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Raid On Rommel
Henry Hathaway, 1971
Drama, War
DVR - TCM


From TMDb:
Captain Foster plans on raiding German-occupied Tobruk with hand- picked commandos, but a mixup leaves him with a medical unit led by a Quaker conscientious objector.
WWII romp that initially doesn't really concern itself with being believable - being somewhat light-hearted in places and portraying the Germans as being so gullible it makes you wonder how the whole thing lasted longer than a few months really. It's not too badly acted though and the action scenes just about provide the requisite entertainment in a second half that thankfully mostly takes itself a little more seriously.


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NomsPre-1930 Countdown


terrible, 0/5, not enough puppies.



Knowing
Alex Proyas, 2009
Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
DVD


From TMDb:
A teacher opens a time capsule that has been dug up at his son's elementary school; in it are some chilling predictions -- some that have already occurred and others that are about to -- that lead him to believe his family plays a role in the events that are about to unfold.
Nic Cage led sci-fi actioner that I quite like the central premise of and which does provide for a level of entertainment despite a few story contrivances. Unfortunately though the first half is somewhat marred by some pretty poor CGI in places whilst although I don't so much mind where the story goes in the second half of proceedings I don't think it travels there particularly well and the coda is, imo, completely unnecessary.


+



The Challenge
John Gilling, 1960
Crime, Drama, Thriller
DVD


From TMDb:
Jailed for his role in a gang heist and ditched by its female leader (Jayne Mansfield), a widower (Anthony Quayle) decides to keep the loot.
Modest British crime thriller that's well enough made and not too badly acted, except for the fight scenes which are decidedly unconvincing most of the time. The tale may not be the strongest and certainly doesn't contain any real surprises but despite starting a little poorly is generally watchable and just about does enough to maintain interest.


+



Razgovor - [Conversation]
Ana Horvat, 2015
Animation, Drama
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
Etta spends a monotonous and tiring evening at home. On TV she sees a story that will change her view of her own world.
Somewhat crude two-in-one animated short (6 mins) that includes a nice nod to Georges Méliès and manages to feel like it's leading up to a profundity but sadly, for me, never quite fulfils on that promise.


+



The Trollenberg Terror aka The Crawling Eye
Quentin Lawrence, 1958
Horror, Sci-Fi
DVD


From TMDb:
An American investigator for the U.N., a German scientist and a British reporter join forces to investigate a series of disappearances and mutilation-deaths confined to a Swiss Alp and involving a thick, mobile cloud, a telepathic girl, an animate dead man, and tentacled, cyclopean beings from another planet.
Lower budget British affair that doesn't waste any time in getting going and, helped by a suitable score in the earlier stages, manages to generate a decent enough atmosphere. Unfortunately the budget certainly shows in the effects work and there's little by way of surprises in store for anyone conversant with this type of fare from the same period, but for the most part it's acted well enough and imo still provides for a level of entertainment.


+




La paranza dei bambini
- [Piranhas]
Claudio Giovannesi, 2019
Crime, Drama
DVR - BBC Four


From TMDb:
A gang of teenage boys stalk the streets of Naples armed with hand guns and AK-47s to do their mob bosses' bidding – until they decide to be the bosses themselves.
That brief synopsis makes it sound far more of an exciting affair than it actually is, unfortunately not only doesn't the tale live up to it but it also largely treads familiar ground (and somewhat less credibly at times than has been done before imo). It does however remain perfectly watchable and the acting is pretty decent for the most part, considering much of the cast are first-timers, with the lead being particularly good.


+



Peterloo
Mike Leigh, 2018
Drama, History
DVR - Film4


From TMDb:
An epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter’s Field in Manchester turned into one of the bloodiest and most notorious episodes in British history. The massacre saw British government forces charge into a crowd of over 60,000 that had gathered to demand political reforms and protest against rising levels of poverty.
Somewhat disappointing piece that works better as a History piece than it does as a Drama. The period is nicely enough portrayed and it's a well enough acted affair but the narrative drags at times and though it all culminates in an event that really ought to provoke outrage it fails to do so because imo it neither has enough clout in the depiction nor contains characters that one has grown to care enough about.





Father
Ivan Bogdanov, Moritz Mayerhofer & Asparuh Petrov, 2012
Animation
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From TMDb:
When did you last talk with your father? Will you ever ask him about those things that hurt you? In FATHER the reality of life is turned upside down to create an impossible dialogue - the dialogue between a child and a father that never happens.
Nice enough short (16 mins) that intertwines five tales of children who either are, or feel, abandoned by their father. The animation is somewhat crude and better in some places than others but generally feels quite suited to the material whilst the decision to have the same voice narrating each of the fathers helps tie the whole together imo.





