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A few reviews

Vultural

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War Of The Robots - 1978 - 4/10

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One of the most ridiculous SciFi movies, and an absolute gem!
There must be 47 plots that careen wildly, launch from nowhere, dead end, so I’ll try to pick the main threads.
Brainy, old man scientist gets kidnapped by robots wearing blonde Prince Valiant style wigs.
No idea why he is snatched, but Space Command reckons he needs rescuing!
There are dumpy space battles - imagine the old arcade fave, Asteroids.
The Earth force arrives on some planet to engage in more battles with the blonde robots (who have knockoff light sabers), and ultimately aid a slave rebellion!

War%20Robots%202%201978.jpg


Add an alien empress - human, of course, betrayals, quest for immortality, plastic spacesuits.
Music is cheesy, the camera crops everyone, pisspoor dubbing.
There is a final space battle that goes on for what feels like five hours.
Clearly, film producers wanted to create a grandiose space opera to hop the Star Wars bandwagon, only they were utterly clueless and used the same tropes from sword and sandal epics.
Cannot stress how indescribably awful this is.  Normal viewers - beware.  Trash connoisseurs - whee!
Oh, if only this was available as a deluxe DVD with commentaries.
 

Vultural

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Vipère au Poing - 2004 - 6/10
AKA - Viper In The Fist

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The boys live with grandma at the family chateau, unaware of their impoverished gentility.
Grandmama dies, however, and the parents grudgingly return from Vietnam.
Mother removes stoves from the boys’ rooms, decides they only need one blanket, cuts meals.
Removes them from boarding school, confiscates their toys, stabs hands when one speaks at the table.
She is determined to destroy their spirits.
The boys try to rebel, call their mother-from-hell “Freakso” behind her back, but they are so young.
Middle son is the strongest and the film becomes a battle of powerful wills.
Supposedly a watered-down version of Hervé Bazin’s novel of the same name.
 

Vultural

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Strange Report - 1968 - 7/10

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Short lived, cult favorite holds up well after several decades.
Anthony Quayle plays retired police superintendent Adam Strange.
He is tasked with mysteries, peculiar or delicate.
Kaz Garas is his assistant who does forensics, chemical analysis, lab work.
Finally there is ex Dr Who girl, Anneke Wills, neighbor, artist, undercover infiltrator.
Unlike much of the era, this is not campy, no heroics, no flashy nonsense.
Being the height of the 60s and Swinging London, the colours, fashions, sets are off the charts.
Plots include student unrest, Cold War intrigue, illegal immigration.
Show only ran 16 episodes (it was supposed to relocate the the States, but actors declined).
Noteworthy for one the of the best, and catchiest, theme music ever.
 

Vultural

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The Big Steal - 1949 - 6/10

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Confusing Noir set in sunny Mexico.
A military detective hounds Robert Mitchum, thinking he stole a military payroll.
Mitchum teams with Jane Greer, and the pair pursue con-man / ex-boyfriend who actually did the theft.
Film roars across the desert with high speed chases, fistfights, and treacherous alliances.
Logic disappears at times, but Mitchum’s nonchalance makes this enjoyable.

Audio commentary, by historian Richard Jewell, is dry with frequent lulls.
Most of it details the troubled production, such as ---
- Howard Hughes had taken over RKO (which he would run into the ground).
- Robert Mitchum was busted for reefer and served 60 days during filming.
- Actresses declined to work with him, fearing their careers would be tainted.
 

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Satan’s Triangle - 1975 - 6/10

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Good title for erotic witchcraft exploitation, except this a Bermuda Triangle yarn.
Coast Guard helicopter responds to S-O-S distress from schooner out in the Sargasso.
Soon as the copilot drops onto deck, a freak storm appears and the chopper flies off.
Passengers and crew are dead, save for a companion B-girl (Kim Novak).
While she and copilot drink and drink, she relates how everyone aboard was slaughtered.
And reminds the copilot,  “We’re going to die, too.”
May prove scary for the timid or easily frightened, otherwise fair at best.
 

bionicbob

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Vultural said:
Sing Street - 2016 - 7/10

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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.

Just watched and absolutely LOVED this film.
I was 15 in 1985, and to me this movie felt completely authentic in look and sound.
Amazing cast and soundtrack.
Shades of John Hughes... poignant, coming of age and discovering one's identity... a really fantastic funny, touching movie.
Highly recommended!!!
Downloading the soundtrack now from iTunes!  :D

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuWTcmjnEGY[/video]
 

Vultural

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^ ^ The go-to track for me was usually "Up."
Like the film itself, uplifting and life-affirming.


