James Byrne
El Cid
Joined: November 3rd, 2010, 2:11 pm

July 15th, 2017, 6:57 am #41

Detective Thorn wrote:
June 1st, 2017, 5:16 pm
I can just imagine you squirming in the corner! :lol:
This review also made me squirm, Thorn. The "critic" gets a bit too personal about Heston for my liking. Thankfully, Edward Jones has now retired from the business ​http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/jone ... 4afc5.html

T]he Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, Virginia, Wednesday, Nov 5, 1980
CHARLTON HESTON TOO HOKEY IN LATEST DEVILISH MOVIE
"THE AWAKENING" FILM REVIEW by Edward Jones
Gregory Peck tried it. So did William Holden. Now, another aging Oscar-winner, Charlton Heston, battles a loved one possessed by the devil. "The Awakening" tries to outdo the two "Omen" films. Rather than simple Satan, its "devil" is the mummy of a murderous (and, of course, beautiful) Egyptian Queen who seeks to come back to life. But not even all the recent interest in King Tut nor the eerie scenery of the Valley of the Kings can keep "The Awakening" from putting you to sleep. From the moment our obsessed Egyptologist (Heston) and his too-faithful assistant (Susannah York) stumble across an ancient tablet, this updated version of Bram Stoker's ("Dracula") 1903 novel "The Jewel of the Seven Stars," writes itself. It's hard not to get the message from: "Do not approach the Nameless One, lest your soul be withered. The Nameless One must not live again." When Heston's apparently still-born daughter comes to life the moment he opens the Evil Queen Kara's tomb, any lingering suspense is quickly snuffed out. The rest of the film becomes a belabored exercise in predictable reincarnation. There might still be some fun to the proceedings if it weren't for one big roadblock by the name of Charlton Heston. Ever since he got sand in his shoes for "The Ten Commandments" and "Khartoum," Heston has become downright embarrassing. He seems to have a limited collection of grimaces, gestures and stage whispers he pulls out over and over. It's an approach that makes a hokey movie seem even hokier. Director Mike Newell, a convert from British television, might have had better luck if Susannah York had had more of a role to play, but this gifted actress who sprang to fame in "Tom Jones" has little more to do than join the galaxy of beautiful women meeting grisly deaths on the screen these days. Handling the possessed daughter role to Stephanie Zimbalist, daughter of Efrem Zimbalist Jr. She's a bit too girl-next-doorsy, to project devilishness, even with a a heavy coat of make up. When it comes to the devil, Hollywood ought to give up the fight for a while.
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James Byrne
El Cid
Joined: November 3rd, 2010, 2:11 pm

