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A few reviews

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Best Offer - 2013 - 7/10

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Intriguing arthouse mystery of greed, deception, obsession, fraud.
Accent on art house, as this takes place in the high end worth of auctions and collectors.
Geoffrey Rush plays evaluator / owner of Sotheby’s type establishment.
He gets wind of an estate in a run down house.
Within are treasures.
A fabulously looking film that unfolds, quite literally, like a clockwork mechanism.
“Onion layer” story, as one level of the narrative is exposed, another is revealed.
Clues scattered in plain sight, snapping tight at the end.
 

bionicbob

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
Vultural said:
About Time - 2013 - 6/10

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Upon his 21st birthday, Tim is informed males in his family have always been able to time travel.
Not go into the future, only the past. Only their own past, and even then there are a few restrictions which he discovers.
What he really has is a “reset switch.” Return to the near past, for example, and correct dating faux pas.
Warm, feel good movie from the folks who brought you Four Weddings and Love Actually.
Humor offset by sentimentality, bittersweet, and tragic moments.
For pure laugh out loud fare, this ain’t it.
That said, others around me who watched this did laugh out loud, teared up, and applauded at the end.
They would rate this higher, I am sure.


I watched this one last night, and I definitely fell into the "laughed and cried" category.

I loved this movie. Then again I am a sucker for pretty much of all of Richard Curtis's written and/or directed works.

One of my favorite and often repeatedly watched fan edits is ADM's Love Actually extended edition, and after watching the brilliant deleted scenes from ABOUT TIME, I think it is worthy of a Bloated Edition too. :)
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Duchess - 2008 - 5/10

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Surprise. Keira Knightley botches another costume drama.
This time she plays 17th century Georgiana Spenser, great-great-great -- you know, of the Spenser family.
Tale of lady involved in politics and scandals, helped by great costumes and location sets.
As always, Knightley is simply too modern for such a part, showing her limited range of smirks, squints and pouts.
Everyone else is quite fine, notably Ralph Fiennes and Charlotte Rampling.
To be honest, females around me enjoyed this more than I.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Dark City - 1950 - 6/10

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Opening credits read, ‘Introducing Charlton Heston,’ but make no mistake, he is the star.
Weak faux noir from Paramount has Chuck, Jack Webb and Ed Begley fleecing a small time courier out of 5G he’s carrying for a larger, stronger mob.
The courier is soon whacked, and the easy score grows more dangerous.
Heston’s character meanders around from rat to shyster to sorta good guy.
Ex-girlfriend Lizabeth Scott sings three songs, which struck me as padding, unless she’s your kind of canary.
An OK enough drama, but if you want gloomy, fatal noir, seek elsewhere.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Star Wars - XXX - 2012 - ??/10

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My my my. I gave a friend, huge Star Wars fanatic, a couple of fanedits.
Next time I visit, he makes a big production - in front of his new girlfriend - of giving me one from his stash.
“See, I’m getting rid of them,” he says, loudly.
If porn is your thing - know thyself - then you already own this parody.
Two hours of Jedi porn with upraised sabers, wookie meat, Darth’s interrogating tool, Obi’s wand.
Yes, some of us get all the luck.

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To be fair, there were several funny moments in this beat for beat riff on the familiar story.
Hell, half the lines were script paraphrases.
For me, the sequences were unimaginative, overlong, and repetitive.
During multiple bouts at the Mos Eisley cantina, the band played the damn cantina theme for 30 minutes!
Surely the producers could have jizzed up another tune on a cheapo casio keyboard.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Queen Of Versailles - 2012 - 7/10

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Documentary of billionaire time-share mogul, David Siegel, as he begins construction on a gargantuan manor house during the height of the financial housing bubble. In 2008, the bubble burst and banks everywhere looked to fail. No loans for nobody. Work on the dream house stopped.
Now, it's up for sale. Unfinished. Asking a reasonable $75 mil. 90,000 square feet. Fixxer-upper.
Highly entertaining documentary follows trophy wife Jackie, herding eight kids, navigating their spiraling circumstances.
The American Dream with big cars, big homes, big swank, crumbling to monumental failures.
Despite all, Jackie remains likeable, and stays positive.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Sharknado - 2013 - 2/10

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To paraphrase a Spinal Tap review.
Sharknado = Shitnado.
Hurricane slams into Santa Monica, after having sucked hundreds of sharks into its whirlwinds.
Flying sharks apparently have no problem breathing air, and they bite off limbs and heads of passing humans.
Streets fill with water, even in the hills of Beverly Hills, and sharkies swim from living rooms to dining rooms to ... dine!
Terrible acting, awful script, mindless direction, crapo music, especially bad CGI.
Wait! A sequel is in the pipe! Maybe that’ll be better.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Killer Toon - 2013 - 7/10

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Arresting mix of live action and manga panels.
Selected viewers of a web artist’s preview installment find life imitating art.
As characters in the strip live - or in this film - die, so do they. In the same, gruesome manner.

