John-Boorman Movie Reviews


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VHS movie reviews for "John-Boorman" sorted by average review score:

Hell in the Pacific
Released in VHS Tape by Anchor Bay Entertainment (26 January, 1999)
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Lee Marvin and Toshirô Mifune
Lone Japanese soldier Toshiro Mifune diligently scans the ocean from his island lookout as he must have thousands of times before, but this time he spies an abandoned life raft resting on a rocky bluff. Within minutes he's face to face with American sea-wreck survivor Lee Marvin and the two begin an elaborate game of cat and mouse. Director John Boorman presents this two-man war as a deadly game between a pair of overgrown children, who finally tire of it (as kids will) and settle into tolerated co-existence and then even something resembling a friendship. With impressionistic strokes, Boorman paints a lush tropical paradise in colors you can drink from the screen, capturing the texture of their experience as refracted through the cinema: the look of the island as seen through the haze of smoke, the sound of a sudden rainstorm as it hushes the island in a calming roar, the timelessness of life outside of civilization. The story seems almost secondary, an allegorical drama that comes alive in the excellent performances by Marvin and Mifune (who soon enough converse despite their complete inability to understand each other's language) and the visceral immediacy of Boorman's gorgeous widescreen images. Hell in the Pacific is not a tale told as much as a film experienced. --Sean Axmaker
Average review score:

One of the weirder war movies I've seen
It's been a long time since I saw this on the big screen (I was in my teens), but I remember a few vivid images of this intense drama of two men, one American, one Japanese, stranded together on a tiny Pacific island. Although bitter enemies, the y each go through a transformation of character and purpose, forced upon them by their harsh circumstances. In a way, the film is as much a commentary on how mankind can get along, or how we can destroy each other, depending on which way the wind blows (literally, here). Parts of the movie seem to drag on with little development, while others are rich in humor, sadness, violence, and characterization. I didn't like the ending, as it seemed pointless. However, that may well be the message of the entire movie.

The Best of Enemies
This review refers to the Anchor Bay DVD "Hell in the Pacific"...

You won't find a big ensemble cast in this World War II film from 1968. Only 2 actors tell the story, and they don't even speak the same langauge. But they don't need to, these two actors are Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune. They portray enemies, one American, one Japanese, marooned on an island in the midst of the war. They are so brillant in their portrayals, that actions really do speak louder than words. You won't even miss the fact that there are no subtitles when Mifune is speaking. His every expression, lets us know exactly what he is thinking.
Add to this the artful direction of John Boorman, who brought us such exquiste films as "Excalibur", the wonderful music of Lalo Schifrin (Mission Impossible), and the expert eye of Cinematographer Conrad Hall(Butch Cassidy, American Beauty) and you're in for a real cinematic treat.

When a disciplined Japanese Naval Officer discovers he is not alone on the small Island in the Pacific, he immediatly goes into high gear to protect and defend his territory. But he has met his match in the very undisciplined American Marine that has been washed ashore. And so it begins...these two do everything they can to capture, torture, and generally make life miserable for each other(and at times is on the comical side). The need for human contact though, becomes apparent and they stop short at killing each other, and actually form an attachment to each other. The ending is a bit of a shocker, but there is also an alternate ending included with this DVD.

Anchor Bay as usual has really made this 35 year old film a pleasure to watch. You have the choice of widescreen(2.35:1) or full format(by the way, my DVD was mismarked as to which side was widescreen, so don't panic if this happens, just flip it over). Excellent picture, vibrant colors and the sound in Dolby Dig Stereo is clear as a bell. And don't forget to check out the alternate ending.

A great buy for fans of war movies, Marvin and Mifune, and anyone who appreciates artful film making.

Enjoy....Laurie

Island life
This is in my top 10 of all time.
I watched this movie - heres what blew me away.
1. minimal use of soundtrack - breathing of the actors is enough to convey thirst, fear, hate - I cant tell you how much I appreciated the nuances - something lost in todays movies - which is why this stands from the pack

2. minimal script - words fail to tell the story

3. cinematography - artistically right on

4. character studies - of characters that are believable and interesting. I did not find find Marvins character to be any less so than Mifunes. Marvin played the stereotype well and so did Mifune. Characteristics are nuanced as well.

5. alternative ending was very satisfying - in reality the alternative ending would have been more likely.


Hell in the Pacific/Collector's Edition
Released in VHS Tape by Anchor Bay Entertainment (26 January, 1999)
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Lee Marvin and Toshirô Mifune
Lone Japanese soldier Toshiro Mifune diligently scans the ocean from his island lookout as he must have thousands of times before, but this time he spies an abandoned life raft resting on a rocky bluff. Within minutes he's face to face with American sea-wreck survivor Lee Marvin and the two begin an elaborate game of cat and mouse. Director John Boorman presents this two-man war as a deadly game between a pair of overgrown children, who finally tire of it (as kids will) and settle into tolerated co-existence and then even something resembling a friendship. With impressionistic strokes, Boorman paints a lush tropical paradise in colors you can drink from the screen, capturing the texture of their experience as refracted through the cinema: the look of the island as seen through the haze of smoke, the sound of a sudden rainstorm as it hushes the island in a calming roar, the timelessness of life outside of civilization. The story seems almost secondary, an allegorical drama that comes alive in the excellent performances by Marvin and Mifune (who soon enough converse despite their complete inability to understand each other's language) and the visceral immediacy of Boorman's gorgeous widescreen images. Hell in the Pacific is not a tale told as much as a film experienced. --Sean Axmaker
Average review score:

