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 What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock

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Gimli The Avenger
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:59 pm

Argo (1st view) - Better than The Town, perhaps not as good as Gone Baby Gone. Alkan Arkin, John Goodman and Bryan Cranston were all excellent - 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 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:51 pm

Downtime (1997), directed by Bharat Nulluri (The Crow: Salvation (2000) and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008)), and written by Caspar Berry (Byker Grove). This is a film which at the time was hyped as Britain's answer to action fare like Die Hard and Speed. It's a good idea for a film, but there's parts of it which just dive into absolute far-fetched hokum, which goes against it's gritty, realistic setting. In Liverpool, former police psychologist Rob (Paul McGann) talks suicidal single mother Chrissy (Susan Lynch) from committing suicide by jumping from her high rise flat. She's sick of being tormented by the local gang that rule the tower block, which has been condemned, but there's a few families inside that can't move because the council won't help. However, after helping Chrissy back inside, Rob goes to meet her a few days later, but the gang end up tampering the lift controls leaving Rob, Chrissy and her young son Jake (Adam Johnston) trapped in an out of control lift. They have to try and get out of the lift and get out of the building, but this is near impossible. It's a very silly film, which could have been an intelligent action film, but it's let down by overacting (McGann especially), but when the lift scenes come, they're very good, but it's also let down by a mawkish ending and over-trite dialogue. Look out for a young Stephen Graham as one of the gang members. 2/5



Gambit (2012), directed by Michael Hoffman (Restoration (1995), One Fine Day (1996) and The Last Station (2009)) and written by the Coen Brothers. This adaptation of Sidney Carroll's story, which was previously adapted as Ronald Neame's 1966 comedy-crime caper. This is a very silly film, but it does have some good laughs along the way. It does have it's flaws, but it's well filmed and has some funny performances along the way. Art curator Harry Deane (Colin Firth) works for media mogul Lionel Shabandar (Alan Rickman), who is abusive towards Deane, who plans to get his own back by selling him a fake Monet painting. With help from art forger The Major (Tom Courtenay), they find an eccentric Texas rodeo queen, PJ Puznowski (Cameron Diaz), to pose as the owner of the fake Monet. Deane has it planned out perfectly, and it should go off without a hitch. But, everything that could go wrong does go wrong. PJ ends up costing Deane a fortune, Shabandar is initially uniterested in the painting but he soon falls for PJ's ways, with Deane unable to make his move. It is very silly, but it's a funny crime caper, which manages to be glossy and slick, with some funny farcical misunderstandings along the way. Firth's character goes from sophisticated to bumbling, Diaz is a kooky joy while Rickman nearly steals the film. Razz 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:08 pm

I hate Downtime Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad

_________________
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 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:25 pm

Maybe it can be remade. Razz

Hollywoodland (2006), the directorial debut of Allen Coulter (Remember Me (2010), and written by Paul Bernbaum (Next (2007)), this is a biographical drama that showed the mysterious death of TV's biggest superstar of the 1950's, and whether it could have been foul-play or something else. It's an interesting mystery, and it was a slight comeback of sorts for one of it's lead actors, whose career had gone into a slump at the time. In Hollywood in 1959, private investigator Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) while investigating one case, comes across a theory or two regarding the death of actor George Reeves (Ben Affleck), who was famous for playing Superman on TV. While the police say Reeves committed suicide by gunshot, Simo discovers that the witness testimonies don't match up, and there are irregularities in how it could have happened. Simo investigates further, and it discovers that Reeves was having an affair with Toni Mannix (Diane Lane), whose husband Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins) is the head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Simo suspects foul-play, but he can't prove it. It's an interesting theory as to how TV's first superstar might have died, but it's all a big conspiracy theory. The biggest surprise is Affleck playing Reeves as a snobbish cad, it shows that with the right material, Affleck can turn in a brilliant performance. 4/5



U.F.O. (1993), it was bound to happen, he was (and still is) Britain's bluest comedian, playing to sell out crowds night after night, and his videos topped the video charts across the UK at one time. This film was made with the profits of the video sales, it's a cheap and crude sci-fi spoof, most of the jokes you'll have heard in Viz magazine before. But it has something about it, and despite his boorish, sexist demeanor, it's star has a charm. Sort of. While performing a concert in Blackpool, legendary comedian Roy 'Chubby' Brown, ends up being abducted by female aliens led by the Supreme Commander (Shirley Anne Field), Chubby is being held for crimes against humanity, for his sexist, racist jokes. When given a chance to redeem himself in the face of the judge (Sue Lloyd), Chubby is just his usual boorish self. Certain death or castration looks likely, but his defence council Solo (Roger Lloyd-Pack) tries to help him escape, but Chubby is punished with a taste of his own medicine, he has to go through something that women have to go through. It's not a very good film, and you can tell it was done on the cheap, with sets being reused. But it has something about, the knowledge that they don't make films like these anymore. It sadly put the need to give comedians their own films back a fair few years. Immature and proud of it. 2/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:38 pm

