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A few reviews
Life - 2017 - 3/10

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I watch a lot of bad SciFi.  This pile is godawful.
Special effects are fine, though the plot is beneath any eight year old.
Orbiting scientists snag a one-celled organism from Mars.
They stimulate it and encourage it.  Even name it - Calvin.
(Consider if the Nostromo crew had named the xenomorph - Daisy.)
Not only does the creature get a lot bigger, it quickly becomes smarter than anyone else onboard.
Also the hungriest.  Lucky for Calvin there are a half dozen, box o rocks, totally stupid crew members.
Too bad the Life script writer was not among them.
Fifield and Millburn resemble wise, thoughtful scientists in comparison.
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I enjoyed Life. I dunno why, I guess I wasn't wearing my critical hat that day and just had fun.
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(07-19-2017, 02:54 PM)Masirimso17 Wrote: I enjoyed Life. I dunno why, I guess I wasn't wearing my critical hat that day and just had fun.

Hey this isn't the philosophy thread, it's for discussing movies.
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Saint Amour - 2016 - 5/10

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Viewers with a soft spot for “dumb” (dumb friends, coworkers, neighbors) might score higher.
Aging father and son hit the Agricultural Fair.
Dad hopes his prize bull will win a prize, Junior intends to get sloshed.
During a prolonged interval, they hire a taxi and drive through various wine regions.
Three males, including the driver, encounter a variety of altogether willing females.
Yes, male fantasy time.  Our studs are bumpkin stumble-bums, yet ladies tumble.
Over talky, touchy feelie, angst laden, baggage packed, pointless, sexist ...
Oh, sensitive souls, Depardieu exposes a v-a-s-t swath of stomach in a romantic interlude.
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The Green Man - 1956 - 6/10

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Seemingly agreeable Hawkins (Alistair Sim) found his calling at an early age.  Assassin.
While he is a free agent and will liquidate any on his list, his preference is for pompous windbags.
During World War II, he finds competition from the Luftwaffe and retires.
Afterward - well - there is never a shortage of blowhards waiting to be snuffed.
Unexpected opposition arrives in a busybody vacuum salesman.
Fast paced, black comedy of murder, misunderstandings and mistaken identities.
Dialogue is rapid fire (based on a play), this is lightweight fun.
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Split (2017)

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Anya Taylor-Joy is great and James McAvoy is excellent in this freaky thriller from M. Knight Shyamalan, the only of his movies I've seen apart from The Sixth Sense. Unlike 10 Cloverfield Lane, which was well-made but caused me to bail from boredom halfway through, I was with this underground confinement flick all the way. Guess I'll have to watch that other Shyamalan movie now.

A-


Black Mirror: "San Junipero" (2016, US Netflix Instant)

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Two women meet awkwardly in a 1987 Southern California nightclub, then take turns pursuing each other in ways that might be called borderline harassment were the pursuer of the moment male. A love story ensues. This was my first Black Mirror; I'd read it was the most hopeful and best, so, not being much interested in the bleaker stuff I'd heard about the show, I gave it a stream, and found it thoroughly okay. At 61 minutes, it's not quite a short film, but it doesn't quite have the depth of a feature-length movie, either. I'm glad Netflix can be a platform in which episodes are exactly as long as the creators want them to be, but in the end, the story at hand just felt a bit low on stakes. I think I'll give the others a pass.

Episode grade: B
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Nelly - 2016 - 5/10

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Canadian novelist Nelly Arcan burst out of the gate with her first book, a best seller in her home country and France.
Succeeding books sold less and less until her suicide ten years later.
Film mixes her writer self, along with when she was an escort, along with her characters.
Those unfamiliar with Nelly Arcan (such as me) will have trouble keeping up unless you realize this.
Her novels were lurid and her characters were thinly disguised autobiographies.
Movie is filled with sex, rough sex, girl talk, and the insecure writer.
Generally an unpleasant ride.
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Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors - 2017 - 6/10

Historian Lucy Worsley guides viewers on a tour of Miss Austen’s many homes.
Along the way, she shares influences and incidents at each.
Reenactment is minimal, an actress reading Jane’s letters, from time to time, in different settings.

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This is one of the better docs by Worsley.  No blaring pop tunes in this, for instance.
Essential for Janeites.
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Come And See  - 1985 - 8/10
AKA - Idi i Smotri  // Иди и Cмотри

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“ ... Adventures are not all pony rides in May sunshine.”  Tolkien
Harrowing film of the Nazi invasion of Belorussia in 1943.
A young village boy joins partisan fighters and journeys from wide-eyed idealism to experience.
Opening chapters register uncertainty and anxiety, fears about what German invaders want.
Film proceeds to display, with brutal detail, the Master Race dealing with lower orders.
The audio mix on this is noteworthy, music and sound editing.
After a shelling, the boy suffers hearing loss and viewers share his disability.
Tone shifts from confusion, indifference, barbarity, and rare beauty.
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Cass - 2008 - 6/10

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West Ham supporters, the Inter City Firm, led by boss Cass, strive to be #1 firm during the Thatcher years.
Violence, knifings, shootings, slashings, and the rumble of rival tribes.
Cass differs from other football/hooligan films in that the protagonist is a middle class black youth with a warm home background and loving parents.
Rude language throughout, yet little drug use and no nudity.
Based on Cass Pennant’s memoir, I wonder how much of those elements had been massaged out.
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