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A few reviews

TV's Frink

You Catch On Pretty Quick
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Vultural said:
Females are hard nosed about money at that age.

That's quite a broad brush you're wielding there.
 

TV's Frink

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Gaith said:
Point Break (2015)

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Haven't seen the original.

They should verify this is not the case before selling you a ticket.
 

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^ T'was a free preview screening! ;-)
 

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Ye Olde Polar Express 4/10


A ~3-minute CGI adaptation of the Chris Van Allsburg classic. Must be some animator's thesis project or something, though whoever's imitating Tom Hanks' voice does an uncanny job. Repurposed Alan Silvestri score from 1994's Christmas in the Bayou works surprisingly well. For the real deal, though, either cozy up to the fire and read the book, or listen to William Hurt's wonderful audiocassette recitation, available on youtube.

(And a Merry Christmas to all! :))
 

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Gambit - 2012 - 6/10

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Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman in fluffy caper film.
Script by Coen brothers, remake of '66 version (Caine, MacLaine).
Firth plays lowly "art adviser" for tycoon Rickman.
He devises a swindle and enlists over-the-top Texas cowgal Diaz.
Plans backfire continuously, which was part of the fun.
Humor ranges from wordplay to situation cascade to Benny Hill farce.
In the room where I watched this most laughed throughout.
Lightweight fare, nevertheless.
 

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It! The Terror From Beyond Space - 1958 - 5/10

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No, from Mars, dammit. Not beyond space, Mars.
Sheesh, talk about misleading titles.
Supposedly the template for Alien which was why I picked this howler.
Not that I need any help, I select bad films all the time.
So ... spacecraft gets stuck on Mars and waits six months (!!) for rescue ship.
Only the captain survives and he is to be taken back to Earth for court martial.
Ship carries a stowaway, however. It!
Creature begins to hunt and kill crew one by one. Especially in the ducts.
For an interplanetary vessel, the ship is well stocked with pistols, rifles, grenades, even a bazooka!
During battles, I was yelling about explosions and oxygen. What do I know?
OK enough late night time waster, but for fans wanting an Alien fix, this ain’t it.
 

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Black Sea - 2014 - 6/10

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Pay attention to those opening credits - that’s the back story.

Submarine skipper (Jude Law) is laid off.
Actually, the mega maritime salvage organization no longer needs subs.
Then he gets approached for a shady job.
Deep in the Black Sea, a sunken Nazi sub filled with gold.
All he has to do is assemble a crew, half Russian, half West, and retrieve the loot using a derelict Soviet sub.
Communication problems, augmented by greed, transform the crew into factions.
As with all sub flicks, claustrophobic, damp, and gloomy dark.
Decent twists midway, then again late.
Sturdy male cast led by Mr Law, no longer the slick pretty boy, who delivers another gritty performance.
 

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A Perfect Getaway - 2009 - 6/10

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Oh, those turistas. Especially the twenty somethings.
Irritatingly upbeat, eager for risky adventures, seeking trouble
This had been on my list for awhile, but hutong females always vetoed with, "No more dead teenager films."
Perfect Getaway was not a dead teenager flick.
A honeymoon couple starts trekking the remote Kalalau Trail.
They learn that other honeymooners had been murdered by a mysterious couple.
Could they be the creepy hitch-hikers they refused to give a ride to? Or the crazy vet and his cracker girlfriend?
Nice thriller with good twists.
Milla Jovovich and Steve Zahn stand out, but all leads gave decent performances.
 

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Biblia Koshodô no Jiken Techô - 2013 - 7/10

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Wonderful J-drama for people in love with reading, addicted to books - real books, especially used books.
Set in a cozy, golden hazed bookshop, Biblia Antiquarian Bookshop Case Files revels in ordinary, seemingly impossible mysteries that proprietress Shinokawa has an uncanny knack for deciphering.
Just as well, too, as the puzzles get harder and ofttimes deadlier with each week.
Many of the problems are affairs of the heart, others plunge into the obsessive realm of book collectors.
Therein might hint why this imaginative, clever series fared so poorly ratings wise.
Non-readers might have felt excluded, believing it was targeting a very limited audience.
Then again, a lot of people don’t like books and actually dislike reader types.
Shinokawa’s tall male assistant, Goura, acts as Watson to her Holmes, asking questions about the books referenced, and jumping to impulsive (invariably wrong) solutions to the mysteries.
Marvelous little series. Perfect for wet nights.

