus: Marc Shaiman
PD: Stephen J. Lineweaver
 
Billy Crystal (Mitch Robbins), Daniel Stern (Phil Berquist), Jon Lovitz (Glen Robbins), Patricia Wettig (Barbara Robbins), Jack Palance (Duke Washburn), Bill McKinney (Matt), Pruitt Taylor Vince (Bud)
 
A rather pointless and silly sequel, which gets rid of the three friends searching for themselves storyline in favour of three friends searching for hidden treasure. It still maintains the male-bonding theme from the original film, but to a far lesser degree as it seems happy to pat itself on the back for having even more references to the classic Westerns of yesteryear (as well as nods & winks to The Godfather for no reason whatsoever).
Bruno Kirby is replaced with the incredibly irritating Jon Lovitz and Jack Palance reprises his role as Curly's twin (with exactly the same characteristics).
The movie ends on cliffhanger as if to insinuate there'd be a City Slickers III. Thankfully, another sequel didn't materialise, despite this one being a mild success during its theatrical run.
3/10