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 What I've Just Watched: Part 2

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:38 pm

Just so we don't lose the old thread, as Gimli said...

American Graffiti (1973), after George Lucas made his debut with THX 1138 (1970), on insistance from his friend/producer Francis Ford Coppola. He decided to do something a little more mainstream. Lucas opted to do a film based on his childhood interests in the early 1960's, when Lucas was a teenager. With a minimal budget, a cast of mainly unknowns and access to a whole load of brilliant songs from that era, this is what Lucas came up with. A love letter to what it was like being a teen in the early 60's. Set in one night in the summer of 1962, it follows the exploits of 4 friends Curt Henderson (Richard Dreyfuss), Steve Bolander (Ron Howard), John Milner (Paul LeMat) and Terry "The Toad" Fields (Charles Martin Smith). Curt is leaving the following day on a $2,000 scholarship, Toad borrows Steve's car for the evening while Steve woos Laurie (Cindy Williams), Curt's sister. Meanwhile, John cruises around with teenybopper Carol (Mackenzie Phillips), quite reluctantly as well. It's a pity Lucas didn't stick with films like this, he showed real confidence with this one. It's got a gentle sense of humour, and the performances are very good. The soundtrack, made up of songs from the 1950's and early 1960's are pitch perfect. After this, Lucas started work on a script at first called The Adventures of Luke Starkiller. Whatever happened to that we wonder... Razz 4/5



Cruising (1980), William Friedkin was in Hollywood's bad books after the financial failure of Sorcerer (1977). Trying to get back into their favour again, he opted for a 1970 novel by Gerald Walker about going undercover in New York's gay scene. It was a bit dated by 1980, but Friedkin updated it to reflect the times. What could possibly go wrong?? Oh dear. It begins with body parts being discovered in the Hudson River. all homosexuals who lived in the Greenwich Village area. Police think it's the work of a serial killer, so Captain Edelson (Paul Sorvino), sends young police officer Steve Burns (Al Pacino) to go undercover into the seedy world of gay, S&M and leather bars. He befriends gay struggling playwright Ted Bailey (Don Scardino) who guides him through this murky world. The undercover work also takes it's toll on Steve's relationship with girlfriend Nancy (Karen Allen). The murders continue as he looks for the killer. It's a very seedy and dirty film, it's a fascinating world to make a film in, but it's very dark and bleak. Sadly, Pacino was simply miscast in the film, and it tries to be suspensful, but it just goes for sensationalism and shock and bloodshed. To think that Steven Spielberg was once attached to direct this!! Shocked What would he have done?? 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:26 am

A Spielberg Cruising! That would have been intriguing!



Jodhaa Akbar (1st view) - An epic action/romance centered around a marriage of convenience between a Muslim emperor and his Hindu wife in the sixteenth century. How accurate it is to real events I have no idea, but it's a good story that rarely drags during its 3 and a half hours - 4/5*




Innocents In Paris (1st view) - 50's comedy about a group of Britons who take a weekend trip to Paris, the film following each one as they venture about the city. Alastair Sim, Margaret Rutherford and Claire Bloom are three of the stars, and the film is at its best during Sim's scenes - 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: Part 2   Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:09 am

Shooter (2nd view) - Silly but enjoyable - 4/5*




Iron Man (3rd view) - Rollicking comic book adventure which balances perfectly its dry sense of humour with some adrenalin pumping action scenes. It's a more light-hearted affair than the likes of Hulk or Batman begins, yet far more substantial than, say, the Fantastic Four films. Robert Downey Jr. is excellent in the lead, and he's ably supported by Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrence Howard. It gets a little overblown near the end but this is great entertainment that's lost none of its charm since I first saw it - 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: Part 2   Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:15 pm

Totally agree, had a blast when I saw Shooter at the pics (Warrington UCI too Smile
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:10 am

JD wrote:
Totally agree, had a blast when I saw Shooter at the pics (Warrington UCI too Smile

I remember you saying you liked it back in the busy days of the 10,000 thread!! Very Happy


Warlock (1st view) - Fantastic western starring Henry Fonda as a gunfighter hired as town marshall by the people of Warlock. I don't think I've ever seen it praised all that highly, which is quite a shame. I loved it - 4/5*