If the females who sat on the sofa with me knew I only scored this a 7, they would pummel me.
To them, Biblia scored a 9 or 10.

Note: If you need subs, I just overhauled.
Code:
http://addic7ed.com/show/4894
 

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A Long Way Down - 2014 - 6/10

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Film launches with a disgraced television presenter preparing to jump from a towering building.
A woman glides behind him, asking if he will be long. She’s in a hurry to leap.
Next, another female. Then a guy. You get the picture.
On New Years Eve, no less, and no one is carrying bubbly. No wonder they are depressed.
With group suicide as a beginning, how far down can it go?
Start asking yourself questions: Could these character become unlikely friends?
Will they realize their miserable lives aren’t so miserable after all?
Will fun and laughter start creeping into their lives?
Large name cast wisecracks Nick Hornby’s feel-good novel.
Need an adult happy pill? Check this one.
 

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Blood Of The Mummy’s Tomb - 1971 - 5/10

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Large cast of familiar Hammer players wasted in Egyptian reincarnation theme.
Professor’s beautiful daughter keeps having dreams about Egyptian princess, with whom she bears an uncanny resemblance. The mummy, in the care of the professor, is stunningly preserved. No moldy, rotting strips of cloth. Nope. The dead princess wears a few radiant silks and gold jewelry covering strategic areas. Otherwise, she is all flawless skin and most of that exposed.
The plot is stale formula, pace is lethargic, most of the sets quite cheap looking, camera work static.
Definitely not up the usual Hammer standards. Watchable if alternatives are shopping channel or reality TV.
 

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October Gale - 2014 - 6/10

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Recently widowed doctor goes to her remote family cottage out on an island.
Grieves, tidies up, reminisces.
Twenty minutes into the film, she sees an intruder crawling across the floor, gunshot wound to his shoulder.
Who shot him? Why? How did he get to the remote island? In the middle of a storm, no less.
Thriller, only in the loosest sense as the plot plods along with limited action.
Good looking photography, minimal dialogue, low-key characters with underdeveloped motivations.
Story never went anywhere, and watching seemed barely more than a waste of my time.
 

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Black Coal, Thin Ice - 2014 - 7/10

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Two Chinese cops investigate severed body parts found on a coal conveyer belt.
They zero in on suspects then the entire case literally explodes in front of them.
Jump ahead five years. The detectives are apart, yet the old file has revived.
Challenging procedural, definitely not for ADD viewers.
Photography is flat, there are no flashy forensic solutions.
Just cops following thin leads and aberrant behaviour.
Movie assumes the audience has enough intelligence to follow a story, rather then being fed one.
 

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Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries: S02 - 2013 - 6/10

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Second round of episodes of Australia’s jazz baby sleuth.
As before, costumes are impeccable and the period set design full of details and eye candy.
Stories themselves more hit n miss than the first season.
First couple of shows approximate Murder She Wrote nonsense.
Plots are stale, characters awkward, direction is heavy handed.
Writing does improve and the episodes gradually return to the grace of season one, ending on a high point.
 

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Abuse Of Weakness - 2013 - 7/10
AKA - Abus de Faiblesse

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One of those films that might impel you to hurl rocks at the screen.
Isabelle Huppert more or less plays Catherine Breillat who directed and wrote the screenplay for this.
Based on her own unfortunate - maddeningly foolish - experiences.

Film director suffers a stroke, spends months regaining her abilities.
During that time she scripts her next film, even sees the man she wants to cast as male lead.
A con man, embezzler, thief, hustler, scam artist.
Despite friends and family repeatedly warning her to eject him from her life, she gets enmeshed deeper with him.
He always has a big deal afoot, and needs investment capital.
As in . . . her cheques.
Most of the lines and excuses he uses a high school girl would roll her eyes at.
There were times during the film, audience members were shouting out loud at her.
Be warned.
 

