AUSTIN POWERS-purloined tongue-in-cheek pastiche of all things sixties, agenty and secret, with Harry Palmer/Philip MacAlpine/Modesty Blaise-esque creation Billy Hindle carrying out subterfugal counterplotting in a lost world of thickly-accented Eastern Bloc defectors, shadowy men from ‘The Ministry’, jetsetting vacational paradises with a sinister twist, globby one-pill-makes-you-larger ‘bad trip’ hallucinations and Byrds-derived episode titles, underscored with wry postmodernist bemoaning of Vietnam and Charles Manson bringing about the end of the ‘sixties’. Performed by a virtual who’s who of refugees from the genuine article including Ed Bishop, Gerald Harper, Joanna Lumley and Charles Gray.Read More
Posts Tagged With 'Joanna Lumley'
Two generations of comedy collide in this masterful Whitehall-farce-meets-sexcom period piece, adapted from a stage play, but the cinematic rendition has to be the definitive one. Leslie Phillips and Brian Rix are on top form as a couple of scandal-prone MPs, Joanna Lumley as the cause of much of their scandal, Derek Griffiths and Katy Manning (could there be a more early ’70s combination?) as a couple of extremely unlikely hippies, David Battley as a yokel, and even a wonderful pastiche of BBC current affairs discussion shows thrown in for good measure.Read More
The first of the posthumous sequels, with Blake Edwards cobbling together all the outtakes from the previous films he can muster, employing Joanna Lumley as a “French” reporter for a clumsy linking device, getting Rich ‘Blue Aardvark’ Little to dub a visibly ailing David Niven, making Richard ‘Soap’ Mulligan do a feeble turn as Sellers’ dad, and generally pissing all over the already soggy Panther legacy. And it doesn’t stop there! Ronald ‘don’t talk to me about unemployment, young man’ Fraser, Harvey ‘Daddy love froggy’ Korman, Graham ‘then we can have Eric Morecambe fixing some slates on a roof, just for the hell of it’ Stark, Leonard ‘suffused with herbs and spices from four continents’ Rossiter, Liz Smith, Dudley Sutton and William ‘Porkins’ Hootkins appear, mostly in old footage.Read More
Hammer’s penultimate and Christopher Lee’s last caped catastrophe. We’re all for bringing the Count into the 20th century, if only to get out of having to see the same old plaster of Paris castle walls over and over again, but here the erstwhile impaler does precious little apart from get some boardroom types to conduct a sub-Wheatley black mass, call upon a gang of sheepskinned biker heavies to knock off anyone who’s onto him and fiddle about with a phial of urine – sorry, bubonic plague. We can’t help thinking writer Don Houghton (best known for creating Take the High Road, coincidentally) hasn’t thought this one through. If he’s just going to carry on like your average Bond villain, what’s the point of him even being Dracula, apart from the still-extant pull of the brand name, and a convenient get-out-clause cause of demise when the time runs out (and this film’s Geoff Hamiltonesque vampire despatch is the most silly yet, beating even AD)? Still, Cushing gamely turns up as a nine-stone Van Helsing, here working for the Secret Service and armed with Joanna Lumley as a feisty daughter. Richard Vernon, William Franklyn and Freddie Jones try their best (well, OK, they turn up to the set on time and say the words on the board without smirking) and Alan ‘Dominick Hide’ Gibson tries to jazz up the dynamics with the occasional rakish camera angle, but really, in the year Hammer was also producing the far superior Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter (and indeed the far superior Man About the House), this effort couldn’t look more irrelevant, sorry and bedraggled. Also, we’re especially annoyed for this billing because we had a dead funny line about the Setanta Rights of Dracula but the idiots went bust before we could type it out. Bloomin’ fly-by-night media conglomerates!Read More
Some outmoded fluff from the auterical pen of Andrew Sinclair, who adapted his own kids’ book with Richard Warwick as the titular guardsman who falls for red-headed posh revolutionary Joanna Lumley and accordingly ‘drops out’ in what was by that time a pretty hackneyed manner. John Bird, Edward Fox and Graham Bond turned up. The film opened and closed almost instantaneously, and Sinclair went back to the indie sector, doing an OK-ish adaptation of Under Milk Wood, a frightful horror effort with Oliver Reed as a satanic butler, and ended up ploughing through chanky straight-to-video action rubbish such as African Bond knock-off Tuxedo Warrior, Carol Royle’s least finest hour.Read More
WOBBLY FRIDGE magnet letters and tadgerish geometric cartoons began this pretentious sci-fi supernatuum about two elemental agents Sapphire (JOANNA LUMLEY) and Steel (DAVID McCALLUM). Opening bullshit portent tried to impress with flash vocabulary “heavy transuranic elements may not be used.” Yeah, and Sapphire and Steel are not fucking elements. Ludicrous bag of wank plots involved being able to see through time, baubles of light, railway stations being dragged back through history and being able to reduce your body temperature below freezing. The sort of stuff, then, that comprises an entire series of Torchwood.Read More
YOU DON’T mess with a hit, runs the old showbiz lore. Apart, that is, from when your lead actor is clearly past it, you think kung fu is the latest “with it” thing, and you run out of money half way through and have to move to Canada. There are redeeming elements to The New Avengers, but few of them have much to do with THE AVENGERS and none of them are New. JOANNA LUMLEY did a decent Diana Rigg turn. PATRICK MACNEE could at least drop the pretence it was him doing all the fight scenes. There are some nice shots of Britain in the midst of its “prices”-obsessed orange-and-brown-hued hinterland. GARETH HUNT, though, was and is beyond parody. Ditto those dastardly athletes who could deflect bullets with a twitch of their pectorals. Nifty lion-meets-Union-Jack logo, though.Read More