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A Full Tank of Gas Movie Reviews

A Collection of 1255 Movie Reviews Written by Richard Cross

Latest Movie Review: Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland (2009) Movie Review

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)

2011-2014 Movie Reviews

2001 - 2010 Movie Reviews

13 Sinsl (2014) Movie Review The Ladykillers (2004) Movie Review

13 Sins is certainly an intriguing movie, even if it does grow increasingly silly during its final act.   It’s based on a Thai movie which is apparently much darker than this remake, and 13 Sins certainly lacks the dark edge that its subject matter calls for.   The revelation of who (or what) is behind the game is something of a disappointment too, although given the God-like way in which that voice knows exactly what Brindle is up to at any given time, it’s the only solution the writers could conceivably have come up with that was even half-way plausible. (Read more)

The Ladykillers marked a return to comedy for Tom Hanks, and he does well to create a character that shares few of the characteristics of Alec Guinness’s earlier incarnation.   Hanks’ incaration looks to have been modelled on Edgar Allan Poe, and has about him a shabby gentility which, while completely out of place in the modern world, somehow works in the context of the story.  However, it’s Irma P. Hall who stands out in a movie that, as you’d expect from the Coen brothers, is filled with memorably quirky characters. (Read more)

 13 Sins (2014)

The Ladykillers (2004)

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

Dr No (1962)

Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter (1974) Movie Review Dr No (1962) 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)

If Dr No teaches us anything, it’s that you can’t skimp when it comes to plans of world domination. Let’s face it, there’s no point spending squillions of dollars on a secret high-tech (for 1962) underwater headquarters if you’re going to install cheap grilles over your prison cell air vents which anyone can kick out. That’s how world domination slips through your fingers, that is. (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

White Zombie (1932)

1921 - 1930 Movie Reviews

College (1927)

White Zombie (1932) Movie Review College (1927)

It’s a silly plot, but that’s what adds to the charm of ancient movies like this.   And to be fair to Halperin, he does create some atmospheric shots and makes use of some impressive sets which were apparently leased from Universal Studios.   More of a problem than the state of the plot, however, is the acting from most members of the cast. Lugosi was never a convincing actor, largely because of his heavy accent, but he’s particularly poor here, even though he looks the part.   It is difficult to tell whether it’s his mesmerising gaze that puts victims under his spell or those fake eyebrows, though. (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 Poor Little Rich Kid (1917)

1901 - 1910 Movie Reviews

The Adventures of Dollie (1908)

The Poor Little Rich Kid (1917) Movie Review The Adventures of Dollie (1908)

“Daddy, don’t you have time to love me?” asks the plaintive Gwen at the knee of her stockbroker father as he struggles to survive the fall-out from the Stock Market crash. When her mother promises to try and spare a little time for her tomorrow, Gwen enquires just as plaintively “Why do my tomorrows never come?”   It’s a technique brazenly designed to manipulate the emotions of an audience we like to think of as less sophisticated as our own generation. (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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