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A few reviews

Vultural

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Santo In Vengeance Of The Mummy - 1970 - 5/10

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An ancient tomb is discovered deep in the Mexican jungle and a expedition team is assembled.
Professors, overseers, chef, porters, camera girl, secretary, and a masked wrestler.
You never know when you might need those luche libra skills, and need them bad.
Warning outside the crypt: Do not enter lest the curse --- Of course they enter.
Then on the Olmec mummy: Do not touch the sacred necklace or --- They remove the necklace.
Deaths follow soon and often, as the mummy proves adept with bow and arrow.
Plot races by, and the mummy back story has stock footage of an uncredited Aztec movie.
Wrestling matches in Mexico City Arena bookend the film.
 

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Hysteria - 2011 - 7/10

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Victorian costumer and inventor tale.
Some names are synonymous with their inventions. The Earl Of Sandwich, Sir Thomas Crapper, Hans Geiger, Candido Jacuzzi, ...
Not Mortimer Granville, however, who invented a device for treating female hysteria.
An electrical, vibrating device that relieved tension, and remains a wildly popular gadget to this day.
Not as over-the-top funny as it could have been, featuring secondary stories about suffragette rights, and the plight of the poor.
 

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Død Snø 2 - 2014 - 6/10
AKA: Dead Snow 2

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Cursed, Nazi zombies sweep through remote Norwegian countryside.
Killing, then converting hapless villagers to increase their numbers.
From the States, the Zombie Squad arrives (three geeks - one with an intense Star Wars obsession).
Gory mayhem, putrid bubblings, steeped with a wicked sense of humor.
Film packed with laugh out loud grossness, and a climactic battle between Nazi zombies and Soviet zombies from the legendary battle of Kursk.
Not necessarily the best film to watch while eating spaghetti.

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13 Tzameti - 2005 - 6/10

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A young, barely employed roofer overhears a fractured discussion from a dying, drugged oldster about making a big score.
The geezer dies, the kid intercepts his mail and decides to follow the steps and take his place.
Easy money.
Black and white French film, stark and dark, turns grim once the kid arrives at the destination.
Once the money men arrive, and guns are passed, there is no backing out.
Again, this is the 2005 French original, not the 2010 Hollywood rehack.
 

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Some Velvet Morning - 2013 - 7/10

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Two characters, 80 minute film, shot almost exclusively indoors, all but screams theatre.
Written and directed by Neil LaBute, another tipoff.
Ex-john shows up at doorstep of high priced call girl after a four year hiatus.
Left his job as attorney, dumped his wife, ready to move in and pick up where they left off.
Confrontations, accusations, recriminations.
Uncomfortable territory here, with an in-your-face attitude throughout.
Great for serious drama fans, with superb performances.
 

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MOZU - S01: Cries Of The Night - 2014 - 7/10

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Furious J-drama, steeped in Noir. Endless cigarettes, rain soaked nights, mysteries, terrific villains.
You prefer comedy, romance, superheroes, or teens, this ain’t it.
MOZU translates as shrike, as in the bird that impales its victims on spikes or barbs.
In this case, the hitman and his trusty icepick.
While police investigate a terrorist bombing, they trespass into another agency’s pursuit of a corporate assassin.
Conspiracies surface, business and political treachery vie with flawed enforcement.
Twists abound, and several characters step deeper into doomed territory.
Scant light in MOZU. Good choice if you are the black-hearted type.
Know thyself.

A note about subs -

The most readily available subs are .ass files which some units cannot decipher.
I converted to .srt, removed overlapping titles which would not display, overhauled the syntax and grammar,Westernized the dialogue, and streamlined the length.
From “I intend to definitely be helping you,” to “I will help you.”
My .srt is on addic7ed = http://www.addic7ed.com/show/4727
 

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Vultural said:
Some Velvet Morning - 2013 - 7/10

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I also watched this recently. Strange movie... a very tense story. When it was all done, I wasn't sure it had been worth the ride. Fine performances, for sure.
 

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Footnote - 2011 - 6/10 - 2011
‏AKA - הערת שולים

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Israeli story of two scholars. The popular professor and the dour iconoclast.
Both nominated for the top Israel prize for Talmudic studies.
Oh, yeah, they were father and son, with all the rivalry that implied.
Bitter complications arise after the winner is announced.
Film very frustrating on multiple levels. The way characters interact with each other.
Family members are introduced, troubles displayed, then nothing.
Females were afterthoughts.
Well done, but I did not enjoy this at all. Despite ads, it was not funny, either.
 

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The Look Of Love - 2013 - 5/10

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Sweeping bio of Soho smut peddler, Paul Raymond, played by Steve Coogan.
Fun to watch as Raymond grows from nudie revues to glossy mens mags to acquiring huge real estate holdings.
Not much depth, however, as years roll from 1958 to 1992 in 101 minutes.
Needless to say, the story was a touch of this, a dash of that, sifted in a shallow bowl.

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Die Wannseekonferenz -1984 - 8/10

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German documentary based on official transcripts of the 1942 meeting of high ranking Reich officials in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee.
Main topic was the establishment of concentration camps in the east, followed by deportation and extermination of European Jews.
Chaired by Reinhard Heydrich, the main purpose was to get everyone committed to the Final Solution. All would bear responsibility, all would bear liability.
Low key performances offset by chilling dialogue.
Must see film, since we constantly forget the past. Easily found on YouTube.
 

