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 What I've Just Watched: Part 2

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:03 pm

Network (1976), one of the most topical films of the 1970's, and it still feels relevant to this day. The brainchild of Paddy Chayefsky, best known for writing Marty (1955), The Hospital (1971) and Altered States (1980), he created a very real possibility, and the most scary thing is, what happens in this film could happen. This has UBS TV newsanchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) being sacked for his shows low-ratings. So, during the news, he threatens to murder himself on live television at the end of his last week, and goes into a rant about the state of things. His rants capture the attention of the American TV viewing public, and entertainment programming boss Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway), who is looking for new ways to boost the stations ratings, who decides to give Beale his own show, with dramatic consequences. It's a very well made film, and it's alot more relevent today than it was back then, it's well written by Chayefsky and director Sidney Lumet (who was very prolific back then) keeps the mood up throughout the film. Hollywood should take note of this film, as we need more like it. And TV networks should be very worried indeed, as they might have a Howard Beale amongst them ready to snap. 4/5



Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979), produced by Roger Corman, and co-masterminded by Joe Dante. This is an infantile, silly but cheesy B-movie rock film. But, it does tap into the fantasies of alot of America's youth at that time, and what they want to see happen to authority figures and their schools. Set at Vince Lombardi High School, a quite unruly school, which is losing teachers, mainly due to disruptive pupils. Their leader is Riff Randall (P.J. Soles), who is also a big fan of The Ramones, and she also wants to see them perform in a few days. However, the school has just appointed a new principal for the school, Principal Togar (Mary Woronov), she wants to clean up the school, starting with Riff Randall. She starts by taking away Riff's ticket to see the Ramones, but Riff and her best friend Kate Rambeau (Dey Young), win 2 tickets over the radio, and get to see them anyways, The Ramones even offer to help them out over their over their evil principal. It's very silly, and it does have some good jokes in it, and a good soundtrack. Plus, some support from veteran character actors Clint Howard (Ron's brother) and the late, great Paul Bartel. A regular in films like these. A sequel followed in 1990, but no-one remembers it. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:58 pm

Clash of the Titans (2010), a remake of the cult 1981 fantasy adventure directed by Desmond Davis and produced and created by Ray Harryhausen. Though Harryhausen's stop-motion has been replaced with big-budget special effects. Like the 1981 original, it's very cheesy, with good action and a good cast. It has Perseus (Sam Worthington), a young man, who as a baby was discovered by fisherman Spyros (Pete Postlethwaite). Perseus is a demi-god, half god, half human. His father is the God Zeus (Liam Neeson), who has fallen from favour of the people of the Greek city Argos. When Zeus' brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes) threatens the people of Argos with death, but if they sacrifice the Princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos). Seeing that Zeus is their only hope, the kingdom of Argos send Perseus out with a small group of soldiers led by Draco (Mads Mikkelsen) to find the Stygian Witches, who know how to stop it. Perseus is aided by the mysterious Io (Gemma Arterton). It's a very silly adventure, trying to distance itself away from the 1981 version as possible, (despite the cameo from the clockwork owl. Razz) Director Louis Leterrier, who did The Incredible Hulk (2008), keeps the action up, and it's a brainless 2 hours or so. 3/5



Cube (1997), the debut of Canadian director Vincenzo Natali, who later made Cypher (2002), Nothing (2003) and Splice (2010), who came from the world of Canadian TV animation. It was based on a short film Natali had done the year before called Elevated, and he successful got it made for a meagre $365,000. And it looks like it was made for alot more, appearances can indeed be deceptive. It focuses on a group of people all trapped in a labyrinth of cubes all connected together, the group consist of maths genius Joan Leaven (Nicole de Boer), doctor Helen Holloway (Nicky Guadagni), short-tempered police officer Quentin (Maurice Dean Wint), architect David Worth (David Hewlett) who knows more than he lets on, and autistic man Kazan (Andrew Miller). They are all trying to get out of this maze, but they have to be careful, as some of the cubes are booby trapped, meaning instant death for those who step into them, but the only way of knowing how to get from one to the other is a set of numbers between the cubes, which Leaven is able to crack. It's a brilliant sci-fi film, and it's well shot and it's a brilliant idea. It's tense, suspenseful and the performances are very engaging. Natali should be making more films and be more famous, hopefully he'll crack it with Splice. But, this has got his career off to a splendid start. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:37 am

Cube is awesome!!


