Science Fiction and Fantasy Film and TV Reviews by Title: C.

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Callan: The Monochrome Years
01/03/2010. region 2 DVD: pub: Network B002ZJ1JR2. 4 DVDs 600 minutes 12* 50 minute black & white episodes. Price: £29.99 (UK)) stars: Edward Woodward, Russell Hunter, Ronald Radd, Michael Goodliffe, Derek Bond and Anthony Valentine

Can a Crap Pack of super-zeroes save the world? The Mystery Men arrive.
01/08/1999. A new film has just been released in the US that aims to do to the image of the superhero genre what Dumb and Dumber did for the intellectually challenged market.

Captain Scarlet And The Mysterons DVD Boxset
01/12/2008. Region 2 DVD: pub: Carlton 37115 01613. 6 * 860 minute DVDs 32 * 25 minute episodes with extras. Price: £17.99 (UK) at HMV at the moment. Beats paying £75 for it).

Captain Scarlet by Barry Gray
01/12/2003. pub: Carlton/Silva Screen FILMCD 607. Price: £ 9.99 (UK). 118minutes.

Casa de mi Padre (Frank's take)
01/04/2012. Nobody knows how to grind out lifeless comedies in conveyor belt fashion such as Will Ferrell. Nevertheless, the ex-SNL star continues his consistency with the latest ethnic dud-of-a-laugher Casa de mi Padre. Sadly, Ferrell’s “hombre loco” act wears thin on the nerves and the overall movie is about as hollow as an empty piñata.

Casino Royale (Frank's take)
01/01/2007. The movie world's greatest super agent is back and assuming a whole new attitude if not a physical makeup, finds Frank. Gone are the vintage days of Bond-era sophisticates Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Also, let's not forget the trivial pursuit reminiscences of one-time Bond wannabe George Lazenby.

Casino Royale (Mark's Take)
01/12/2006. This is probably the best James Bond on film and probably the best James Bond film, finds Mark. Daniel Craig's James Bond is gritty and mean and a lot more real, albeit still too much a superhero. He has human fallibility and he gets hurt. The story, closer than usual to the novel for a Bond film, is more like a serious spy novel and less like a children's television show.

Catweazle: The 40th Anniversary Edition
01/04/2010. region 2 DVD: pub: Network B0030A0ZCU. 5 DVDs 650 minutes 26 * 25 minute episodes with extras. Price: £49.99 (UK))stars: Geoffrey Bayldon and Robin Davies.

Catwoman: Frank's Take
01/10/2004. In watching the curvy Oscar-winning Halle Berry don the skin tight suit in the sassy anti-superhero saga Catwoman, one must admit that this special eye candy is something that cannot be denied. And director Pitof does in fact lend this picture its glossy and mysterious allure in a unique manner that's inescapable to ignore. Beyond these couple of minor observations, this cosmetic kitty with the conflicting personality doesn't quite cut it as the escapist comic caper it could have been.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Mark's Take)
01/08/2005. This is the high-sucrose story of a good little boy who, along with four bad children, gets a much-coveted tour of a mysterious candy factory, says Mark. Roald Dahl's now-classic story is a cheerfully hypocritical children's cautionary tale gone weird. Tim Burton gives us his visually creative approach to the story with effects that frequently do not deliver. Still, it is a tale told with imagination and exuberance.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (Frank's Take)
01/08/2004. The concept of throwaway entertainment comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. And as everybody and their grandmother already knows, an exceedingly high dosage of boisterous brain-dead eye candy is what usually satisfies the majority of giddy moviegoers during the summertime blues.

Chernobyl Diaries (Frank's take)
01/07/2012. Chernobyl Diaries continues the tired trend of churning out toothless terrorising tales that bring neither any fresh ideas to the tortured table or generate distinctive debauchery. Generic, recycled and synthetically titillating, Chenobyl Diaries is just another hollow horror show going through the mechanical motions of shock value.

Chicken Little (Frank's Take)
01/12/2005. Frank discovers that in the innocuous Disney digitally animated feature Chicken Little, director Mark Dindal (The Emperor's New Groove) serves up a cute and cosy tale about a tiny bespectacled bird saddled with all kinds of paranoia and self-doubt.

Chicken Run (Berge's Take)
01/07/2000. I can't imagine this film not being a major summer success with kids of all ages. In fact, I can't imagine anyone not liking this movie a whole lot, girls, guys, kids, teens and adults alike.

Children Of Men (Mark's Take)
01/02/2007. How would universal infertility affect the human race? How would people react to a death sentence in sixty years or so? How exactly is society different without children? These and many other fascinating ideas are foregone in Children Of Men, says Mark, in order to give us a very prosaic action film. The film is diverting, but empty.