One of the weirder war movies I've seen
It's been a long time since I saw this on the big screen (I was in my teens), but I remember a few vivid images of this intense drama of two men, one American, one Japanese, stranded together on a tiny Pacific island. Although bitter enemies, the y each go through a transformation of character and purpose, forced upon them by their harsh circumstances. In a way, the film is as much a commentary on how mankind can get along, or how we can destroy each other, depending on which way the wind blows (literally, here). Parts of the movie seem to drag on with little development, while others are rich in humor, sadness, violence, and characterization. I didn't like the ending, as it seemed pointless. However, that may well be the message of the entire movie.

The Best of Enemies
This review refers to the Anchor Bay DVD "Hell in the Pacific"...

You won't find a big ensemble cast in this World War II film from 1968. Only 2 actors tell the story, and they don't even speak the same langauge. But they don't need to, these two actors are Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune. They portray enemies, one American, one Japanese, marooned on an island in the midst of the war. They are so brillant in their portrayals, that actions really do speak louder than words. You won't even miss the fact that there are no subtitles when Mifune is speaking. His every expression, lets us know exactly what he is thinking.
Add to this the artful direction of John Boorman, who brought us such exquiste films as "Excalibur", the wonderful music of Lalo Schifrin (Mission Impossible), and the expert eye of Cinematographer Conrad Hall(Butch Cassidy, American Beauty) and you're in for a real cinematic treat.

When a disciplined Japanese Naval Officer discovers he is not alone on the small Island in the Pacific, he immediatly goes into high gear to protect and defend his territory. But he has met his match in the very undisciplined American Marine that has been washed ashore. And so it begins...these two do everything they can to capture, torture, and generally make life miserable for each other(and at times is on the comical side). The need for human contact though, becomes apparent and they stop short at killing each other, and actually form an attachment to each other. The ending is a bit of a shocker, but there is also an alternate ending included with this DVD.

Anchor Bay as usual has really made this 35 year old film a pleasure to watch. You have the choice of widescreen(2.35:1) or full format(by the way, my DVD was mismarked as to which side was widescreen, so don't panic if this happens, just flip it over). Excellent picture, vibrant colors and the sound in Dolby Dig Stereo is clear as a bell. And don't forget to check out the alternate ending.

A great buy for fans of war movies, Marvin and Mifune, and anyone who appreciates artful film making.

Enjoy....Laurie

Island life
This is in my top 10 of all time.
I watched this movie - heres what blew me away.
1. minimal use of soundtrack - breathing of the actors is enough to convey thirst, fear, hate - I cant tell you how much I appreciated the nuances - something lost in todays movies - which is why this stands from the pack

2. minimal script - words fail to tell the story

3. cinematography - artistically right on

4. character studies - of characters that are believable and interesting. I did not find find Marvins character to be any less so than Mifunes. Marvin played the stereotype well and so did Mifune. Characteristics are nuanced as well.

5. alternative ending was very satisfying - in reality the alternative ending would have been more likely.


Zardoz
Released in VHS Tape by Twentieth Century Fox (30 August, 1990)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling
A bewigged Sean Connery is Zed, a savage "exterminator" commanded by the mysterious god Zardoz to eliminate Brutals, survivors of an unspecified worldwide catastrophe. Zed stows away inside Zardoz's enormous idol (a flying stone head) and is taken to the pastoral land of the Eternals, a matriarchal, quasi-medieval society that has achieved psychic abilities as well as immortality. Zed finds as much hope as disgust with the Eternals; their advancements have also robbed them of physical passion, turning their existence into a living death. Zed becomes the Eternals' unlikely messiah, but in order to save them--and himself--he must confront the truth behind Zardoz and his own identity inside the Tabernacle, the Eternals' omnipresent master computer.

A box office failure, John Boorman's Zardoz has developed a cult following among science fiction fans whose tastes run toward more cerebral fare, such as The Andromeda Strain and Phase IV. An entrancing if overly ambitious (by Boorman's own admission) film, Zardoz offers pointed commentary on class structure and religion inside its complex plot and head-movie visuals; its healthy doses of sex and violence will involve viewers even if the story machinations escape them. Beautifully photographed near Boorman's home in Ireland's Wicklow Mountains by Geoffrey Unsworth (2001), its production design is courtesy of longtime Boorman associate Anthony Pratt, who creates a believable society within the film's million-dollar budget. The letterboxed DVD presentation includes engaging commentary by Boorman, who discusses the special effects (all created in-camera) as well as working with a post-Bond Connery. --Paul Gaita

Average review score:

Zardoz...Zardozn't
After watching this movie from start to finish, all I can say is, that was the best 103 minutes of sleep I have ever gotten. Better than the Golf channel. Sean Connery didn't want to be type-cast as James Bond, so he did this film as a change of pace. Now he'll be type-cast as a brutal savage running around in go-go boots, with a paper-mache' helmet with the face of Zardoz on it, shooting everybody he sees. This film reminded me of an episode of the Prisoner, with Zed being taken into the "Village" and interrogated like a rogue agent that has gone awry. By the end of the movie, I felt like one of the Eternals, just praying for death. My girlfriend bought me this movie and agreed with me that it was worse than Wing Commander. Yes, she admits to seeing Wing Commander. Anyway, when the trailer is better than the movie itself, and the back of the DVD case is better than the trailer, this movie is best left on the shelf. And remember boys and girls, "The penis is evil, and the gun is good."

