Peter Vaughan

Peter Vaughan

Peter Vaughan Quick Links

Video Film RSS

Albatross Review


OK
Beautifully filmed and acted, but lacking a central perspective, this gentle comedy-drama has some nice points to make about freeing ourselves from the things in the past that weigh us down (the hint is in the title). But the lively characters would have been more involving with some focus to the narrative.

Jonathan and Joa (Koch and Ormond) constantly bicker as they run their seaside B&B, mainly because they have failed careers as an author and actress, respectively. Meanwhile, daughter Beth (Jones) is preparing for her Oxford entrance interview. Enter a new cleaner, 17-year-old Emilia (Brown Findlay), who befriends Beth and shows her that there's more to life than studying. But Emilia's relentless flirting also distracts Jonathan from his writing. And as the potential for trouble rises, everyone will need to realise that who they are has nothing to do with their pasts.

Continue reading: Albatross Review

Is Anybody There? Trailer


Watch the trailer for Is Anybody There?

Continue: Is Anybody There? Trailer

Death At A Funeral Review


Good
Frank Oz, better known as the voice of Yoda and Miss Piggy, has settled into the director's chair quite frequently in his career, even dabbling in comedy on occasion. At the helm of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, he paired Steve Martin and Michael Caine to comedic effect, ditto Martin and Eddie Murphy in Bowfinger. Death at a Funeral sees him working without stars, but the comedy doesn't really seem to suffer.

The film begins with a very funny gag involving the opening of a casket, not the easiest moment in life from which to wring humor. With it, we are introduced to Daniel (Matthew MacFayden), who is about to bury his father. With the aid of his wife Jane (Keeley Hawes) he must accommodate a gaggle of guests pre-loaded with neuroses.

Continue reading: Death At A Funeral Review

Brazil Review


Essential
Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is a civil servant Dilbert at the Ministry of Information. He's a low level office grunt typing his way through a lifetime of meaningless papers in a retro-future totalitarian state. His one escape from his dreary life is his dreams. Bursting with vivid colors, Sam's visions see him with armored wings rising into the bright sky above the cold city. There, in the firmament, Sam battles with Darkness to free a blonde beauty (Kim Greist) imprisoned in a floating cage.

Unfortunately, there are no happy endings for dreamers in this alternate world. Sam always awakens to his mind-numbing existence, only plugging away in a system that rewards only blandness, appeasing his socialite mother (addicted to face lifts) whose only wish is to see her meek son move his way up a corporate ladder to nowhere.

Continue reading: Brazil Review

Les Misérables Review


Good
Believe it or not, this is the nineteenth adaptation of Victor Hugo's classic novel--and likely the last to star Claire Danes. I've never read it and I've bever seen the play, but it's a good enough flick, I suppose. The tale of Jean Valjean, a paroled criminal who tries to make a new life for himself, and Javert, the obsessed inspector who's always one step behind him, is a good one. But it flags in the third act, only to revive itself for a killer ending.

Continue reading: Les Misérables Review

Time Bandits Review


Extraordinary
History belongs to the victors, and Terry Gilliam takes his rightful ownership of Western history in this timeless romp through the ages. Writer and director of some of Monty Python's most enduring and foolish productions, Gilliam reaches the top of his form with Time Bandits.

Young Kevin (Craig Warnock) is a history buff trapped in the household of his shallow, materialistic parents. While they sit mindlessly in front of the television, absorbed in an insanely morbid game show, Kevin explores his history books enthusiastically, fantasizing about a more meaningful world than the one in which he lives. But when his parents finally send him to bed, his world gets a lot more interesting.

Continue reading: Time Bandits Review

An Ideal Husband Review


Weak
Get ready from Romance... British style.

The Victorians were well known for keeping a stiff upper lip about everything, and their romance was absolutely no exception. Their entire world was constructed around subtlety, and, in tune with that, the one word that can be used to describe An Ideal Husband is subtle.

Continue reading: An Ideal Husband Review

The Mother Review


Grim
I feel as if I've seen The Mother at least five times since 2001. A woman, ranging in age from 40 to 70, discovers that her life, for lack of a better word, sucks. Through some event ranging from the random (meeting a stranger on a street) to the life-altering (husband dies), our heroine gains her independence and finds bottomless passion, even love.

Watching The Mother, it's obvious that director Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi, spent a little too much time watching Unfaithful or Bread and Tulips. They offer few original points in their own movie, and express autumnal passion at the expense of common sense. Really, The Mother is as exploitative and flashy as any big-budget summer blockbuster. The only difference is that this movie probably isn't part of a Happy Meal deal.

Continue reading: The Mother Review

The Remains of the Day Review


Excellent
What a heartbreaker. Looking back on The Remains of the Day after seven years, I find I have a new appreciation for the film. What I once felt was a hollow look at servants in pre-WWII rural England, oblivious to the world around them, devoid of any real emotion, I now see in a different light. A closer look shows all the deep and heartfelt emotion just under the surface of Anthony Hopkins, underrewarded in one of the finest roles of his career. James Fox also shines as a Nazi semi-sympathetic aristocrat who "just wants peace," and Emma Thompson dazzles as the only real backbone in the bunch. Also look for good yet smallish turns from Christopher Reeve, Ben Chaplin, and Hugh Grant.

