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A few reviews
The Disappearance Of Alice Creed - 2009 - 6/10

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I picked this up, blithely assuming it would be a fun ride thriller.
Plus, Gemma Arterton is easy on the eyes.
An unrelenting, grim, kidnapping yarn. Methodical preparation, the quick snatch, then plans slowly sour, as back histories and private agendas surface.
Music was gloomy, too.
Didn't care for it, but well executed.
The Uninvited - 1944 - 6/10

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Cozy, old dark house mystery.
Look is part Gothic, part Noir.
House perches on cliff’s edge over pounding Cornish coast.
Critic and his sister buy on impulse, delighted the price was so reasonable!
First the dog, then cat, refuse to go upstairs.
Next, odd things occur after midnight.
Finally, and too late, the siblings ask the previous owner why the low price.
Enjoyable, if predictable, rainy night movie.

(For fixxer-upper types, the house had no phone, no electricity.)
It’s Slade - 1999 - 7/10

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Roaring documentary of the premier Glam rockers of the 70s.
All band members appear (manager Chas Chandler, sadly RIP),
along with guest heads Ozzy Osbourne, Suzi Quatro, Noel Gallagher.
Most of the story follows the rise of the group and one powerhouse hit after another.
Like Mr Plant (another key singer from the 70s), Noddy has been the one resisting reunions.
Glory days for Brit fans. For Yanks, maybe not so much, as Slade never caught on in the States.
Fabulous times, awful costumes, great drugs, free range sex.
Echo of the mindless, hedonistic decade still fading away.
Yakuza Deka - Assassin - 1970 - 5/10

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Sonny Chiba stars as undercover cop infiltrating drug gangs.
Main thread has something to do with smuggling marijuana from faraway Mexico.
Guess the Yakuza never heard of Thai sticks.
Despite all the explosions, shootings, stabbings, etc ... film felt like a spoof.
There must have been thirty-seven plots going on, the narrative was incoherent at times.
No matter. Wild 70s costumes, garish sets (nude marijuana orgy room a standout), amped out action sequences.
Lot of energy, lot of fun.
Behind Green Lights - 1946 - 6/10

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B-film quickie from 20th Fox.
Body is dumped outside police station setting off more reactions than a pinball machine.
Three murder suspects, body switcheroo, fistfights, escapee, romance, conspiracy, political chicanery.
All that, in barely an hour flick. Breathless nonsense.
Carole Landis as lead actress was near end of her career here. A once major star, now relegated to B pictures, she would be a suicide in two years, age 29.
John Ireland made the most of his small part, in this his second film, and he would stay busy for five more decades.
Devil - 2007 - 7/10

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Korean drama about revenge.
Not the implacable, unstoppable, self-righteous vengeance of 99% of plots.
No, this factors the wages of revenge, the toll it takes on conscience, karma, and those around you.
Matching tarot cards are sent to police and victim, and the police hustle to identify and protect victim.
Luckily, a girl who works in a fortune parlor can explain what each card means - may not mean - plus, she is psychic!
Meandering puzzle plot that widens considerably midway, then tightens with little room for escape, as well as justifications for murders.
Exteriors appeared shot during spring as colours were often breathtaking.
Interiors more hit n miss, about the third of interiors rivaled cheap soap opera sets.
Romance aspect, not too terrible.
Donkey Punch - 2008 - 5/10

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Another dead teenager plot.
Seven Brits, vacationing in Mallorca, hook up for a night of booze, drugs, and mattress action. Aboard a yacht, no less.
When rough sex leads to accidental death, paranoia mounts ... as does the death count.
Characters had IQ's smaller than a sea sponge, tho they were sometimes inventive with choice of weapons.
Note: Try to find subs. Characters, from Leeds and N England, had strong accents and were not always coherent.
You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger - 2010 - 5/10

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God ... Has it really been twenty years since Silence Of The Lambs was released?
Yes it has been 20 years, going by Hopkins' physical appearance. He plays a man suffering a mid-life crisis, who divorces his wife (Gemma Jones) and subsequently marries his rent-by-the-position B-girl.
There are four or five plots working simultaneously, featuring Antonio Banderas, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin. This was not a comedy, nor was it one it one of Woody Allen’s darker films. This was an odd creature, more about individuals losing their way.
The voiceover seemed invasive. The narrator was clearly American, yet the film was set in London. Moreover, the narration did little to advance the plot or provide illumination. Rather, it voiced the obvious.
Animal Kingdom - 2010 - 7/10

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Young man is orphaned and moves in with his grandmother and uncles. The men are hardened, armed robbers, laying low between heists, under surveillance by police.
This is not a high voltage actioner. Animal Kingdom is a study in grim decline and the inevitability of Fate.
I'll confess, part of the draw for me was Jacki Weaver, Aussie croc-bait from 70's exploitation flicks. She is mesmerizing as the woman who holds the men together in a sweet smiling, grip of iron.
Forbidden Lie$ - 2007 - 7/10

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Norma Khouri penned the international bestseller, “Forbidden Love,” about the honor killing of her best friend, Dalia.
Then an Australian journalist exposed the book as a hoax.
This movie follows Khouri back to Jordan, where she repeatedly alters the story, dates, names, places. She always has a new explanation, a fresh excuse.
Discoveries mount, old sins are exposed. Fascinating film.

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