Ben-Hur

Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is a Jewish prince in Jerusalem. He lives with his mother (Martha Scott) and sister Tirzah (Cathy O’Donnell), and has a good relationship with his slaves, including Simonides (Sam Jaffe) and his daughter Esther (Haya Harareet), whom it is obvious from the start will have some kind of romantic relationship with Ben, because she’s pretty. A childhood friend of Ben’s, Messala (Stephen Boyd) has returned¬†home to be the new commander of the town, and wants Ben’s help to get the rebelling Jewish faction in line. Ben-Hur chooses his faith and his people’s freedom over his former friendship, so he and Messala become enemies. When Tirzah accidentally knocks some loose roof tiles and injures Judea’s new governor, she, Ben-Hur and their mother are locked up. Ben works on the slave ships, whilst his family are imprisoned in the dungeons. He then devotes his life to finding his way back to free his family, and enact his vengeance upon Messala.
family Continue reading

Andrei Rublev

Andrei Rublev sits in an odd position for me. As regular readers will know, this year I’m watching films that have been hand-selected from the 1001 Movies list for me to watch by some of my movie-blogging friends, and I’ve also asked a couple of guys who have finished the 1001 List to highlight some of the worst movies on said list, and I’m working through those as well. Andrei Rublev somehow sits on both lists. It was picked for me as a “Recommended” film by Joel Burman, but a “Bad” film by Chip Lary, so I wasn’t sure where I’d settle down on this film. The fact that it appeared on not just the 1001 Movies list but also four of the other five lists I’m going through (everything except for the Total Film Top 120) made me think that perhaps Chip was in the wrong with this one, but now that I’ve seen it I’m definitely swaying more in his direction than Joel’s.
andrei-rublev Continue reading

Batman

Leading up to Gotham City’s bicentennial celebrations, the mayor, the police and the district attorney are all keen on increasing the police presence to stamp out the city’s rampant crime. Mob boss Grissom (Jack Palance) is not keen on this, but even less keen on his second-in-command, Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson). He sets Napier up to take the fall on a job, but doesn’t expect the city’s masked vigilante, Batman (Michael Keaton), to step in and, in the process of trying to apprehend Napier, accidentally drops him into a vat of acid. The acid dyes Napier’s skin white and his hair green, and a facial injury prior to the fall renders him with a permanent demonic grin, Thus, the Joker is born.
Batjoker Continue reading

My Week in Movies, 2015 Week 17

Normally I do most of my movie watching at weekends. What with work and other commitments, weekdays tend to have more of a focus on TV, which this week meant finishing off Season 1 of True Detective and catching up with the first two episodes of Season 5 of Game of Thrones, all of which was awesome. Then the weekend rolled around, and this happened:
Murphy 01
Yep, we got a puppy. This is Malakili Urak-Hai Robocop Patroni Hagrid Yoda Cluitt-Green, or M.U.R.P.H.Y. for short, a two month old labradoodle, and as such I didn’t watch a great deal of movies this week and, if the past weekend is anything to go by, never will ever again. But he’s all kinds of adorable (you should watch him hunting a tennis ball), so I can’t stay mad at him, regardless of how often he pees in the hall. Anyway, here’s what I watched this week: Continue reading

One-Eyed Jacks

Marlon Brando is Rio who, along with two companions, is forced to flee town after robbing a bank. One guy is gunned down, leaving just him and Dad Longworth (Karl Malden), and only one knackered out horse between them. Dad is sent with the loot to fetch fresh horses whilst Rio defends a ridge until his return, but Dad never comes back and Rio winds up in prison. 5 years later he escapes and has only one thing on his mind – to track down the guy who betrayed him all those years ago. The only problem is, Dad has spent his time wisely, going straight and settling down, becoming the sheriff of a small town, with a wife and step-daughter to care for. When Rio shows up with a new gang in tow and plans to rob Dad’s local bank, well things get a little messy for everyone.
one_eyed_jacks Continue reading

Le Cercle Rouge

Corey (Alain Delon) has just been released from prison after 5 years, but not before one of the guards tells him about a job on the outside – a jewellery heist – that needs someone of his talents. Corey seems hesitant but, after an altercation with his former boss, who is now sleeping with Corey’s girl, he buys a car and heads out of town. Meanwhile, Vogel (Gian Maria Volont√©) has been arrested, and is being transported by train by Le Commissaire Matteito (Bourvil) to be questioned and potentially sentenced. However, on the journey Vogel escapes and, by sheer coincidence, hides out in Corey’s car, which initially proves a problem for Corey, but perhaps these two can work together on the planned burglary?
Le Cercle Rouge 7 Continue reading

Ace in the Hole

Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) used to be a big shot journalist, and now just thinks he still is one. He’s been fired from more newspapers than I could name for a cornucopia of vices, and now finds himself staring at a vacant typewriter at the Albuquerque Sun Bulletin, a small town paper with very few employees and even fewer stories for them to tell. All Tatum needs is that one big break to get him noticed by the big papers again, and when a local man gets trapped in a cave-in whilst searching for trinkets to sell, Chuck sees potential, he just needs to make the story fit the headlines.
71DHWnsZnWL._SL1024_
Continue reading