Blue Ice
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
In the late 1960s Michael Caine portrayed the British spy Harry Palmer in a series of adaptations of Len Deightons spy novels. Palmer was seen as the "anti-Bond" in an era in which the James Bond 007 phenomenon was taking the world by storm.
The HBO movie `Blue Ice,' though not based on a Deighton novel or featuring Palmer as it's central character, feels more like a Harry Palmer movie than the later Deighton-inspired Palmer movies such as `Bullet to Beijing.' For not only does it star Caine as a cynical, retired British spy, but the characters name is even Harry, Harry Anders that is.
Anders is a former spy turned jazz club owner who embarks on an affair with the wife of the American ambassador (played by the incredibly sexy Sean Young). She asks him for a favor in tracking down an American friend of hers using his contacts in the police force and former colleagues in the British secret service. All seems to be going well and Harry locates his quarry without too much difficulty.
However when the man is found slain in his apartment and Anders is arrested for his murder Harry has to unravel a complex web of intrigue while dodging both the CIA and his former mentor in the secret service. Further complicating matters is the fact that the American Embassy not only denies any knowledge of Anders, but also claims that the Ambassadors wife has been out of the country.
The plot all revolves around illegal weapons smuggling, but the trip along to the exciting climax on the London docks is pure Harry Palmer territory set against a jazzy background. Anders is certainly no wimp and his chasing down of a thief from his club bears that out, he even offers the man the option of breaking his leg or an arm.
There is some nudity by Sean Young, though nothing full-frontal. Not surprisingly given this, Sharon Stone was originally chosen for the role but backed out when `Basic Instinct' became a smash success.
With appearances by such well-known British actors as Ian Holm (as former British spymaster Sir Hector), Alun Armstrong as Harry's Scotland Yard contact Osgood and Bob Hoskins as former secret agent turned security consultant Sam, the movie is an entertaining and at times exciting spy caper. It was of course an HBO-TV movie in the United States, but was good enough to warrant a theatrical release in the United Kingdom.
The movie also features music by `Lethal Weapon' and `License to Kill' composer Michael Kamen and his style of music is clearly evident and handling the directing duties is Russell Mulcahy of "Highlander' fame.
As has been noted Amazon erroneously lists the running time as 105 minutes, however the movie runs 96 minutes. If there were nine minutes excised from the movie I did not notice anything missing. The DVD is also missing any special features, but at such low price one cannot complain. That low price also makes it easy to recommend.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2006
Here's another film that one might label a neo-noir. It's film noir in story, attitude and camera-work but it's color and it's a 1992 film, not one from the late 1940s or early '50s.

The story is set in England and is a good mixture of suspense, action and romance. It's nicely filmed with a lot of night shots featuring some cool neon signs of London streets and pubs. Looks-wise, this film reminded me a lot of "Stormy Monday."

There is some good jazz in here, too. The action picks up much more in the second half of the film, capped off by a unique huge transformer-like vehicle chasing Michael Caine. The ending was a bit weak and hokey but overall, the film was entertaining and good stuff if you're a noir buff.

At the cheap price, don't look for a sharp DVD transfer, or one with extras. You get what you pay for.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Michael Caine is a cool, ex-MI6 Intelligence Officer who gets sucked back into the treacherous world of espionage when he tries to help his paramour played by curvaceous, voluptous Sean Young. She is the inspiration for the movie's unusual title. Sean Young just happens to be the wife of the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom and is one hell of a raunchy lady (check out the shower scene!). Michael owns a Jazz Club but beneath his dark and ruthless side, he has a heart of gold. The movie sound track is full of superb jazz. His old Spy Boss puts in a sterling performance as the typical stiff upper lip Establishment British gent but is he all that he seems? Michael Caine shows that he can handle a browning Hi Power 9mm autoloading pistol in the scene where he tries out his friend's Combat Shooting range with pop up targets. In real life Michael did his National Service in the British Army fighting Communist terrorists in the jungles of Malaya. This is one reason why I like to see him playing action heroes because he really knows how to handle his weapons professionally, unlike other actors who have never even fired a shot in anger. In the final climactic scene, the shoot out on the London Docks is hair raising but good old Michael uses his Czechoslovakian Skorpion 7.65mm machine pistol to good effect and wins the day. As Shakepeare said, "All's well that ends well."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
MICHAEL Caine is a super cool, ex-MI6 Intelligence Officer who gets sucked back into the treacherous and deceitful world of espionage when he tries to help his paramour played by curvaceous, voluptous, sensuous Sean Young. She is the inspiration for the movie's unusual title. Sexy Sean Young just happens to be the wife of the US Ambassador to the United Kingdom and is one hell of a raunchy lady (check out the shower scene!). Michael owns a Jazz Club but beneath his dark and ruthless side, he has a gleaming heart of gold. The movie sound track is full of superb jazz. His old Spy Boss puts in a sterling performance as the typical stiff upper lip Establishment British gent but is he all that he seems? In all goo dspy movies nothing is as it seems. Michael Caine shows that he can handle a Browning Hi Power 9mm autoloading pistol well in the scene where he tries out his friend's Combat Shooting range with pop up targets. In real life Michael did his National Service in the British Army fighting Communists in the mountains of Korea. To this day he still remembers the tension in the combat zone when all you hear is the quiet click of safety catches being pushed off just before a vicious firefight explodes. This is one of the reasons why I like to see him playing action heroes because he really knows how to handle his weapons professionally, unlike other actors who have never even fired a shot in anger. In the final climactic scene, the shoot out on the London Docks is hair raising but good old Michael uses his Czechoslovakian Skorpion 7.65mm machine pistol to good effect and wins the day. As Shakepeare said, "All's well that ends well." I like the closing shot of the glass of champagne as his paramour flies off in to the sunset.By Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
BLUE ICE is a little film that is far, far better than it should be, primarily because the two leads are played by two of my favorite actors, the exceptionally talented Michael Caine (an unlikely action-hero as a retired MI-6 agent-turned-jazz club-owner) and the irrepressible Sean Young (as the open marriage wife of the American Ambassador to the Court of St. James).