August 4th, 2017, 8:24 am #42

CURSE OF THE FEMALE MUMMY
Bill Von Maurer, "Miami News", November 1980

Scene: producer Robert Solo and director Mike Newell are sitting around a studio conference room in Hollywood sipping Perrier with a lox twist and munching on Big Macs.
Newell:  "You're not really serious about this, are you R.S.?"
Solo: "I'm deadly serious M.N., if you will excuse the expression,"
Newell: "But by God! R.S., nobody makes mummy pictures anymore. Nobody's made one in 30 years ever since Boris Karloff hung up his surgical wraps."
Solo: "Look, R.S.. I've always had my thumb on the public's pulse and what the public wants right how is a mummy picture. I can feel it in my ... er .... bones."
Newell: "Are you sure about that, R.S.?"
Solo: "Never been more serious about a picture in my life. They're going to eat this one up at the box office."
Newell: "I hope you're certain about this, R.S., what are you going to call it?"
Solo: "Hell of a title, M.N., I'm going to call it 'The Awakening.' "
Newell: "Oh, my God! You can't be serious! 'The Awakening?' It's God awful. Right off the bat, you get the whole picture. Mummy rising from an ancient tomb, a curse is put on the intruders, a whole lot of people die for desecrating the tomb. That's it isn't it?"
Solo: "Well, that's putting it a little bluntly, I believe, but it's something like that, I suppose."
Newell: "Who are you going to get to play the lead? A scientist, no doubt."
Solo: "You're right, the lead is a scientist and I'm getting Charlton Heston to do it."
Newell: "Good lord! the things you have to believe these days. OK, so who's going to play the love interest, R.S.?"
Solo: "I've gotten Susannah York to do it, M.N."
Newell: "Susannah York! Where'd you dig her up! Heh, heh, heh."
Newell: "Well, I'll give you the edge there, R.S., a lady mummy is no dummy."
Solo: "I'm just going to overlook that, M.N., You see, when the queen's tomb is opened, she enters the body of Char's child who is being born to his wife, played by Jill Townsend, at the very moment the tomb is being opened. How's that for an original?"
Newell: "Not bad, R.S., not bad. But there's got to be a 'Curse of the tomb' and how are you going to jazz up that old turkey?"
Solo: "Well, I'm going to steal a little bit from 'The Exorcist' to update the situation and you can bet audiences will love that. You see, the queen was forced to marry her father and she hates him. Centuries later, when she escapes from the tomb because of Char's blundering into it, she invades the body of her inadvertent liberator's little baby daughter and hides out there until the girl is 18, the same age as when the Queen died. That's when all the action begins and the blood begins to gush."
Newell: "Pretty gory little epic, eh?"
Solo: "Well, M.N., I told you that I know what the public likes, didn't I?"
Newell: "I guess I got you all wrong, R.S., this one's going to be a zinger, I can feel it myself. Yes, yes, I'll direct. It's destiny."
(A voice is heard, sounding as if it came from a tomb: "Curses!")
Solo: "What you don't get about this picture is that the mummy is going to be a woman for a change, a great Queen of Egypt who died 3,000 years ago and whose tomb is discovered by Char."
Solo: "Look, I told you to watch the humor, M.N."
Newell: "No harm intended, R.S., no harm intended."
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James Byrne
El Cid
Joined: November 3rd, 2010, 2:11 pm

August 4th, 2017, 9:50 am #43

Film critics working for newspapers have a duty to responsibly give an outline of the plot and a description of the movie without releasing too many spoilers, and to comment on the performances of the actors, and other members of the films crew, in a professional manner. They are not supposed to be well-paid trolls displaying their lack of wit to the readers who buy the newspaper. When THE AWAKENING was released in America on Halloween, 1980, virtually every critic gave the movie a bad press, but most of them stuck to the rules of a professional critic. The above 'review' by Bill Von Maurer was the most amateurish piece of junk I have ever read by a so called Film Critic. Not only does it contain two spelling mistakes, five blasphemies, a nauseating description of Heston as "Char," but bores the reader almost instantly with what must be a record number of a person's initials which become tedious almost immediately (Von Maurer even messes that up in the second Solo sentence - he has Solo apparently addressing himself!)

When Bill Von Maurer died in January 2006, his colleagues wrote about his "wicked sense of humour" when reviewing films and theatrical productions. If that's humour, then I'm a Zulu!
I'm not the only one who doesn't appreciate Von Maurer's so-called humour. Jose Ferrer directed a play called LIGHT UP THE SKY and he was so incensed with Von Maurer's scathing review that he banned the critic from appearing at the theatre ever again, but later relented after a meeting was called and Ferrer was forced to let him back in.
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Detective Thorn
Damned Dirty Admin
Detective Thorn
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Joined: November 1st, 2010, 3:18 pm

September 1st, 2017, 6:42 pm #44

Yeah, didn't find that review very funny, either.

You know, McKay, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were. And to tell you the truth, that just didn't seem possible.
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James Byrne
El Cid
Joined: November 3rd, 2010, 2:11 pm

January 10th, 2018, 8:34 am #45

I have been looking through some of my  Movie Guide books at home, and  all the critics slate THE AWAKENING. Here's a few samples-

LEONARD MALTIN: Archaeologist Heston enters the tomb of Egyptian Queen Kara, whose spirit enters the body of his newborn daughter. Need we continue?

