Film Reviews by LC

Welcome to LC's film reviews page. LC has written 126 reviews and rated 587 films.

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Pulp

Amiable but aimless pulp fiction spoof

(Edit) 01/03/2024

There's a nice set-up here, with a hack writer getting caught up in a real life mystery allowing for a satire of the pulp thriller genre. Caine is in his '70's pomp and effortlessly cool throughout, and Mickey Rooney does an effective turn riffing on his own past as an ex-Hollywood gangster movie star. It's pleasant enough to watch,but the downside is that the central mystery plot just isn't strong enough, so when the denouement comes, the ending feels like a bit of a letdown.

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The World Ten Times Over

Culture clash

(Edit) 20/02/2024

60's slice-of-life drama focusing on two 'working girls', and their relationships with a willfully ignorant father, and a would-be lover who wants one of the girls to quit her job and settle down. The acting is generally good, especially an understate performance from William Hartnell, and it's shot well enough - if there's a problem it's that the story doesn't really develop much over the course of its running time. A solid and watchable kitchen sink drama, and the central culture clash is fine, but ultimately it doesn't feel as if it goes anywhere.

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Scream VI

A return to form

(Edit) 18/01/2024

I found the 5th film in the series so underwhelming, I felt I was done with this franchise, but surprisingly this 6th installment is a much better film. Obviously by this point it's both formulaic and impossible to take these films too seriously, but the storyline manages a decent amount of character work to go along with the 'whodunnit' element, it's well shot and the cast are all solid. By no means a classic, but this is a fun and watchable installment, and one of the better sequels.

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Blood and Black Lace

Stylish, colourful murder mystery.

(Edit) 01/12/2023

Stylish direction, gorgeous cinematography, eye-popping colours, and a masked black-gloved killer dispatching numerous victims in macabre ways - it's easy to see how much of an influence this film was on Dario Argento. True, the storyline is a fairly standard whodunit, and the way the red-herring suspects are entirely dropped from the narrative once the killer is revealed is not very satisfying, but every frame is amazing to look at, and it's so stylish it really doesn't matter. Recommended, especially in the new 4K UHD version, which is amazing visually.

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Scream and Scream Again

Bizarre horror sci-fi

(Edit) 22/11/2023

Whilst Price, Lee and Cushing are the headline stars, they do not have huge roles in this film (Cushing in particular only gets a single scene). That said, the film is still worth watching as it's such a bizarre ride. It starts with three seemingly totally unconnected storylines, which only begin to dovetail very late in the narrative. This is a film that plays its cards close to its chest, and I'd recommend knowing as little as possible before watching it (I'm glad I never even read Cinema Paridiso's spoiler-filled synopsis). Part horror, part Cold War thriller, and part sci-fi, this is a real genre mishmash, and though the story doesn't really work in the final analysis, it's so unique that it's worth going along with the madness. The groovy 70's feel of it all just adds to the charm. Totally bonkers.

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Wild Tales

Tales of the Unexpected

(Edit) 03/08/2023

Six completely unreleated short stories packaged together as one movie. With an average run time of about 20 minutes each, these short stories lack the space to provide any real depth and are unlikely to reward repeat watches. That said, they are all well made, and entertaining in a 'Tales of the Unexpected' fashion - dark subjects, but tackled with a wry sense of humour that stops this from becoming too heavy. A fun watch, and recommended as such, but ultimately nothing more.

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Contempt

A film about film-making

(Edit) 02/08/2023

Clearly aimed at the literate arthouse crowd, this is a fascinating mix of high art and the banal. Every few minutes there is a flash of great photography, camera movement, or non-linear editing that keep this feeling fresh, experimental and bold. At the same time, the narrative (such as it is) is built around a series of interminable navel-gazing conversations between the main characters, that frequently circle around aimlessly for tens of minutes without actually progressing anywhere. The result is a film which is equal parts fascinating and boring. I think this may be my first Godard film - are they all like this?

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Babylon

Overstuffed and all over the place

(Edit) 21/04/2023

Elements of this film work to an extent, or are at least pleasing to look at, with Brad Pitt's story strand as a silent movie star overtaken by the talkies probably coming out the best. However, taken as a whole, this is an overlong, over-ambitious mess of a film. The situations and characters feel so unnaturalistic and over-the-top that it's hard to feel any emotional connection, the tone is all over the place (the extended sequence with Tobey Maguire in particular feels like it's from a different film altogether), and the bloated narrative takes far too long to get anywhere. There are some interesting bits here worth watching, but compared to the same filmmaker's tightly controlled masterpiece 'Whiplash' this feels like a case of an artist given way too much money and freedom, and stumbling badly.

