Christopher-Lloyd Movie Reviews


Related Subjects: Christina-Ricci
More Pages: Christopher-Lloyd Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
VHS movie reviews for "Christopher-Lloyd" sorted by average review score:

The Horror of Dracula
Released in VHS Tape by Warner Studios (29 September, 1993)
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Director: Terence Fisher
After Hammer Studios' tremendous success with The Curse of Frankenstein, they struck a deal to adapt Universal's catalog of classics and set their sights first on Dracula. Christopher Lee removes the monstrous makeup from the earlier film and makes his entrance as an elegant, confident, altogether seductive Dracula, a frightening figure of flashing eyes and erotic allure. Peter Cushing, with his hawklike profile and piercing eyes, turns his rationalist intensity to Van Helsing: man of science as crusading vampire hunter. Director Terence Fisher and screenwriter Jimmy Sangster make a few changes to Bram Stoker's tale; gone are Renfield, Transylvania, howling wolves, and transformations into bats. The Count is an old-world aristocrat firmly ensconced in a castle in England and Van Helsing a crusading vampire hunter who plots his demise with an elaborate plan. This is the first film to really mine the erotic appeal of vampires: Dracula seduces Mina and Lucy like a devil tempting good to the dark side through sex--more suggestive than explicit, but daring for 1958. Lee is electric as the ferocious Count, despite his limited screen time, and Cushing turns Van Helsing into a virtual swashbuckler of a hero, leaping and diving through the climax like an aging action hero. Cushing reprises his role in The Brides of Dracula, while Lee absented himself from the series until 1966's Dracula: Prince of Darkness. --Sean Axmaker
Average review score:

The Quintessential DRACULA!
HORROR OF DRACULA is essential viewing for horror and vampire fans (and now finally on DVD!). Christopher Lee remains the ultimate Dracula. He subtly combines single-minded, unstoppable evil with gentlemanly grace and charisma; the perfect mask of civility over a raging, blood-spattered ghoul. Despite its many faults, the film is a strong contender for the greatest cinematic adaption of Bram Stoker's novel, solely because of the brilliant performances of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.

The film begins, oddly enough, in broad daylight, as we look up on Dracula's castle. It's a far cry from the one in most or our imaginations. This is no gloomy, mist-enshrouded, crumbling edifice of evil, but almost a Victorian mansion set in what looks to be the Swiss Alps. The camera pans past it down towards a crypt, in which lies Dracula's coffin. As the horror-movie music swells, bright red blood splashes on the inscription that reads "Dracula"--introducing horror fans to the new world of gorgeous Technicolor.

There are huge gaping plot holes in the film, but the film moves briskly and with an intensity other horror films of the era couldn't muster. The screenplay by Jimmy Sangster (who wrote a good portion of the Hammer films) has little plot contrivances to allow for the various attacks Dracula makes. It all seems to be a weird jumble of Stoker's novel, the original 1931 play adaption, and British production codes and values. At one point Holmwood (Michael Gough) and Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) are discussing vampirism, and Holmwood says, "I thought vampires could turn into bats or wolves." Van Helsing corrects him: "No, that's a common fallacy." What?! Why? It's never explained, but I think I can guess why--they couldn't fit that type of thing into the budget! It's also impossible to tell just where the story takes place--Transylvania is never named, nor is London. Odd, that, but not too crushing to the events at hand. I've seen this film several times as an adult and I don't think I ever thought about much of this until I decided to write about it.

The acting is very good, straightforward and convincing. Had it been less so these Hammer films would not have achieved classic status. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee solidified their careers here (a year after CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN) and they are in top form, a perfect battle between good and evil. Cushing is full-bore, his wiry frame radiating intense concern and intellectual pride. Michael Gough as Holmwood does a credible job as the Victorian gentleman caught up in this inconceivable horror, but he doesn't at all come off as ineffectual, wimpy or bumbling. Melissa Stribling as Mina is, at first, a prim, yet intelligent, woman, but after her encounters with Dracula she subtly changes--imperceptible to the men, but to the audience, well... we know there's gonna be trouble.

Lee as Dracula is perfect, all implacable stillness one moment and then animal swiftness the next. His presence is more commanding and threatening than Lugosi's, more fully masculine and powerful. Like the character in the novel, he spends most of his time off-screen--but those few moments he is on screen are marvelous, scary and effective. The sudden, shocking close-up on his face, blood dripping from his fangs, his eyes red-rimmed, must have sent '50s audiences into paroxysms of fear. When he makes his move on Mina it is first with loving kisses upon her face--as if he remembers something of what human love was once like. Lee understood the depth of this usually one-dimensional character, and reveals it with economy and style.

The climax of the movie is fantastic, thrilling and quick-moving. Lee and Cushing get down to some hand-to-hand combat (note to self: if ever being strangled, play dead, then when strangler is least expecting, attack!) while Gough rescues the soon-to-be-undead Stribling. The effects of Dracula crumbling away as the sunlight burns his flesh--oops, did I give that away?--are kind of funny now, but I'm sure at the time everyone was pretty grossed out. Order is restored, the Victorian status quo resumed... until DRACULA, PRINCE OF DARKNESS seven years later.

