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A few reviews

Vultural

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World’s End - 2013 - 6/10

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Yet another quasi apocalyptic comedy from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
High school mates reunite to try and finish hometown pub crawl they attempted and failed 20 years earlier.
Pegg’s character annoying at first, but struck me better as the tone and tempo of the plot intensified.
As with all this duo’s films, the last act loaded stale action and a lazy finale.
Good premise, wish these guys could finish as well as they start.
(Hmm, sounds like a common female dating lament.)
 

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Love Crime - 2010 - 7/10

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Kristin Scott Thomas plays the ambitious, manipulative boss, who claims credit for all the work done by her junior.
Solid French revenge film with some nice twists and turns.
Character "Isabelle" lays a trail of deceptive clues. Vengeance served chilled.
 

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Wanted For Murder - 1946 - 6/10

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Nice British thriller set in post WWI London.
Eric Portman plays the rich swell with a slight strangling issue.
Good police procedural as the inspectors focus their gaze on him, and the small errors he makes.
Many, many scenes of London add to the appeal of this one.
Great film for a wet weekend.
 

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Disconnect - 2013 - 8/10

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Several ongoing stories, sometimes interconnecting, showing souls more plugged into devices than relationships.
Identity theft, online gambling, chat rooms, sexting, bullying, underage porn, exposure, spying.
Most reflect the Zeitgeist of the times, but to be fair, the writing seldom stoops to cliché or “happy.”
Similar to Crash, (the 2004 film, not the 1996 carwreck), Short Cuts, and numerous others.
Finale overused the slo-mo to distracting effect.
Also, found it hard to believe people are still so gullible and trusting.
PT Barnum would love this era.
 

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Hooligans - Untold Story - 2006 - 7/10

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Documentary of the 2006 World Cup, set in Germany.
Security types keep 3000 troublemakers from arriving.
That ought to cover everyone, right?
Riots, brawls, fights, melees.
And bars never stopped serving beer, even amidst flying chairs.
Rumble!
 

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Vultural said:
Disconnect - 2013 - 8/10

bi2zwp.jpg


Several ongoing stories, sometimes interconnecting, showing souls more plugged into devices than relationships.
Identity theft, online gambling, chat rooms, sexting, bullying, underage porn, exposure, spying.
Most reflect the Zeitgeist of the times, but to be fair, the writing seldom stoops to cliché or “happy.”
Similar to Crash, (the 2004 film, not the 1996 carwreck), Short Cuts, and numerous others.
Finale overused the slo-mo to distracting effect.
Also, found it hard to believe people are still so gullible and trusting.
PT Barnum would love this era.

Ooh I'll have to check this one out.
 

Vultural

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^ ^ Film was infuriating at times, watching people clicking away or staring at phones.
Even during a conversation, you'd spy a character slyly glancing at the device.
I guess hoping there is a better option round the corner. Party, date with the cheerleader, whatever.
Just the quiet, omnipresent reminder to whomever you are with, that they aren't so important.
I scored it high for catching those nuances so well.

The Aside:

I was talking with a coworker awhile ago. He was younger than me, by twenty years, and found my dating history insane.
"Yeah, dude," I'd explain, "the happy hunting era of pre-AIDS. Bump 'em, hump 'em, and dump 'em."
No name, no number, no relationship crap.
He countered with, "Check this out. We're on a date, and she'll be checking voicemail, texting messages. Looking for an upgrade. Me? I've gone invisible. I'm sitting there, making conversation, she doesn't hear me, doesn't see me. I'm some ghost. Another Attention Deficit Disorder Date. Our whole generation is A.D.D., man."
Both piss poor, if you ask me, but dating has always been a gauntlet to score a bit of leg.
 

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Tamara Drewe

Ugly duckling Tamara moves to London ...

Enough! I probably have to finally watch this one, but Gemma Atterton as the ugly duckling? I thought we were beyond the point where casting decisions like that were even possible. Maybe seeing her for the first time in The Disappearance of Alice Creed was a mistake, but after that ... no ... no duckling in sight. Nowhere.
 

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Martha Marcy May Marlene - 2011 - 5/10

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Girl escapes from a backwoods cult, where the lot of womenfolk is cookin', dishes, gardening, and spawning.
She hides at his sister's lakeside retreat.
Are culties following her? Or is she ghosted by private demons? Or do I care?
Kept checking the time often during this one.
Hated every single character.
 

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Wish You Were Here - 2012 - 6/10

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Two Australian couples head to Cambodia for partying and heavy drinking.
One couple returns, one person remains behind, one disappears without a trace.
The story gets teased out during ninety some minutes.
No great revelations. I predicted one of the twists early on.
Strength was in how characters found themselves bound to secrecy.
For most souls, however, keeping secrets proves next to impossible.
 

