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A few reviews

Vultural

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White Lightnin' - 2009 - 2/10

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What a piece of shooo.
Opening credits read "Inspired by Jesco White."
First third, maybe, though I think the filmmakers exaggerated.
From there, the story diverges straight into hillbilly nightmare.
Not following the Jesco's well documented life at all.
In other words, someone else is exploiting Jesse White.
I have probably watched Dancing Outlaw a hundred times.
Fun - funny - hopeful. This film is a mess. Exteriors don't even look like Appalachia.

Carrie Fisher as Pris (~Norma) was inspired casting.
 

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The Women On The 6th Floor - 2010 - 6/10

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Empty headed French comedy set in 1962, though the only evidence I could see of that were references to DeGaulle and later someone driving a Corvair (where did they find that?).
The occupants of the 6th floor were the Spanish maids, merry and engaged in Life, contrasted to the well heeled in lower suites. Of course, the rich were bored, vacuous, disassociated.
Over the course of the story, the master, played by dependable Fabrice Luchini, went on outings with the ladies, even moved upstairs to the cramped room of his wife's discards, and he started "living."
Pleasant enough movie, though not one of "This Years Best" as so many critics said.
 

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Cockneys Vs Zombies - 2012 - 6/10

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Guess the title says it all.
East End construction crew finds underground vault sealed in 1666.
Hmmm ... let's open it!
Next thing you know, a gang of bank robbers are fighting the undead who have surrounded an old-aged pensioners home.
Features Alan Ford, Richard Briers, Honor Blackman (!).
Also the very catchy pub song,

" ... We're going head to head
With the undead.
You can fill 'em full of lead
But they won't stay dead."
 

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Arbitrage - 2012 - 7/10

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Another of those heavily nominated Academy films that ...
Wait a minute. Arbitrage didn't get nominated for jack!
Not even Richard Gere, who gave another performance of a lifetime as a wheeler dealer, money hustler navigating a series of business negotiations, moral crises, police investigations, etc ...
This is right up there with Margin Call in the financial chicanery films.
Intelligent alternative when you need a break from all those teen slasher and TnA romps.
 

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Mandalay - 1934 - 6/10

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Smuggler, con man, in debt to Rangoon crime boss, offers girlfriend in exchange.
Kay Francis becomes - ahem - hostess in shady casino, and very popular with men.
She earns a lot of money, hops a freighter to Mandalay, meets alcoholic doctor.
Glossy trash that somehow slipped under the Production Code net.
 

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Wrong Turn - 5 - 2012 - 3/10

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Five college teens are going to some mountain man festival in West Virginia.
First day, they cross paths with in-bred, sadistic, giggling, hillbilly, mental escapees.
Predictably, the teens decide to remain in the vicinity.
Many creative demises follow.
 

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Nightwatch - 1997 - 6/10

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Law student (Ewan McGregor) hires on as graveyard shift watchman for city morgue.
Usual endless hallways, flickering lights, draped stiffs, assorted creepos, and seamy history.
A-listed talent involved for what is really a B-thriller.
Nick Nolte - Brad Dourif - Josh Brolin. Arquette plays girlfriend.
Screenplay cowritten by Soderbergh.
Oops, a serial killer is also on the loose!
Atmospheric, often disturbing scenes, overwhelmed by aggressive music score.
Acting way over the top, as well.
Probably best late at night with the lights dimmed.
 

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This Is Spinal Tap - 1984 - This goes to 11

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First and finest of the Rockumentary - Mockumentary genre.
One brilliant moment after another.
To paraphrase Nigel, "This goes to 11."
 

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Your Sister's Sister - 2011 - 7/10

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A year after his brother's death, Jack accepts an invite by best friend Iris (and his brother's girlfriend) to straighten out at her island cabin.
Sorta confused yet? Also at the cabin is Iris's half sister, Hannah.
Hannah is gay, but she and Jack start tossing back tequila . . .
Slow film, over talky at the intro, but rewarding. Definitely of this current age, characters react to situations and traps that earlier generations would have shunned, repressed or murdered.
 

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Witchcraft XI - 2000 - 3/10

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I ought to have my head examined.
Watched this winner because Anita Page was in it.
Miss Page was one of the last working Silent Era actresses.
She appeared in three scenes, wearing nightgown and hairnet. Probably filmed at her nursing home.
"Plot" is of a trio of drama students who get possessed by witches then do lots of bouncing to raise a lesser demon and open a doorway to Hell.
Most of the spawning is of the topless variety, as the babes grind away sporting black panties.
These were not exactly top tier thespians. In one scene I found myself trying to read the titles on her bookshelf, while the gent, laying passive under her Spinal Tap loins, tried to keep from yawning.
Hold yourself back.
 

