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 What I've just watched

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:34 pm

Epic Movie (1st view) - Well why not? I mean, it can't really be as bad as everybody says, can it? Oh wait, yes. It can. And worse. But it's still better than Scary Movie 2 and Gummo. So at least it has that going for it - 1/5



_________________
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 Dec 16, 2009 6:28 pm

The Island (2005), after a load of music videos and commericals and making 5 films with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Michael Bay moved on to make a thinking-man's sci-fi action thriller, which was once predicted to be one of the biggest films of 2005, it had a brilliant cast and a BIG concept. And then no-one went to see it, and it died on it's arse at the box-office. Pity really, as it's actually not as bad as what some people make it out to be. It is the year 2019, and set in a city where everyone is uncontaminated, inhabitant Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) feels like an outsider and he wants to explore beyond the city. What he discovers is something quite shocking, involving cloning and organ harvesting. So, he and Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johansson), go beyond the city limits, and make a run for it, with the colonist's leader Dr. Merrick (Sean Bean) on their tails. It's a film in the vein of Philip K. Dick, and it's a wonder he never tried something like this. It has all of Michael Bay's usual flourishes and camerawork, with slo-mo action at sunset and the like. It's cast, also including Djimon Hounsou, Michael Clarke Duncan and Steve Buscemi keep up the human edge. As for the film not doing well, Bay needn't have worried, he was about to unleash Transformers upon the world soon after!! :Wink: 3.5/5



Bad Santa (2003), a different kind of Christmas film. This one is NOT for the family to watch. In fact, it's one for the grown-ups. Who said Christmas films have to be for the family?? Directed by Ghost World's Terry Zwigoff and based on an idea by the Coen Brothers. This is a contender for one of the best Christmas films ever made, and it's also one of the funniest too. It follows drunken, boorish criminal Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton), who posed as a shopping mall Santa with his partner in crime elf Marcus (Tony Cox). While posing as Santa and his elf, they plan to rob the mall, which they do on Christmas Eve. Until one year, when Stokes becomes involved with (Brett Kelly), an overweight boy who believes Stokes really is Santa. Plus, there's trouble when Stokes' foul-mouth gets him into trouble with Mall manager Bob Chipeska (John Ritter) and Mall inspector Gin (Bernie Mac), but can Stokes change his ways?? It's a dirty, rude film but with a heart of gold, it has some brilliant gags, dialogue and scenes along the way. It's different from all the rest which is what makes it stand out. Thornton makes a brilliant down and dirty, but likeable crook, but it's the scenes with Cox and Kelly that stand out. Throw away all the other Christmas films, Bad Santa tops them all!! Very Happy 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:45 pm

Yellowbeard (1983), before his untimely death in 1989, Graham Chapman was the only Python who never quite achieved fame on his own away from the comedy troupe. Though he did have a stab at breaking into America with this, a hotch-potch, all-star comedy based on an idea by Keith Moon. Shocked It looks well shot, and the set design is well done, and it does have a good cast. But that's it, the comedy, what little there is of it, falls flat on it's face. Pity really. It begins with the vicious pirate Yellowbeard (Chapman) being jailed for 20 years for tax evasion, but he won't tell the authorities were he buried his treasure. So, Commander Clement (Eric Idle) sentences him to 140 years. Yellowbeard escapes and is told by his wife Betty (Madeline Kahn) that she destroyed the map leading to his treasure, but she tattooed it on the head of his son Dan (Martin Hewitt). So Yellowbeard ends up with Lord Lambourn (Peter Cook) and Dr Gilpin (Michael Hordern) stowed away on a ship going for the treasure. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but alot of it doesn't work at all, it faced production problems from the word go and the comedy, (alot of it using the r-word and one disturbing sight of Beryl Reid's cleavage is their idea of comedy.) But, the cast presence try to make up for it, including John Cleese, James Mason, Peter Boyle, Cheech and Chong, Spike Milligan, Nigel Planer, David Bowie and Marty Feldman in his last role. It could have been much better. 2/5



Human Nature (2001), after hitting it big with Being John Malkovich (1999), writer Charlie Kaufman teamed up with French music video director Michel Gondry for this baffling but one-of-a-kind oddity, a satire on the mannerisms and habits of society. It let alot of people down at the time as many were expecting another masterpiece after Malkovich. But, despite being similiarly odd and peculiar, it's in a whole different league altogether. The film depicts a 4 way love affair. Beginning with Lila Jute (Patricia Arquette), a female naturalist with an alarming amount of hormonal body hair all over her body, who gets involved with obsessive and repressed scientist Dr. Nathan Bronfman (Tim Robbins), who is having an affair with his French science assistant Gabrielle (Miranda Otto). Bronfman and Jute take in a man raised as an ape, Puff (Rhys Ifans), and try to rehabilitate him to humanity, but nothing goes to plan, especially when Jute has a change of heart about what they're doing. Human Nature is a real one of a kind, and highly underrated oddity. Described as a "philosophical burlesque" by Kaufman, it is a genuinely funny and quite touching comedy, and a great debut for Gondry. It's cast are very good as well, especially Ifans, as he tries to become 'human' again. As for it not doing very well, Gondry and Kaufman need not have worried, they had Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind all ready to go soon after. :Wink: 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:15 am