The Book Of Eli (1st view) - Dr. Phillip Chandler wanders round a post-apocalyptic wasteland! I was always going to love it, and there;s even a foul-mouthed, gun-toting Frances de La Tour. Never thought I'd see that! I had forgot though how hammy Gary Oldman can be in bad guy mode. And who is this Mila Kunis and why is she taking up space on the cinema screen? - 4/5*




Summer Interlude/Sommarlek (1st view) - Ingmar Bergman films continue to impress me, this is the fifth one now. Possibly the weakest of the bunch, but still there's a lot to like and it looks as beautiful as the rest - 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: Part 2   Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:49 pm

Looking for Eric (2009), Ken Loach makes his 25th film in his amazing 45 years as a filmmaker. While this one retains alot of the bleak kitchen sink drama/documentary style look of most of his previous films, this one has a bit of lightness to it. It's actually his funniest film in a long time, and it's uplifting and very enjoyable. It follows the life of Eric Bishop (Steve Evets), a postman whose life is falling apart. 30 years previously, he abandoned his wife Lily (Stephanie Bishop), and their daughter Sam (Lucy-Jo Hudson), the latter he still keeps in contact with by looking after his granddaughter. He married again, and now has two criminal sons Ryan (Gerard Kearns) and Jess (Stefan Gumbs). In dispair, his friends teach him meditation and Eric has hallucinations of visits from his footballing hero Eric Cantona (as himself), whose philosopical wisdom and words of comfort help give Eric more confidence. He can now talk to his estranged wife, he can make himself a better person and even deal with the problems his sons have got into. It features all of Ken Loach's trademarks, the naturalistic way of shooting and the social realism. But, this is much more lighter, it's closer in tone to Loach's own Ae Fond Kiss (2004). But, it has a good sense of humour, which feels real and it shows that you can rely on your friends to overcome your problems. 4/5



The Boys from Brazil (1978), based upon Ira Levin's 1976 novel, producer Lew Grade and Oscar-winning director Franklin J. Schaffner wasted no time in bringing to the screen this thrilling and exciting tale of quite a real possibility. It has a brilliant cast, and it's still stood the test of time, it is a bit silly in places, but it holds. It has aging Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier) who discovers a plot from young American Barry Kohler (Steve Guttenberg) involving a group of Third Reich war criminals holding secret meetings in Paraguay with Nazi death-camp doctor Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck). It's later discovered that Mengele has a cloning plot in mind, and it involves 94 young boys growing up in different parts of the world, all of which were created by him, and their fathers all die at the age of 65. And all of these boys are identical, with black hair and blue eyes, rather like a famous dictator. Now, Lieberman has to put a stop to Mengele's evil plan, but will he do it in time?? It's a thriller with both of it's feet in the world of science. Although the revelation of what Mengele has in mind is a little over the top, and would it actually work?? Despite this, it has a brilliant, exciting score from Jerry Goldsmith and it features a great supporting cast including James Mason, Denholm Elliot, Michael Gough and Prunella Scales!! Very Happy 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:44 am

Bride and Prejudice (2004), from director Gurinder Chadha, whose 2002 film Bend it like Beckham became a huge international hit, comes this modern and original twist on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, although the scope is widened. It now spans 3 countries, the tone and structure is like that out of a Bollywood film, but amazingly, it works brilliantly, and it's very enjoyable and is warmly funny. It has the Bakshi family, who live in Amritsar, India. There are 4 daughters in this family, Lalita (Aishwarya Rai), Jaya (Namrata Shirodkar), Maya (Meghna Kothari) and Lakhi (Peeya Rai Chowdhary). Their parents, (Anupam Kher and Nadira Babbar), want their daughters to marry rich men, Jaya is wooed by Mr. Balraj (Naveen Andrews) whose American college buddy William Darcy (Martin Henderson) has come over, though Lalita is immune to his charms. However, the family get in touch with one distant relative Mr. Kholi (Nitin Ganatra), but even Lalita says no to him, he marries her best friend, they go to Los Angeles to attend the wedding where Lalita runs into William again. It's a fast and furious film done with such speed and gusto it's almost hard to keep up with it. But, it is enjoyable, and the odd Bollywood musical interludes are enjoyable, the cast are energetic and entertaining and it's well shot and it has a good heart as well. What would Austen have made of this?? 4/5



