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 What I've just watched

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Mon Nov 09, 2009 5:39 pm

The Boy Friend (1971), after the darkness of The Devils (1971), Ken Russell wanted a change, so he adapted Sandy Wilson's stage musical. Set in the 1930's at the Theatre Royal in Portsmouth, it has a small-time theatrical company putting on an afternoon production of The Boy Friend to a near empty house, then the company's assistant stage manager Polly Browne (Twiggy) finds herself understudying for the leading lady, who's broke her foot. In the audience is Hollywood film director Cecil B. DeThrill (Vladek Sheybal), who is entertained by the production. Probabily one of Ken Russell's best films, a world away from his more darker films, and a love-letter to the Hollywood musicals of old, although it does contain some imagery typical of Russell, but it's a well staged film, he also gets the best out of Twiggy, and it's beautifully shot by the late, great David Watkin. Plus, it has a good supporting cast to it's name, including Bryan Pringle, Barbara Windsor, Tommy Tune, Brian Murphy and Glenda Jackson!! Once you see this film, it'll be impossible to forget!! Very Happy 5/5



Octopussy (1983), the title song of this James Bond film is 'All Time High', but alot of people call it an All Time Low for Bond. They're quite wrong. The 13th Bond film could have been an unlucky one, plus they were up against rival Bond film Never Say Never Again (1983), but the official series was able to hold it's own against the competition. This has James Bond (Roger Moore), travelling to India and Germany to uncover a jewellry smuggling scam, led by Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan), and General Orlov (Steven Berkoff), using a circus owned by the mysterious Octopussy (Maud Adams), as a cover for an atomic bomb to go off at a US Army base. It's the campest Bond film, and it's a little different, and the bits in India have a very colonial attitude to them!! Shocked But, it makes for good entertainment, for reference, this is the one with the microlite coming out of the horses arse in the horse box, and the Rickshaw chase. It's an underrated Bond film, give it a chance!! Wink 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:15 pm

Sullivan's Travels (1941), from director Preston Sturges, a former Broadway writer who had gone to Hollywood and made moderately successful films like The Great McGinty and The Lady Eve, comes this off-the-wall comedy with a down to earth quality. Although not a big success upon it's original release, it's now considered to be one of the best films ever made, like Citizen Kane really, but this has stood the test of time. It has John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea), a young director working in Hollywood who has hit it big, although the films he makes are successful, he's unsatisfied with them, and he wants to make a film about the plight of the less fortunate, to be titled O Brother, Where Art Thou? He decides to try and live his life as a hobo, but the studio head Mr. Lebrand (Robert Warwick) is keeping tabs on him by following him around, Sullivan gets help from a down-on-her-luck aspiring actress known as The Girl (Veronica Lake), but his plans go slightly awry. It is a genuinely funny film with some brilliant dialogue within. It comes from the golden ages of the screwball comedies that came out of Hollywood at that time. McCrea was a brilliant leading man back then, and he sparks wonderfully of everyone he comes into contact with. Sturges' dialogue is brilliant, and has influenced many. The Coen's were heavily inspired by this for one of their films, can you guess which one?? :Wink: 4/5



The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), from Brazilian director Walter Salles, who has made Central Station (1998) and Dark Water (2005), comes this brilliant and atmospheric travelogue, based on the diaries of a man who would become Che Guevara, but this was way before all that, back then there was no evidence he would become the legendary guerilla leader, but it was this trip that shaped him. In January 1952, it has 23-year-old medical student Ernesto "Fuser" Guevara (Gael García Bernal) going on a road trip with his older friend and biochemist Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna), they travel from Buenos Aries on a 1939 Norton 500 motorcycle, christened as 'The Mighty One'. They travel through Argentina, over the Andes, up the coast of Chile, through the jungles of Peru, where they do volutary work at a leper colony in San Pablo, before finishing in Venezuela that July. It's a buddy road movie, but it has a dark edge, but it was this journey that shaped Ernesto Guevara to become Che, it is a coming-of-age story, and the locales which they travel are stunning. Bernal and Serna make a good pair, and they carry the film with Salles' quick, on-the-hoof style. Which suits it well. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:25 pm

Foreign Correspondent (1940), within the space of a decade, Alfred Hitchcock had become the top director in England in the 1930's. By the end of the decade, Hollywood came calling, and Hitchcock answered. He first made Rebecca (1940), which won a Best Picture Oscar, and he also did this, a very topical tale of espionage going on in Europe in the run up to World War 2. It's a very gripping film, and boasts many good performances. It begins with crime reporter Johnny Jones (Joel McCrea) being sent off to Europe by his editor boss (Harry Davenport) as a foreign correspondent, he goes to London to meet Universal Peace Party leader Stephen Fisher (Herbert Marshall) and Dutch diplomat Van Meer (Albert Bassermann). After Jones, under the alias of 'Huntley Haverstock', meets them, Van Meer vanishes, then reappears in Amsterdam, and then he's (literally) shot in a crowd by a photographer, and Jones is caught in a continent-wide conspiracy. Even for it's day, it's very gripping, and has some good set pieces, including one within a windmill and one on a downed plane. Hitchcock keeps the pace and tone up throughout the film, and it has some good performances from McCrea, Marshall and Bassermann. With some good support from George Sanders, Laraine Day and Edmund Gwenn. 4/5