Loopy 70's style science fiction from Bond and Boormann
I have to admit it; I was drawn into Zardoz the moment I first saw the film. I've got an original poster from the film hanging on the wall of my study. Why? It's because the film is an audacious, pretentious mess with a message. Perhaps it's the secret of the title that appealed to me. Regardless, Connery gives a solid performance as Zed and the rest of the cast are memorable as well. More than likely the appeal of the film is the fact that it harks back to a time when directors/writers weren't afraid to be downbeat, gritty and weird.

The sequences set inside the city itself are a bit campy now (and were certainly over the top then). Nevertheless, the film still works because it strikes a perfect pose between science fiction mumbo jumbo and Monty Python. It's certainly the least likely film to follow Delieverance I can imagine (or the Bond films for that matter).

The plot borrows from a number of post-apocalyptic science fiction films/novels and makes what is borrowed its own. Unlike total garbage like Damnation Alley, The Last Gunfighter or any of the post-Mad Max rip offs, Zardoz doesn't take itself too seriously. That's to the film's credit as there are moments that are laughable and over the top and a few that are genuinely touching.

Basically the plot features Connery as Zed one of the Brutals who ride around on horseback killing, raping and generally misbehaving at the behest of their god--Zardoz. Zardoz is a flying talking stone head that spews guns, ammo and pithy sayings ("The Gun is Good"). Zed is a better educated than most of the Brutals and, in fact, is something of a noble savage. He sneaks inside Zardoz with assistance from his comrads. He knows that someone is controling the stone head and taking the food they provide. He wants to find out who and why.

What he discovers is a world of beauty and elegance where everyone lives in a sort of commune. Nobody ages but they are also at the mercy of a computer that controls too many aspects of their lives. Zed is there because perfection and immortality are overrated and someone must destroy Eden.

The DVD transfer is sharp and finally has the correct aspect ratio. The extras are nice additions (particularly Boormann's animated and entertaining commentary). Put it on, have a laugh and enjoy it for what it is--silly, over the top and serious at the same time. If Billy Wilder had ever directed a science fiction film, this is what I would have imagined him coming up with.

Cerebral Science Fiction Indeed
This movie is an interesting extrapolation of what might have happened a couple hundred of years in the future if a bizarre conjunction of events occurred.

The vast majority of the world has been destroyed. How the world was destroyed was never explained, but we see that most of the world is barren and smoking. Most buildings are ruined. People run like cattle from a selected few called exterminators, whose sole mission is to kill anyone they find.

All has not been lost, however. There are enclaves of people living in sanctuaries, each called a Vortex. These sanctuaries are protected from the outside world by force fields. Inside the sanctuary the people study and are well fed. They have developed mental abilities, including telepathy and some telekinesis. Most importantly, they are apparently immortal. There are only two downsides to this utopia. First, these people have lost all interest in physical love. Second, a number of these people are so apathetic that they have become like walking dead, devoid of energy and purpose, nearly comatose.

Our story focuses on Zed, played by Sean Connery. Zed is an exterminator who manages to penetrate a Vortex by boarding the giant floating head known as Zardoz. Once Zed penetrates the Vortex, he finds that he was actually bred to be the savior of the residents of the Vortex (you'll have to watch and find out what he is supposed to do, and whether he does it). We learn the origin of the Vortex and follow Zed as he reaches his destiny, as well as that of the people of the Vortex.

The Vortex itself is a socialistic, apparently matriarchal, society. The general appearance and behavior of the residents is as though they were transported from the 1960s into the future. The touching and feeling techniques, the psychedelic special effects, and the generally communal nature of the Vortex all bespeak of the utopia that the flower children of the 60s were hoping to achieve. However, as the advertisements for the movie state, I have seen the future and it does not work. Truer words were never spoken. The citizens of utopia have accomplished nothing, and in general appear to be regressing and petty rather than advancing. Thus, the movie satirizes the society that was held as the ideal of the 60s.

In general the movie is somewhat dated by the now-crude special effects. However, as a vision of the future, the movie accomplishes much. While there are a few plot holes, most of them can be ignored as you follow Zed in his quest for knowledge. I've seen the term "cerebral science fiction" used for this movie, and find it appropriate. This movie falls into the narrow class of movie occupied by a few others such as "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Dark City," and "The Game." You are intended to look for the meanings and satire in this movie, of which there is much.

This movie was one of the best movies I had seen prior to "Star Wars," and continues to be one of my favorites. I recommend this movie to those who like quirky, bizarre and unusual films. It's quite good if you can get into it, but incomprehensible and confused if you can not. Borrow it from a friend before you buy it.


Where the Heart Is
Released in VHS Tape by Touchstone Video (17 December, 1996)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Dabney Coleman, Uma Thurman, and Joanna Cassidy
Average review score:

the paintings are incredible
and i have worn out a local video rental copy showing them to artist friends. it is a simple romp of a movie that i could easily pass by except for the old house set and the paintings. I keep hoping for my own copy. or maybe a copy of the calendar?

where the heart is dvd
Just to let anyone know, this dvd is a widescreen edition. Which (to me) is the most important feature. If you were hoping for any bonus features, there are none (not even the trailer). The movie itself, and the fact that it is in widescreen, should be enough reason to purchase it.