Bell, Book and Candle (1st view) - I think James Stewart and Jack Lemmon are two of the greatest actors to have ever lived, so it's surprising that it's taken me so long to see this. It's also a shame that the film isn't all that great, not helped by Kim Novak's wooden performance - 3/5*




The Great Raid (1st view) - World War II films that tells the story of a rescue mission to free 500 POWs from Cabanatuan Prison Camp in the Phillipines. A few two many subplots as the action flits between the prisoners and the rescue squad but still worth watching - 4/5*




The Young Poisoner's Handbook - (1st view) - Loosely based on the life of Graham Young, this black comedy follows a young man whose love of science and experiments leads him to poison his family and co-workers. Wickedly funny - 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   Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:39 pm

Avatar (2009), James Cameron is back with his biggest film to date, even bigger than Titanic. And he set out to change the course of cinema with it as well, by making it was new 3-D technology that he personally oversaw. Despite the initial skepticism in the run-up to the film, Big Jim has proven everyone wrong, he's created a rich, sumptuous action adventure which looks wonderful, and it even has a good, engaging story, which is the most surprising aspect of this film. It begins with marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) being sent to the planet of Pandora, where there's an army post out there, trying to move a blue alien race who live there called the Na'vi, as their village is on top of a valuable mineral. Sully is enroled into the AVATAR programme, ran by Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), where he controls a human/Na'vi hybrid, he is dispatched to the wilds of Pandora, where he is sent to gain their trust, he even falls for tribal alien girl Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña), and becomes one of them, but the army are about to advance. This is what Cameron has been working on for nearly 15 years, and it's such a visual feast. The landscape of Pandora is well worth the admission alone. It's got a good cast, and a brilliant concept. It's a triumph of imagination and ambition. Only Big Jim could dream this up, and I want to see what else he has to offer!! Very Happy 5/5



The Sugarland Express (1974), before Steven Spielberg went off to do big blockbusters like Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), he created this little seen and highly underrated crime caper film. It's closer in tone to something like Badlands (1973), but it's got engaging performances and for a Spielberg film, it's quite offbeat. Set in Texas, it's about Lou Jean Poplin (Goldie Hawn), who goes to visit her husband Clovis Michael Poplin (William Atherton) who is in a a minimum security prison, she helps him escape as their son Langston has been taken into care. Once out they end up fleeing the police, and then they take hostage Texas State trooper Maxwell Slide (Michael Sacks), and then they're followed by dozens and later hundreds of police cars, led by trooper Captain Tanner (Ben Johnson), who is trying to find a peaceful solution to end this. Then they become national celebrities, as they get supported by people along the way. It's an engaging drama, with the odd hint of offbeat comedy thoughout. Hawn and Atherton are wonderful as the trailer trash parents who only want their son back, but won't acknowledge how serious the situation is. It's a pity Spielberg hasn't tried something like this since, as he shows a knack for a small scale, down to earth film like this that makes a big impact. After his next film, cinema was never the same since. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:03 am

Paths of Glory (1957), the film that put Stanley Kubrick, then a young photographer who became a director in the early 1950's, on the map, and put him well on the road to fame and cult status. Back then, he wasn't reclusive, he was very much in the public eye. After Killer's Kiss (1954) and The Killer (1956), Kubrick took on a 1935 novel by Humphrey Cobb, which showed the hardship, madness and political skullduggery of World War 1. France, 1916. It focuses on the aftermath of one particular battle at an impregnable German position called the 'Ant Hill' near Verdun. When troops know it's impossible to succeed, they refuse to advance so General Mireau (George Macready), orders his own men to fire at the troops who refuse to advance upon the enemy, buf Captain Rousseau (John Stein) refuses, and Mireau orders the execution of 3 troops as an example, and it's up to Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas) to get to the bottom of what really happened. It's a very well shot and it's black and white photography is rich and full of detail, which was Kubrick's forte as a director. It's also suspenseful and taut in the storytelling. Douglas put his faith in Kubrick, and it put him on top. In return, Kubrick helped Douglas out on Spartacus (1960). 5/5