Raise The Titanic (1980), based upon Clive Cussler's 1976 novel of the same name, this epic adventure movie was set to be one of the big blockbuster films of 1980. However, alot of it is as dull as dishwater, it looks promising and by the end it's picks up momentum. But by then it's all too little too late. Plus, it cost then a staggering $40 million to make, but hardly any of it's big budget can be seen on the screen, where did it all go?? It has a group of marine explorers, led by ex-Navy captain Dirk Pitt (Richard Jordan) and Admiral Sandecker (Jason Robards) who are looking to obtain a rare mineral that the US armed forces can use for a sound beam that can take down enemy missiles. However, one big source of the material is found to be on the wreck of the Titanic. In order to get it, as the title says, it has to be brought up, but then the Soviet's get wind of what the American's are doing, so it becomes a race against time. What the hell happened?? They had a great concept, but it comes out all ham-fisted. There are some good moments, John Barry's score is amazing, but it's just lacking and wanting, even the allegedly expensive effects look unconvincing in places. Producer Lew Grade summed it up best, "it would be cheaper to lower the Atlantic!", that could have made a better film too!! Razz 2/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:05 am

The Book of Eli (2010), the first film from Albert and Allen Hughes since the underrated comic-book adaptation From Hell (2001), this is a cheesy but violently entertaining post-apocalyptic action film, made from the same cloth as Mad Max. It's visually well done and it has a good cast with a couple of surprises in it. Set 30 years after a apocalypse has wiped out most of the earth, it has Eli (Denzel Washington) walking across America with a book in his possession. He uses unorthodox hunting and fighting skills to survive, he comes into a ramshackle town created by local kingpin Carnegie (Gary Oldman). He is looking for the book that Eli is carrying, and when Carnegie discovers Eli has it, he tries to get it but Eli has escaped with Solara (Mila Kunis), whose blind mother Claudia (Jennifer Beals) is at Carnegie's hands. They now have to stay one step ahead of Carnegie who wants the book. It's silly in places, but the action is all well staged, and the desaturated cinematography by Don Burgess is well done. It's a welcome return for The Hughes Brothers, whose career has so much potential. The film has a brilliant supporting casting including Tom Waits, Malcolm McDowell, Michael Gambon and Frances de la Tour with a machine gun!! Very Happy 3.5/5



Natural Born Killers (1994), Quentin Tarantino came up with the original story of a bored married couple who on a whim go on a killing spree. Oliver Stone took this and turned it into a mad, psychedelic attack on the ever-growing media of the 1990's. QT may have washed his hands of it, but it's Stone's most visual engaging and most savage film to date. Sadly, it became hyped over it's violence, which is really nothing new. It has Mickey Knox (Woody Harrrelson) and his wife Mallory (Juliette Lewis), both from broken backgrounds and grew up with abusive parents, they go on a killing spree, going from town to town on Route 666, but always leaving one person behind to tell the tale. Their actions are glorified to high heaven by the media, in particular, unscrupulous Australian reporter Wayne Gale (Robert Downey Jr.), even when they're caught, the media attention doesn't go away. It's really a savage film, everything is thrown at you with such gusto, it takes more than one viewing to take it all in. What Stone is trying to say is that today's modern media is essentially to blame for the downfall of the American Dream. You know something, he's right. Not just in America, but to society everywhere else. He was on to something then. It's not a film you can love, but it's certainly one you can admire for it's visual panache and everchanging film formats and the kaleidoscopic soundtrack created by Trent Reznor 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:38 am

Guadalcanal Diary (1st view) - Released just 10 months after the end of the Guadalcanal campaign, it tells the story of the Battle of Guadalcanal, through the eyes of the new recruits who become battle-hardened veteran's. Some spectacular action sequences are balanced with nice characteristic moments, I can imagine it being quite effective when it was released, but it all seems a bit too gung-ho and overly patriotic now - 3/5*




Run Silent, Run Deep (1st view) - My second WWII submarine film so far this year, and another that's amongst the best of the genre. This time the action is almost entirely aboard the USS Nerka, with Clark Gable as the captain intent on destroying the Japanese ship that sank his previous command, and Burt Lancaster as his second in command. It's obvious that films such as Crimson Tide and U-571 were inspired by this, though it's superior to both - 4/5*




Rachel and the Stranger (1st view) - Semi-western starring William Holden as a widower who buys and marries a servant, Loretta Young. It's only when his friend Robert Mitchum comes along that he begins to treat his new wife less like a servant. Quite funny and oddly charming at times, with a thrilling finale. The three leads are all excellent, and only Gary Gray as Holden's son stopped me from liking it even more - 4/5*