Where the art is
Where the heart is was an unexpected surprise when I saw it back in 1990 and it continues to catch my breath and stir my heart every time I see it. More than a story of poor little rich and spoiled kids or parents that just don't get their kids, this is a visually beautiful and fluid portrait of vastly different people. Some start out as family members and some join the family. The exploration and expressions of love and the true treasures of life are richly set in the artwork that flows across the screen and unites the story. A real treat for both the eye and the mind, it will delight the heart, wherever it is.


Having a Wild Weekend
Released in VHS Tape by Warner Studios (08 April, 1997)
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Director: John Boorman
Average review score:

ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz!
This is one of the most disappointing 'Rock' films I have ever seen. It should have been named 'Dave Clark And His Egocentric Wild Weekend'. There is WAAAAAAAAAY too much DC and nowhere nearly enough Mike,Lenny,Rick or Denis.

Another annoyance is, I HEAR the DC5's music between the boring incidental music but do not SEE a single DC5 performance!!! In fact they are not even musicians in the flick!!!!!!

COME ON GUYS!!!!!!!!!! STUNT MEN???? Are you for REAL????????????

I thought the Beatles were bad actors but these guys are more frightening! HORRENDOUS!!!!!

The film does have it's moments. The party scene with the 'title' track 'Having A Wild Weekend' blaring is excellent and very 60's. The opening credits with the flick's REAL title track 'Catch Us If You Can' is VERY COOL and VERY 60's as well! The scenes of traveling around England are VERY NICE too.

I prefer to LISTEN to the music of the Dave Clark Five and later on,Dave Clark And Friends. The latter recorded an incredible version of Neil Young's 'Southern Man' in 1971. Both the DC5 and DC & Friends have some great music. Seek out the German CD's. They are well worth it.

As for this disaster,buy the video,play it once,pack it away and remember just how much better the Beatles films are.

No British Invasion video collection is complete without it but be prepared to snooze off half way through this bomb.

More Like "Dave Clark 1"
This film, which is a cross between A Hard Days Night and the Marx Brothers, focuses almost completely on Dave Clark as stuntman (and alleged kidnapper) Steve and his relationship with meat poster girl Dinah. The other four members of the band are in the background, partying at their pad, attending a fancy dress ball, and keeping the authorities on a wild goose chase while Steve and Dinah experience one adventure after another on their way to Dinah's dream island. In fact, I don't think Lenny Davidson says one word throughout the picture. On their way they meet a group of half-stoned beatniks, an eccentric older couple, and other interesting folks. The film tries to bring depth to most of the characters, except the Dave Clark 4 who remain rather vacuous fun boys. At the time, the Dave Clark Five were promoted as a cleaner cut, non-smoking, drug-free and athletic alternative to the Beatles (probably only the latter was true, as the band members were former gymnists). Clark's character (strong silent type, serious and rather surly to the point of self righteous) portrays this image quite well. The film highlights two songs off their soundtrack beginning with the original movie title "Catch Us If You Can" and the U.S. title "Having A Wild Weekend". Two other songs are played from their previous album Coast To Coast: "I Can't Stand It," and the quite beautiful "When," which seemed to be the theme song of the film. Curiously, other tracks from the soundtrack that would have been very appropriate for the film ("Don't Be Taken In," in particular) were not used. The music, save for "When", isn't their best material, but it's not bad. The acting is also quite good. British comedy fans will no doubt recognize Clive Swift (Hyacinth's hen-pecked husband Richard in Keeping Up Appearances) as a bumbling detective out to find the "kidnapped" Meat For Go girl.

The Dave Clark Five Do Their Own Thing
I was simply shocked at how good "Having A Wild Weekend" was after seeing it for the first time recently. The DC5's film borrows the fast pace, ingenious cuts, sense of sprightly enthusiasm and b&w artiness of "A Hard Day's Night", but matches it with a unique plot of its own. Rather than playing themselves, the group here are stuntmen, and the story revolves around one of them (Steve, played by the self-described saturnine Dave Clark) taking a model out for a "wild weekend". The press, egged on by her boss, turn it into a kidnapping story, and the rest of the film follows their attempt to recapture her before she gets to the island she's planning to buy. A suitably thin plot is thickened by scenes which are slightly ahead of their time in dramatic and cultural

content--Steve and his girl encounter a group of long-haired ex-beatniks who ask for grass and heroin, and quote Zen koans-- and all of this in 1965! A comically bickering couple who eventually takes them in also provides for a marvellous costume party sequence in which director John Boorman, in his first film, shines. The climax, in which the journey is compared to the final result, makes for an interesting discussion; the film's themes of youth vs. elders, people vs. the press/society and the resulting question of whether it was "worth it" or not would become the riding question of the 60s. It's almost like an "Easy Rider" before its time-- the big question then becomes why the DC5 faded soon after this film's release, not being known as counterculture heavies in the least...


