Friday, October 29, 2010

Confessions of a Driving Instructor – 1976

The third in the “Confessions” series of movies Like, the “Window Cleaner” one, I’d previously just seen an edited version of it on the TNT channel. Now, thanks to my DVD player hacker code, I have finally seen the original, PAL format British release! Robin is still Timmy Lea, who again follows his brother -in-law Sid into business…this time buying an out-of-business driving school to run. The usual hanky-panky ensues. Robin’s love interest this time around is a somewhat mannish woman who is the daughter of the rival driving school’s owner. Not sure why she was chosen, as she looked way too old to play a “daughter” type role and didn’t blend in well with Robin. Unsure why they couldn’t’ve found him a nice, pretty, petite girl like in “Window Cleaner” and “Horror Hospital”!

After the “Pop Performer” fiasco this one goes back and more fits the mold of “Window Cleaner”. The story is a little more interesting, the jokes a little more clever, and the pointless sex seems to be turned down. I think Timmy only shags something like 5 women? Robin looks a little better in this one too, but still not quite his best. What is it during this time period? Maybe the hairstyle. Still looks like it has a weird cut growing out. OH. I think I know too…sideburns. I loved the sideburns in Horror Hospital and other appearances around that time. He’s too clean shaven in this! Ha ha. But at least you can definitely tell he’s gotten some sun recently – his tan lines are VERY evident in quite a few scenes, if you know what I mean!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Confessions of a Pop Performer – 1975

I’d been dying to see this one for years due to my love for anything concerning the early ‘70s British pop scene! Unfortunately, it turns out the band in this film attended the “Gary Glitter School of Pop” and are butt-ugly! They couldn’t somehow scrape up some hot looking guys in the vein of Sweet or T.Rex?? I’ll admit that the songs were catchy though, very glam-inspired. But wasn’t glam on its way out by 1975?

The movie itself was a disaster. With “Window Cleaner” you got a decent story and characters with some depth and feeling. This one is a charactature of it. Robin’s character Timmy has been made way too one-dimensional and doesn’t seem to have a thought in his head. They amped up the sex and thus this one does fall more into the “softcore” realm. The writers don’t bother with much of a clever story for each woman like in Window Cleaner, nope, it’s pretty much New Woman Meets Timmy and Starts Attacking Him. Without any rhyme or reason. And Timmy is stupider and clumsier than ever! I know it’s all for laughs but jeez. The joke gets a little old when EVERY single time a woman comes onto him Timmy acts like he has NO idea what she wants from him until his clothes are off. Um, he hasn’t figured it out by the 50th time this happens to him?

Plus, Robin just doesn’t look his best in this one. His hair isn’t as shiny and full and blond as it sometimes is, and is cut in somewhat of a bad shag. His skin pallor is sorta pasty, like it’s been a long winter in England that year!

The story: lamely put together. Timmy and brother in law Sid, still window cleaning, decide at the spur of the moment to manage a pop group they’ve barely heard. After that, they spend the rest of the time trying to get them booked in clubs and a record made and played. Their drummer suffers a hand injury so Timmy steps in. Robin’s drumming is the highlight of the whole film. He looks adorable in those scenes! And it’s a chance for him to show off his drumming skills, as he did used to play them in a band he was a part of in high school. If you don’t want to see the movie, at least you can watch those clips on You Tube!

Sigh. This one could’ve had so much potential!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Journey – 1982

Going through Robin’s film listings, I found this one that really doesn’t “fit in” with the rest of his body of work. Its synopsis: “Christmas story told through animation and 16th century Flemish drawings, with carols and extracts from the Bible.” And Robin is credited with doing the “music”. Interesting. I was not aware he dabbled in music composition. It is just 30 minutes long and was shown on Dec 24, 1982 in Britain. Would be interesting to hear how he got involved with something like this, but it is not mentioned in his book. Wonder if it’s trotted out every year over there or is instead stuck on a back shelf somewhere and long forgotten. Nevertheless, I’ll file this one away under “Will never get to see”.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Confessions of a Window Cleaner – 1974

Yes, yes, I know I did this one already. But…guess what? Remember, before I only had access to the heavily edited version I’d copied off cable TV years ago. I recently threw all caution to the wind and bought a PAL-format boxed set of all four “Confessions” movies! If I could figure out how to make my DVD player region free, perfect! If not, at least I’d have a cool collectible boxed set. But, using codes from a handy DVD hacking website I successfully changed all 3 of my DVD players into region free ones! Wow! It was super easy, too. This is one of those rare times I’m glad I’m living in the modern age where you can literally make anything work for you! The world of British DVDs is now open to me and no one can stand in my way!!!!

It was nice to watch a clean, sharp version of this! My old one on VHS had that deteriorating tape quality to it, plus all the cut aways to commercials. And now I see what a bad editing job they did as well. Many scenes were just cut off so short that the following dialog didn’t even make sense! Now as I watched this one I was thinking to myself, “Ah….so that’s what he meant when he mentions fetishes!” hehe

And right from the beginning you see how much had been taken out! Lots of scenes of Robin looking in windows and seeing naked women. Lots of Robin running around in bedrooms stark naked. With all that, though, I still can’t classify it as soft porn or anything though. You pretty much see all this in any R rated film of today. Absolutely no full-frontal guy action. He’s pretty discrete in keeping a leg or knee in front of what us female fans are curious about seeing! Even the infamous “soapsuds on the kitchen floor” scene I kept reading about being so shocking wasn’t really that shocking, as soapsuds covered every part of their bodies! It was also filmed in a madcap, fast motion way to make it silly rather than sexy!

Nothing really to review that I’ve not said in the previous review. A few extra thoughts: So many of these British movies/TV shows seem to center around families where adult children are still living at home, and when they get married, the new husband/wife just moves on in the family home! Does this reflect reality? Does it reflect reality in the ‘70s? Are taxes just too high over there to make a living where you can afford your own home?