The Best Vampire Movie Ever!
My favorite horror movie of all time--probably my favorite film period--is this classic Hammer horror film. I like this picture so much because it captures the spirit of Stoker's novel better than any other version. Dracula is portrayed as a ruthless, sexual predator--he is not just a mysterious nobleman ala Lugosi or (even further off the mark) a tragic romantic hero ala Langella, et al. Christopher Lee makes the most out of his six minutes of screentime, and Peter Cushing is great as the heroic Dr. Van Helsing. I also like Michael (Alfred in BATMAN) Gough and the gorgeous Valerie Gaunt. James Bernard's music is terrific, the best ever in a horror picture; and can anything top the wonderful finale? Don't miss HOD!

Lee brought new life to the role
Chris Lee has had a love-hate relationship with Dracula. He played him in a series of films (progressively WORSE) for Hammer Films, and was often very vocal because the works got farther and farther from Stoker's story. He did a Spanish version where he starts out with grey hair and moustache, and he felt it was a more faithful adaption. Interesting, but it really does not hold a candle to this first outing. The poor lensing and production quality was a stake to the heart to the Spanish version.

Hammers production is lush in quality and colour, with the powerful, aristocrat Count (Lee) meeting Harker in his castle in Transylvania, then later flees to England to stalk Harker fiancé. Only, in seducing Mina and Lucy, he comes up against a formidable foe Van Helsing, wonderfully played by the late great Peter Cushing (the second pairing for the duo, the first Hammer's Frankenstein). They were super in their struggle, climaxing in their battle of good against evil swashbuckle style.

Lee was dynamically menacing, with courtly European grace and manners, and turned on the sensual magic that saw him soon recognised as a star world wide. The best of the Hammer Vampires, and despites Lee's often dismissal of the films and others for Hammers, it stands as a brilliant work.

At this price, it's a super bargain!


Eight Men Out
Released in VHS Tape by Mgm/Ua Studios (03 August, 1999)
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: John Sayles
Starring: John Cusack
Eliot Asinof's detailed book Eight Men Out illustrates how the system of American sports collapsed in 1919, the year the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series. Filmmaker John Sayles worked on his script years before the 1988 film (or before he had the rights to make the film) as a labor of love. Sayles's adaptation proves one can make a historically accurate film in the day and age of artistic license. And what a story. Although many know about the "Black Sox," made famous--again--in the 1989 hit film Field of Dreams, the details of the saga are far less known. The center of Dreams, Shoeless Joe Jackson (portrayed correctly by D.B. Sweeney as illiterate and left-handed in Eight), is not the core of this film; it's ace pitcher Eddie Cicotte (Sayles favorite David Strathairn), who took the money, and third baseman Buck Weaver (John Cusack), who did not. The film fits nicely into Sayles's (Lone Star) strong suit: the ensemble drama. We are introduced to bickering owners, famous crooks, high-minded judges, lowlife gangsters, investigative reporters (played by Studs Terkel and Sayles himself), and, most of all, players who are at the breaking point when it comes to low salaries and degrading rewards. While some may feel the film is not as visceral as it should be, there is a great amount of verisimilitude when watching finely tuned athletes telling their bodies to play poorly--heartbreak on the nation's diamond. Beautifully detailed (like Sayles's previous labor-drama, Matewan), Eight Men Out gives us powerful lessons in which everyone lost: players, gamblers, and especially the fans who love the game. --Doug Thomas
Average review score:

It's Odd Man Out
John Sayles' film successfully informs the viewer about the myriad facts surrounding this infamous time in baseball history. Given the large cast and need to cover so much ground, it is probably inevitable that certain aspects of the movie feel somewhat superficial, limiting the movie's emotional resonance (final scene excepted). For example, character development is limited at best, and we are not shown in a convincing fashion how players' families may provide both positive and negative support and pressure. Again though, the director's central goal seems to be to deliver the facts about this chapter of baseball history, and in this he succeeds. And one could certainly argue that embellishing the personal stories could only be done at the expense of historical accuracy. Regardless, the lively score, strong acting, and fast-pace also help insure that this history lesson is delivered without the soporific qualities of many documentaries.

While the baseball scenes were generally solid, one TINY detail rang false. At one point late in the film John Kusack's Weaver shouts out, "I hit .327 in the series". While it's possible he really said that, it isn't possible he hit it. You need over 50 at bats to hit precisely .327, and you can't reach 50 at bats in even an eight game World Series!

a great baseball story
this is a very good baseball movie. It tells alot about the "19 black sox scandal. It gets a little boring sometimes though like when the gangsters are talking. My friend's dad was in it. He played the first base umpire. I would recommend this move to people who like baseball movies.

Why They Did What They Did.
For the longest time, I never really understood why the Chicago Black Sox did what they did. However, after doing a little research behind the 1919 Black Sox scandal, I now understand. They did what they did because Charlie Comiskey cared more about the profits in his pockets than he did about the players who played on his team. His greed and selfishness in not paying team members a decent wage made it rather easy for team members to throw some games for a propositioned profit. EIGHT MEN OUT does an excellent job of portraying Comiskey's avarice and illustrating the motivation of the eight men who were thrown out of the game.

