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A few reviews

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Bank Job - 2008 - 6/10

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Solid caper / heist flick starring Jason Statham.
Tucked in the cast were David Suchet and Mick Jagger (!! I had to go back and look for him).
Government types use a group of motley crooks to retrieve incriminating photos.
Double crosses, S & M, crooked cops, all make for a fast paced actioner.
Statham is good in this, not merely some running prop for explosives.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
A Little Chaos - 2014 - 6/10

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Labour of love from Alan Rickman follows 17th century Versailles landscape designers.
Kate Winslet plays utterly fictional Sabine De Barra who handles the "water element" section.
The hunky head designer has a loveless marriage and De Barra is fetching.
Will they have a romance?  Will Versailles get completed?  Will there be wigs and sumptuous costumes?
Not completely predictable, since fresh characters surface throughout.
One might ask,  "€œI wonder what their story is?"
Who knows?  Most you never see again.
Likeable fluff, no substance.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Sherlock Holmes And The Leading Lady - 1991 - 6/10

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Christopher Lee as Holmes, Patrick Macnee as Watson play older versions.
Warm, almost emotional.
An assassination plot, and Irene Adler add to the mix.
Location filming in Luxembourg (though one castle exterior sure looked like Bran Castle to me).
Beautiful costumes, musical numbers by J Strauss (male singer - Engelbert Humperdinck).
Not a bad film, but lightweight.
Warmer and fuzzier than the Rathbone versions, and nothing like the Brett portrayal that began a few years previous to this.
 

bionicbob

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
Vultural said:
The Bank Job - 2008 - 6/10

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Solid caper / heist flick starring Jason Statham.
Tucked in the cast were David Suchet and Mick Jagger (!! I had to go back and look for him).
Government types use a group of motley crooks to retrieve incriminating photos.
Double crosses, S & M, crooked cops, all make for a fast paced actioner.
Statham is good in this, not merely some running prop for explosives.

I agree, a surprisingly good movie and a solid reminder Statham is a solid actor with the right script. :)
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
True Story - 2015 - 6/10

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Engrossing, if not altogether satisfying drama of lies and murder.
Jonah Hill as New York Times reporter fired for fabricating a cover story.
James Franco as man indicted for killing family, then dropping bodies into the bay.
The accused offers to tell his story to the disgraced newsman.
Each recognizes the other as a pathological liar, and there is the difficulty with the movie.
The film is packed with invention, self-deception, false assumptions.
Very little truth and no honesty.
Primarily a two man show, both actors play against type and do fine in chilly movie.
Sparse dialogue. Many scenes, one individual talks or asks, and another declines to answer.
Dry and emotionally empty.
It will hold your interest throughout, but you might not care about anyone involved.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Happy Ending - 1969 - 7/10

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Surprisingly biting woman’s film follows stifled wife (Jean Simmons) of successful attorney (John Forsythe).
Opportunities that are opening for young females are unavailable to her generation.
Work is not an option.  Shopping is, as is bitching at the salon or spa.  And numbing house parties.
Sixteen years into marriage, she drinks, pops pills, loses herself.
Multiple timelines interweave flashbacks, present, future.  Deliberately confusing to mirror the character.
Great cast, especially in Nassau, includes Shirley Jones, Lloyd Bridges, Bobby Darin.
Song “What Are You Doing With The Rest Of Your Life?"  is evocative.
Opening sequence of Simmons & Forsythe as 20 somethings - completely false.
Simmons also looks older than Jones, though they were supposedly classmates.

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Despite this being a woman'€™s story, I know numerous souls like her.
Most are retired or laid off (permanently).  They have become adrift.
Boredom, narcotics.
 

TMBTM

Well-known member
Faneditor
The Forest

I have seen so many bad reviews for this movie that I had to watch it.
And I can understand why... but I don't agree. I liked this movie a lot.