The Hustler (2nd view) - It's been an awful long time since I saw this and I'd forgotten a great deal, including the entire story about the relationship between Paul Newman and Piper Laurie. Newman and George C. Scott have rarely been better - 4/5




Build My Gallows High (1st view) - Classic film noir that always seems to get high praise. I generally don't like noir films, but the presence of Robert Mitchum helps this one along. The first half was better, mainly in flashback with Mitchum recounting events of three years ago, but once the story continued and took hold front and centre it went downhill - 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: Part 2   Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:52 am

The Road (2009), based upon Cormac McCarthy's 2006 novel, and directed by Australian filmmaker John Hillcoat, whose western The Proposition (2005) got critical acclaim everywhere. This was a much harder film to make, and Hillcoat and Co. were up against the Weinsteins too. But, that aside, the film version of McCarthy's book works well, but it isn't half bleak. Set after some post-apocalyptic event, it has an unnamed man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) walking miles and miles towards the coats where they believe they'll find warmth and sunshine. But, the route they're taking is a dangerous one, there are cannibals and bandits along the way. The man is plagued with dreams of his now dead wife (Charlize Theron). Along the way, they look for food and shelter, and even encounter an old man (Robert Duvall), who hasn't got long for this world, and the man goes on with the knowledge he might not either. It's a bleak, depressing look at the aftermath of a holocaust, the other end of the spectrum to something like The Book of Eli, which was fun and exciting. This is a sparse, poetic and quite upsetting drama, almost like Grave of the Fireflies. But, it's plus points are the cast, the bleached cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe and ambient score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. 4/5



Firefox (1982), Clint Eastwood's 8th film as director, and sandwiched inbetween the whimsy of Bronco Billy (1980) and Honkytonk Man (1982), he opted to do this adaptation of Welsh author Craig Thomas' 1977 novel. It's 80's action cheese of the purest sort, but it has a cast of "Oh my God!! Look who it is!!" kind of actors, and some good special effects for it's day. It has Mitchell Gant (Eastwood), an ace pilot and Vietnam vet, is recruited in an Anglo-American operation to steal a highly advanced Soviet fighter aircraft, a MiG 31, known otherwise as Firefox. Gant is sent to Moscow, deepest Soviet territory. He was selected as he has a Russian mother, so it makes him the right man for the job. But, when the KGB get wind of what Gant is up to, they're now breathing down his neck, and he soon learns of a second Firefox housed in the same hanger as the on they're after, which is to be destroyed. It's cheesy but it's exciting once he gets to the Firefox, it truly and literally takes off. The special effects by Star Wars effects guru John Dykstra are well done. The supporting cast including Freddie Jones, Warren Clarke, Ronald Lacey and Nigel Hawthorne are worth seeing it for. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:42 am

I can't wait for The Road to get released near me!



Snake Eyes (3rd view) - The last decent Brian De Palma film. Cage gets annoying very quickly but it's very enjoyable. - 4/5




Quadrophenia (1st view) - I like The Who and Tommy is one of the oddest (but in a good way) films I've ever seen. This more realistic films revolves around Mods and Rockers in the 60s. The album it's based on is very good, but the film annoyed me, especially Phil Daniels in the lead, finding fault with everything in his life. Wish I could've smack him round the head and say "Awww, diddums" - 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: Part 2   Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:58 pm

Edge of Darkness (2010), Mel Gibson returns to acting in a lead part for the first time since M. Night Shyamalan's Signs (2002). This is an adaptation of the critically acclaimed 1985 BBC drama series of the same name. The film version even has the same director as the TV version, Martin Campbell. It wasn't going to be easy to condense a 5 hour serial into a 2 hour film, but they were able to do it, sort of. It has Boston cop Thomas Craven (Gibson) who has his daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) over for a few days. But, she's feeling unwell, and then someone guns Emma down on the doorstep of the Craven household. Bereaved and now determined to look for who was responsible for what had happened, it leads him to Bennett (Danny Huston), head of Northmoor Nuclear Research. Turns out Emma and 3 other activists had broken into the research centre, and Northmoor is trying to cover it up. Then, when clean-up man Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone) arrives, Craven's life is put into more danger. It's very complex and at times confusing. It was never going to be easy to make a film from this sprawling tale of deceit and mystery. But, Campbell and his team have had a good shot at it. Gibson plays the grief stricken father brilliantly, in a dark part similiar to ones he did in Ransom and Payback. It's well made, but a plot this complex needs more room to breathe, and it could have done with more action. 3/5



