Subscribe RSS

Archive for the Category "Film"

Anyone have a few thousand pounds to spare? Mar 06

If so, please feel free to vist Bonhams and buy me some of these rather cool costumes from Doctor Who and the James Bond and Carry On films. (Via.)

 | Comments off
Number 10 Strikes Back Feb 21

Via James Graham I see the Government has given an excellent (if slightly hand-washing) response to a petition calling for recognition of Jedi Knights as a religious group.

The Government has no overarching role in regulating or recognising personal belief or faith. The UK has a long held commitment to freedom of worship and belief, and people are free to form religions and free to follow their own practices and beliefs provided they remain within the law.

May the Force be with you.

All About Chucky Nov 30

I’m currently working my way through a three-months-for-the-price-of-one offer from those nice people at and consequently watching far more movies than usual.

This week’s two films would struggle to be more different: bona fide 1950’s classic All About Eve and 1998’s slasher Bride of Chucky. What they have in common is that both are surprisingly funny.

Having enjoyed Bette Davis’s peformance in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? I ordered All About Eve, which reignited her career in middle age. It tells the story of stage star Margo Channing (a scene-stealing Davis) and her adoring fan and budding actress Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). George Sanders also stands out in a strong cast, which features a small role from Marilyn Monroe. It’s a drama and filmed in a stagey style, with some rooms noticeably filmed from one side only, but given the subject matter of actors and actresses and some sensibilities of drawing room comedy, this is not a problem.

The real star, alongside Davis herself, is writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz extremely sharp script right from the conversational opening narration. The film buzzes with one-liners, witty retorts and sparkling badinage, and the actors lap it up. The result is a funny but dramatic story, mostly told in flashback, ending with one of cinema’s classic shots. My only criticism was that the second half was slightly long for my taste (the film is over two-and-a-quarter hours long), but arguably that’s just more bang for your buck. I blogged back in spring 2005 that I’d seen less than half of the IMDb‘s 100 then top-rated films. I haven’t made much advance since then, but at least I can tick off All About Eve and I heartily recommend it.

One film I wouldn’t have predicted a few weeks ago that I would be watching is Bride of Chucky, aka Child’s Play 4. Child’s Play 3 is a particularly notorious video nasty in this country and, not a massive fan of slasher films, I’ve never been tempted to watch any of the series. Recently, though, I read somewhere a review of the fourth film that indicated it was, unlikely though it seems, an entertaining change of direction for the series and worth a look, so I took advantage of my unlimited rentals to watch it.

And the review was right. Whereas the earlier films (so I read) concentrated on being violent, Bride of Chucky is a comedy first and a horror film second. It’s self-deprecating (on seeing the doll a chracter remarks, “Chucky? He’s so 80s!” while Chucky comments later “If this were a movie, it would take three or four sequels to do it justice”). As horror comedies demand, it parodies the genre, including visual references to Hellraiser, Bride of Frankenstein – obviously – and Psycho. It’s no more violent than some of the Scream movies and, to my surprise, manages to be funnier.

The cast includes Gordon Michael Woolvett off of Andromeda, Sunset Beach‘s Nick Stabile and Family Guy‘s Jennifer Tilly, with rent-a-madman Brad Dourif (off of Babylon 5 and Lord of the Rings amongst others) returning as the voice of Chucky. Coincidentally, Peter Preston’s Observer review draws comparisons between Tilly and Bette Davis – and, as if to prove this film is worth a try despite its pedigree, Peter Bradshaw hated it.

Four answers and an obituary Nov 20

Last week, I asked you to identify Doctor Who actors in this clip:

There are at least four. Joe identified Brian Blessed, who was King Yrcanos in The Trial of a Time Lord, and Alan spotted a different king – Jason King – who I’d missed: Peter Wyngarde, who played Timanov in Planet of Fire.

John Hallam (photo: Wikipedia)The other two were Deep Roy, who played Mr Sin in The Talons of Weng-Chiang and was also in the same segment of Trial as Blessed (and was in several Blake’s 7 episodes), and John Hallam (right), who I’m sad to report died last Monday. As well as playing Light in Ghost Light (the last made story from “classic” Who), Hallam was also a mainland policeman in the original cut of The Wicker Man. He was in the BBC adaptation of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, EastEnders, Bergerac, Knights of God, The Black Adder, the Joan Hickson 4.50 from Paddington, and with Wyngarde in episodes of Department S and Jason King. He was, as demonstrated in the clip above, Brian Blessed’s hawkman sidekick in Flash Gordon.