Man On Wire (2008), the Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Feature for 2008, a story of a true French maverick, who did something completely against the odds, and did something seemingly impossible and completely dangerous. It was a completely one-off affair, but how he did it is an amazing story which forms the basis of this documentary. It's about French high wire artist Philippe Petit, who got a spark of inspiration in a dentists waiting room in Paris in 1968, he saw a news story of the World Trade Centre being built in New York. When the towers were up, he went incognito over with a few friends, and snuck up to the roof to try and figure out how this was going to work, and how Petit would make it across the 140 foot gap between the towers. In the early hours of August 7, 1974. Petit did it, 8 times before the police put a stop to it all, it was a mad and crazy stunt, and as Petit says, when the police questioned him afterwards, asking "Why?" He said, there's no why about it. He had a vision from one newspaper, and he fulfilled it. This is a brave man, and what he did was amazing. You even see Petit going over Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1973, above a road of heavy traffic. Petit is a fine example of someone who did the impossible and succeeded. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:51 am

As You Like It (1st view)- I've never read the play or seen any other adaptations so I have no real idea how much this differs from the source material other than the change in setting and era. Why it was moved to 19th century Japan I have no idea, but it didn't seem to hinder the film anyway. I'm not the biggest fan of Shakespeare on screen, but I did like this
- 4/5*




Family Plot (1st view) - One of the few Hitchcock films that had long passed me by. Not the best film to round off a brilliant career but still very
entertaining - 4/5*




For The Moment (1st view) - Russell Crowe stars as a pilot who goes to Canada in 1942 in order to train for bombing missions overseas only for a wishy-washy romance to take place - 3/5*




Turtles Can Fly (1st view) - Set in a Kurdish refugee camp on the Iraqi-Turkish border on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq. Bleak and quite powerful at times- 3/5




The Return (1st view) - Two brothers are reunited with their long-absent father on a fishing trip but events turn sour due to the father's overbearing nature - 3/5*




Endgame (1st view) -Some good performances from Chiwetel Ejiofer and William Hurt, plus an appearance by Lester Freamon! - 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 Dec 24, 2009 10:30 am

Avatar (1st view) - 4/5* - I liked it a great deal, but I was generally just watching it and not feeling anything. No different to countless others films I like, but few have been hyped this much. Scriptwise I have no problems really. I hardly ever pick up on bad writing anyway, but the unoriginality of the plot was obvious. I'm not entirely sure how much Richard Taylor and his Weta bods had to do with the film, but the beasties looked a treat. It reminded me in a way of King Kong, I'm certain there must be bucketloads of stuff that were designed but we don't see. Pandora looks magnificent and The Na'vi themselves look pretty nifty as well. though I'd still say they are, for the most part, not better than King Kong, Davy Jones (I still think he was real) and Gollum, but maybe this is all to do with how much I'm willing to buy what I'm seeing on screen. The action should be applauded for the fact that you can actually follow what's happening, no headache-inducing editing. Still, after 2 hours of watching giant smurfs run through the Emerald Forest, it does get a bit much no matter how pretty it looks. The best looking computer game ever made, but Mario Kart is more fun. And I still have no real idea just why this of meant to be the future of film-making. Then again, I saw it in 2D so I might be missing out on something spectacular.




Women Of Valor (1st view) - 2/5* - Susan Sarandon stars in this TV film about US Army nurses in a Japanese POW camp in World War Two. It's weighed down by it's earnestness and ends up feeling patronising - 2/5


_________________
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 Dec 24, 2009 2:23 pm

I'm defiant that regardless of what anyone says... the Navi aren't CGI they're real Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:40 am

JD wrote:
I'm defiant that regardless of what anyone says... the Navi aren't CGI they're real Laughing


They did look astonishingly good for a lot of the time. The worst bit was when Jake first tries out his avatar in the lab.




Babe (20th+ view) - I haven't seen this in well over 5 years but it still one of the most charming, good-natured and just plain enjoyable films ever made, and anybody who doesn't come away from this without the biggest, stupidest grin plastered aross their face I';d heck to make sure they have a pulse. (*Watches as everybody says how much they hate it*). James Cromwell has never been better and was robbed at the Oscars, as was the film itself. If more films were like this the world would be a better place - 5/5




And now an old review from Empire for a classic christmas film!




Positives

The plot of A Christmas Carol is so well known it almost seems pointless going into detail, so I won't. Still, any film of the story immediately benefits simply because it is such a great story. A magical tale of redemption filled with ghosts and Christmas spirit, it's one of the best tales ever written and it never, ever gets old. The book is also filled to the brim with wonderfully crisp and memorable dialogue, and the Muppet version of the film thankfully retains many of these lines, while adding their own delicious spin.

Considering that most people are acted off the screen by their Muppet colleagues, Michael Caine does a remarkable job and holds his own, As the iconic Ebenezer Scrooge, he's never less than believable as the miser who gradually learns he needs to change his ways. Perhaps not the best screen Scrooge, but certainly near the top.

The songs are sprightly, vivacious, catchy and superbly written by Paul Williams (a one time guest on The Muppet show, they like to keep things inhouse) Unlike some musicals when the songs actually jar here they just flow out of the film naturally. Eminently hummable and reflective of the film itself, they are backed up by a rather lovely score from Miles Goodman.

