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Penny Morrell - The funeral of George Cole at Reading Crematorium - Reading, United Kingdom - Thursday 13th August 2015

George Cole and Penny Morrell
George Cole and Penny Morrell
The and George Cole
George Cole and Penny Morrell
George Cole and Penny Morrell
George Cole and Penny Morrell

Guests - The Funeral of George Cole at Reading Crematorium - Reading, United Kingdom - Thursday 13th August 2015

George Cole and Guests
George Cole
George Cole
George Cole
George Cole
George Cole

Shown clockwise from foreground: George Cole, Robertson Hare, Joan Collins (as Sadie Patch), Kenneth More - - Thursday 6th August 2015

File Photos and George Cole
File Photos and George Cole
File Photos and George Cole
File Photos and George Cole
File Photos and George Cole
File Photos and George Cole

David Bailey and George Cole appearing in an advertisement for Olympus cameras UK - 1980s Featuring: David Bailey and George Cole When: 01 Jan 1980

David Bailey and George Cole
David Bailey and George Cole

A Christmas Carol (1951) Review


OK
It's probably the best-known version of A Christmas Carol on film, but sadly this 1951 rendition has aged terribly. Watch it today and you'll immediately note the atrocious sound quality and that the special effects aren't any better than the version made in 1938. Alastair Sim is appropriately grumpy as Scrooge, but he adds little to the role that any other actor has brought to it. Frankly, of all the versions of Carol that are out there, this is the first I'd skip.

Continue reading: A Christmas Carol (1951) Review

Gone In 60 Seconds (1974) Review


Good
Before Nicolas Cage had to steal 50 cars, H.B. Halicki had to steal 48, in the cult film Gone in 60 Seconds. While Halicki may be billed first, the real star of the show is "Eleanor," Halicki's yellow 1973 Mustang, which just so happens to be one of the cars he's tasked with stealing by his megalomaniacal employers (along with limos, Caddies, classic cars, and more). The plot ostensibly revolves around the various cars that Halicki's Maindrian Pace(!) has to heist -- he's an insurance investigator moonlighting as a car thief -- but ultimately the film's true colors are revealed. Gone in 60 Seconds is eventually the story of a car chase: One of the most epic on film, an incredible 40-minute ride through five Southern California cities, involving some 90 cars being totalled. That's half the movie.

Realistically, that's all the movie. Halicki may know car chases, but he doesn't really know anything about dramatic filmmaking. (Well, did. He died during a stunt mishap in 1989.) This Gone in 60 Seconds is fundamentally as vapid as its infamous successor, though it has a low-budget scrappiness that makes it eeriely compelling from time to time. The ultimate car chase is fun and quite thrilling -- for the budget and the decade it's one of the best deals running.

Continue reading: Gone In 60 Seconds (1974) Review

Deadline Autotheft Review


Weak
I can't tell you how many hours it took me to figure out the strange pedigree of Deadline Autotheft. Here's the story.

Billed on a new DVD with Gone in 60 Seconds 2, Deadline is listed as the third movie in a trilogy of Gone in 60 Seconds movies. Not the 2000 Nicolas Cage movie (which was a remake of these films), a series of films of sorts produced in the 1970s and 1980s. Only director (and producer/writer/star) H.B. Halicki died during the production of Gone in 60 Seconds 2, which was unfinished and never released. So how did Deadline Autotheft come to be? Well, I've never seen the original 60 Seconds, but it appears that Autotheft is just a reissue of that film (and judging by the sideburns, it's gotta be) with a little 1980s footage (from a film called The Junkman) spliced into it. Watching the flick, it's jarring and strange, and oddly compelling, much like, ahem, watching a car wreck.

Continue reading: Deadline Autotheft Review

Cleopatra (1963) Review


OK
It is virtually impossible to separate Cleopatra the movie from Cleopatra the spectacle -- and that's because they are truly and rarely intertwined.

A legend of Hollywood, the 1963 production of Cleopatra has so much curiosity surrounding it I hardly know where to start. It was budgeted at $2 million and eventually cost (up to) $44 million to produce -- close to $300 million in today's dollars. Liz Taylor almost died during the filming and was given a tracheotomy to keep her alive. The production was forced to move from Rome to London and back to Rome again. Two of its stars fell in love (Taylor and Burton) on the set, ruining both of their marriages. 20th Century Fox essentially went bankrupt, leading to the ousting of its chief. The first director was fired after burning $7 million with nothing to show for it. The second director (Mankiewicz) was fired during editing, only to be rehired when no one else could finish the picture. Taylor threw up the first time she saw the finished product. Producer Walter Wanger never worked in Hollywood again. And the original six-hour epic was cut to a little over three.

Continue reading: Cleopatra (1963) Review

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Cleopatra (1963) Movie Review

Cleopatra (1963) Movie Review

It is virtually impossible to separate Cleopatra the movie from Cleopatra the spectacle -- and...

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