Film Four & Film Four +1 29-05-08.
Astra 2D at 28.2E 10729 V SYM:22000 FEC 5/6
Film Four SID8335 VPID2312 APID2313 Eng
Film Four +1 SID8330 VPID2332 APID2333 Eng
(1947) In his first solo outing away from his brothers, Groucho Marx plays theatrical agent Lionel Q Devereaux.
The Black Tent
(1956) Anthony Steel stars as a British soldier fighting in Libya and falling in love with a Bedouin sheikh's daughter during World War II.A man travels to the North African desert post-WWII in an attempt to track down his missing brother. Romantic drama starring Anthony Steel, Donald Sinden and Anna-Maria Sandri, and directed by Brian Desmond Hurst
The Black Tent It's a sad reflection of the times when a tale as innocent as that of a Westerner being accepted into an Arab tribe and being allowed to marry the sheik's daughter seems like a far-fetched fantasy. Alas, the 1950s were a more innocent time and such romantic notions were allowed to flourish on film without seeming faintly ridiculous. 1956's The Black Tent is essentially a tale of forbidden romance set among the heady backdrop of World War II's North African campaign of the early 1940s. The film stars Anthony Steel as Captain David Holland, a loyal British soldier who finds himself in the thick of intense military action in the desert. Wounded in a brutal tank attack, David escapes with the help of some Bedouin tribesmen.
The injured soldier is nursed back to health and takes up with the nomadic desert dwellers, thanks in no small part to the fact that he has fallen for the sheik's daughter Mabrouka ben Yussef (played by beautiful Italian actress Anna-Maria Sandri). Given the blessing of the sheikh, the pair soon wed and sire a half-British, half-Libyan son.
The Tall Men
(1955) Rousing action Western starring Clark Gable and Cameron Mitchell.By the time he made this spectacular western Walsh had been making movies for well over 50 years and presented a superficially no-nonsense cattle-drive adventure. But the period is just after the Civil War and the Allinsons (Gable, Mitchell) are from the defeated South, now determined to make a new life. They join Stark (Ryan) a Northern businessman on a cattle drive. The further complication is a rivalry over a woman (Russell). The blend of superbly handled action - including a stampede - with some sharp dialogue (especially between Gable and Russell) is complimented by the underlying tension and a complicated resolution when neither side 'wins'.
Jungle 2 Jungle
(1997) Tim Allen plays Michael Cromwell, a Wall Street flyer divorcing Patricia, who works with indigenous people deep in the jungle.A city slicker is introduced to the son he never knew he had - a 13-year-old who has been raised in the Amazon jungle. Comedy starring Tim Allen and Martin Short
Tim Allen and Martin Short - together at last! Yep, that's the big selling point of Jungle 2 Jungle, the American family comedy that unites the reformed drug dealer, 'Home Improvement' star and voice of Buzz Lightyear with that geeky-looking bloke who was terrible in Father Of The Bride and even worse in Father Of The Bride Part II. If Jungle 2 Jungle sounds about as much fun as spending an evening in a lift with Jade Goody, this isn't quite the movie atrocity it might sound. Okay, so Allen's as annoyingly bullish as always and Short is as subtle as a Tourette's-afflicted Rodney Dangerfield, but there are things to enjoy here, providing you're prepared to take a deep breath and plough through the comedy excrement. Venezuela, for example, looks lovely, as does the ever-radiant Lolita Davidovich. And while Sam Huntington is impossibly bland as Allen's estranged son, any film that features David Ogden Stiers and Leelee Sobieski has at least two things going for it.
Adapted from Un Indien Dans La Ville by Starman writers Bruce A Evans and Raynold Gideon, Jungle 2 Jungle is really no worse than Three Men And A Baby, Cousins, Just Visiting, My Father The Hero and the many other American movies inspired by French screenplays. Now if only it was even slightly better than those examples of Hollywood at its laziest...
