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A few reviews

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Undying Monster - 1942 - 6/10

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Handsome Gothic potboiler set in the craggy cliffed manor house.
An ancient family curse stalks the final descendants, brother and sister.
The night air is rent with the howls of --- what?
Reminiscent of "The Hound Of The Baskervilles," this is, nonetheless, its own beast.
A solid B-film mystery, that never reveals until the end, and at 63 minutes, does not outstay its welcome.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Trilogy Of Terror - 1975 - 6/10 (composite)

Part One, "Julie," college guy bags his introverted English professor.  Yawn.
Part Two, "Millicent/Therese," sisters (one mousey, one frisky) snipe.  Zzzzzz.
Part Three,  "Amelia," finds woman torn between spending night with obsessive mother and the new boyfriend she is keenly interested in.
Why she even bought him a birthday gift.  A curio.
A fetish doll of a Zuni warrior, its spirit restrained by the golden chain encircling its waist.
Of course, if the chain were to somehow slip off . . .

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Hair raising thriller still packs a punch, helped by Karen Black's all-in performance.
Goofy nonsense, but my God, that doll is an remorseless block of fury.
Unforgettable adaptation of Richard Matheson's "Prey."
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Hitler's Rise: The Colour Films - 2013 - 7/10

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Two part documentary detailing events from the final year of World War I to Kristallnacht.
Covers the leader's growing oratory skills, deft manipulation of others, and incredible energy.
Weimar economics are covered, as well as street clashes between the Red Front and the SA.
Some visuals are soft (to be expected).  Digitized colour, which I usually disdain, is restrained and well done.
Solidly presented timeline, and quite accessible (this not limited to Hist buffs).
Modern day Cassandras should respond to the line,  "Hitler provoked disorder, while at the same time, claiming to be the only man capable of stopping it."
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
The Century That Wrote Itself - 2013 - 6/10

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Century, meaning the 17th (1600s if this is easier), and the writers, the English.
Presented by Adam Nicolson, this does not follow the poets or novelists.
No, for the most part, he selects ordinary people, writing diaries, letters, journals.
As more are able to read and write, and as delivery methods improve, communication explodes.
This propulsive juggernaut of all this knowledge will lead to our modern era.
So ... the skeptical may have to suspend a bit with this, and E03 is marred by fluff.
E02, however, "The Rewritten Universe" excels!
The beginning finds diarist Ralph Josselin recording his daily life, piously thanking God for even the most trivial occurrences in a world mysterious and dangerous, only to conclude with Isaac Newton attempting to understand the mechanics behind the Divine design.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
Rivers Edge Okawabata Detective Agency - 2014 - 7/10
AKA - Ribasu Ejji Ookawabata Tanteisha  //  リバースエッジ 大川端探偵社

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Late night J-dorama of tiny detective group that seems to specialize in peculiar requests.
A client wants ramen that tastes like it did 40 years ago, another wants to know the voice behind the fun fair announcements, another seeks a long gone, third level pop idol singer.
The boss has unspoken connections with yakuza families, the main investigator has premonitions, the office girl is a hooker by trade.
Generally, they satisfy client requests, though solutions are often unwelcome.
"Be careful what you ask for,"  applies.
Note - Being a late night program, some sexual scenes will offend the prudish.
 

Vultural

Well-known member
Donor
La Bûche - 1999 - 6/10

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Days before Christmas, mother's second husband dies and gets planted.
Her daughters gather, attempt to reorganize the Christmas dinner, and begin arguing.
This is not about the season of good will, but relationships and histories.
γνῶθι σεαυτόν
Holiday lights and decorations aside, most of the sisters have "men problems" be they boyfriends, husbands, lovers, or dear old dad (Ma's husband #1).
Attractive cast, lushly photographed, but this is possibly more for French film connoisseurs.
 

Gaith

Well-known member
Faneditor
My Cousin Rachel (2017)

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Being a big Rachel Weisz fan hasn't been too easy in the past decade. She seems to alternate almost entirely between corporate dreck and depressing, "eat your Brussels sprouts" dramas. Well, here's a new adaptation of the 1951 Daphne du Maurier novel of the same name, set in vaguely Jane Austen's era, about a young man (Sam Claflin, a tad too old to be playing on the cusp of 25, but I guess life was harder then) who becomes smitten with the widow of his de facto adoptive father/cousin. But, did she actually kill him? And what are her intentions now?

A very beautiful, all-around solid film that feels very modern despite the setting and source novel. I was a bit on the fence about it until its ending, whereupon I decided that I liked it quite a lot.