Ruby Sparks (2012), directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, (Little Miss Sunshine (2006)), this is a charming and almost magical romantic comedy-drama which is steeped heavily in fantasy, and sharing similar DNA with films like The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) and Groundhog Day (1993). It's a winning little film which does dive into darkness, but it has some bright sunny moments and a very good cast as well. Set in Los Angeles, twentysomething writer Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano) has a massive success a decade before with a book he wrote as a teenager, but he hasn't been able to find the same success since, and he's been suffering from writers block. One night, Calvin has a dream about a girl, and inspired, he goes to the typewriter and writes about her and he can't get the girl out of his head. But, one morning he wakes up and finds the girl he wrote is real, she's Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the film), and whatever Calvin writes about Ruby, she does. Calvin thinks she's unreal at first, but it turns out she's real, and his family can see her as well. Calvin and Ruby start a relationship, and they become close, but Calvin finds it difficult to control Ruby, as her personality takes her new places. It's a beautiful little film, with some lovely detail and some good ideas. Kazan is brilliant as Ruby, and she did a brilliant screenplay as well. It's got great support from Antonio Banderas, Annette Benning, Chris Messina Elliot Gould and Steve Coogan. 4.5/5



A Fistful of Dynamite (1971), also known as Duck, You Sucker!, Sergio Leone didn't want to do any more westerns after Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), but was lured back for this dark, gothic western, mixing themes and characters from two different revolutions. It's more mature and less blackly comic than the westerns Leone did with Clint Eastwood, indeed this was signs of a maturity in Leone. Mexico in 1913, and bandit Juan Miranda (Rod Steiger) leads his family in raiding stagecoaches, then Juan meets John Mallory (James Coburn), an early Irish Republican on the run after killing two British officers in Dublin. Mallory is an explosives expert, who carries dynamite and a jar of nitro-glycerine, and Miranda see's potential in Mallory, and convinces him to join his gang, to do a raid on the Mesa Verde national bank, but Mallory has his own agenda, having agreed to supply dynamite and explosives to Doctor Villega (Romolo Valli), who is leading a revolutionary attack on the Mexican army. But, Miranda and Mallory end up taking on the Mexican Army as well as the corrupt Governor Don Jaime (Franco Graziosi). It's even more epic than Leone's 4 previous films, and hardly anyone remembers this one, and it was a transition from his westerns into what was to come next in Once Upon A Time In America (1984). But, there's a sense of poignancy and grittiness in this one, showing a changing world and the death of the old west. Steiger and Coburn are brilliant, and Ennio Morricone's score is simply wonderful. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:00 pm

Argo (2012), directed by Ben Affleck, who has proven himself magnificently as a director with Gone Baby Gone (2007) and The Town (2010), this is a taut and suspenseful thriller which also happens to be an unbelievable true story too. A rescue mission which you would never have believed have worked, but it did. Set within the lion's den of the most dangerous country on Earth, it captures the mood and feel of the time. On November 4, 1979, the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran was ambushed by militants. Most of the embassy staff were taken hostage, but six of them managed to escape down a passage and they found refuge in the house of the Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor (Victor Garber). Weeks pass, and the situation hasn't gotten any better, and the CIA are trying to think of a way to get them out of Iran, CIA specialist Tony Mendez (Affleck) comes up with a plan so crazy, it might actually work. With help from special effects man John Chambers (John Goodman) and producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin), they go into Iran as a Canadian film crew, scouting locations for a sci-fi film called Argo, and try and get them out. It's on-the-edge of your seat stuff, but it's absolutely amazing, and it might even be the best film of 2012. Affleck shows professionalism as actor and director, with great support from Bryan Cranston as Mendez's boss at the CIA, who is watching what's happening. 5/5



