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A few reviews

Siebener

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The 25th Reich? Crypt of the Living Dead? Giant Mechanical Man?!

Dude, ... don't ever ask me again, where I take the time to listen to podcasts. Seriously.

:)
 

Vultural

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Siebener said:
The 25th Reich? Crypt of the Living Dead? Giant Mechanical Man?!
Dude, ... don't ever ask me again, where I take the time to listen to podcasts. Seriously.
Yellow_Flash_Colorz_PDT_15.gif

True, but if I listened to all those podcasts I would never be able to watch so many craptaculars.

And I try not to scribble about the depressing dramas and downer documentaries my bride selects.
Or at least I try not to post them here.
 

Vultural

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Secret Agent X-9 - 1945 - 6/10

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Thirteen part Universal serial with Lloyd Bridges, Jan Wiley and Keye Luke.
Action takes place on Shadow Island, only independent "nation" in the China Sea.
Nest of spies, agents, saboteurs, criminals, gamblers.
Japanese - Nazis - Aussies - Chinese - Yanks know who is who and clash accordingly.
Plot revolves around the Japanese pursuit of 722. The Allies have no idea what that is, but they are determined to discover and thwart.
Fairly realistic, as far as serials go. No jokes, no comic elements. Cold blooded killings occur.
Much of the story occurs at night, so most scenes are dark. Few cheats.
 

Vultural

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Mesrine: Part 1 - Killer Instinct - 2008 - 8/10

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I always ran hot and cold with Vincent Cassel. When he's too over the top, he can ruin an entire film.
Mesrine was a role he was born to play. Cassel dominated every scene in Part One, as Jacques Mesrine began his career of robberies and kidnappings in France, USA and Canada. The Canadian prison farm was nicely grim.
A solid action flick, without unnecessary pyrotechnics or college grad CGI.
Can't wait to see Part Two.
 

Vultural

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Mesrine: Part 2 - Public Enemy #1 - 2008 - 8/10

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The narrative picks up after Part 1, though Jacques Mesrine has suddenly moved from Canada back to France.
Robberies, gunfights, the never ending chase. Escape from courthouse hearing, another escape from a maximum security prison.
All based on the real life character, up to his assassination by the police.
Action biography for adults. No CGI, no teenagers, no impossible stunt work.
 

Vultural

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Hesher - 2010 - 6/10

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Another downer.
Young boy grieves for mom, dad is depressed, grandma does her best.
Into their lives comes "Hesher." An angry troublemaker with the firebug gene.
Note: this character was supposedly patterned after Metallica's Cliff Burton.
Slow moving at times, though generally interesting. The females of the audience hated this film (which they selected), whereas the guys laughed a lot. Probably much more tolerant of males barely housebroken.
Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman (!).

Metallica enjoyed the film and allowed a batch of songs to be used throughout.
 

Vultural

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Kaydara - 2011 - 5/10

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An independently filmed chapter of the Matrix oeuvre.
Six minutes of clay-mation followed by fifty minutes of live action.
Some impressive special effects for a film made for $5.00, but slender in the way of narration.
Battles and fights, but thankfully, no Zion nonsense.
 

Vultural

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Piranha 3DD - 2011 - 5/10

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Wheee!
Highly anticipated follow-up to the masterpiece that was Piranha 3D.
Lake Victoria might have been infested, but a nearby lake ramps up as the new wet n wonderful party place.
As any horror aficionado knows, piranhas can always navigate underground tunnels and passages to find new eating places.
This film lacked the budget of the earlier film, but producers compensated by adding hundred of girls. Plenty are topless, a fair share naked.
That DD in the title does not indicate battery sizes, either.

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Couple of plot problems. Why were those two guys hunting dead cows in the lake early on?
Then there's the girl who somehow gets a fish up her ... umm ... in the Temple Of Happiness.
When her boyfriend bypasses temple columns with his ... Moisture Detector ... then the piranha bites and latches on like a starving man onto a stale hot dog. I mean ... how come she never knew about that fish?
The young actors were adequate enough. Subtle and nuanced roles were reserved for the big talent.
Gary Busey - Christopher Lloyd - Ving Rhames - David Hasselhoff.
Hasselhoff even sings!
Who were listed as producers? Why, those arthouse auteurs - Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
Don't miss closing credits.


Note: I gave this 5, but could have easily docked it 3 for silliness and stupidity. Likewise, could have just as easily boosted it 3 for silliness and stupidity.
 

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I was so excited about HESHER after all the positive Sundance reviews, that when I finally saw it I was a little disappointed. I don't even remember too much of it now, but I felt like it didn't really go anywhere. Maybe it was just me and I need to rewatch it. I thought JGL was great though, but Portman was completely wasted.
 

Vultural

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Anvil! - The Story Of Anvil - 2008 - 5/10

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One I had avoided for years. Spinal Tap meets Strange Fruit (Still Crazy), only Anvil was a real band, and their problems more depressing.
Decades earlier, Anvil influenced speed and thrash, and are still remembered by existing groups (interviews included members from Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, guitarist Slash, etc ... ) This doc catches Lips (guitar/singer) delivering food (his day job), the band starting a disastrous Euro tour (underground dives, no money), too broke to make a new album.
One sorry aspect about the film was hearing Lars, Slash, Lemmy ... talk how great Anvil was. Not one of them stepped up and offered a tour gig.
Anvil is an old group, chasing a rock and roll torch that flickered out quite awhile ago.
Not an uplifting or funny time. I was kinda bummed.
 

