A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A jewel heist by a team of mistrustful people trying to outdo each other to get the bounty resulting in hilarious consequences.
2) This movie is notable for great performances by the entire cast. Jamie Lee Curtis steamy performance as Wanda deserves special mention.
3) John Cleese delivered as expected as the feeble lawyer embroiled in the entire fiasco.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 
QUOTE –
Archie: I Wendy- I Wanda- I wonder…

The 39 Steps (1935)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) An unwilling man accused of murder, trying to stop foreign spies from taking British military secret. In his run from London to Scotland, he is entangled between assassins, the police, and a woman.
2) It’s a classic prototype Hitchcock plot which can later be seen in many of his future movies including North by Northwest (1959).
3) An extremely influential movie in the spy-movie genre.
4) The astonishing twist of Mr. Memory being the medium of smuggling. The secrets are not being smuggled from a document, letter, a CD, or a flash drive. It’s the brilliant mind of Mr. Memory.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Heckler in Audience: When did Chelsea win it?
Mr. Memory: 63BC in the presence of Emperor Nero!

In the Name of the Father (1993)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A petty thief and vagrant is imprisoned for crimes he didn’t commit. It took him his father’s death to gather strength to fight for his own justice. An intense prison-drama cum court-room drama.
2) While Daniel Day-Lewis plays the lead character, the most praiseworthy performance is from Pete Postlethwaite as the helpless father and wrongfully accused man keeping his faith in justice until his last breath. His scenes with Daniel Day-Lewis in particular are well-written and performed.
3) The immense presence of Don Baker as Joe. A small role but equally profound screen presence.
4) Opening Credits: Bono and Gavin Friday – In the Name of the Father“.

 

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Gerry Conlon: When can I go back to Belfast?
Detective: Next time you’ll see Belfast, they’ll be flying day trips to the moon.
Gerry Conlon: I always wanted to be an astronaut.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 0
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 0/5

 

 
PROS –
1) Grand set designs and props.

 

 
CONS –
1) A filthy, vulgar, and pukeworthy movie with an inconsequential sci-fi story.
2) I can’t even take this bizarre movie seriously as a musical as the songs are also terrible.
3) For a niche LGBT enthusiast audience, this movie can be appealing but for the rest of the audience, it a 100 minutes long headache.

 

 
QUOTE –
Dr. Frank-N-Furter: It’s not easy having a good time! Even smiling makes my face ache!

Silver Blaze (1977)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 0
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 
PROS –
1) Christopher Plummer’s debut as the legendary detective.

 

CONS –
1) A forgettable adaptation of “The Adventure of Silver Blaze”.
2) 30 minutes run time can by no means give proper justice to the story. There is neither any depth in writing nor there is any character development.

 

 
QUOTE –
Inspector Gregory: Is there any other point to which you wish to draw my attention?
Sherlock Holmes: To the curious incident of the dog when the horse was led out from the stable.
Inspector Gregory: But the dog did nothing when the horse was led out from the stable.
Sherlock Holmes: That was the curious incident.

The Phantom of the Opera (1962)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A wronged disfigured music composer finally gets salvation by seeing his written opera performed.
2) Striking set-designs especially the Phantom’s lair.
3) A decent gothic adaptation of the Gaston Leroux‘s Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Terence Fisher. He managed to complete the story in 84 minutes avoiding any tedious romantic angles.

 

 

CONS –
1) Heather Sears as Christine Charles was definitely not the best option to play the lead.

 

 
QUOTE –
Harry Hunter: You’re an artist. You’re not going to let a little thing like a ghost upset you.

A Study in Terror (1965)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) The legend of Jack the Ripper fused into a new adventure of Sherlock Holmes. Instead of relying on the burden of an existing story, the new story made it an interesting watch.
2) There was a long list of the suspect and it made the movie riveting up to the last minute.
3) Mycroft Holmes’ monologue over Sherlock’s violin recital was amusing.

 

 
CONS –
1) John Neville played a very mild-mannered Sherlock Holmes. Donald Houston as Dr. Watson was caricaturish.

 

 
QUOTE –
Mycroft Holmes: For Heaven’s sake, stop sawing away on that infernal instrument! It was a sad day when Mother gave it to you, a sad day for her, a sad day for you, a sad day for us all… What I cannot understand is why, since you’ve had that violin with you so long, you never learned to play!

Victoria & Abdul (2017)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A senile Queen at the last stage of her reign obsessed with an exotic servant.
2) As compared to Mrs Brown (1997), this chapter of Queen Victoria is much more significant and deserves a special mention in her reign.
3) A screenplay kept the movie amusing without any tedious subplot.
4) Judi Dench’s monologue.

 

CONS –
1) Abdul Karim’s character was reduced to a minor character in the second half. The climax is heavily exaggerated and highly fictionalized.

 

 

QUOTE –
Queen Victoria: I am 81 years of age. I’ve had nine children and 42 grandchildren, and have almost a billion citizens. I have rheumatism, a collapsed uterus, I’m morbidly obese and deaf in one ear. I have known 11 Prime Ministers and passed 2,347 pieces of legislation. I’ve been in the office for 62 years, 234 days. Thus, I am the longest-serving monarch in world history. I’m responsible for five households and a staff of over 3,000. I am cantankerous, boring, greedy, fat, ill-tempered, at times selfish and myopic, both metaphorically and literally. I am perhaps disagreeably attached to power and should not have smashed the Emperor of Russia’s egg. But I am anything but insane.

The Young Victoria (2009)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 2/5

 

 
PROS –
1) High production value as required in any period movie.
2) Paul Bettany played the meaty role of Lord Melbourne.

 
CONS –
1) An unsought average movie chronicling the uneventful life of young Victoria. Apart from the Bedchamber crisis, and the assassination attempt the movie got no compelling plot points.
2) The supposedly prime villain (Mark Strong as Sir John Conroy) is a feeble character.

 

 
QUOTE –
Queen Adelaide: You are confusing stubbornness with strength, my dear.

The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)

STORY – 0
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 0
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 1/5

 
PROS –
1) Christopher Lee’s performance as Paul Allen stands out. He should’ve played the role of Dr. Jekyll. Another notable mention is Norma Marla as Maria.

 

 
CONS –
1) This version of  Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde appears nothing like the original version by Robert Louis Stevenson. This is rather a family drama involving a cuckold husband trying to get back to his unfaithful wife.
2) Paul Massie as Dr. Jekyll is a complete disaster in the main role.

 

 
QUOTE –
Mr. Hyde: I was forgetting that even the most honest of women need to be courted with the most dishonest of phrases.