Contrary to what most of today’s youth might falsely believe, the all-star adventure action flick has been around for several decades – long before Sylvester Stallone was old enough to enlist as a mercenary-for-hire or Chuck Norris mastered the art of waxing his back hair. In fact, these classic movies went on to inspire Italy’s sacred genre of what we sometimes call “Macaroni Combat” films – which in-turn motivated people Quentin Tarantino to create movies like Inglourious Basterds. Interestingly enough, some of the more formidable entries on the unofficial list of goodies this oft-unspecified genre has produced over the years have been British in origin. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘British’
Tags: 70s, Action, Blu-ray, British, Cinema Sentries, richard burton, Richard Harris, Roger Moore
Tags: British, Cinema Sentries, Drama, film noir, jack hawkins, Thriller
Some people you simply don’t associate with certain types of roles. Like Rosie O’Donnell as Betty Rubble. Or John Wayne as Genghis Khan. And then there’s the case of English actor Jack Hawkins (The Bridge on the River Kwai, Ben-Hur) – a highly respected though-rather-bulldog-faced actor – inhabiting the role of a chick magnet, as he did in the superb-yet-sadly-underrated 1957 British film noir flick Fortune Is a Woman. Released in the United States the following year under the less-imaginative title She Played with Fire, the tale stars Hawkins as Oliver Branwell (not Oliver Cromwell): an insurance investigator for Lloyds of London who winds up getting himself tangled up in a decidedly sordid mess. Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: blogcritics, British, camp, Comedy, Cult, Drama, Science Fiction, superheroes, TV
DVD Review: Misfits – Season One
Article first published as DVD Review: Misfits – Season One on Blogcritics.
Sometimes, you come across a show that makes you ask yourself “Hey, why the heck didn’t I see or hear about this one sooner?” In this instance, the title is the British sci-fi/comedy/drama series Misfits, and the very fact that most British shows take the slow boat to America might explain my complete obliviousness to the entire existence of it — not to mention I don’t have cable or subscribe to any of those video-on-demand websites. But I digress: the discovery of Misfits has proved a very worthwhile one indeed — an opinion that I am most definitely not alone in sharing. (more…)
Tags: blogcritics, British, cage fighting, Drama, underground sports, violence
Blu-ray Review: Best Laid Plans (2012)
Article first published as Blu-ray Review: Best Laid Plans (2012) on Blogcritics.
Over time, a film adaptation of any story — timeless or otherwise — can become misconstrued or twisted ’round to the point where it, frankly, bears little resemblance to its original source material. Two recent examples that come instantly to mind were the oh-so-awful incarnations of Gulliver’s Travels and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Fortunately, there are highly inventive adaptations as well, such as Jake Kasdan’s Zero Effect — a late ’90s modernization of Sherlock Holmes — and several just straight-up so-wacky-you-can’t-help-but-love-it offerings like the ’70s blaxploitation classic, Blacula. (more…)
Tags: blogcritics, British, Classic, Hercule Poirot, murder, mystery, TV
Blu-ray Review: Agatha Christie’s Poirot – Series 1 & 2
Article first published as Blu-ray Review: Agatha Christie’s Poirot – Series 1 & 2 on Blogcritics.
Fictional detectives are about as easy to find as a pregnant woman in a maternity ward. And there are an awful lot of ‘em — story bound private investigators, I mean, not expectant mothers (although there are a lot of those, too). A quick glance through the mystery section at any book store, be it a new or used one, will confirm it. The hard part is finding one you really like to get involved in reading, and whose author had a firm enough finger on the pulse of reality so that things don’t get too outlandish. What’s even harder is finding a motion picture or television adaptation of said character that doesn’t outright kill any joy the author originally had instilled within their pages. (more…)
Tags: blogcritics, British, Drama, Thriller
DVD Review: Retreat (2011)
Article first published as DVD Review: Retreat (2011) on Blogcritics.
Pulling off a movie with only several actors isn’t an easy feat overall. The 1989 thriller Dead Calm managed to pull it off (though there were a number of minor roles in the feature as well), while Guy Ritchie’s god-awful remake Swept Away left audiences yearning for a psycho killer to show up. Former film editor Carl Tibbetts makes his debut as a filmmaker with Retreat: a somewhat nifty tale of suspense, which — much like the aforementioned Dead Calm — finds a couple (Thandie Newton and Cillian Murphy) away on an island for a retreat from the world, only to be menaced by a seemingly-psychopathic individual. (more…)
Tags: Acorn Media, art, British, Drama, ITV, mystery, television
DVD Review: Under the Hammer (1994)
Article first published as DVD Review: Under the Hammer (1994) on Blogcritics.
When it comes to the world of art, I will be the first one to readily admit that I know nothing about it. Paintings, sculptures; whatever, I don’t get it. That said, however, I do realize that there are other people out there who are obsessed with art — even more so with the value of art. Under the Hammer, a short-lived ITV series from the mid ‘90s, brings us a look at life at a prestigious London auction house, even more so the pompous, self-important individuals whose daily drama is so extravagant that it actually warranted a seven-episode series on British television.
Tags: Acorn Media, BBC, British, Comedy, Drama, murder, mystery, PBS, television
DVD Review: New Tricks – Season Five
Article first published as DVD Review: New Tricks – Season Five on Blogcritics.
Those crazy retirees and their long-suffering boss are back for another round of (mostly) lighthearted mysteries from BBC-TV’s long-running series, New Tricks. And speaking of “another round,” Acorn Media’s three-disc set of New Tricks: Season Five starts out with the gallant crew of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad — Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman), Brian Lane (Alun Armstrong), Jack Halford (Anthony Calf), and their supervisor, DS Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman) — enjoying a round of drinks and each other’s company in a pub. The joy quickly dissolves, however, when the murderer of Jack’s wife is acquitted in the opening episode.
Tags: Acorn Media, British, murder, mystery, television
DVD Review: Midsomer Murders – Set 18
Article first published as DVD Review: Midsomer Murders – Set 18 on Blogcritics.
Once again, the folks at Acorn Media have brought us another collection of mysteries from the fictional land of Midsomer, England — the smallest rural English countryside with the largest mortality rates in all of the world. Of course, it stands to reason that living in tiny communities — each filled with their own, peculiar, tiny-minded individuals — would be enough to drive just about anyone to murder. And, as it stands, there are a lot of killings in this county, which keeps DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes) busy. This 18th set of Midsomer Murders episodes from Acorn Media brings us three tales of mayhem which originally aired in 2009, and comprised of the latter half of the show’s twelfth series.
Tags: BBC America, British, crime drama, television
DVD Review: Luther 2
Article first published as DVD Review: Luther 2 on Blogcritics.
It only takes one glimpse at the American TV roster to deduce that crime dramas are about as hard to come by these days as Walmart stores. And, many times, the selection of police procedurals are of the same crappy quality as that of the huge, soulless conglomerate that casts its shadow of doom over communities big and small. And then there are some of the gritty cop shows that hail from the UK, such as the BBC’s Luther, which premiered in 2010, and features Idris Elba (who had been in the US TV series, The Wire several years earlier) as a brilliant, tormented detective in London.