Léon (1994), Luc Besson had come to international prominence with films like Subway, The Big Blue and La Femme Nikita. After spending years in development on The Fifth Element, he decided to do a sort of spin-off from one character played by Jean Reno in La Femme Nikita, it would be Besson's first film made in America, but it was still made as a French film, and it has his usual visual flourishes. It's a violent film, but it has a heart of gold to it. Set in a New York apartment block it follows the life of Léon (Reno) a professional hitman, or 'cleaner' as he would rather be known, mostly doing work for mafioso Tony (Danny Aiello). One day, his next door neighbours, the Lando's are murdered by corrupt, drug addicted cop Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman), there's only one survivor, their 12 year old daughter Mathilda (Natalie Portman), who finds refuge with Léon, and although she never cared for her family, she wants revenge for her 4 year old brother being killed. Léon reluctantly teaches Mathilda the tricks of the trade. It's a violent thriller with humanity and heart, and the performances by Reno and Portman are very engaging, and they give these characters such life and energy, Oldman plays the baddie with ham and relish. It's brilliantly shot, and Besson should really be making more films like this, he sold out after this, maybe it's time to come back down to earth with a film like this. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:12 am

Red Road (1st view) - Engrossing thriller about a CCTV operator who sees a man from her past, someone she thought was in prison - 4/5




Guinevere (1st view) - A young woman falls in love with a much older artist. There aren't that many films I can say have bored me, but this is one of them - 2/5*




The Crimson Kimono (1st view) - Decent crime drama about two policeman who both fall in love with a witness in one of their cases. I spent ages trying to figure out what I'd seen one the cops in until I realised it was Die Hard's Joseph Takagi - 3/5*




Blotto (10th+ view) - Stan and Ollie want to attend the opening night of a new club, but Stan’s wife is having none of it. A fake telegram allows him to leave, along with a smuggled bottle of liqueur that his wife has been keeping since “probation”. In terms of plot that’s about it, but as ever, the story is just a means to an end. Laurel and Hardy gave us two classic scenes of drunkenness. One came in 1934’s Them Thar Hills with the famous “pom pom” sequence. This film features the other, in which the boys laugh themselves silly due to the fact they’ve got one over on Stan’s wife. There are a few films in which nothing but the pair’s laughter is the cause of humour, but it’s never bettered than in this film and it’s the standout sequence. Still, there’s much fun to be had besides, even when the gags are being milked for all their worth; a long, protected attempt by Hardy to speak to Stan on the phone takes up the better part of 5 minutes but the characters make it incredibly pleasing to watch, especially a wonderful moment in which Stan starts to read a Hebrew newspaper (why that’s in his house is anyone’s guess). It’s worth trying to see the foreign versions of this film, if only to catch a number of jokes that were missing on it’s release in America - 4/5




The Eve Of St. Mark (1st view) - A young soldier enlists in the army prior to Pearl Harbor and then falls in love with a girl back home when on leave and. Once America enters the war, he and his friends find themselves trapped on a malaria-ridden island in the Pacific. Harry Morgan and Vincent price co-star and it's worth watching just to see the latter in a relatively sane role - 3/5*


The Pumpkin Eater (1st view) - The story of a doomed marriage between Anne Bancroft, who was brilliant, and Peter Finch (every time he was on screen I couldn't help but think how much he looked like Albert Finney). It reminded me slightly off a few Ingmar Bergman films, but quite a bit better - 4/5*




Be Big (5th view) - One of the lesser entries for Laurel and Hardy, this film sees the boys ready to go to Atlantic City with their wives. However, a testimonial dinner in their honour at the local hunting lodge leads Ollie to fake an illness and persuade the wives to go on ahead while Stan stays and looks after him. Once they, they change into their riding gear, only for Ollie to boot on one of Stan’s boot. By this point it’s roughly halfway into the 27 minutes film and the rest of the time sees the duo try and remove the boot. It’s one of the very few times I can think of when the team do take a joke and run with it for too long. Even so, there’, it nigh-on impossible to not just enjoy watching them on screen, no matter how repetitive the situation gets, and there’s plenty of great character comedy to be found - 3/5




Thir13en Ghosts (2nd view) - I think I saw this at the cinema. I can't remember, but I know I've seen it once before, many years ago. I was hoping it would improve with age. It didn't - 2/5*




