Tag Archives: P

Pygmalion 4.5/5


Terrific movie based on the play by George Bernard Shaw (and later adapted into the musical My Fair Lady), with funny, sad, angry scenes all mixed up together, and a great performance by Wendy Hiller as the brave, put-upon Eliza. I can’t decide if she’s uncannily beautiful or odd-looking…

Leslie Howard also puts in a 100% exhilarating performance as the brash, bullying Henry Higgins, and the bit players are also pretty good, especially the guy playing Eliza’s father. He’s hilariously low-class in all respects.

Pontypool – Odd One Out 055


The nicely original horror movie about an unusual form of zombification, Pontypool

Pontypool 4/5


Ferocious and very original, this shows what someone with talent can do with a small cast, a single set, and an idea seen through to the end.

I have to confess I did not follow what was going on in some parts, but I did appreciate the talent on show. All the acting was rather fine, especially Stephen McHattie, who came across as a wrinkled mix of Willem Defoe and Joe Spinell (but was always his own, clear, self).

It didn’t scare me, but it did keep be switched on and intent through the entire time.

The Place Beyond the Pines 3.5/5

The Place Beyond the Pines

A rather overambitious movie that actually chops its 3 acts into 3 related, continuous but distinct stories, looking at fatherhood, and how absence and presence of a father (both literally, and absent by not paying attention) can affect the son, in a cycle. It’s a look at the whole ‘the children pay for the sins of the father’ type thing, I guess, but more subtle than that.

I liked it, but I think the first act works the best for me, and I’d’ve liked to have seen that through to a more satisfying conclusion, and the veering off into a new story threw me, but it actually worked well once you adjusted.

The third story, however, suffered from two problems. It really felt like an unresolved solution to what went before for the most part (but not wholly) was the first problem, and the actual personality/behaviour of one of the main characters felt quite hokey and just not earned or authentic to the story. We miss out some necessary dramatic glue, too, informing us about one of the father-son relationships, and how it got to be the way it was.

Having said all that, it was a very well made and acted movie, and I enjoyed it, and am glad I finally got around to watching it.

Pusher 2012 3/5


A remake of the Nicolas Winding Refn movie of 1996, this does not reach the same levels of intensity and claustrophobia as that one, but it’s not a bad crime thriller in its own right.

Richard Coyle is pretty damn good in the central performance, and the supporting cast are decent. Nice music design, and some nice cinematography of London. Feels realistic in many spots. However, some of the bit players aren’t great actors, and spoil some of the short scenes.

Plague of the Zombies 3/5

Plague of the Zombies

Pretty solid Hammer movie exploring Haitian zombie lore, with some tense scenes. The scene were huntsmen cut cards over a trapped woman is tense as was the scene where they hunt her down in the woods beforehand), and the old mine full of white-faced, white-eyed zombies was fine, as was the priest costume. Recommended.

The Poseidon Adventure 4/5

The Poseidon Adventure

Despite a few cheesy moments (especially in the build-up to the tidal wave), this was pretty damn thrilling. Everyone seemed to be giving it their all, and it kept me totally engaged from the point the tidal wave hit, right through to the end. The part where the old fitness guy helps the young singer to leave her dead brother was quite touching.

Paperhouse 3.5/5


This is a weird and subtle British horror movie that is really about a child’s dreams. The acting is generally quite poor from the children (who are essentially the leads), but it static quality actually works fine in this movie, whose qualities come out really in the visuals and sound design, especially (but not entirely restricted to) in the dream sequences. More subtle and Lynchian than, say, Freddy Krueger in its exploration of dreams. Recommended.

Patton 4/5


A magnificent performance from George C. Scott as the magnificent bastard blood and guts general Patton. Sometimes this gets lumped in with the antiwar movies of the early 70s (MASH, Catch 22) but this is a horse of a different colour, showing the driven, intelligent, bigoted (against what he called ‘cowards’), narrowminded, well-read character that was Patton, presented here as a man of a different age, who was still grounded enough to beat the hell out of the German army. Very enjoyable, and enthralling.

TV: PSYCHOVILLE – Very very dark comedy with horror elements 6.5/10


Season 1, Halloween Special, Season 2

Spawned from half the team that brought the world ‘The League of Gentlemen’, Psychoville occupies a similarly-dark universe to the village of that show. Indeed, ‘Psychoville’ is named after the Japanese title of The League of Gentlemen.  It’s a series written by and starring Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, each playing several different characters in this weird and sometimes wonderful show.

Season 1 occupies itself with a group of seemingly disparate characters whose stories slowly draw together as the series climaxes. There is a weird mass-murder-obsessed mother and son (the Sowerbutts); a troubled dwarf; a midwife who cares for a toy baby like it’s real; a blind millionaire dealer in toys who has dark secrets; and my favourite, a bitter and twisted one-handed clown called Mr Jelly who is vexed by a competitor called Mr Jolly.

Season 1 trundles along at a good pace, leading to the story of a shared, dark history of these characters.  It starts with each getting a note saying “I know what you did.”  It is very, very darkly funny and odd, and culminates in a semi-satisfying conclusion, and recommended to all people who like their comedy both weird and dark.  If you liked the darker elements of Twin Peaks, say, you may like this.

The Halloween special is, to my mind, the best of this show.  It takes the form of a set of short stories joined by a bigger strand, and these stories are classic horror tales – mysterious children; killer on the loose on a dark night; and a tale about transplanted eyes seeing more than they should.  It also serves as a decent bridge between seasons 1 and 2.

Season 2 is slightly different.  In this one, the main characters in the first start to get bumped off.  There are new characters (one of them – a librarian – sees a weird dancing figure that is very reminiscent of the dancing dwarf in Twin Peaks), and the story is about a mysterious necklace,  It’s a little baggier than the first series (there’s one major storyline involving a TV makeup woman called Hattie that adds virtually nothing to the main story – but it’s amusing nonetheless).

This is clearly a series for adults, and I’d say the best laughs come from Mr Jelly and the inappropriate behaviour and phrases of mother-and-son, the Sowerbutts.


REWATCHABILITY: Once or twice every 5 yearas. Suitable for adults only.


Phantom of the Opera and most anticipated new movies Episode 013

In this episode, Mark and Sam talk about Dead Island, Army of Two, the movies they’re most looking forward to in the coming year, The Phantom of the Opera, and Joel Schumacher.

Paul and Favourite Movie Aliens Episode 010

In this episode, Mark and Sam talk about Paul starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, Sam tells about the videogame Alice, and the guys compare their favourite top 5 movie aliens