The General
Released in VHS Tape by Columbia/Tristar Studios (11 January, 2000)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Brendan Gleeson and Adrian Dunbar
Best known for Deliverance (1972), John Boorman produced what is arguably his greatest film with Point Blank (1967). In that ambiguous gangster flick, set in a pastel L.A. wasteland, Lee Marvin may or may not be a walking dead man, animated by the desire to avenge his fatal betrayal by the woman he loved and his best friend. Many of Boorman's films take the form of quests, fueled by some dream of utopia; on some level, Point Blank is the tragedy of a just man, appalled and ultimately defeated by the complexity of his world's corruption. The General begins with the death of Martin Cahill--celebrated Dublin gangster who stole millions during the 1980s--then literally reverses the approach and assault of his IRA assassin, flashing back in time, back through Cahill's colorful, criminal quest for his kind of ideal community. Boorman says his Cahill is a throwback to those Celtic chieftains of old who ruled by thievery and violence; as an anachronism, this charming, brutal bear of a man (perfectly incarnated by Brendan Gleeson) is undeniably reprehensible, but he stands in deliberate contrast to the institutionalized hypocrisy and corruption of church, state, and IRA alike. Brazenly hanging out in police HQ to establish an alibi; maneuvering gracefully through perfectly choreographed heists; dispensing affection to his wife, and her sister; nailing the hands of a suspected cheat to a pool table; handing out food to women whose husbands are out of work--Gleeson's bluff, often comic gangster is always bigger than life, an eruption of unsocialized energy through the layers-deep sediment of socially acceptable sin. (In real life as in the film, Cahill always hid his face under a sweatshirt hood, or behind his spread fingers--he looks like some mischievous, giant-child.) Shot by the great Seamus Deasey in color, then transferred to black-and-white stock, The General is visually voluptuous, the anatomy of a charismatic monster's soul expressed in lustrous light, silken shades of gray, and ebony shadows. --Kathleen Murphy
Average review score:

Boring and, well, inertly comic
This movie is like a soup whose ingredients are so good that you can't miss, and yet it comes out bland as dishwater. It's a true and incredible story, masterfully photographed, well acted, lots of great Irish accents, and.... it's boring as hell. It might have come out okay if Boorman had added pathos, but he only goes for humor (like the movie Robin Hood), and it plays so forced that it comes across as desperate and callous (to Cahill's victims). I love just about everything Irish, but this movie was impossibly boring, and its humor was forced.

excellent movie, but confusing and poorly made disc
This is a very good movie, Boorman's best since Deliverance, but the disc, which presents a 2:35:1 version in "desaturated color" and a 1:85:1 version in black and white, makes it unclear which way the director intended it to be seen. After carefully analyzing several scenes in both versions, I discovered that the 2:35:1 version is cropped from the original aspect ratio, which was most likely 1:85:1, which is the ratio of the black and white version (unless Boorman filmed it in 1:33:1, as Kubrick and some others liked to do), so I'm guessing that this version, the b+w version, is the one which the director prefers. (also, he filmed it in black and white and probably wanted it to be seen this way.) The computer-colored version is also very cheesy-looking anyway. Hope this helps!

Excellent acting, not-always-compelling story
This is a very interesting movie with a brilliant perfromance from Brendan Gleason and wonderful supporting performances. I admired the way they showed the main character's brutality along with his charm. Things simply aren't black and white here, it's a film about gray. You sort of root for The General even though you know from the start that he's doomed himself. The story isn't completely enthralling throughout but there is plenty here to make the film worth seeing.


Exorcist II - The Heretic
Released in VHS Tape by Warner Studios (21 August, 2001)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Linda Blair and Richard Burton
This sequel to the Oscar-winning horror film based on the novel by William Peter Blatty was virtually laughed off the screen when it came out in 1977. It was an unintentionally hilarious mishmash and received such terrible reviews that director John Boorman yanked it out of theaters. He reedited it, cutting eight minutes in hopes of getting the story (written by William Goodhart) to the point of coherency, to no avail. The film remains a kind of reverse gold standard for sequels. It's still a ridiculously overacted, although at times visually haunting, movie. Richard Burton stars as a troubled priest (something of a specialty of his) who is brought in to follow up on the case of Linda Blair, who is institutionalized, still troubled by her encounter with the devil (who wouldn't be?). By the time they confront Satan's minion in the final struggle, you'll be rooting for evil to win. --Marshall Fine
Average review score:

Messy sequel, but still answers questions.
No movie could live up to the volume and sheer impact of "The Exorcist," so one has to have some respect for John Boorman for trying. However, this respect soon dwindles when one realizes that the claustrophobic and moody atmosphere as well as the "documentary-realism" that the original carried seems to have been lost on Boorman. He instead opts for psychotherapy and change in locales to push the idea that Regan was not picked at random for the subject of possession, but was instead victimized because she has the ability to heal. Father Merrin too, it seems, was as much plagued by demons as was Regan. Still, this movie does offer answers to questions about the backgrounds and motivations of the characters that weren't fully explored in the first film for those patient (and cerebral) enough to parse the often wordy, fragmented and obscure dialogue. Original cast members Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow and Kitty Winn return, and are joined by newcomers Richard Burton and Louise Fletcher as they try to get to the bottom of the struggle inside of Regan. This video is recommendable only to those who have seen the first installment and have a hunger--for either carnage or knowledge--that wasn't satiated by the first masterpiece. If, however, you are searching for more psychological terror and genuine seeds of discomfort (something the original provided in abundance), look elsewhere, for you won't find it here.