Buck Weaver was the true victim in the whole scandal because even though he was not a part of affair, he had knowledge of it and failed to inform his coach. The movie shows Weaver as the type of man he really was and its a shame he wasn't and hasn't been given a fair shake. The film also does a good job at illustrating the questions surrounding "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. Jackson was thrown out for throwing a game, but he was basically the MVP of the entire series; all he cared about was the game, not the money. Was Joe really a criminal or a simple hick caught up in something bigger than he could deal with?

EIGHT MEN OUT is a really good sports movie. It's a must for any baseball fan, but is something that even the non-baseball fan may enjoy watching.


Eight Men Out
Released in VHS Tape by Orion Studios (22 February, 1990)
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: John Sayles
Starring: John Cusack
Eliot Asinof's detailed book Eight Men Out illustrates how the system of American sports collapsed in 1919, the year the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series. Filmmaker John Sayles worked on his script years before the 1988 film (or before he had the rights to make the film) as a labor of love. Sayles's adaptation proves one can make a historically accurate film in the day and age of artistic license. And what a story. Although many know about the "Black Sox," made famous--again--in the 1989 hit film Field of Dreams, the details of the saga are far less known. The center of Dreams, Shoeless Joe Jackson (portrayed correctly by D.B. Sweeney as illiterate and left-handed in Eight), is not the core of this film; it's ace pitcher Eddie Cicotte (Sayles favorite David Strathairn), who took the money, and third baseman Buck Weaver (John Cusack), who did not. The film fits nicely into Sayles's (Lone Star) strong suit: the ensemble drama. We are introduced to bickering owners, famous crooks, high-minded judges, lowlife gangsters, investigative reporters (played by Studs Terkel and Sayles himself), and, most of all, players who are at the breaking point when it comes to low salaries and degrading rewards. While some may feel the film is not as visceral as it should be, there is a great amount of verisimilitude when watching finely tuned athletes telling their bodies to play poorly--heartbreak on the nation's diamond. Beautifully detailed (like Sayles's previous labor-drama, Matewan), Eight Men Out gives us powerful lessons in which everyone lost: players, gamblers, and especially the fans who love the game. --Doug Thomas
Average review score:

It's Odd Man Out
John Sayles' film successfully informs the viewer about the myriad facts surrounding this infamous time in baseball history. Given the large cast and need to cover so much ground, it is probably inevitable that certain aspects of the movie feel somewhat superficial, limiting the movie's emotional resonance (final scene excepted). For example, character development is limited at best, and we are not shown in a convincing fashion how players' families may provide both positive and negative support and pressure. Again though, the director's central goal seems to be to deliver the facts about this chapter of baseball history, and in this he succeeds. And one could certainly argue that embellishing the personal stories could only be done at the expense of historical accuracy. Regardless, the lively score, strong acting, and fast-pace also help insure that this history lesson is delivered without the soporific qualities of many documentaries.

While the baseball scenes were generally solid, one TINY detail rang false. At one point late in the film John Kusack's Weaver shouts out, "I hit .327 in the series". While it's possible he really said that, it isn't possible he hit it. You need over 50 at bats to hit precisely .327, and you can't reach 50 at bats in even an eight game World Series!

Pleased
This was a great movie. The story of the 1919 Black Sox Scandal as portrayed by John Sayles was truthful to the real events of that World Series. The cast gave such wonderful performances as players and owners that you can understand how this could happen. You feel bad for the players. When asked about their bonus and they only are given the champagne, you see the hurt in their faces, and it is painful to see. John Cusack and D.B. Sweeney were great as Buck Weaver and Joe Jackson. Their performances showed a great love for the game. Michael Rooker also gave a good performance as Chick Gandil, the ring leader. I love this movie. It is my favorite of all time. I now own the book as well.

A Great Baseball Movie
I lived in Indianapolis, Indiana when Eight Men Out was filmed there in the late 1980s. It was great to watch how the then run-down and now closed Bush Stadium was magically transformed into Cincinnati's Crosley Field and Chicago's Comiskey Park. The ensemble acting group is top notch including David Straithan as Ed Cicotte, the player ringleader of the Black Sox and John Cusack as Buck Weaver playing well the "guilty by association" role. Even Paramedic DeSoto of "Emergency" fame (Kevin Tighe) has a great role as the gambler masterminding the big fix. A fascinating movie that is well-acted and very under-appreciated. And they even got the fact that Shoeless Joe Jackson batted left-handed correct (unlike Field of Dreams).

By the way, to respectfully contradict a previous poster, the White Sox did go to the World Series one time after the 1919 scandal, in 1959, where they lost to the Dodgers.


The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill
Released in VHS Tape by Miramax Home Entertainment (03 June, 2003)
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Christopher Monger
Starring: Hugh Grant, Tara Fitzgerald, and Colm Meaney
Average review score:

NOT A ROMANTIC MOVIE AT ALL!
they lie to you and tell you its a romantic comedy...but in reality its NOT. its FAR from a romantic comedy.

A gentle story, good for a relaxing evening
I'm late discovering this movie and I wouldn't know Hugh Grant from Ulysses S., but it was a lovely way to spend an evening. Subtle humor, various characters including one traumatized by the war (WWI) and those that develop over time, and a nice collection of scenes to look at made it really worthwhile. In our over-hyped, rushed scenes, odd camera angles, and star-worshipping, it's nice to have a quiet little film to just relax with.

