Alec Mccowen

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Never Say Never Again Review


Grim
There is a special place in movie hell for Never Say Never Again. Not that it's particularly bad -- though it's hardly good -- but because it's such a cheeseball experience with a strange and horrible pedigree.

The story goes that the remake rights for the classic Bond movie Thunderball weren't held by the usual parties due to a complicated collaboration over a few of the earlier Bond movies. Writer Kevin McClory and producer Harry Saltzman ended up in court, and ultimately was settled with the result that McClory retained the right to make his version of Thunderball. And 20 years after the original came out, he did.

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Frenzy Review


Excellent
One of Hitchcock's final movies is also one of his goriest -- his first R-rated feature -- and most dryly funny. The story's a relatively straight-up crime drama; we know who the bad guy is from the start -- Jon Finch, playing the Necktie Murderer. But he's framed another guy for his crime spree. Meanwhile, inspector Oxford (Alec McCowen) is on the case, and when he isn't tracking down clues, he's eating the increasingly questionable cooking of his trying-hard-but-failing wife. It's Hitch's last great film (he made one more movie and died eight years later), and proof that he still had his form -- last seen put to good use in 1963's The Birds.

Hanover Street Review


Good
An obscure Harrison Ford starrer, Hanover Street is a capable rendition of love and war a la The English Patient, but also recalling Catch-22 and the Indiana Jones films.

Directed by Peter Hyams, who hasn't done much of note in his whole career (including End of Days and a bunch of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies), Hanover Street is a pleasant meditation on finding solace in rough times. In London, during WWII, an American pilot (Ford) and a British nurse (Lesley-Anne Down) cross paths moments before an air raid and find each other's embrace not so intolerable. (Never mind that she's married.)

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The Age of Innocence Review


OK
Little Marty Scorsese, directing a period piece? Well, it is set in New York. Only it's the late 1800s and everyone is in frilly dresses and smokes cigars. Daniel Day-Lewis takes center stage as a high-society type engaged to Ryder but entranced by her cousin Pfeiffer. How to choose between two very different girls? Ah, such is the dilemma of life. Very pretty, very long, very cold, and very tidy.
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