That said, I know a lot of people are more into strife or conflict.
Or unpleasantness.
Speaking of which - -

About Elly - 2009 - 7/10
AKA - Darbareye Elly

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Exasperating thriller from Iran might have you hurling items at your screen.
Some ten years after their college days, friends decide to weekend together at the Caspian Sea.
One of the guys is recently divorced, so one woman invites a single female as marriage bait.
Pressure is immediate and uncomfortable.
Twenty minutes in, Elly (marriage bait), who has turned reluctant, disappears.
Kidnapped?  Walked away on her own?  Murdered?  Eaten by a bear?  Who knows.
Authorities arrive - questions - turns out none of the friends even know Elly’s last name!
The focus pinpoints on Sepideh, the wife who invited her.
Sepideh is a nest of white lies, deception, manipulation.
Because of the constant lying, even explanations are untrustworthy and you want to scream.

Note to onlookers:  Opening credits show money going into an alms box, supposedly to grant safe travel.
Someone’s money gets stuck, foreshadowing later events.
 

bionicbob

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Vultural said:
^ ^ The go-to track for me was usually "Up."
Like the film itself, uplifting and life-affirming.

Agreed.  :)  The soundtrack has been playing in the background of my house all day... loving it! LOL!

But I did take a break to watch this....

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwbdeyymCU8[/video]

FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK

I wasn't certain what to expect... maybe a fluff piece similar to many of Shatner's Trek cash-in docs? 
But no.  
This was... well, for a word... fascinating.
A surprisingly honest, balanced and even revelatory documentary about both the man and the iconic character he created.   It is a loving tribute from a son to a father that explores their tumultuous relationship against the backdrop of an amazing Hollywood career.  I was choking up by the time the film spoke of Nimoy's death and the fiery goodbye given by fans.
A wonderful documentary that is an absolute must-watch for any Classic Trek fans.
 

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Vampyres - 2015 - 5/10

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Faithful remake of Larraz’s 1974 “classic.”
Two female vampires hunt desolate woods and forlorn highway for fresh meat.
The “older” female lures a man to her bed and keeps him as sex pole / plasma bag.
As in the original, there is copious nudity, debauched romping, streams of red.
Slow going, however, with only the breath of a plot.  The interiors are austere.
The 1974 was “Hammer”  Horror (though it was not a Hammer film.
This 2015 is Euro Horror (ie:  arthouse).  While it does boast a third act, less is explained.
Acting is hit n miss, as are the characters themselves, meaning no one is memorable.
Female predators in both versions are a mix of carnivore and succubus, and in the latter version - torturer.
 

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Sex And The Swastika - 1999 - 5/10

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Tenuous documentary lacks hard facts to be compelling.
British set up radio station airing music, German news, and scurrilous rumours.
Propaganda of sexual peculiarities or appetites of leaders.
Objective - ridicule command and undermine Wehrmacht  morale.
Unfortunately, no tapes exist, only scripts.
Millions of slanderous, pornographic leaflets were created and distributed.
After the war - evidence was ordered destroyed.
Second thread - Americans assign a psychiatrist to profile Hitler.
He interviews ex-party officials with axes to grind, his conclusions are wide spectrum and outrageous.
Do Allies utilize his analysis?  No.
Titillating title, little else.
 

TM2YC

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Vultural said:
Sex And The Swastika - 1999 - 5/10

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Tenuous documentary lacks hard facts to be compelling.
British set up radio station airing music, German news, and scurrilous rumours.
Propaganda of sexual peculiarities or appetites of leaders.
Objective - ridicule command and undermine Wehrmacht  morale.
Unfortunately, no tapes exist, only scripts.
Millions of slanderous, pornographic leaflets were created and distributed.
After the war - evidence was ordered destroyed.
Second thread - Americans assign a psychiatrist to profile Hitler.
He interviews ex-party officials with axes to grind, his conclusions are wide spectrum and outrageous.
Do Allies utilize his analysis?  No.
Titillating title, little else.

A spin-off like that was never going to work without Kim Cattrall.
 

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What We Do In The Shadows - 2014 - 7/10

Four older guys share a flat in Wellington.
They bicker about chores (dirty dishes a particular problem), have meetings, find activities.
For them, the day begins around 6:00 PM.  Oh yeah, they are vampires.