WALL•E (2008), Disney and Pixar strike gold once again, with this offbeat and daring film, but it could also be their best one yet!! Set in the 29th Century, it has a little robot called WALL•E, who was once part of 1,000's, but for 700 years, has been cleaning up planet Earth, now covered in rubbish, and abandoned by humans, and has created skyscrapers out of everybodies rubbish. He's been all alone for all that time, but then a spaceship and a mysterious robot called EVE appears, and she then discovers what WALL•E has, a seedling growing into a plant, which could mean the beginning of life on Earth again. It's a very simple and sweet love story between two robots, and it works!! It's visually one of the most beautiful films ever made, and has some of the best visual imagery that Pixar has ever created. It's got heart and emotion, without being sentimental, but it's got good humour as well. It's a joy to watch, and you just want to watch it again immediately!! The relationship between WALL•E and EVE is moving, tearjerking and joyously wonderful. Quite simply the best film of 2008!! Very Happy 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:30 pm

Bean (1997), Rowan Atkinson brings one of his most famous creations to the big screen after a very successful TV series which had become a world success, and creates a good guilty pleasure of a film!! Razz It's not perfect, but it makes for a good 80 minutes or so of comedy. This has Mr. Bean (Atkinson) being sent to America by the Royal National Gallery to help unveil Whistler's Mother in America, although the staff of the RNG are just look for an excuse to get rid of him for a while. He creates havoc wherever he goes, including nearly ruining the life of his host David (Peter MacNicol), getting arrested the minute he lands in Los Angeles and then Mr. Bean is left alone with the painting... Razz It's not a complete disaster, though it has some very good moments of slapstick, and Atkinson handles them brilliantly, although alot of the gags are hit and miss. Like Airplane, if one joke doesn't work, don't worry, there'll be another one along in a minute a while. Writer Richard Curtis proves he can do more than romantic comedies and Mel Smith proves to be a good director, (he should do more). Oh, and John Mills and Burt Reynolds make friendly little cameos. Razz 3/5



Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007), 10 years after the first Mr. Bean film, he was brought back again. It's very different to the film, as all of it is almost like a silent movie and the focus is on Mr. Bean. (In the previous film, there were times when he felt like a supporting character). It's brave to do a film like this, it's not 100% perfect, but Mr. Bean is likeable and harmless, and it's a good family film too. It has Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) winning a holiday to Cannes in a church raffle. He gets to Paris on the Eurostar, and ends up missing his first train to Cannes, and inadvertently seperates young boy Stepan (Max Baldry) from his father, Russian film critic Emil Dachevsky (Karel Roden). And then Mr. Bean loses his money and passport, so they have to get to Cannes by any means necessary. They even meet aspiring actress Sabine (Emma de Caunes), who gives them a lift to Cannes in her yellow Mini with a black bonnet. Now, who has a car like that?? :Wink: Alot of the gags are hit and miss, but it's enjoyable while it lasts, and it brings out the best of the French countryside, and it's a good environment for Mr. Bean. Plus, it has some recognisable faces in it, including Willem Dafoe, Jean Rochefort and Steve Pemberton. Razz 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:04 am

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1st view) - Tom Stoppard's film based on his own play about two minor characters from Hamlet. Maybe it's because I've never read Hamlet, but I just couldn't get into this film at all. Gary Oldman and Tim Roth are both great, showing a knack for comedy I never knew they had, and the witty script is often very funny, but I just found it hard to really like - 3/5*




My Beautiful Laundrette (1st view) - Gordon Warnecke is given his uncle's run-down laundrette to manage, and together with his friend and lover Daniel Day-Lewis, sets about turning the place into a successful business. Not bad, but I was expecting more I think. The story went in far too many directions for the running time, it never really felt focussed - 3/5*




North West Frontier (1st view) - Fantastic action-adventure. Kenneth More and Lauren Bacall are tasked with transporting a young Hindu prince safely across rebel Muslim, and do so on an old worn-out train. A script that treads between light-hearted and serious with ease, a fine supporting cast and some brilliantly tense action moments, just very good overall - 4/5*