(kind of spoiler ahead)

Is it something new? Not really. Does it use cheap jump scares every 5 minutes? Yes.
Is it full of clichés? yes. But the rest is actully a nice horror movie with the very good (and sexy. But not good "because" sexy! ) Nathalie Dormer from Game Of Thrones in the lead role.
I think the main problem with this movie is that it tries to be too smart.
Let me explain... there is a good twist at the end, but it can also be seen as just a dumb ending, lol. If it's really a twist (and honnestly I think it is) then the movie can almost be seen as a great movie because it is the kind of thing à la Sixth Sens that makes you rethink what you just watched and the movie is suddenly quite meaningful. But the movie shows that twist in a way a lot of people will not understand it. And those smart enough to guess the twist before it happens will just roll their eyes like "Yeah I knew it, it was obvious from the begining". So the movie can lose a big amount of its audience because it struggles to tell the ending in a efficient way that can be understood by everyone.
Imagine if, at the end of Pyscho, (spoiler for Pyscho here, lol) Hitchcock thought it would have been smarter to use an old lady with a knife in place of Anthony Perkins to somehow show that he really "becomes" his mother. The audience would be lost.
I feel it is a bit of that here. The movie wants to be smart, and I think it is, but it's not the kind of movie that needs that extra layer of "smartness". You don't make an arty movie here, you just need to tell a good story with some good scares.
But I'm completely crazy and it's really just a dumb ending, Haha.
 

TMBTM

Well-known member
Faneditor
The Room.

Just watched this movie today. I saw so many extracts from it and read so many discussions about it (I even played an online video game about it) that I thought I already knew the movie by heart. Boy I was wrong.
You really have to watch it from start to finish to "feel" it.

The constant music puts you in a dreamlike state of mind. It is at the same time happy and dark. It is at the image of the whole movie: It is funny but sad an pathetic. It is laughable but somehow you feel it is made on purpose because there is NO WAY someone could make a bad movie at that constant level of bad.
Usualy either we don't like a movie because it's bad, or we like it because it's "so bad it's good". But with this one I really liked it because it's BAD, period. It's bad in the purest form of bad, constantly. I refuse to think this can be just "bad because it's bad".
But was it designed to be the worst movie ever from start to finish?
Well, I'd even go a step further and say that it is designed to make you feel every sentiments AT THE SAME TIME. This is a try to make a "total-movie", and of course the result is bad. Because usualy when you try to mix EVERYTHING the result is brown and it stinks.
THE scene where I felt this sentiment the most is the one on the roof when Denny is with Lisa and her mother and everyone is screaming and crying because Denny almost got killed (a subplot that, of course, went nowhere). I haven't laughed my ass off that way in a long time, it was hysterical. And it wasn't just because the actors are bad it was also the mood of the movie that, step by step, put me in that state of mind where I'm at the edge of the madness, lol. And you can't get there by watching an extract. You need to see the whole thing.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Apocalypse Now Redux - 1979/2001 - 8/10

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For some reason I never got around to viewing the longer version (3+ hours).
In many ways, this is more coherent than the 1979 edition.
Restored sequences often add to narrative, though at other times it gets preachy.
First half of the film terrifically exciting, sound mix, cinematography all gung-ho.
Second half of the narrative bogs in the muck, likely by design.
The 1st Air Cav attack always good demo if you have new screen or sound system to show off.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Shaun The Sheep Movie - 2015 - 7/10

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I'€™ll try to be careful here.  Shaun is perhaps best viewed as still a juvenile.
The farm has become routine.  Tedious and predictable.
When Shaun spies the banner on a passing bus, "€œTake A Day Off!" he devises a scheme.
And, as with so many plans concocted by man and livestock alike, events swiftly go awry.
Shaun, fellow flock friends, and loyal dog Bitzer, accidentally unleash havoc.
While the party-popping pigs drag  the house into a breezy bachelor pad, the others skedaddle to Big City.
Danger and disaster darken their path, yet persevere they must, for family must be rescued.
An inventive claymation romp, with barely any dialogue, this is one of those gems parents can safely share with young children.  Studded with jokes and gags, with an irresistibly catchy theme song, "€œFeels Like Summer."
 