It's HARLDY the worst movie ever made.
I have viewed EXORCIST 2 on several occasions just to see the reason as to why it's constantly referred to as the worst sequel ever made. Although I certainly agree with the film's inferiority to the classic original, I don't agree with it's constant crucifying.

First things first, I think that one of the reasons so many people walked out of this film during it's theatrical run was due largely to the film's lack of shock sequences. The original EXORCIST was full of them; head spinnings, regurgitations, doing bad things with holy relics. The sequel offered none of the above, not even the occasional cuss word and alot of people were left unsatisfied and angry.

My biggest problem with EXORCIST 2 is in the make-up effects. The original had frightening make-up effects that transformed the innocent beauty of Linda Blair into a hideous creature from hell. Her face was scarred and mutilated, sweaty and slimy, with colourless eyes and chapped lips. Truly terrifying. The make-up in the sequel is too made up, too neat. It doesn't even come close to the same frighening level. Another factor is the voice effects. The demon in EXORCIST 2 sounds like an old woman. It's predessesor used an amplified demonic voice which not only spoke English but also in Latin and in many scenes, there were several overlapping voices, making it seem that Regan was possessed by a legion of demons. The overall effect was as chilling as the nasty visuals. The sequel fails to deliver on that level as well.

Another factor is the silly use of the "synchronizer" machine. All of that mumbo-jumbo about some mysterious machine that is able to hypnotizes 2 individuals at the same time and one is able to see the other person's dreams, blah, blah, blah is simply too over the top unbelievable. I think the film would have worked better had they just resorted to good old fashioned hypnosis.

All of that said, EXORCIST 2 is still a very attractive looking movie. The special effects and cinematography are excellent. Even those who despise the film have commented on the visually stunning set pieces- The sweeping views of the African landscapes; the surreal images of the locusts swarming an impoverished African Village; doves flying over Regan's Penthouse balcony; and last but not least Linda Blair's exquisite and radiant beauty. The film's score is also quite good. As a matter of fact it's quite beautiful, especially Regan's theme. The tune wouldn't leave my mind for several days after I watched the film. I also liked the idea behind Regan's possession- she's some kind of Godsend, a healer who Satan wants destroyed. However on the negative side, the whole scenario is executed to such a ridiculous extent that we end up being annoyed instead of moved by the whole experience.

There are 2 versions of EXORCIST 2. There's the original theatrical version presented on this DVD and there's also a version Boorman released after the films critical attack. The version they ALWAYS showed on TV here in Toronto was the latter and it's the version I'm used to. I personally think it's a definate improvement over the original theatrical release. The alternate opening is included on this DVD but the alternate ending is not which is disappointing because the second ending is far better. Although no less confusing, it's edited to an extent that it flows better and all of the bogus dialogue after the collapse of Regan's former residence is gone. What I found ridiculous about the "original" finale is that you have a house collapse into nothingness, you have a fatal car crash, a fire, a swarm of a million locusts, yet no one on the block seems to notice. The street is absolutely empty. Come on people, not even a " Bertha, what the heck is going on next door??? or "Why did I just see a million angry grasshoppers fly by our window????" Nada. At least the director's final cut ended with Regan's "locust" dance so we don't get a chance to ask all of these relevent questions.

EXORCIST 2 is definately NOT for "original" EXORCIST loyalists because you will only religiously dislike it. However, if you have an open mind and view it solely as entertainment, you might find plenty to like. It offers dazzling visuals, breathtaking scenery and some surreal imagery. Not perfect, but definately NOT THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE.

Not like the first, but still gets the job done.
This movie continues the story of Regan McNeil and her troubles with the evil spirit Pazuzu. Regan (Linda Blair) is older now (and looks very pretty) and is seeing a therapist to deal with her horrible experience that took place in the first movie. A priest (Richard Burton) is sent to investigate the death of Father Merrin (the exorcist in the original movie) which he must question Regan. James Earl Jones even makes an appearance in this movie as an African who was also possessed by Pazuzu. This movie has great visuals, decent special effects, a great soundtrack, and an interesting continuation of the Exorcist saga. The ending will suprise you because you will never even imagine what happens. The only glitch in this movie is it may run a little slow for this era and the acting isn't up to par, but if you enjoyed the first one you must see this one to see what happens to poor little Regan.


The Tailor of Panama
Released in Theatrical Release by (30 March, 2001)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush
Tailors are the secret-keepers of the power elite; customize fine apparel for the rich and powerful, and you'll hear things only whispered in the halls of government. Such is the sly conceit of The Tailor of Panama, coadapted by John le Carré from his own novel, and directed by John Boorman with a delicious spin on the traditions of the spy genre. As British MI-6 agent Andy Osnard, Pierce Brosnan qualifies as James Bond's black-sheep sibling, viewing women only in terms of sexual conquest and conducting spy business by his own flexible set of rules. Banished to Panama to pay for recent indiscretions, Andy connects with Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush), a British ex-convict who's built a lucrative cover as tailor to Panama's highest officials. With the coveted Panama canal now under local control, Andy's arrived to see what Harry knows about the canal's pending multinational sale.