Special mention must go to the song ”It Feels Like Christmas”. No moment in cinema history has ever captured the wonder of Christmas time as this scene; no film has the power to make me feel all childlike about the yuletide season in such a way. It really does capture the spirit of the time. The Ghost Of Christmas Present might be a large absent-minded spirit, but he was also blessed with a superb singing vice, and he jovial outlook on life is a pleasure to behold.

The Muppets have always been known for the love and dedication they bring to their craft and it shows here. No matter how big or small the part, they each give the most in their performances. From the household names of Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Bunsen to the nameless spiders, horse, mice etc, not one of then lets the side down. Of particular note is Beaker, his trademark "me me me me” being used to great effect, and come the gift giving at the end, emotional effect, and The standout performance comes from the carol-sing, turkey buying Bean Bunny, a consummate professional.

While undeniable playing the roles well, the Muppets show what astute performers they are by bringing large parts of their own selves to their characters. Fozzie, as Fozziewig, does what he does best in the real world, he allows himself to be the object of humiliation at the hands of career hecklers Statler and Waldorf. (Interestingly, the inclusion of a second Marley, Robert, only occurred as it's in the contracts of Statler and Waldorf and " that they must appear together at all times. Apparently) Rowlf tinkles the ivories just as he does on the stage, and the Swedish Chef gets in the action by showing off his culinary skills. Lew Zealand, master of the art of boomerang fish throwing shows off his skills, the scarily masochistic Gonzo relishes the opportunity to injure or be injured. Even Sam Eagle, unibrow extraordinaire, lets loose with his undying patriotism. Of all the Muppet stars on show, it is perhaps Miss Piggy who does the least acting, It could be argued that this aggressively bossy female just plays herself, but doing so would be to ignore the subtle nuances she brings to the character of Mrs. Cratchit.

Negatives

Not a fault of the film, but a fault of the DVD cut. One of the songs, When Love Is Gone, has been removed. No idea why, but it's just gone. In fairness, I'm not even a huge fan of the song, but the film isn't complete without it, and at least two of the characters react to the song, and their reactions seem out of place. Pointless.

The main Muppet role is given to Kermit The Frog. He was always, and still is, the least likeable Muppet. He is probably the only Muppet with the acting chops to carry off such a dramatic role, and its true he does bring along a certain gravitas[/b], it's just a shame prominence of this generally aloof actor lessons the screen time for other, better actors. Rowlf and the Swedish Chef, two of the finest graduates from Jim Henson's workshop, are reduced to mere cameos.




Overall

Does nostalgia play a part in my love for this film? Perhaps, but only to a point. I did indeed see it 14 years ago at the cinema with my dad and my sister, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't like it. However, it's only in the last 5 years or so that I started to truly love it, and emotional aspects have hit home.

Perhaps it's such a good film because it was the first Muppet film made the death of Jim Henson, lifelong friend to Muppets, and was directed by his son, so extra care was taken it making it special. Perhaps it's simply that the mix of Dickensian storytelling and colourful anarchy somehow just gels together. Whatever the reason, this is almost the ultimate Christmas movie, surpassed only by It's A Wonderful Life and for me it is also the definitive take on A Christmas Carol, one that manages to give the story the unmistakable humour and slapsticky Muppet Sheen, yet still remain faithful, capturing the essence, and emotions of the book whilst never descending into mawkish schmaltz and melodrama, like other adaptation are prone to do. It's a testament to the strength of Dickens and his story that even a musical version re-enacted by puppets can be so good, and a testament to the Muppet crew that they can create the most outright enjoyable and engaging version of such a classic tale, especially a version that include talking vegetables and singing lockboxes. Anybody who doesn't spend the rest of the day singing the songs after they've seen the film mustn't have been paying attention and only the hardest of hearts (or even a Scrooge) would fail to be moved by the final 10 minutes. A masterpiece of yuletide moviemaking. – 5/5

All together now "It's in the singing of a street corner choir” steve steve


Merry Christmas everyone!

_________________
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 Dec 28, 2009 11:44 am

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), after winning a Best Screenplay Oscar for Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino teamed up with his new best friend Robert Rodriguez, whose double whammy of El Mariachi and Desperado made him the next big thing in Hollywood, to make a film straddling two genres. It's great fun entertainment, and it's got a brilliant script and good performances. It begins with two violent crooks, the Gecko brothers, Seth (George Clooney) and Richie (QT), who go across Texas, evading the police. At a motel, they take hostage the Fuller family, ex-paster Jacob (Harvey Keitel), Chinese American stepson Scott (Ernest Liu), and daughter Kate (Juliette Lewis). The Gecko's get the Fuller's to smuggle them into Mexico in the family RV, where they go to a rendezvous called The Titty Twister, a sleazy strip/bikers/truckers club, where the Gecko's are to meet their contact Carlos (Cheech Marin) at dawn, which means they have to wait there. But, it's patrons are not of this world, and it becomes a tale of survival. It's a very entertaining and exciting film, Clooney and QT make a good double act, but it's the cameos at the Titty Twister, including Marin, Danny Trejo, Fred Williamson and Tom Savini, that are the most entertaining. And the creatures in the Titty Twister are well designed. 4/5



