Set amid the turbulence of the Young Turk movement within the dying Ottoman Empire, Abdul the Damned was among the first films directed in Britain by Karl Grune, acclaimed director of 1923’s Die Strasse (The Street), who had fled Nazi Germany in 1933; the film also features starring roles for fellow German émigré and Pandora’s Box star Fritz Kortner, Scottish screen idol John Stuart, and Swedish silent-era heart-throb Nils Asther. Turkey, 1908: Sultan Abdul Hamid II becomes infatuated with Therese, a young Viennese opera singer and she is forced to give in to him to protect her fiancé, Young Turk Talak Pasha. Will the fervour of Talak’s popular opposition to the Sultan’s rule eventually lead to the monarch's downfall?
Rodolfo R (ru) wrote: Y quien no quiere volver?.. Como s el volver nos asegurara la salvacin.
Harry W (fr) wrote: Boasting a blockbuster status as a Vin Diesel movie, xXx sounded like and exhilarating thrill ride.xXx makes an attempt to cross the X-games over into action films as a means of creating a more global franchise, and because of this there is very much a feeling that the movie is one long commercial. It is clearly a very commercialized film aimed at the MTV crowd as it puts all the value on its action and soundtrack with little concern for the plot. For example, the use of Rammstein's "Feuer Frei" in the intro scene is awesomely intense and its a song that I love, as is the later use of "Bodies" by Drowning Pool. Yet in terms of narrative, the entire intro scene is rather confusing. There is just a lot of characters supposedly caught up in some kind of conspiracy at a Rammstein concert and I can't rap my head around it. But the fact is that in a film like xXx, story is not important. Yet though fans of good action cinema realize this, apparently Cob Cohen didn't. xXx has a title with a total of three X's in it, clearly promoting a promise of X-game exhilaration in the quantity of three. But I must have read too much into it because the quantity of action in the film is the furthest thing from sufficient. The quality of them is decent because a lot of the ideas are cool, and even though some of them may end up overblown or not precisely captured with expertise, the genuine production values of them all are certainly a boost for the film's credibility. This just makes it all the more disappointing when they aren't utilized. After the intro action scenes, there is essentially no action on offer in xXx for about an hour. That should tell you just how lacking the film is. Anything between the action scenes in the film is just generic scripting and incompetent plot building, and Vin Diesel's charisma can only carry it all so far. All in all, they just get in the way of the action.Frankly, the attempts to cross X-games sports into the spy thriller genre and actually craft a legitimate story are incredibly misguided. The former goes into the market of people looking for a guilty pleasure thrill ride while the latter is focused on audiences seeking competently intelligent writing. xXx attempts to deliver both but ends up supplying neither because the two styles do not merge. For one thing, the spy thriller aspect of xXx wants to take the film very seriously while the extreme sports side of it tries to make it a guilty pleasure. Either way, Rob Cohen fails to find the sufficient balance to make it work. The film carries over the gadgets and settings of a spy thriller which gives it some good action scenes to match, as does the extreme sports stunts. Yet they never amalgamate into a singular entity and rather end up leaving the film structured like a series of vignettes where some are serious and some aren't. Either way, they don't combine. Yet it is even worse that there is just not enough of them to distract forom the incompetence in the rest of the feature. For a film with such a practical action nature to boast about, xXx can't find anything sensible to do with itself and instead just wastes the time of viewers and Vin Diesel.But even though the film is so shallow and bereft of character, I did find value in Vin Diesel's role in the film beyond strictly his presence.Vin Diesel is a decent lead in xXx. Though Xander Cage is a poorly scripted character who leaves him more things to talk about than to shoot at, the film capitalizes on Vin Diesel's legacy created from The Fast and the Furious by providing the man with a character who has a taste for all things fast. Teaming him up again with Rob Cohen, Vin Diesel is given a role of more vocal relevance this time around. And though his character does not have much interesting to say, Vin Diesel lets the lines flow naturally from himself by simply saying it all as naturally as it comes