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A few reviews
Sharknado 3 - Oh Hell, No! - 2015 - 4/10

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Unfortunately, most members of the household are really into this series.
Each installment, apparently, has a greater budget, indicated by improved effects and photography.
Also dozens of cameos, probably working for nothing or scale.
What is slipping away is heart and goofy humor, replaced by winking calculation.
Attempts are made at explaining the “sharknado effect,” which indicates numerous future installments.
Concepts remains the same. Sharks in twisters, culling stupid members of society who can’t find shelter.
If you bought Jamie Foxx as President in one film, you will have no problem with Mark Cuban as President here.
Aarrgghh . . . just read Sharknado 4 is in the works.
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L’Étudiante - 1988 - 6/10

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Breezy French romance.
Ambitious student, bracing for exhausting finals, enters steamy affair with musician.
Each barely has time for the other, even making time is possibly career destroying.
Yet they recognize they share a spark and recklessly hold onto the relationship.
They chase across the region trying to carve time for themselves, then hurry back to the classroom or concert appearance, exhausted.
A young Sophie Marceau is pouty and luscious.
Quite an 80s film, from music, to clothes, to the photography, to makeup, to the romantic attitudes.
One can’t help but wonder how much desperation has been lost in our digital era of love via the phone.
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Maps To The Stars - 2014 - 6/10

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David Cronenberg alert!
What begins as a dish-the-dirt, Hollywood insider yarn veers into the realm of the preposterous.
Wayward daughter - onetime firebug - returns home after living in a “controlled environment” for a decade owing to a trifling incident with matches.
Brother is a successful actor, supposedly drug free, although he is insecure and suffers testosterone overload.
Dad writes crap books and coaches a fading actress whose mom perished in a fire.
Wait a minute! Could it be?
No, you’re only getting halfway in this over-the-top nonsense.
Talented cast (Julianne Moore, John Cusak, Mia Wasikowska ... ) backstabs, whines, begs, lies, and much worse in dreary puzzle spiral. Animal lovers - beware.
Creators ought have have let Robert Crumb write the draft. He would have gone full bore bonkers and this would have been entertainment sleaze, rather than seamy titillation.
Got the feeling Cronenberg has some ideas, but is running out of vocabulary to express them.
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Star Wars - Blackened Mantle - 2015 - 6/10

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Japanese 3-in-1 edit of the Star Wars prequels.
Compelling reconstruction of the narrative. Phantom Menace footage limited to several flashback sequences of young Anakin. Jar Jar, podracing, and babble all removed.
Apprentice Anakin becomes unbalanced following his combat with Dooku; the Jedi Council try to help him, the Emperor tries to exploit.
The alternative story and resurrection of Darth Maul is inspired.

The edit contains problems, however, that might have been smoothed over or eliminated had the unit that created this reached out and sought feedback from better known editing sites.
The parade of flashbacks often get confusing, and the storyline stumbles at times.
Clones and Revenge ping pong back and forth, and viewers are left to gauge hairstyles to keep up.
There was an excessive amount of fades, noticeable in a series which favors wipes.
Dialogue is Japanese - no problem. Brilliant, alternative subs, though they are hardsubs.
Absolutely worth watching for those who appreciate edits.
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Kazokugari - 2014 - 7/10
AKA - Family Hunting

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Someone is slaughtering dysfunctional families.
Mass murder masquerading as suicide.
Overlooked series featuring a lot of guilty looking souls, and families with overwrought teens.
Especially good camera work here, casting one character after another as spooky or creepy.
Plot well constructed, as well, layering clues, trails, doubts and fear.
Ground remains slippery throughout as you hope, “maybe this person is a good one” ... “uh oh, maybe not.”
Absorbing, brief series. Emotional outbursts and family drama may alienate disconnected types.
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Woman In Black - Angel Of Death - 2014 - 4/10

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The cursed house out on the moors returns.
Timeline has moved to 1941. London children are being relocated to escape the height of the Blitz.
Two women are in charge of about eight kids, one of whom was orphaned in a bomb raid the night before.
The younger woman senses something is the house is not quite right, and investigates noises in the middle of the night. The nearby village offers hints, but that gets ignored in the story.
Children squabble, children perish.
Sadly, that pretty much describes the entire plot.
Scares are all gotcha stings, as you couldn’t care less about a single character.
Cheap, pathetic Horror film, that follows the laziest, sleaziest route - placing children in danger.
Writers, producers, director - all ought to be shunned for two years for that.
Clever photography masks shoddy sets and budget production values.
Ostensibly a Hammer film, it is dark and murky throughout. None of the legendary Hammer colour here.
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Man Up - 2015 - 7/10

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Well done British romantic comedy scores all around.
Jaded, relationship failures “meet cute” then have the great first night date.
Go figure.
They down multiple shots, strike at a bowling alley (are there even lanes in London?), quarrel, bond, deceive, lie.
And yes, deception lurks at the core of this comedy.
Points for using fairly unglamorous leads, kicking them into cringe situations.
Points for positive portrayals of Millennials, not cast as self-absorbed, delusional twats.
Feel good material, with melancholy undercurrent.

Possibly rated this higher than it deserves because the other suggested title was guy kryptonite, Sex In The City 2.
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^ Simon Pegg and Lake Bell, millennials? No, sir. Pegg was born in '70, Bell '79, and the general millennials birth year cutoff is '82. Bell is a late Gen X-er, whereas Pegg could hardly be more so. Wink

I actually looked into the question of London bowling alleys while living in Camden. There are indeed two or three, but I never went to one.
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Nothing to do with the leads.
Late in the story, a group of Millennials, without taking selfies, without checking their texts, without snarky comments, cheerfully help Mr Pegg in his quest for love.
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^

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Apologies for doubting you. Smile
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