Eragon (1st view) - Fun for three reasons. First was the chance to play "spot the scenes ripped off from LOTR". Second was to guess, frequently and incorrectly, just who was providing the voice of the dragon. Lastly was to laugh, yet again, at John Malkovich's film choices in recent years - 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: Part 2   Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:11 pm

V for Vendetta (2006), written and produced by the Wachowski Brothers, and directed by their assistant director from the Matrix films, James McTeigue. This adaptation of Alan Moore and David Lloyd's graphic novel is a bleak vision of Britian, but it makes for a very entertaining yet thought provoking film. Set in a future Britain, now as a facist state, run by ultra-conservative facist Chancellor Adam Sutler (John Hurt). Up against the rulers of this totalitarian society is a single freedom fighter in a Guy Fawkes mask known as 'V' (Hugo Weaving), and he is joined by Evey Hammond, (Natalie Portman) a young woman he rescued from rapists, who also works for talk show host Gordon Deitrich (Stephen Fry). After blowing up the Old Bailey on November 5th, V promises that one year on, he will blow up the Houses of Parliament, on their tail is Inspector Finch (Stephen Rea), who learns the truth of their government. This is an excellent piece of future shock, the cast are all excellent, Portman is engaging and Weaving is charismatic and clever as V. The film also proves terrorism CAN be fun!! And it makes ME want to blow stuff up!! Very Happy 5/5



Accepted (2006), produced by Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura, Bruce Almighty) and directed by Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine), this might look like another teen comedy on the surface, but underneath, it's quite clever and it's a well structured and quite funny comedy, with a likeable cast and some good set pieces, and at it's core, it's about a group of kids fighting against the establishment. It has high-school senior Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) who spends most of his time making fake I.D.'s, but he gets rejected from colleges and universities, much to the ire of his parents. But, Bartleby has an idea, he leases out an abandoned mental hospital, and with help from his friends Sherman Schrader (Jonah Hill), Glen (Adam Herschman), Rory (Maria Thayer) and Hands (Columbus Short). They create their own college, and get Sherman's loudmouth, ranting Uncle Ben (Lewis Black) to act as the Principal. It seems to fool the parents, until the rival college get wind of what's going on and try to put a stop to it. It's an enjoyable and smart film, better than expected, it owes to other great college films, especially National Lampoon's Animal House. The young cast are enjoyable and come out with some good dialogue, plus the college they create looks like an enjoyable place to go to. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:15 pm

Canadian Bacon (1995), this one's from Michael Moore, who is best known usually for his biting documentaries where he takes down the big businesses and the American government. After the success of Roger & Me (1989) and his TV series TV Nation, he wrote and directed a fictional satire, poking fun at what some politicians will do to get support, and the people who will defend their homeland. It begins when the President of the United States (Alan Alda), who is low in the opinion polls, is looking for a way to gain more points so he could win the next election. Thanks to some spin by aide Stu Smiley (Kevin Pollak) and General Dick Panzer (Rip Torn), they convince the President to start a Second Cold War, this time with Canada. Meanwhile, over at Niagara Falls, Sherrif Bud B. Boomer (John Candy) and his deputy, Honey (Rhea Perlman) take it all a little too seriously, and their actions push the supposed Cold War into become a full out war. It does have some very funny moments, but it tries to be something like Dr. Strangelove in alot of places, only not as dark. It's got a likeable cast, and some good set pieces, but you can see why Moore stuck to documentaries after this, but he showed confidence with this. 3/5



Back To School (1986), after Rodney Dangerfield made a name for himself in Caddyshack (1980), Hollywood came calling, and he answered with this amusing little film, which Dangerfield came up with the idea for, and it was co-written and produced by Harold Ramis. It's a product of it's time, but it has a very good cast, and it's very enjoyable. It has Thornton Melon (Dangerfield), who came up from his Italian father's tailor business to owning a company that specialises in clothing for larger people. When he gets a call that his son Jason (Keith Gordon) is not enjoying it at college, and he only has his eccentric friend Derek (Robert Downey Jr.) for support. So, Thornton and his chauffeur Lou (Burt Young) come along to help him out, and with a little financial persuasion, Thornton convinces the college's head, Dean Martin (Ned Beatty) to let him enrol, and study too, as he never had a proper education either. But, with Thornton at the college, it's a case of party now, study later, much to the embarrassment of Jason. It's a very enjoyable and funny film, and Dangerfield is a likeable presence, and has some of the best lines in the film. It's another film where the boorish underdogs take on the establishment, and try to get their way. More people should take heed Dangerfield's view on life, as it's very enjoyable!! Very Happy 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:58 am

