Villain (1971)

Director: Michael Tuchner

Writer: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais (Screenplay) James Barlow (Novel)

Starring: Richard Burton, Ian McShane, Nigel Davenport, Donald Sinden, Fiona Lewis, T.P. McKenna, Joss Ackland

 

Plot: In 1970s London, the Scotland Yard orchestrates the downfall of mob boss Vic Dakin after he crosses the line by blackmailing Members of Parliament.


Tagline – You are looking at the face of a Villain.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic British Gangster Film

 

Story: Villain starts as we see how gangster Vic Dakin (Burton) controls London, he has people that will grass on him to the cops with Inspector Bob Matthews (Davenport) trying to bring down the criminal.

Vic continues to use his business connections to stay ahead of the police, with Wolfe Lissner (McShane) being the latest person the inspectors are turning to try and give up Vic’s secrets.

 

Thoughts on Villain

 

Characters – Vic Dakin runs London with his criminal activities, he is feared by most people and if you cross him, you will get hurt if not killed. He has become over confident that he can get away with anything, making him one of the prime targets for everyone involved in law. Wolf Lissner works for Vic, he is one of the youngster members of the crew and the one that the police are trying to use to turn on him, even if he the one person that Vic will always turn to. Bob Matthews is the inspector that has been trying to bring down Vic for years, he has risen up the ranks, got the people in the gang, but never been able to get the conviction. Gerald Draycott is the politician that is being blackmailed to keep the business under wraps for Vic.

PerformancesWe do have two big names in his film, first Richard Burton that doesn’t get to show the skill he could bring to a film, while a younger Ian McShane shows us that he could be set for a career in this sidekick gangster role. The rest of the cast are doing all they need to without being in anyway stand out through the film.

StoryThe story follows a gangster that has the power over London, the police have been hunting him for years, but he always finds a way to get out of trouble. This time they get closer than ever before and could finally take down one of the biggest gangsters in London. When it comes to the gangster genre, we don’t really ever get much different when it comes to where the story goes, this one is based loosely on the Kray brother, but for some reason only one of the twins. It does feel like we have seen everything before, we don’t get drawn into support either side of the battle and end up feeling like it is just another gangster film.

CrimeThe crime world we enter shows us just where the criminals operate and just where the police will need to turn to, in any hope of bringing him down.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in London which see just how the criminals operate, where they can get away from crime.


Scene of the Movie –
The opening scene as we see just how Vic can operate.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The final shot.

Final ThoughtsThis is a typical British gangster film that starts with an intense opening, only to become a drag as the film unfolds.

 

Overall: British Gangster 101.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Exorcist 2: The Heretic (1977)

Director: John Boorman

Writer: William Goodhart (Screenplay)

Starring: Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn, Paul Henreid, James Earl Jones, Ned Beatty

 

Plot: A teenage girl once possessed by a demon finds that it still lurks within her. Meanwhile, a priest investigates the death of the girl’s exorcist.


Tagline – It’s four years later…what does she remember?

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Substandard Sequel

 

Story: Exorcist 2: The Heretic starts as we meet Regan (Blair) a couple of years after the events of her exorcism, she doesn’t have any memories on those events and with the help of psychologist Dr Gene Tuskin (Fletcher) they look to rid her mind of any lingering dreams. This is until Father Philip Lamont (Burton) charged with investigating the exorcism which cost the lives of Father Merrin (von Sydow) and Father Karres arrives to see if Regan can help confirm what happened that fateful night.

Father Lamont must travel to Africa to learn the origin of the demon that is still inside Regan in any hopes of stopping before it takes over once again.

 

Thoughts on Exorcist 2: The Heretic

 

Characters – Regan is now little bit older and getting back on with a normal life, she is still seeing a psychologist to keep everything under control, when she starts to get questioned by the church about the exorcism things soon start coming back to her, this time she is in control about where her character goes. Father Philip Lamont is sent by the church to learn the truth about the original exorcism, what he learns sends him on a journey to Africa to hopefully learn the origin of the demon living in Regan. Dr Gene Tuskin is the psychologist helping sick children, one of which is Regan, she has bold ideas that could bring about new ideas to helping children open up. Father Merrin is involved in a few dream sequences, it is his death that is being investigated by Lamont.