Children Of Men 2-DVD Special Edition
01/09/2009. DVD Region 2: pub: Universal Pictures B000NJM27M. 105 minute film with extras. Price: £ 2.50 (UK) if you know where to look. cast: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Peter Mullan, Michael Caine and Pam Ferris.

Chimera
1/07/2010. region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. PAR61479. 1 DVD 201 minutes 4 episodes plus extras. Price: £19.99 (UK))stars: John Lynch and David Calder.

Chimpanzee
01/05/2012. Earth Day is celebrated in the spirit as it is intended—to observe and appreciate the wonderment of our exquisite ecosystem. Well, Disney Nature has astutely made its notable tribute to our planet’s environmental cause courtesy of its affectionate nature documentary Chimpanzee, a gloriously quaint and affecting family-friendly movie that shines a touching spotlight on primates both in playful and periled predicaments.

Chocky - TV Series
01/04/2010. region 2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films PAR61467. 1 DVD 151 minutes 6 episodes and extras. Price: £19.99 (UK))stars: James Hazeldine, Carol Drinkwater and Andrew Ellams.

Chocky's Challenge
1/09/2010. region 2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films PAR61469. 1 DVD 184 minutes 3 episodes. Price: £19.99 (UK))stars: Anabel Worrell and Andrew Ellams.

Chocky's Children
1/07/2010. region2 DVD: pub: Revelation Films. PAR61468. 1 DVD 150 minutes 6 * 25 minute episodes and extras. Price: £19.99 (UK))stars: Andrew Ellams, Annabel Worrall and Ed Bisho.

Chronicles of an Exorcism (Mark's take)
01/06/2008. Chronicles Of An Exorcism, discovers Mark, is a low-budget, direct-to-DVD, pseudo-documentary horror thriller. The title tells most of the story; the film shows an exorcism. Not surprisingly the style is much influenced by The Exorcist but is done in a crude Blair Witch Project filming style. The roughness of the filming style works for the film, but cut corners undermine the effort frequently.

Classic Sci-Fi
02/03/2009. region 2 DVD: pub: Universal 825 1373. 553 minutes 7 films on 7 DVDs. Price: £16.00 (UK) if you know where to look, otherwise twice as much.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind 30th Anniversary Edition
01/12/2008. Region 2 DVD: pub: Sony Pictures CDR 26501UE. 3 DVDs 3 films (129m/127m/131m) plus extras. Price : £ 4.99 (UK) if you look around. stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Terri Garr, Melinda Dillon and Francois Truffaut.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind: Collector's Edition
01/08/2005. DVD: Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment CDR 26501. 131 minute film plus extras spread over 2 DVDs. Price as cheap as: £ 7.99 (UK) if you know where to look). stars: Richard Drefus, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr and Francois Truffaut.

Cloverfield (Mark's take)
22/01/2008. There have been dozens of Japanese films depicting giant monsters attacking large cities, says Mark. Cloverfield tries to show what such an event would be like more realistically. The results are violent and frankly unpleasant to watch, but deliver on what they promise: a realistic depiction of what it would be like if a giant monster really did attack Manhattan. The photography is jarring, but not as jarring as the realism.

Code 46
01/03/2004. In this movie Mark finds a very odd piece of science fiction; it is a film with some very nice material that tries some interesting ideas, but ultimately Code 46 fails to capture the viewer.

Code 46 Movie Review
01/09/2004. Mark discovers that Code 46 is a very odd piece of science fiction. It is a film with some very nice material that tries some interesting ideas, but it fails to capture the viewer. Its flaws outweigh its virtues.

Cody Banks 2: Destination London
01/05/2004. The misguided adventures of the awkward junior secret agent continue in the mind numbing and anemic sequel Cody Banks 2: Destination London. Quite frankly, Frank reckons that Cody & company need to consider quitting the spy business altogether.

Cold Creek Manor
01/11/2003. The creepy contrivance that takes the form of director Mike Figgis's haunted house hokum Cold Creek Manor definitely wants to develop the goose bump response for its anticipating audience. Unfortunately, this stillborn by-the-numbers movie of terror is reductive and just plods along.

Cold Souls: Mark's take
01/09/2009. Cold Souls is a bizarre fantasy that gives us a world where souls can be removed and transplanted like kidneys. What seems at first like a blessing causes some unforeseen and fantastic problems. The first half of Cold Souls is inventive, but the film really loses steam in the second half. Too many technical problems went unsolved in bringing this story to the screen. Sophie Barthes writes and directs.