[SAFE] (2nd view) - One of the best American films of the nineties is also one of the most underrated. Julianne Moore stars as a lonely housewife who slowly becomes more and more ill. With no obvious medical reason, friends, family and doctors are convinced it's all in her mind. After reading a flyer and meeting people with similar ailments, she believes that she's developed an allergic reactions to toxins in everyday life, so goes off to recuperate in a chemical-free health retreat. It's an intriguing films, and the eerie soundtracks and long, static camera shots help to create a sense of unease. Moore has rarely been better, and reteamed with director Todd Haynes for the acclaimed 2002 film Far From Heaven, and later still in I'm Not There. I'd like to see them work together again - 4/5




Repulsion (1st view) - My search for the great Roman Polanski continues. I'm beginning to doubt he's ever made one (and that includes Chinatown. It sucks). This horror has some effective moments, especially with the use of sound, but it's pretty lame overall. And Catherine Deneuve was awful. Really, really bad. The film this reminded me most of all was Eraserhead, and that sucked too - 2/5




Aimée & Jaguar (1st view) - Drama based on the true story of Felice Schragenheim, a Jewish resistance fighter who falls in love with a married woman in wartime Berlin - 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: Part 2   Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:24 am

The Fly (1958), almost 30 years before Cronenberg had his blood and gore take on George Langelaan's 1957 short story, there was this version. This version, written for the screen by James Clavell and directed by Kurt Neumann, this looked quite creepy for it's time, and it's visually quite stunning and it had good special effects for it's time, but some of it is a little silly. Set in Montreal, Canada, it has Andre Delambre's (David Hedison) head and arm crushed in a hydraulic press, his wife Helene (Patricia Owens) confesses to the crime, the police and Andre's brother Francois (Vincent Price) wish to know why she did it. She's reluctant to say why at first, then she reveals that Andre was working on something top secret for the government. The science of teleportation. Only working on inanimate objects at first, he later builds human sized teleportation chambers, and sends himself through, but it doesn't go to plan when a fly gets into the pod with him... It's a cheesy sci-fi horror, but it's well shot and the colour comes out very well. Although it is a bit silly, it's dark edge is softened by a lingering campness. Still, at least Cronenberg got it right. Razz 3/5



The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963), written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson and John Antrobus and directed by Cliff Owen, this is an amusing yet harmless little farce with a very good British cast, and would help put it's star on the road to a brief but interesting shot at the big time, alot of people said 1963 and 64 were important years in Peter Sellers' life, this is one of those films that came out. It's a comedy crime caper where a bunch of Australian criminals, led by Jack Coombes (Bill Kerr), impersonate policemen to carry out crimes. Local gang leader "Pearly" Gates (Sellers), blames his local rival "Nervous" O'Toole (Bernard Cribbins). They eventually team up to bring down the Australian, but in order to do this, they need to co-operate with the real police, led by Police Inspector "Nosey" Parker (Lionel Jeffries). They come up with an elaborate plan to put a stop to this mob. However, it would appear that Gates has a secret agenda all of his own. It's enjoyable and has good performances. Even if Sellers plays a crook, he plays the part with relish. It has a good supporting cast, and has some good set pieces as each gang try to outwit one another. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Wed Feb 03, 2010 11:45 am

Edge Of Darkness (1st view) - I imagine fans of the show this is based on will hate, loathe, abhor, detest, revile, scorn and vilify this film, and probably with good reason. Myself, on the other hand, having not seen the show and also lacking taste, quite liked it. Even I gasped in disbelief at one point though, a logic-defying moment of action - 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: Part 2   Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:01 am

Angels and Demons (2nd view) - It’s far from a great film, but so help me I had a great time watching it. Not really a film to be studied and and looked into deeply, just an enjoyable way to pass the time. Great score from Hans Zimmer - 4/5




Vacancy (2nd view) - Almost 2 years to the day since I first saw it, and I could remember everything that happened. I usually forget within weeks. Anyway, nice to see a lack of gore and guts in an American horror film of this type, and it has some moments of genuine suspense - 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: Part 2   Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:12 am

Dead Calm (3rd view) - Phillip Noyce's best film, and also the best film in which Billy Zane has played an idiot onboard a boat. Nice thriller that, apart from the final scene. never strays too far into the unbelievable - 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: Part 2   Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:00 pm

Adrift (1st view) - pmsl pmsl pmsl pmsl
This might well be the funniest film of the last 5 years, except it isn't meant to be a comedy. A bunch of dweebs go for a swim in the middle of the ocean, not realising that there's no ladder back into the yacht. Things go from bad to worse as the errors mount up. Hilarious - 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: Part 2   Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:16 am

