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A few reviews

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Football's Fight Club - 2002 - 7/10

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Two part BBC documentary about the rise of football hooligans in the 70s. Casuals, firms, riots on the island and abroad.
Comprehensive and well done.
The copy I saw left much to be desired, as it came from a YouTube broadcast.
Essential viewing for UK friends to look for themselves!
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Wildest Dream - Conquest Of Everest - 2010 - 7/10

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Modern documentary retracing George Mallory’s 1924 Mt Everest attempt, which ended in his and his companion’s disappearance. His frozen body, with compound fracture, was found in 1999.
1924 was near the end of the glory years of the old explorers. Both poles, darkest Africa, perfumed Asia, tropical South America, all have been trekked. Only that peak remained to be claimed.
Two modern climbers retraced Mallory’s path, wearing layered clothing, fur hats, hobnail boots, goggles.
The ladder, placed near the top in the 70s (and used since by countless handicapped, overweight, blind wannabee mountaineers) was removed.
Film swings back and forth between Mallory, his letters, the 20s and the difficulties the modern duo encounter.
Cold as Hell.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Pulp: A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets - 2014 - 6/10

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The Brit group stopped touring and playing in 2002.
Ten years later, Pulp decided to regroup and give a farewell concert to hometown Sheffield.
Doc avoids the typical career overview sweep. Instead, catches up with members where they are now, walks through landscapes of Sheffield itself as well as the musical themes, and interviews many Sheffield residents (seems like the whole city plans to attend).

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Highly entertaining, and you do not have to be a hardcore fan to enjoy.
Highlights include the numerous choral groups and glees singing favorite songs.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Chicago Syndicate - 1955 - 5/10

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City officials recruit Federal accountant to infiltrate seemingly untouchable crime group.
Dennis O’Keefe shuffles through the bookkeeper role, while others around him generate a lot more voltage.
Xavier Cugat leads his band, smoldering Abbe Lane croons “One At A Time.”
Still, this is a B-movie quickie. Only a handful of guys make up the mighty syndicate, and the nightclub they spend most of their time at is cheap looking.
Passable time waster.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Amreeka - 2009 - 5/10

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The trailer indicated a comedy of newly arrived Palestine woman navigating the USA with humorous results.
Apparently, the trailer caught the only funny moments of the movie.
Remainder of film is OK, showing the harsh realities of Palestine, and the difficulties of transitioning to a new culture (be it 1000 miles away or half a globe away) where your skills, contacts, and credentials mean little.
Not the comic gem it was marketed as. Otherwise, fine.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
MOZU S02 - Wings Of Phantasia - 2014 - 7/10

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After the sheer carnage that was MOZU S01, one might assume few characters survived for a second season.
This launched weeks after the first ended, so S02 was always in the cards.
The three leads returned and picked up the loose ends left unresolved.
More talky than S01, a pace below the pedal-to-the-metal action of S01. Nevertheless, investigators probe deeper into the conspiracies.
The trail of absent family members are followed, as well as the truth of the dungeon of Omelas.
As with the first season, the sound design in this is outstanding. From dark ambient to musique concrete.
Also, lest Shrike fans lost heart, the icepick abides.

A note about subs -

As with S01, the most readily available subs are .ass files which some units cannot decipher.
As before, I converted this series to .srt, removed overlapping titles which would not display, overhauled the syntax and grammar, Westernized the dialogue, and streamlined the length.
My .srt is on addic7ed = http://www.addic7ed.com/show/4727
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks - 2013 - 7/10

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Ignore the low ratings on IMDB, that is blatant skewing by Wikileaks fanatics.
Detailed documentary of Wiki founder Julian Assange, and his greatest source, Bradley Manning.
Never boring for a minute, follows Wiki's comet rise to dissolution.
Filled in gaps and explained some aspects for me, but I was still left wondering what story hewed closer to the truth.
Beginning to feel dated now.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Desert Flower - 2009 - 6/10

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Lush biographical portrait of supermodel Waris Dirie.
Narrative swings back and forth between her perseverance in 80s London, her childhood in Somalia, and her excruciating solitary trek across the desert wastes to Mogadishu.
The imagery from Africa is gorgeous, though the gradual revelations from her childhood, grow increasingly horrifying.
Based on Dirie’s autobiography.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Man Who Would Be King - 1975 - 7/10

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Big time, old fashioned adventure film based on Kipling.
Caine and Connery perfect as greedy scoundrels who trek from India to Kafiristan.
Intend to hoodwink the natives, seize the treasure, return to England dripping wealth.
Oh, the best laid plans . . .
Stunning photography (shot in Morocco’s mountains), magical sense of time and place.
Bit slow at times (Star Wars came out two years later, Raiders Lost Ark in ‘81.), and felt quaint when it came out.
Noteworthy for the lack of gore or gratuitous violence.

