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A few reviews

Vultural

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A Study In Terror - 1965 - 6/10

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Sherlock Holmes mystery pitting the sleuth against Jack The Ripper.
Production appears like a proto-Hammer version, rich sets, minimally inhabited.
Splash of blood, sexual innuendo but zero nudity.
John Neville makes a crisp Holmes with a touch of irony.
Very young Judi Dench plays mission worker.
Narrative is no great shakes.  The famous detective hunts the infamous ripper.
Final denouement confusing, if not outright lame.
 

Vultural

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Gun Woman - 2014 - 5/10

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Exploitation trash, aimed at the US market, per Los Angeles and desert settings, and a pair of talkative American hired guns.
The redeeming element about exploitation, even trash is often enjoyable and this does have potential.
Basic revenge plot, the baddie is a homicidal whack-job, and the anti-hero (known as “The Mastermind”) is cold, clinical, utterly goal focused.
Most of this is explained and described in lengthy exposition between the hired guns.
One asks questions, the other warbles away.  Like a bad infomercial.
The pace is pretty darn slow (ahem, padded), and the limited body count shows signs of budget restrictions.
Gun woman herself might have ten lines of dialogue, though the movie is about her (no, it’s about Mr Mastermind).
Her zero thespian skills are compensated during the final twenty minutes or so, when she performs all her fighting, killing, stabbing, shooting, general bloodlust, stark naked.  No foggy lens, strategic plants, digital manipulation.
All Asami, all the way.
For many exploitation hounds, that will boost overall scores.
 

Vultural

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Moonlight Murder - 1936 - 6/10

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Creaky mystery set at the Hollywood Bowl.
The opera tenor is being threatened - “Sing onstage and you will die!”
There are attempts and numerous suspects.
The tenor is dallying with his leading lady as well as the lead dancer.
Each are highly jealous, with suspicious husbands in the company!
The understudy wants the tenor’s role.  An insane composer is on the loose!
At barely 60“, the plot rockets along although a full 10“ are rehearsals and performance of Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.”
 

Vultural

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Phyllis And Harold - 2008 - 7/10

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Documentary about the director (Cindy Kleine's) parents and their 55 year long "happy" marriage.
The husband was happy, he assumed the marriage was great, life was good, he was successful.
The wife, on the other hand ...
Secrets, big secrets, unhappiness, profound disappointment at the choice she made 55 years earlier.
Film not released until both spouses were dead.
 

Vultural

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The Nazis - A Warning From History - 1997 - 8/10

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Superior eight part series, focusing less on WWII, more on internal party politics.
Early on, the party benefited from luck, and being in the right time, while opponents underestimated them.
Successes (economic and political) fed indoctrination.
Numerous interviewees, many still-proud party members, talk fairly directly.
Of course, viewers ought to be skeptical when individuals - any individuals - recount history.
Footage is uniformly crisp, with subtitles throughout - not always a given with WWII documentaries.
Most of the interviewees were in their 60s or older, and most are likely gone now.
Timely of BBC to capture living memory before the moment slipped away.
 

Vultural

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You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet - 2012 - 5/10
AKA: Vous n'avez encore rien vu

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Only myself to blame for this pretentious two hour artsy film.
Deceased director summons ex-actors to view a modern production of one of his works, based on Orpheus And Eurydice.  While they watch, they reimagine their own versions.
Sometimes, you are watching three versions of the same scene.
The look is theatrical, stagebound, indoors.
Very fine acting from France's creme de la creme of actors, yet I was bored out of my skull.
 

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When Ladies Meet - 1933 - 5/10

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Creaky Pre-Code vehicle about oh-so-sophisticated adults carrying on.
An unwanted boyfriend is jealous that his girl is drawn to an older man.  Married man.
The unwanted arranges a “chance” encounter between the cheater and cheated.
Then there’s a whole pile of talk and deep thought in the drawing room.
Myrna Loy sparkles as the open-minded youngling, but this is Ann Harding’s film.
When she appears, eventually, she totally dominates every scene.
Tame, talky, based - obviously so - on a play.
 

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Resurrection Of The Little Match Girl - 2002 - 4/10 or 7/10

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Big budget Korean Sci Fi.
No doubt about it, one either loved this film or hated it.
Mash of Matrix meets Tron, as gamer enters "The System".
Point of the game is to be the last person the matchstick girl sees before she freezes to death.
Multiple players (stick with main character and drag queen Lara) confuse an already muddled plotline.
Stunning visuals, however, compensate, along with a fun mix of music.
Lots of shoot-outs and wire work.
Good example of over reaching film that failed badly.
 

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Creep - 2015 - 5/10

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Found footage genre finds one of the Duplass brothers playing terminal cancer statistic.
He hires a cameraman to film “his life” for his unborn son so junior can see what dad was like.
The meeting and shoot is at an isolated cabin, which only someone with putty for brains would agree to.
Really.  Haven’t people seen horror films?
Two actors alternately irritating, annoying, questionable, sad.
The camera guy arrives mid morning.  Afternoon draws into evening into night.
A handful of a few unpredictable twists and turns, but the story is paper-thin predictable.
Disappointing.  DVD offers alternate, not better, endings
 

Vultural

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X-Files S02 - 1995 - 8/10

I enjoyed the first season, but I rarely return to it, save for an episode or two.
For many, the second year was when the series really began to flower.
The leads were no longer shrill or strident, the writing far more original, the narratives more layered.
New characters - adversaries or allies - followed their own agendas, morally indifferent.

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At this point, creative elements of the series were on fire.
Stories often played out over several episodes.
By turns harrowing, flat out funny, or achingly poetic.