Kingdom of Heaven
(2005) Ridley Scott's epic historical drama is set in the 12th century at the Crusader defence of Jerusalem.A blacksmith becomes a knight and defender of Jerusalem against war-mongering Crusaders and the Muslim armies of Saladin. Historical epic starring Orlando Bloom, directed by Ridley Scott
Kingdom Of Heaven Set a hundred years after the Christian armies seized Jerusalem, Kingdom Of Heaven opens in a dour, misty French hillside during the burial of a suicide. On the instruction of a priest (Sheen), the young woman's corpse is beheaded and he takes a moment to steal the silver cross from around her neck. Her husband Balian Of Ibelin (Bloom) is a blacksmith, with all the life sucked out of him by his wife's self-inflicted death (itself inspired by the death of their child). His mourning is broken by the arrival of a knight Godfrey Of Ibelin (Neeson), who informs Balian that he is his illegitimate son and should follow him to Jerusalem to earn forgiveness for his wife's sin. Pausing only to kill the priest for his desecration, Balian does exactly that.
Halting and episodic, the first chunk of Kingdom Of Heaven does not grab you by the throat in the same way as Ridley Scott's previous historical epic, Gladiator. No sooner are we bonding with Godfrey and his band of knights than they are being slaughtered. No sooner has Balian boarded a ship than it is sinking and he alone is clambering from the wreckage. The dialogue is a portentous play of generalities, delivered at walking speed, and it lacks the bite of Maximus' oratory.
It is only when Balian arrives at Jerusalem and becomes embroiled in its imminent religious conflict that you feel yourself slip under the film's spell. This is due to the appearance of Saladin (Massoud) and King Baldwin (an uncredited Edward Norton). Saladin is the great Muslim warrior whose military guile promises to return Jerusalem to his people. King Baldwin is a magical figure, a leper in a metal mask, whose vision for peace between all faiths within Jerusalem beguiles Balian.
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
(2002) Two rebellious teenage Catholic schoolboys spend their spare time creating a comic book lampooning their draconian teacher Sister Assumpta.Coming-of-age story about two rebellious best friends at a Catholic school in the US in the 1970s, starring Emile Hirsch and Kieran Culkin
Witty comedy, tragic drama , animated flights of fantasy - The Dangerous Lives Of Altar Boys offers some twists on the classic American coming-of-age story. At the centre of the film is a solid rapport between Emile Hirsch (and Kieran Culkin (younger brother of Macaulay), who play best friends Francis Doyle and Tim Sullivan. Francis and Tim are a troublesome pair - the film opens to them chain-sawing a telegraph pole, estimating its fall trajectory in a wilful misinterpretation of their triangulation mathematics homework. Along with school friends Wade (Richardson) and Joey (Long), they have a little gang that spends its time hanging out, planning pranks and creating a comic book (or at least the sketches for it) based on their characters The Atomic Trinity ("I thought we were going to change the name as there's four of us"). Francis is Brakken, Tim is The Muscle and the others have the even more dubious alter-egos Captain Asskicker and Major Screw. These characters appear in animated sequences (produced by 'Spawn' creator Todd McFarlane) within the film, as Francis - the main creative force - imagines a story for them. It's a neat device, with the parallel story of the Trinity (of four) reflecting the boys' real world changing fortunes.
At first, these fortunes involve Francis's burgeoning relationship with Margie (Malone - hot off the back of a not dissimilar role in the era's finest coming-of-age film, Donnie Darko ). Young love burgeons to a point where Margie even starts appearing in the cartoon fantasies as Sorcerella, who joins the foursome in its fight against the evil Peg-Leg and her minions. Peg-Leg is a twisted version of Assumpta (Foster), the boys' limping nun nemesis, the teacher who is their foe in all their schoolboy pranks. Their latest mischief involves stealing a statue of their school's patron saint, and Tim developing a plan to kidnap a cougar from a local zoo.