Straw Dogs Review


Extraordinary
The movies you love best aren't always the ones whose ideas you agree with. D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation is easy to admire for its technical innovation but easy to despise for its virulent racism; the Nazi hagiography Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will has similar pleasures - and problems. Sam Peckinpah's 1971 masterpiece Straw Dogs isn't as overtly problematic as those films. It's not viciously racist, nor does it glorify totalitarianism. But it's messy stuff all the same. The surface violence that made it famous in 1971 looks more or less timid now, but the deep cynicism at the core of the movie - this is a world where intelligence is suspect, murder equals redemption, and rape is almost tolerable - is still chilling.

Dustin Hoffman plays the hero, David Sumner, and at first he seems to be continuing in the string of nebbishy neurotic roles he took previously in The Graduate and Midnight Cowboy. A mild-mannered American college professor, he's arrived in western England with his wife Amy (a brave and brilliant Susan George) so he can have peace and quiet to work on his "astral mathematics." The small town, full of sad stone houses and often cloaked in fog, is where Amy grew up, and she's almost immediately stalked by a passel of alcoholic locals. The film's first five minutes has some virtuosic foreshadowing in it, giving us shots of David and Amy carrying a large and intimidating "mantrap" (basically a man-sized bear trap); tight shots of thuggish locals like Charlie (Del Henney) getting too close to the pair; a shot of Amy's sweatered chest, noticeably bra-less, which will become an important plot point later. Subtly and quickly, Peckinpah announces his three themes: sex, intimidation, and violence. It's gonna be interesting, but it's not gonna be easy to get through.

Continue reading: Straw Dogs Review

Hotel Splendide Review


OK
A cross between Delicatessen and The Road to Wellville, this bizarro flick puts Toni Collette in the role of a reluctant chef at a "resort" situated on a muddy "lake" and devoted to fetishism and overboiled-food to cure its patients of whatever ills them. The laughs come at the expense of a kooky cast of misfits -- unfortunately we're laughing at them, not with them. The movie's attempts at being serious, via the stern looks on Collette's face in opposition to the clearly unhealthy surroundings, come off as shallow -- and jeez, what's with that haircut??? So-so, but Delicatessen does this twice as well and with more flair.

The Life and Death of Peter Sellers Review


Good
Discussion topic: Which of the following people can accurately be described as "comic geniuses"? Woody Allen. Adam Sandler. Groucho Marx. Gilda Radner.

You're unlikely to get consensus on such a phrase, except for one: Peter Sellers. Everybody knows he was a genius, right?

Continue reading: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers Review

Brazil Review


Essential
Categorically, one of the greatest films of the century--about a lowly clerk in a postmodern dystopia fighting to regain a sense of self against the all-powerful machine of government tyranny. As fought-over as Citizen Kane. As filled with nuance and meaning as A Clockwork Orange. As prophetic as 1984. Anyone who doesn't like Brazil is a fascist. You can tell them I said so.

Continue reading: Brazil Review

Peter Vaughan

Peter Vaughan Quick Links

Video Film RSS
Advertisement

Suggested

Eric Clapton: Live At The Royal Albert Hall - Trailer

Eric Clapton: Live At The Royal Albert Hall - Trailer

The full recording of 'Eric Clapton: Live At The Royal Albert Hall', is set to reach cinemas very soon

No Escape - Movie Review

No Escape - Movie Review

One of the strongest action thrillers in recent years, this gripping movie cleverly casts actors known for comedy in the central roles.

Ricki and the Flash - Movie Review

Ricki and the Flash - Movie Review

Meryl Streep is having so much fun playing an ageing rocker that the audience only barely registers that this film isn't nearly as deep as it's...

Advertisement
Creamfields Festival 2015 Live Review

Creamfields Festival 2015 Live Review

Creamfields was back again, with a plethora of headline disc jockeys, showcasing Creamfields as the powerhouse of UK-electronic festivals.

Donald Trump Can't Wait To Run Against Kanye In 2020

Donald Trump Can't Wait To Run Against Kanye In 2020

The 2016 Republican candidate is already thinking ahead

Keith Richards Hoping To Start On A New Rolling Stones Album

Keith Richards Hoping To Start On A New Rolling Stones Album "Next Year"

Richards is eager to begin work on follow-up to 2005's 'A Bigger Bang', but doesn't reckon that will happen until April 2016 at the earliest.

Cate Blanchett Cast As Lucille Ball In New Biopic

Cate Blanchett Cast As Lucille Ball In New Biopic

The two-time Oscar winner has been cast as '50s TV sweetheart Lucille Ball, according to new reports.

Advertisement