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A few reviews
I Bury The Living - 1958 - 4/10

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Thriller without thrills, Horror without horrors.
Man assigned to run local cemetery finds he might have the power of life and death!
Office has a big map layout of plots and stickpins.
White pins for reservations,  black pins for planted residents.
When he mixes up pins on the map, folks start dying!
Hopeful premise ruined by the man”s (Richard Boone) dismal guilt complex.
Plods along, too talky, stagebound.  Feels like rejected “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” episode.
Miskatonic University - 2014 - 6/10

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Lovecraft aficionados have already spied the title.
Atmospheric HPL short, touching the Kadath, Cthulhu, and Nyarlathotep settings.
Set in the 1920s, a young scholar arrives at MU, hoping to get access into famed library.
The Dean vigorously refuses, yet there are unsettling activities across the campus.
Excellent use of Maine locations, period fashions, and the eldritch library.
A couple of erotic angles in this, implied and overt, definitely not Lovecraftian.
Covers a fair degree of territory and maintains disoriented mood throughout.
Only complaint - very small - is that at thirty-four minutes, it is about thirty minutes too short.
^ Nice! Any advice on where to see it?

37 Days (2014)

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Three-part BBC Two series dramatizing the 1914 efforts, particular those of British Foreign Secretary Edward Gray (Ian McDiarmid), to prevent inevitable payback for the assassination of a certain Austro-Hungarian archduke from snowballing into a Continental conflagration. Great perfs by McDiarmid and Nicholas Asbury as First Lord of the Admiralty Churchill. (Fans of aging men entering and exiting offices, your ship has come in.) The German Kaiser wants a small war; his army chief wants a bigger one, and Russia's Tsar would perhaps like something in between. My only real complaint is a few matte paintings of all these capitals would have been nice, as establishing shots consisting exclusively of modern photography of their most iconic monuments give the transitions a boxed-in feel that doesn't match the vividness of the dialogue and acting on hand. Available for US DVD purchase on Amazon.

^ I watch all things BBC but somehow I hadn't even heard of that. They were putting out a vast season of WWI related centenary stuff at the time, so I must have missed it in the shuffle. Sounds terrific and out on blu-ray too. Thanks.
^ My pleasure! Let us know what you think of it. Smile

(07-03-2016, 05:19 PM)Vultural Wrote: Testament Of Youth - 2015 - 7/10

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Latest adaptation of Vera Brittain’s World War I memoir.
Brittain, presumably part of the rural gentry, dreams of becoming a writer and being admitted to Oxford.
Events go her way at first, though one is reminded of simmering tensions in Europe throughout.
Gradually, however, the conflagration across the Channel empties her world.
Film picks up pace as the conflict grows.  First part of the movie is a bit too low key.
The romantic leads lack chemistry, as well as intensity.
Second half is altogether sharper and grimmer.
Ending felt rushed.  Investigate the 1979 version for a fuller aftermath.

A movie of stupendous beauty in almost every shot*, starring a formidable actress of equally stupendous beauty in Alicia Vikander. Which is just as well, as there's little in the way of wit from the characters or dialogue, though Taron Egerton has tons of charisma, Colin Morgan makes a big impression in just a few scenes, and Hayley Atwell's brief cameo as a no-nonsense but good-humored nurse deserves a spin-off of her own. In fact, just about the only cast member who isn't strikingly good-looking is the the mushy-faced romantic lead played by Kit Harington, whose performance is likewise merely adequate. But maybe that's intentional? What matters is our heroine loves him, and it isn't necessary that we share her enthusiasm, and maybe even important that we don't, as her feelings are her own.

An obvious companion piece to the superior Atonement, which is much more cinematically daring, with characters we do fall in love with, and very much feel for. But that movie is granted license by the moral and emotional clarity of its "Good" war to be operatic in its emotion, whereas all the Great War merits is a dirge. Apart from Vikander's performance, what makes this otherwise unremarkable movie a genuinely good film is a striking sequence in which the central pair are reunited, but, after the young man's seen combat, he can barely even feign kindness to the woman he loves, and which historical reality, in an eye-rolling display of on-the-nose symbolism, has named "Brittain."

I agree with San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle's positive review: "To see this film is to understand — not in an intellectual way, but in a direct, visceral way — why the British ignored the threat of Adolf Hitler for so long. In World War I, a generation learned that war was not the answer. In World War II, another generation learned that pacifism was not the answer. It would seem that there just isn’t an answer."


* (Has there ever been an aesthetic disaster worse then plastic? It sometimes seems that the whole world has forever lost a staggering amount of beauty since it went mainstream. I don't wish for glass glasses, and I know for a fact that without modern medicine I'd have died as a baby, but still...)
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F#ck these movies.
Mystic River: Misguided musical score, I wanted the main hook with the car accident/murder to be shown instead of talked about, the ending was unbelievable in a bad way.
The Invasion: Some was so bad its good, and I dug some of the sci fi invasion of the body snatcher elements but in the end it couldn't excape its dumb'dness.
Perfect Storm: Sure some of the effects are very nicely done, but when the captain says "well we can stay safe and live by avoiding the storm and then come back when its safe, or head right into a hurricane and die probably" not long after catching a swordfish with a pike in the eye and then hacking the shit out of it with a machete whilst laughing about it like a bunch of drunk horny assholes, fuck that movie.
Currently working on: art and music and my life, at my own pace.
Just A Sigh - 2013 - 6/10
AKA - Le Temps de l'aventure

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Struggling actress returns to Paris for audition.
Forgets her phone charger, travels with insufficient funds.
The casting director even inquires, ungallantly, how old she is.
Nonetheless, she spies a fellow damaged soul on the train, and crashes a funeral to meet him.
“Missed love” tale of passing ships.  The broken hearted and the abandoned lover.
Bittersweet, yet hopeful story of trying to connect with another.
Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution - 2005 - 9/10

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Outstanding six part documentary of infamous camp.
Digging deeper than the usual horror parade, this shows the early role of the camp, before its metamorphosis into a killing machine.
At first it was intended for political prisoners, then Russian POWs, eventually Jews and all enemies.
Actors employed, as well as reenactments, though producers restrained themselves.
One unforgettable sequence is a lengthy photo montage of children heading into annihilation.
Another sequence is of a camp survivor, returning to her village, finding her home and possessions appropriated by neighbors.
Pointed reminder for idealistic souls who declare such things could never happen again!
I, Daniel Blake - 2016 - 6/10

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Infuriating tale of everyman Daniel Blake.
Carpenter, out of work after a heart attack, caught in the “medical care” bureaucracy.
Mr Blake fills out forms, meets Nat’l Health reps, watches his money and time decline.
He tries to remain cheerful and earnest throughout, but the system is broken and pitiless.
Those of you familiar with director Ken Loach know what to expect.
Others, this will be a frustrating, enervating slog.
(05-03-2017, 05:26 PM)Vultural Wrote: I, Daniel Blake - 2016 - 6/10

Infuriating... frustrating, enervating slog.

Really, how so? I thought it was full of anger, fire and humanity... amongst all the misery.

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