LESLIE HALLIWELL: Unpersuasive and humourless mumbo jumbo from the same intractably complex novel that provided the basis for BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB.

MICK MARTIN and MARSHA PORTER (Video Movie Guide): In this mediocre horror flick, Charlton Heston plays an Egyptologist who discovers the tomb of a wicked queen. The evil spirit escapes the tomb and is reincarnated in Heston's newborn daughter. A bit hard to follow.

PETE WAYMARK (1000 Best Movies on Video): Public response to the Tutankhamun exhibition supposedly inspired this piece of British mummified nonsense, derived from Bram Stoker. The cast seems burdened by the absurdities; pleasingly photographed Egyptian locations.

JUDITH WILLIAMSON (Time Out): The opening section of this glossy, boringly shot mummy drama, loosely based on Bram Stoker's novel "The Jewel of Seven Stars," is packed with cheapo Freudian parallels between an archaeologist's obsession with the tomb of an Egyptian princess, and his jealous wife's pregnancy (much intercutting between the ancient doors being thrust open and the graphic hospital birth). Though crude, this tack might have proved interesting, but the rest is part ineffective horror, part coyly underplayed element of incest as the archaeologist's daughter (aged 18) becomes the reincarnated princess and evil forces are unleashed on the world.

DAVID QUINLAN (TV Times): Firm-jawed Charlton Heston plays an Egyptologist who discovers the tomb of the evil Queen Kara. Ignoring the inevitable curse (well he has to or we wouldn't have a picture), he breaks the seal to the tomb and carts all of it off to a museum. Eighteen years later, his daughter (Stephanie Zimbalist), who was born the instant Kara's tomb was entered, becomes possessed by the spirit of Kara ..... This is a variation on the old curse of the mummy theme, although there aren't people in bandages wandering about. Pure hokum, of course, and not terribly good hokum at that.

LASER VIDEO GUIDE. Spring 1996: An Egyptologist is obsessed with an ancient sorceress whose return has been prophesised in this withering occult tale filmed in the land of the Pharoahs.
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James Byrne
El Cid
Joined: November 3rd, 2010, 2:11 pm

