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
Film count 2017: 109
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
Film count 2017: 36
I should have just watched this opening scene instead of this remake:
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
Film count 2017: 67
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
Film count 2017: 25
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
Film count 2017: 54
I chose this one on YouTube because it starred a young Lloyd Bridges (his filmography is very impressive), one of the highlights of the Airplane films.
The Limping Man is a 1953 British noir film about Lloyd’s character getting caught up in the assassination of an anonymous man after he gets off a flight from America (Lloyd’s character was standing next to him when he was shot by a sniper). After that the story follows him, his British ladyfriend, a theatre troupe (including a limping man), and Scotland Yard as they try find find out what the heck is going on.
The story was quite good really, at least until the last minute when all of this turned out to be a dream! As Lloyd’s character was about to land in England from America he wakes up just as he was about to be killed in his dream. He gets off the plane and we see that the passengers and crew were all of the people in his dream! What a cop out!
So apart from that silly ending it was a decent watch, and seeing early 1950’s England was interesting.
Date watched: February 24th
Score: 6/10 (needed a better ending)
Film count 2017: 41
Also known as “The Strange Case of Dr. Manning” in the U.S.A., this is a 1957 British film about the kidnapping of a doctor married to woman from a rich family. An American detective (played by an Aussie) is brought in on the case, and along with Scotland Yard’s finest, they sleuth out the kidnapper.
So the story is pretty simple, and not overly exciting. But the acting is fine, and the ending was a little unexpected with the doctor discovered dead, but they caught the kidnapper/murderer of course.
There is very little about this on the interwebs. The lead actress was played by Greta Gynt, a Norwegian actress who had a reasonably long career.
Quite forgettable, but it passed 75 minutes away quite painlessly.
Date watched: February 16th
Film count 2017: 37