to him. His hard edged nature is diverted into a more cocky persona this time around, it he is able to make it work because he is restrained but consistent with his line delivery and genuine energy. As well as that, his level of muscular physique makes it abundantly clear that he has the right stature for an action hero and his determination to engage with the tension of the film crosses over with the more intense scenes very well. Vin Diesel proves more than capable of kicking ass and delivering a large quantity of dialogue with ease in xXx, so it is effective in boosting his credibility in a sense.Samuel L. Jackson is a good cast member to have on board because his instinctive persona integrates sophistication with a light touch of attitude that proves beneficial. Alas, the amount of screen time he receives if far from well-suited for an Academy Award nominated legend and cultural icon like him. His chemistry with Vin Diesel has its moment because the actor is instinctively talented, particularly when it comes time to establish a sense of tension. Samuel L. Jackson plays a very stereotypical role in xXx which is far from groundbreaking, but as a fan of his I can easily say that his natural charisma was a welcome touch.The cameos from Danny Trejo and Tony Hawk are also welcome.So despite a sporadic collection of competently staged action moments and a dedicated central effort from Vin Diesel, Rob Cohen ultimately smothers the potential of xXx with an excessive focus on talking instead of action, ultimately making the simplistic plot and tonal inconsistencies of the film all the more obvious.
Aaron M (fr) wrote: Gorgeous and passionate film.
Michael M (us) wrote: so ridiculous hahaha
emily h (mx) wrote: not bad, everyone is so young!!
Vincent C (es) wrote: As the most overrated John Carpenter movie, Prince of Darkness plods with wooden characters, cheap dialogue, and a lack of focus. Carpenter's ideas are interesting but underdeveloped, and only Pleasence and a couple of eerie scenes are able to give the film a bit of a lift.
Simon D (jp) wrote: I did enjoy Up in Smoke a lot more than I thought I would and, as part of a 2 disc DVD presumed that this was a direct sequel. Perhaps I'm wrong but it seems I've seen a decent debut followed by a wilting goodbye film. This started out with potential as a story seemed to be the intention but soon turned into a sketch movie and then a live stand-up show of fairly weak comedy on an Amsterdam stage. A very disappointing end to what could have been another decent comedy.
Rylieeee (au) wrote: I wanna see this! i love PANDA's! lol xP
Eric B (es) wrote: Wow what a film. Utterly gripping. Tilda Swinton gets better every time I watch her.
Kevin M W (au) wrote: Two losers at the very bottom rung of the American Dream have only their tenuous friendship to sustain them. Schlesinger as an Englishman and an outsider is not too impressed with America or Americans and delivers an honest and scathing denouement, but neither are we impressed with the hallucinatory flash with which he tells his tale. What remains, what sticks, is the acting of the two leads who fully invest in the characters frailties whose weaknesses amazingly leads to empathy rather than disgust.
Daniel K (kr) wrote: 2: This is one of those parts of American history I don't believe I'd ever heard of before watching the film. I guess they were a KKK for Detroit and were responsible for killing Malcolm X's father, among other things. It's sad to say I can see an organization like this forming and operating today. I'm not sure how much has changed. There's nothing terribly exceptional or entertaining about the film though. It's a bit of a sub-standard genre picture in my opinion.
Taylor B (ru) wrote: Great psychological thriller/mystery.
Richard R (kr) wrote: Good action and ages well
Keenan S (de) wrote: Quigley Down Under is one of the great, underrated westerns. I don't why critics weren't so fond of it, considering that contains pretty much everything anyone could want from a western. There's a sweeping storyline with important messages, romance, thrilling action, hilarious humor, heartfelt moments, and great acting across the board. The film both engaged me in ways that made me think, but it also let me have a lot of fun while watching it because of the humor and the charisma of the actors. I can't think of a single part that was dull, any overly emotional scenes, or any humor that wasn't funny. I feel that it accomplished what it set out to do perfectly. While I may not watch westerns often, I am seeing that I need to watch them more because of great ones like this one. This is also a case where the critics got it wrong, because this is a great western.