» P Storm (2019, Hong Kong / China)

The fourth movie in the Storm franchise [following on from Z Storm (2014), S Storm (2016), L Storm (2018), from which I have been successfully sheltered in each case, and not counting the yet-to-be-released G Storm], this again features William Luk Chi Lim (Louis Koo) as a super-committed investigator from Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 27th, 2019 at 9:57 pm. Updated on August 27th, 2019 at 10:10 pm.

» Marco W. – 247 Tage im türkischen Gefängnis / 247 Days in a Turkish Prison (2011, Germany)

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Marco W. etc is based on the true story of 17-year-old Marco Weiss, who was arrested in 2007 on charges of sexual abuse of a 13-year-old English girl during a holiday in Turkey, and who then spent 247 days in Turkish prisons. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 10th, 2019 at 8:21 pm. Updated on August 10th, 2019 at 8:21 pm.

» The Meanest Man in Texas (2017, USA)

It’s an extraordinary story, this one: based on the real-life story of Clyde Thompson who collected three life sentences, found God in jail, and became a prison chaplain after his release. Maybe because it’s sympathetic to him from the outset, maybe because it is so mindful of its likely audience that the portrayal of his pre-redemption ugliness is never too graphic, or maybe because Clyde never looks anything but boyish – but the message of his transformation is not as powerful as you might imagine; preaching to the converted has its downside. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on August 5th, 2019 at 9:05 pm. Updated on August 5th, 2019 at 9:05 pm.

» Tonight’s the Night (1932, UK)

Also known as ‘Tonight’s the Night: Pass It On’ and ‘Bill Takes a Holiday’, it seems unlikely that this British comedy will surface in the near future. A 35mm copy is part of the British Film Institute archive collection, but as yet there are no plans to digitise it and viewing access is not made available to film buffs, researchers, stickybeaks or fans of Rod Stewart who think they have chanced upon an early bootleg video of his 1970s hit. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 26th, 2019 at 9:20 pm. Updated on July 26th, 2019 at 9:27 pm.

» Escape Plan: The Extractors (2019, USA)

The third in the Ray Breslin Escape Plan series, this represents a major departure from the others; while the first two relied on his famed security expertise to be able to find the flaws in even the highest-tech, most secure prisons, this one takes him to an old-school, low-tech prison (played by the dilapidated Ohio State Reformatory, built in 1886) to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Chinese technology tycoon. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 24th, 2019 at 9:27 pm. Updated on July 24th, 2019 at 9:38 pm.

» Locked Up (2017, USA)

With a bit more imagination this could be a much better film… and still be pretty awful. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 14th, 2019 at 1:11 pm. Updated on July 14th, 2019 at 1:15 pm.

» Avengement (2019, UK)

Bronsonesque, I’d say. The same gleeful celebration of violence as the celebrated, violent British biopic Bronson (2009), but with a more noble cause and less theatre. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 7th, 2019 at 12:48 pm. Updated on July 7th, 2019 at 12:48 pm.

» Great Escape from Women’s Prison (1976, South Korea / Hong Kong / Taiwan)

Also known as ‘Excessive Torture in a Female Prison Camp’ (as distinct from reasonable, permissible torture, of course), this is a film more about love and patriotism than either escape or torture. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on July 3rd, 2019 at 9:35 pm. Updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 9:45 pm.

» Strike of the Tortured Angels (1982, Hong Kong)

The embedded subtitles on this dubbed-into-English film (at least the version on YouTube) would seem to be a mixture of Danish and Finnish or other Scandinavian languages, which doesn’t seem to make much sense. But then, nor does much else in the film. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on June 30th, 2019 at 5:42 pm. Updated on July 7th, 2019 at 1:01 pm.

» Chasers (1994, USA)

If there were no The Last Detail (1973), this might seem like a different prison-ish road movie. As there is, it’s maybe not so different. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on June 29th, 2019 at 8:07 pm. Updated on June 29th, 2019 at 8:17 pm.