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C McGhee RSS Feed (Hutchinson, Ks.)

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The Big Blue (Director's Cut)
The Big Blue (Director's Cut)
DVD ~ Rosanna Arquette
15 used & new from $14.14

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hold your breath, February 22, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
There are three versions of this movie out & I've seen them all. Each one left me with a different take on the show. Not bad considering it's basically the same story & with the same stars. The Director's cut 168 min's, the French release 132 min's & the American release 118 min's.

It's a show done around the world free diving championships (meaning no air tanks but your lungs). I thought it would bore me but discovered that Jean Marc-Barr, Jean Reno & Rosanna Arquette (I like her) put together a fun, quirky & believable show. Marc-Barr plays Jacques Mayol who starts the show as a little French kid that likes to dive on the same island as Enzo played by Reno. Mayol's father is a sponge diver that dies picking sponges. It has an impact on young Jacques. Fast forward 15 - 20 years & Enzo is the worlds best free diver. He is not content however as his old competitor Jacques is not in sight.

We find Jacques diving for the sake of science in the Andes Mountains. The scientific expedition has had an accident that requires the insurance company to send a rep down to investigate. That's Arquette's entrance as Johana Baker a quirky fun lady. She is immediately smitten with Jacques & that begins the rest of the show that revolves around the three of them & the dolphins Jacques admires. Jacques gets involved in Free diving because Enzo has him located & big Enzo who must be first in all things believes he will successfully romance Johana. The competition for Johana & the free diving world record begins. It plays much better than it reads with interesting looks at the world of diving as a sport, as a living, as fun & as science. The world of human relationships isn't left out. The love story is from as slightly unusual aspect due to Mayol's character.

The American ending differs from the others but that didn't upset me. It wasn't that big a thing & I'm not big on the integrity of a storyline as I believe the rash of director cuts are more tied to ego than integrity. Their validity or necessity surely isn't much.

The Directors cut I thought a travesty of time waste so many of its scenes really served no purpose. The French version was a much better length but I thought it suffered from having the same score as the Director's cut. Done by Eric Serra (the original composer) I felt the music was unrelated to the subject of the movie. The American version was cut a little short but had a new score done by Bill Conti. That score was perfectly suited to the water theme & as the music is a large part of your experience I prefer it by a bunch. The American ending is over dramatic but I'll put up with that for the change in music. I really like this show & when it comes to mind I always hear the American score not the original. Sometimes change is good as they say. I feel you should watch both the French & the American version. The Director's is just not good film.

I give the Director' 2 1/2 Stars, the French 4 Stars & the American 5 Stars.
I'm rating all three versions together as 4 Stars. Take a look!

Hard Candy
Hard Candy
DVD ~ Patrick Wilson
Offered by Surplus DVD Source
Price: $5.08
157 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Manipulation, February 22, 2010
This review is from: Hard Candy (DVD)
Oh boy do people have definite ideas about this one. The good thing is I don't need to include the story line. If you're this far into the reviews you heard it stated & mis-stated a lot.

I believed early on that pedophilia was the subject the show was about. By movies end I had decided the real subject matter here was excess. Over the top - mind bending excess. I no longer think the writer had any intention of showing the molester or the avenging angel in any kind of seriously actual light. The subject of pedophilia has been a hot issue for a long time now & the fact that this guy is a predator makes him the most disgusting kind of molester to most people. This show was created for most people not actual victims. It's a movie made for profit not a social commentary.

Once you leave the," is this a realistic portrayal of pedophilia behind?" You quickly catch on to what's happening here. Every scene as it develops will be presented in the most outlandish & bizarre manner. This is a show that was meant to leave you a little stunned at all the preposterous scenes put together into a movie & it does make a movie that's about complete excess. If you're not into that you will hate this show, not to mention get hung up on the wrong theme. The pedophilia is simply a lightning rod for deep emotion. They sure got that much out of this show. Patrick Wilson & Ellen Page deserve credit for putting the show on their shoulders. They knew going in that this would be a divisive show & they would be the targets.

I see comments about he was innocent or he was never proven guilty. He, however, felt he was proven guilty & caught red handed. Watch the end of the show. I'm not saying it's a perfectly legal portrayal of a conviction but maybe you noticed he had no jury, just an appeal proof judge. I read "she is only 14". I admit she looked 14 & said she was 14. She also lied some.

The guy is scum, human debris, they really don't leave room to argue about that point; even murder is admitted to. The question here is, was she any better? Did she become so excessive that her monster is as bad as or worse than his? The terrorization of his mind was intended to at least equalize the fear his victims felt & in this case most likely get some payback, make his suffering worse. You know, like if he is gonna make girls wonder about their immediate & future sex lives, well two can play that game. Our little girl hasn't stayed daddy's daughter. She is a predator all on her own & since her prey would not usually expect her kind of attack, she gets first shot.

