Recently in Movie Reviews

Review of "We Steal Secrets"

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[movies]Penny Serenade
Touching romantic comedy starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. Find out more about this film at its IMDB page.
Keywords: romance; comedy
Downloads: 123,454
Average rating: 4.43 stars (7 reviews)
[movies]His Girl Friday iPod - Howard Hawks
Hilarious romantic comedy starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Russell is rough and tumble reporter looking to get out of the news racket by marrying and becoming a house wife after her divorce from newspaper publisher Grant. Just when she is about to leave town with her husband-to-be the still lovesick Grant drafts her to cover one final breaking news sensation.
Keywords: romance; comedy
Downloads: 11,627
Average rating: 4.5 stars (2 reviews)
[movies]The Amazing Adventure - Alfred Zeisler, Robert Garrett, Otto Klement
Cary Grant plays Earnest Bliss a rich socialite who makes a bet with his doctor that he can make a living for one year using none of his current wealth.
Keywords: Romance; Comedy; Drama
Downloads: 25,315
Average rating: 4.29 stars (7 reviews)
[movies]His Girl Friday
Hilarious romantic comedy starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Russell is rough and tumble reporter looking to get out of the news racket by marrying and becoming a house wife after her divorce from newspaper publisher Grant. Just when she is about to leave town with her husband-to-be the still lovesick Grant drafts her to cover one final breaking news sensation. Along with plenty of laughs and fast paced dialog this film provides a witty and cynical look at news business...
Keywords: romance; comedy
Downloads: 230,267
Average rating: 4.24 stars (22 reviews)
[movies]Love Affair - Leo McCarey
Directed by Leo McCarey, this 1939 romantic classic is the first and best version of the old warhorse of a fateful shipboard romance between an aimless playboy and a nightclub singer, both engaged but appearing to be destined to reunite on the top floor of the Empire State Building. The elaborate, shot-for-shot 1957 remake again directed by McCarey with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is much better known, and Warren Beatty even saw fit to remake it yet again with his wife Annette Bening for a 1994 ...
Keywords: Comedy; Drama; Romance; Irene Dunne; Charles Boyer
Downloads: 3,086
Average rating: 0.0 stars (0 review)
[movies]Hollywood Without Makeup - Ken Murray
A collection of behind the scenes and home movies from the golden age of Hollywood. Hosted by Ken Murray with a Special appearance by Kirk Douglas. Features footage of: Eddie Albert, June Allyson, George K. Arthur, Mary Astor, Lew Ayres, Max Baer, Lucille Ball, Richard Barthelmess, Rex Bell, Edgar Bergen, Sally Blane, Humphrey Bogart, John Boles, Pat Boone, Eddie Borden, Hobart Bosworth, Clara Bow, William Boyd, Fanny Brice, Paul Brooks, Joe E...
Keywords: Classic TV; Hollywood; Ken Murray; Movie Stars; TV Special; Home Movies; Behind the Scenes
Downloads: 2,215
Average rating: 2.0 stars (2 reviews)
[movies]Howard Hawks' "HIS GIRL FRIDAY" movie trailer (1940)
The original movie trailer of the comedy classic inspired by a play by Ben Hecht which was brought to the screen a couple of other times, with far less "panache", to say the least. More info on
Keywords: His; girl; friday; howard; hawks; rosalind; russel; Cary; grant; ben; hecht; ralph; bellamy
Downloads: 358
[movies]Designing Woman - trailer
Trailer. You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.
Downloads: 1,652
Average rating: 3.0 stars (2 reviews)
[movies]The Black Rebels (1960)
Gang violece and racism among high school kids is the order of the day in this juvenile delinquent film with Rita Moreno making an appearece that Pre-dates her role in "West Side Story". Also known as "This Rebel Breed".
Keywords: crime; racism; feature films
Downloads: 513
Average rating: 4.25 stars (4 reviews)
[movies]Laughing At Life
You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.
Downloads: 5,986
Average rating: 4.13 stars (8 reviews)
[movies]Made for Each Other - David O. Selznick
Jimmy Stewart plays John Horace 'Johnny' Mason, a young lawyer who marries Jane Mason (Carole Lombard) after only know her one day.
Keywords: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Downloads: 20,625
Average rating: 3.67 stars (6 reviews)
[movies]Mysterious Mr. Wong, The - George Yohalem
You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.
Downloads: 7,990
Average rating: 3.0 stars (5 reviews)

All courtesy of the amazing

Today show celebrates 2001

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Back in 2001, the Today show promoted the re-release of 2001: A Space Odyssey by filming science fiction fans giving movie reviews. The reviewers: Cat Sparks, Iain Triffit, Garfield Barnard, Stephanie Lennon, and me.

