Action, Adam Pally, Alison Brie, Amy Adams, Anneke Wills, Claire Forlani, Claude Alexander, Clive Donner, Comedy, Countdown (2016), Crime, Cruel Intentions 2, David Hemmings, Dolph Ziggler, Dougray Scott, Drama, Duke of Edinburgh scheme, George Archainbaud, Gig Young, Horror, Hunt the Man Down, Jo Maryman, Katharine Isabelle, Kenneth More, Larry Buchanan, Libby Hall, Love's Kitchen, Luchenboch Witch, Lynne Roberts, Manchester Prep, Mary Anderson, Mexico, Murder, Musical, Nudity, Public defender, Ray Brooks, Review, Robert Short, Robin Dunne, Romance, Romantic comedy, Scot Armstrong, Search Party, Seven witnesses, Sex, Some People, T.J. Miller, Texas, The Boot, The Naked Witch, Thomas Middleditch, Thriller, Wedding day, Willard Parker
Cruel Intentions 2 (2000) / D: Roger Kumble / 87m
Cast: Robin Dunne, Amy Adams, Sarah Thompson, Keri Lynn Pratt, Barry Flatman, Mimi Rogers, David McIlwraith, Clement von Franckenstein, Jonathan Potts
Rating: 5/10 – a young Sebastian Valmont (Dunne) transfers to a new school and encounters the Machiavellian Kathryn Merteuil (Adams), leading to a rivalry that will last the rest of their lives; a prequel to Kumble’s PYT version of Dangerous Liaisons, Cruel Intentions 2 is enjoyable on a guilty pleasure level, and is full of moments where the viewer will ask themselves, Did they just do/say that?, but it’s still not enough to hide the cracks in the narrative or the paucity of some of the performances.
Countdown (2016) / D: John Stockwell / 90m
Cast: Dolph Ziggler, Glenn “Kane” Jacobs, Katharine Isabelle, Josh Blacker, Alexander Kalugin, Michael Kopsa, Alan O’Silva
Rating: 3/10 – when a disaffected Ukrainian straps a bomb to a young boy and then dies before revealing the boy’s whereabouts, it’s up to maverick cop Ray Fitzpatrick (Ziggler) to save the day – and whether his bosses like it or not; another WWE DTV movie that abandons crdibility from the word go – watch out for Fitzpatrick’s one-man storming of a Russian consulate – Countdown is hard-going rubbish that only has Cliff Hokanson’s crisp cinematography to recommend it.
Love’s Kitchen (2011) / D: James Hacking / 93m
Cast: Claire Forlani, Dougray Scott, Lee Boardman, Peter Bowles, Michelle Ryan, Matthew Clancy, Holly Gibbs, Simon Callow, Seretta Wilson, Cherie Lunghi, Caroline Langrishe, Gordon Ramsay
Rating: 4/10 – following the tragic death of his wife, top chef Rob (Scott) loses his way until he takes over a small village pub, and with the help of food critic Kate (Forlani), attempts to regain the flair and the passion that made him such a good chef; a lightweight romantic comedy that breezes through its own running time as nonchalantly as possible, Love’s Kitchen is, in cooking terms, like a soufflé that hasn’t risen: still edible but nowhere near as enjoyable if it had turned out as planned.
The Naked Witch (1964) / D: Larry Buchanan, Claude Alexander / 59m
Cast: Jo Maryman, Robert Short, Libby Hall
Rating: 2/10 – a student (Short) of German folklore arrives in a small Texas town and unwittingly awakens the ghost of a witch (Hall) bent on revenge on the descendants of those who put her death three hundred years before; Buchanan’s first low-budget exploitation movie is low on incident and big on padding – check out the ten-minute prologue – but does earn a point for a strange, hypnotic vibe that develops once the witch is resurrected.
Hunt the Man Down (1950) / D: George Archainbaud / 69m
aka Seven Witnesses
Cast: Gig Young, Lynne Roberts, Mary Anderson, Willard Parker, Carla Balenda, Gerald Mohr, James Anderson, John Kellogg, Harry Shannon, Cleo Moore, Christy Palmer
Rating: 6/10 – when a man (Anderson) is caught after twelve years on the run from a murder trial, his public defender (Young) investigates the original crime, and learns enough to believe that the man is probably innocent; a minor noir, Hunt the Man Down has plenty of double dealings in a plot that doesn’t always make sense but is enjoyable enough on its own terms.
Some People (1962) / D: Clive Donner / 93m
Cast: Kenneth More, Ray Brooks, Anneke Wills, David Andrews, Angela Douglas, David Hemmings, Timothy Nightingale, Frankie Dymon
Rating: 7/10 – a group of teenagers aiming to start a band find an ally in a local choir master (More), but along the way have to contend with internal rivalries and the problems inherent in growing up; as much an historical record of the times – Bristol, England in the early Sixties – Some People features a slew of raw performances but is only occasionally as dramatic as the story requires, leaving the viewer to wonder what all the fuss is about.
Search Party (2014) / D: Scot Armstrong / 93m
Cast: Adam Pally, T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Shannon Woodward, Alison Brie, J.B. Smoove, Octavio Gómez Berríos, Maurice Compte, Lance Reddick, Krysten Ritter, Jason Mantzoukas, Rosa Salazar, Jon Glaser
Rating: 5/10 – when one of his best friends, Evan (Miller), ruins his wedding day, Nardo (Middleditch), follows his fianceé to Mexico in order to win her back, while Evan and his other best friend, Jason (Pally), end up heading across the border as well to help him out after he’s carjacked; a passable comedy that tries too hard one moment and then hits the comedic nail on the head the next, Search Party isn’t particularly memorable but if you’re in the mood for an easy watch, this will definitely do the trick.