Is it a hill? Is it a mountain? No, it's a great comedy!
"All this fuss...over what? Is it a hill, is it a mountain? Perhaps it wouldn't matter anywhere else, but this is Wales."

So what happens in this epic story about the Englishman who went up a hill but came down a mountain? On Sunday, 17 June 1917, cartographers/retired army officers Reginald Anson and George Garrad come to a Welsh village to measure Ffynnon Garw to determine whether it's a hill or a mountain. Their presence causes anxiety among the villagers, who are on pins and needles when they hear the British standard of a mountain defined as anything over 1,000 feet. The Britons stay at the inn of the cheeky Morgan the Goat (as opposed to Morgan the Sheep?), intending to leave after their task is completed. However, guess what height Ffynnon Garw is less than?

The villagers put things in motion with two objectives: one, to make sure their beloved Ffynnon Garw becomes a mountain, and two, to extend the Britons' stay, such as something involving two pounds of sugar and a gas tank, and a knife. The first objective forms the action of the movie, villagers moving dirt from their gardens bucket by bucket, tray by tray, through toil, sweat, and sacrifice, and placing them...guess where? And excuses for delay? The war--take note of the date listed above.

There's also a conflict between the religiously fervent Reverend Jones and Morgan, as the latter doesn't go to church and plies alcohol. When Jones asks Morgan, "Have you no shame?" Morgan flippantly pats himself down and says "No, can't think where I left it" and walks off, leaving Jones fuming.

During the movie, we see that the younger Anson is more sympathetic and humble to the villagers, while the stout and older Garrod is more logical, arrogant, and looks down on the Welsh. A typical British attitude during the period of Empire there. Anson is also taken by Betty, a maid who comes to help Morgan tend bar and also to charm the cartographers. It all goes back to Anglo-Welsh relations. The Welsh have had a rough time of it all, like the Irish. Those who survive the trenches of France return to labour only to die for coal. Sad times indeed for the Welsh.

The whole point of the movie is not just the standard height set for a mountain, but Welsh pride, of national identity. For the Welsh, all they have for monuments are mountains, no pyramids or temples. And if Ffynonn Garw isn't a mountain, then Anson might as well redraw the map and put the Welsh in England. After all, as Morgan tells Betty, "Maps are the undergarments of a country, they give shape to continents." And what's in a measurement anyway? As Morgan says, "Do we call a short man a boy or a small cat a dog? No! This is a mountain, our mountain, and if it needs to be a thousand feet, then by God let's make it a thousand feet!E In other words, it's all relative.

The concept of telling the village people with identical surnames by their occupation or personality is ingenious and charming, so we can tell the difference between Williams the Petroleum from Williams the Deaf. Some are more telling, as in the case of Johnny Shellshock. And there are the Thomas Twps: Thomas Twp and his brother Thomas Twp 2. As one of them says, "we've no learning than most, so people say we're twp, but we're not twp as to not know that we're twp." Right, that makes sense.

All the leads are splendid, particularly Colm Meaney as Morgan the Goat and Kenneth Griffith as the strict but passionate Reverend Jones. And Hugh Grant (Anson) has another charming leading lady, Tara Fitzgerald (Betty), who ranks up there with Andie McDowell (Four Weddings) and Martine McCutcheon (Love Actually). She really has a winning smile and saucy brogue that makes her character lovable. And darn if Ian Hart keeps popping up, be it Harry Potter, Michael Collins, and now here, as Johnny Shellshock.

A wonderful little movie with a wonderful Celtic score, as the ideas and themes that emerge make this more than a one-joke movie. And for you boyos, this was written by Hamlow_the_Writer_Who_Went_Up_A_Paragraph_But_Climbed_Down_A_Review.


The Addams Family
Released in VHS Tape by Paramount Studio (29 August, 2000)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, and Christopher Lloyd
Director Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black) brings his distinctly cartoonish sensibility to this feature film version of the old Charles Addams comic strip. Anjelica Huston was born to play Morticia Addams, matriarch of the ghoulish Addams clan, while the late Raul Julia is a very agreeable, lusty Gomez. But it's Christina Ricci who arguably steals the show as their stone-faced daughter, Wednesday. As is often the problem with adaptations of comics or television shows, somehow an original story has to be implemented that doesn't clutter things up. But clutter is an issue here as the script gets tangled on a lame plot concerning efforts to steal the Addams' house and fortune. Still, it's fun to see an ideal cast reanimate an old favorite. --Tom Keogh
Average review score:

Ooky and Creepy but the sequel is better.
Plot mechanics muddle everything in this so-so big screen version of the entertaining 60's t.v. show based on the famous New Yorker cartoons. The screenwriters have altered the original family and given us a rather ordinary predictable plot that involves an Uncle Fester imposter (Christopher Lloyd) which alters the chemistry of the well-known family. It's called fixing something that wasn't broken. They spend too much time setting up and positioning the characters.

The casting is quite good, and there are some funny moments and extremely inventive camera-work, but the script isn't sharp enough and instead of being dark, campy and clever, it's often strained and stupid.