B+
 

TMBTM

Well-known member
Faneditor
A cure For Wellness
(Gore Verbinski - 2016) 

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"Fly Over a Cuckoo's Nest" mixed with the Hammer horror movies with a bit of Guillermo Del Toro flavor.
Very interesting idea well served by Dan Dehaan (who looks like a young Sam Neil here)  and the always good Jason Isaacs.
It's also very well directed but fails to be the masterpiece it tries to be.
It's good, I rate it 7,5/10, but it is simply too long for what the story has to tell.
A simple idea needs a strong simple movie, not a 2h25 movie with too many scenes that could have been replaced by a single line of dialogue. There are also some lazy tricks used in the movie. Example: the hero is at the mercy of the evil guys and then... CUT, he escaped... Okay... thanks for not showing another 5 minutes scene of people running I guess... but it's a cheap editing trick.
I don't want to rant too much because it is a movie that I absolutely recommend. I had zero expectations and was pleasantly surprised. It's just a bit sad that this movie is not what it could have been.
 

bionicbob

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
Netflix's BRIGHT
written by Max Landis
directed by David Ayer

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUY3GVByRUs[/video]

Premise is essentially Lord of the Rings is real history, and 2000 years later in modern LA, a veteran human street cop is teamed up with the first Orc cop, and they have to prevent the rise of the Dark Lord by keeping an elf girl and her magic wand away from... well, just about everybody.

A very fun movie and engaging idea.  Many of the action sequences are overly long, and you only get the most superficial of world building or character development.  But what you do see is very enticing, but don't be fooled, this is at its heart a throwback 80s buddy cop action movie... which is not a bad thing.

It plays and feels like a television pilot but with a bigger budget.  It is all mostly intros and set up and then stops.  It does what it does well and definitely made me want to see more.   Looking for an escapist 2 hours, this might fit the bill for you.
 

Gaith

Well-known member
Faneditor
^ I get that Will Smith probably isn't ready to commit to a TV series, even on Netflix, but this premise absolutely sounds like a series rather than a movie. Of course, if a straight-to-Netflix movie gets a straight-to-Netflix sequel, as this seems to be doing, maybe it'll lead to a series, presumably not starring Smith as a regular, but, who knows? Also, reviews have been scathing, so it sounds as though the sequel has some repairing to do...
 

gazza

Well-known member
Bright has a lot of similarities to alien nation movie and tv series(a humanoid outcast from his kind teams up with a human who is a burned out cop .they start out hating each other only to face gangs,police corruption.then form a loyal bond)

I would have loved to see the firsttime the dark lord came to power and was defeated or even a evolutionary flashback showing the orcs,humans,elves timeline.

Also did anyone else notice the dragon in the sky during the movie.(would have loved to seen a closeup)
 

Zamros

Well-known member
Cut-post from "Last Movie you Watched..."

My Weekend with McDonagh:

In Bruges (2008)

Martin McDonagh becomes one of my favourite filmmakers with one of my favourite films in his first go at a feature.

In Bruges is one of those films I could easily describe as perfect. There's not a single line, shot or performance that isn't perfect for the moment it requires.

The screenplay is my favourite ever written. The idea of a screenplay is that it must read like your watching it in your head. As such, it must at once me simplified and detailed. McDonagh's screenplay paints you a beautiful picture in your head with so few words of description of this other-worldly, fairytale city of Bruges. The dialogue goes from hilarious to depressing at the drop of a pin whist feeling completely natural. Not a single line of dialogue doesn't have purpose in the story, or set up a joke or plotpoint that is paid off later.

Colin Farrel and Brendan Gleeson are incredible in their respective roles, and play off eachother with such electric chemistry that you're already engrossed in their relationship before you see them on screen. Gleeson's Ken is a perfect straightman foil, as somebody that has gotten used to this life and has some form of piece of mind. Farrel's Ray is very childlike in mannerism and sensibility, but that's shown through his incredible performance to be as much a coping mechanism as it is a part of his character.

Then there's Fiennes' Harry. If Heath Ledger hadn't done the Joker the same year, this would have been my favourite villain and supporting performance of 2008. He just oozes a sense of superiority and swallows the scenery with his outbursts.

The film is about life and death, what we do with our life, and what it means for us to die. Do you live your life by a set of principles, or go with the flow? Does death have meaning, or does it only have meaning when we give it a meaning?

The score is also amazing, for a film that is so dialogue heavy. The quiet moments with just music really stand out. From the soft melancholy piano, to the Irish folk to the hard rock, the music complements the eerie streets of Bruges and the tone of the scene they underscore.

If I were to make a complaint for the sake of balance, I'd say the handheld style is slightly distracting in maybe 2 shots. I can put this down to budgetary constraints though.

10/10

Incredible fuckin film. Come at me with a bottle, if ya tink otherwise.

Tomorrow (or today, I guess) Seven Psychopaths.
 

Gaith

Well-known member
Faneditor
Vultural said:
And Then There Were None - 2016 - 7/10

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Three part adaptation of the Agatha Christie chestnut.
Ten souls, hired or invited, soon find themselves stranded on an isolated island.
One by one, they succumb to the Grim Reaper.
Just when you think you know who'™s tugging the strings, they'™re dead.
Top notch production values, choice casting, and a spectacular setting.
Most will already have seen one version of this or "€œTen Little Indians,"€
but this is quite handsome and more faithful than other renditions.