The Incredibles (2004), the 6th film from Disney and Pixar, and the first one to have actual human's as the main characters. It was a huge gamble, but it was a brilliant concept, deconstruction the myth of superheroes, better than how Watchmen did it. But, this is a film for the whole family, it has identifiable characters, and it's gripping, emotional and very funny as well. It beings in a world of superheroes and supervillians, but after Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) saves someone who didn't want to be saved, lawsuits follow and superheros are retired. Now, working in his office under his real name, Bob Parr, he's now living as a family man in a dead end job, his wife Helen (Holly Hunter), was Elastigirl. They have two children as well, Dash (Spencer Fox), who has super running speed and Violet (Sarah Vowell), who are coming to terms with their superpowers. Meanwhile, Bob gets a mysterious message for his superhero alias, and is deployed to an island... It's an engaging and brilliant film, and like all Disney/Pixar films, they ALWAYS put the characters first, they flesh them out, and make them beliveable. The retro look of the film, set present day but with 60's twists, is brilliant. With sets that Ken Adam would be proud of, and a jazzy 60's style score. Much of the kudos goes to Brad Bird for coming up with this. No better film was made in 2004.

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:58 pm

Backbeat (1994), the debut from director Iain Softley, who later did Hackers (1995) and K-PAX (2001), comes the true story of the man who was once the Fifth Beatle. It's a good story, and it captures the period well too, there is a sweet love story at it's core, and it does give a question of what if he'd stayed with them. It begins in Liverpool in 1960, where it follows Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff) and his art school friend John Lennon (Ian Hart). Lennon's band, The Beatles have been offered gigs in Hamburg in Germany, Sutcliffe recently joined the band on bass. They go over with guitarists Paul McCartney (Gary Bakewell) and George Harrison (Chris O'Neill) and drummer Pete Best (Scot Williams). While over there, Stuart falls for German photographer Astrid Kirchherr (Sheryl Lee), but he soon has to choose between Astrid and being a part of what would be the biggest rock and roll band in the world. It's a good film, and Dorff's Scouce accent is very good, but Ian Hart's portrayal of John Lennon is spot on, (though Lennon is portrayed as very foul-mouthed). It's a tale of doomed love and trying to make it in a foreign land. But, it would have been interesting to see what would have been had Sutcliffe stayed with The Beatles, Lennon wanted him to. 3.5/5



Sherlock Holmes (2009), Guy Ritchie goes epic, after rediscovering his mojo with RocknRolla (2008), Warner Bros. entrusted him with taking on this new reinvention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's legendary super sleuth and his partner. The film's success comes with it's casting of Holmes and Dr. Watson, and it's depiction of Victorian London. It begins with Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) stopping Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong) from making a human sacrifice. Blackwood is sentenced and executed, or so they thought. Blackwood is seen rising from the grave, so Holmes and Watson are put on the case, although Holmes' habits get on Watson's nerves, and Watson is wishing to move on to pastures new with fiance Mary (Kelly Reilly). Plus, Holmes is reunited with an old flame, Irene Adler (Rachel McAdams), a New Jersey girl who is the old person to have bettered Holmes. There's a race against time, (literally) to stop Blackwood's evil plans. It's a good adventure film, and it's a buddy-buddy crime movie in a way, up there with Lethal Weapon, but in Victorian London. It's a comic-book vision of 1891 London, a bit like it was in From Hell, but this is much more visually striking. The performances are engaging and entertaining, RDJ is a brilliant Holmes, a debonair bohemian with alot of eccentricities, and Law's Watson is engaging and fun, making a brilliant double act. More please!! Very Happy 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:59 pm

The Vampire Lovers (1970), during the early 1970's, Hammer Films produced a trilogy based upon Irish author J. Sheridan Le Fanu's 1872 novella Carmilla, and it created the Karnstein Trilogy, which also consisted of Lust For A Vampire (1971) and Twins of Evil (1972), which focused on lesbian vampire Mircalla Karnstein, this was the first film in the trilogy. It begins with a Countess (Dawn Addams) leaving her daughter Marcilla (Ingrid Pitt) in the care of General von Spielsdorf (Peter Cushing) and his family. Marcilla befriends Spielsdorf's daughter Laura (Pippa Steele), she gets nightmares and dies, then Marcilla moves to the house of Roger Morton (George Cole), and Marcilla becomes friends with daughter Emma Morton (Madeline Smith), and she becomes ill as well. Then more girls start to become ill and die. Then, a mysterious old man, Baron Joachim von Hartog (Douglas Wilmer) appears, claiming he's dealt with Marcilla before, and that she must be stopped. It's a very good Hammer Horror, with a good cast and good performances. It is quite grisly as well towards the end. It's got the obligatory sex, nudity and violence within, which no Hammer would be complete without. 3.5/5



