Text to Read‎ > ‎

Retro Movie Reviews

posted Dec 14, 2018, 10:01 AM by Jean-Paul Tertocha   [ updated Jan 14, 2019, 12:39 PM ]
                                                       Meteor   <>   1979   <>   1h 47m 
     Although made in 1979, this movie will fit nicely into a home theater with surround sound.   Way ahead of its time in that respect,   This film also boasts spectacular cinematography, witty dialog full of cleaver one-liners, romance, escapades, action, and of course, pathos. And to add even more power to this movie, it boasts an all-star cast as well. 
     I found the plot quite believable.   Especially the part where the stupid politicians and administrators are being told the Earth is in peril.   The overseers of course being in denial and wanting to hide the very item that would solve the dilemma.   The lead character, played by Sean Connery, is gruff, and bitter in the beginning of the show.   And he does have every right to be. 
     Well, Karl Malden, the support character, has a clever idea to work around the red tape.   And soon the Earth’s rescue is started. 
       No simple thing redirecting a rouge meteor, and these people got to work at it.   Then an enormous climax ensues and all settles down, for a while.   And just when you think all is well….

                                                      The Bat   <>   1959 <>   80m 
     Although bats, the animals, are involved in this movie, they are not the prime character.   The Bat is actually a serial killer that seems to resurface when money is involved.   Imagine that? :) 
     Agnes Moorhead plays a writer that rents an eerie mansion to put together her latest mystery novel.   The mansion is owned by a financier whose bank is missing some funds as well as the banker himself.   The banker’s doctor, played by Vincent Price, gets involved in a very convoluted scheme.   Things get so confusing, that a first time watcher of this movie probably will get lost and not have a clue as to what is going on.   This is good though, as this is a mystery movie. 
   All around virtuous movie as far as the technicalities go as well.   Shot in a baroque style, dark and foreboding.   Very good character development through the aid of well composed dialog.   This movie flows right to the logical end.


                                                                                 Born Free     <>   1965 <> 95m 
     If there ever is a movie that is the epitome of motion pictures, that is one that sets values, this is it.   Of course the movie industry, fortunately noticed this as well, awarding this motion picture two Academy Awards, including one for best score. 
     Yes, the music for this flick is outstanding.   Very well suited to the action and emotion of the movie.   
     The cinematography is second to none.   Stunningly filmed in Central Africa, with majestic scenes to backdrop the superb acting, editing, and directing, achieved in this movie.   The incidental shots in the film are a pleasure to watch.   My favorite, when the wild pig counter-attacks Elsa the lion on one of her first trials at hunting.   This pig, repeatedly dashes into the front and side of a bewildered lioness.   How the people and animals accomplished this scene is beyond me! 
     Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, who portray the married couple dealing with Elsa, fit the part flawlessly.   They are so adept at acting their parts, after a short time into watching the movie one can FEEL the emotion they are portraying.   And if a watcher does not get a lump in his or her throat, or shed a tear or two watching this movie, that person’s heart is made of stone! 
     With all the majesty of this motion picture the premise is quite simple actually.   Three lion cub’s parents are killed, and the humans involved attempt to correct the matter, with a lot of adventure and pathos.
                                           Five Million Years to Earth     <>   1968 <> 107m 
     The version I viewed for this review is actually a 107 minute version abridged compilation of a BBC miniseries written by Rudolph Cartier.   Cartier himself supervised the editing of this form of the movie. 
     Andrew Keir plays the stately lead character,   Professor Bernard Quatermass.   And he is a leading example of one fine point of this movie.   The casting is well done as each character has an actor or actress that physically fit the part.   Not only that, the players did a fine job of delivering the dialog with the proper and right amount of whatever physical motion goes along with the dialog of the moment.   Julian Glover perfectly adds to the movie as a genuine, snobbish, military prick.   I found I actually began to loathe the character myself. 
   The dialog I find quite entertaining.   Of course I am biased as I prefer the British use of the English language.   This movie is well written and to compliment that, the players delivery is quite believable, and draws the watcher into the movie. 
   OK, what is it about?   Well, you need to watch it to find out really.   But for a hint, I would state it could be an extraterrestrial invasion gone wrong that has been discovered.   Or did the invasion go right?
                                                      Fiend without a Face  <>   1957  <>   74m 
     Any reader of reviews should realize instantly that reviews are subjective.   I just wanted to remind you of this.   Because this review is about one of my favorite movies of the monster genre.   I will tell you why later. 
   Fiend without a Face is simply a cleaver, format movie with a slight twist.  
The USA military has a base in Canada that uses atomic power for some kind of DEW line defense test.   Ah oh, does that seem familiar?   The ole atomic bomb shtick?   Well, not exactly in this movie, as the atomic energy does not cause the monsters nor do they destroy them.   Atomic power is an intricate part of the story however.   Puzzled?   Good!   Maybe this will cause you to watch the movie. 
  Well anyway, the sub-plot is routine as the locals claim the military base is screwing up their cow’s milk production.   Then grisly murders occur that the locals blame on an AWOL nut case from the base.   Well of course the base commander cannot deal with this and someone is assigned to look into the problem. 
   The locals are completely off base, because monsters are causing the problem.   And the monsters in this movie are really unusual.        
     Now I must give away part of the surprise.   These monsters CAN BE SHOT!   And the results are fatal and quite messy for the monsters involved.   In just about every movie about monsters, guns are not effective.   Not in this flick.   However, shooting them does not solve the problem, you must watch the movie in order to find out how the US military gets rid of this monster peril.