Tops are the perfectly cast Angelica Huston, and Christini Ricci with Raul Julia being an acceptable Gomez.

The sequel Addams Family Value is much better.

Chris Jarmick, Author of The Glass Cocoon with Serena F. Holder....

A Worthy Successor To The 60's TV Show
A near-worthy successor, to be more exact. The 1991 remake of the classic 60's series was taken into the hands of director Barry Sonnenfield (Men In Black films). Sonnenfield's use of computer enhanced effects and tongue-in-cheek, slapstick surrealism contributed to the success of this film, which spawned a sequel, "Addams Family Values" and a made for video film.

The 60's tv show magic is lost in the wake of modern cinema and even the actors, try as they did, could not match the sophisticated humor that John Astin and Carolyn Jones shared- they were the original Gomez and Morticia. But nevertheless, the film is worth watching, if anything for the special effects and performances by Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester and Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams. Noteworthy is also Lurch and Thing, whose dismembered hand is a computer generated illusion.

The plot of the film revolves around Uncle Fester's amnesia. He has returned from the Bermuda Triangle (something which in itself is impossible, says the doubting Christina Ricci's Wednesday) and brought home his mother. His "mother" is a villainous woman bent on claiming the Addams Family fortune, their estate. When she has managed to influence Fester, the rest of the Addams are forced out of their home and obligated to work for rent in a slum's apartment. Eventually, the villainous woman is defeated and the Addams reclaim their home, and Uncle Fester regains his memory.

The film has its comic moments, i.e. when Gomez (Raul Julia) is watching day time talk show Sally Jesse Raphael and asks where voodoo witch doctors have their meetings, when Pugsley and Wednesday engage in a play and duel (with fake, splurting blood) and the Halloween party in which all the Addams are invited- a host of grotesque, zombie creatures appear, including the two-headed sisters. Cousin Itt also makes an appearance.

Although Raul Julia and Angelica Houston try to imitate the artistic, witty repartee and passion that John Astin and Carolyn Jones shared, they fail to do so. Raul Julia can pass off for Gomez, especially because he is Latin, but Angelica Houston does not portray a convincing Morticia- cast only because Angelica Houston's has pale, dark, "witch" like features. A striking element in the film, besides its cinematography, is its music. The soundtrack, elegant, haunting, romantic, Gothic, which sounds like the same music to the scores of "Edward Scissorhands" or "The Nightmare Before Christmas"- orchestral subtle tones, lush romanticism, tango, etc. An enjoyable film, although what would have been preferable was for the producers of the original tv show (which ran from 1964 to 66), would be to have had John Astin, Carolyn Jones and the rest of the black and white tv show's cast- Ted Cassidy (Lurch) Blossom Rock (Grandmama) Lisa Loring (Wednesday), Ken Weatherwax (Pugsley) and Jackie Coogan (Uncle Fester) to star in a color film directly after the show ended (1966) in an attempt to save the show from a brief syndication. Apparently, this was done in the late 70's, but by then the series had ended years before and a lot of the cast members were quite old.

So much fun, just like the show!
I wouldn't have bet that anyone could pull it off. The original series had such a unique and whimsical voice, I assumed that a movie maker would either overplay the feel of the film or just miss the point entirely.

But Barry Sonnenfeld gets it! And the cast is top-notch. Christina Ricci is more menacing than words can express. The late Raul Julia nails the character of Gomez.

Wonderful in its humor and its overall feel, this one is a keeper to enjoy over and over again.


The Lair of the White Worm
Released in VHS Tape by Vestron Video (19 August, 1997)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: Ken Russell
Starring: Amanda Donohoe and Hugh Grant
Wittily updated from one of Dracula author Bram Stoker's lesser-known horror novels, The Lair of the White Worm is a camp classic that only Ken Russell could have delivered. It's got all the perversity one expects from the bombastic director of Tommy and Altered States: sensible plotting, intelligent dialogue laced with double entendre, graphic imagery with Boschian intensity, and a mischievous disregard for good taste and decorum. In other words, it's heretically hilarious, especially when skeptical Lord D'Ampton (fresh-faced Hugh Grant, in one of his earliest films) begins to suspect that seductive neighbor Sylvia (Amanda Donohoe, game for anything) is connected to the local legend of a monstrous serpent that feeds on sacrificial virgins. Evidence mounts with the help of a local archaeologist (Peter Capaldi) and two endangered sisters (Catherine Oxenberg, Sammi Davis), and Russell infuses Stoker's grisly plot with his inimitable brand of blasphemy, including a gouged eyeball, a venom-splattered crucifix, Roman soldiers raping nuns (in a delirious hallucination sequence), and some of the funniest one-liners since Young Frankenstein. Prudes beware; everyone else…enjoy! --Jeff Shannon
Average review score:

First-Class Trash
This one was despised by the serious critics, but all that means is that they weren't weird enough to enjoy it. All right, it's trash. But it's great trash. It's my idea of a feel-good movie. It's kinky, erotic, scary, and funny. And bright. Literally. After zillions of creepy, dark, scary scenes in movies, the sunshine and well-lit rooms in this one emphasize the horror scenes. But who cares about the lighting? It's main attraction is an over-the-top performance by Amanda Donohoe as a very bad girl. Upper-crust Hugh Grant and his cohorts have a lot of fun trying to evade her slithery grasp. That's about all you need to know. But for heaven's sakes, don't take it seriously. If you hate it, you'll really hate it.

