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  • Life of Brian

    Life of Brian

    ★★★★★

    May Monty Python-a-thon

    "So funny, it was banned in Norway!" ran the film's publicity campaign in Sweden. The Monty Python team's third cinematic outing certainly proved it's most controversial, despite going to great lengths to explain that it's lead character Brian, was in no way the Messiah and was indeed merely "a naughty boy". The blasphemy tag stuck and the Pythons found their film banned in parts of Britain, all of Ireland and Norway and cinemas picketed in the United…

  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail

    ★★★★★

    May Monty Python-a-thon

    Whilst Terry Gilliam was standing in a cold, muddy Scottish field, machines billowing smoke into his eyes, the reek of alcohol from Chapman's breath stinging his nostrils, midges biting, banging two empty halves of coconut together... I wonder if he realised he was co-directing one of the finest comedies ever made?

    Completely hilarious from the (have you read them all?) opening credits to its 4th wall shattering conclusion. There's too much brilliance to comment on so off…

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  • Five Guns West

    Five Guns West

    ★★

    Wild West Summer 2018

    Film 2/30
    Task 21 - Watch a Western featuring Dorothy Malone.

    I’d kind of forgotten that Roger Corman, a director better known for horror films, started his directorial career with a bunch of Westerns. Five Guns West was in fact Corman’s directorial debut. Unfortunately he still seems to be learning the ropes because the sum total of his direction seems to be:

    (1) Line up all the cast in a stage like fashion that seems quite…

  • Ride Lonesome

    Ride Lonesome

    ★★★★

    Wild West Summer 2018

    Film 1/30
    Task 30 - Watch a Western of your choice

    Character dynamics

    It’s not many a Western where the interplay between the characters takes such prominence. It’s a wonderful script by Burt Kennedy, where characters really come to the fore. Randolph Scott plays Ben Brigade, a bounty hunter who captures wanted outlaw Billy John (James Best). On his journey to collect his reward he is joined by a station master’s head turning widow (Karen Steele)…

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  • Dr. No

    Dr. No

    ★★★★

    Nobody ranks Bond better for Bond-a-thon

    "World domination, the same old dream. Our asylums are full of people who think they're Napoleon. Or God."

    I have general rule about the Bond Canon which I'll keep returning to, it is at its best when it tries to break the mould that it's previously established. It's a series that's constantly reinvented itself for the changing times. For me as a general rule, the last film a Bond actor makes is usually their…

  • The Wizard of Oz

    The Wizard of Oz

    ★★★★★

    Do you ever wish you could forget one of your favourite films, just so you could experience it again for the very first time?

    I have. 

    The two options are probably extremely dangerous brain surgery or numerous rounds of expensive hypnotherapy.

    I've decided having children is the marginally less dangerous but ridiculously more expensive way of achieving this.

    I've just watched The Wizard of Oz with my daughter on my lap. I experienced her every laugh at something funny, her…