ThrowgnCpr

Staff Member
Vultural said:
Shaun The Sheep Movie - 2015 - 7/10

I love all things Aardman, and while I can even enjoy the Shaun the Sheep series as an adult, I think the fun farm characters are best enjoyed in the usual 10-minute episodes. I agree that the movie was a bit predictable, and it also felt a bit long. I was enjoyable, but not something I would revisit as often as other Aardman offerings.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Blood Relatives - 1978 - 5/10

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Somewhat overlooked Claude Chabrol potboiler of gruesome murder.
Cast is French, Canadian and English, setting is Montreal.
Female cousins, returning home from late night party, are assaulted, one murdered.
Detective (Donald Sutherland) starts investigating, focusing on family and coworkers.
Perhaps more sensational in its day, the story thuds slowly, spiced with sleazy sidetracks.
Hairstyles and clothes scream Late 70s, though no other cultural references.
Chances are, early on alert viewers will guess the slasher'™s identity.
Might even guess the motivation.
Not that it matters.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
House Of The Dead - 1978 - 3/10

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Insomnia sufferers, check this out.
Grade-D omnibus Horror€ anthology.
Not truly terrible, just cheap, awful, and mind-thudding dull most of the time.
Man is in town for the annual plumbers convention, also for a chance to cheat on his wife.
During a torrential downpour, his cabbie does not drop him in front of his hotel, but instead the mortuary.
Inside, the attendant gives him a casket viewing tour, and slowly delivers the story behind the deaths.
First two tales "€œbest,"€ though they are still crap.  A school teacher who hates kids, and a homicidal swinger.
Both display more energy, and both are unintentionally funny.
Steep downhill after those.
Actors are almost recognizable TV character bit players.
Big hook for some of you - Filmed entirely in Oklahoma!
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Show People - 1928 - 7/10

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Silent film.
Perhaps Marion Davies best, if not funniest, vehicle.
Georgia peach, Peggy, and her Pa, the Colonel, arrive in Hollywood to make her a star.
Since this is movie land, she becomes one in less than 30 minutes, vaulting from Mack Sennett escapades to high brow costumers. Losing her spark along the way.
The face she makes during this section is a satire of Gloria Swanson.
A boatload of cameos from bygone stars. Chaplin, Davies herself, King Vidor. The cafeteria sequence pans past Polly Moran, Louella Parsons, Estelle Taylor, Leatrice Joy, Mae Murray, John Gilbert, Norma Talmadge, Douglas Fairbanks, William S Hart, and a few others.
Openly gay William Haines played the love interest, much to the approval of Davies' insanely jealous boyfriend, publisher William Hearst.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Strippers - 2015 - 6/10

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Three part documentary of the stripper industry in Scotland,
focusing on dancers in three cities:  Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
“Decent” clubs are shown, where management seems to care about their girls.
No mention of crime, traffickers or drugs.
Girls fret about money - parents - boyfriends - stigma.
Not surprisingly, younger girls suffer more than seasoned professionals.
Mix of Scottish lasses, with those who travel a global circuit.
One Texas girl sported a Bettie Page look which the locals mistook for Amy Winehouse vibe.
Some may find this interesting, others might hit MUTE and crank grind music.
Chances are, this will entice those who appreciate artistic dance.

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Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Beyond The Lights - 2014 - 6/10

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Musical / drama / love story.
Off duty cop, working security for singing sensation, halts her lame suicide attempt.
Will Fate draw them together?  Will they fall in love?
Neither seem to be living their own lives, but instead follow “the plan” of their parents.
Nice quota of tunes.  Lip syncing by the star, and MTV montages with chart toppers.
What struck me by the end was that the lead characters had more or less switched roles and destinies.
I don’t think that was deliberate, either.
Had trouble with the love story, too.