Wicked!
Hideously kinky, delightfully depraved and woefully witty... this is Ken Russell's masterpiece! Where else can you see ex-"Dynasty" trollop Catherine Oxenberg trussed up as a virginal pagan sacrifice to a 90-foot long demonic albino snake? Or ex-L.A. Lawyer Amanda Donahoe running around in just a thin layer electric blue bodypaint and two-inch snake fangs? Or the pre-"Four Weddings and a Funeral" Hugh Grant act like the smug, upper-class twit that he is instead of a hangdog shy wimp? What a great movie!

The DVD looks good... not a huge improvement over the VHS release, but the trailers and TV spots are funny and Ken Russell's commentary is droll and entertaining. I highly reccomend this film for anyone who likes vampires, thigh-high leather boots, Tommy: the Movie or dry-humored immortal pagan snake-god priestesses. Hail Dionin!

LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM
Based on a novel by Bram Stoker. Stars Hugh Grant, and the lovely Amanda Donohoe.
It's pretty "campy" which I usually don't like, but I DO like this movie.

Hugh Grant plays James D'Ampton, who returns to his ancestral castle in the English countryside. James' distant ancestor was said to have slayed a dragon, the white worm, who supposedly dined on the flesh of young virgins.

A legend that James immediately dismisses, but when a local amateur archaeologist discovers the huge skull of a reptile and what looks like a site of worship on James' property. It has James rethinking his original dismissal. Especially when his virginal & virtuous girlfriend, Eve, disappears.

James and the young archaeologist, Angus, decide to investigate the the dark cave, rumored to be the lair of the great white worm.

Living in the same small locality is the beautiful vamp Lady Sylvia Marsh, a so-called "snake watcher" Really a devotee of the snake deity. She wants to get her hands on the reptilian skull and make some "offerings" to the white worm.

She really has everyone in the village entranced, but James is able to resist her. He's very suspicious about her activities. And acting like a snake charmer, attempts to stymie her plans.

Donohoe is excellent as the sultry and dangerous Lady Sylvia . Her costumes, make-up and unique cars! are fabulous, lots of fun. :-)

The film contains some dream sequences involving extreme images of followers of the white worm (who worship the snake deity) in some kind of shocking ecstatic frenzy together with some nuns, and an image of Jesus. Filled with blood, nudity, suggestive activity & some pretty big phallic shaped objects! :-).. I wasn't offended by this, but some overly-prudish people might be.


Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead
Released in VHS Tape by Miramax Home Entertainment (04 February, 2003)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: Gary Fleder
Starring: Andy Garcia and Christopher Walken
After a foolproof scam turns sour, Jimmy the Saint (a soulful but miscast Andy Garcia, who mainly acts with his hair) and his hard-bitten crew must put their various sordid affairs in order before facing their final bloody curtain call. It's not nearly as clever as it thinks it is, but this terminally wise-ass (and extremely violent) caper flick is still one of the better post-Tarantino crime opuses, with some sharp dialogue, a scenery-chewing Christopher Walken (as a paraplegic archcriminal), and unhinged performances by Treat Williams and the obsequious Steve Buscemi that must be seen to be (dis)believed. Neophyte scripter Scott Rosenberg would later pen hipper-than-thou scripts for Beautiful Girls, Con Air, and Armageddon, while director Gary Fleder moved on to the somewhat more reputable Kiss the Girls. The tongue-twisting title is from a Warren Zevon song. --Andrew Wright
Average review score:

A Lively Death in Denver
THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOU'RE DEAD is more than just the best movie title in years; it's also a great movie.

When his mob-sponsored 'warning' inadvertently becomes a hit, Jimmy the Saint finds he has 48 hours to come to internal peace, even if that is at someone else's death. But, with all its Tarantino and "THE USUAL SUSPECTS" type characters and dialogue, it lacks the twists and turns of those films.

Andy Garcia (THE UNTOUCHABLES, THE GODFATHER III) easily carries the film, faring better than he does in Romantic Comedies. Supporting characters like Treat Williams (1941, HAIR), Christopher Lloyd (BACK TO THE FUTURE), William Forsythe (RAISING ARIZONA, DICK TRACY) and the always greasy Steve Buscemi (FARGO) are excellent as is Christopher Walken (VIEW TO A KILL, BATMAN RETURNS) as the 'head' of the organized crime center. Gabrielle Anwar is absolutely stunning and fills her role nicely, although as the romantic interest she gets too much screen time, a distraction from the more gripping murder tension.

The film is creatively photographed and directed. Overall, the film is entertaining and could continue a nice directing career for Gary Felder (KISS THE GIRLS). The DVD has a nice widescreen transfer and a good audio mix.

