The Lavender Hill Mob
Holland, a shy retiring man, dreams of being rich and living the good life. Faithfully, for 20 years, he has worked as a bank transfer agent for the delivery of gold bullion. One day he befriends Pendlebury, a maker of souvenirs. Holland remarks that, with Pendlebury’s smelting equipment, one could forge the gold into harmless-looking toy Eiffel Towers and smuggle the gold from England into France. Soon after, the two plant a story to gain the services of professional criminals Lackery and Shorty. Together, the four plot their crime, leading to unexpected twists and turns.
This is one of the great Ealing comedies from the 1950’s, with wonderful writing, and acting. The plot is fairly simple, but all the better for that because it makes the film so much more believable – but for some bad luck (and the fact that in the era this was made films were penalised by the censorship board if they showed criminals getting away with a crime) there’s every chance Guinness and Holloway would have gotten away with the gold.
The supporting cast is reasonable but what makes this film so fantastic is the performances of Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway; both of them play their roles well, hitting just the right notes and showing great chemistry.
If you like a good comedy and you haven’t yet seen this, I heartily recommend it.
The Redemption Of Althalus
David and Leigh Eddings
Althalus has been a thief his whole life, so when he’s offered a lucrative job after a run of bad luck, he’s quick to accept. It would have been better if he had found out more about the job before he took, because what he finds when he gets to the house he is to rob he finds more than the book he has been paid to steal, he finds a mission to save the world from evil.
As a big fan of David Eddings and his previous series, The Belgariad and Sparhawk books, I went out and bought this book the moment I saw it was out. I won’t say that I wish I hadn’t because it is a decent book, it’s just not as good as his others. In the series he wrote before he created many good characters that I enjoy revisiting, characters I’d love to know more about – in a couple of instances Eddings had written books that allow characters to do just that, but I can’t say the same for this book. The characters are decent in The Redemption Of Althalus but lack the depth of those he created previously, both the good and the bad.
There’s some cleverness to the plot, which jumps around a little as time is played with, as is space and distance to beat the bad guys, but ultimately it all seems too easy. I would have liked it to be a little tougher for the good guys to win. There wasn’t even any real sense of danger for Althalus and his companions, as he manages to be in complete control even it looks like things are going against them.
If you like your fantasy light then you may well enjoy this book, but if you’re after something harder (as I’ve been accustomed to) I suggest you look elsewhere.
For those of you who have been enjoying my writing, I have just put up a new short story, you can either find it here under the short story tab or on wattpad – https://www.wattpad.com/story/84967628-the-bee
When a man and a bee fight, no-one is safe, least of all a bystander
New York cop John McClane travels to LA to visit his wife and arrives in time for the skyscraper she works in to be taken over by terrorists. When the police outside fail to help it’s up to McClane to take on the terrorists from within the building, a difficult task since he’s both out-manned and outgunned.
This is considered a classic action movie from the 80’s for a reason. Bruce Willis plays John McClane to perfection; he’s no Rambo, no highly trained solder, he’s just a cop doing everything he can to save his wife, and the other hostages. Every run-in he has with the terrorists leaves him more bruised and bloody, and you have to wonder why he doesn’t find a quiet corner to hide in before he gets himself killed.
The supporting cast, especially Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, leader of the terrorists, is great and the action barely lets up. When it does it’s usually for the sake of some barbed conversation between McClane and either the terrorists or the cops.
I’ve watched this movie a number of times over the years and still enjoy it, thanks for the performances of the two leads and the fact that the special effects look as good now as they did when the film was new – no dated CGI or other effects here.
If you like action and good characters, and somehow haven’t seen this movie, or its sequels yet, check it out.