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Hilarious documentary follows the gents as they go clubbing, heckle werewolves, invite humans to dinner.
All are chatty - well - Petyr, 8000 years old, is more reserved.
Inventive, droll, good-natured.   Reminded me of This Is Spinal Tap.
Though like Tap, tails a bit in the final twenty minutes.
 

thecuddlyninja

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Vultural said:
What We Do In The Shadows - 2014 - 7/10

Four older guys share a flat in Wellington.
They bicker about chores (dirty dishes a particular problem), have meetings, find activities.
For them, the day begins around 6:00 PM.  Oh yeah, they are vampires.

Just caught this one a couple weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Just when I thought there wasn't much interesting left to do with vampires, this one surprised me. The interactions with the human friend (Nick, I think) were my favorite. The film made me immediately want to see Hunt for the Wilderpeople and very, very curious to see Taika Waititi's Thor 3.
 

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Sherpa - 2015 - 7/10

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Revealing documentary on the Everest pack mules, the sherpas.
Unstated, but clearly evident, is the disparity between the privileged and the impoverished.
A staggering amount of tourists now insist on “conquering” Everest.
Most carry nothing.  Sherpas shoulder massive packs and set up ladders for them.
Tourists need WiFi, hot meals, and an ease unimaginable a generation earlier.
Of course, fees start at $100,000.
Good companion to 2015‘s Everest.
For those who have Everest on their bucket list, global warming is on the rise, as are climbing deaths.
 

Vultural

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Bron Broen:  S01 - 2011 - 7/10
AKA:  The Bridge

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Corpse is found on Øresund Bridge, midway between Denmark and Sweden.
Police from both countries arrive and they will decide jurisdiction when the identity is discovered.
Wait a minute -- The body is actually cut in half --  No, it’s two separate bodies put together.
The murders are the beginning of a series of well planned events and symbolic deaths.
Brief series starts slow, but accelerates to red-line quickly.
Not to be missed is the female Swedish detective, Saga.
She has virtually no social skills - in an extremely funny way - but her counterparts value her as a crack investigator.
Monster ratings across the Net, and for good reason.  Superb writing.
 

Vultural

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Rich Hall’s Presidential Grudge Match - 2016 - 7/10

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Sick of politics already?  Well, too bad.
Rich Hall is an American ex-pat living in Britain.
He hosts comedy specials, trying to explain the nuances of American life.
Such as, in this one, the glorious history of US presidential campaigns
This is a.topic ripe for skewering, slashing and bludgeoning.
Mercilessly funny, unless your are still gloating or raging.
 

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Manchester by the Sea - 9/10

Casey Affleck is otherworldly good in this. Best performance of the year that I've seen so far.
i don't know if I've ever seen a more emotionally trying and heartbreaking movie that also made me laugh this much. Lonergan is clearly a master of tone. He knows when to give us a release before going back to making us cry. I wasn't familiar with the actor who played the boy but he was excellent. I look forward to a long career. You don't often see teenagers play drama, humor and black humor so well in the same film.

For me, best film I've seen this year. It's so raw and honest.
 

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Ice Sharks - 2016 - 5/10

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Polar outpost, studying global warming, finds itself besieged by thawed out prehistoric Greenland Sharks.
Less campy than most SyFy shark chompers, though viewers can guess who will bite it.
Characters often chat in shorthand jargon, so you don’t always know what they are discussing.
Like you care - - sharks ahoy!
Hey, and why / how did the writers and director forget about pegleg Sammy?
 

ssj

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Vultural said:
What We Do In The Shadows - 2014 - 7/10

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enjoyed maself silly watching this. and i did so on caramelizedninja's recommendation, so tenkyu, you glorious werewolf.
 

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Conte d’hiver - 1992 - 6/10
AKA - The Winter’s Tale

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Part of Eric Rohmer’s “four seasons” quartet.
Young couple enjoys idyllic summer romance.
End of vacation, she gives him her address with,  “Visit me as soon as you are in my town!”
Next scene = 5 years later.
Female is now a single mother with daughter who is almost 5. Hmmm.
She has two different suitors, neither of whom she is much interested in (still carries the torch).
Turns out she gave “summer fling” the wrong address.
She insists that was accidental, and has been settling for Mr Right-Now.
French fans, you know if this interests you.

Of the four “season” films (I have viewed all, and own two), I would recommend Conte d'Automne as the first title for adults to investigate, with Conte de Printemps second.
 
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