Cypher (2002), a thinking man's sci-fi film from underrated Canadian director Vincenzo Natali, who chose this as his follow up to his critically acclaimed, no-budget sci-fi debut Cube (1997). This was made on a low budget, but it looks like it was made for a lot more, and it may require more than one viewing to take it all in. It has unemployed accountant Morgan Sullivan (Jeremy Northam), hired to work as a freelance corporate spy for Digicorp, for this, he has to take on the identity of Jack Thursby, but he soon discovers a plot Digicorp is behind, which has them destroying people's true identities, and have them living alternate lives in different parts of America. Fearing for his life, he soon finds help in the form of spy Rita Foster (Lucy Liu). The film sounds like something Philip K. Dick would come up with, (parts of it are very similar to Total Recall, where it questions ones identity and what is reality and fantasy), it's plot might be confused here and there, but it's highly original, with some brilliant production design and some truly good moments for a low-budget sci-fi. Vincenzo Natali should really be making more films. 4/5



Nothing (2003), a little-seen comic fantasy curio from underrated Canadian director Vincenzo Natali. Set in Toronto, it has two friends, Dave (David Hewlett), a loser in a dead-end job who ends up being sacked for embezzlement, and Andrew (Andrew Miller), who is afraid of going outside and works from home. When the world turns against them and wants their house, lodged between two flyovers, demolished. They somehow wish everything away, and the outside of the house is replaced by an endless white void, with a bouncy walking surface. They struggle to figure out what on earth is going on, and find themselves getting by as days pass. It's a very novel idea for a film, and it makes for a quite perfect antidote to the excesses of what a lot of big-budget sci-fi films have to offer. Natali is best known for making Cube (1997) and Cypher (2002), which were both dark pieces of sci-fi, this is much lighter in tone, despite the shades of darkness creeping in, it is a one of a kind film, Natali should be more famous, and even though this doesn't really go anywhere, it is very enjoyable and very funny in the long-term with two likeable leads. Charlie Kaufman would have KILLED for this idea!! Very Happy 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Tue Apr 13, 2010 8:39 am

Nothing looks interesting! One to look out for.

Lights in the Dusk/Laitakaupungin valot (1st view) - Finnish drama about a security guard who becomes the fall guy for a robbery - 3/5*




Outpost (1st view) - Spectral zombie nazis! - 3/5*




License to Wed (1st view) - This had a few things going for it. I do like Robin Williams even in is most inane film roles. It stars John Krasinski, who I've recently grown to like due to the Office. It's directed by the man who made some of my favourite Office episodes. More importantly, the same man also directed Sesame Street presents Follow That Bird, which might just be the best big screen outing for a TV show ever made. I mean, after all, it had The Count and Cookie Monster singing along to Waylon Jennings. Needless to say, License To Wed is a far cry from actually being good so I, of course, quite liked it - 3/5*




Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1st view) - Nice music, looks good - 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   Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:02 pm

Gimli the ? wrote:
Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1st view) - Nice music, looks good - 3/5*


I bet it did... Wink Razz Anyways

Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), Sam Peckinpah made some of the most violent, savage films of the 1960's and 1970's, but he always had to make comprimises to apease the Hollywood studios. With Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia, he didn't have to. He had complete creative freedom and final cut, meaning he went out to make the film he wanted to make. It's a very savage and bleak film, but it's very engaging. Set in Mexico, it has a rich and powerful man known as El Jefe (Emilio Fernandez), discovering his daughter was made pregnant by the titular Alfredo Garcia. El Jefe sends his two American henchmen Sappensly (Robert Webber) and Quill (Gig Young) out to find Garcia, and they come across American pianist Bennie (Warren Oates), who admits he's heard of Garcia, and Bennie's girlfriend Elita (Isela Vega), admits she cheated on Bennie with Garcia, and he died in a drunken incident. So Bennie is sent by Sappensly and Quill to get the head before someone else does. It's a film which owes alot to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, with it's themes of greed and madness. It's a very bleak and uncomprimising film, especially with it's violence and treatment of women. It's easy to see why Hollywood wouldn't let Peckinpah have his way after this one, but now, it's up there with The Wild Bunch (1969) and Straw Dogs (1971) as Peckinpah's best. 4/5



The Brink's Job (1978), after the financial disaster of Sorcerer (1977), and before the homosexual controversy of Cruising (1980). Director William Friedkin made a lower-budget, more commercially viable film, based on an amazing true story about a quite amazing heist. But, it's made as a black comedy with a good cast to boot, but it's a change of pace for Friedkin. It begins in Boston in 1938, when rouge Tony Pino (Peter Falk) is sent to jail for robbery, but he gets out 6 years later. He spends the next few years getting by, until he learns of a company in his neighbourhood called Brink's, which is a security transport company that ships money out to big businesses in the region. Tony has a plan, and he gets his gang together including Joe McGinnis (Peter Boyle), Vinnie Costa (Allen Garfield), Specs O'Keefe (Warren Oates) and Jazz Maffie (Paul Sorvino) to pull off an elaborate heist, which happens on the night of January 17, 1950, after that, it caused a media frenzy. It's an enjoyable little film, and quite likeable too, although it does get a little silly in places, it's important to remember that this is all true and it happened, but the cast is very good, Falk especially as the mastermind of the plot. Friedkin should have made more films like this. 4/5

