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A few reviews
Edge Of Tomorrow - 2014 - 6/10

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OK SciFi that grafted Battle Los Angeles with the endlessly repeating loop.
Callous, inexperienced coward dies and dies and dies, only to revive again.
With each awakening, he learns more about the alien Mimics, and perhaps how to thwart the invasion.
Yep, bug hunt.
The dead - resurrect bit was repeated much too often.
Pacing was brisk, but the repetition became tedious, then tiresome. Film just felt sluggish.
J-Squad underutilized.
Not as awful as the naysayers shout, but not as good as it should have been.
Battle Los Angeles - 2011 - 4/10

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I delayed watching this after all the negative reviews across forums.
All the elements for a top action flick were there, except for way too many family cliches.
There are kids in the film. Utter waste of time. In western films, kids never get killed or eaten. I don't care if they are related to the director or producer. No more Newts!
Leftover civilians. Listen, the mayor, governor, prime minister orders, "Get outta Dodge!" you don't say, "Ooh, maybe there is a sale at Piggly Wiggly." Then marines have protect deadbeats, when they should jab their thumb, "Exit's that way, Pilgrim."
Don't try to make action films for kids and mommies.
In the featurette, one of the honchos said they were trying to outdo Alien or Aliens. As if. Is that why their template was Independence Day, another family friendly suckfest? Vasquez and Drake coulda kicked their ass ... even saddled with Hudson!

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Siren Of Atlantis - 1949 - 3/10
AKA: Atlantis, The Lost Continent

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Fruity, cockeyed yarn about expedition searching for, and finding, fabled Atlantis.
The expedition is the French Foreign Legion.
Atlantis is in the middle of the Sahara!
Ruling the lost kingdom is a beautiful, ageless, sexually voracious queen.
Most of the citizenry act as guards or as dancers. (No TV, no reading material, dancing is the main entertainment,)
The music score is intrusive and distracting, and bulk of the acting is histrionic.
Who cares?
Queen Antinea wears skin tight or sheer as can be outfits. Plays chess with the men folk, leads them to her conch shell bed, and drains their mojo, till their ain’t no wick in the stick.
Along with provocative costumes, is the $5.00 set design. Cinematographer Karl Struss filled the flick with phallic imagery. Candlesticks, chessmen, marble columns, even the omnipresent masked, turbaned guards.
Bad film but a fun one.

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The Armstrong Lie - 2013 - 7/10

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Focused documentary on cyclist Lance Armstrong and the substance use denial.
Scant in the way of in-depth biography - marriages, kids, friends, nada. Couple of stills of him with his single mom.
When he arrived on the cycling scene, doping was prevalent. Indeed, cycling in general suffers a long, sorry history of cheats and frauds.
Nowadays, the money incentives are staggering. Few athletes - of any sport - remotely resemble normal humans.
All professional sports seem to be as real as wrestling.
I never liked Armstrong, though I empathized with his situation. Had he not joined all other contestants in steroids and blood tweaking, Lance would have been no one, another Damien Nazon.
Maltese Falcon - 1931 - 5/10

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First filmed version of Hammett's novel remained faithful to the plot.
Riccardo Cortez's Spade was a breezy, cheery private eye, though.
Maybe because client Ruth Wonderly (the very steamy Bebe Daniels) ran short of hard currency, but offered soft assets in exchange. Note the date, this was PreCode.
No wonder Sam was so happy.
Next morning, while she was sleeping one off, detective Spade rummaged through her belongings, digging for clues.
Film not bad, not good either. Dragged at times.
Cortez either miscast or misdirected. In or out of clothes, Bebe remained easy on the eyes.
Punk In London - 1977 - 7/10

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On the scene documentary showcasing the early movement at its rawest.
Mixed performances by the Killjoys, X-Ray Spex, Adverts, Clash, Chelsea, Jam, and others I could not recognize. Top venues and hangouts, the Marquee, Roxy, Rough Trade, mentioned.
Big problem with this is groups were not identified, the audio ranged from OK to murky, and this was a German production. Aside from interviews, all narration was in Deutsch.
Still, the energy was electric, on fire performances. Arguably Punk at its creative, freewheeling peak, before the money, the deals, and the compromises.
Terrific doc for many, will leave others baffled.
Savages - 2012 - 6/10

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Reefer wars movie, directed by Oliver Stone, who was apparently watching too many Tarentino flicks.
Mexican drug cartel tries to muscle in on boutique, California growers, expecting them to roll over and agree to anything.
Kidnappings, ambushes, and gunplay follow in due course.
I watched the unrated version. Violence and mayhem, no nudity.

Stone is usually good providing background info, but that was lacking in this film.
The reason Mexican cartels are trying to get a foothold in the States is because their product, slagged in the States as "pedro" is losing marketshare to US grown "hydro." Latter being more potent, and more expensive.
As more states decriminalize, then legalize, marijuana, cartels lose power and influence (ref Prohibition mobsters). So the argument goes.
Stone barely touched this area, and it would have made the plot more coherent, and character motivations clearer.
Film is messy, difficult to accept a band of stoners, even ex military, could take on a powerful cartel.

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Jeune et Jolie - 2013 - 6/10
AKA - Young And Beautiful

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Oft told tale of young, pretty student turning tricks for money.
- Never overweight girls with buck teeth and furry legs -
Girl earns €300 - €500 per handjob, bj, bareback, etc ... and peddles her wares on Internet sites.
- No mention of AIDS, scuttling crabs, or bright, open, leaky sores on weenies -
Nevertheless, this is a François Ozon film, and I always watch his releases.
Girl is younger than most. 17, not college aged. Her family is affluent, in fact, she doesn’t spend the money on anything. She seems to drift into the game after a boring initiation with German visitor. Subsequent encounters seem little more than ways to kill an afternoon.
She shows business savvy and a sense of her own worth, understanding that youthful flesh is fleeting and valuable.
Luminous Charlotte Rampling has key role near the end.
Lies & Alibis - 2006 - 6/10
AKA - Alibis

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Confidence sting in new clothes.
Steve Coogen helps cheatin’ husbands, cheatin’ wives.
Big money to be made in saving adulterous marriages from divorce lawyers.
When a younger client treats his rough trade girlfriend a little too rough, stories and alibis fire up.
Entire cast uniformly excellent in droll comedy.
Sam Elliott memorable as seething Mormon hitman.

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Fair warning

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I will start posting a couple of holiday films in a day or two.
If your taste is arthouse over grindhouse, brie and chardonnay over pizza and box wine,
might be wise to avoid this thread until the month ends.
Just trying to be considerate.

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