Jodorowsky’s Dune - 2013 - 6/10

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Documentary about the failed attempt to film Herbert;’s “Dune” by outsider filmmaker, Alejandro Jodorowsky, in 1975 - years before the 1984 Lynch version.
The pitch, which was a telephone sized book, was fully story-boarded by French artist Mœbius.
Other members of the creative team included the little known Giger, Chris Foss and Dan O’Bannon.
The tentative cast included David Carradine, Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Gloria Swanson.
Missing anyone?  Oh yeah, music by Magma and Pink Floyd.
Numerous interviewees discuss conception, building the foundation, then the collapse of the project.
Jodorowsky, while not bitter, does blame corporate Hollywood and lack of artistic vision.
Problem is, the 70s was one of the most experimental and free-wheeling decades in film.
What they balked at was a 15 hour film by an unknown director whose three films were well beyond the outer fringe of the arthouse sphere.
Arguments about how great Jodorowsky’s Dune would have been fail to fully factor the director’s past track record.  Simply put, this would not have been Star Wars.
The creative team went on to acclaim with Alien and beyond.
One might assume I did not like this.  No.  This is constantly interesting, I simply found too many of the presumptions flawed.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
O Noapte Furtunoasa - 1943 - 6/10
AKA - One Stormy Night

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Rumanian comedy, filmed in the middle of World War II, which aroused my curiosity.
Set in the 1860s, a jealous husband suspects his wife of infidelity.
The chief culprit seems to be a sissified dandy, who always turns away from the man’s glare.
The only one he trusts is his live-in assistant, and from the opening scene we know how very wrong he is.
Narrative moves quick and plunges into farce numerous times.
Several of my favorite sequences occur in the music hall - which, alas, were not translated.
In fact, the few subtitles available are only “fair” at best.
A cursory glance online suggests this is a classic, as there is a recent theatrical version on YouTube, as well as a TV production from the 80s.
Comical proceedings fairly amusing, though poor subs (again, few available) are tedious.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Roboshark - 2015 - 5/10

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Yeah, murdering more of my brain cells.
One could argue this is one of the better Bulgarian films, though I must confess this is my first.
Alien spaceship sends pods down to earth.  One splashes into Pacific and is swallowed by shark.
Before you know it, that shark is transformed into ...
I thought this would be cheap knock-off of the preeminent Sharknado epics, but this boasted perhaps better characters and a stream of SciFi in-jokes.
When the military gave Roboshark’s current coordinates, I laughed.
The girls next to me asked, and I said,  “Map coordinates, THX1138,”  and explained.
Later Admiral (wonderfully done, by the way) declares,  “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
Billionaire computer mogul, Bill Glates, enters the fray.  The power of social media is revealed.
Silly nonsense, set in “Seattle,” with stray Cyrillic signs here and there.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Humbling - 2014 - 5/10

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Pretentious, self-indulgent muddle.
Al Pacino as aging actor suffering peculiar breakdown.
He talks to himself, he talks with others.  Or are they figments of his imagination?
A young girl, forty years his junior, confesses a lifelong crush and moves in.
Maybe ... Or maybe she is another phantom.
At one point, Pacino’s character confesses roles and reality are blurring.
For viewers, the experience is one fake out scene after another.
Devotees of the recent Birdman might enjoy this better.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Criminal Lovers - 1999 - 6/10
AKA - Les amants criminels

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Another French film of young love.
Pair of high school teens commit a grisly murder, then go on the run.
Fleeing into the forest, they break into an isolated cabin.
The woodsman returns, overpowers both, and drags them into a deranged version of Hansel and Gretel.
Starvation and force feeding commences, since the man prefers girls rail thin and boys plump and soft.
Flashbacks of school days alternate with soapy water, bondage and escalating violations.
Frightening film by François Ozon never flinches from the brutality the teens dispense, yet includes scenes that remind viewers that the pair are, in many ways, barely out of childhood.
Absolutely not for the squeamish.
 
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