Carmen Jones (1st view) - Musical film based in the Broadway play which was in turn based on the short story from the 1840s and the 1870s opera by Bizet. Phew! The operatic nature of the music doesn't always seem to the suit the film, and the dubbed singing voices for the leads is obvious, but there's some fine performances and great songs - 4/5*




The Reckless Moment (1st view) - Film noir starring James Mason as a man who tries to blackmail Joan Bennett after she disposes of a body, mistakenly believing the man was killed by her daughter. Very enjoyable - 4/5*


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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: Part 2   Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:21 pm

Corridors of Blood (1958), a little known but still mighty and effective piece of horror from the 1950's. Directed by Robert Day, who had graduated from British TV after doing The Buccaneers and The Adventures of Robin Hood, and later to do Two Way Stretch and The Rebel. However, because of censorship problems, it wasn't seen by many until 1962. It is ahead of it's time, and it's a good gripping film with a complex plot. Set in 1840's London, it has Dr. Thomas Bolton (Boris Karloff), developing an idea to use an opium based anesthetic during operations, as this was in the days before that, and people had to suffer the pain during and after operations. However, he becomes addicted to his own anesthetic solution, and he falls in with a gang of local murderers, led by Resurrection Joe (Christopher Lee) and Black Ben (Francis De Wolff), who blackmail him when they learn of what he's up to, and use his signature to sell cadavers to the local hospital. Bolton gets worse and worse while under the influence. It's a film which weaves between a crime drama and horror. It's very well shot, and it's depiction of London is rather like something out of Oliver Twist, or even The Elephant Man. Karloff is amazing as always as the drug-addled doctor and Lee is brutal and frightening as Resurrection Joe. Check it out if you can. 4/5



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

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Tue Feb 09, 2010 10:03 am

Mamma Mia! (1st view) - Enjoyable, but it was too cheesy even for me at times. Some of the singing was hilariously bad - 3/5*




Witchfinder General (2nd view) - This often pops up in lists of best horror films. I don't tend to view this as a horror film, but it is one of the most compelling and disturbing British films I've seen, helped by the presence of the great Vincent Price. It might also be the film with the most shrill screaming on display. My eardrums were shattered! - 4/5




A Man Of No Importance (1st view) - One of the great Oscar injustices is that Albert Finney has yet to win one. He wasn't nominated for his role in this, but it's just as good as pother performances. He plays Alfie, a bus conductor in 60s Dublin and he dreams of putting on a play of Oscar Wilde's Salome, but the nature of the play gets him in trouble with the local Church. What starts as a light comedy takes a darker turn when the townsfolk discover that Alfie is gay. The balance between comedy and drama is perfect, and Finney is superb - 4/5*




The Road (1st view) - Oscar's third great blunder of the year (after not nominating Partly Cloudy and nominating Avatar for just about everything) was completely overlooking this. It's a better film that the last one adapted from a Cormac McCarthy book and with Viggo Mortensen, I haven't seen a better performances in the last year. Robert Duvall was great too- 4/5*


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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: Part 2   Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:26 pm

Adventureland (2009), if Superbad was at one end of the spectrum of teen movies, then this is at the opposite end. Greg Mottola followed up Superbad with this small, personal film based upon his time working at a funfair in the mid-1980's. It's not the knockabout comedy the trailers promised, it's much more mature, it has heart and brains about it. It's touching with a gentle wry wit about it. Set in 1987, it has recently college graduate James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), having to put the kibosh on his plans for a European trip with his friends after his parents find themselves strapped for cash, and in order to make some money, has to take a job at a rundown amusement park in Pittsburgh, run by Paulette (Kristen Wiig) and Bobby (Bill Hader). Although not thrilled at having to work there, he soon finds himself falling for co-worker Emily Lewin (Kristen Stewart), but the course of true love doesn't run smoothly, especially with maintenance man Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds) is around. It's a touching and heartfelt teen romance, where it's humour comes from the conventional and mundane aspects of everyday life. These are characters you can identify with, as we've all been there. Eisenberg has the makings of a good actor, and this was a good break for Stewart from the Twilight films. I tell you what, John Hughes would have been proud of this film. 4/5



