Profile for eeyore > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by eeyore
Top Reviewer Ranking: 324,047
Helpful Votes: 15

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by

Page: 1
Robin Redbreast (DVD)
Robin Redbreast (DVD)
Dvd ~ James McTaggart
Price: £14.33

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A child of its time, 2 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Robin Redbreast (DVD) (DVD)
I remember enjoying this play immensely when I first saw it over forty years ago and have been boring my wife about it at intervals ever since. I was delighted when I saw that it was to be tidied up and released by BFI but also a bit nervous about whether the reality would live up to one's imperfect memory.

It's very easy to get comfortably nostalgic about the `golden days of television drama' but they sometimes look pretty tacky and studio-bound when compared to the production values of today's efforts.

I needn't really have worried though. I'd originally watched Robin Redbreast on our old 14" black and white set with an indoor aerial so the DVD was an immediate improvement in quality and I didn't miss the fact that it wasn't in colour

I was amazed at how much it was `of its time' - coming, as it did in 1970, midway between Rosemary's Baby and The Wicker Man and being concerned with the same hippy, witchy, pagan fascinations of that time.

Like The Wicker Man it concerns a rather cocky outsider blundering into a secretive and self-contained rural community, thinking themselves `in charge' of the situation and then slowly coming to the realisation that all is not as it seems.

Anna Cropper - a now largely forgotten stalwart of 60s and 70s television, usually playing a woman that something nasty is going to happen to - is terrific as the sophisticated Londoner finding herself all at sea in her new remote village and Bernard Hepton is magnificent as the seriously weird local fount of all knowledge.

The rest of the cast is ok or better, there are one or two holes in the plot but, overall, this play stands the test of time pretty well and is definitely worth watching - especially if you were around at the time.

The DVD is fine - with a nice booklet and an interview with the writer - if a bit pricey.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1962]
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Two-Disc Special Edition) [DVD] [1962]
Dvd ~ Bette Davis
Offered by rileys dvds
Price: £22.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic masterpiece, 25 Jun 2013
What a great film. Amazingly, I'd never seen it. I think it may have been an X when it was released fifty years ago and it was a bit of a struggle for me to get into such films in those days. Still, that's no excuse; I could have seen it a hundred time since.

I guess it's really because I'm not a great fan of Hollywood Golden Age melodramas - or indeed Hollywood films at all - but it's definitely worth making an exception for this one.

Where to start? Terrific acting by the old divas playing the dysfunctional sisters, especially Bette, but also by the supporting cast, with creepy Victor Buono getting a special mention. Great crazy story, well told and with lots of jumpy moments. It looks good too - rambling house, glorious old Lincoln convertible and Bette's costume and make-up getting madder as the film progresses.

Bette's utterly OTT performance and the palpable tension between her and Joan Crawford are really astonishing. There's a scene where Bette does something fairly unpleasant to poor Joan and the genuine relish in her cackling about it afterwards has to be heard to be believed. She takes equally obvious pleasure in another scene where she is able to dish out some physical violence to her helpless sister.

I suppose it rambles a bit in the second half - perhaps it could have been ten minutes shorter - but, really, I'm just nit-picking. Put your rational critical faculties to one side and have a great evening.

Extras are fine - a couple of docs and a hilarious commentary.

Underground (DVD + Blu-ray)
Underground (DVD + Blu-ray)
Dvd ~ Elissa Landi
Price: £17.80

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rare treat, 23 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've been looking forward to seeing this for a long time, as I couldn't be bothered to go to the BFI screening, and I wasn't disappointed.

It's pointless to judge eighty or ninety year old silent films by the same criteria as modern productions and, by the standards of its own time, it has aged pretty well. Yes, the stories are relatively simple - they need to be in order to be conveyed by mime plus a few intertitles - and the film-makers were still struggling to make the best of the technical limitations; but there are rich compensations.

The quality of the restored film is very good so that the location shots of 1920's London and the Underground are wonderful - especially for a `London and its transport' geek like me. It's also fascinating to observe the behaviour, manners and social attitudes of the time - something that modern `period' dramas never seem to capture convincingly.

Asquith's direction is perfectly adequate and incorporates many of the influences he picked up along his privileged way - notably, techniques borrowed from German and Russian cinema. The love-triangle (or rectangle) story chugs along with both humorous and dramatic moments, there are one or two good set pieces and the final chase at Lots Road power station ticks all the boxes.

The extras are pretty good too - mostly archive footage of undergroundy things

All in all, recommended - and a rewarding and worthy complement to the contemporary Hitchcocks. I'm still not convinced about blu-ray though.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 24, 2013 8:43 AM BST

Johnny Staccato [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Johnny Staccato [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ John Cassavetes
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £13.47

4.0 out of 5 stars Noir TV classic, 16 Jan 2013
Just to endorse what the other reviewers have said, this is a great reminder of the kind of tough, laconic crime series that American TV was so good at in the fifties. Although I didn't notice at the time, when it seemed very hip and cool, it was really quite old-fashioned in some ways - very much in the noir style of ten years earlier. The New York locations, the music and John Cassavetes are excellent and, while no-one could claim that the shows were literary or thespian masterpieces they are thoroughly enjoyable - especially if you were around at the time, although my thirtyish daughters enjoy them too.

The only reason I bothered to file this review is to say that, if you fancy seeing these period gems, don't worry about the discs being Region 1 - they play perfectly well in a normal Region 2 player (at least, mine do) - and jolly good prints they are too.

Page: 1