Allan Scott

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In Love And War Review


Weak
This period epic went virtually unseen and for good reason: It doesn't tell you much about love or war... or Ernest Hemingway, its ostensible subject. Chris O'Donnell playing rough-and-tumble Hemingway during his spell in World War I (which he spent in a hospital, falling for one of the nurses) is the bulk of the problem, but Richard Attenborough has never been one to tell a story succinctly, and In Love and War rambles interminably forever, going absolutely nowhere. The script, adapted from the nurse's diaries, actually feels like it was adapted from some nurse's diaries. I'll just read my wife's diary if I want that kind of a thrill.

The Fourth Angel Review


Good
Presumably postponed after 9/11 spooked studios and canned after Collateral Damage turned out stillborn, The Fourth Angel arrives on DVD and revisits a theme much like Arnold's movie: Man's wife and daughter killed by terrorists in hijacking gone bad, man goes vigilante when the government does nothing about it.

Jeremy Irons plays Jack Elgin, the unlikely Goetz in this tale, at first distraught and then angry enough to devise meticulous plans to get vengeance on the plane's hijackers who shot his family members so callously. Elgin at first proceeds rather predictably, hunting down the terrorists thanks to tip-off info from people sympathetic to his cause, and then the feds (led by Forest Whitaker, though we're in in England... never mind all that) start to close in. But wait: Is Elgin being set up by someone else who wants the thugs dead?

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Don't Look Now Review


Excellent
This extremely creepy mystery from the early 1970s makes your skin crawl with its look into the aftermath of the death of a couple's daughter. Set in the winter of Venice, the fog, darkness, and solitude are apt metaphors for the mindsets of Christie and Sutherland, both of whom shine in this underseen pic. Of note is the early-on love scene, reputedly so steamy because the two stars got so carried away they actually did the deed.

Sex scene aside, Don't Look Now recalls recent fare as diverse as The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project, and Frantic -- with Christie communing with two elderly psychics and Sutherland haunted by visions of his dead daughter's red raincoat. Sutherland and Christie are phenomenal, leaving the Roegian metaphysical mumbo jumbo in their wake as they show us how some real acting gets done.

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Top Hat Review


Excellent
Perhaps the definitive Fred & Ginger movie, Top Hat is a story of love and longing and... of course, dancin' galore! Some of the famed couple's greatest moments are on display here: "Dancing Cheek to Cheek" as a couple, and most memorably, Astaire's "Top Hat & Tails" number wherein he uses his cane to "gun down" a lineup of dancers, one by one, his tap shoes serving as the crack of the weapon.

The plot is thin, as is common in 1930s musicals: Astaire is a dancer that's just busting at the seams with his art. He shows off some moves one night in his apartment (and what moves they are, making excellent use of the props in the room), only this annoys the hell out of the woman (Rogers) living downstairs. It's one of the few times that a musical actually makes reference to the fact that it's not normal to break into song and dance whenever the mood strikes you, though of course, eventually, Rogers gets in on the act herself.

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Two Deaths Review


OK
Think of it as My Dinner Party with Andre. Two Deaths actually wants to be a perverse take on Death and the Maiden, telling a story of obsession and twisted perversion set against the backdrop of the Romanian revolution. Occasionally fascinating but often cryptic beyond comprehension, the metaphors run thick in the movie to the point of incomprehensibility. Michael Gambon's antihero is something to shudder at, and the moments of brilliance in the film make it easily worth a peek if you have the time and patience.

Imitation Of Life (1959) Review


OK
Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life sadly doesn't hold a candle to the 1934 original, which spoke to the difficulties of single parenting, race relations, and American entrepreneurship. By making lead Lora (Lana Turner) an actress instead of a pancake magnate, Sirk's film is robbed of much of the story's charm, turning this into some strange rendition of Mommie Dearest.

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Regeneration Review


Weak
And I thought it would be difficult to take all the thrill out of a war movie. Regeneration manages to do exactly that by putting the setting at the end of World War I -- not in the action, but in a mental hospital, where a couple of British poets are being treated for shell shock. Poets. Shell shock. This is not excitement -- and I'm a writer for a living! (The film is based on a true story about a genuinely crazy poet.)

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D.A.R.Y.L. Review


Very Good
Do guilty pleasures get any more guilty or any more pleasurable than 1985's D.A.R.Y.L., the famed robo-kid flick?

I think not.

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Swing Time Review


Very Good
Fred Astaire's "Lucky" really is anything but. In the opening scene he's tricked into missing his wedding due to an argument over the cuffs on his pants -- all part of a bet... you see, Lucky's got a bit of a gambling problem, and this doesn't really get any better over the course of the movie.

Maybe it's for the best, though. Missing the wedding winds him up with Penny (Ginger Rogers), who we're sure is going to be a better match for Lucky, because, you know, she can dance. (Here, in a bit of comic kitsch, she's a dance instructor and he's never danced before... though he proves to be an exceedingly fast learner.)

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Follow The Fleet Review


OK
A really tepid outing from Astaire and Rogers, Follow the Fleet has none of the flair of other hoofin' flicks of the era, giving us Astaire as an unbelievable navy sailor (who chastises his crewmates in an early scene for not letting him forget he "used to be a hoofer"). Of course he ends up wooing and dancing with Ginger Rogers -- but , alas, none of the songs are memorable.
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Jason Statham Loves The Mechanic's Complicated Action

Jason Statham Loves The Mechanic's Complicated Action

Five years after his first stint as hitman Arthur Bishop in The Mechanic, Jason Statham has returned to the role for Mechanic: Resurrection.

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John Krasinski Used His Experience To Make The Hollars

John Krasinski Used His Experience To Make The Hollars

In a busy year that has seen John Krasinski star in movies and TV shows, he somehow managed to find the time to direct, produce and star in the new...

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Allan Scott Movies

Don't Look Now Movie Review

Don't Look Now Movie Review

This extremely creepy mystery from the early 1970s makes your skin crawl with its look...

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