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A few reviews


Well-known member
The Sense Of An Ending - 2017 - 6/10


Aging man receives official notice of an inheritance.
A ghost from his past bequeathes a diary from an even older ghost, a childhood friend.
Flashbacks unroll memories, some accurate, others filtered.
Story is much the unraveling of the riddle.
Perceived betrayal worms through the man’s assumptions and impulses.
Despite twists and surprises, despite a strong cast, the ending left me flat.
It was like the director opened up the “aha” door, then kicked it closed abruptly.


Well-known member
Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse - 1933 - 7/10
AKA - Testament Of Dr Mabuse


A disgraced ex-policeman infiltrates the nest of thieves.
Discovered, he barely escapes in time to phone his old inspector.
Nevertheless, the ex-cop is driven insane by something unseen.
He only had moments to scrawl one word on a windowpane - Mabuse.
Yet, criminal mastermind Dr Mabuse was committed to the lunatic asylum eleven years earlier.
Fritz Lang resurrects one of his greatest characters, though this story follows the Inspector.
Fast paced mystery, not as ground breaking as the 1922 original, but an excellent sequel.


Well-known member
Chronicle Of The Third Reich - 2006 - 6/10

At four installments, this only skims the history of the Third Reich.
World War II doers not commence until E03.  And E04 sees Russia and the Allies turn the tide.
The obvious target might be history beginners, though buffs will find interesting aspects.
Much of the footage is rarely seen, and several subjects differ from the usual.
Instead of the 1936 Summer Olympics, the Winter Olympics (Bavaria) is shown.


A lot of commentary is given to funding.  How did Nazi’s pay for the Wehrmacht?
Reich Minister Albert Speer is shown frequently.
Only three talking heads (historians), and the course is a dispassionate, middle one.


Well-known member
Another Heaven - 2000 - 6/10
AKA - Anazahevun // アナザヘヴン


Police arrive at a grisly murder scene.
Top of the victim’s skull is removed, gray matter simmers on the stove.
Other slayings follow, all reek of sexual congress.
The plot roars out of the gate with mounting horrors and kinky characters.
Alas, at the mid point of this Japanese cop show, the director eases off the accelerator.
The momentum never returns, the hectic energy dissipates.
The first half reminds me of a HK Cat III film, the second half methodically resolves.


Well-known member
Play It Again, Sam - 1972 - 7/10

Early Woody Allen film, overflowing with gags.
Allen’s friends arrange dates for him, but he is nervous, overexcited, and the dates fail spectacularly.
Even when he seeks advice from Bogart, he botches that.


Nice of cinematography of San Francisco, and a light directorial hand help make this an early gem.
This remains funny throughout, with many film references that buffs will recognize.


Well-known member
EXTRAORDINARY: The Stan Romanek Story (2014) 
currently airing on Netflix.


Stumbled upon this and was immediately sucked in, it appeals that primal "I Want To Believe" part of me.

Stan Romanek, possibility the most documented UFO/Alien experiencer in the world.  At the time of this film, he had documented over 195 encounters. 

Whether the story presented is real or fake, it was very compelling.  
It certainly is not a balanced or investigative documentary.   This is made clear from the opening title cards.  This is a film with an agenda.  This a movie by believers for believers.   All the "witnesses" are from Romanek's inner circle or active members of the UFO community.

And yet, I still found it thoroughly watchable.  The amount of "evidence" presented is bold, ballsy and amazing... but is any of it real?  
The film has it all...
--UFO sightings
--Mysterious Implants
--Messages from Beyond
--Hypnosis/repressed memories
--Mysterious Deep Throat warnings
--Physical harassment and assault by mysterious Black Ops type individuals
--Conspiracy Cover Ups

Some of it seems plausible and hard to dismiss.  Other things seem obviously staged.  Though the video and pics of actual aliens and hybrids look pretty fake.  But then what should an alien look like (in this case, classic Greys right out every sci-fi movie since Close Encounters) and how should it move/behave?