Partly Cloudy (1st view) - One of the funniest of the Pixar shorts and also, without question, the most heartwarming - 5/5*




Up (1st view) - Was there ever any doubt that I wouldn't completely and utterly love this? Brilliant from start to finish, and only the second film I've ever cried at when seeing it for the first time at the cinema. Not Pixar's best but it's certainly very near the top - 5/5*




Paperback Hero (1st view) - Hugh Jackman star as a trucker who writes a romantic novel, but gets a friend to pretend that she's written it in order to stave off embarrassment. Quite funny and charming for the first hour, but the final third is a predictable mess - 3/5*




Paperclips (1st view) - Documentary that charts a project by staff and students of a school in Whitwell, Tennessee. Their aim was to collect one paperclip for every victim of the holocaust, and once the project made the news, donations flooded in from all over the world. The ambition is admirable, but the film itself isn't particularly worthwhile - 3/5*




The Fall (1st view) - I'm still scratching my head a bit over this. An injured stuntman in 1920's Los Angeles tells a young girl a fantastical tale about five heroes all out for revenge against a man who's wronged them. Once fact and fiction overlap, is doesn't make much sense but it's always interesting and I haven't seen such a beautiful film in a long while 4/5*


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Nov 14, 2009 8:58 pm

The Return of the Musketeers (1989), 15 years after Richard Lester did The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974), it seemed very appropriate that they should adapt Alexandre Dumas' 1845 serialised book Twenty Years After, reuniting much of the original cast and crew for this one. It's not as good as the first 2 films, and it plays the film mainly for laughs. It has the greedy Cardinal Mazarin (Philippe Noiret) hiring d'Artagnan (Michael York), and asking that he reunites the other Three Musketeers, Athos (Oliver Reed), Porthos (Frank Finlay), and Aramis (Richard Chamberlain) to work for Mazarin. Matters are complicated when Aramis walks out after a skirmish, and they have to deal with Justine de Winter (Kim Cattrall), who is seeking veagence for the death of her mother. It is fun while it lasts, but it is very patchy, and it's comedic tone is what you'd expect from director Richard Lester's films of the 1960's. Sadly, he quit directing after this, in part due to the tragic on-set death of his friend Roy Kinnear. But, it's fun while it lasts, and even as older men, the Musketeers can still put up a good fight. The supporting cast includes Geraldine Chaplin, Christopher Lee, Bill Paterson, Billy Connolly and Pat Roach!! Very Happy 3/5



Harry Brown (2009), dubbed as a British Gran Torino, this proves that Michael Caine can still command the screen at the age of 76. Directed by Daniel Barber, (who got an Oscar-nomination for his 2008 short film 'The Tonto Woman'), and produced by Matthew Vaughn, this is a hard hitting and thought provoking crime drama, set in a very real place with very real actions and consequences. It's actually quite terrifying as stuff like this really does go on. It has elderly widower and ex-Royal Marine Harry Brown (Caine), who lives on a very violent London estate where there's alot of gangs, drugs, crime and murders. When Harry's close friend Leonard Atwell (David Bradley) is murdered in an underpass after being terrorised by gangs, and the police not doing anything, despite the well-intended efforts of DCI Alice Frampton (Emily Mortimer), Harry has had enough, he decides to get even with the gangs terrorising the neighbourhood and find those responsible for the murder of Leonard. It's very hard hitting, (with it's setting, it's almost on par with Nil by Mouth), but this goes into Death Wish/Straw Dogs territory. But, it's an engaging and gripping film. Caine turns in his best performance in years, you can feel Harry's plight, and the message of this film is loud and clear. Things are not going to get any better, only worse. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:56 am

The Saddest Music In The World (1st view) - During the great depression, beer maker Isabella Rossellini hosts a competition to find the world's most upsetting music and people from all over the world come to compete. A comic musical drama, it's filmed in grainy black and white and is utterly bonkers - 4/5*




Alpha Male (1st view) - Jennifer Ehle and Danny Huston star in this film about a family that falls apart after the death of the husband - 4/5*




The Ghosts of Berkeley Square (1st view) - Two 18th century aristocrats accidentally kill a man and are condemned to haunt the house they live in until a member of the royal family pays a visit. They then spend the next 200 years concocting schemes to make that happen. Good old fashioned fun - 4/5*


The Boys From County Clare (1st view) - Bernard Hill and Colm Meaney are two warring brothers, who meet for the first time in 20 years during a celtic music competition in Ireland. Enjoyable, but Andrea Corr can't act - 3/5*



