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A few reviews


Well-known member
Sin City - A Dame To Kill For - 2014 - 5/10

Acceptable ratings scores, but atrocious reviews.
What do critics know?
Maybe they didn't appreciate Noir.
Perhaps they don't like black n white.
Possibly they get turned off by florid dialogue.
Could be they wanted a more timely, more faithful sequel.

Five minutes in, I grasped I was watching an inferior clone of the original.
While not as bad as feared, this was flawed.  Writing was fruity and stilted, action was contrived, the characters were even more caricatures than before.  It reminded me of a parody and I decided to interpret it thus.
All the visual flourishes that punctuated the first film, done to death here.  Too bad.
Is this a decent Noir?  No.  This is a fifteen year old’s comic book mentality of that genre.
Acceptable time waster, also very much a downer.
Worse, resolutions on stories abrupt and poorly thought out.


Well-known member
Conte d'été - 1996 - 6/10
AKA - A Summer’s Tale


Third in Éric Rohmer’s four seasons quartet.
Shy college grad goes to the beach for a month, hoping to rendezvous with his “possible” girlfriend.
She is late.  Very late.  She does not write, does not phone.
While waiting, he meets two very different girls.
An impressive amount of conversation in this one.
When I grumbled no one can talk so much, I was quickly corrected.
“This was pre-texting era.” and “Oh yes we can, girls love asking questions!”
Nice looking, walkabout scenery, though as warned, extremely talky.


Well-known member
The Trials Of Henry Kissinger - 2002 - 7/10


Documentary about the political insider / gunslinger / minister without portfolio.
Follows the popular book that argued that the great HK ought to have been tried for war crimes based on his activities (or lack of) and maneuverings during Vietnam negotiations.
Film outraged half the audience, others were more cynical, stating that shady deeds and brinksmanship have been hand in glove with leaders since before Caesar.
Caveat emptor.


Well-known member
Desperate Romantics - 2009 - 6/10


Six part series narrates the rise of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
Only four are in this:  Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Millais, William Holman Hunt, and Fred Stephens - err - Walters.
Rejected by the Royal Academy, they win favor from influential John Ruskin, and learn how to market.
Focus is on their inter-personal relationships and affairs with models.
Parents - There is copious nudity and rather enthusiastic bouncing.
This is a modernish account.  Characters are a blend of fiction and truth.
(I’m hardly an expert, but I have a dozen or so books on the PRB.)
High production values, some funny moments. with a great deal of brio.
Not dry.  More fun than Effie Gray, though best view with a skeptical eye.


Well-known member
The Hollies: Look Through Any Window - 2011 - 6/10


Breezy, labour of love biopic of one of the best British Invasion bands.
Interviews Graham, Allan, Tony, and Bobby.  Neither bassist, and focuses on the Invasion era, so that lets out Terry, though the 70s hits are covered.
Hits - heck yeah. Live footage, Abbey Road rehearsals, TV appearances (no US lip syncing).
Accuracy?  Well, conflicts and unpleasantness are completely avoided.
Still nice to hear everyone reminisce and catch footage of the Hollies during their prime.


Well-known member
Glorious 39 - 2009 - 7/10


Christopher Lee bookends a pre-WWII thriller of treachery and betrayal.
A young man visits two elderly uncles and asks what happened to a great aunt.
She disappeared, you see, on the eve of World War II, and Lee who was a young witness, tells her story.
Time falls midway between Chamberlain’s “peace in our time,” and Churchill’s “we shall never surrender.”


The three oldest children, young adults, discover an oily patch of shrouded history on their estate.
Contrary to popular myth, not everyone was keen to fight Hitler’s Wehrmacht.
There was an powerful underbelly of appeasers, entrenched nobles, industrialists, royalty, eager to cut a deal.
Good show for history buffs, even if this jumps in mad directions.
For conspiracy types:  Joe Kennedy is mentioned, the Duke of Windsor is not.