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Modern Times - Welcome To Mayfair - 2014 - 7/10

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Quite an insidious little documentary this, about one of London's poshest neighborhoods.
The village Mayfair.
Rich residents, we only hear from one or two.
Not surprisingly, honest views come from pensioners who live in the old servant’s quarter.
What? Affordable digs in Mayfair? Apparently so.
Most of the chat, and the general drift of the narrative, flows from the tradesmen.
Estate agents, shopkeepers, florists, the couple that run the tiny cafe.
The realtors are doing spectacular business, properties selling for millions of quid - without ever getting listed. Buyers range from nouveau riche to crusty money. Arab princes, footballers, Russian billionaires. Super rich.
Most are shadows who covet an address, yet could not care one jot about knowing neighbors or the neighborhood.
True casualties are the tiny shops. The fabric that weave and nourish any village.
One by one, they are squeezed out. Instead of the umbrella maker, a fashion boutique, custom shoemaker, the Chalet Restaurant, the global chains multiply - Bulgaria, Tiffany, Hermes, Chanel, Prada, Cartier, Armani.
Chains do not sell one of a kind, they peddle expensive bangles, mass produced in faraway factories.
Chain fronts mean sterilization. New arrivals haven’t a clue what “exclusivity” was lost.
Such is the sweep of life, however. Places alter, evolve, crumble.
The poor get displaced, the deluded middle class cannot keep pace once the cost of living soars out of reach.

This particular show pairs well with a couple other docs:
Christmas On Benefits (2013) - the unemployed try to navigate the season without funds.
Disappearing London (2006-2007) - hosted by Suggs (Madness frontman). Ordinary places ... slipping away.
 

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Kill Me Three Times - 2014 - 6/10

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Engaging black comedy of a contract hit, a pair of eloping lovers, theft, insurance fraud.
Mildly complicated, with flashbacks and multiple narratives, but all characters are identifiable and fleshed out.
Difficult - in a funny way - to keep track of who is cheating on who.
Simon Pegg plays a professional hitman with a sardonic sense of humour.
Western Australia provides stunning backdrop.
Style over substance, but nails every one of its marks.
 

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The Wolfpack - 2015 - 5/10

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Exasperating documentary that offers more unanswered questions than insight.
Story of seven sheltered children growing up in lower east side New York.
Sheltered, as having over-protective parents (dad) in the extreme.
The kids were never allowed to leave the apartment or interact with dangerous New Yorkers.
What social skills they learned were from television and DVDs.
In the doc, they act out scenes from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.
Straight off, seven kids, two parents, New York apartment - how can they afford rent?
Especially since the Peru born father never got a green card and never found work.
The boys speculate they own 5000 VHS and DVDs. How were those purchased?
There is a daughter, not shown. The boys confide they heard dad slap their mom.
Was there abuse going on? What sort?
Where was Child Protective Services?
One of the boys (I had trouble separating) mentioned Mom was paid for home schooling them.
Huh? New York pays home schooling parents? Enough for rent, utilities, food, clothes, etc ... ?
Plus, how did they pay for doctor visits, the dentist?
The family story is odd to the point of bizarre, yet the storytelling is a rambling, incoherent jumble.
Much is unsaid, much may be invented.
Be wary when watching this one.
 

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Plastic - 2014 - 4/10

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Expected disappointment with this one, and duly received.
Caper heist with cardboard characters, plot holes an eight year old could spot, useless scenery, MOR tunes.
UK con men quartet get in trouble with small time Eastern European boss and his two thugs.
Yep, four good guys vs three villains. Guys, get some handguns, target practice, and press in foreheads.
Too easy.
Besides, the supposed good guys - who steal credit cards and rip off innocent users - are all naive 20 year olds.
Still, in less than two weeks they work out how to heist $2 M, vacation in Miami, hire a private jet!!
So smart, so clever, so special.
Despite arguments, colossal errors, wayward romance, “the plan” unfolds.
Predictable - boring - with contempt for viewer IQ.

I keep hoping. First time I heard of the Gilbey brothers was Rise Of The Footsoldier, a cracking good mobster flick. Firm member becomes enforcer then accumulates power. Damn good film.
Next, A Lonely Place To Die with stupid, baked-potatoes-for-brains, hikers stumbling across kidnapping plot.
Every character had zero common sense and negative likability.
Plastic is yet another step down into comatose creativity.
Guy Ritchie without style, without intelligence.
 
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