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A few reviews
Allied (2016)

[Image: allied-marion-cotillard-brad-pitt-slice.jpg]

I really enjoyed this throwback WW2 romance/spy thriller from Robert Zemeckis. It takes its time getting to the plot swerve about halfway through, which the previews gave away, but I didn't see coming. Anyhow, I don't have a whole lot to say about it, other than that it's solid old-school filmmaking with a few modern touches, looks great, and is an engaging, compelling ride. Pitt wasting Naht-zees never gets old.

B+
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Berlin Syndrome - 2017 - 5/10

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Wide-eyed Australian turista arrives in Berlin.
Instead of seeing sights, she makes easy friends and chats.
Talks a bit too much, to be blunt, which tailspins into her ordeal.
Lazy script, based on a predictable novel, of a truly ignorant soul.
Has this girl never viewed Horror flicks or stalker films?
Has she never dated?  Learned to deflect probing questions?
How about, letting people know where she is?
Later on, how come she waits until late in the afternoon?
I could go on and on.  Producers may well assume their audience is gullible, too.
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The Flesh And Blood Show - 1972 - 5/10

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Too early to fall into the Slasher genre, this is the timeless concept of knocking off characters one by one.
Cat And The Canary (1927) and And The There Were None (1945) are examples.
Assorted actors answer the audition call at a long shuttered Brighten playhouse.
Soon enough, they realize something is amiss.
Almost a decent thriller this.  The location is underutilized, however, and the characters are sketches.
As with the earlier The Big Switch (1968) producers load up the skin to spark lulls.

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This is a better film than that one.  Acting, photography, script invention.
As with the earlier film, the tempo drags, though flashback and whodunit angle were slick.
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Apocalypse: World War I - 2014 - 6/10
AKA - Apocalypse la 1ère Guerre Mondiale

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Five part French documentary, colorized throughout.
Certainly not as essential as other WWI docs, this should appeal to wars buffs, despite some caveats.
There are no talking heads or historians.  Old film and newsreels predominate.
Sound effects have been added (explosions, gunfire, marching feet, etc ...) and serve to enhance.
As mentioned, this is colorized - heavily.  So much so that the sharpness and contrast suffers,
Images are noticeably flattened or blurry.
Original narration was in French.  The English dubbed speaker has a snooze inducing monotone.
More carnage and brutality in this documentary.  Starvation in Berlin, atrocities in Armenia.
Surprisingly, a lengthy reveal of prostitution and military brothels.
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Altes Geld - 2015 - 8/10
AKA - Old Money

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Gleeful, diabolical entertainment here!
A delicious Udo Kier plays the wealthy patriarch, dying of liver disease.  He makes a proposal.
Whoever delivers a healthy organ will inherit the family "business."
Relatives, advisors, employees, wolves in suits, sharks in gowns, rip into each other.
Treachery, incest, kidnapping, backstabbing, more incest, murder, blackmail, torture.
Moreover, despite my comments about German comedy, this is laugh out loud funny.
Mean spirited, midnight humor aimed for cynical adults.  Eight parts, Austria.
γνῶθι σεαυτόν
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THE SAINT 2017



On Netflix, the failed tv pilot movie remake of the classic series The Saint.

It's bad.   It tries desperately to be a high energy international caper adventure, but it feels tired and uninspired.   The direction and editing is pedestrian at best.   Too many characters and a not tight enough story.  Clearly a pilot, with lots of set up and not enough pay off.

Adam Rayner as the newest incarnation of Simon Templar shows potential, he is appropriately suave, dashing and charming, but film fails to support his performance.

Eliza Dushku is great as always.   Former 1970s tv Saint, Ian Ogilvy plays the Big Bad and Roger Moore has a 2 minute cameo in what I believe is his last onscreen performance.

If you are fan of The Saint, check it out.  Otherwise, skip it.  SadTongue
"... let's go exploring!" -- CALVIN.
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Blind Love - 2004 - 6/10
AKA - Waisetsu sutêji: Nando mo Tsukkonde // わいせつステージ 何度もつっこんで

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Blind girl is attracted to a short statured ventriloquist.
Only thing, she mistakes the taller, younger apprentice for the original.
The apprentice, a ne’er do well, exploits her handicap.
Written differently, this could be farce.  This is a wistful, poignant tale,however.
Lonely people, beaten souls, individuals who have no place in modern Japan.
Be warned, this is a pinku eiga (sexual rompings abound), many participants are not fitness buffs.
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The Man With The Glass Eye - 1969 - 6/10
AKA - Der Mann mit dem Glasauge

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After the show ends, a chorus line girl is chauffeured to posh hotel for business hijinks.
Before sordid naughtiness climaxes, an assassin in trenchcoat kills the john with a hurled knife.
Scotland Yard swings into action and begins hunting for the female --
-- who is poisoned the next day backstage at the variety theater!
Peppy, late-in-the-cycle, Krimi features a vivid, late 60s look, as well as a campy late 60s plotline.
“Based” on Edgar Wallace writings (much as the later Bond films were “based” on Ian Fleming novels).
Racketeers elude the police, while the assassin eludes all.
Noisy, rattling diversion, but essentially a guilty pleasure for Krimi fans.
Alert! - Despite Scotland Yard, English names, this is a German language production.
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Swamp Shark - 2011 - 4/10

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I wonder if this was where recent shark spoofs began.
Big ole shark is dumped into Louisiana swamp and proceeds to munch on gators and humans.
Not enough of either, I’m afraid.  Language, violence and  and nudity is PG.
With the Gator Festival in full swing, irate owners of the Gator Shed Restaurant sail off to deep six their fishy freeloader.
Pace is backwater slow.  Most in the cast were big in the 80s, working for a paycheck nowadays.
Neither fun nor over the top, straight across the board.
Formula crap.
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Assassination - 2015 - 7/10
AKA - Amsal // 암살

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High voltage S Korean escapism with sumptuous production values.
Circa 1933, a Korean hit team is assigned to take out a fatcat appeaser and occupied Seoul’s Japanese military commander.
Rival Korean factions squabble with each other and informers are omnipresent.
Similar in look and feel to The Good, The Bad, The Weird (1998), though more grounded in reality.
Like the K-drama Bridal Mask, these are non-historical characters (though Korean resistance to occupation was real, especially in the north).
Excellent cat n mouse thriller with superb action sequences.
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