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The Entertainment Media Show/Collectormania London

Joss Ackland held at the Olympia Grand Hall. The Entertainment Media Show/Collectormania London Saturday 6th October 2012

Joss Ackland

Flawless - UK Charity Premiere Held At The Odeon Covent Garden

Joss Ackland Wednesday 26th November 2008 Flawless - UK Charity Premiere held at the Odeon Covent Garden London, England

Joss Ackland
Joss Ackland
Joss Ackland
Joss Ackland

The Object Of Beauty Review


Terrible
Back in 1991, Andie MacDowell was even worse of an actress than she is today. Much worse. Terrible, really. For the proof, check her out in this post-sex, lies, and videotape outing with John Malkovich in a story about -- get this -- a statuette that gets stolen from their hotel room nightstand. By a deaf mute cleaning lady. That's the object of beauty, I guess, and this movie is about as good as any that would put the word "object" in the title. Boring at its best and incomprehensible at its worst, this is one film you can easily pass up.

Asylum Review


OK
As cool and chiseled as star Natasha Richardson's face, Asylum (based on a novel by Patrick McGrath) is set for the most part at a high-security insane asylum in northern England in 1959. Richardson plays Stella Raphael, whose husband Max (Hugh Bonneville) has been made deputy superintendent at the hospital, meaning a long spell among the mad and their repressed warders for Stella and their son Charlie (Gus Lewis). At the best of times, Stella seems like she'd have difficulty fitting in, but with her aloof and depressed air, cigarette held high in one hand, martini in the other, she seems downright ogre-ish to the provincial locals. Stella smokes at her kitchen table, asking the maid, "How did my predecessor fill her time?" Consumed with work, Max is hardly any help, and even Charlie doesn't seem able to keep Stella's attention.

At least there's a handsome mental patient who's allowed to work in the grounds near the Raphael's house, giving Stella reason to get up in the morning. For those not as terminally depressed as Stella, it would seem a negative that Edgar Stark (Marton Csokas) had been put in the asylum for butchering his wife; but hey, a girl's got to keep busy. Director David Mackenzie (Young Adam) and screenwriter Patrick Marber (Closer) don't waste much of the audience's time before bringing Edgar and Stella together in a brutal coupling in a half-ruined greenhouse that shows, in one simple and uninterrupted shot, more heated passion than a half-dozen other films' frantic editing and sensuous lighting could manage. The heated connection between the two is so believable that all the events which follow from their affair - including, but not limited to, Edgar's escape - and the depths of darkness into which nearly all the characters are plunged, seem nothing less than utterly inevitable.

Continue reading: Asylum Review

K-19: The Widowmaker Review


Good
K-19: The Widowmaker is based on a true story about a Russian submarine sent to test a nuclear missile at the height of the Cold War. The boat is ill-equipped for its task, and Capitan Mikhail Polenin (Liam Neeson) loses his command by insisting that the sub won't be ready in time for its scheduled launch. Captain Alexei Vostrikov (Harrison Ford) is given control of the ship, and his stern demeanor and commitment to military efficiency soon make him enemies onboard.

He runs the crew through relentless drills, offers little encouragement, and seems to take unnecessary chances. We soon learn that Polenin -- who remains aboard the sub -- is a father figure to the sailors, while Vostrikov aims to inspire fear. These opposing command styles lead to power clashes throughout the movie, a la Crimson Tide.

Continue reading: K-19: The Widowmaker Review

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Review


Excellent
Alex Winter, where art thou dude? At a time when even Pauley Shore can make a Weasel-free comeback, you are still wandering in the wilderness. For those who clocked out after Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey I have only one word, Freaked. Can you believe that Ortiz the Dog boy is now saving the world on a yearly basis? Bogus, dude.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure was a tremendous hit in 1989 and a sequel was immediately in the works. Where the first film took our stoner heroes through time, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey upped the ante and took them to hell. Literally, the original title of the film was Bill & Ted Go to Hell. The plot is awash in weird humor and outlandish gags as Bill and Ted attempt to defeat two evil robotic versions of themselves, avoid death, save history, and otherwise remain cool.

Continue reading: Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey Review

White Mischief Review


Good
It's lust and... more lust, under the Kenyan sun. In this pulpy 1940s period piece. On the eve of WWII, British colonists are living high on the hog -- none higher than a British noble (Joss Ackland), who returns to Africa with a hot young wife (Greta Scacchi, mostly naked throughout the film), who promptly gets into all sorts of trouble. Namely this involves an affair with a local womanizer (Charles Dance), who ends up dead, shot in the head, before too long. One of Britain's most notorious and "unsolved" murders, Ackland's character stands trial and ultimately goes free. This very interesting and authentically recreated (the story is true) tale is still a bit cold in the final analysis, though Scacchi hits notes she'd never reach again.

The Three Musketeers (1973) Review


Good
I saw the word "whimsical" used in one product description of this installment of The Three Musketeers, a faithful adaptation of the classic novel, and no word could better describe the film. It's a combination of belly laughs via non-stop sight gags, endless swashbuckling, and only a dab of plot, all of which serve to make this an engaging event movie that takes place in France instead of in space. Packed with classic actors (including Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee, and Raquel Welch), this is a fun, nearly farcical adventure that's definitely worth a look.