_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:30 pm

The Men Who Stare At Goats (2009), based on the 2004 book by Welsh journalist Jon Ronson, and written and directed for the screen by Grant Heslov. This is an odd but entertaining film based on a true story, but it's premise is so unbelievable, you'll be thinking "that can't be true!", but the film says 'alot of this story is truer than you'd like to think." It begins with Bob Wilton (Ewan McGregor), a small town news reporter who after going through a messy divorce, is sent out to Kuwait and Iraq in May 2003 to cover the war for the newspaper, struggling to get into Iraq, he meets Lyn Cassidy (George Clooney), who as it turns out, was part of a specialist wing of the U.S. Army called the New Earth Army. Founded by Bill Django (Jeff Bridges), this unit was meant to train up 'psychic spies', but the dream all came crashing down when Larry Hooper (Kevin Spacey) joined their team. Then, Bob and Lyn get into trouble when they cross over into Iraq. It's an odd little film, but it is very enjoyable due to it's novel idea for a concept, but it's hard to tell what's true and what was invented for the film, (apart from a couple of obvious bits), but Clooney, McGregor, Spacey and Bridges are all brilliant, and keep the film moving and entertaining. 4/5



True Grit (1969), based upon Charles Portis' 1968 bestseller, they wasted no time in bringing the book to the big screen as soon as possible. The film's success would give it's star a long overdue Oscar. It's still beautiful to look at, and it is a good adventure film, well made and shot, bringing out the best of the old American west. It begins when Frank Ross (John Pickard) is killed by his hired-hand, Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey). Ross' 14 year old daughter Mattie (Kim Darby), seeks justice, but the local law enforcement can't do anything, as Chaney is in Indian territory, but there is one man who can help, Rooster J. Cogburn (John Wayne), a drunken, grumpy U.S. Marshal who reluctantly agrees to help. They are joined by young La Boeuf (Glen Campbell), who is looking to collect a reward for Chaney's capture for a previous murder. The three set off on their quest for justice. It's a little dated in look now, but Wayne has a likeable presence as Rooster Cogburn, (a sequel to this was made a few years later), Glen Campbell does well in his film debut, and Darby makes a powerful impression. Director Henry Hathaway gets the best out of the story, keeping it engaging and exciting. Due to be remade by the Coen Brothers soon!! :Wink: 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:08 am

Control (2007), from Dutch photographer and music video director Anton Corbijn, comes this intimate biopic of Joy Division's enigmatic lead man Ian Curtis. 24 Hour Party People (2002) touched upon Curtis and Joy Division. However, alot of that film was played for laughs, this isn't, this is a serious study of a troubled soul, a brilliant young man who died way too young. Shot in a stark black and white, it starts in Macclesfield 1973, where 17 year old Ian Curtis (Sam Riley) meets Debbie Woodruff (Samantha Morton), who is dating his best friend Nick (Matthew McNulty). Ian and Debbie fall for each other, and marry young in 1975. A year later, Ian meets members of a jobbing band called the Stiff Kittens at a Sex Pistols concert, they've just sacked their lead singer, and Ian gets a chance to sing in the band. The band change their name to Warsaw then to Joy Division. They sign up with Factory Records, and become big, but Ian's life and marriage falls to pieces around him. It's a tragic film, but it's also very engaging too. It's well made, and quite minimalist too. Newcomer Riley is brilliant as Curtis, and Morton is very engaging as his wife. It's well made, but like Joy Division's music, this is a film to slit your wrists to. 4/5



Creation (2009), from director Jon Amiel, Master and Commander screenwriter John Collee and Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas, comes this low-key but quite engaging biopic of a significant part of the life of Charles Darwin. Renowned naturalist whose theories on evolution in his book On the Origin of Species changed the world of science and how people thought about it forever. Based on Annie's Box by Randal Keynes, it begins with Darwin (Paul Bettany), who lives with his wife Emma (Jennifer Connelly) and 4 children. Tragedy strikes in 1851 when their eldest daughter Annie (Martha West) dies from scarlet fever, and Darwin sinks into a state of denial, struggling to finish his work on evolution which he has worked on for 20 years. His friends Joseph Dalton Hooker (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Thomas Henry Huxley (Toby Jones) encourage him to finish it, but Darwin is struggling to finish it, he still hasn't come to terms with the death of Annie. It's a very old fashioned biopic, done in a quite delicate manner, although it's structure is juxtaposed and a little off-centre, a bit like Darwin himself. Bettany does a good portrayal of the great man, and Connelly is engaging as ever. It's well made for a low-budget film, and proves you don't need loads of money to make a good film, with appearances from Jeremy Northam, Jim Carter and Bill Paterson. This is an engaging and beautiful drama in the same league as Finding Neverland. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:30 am

The Rat Pack (1st view) - TV film about Frank Sinatra and chums. It reminded my of Goodfellas, and not just because Ray Liotta had a starring role - 3/5