TM2YC

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^ FYI... Kenneth Branagh was in a powerful BBC drama about the same meeting. He played Heydrich, Stanley Tucci played Eichmann, also Colin Firth and David Threlfall. Thought you might be interested.

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Not that I approve but it is also freely available on YouTube.
 

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^ Conspiracy is excellent. You know that Branagh is a beautiful, beautiful man with an amazing voice when he talks about implementing the Final Solution and you catch yourself half-going "yes, yes, quite right, old chap, tell me more..." :oops:
 

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The Internship - 2013 - 6/10

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Light comedy of two middle aged stumblers who apply for jobs with Google, going the intern route.
Applicants break off into teams and competition begins.
Enjoyed this more than I thought as the two older males do not condescend to younger members,
nor do they try to take advantage of them.
They walk a narrow line between ignorance and earnestness, but carry that off.
Overlong at 2.00+ hours, yet never seemed to lose momentum.
Vaughn and Wilson struck me as on the cusp of being too old for these roles.
 

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When You're Strange - 2009 - 7/10

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Documentary of The Doors, focusing, as usual, on frontman Jim Morrison.
This used footage that was new to me, and I've viewed plenty of Doors flicks. Cool Shelby Mustang.
Narrated by Johnny Depp. Fun slide from Los Angeles to Paris to immortality.
 

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Dom Hemingway - 2013 - 7/10

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Jude Law reboots his career, playing hardened con released after 12 years.
He took the fall for someone else and expects to be well paid for his silence.
Unfortunately, Lady Luck doesn’t always see it that way.
Definitely not the usual gangster film as Law and mate, Richard Grant, are both glib and eloquent.
Bitter funny throughout, also a touch poignant as the once-king of the block is ... well ... twelve years older.
 

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Cinderella - 1977 - 4/10

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Good natured porn musical from the Golden Era, starring Cheryl 'Rainbeaux' Smith (Caged Heat, Revenge Of The Cheerleaders).
Lots of jokes (mostly terrible). Costumes. Musical numbers - yes, this was a musical! Songs were awful. At least the thespians looked like they were enjoying themselves, whereas current performers often appear to be having difficult bowel movements.
Not only did the Fairy Godmother give Cinderella a fancy gown and horse & carriage, but her velvet temple was transformed into a "snapper." Drove the Prince into immediate addiction, so that he scoured the Kingdom and banged all eager beaver types in his snappy quest.
An altogether bad film, compensated with a lot of heart.
 

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Invisible Woman - 2013 - 06/10

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Subdued drama of the affair between 45 year old Charles Dickens and 18 year old Nelly Ternan.
Low key acting, complemented by subdued colour palette (grays, blacks, browns) and moody music (piano or quartet).
In the open-mic, audience Q & A Director / producer Fiennes was defensive when asked, what’s the point?
Questions about social norms are dodged, as are reflections on women, marriage, celebrity.
Fiennes, who is a believable Dickens, aims for the passing snapshots of life.
Richly done, yet seemed superficial.
 

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Muscle Shoals - 2013 - 6/10

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Elusive documentary about famed Alabama studios, mother lode of Southern swamp ‘n Delta blues.
Lots of music clips, as well as recollections / thoughts from Jagger, Richards, Bono, Aretha, Pickett, Sledge, Wexler.
Also the original Swampers and FAME studio chief, Rick Hall.
After awhile, every time Hall started talking, we braced for the next tragedy: Ma, brother, wife, Pa, one by one the Reaper picked ‘em off. Kept waiting for Old Shep to buy it.
FAME began to dry up in the 70s, not mentioned in doc. The Swampers’ Muscle Shoals Sound Studio was sold in ‘85, likewise not mentioned.
Incredible amount of hits referenced - “When A Man Loves A Woman” “Land Of 1000 Dances” “Brown Sugar” “Main Street” “Kodachrome” “Respect” “Patches” “Tell Mama” “Mustang Sally” and “Sweet Home Alabama”
Highly entertaining, perhaps depending on your age and memories.
 

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Le Passe - 2013 - 7/10

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Estranged husband arrives from Tehran to give wife her Paris divorce.
There, he meets her current - younger - boyfriend de jour.
Also the man’s son, as well as his wife’s daughters by previous marriages.
Ma’s bounced around a bit.
Gradually, secrets emerge about the older daughter’s fury, and the boyfriend’s comatose wife.
Not a fun film, but well acted from an intelligent, adult script.
Shot in suburbs far from touristy Paris.
Nice to see Iranians not cast as terrorists or zealots.
 

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Gimme The Loot - 2012 - 6/10

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Graffiti artists Malcolm and Sophia labor all night on a new mural,
only to see it completely tagged and defaced the next day by rival gangs.
Their newest “exhibition” is to sneak into Mets ballpark and tag the home run sign.
Oh, and they need $500. Easier said than done.
Bleak comedy trails the rather amoral pair as they steal cans of spray paint,
only to get robbed and hustled themselves.
For those who think New York is Sex And The City, this is a refreshing dose of reality.
Quite a fun show. (Best get subtitles. Hood speak hard to follow sometimes.)
 
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