This movie asks the question; can a human being become so low & defiled that we can treat them like a lion that attacked your family? Your family is mankind here. Should the predator of children be hunted down & killed as if they were a predatory beast?

This movie doesn't care about setting a social standard. It's willing to allow you to make any choice you deem fit. I guess you may have a complaint if you're upset about them playing with your deep emotions but movies do that. This movie is just Hard Candy. Don't break a tooth. If you must just shut it off. I loved it. 5 perverse Stars!

DVD ~ Ernest Borgnine
Offered by Outlet Promotions
Price: $8.06
106 used & new from $0.33

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Condemned, February 21, 2010
This review is from: Barabbas (DVD)
Hollywood excelled at this in earlier days. They start with a passage of scripture about the man, a murderer, which was released at the request of a crowd. His release sent Jesus to the cross to die for mankind's sin. The Bible leaves you there which becomes the start of this movie & high drama.

Starring Anthony Quinn, Silvana Mangano (I always admire her & Irene Papas work), Arthur Kennedy, Katy Jurado, Harry Andrews, Ernest Borgnine & Jack Palance in a role he was born to play. Quinn as Barabbas is perfect as a filthy, crude & violent Jew. His life dedicated to the destruction of Romans it is strange that he has been chosen as the recipient of Roman mercy. Having been condemned to die & then freed he cannot be sentenced to death again. "You cannot kill me." as Barabbas screams. This becomes the foundation of our plot as he moves from one confrontation with the Christians to another with the Romans & then on as Rome seeks a solution to the problem they set free.

What is interesting here is that the story really revolves around Barabbas' fight to understand why he is free while someone whose name is starting to spread across his world was condemned in his place. He wants to know more. Was the man evil? Did he hurt people too? Why does everyone seem to know this man died while he Barabbas lived? Is Barabbas cursed? Remember Zorba the Greek? Quinn is an actor that shows his passions well. That was needed here.

Don't get me or the movie wrong. This is a great Sword & Sandal show. I always think of Spartacus when this movie comes up. It's the gladiatorial schools & that's where you find Jack Palance as the Top Dog gladiator. Who could play it better? I would go without supper to see him in that role. You should too. Not since 1954's The Silver Chalice has Palance got the chance to play a maniacal antagonist this crazy. Those two roles cemented him as my favorite insane character actor. These are the best Gladiatorial Arena scenes you'll find.

An interesting look at what was available to Rome to punish a criminal it had to let live. This is all well done & the movie should be on your to watch list. It is not historical. This is Hollywood. Its only a movie but its a great one. By the way, Horseback was the world land speed record during the period of this movie. The show won't have computer graphics & the scenes won't change 3 times in 10 seconds. If you need those things don't watch this one. As a tidbit Roy Mangano played Jesus Christ (uncredited).

A great Quinn & Palance epic of high emotion. 5 STARS!!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2011 11:52 PM PST

Embrace the Darkness III
Embrace the Darkness III
DVD ~ Chelsea Blue
10 used & new from $11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Ok Ok, February 20, 2010
This review is from: Embrace the Darkness III (DVD)
Finally, the end of the series. Well it's not really a series as the first two are not worth watching. There is a gradual improvement here & since the shows don't rely on each other for story line you can watch just #3 & save some time & frustration.

The show is in modern day L. A. & a clan of scared or maybe cautious vampires is using the old come to my dance club routine to draw in food. It's close to impossible for a vampire to get blood before they have either been screwed or watched someone get screwed & that's the story in a nutshell (pun?). In this movies defense I admit there is less focus on sex & more focus on feast in this third film. The erstwhile hero a newspaper reporter is lame enough to have died 30 seconds into the film & the Dr. Van-Helsing replacement Mr. Van-Drugsing should have been left on a street that had no video equipment. I don't blame the actors. It's the writing & direction that needs upgrading. They do introduce the concept of a pure vampire which most shows don't mess with & by movies end that part has become good enough I wished that III had been the original so the story developed from there. It appeared they were catching on to the idea of a vampire story not just screwing interrupted by teeth.

If you heard about this group of vampire shows & want to check it out either rent or buy a used copy of III. I & II will disappoint you. If you like robotic poorly simulated sex done by people who are too good to try then this is your set. Buy all three. A reluctant 3 Stars.