As Andy observes, Panama is "Casablanca without heroes," and that's precisely how Boorman depicts it: a melting pot of greed, ambition, and backroom maneuvering, where Andy can bed an embassy official (Catherine McCormack) while squeezing information from Harry, who concocts a phony "silent opposition" that puts British and American forces on full alert. Harry's wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) is pulled into the scenario by Andy's ruthless scheming, and The Tailor of Panama reveals how a simple fabrication can provoke trigger-happy forces around the globe. Part comedy and part political horror thriller--with a tragic supporting role for Brendan Gleason, from Boorman's The General--this is old-fashioned spy stuff made new by le Carré's inventive plotting and keen ear for the dialogue of rogues. --Jeff Shannon

Average review score:

Not fond of this movie
My spouse and I stopped watching this film about one half way through it. For me, Brosnan, is never believeable in the characters that he plays. My wife liked him as Remington Steele but I could not stomach him. I thought he did his recent Robinson Crusoe role alright. Here in "Tailor" he seems to project the correct image here, but his character really is not likeable. Besides that, I can't figure out where this movie fails. If it was any good, I could also excuse the face of the tailor's "conscience" that periodically flashes on the screen and speaks. Unless this film rescues itself in the second half, I don't recommend it. Certainly don't buy it.

Tailor suits me well
I am so glad I saw this movie on a whim. This is one of thsoe movies where knowing nothing about the plot isn't necessarily a hindrance. The story and characters in this film are crafted beautifully. Each character stands out on their own, even those ones that are two-dimensional plot-advancers. The premise of the movie is that Geoffrey Rush plays a tailor in Panama (hence the title) whose wife (Curtis) works with the Panama government and deals with the Panama Canal. Brosnan has a masterful turn as the sort of James Bond gone bad. He has his suave debonaire style, but he deals in lies and deceptions for his own personal profit. That's about all you need to know in advance about the movie. I loved that everything about this movie isn't explained in the beginning, but the story progresses as the audience learns more about the truth and the lies the characters are telling. However, the plot can get muddled at times because all intentions are not always clear. In the end, however, everything comes together with little difficulty and leaves you with an enjoyable movie that kind of defies description. When asked what it was about, my first reply had to be, "It's about a tailor. From Panama." To understand, you just need to see the movie, but I believe you will not be disappointed.

Tailored to perfection
The Tailor of Panama is an excellent and entertaining film. Both actors Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush bring a great sense of enjoyment to their characters. Mr. Brosnan brings a great sense of wickedness to his character Andy Osnard. Mr. Rush brings a great sense of naivetivity and at deception to his character Harry Pendel.
When Harry begins to spin his lies to Osnard both men know what's going on.But they allow each other to keep going just to see were everything leads to. I really liked the ending of the film. I also enjoyed the way it was filmed the scenery of Panama is breathtaking and the music adds a sense of mystery and excotic feelings. Also the story is very interesing. Although at times the movie kinda drags along it is overall very enjoyable.
I really liked this film and I think it's a very enjoyable movie.


The Tailor of Panama
Released in VHS Tape by Columbia Tri-Star (26 February, 2002)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush
Tailors are the secret-keepers of the power elite; customize fine apparel for the rich and powerful, and you'll hear things only whispered in the halls of government. Such is the sly conceit of The Tailor of Panama, coadapted by John le Carré from his own novel, and directed by John Boorman with a delicious spin on the traditions of the spy genre. As British MI-6 agent Andy Osnard, Pierce Brosnan qualifies as James Bond's black-sheep sibling, viewing women only in terms of sexual conquest and conducting spy business by his own flexible set of rules. Banished to Panama to pay for recent indiscretions, Andy connects with Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush), a British ex-convict who's built a lucrative cover as tailor to Panama's highest officials. With the coveted Panama canal now under local control, Andy's arrived to see what Harry knows about the canal's pending multinational sale.

As Andy observes, Panama is "Casablanca without heroes," and that's precisely how Boorman depicts it: a melting pot of greed, ambition, and backroom maneuvering, where Andy can bed an embassy official (Catherine McCormack) while squeezing information from Harry, who concocts a phony "silent opposition" that puts British and American forces on full alert. Harry's wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) is pulled into the scenario by Andy's ruthless scheming, and The Tailor of Panama reveals how a simple fabrication can provoke trigger-happy forces around the globe. Part comedy and part political horror thriller--with a tragic supporting role for Brendan Gleason, from Boorman's The General--this is old-fashioned spy stuff made new by le Carré's inventive plotting and keen ear for the dialogue of rogues. --Jeff Shannon

Average review score:

Not fond of this movie
My spouse and I stopped watching this film about one half way through it. For me, Brosnan, is never believeable in the characters that he plays. My wife liked him as Remington Steele but I could not stomach him. I thought he did his recent Robinson Crusoe role alright. Here in "Tailor" he seems to project the correct image here, but his character really is not likeable. Besides that, I can't figure out where this movie fails. If it was any good, I could also excuse the face of the tailor's "conscience" that periodically flashes on the screen and speaks. Unless this film rescues itself in the second half, I don't recommend it. Certainly don't buy it.