Vultural

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Cave Of Forgotten Dreams - 2011 - 8/10

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Outstanding Werner Herzog documentary filmed inside the Chauvet caves of southern France.
Cave interiors have the oldest paintings known to exist, 30,000 years old.
The cliff face fell tens of thousands of years ago, sealing the original entrance, and protecting the art from us, the rabble.
Access was sealed immediately by French authorities after its discovery in 1994, so Herzog's film will likely be the only view any of us ever see.
Docked a point for intrusive music.
 

ThrowgnCpr

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Vultural said:
One sorry aspect about the film was hearing Lars, Slash, Lemmy ... talk how great Anvil was. Not one of them stepped up and offered a tour gig.

That's because these guys are douchebags, particularly Lars, whom I have absolutely no respect for.

It's amazing what some highly respected and influential musicians have to do to scrape by. Reminds me of this (not as pathetic) article about Mudhoney's frontman Mark Arm: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/touch-me-im-sub-pops-warehouse-manager/Content?oid=14595912
 

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No One Lives - 2012 - 4/10

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Another variation on the dead teenager fugue.
Yuppie couple driving cross country runs afoul of small town family gangsters.
Thugs have already shown themselves capable of murder.
That time, however, they chose a psychopath as victim.
Reference title. Predictable track - whack - splat.
Nothing imaginative or creative about meals.
 

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A Town Called Panic - 2009 - 7/10

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Man, I rolled my eyes when someone chose this kiddie film.
Slap me wrong, this was entertaining fun.
Monty Python-esque animations, subtitled Belgium cursing, adventures ranging from under the sea, to the center of the earth, and music class romance.

How Horse puts up with Indian and Cowboy is beyond me.
 

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Beware Of Mr Baker - 2010 - 7/10

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Absorbing biography of Ginger Baker, the devil of the drums.
Interviews with Bruce & Clapton from Cream, Winwood from Blind Faith, and lots of modern era drummers, who were all influenced by him. Tons of clips. Animated sequences.
Baker was a troubled child and a reckless force of nature. Three of his four wives speak on camera (though wife #4 seemed less than comfortable). Drug addictions, zero financial sense, and rootless ways keep him skirting near the edge of poverty. What saves him is his drum kit. At any age, he can still pound harder, and with more soul and understanding than almost any.
Even in his 70s, Baker is a right piece of work, opening the film by giving his interviewer a bloody nose by smacking him with his cane. Great moment, I’m so glad it was left in.
 

Gaith

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Vultural said:
A Town Called Panic - 2009 - 7/10

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Just watched the trailer for this. Surely this is what being an insane child must be like... :p
 

ssj

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ThrowgnCpr said:
That's because these guys are douchebags, particularly Lars, whom I have absolutely no respect for.

It's amazing what some highly respected and influential musicians have to do to scrape by. Reminds me of this (not as pathetic) article about Mudhoney's frontman Mark Arm: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/touch-me-im-sub-pops-warehouse-manager/Content?oid=14595912

mudhoney was so large in my universe back in the day. played their vinyl on my radio show, blasted their tunes in my car, and thrashed around in the mosh pit before them. never knew what happened to them, so thanks for the follow up, throw.

so as not to highjack the thread. . . if i find that vultural rates a movie 8 or above, it goes onto my "to see" list. and thanks for reminding me about natural city. . . i just might fanedit that into a short film. senkyu! :)
 

skyled

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Vultural said:
Beware Of Mr Baker - 2010 - 7/10

2i9jrx1.jpg


Absorbing biography of Ginger Baker, the devil of the drums.
Interviews with Bruce & Clapton from Cream, Winwood from Blind Faith, and lots of modern era drummers, who were all influenced by him. Tons of clips. Animated sequences.
Baker was a troubled child and a reckless force of nature. Three of his four wives speak on camera (though wife #4 seemed less than comfortable). Drug addictions, zero financial sense, and rootless ways keep him skirting near the edge of poverty. What saves him is his drum kit. At any age, he can still pound harder, and with more soul and understanding than almost any.
Even in his 70s, Baker is a right piece of work, opening the film by giving his interviewer a bloody nose by smacking him with his cane. Great moment, I’m so glad it was left in.

Does it talk much about his time in Africa? He played with Fela Kuti and I believe helped set up some recording studios which led to afrobeat flourishing soon afterwords.
 

Vultural

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^
Yes, it did cover his time in Africa. Work with Fela, the studio he set up.
The documentary he made about crossing the Sahara. Wife #4.
Then ... his involvement with polo which led to a falling out with Fela
as polo was equated with colonialism.

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Vultural

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Shadow Dancer - 2012 - 6/10

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Tense drama / thriller set in 1993, during negotiations between Sinn Féin and the British government.
Clive Owen plays MI-5 handler of “flipped” IRA informant.
Plot meanders between the maneuverings of MI-5 compartments, and the internal investigations of the Republican Army.
The political background is not brought to the fore, and unless you were aware of the disputes many in the IRA had with Sinn Féin, you were in the dark.
Likewise, there were many gaping plot holes: A possible romantic angle. Why the group suspected they had a mole. Why MI-5 locked data from Owen’s character. The ending.
Film felt rush released, and would have benefitted from a more coherent edit.
 
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