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Red Rock West - 1993 - 7/10

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Choose life!
Drifter Nicholas Cage rolls into Red Rock, Wyoming, looking for any sort of work.
He is mistaken for hitman, Lyle from Dallas, and paid to whack someone.
Payouts - double crosses - then the real Lyle appears.
Dennis Hopper unforgettable as Lyle. Cage, a reminder, once upon a time was a great actor.
Dark, moody neo noir.
 

bionicbob

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Vultural said:
Red Rock West - 1993 - 7/10

red-rock-west-dennis-hopper-nicolas-cage-john-dahl22.jpg


Choose life!
Drifter Nicholas Cage rolls into Red Rock, Wyoming, looking for any sort of work.
He is mistaken for hitman, Lyle from Dallas, and paid to whack someone.
Payouts - double crosses - then the real Lyle appears.
Dennis Hopper unforgettable as Lyle. Cage, a reminder, once upon a time was a great actor.
Dark, moody neo noir.

I remember this one. Great flick. Wasn't it an HBO original production? Or maybe I just saw it originally on HBO?
Either way, a good movie worth looking up and watching again.
 

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Snaked Fear - 2011 - 3/10

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Yeah, looked awful, grabbed it anyway. Muffin head.
Film opens with a drug or gangsta betrayal at copter crash site.
Fake fire and fake smoke were tipoff alerts to production values.
Main plot follows blonde and daughter as they veer off the main road into Arizona desert.
She runs over a snake, which causes dozens of snakes to start hunting her.
An old desert man tells her that. Snakes will come for a 100 miles.
Echoey sound mix. Like the boom was too far or the automatic gain picked up wind.
Everyone sounded like they were inside a steel drum. Couldn’t hear half the whining dialogue.
Snake POV shots were low on ground, through a purple or violet piece of plastic.
Movie budget must have matched my IQ for watching this spuge.
 

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Gantz - 2010 - 6/10

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Japanese Sci-Fi action film based on popular manga.
Recently deceased souls were revived by Gantz, a large black sphere, to eliminate aliens among us.
These aliens are damn strange (reference photo). If combatants succeed, points are awarded. 100 points = return to living. Dead combatants stay dead.
Followed by a sequel.
 

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Gantz: Perfect Answer - 2011 - 6/10

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Not nearly as strange or inventive as the first film, but it reveals who was killing those "recently deceased," and why.
And what happened to combatants who were slain in battles.
More full on conflicts, highlight occurring in a high speed subway.
Sequel that provides resolution to the first movie. Ought to be viewed as a pair.
 

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Unfinished Song - 2012 - 5/10

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Sappy, feel-good, old people movie.
Buncha old coots and fossils meets Glee.
Sound awful, Bob?
Terence Stamp plays angry curmudgeon married to Vanessa Redgrave.
Will his character thaw? Warm, or even sing?
Songs were either frivolous, or cynically chosen to yank heartstrings.
One of the films that begs the question, “Are we dead yet?”
 

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The Bukowski Tapes - 1987 - 5/10

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Accurate rating if you are going Buko -- wha?
If you are a hardcore Bukowski fan, however, then bump this to a 7.
Long series of interviews by director Barbet Schroder done around the time he filmed Barfly, ostensibly by and about the skid row poet of Los Angeles.
Bukowski rambles at length on varying topics: inferior peers, smog, alcohol versus marijuana, the horses, crazy women, his gradual fame, the meaningless of life, ugly people, shallow people, futility. At times insightful, other times nonsense, drunkard warbling.
Favorite bit was watching him drive about the old neighborhood in an open convertible, pointing out landmarks, telling stories.
Most infamous bit was him getting physically violent with girlfriend (later wife), Linda, and cameras turning off.

Aside:
One of my regrets was never having trekked to Bukowski’s East Los Angeles home while I lived in LA during the late 70s. I certainly went to other writers, and I prowled east Hollywood Blvd a couple times a month.
Too busy chasing leg and getting high. Stupid stoner.
 

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Open Grave - 2013 - 6/10

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Excellent thriller, with one of those “must-not-disclose” plots.
I will just jot the opening five minutes.
Man wakes up deep down in a pit.
Climbs out, goes to a house filled with five others.
No one knows why they are there. Or who they are. Or what they are supposed to do.
From there, film sets off into several rabbit holes.
Viewer only gets clues as the characters discover them.
Definitely worth a look.
 

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Candy - 2006 - 6/10

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A hero, a heroine, and heroin.
Typically sad story of a young couple's slide into addiction.
Predictable narrative,
but reminder how powerful Heath Ledger could be.
Co-starring Geoffrey Rush and Abbie Cornish.
 

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Never Let Me Go - 2010 - 7/10

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Cloning becomes reality in the 1950's.
Replicas are created as organ donors. By the 70's and 90's, most are expected to survive four procedures before "completion."
Keira Knightly, Carey Mulligan, Charlotte Rampling lead a strong cast in this parallel universe tale of identity and being. Ruminations on whether clones possess souls.
A melancholy, rainy afternoon film. Most definitely not stereotyped Sci-Fi.
 
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