[/quote]


Last edited by Donald McKinney on Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Wed Apr 14, 2010 12:06 am

The Adventures of Pinocchio (1996), from director Steve Barron, best known for directing Electric Dreams (1984), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Coneheads (1993) and Mike Bassett: England Manager (2001), comes this quite faithful, but odd looking Euro-pudding adaptation of Carlo Collodi's beloved story. The animatronics are good, but the CGI is a bit dodgy. Then again, it was the mid-1990's, so you can forgive them on that shortcoming. Set in 19th Century Italy, it has puppeteer Geppetto (Martin Landau), making a puppet from a mysterious log he found in the forest, he makes a puppet from the wood, and calls the puppet Pinocchio. The enchanted wood causes the puppet to come alive, and Pinocchio (voiced by Home Improvement's Jonathan Taylor Thomas), goes out into the world and learns more, causing attention and trouble along the way, and evil rival puppeteer Lorenzini (Udo Kier) wants Pinocchio for his puppet theatre. It's a good take on it, but alot of it looks cheap and cheerful, as well as quite weird, especially having Stevie Wonder and Brian May do the songs. But, the locations it uses, (Prague, Croatia and High Force in Teeside) are good, and the supporting cast including Rob Schneider, Bebe Neuwirth, Griff Rhys Jones, Dawn French, John Sessions and Geneviève Bujold make welcome appearances. A bold attempt, but someone else should have done it. 3/5



Brothers of the Head (2005), documentary filmmakers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe, best known for The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys (1997) and Lost in La Mancha (2002) make their first fictional film based on a novel by Brian Aldiss, adapted by Tony Grisoni, (Fear and Loathing, Tideland), into a straight-faced mockumentary. Set in 1975, it has siamese twins Tom and Barry Howe (played by real-life twins Harry and Luke Treadaway, though they're not siamese in reality Razz), who are taken from their reclusive life on an island called L'Estrange Head, just off the coast of East Anglia and groomed into pop-stars by pop promoter Zak Bedderwick (Howard Attfield). They soon become musicians in The Bang Bang, but sex and drugs and women cause friction. A weird little British film, not like anything that has gone before. It has some good tunes and the performances are good, but the mockumentary aspect does wear thin after some time, especially as it tries to be like Gimme Shelter, (it uses it's footage from "behind-the-scenes" of their recording sessions and an unfinished Ken Russell film called "Two-Way Romeo".) Russell even appears, as well as guest stars Jonathan Pryce, John Simm and Jane Horrocks. Razz 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:03 am

Aww crap. I've made my first administrative booboo. I meant to quote your post, Don, but instead I edited it, deleting some reviews!! Please forgive me!!!

_________________
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 Apr 14, 2010 10:48 am

Don't worry, I fixed it back!! I had it on KW. Just be more careful!!

What were you going to say??
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:01 am

I can't remember now! I almost passed out when I did it!

_________________
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   Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:59 am

No matter, by the looks of it, it could have involved Kama Sutra, the film that is... Razz Anyways.

Bicentennial Man (1999), based on Isaac Asimov's novella of the same name and The Positronic Man, co-written by Asimov and Robert Silverberg. This sci-fi drama had director Chris Columbus and Robin Williams reunite after Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). It's an ambitious film, with good ideas and it's well made. But it lacks the dark heart it so obviously craves. It begins in 2005, where Richard Martin (Sam Neill) has bought a robot called Andrew (Williams) to do housekeeping and other chores. He becomes a welcome addition to the Martin household, and has a good bond with the youngest daughter Amanda (Hallie Kate Eisenberg), who Andrew calls Little Miss, and Andrew develops a personality and becomes well educated and makes things. Even after the first generation of the Martin family dies out, Andrew keeps in contact with their granddaughter of Amanda (Embeth Davidtz). Andrew even upgrades himself to have human features, and he wants to complete the next step, become 100% human. It's not as bad as what some of the critics originally said about it, but nor crucially is it as good as it should be. Despite a good visual take on the future, it does slip into maukishness, (typical with alot of Williams' films at that time). When it comes to Asimov adaptations, I, Robot (2004) got the robot thing down much better, and as for a robot wanting to be human. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) got that better than this did. 3/5