Liberty (10th+ view) - A silent Laurel and Hardy short which sees the dup on the run having escaped from prison. A mix-up when changing into civilian clothes means that they need to swap trousers, but attempts to do so in public are frequently thwarted. The final sequence takes place high above the city on the girders of an unfinished building. It's a hilarious classic from the comic team - 5/5




Going Bye-Bye (10th+ view) - A talkie this time from Laurel and Hardy, and this time they're on the run from an escaped criminal, who was imprisoned based on their testimony. As visually funny as always, and it contains one of the very best lines in any film ever - 4/5

_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:00 am

WΔZ (1st view) - Interesting but muddled crime thriller - 4/5




Say Anything (1st view) - A waste of my time. I can't believe this is held in such high regard! - 2/5*




A Good Man In Africa (1st view) - Enjoyable comedy/drama with Sean Connery. John Lithgow steals the film- 3/5*


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:12 am

Tideland (1st view) - A film that can be best summed up by the following picture.



I did like it though. Very odd but worthwhile- 4/5*




The Autobiography Of Miss Jane Pittman (1st view) - A TV movie from 1974, that tells the story of Jane Pittman, a 110 year old woman. Interviewed by a reporter, she tells him the major events in life, starting from when she was slave in the civil war right up to the civil rights movement - 4/5*



Into The Storm (1st view) - Brendan Gleason is excellent as Winston Churchill, the film following him through World War II and the general election that followed peace in Europe.


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Tue Nov 24, 2009 12:52 am

Australia (2nd view) – Wonderful change of pace from Baz Luhrmann with this WWII epic, as English aristocrat Nicole Kidman embarks on a cattle drive across the outback with Hugh Jackman and a young Aboriginal boy, Brandon Walters. It’s set during the early years of World War II, culminating with the Japanese air attack on the city of Darwin. I loved it at the cinema and I love it now. Excellent - 5/5




A Dirty Shame (1st view) - Shocked Laughing Shocked Shocked Shocked Shocked Laughing Shocked - 4/5*


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:43 am

2012 (1st view) - Destruction and devastation on an epic scale. Always fun. Especially in this. I'm trying to figure out if this was a comedy or not. I found it hilarious - 4/5*




The Midnight Patrol (5th+ view) - Laurel and Hardy film with the boys as inept cops. Not one of their best, but still good fun - 4/5

_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:47 am

Felicia's Journey (1999), from acclaimed Canadian director Atom Egoyan, best known for Exotica (1994) and The Sweet Hereafter (1997), comes this English set drama with a creepy undertone, based on an acclaimed 1994 novel by William Trevor. It's a good film, with two good central performances. It begins with Irish teenager Felicia (Elaine Cassidy), coming over to Birmingham in England to look for her boyfriend Johnny Lysaght (Peter McDonald), who has made her pregnant. After an initial search for him draws a blank, she meets up with Joe Hilditch (Bob Hoskins), a creepy older man who runs his own catering business, and was the son of a popular TV chef in the 1950's, Gala (Arsinée Khanjian). Joe agrees to help Felicia in her search, but his motives hide a dark secret, all this is juxtaposed with life back in Ireland before Felicia set off, with her father (Gerard McSorley) scorning her for liking Johnny, as he joined the British Army. It's well made, with a delicate, unfussy touch. Most of the scenes have an ominous touch, just when everything seems peaceful. It's effectively a film about two damaged people, and what happens when their paths cross. Egoyan gets the best out of Hoskins and Cassidy, and it's quite memorable. 3.5/5



Chaplin (1992), from Richard Attenborough, comes the ultimate rags to riches story. The story of Charlie Chaplin, an all star film which spans 2 continents and nearly 80 years. It's such an inspirational story of how Chaplin went from nothing to having everything, and even when at the top, faced hardship and opposition. It has a brilliant all-star cast, and a flawless lead performance. It has Chaplin (Robert Downey Jr.) as an old man in 1963, dictating his autobiography to his editor George Hayden (Anthony Hopkins). He tells of his mother Hannah (Geraldine Chaplin) going mad, how he got a start with impersario Fred Karno (John Thaw) and when touring America, he got a contract with Hollywood director Mack Sennett (Dan Aykroyd). It was here that Chaplin created The Tramp, his most beloved creation. While he found fame and fortune, he would have marriages and affairs aplenty, some having quite nasty endings. It would put him at odd with the American government, including FBI head J. Edgar Hoover (Kevin Dunn). It's a hugely epic story, and it captures the era of the old silent movies wonderfully, and Downey Jr's portray of Chaplin is engaging and spot-on, even his accent which goes from Cockney to posh English is pitch perfect. A brilliant biopic, it captures it's era's well. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:55 pm