So is he a conman?  Delusional?  I dunno... and the twist ending doesn't help his credibility.  Or does it?  Let the conspiracy theories fly.
Either way, if you treat it like The Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity, it is very entertaining.
And it might just make you wonder.... what if???


Well-known member
I Am Not Your Negro - 2016 - 8/10


Quasi-documentary of author James Baldwin carries a lot of bite.
Based on his never finished proposed novel incorporating Medgar Evans, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.
Traces and analyzes the almost futile misunderstandings of whites who have never come to terms with blacks living in their midst.
Baldwin’s voice ranges from resigned to despairing to righteous anger.
The filmmaker incorporates recent clashes, pointing the obvious:  this is an unhealed sore, not remotely on any curative path.
This is a brilliant, insightful work, yet will be blistering for most.
We are, for any who bother to look, segregating society again, physically and socially.


Well-known member
10 Rillington Place - 1970 - 7/10


Richard Attenborough plays the mild mannered, soft spoken John Christie.
Strangler, rapist, serial killer, trophy collector, check all the boxes on this one.
Film opens during Blitz era London, shifts to 1949, his proclivities do not lessen.
Rather, we meet new neighbors (Judy Geeson and John Hurt).
Slow pacing serves to ratchet the tension.
Historical accuracy seems to be fairly spot-on, though motives are minimal.
Attenborough outstanding as quiet milquetoast with haunted eyes and demonic compulsions.
Murder fanatics?  Visit Christie at Madame Tussaud’s.



Well-known member
Spring - 2014 - 7/10


The casual affair that could turn into love.
American male, fleeing trouble in the States, goes to Italy and meets mysterious girl.
She carries a few secrets of her own including rebirth and transfiguration.
While carrying the Horror tag, romance and communication predominate.
The two leads have evident chemistry and this could be a warm date film.
Except there is a horror component, there is almost casual violence, and there is disintegration.
Narrative of love, however brief, colliding with the longer path.
This is a well thought out film, splashed with beautiful coastal scenery.


Well-known member
Swing Girls - 2004 - 7/10


Charming, feel good story of summer school underachievers wandering into a swing group.
When the school band gets ill, a group of girls agree to learn instruments to encourage the baseball team.
Terrible are the results.
A stubborn handful persevere and practice outside stores, in karaoke clubs, along the river.
For those of you who were ever in high school band, you will recall the scales, the warmup, the endless rehearsals.
And just like your own experience, within six months they are in a groove.
Innocent film that ends with a rousing flourish.  Play loud.


Well-known member
Life - 2017 - 3/10


I watch a lot of bad SciFi.  This pile is godawful.
Special effects are fine, though the plot is beneath any eight year old.
Orbiting scientists snag a one-celled organism from Mars.
They stimulate it and encourage it.  Even name it - Calvin.
(Consider if the Nostromo crew had named the xenomorph - Daisy.)
Not only does the creature get a lot bigger, it quickly becomes smarter than anyone else onboard.
Also the hungriest.  Lucky for Calvin there are a half dozen, box o rocks, totally stupid crew members.
Too bad the Life script writer was not among them.
Fifield and Millburn resemble wise, thoughtful scientists in comparison.


Staff Member
Masirimso17 said:
I enjoyed Life. I dunno why, I guess I wasn't wearing my critical hat that day and just had fun.

Hey this isn't the philosophy thread, it's for discussing movies.


Well-known member
Saint Amour - 2016 - 5/10


Viewers with a soft spot for “dumb” (dumb friends, coworkers, neighbors) might score higher.
Aging father and son hit the Agricultural Fair.
Dad hopes his prize bull will win a prize, Junior intends to get sloshed.
During a prolonged interval, they hire a taxi and drive through various wine regions.
Three males, including the driver, encounter a variety of altogether willing females.
Yes, male fantasy time.  Our studs are bumpkin stumble-bums, yet ladies tumble.
Over talky, touchy feelie, angst laden, baggage packed, pointless, sexist ...
Oh, sensitive souls, Depardieu exposes a v-a-s-t swath of stomach in a romantic interlude.