Just watched on Amazon Video with a free Acorn Channel trial add-on. Cracking great fun, with a completely satisfying ending. Don't really have much more to add. See it!

A-
 

Sinbad

Well-known member
Donor
Faneditor
ThrowgnCpr said:
Zamros said:
Incredible fuckin film. Come at me with a bottle, if ya tink otherwise.

I will indeed come at you, but with high fives. In Bruges is an incredible film. One of my favorites.
Add me to the In Bruges love fest, absolutely cracking film. Shout out for Carter Burwell's great score too..
 

gazza

Well-known member

mom and dad
A teenage girl and her little brother try to survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own children.

nicholas cage once again plays  a over the top character(imagine omg the bees the bees character from the wicker man remake  for 1hr & a half). i kept expecting mark wallberg to make a cameo because i  thought i was genuinely watching a sequel to the happening.the movie never explains who or what is behind the violent urges it implies but never confirms and at the end of the movie i think the writers and director just loses interest and just finish the movie mid sentence  if you liked the happening you will like this if not avoid
 

Zamros

Well-known member
My Weekend with McDonagh

Seven Psychopaths (2012)

McDonagh follows up his incredible debut with a... Passable movie.

I get it. I get what it's trying to say. Farrell is clearly McDonagh's self insert, and the movie they're writing in the movie is thematically and/or structurally the same as the movie it's in.

But there's something about it that doesn't really work for me. I like it, don't get me wrong. It's sporadically funny, the performances are all stellar (Especially Walken's) but there's not much else too it. It's like the Martin McDonagh equivalent of eating a ricecake. Yeah, it's fine and I'll consume it, but I need real sustinence.

The film knows exactly what it is, and accomplishes what it wants to accomplish. But it's no way near as good as his other work.

I've seen it 3 times now, I doubt I'll watch it a fourth.

6/10

Worth the watch, once or twice. But it felt like watching someone attempting to write a Tarantino film. I'd rather just watch a film by QT.

It's not funny enough to be a comedy, it's not emotional enough to be a drama. I'm not really sure what I could call it. The film is unique, if nothing else.
 

Zamros

Well-known member
My Weekend with McDonagh

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2018)

If Seven Psychopath left my lost for thought, this has left me lost for words. Three Billboards is a masterclass in storytelling, screenwriting and filmmaking.

In Bruges is what among what I would consider to be "Perfect films". Those with relatively little wrong with them, and which accomplish everything it set out to achieve in the best way possible. By this metric, I don't think Three Billboards is a "perfect film" but it comes damn close.
I'll begin with its shortcomings. The first I didn't realise I didn't like until YMS pointed it out. This was the performance of Lucas Hedges. While I didn't hate it, it definitely took me out of the film and I enjoyed the scenes he was in less because of his performance. It never felt like I was watching a real character, like every single other person on screen, it felt like I was watching an actor act lines. The other shortcoming I thought was how Peter Dinklage's character was worked in. Something about it didn't work for me. It feels tacked on, like the role itself was kind of a McGuffin. Dinklage's performance is fine, though. There's also two instances of awkward looking CGI, one of which is quite distracting during the scene.

Now let's get onto the great shit. BASICALLY EVERYTHING! This film is fucking amazing and you need to see it 3 times, once for each Billboard. If my wallet would allow it, I would have seen it twice that amount. Frances McDormand is phenomenal, completely melting into Mildred. I always find it amazing when I don't see the actor at all in the role. I saw Woody Harrelson, I saw Sam Rockwell, I saw Peter Dinklage, I never saw Frances McDormand. I only say Mildred. The "Best Actress" category isn't even fair this year, McDormand stole it, and stole my heart (She did that in Fargo, though). With only a look, you immediately feel what she's feeling, and know what she wants to do, even if you don't know why. And when you do find out why, she tears you apart.

Woody Harrelson was great. It would have been so easy to make this character into an irredeemable arsehole, but they don't go that route. They don't really go that route with anyone. Which leads me onto Sam Rockwell, who is a freaking revelation as Dixon. Not since Jaime Lannister have I been so sympathetic and intrigued by someone initially presented as a complete fuckwit. His performance really endeared me to his character, and would be the best in the film had this not been McDormand's wild ride from the start.

Carter Burtwell's beautiful score works together stunningly with the cinematography to bring you into the film. It really adds to the mise-en-scene when you feel like you're really in this small town (similarly to In Bruges). I sometimes felt like I was watching something shot on film, the sheer amount of rich colour in the frame was magestic.

McDonagh's usual themes are present, of course. Death, the afterlife, midgets. Standard shit. It's a lot more ponderous on its themes than In Bruges or Seven Psycopaths. A lot of this is told visually, with silence or music.

I can't wait to see it again.

9/10

My choice for Best Picture, until I see the others.
 
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