Film Four & Film Four +1 30-04-08.
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The Left Hand of God
(1955) American flier Humphrey Bogart poses as a Catholic village priest in 1947 China after escaping from Chinese warlord Lee J Cobb.Humphrey Bogart stars as an American who gets caught up with a warlord and Western missionaries in China in the late 1940s. Edward Dmytryk directs
Left Hand Of God Both star Humphrey Bogart (then 56) and director Edward Dmytryk (47) had pretty interesting careers behind them by the time they made The Left Hand Of God together. The previous year the pair had worked together on The Caine Mutiny, which had resulted in a Best Actor Oscar nomination for Bogart and a Directors Guild Award for Dmytryk.
Heaven Can Wait
(1943) Ernst Lubitsch's comedy drama stars Don Ameche as Henry Van Cleve, a well-off 19th-century playboy who has just arrived in hell.A Lubitsch film in gorgeous colour is somehow surprising, because his light, often whimsical style seems of a bygone age. He was a gentle man, and in this story of a well-off philanderer, who feels sure that hell awaits him, his gentleness shines through. Henry Van Cleve (Ameche) gets to recount his misdemeanours, but he emerges as a kindly rogue, rather generous and guileless. Tierney, as his glamorous, put-upon wife, is captivating. Sadly, Lubitsch directed only one further (minor) work and died before completing Lady in Ermine - not long after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Oscar.
Memoirs of an Invisible Man
(1992) John Carpenter's comedy thriller stars Chevy Chase who, caught up in a freak accidents, becomes invisible.John Carpenter eschews horror in favour of frothy family comedy in this dubious invisible man movie starring Chevy Chase
Memoirs Of An Invisible Man The comedic talents of Chevy Chase are a matter of personal taste, but even his fans are likely to be sniggering with embarrassment rather than mirth if they're caught watching this awkward movie. It's a long, long way from Caddyshack or Fletch.
(1985) Three kids are obsessed with aliens and science fiction. Inspired by some strange dreams, they manage to build their own spaceship.Teenage friends Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix and Jason Presson are mysteriously provided with the technology needed for space travel. Junior science fiction from Joe Dante
Explorers Alongside The Goonies, also from 1985, Explorers is very much a teenage wish-fulfilment film. Kids dream of adventures involving pirate ships, treasure, space ships and aliens - and filmmakers like Steven Spielberg and Joe Dante knew just how to realise such dreams, writ-large on the 1980s big screen.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
(2003) All-action adventure as Victorian literary heroes and monsters are banded together into a world-saving team of superheroes.Victorian literary heroes and monsters are banded together into a world-saving team of superheroes. Sean Connery stars
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen British comics genius Alan Moore has had many fantastic ideas in his career, but never before had he come up with such a Hollywood friendly conceit as this: imagine if all the great works of Victorian pulp occurred within the same universe. If Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Sherlock Holmes, The Invisible Man, Dracula, Allan Quatermain and even Rupert The Bear are citizens of one vast steampunk British Empire. Salaciously illustrated by Kevin O'Neill (who had previously envisaged an alternative British Empire in the pages of 2000AD's 'Nemesis The Warlock'), the project was a celebration of the origins of science fiction and fantasy, the joyous imaginative flipside to Moore's 'From Hell', a dark exploration of Jack the Ripper and that era's evils.
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
(1972) Apes are now the slaves of humans, but still hidden is Caesar, the intelligent, talking ape/human...Third sequel in the Planet quintet. Roddy McDowall reprises his role as the highly evolved Caesar, leading an ape uprising against their human masters
Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes As the promotional trailer announces "[we've]... seen the future, and it doesn't look good...", an interesting disclaimer for the simian-empowerment series, yet perfectly fitting for this fourth instalment. Though the 'future' in question (1991) has obviously dated since it was first released, the film gains an extra layer in re-examining its message. Whether seen as an allegory for race relations in the 1960s or as a political take on man's ownership and treatment of the world, the themes - those of prejudice and the abuse of power - still feel pertinent.
(2003) The story of a man whose job it is to bring bad luck to gamblers on a winning streak.The story of a man whose job it is to bring bad luck to gamblers on a winning streak. Drama starring William H Macy, Alec Baldwin and Maria Bello
Cooler At first glance, the casting of William H Macy as Bernie Lootz, the unluckiest guy in Las Vegas, seems uninspired. After all, Macy - be it in Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Fargo or Mystery Men - has made his living as an actor specialising in losers. One more hardly seems necessary. But utilising this baggage is chiefly why director and co-writer Wayne Kramer casts Macy, who offers up one of his more surprising and effective performances.