Flawless
For those of you who haven't seen this thing, go out and get it. One of the most underrated crime flicks of the last twenty years, it has Andy Garcia as Jimmy The Saint, a former crook who abandons his vocation in favour of the more leisurely business of filming the departing wit and wisdoms of the terminally ill. Life is calm and profitable until Christopher Walken, a wheelchair- bound mob boss calls in an old favour. His son, a... paedophile, has assaulted a young girl and Walken, convinced that the root of the problem is the departure of his son's girlfriend to the arms of another insists the new boyfriend be given a scare. Garcia is reluctantly forced to reassemble the old gang, a now fifty-ish crew of misfits, bums and losers who drift through American lowlife in various guises, the most monstrously entertaining of whom is Treat William's 'Critical Bill' a corpse-punching psychopath whose antics on the night turn the 'scare' into a homicide and whose reaction to Garcia's incredulous wrath is "Well, it was sort of your fault, Jimmy. You trusted me." Walken's response to the unmitigated disaster is to declare 'Buckwheats' on all of them, an instruction that they are each to die in the most painful way possible. ...BR>If this sounds too off-the-wall, let me tell you that it works superbly, partly because of first rate acting by Garcia, Williams and Christopher LLoyd as well as a great script, but mainly due to the criminal argot and patois which at times achieves almost poetic levels and makes anything by Tarantino seem amateurish and contrived. What more is there to say?

Jimmy the Saint Rules
Wow, this is probably the best gangster flick nobody knows.Andy Garcia,and Christopher Walken are fantastic.This is better than King of NewYork and Untouchables!Please watch this band of misfits try to get right before mobster Walken Fixes them all.Boat drinks, anyone?


Clockwise
Released in VHS Tape by Republic Studios (29 June, 1994)
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Christopher Morahan
Starring: John Cleese
Monty Python's John Cleese makes this lighthearted farce work as a tightly wound, punctilious public school headmaster whose well-organized life unravels in a series of disasters on his journey to a conference. Cleese is a master of fussy, fastidious characters in exasperating situations, bottling up his frustration under good manners and sardonic comments until he finally blows, but he's also startlingly vulnerable as he systematically loses all sense of himself. Dressed in monk's robes and stranded on a lonely country road, he looks down at his naked wrist and sighs, "I've even lost the time." Michael Fryan (the playwright of Noises Off) doesn't really have much of a story behind the situations, but he provides plenty of complications, and Cleese holds the film together with his brittle manner, single-minded drive, and hilarious headmaster's condescending haughtiness. While it will seem slight to many, Cleese fans will love it. --Sean Axmaker
Average review score:

Vintage British Comedy
This was clearly designed as a vehicle for John Cleese, cashing in on his international fame as Basil Fawlty. Here, as headmaster Brian Stimpson, he gets to engage in all the familiar Fawltyesque madness with great relish. However, it manages not to descend into meaninglessness and pedantry like so many comedy star vehicles tend to, since it boasts an excellent script by veteran playwright Christopher Frayn. It is all delicately paced, and nicely played out with typical British charm by a host of comedy regulars including Alison Steadman and Geoffrey Palmer.

The movie basically follows a day in the life of the time-obsessed Stimpson as he makes his way to a conference in Norwich, where he is to make a speech as the first ever grammar-school head to be made president of the headmasters association. Beginning with missing his train, we follow Stimpson in his ill-fated attempts to get to Norwich on time. Plenty of opportunity for mayhem and chaos along the way, as well as some laughs stemming from Cleese's irredeemably pedantic character. Nothing deep, but lots of fun.

John Cleese at his finest!
John Cleese is the very precise, orderly and punctual headmaster of a common British public school. As such, he rules the school, students and faculty as strictly as possible. Due to his managerial excellence, he wins an award for best Headmaster of the year (a great honor coming from a public school,) and this is where the fun begins! In order to receive the award, he has to attend the award ceremony off in the middle of the English countryside, and getting there is all the fun! (Anything that can go wrong...)

This is, hands down, one of the best movies ever made, and I've been waiting years for it to come out on DVD! It's physically impossible not to incredibly enjoy Clockwise, especially if you're a Fawlty Towers fan. I remembered nearly every single scene in this film from when I saw it as a teenager over 15 years ago! It's that funny. You simply MUST see this movie! (And DVD is the best way to do it.) Enjoy!

Sublime
John Cleese is at his best in this jolly picture. Wonderful scrip and actor's staff. Five Stars!


Addams Family Values
Released in VHS Tape by Paramount Studio (29 May, 2001)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, and Christopher Lloyd
This somewhat more cohesive follow-up to The Addams Family has the same director, Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black), but a better story line. Joan Cusack plays a busty gold digger who ingratiates herself into the Addams home and convinces Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) that she wants to marry him. Besides Lloyd, the cast includes Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia, ideal as those Brontëan lovers, Morticia and Gomez. But Christina Ricci again walks away with the best moments as the chilly Wednesday Addams, making life miserable for two camp counselors (Peter MacNicol and Christine Baranski) who want her to fit in with other kids.--Tom Keogh
Average review score:

Enjoyable sequel
Thankfully, this is the rare example where the sequel equals the original. This is a great second chapter in the new Addams Family saga. Sadly, it was not to last with the untimely death of Julia.

Joan Cusack is delightful here as is the rest of the cast. Again, a thoroughly watchable and re-watchable film with great pacing and a healthy sense of whimsy.