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Planets and stars only stay in perfect alignment for so long.
The show went south for me after the location shifted to Los Angeles (closer to FOX money men perhaps?).
Much altered, not necessarily for the better.
Season 02 of X-Files remains spectacular, though.
I try not to rewatch too often, lest its magic go stale.
 

ThrowgnCpr

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Vultural said:
Season 02 of X-Files remains spectacular, though.
I try not to rewatch too often, lest its magic go stale.

I completely agree :)
 

Hymie

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Vultural said:
X-Files S02 - 1995 - 8/10


The show went south for me after the location shifted to Los Angeles (closer to FOX money men perhaps?).
Much altered, not necessarily for the better.

The move was to keep Duchovny on the show.  Didn't last for long, but its clear that the show was not the same after the location change.
 

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Hello, My Name Is Doris - 2015 - 5/10

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Nice meeting you, Doris, now goodbye.
Sally Field plays 60+ shlemiel in Manhattan ad agency, everyone else is 20s and 30s.
A transfer arrives from California, 30 year old guy she develops the hots for.
She stalks him via social media, shows up at music raves.
The one-sided “romance” is not Harold And Maude.
Doris has zero vitality, has the fashion sense of a bag lady, and the social skills of a leftover bagel.
Her obsession is creepy.  Apologists cry that if men do it, so can she.
No, stretching two generations is generally beyond accepted norms, for either gender.
Secondary plot deals with the aftermath of her mother’s death, with whom she had been living.
Her brother (and wife) suggest she clean out the Staten Island house before selling - and what - share the proceeds?  Seems filmmakers dialed back that aspect so to make him more sympathetic.
 

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One Missed Call 2 - 2005 - 4/10

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I bought One Missed Call 1 when it first came out.  It was OK, at best.
This was during the peak of dead wet girl films.
Part 2 offered less meals (victims), and the deaths lacked creativity.
There were a couple of rambling threads regarding the villain that went nowhere.
Predictable - formula - waste of time.

Warning - There is yet another sequel - 03, which is just as bad.
Even worse is the US remake which makes these look like masterpieces.
Avoid.  Don’t be an idiot like me and view crap - unless you have a taste for it.
 

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No Offence - S01 - 2015 - 6/10

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Police procedural set in Manchester.
There is an ongoing arc of a sexual predator targeting females with Downs Syndrome, as well as an individual one-off storyline each week.
Stereotypes in the roles (troubled detective, new insecure detective), but the boss lady is a force of nature.
Eight episodes, easy to take.
This is actually a very funny series, though the humour is gallows black.

Note - The Mancurian accent is pronounced.  Subs might be helpful.
 

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Afghan Star - 2009 - 7/10

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Afghanistan documentary.
The Afghanistan version of Pop Idol, American Idol, etc ...
Contestants compete for $5000 and the chance to be crowned Afghan Star.
For some, this meant risking their lives to sing.
Thousands try out, including two females, and navigate between tribal loyalties, religious decrees, threats, and many other difficulties.
Despite religious objections, the show was massively popular across all levels of society.
A bit predictable, yet a nice glimpse into a troubled country. For once, enjoyable reports.
 

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Let's Not Panic - 2015 - 4/10


11-minute short about the very model of a modern privileged Brooklyn millennial who fantasizes about her psychiatrist. Then a large asteroid appears on a collision course with NYC: will twoo wove flourish when doctor/patient ethics are rendered moot? Will you care?Ah, yes, the rom-com apocalypse genre: a favorite of those with nothing to say, and no perspective to say it with. (That isn't me being haughty; I also wrote some of this while I was younger. Then again, I didn't go to NYU grad film school and keep at it.)

The heroine has a wry likability, and a certain resemblance to Arrow's Emily Bett Rickards. I found myself charmed by her low-key positivity and generally appealing persona in spite of her character's abysmal taste in men's fashion (10:23, if you dare). And then the credits roll... it's hard to forget a name like "Lyle". Turns out I vaguely knew this woman long ago. Small bi-coastal cultural nation! Indeed, I quite recall trying to chat her up once, to her utter indifference.

An inoffensive but entirely unmemorable short. People Kickstartered $15k for this twaddle? (Note that the director herself appears in a skimpy bathing suit cameo, and is called "perfect" by the heroine.) The fact that it was apparently picked up for presentation at several film festivals is disconcerting. Still, the lead does have a certain something. I wonder if we'll see any more of her; I certainly wouldn't object.
 

dangermouse

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Wow. That was pretty... arbitrary. You're absolutely right, Gaith - she had nothing to say and so said nothing.
Well picked up about the director. She actually wrote the lines for the actor to say that she is perfect. Wow.
 

TV's Frink

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I actually liked much of X-Files S6 and S7...I never cared for the connected aliens stories for the most part, so I tend to judge seasons on the more fun monster-of-the-week episodes, and although I'm in the minority I found I really enjoyed a bunch of the S6 and S7 ones.
 

Vultural

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Gaith said:
Let's Not Panic - 2015 - 4/10


11-minute short about the very model of a modern privileged Brooklyn millennial who fantasizes about her psychiatrist. Then a large asteroid appears on a collision course with NYC: will twoo wove flourish when doctor/patient ethics are rendered moot? Will you care?Ah, yes, the rom-com apocalypse genre: a favorite of those with nothing to say, and no perspective to say it with. (That isn't me being haughty; I also wrote some of this while I was younger. Then again, I didn't go to NYU grad film school and keep at it.) . . .

Thanks for posting this, I did watch it.
If I saw it during a festival, I would shrug and wait for the feature - and hope the feature was better.
I have seen my fair share of indie films, and many have the odd bonus short from whence the feature was based.
You never know.  Some money could appear for a 85" feature of this.
 
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