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A few reviews

Vultural

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Footsteps In The Dark - 1941 - 6/10

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Comedy - mystery starring Errol Flynn, and a fun change of pace for Warners’ action hero.
Investment broker pens best selling mystery novel under pseudonym.
Next he sets off solving real crimes, on the sly, with suspicious wife on his heels.
Breezy, lightweight, brisk paced fluff with solid Warners’ regulars in support.
Flynn and Brenda Marshall show genuine chemistry, and this felt like it might have made a good series.
 

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She Creature - 2001 - 6/10

Dublin carnies fleece the rubes with fake zombie and fake mermaid in 1904.

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They encounter the seemingly “real deal” and kidnap it, then book passage for America.
PT Barnum, Ringling Bros, and limitless wealth beckons.
They fail to realize as the ship sails the Atlantic, the creature’s influence and power grows.
Modest production values (Stan Winston involved), capable set of actors, intelligent script.
Decent late night yarn. Beware nudity and erotic situations.

NSFW
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Margin Call - 2011 - 7/10

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Bit of a reboot of Stone's Wall Street.
Late night, the firm realizes they are heavily overextended. To the point of bankruptcy.
Very cynical film, with no moral compass. Also infuriating for karma believers as it mirrors our current era regarding consequences for misdeeds.
Powerhouse cast includes Jeremy Irons, Kevin Spacey, Simon Baker, Demi Moore, Paul Bettany.
 

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Little Deaths (Obsession) - 2011 - 4/10

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Three part anthology involving sex and death.
First part involved a couple trawling homeless girls for an evening of jollies.
"Sure, drink as much wine as you want, dearie."
Second part, very weak, had something to do with Nazi experiments, drugs, a naked man wearing a welder's helmet.
Third involved another couple. Role playing, betrayals, and revenge. And cynophobia.
Arty, pretentious, soft core twaddle.
 

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Shame - 2011 - 5/10

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From all the hype I was expecting fare truly disgusting.
Train wreck sister moves in temporarily with her highly successful brother in Manhattan. She cramps his routine of meaningless sex, Internet porn, hookers, skin magazines, dirty videos, etc ... Both leads (Fassbender and Mulligan) could be termed easy on the eyes.
Bleak and depressing.
You would think someone could create characters who had a lusty appreciation of magazines and videos.
 

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Live Forever - 2003 - 8/10

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Oh, to seize the moment, recognize your own time, and ride the tiger of fame.
Gleeful documentary of the 90s rise of Britpop - Cool Britannia, focusing on the lopsided rivalry between Blur And Oasis.
Plenty of music, video clips and concert footage. Interviews with Noel Gallagher, Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker, Louise Wener (Sleeper), Del Naja (Massive Attack). And Liam. Abso-fucking-tutely. Liam Gallagher gabbing away is always worth your time!
Many groups barely referenced - Stone Roses, Suede, Verve. Others - where was Manic Street Preachers?
For some, the background history of the politics is distracting, others will find it helpful.

Not surprisingly, the sound was eventually appropriated and usurped by artists more accessible, less creative.
The end of Britpop seemed to be followed by all the Idol crap.
I worked at a large music shop back then, this doc is a giddy romp.
 

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Mega Python Vs Gatoroid - 2011 - 3/10

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Cautionary tale of interfering with Nature, co-starring - and co-produced by - those acclaimed thespians
Debbie Gibson and Tiffany.
Quite awful CGI alligators and pythons, both the size of buildings, chomp it out.
Speaking of size, Tiffany put on a couple of pounds, most in the cleavage midfield. When she appears, the camera seems drawn in by gravity.
Ex Monkee Mickey Dolenz shows up as ex Monkee Mickey Dolenz.
Viewers should also be forewarned of a couple of songs by our leads.

Note - At the counter, I excitedly waved this winner at the staff. No one had heard of either Debbie or Tiffany.
Another "you're getting old" moment.

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ThrowgnCpr

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jesus, debbie looks like a crack whore in that top photo. I may have to check out that movie. I'm a fan of those ridiculously horrible monster rivalry films.


also, f#@k both blur and oasis. especially oasis.
 

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Debbie and Tiffy were floozy, bitchy fun. Debbie (now Deborah) looks a bit hard. Maybe botox.
The CGI was worse than flossed scrotum.

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The Serpent & The Rainbow - 1988 - 5/10

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Bill Pullman, field worker / anthropologist for Big Pharma, digs around in voodoo Haiti for cures.
Instructions are to find the “zombie drug” which supposedly will suspend life for a month.
Yeah, boss, wait till Marketing tries to overcome - I ain’t gonna be no zombie - consumer resistance.
Of course, he never gets that far. Instead he gets embroiled with the Bébé Doc Duvalier police state and growing insurrection.
Some curious dream sequences fueled by voodoo herbal cocktails, but the film mostly staggered around.
Director Wes Craven shot ten years out of date, circa 1975.
Bill Pullman’s hair stayed fluffy the whole movie.
Wasted opportunity.
 

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Naked Alibi - 1954 - 6/10

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Decent Noir with Sterling Hayden as no-nonsense police chief.
Drunk n disorderly baker brought in for questioning, provokes cops, gets smacked around.
Within days, three cops murdered and gruff chief suspects the family man, police brutality victim, the baker.
Plenty of false trails to keep viewer guessing.
Noir fatale, Gloria Grahame, plays cheap singer in low life Mexican cantina.
 