Sunshine Cleaning (2008), from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine (2006), comes this quirky independent dramedy, which did well when it opened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. It's emotional but it has a good heart, and it shows an unconventional kind of business which goes on in America. Set in a rundown part of Alberquerque, New Mexico. It has single mother and cleaner Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) who is struggling to get by, and her son Oscar (Jason Spevack), who is a troublemaker but very clever. Rose's sister Norah (Emily Blunt) is unemployed and an underachiever, and their father Joe (Alan Arkin) is a bit of a wheeler dealer, trying to make a quick buck with unsuccessful schemes. Looking to better herself in life, Rose takes advice from her lover Mac (Steve Zahn), that she should set up a crime scene clean-up businesses, as professional businesses that do it charge too much. So, Rose and Norah set up Sunshine Cleaning, and as they go along cleaning up gory crime scenes, they help people who were affected by losses and offer comfort, even as they try to get through life. It's an unconventional idea for a film, but it's done with a delicate touch. It's got two good lead performances from Adams and Blunt. It's a good little film which makes a big impact. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Sat Apr 17, 2010 3:09 am

Saddle The Wind (1st view) - Robert Taylor and John Cassavetes star in this western as two brother who comes to blows when their rightful heir to their land tries to claim the property - 4/5*




The Spirit Of St. Louis (1st view) - Aside from the fact that it's both very good and supremely watchable, this doesn't necessarily feel like a Billy Wilder film, but any film that teams up my favourite actor and my third favourite director was always going to sit well with me. James Stewart may well have been over 20 years too old to portray Charles Lindbergh at age 25 when he crossed the Atlantic, but he manages to convey a youthful optimistic passion nonetheless. One of those films that, despite known how it will all end, you get swept along with it anyway, and the final sequences are stupendously feel-good - 4/5*





Yes Man (1st view) - Why the hell would anyone want to go and say "yes" to everything? It will invariably lead to being into the most mind-numbing situations imaginable.




The Pink Panther 2 (1st view) - On a scale of 1 to 10, how wrong is is that I liked this and its predecessor more than any of the Sellers Panther films? - 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 Apr 18, 2010 9:03 am

The International (2nd view) - Effiecient and intelligent globe-trotting thriller. The standout set piece, a shootout in the Guggenheim museum, is one of the best scenes from last year (Always amazes me though, the lengths some films take. Why replicate a well-known building and then practically destroy it and not just use some unknown location?), but there's much more to the film than this excellent shootout. The fact that’s is has some relevance today – banks making life a misery – is of no difference to me, just all part of the story, and quite a good one it is - 4/5




The Messengers (1st view) - Not that bad up until the last 20 minutes when it all goes pear-shaped. Is Kristen Stewart the worst actress working today? She must surely be a contender - 3/5*




Garage (1st view) - Slow-moving drama about a garage attendant (Pat Shortt) in a small Irish town whose naivety lands him in trouble with the police - 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   Sun Apr 18, 2010 12:43 pm

After The Fox (1966), written by Neil Simon, who was a successful playwright, and directed by Vittorio De Sica. This is a silly but lighthearted crime caper which gives it's star an opportunity to put on silly voices and disguises, much like his Clouseau would do in the later Pink Panther films. It has £3 million dollars in gold bullion being stolen from Cairo, and for the gold to get into Europe, that assingment is given to master Italian thief Aldo Vanucci (Peter Sellers), who is known as The Fox. He's just escaped from jail, and he wants the gold for himself. So, he comes up with a plan to get the gold into Italy. He poses as an Italian film director called Federico Fabrizi. He plans to have the gold smuggled in as part of a scene in an avant-garde film, which is being shot in the fishing village of Sevalio. He even sweet talks past-his-prime Hollywood actor Tony Powell (Victor Mature) to appear in the film, and Aldo gets his sister Gina (Britt Ekland) to be in it too. It's a very silly film, but it's obvious that Peter Sellers likes pretending to be Italian, but it's very well shot, and the score by Burt Bacharach, and the title song by The Hollies and Sellers is very catchy. Almost everything else is very silly indeed. Razz 3/5