Legend (1985), after the bleak utopian sci-fi of Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982). Director Ridley Scott wanted to go in the opposite direction, into the direction of fantasy, inspired by the films of Disney, and this is what he came up with, and it's a shame he hasn't tried it again. Set in a fantastical land of long ago, it has the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry), wanting to kill the last two unicorns living in the wild, so that the sun will never shine again. Meanwhile, two young lovers, Jack (Tom Cruise) and Princess Lily (Mia Sara) become involved with the last two unicorns and inadvertently set off a chain of evens where the male unicorn's horn is stolen, and Princess Lily is kidnapped. So, Jack teams up with a fairy, an elf, and two dwarves to rescue the unicorn and Princess Lily before the Lord of Darkness casts the world into eternal darkness. It's such a beautiful film, albiet one with a troubled production history, (a soundstage burnt down, and Jerry Goldsmith's score was replaced by one from Tangerine Dream, Yes frontman Jon Anderson and Bryan Ferry!! Shocked), but it's still well made, and it came at a time when fantasy films really were in vogue, in the pre-CGI world where effects had to be done for real, it looks brilliant. It is a brillantly imagined piece with good performances, an endearing quaintness and Scott's flawless visual eye over proceedings, his director's cut is exquisite. Oh, and have you noticed how this has unicorns in common with Blade Runner, coincidence?? Wink 5/5



2012 (2009), Roland Emmerich rides again, destroying our planet once more. He's done it with aliens in Independence Day (1996), a giant lizard in Godzilla (1998), the weather in The Day After Tomorrow (2004), and now, he goes for the ultimate destruction with 2012, a date which the Mayan's predicted our world would end once and for all. It's a very silly but enjoyable film, and it's even suspenseful and entertaining in all the right places!! Very Happy It begins with American geologist Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) being told by his Indian friend Doctor Santam Tsurutani (Jimi Mistry) that solar flares are causing the earth's core to increase. Adrian tells White House Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt) and US President Thomas Wilson (Danny Glover) who begin a plan to save as much of humanity as possible. Meanwhile, divorced author Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) finds himself, and his estranged family caught in the centre of it all when the global destruction begins. It's a really big film, but Emmerich likes to think big. It's very silly, and maybe it's quite scientifically impossible for stuff like this to happen, but it makes for very good and gripping entertainment. Yes, it does go on for a bit too long, but if Emmerich is to be believed that he won't make films like this anymore, he's gone out with one hell of a bang!! Quite literally in the case of this film!! Very Happy 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:58 pm

Blade Runner (1982), the Final Cut of director Ridley Scott's look into the future, based upon Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Despite it being an absolute nightmare to shoot and battling studio politics which has resulted in several different versions now being available. This is the best one, it looks so much more richer. From seeing it again, you want Scott to return to sci-fi. Set in Los Angeles in November 2019, this has cop Rick Deckard, (Harrison Ford), a 'Blade Runner' hunting down 4 Replicants, led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Replicants are human-like robots manufactured by the Tyrell Corporation, illegal on Earth, but used in outer-space as slaves. But, Deckard soon falls for femme fatale replicant Rachael (Sean Young), who is state of the art, and doesn't die like other replicants. A beautifully visual feast, with Dick's world brought to life, director Scott has the perfect eye for visuals, and the world of 2019 is slowly coming true as well, apart from the Replicants and the Spinners, but just about everything else is coming true, which is quite scary. But, it's got a great cast, and the special effects are exquisite, and it makes you pine for the old school style. 5/5



Me and Orson Welles (2009), from Richard Linklater, whose career has ranged from arthouse (Waking Life), to independent films (Before Sunrise, Fast Food Nation) to the mainstream (School of Rock), he goes for a small scale but very engaging piece of history, although this take on it is fictional, the play that it's great creator masterminded was true, and it ensured that he went on to much greater things. New York, 1937. It has 17 year old student 17-year-old Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) meets theatre director Orson Welles (Christian McKay), whose reputation preceeds him. Orson gives Richard a part in his newest production at the Mercury Theatre, Julius Caesar, which has been re-evisioned by Orson as taking place in a Facist society. The cast are skeptical of Orson's great vision, and are convinced that they'll never get the play rehearsed within a week. It's very well made for a small budget film, and Linklater gets the best out of his cast. Efron proves there's alot more to him than High School Musical, but McKay steals the film as Welles, getting his voice, mannerisms and personality down to a tee. The fact the film had the Isle of Man and Pinewood Studios stand in for New York is a piece of deception even Welles would have approved of... Razz 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:30 am

I've had the Final Cut Of Blade Runner for almost two years and I still haven't seen it.