Surviving Picasso Review


Grim
If you learn only one thing while watching Surviving Picasso, it will probably be this: Pablo Picasso was a big fat jerk.

Unfortunately, that's about all you'll learn, as Merchant-Ivory's latest exercise in excess sheds little light on the great artiste and leaves the viewer with even less of an understanding as to why Picasso was the man he was.

Continue reading: Surviving Picasso Review

The Apple Review


Grim
This bizarre musical about music, drugs, Orwellian overlords, and the future (it's set in 1994!) doesn't get a lot of respect, and that's because it's pretty much crap. No, we're not wearing metallic ponchos and triangles on our foreheads, but they sure did a good job at guessing what the hairstyles of the '90s would look like. The story involves nefarious goings-on in a mega-powerful record label that isn't really worth describing here, on account of it has no Hasselhoff in it at all. However, I'm sure the backstory about how this movie got made is fascinating.

No Good Deed Review


Terrible
A closer look at No Good Deed reveals a lot of sad truths. You realize that the once terrific Samuel L. Jackson is quickly becoming this generation's Ernest Borgnine, grabbing any role that comes his way. It dawns on you that director Bob Rafelson's last movie of impact was Five Easy Pieces and that was 33 years ago. You nearly shed a tear that Stellan Skarsgård and Doug Hutchison (Percy in The Green Mile), both good actors, are stuck in a barely released feature.

Based on a Dashiell Hammett short story ("The House on Turk Street"), the movie has Jackson playing Jack Friar, a cop who is cajoled into looking for his neighbor's lost girl. While chasing leads, Jackson helps an old lady with her groceries and inadvertently stumbles upon a gang's hideout. He's konked on the noggin, tied up, and supervised by the gang's stock femme fatale, Erin (Milla Jovovich).

Continue reading: No Good Deed Review

The Hunt For Red October Review


Extraordinary
If any film in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series stands out as the best (or even a truly great movie), it's The Hunt for Red October. It was Clancy's first book starring the unlikely hero and the only film to star Alec Baldwin as Ryan. Baldwin does a great job here -- portraying Ryan not as a gung-ho commando, as Harrison Ford would interpret the role, or as a know-it-all brat, as Ben Affleck would shamefully turn in down the line.

Baldwin is perfect, but his sparring partner, Sean Connery, is even better. As a Russian sub captain defecting to the U.S. -- and bringing his titular, silent sub with him -- Connery turns in yet another memorable performance, full of ballsy gusto and cocksureness. Supporting players run the gamut from Sam Neill to James Earl Jones (the only real fixture in the Jack Ryan cycle) to Tim Curry.

Continue reading: The Hunt For Red October Review

A Zed & Two Noughts Review


Grim
Peter Greenaway, with A Zed & Two Noughts, gives us what is undoubtedly the ultimate film with time-lapse shots of decomposing animals. Seeing them swell up with maggots and then explode, well, it's enough to make you want to go out for ice cream.

Lest you think I'm joking, consider Greenaway's body of work, which has included plenty of equally perverse nonsense. This time out he's giving us a story -- if you can call it that -- of a doctor whose wife dies in a freak car crash in front of the zoo (think about the title) where his twin brother is researching the aforementioned decaying of dead things. The distraught brothers end up in a love affair with a woman named Alba, who lost one leg in the car accident and later decides to lop off the other one for kicks.

Continue reading: A Zed & Two Noughts Review

Asylum Review


Grim

A mid-20th-century bodice-ripper about sexual obsession and questionable sanity, "Asylum" doesn't live up to its admirable pedigree.

Adapted by Patrick Marber ("Closer") from a novel by Patrick McGrath ("Spider"), directed by David Mackenzie ("Young Adam") and featuring a stellar cast of gifted British actors, the film has yearning and buttoned-down 1950s atmosphere to spare, but fails to turn its foolish heroine into an empathetic or understandable character.

Natasha Richardson plays Stella, a restless woman whose polite, passionless marriage begets dangerous ennui when her husband (Hugh Bonneville) takes a post as deputy director of a psychiatric hospital in rural England. Feeling trapped on the hospital grounds and uncomfortable in the clique-ish sewing circle of doctors' wives, she begins a heated affair with an outwardly stable inmate and former sculptor named Edgar (Marton Csokas, "The Bourne Supremacy") who works as a groundskeeper and has befriended her young son.

Continue reading: Asylum Review

K-19: The Widowmaker Review


OK

If there's one thing almost all submarine movies do well, it's creating a corporeal sense of tension. It's a product of the genre's fundamental elements: inherent danger, high drama and human conflict in enclosed spaces, with no chance of escape and a requisite potential for war.

But if there's one congenital problem with submarine movies, it's that even in the good ones like "K-19: The Widowmaker," it's impossible to avoid a sense of deja vu.

No matter who plays the captain, he'll be the kind of principled but uncompromising leader who will take "this boat and these men to the edge because we need to know where it is." He will order emergency drills and time the response with a stopwatch. He will take the ship so deep the hull begins to buckle. He will butt heads with his equally strong but loyal Executive Officer who is beloved by his men. And some members of his crew will consider a mutiny when they think the captain is endangering them.

Continue reading: K-19: The Widowmaker Review

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