She asks him for help when she runs into a little problem (a missing friend) which turns out to be only the tip of the iceberg in a Great British National Security scandal.

Caine, my metier, whose Everyman persona plays well in every role, finds himself caught up in a deadly game where the good guys are the bad guys and the bad guys are waiting in the wings for the payoff.

Sean Young is, as usual, irresistibly sexy and oh-so-bright, playing the role of the femme fatale with an unforced naturalness. She's as hot as the jazz is cool, and BLUE ICE never melts down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2010
Caine essentially reprises his "Harry Palmer" role as a retired British spy in this skillfully made and rather stylish picture. It's much better than it's made-for-cable pedigree may suggest -- there's even some really good music in the scenes set in the jazz club Caine owns. The principal drawback is the badly miscast Sean Young who's both wooden and shrill in the role of Caine's love interest in what's supposed to be a plausible romance. Otherwise this is a solidly entertaining yarn.
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Michael Caine must be one of the biggest stars in the business - no-one else could have made so many bad films and kept on working. There had always been the sustaining suspicion among his admirers that he just wasn't offered the right roles or the best films, but with Blue Ice he dispelled that notion once and for all. As its star, co-producer and prime mover, this one's entirely down to him. Made with the best of intentions - to instigate a series of commercial British features - it plays like a leaden cross between a sixties quota quickie with none of the grace (or imagination) under pressure they sometimes offered and an especially bad Carlton TV movie.

Made shortly before Caine announced his return to the role of Harry Palmer for two disaatrous back-to-back cable-TV movies, the character as good as makes his comeback here in the form of `Harry Anders,' a working-class retired spy who does the cooking. Now running a jazz club where he gets to play Bogart (with Bobby Short playing Dooley Wilson and Sam Kelly standing in for 'Cuddles' Sakall), he gets lured back into the business when his affair with the young wife of an American Embassy official involves him in a predictable conspiracy involving blackmail, murder and arms shipments.

If the star believes all this, no-one else seems to, resulting in a half-hearted, sluggish and seemingly interminable 101-minutes with only the odd unintentionally funny moment to keep you awake. The film's interrogation sequence shows some imagination as a heavily drugged Caine (attired identically to the equivalent scene in The Ipcress File) finds himself as both torturer and victim, but is all but ruined by Russell Mulcahey's typically misjudged direction that speeds up the action and renders much of it laughable.

But the real comic highlight comes earlier when Caine describes Sean Young, in a part Sharon Stone foolishly vacated when offered the lead in Basic Instinct, as being like blue ice - something wonderful and unexpected that drops on you from out of a clear blue sky. Well, actually blue ice is a frozen lump of excrement deposited from an airplane toilet, as he has already informed Patricia Hayes at the funeral of a close friend and 'vicious b*****d' in the film's opening sequence. Boy, does he know how to pay a girl a compliment!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2009
The movie is very entertaining ,features Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins, two of Britain's best character actors. It also features a cameo with cafe singer Bobby Short. The film has a great jazz score.A quirky and enjoyable thriller.
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on August 19, 2009
I like most of the things in this movie. Wish they got M.Caine to lose some weight before the film started. It has a unique plot. The chemistry is all fine. Russell Mulcahy is a good action film director given the correct resources. Even better is the familiar Brit cast. I doubt they will ever make fun films like this again.
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on April 22, 2012
When I reviewed the "Holcroft Covenant" I stated that that movie could not be said to be one of Michael Caine's greatest acheivements. But Blue Ice save and accept its rather predictable ending that verges on corny, !I am prepared to recommend this Michael Caine thriller as a once only watch.
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