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Vultural said:
She Creature - 2001 - 6/10

Dublin carnies fleece the rubes with fake zombie and fake mermaid in 1904.

15h74l.jpg


They encounter the seemingly “real deal” and kidnap it, then book passage for America.
PT Barnum, Ringling Bros, and limitless wealth beckons.
They fail to realize as the ship sails the Atlantic, the creature’s influence and power grows.
Modest production values (Stan Winston involved), capable set of actors, intelligent script.
Decent late night yarn. Beware nudity and erotic situations.

NSFW
1zxnn78.jpg
Just watched this and rather liked it, agreed on the good performances and script; the direction was pretty good also. The low budget was definitely a plus, as some of the fakier bits (never any stars at night) lent the movie a charmingly stage-y feel. I do very much wish that the climax had built on the evocative erotic horror aspects rather than turn into a pretty straightforward bug hunt (why must American entertainment always go for violence over sex), but still a pretty good watch. B+
 

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Vultural said:
Shame - 2011 - 5/10

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From all the hype I was expecting fare truly disgusting.
Train wreck sister moves in temporarily with her highly successful brother in Manhattan. She cramps his routine of meaningless sex, Internet porn, hookers, skin magazines, dirty videos, etc ... Both leads (Fassbender and Mulligan) could be termed easy on the eyes.
Bleak and depressing.
You would think someone could create characters who had a lusty appreciation of magazines and videos.

Rewatched this movie a week or so ago...

Good direction, loved the tone and vibe and all that. Some things felt forced, like that one friend who was like also his boss. Really great potential, could have used a rewrite before filming.
 

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Tamara Drewe - 2010 - 6/10

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Ugly duckling Tamara moves to London, hits the gym, chops the nose, and returns to her rural roots during a writers retreat.
Tamara (Gemma Arterton) appears wearing short shorts, fashion hair, and drop dead looks.
Several males hide the sausage with her, including a rock star (!?!).
Not a comedy, nor a drama. British cow-over-the fence piece. Nice scenery throughout.
A rather dotty film, heavily beholden to The World Of Henry Orient owing to two obsessive young girls.
Couple of songs by Swipe had me checking www_allmusic_com.
Worth a look if you're curious. Arterton was gorgeous.
 

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Frances Ha - 2012 - 5/10

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Say what?
Critical darling about deluded late 20s girl who comes off as a failure on every level.
Doesn’t really have a job, mooches apartment space, fails with relationships.
Yeah, join the club, princess.
How does she pay New York rent? Eat out? Airfares?
Oh - it’s a movie. And not a New York film ala Woody Allen or Edward Burns. This was fantasy island.
Frances strikes one as shallow, self centered, untalented, yet resolute in the belief of her innate specialness.
Could be a metaphor for a generation.
After muddled speeches, foolish decisions, squandering of funds, the film rushes a tacked on, happy finale that was as satisfying as a peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich.
 

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Borderland - 2007 - 6/10

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Three University of Texas grads cross from Brownsville into Matamoros, Mexico for 'shrooms and poon.
One gets kidnapped by drug mafia who also practice Palo Mayombe, a bloody offshoot of Santeria. They want a gringo sacrifice.
The movie was well shot, with a good feel for the border zone. Kids who look for trouble usually find it.
Nudity, drug use, language and extreme violence.
The ending became far fetched.
The actual DVD features a documentary on the real story, based on Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo, practitioner of black magic, torture, human sacrifice.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolfo_Constanzo
 

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Home For The Holidays - 1995 - 7/10

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An annual reminder of why I never visit my family or Zelda's family during the holidays.
Thanksgiving get-together gone to hell.
Charles Durning sums up the next holiday nicely, "I can't wait for goddamned Christmas."
 

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Pieces Of April - 2003 - 7/10

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The "other" great, cautionary Thanksgiving film.
Katie Holmes shines as the daughter from hell, inviting her estranged family to NYC for turkey dinner.
She has never cooked in her life.
Her mother (Patricia Clarkson) and she have never gotten along.
The oven is dead.
All the warning flags of dinner disaster fly.
Great film.

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Vultural said:
Now You See Me - 2013 - 6/10

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Mindless Saturday night diversion. Four mid-tier magicians are gathered together to become major headliners as the Four Horsemen. Part of their act involves robbery.
Very slick production with perpetual camera movement, rapid effects, as well as the various capers. Plot sweeps swiftly, with barely a letup or quiet moment. In other words, one doesn’t really think about particulars until the credits.
Then it’s like, “Hey, wait a minute ... ”
Fun, but despite a stellar cast *, doubt I would ever rewatch this empty popcorn flick.

* Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo
...

...

... WTF did I just watch?!


One seriously weird movie... jam-packed with CG effects, and a plot so ludicrous it makes... uh... er, the movie fried my brain and I can't complete this sentence. It's pretty ludicrous, is what I'm getting at.

It's got so many holograms and shit, it's like Tony Stark took some really bad acid, and this is what his trip looked like. With his buddy Bruce playing himself as an FBI agent. F*** it, that makes more sense than anything in the actual movie; I'm gonna go with that. C
 

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California Dreamin’: Songs Of The Mamas & The Papas - 2005 - 6/10

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Fun, though quite shallow overview, capturing the 60s pop group during their peak.
Packed with clips of group lip syncing on a variety of TV programs.
Interviews were positive. In-group infidelities were referenced, though not Michelle’s temporary firing from the group.
Easy stroll down nostalgia lane, and Phillips’ songs remain buoyant, irresistibly catchy.
 
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