Frankenhooker
Frank Henenlotter, 1990
Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
DVD


From TMDb:
A medical school dropout loses his fiancée in a tragic lawnmower incident and decides to bring her back to life. Unfortunately, he was only able to save her head, so he goes to the red light district in the city and lures prostitutes into a hotel room so he can collect body parts to reassemble her.
Play on Frankenstein that's a nice idea but takes far too long to reach the reanimation, with an abundance of t&a but fun rather thin on the ground up to that point. The second half is an improvement but it's still somewhat light on amusement and, for me, the high-point of proceedings are the body-part creatures in the closing stages that hark back to the director's earlier Basket Case.


+



The Price Of Silence
Montgomery Tully, 1960
Crime, Drama
DVD


From TMDb:
Roger Fenton has been released from prison and stared to build a new life. But his past catches up when an elderly visitor is murdered in his office.
Modest British offering led by Gordon Jackson that incorporates blackmail, murder, a shameless hussy and an honest romance. There's nothing particularly remarkable about the tale but it's perfectly serviceable and told fairly effectively, being nicely paced for the most part with decent acting and a score that suits.


+



Ray And Liz
Richard Billingham, 2018
Drama
DVR - Film4


From TMDb:
On the outskirts of Birmingham and the margins of society the Billingham family perform extreme rituals and break social taboos as they muddle through a life decided by factors beyond their control. At times shocking and laced with an unsettling humor, three episodes unfold as a powerful evocation of the experience of growing up in a Black Country council flat.
Somewhat bleak slice-of-life affair primarily dealing with the lives of one family living in the Black Country in the late 1970s / early 1980s. There's good attention to detail in setting the period and the whole is well enough acted and made but whilst the depiction of squalor and poverty (which is emphasised a lot) can make it a somewhat fascinating watch for some it also probably wouldn't make it an easy/desirable one for many.


+



Swept Away
Thomas Grascoeur, 2019
Romance
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From IMDb:
A challenge to our perception of how others navigate through the world.
Short (12 minutes) that incorporates elements of both arthouse and animation. Unfortunately whilst it has a nice enough concept and is made fairly competently that's not enough to excuse what is some pretty poor dialogue and acting - and presenting it in English with actors that are clearly non-native speakers really just highlights both those aspects imo.





The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad
Gordon Hessler, 1973
Action, Adventure, Fantasy
DVR - Film4


From TMDb:
Sinbad and his crew intercept a homunculus carrying a golden tablet. Koura, the creator of the homunculus and practitioner of evil magic, wants the tablet back and pursues Sinbad. Meanwhile Sinbad meets the Vizier who has another part of the interlocking golden map, and they mount a quest across the seas to solve the riddle of the map.
Sinbad adventure that might take quite a while to really get going and be terribly dated in places but it still contains creature effects from Ray Harryhausen which are always worthwhile and fun to watch imo. Add in the marvellous Tom Baker as the villain, Caroline Munro as eye-candy and a relatively young Martin Shaw in a supporting role and imo it's still a reasonably enjoyable romp despite a rather lacklustre first half.





Je criais contre la vie ou pour elle - [I Was Crying Out at Life. Or For It]
Vergine Keaton, 2009
Animation
DVR - Filmbox Arthouse


From TMDb:
In the forest, the herd of deer turns against the hound dogs that have been chasing them so far. From this unusual chase, new landscapes arise from the ground. This collage drama was made after an idea from a 19th century engraving.
Animated short (10 mins) that's not badly made but even allowing for the somewhat cyclical nature of the material it does get rather repetitive, with the chosen score not really helping on that front either.





Haie und kleine Fische - [Sharks And Little Fish]
Frank Wisbar, 1957
Drama, War
Stream - YouTube


From TMDb:
Four young German naval cadets begin their military service in 1940.
German WWII offering that starts a little weakly and isn't always convincing with some of the early dialogue but once the cadets take to the sea in a minesweeper it begins to improve and really takes off in the second half when two of them become submariners. Even the on-shore sequences, which are a little ho-hum at first, also gradually gain more depth over the course of proceedings. The whole is dotted throughout with some quite nice action scenes whilst there's also some rather nicely built tension during the submarine sections.

Thanks go to @James D. Gardiner for pointing out in the 'submarine' thread that this was freely available to watch





Passenger To London
Lawrence Huntington, 1937
Thriller
DVD


From TMDb:
A government agent is returning from France with secret blueprints that were stolen from his government. On the train ride home, thieves break into his compartment and murder him.
Ultra low-budget affair that never looks anything other than that, with both acting and dialogue generally commensurate with such an offering whilst the sound is sadly a little iffy in the odd place. The tale is pretty unremarkable and not particularly convincing but it does at least remain watchable as long as one isn't expecting much by way of thrills or anything more than cheap Saturday matinee type fare in general.