John Standing

John Standing

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Queen And Country Trailer


Basic training for the Korean War is tough on a group of young British cadets. It's specifically tough on Bill Rohan (Callum Turner), as their sergeant hates him. The only consoling factor is the trainee nurses school just outside of his basecamp. When he's not trying to woo the nurses in the town, he's sneaking over to their school to see the woman he has fallen in love with. But when the sergeant's prize clock is stolen, Rohan must do everything to save his best friend from court marshalling, catch the girl of his dreams, and prepare for war.

Continue: Queen And Country Trailer

A Good Woman Review


Weak
Shot in 2004 and (sort of) released in 2006, this oddball updated of Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan never quite connects, thanks largely to its awful casting of Helen Hunt in the lead role. Here, Hunt plays an American on holiday in Italy, who gets wrapped up in scandal when whe seduces the husband of a younger woman (Scarlett Johansson, not much better than Hunt here). Never mind that you'd have to be nuts to trade Johansson for Hunt, it's the problematic transition of Fan from light comedy to semi-drama (replete with period details and bodice ripping) that doesn't work at all. Despite a stellar supporting cast (with Tom Wilkinson at the head), A Good Woman never develops the slightest amount of spark or intrigue. I'm sure director Mike Barker thought he was producing Oscar bait here, but he ended up with something altogether different.

The Calling Review


OK
Movie cliché #207: All bad kids are possessed by the devil!

Or else they are the devil, as this virtual clone of The Omen shows us. The Calling, a direct-to-video scare flick, is so faithful to its obvious source material that after about an hour I began to wonder where it would diverge. Sure enough, it's right there at the end, when mom (Laura Harris) can't take it any more and decides to off her Satanic son (Alex Roe-Brown) for real. Never mind the cultists (including her husband, Richard Lintern) -- a group that makes up virtually the entire populace of the Isle of Man, the odd choice for the setting of this picture.

Continue reading: The Calling Review

8 1/2 Women Review


Terrible
Peter Greenaway's latest foray into highbrow elitism will test the endurance of even his most fervent admirers. 8 1/2 Women indulges his fascination with the human body by allowing a father and son to fulfil their sexual fantasies by setting up a brothel comprised of the title characters, and systematically ogling each of the voluptuous and unusual female forms they encounter.

The compulsive listmaking and mathematical precision of Greenaway's earlier films is present and intact, but the center of 8 1/2 Women is ultimately hollow and painfully obvious. His very concept reduces women to childish fantasies such as the sexually repressed nun (Toni Collette), the pregnant woman (Natacha Amal), the nubile bombshell (Polly Walker), the prudish accountant who wears thick glasses (Vivian Wu, from The Pillow Book) and the woman who adores her pet horse and pig (Amanda Plummer). The "half-woman" has no legs, of course.

Continue reading: 8 1/2 Women Review

The Calling Review


OK
Movie cliché #207: All bad kids are possessed by the devil!

Or else they are the devil, as this virtual clone of The Omen shows us. The Calling, a direct-to-video scare flick, is so faithful to its obvious source material that after about an hour I began to wonder where it would diverge. Sure enough, it's right there at the end, when mom (Laura Harris) can't take it any more and decides to off her Satanic son (Alex Roe-Brown) for real. Never mind the cultists (including her husband, Richard Lintern) -- a group that makes up virtually the entire populace of the Isle of Man, the odd choice for the setting of this picture.

Continue reading: The Calling Review

8 1/2 Women Review


OK

An idly rich father and son, trying to sidestep the grief brought on by the death of their wife and mother, become obsessed with acquiring a varied private harem to exorcise obscured erotic fantasies in eccentric, elitist director Peter Greenaway's sexual pseudo-satire "8 1/2 Women."

The Japan-based, 30-ish son (Matthew Delamere) comes home to his father's (John Standing) Geneva estate with two girls in tow: A taciturn kabuki actress and a pretty young gambler who has agreed to become his concubine to repay gambling debts owed the family's pachinko parlor.

Over the next few weeks they add several more wildly divergent women to their personal bordello -- a "retired" nun (Toni Collette) with a shaved head, a wannabe aristocrat (Amanda Plummer) recovering from a horse-riding accident in a bizarre body brace, an extremely fertile beauty (Barbara Sarafian) who makes a living as a surrogate mother -- but remain confounded, discontented and unfulfilled.

Continue reading: 8 1/2 Women Review

John Standing

John Standing Quick Links

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John Standing Movies

Queen And Country Trailer

Queen And Country Trailer

Basic training for the Korean War is tough on a group of young British cadets....

8 1/2 Women Movie Review

8 1/2 Women Movie Review

Peter Greenaway's latest foray into highbrow elitism will test the endurance of even his most...

8 1/2 Women Movie Review

8 1/2 Women Movie Review

An idly rich father and son, trying to sidestep the grief brought on by the...

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