DDDDDD – Exceptional and unparalleled.
DDDDD – Excellent, a special film.
DDDD – High Enjoyable, recommended.
DDD – Worth watching, but unexceptional or flawed.
DD – Bland, dull and average.
D – Celluloid Crap
The Devil-Doll (1936): Lionel Barrymore, Maureen O’Sullivan, Frank Lewton, Robert Grieg. Dir: Tod Browning. Convict escapes prison and comes across a method a shrinking people into tiny zombies he can control and then sets them on those who framed him. Could’ve been delicious fun but the premise is spoilt by a dragging plot and by making the lead too noble. Effects stand up well.
Horton Hears a Who! (2007) Jim Carrey, Steve Carell, Carol Burnett. Dir Jimmy Hayward & Steve Martino
Elephant discovers a whole world on a speck and tries to protect if from harm. Textbook bold, bright and bland CGI animation complete with irritating pop-culture reference. The premise is cute though, and it builds up to a fun climax with a sweet message for kids, who should enjoy it.
A Man For All Seasons (1963) Paul Scofield, Leo Mckern, Wendy Hiller, John Hurt, Robert Shaw. Dir: Robert Zimmerman.
Excellent adaptation of Robert Bolt’s play about principled Sir Thomas Moore, who refuses to show support Henry VIII’s divorce. Brilliant script and sharp dialogue is brought to life by a superb cast lead by the deservedly Oscar winning Scofield. Sumptuously staged with engaging themes that still ring true today.
Doctor X (1932) Lional Atwill, Fay Wray, Lee Tracy, Preston Foster. Dir: Michael Curtiz
Gruesome serial killer must be one of the University’s surgical teachers; Doctor X has a unique method of flushing him out. Daft but entertaining, yet surprisingly dark, great sets and fun set-pieces are bothered by an irritating sub-plot between kooky journalist Preston and Wray. Rare example of two color techni-color.