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Charlie Is My Darling - 1965 - 6/10

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Recently discovered, never shown documentary on early Stones.
Often blurry, rapid pans, pixelated images.
Worthwhile to see a very young band still playing halls and clubs.
Less than an hour long. Great for fans.
Mick and Keith before they became the Toxic Twins.
 

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Dream House - 2011 - 4/10

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Another film about a writer. They must lead exciting lives ...

Daniel Craig quits job to write and move to small town with wife Rachel Weisz and two daughters.
Happy laughter one moment, followed by outdoor peepers, prowlers, teens breaking in, and learning their home was the site of a gruesome mass murder.
Like couples everywhere, they decide to stay put.
Plot twists over itself multiple times. Appears rewrites mangled a good premise, leaving this wretched mess.
Wife played by Rachel Weisz (Craig’s real life squeeze) while Naomi Watts plays divorced neighbor.
 

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Something Real And Good - 2013 - 3/10

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Two sadsack types "meet cute" in an airport terminal. Their destination airport, Chicago, is snowed in, and they are diverted to Denver. The blizzard prone, mile high city had rain soaked streets and flowing fountains. Mmmm ... SoCal ...
Very much an indie flick, that felt like a small, two act (two actor) play. Leads are mismatched, and pout and mug throughout.
There were no reviews whatsoever for this one when I saw, so I took a chance.
Avoid unless you are an investor or relative.
 

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Lifeforce - 1985 - 6/10

Finally configured the old Laserdisc player to the HD and dug out a fave masterpiece.
Combined US / UK space mission to Halley’s Comet discovers 100 mile artifact (gasp - spaceship) embedded in comet. Of course, they investigate, come across three nude human looking types, and bring ‘em back.

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In no time flat, the stark naked space vampiress (Mathilda May, all nude, all the time) wrecks havoc in London, transforming the city into a rampaging zombies, end of the world apocalypse.
This film is tremendously, gloriously bad. The plot goes from far fetched to silly to stupid to delirium. No one could create a narrative this terrible if they tried. And one gets the impression everyone involved really, really tried to make a A-level movie.
Steve Railsback overacts his little hammy heart out. Patrick Stewart channels his feminine side.
Mathilda May completely unforgettable.
Wonderful stuff. If only all my LDs were on this level.
 

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Hard Target - Ultimate Cut - 1993/2013 - 6/10

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Nice fan tweak from Commodore Schmidlapp over at Original Trilogy.
He used sources from domestic US release, as well as the harder international cut, and the VHS “Sneak Peek” workprint. Made a couple of music changes as well.
The result seemed much closer to Woo’s final stage of Hong Kong output.

Plot involves an out of work veteran / seaman / drifter hiring on to help young girl find her lost daddy in New Orleans. Then it steams into Most Dangerous Game territory.
Several scenes seemed little more than echoes from Hard Boiled.
One of Van Damme’s better roles, with Lance Henriksen and Arnold Vosloo outstanding as baddies. Wilford Brimley as cajun uncle is a classic of imbecile acting.

The edit was top rate. Smooth, nothing jarring. I pulled out my Laserdisc and double checked a couple of scenes and music cues. Really nice job.
 

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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
 

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Joseon X-Files - 2010 - 7/10

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Young official is hired by Imperial house to investigate unexplained phenomena.
He gets a superstitious strong man cop for muscle, and teams with a scientific, medical female.
Their boss is a chain smoking type (pipe) who always knows much more than they do.
Sound familiar? Except this riff on the X-Files is set in 17th century Joseon (Korea).
Twelve episodes that include extra-terrestrials, alternate realities, witchcraft, political cults, and a couple head scratchers.
Definitely worth tracking down if you are a jonesin' for Mulder and Scully fare.
 

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Vultural said:
Joseon X-Files - 2010 - 7/10

Young official is hired by Imperial house to investigate unexplained phenomena.
He gets a superstitious strong man cop for muscle, and teams with a scientific, medical female.
Their boss is a chain smoking type (pipe) who always knows much more than they do.
Sound familiar? Except this riff on the X-Files is set in 17th century Joseon (Korea).
Twelve episodes that include extra-terrestrials, alternate realities, witchcraft, political cults, and a couple head scratchers.
Definitely worth tracking down if you are a jonesin' for Mulder and Scully fare.

interesting. I'll have to check this one out.
 

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Joseon should not be too difficult to locate.
Subtitles might be problematic, though. There is a subculture of fan subtitling.
Almost all are srt files.
Completely unrelated - I respond to PMs.

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