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Paul O'Hanlon

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The Making Of Butterfield 8 (The Magnificent 60s)
The Making Of Butterfield 8 (The Magnificent 60s)
Price: £0.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 6 Sep 2014
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moderate - some points of interest.


The Harder They Fall
The Harder They Fall
Dvd
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £6.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fitting finale for Bogie, 4 Jun 2014
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This was the great Humphrey Bogart’s last film, shot in late 1955 and early 1956 when he was already seriously ill with throat cancer. He nonetheless turns in a convincing performance as cynical yet ultimately compassionate sports journalist Eddie Willis. He hypes up no hoper Toro Moreno as a credible contender for the world championship and when the likeable but naive young boxer is cheated out of his winnings by crooked promoter Nick Benko (a young Rod Steiger is very good as the bent manager) he selflessly gives the big Argentinian (played by Mike Lane) his own share of the take and sends him home and out of the reach of the mob.

There is good support from Jan Sterling as Bogart’s wife and real life boxers Max Baer, Jersey Joe Walcott (both ex-heavyweight champions) and Pat Comiskey who actually fought Max Baer for the title in 1940 but lost.

I think this was one of Bogie’s best and despite fighting cancer I thought he did not look particularly old or particularly ill, a tribute to his professionalism.


Storm Warning
Storm Warning
Dvd
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £2.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Storm Warning is a moderate film noir, 27 May 2014
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Storm Warning is a moderate film noir. While it shows the Ku Klux Klan in a bad light it portrays them as a `money making racket` rather than the racialist terror organisation they were/are.

The Klan was on the wane even in the early 1950's when the film was made - it apparently peaked in the 1920's having been formed in 1866 by ex-confederate soldiers just after the American Civil War.

For a film supposedly set in the American Deep South none of the actors speak with a southern accent, they all talk Yankee and not Dixie. In fact the film was shot in Corona, Southern California.

Steve Cochran gives a good performance as bad boy murderer Hank Rice while Ginger Rogers is shown in a non-dancing role as the witness to the lynching of a journalist by the Klan. Ronald Reagan who is sometimes remembered only for his appearance in the awful `Bedtime for Bonzo` turns in a bland, agreeable performance as DA Burt Rainey.

In short it's a good afternoon filler but falls short of packing the punch it could have done by its failure to depict the Klan's racialist nature.


The Eye of the Storm
The Eye of the Storm
Dvd
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £3.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit drivelly if there is such a word, 11 May 2014
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My Review of `The Eye of the Storm`

This 2011 Australian film adaption of the famous novel by Patrick White didn't reach Edinburgh where I live until 2013 - and even then I missed it as I don't generally look at the cinema listings in the local paper. It was shown in awkward to get places like Cambridge, London, Lincoln and Keswick (in the Lake District) which are hundreds of miles away. I have only seen it recently (May 2014) by paying to view it online.

I am sorry to say that I was disappointed by this film. Yes, I know the novel won The Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973 and is considered a classic. However I watched it largely out of my admiration for two renowned Australian actresses Elizabeth Alexander and Judy Davis. Also to see Geoffrey Rush who was so good in the film biopic of Peter Sellers ` The Life and Death of Peter Sellers ` (2004). I remember Elizabeth `Liz` Alexander from a really good activist's film from 1981 called `The Killing of Angel Street` directed by Donald Crombie and Judy Davis from a film with a similar theme called `Heatwave` (directed by Phillip Noyce). Those were the early 1980's - the so-called New Wave of Aussie cinema.

In my opinion however warped it may sound `The Eye of the Storm` was simply about a lot of rich spoilt over grown brats squabbling over their share of their dying mother's estate. At the risk of sounding ageist - actresses Judy and Liz have matured. They were in their 20's in the aforementioned 1981 films about the disappearance of green activist Juanita Nielsen, They have aged - yes that's an awful thing to say as I'm pushing 60 myself but they were so good to look at then and the films both carried a strong social activist message. `The Eye of the Storm` is about middle-aged rich greedy bastards who can't wait for their mother to die - I think we need activist's films like John Pilger's `Utopia` or those 70's films from Oz like `Summerfield` (1977 with Nick Tate and John Waters and a 25 year-old Liz Alexander) or `Patrick` (1978 with Robert Thompson, Robert Helpmann and Susan Penhaligon) - that was a genuinely scary horror film. Or remember Don's Party from 1976 with the late great John Hargreaves, Pat Bishop, Ray Barrett and Graham Kennedy?

