Three Steps to the Gallows

I was able to fit in one more film yesterday, making it three films in one day. I randomly chose this 1953 British crime story on YouTube. This was titled “White Fire” in America.

It is the story of an American in London who tries to find his younger brother who works there. But, he finds out that his brother has been tried for murder, a murder he is innocent of, and he is going to be hanged unless big bro can solve the case.

The story though quickly becomes convoluted with so many people to keep track of, some of them are just names so it is hard to remember who is who unless you see their face. By the end I had given up trying to figure out how it all fit together, even when one character sums up the plot for the audience’s sake. I did watch this late at night though, so my concentration powers were a little dulled.

The acting was fine, nothing special, and it was good to see fifties London. At least four of the actors were American. I was reading somewhere that many American actors who couldn’t make it in America went to England in the fifties and were able to have a decent career there. The direction and cinematography were reasonable.

If the story was just a bit less complicated it could have been a lot better. The story that I could follow was quite engaging and fast-paced. There were some good action bits in it, mostly chases on foot, and a few fisticuffs.

Farewell, My Lovely was the best film of the day

Date watched: July 14th
Score: 6/10
Film count 2018: 43

Wonder Woman

After reading the Secret History of Wonder Woman I was really looking to seeing this, it was getting good reviews where normally the DC superhero movies get pants reviews so it was looking good for some entertainments to be had. But it was quite the disappointment, boring, ho hum visuals and a bit po-faced. I was well ready for it to be over.

DC have just got their superhero universe all wrong, the films are just not fun, at least Marvel are taking their universe in different directions (Thor) and not taking themselves too seriously.

Date watched: 20th October
Score: 6/10
Film count 2017: 66

Doctor Syn

Doctor Syn is the main character in a series of books about pirates, smugglers, Marsh Phantoms, and skulduggery. I am currently reading the third book in the series which is a rollicking good one too. Last night I decided to watch another Doctor Syn film having already seen the excellent Captain Clegg with Peter Cushing.

This film was made in 1937 and starred George Arliss (born Augustus George Andrews) who was a successful British actor in the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. It was based on the first book in the series and some of the filming was done in Dymchurch which is where the original story is based (Dymchurch has a celebration of the novels every two years).

The film itself was quite average, but because of the book I found it fun to see the story I know well in moving pictures and sound, even if it was 80 years old.

It would be great to see a modern blockbuster version of this film. The Clooney would be perfect as the dashing Doctor Syn/Captain Clegg, with Joe Pesci as the Sexton Mipps. It would certainly give the awful Pirates of the Caribbean series a good thrashing. One can but dream.

Date watched: September 28th
Score: 6/10
Film count 2017: 109

The Magnificent Seven

Not sure why you need a remake of the classic Magnificent Seven, but then again, why remake The Seven Samurai? Anyway, here we have Denzel, Pratt, Hawke and some other actors play cowboys. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, so it is watchable. Absolutely no tension in this when it should be fully six-shooter loaded with tension. In one stand-off scene the music completely ruined the tenseness.

Date watched: 14th July
Score: 6/10
Film count 2017: 36

I should have just watched this opening scene instead of this remake:

Get Outta Town

I am trying to get back into watching films on a regular basis again, but it is proving difficult, although I have been busy with other stuff recently. So, I randomly chose this 1960 B-grade film on YouTube a few days ago, described as an “obscure B potboiler” on IMDB.

The story involves an ex-criminal whose brother was murdered, and he wants to find out whodunnit so he can mess them up. The coppers are on his case though, hassling him and telling him to “get outta town, and don’t come back”. But, he perseveres and finds the mug that killed his bro, but doesn’t have to do the dirty work of killing him, instead the coppers do that for him as the mug runs at them with a heater.

“Hey copper, stop hasslin’ me man, I’m straight now!”. “No you ain’t, your type will never go straight. Get outta town, and if I see you again you are going straight to the joint!”

Pretty B-gradey stuff, with a bunch of unknown actors and cheaply made, but I found it to be watchable. More B-grade goodness tonight I think.

Date watched: May 26th
Score: 6/10
Film count 2017: 67

A Walk Among the Tombstones

I knew nothing about this, thinking it was a western with Liam Neeson, it’s not, but kind of is. Liam is a retired police officer (he shoots down three bad guys in the street one day, was never the same after that), who now is a kind of PI type. It’s based on some famous series of books by Lawrence Block, and was almost made in 2002 with Harrison Ford. It’s not super great, very cliched, there are a few scenes showing violence towards women which I thought was a thing of the past in movies these days. Certainly should be.

Date watched: 12th May
Score: 6/10
Film count 2017: 25

Independence Day: Resurgence

The first film I chose on our flight from Brisbane to Narita was this one.

Despite all of the negative reviews I thought this was not too bad. Big CG blockbusters like this are just aren’t meant to be taken seriously are they? So, I just watch them for the explosions, shooting stuff up, and general silliness which this had plenty of.

Brent Spiner was by far the best actor in this, his nutty professor character was a hoot. The story was convoluted and confusing at times, as was some of the CG, and there was a little flag waving again of course. But, it had plenty of pretty things to look at, and a huge alien that went berzerb, so that was fun.

The story ended with the possibility of a third film, and I see on the interwebs that there is talk of it at the moment.

Date watched: April 6th
Score: 6/10
Film count 2017: 54