Embrace the Darkness II (UNRATED) (Dvd)
Embrace the Darkness II (UNRATED) (Dvd)
DVD ~ Renee Rea
2 used & new from $61.20

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kissy Kissy, February 20, 2010
This sequel to Embrace the Darkness is an improvement over the original but that's not saying much. Its market should be the soft porn audience only & as that I guess it would have been OK. Their selling it as a vampire show makes most of the story line lame since there is a lot more sex than blood. I will admit they made the fangs look great but on a vampire that's horny as a teenager so what?

Almost all of this has been done better. The dance club to draw in humans? As examples try, Queen of the Damned & Blade. Here however its sex first & what kind of sex? Every actor & actress in this show must have been instructed to follow the same order of eroticism without variation. I don't mind watching 9 different groups hump each other as long as they proceed in 9 different fashions. I do believe that playboy has gotten so (is big the word) nobody there cares. Their product after all is, in order of appearance, breasts, ass, pecs, abs & crotch shots. What is done with them is of no consequence. If your one of the beautiful people the rest of the world should feel privileged you made them yawn. The sex is pitifully boring.

The disappointing thing about II is that the vampires are a little more blood thirsty than they were in the original. II also has more graphic sex scenes than its predecessor the vampires are more into both. That would leave the door open for III to actually be worth seeing but that's yet to be proven.

This set is more correctly about vamps. With the sets they use here I can see the humans being drawn into a web of deception that relieves them of their money & morality not blood. I can see no reason to watch either of the first two shows in this trilogy. A disappointing but hopeful 2 Stars here.

The Last Days of Frankie the Fly
The Last Days of Frankie the Fly
DVD ~ Michael Madsen
30 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dung eater, February 20, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a little off-beat gem as it deals with all of the dark issues about the mob but never in a heart attack manner. It is a comedy & to my mind better written that a lot of them. A good cast plus a good plot equals a better than you think movie.

Dennis Hopper is the low man in his family & why not. He's stuck in the past with his clothes, his music, and his ideals (there you go ideals from a gangster). Of course his ideals include Darryl Hannah who is his heart throb besides being the local porn actress. Hey honey nice dress! They even wrote the script so her Swedish co-star gets the laughs. Any how Frankie is serious about moving up in the world if only his boss would notice. His Boss (Michael Madsen) notices all right & prepares Frankie's daily meals of s**t.

This isn't the Godfather or Thief. It is the Godfather on gas. A funny quirky story, with a bit of heart in it. Think of a more serious 8 Heads in a Duffle Bag.
I laughed a lot. 4 Stars.

The Man in the Iron Mask (102 Minutes. Full Length. Delux Cardboard Case. Richard Chamberlain, Patrick McGoohan, Louis Jourdan)
The Man in the Iron Mask (102 Minutes. Full Length. Delux Cardboard Case. Richard Chamberlain, Patrick McGoohan, Louis Jourdan)
DVD ~ Mike Newell

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Royalty at Risk, February 20, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This show along with Chamberlain's "Count of Monte Christo" shows why he was regarded as the star meant to play royalty. The wonderful thing though is that he does not command the show by his presence only. Every one of the main characters puts in a believable & inspired performance.

This is one of my all time bests. Some today may think it doesn't move quickly enough but I feel in a time that horseback was the fastest mode of land transport this pacing is correct & I enjoyed it.

It begins with a kidnapping & exile to a prison island off France's coast. There the unknown is placed in an iron mask to conceal his face for all time. As a mystery more than anything else is how the movie was shot. There is no misdirection though. From scene to scene you move without knowing who or maybe what is going on but it is rapidly revealed as the next mystery comes on screen.

Here you have royal France before its fall. The 2 personalities of the king, his queen from Spain, the philandering & the true love story not to mention the Musketeers & all the supporting roles both Good & Evil for this is a Good vs. Evil story line as all here are one or the other except for those being trampled by the conflict. Keep an eye on the island blacksmith. If you like romantic adventure, political intrigue & quiet heroism this is for you. If your bored unless there are multiple & rapid scene changes you will not like this.

Cast includes: Richard Chamberlain, Patrick McGoohan, Louis Jourdan, Jenny Agutter, Ian Holm (Bilbo) & Vivien Merchant & Brenda Bruce as the Queens. Parts I'm sure few actresses wanted to play & they play them brilliantly.

Just thinking of this picture makes me smile. 5 STARS.