Lust for a Vampire (1971), the second film produced by Hammer Films based on J. Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla, taking the character and resurrecting her 40 years on from The Vampire Lovers. It's alot more classier, although it is a little bit over the top and overly camp, but it's enjoyable while it lasts. It begins with the relatives of Mircalla Karnstein, Count (Mike Raven) and Countess Karnstein (Barbara Jefford) a satanic ceremony to resurrect the body of Mircilla (Yutte Stensgaard). She ends up going to a posh finishing school in Vienna. Meanwhile, Richard LeStrange (Michael Johnson) who is studying witches, vampires and black magic for a book, and he ends up getting a job as English Teacher at the finishing school. He falls for Mircilla, although headmaster Giles Barton (Ralph Bates) discovers the truth about Mircilla, and offers himself to her, and eventually cops it, and later LeStrange discovers the truth about Mircilla, but he's still in love with her. It's a bit of a sillier Hammer Horror with campy performances, and the obligatory sex, blood and nudity. But, it's enjoyable and has it's moments and it's well shot. It's a lose sequel to what went before, and it can't decide if it's a sequel or a remake. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:04 am

Russian Ark (1st view) – A 96-minutes single shot through the Russian State Hermitage Museum, encompassing 300 years of Russian history and culture. It’s visually impressive, but little beyond that – 3/5




Deja Vu (2nd view) – I’ve been reading about how the writers were unhappy with the way Tony Scott changed their script, and that their idea was free of plotholes and actually made sense. It’d be interesting to see that version, but I do like this a great deal – 4/5




When The Wind Blows (1st view)- Based on the graphic novel my Raymond Briggs, this cartoon depicts an elderly couple in Surrey as they prepare fall, and then deal with the aftermath of, a nuclear attack on Britain. Funny, scary, heartwarming and bleak all at once, just the thing for post-christmas viewing! – 4/5




Slither (2nd view) - Shocked Shocked Shocked


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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:09 pm


Watched this Christmas Day with Little Benny, needless to say this was actually rather good!

Pleasently surprised


Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven 1/2

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:32 pm

Aww, cool!! How's Benny??
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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:20 am

My last two films for 2009.


The Holiday (1st view) - Yep, I know it's sickly-sweet, sentimental fluff but I couldn't help but like it. It help's that Kate Winslet is always good value for money, but I do wonder why films like this always have peple in good jobs with nice, fancy houses. You have have a lovelorn bus driver who lives in a one bedroom flat, do you? - 4/5




Happy Feet (1st view) - Wasn't sure what to ecpet from this and during a lot of the musical numbers it was tiresome. Good fun for the most part though, with some stunning animation and great voal work from Hugo Weaving and Robin Williams. The young Mumble must be one of the cutest things I've ever seen!


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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:02 pm

Here's my last 2 films of 2009

Gimme Shelter (1970), a rock documentary done by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, which was to have been a chronical of The Rolling Stones' 1969 U.S. tour. It had been a successful tour, and it would end with a free concert at the Altamont Speedway near San Francisco, it could have been the best concert of all time. But, bad organising and one murder put it into the annals of history of how NOT to organise a concert. The concert was to have taken place at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, but that fell through. So, they moved it to the Altamont Speedway, at the last minute. Meaning equipment and rigging had to be moved at great difficulty. Foolishly, the organisers, with the Stone's approval, hired the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels to be the security at the concert. It worked when the Stones did Hyde Park earlier that year, so why shouldn't it work here?? Oh dear. The concert decended into chaos and ended with the murder of 18 year old Meredith Hunter, stabbed to death by Hells Angel Alan Passaro. It is quite harrowing, and the depiction of the concert going from bad to worse is nearly impossible to watch. Only the music keeps it watchable, (alot of the footage was shot at Madison Square Garden a few weeks prior.) You can see why so many thought this concert heralded the end of the hippie era, this and the Manson murders. 4/5



Rock & Rule (1983), the first feature length animation to come out of Canada. Produced by animation powerhouse Nelvana, who are still going strong to this day, produced and directed by the company's founders, Michael Hirsh, Patrick Loubert, and Clive A. Smith. It focused and centred on rock music in animation. Kinda like what Ralph Bakshi had done with American Pop (1981) and Hey Good Lookin' (1982). The film is set in a post-apocalyptic United States populated by mutant humanoids, who have the features of cats, dogs and rats. All the characters, good guys and bad are all rock musicians. It has Omar (Paul Le Mat), Angel (Susan Roman), Dizzy (Dan Hennessey), and Stretch (Greg Duffell) who perform in a small-time rock band in their home city of Ohmtown, trying to make it big. However, aging rock star rock star Mok (Don Francks), is looking for "one voice" needed to summon a demon from another dimension, he finds it in Angel and kidnaps her. So the others set out to rescue her. It looks good visually, and there is alot of imagination on display within this film, but it could have benefitted from a stronger story. But, the music helps out, done by Deborah Harry, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Cheap Trick and Earth, Wind and Fire. It's short but sweet too, unavailable for years, it's a well kept secret of animation. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:33 am