All of Me (1984), Steve Martin and director Carl Reiner had worked together on The Jerk (1979), Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) and The Man With Two Brains (1983). They got together for a 4th time for this highly amusing comedy-fantasy based on the book Me Two by Edwin Davis. Martin was at the peak of his comedic talents here, and this is one of his funniest films. It has aspiring lawyer Roger Cobb (Martin), who is working for one of Los Angeles' top law firms, and he is also an aspiring jazz guitarist. He is given the job of seeing to the will of the eccentric millionairess Edwina Cutwater (Lily Tomlin), she plans to use an Indian Guru Prahka Lasa (Richard Libertini) to put her soul into the body of Terry Hoskins (Victoria Tennant), her stablekeeper's daughter. But it all goes wrong, and when Edwina dies, she ends up in the body of Roger, controling the right side of his body. With important things happening for Roger now, this is all he needs, and they need to find the guru to get Edwina out. This is an amazingly funny concept, and as soon as the accident happens, it becomes all the more hilarious. Martin hasn't been this funny since, and Lily Tomlin is a brilliant addition to any film. They make a good team, even when they're in the same body. Razz 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:33 am

Billy Liar (1st view) - Tom Courtenay is superb in this British New Wave film. He plays a dreamer whose job, family and girlfriends frequently overwhelm him, leading him to imagine a fictional country in which he's president.




Vicky Cristina Barcelona (1st view) - One thing that's always bothered me about Woody Allen films is the lofty artiness of the characters, maybe pretentiousness. Or rather the fact that they seem to be the kind of people who will happily talk for hours about the molding of a neo-classical building, or the difference between baroque and classical music, but if you in all honesty confessed you hadn't a clue what they were on about they'd look at you'd as if you grown a second head, shot their puppy, stripped off and then shoved a pogo-stick up your rear, before shunning you for the rest of your days. The same is true of the characters in this film. But beyond that it's quite good fun, well-written and well acted, though I am puzzled why Cruz won an Oscar - 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   Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:54 pm

The Gorgon (1964), Hammer ride again, this time touching upon Greek mythology with this one. It is, in a way, a sort of antidote to the special effects of something like Clash of the Titans (1981/2010), this is the same monster, or one of it's siblings being moved to a turn of the century German village. It's a good little film, but nothing really to write home about, it has it's moments though. Set in 1910, it's set in the German village of Vandorf, where 7 murders have occured over the past 5 years, all of them have taken place in or around a castle. But, a big cover-up is going on, and no-one will admit it's a monster. After Professor Jules Heitz (Michael Goodliffe) and his son Bruno (Jeremy Longhurst) are killed in mysterious circumstances, the other son Paul Heitz (Richard Pasco) is sent to investigate. He is aided by local doctor Dr. Namaroff (Peter Cushing) and his sultry assistant Carla Hoffman (Barbara Shelley). Heitz is also helped by Professor Karl Meister (Christopher Lee). It's a good horror film, although it's quite tame by today's standards, but it does have it's moments, and it's got everything you'd now expect from a Hammer from of that period. It's got a good cast, and look out for future Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton as a police officer!! 3.5/5



Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008), G'day!! And from Australia, comes this compelling and informative documentary about the kinds of films made down there back in the good old days of cinema, when Australia was starting to find their feet as a film industry, It's got some good film clips, and some good stories to go with them. It shows how in the late 1960's/early 1970's, the Australian Film Industry was starting to find it's feet, but they made either naughty sex comedies like The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972), Barry McKenzie Holds His Own (1974), Alvin Purple (1973) and The True Story of Eskimo Nell (1975), to gory horror films such as Fantasm (1976), Patrick (1978), Mad Dog Morgan (1976) and Long Weekend (1978) to car chase action films like The Cars That Ate Paris (1974), Dead-End Drive In (1986) and of course, Mad Max (1979), and how these exploitation films put Australia filmmakers on the map. It's very enjoyable, and it makes you want to see more films like the Aussies made then today!! It's got interviews from Barry Humphries, George Miller, Bruce Beresford, Jamie Lee Curtis, Rod Taylor, Stacy Keach, Jeremy Thomas, George Lazenby, Fred Schepisi, Susannah York, Russell Mulcahy, Dennis Hopper and of course, Quentin Tarantino!! Very Happy 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:33 pm

Cold Turkey (1971), from Norman Lear, who got his start from writing, producing and directing some of America's top sitcoms of the 1960's and 1970's, (some of them were based on our sitcoms), comes this amusing and wry satricial big screen sitcom about how giving up something can drive people mad. It's alot more relevant today as it was back then, and maybe a remake could benefit this film. It begins with the Valiant Tobacco Company coming up with an idea to try and boost profits, it's the idea of advertising executive Merwin Wren (Bob Newhart) that if an entire town can give up smoking for 30 days, then Valiant Tobacco will award them $25,000,000. In the town of Eagle Rock, Iowa (population 4,006), which is in an economic rut, Reverend Clayton Brooks (Dick Van Dyke), accepts the challenge and convinces the rest of the town to do so too. After some reluctance, they all accept, and it drives them to insanity, but can they keep it up for 30 days?? It's got some good moments, and the setting is wonderful, showing the side of America that ought to be on film. Van Dyke is wonderful as always, and the score by Randy Newman is brilliant as well. For all the comedy, it is an indictment on the state of society, and how far they'd go for money. 4/5