Taking Sides (1st view) - Stellan Skarsgård stars as Wilhelm Furtwängler, a composer who is accused of being a member of the Nazi Party, Harvey Keitel overacts as Major ordered to investigate - 4/5*




Varian's War (1st view) - TV film that stars William Hurt as Varian Fry, a journalist who helped Jews escape from Nazi Germany - 3/5*




633 Squadron (3rd view) - It's been years since I saw this and my memories of it were quite fond and, as it turns out, rose-tinted. The aerial training exercise sequences are good though, and the main theme is superb- 3/5*



Dead Snow/Død snø (1st view, 2009, Tommy Wirkola) - Zombie Nazis. Graphic and gory fun - 4/5*



Taxidermia (1st view) - To quote Victor Meldrew, what in the name of bloody hell? I don't think I'll ever be the same again but, in a very odd and weird way, I liked it. Too bonkers, disturbing and disgusting to try and explain it here, but it's not a film for everyone - 4/5*


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Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:20 pm

How do you get to see all these films Gimli!? Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:41 am

Effective time management! Plus, watch some while I'm computing, kill two birds with one stone Very Happy

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So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:39 pm

I do that too Gimli!! Anyways...

The Box (2009), Richard Kelly returns with his third film. His debut, Donnie Darko (2001), had critics heralding him as the next big thing, then he fell victim to difficult second film syndrome with Southland Tales (2006), plagued with production problems and an almost incomprehensible plot. However, to follow that up, he went with a more mainstream idea, but not without it's weird moments which hark back to Kelly's debut. Virginia, 1976. It focuses on Norma and Arthur Lewis, (Cameron Diaz and James Marsden) a suburban couple with a son Walter (Sam Oz Stone). Both Norma and Arthur are going nowhere with their lives, stuck in dead end jobs. But, when a mysterious wooden box with a button on it arrives, later followed by the owner of the box, Arlington Steward (Frank Langella), he tells them, if they push the button, someone in the world will die, but the Lewis family will receive $1 million. What will they do?? It's a good, suspensful mystery, and Kelly has done well with the source material, (based on Richard Matheson's short story Button, Button.) The cast are very good, but the plot deviates away from the short story, and what follows is like leftovers from Donnie Darko. It's a novel idea, but it may take a second viewing to understand it all. 3/5



Rocky III (1982), Rocky rides again. Yep, Sylvester Stallone's Italian Stallion is back for another round in the ring. This one was the most financially successful of the Rocky films at the time, because it would introduce former bodyguard Mr. T and professional wrestler Hulk Hogan to the world. The film opens with Rocky (Sly) becoming famous due to him winning against Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), as Rocky climbs the ladder of fame, there's a new, more aggressive and tougher boxer on the scene. James "Clubber" Lang (Mr. T), who is also rising through the ranks and is jealous of Rocky's fame. Even when he challenges Rocky, Clubber wins, and Rocky falls into a depression. However, Apollo is on hand to help out, and tells Rocky he can help him to win against Clubber, even if it means starting at the bottom again. Cue the montage. It's very silly 80's cheese, but it is very enjoyable. The boxing action is very well done, and Sly does well multitasking as actor, writer and director. The theme song by Survivor, Eye of the Tiger is always a classic, and it's fair to say that the world hasn't been the same since Mr. T showed up!! Very Happy 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:52 pm

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2008), based upon Winifred Watson's 1938 novel, which had been optioned by Universal for almost 70 years, then this film version came to the screen. Directed by British TV director Bharat Nalluri and written by David Magee (Finding Neverland) and Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire), this film version is a light and joyous throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1930's. It begins with middle aged governess Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) being fired from her fourth job, and it seems that she'll be unemployable for life. But, at the employment office, she takes up a job intended for another candidate. The job in question is the position of social secretary, working for American singer/actress Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams). Miss Pettigrew discovers that Ms. Lafosse is involved with 3 men, but she helps her employer from getting found out by the men, and Miss Pettigrew finds love with lingerie designer Joe Blomfield (Ciarán Hinds). It's an enjoyable and sweet little comedy, with gentle humour and good dialogue. McDormand is wonderful as always, and her English accent is very good. (Give this woman more films!!) The supporting cast are also great, including Adams and Hinds, plus Shirley Henderson, Lee Pace and Mark Strong. 4/5



1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Sir Ridley Scott returned to big scale films after a trio of down-to-earth films rooted in reality. Here, he created one of 3 Christopher Columbus films to come out in 1992 to celebrate the discovery of the Americas. Scott's film was the most epic of the 3, (the other two were Christopher Columbus: The Discovery and erm... Carry On Columbus. Razz) But, despite such beautiful visuals and some good moments, it falls a bit flat. It begins when Christopher Columbus (Gérard Depardieu), a navigator sheltered by monks, wanting to explore a new route to the Indies, seeing as the Turks have blocked the route between China and the West. But he gets the support from Queen Isabella (Sigourney Weaver) to sail out in search of the Indies. After months at sea, he and his men discover The New World, on an island christened as San Salvador. He brings civisations and more people's to San Salvador and the surrounding islands, but rebellions between him and and Indians ruin everything. It is a good story, and it's well filmed, but for the most part, this is quite dull. Depardieu is quite stodgy with his performance and delivery, and the film sags in the second half. Pity, as Scott was the right man to bring the story of Columbus to life, but good visuals do not a good movie make. Honestly, Carry On Columbus is a better film, and that's saying something!! Razz 2/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:08 am

I liked 1492!