The Ant Bully (1st view) - Kicking of the new year in style! Well, not quite. It gets 3 stars as I was in a good mood when I watched it. A Bug's Life is better. Antz is better. Honey I Shrunk The Kids is better - 3 /5


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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:44 am

The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (1st view) - I've never seen a single second of any of the TV show but the level of awesome on display here was astounding. Really, one of the funniest films I've seen in a long, long time. Has the remainder of my credibility now vanished forever? I don't care. I just want to watch this again! - 5/5*




Holiday In Handcuffs (1st view) - Sabrina the Teenage Witch kidnaps an architect and takes him to her family home at Christmas, forcing him to pretend to be her boyfriend. Yes, really. They fall in love. Ain't that sweet? - 3/5*




Encounters At The End Of The World (1st view) - This is the fourth Werner Herzog film I've seen after Grizzly Man, Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo. It's becoming increasingly obvious that his documentaries are better than his feature films. As narrator and interviewer though, Herzog did come across as both impatient with his subjects and a bit of a grump - 4/5*




Outlander (1st view) - Space travel, vikings and giant, fiery intergalactic monsters. What's not to love? steve - 4/5*


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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   Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:56 am

Carve Her Name With Pride (1st view) - World War II film about Violette Szabo, recruited by the SOE after her husband is a killed in action - 4/5*




Autobiography of a Princess (1st view) - - An Indian Princess and her father's tutor get together to watch old footage and reminisce about her father and their life in India. Always good to see James Mason and he's great here - 4/5*


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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   Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:37 pm

My first two films of 2010!! Very Happy And I've gone all Italian!! Very Happy

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968), after his Man With No Name trilogy made history and brought in a whole new wave of violent westerns. Italian director Sergio Leone went to Hollywood, sort of. Adapted from a story Leone devised with two other Italian cinema legends, Bernardo Bertolucci and Dario Argento, this would be alot more epic on scope, and although it was a flop in America, it wasn't long before it was heralded as a masterpiece. It's set around the building of a railway in the western town of Flagstone, and the battle for a small piece of land outside the town called Sweetwater, owned by Brett McBain (Frank Wolff). When McBain is killed by hired gun Frank (Henry Fonda), hired by corrupt rainroad magnate Morton (Gabriele Ferzetti) to get the land, and bandit Cheyenne (Jason Robards) is framed for it. McBain's new bride Jill (Claudia Cardinale) hires a mysterious gunman known as Harmonica (Charles Bronson) to seek vengeance. It's a moody and almost other-worldly western. Leone certainly knew how to frame a shot. Though it does lag in places, and it's not as compelling as The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. But it's good to see Fonda play against type as a villian, and Bronson's gunman is imposing and impactful. 4/5



Nine (2009), from director/choreographer Rob Marshall, who found his feet in cinema with the Oscar winning Chicago (2002) and the understated Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), comes an adaptation of a 1982 Tony award winning stage production based upon Federico Fellini's 8½ (1963). It's visually well made, and has a stunning cast, but it does drag a little bit towards the end, but the songs are cool. Set in 1965, it has successful Italian film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis), who is approaching the age of 50 and going through a mid-life crisis. His last two films have been flops, and even though he's about to start work on a new film, Italia, he's struggling to come up with any new ideas for it. One problem is that there have been and are too many women in his life. Including his wife Luisa (Marion Cotillard), his mistress Carla Albanese (Penélope Cruz), his film star muse Claudia Jenssen (Nicole Kidman), his close friend and costume designer Lilli La Fleur (Judi Dench), American journalist Stephanie (Kate Hudson), a prostitute Saraghina (Fergie) and his mother (Sophia Loren). It's very much like Chicago all over again, with transitions into musical fantasies, all set on an imcomplete soundstage set. But, it looks rich and the songs are well performed, and the women are all lovely. (Cotillard and Cruz are wonderful), but the films structure is a bit sketchy, and all over the place. It has good intentions, it looks good, but it's lacking. Plus, the late, great Anthony Minghella did the screenplay. The choreography is flawless, Bob Fosse would be proud. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:06 am