Well-known member
Price Check - 2012 - 5/10


Parker Posey slams into office as new manager of half assed marketing team for second rate grocery chain.
A neurotic mess, she is, nevertheless, in charge!
She baits, berates, bullies, boinks, fires, and drags the team into a dust-storm overhaul.
By turns funny, cringing, sleep inducing.
Should have been a biting satire, but is too soft centered at its core.   
If you ever toiled an awful job, or suffered under supervisor with the skills of a donkey chances are you will relate.


Well-known member
Der Fall Gleiwitz - 1961 - 7/10
AKA - The Gleiwitz Case


Stylized docu-drama with more than a passing nod to 1928‘s, Berlin - Symphonie der Großstadt.
A German commando type group, impersonating Poles, cross the frontier border, assault a radio station, and urge Poland to rise up and attack Germany.
The provocation was false, but the blitzkrieg launched the next day.  Britain and France declared war two days later.
Theatrical looking production.  Closeups, high contrast black n white, angular film compositions.
Several sequences are slow, yet the visuals are always imaginative.
“Travel” scenes faithfully recreate the montage and pan effects from aforementioned Symphony Of A Great City.


Well-known member
Ghostbusters - 2016 - 7/10

Lots of laughs in this one for me. The core group has great chemistry and background characters are all cast well. Kate McKinnon was a huge standout for me, and my second favorite was Leslie Jones. She looked the least funny to me in the trailers so this was a pleasant surprise. The story moved along keeping the laughs throughout. My biggest criticisms would be that only McKinnon had a good action beat and the last act was fine but left a bit to be desired from a logic perspective.

Hemsworth was spectacular. At first I feared it would be too one note, I get the inverse gender role joke. And he totally was one note but did it with such gusto I liked it each time. For fun, watch McKinnon in the background of any scene, her jittery brand of humor worked so well for me.

Also, the CG looked great, I thought the visuals were top notch.


Well-known member
Def Leppard - In The Round - 1989 - 7/10


VHS memories.
The group was at their pinnacle here, touring the Hysteria album.
Well photographed, crisp sound mix, nonstop wall of hits.
This is a perfect time-capsule for the pop metal / hair metal era of the 80s.
Def Leppard and Van Halen were arguably the top of the heap.

Within two years, Grunge would sweep that era away like molten lava.


Well-known member
Sing Street - 2016 - 7/10


Joyous, “let’s put a band together” story set in mid 80s Dublin.
Chocked with tunes from the era, as well as the band’s own compositions.
The early numbers are dreadfully funny, though the band improves quickly.
Typical of the time, they also make videos, with like a 5p budget.
The female star of the videos is the unreadable girl across the street, who transfixes the lead singer.
No great revelations plotwise in quite likeable film.
Cast is almost perfect.  Don’t just watch the videos, watch it whole.
Wonderful movie and great pairing with God Help The Girl.


Staff Member
Vultural said:
Def Leppard - In The Round - 1989 - 7/10


^ looks like a tasty beer. 

I don't have much love for the over-teased, glossy hair-metal of that era. I love early Van Halen (not Van Hagar), but will pass on most of the lip-gloss wearing acts that followed. The music was far too saccharine and deluded.


Well-known member
Conte de Printemps - 1990 - 7/10
AKA - A Tale Of Springtime


First installment of Éric Rohmer’s four seasons quartet.
Journalist is away on assignment, and his girlfriend cannot abide living in his messy, dirty apartment.
She meets an exuberant younger female at a party and spends the night in the girl’s flat.
The younger girl is unhappy with the golddigger attached to her father.
The girl’s matchmaking.attempt is blatant.
What always intrigues me with French fare is how individuals stroll themselves into such situations.
The women circle and spar throughout - the men are barely seen.
Nice looking film, packed with nuanced conversations, yet an air of resignation may put some viewers off.


Well-known member
The Impossible - 2012 - 6/10


“Based on actual events"
Vacationing family tries to stay together after being hammered by tsunami in Thailand.
No syrup or sugar coat on this one.
Just the struggles to survive, stay alive, find help.
Naomi Watts, Ewan MacGregor as leads are dependable as ever, actors playing kids are fine.
Lush scenery, great effects (helped by a robust sound mix), harrowing scenes.
Must see for vacation seekers who envision sandcastles, cool waves, and endless Sangria.