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Red Rock West

Uneven thriller

(Edit) 27/01/2023

The cast alone make this an interesting watch for David Lynch fans, and the moody guitar soundtrack only adds to the 'Wild at Heart' feel. Lara Flynn Boyle is predictably wooden, but Cage and Hopper are both entertaining, and the thriller plot starts off with a decent enough hook. Unfortunately the film slightly loses its way in the final third, as the requisite plot twists push it into increasingly ridiculous and corny situations. Ultimately a mediocre thriller, but there's enough going on here to make it reasonably entertaining viewing.

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Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary? / My Wife's Lodger

An uneven double-bill

(Edit) 21/10/2022

Of the two films, I found 'Is Your Honeymoon' Really Necessary' to be terribly predictable and unfunny. It's one of those formulaic 'quick, my wife's coming - hide in the other room' bedroom farces, that stretches out a single supposedly mildly awkward situation out for its entire running time. Even the presence of Sid James can't stop this from becoming a total slog to get through.

Dors has a lesser role in 'My Wife's Lodger', but it's actually a much better film. The script is rough around the edges, and it's very hit and miss in its humour, but it does at least try to tell a reasonably engaging story, and there is some emotional heart buried in the whacky narrative.

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Far from the Apple Tree

A low-budget film that punches above its weight

(Edit) 22/09/2022

In terms of plot, this is a modern spin on fairly familiar classic gothic horror - the isolated house and the secrets of it's forbidden room, a brooding matriach, the haunting presence of a dead woman whose aura is so inescapable she threatens to overwhelm the heroine (strong shades of Daphne Du Maurier's 'Rebecca' here, among others). What elevates the film over its clearly low budget is that it's very artfully shot and edited, and the combination of visuals and music turn what could easily have been a bog-standard horror flick into something quite trippy and hypnotic. Recommended for those who appreciate more thoughtful and arty horror films.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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Okja

Nice idea undermined by farcical comedy

(Edit) 09/09/2022

The opening scenes showing a girl living with her genetically-engineered superpig in South Korea are charming, but unforunately once the English-speaking cast turn up, everything turns into a zany comedy, with exagerrated performances dialed up to the max. With such broad comedy, it makes it difficult to feel any emotional investment in the film, no matter how hard it tries to tug on the heart-strings in the final act. Despite the 15 certificate (mostly for some swearing, as far as I can tell), this ultimately has the feel of a children's film - it's pleasant enough, in a generic Disney/Pixar way, but it lacks any real bite.

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

A fun romp

(Edit) 31/08/2022

Nicholas Cage playing an exagerrated version of himself is a fun conceit, and his perfermance keeps this watchable throughout. The idea does start to wear thin after a while though, and the more the bog-standard 'CIA vs drug lord' plot takes centre stage, the less interesting it gets. Still worth a watch however, not least for Cage's brief-but-hilarious undercover role as he dons a latex disguise, and some incredible moments where he is de-aged to his totally unhinged 1990 'Wild at Heart' era persona (this latter one is so good, it almost makes you wish he could have performed the whole movie in this mode). Ultimately this is a fun ride - I just wish the central idea had been paired with a more interesting plot.

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Altered States

Trippy body horror

(Edit) 29/07/2022

With it's high concept body horror, this feels very much like a classic David Cronenberg film, jacked up with the addition of some trippy '2001: A Space Odyssey' style visuals. Frustratingly, it's almost brilliant, although the film drifts very close to campy 'Jekyll and Hyde' nonsense when the hero is running around in his fully altered state, and the climax is extremely underwhleming. Despite this, the film hits more often than it misses, it consistently looks great (especially on blu ray) and there is something audaciously bizarre in it's mix of highbrow concept and goofy lowbrow genre thrills.

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Wild Things

Ludicrous but watchable

(Edit) 22/07/2022

It's hard to tell if this erotic thriller is a deliberate tongue-in-cheek parody, or just falls into 'so bad it's good' territory. The dialogue and stilted performances give this the feel of a soft-core porn film, whilst the plot ends up piling so many twists and double-crosses on top of each other that it rapidly becomes ludicrous. And yet, it's so bonkers I just had to watch to the end. Impossible to take seriously, but it has a certain campy charm.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
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