The Boat That Rocked (2009), Richard Curtis rides again, and he's moved away from romantic comedies, (at last!!) and tried a different type of comedy, closer in style to a sitcom, but it is based on his love for pop and rock music he grew up with in the late 1960's, especially those broadcast from illegal radio stations broadcasting from boats in the North Sea. This forms the basis for his new film. Set in 1966, the boat in question is owned by Quentin (Bill Nighy), and it broadcasts the popular Radio Rock, which is broadcast to 25 million listeners across the UK, the DJ's include brash American The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the naughty playboy sex-throb Gavin (Rhys Ifans), the cruelly funny Dave (Nick Frost) and the zany comedian Angus (Rhys Darby, doing Kenny Everett). The radio station is a HUGE success, but not everyone likes it, especially government minister Sir Dormandy (Kenneth Branagh), who wants to shut the radio station down, but our radio pirates won't go out without a fight!! It's an enjoyable piece of nostalgia of music and the loose morals of the 1960's, it's not 100% successful, some of the jokes do backfire, but it is blessed with good performances, and on the basis of this, and the fun time all concerned have on board the boat, they should legalise pirate radio!! 4/5



Scrooged (1988), after the box-office smash of Lethal Weapon (1987), director Richard Donner opted for this modern retelling of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, however done as a modern comedy, and featuring one hell of a brilliant lead role from Bill Murray in perhaps his funniest film part to date, it also has a brilliant supporting cast and some good special effects. Frank Cross (Murray), is a cold hearted and selfish top TV executive, who keeps his family at arms length, exhausts his loyal assistant Grace Cooley (Alfre Woodard), and sacks staff member Eliot Loudermilk (Bobcat Goldthwait) for criticising his motives. In the run up to a live-TV broadcast of A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve, his selfishness and cruelty alienates everyone around him. So, he's about to be taught the inevitable life lessons by The Ghost of Christmas Past (David Johansen), appearing as a New York cabbie, The Ghost of Christmas Present (Carol Kane), a violent pixie and The Ghost of Chrismas Future, a 7 foot Grim Reaper. Can they make Cross change his ways?? The updating of Dickens' tale to contemporary times works, and it works wonderfully as a comedy. Murray is wonderful to watch, and seeing him come to terms with this is hilarious, the supporting cast, including John Forsythe, Karen Allen and Robert Mitchum are welcome. The score by Danny Elfman suits the mood of the film. A Christmas film for all time!! Very Happy 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've just watched   Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:47 am

Death Defying Acts (1st view) - Guy Pearce stars as Harry Houdini. He offers $10,000 to anyone who can quote his mother's dying words to him. Catherine Zeta-Jones is a con-artist who takes on the challenge. An interesting film but more of a focus on Houdini would have better. A decent lead actress would help as well.


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Behold! We are the Nine,
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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 Jan 06, 2010 11:14 pm

Telstar (2008), based on a critically acclaimed play by James Hicks and Nick Moran, and directed by Moran. This a film which tells the rise and fall of Joe Meek, a man who once had lots of hits, but his violent outbursts and tempers and his refusal to comprimise proved to be his ultimate downfall. It's a low-key but engaging insight into the life of a man who certainly wasn't there. Joe Meek (Con O'Neill), part owner of RPM Sounds, based at 304 Holloway Road, London. It was over 2 floors, he'd made recording studios out of all the rooms, much to the chagrin of the landlady Violet Shenton (Pam Ferris). He co-owned RPM Sounds with plastics magnate Major Wilfred Banks (Kevin Spacey), amongst Meek's acts were The Tornado's, and Meek wrote and produced a hit record for them, Telstar, which went to #1 in America. Meek would have a homosexual affair with one of his young discoveries, Heinz Burt (JJ Feild), but Meek alienated everyone around him, and he practiced the occult more and more. It's a very intimate and down-to-earth drama with an offbeat feel and look, but it's engaging and doesn't drag. O'Neill is spot-on perfect as Meek, believable and terrifying. Moran's direction captures the mood of the early 1960's well, and it has a brilliant supporting cast including James Corden, Rita Tushingham, Jimmy Carr, John Leyton, Carl Barât and Justin Hawkins!! Very Happy 4/5



Timeline (2003), based upon Michael Crichton's 1999 novel and brought to the big screen by the always reliable Richard Donner. This is a silly but enjoyable time travel film, it has a good cast, and a good concept. It's a shame this didn't do better upon it's original release. It's certainly not as bad as what some critics made it out to be, but scientifically, it is a load of old cobblers. It begins during an archaelogical dig in France, when archaeologists Chris (Paul Walker), Kate Erickson (Frances O'Connor) and André Marek (Gerard Butler) discover a parchment written by their team leader and Chris's father, Professor Edward Johnston (Billy Connolly). His research was being funded by ITC Corp, a science company whose attempts to teleport objects have inadvertently ripped open a timehole to 14th Century France, at the location where Johnston's team were doing their dig. So, the archaeologist and ITC's scientists use the machine to go back to save Johnston, although they're plonked right in the middle of a battle between the French and the invading English. It's a silly but enjoyable little adventure, it's got some good set pieces. Donner is an underrated director, and he does well with his cast and the bonkers concept, but it has a good supporting cast including David Thewlis, Anna Friel, Marton Csokas and Michael Sheen as a nasty English baddie. That's another thing, the film makes the English out to be the baddies, and the goodies are the French, and the Scottish. How brave of them. Razz 3.5/5

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