Cecil Willoughby-Smythe


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  • Krull
    Starring Ken Marshall (in leather trousers), Lysette Anthony and Freddie Jones, Krull was the best film ever... when I was about ten. Prince Colwyn (Marshall) must travel to the forboding Black Fortress in order to confront 'The Beast', who has stolen away his beloved Lyssa (Anthony). Also featuring appearances by Alun Armstrong, Robbie Coltrane, Liam Neeson, Todd "Tucker Jenkins" Carty and Francesca Annis as the creepy 'Widow Of The Web', Krull is full of action, adventure, horror, romance and truly naff special effects. Although, the scene in the 'Great Swamp' where Colwyn's cyclops mate impales a changeling on his trident has aged surprisingly well and remains effectively grotesque.
  • Xanadu
    The movie that killed Olivia Newton John's career. Olivia plays one of the Greek Muses, who helps a struggling musician achieve his dreams. Predictably, she falls in love with him and there follows much angst regarding the future of their relationship -- her being essentially immortal whereas he's not. Abysmal acting, hideous clothes, gut-wrenchingly bad dialogue, but some great music courtesy of Olivia and ELO. File under "guilty pleasure".
  • Robocop
    I remember watching this film for the first time (I was about 12), and being blown away by how unrelentingly violent the entire thing was. Paul Verhoeven has a reputation for treating the actors in his films as expendable meat-puppets, but Robocop really raised the bar on what constituted gratuitous violence. Nevertheless, I was riveted. Peter Weller gives a great performance as the cybernetic police officer attempting to come to terms with both the loss of his identity and free will due to strict programming, and the trauma of his brutal near-death experience at the hands of a band of cop-killing thugs. Likewise, both Ronny Cox and Kurtwood Smith are appropriately vile as scheming corporate manipulator, Dick Jones, and murderous drug-dealing crimeboss, Clarence Boddicker, respectively. Robocop is, at its core, a dark and bloody satirical commentary on capitalism, consumer culture, crime and punishment, corporate corruption and our fear of, and reliance upon technology. Sick, funny and thought-provoking, it nevertheless requires a strong stomach.
  • Labyrinth
    Becky's right, Sir Didymus was a fox, and Ambrosias the old English sheepdog, his not-so-faithful steed. Also, Hoggle was a goblin, not a troll. Favourite scenes include the old man with the snarky bird on his head, ("Gah! It's so stimulating being your head!"), the knockers, ("It's no use talking to him, he's as deaf as a post!"), the riddle of the doors, ("So, which one of you lies?" "He does!" "I do not!" "Oh, what a lie!"), and of course, the Bog of Eternal Stench, ("Can't you smell that?" *sniff, sniff* "No. The air is sweet, and fragrant, and NONE SHALL PASS WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!") Brilliant film.
  • Die Hard
    Alan Rickman stole every scene he was in as the villainous Hans Gruber. I particularly loved his casual dismissal of people he'd just shot. Having just executed Mrs McClane's boss, he idly declares "Sadly, Mr Takagi won't be joining us... for the rest of his life." Incidentally, the grey vest you refer to; I think that was actually his original white vest, but McClane had been crawling through filthy ventilation ducts and the white vest didn't stay white for long.
  • Vanilla Ice
    He also performed a song during a scene in the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' movie. Both the song and the movie were absolutely naff, incidentally.
  • The Smiths
    Morrisey single-handedly made both National Health prescription spectacles and riding your bicycle cool. 'How Soon Is Now' remains an anthem for angst-ridden teenagers to this day.

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