Delirious (1991), written and directed by Tom Mankiewicz, who wrote 3 of the James Bond films of the early 1970's, as well as doing the first two Superman films, and the 1987 take on Dragnet, comes this warm, low-key but amusing romantic comedy, which feels in a way, a bit like Pleasantville. It's got some good moments, but it does wear a little thin by the end, and a tad confusing too. It has Jack Gable (John Candy), a writer/producer on an American soap opera called All My Dreams, but his peers at work would rather do it their way than Jack's way. When Jack is involved in a car accident, he finds himself in his own soap opera, in the town which it's set with all the characters in it too. Best of all, Jack discovers he can control how the characters interact, as he has a typewriter with him, and whatever he types, they do. And he tries to win the heart of character Janet Dubois (Mariel Hemingway). But, it would appear forces in "the real world" are trying to write it their way, and a sort-of war of words begins. It's a good little concept, and it does have it's laughs. Candy was a welcome addition to any film, and he's still sorely missed to this day. It's paradoxes though do bog the film down, but it does fly by. Oh, and this was the last film of the great Raymond Burr. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:49 pm

I had a Marty Feldman double bill last night!! Very Happy

The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977), after making it big in Hollywood with Young Frankenstein (1974) and Silent Movie (1976), Marty Feldman was given a contract by Universal Pictures to make the films of his choice, Marty also wanted to write and direct them too. This was his first one, which had a bit of trouble when it came to editing, but it's actually a much funnier film than alot of people give it credit for. This is a comedy take on the book Beau Geste by Percival Christopher Wren. It has identical twins Beau Geste (Michael York) and Digby Geste (Feldman) joining the French foreign legion, Beau had run off with a priceless jewel, and Digby went to jail for it. But, their new adoptive mother Flavia Geste (Ann-Margret) helps Digby escape. Meanwhile, in the French foreign legion in North Africa, Beau is being trained under the scrutiny of the one-legged Col. Markov (Peter Ustinov), who soon get's the hots for Flavia. This is a very silly film, but it is laugh out loud funny, with some brilliant jokes, (Mel Brooks would have killed for alot of these, so would have the Carry On team), but Feldman was a brilliant comic talent, and a contender for a brilliant physical comedian too, (he did all his own stunts.) Oh, and this has a brilliant supporting cast including Henry Gibson, Roy Kinnear, James Earl Jones, Spike Milligan, Trevor Howard, Terry-Thomas, Burt Kwouk, Stephen Lewis and Irene Handl!! Very Happy 4.5/5



In God We Tru$t (1980), Marty Feldman did a second film for Universal Pictures, even though his first effort as a director, The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977), didn't do all THAT well. For his second film, he went to America, mainly to play it safe, and took on the world of religion, and how people in America look at it. It's quite a dark satire on big bucks corporations and how innocence always wins through. It begins with Brother Ambrose (Feldman) is sent from the monastery of English monks, where he was brought up to go out into the world to find $5,000 to stop the monastery from being shut down. He ends up with religious con-man Dr. Sebastian Melmoth (Peter Boyle), and hooker Mary (Louise Lasser). Brother Ambrose is looking for televangelist Armageddon T. Thunderbird (Andy Kaufman), who is said could help the monks. But, Brother Ambrose ends up working for Thunderbird, who is really a corrupt businessman who speaks with G.O.D. (Richard Pryor), who is a computer. It's not as good as Feldman's previous film, but it does have it's moments, and Feldman is a likeable lead in this by the numbers fish-out-of-water story, and there's some physical comedy in it which Feldman was ALWAYS good at. This lacks the bite which it should have had, but it's amusing nontheless. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:34 pm

End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones (2003), an acclaimed documentary about the renowned and acclaimed New York punk rock band The Ramones. It's a compelling story featuring interviews with the band. It's thoughtful and paints a good, although sometimes unflattering picture, of one of the most popular groups of the last 30 years or so. It has interviews with all the band members that have come and gone throughout the bands history, Marky Ramone, Johnny Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, Tommy Ramone, Joey Ramone , Elvis Ramone, C. J. Ramone and Richie Ramone. It follows them from their beginnings in the New York suburb of Forest Hills, Queens. From there, they grew and grew, and became a phenomenon. Although it was hard for their records to get any airplay. But, they made a name for themselves, and even got to appear in Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979), and Phil Spector produced their 1980 album, End of the Century. But, hardships caused friction in the band. It's quite dark to watch, and you do feel sorry for them, and even now, there is an underlying sense of poignancy to it all, as Johnny, Joey and Dee Dee died between it being filmed and released. But, their legacy will live on. 3/5