In the brief documentary, director John Huston commented that he had hoped to shoot this years earlier with Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart, but both died.
Thinking about it, this could have been made in the 40s with Errol Flynn and David Niven.
 

bionicbob

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
Vultural said:
The Man Who Would Be King - 1975 - 7/10

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Big time, old fashioned adventure film based on Kipling.
Caine and Connery perfect as greedy scoundrels who trek from India to Kafiristan.
Intend to hoodwink the natives, seize the treasure, return to England dripping wealth.
Oh, the best laid plans . . .
Stunning photography (shot in Morocco’s mountains), magical sense of time and place.
Bit slow at times (Star Wars came out two years later, Raiders Lost Ark in ‘81.), and felt quaint when it came out.
Noteworthy for the lack of gore or gratuitous violence.

In the brief documentary, director John Huston commented that he had hoped to shoot this years earlier with Clark Gable and Humphrey Bogart, but both died.
Thinking about it, this could have been made in the 40s with Errol Flynn and David Niven.

Only a 7 out of 10?

I have such fond memories of this movie. I remember loving it when it used to air regularly on HBO back in my younger days. It is definitely a movie of a different era and style of filmmaking. Flynn and Niven would have been awesome! I definitely got to pick this up on DVD.:)
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Edge Of Tomorrow - 2014 - 6/10

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OK SciFi that grafted Battle Los Angeles with the endlessly repeating loop.
Callous, inexperienced coward dies and dies and dies, only to revive again.
With each awakening, he learns more about the alien Mimics, and perhaps how to thwart the invasion.
Yep, bug hunt.
The dead - resurrect bit was repeated much too often.
Pacing was brisk, but the repetition became tedious, then tiresome. Film just felt sluggish.
J-Squad underutilized.
Not as awful as the naysayers shout, but not as good as it should have been.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Battle Los Angeles - 2011 - 4/10

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I delayed watching this after all the negative reviews across forums.
All the elements for a top action flick were there, except for way too many family cliches.
There are kids in the film. Utter waste of time. In western films, kids never get killed or eaten. I don't care if they are related to the director or producer. No more Newts!
Leftover civilians. Listen, the mayor, governor, prime minister orders, "Get outta Dodge!" you don't say, "Ooh, maybe there is a sale at Piggly Wiggly." Then marines have protect deadbeats, when they should jab their thumb, "Exit's that way, Pilgrim."
Don't try to make action films for kids and mommies.
In the featurette, one of the honchos said they were trying to outdo Alien or Aliens. As if. Is that why their template was Independence Day, another family friendly suckfest? Vasquez and Drake coulda kicked their ass ... even saddled with Hudson!

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Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Siren Of Atlantis - 1949 - 3/10
AKA: Atlantis, The Lost Continent

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Fruity, cockeyed yarn about expedition searching for, and finding, fabled Atlantis.
The expedition is the French Foreign Legion.
Atlantis is in the middle of the Sahara!
Ruling the lost kingdom is a beautiful, ageless, sexually voracious queen.
Most of the citizenry act as guards or as dancers. (No TV, no reading material, dancing is the main entertainment,)
The music score is intrusive and distracting, and bulk of the acting is histrionic.
Who cares?
Queen Antinea wears skin tight or sheer as can be outfits. Plays chess with the men folk, leads them to her conch shell bed, and drains their mojo, till their ain’t no wick in the stick.
Along with provocative costumes, is the $5.00 set design. Cinematographer Karl Struss filled the flick with phallic imagery. Candlesticks, chessmen, marble columns, even the omnipresent masked, turbaned guards.
Bad film but a fun one.