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Police get involved, undecided whether the artist is culprit or pawn.
Then they begin trawling through the past.
Perhaps a bit too clever and convoluted for its own good, but rarely boring and beguiling throughout.
Enough in this to watch a couple times.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Who Killed Nancy - 2009 - 7/10

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Nancy Spungen was killed Oct 1978. Six months later, boyfriend-suspect Sid Vicious died of an overdose. The case was closed, and everyone decided "Sid did it."
Police records reveal there were actually six suspects. This documentary tries to pick up the threads with mixed results.
Lots of interviews with friends, drug buddies, roadies, etc ... As well as a great soundtrack. The narrative meanders, however, and never quite targets the prime alternative. One has the impression Sid didn't kill Nancy (witnesses confirm he was passed out) ... but who did? And why?
This should have been better. Still, Who Killed Nancy is essential viewing for fans of Great Rock-N-Roll Swindle or readers of Jon Savage's England's Dreaming, or anyone who went to punk shows.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
St. Trinian's - 2007 - 6/10

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A remake of the 50s classic series.
England's notorious St. Trinian's all girl school. Lots of girls in uniforms. Cute girls, hot babes, randy vixens, Goth gurlz, stoners.
Goofy hijinks in a silly plot to save the school for misfits from closure.
This comedy was slagged by a pile UK critics, 35-60 year old geezers, but has fared better after a recent global release. A hoot from beginning to end.
Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Gemma Arterton, Russell Brand, and probably 10 future stars.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Wild Wonderful Whites of West Virginia - 2009 - 2/10 or 9/10

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Long awaited sequel to Dancing Outlaw, which made an unlikely cult star out of Appalachian mountain man, tap steppin', Jesco White.
This time out, the whole clan is featured.
Cussing, fighting, breeding, shooting, stabbing, nudity - male and female.
Will thrill fans and horrify the unwary.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Page Eight - 2011 - 6/10

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First part of espionage chessmatch.
Bill Nighy plays Johnny Worricker, career intelligence analyst.
His boss reminds him to focus on another “the usual classified report.”
One brief sentence on page eight reveals a hitherto hidden piece of rot.
Then all the pieces begin to shift, cover, blame.
Also with Michael Gambon, Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Judy Davis.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Turks & Caicos - 2014 - 6/10

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Second part of Johnny Worricker spy chase.
More secrets begin to surface, making a fall guy essential and inevitable.
Worricker slips to the Caribbean isles of Turks & Caicos, encounters characters both shady and sinister.
As in the earlier film, very limited action, the plot comes through dialogue and observation.
Another powerhouse cast with Christopher Walken, Winona Ryder, Helena Bonham Carter, Rupert Graves.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Salting The Battlefield - 2014 - 6/10

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Finale of the Worricker espionage trilogy.
Nighy’s character continues to elude, while releasing “innocent” data to press outlets.
Shifting locations, replacement cellphones, and unlikely allies notwithstanding, the mesh tightens.
Omnipresent cameras and GPS tracking prove double edged. Stakes are career ending.
Great series for adults. Cynical, intelligent, sharp. Not one shooting or explosion through three films.
 

bionicbob

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
I watched PAGE EIGHT on Netflix and enjoyed it.

I had no idea it was part of a trilogy?!?

Thanks for the heads up! Will try to track these two sequels down. :)
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
I Used To Be Darker - 2013 - 6/10

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Indie fare, as Northern Irish runaway lass makes her way to aunt & uncle’s home in Baltimore.
The adults, both in late 40s, are splashing toward divorce.
Both were musicians when they were younger. One took the yoke of employment, the other still chases the muse.
Quiet slice film, as the runaway observes the rocky home she had hoped was sanctuary.
Slow, moody, though I did enjoy it.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Inside Llewyn Davis - 2013 - 5/10

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Glorified indie film, overhyped because it hailed from the Coen Brothers.
Early 60s, third rate folkie specializes in depressing downers.
Career going nowhere, he bums from everyone, antagonizes colleagues.
Worse, he’s getting old.
The Coens made a spectacular error early on.
They put a pet - a family cat - in uncertain jeopardy, and left that plot point dangling.
Most of the film, I heard whispers around me, “What about the cat?” “Where’s the cat?” “That cat better be OK.”
People were so distracted they lost focus, and took everyone around them out of the film.
That, and characters kept referring to Grossman, whom anyone who knows a lick about folkie or 60s music assumes to be Albert Grossman, legendary manager. Wrong. So that pissed off know-it-alls.
Misfire. Doesn’t happen often with the Coens.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Borderlands - 2013 - 5/10

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Horror yarn using the found footage template.
Pair of church techs arrive at tiny parish to substantiate claims of paranormal activity.
Set up recording gear, motion capture triggers, etc ... Investigator priest soon shows.
Most claims are scams, trying to lure media, spike attendance.
First half sluggish, with unsympathetic characters (one being a prime twat).
Accelerates hard at the end.
All handheld. Expect out of focus, jerky pans, dim lit.
Never bought the doc angle for one minute.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Hunky Dory - 2011 - 6/10

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Payback, I suppose, for subjecting my bride to weeks of NCAA basketball.

Minnie Driver as high school drama teacher in 1976 Wales.
Hounding her class to put on the big, end of year, musical show.
Part Glee, part Busby Berkeley “let’s put on a show!”
Scattershot view of pupils, though it does not suffer from the tokenism that plagues Glee.
Interesting mix of tunes, all circa 1976, preponderance of ELO and Bowie (ref title).
Not too schmaltzy, could sit through this without feeling restless.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Austenland - 2013 - 6/10

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Payback continues.

Rom com finds crazed Jane Austen Yank buying a ticket to Regency theme park in England.
Hopes to meet a gentleman of quality.
The experience is based on ability to pay. She goes budget and gets treated accordingly.
Funny, predictable, often cringe worthy, satire of obsession and expectation.
Jane Seymour is the merciless and mercenary proprietress.
 
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