Mayor of the Sunset Strip (2003), a documentary directed by George Hickenlooper, best known for directing Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991). This is a heartfelt and touching story of one of the great music tastemakers of Los Angeles. It's a good portrait of a quite eccentric man, but the people who sing his praises are amazing. Rodney Bingenheimer was born in a small town in California, but after he left school, he made it to L.A. and he found himself in the music industry. He found himself mingling with the stars and worked as journalist, club owner and promoter. Then, he became a DJ on the Los Angeles radio station KROQ, and through that, he was able to introduce acts and bands, homegrown or international to American radio listeners. From the psychedelic 1960's to the present day, Bingenheimer has been a champion of musicians, and became the first man in America to play songs by David Bowie, Coldplay, Oasis, The Ramones and The Sex Pistols. It's a good story of a man who was in the right place at the right time, and it has some good stories in it, like how he was once Davy Jones' stand-in on The Monkees, and his relationship with Sonny & Cher. His house full of memorabilia and gifts given to him by celebrities is jaw-dropping. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 2   Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:07 am

Them! (1st view) - Brilliant! Why can't more films be this good? I love 50s science fiction films and this must be the best one so far. Admittedly the DVD covers a bit misleading, giving the impression that the giant ants overrun cities and terrorise screaming crowds, but who cares? From a seemingly innocuous start in the desert to a battle in the drains of LA, this is wonderful. Not too cheesy, not too po-faced. Superb - 5/5*




The Informant! (1st view) - Very enjoyable. More amusing than funny, which the trailer seemed to suggest it would be, but a change of pace for such a genre - 4/5*




Is Anybody There? (1st view) - I almost cried. Not quite, but almost - 4/5*




Yes (1st view) - Odd but intriguing, what with much of the dialogue spoken in rhyme. Too much fancy camerawork. Joan Allen was excellent - 4/5*




Adventureland (1st view) - Better than Superbad, but how much of a recommendation that is I have no idea - 3/5*




The Tree of Wooden Clogs/L'albero degli zoccoli (1st view) - Probably the
best/most important film in this update from a cinematic/historical point of view, but a three hour portrait of 19th century Italian farmers needs to, at least, make me care for them. It didn't. Giant ants would have helped - 3/5*




Fantastic Mr. Fox (1st view) - I didn't really think I'd like this but I did. Quite a lot. But the book's better - 4/5*




The Bride (1st view) - This might be a first. A film in which Jennifer Beals isn't the worst performer. But we do have Sting (the singer that is, not Frodo's Sword, though the latter would probably have been better). But as a Frankenstein film, this wasn't that bad at all, and Clancy Brown's Monster is one of the most
sympathetic versions of the character I've seen - 4/5*




Wendy and Lucy (1st view) - I'm glad I saw this before I watched Mr Fox, because I needed cheering up afterwards - 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 Apr 27, 2010 8:22 am

The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (40th+ view) - Back on the big screen after 7 and a bit years, with the score played live. Phenomenal. Best film I'll see all year.


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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   Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:55 am

Hue and Cry (1st view) - Ealing comedy/thriller set in post-war London. A teenage boy uncovers what he believes to be a plot organised by criminals via a coded message within a comic strip. Any film with a large number of child actors is always going to annoy me, and this one's no exception, but there's a lot to like here. The London cityscapes, some startling cinematography, a genuinely intriguing storyline and, of course, the wonderful Alistair Sim. His delivery of the line "Oh, how I loathe adventurous-minded boys" is classic - 4/5*




Alice's Restaurant (1st view) - The film adaptation of Arlo Guthrie's great song "Alice's Restaurant Massacree". There must be a reason that most songs don't get turned into films. Even an 18 minute long song hasn't got enough to sustain a film, especially not one that comes close to two hours long - 2/5*


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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   Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:31 am

Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie's Pictures (1st view) - Winner of the best title award for films I've seen this year, this early Merchant Ivory film sees a group of art collectors trying to gain access and view some priceless Indian paintings held in a private collection. A slight tale, but with some worthwhile ruminations over the value of art - 3/5*




Blood on the Sun (1st view) - James Cagney stars as a journalist in pre-war Tokyo who comes across a document that details Japan's plans to take over the world. Always good to see Cagney in action - 3/5*


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


Frakkin toasters!

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

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