Gerry (1st view) - Gus Van Sant's improvised drama which stars Casey Affleck and Matt Damon as two friends who get lost in the desert. The entire film follows the two talking about anything that tales their fancy, trying to retrace tgheir steps and it's punctuated by long periods of silence. It has the same feel as Van Sant's later films Elephant, Last Days and Paranoid Park, and they're all generally better than his more mainstream films - 4/5




I'm A Cyborg But That's OK (1st view) - Romantic comedy from Oldboy director Park Chan-wook. Very weird and one I found hard to like - 2/5


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We cleave to the darkness.
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Behold! We are the Nine,
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Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:38 am

Carry On Behind (1st view) - The more Carry On films I see, the more I believe that the only really good one they made was the first, Carry On Sergeant. Still, the innuendo-laden dialogue and miscommunication in this provide a few decent laughs. But what on earth was Private Pike doing in this? He deserved better - 3/5



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We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:31 am

Dances With Wolves (1990), Kevin Costner's multi Oscar winning western epic was a prime example of a little film that could, even though Costner had put everything on the line to bring Michael Blake's acclaimed book to the big screen, even directing it, (which he had no experience in doing, at the time), and he funded it himself. But, he did it, and in the process, he brought the plight of many displaced Indians to the attentions of it's viewing audience. Set during the American Civil War, it follows Lieutenant John J. Dunbar (Kevin Costner), whose unorthodox actions during a battle between the Union and the Conderates helps the Union win. He is dispatched to Fort Sedgwick in South Dakota, but the army post there is deserted. After time, he becomes involved with the nearby Sioux Indians. At first, he doesn't like them and they don't like him, but a friendship soon bonds between Dunbar and the Sioux, and he becomes one of them. It's a very moving and powerful story, beautifully shot by Australian cinematographer Dean Semler and with a sweeping score by the great John Barry, Costner's gamble was a brave one, and it gives a humanistic look at the American Indians, and you believe they may not have been the savages that American troops made them out to be. Their way of life is unique and awe-inspiring. This one did deserve to win over Goodfellas at the Oscars, sorry Marty... Razz 5/5



Where The Wild Things Are (2009), Spike Jonze is back, 7 years after his second film, Adaptation (2002). But this time, he's taken the biggest gamble of his career. Taking on the allegedly unfilmable book by Maurice Sendak. It took him 5 years to get it up on the screen, (almost 3 in post-production), but he succeeded. What could have been just another children's fantasy film has transpired into something much more than that, it's a lovesong to the brilliance of being young. It follows Max (Max Records), a hyperactive boy who gets himself into trouble with his mother (Catherine Keener), and runs away from home. He discovers a boat which takes him out to an island where his discovers the titular Wild Things, who include Carol (James Gandolfini), KW (Lauren Ambrose), Ira (Forest Whittaker), Judith (Catherine O'Hara), Alexander (Paul Dano) and Douglas (Chris Cooper). Max claims to be a king, and proclaims "Let the wild rumpus start!!" It's a beautiful film, with a lot of heart and imagination on display. It's a film about the passing of childhood, and how some grow out of it quicker than others, but if anything, this film encourages childhood to go on for a bit longer. For anyone who used to play around in the dirt or cause trouble, then this film is for you, it may bring back memories, and you may even shed a tear. The cast, both human and Wild Things, are brilliant, and it's one of the best films of 2009, just for being different in look and tone. Welcome back Spike, don't be a stanger now, y'hear?? 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:16 am

Kung Pow: Enter The Fist (1st view) – Comedy martial arts films that sees writer/director Steve Oedekerk redub and insert new footage into re-edit the 70s Hong Kong film Tiger and Crane Fist. It’s very odd and the comedy ranges from enjoyably silly to exceptionally lame, but I have a feeling the film makes more sense as whole than many of the genre – 3/5*




Blindness (1st view) – For some reason, I love watching films in which the world goes to hell. As such, I liked this an awful lot despite some very big, obvious flaws – 4/5*




All The King’s Men (1st view) – I’d seen the 2006 adaptation of the book which had an impressive cast but wasn’t a particularly gripping film. This was much better, if a bit rushed at times – 4/5*




Nine Queens (1st view) – It was only about half an hour after I’d finished watching that I realised why this film seemed so familiar, and I recalled that I’d seen the American remake, Criminal. Enjoyable – 3/5*


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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