The Strangers

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I saw a sneak preview of The Strangers tonight. The Strangers was appalling, and I say that as someone who enjoys bad cult movies. Don't waste your time.The movie had no redeeming features at all. The best thing was that it was a free ticket, and it was a preview so I can warn people. Maybe they thought they could capture the charm of badly written and produced movies and get a cult hit? Fail!


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I just saw "Cloverfield" on its opening night. It looks like Hollywood was gearing up for the writer's strike and tried to make a film without any writers. As the Point Of View character holding the camera said "Its terrible".
At least the special effects guys had read Lovecraft.

After the movie just stopped, we waited through the titles for the punch-line that would make the movie worthwhile, but it never came.

Saucers under the Stars

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This looks fun:
Saturday 19th January

An Evening of original vintage 16mm UFO documentaries from the Mu-Meson Archives. Jaimie and Aspasia will present the evening in the classic drive-in theater style with an introduction and hopefully a lively discussion. Although you will not be able to sit in your car you will be out under the stars as the films are projected above your head and onto the screen.
UFO Fact or Fiction 1972 B/W Roger Climpson fronts a challenging documentary on UFO incidents within Australia and in particular from the Sydney Metropolitan area that must have been ground breaking in its day. This is a time capsule of Australian Ufology that documents the early 70's interest in the subject. UFO's Do You Believe late 60's Color American documentary that takes in the major cases of its time with interviews from many key researchers, scientists and eye witnesses.

Phone: 02 4735 1100 / Fax: 02 4735 8334 / E-mail:

Location Location
Time Time 8.30pm
Cost Cost Free BYO Picnic & Rug.

Pythagorus Switch addiction

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It started with Boing Boing pointing to
They have half a dozen compilations of episodes of this terrific Japanese educational kid's show. Every episode starts with a crazy machine, and has features teaching kids different ways to think. The algorithmic march is genius.  Of course I also got hooked on all the other Youtube and Google videos on the website. I download them with

I found through a comment that there are bit torrents of 4 fan sub-titled episodes by the Dattebayo group at
According to they are shown on digital cable channel TV Japan in the USA and in Brazil. Maybe SBS will pick them up for Australian TV.

Feed my GeeXbox

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Here's some of the excellent video podcasts I've subscribed to on my GeeXbox:

Feed Me Bubbe


TokyoDV Video Log

RocketBoom 2.0


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Thanks to [info]jack_ryder for showing me this Japanese TV show! I transcoded and watched the three episodes of the first story yesterday. A Physicist and a Magician team up in the first story,  to prove that a cult leader with "spiritual powers" is really performing illusions instead of miracles. Much funnier than X-files, Jonathon Creek, or The Magician. I didn't realize I represented such a large demographic!

There are three seasons of Trick!

trick dvd

What The Bleep Do We Know?

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"What the bleep do we know" promises to be an enlightening exploration of the latest in quantum physics and brain science and how they relate to everyday life. What you actually get is a movie that is so bad that as physicist Wolfgang Pauli once said "its not even wrong". This is a laugh out loud bad movie that uses cheesy TV advertising style graphics and terrible logic to justify pop mysticism, in a way that everyone will find offensive.

animation guards

They've written a boring plot about a photographer who is assigned to a Polish wedding. Amanda suffers from clinical depression and she takes anti-anxiety pills. She spends the movie lurching around, having anxiety attacks and psychedelic hallucinations that illustrate the movie's message of positive thinking.

wedding scene

Her adventures are frequently interrupted by people talking to camera, in what was intended to be a "greek chorus" of commentary, but which frequently had little to do with anything.

