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A Full Tank of Gas Movie Reviews A Full Tank of Gas Movie Reviews

A Collection of 1282 Movie Reviews Written by Richard Cross

Latest Movie Review: Earth (1930)

Earth (1930) Movie Review

The problem is it’s all so dull and gloomy.  Retrospective knowledge of the way the dreams and spirit of these people will ultimately be crushed by Joe Stalin means that the film’s high moments – the triumphal arrival in the village of a tractor thanks to the unorthodox collective effort of its menfolk, and a villager’s exuberant dance through a sleeping village – are tinged with a melancholia from which the film finds it impossible to free itself.   And those lighter moments are few and far between as it is… (Read more)

2011-2014 Movie Reviews

2001 - 2010 Movie Reviews

Pacific Rim (2013) Movie Review Zombieland (2009) Movie Review

In this modern age of movie-making, there are some cast-iron, guaranteed ways of calculating just how bad a movie is going to be.   The correlation between a movie’s budget and the fame and prestige of its stars is always a reliable indicator.  Pacific Rim’s budget is estimated at $190,000,000 and its biggest name is Idris Elba, who is probably best known to many for his part in the US TV show The Wire, which ended in 2004. (Read more)

The humour in Zombieland is hit-and-miss at best, and poorly integrated with the film’s more dramatic aspects, while the quirky script works too hard at trying to be cool, and the situations faced by its characters have become over-familiar to anyone who’s watched more than a half-dozen or so of these kind of flicks.   The actors try hard, and for the most part they acquit themselves well, with Eisenberg – surely the most un-movie-star-like movie star out there – perfectly cast as the hapless hero. (Read more)

 Pacific Rim (2013)

Zombieland (2009)

1991 - 2000 Movie Reviews

Things to Do in Denver… (1995)

1981 - 1990 Movie Reviews

The Fan (1982)

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995) Movie Review The Fan (1982) Movie Review

If ever there was an example of style over substance, Things to Do In Denver When You’re Dead was it.  The movie looks terrific, and the ridiculously handsome Mr. Garcia looks sleek and elegant as the meticulously garbed Jimmy the Saint.   Unfortunately, the story doesn’t really hold up under close scrutiny; screenwriter Scott Rosenberg seems incapable of allowing one character or incident to pass without attempting to inject each with some element of quirkiness. (Read more)

Hugely controversial in Germany upon its release in 1982, Der Fan is something of a precursor to Takashi Miike’s Audition – although where the Japanese filmmaker’s work won plaudits, Schmidt’s was pilloried by the critics.   It’s more art house than grind house, despite its reputation, and for an hour or so, its to be is slow and dream-like, reflecting the romantic preoccupations of its teen protagonist.  (Read more)

1971 - 1980 Movie Reviews

Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter (1974)

1961 - 1970 Movie Reviews

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)

Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter (1974) Movie Review The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) Movie Review

In the title role, German actor Horst Janson fails to make any kind of impression whatsoever.   He looks like James Hunt, but the fact that he has no real muscle definition does nothing to discourage him from wandering around with his top off for half the picture.   It’s a shame the same can’t be said about the luscious Caroline Munro, who for most of the film is given little to do other than gaze admiringly at Kronos’ skinny arms and sunken chest. (Read more)

The trouble with a movie that assigns itself the task of epitomising all that was cool when it was made is that it inevitably dates badly and quickly. McQueen and Dunaway were just about the two coolest actors in the world in 1968, but in The Thomas Crown Affair they look like a pair of models posing for a Freeman’s catalogue as they warily circle one another like cats on heat. (Read more)

1951 - 1960 Movie Reviews

The Ladykillers (1955)

1941 - 1950 Movie Reviews

A Walk in the Sun (1945)

The Ladykillers (1955) Movie Review A Walk in the Sun (1945) Movie Review

The Ladykillers is the last of the great Ealing comedies from the 1940s and ‘50s and is by far the funniest of them all, even though its humour is of the blackest kind imaginable.    The diverse characters complement one another perfectly, and virtually every cast member plays their part to perfection.   Katie Johnson looks as though a strong wind would blow her over, but she proves to be an indomitable foe for the crooks who earn her wrath. (Read more)

Given that the lot of a combat soldier is supposed to be something like 80% boredom 10% anxiety and 10% sheer terror, A Walk in the Sun provides an accurate reflection of combat conditions in that respect.   The dialogue is a little stylised, but it has a kind of rhythm that commands the viewer’s attention, and its raw depiction of the psychological pressures suffered by a group of American soldiers leaves us in no doubt that, although released in 1945, it was made after the final shot of WWII was fired. (Read more)

1931 - 1940 Movie Reviews

Grand Hotel (1932)

1921 - 1930 Movie Reviews

College (1927)

Grand Hotel (1932) Movie Review College (1927)

A perfect example of polished Hollywood professionalism, Grand Hotel amounts to little more than a glossy soap opera, but it’s so well-written and directed (by Edmund Goulding) that it transcends the familiarity of its plot to serve as a timeless reminder of just how good Hollywood movies used to be. (Read more)

There’s a fairly lengthy section in the middle of College which sees the hapless Ronald endeavouring to participate in every track and field sport you can think of.   Each effort inevitably ends in complete and utter failure, and the way that Keaton succeeds in making his character look so inept at everything he tries shows just how adept he was at physical comedy.   Faking incompetence at something is almost as difficult as faking proficiency at the same thing, but Keaton achieves his purpose with inelegant perfection, and these scenes are by far the strongest of the film. (Read more)

1911 - 1920 Movie Reviews

The Rink (1916)

1901 - 1910 Movie Reviews

The Adventures of Dollie (1908)

the Rink (1916) Movie Review The Adventures of Dollie (1908)

It’s clear that Chaplin’s Little Tramp character was still developing in 1916, when The Rink was made.   It could, in fact, be argued that the character he plays here isn’t the tramp at all seeing as how he’s holding down a job as a waiter.   Nevertheless, the biggest change that the tramp underwent from his first appearance in Kid Auto Races in Venice in 1914 was in the way he changed from being a mean-spirited jerk to a blameless innocent. (Read more)

The acting is of the 'exaggerated gesture' school,with hands flung into the air and bosoms clutched, and most scenes last too long which means the excitement that might have been generated in audiences of a century ago fails to materialise today. Griffith's (and perhaps the era's) racist leanings are clear in his depiction of the gypsies.… (Read more)

1891 - 1900 Movie Reviews

Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1895)

Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1895) Movie Review

The girl in the picture is quite interesting.   Her name was Annabelle Moore, and she was no more than 16 years old when Annabelle Serpentine Dance was filmed, and she went on to become a star with Ziegfeld’s stage extravaganzas in the early years of the twentieth century.   A couple of years after this movie she would cause a minor scandal by revealing that she had been asked to appear nude at a private dinner party. (Read more)   

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