Tailor suits me well
I am so glad I saw this movie on a whim. This is one of thsoe movies where knowing nothing about the plot isn't necessarily a hindrance. The story and characters in this film are crafted beautifully. Each character stands out on their own, even those ones that are two-dimensional plot-advancers. The premise of the movie is that Geoffrey Rush plays a tailor in Panama (hence the title) whose wife (Curtis) works with the Panama government and deals with the Panama Canal. Brosnan has a masterful turn as the sort of James Bond gone bad. He has his suave debonaire style, but he deals in lies and deceptions for his own personal profit. That's about all you need to know in advance about the movie. I loved that everything about this movie isn't explained in the beginning, but the story progresses as the audience learns more about the truth and the lies the characters are telling. However, the plot can get muddled at times because all intentions are not always clear. In the end, however, everything comes together with little difficulty and leaves you with an enjoyable movie that kind of defies description. When asked what it was about, my first reply had to be, "It's about a tailor. From Panama." To understand, you just need to see the movie, but I believe you will not be disappointed.

Tailored to perfection
The Tailor of Panama is an excellent and entertaining film. Both actors Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush bring a great sense of enjoyment to their characters. Mr. Brosnan brings a great sense of wickedness to his character Andy Osnard. Mr. Rush brings a great sense of naivetivity and at deception to his character Harry Pendel.
When Harry begins to spin his lies to Osnard both men know what's going on.But they allow each other to keep going just to see were everything leads to. I really liked the ending of the film. I also enjoyed the way it was filmed the scenery of Panama is breathtaking and the music adds a sense of mystery and excotic feelings. Also the story is very interesing. Although at times the movie kinda drags along it is overall very enjoyable.
I really liked this film and I think it's a very enjoyable movie.


The Tailor of Panama
Released in VHS Tape by Columbia Tristar Hom (26 February, 2002)
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Director: John Boorman
Starring: Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush
Tailors are the secret-keepers of the power elite; customize fine apparel for the rich and powerful, and you'll hear things only whispered in the halls of government. Such is the sly conceit of The Tailor of Panama, coadapted by John le Carré from his own novel, and directed by John Boorman with a delicious spin on the traditions of the spy genre. As British MI-6 agent Andy Osnard, Pierce Brosnan qualifies as James Bond's black-sheep sibling, viewing women only in terms of sexual conquest and conducting spy business by his own flexible set of rules. Banished to Panama to pay for recent indiscretions, Andy connects with Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush), a British ex-convict who's built a lucrative cover as tailor to Panama's highest officials. With the coveted Panama canal now under local control, Andy's arrived to see what Harry knows about the canal's pending multinational sale.

As Andy observes, Panama is "Casablanca without heroes," and that's precisely how Boorman depicts it: a melting pot of greed, ambition, and backroom maneuvering, where Andy can bed an embassy official (Catherine McCormack) while squeezing information from Harry, who concocts a phony "silent opposition" that puts British and American forces on full alert. Harry's wife (Jamie Lee Curtis) is pulled into the scenario by Andy's ruthless scheming, and The Tailor of Panama reveals how a simple fabrication can provoke trigger-happy forces around the globe. Part comedy and part political horror thriller--with a tragic supporting role for Brendan Gleason, from Boorman's The General--this is old-fashioned spy stuff made new by le Carré's inventive plotting and keen ear for the dialogue of rogues. --Jeff Shannon

Average review score:

Not fond of this movie
My spouse and I stopped watching this film about one half way through it. For me, Brosnan, is never believeable in the characters that he plays. My wife liked him as Remington Steele but I could not stomach him. I thought he did his recent Robinson Crusoe role alright. Here in "Tailor" he seems to project the correct image here, but his character really is not likeable. Besides that, I can't figure out where this movie fails. If it was any good, I could also excuse the face of the tailor's "conscience" that periodically flashes on the screen and speaks. Unless this film rescues itself in the second half, I don't recommend it. Certainly don't buy it.

Tailor suits me well
I am so glad I saw this movie on a whim. This is one of thsoe movies where knowing nothing about the plot isn't necessarily a hindrance. The story and characters in this film are crafted beautifully. Each character stands out on their own, even those ones that are two-dimensional plot-advancers. The premise of the movie is that Geoffrey Rush plays a tailor in Panama (hence the title) whose wife (Curtis) works with the Panama government and deals with the Panama Canal. Brosnan has a masterful turn as the sort of James Bond gone bad. He has his suave debonaire style, but he deals in lies and deceptions for his own personal profit. That's about all you need to know in advance about the movie. I loved that everything about this movie isn't explained in the beginning, but the story progresses as the audience learns more about the truth and the lies the characters are telling. However, the plot can get muddled at times because all intentions are not always clear. In the end, however, everything comes together with little difficulty and leaves you with an enjoyable movie that kind of defies description. When asked what it was about, my first reply had to be, "It's about a tailor. From Panama." To understand, you just need to see the movie, but I believe you will not be disappointed.

Tailored to perfection
The Tailor of Panama is an excellent and entertaining film. Both actors Pierce Brosnan and Geoffrey Rush bring a great sense of enjoyment to their characters. Mr. Brosnan brings a great sense of wickedness to his character Andy Osnard. Mr. Rush brings a great sense of naivetivity and at deception to his character Harry Pendel.
When Harry begins to spin his lies to Osnard both men know what's going on.But they allow each other to keep going just to see were everything leads to. I really liked the ending of the film. I also enjoyed the way it was filmed the scenery of Panama is breathtaking and the music adds a sense of mystery and excotic feelings. Also the story is very interesing. Although at times the movie kinda drags along it is overall very enjoyable.
I really liked this film and I think it's a very enjoyable movie.


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