PerformancesLinda Blair does return for this outing and doesn’t reach the levels of the first film, mostly because we don’t have to deal with many possession sequences until late in the film. Richard Burton is solid though we know how talent he is and this doesn’t show his full range. Louise Fletcher was struggling to capture her skills too and hen we look at the non-existent involvement from Max von Sydow we don’t get anything better than solid in the performance area.

StoryThe story does start on the right path, the idea that Regan could still be possessed is acceptable because we are still trying to balance the line between actual possession and mental health. Where things go terribly wrong for this story, is when we start looking at an ancient demon that is controlling Regan which has caused the events. The investigation into the origin only confuses and lessen the impact of the original film. it becomes an even bigger mess as thing unfold and we are left wondering just what the hell we are watching.

HorrorThe horror in the film doesn’t come through in any way, nothing involving any of the possesses even remote will scare the audience.

SettingsWe have a new setting, New York I feel, which is fine, but the problems here come from have a large part of the story in Africa investigating the origin over having any possession sequences which should scare us.

Special EffectsThe effects in film are weak even for the time, that locust will have people laughing.


Scene of the Movie –
The first syncing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of possession time.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the weakest sequels to a true classic I have ever seen, it has weak performances, a boring storyline and effects which haven’t dated in any acceptable way.

 

Overall: Just terrible.

Rating

 

 

John Hurt – Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

1984Director: Michael Radford

Writer: Michael Radford (Screenplay) George Orwell (Novel)

Starring: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack, Gregor Fisher, James Walker, Andrew Wilde

 

Plot: George Orwell’s novel of a totalitarian future society in which a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bleak Futures All Around

 

Story: Nineteen Eighty-Four starts in the dystopia world where Winton Smith (Hurt) is part of the Big Brother world the human race now lives in, they are routine in every part of the day being watched over by O’Brien (Burton) the saviour of their kind.

Winston is tired of the way of life and could easily be considered a ‘Thought Criminal’. Once he meets Julia (Hamilton) he starts having a romance which is highly against anything allowed within the city. As their romance because more about having a chance to show their feelings the world around them starts to go into a new war against anyone going against their beliefs which makes them both targets.

Nineteen Eighty-Four brings us into bleak futures which is an element of sci-fi that everyone loves, it shows how the world could look under one big brother. We do get to see slowly one person trying to change but we also get to see the consequences of it all. I do like how this story is all about dealing with a future we are not being told time the truth and are left be almost being sheep forcing to them to believe.

 

Actor Review

 

John Hurt: Winston Smith is our leading man who is slowly starting to want to feel and think on his own, which is a crime in this world. When he keeps taking continuing to think he becomes an enemy having to be forced to go through re-habitation to prove he can return back. John gives one of his best performance of his career here.

Richard Burton: O’Brien is the man that has to control and test the members of the society. He gets to push the people as far as he wants which leads to him to clash with Winston. Richard is great in this performance throughout.

Suzanna Hamilton: Julia is the romantic and fellow free thinking with Winston as they end up having to have a whirlwind romance but only when they are available to have free time. Suzanna gives a good performance in this role.

Support Cast: Nineteen Eighty-Four has a supporting cast all in the world but they all seem in line, we don’t really meet too many of them as we focus on the main three.

Director Review: Michael RadfordMichael gives us a brilliant directed movie that keeps us interested in the bleak world our characters in.

 

Romance: Nineteen Eighty-Four gives us a forbidden romance angle which works nicely.

Sci-Fi: Nineteen Eighty-Four enters us into a dystopia world of a future we could one day face.

Thriller: Nineteen Eighty-Four does keep you wondering but not at the edge of your seat.

Settings: Nineteen Eighty-Four has a dark world for our film to take place where we see everything happen in.
Special Effects
: Nineteen Eighty-Four uses the effects for certain parts but only when needed.

Suggestion: Nineteen Eighty-Four is one that should have been watch at least once by all to see how these dystopia world films work. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Future world.

Worst Part: Slightly to bleak though.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances:

Box Office: $8.4 Million

Budget: £3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Tagline: 2+2=5

 

Overall: Brilliantly dark bleak dystopia film that still stands the test of time.

Ratingcard