Fred Alan WolfFred Alan Wolf author of "Taking the Quantum Leap"

They would say a cool quantum physics fact like "nothing touches anything" and then show you some graphics showing the electrostatic repulsion between atoms. This is interesting, but its hardly new science, and they don't go anywhere with it.

Jeffrey SatinoverJeffrey Satinover author of "The Quantum Brain

A boy in a park appears to take her backwards in time with the line "time is an illusion". Alas, he didn't add "and lunchtime doubly so", and as a result, Amanda is late for her train.

ball park

The talking heads sometimes talked about physics, and sometimes about metaphysics and philosophy.

Amanda has a dream about native Americans and Columbus. The tall sailing ships are literally invisible to all the native americans, except for the shamans. The shamans were able to use their gift to notice "ripples on the water", and after several weeks of watching the ripples their brain's neural networks were finally able to give them a shape that they could see.

The narrator tells us that when the shamans told the common people, the ships appeared to them suddenly.

A talking head tells us that this is because human brains can't see new things, only things that their neural networks have already recognized. If this were true, all anyone would have to do to become invisible would be to disguise yourself as a sailing ship, and people wouldn't see you.

Douglas Adams joked about a similar idea he called the "somebody else's problem field".

ship costumeInvisible Man

Australian Aboriginal people painted sailing ships on cave walls.

aboriginal ship painting

You don't get to find out the names and qualifications of the talking heads until the end of the movie. THEN you discover that the blonde american woman who has spouted the greatest nonsense during the whole film is "JZ Knight channelling Ramtha". Ramtha if you look him up on the internet, is a thirty-five thousand year old warrior spirit from Atlantis. Knight has been making millions of dollars from channelling his spirit for the last twenty years. All the film producers are disciples of Knight's cult.

JZ Night

John Haeglan comes on screen and tells us how Transcendental Meditation caused crime rates to fall in a city. It turns out he was awarded an IGnoble prize for this work in 1994 because the murder rate actually rose, and all the scrutineers were Natural Law party followers.

We are shown the art of Masura Emoto, who tapes words to water bottles and freezes the water. The crystal photos appear appropriate for the message, as if the water could read the words - literate water!

What the movie doesn't tell you is that he searches for pretty crystals - this is found art, he doesn't get appropriate ones every time as the movie says he does.

 Masaru EmotoMasaru Emoto

The blonde american woman makes the logical leap that as your body is mostly water, so your body changes in reacton to your thoughts and you have only to think well to be well. Perhaps not the most sensitive message to have a disabled actress protray.

Ms Knight pretending to be Ramtha tells us that "you are a God responsible for the reality your thoughts bring"

A talking head says there are no bad thoughts. No god to read them and keep score.

Ms Knight pretending to be "Ramtha" says don't be arrogant about undestanding God - you are an emotion addict.


Then there is a wedding party scene with silly graphics about teenagers searching for sexual partners or "foxes who put out", as the screen says.

bend over girl

Ms Knight pretending to be "Ramtha" tells us that everything known in ancient times was wrong so everything known now is also wrong.

That certainly applies to the factoids in the film, like "peptides are the basic unit of conscioussness'

One talking head creates his day by magical thinking. He turns out to be a chiropractor.

Ms Knight pretending to be "Ramtha" takes most of the screen time, as you'd expect for a cult propaganda piece.

David Albert from Columbia University was unhappy with the quotes from him, as they were edited out of context and missed out that he disagreed with the film. He says that if he'd realized how he'd be used, he would never have agreed to be filmed.

"What the Bleep" reminds me of the kind of a cult bad movie classic like Ed Wood's "The ghoul goes west", where Ed Wood used famous Hollywood horror actor Bela Lugosi because the actor was so down on his luck that he had no other work. The Ramtha school of enlightenment have Marlee Matlin, the Oscar award winning deaf actress who played Joey Lucas in the West Wing. At the end of the film she throws away her prescription pills because she has "created a reality where she doesn't need them". An irresponsible message that is the whole point of the film. This would be my nomination for the IgNoble Awards.
1 star. Worthy of mocking