Colossus: The Forbin Project
01/11/2006. DVD Region 1. Universal Studio Selections 26204. 101 minute film with no extras. Price: £3.00 (UK). stars: Eric Braeden, Susan Clark and Gordon Pinsent.

Colossus: The Forbin Project Special Edition DVD
1/8/2010. DVD region 2: pub: Universal/Medium Rare FHED2472. 1 DVD 95 minute film with extras. Price: £ 4.95 (UK) if you know where to look). stars: Eric Braeden, Susan Clark and Gordon Pinsent

Constantine: Frank's Take
01/04/2005. There are many considerations—both good and bad—that you can drum up when describing the captivating but convoluted supernatural comic book thriller Constantine. On one hand, music video-turned-motion picture director Francis Lawrence helms a stylish, overextended action-oriented sacred meditation of gothic imagery that stimulates the visual senses.

Contagion (Mark's take)
01/10/2011. Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Z. Burns give us a fast-paced and grim scenario of a nasty but all-too-possible avian flu was released and spread through the environment. There are about six strands of plot running through the scenario, each with a recognisable actor playing the main character. In spite of the presence of major stars Soderbergh gives us the confidence that he is not tweaking the film to exaggerate the drama or excitement. Even without the usual tropes of science fiction, this is - among other things - an excellent science fiction techno thriller.

Conversions to the cheaper kind
01/05/2008. Missed these when they first came out? Convesions from hardbacks to paperbacks and even complete DVD sets. If we've reviewed them they're featured below and you can find the links in the SFC search engine.

Coraline: Mark's take
02/03/2009. With charming images in 3-D animation, discovers Mark, we have the story of a girl who finds a tunnel to a parallel world where she has two other parents who just love her to death. Everything is wondrous in this world until she finds out that ... but that would be telling.

Cosmic Voyage (1935): Mark's take
01/12/2011. A professor, a woman, and a Young Pioneer are the first to travel to the moon in a Soviet science fiction film rarely seen in the United States. The story is only mediocre, but some of the visual effects are just stunning. The film seems to be a Soviet response to Fritz Lang's Frau Im Mond and while it is not as effective, it provides its own rewards.

Crank (Frank's Take)
01/10/2006. So folks, posits Frank, ready for another high-voltage convoluted crime drama that overdoses on its adrenaline rush faster than a junkie at a pharmaceutical convention? Well, co-writers/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor thinks so in the monotonously mindless but colourful caper Crank. Balding British badass action star Jason Statham is at it again doing what he does best-kicking butts and aimlessly taking names.

Crank 2: High Voltage (Frank's take)
01/05/2009. Predictably, discovers Frank, Stratham is given permission to crank it up a few more notches and go totally ballistic in the outrageously fuel-injected follow-up High Voltage. Brash, outrageously inane and chaotically crafty, Crank 2: High Voltage is unapologetic in its sheer penchant for graphic-induced ribaldry as its charismatic calling card.

Crime Traveller Volume 1 and 2
01/08/2003. pub: Video: Revelation PAE 61172. 200 minutes. Price: £19.99) stars: Michael French and Chloe Annette. Crime Traveller Volume 2 Video: Revelation PAE 61173. 200 minutes. Price: £19.99) stars: Michael French and Chloe Annette

Curse Of The Golden Flower (Mark's take)
01/05/2007. This is a Faberge egg of a film, finds Mark. It is exquisitely beautiful, but the story is not one of Zhang Yimou's best. It is an overwrought melodrama set on a background of impressive beauty. The story is theatrical and not especially deep so as not to distract from the visual. An emperor and empress struggle for power against each other in a story of sex, drugs, and murder, all set during the chrysanthemum festival. This is a beautiful film, but the characters are weak and disappointing from Zhang.

Cursed: Frank's Take
01/04/2005. Well, this absurd horror movie’s title says it all, folks. Cursed is a rancid boofest that wouldn’t scare a claustrophobic out of a dark and dank cave. It’s hard to believe that veteran fear-monger Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm Street) and resourceful screenwriter Kevin Williamsom (Scream) couldn’t come up with an inspired creepy collaboration given their previous capable track records working together.

Cypher: Mark's take
01/07/2010. Vincenzo Natali's follow-up to the 1996 Cube is in nearly all ways a science fiction outing superior to his previous film. Brian King's screenplay make this a fast paced science fiction adventure very much of the style of Philip K. Dick. Jeremy Northam is a total nebbish who gets to lead a double (and then triple) life in the shady world of industrial espionage.

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