DVD ~ Kirk Douglas
Price: $9.99
70 used & new from $3.23

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An All Time Favorite, February 19, 2010
This review is from: Spartacus (DVD)
Here is a Kubrick film many people don't know he had anything to do with. It is one of my All Time Best films. The stars include Kirk Douglas as Spartacus, Jean Simmons as his lover (she rivals any Hollywood star for beauty & excelled at playing the openly honest yet properly smoldering female guys like), Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, Charles Laughton (Mutiny on the Bounty), John Ireland, Herbert Lom, not to mention Tony Curtis & George Kennedy. Sorry, I ran on a bit. The cast is actually matched by the screen play. Combined with Kubrick's direction this is over 3 hours of enjoyment.

The tale is however a look into the black heart of Roman power & manipulation. Spartacus is a Thracian slave, that just doesn't get it. He won't do as told & doesn't care who knows it. He is willing to endure any pain or punishment in order to live life exactly according to his own code of honor. Rome is the task master that will whip till you surrender or kill if you won't. What a match.

He is purchased & brought to the gladiatorial schools of Rome where he learns to kill efficiently & where his hatred of Roman dominion grows till it fuels a rebellion at the gladiators training school. Once having escaped their keepers the erst while gladiators band together & head for the sea to escape Rome's wrath. As they go they free any slave in their path that wants to be free & their numbers swell to threaten even the security of Rome. Legions are sent out by the Roman Senate against them & are handily defeated by this collection of slaves as the Roman Senate names them.

The rebellion has become rich, mighty & is led by astute minds but how far will their abilities & deep bonds of brotherhood take them. It is the high sense of humanity in this film that I feel drove the actors to buy into every part they were given to play. The performance by the cast is Outstanding by any measure. Yet it is the story that unfolds the tapestry of human beliefs, emotions & loyalties. From the opening of the show to its unforgettable end this movie enlightens & entertains on a high level. The love story between Spartacus & Virinia is one of the great one's on film. I would have loved to see more but I don't see a place in the show to put it.


The Silmarillion
The Silmarillion
by J. R. R. Tolkien
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
51 used & new from $1.38

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Middle Earth Explained, February 18, 2010
This was made from notes J R R Tolkien wrote before he penned the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings. It contains the why & how of Middle Earth up to & including the reign of men (4th Age).

Read this to find out.
What order creatures were created in.
How & why Middle Earth was created.
What were the 1st & 2nd age like.
What of the history of light. The sun & moon how were they made.
How & why were green things brought to life. Why were ents needed.
Who is Morgoth. Who is Ungoliant & what does she do.
Who is Beren. Who is Luthien. Who is Tuor & Huor.
Who exactly is Galadriel. What was her first service & who was it to.
What is Galadriel's status on earth. Whose her mother.
What is the Longest & saddest story of Middle Earth.
Where was the Land of Angmar.
What was known of Elves, Dwarves & Men during the creation.
What happens to the Children of Hurin.
Why the west is revered & why Dwarves & Men don't get there.
Who is Sauron exactly.
Whose steward is Gandalf.
What is Numenor.
How did elves,men & dwarves interact early on.
What is a Balrog exactly.
Why were Dragon's created.
Did Shelob have a mother.
Is Moria the only cave of city stature.
Did evil ever rule Middle Earth.
Where did Aragorn's Kingly heritage come from.
Where did his kin of old come from.
Whats the relationship between Aragorn & Elrond.
Where does Elrond fall in the ranks of elves.
The dead marshes come from what conflict.
and on and on and on. Yeah I know question marks. Sue me.

It is all character & place setting introduction but you find golden nuggets of info that makes LOTR, the Hobbit & the Silmarillion a greater experience for you. This book is a diamond in a tar pit & you should get through the tar to enjoy the last two thirds which is gem. Don't skip the beginning chapters. The things that are legend in LOTR & the things revered are alive in The Silmarillion it is far wider in scope than LOTR but of course lacks the detail of LOTR. Push through the first chapters!! 5 STARS!

The Guns of Navarone
The Guns of Navarone
DVD ~ James Robertson Justice
Price: $6.34
120 used & new from $0.25

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Mac Attack, February 17, 2010
This review is from: The Guns of Navarone (DVD)
A great entrant into the WWII movies genre. What a cast with Gregory Peck, David Niven, Stanley Baker, Anthony Quayle, James Darren, Irene Papas (She could play tough & sensual too!), Gia Scala & an appearance by Richard Harris of Horse fame. Anthony Quinn & Irene Papas a match made in heaven.

2,000 allied troops are trapped on an island that can't be reached by sea because of two monstrous railway guns that are mounted under solid rock. Since they are invulnerable to air attack someone must try the land route.

This story has a few neat twists & turns & depicts the choices that must be faced in order to be a patriot along with the weight of responsibility. The show is so well done I won't give much away but the ending is well plotted & executed. Enjoy! 5 STARS.

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