I'm sorry to sound like a sexist ageist pig but I'm afraid that's my view, - I could watch `The Killing of Angel Street` (1981) - `Heatwave ` (also 1981 released 1982) `Winter of Our dreams` (1981) and `Summerfield` (1977) over and over but one viewing of the `The Eye of the Storm` was enough for me. Apologies to Fred Schepisi who did such a good job with `The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith` (1978).

Yes, I know who am I to talk? I wouldn't get much fan mail if I appeared in any Aussie soapies or films. I am overweight and ugly like Robert Maxwell although I haven't stolen £500 million (AUD$900 million) from the pension funds like he did. Although I'm not like him character wise I do have one thing in common with him (apart from obesity), I'm not a very good swimmer like the great investigative journalist John Pilger.

John who is still globe-trotting in his 70's promoting his films and is nice and slim to boot is Sydney born of mixed Irish-German descent and is one of the nicest men you could hope to meet. John was brought up in Bondi Beach and is still swimming like a fish while I'm more of a beached whale. John Pilger used to be employed by Robert Maxwell when he wrote for the British Daily Mirror which the fat Czech managed to change from a decent paper for working class people into a poor imitation of Rupert Murdoch's ghastly `Sun`.

The great thing about the cinema of the past is that the players never grow old - neither does the social activist's message which is still as relevant today as it was 33 years ago when the films about activist and environmental campaigner Juanita Nielsen were made - the chief suspect in her disappearance and presumed death was a charming gentleman called Mr Sin (actually Sydney gangster Abe Saffron). Well I'm no oil painting but at least I don't have people bumped off or knee capped or threaten to murder anyone I don't like as he was reputed to have done.

For more info on this Australian Al Capone read the book by Tony Reeves (1940-2013) `Mr Sin: the Abe Saffron Dossier`- Tony received death threats while writing it but you needn't worry Mr Sin passed on in 2006 so Tony survived him by 7 years in spite of the intimidations.

Lastly, good luck to the whole cast of `The Eye of the Storm` Liz, Charlotte, Judy, Geoffrey, Colin, Helen and Fred and his lovely daughter Alexandra. I'm sure they'll make many more award winning films. I won't be in them - I expect I will never even get an autograph from any of the cast or director after what I've just written but at least what I said was from the heart however twisted and unkind it may have sounded.

Best Wishes from Granton, Edinburgh,
Paul O'Hanlon

(Never a star nor likely to be unless Fred Schepisi wants a Robert Maxwell or Moby Dick lookalike whose only merit is that he doesn't drink or swear or embezzle huge amounts of money like the real ` Bouncing Czech` Robert Maxwell did).
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Young Adam
Young Adam
Dvd
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £2.49

2.0 out of 5 stars Passable, 29 April 2014
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This review is from: Young Adam (Amazon Instant Video)
Moderate time filler about life on a canal. A lot of gratuitous nudity which seems out of place with being set in the 1950's - the time of the book on which it is based.


Elmer Gantry [DVD]
Elmer Gantry [DVD]
Dvd ~ Burt Lancaster
Price: £6.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 29 April 2014
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This review is from: Elmer Gantry [DVD] (DVD)
Great story of the hypocrisy of many organised religions. Burt Lancaster won an Oscar for his portrayal of the titular character, in real life Lancaster was an atheist.


The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Dvd
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £2.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, 29 April 2014
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Classic story of the effect of greed on man's nature. Humphrey Bogart excels as the crazed with greed Fred C Dobbs.


The Parallax View
The Parallax View
Dvd
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £2.49

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Moderate, 29 April 2014
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Neat little conspiracy thriller though a little dated (40 years old) now. The use of old fashioned typewriters and lack of cell phones makes it seem old.


The Painted Smile/Rag Doll [DVD]
The Painted Smile/Rag Doll [DVD]
Dvd ~ Liz Fraser
Price: £13.45

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, 29 April 2014
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Neat little time piece showing how life was in the early 60's with a catchy theme song and the voluptuous Liz Fraser.


The Lotus Eaters - Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]
The Lotus Eaters - Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ian Hendry
Price: £15.42

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 29 April 2014
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Though rather 70's now it was exotic stuff for its time - Crete where the series is set was the equivalent of the Seychelles today.


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