Rain Man (1988), the little film of 1988 that could and did. It would win Best Picture and Best Director for Barry Levinson at the 61st Academy Awards, gross over $172 million worldwide. And it also helped open people's eyes about the difficulties of living with autism. It has two brilliant and engaging lead performances, and it's a touching and moving road trip as well. It has selfish twentysomething yuppie Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise), who deals with car importing whose business is being threatened. He then learns that his father in Cincinnati, Ohio has died. Charlie's father's estate is worth $3 million, but Charlie isn't left the estate. It's been left in trust to a brother he never knew he had. Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), who has autism, but is brilliant with complex mathematical solutions and has superb recall, but he knows nothing of subject matter. Determined to get his stake of the inheritance, Charlie takes Raymond on a road trip across America, because Raymond won't fly, to settle up with the inheritance. Although irritated by his brother at first, Charlie soon comes to care and understand Raymond. It's a touching and moving film, and it's well shot with a interesting blend of Cuban and African music in the score by Hans Zimmer. Hoffman is believable as Raymond, but it's seeing Cruise transform from a selfish businessman into a caring younger brother that's the most engaging aspect of the film. It's ultimately a film of brotherly love. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:59 am

Youth in Revolt (2009), based upon C.D. Payne's 1993 novel Youth in Revolt: The Journals of Nick Twisp. This has had a long journey coming to the big screen, it was nearly a TV series for MTV in the late 1990's, but it never materialised, it's been adapted into a stage play. But a film version has been in development since 2004. Turning the 500 page episodic novel into a film was never going to be easy. But, it's succeeded well, it's a black comedy with heart and good humour. It has Nick Twisp (Michael Cera), a 16 year old outcast, who is has a dysfunctional family. While on a weeks holiday at a trailer park, he meets Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday), who he falls for. But she's not that into him. To win her heart, Nick creates a bad boy alter-ego, Francois Dillinger, whose dark attitude seem to win Sheeni over. However, it also turns Nick into a criminal, and he finds himself on the run from the police. It's a film which gives Michael Cera the chance to try something different, it's a sort of Fight Club for teens, but not as dark, as it has a sweet romance at it's heart. It has some good pieces of dialogue and some very funny situations. Plus, it has some very amusing cameos from talent such at Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Ray Liotta, Justin Long, Mary Kay Place, M. Emmet Walsh and Zach Galifianakis!! Very Happy 4/5



Pineapple Express (2008), after the success of Superbad (2007), Seth Rogen and his co-writer Evan Goldberg worked with producer Judd Apatow on this hilarious little comedy, it's a buddy movie at heart, about two stoners sticking together in difficult circumstances, (the film was inspired by the plight of Brad Pitt's Floyd in True Romance (1993)), but Apatow, Rogen and Goldberg find much to laugh at here, even though there's alot of drug references throughout this film. It has Dale Denton (Rogen) who is a process server who serves out legal subpoenas. He is about to serve one out to drug lord Ted Jones (Gary Cole), but he then witnesses Jones and bent policewoman Carol Brazier (Rosie Perez) murdering an Asian drug dealer. He flees, and finds refuge with his weed dealer Saul Silver (James Franco). They find themselves on the run, and even Saul's dealer Red (Danny McBride) finds himself in trouble with Jones' gang. It's a very enjoyable and very funny film, with some good dialogue, and a brilliant performance from Franco, and some good supporting cameos, including Kevin Corrigan and Craig Robinson as Jones' henchmen. So, for once, this is a film which makes drug taking and dealing look like fun!! Very Happy 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:35 am

The Battle of the River Plate (1st view) - I have in the past stated that I’m not the biggest fan of the films of Powell and Pressburger, thereby ensuring a reputation as an idiotic, unpatriotic bastard. Not that I can argue with that, but perhaps I can redeem myself slightly by saying I thoroughly enjoyed this. One of the few naval WWII films I can think of that features a lack of submarines, but also interesting in that it portrays one of the main actions from the Phoney War, the battle between the German destroyer the Admiral Graf Spee and three British Cruisers. It seems to come across as a relatively bloodless game on a jolly boys outing, but that doesn’t stop the central battle scene being both intensely thrilling and fascinating, as are the shenanigans one the action becomes politically motivated in Montevideo, and the likes of Peter Finch and Anthony Quayle ensure a fine standard of acting. Saying that, I think my main memory with be of a young Christopher Lee as a Uruguayan bar owner, deeply unhappy that his place of business has been taken over by reporters - 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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