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Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Armstrong Lie - 2013 - 7/10

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Focused documentary on cyclist Lance Armstrong and the substance use denial.
Scant in the way of in-depth biography - marriages, kids, friends, nada. Couple of stills of him with his single mom.
When he arrived on the cycling scene, doping was prevalent. Indeed, cycling in general suffers a long, sorry history of cheats and frauds.
Nowadays, the money incentives are staggering. Few athletes - of any sport - remotely resemble normal humans.
All professional sports seem to be as real as wrestling.
I never liked Armstrong, though I empathized with his situation. Had he not joined all other contestants in steroids and blood tweaking, Lance would have been no one, another Damien Nazon.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Maltese Falcon - 1931 - 5/10

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First filmed version of Hammett's novel remained faithful to the plot.
Riccardo Cortez's Spade was a breezy, cheery private eye, though.
Maybe because client Ruth Wonderly (the very steamy Bebe Daniels) ran short of hard currency, but offered soft assets in exchange. Note the date, this was PreCode.
No wonder Sam was so happy.
Next morning, while she was sleeping one off, detective Spade rummaged through her belongings, digging for clues.
Film not bad, not good either. Dragged at times.
Cortez either miscast or misdirected. In or out of clothes, Bebe remained easy on the eyes.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Punk In London - 1977 - 7/10

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On the scene documentary showcasing the early movement at its rawest.
Mixed performances by the Killjoys, X-Ray Spex, Adverts, Clash, Chelsea, Jam, and others I could not recognize. Top venues and hangouts, the Marquee, Roxy, Rough Trade, mentioned.
Big problem with this is groups were not identified, the audio ranged from OK to murky, and this was a German production. Aside from interviews, all narration was in Deutsch.
Still, the energy was electric, on fire performances. Arguably Punk at its creative, freewheeling peak, before the money, the deals, and the compromises.
Terrific doc for many, will leave others baffled.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Savages - 2012 - 6/10

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Reefer wars movie, directed by Oliver Stone, who was apparently watching too many Tarentino flicks.
Mexican drug cartel tries to muscle in on boutique, California growers, expecting them to roll over and agree to anything.
Kidnappings, ambushes, and gunplay follow in due course.
I watched the unrated version. Violence and mayhem, no nudity.

Stone is usually good providing background info, but that was lacking in this film.
The reason Mexican cartels are trying to get a foothold in the States is because their product, slagged in the States as "pedro" is losing marketshare to US grown "hydro." Latter being more potent, and more expensive.
As more states decriminalize, then legalize, marijuana, cartels lose power and influence (ref Prohibition mobsters). So the argument goes.
Stone barely touched this area, and it would have made the plot more coherent, and character motivations clearer.
Film is messy, difficult to accept a band of stoners, even ex military, could take on a powerful cartel.

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Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Jeune et Jolie - 2013 - 6/10
AKA - Young And Beautiful

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Oft told tale of young, pretty student turning tricks for money.
- Never overweight girls with buck teeth and furry legs -
Girl earns €300 - €500 per handjob, bj, bareback, etc ... and peddles her wares on Internet sites.
- No mention of AIDS, scuttling crabs, or bright, open, leaky sores on weenies -
Nevertheless, this is a François Ozon film, and I always watch his releases.
Girl is younger than most. 17, not college aged. Her family is affluent, in fact, she doesn’t spend the money on anything. She seems to drift into the game after a boring initiation with German visitor. Subsequent encounters seem little more than ways to kill an afternoon.
She shows business savvy and a sense of her own worth, understanding that youthful flesh is fleeting and valuable.
Luminous Charlotte Rampling has key role near the end.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Lies & Alibis - 2006 - 6/10
AKA - Alibis

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Confidence sting in new clothes.
Steve Coogen helps cheatin’ husbands, cheatin’ wives.
Big money to be made in saving adulterous marriages from divorce lawyers.
When a younger client treats his rough trade girlfriend a little too rough, stories and alibis fire up.
Entire cast uniformly excellent in droll comedy.
Sam Elliott memorable as seething Mormon hitman.

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Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
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Fair warning

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I will start posting a couple of holiday films in a day or two.
If your taste is arthouse over grindhouse, brie and chardonnay over pizza and box wine,
might be wise to avoid this thread until the month ends.
Just trying to be considerate.

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