Marlee Matlin goes quantumOscar-award winning actress Marlee Matlin

It was fun, the casting was good, the FX were appropriate most of the time, and had a lot of the spirit of the original, but as Iain noted, you can see the point at which Douglas Adams died. There were Hollywood-pleasing additions to the the story that he wouldn't have approved of like inserting a plot device about a magic gun, and changing the ending so that the story didn't make sense. The extended Busby-Berkley opening musical number time could have been used for some of the plots and jokes they left out of the script. I could also see that Douglas Adams had to fight with the Americans about Zaphod's second head, and the parts of the script explaining the tea and towel gags were badly edited out so that the parts left in made no sense. The extra plots and characters were badly realized as well. As far as I could tell, the woman working with the Vogons was just there to make sure there was an extra female presence in the film, so it wouldn't be "too blokey". After going to all the trouble of casting Brits for British roles, they force them to say "Zee", because the American market has already complained about foreigners ruining their English. If you've never heard the radio series, read the books or seen the TV series, you'll have a fun ride, but you won't understand what was supposed to have happened, and you certainly won't understand why there's a cult following.

Occasional Coarse language

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Occasional Coarse Language I saw this independent film when it was released in 1998 and really enjoyed it. There's a full movie review from SBS's The Movie Show. Unusually for me, what stood out the most was the soundtrack. I've been looking for it since. I rented the movie a few years ago, and I was reminded that I wanted the soundtrack. I searched the net, and there wasn't even a list of the tracks, much less an actual sountrack for sale. Every now and again I've remembered to do a perfuntionary serach online for the music as I google surf. The other weekend, I searched and found This interview with the Producer/Director/Writer Brad Hayward Some place in New Zealand had a copy for $30 plus shipping. Yech. Then I found a link to a familar sounding place Ten Seconds Down who had TWO copies of the CD at $7.95, and when I checked the address, sure enough, they are just a ten minute walk from my flat. So I'm now a very pleased owner of a second-hand CD. I made sure to tell the owner that I used his website to find him. The CD comes with a witty insert that is full of in-jokes from the film. The reverse is a flow-chart of everything refernced in the film with a challenge to find the one item that isn't. Here's a blurry picture from my camera (too big to scan): Automatic had a music video with scenes from the movie with Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up" that worked well, and I've never seen since. My favourite track at the moment is Spiderbait's "Calypso".

King Kong at Artarmon

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The original 1933 classic really delivers the special effects and beautiful stop-action animation characterisation. Kong has a clear personality and the dinosaurs are lovingly crafted in intimate detail. Better on a big screen than a small one, but very worth watching.


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released in Australia on August 14th 2003, elsewhere, perhaps 2004 or later

!! Cypher is what a spy movie should be, with all the right questions
about how much control you are giving away when you sign up,
how you choose who to trust, what to believe,  and how it all
affects who you are, and want to be.  Identity is the key theme.
The special effects help the plot instead of substituting for the plot.

(originally reviewed April 18th 1998)

The video starts off with the ever popular UGH! song, so beloved of Manga fans. After the traditional highly inaccurate previews of other Manga titles, the burning Manga cross is displayed - a wonderful symbol.

And so Goku Midnight Eye begins, and our hero emerges from the shadows. Goku Furinji: a shirtless, cynical, hardboiled, smart-mouthed, chain-smoking, unmodified, ex-cop, private eye; faced with an autopsy report like "apart from the hole in his head, there's not a mark on him". Yet another policeman has died, again apparently a suicide. Goku is not convinced. More policemen die, "They're dropping from the sky like flies, at this rate we're going to need hardhats!".

This movie has it all, from a genius villain with a fowl plan using swan weapons, women with handlebars for easy mounting, to the hero gaining the ultimate internet account with access to ALL computers on Earth and in orbit around it; the gift of a mysterious mind-reading benefactor. There's a woman with hypnotic charm, the cudgel of Monkey that Goku's left eye knows how to use, and a villain who gloats "I'm too busy to watch you die now, so I'll tape your death and watch it later".

Goku finds it "handy" being the most powerful man on Earth with his new toys, and finds he is able to pole-vault tall buildings if not actually leap over them.

This is a clever and witty movie written by Buichi Terasawa, and from
Yoshiaki Kawajiri, the director of Ninja Scroll and Wicked City. We highly
recommend you don't miss it.

Goku Midnight Eye

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