Well-known member
The Green Man - 1956 - 6/10


Seemingly agreeable Hawkins (Alistair Sim) found his calling at an early age.  Assassin.
While he is a free agent and will liquidate any on his list, his preference is for pompous windbags.
During World War II, he finds competition from the Luftwaffe and retires.
Afterward - well - there is never a shortage of blowhards waiting to be snuffed.
Unexpected opposition arrives in a busybody vacuum salesman.
Fast paced, black comedy of murder, misunderstandings and mistaken identities.
Dialogue is rapid fire (based on a play), this is lightweight fun.


Well-known member
Split (2017)


Anya Taylor-Joy is great and James McAvoy is excellent in this freaky thriller from M. Knight Shyamalan, the only of his movies I've seen apart from The Sixth Sense. Unlike 10 Cloverfield Lane, which was well-made but caused me to bail from boredom halfway through, I was with this underground confinement flick all the way. Guess I'll have to watch that other Shyamalan movie now.


Black Mirror: "San Junipero" (2016, US Netflix Instant)


Two women meet awkwardly in a 1987 Southern California nightclub, then take turns pursuing each other in ways that might be called borderline harassment were the pursuer of the moment male. A love story ensues. This was my first Black Mirror; I'd read it was the most hopeful and best, so, not being much interested in the bleaker stuff I'd heard about the show, I gave it a stream, and found it thoroughly okay. At 61 minutes, it's not quite a short film, but it doesn't quite have the depth of a feature-length movie, either. I'm glad Netflix can be a platform in which episodes are exactly as long as the creators want them to be, but in the end, the story at hand just felt a bit low on stakes. I think I'll give the others a pass.

Episode grade: B


Well-known member
Nelly - 2016 - 5/10


Canadian novelist Nelly Arcan burst out of the gate with her first book, a best seller in her home country and France.
Succeeding books sold less and less until her suicide ten years later.
Film mixes her writer self, along with when she was an escort, along with her characters.
Those unfamiliar with Nelly Arcan (such as me) will have trouble keeping up unless you realize this.
Her novels were lurid and her characters were thinly disguised autobiographies.
Movie is filled with sex, rough sex, girl talk, and the insecure writer.
Generally an unpleasant ride.


Well-known member
Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors - 2017 - 6/10

Historian Lucy Worsley guides viewers on a tour of Miss Austen’s many homes.
Along the way, she shares influences and incidents at each.
Reenactment is minimal, an actress reading Jane’s letters, from time to time, in different settings.


This is one of the better docs by Worsley.  No blaring pop tunes in this, for instance.
Essential for Janeites.


Well-known member
Come And See  - 1985 - 8/10
AKA - Idi i Smotri  // Иди и Cмотри


“ ... Adventures are not all pony rides in May sunshine.”  Tolkien
Harrowing film of the Nazi invasion of Belorussia in 1943.
A young village boy joins partisan fighters and journeys from wide-eyed idealism to experience.
Opening chapters register uncertainty and anxiety, fears about what German invaders want.
Film proceeds to display, with brutal detail, the Master Race dealing with lower orders.
The audio mix on this is noteworthy, music and sound editing.
After a shelling, the boy suffers hearing loss and viewers share his disability.
Tone shifts from confusion, indifference, barbarity, and rare beauty.


Well-known member
Cass - 2008 - 6/10


West Ham supporters, the Inter City Firm, led by boss Cass, strive to be #1 firm during the Thatcher years.
Violence, knifings, shootings, slashings, and the rumble of rival tribes.
Cass differs from other football/hooligan films in that the protagonist is a middle class black youth with a warm home background and loving parents.
Rude language throughout, yet little drug use and no nudity.
Based on Cass Pennant’s memoir, I wonder how much of those elements had been massaged out.
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