March 14th, 2018, 9:25 am #46

Here is an interesting interview from OMNI Magazine, November 1980

http://www.housevampyr.com/training/lib ... 980_11.pdf

CHARLTON HESTON interview, OMNI Magazine, November 1980

Present-day scientists have this much in common with Galileo: They endure a host of highly visible detractors. And while modern science and invention are not castigated
before an Inquisition as severe as that of Pope Urban VIll, the hosing waters of a Jane Fonda or Senator William Proxmire do manage to short-circuit a nuclear plant here, drown a NASA probe here. But today, as in the seventeenth century, the sea of antiscientific rhetoric is more turgid than deep; now, as then, the ruffian outpourings must ebb and part before the raised staff of cool, common sense. There is no public figure more eager, or fitting, to lift this rod in defense of progress than Charlton Heston. A film headliner for more than 30 years, the Illinois-born actor has lent his imposing presence to such diverse screen characterizations as Cardinal Richelieu,
the Norman knight Chrysagon in The War Lord, Andrew Jackson, and Mark Antony,
But no less important is what these roles have given Heston; the chance to research
religion and science, to study the lessons of history, and to plumb the riches of world culture. What Heston has gleaned from the centuries is not encouraging. "The popular dogma— that we are evolving into kinder wiser, more humane and tolerant
beings— I don't think is true," Heston asserts. "Man's abstract worth may be
enormous, but he is not a highly educable animal. This is my basic malaise. While I will always have infinite faith in the extraordinary individual, group man is helpless, pliable; there are too many blithering idiots."
Many of Heston's films have reflected his disenchantment with mankind, none more so than such science-fiction pictures as Planet of the Apes (1968) and two of its
sequels, The Omega Man (1971), and Soylent Green (1973). This year he has made The Awakening, in which he stars as a professor of Egyptology who unearths a long-hidden pharaonic tomb and must discover whether his ensuing misfortunes are supernatural or psychological. Though The Awakening is not a condemnation of society per se, it does reflect Heston's disbelief in the fashionable space-chariot theories of Erich von Daniken and in such occult phenomena as reincarnation. The relative literacy of Heston's Science fiction work derives not only from his films' thematic sophistication, be it satiric or grimly admonishing, but also from the
affection that Heston has for the genre. A confessed "print freak." the actor has been a votary of science fiction and fantasy for most of his life. In his youth he read the works of Jules Verne as well as Weird Tales and religiously followed the comic-strip escapades of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. He patronized all of the early science-fiction films, from the serials to such features as Things to Come and Frankenstein ("which scared the butt off 'me"), and later became especially fond of Ray Bradbury's works.
"It's a poorly kept secret that," Heston declares, "compared to what Bradbury and others have written, the majority of filmed science fiction has been awful. One reason for this is that filmmaking is a terribly expensive art form. The imagination holds no rein on it, but if you're going to photograph something, you've got to build it. That means you've got to borrow money from someone, and then you get bureaucrats making choices for you. They understandably want a return on their investment and feel that the most dependable way to accomplish this is by amazing an audience. The film you end up with, then, is like the circus or grand opera, neither of which has a lot of characterization. Indeed, most of the science-fiction films being made today are called space operas— an appropriate term. They are gigantic operas, even down to the Wagneresque music, the characters being reduced to one of two stereotypes:
tourists or fugitives. "Now you can argue that you don't need spectacle in science fiction, and this is true. But not everyone understands this, which is why you have films like The Black Hole, where there's no real story and nothing to act. Most writers and directors, in creating men and women from another time period, be it past or future, merely take twentieth-century people, flatten them out, and have them spout attitudes that are current. What I've tried to do in playing these roles is to find the underlying differences between their societies and our own, then blend this tone, this shading, into the characters as they are developed in the script. Or underdeveloped, as is often the case. In The Awakening, for example, we worked hard to make the archaeologist not just your standard mad scientist screaming, 'Don't you understand?' He's far more complex than that." In addition to what he has garnered from research, Heston fleshes out his characters by writing meticulous outline-cum-biographies to which he refers during shooting and which he distributes to his fellow filmmakers. He admits that this brand of intensity can lead to curious eccentricities, as it did on the Planet of the Apes set. "During meal breaks," he remembers, "I noticed that the humans would tend to eat together, and not only did the apes eat by themselves, but the gorillas would eat with gorillas and the chimpanzees with chimpanzees. They did it instinctively." Heston maintains that while this "natural"
segregation was eerie, it had the creative by-product of heightening the feeling of
alienation that his part required. Though Heston is disappointed with the poor quality of recent films, and SF films in particular, he expresses a greater discontent with the declining quality of human thought and endeavour in society at large.