I Thought My Family Was Weird
This movie is pretty much perfect. Anjelica Huston, Christina Ricci, and Christopher Lloyd excel in their performances as the most noticable of the family members. They know how to act in a dark comedy like this, where a mother might have to take away the knife her daughter is chasing the younger brother around with. And hand her an axe in replacement.
The movie has about three sub-plots. The first involves Morticia and Gomez, the parents, who just had a baby and are having to deal with all three of their children at once ( Wednesday and Pugsley, the children, are infatuated with disposing of the infant ).
While the children are plotting away, a nanny is hired. Her name is Debbie, played very well by Joan Cusack. Unbeknownst to the family, she is a criminal who marries rich men and then kills them, earning her a famous black-widow reputation. The second sub-plot involves her advances towards a relationship with Uncle Fester, one of the world's richest men.
The third sub-plot is Debbie's decision that Wednesday and Pugsley be sent to summer camp, which is basically the Addams's vision of Hell. Or Heaven. Whichever they like the least.
The movie is filled with hilarious one-liners and events, and the Addamses will charm almost anyone with their twisted, morbid lives.

A fun Sequel to a fun movie.
I am a fan of movies that can be watched for fun again and again. I find both Addams family movies (with this same cast) up there with my favorite fun movies (Princess Bride, Ferris Bueller) and they are always there to bring a smile to a boring day.

Morticia and Gomez are played very well. Gomez is still contagiously energetic and Morticia continues to add her dark comedy that just seem to emit from her character without words. Christina Ricci, slightly older than in the first movie, just completely exemplifies Wednesday basically stealing the show. Pugsly is Pugsly. Not a standout, but perfectly played. I am also a huge Christopher Lloyd fan and seeing him again as Fester was wonderful. Carol Kane should have been Grandma in the first movie because she adds the finishing touches to an overall perfect cast.

This is a delightful movie that just keeps you smiling and I highly recommend it for those boring days when you just are in the mood for a "fun" movie. Get the first one too and watch that one too. When it's over you'll want more and wish there was an adequate sequel.


Addams Family Values
Released in VHS Tape by Paramount Studio (29 August, 2000)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Starring: Anjelica Huston, Raul Julia, and Christopher Lloyd
This somewhat more cohesive follow-up to The Addams Family has the same director, Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black), but a better story line. Joan Cusack plays a busty gold digger who ingratiates herself into the Addams home and convinces Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) that she wants to marry him. Besides Lloyd, the cast includes Anjelica Huston and Raul Julia, ideal as those Brontëan lovers, Morticia and Gomez. But Christina Ricci again walks away with the best moments as the chilly Wednesday Addams, making life miserable for two camp counselors (Peter MacNicol and Christine Baranski) who want her to fit in with other kids.--Tom Keogh
Average review score:

Enjoyable sequel
Thankfully, this is the rare example where the sequel equals the original. This is a great second chapter in the new Addams Family saga. Sadly, it was not to last with the untimely death of Julia.

Joan Cusack is delightful here as is the rest of the cast. Again, a thoroughly watchable and re-watchable film with great pacing and a healthy sense of whimsy.

I Thought My Family Was Weird
This movie is pretty much perfect. Anjelica Huston, Christina Ricci, and Christopher Lloyd excel in their performances as the most noticable of the family members. They know how to act in a dark comedy like this, where a mother might have to take away the knife her daughter is chasing the younger brother around with. And hand her an axe in replacement.
The movie has about three sub-plots. The first involves Morticia and Gomez, the parents, who just had a baby and are having to deal with all three of their children at once ( Wednesday and Pugsley, the children, are infatuated with disposing of the infant ).
While the children are plotting away, a nanny is hired. Her name is Debbie, played very well by Joan Cusack. Unbeknownst to the family, she is a criminal who marries rich men and then kills them, earning her a famous black-widow reputation. The second sub-plot involves her advances towards a relationship with Uncle Fester, one of the world's richest men.
The third sub-plot is Debbie's decision that Wednesday and Pugsley be sent to summer camp, which is basically the Addams's vision of Hell. Or Heaven. Whichever they like the least.
The movie is filled with hilarious one-liners and events, and the Addamses will charm almost anyone with their twisted, morbid lives.

A fun Sequel to a fun movie.
I am a fan of movies that can be watched for fun again and again. I find both Addams family movies (with this same cast) up there with my favorite fun movies (Princess Bride, Ferris Bueller) and they are always there to bring a smile to a boring day.

Morticia and Gomez are played very well. Gomez is still contagiously energetic and Morticia continues to add her dark comedy that just seem to emit from her character without words. Christina Ricci, slightly older than in the first movie, just completely exemplifies Wednesday basically stealing the show. Pugsly is Pugsly. Not a standout, but perfectly played. I am also a huge Christopher Lloyd fan and seeing him again as Fester was wonderful. Carol Kane should have been Grandma in the first movie because she adds the finishing touches to an overall perfect cast.

This is a delightful movie that just keeps you smiling and I highly recommend it for those boring days when you just are in the mood for a "fun" movie. Get the first one too and watch that one too. When it's over you'll want more and wish there was an adequate sequel.


Related Subjects: Christina-Ricci
More Pages: Christopher-Lloyd Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17