Well-known member
The Pleasure Girls - 1965 - 6/10


Country girl arrives in Swinging London and moves into flat with several other girls.
Boys, money problems, parties, clothes shopping, moral decisions.
Considerably fresher and more realistic than 1969's Take A Girl Like You.
This has a grittier edge and seems a good period piece showing that time.  
Ian McShane and Francesca Annis lead, with Klaus Kinski as well dressed slumlord.
The parties and gambling are reminiscent of those in A Hard Days Night only more middle class.
Obscure music track, too.  I couldn’t tag a song.
The European cut features nudity, sexual situations, and graphic violence.


Well-known member
A Hard Days Night - 1964 - 9/10


Classic film capturing the Beatles during their meteoric, giddying ascent.
Funny, witty, irreverent, featuring great songs, gear clothes, posh clubs ...
The lads would continue to grow in fame and importance, but there is something especially exciting about this period, when they were streaking to heights unknown.
So many of my young friends and colleagues assumed the Fab Four were Sgt Pepper or The White Album.
No so. The early period was essential, and terrific fun.
The final 12 minutes or so, the concert, Richard Lester somehow, brilliantly, captured lightning in a bottle.
Sheer exuberance, and a tonic.


Well-known member

At @Vultural suggestion, I dug this one off the shelf, having not watched it in years....

The third MGM Tarzan flick, it still holds up really well.
Evil big game hunter wants to capture the white ape, while relatives of Jane want to bring her back to civilization.
Weissmuller has mastered his balance of sweet jungle innocent and ruthless savage.
O'Sullivan is absolutely stunningly gorgeous and her chemistry with Weissmuller is excellent.
John Buckler as the evil Capt Fry gives a surprising layered performance, rising above the typical moustache twirling villains of the day.
The final fate of Captain Fry is either horrifying or hilarious, depending on your mindset when watching.
Good solid fun!


Well-known member
Went with a Tarzan double feature last night....

I was lucky to grow up in small town with an independent family run movie theatre, and every weekend for matinees they would play older movies.   It was here I saw my first Tarzan movie on the big screen.....


Part of the Sy Weintraub era of produced Tarzan movies -- Tarzan is fully articulate, there is no Jane, the adventures are shot on location and in colour, the stories have a more serious, edgier undercurrent and they become more global as the franchise continued.

This was Mike Henry's second of three outings as the Lord of the Jungle.  He would later go on to the Smokey & the Bandit movies.
While not the strongest of actors, Henry brought a powerful physicality to the role and his action scenes are fantastic.  Almost no stunt double in this action adventure.  The climatic end fight scene is incredible.

Its amazing this movie from 1967 is rated G, as I am sure if it was released today, based on some of the violence, it would be PG-13.  But there is nice comedic relief for the kids in the form of a crusty but loveable river captain and his cute kid sidekick.

Overall, a solid escapist entry!

Though as a young child when I first saw this movie, and even to this day, I find it odd that Tarzan would give his animal friends to a zoo.... lol  But how else were the producers going to get his lion and chimp to Brazil?  ;)


Well-known member
Vultural said:
Shaun The Sheep Movie - 2015 - 7/10

Just watched this, as my introduction to Shaun. Loved it; grinned and chuckled throughout. Right up there with Pirates! and the original Wallace and Gromit shorts, and much better than my dreary memory of Chicken Run and the so-so memories of Curse of the Were-Rabbit and A Matter of Loaf and Death.

Grade: A


Staff Member
I love all things Aardman. I found the Shaun movie a tad long, but I still enjoyed it. That said, I feel that the set of characters does far better in the show's 10-minute episodes. If you liked the movie, I suggest you take a peek at the show.  It's something I can put on when my nieces are visiting and it doesn't make me want to kill everything (holy crap is kid's television bad these days).
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