"People seem to reject as elitist most innovations, most developments in technology or creative changes. I don't know quite how we came to coin the word elitist as a pejorative. The idea that quality and improvement are somehow no good is appalling to me. It really is an Orwellian concept, like some of the reverse words in 1984. Anyone who has the capacity to think has to see this is stupid, bloody rot." Heston provides an interesting perspective.
"I fly the polar route a great deal to London. Now, on one level, the jet plane is an improvement over the B-25s I flew during World War II. But, on another level entirely,
you look out the window and think, 'My God, men crawled over that ice in the
absolute last extreme of effort, on the bare edge of survival, to get to the North Pole;
and here I am sitting and drinking scotch, and I'm the same animal.' It's quite marvellous, and I'm awed and impressed to mark
that kind of perception."
That a vocal minority can eclipse such achievements and sway the judgment of
many people is something the actor sees as inordinately dangerous. "Take nuclear
power, an energy source that we clearly and absolutely require," he says. "The very
people that were trumpeting how great it was going to be (some of them used to say
nuclear plants would provide power 'too cheap to be metered'), well, these same people now scream, 'No nukes! No nukes!' I find that aberrant and irrational." Heston is convinced that the blind hatred of progress is prodded by a double-edged fear "First, there’s the toryism of our leaders. Any situation that prevails— in running a country or a union or an army or even a corner grocery store— always favours those
who are in control. If you sell a certain kind of crop and they introduce the kiwi fruit,
maybe oranges won't sell so well then, The horse cavalry resisted the Gatling gun, but
when the machine gun came along, they were out of luck. Change is threatening; man, as a territorial carnivore, resists it. "The second problem confronting progress is the popular belief that the contemporary is always paramount, is always good and secure. That's simply not so, Society's view almost invariably has too shod a focus. We say. 'Well, since Vietnam we've learned this,' or, 'Since the Great Depression we've learned that.' Bullshit. The unwillingness of people to learn from the sum of history, even to read history, is staggering. We use our brain to create technology— which among other things has spawned Omni—but we're not farsighted enough to recognize that what we've created is necessary. We respond instead to our instincts. And one of the most atavistic of all instincts is to run from danger, whether real or perceived." This, Heston believes, is a reaction on which the political alarmists depend. Yet Heston is not quite ready to eulogize logic and reason. "Though we no longer live in an age where an Edison can raise some money from- his friends and go off and invent the light bulb, all things are cyclical. For instance, the arts. Why did Russia produce writers like Chekhov and Gorki and Tolstoy in the closing decades of the nineteenth century, and musicians like Tchaikovsky and Borodin in the same decades, but never did anything of equal magnitude in those arts in any other period ? Why were the Italian painters of the sixteenth century so overwhelming? The only explanation I can offer is that, in a given nation, people's energies become focused on a goal. Maybe because Marlowe was writing, Shakespeare began writing;
because of Chaplin there was Keaton or Laurel and Hardy. Extending this to science,
the Soviet Sputnik can be said to have created the American space program; at least it forced it ahead when our energies became focused. We may simply be co experiencing a lull at this time." Heston suggests that while scientists today are "upside down in a net," they are far from helpless. "Christ nailed to the Cross somehow managed to make his point, and Gandhi in prison was worth three divisions," Heston smiles confidently. "Or, to paraphrase Stalin's famous comment, 'How many divisions does the pope have?' science may yet offer the clear rebuttal,
'More than one would think!' "
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climb-baby-climb
Cheating Bastard
climb-baby-climb
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Joined: September 5th, 2012, 9:50 pm

April 1st, 2018, 10:30 am #47

Thanks for posting these reviews.  I haven't been on the site for a while and have been catching up with various threads.  This one caught my eye.  I remember seeing this in the theatre as a 15 year old and thinking it was "ok".  Years later I watched this as an adult and enjoyed it tremendously.  I guess ones taste in films does improve with age!  
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Detective Thorn
Damned Dirty Admin
Detective Thorn
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Joined: November 1st, 2010, 3:18 pm

April 6th, 2018, 6:17 pm #48

climb-baby-climb wrote: Thanks for posting these reviews.  I haven't been on the site for a while and have been catching up with various threads.  This one caught my eye.  I remember seeing this in the theatre as a 15 year old and thinking it was "ok".  Years later I watched this as an adult and enjoyed it tremendously.  I guess ones taste in films does improve with age!  
Great to see you found your way back here and I'm glad you're catching up on old threads as well. I've still only seen The Awakening one time and didn't like it very much, I might have missed something so I hope my second viewing will be a better experience.

You know, McKay, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were. And to tell you the truth, that just didn't seem possible.
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