The Keep (1983), Michael Mann's alleged "difficult second film" is actually a contender for one of his very best films. True, it was brutally recut by Paramount before it's release, and Mann has since disowned it. But, look closer, it is actually a very good and very suspenseful and mysterious horror-thriller. It's a shame Mann has stuck his feelings about this one, as it's a lot better than most films from that time. Set in Romania in 1941, it has a group of Nazi's, led by Captain Klaus Woermann (Jürgen Prochnow), going to a mysterious citadel in a remote mountain village, which they are to guard. It contains a deadly supernatural forces that kills many of the Nazi troops. The villagers are blamed by the brutal SD Sturmbannführer Eric Kaempffer (Gabriel Bryne), who believes there's a more reasonable explanation for this, until local Jewish Dr. Theodore Cuza (Ian McKellen) and the arrival of the mysterious Glaeken Trismegestus (Scott Glenn) prove that it really is the work of other-worldly forces. The Keep is a very underrated film that is genuinely creepy and it did have some very good special effects for it's day, Mann gets the best out of it's cast and location. (Shot in a slate quarry in North Wales. Razz) But, the biggest weapon in it's arsenal is the eerie electronic score by Tangerine Dream and perfect cinematography by Alex Thomson, who shot so many good films back in the 1980's. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:30 pm

The Devil's Own (1997), directed by Alan J. Pakula (Klute (1971), The Parallax View (1974), All The President's Men (1976) and Sophie's Choice (1982)), this is a taut thriller which already feels dated and is quite ignorant towards Northern Ireland as well. It had the potential to be a good film, but it's let down by a poor script. With top talent on board in front and behind the camera, you'd have expected better from all involved. In 1992, IRA Gunman Frankie McGuire (Brad Pitt) is wanted by the British Army in Northern Ireland and after a shootout involving the SAS, McGuire escapes and manages to escape to America, posing as an Irish citizen under the name of Rory Devaney. In America, he meets up with IRA supporter Judge Peter Fitzsimmons (George Hearn), who has "Rory" stay with New York police Sergeant Tom O'Meara (Harrison Ford) and his family. Frankie uses his time in America to arrange the smuggling of weapons back to Ireland, through black market dealer Billy Burke (Treat Williams). However, Tom finds out "Rory's" past, and things get dangerous when Tom's family are threatened. It should have been a good film, but it hasn't aged well, and it's a shame that this came to bee Pakula's final film, considering the great films he made in the past, he deserved to have gone out on a better note than this one. 2/5



Saving Grace (2000), directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls (2003), Made in Dagenham (2010) and The Wedding Video (2012)), this is a very funny British comedy, cut from similar cloth to what Ealing comedies were, only this one involves drug taking. But, it still has an innocent yet mischievous tone about it. It's also a who's who of British TV and film as well, keep your eyes peeled for who appears. In Cornwall, proud housewife Grace Trevethyn (Brenda Blethyn) has just been recently widowed, her husband had died while at sea. Then, Grace is told that her husband had no money, and that she'll have to sell her large house. However, Grace's gardener Matthew Stewart (Craig Ferguson, who also co-wrote the screenplay) has a plan. Matthew likes a bit of weed to get through the stresses of life, and Grace is a dab hand at gardening. They use their talents to use Grace's greenhouse to grow a massive amount of marijuana, and selling it on for a massive amount. However, time is running out, and it has to be sold before Grace loses her house. She travels to London, finding she has a client in Vince (Bill Bailey) and dodgy French businessman Jacques Chevalier (Tcheky Karyo). This is reminiscent of Waking Ned (1998), and how small communities have canny locals. Blethyn is charming, while Ferguson has a cheeky charm. Look out for Jamie Foreman, Denise Coffey, Leslie Phillips and Martin Clunes, whose character was the basis for Doc Martin. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:44 pm

Lisztomania (1975), A prime example of a film so bad, it's brilliant. Ken Russell does another film of a classical composer, but giving it the same bonkers, modern attitude he'd used in Tommy (1975), which had become one of his biggest financial successes, if The Music Lovers (1970) and Mahler (1974) were for the connoisseurs, then this was made for the lowest common denominator, and proud of it!! Franz Liszt (Roger Daltrey) is a Hungarian/Cockney composer, the rock star of the classical world, the film focuses on a supposed rivalry between him and Vampire Nazi Richard Wagner (Paul Nicholas) who marries Franzie's daughter Cosima (Veronica Quilligan), how he tried to win the affections of Princess Carolyn of Russia (Sara Kestelman) and tries to marry her too, and even encounters The Pope, (Ringo Starr). That's it as far as plot is concerned, and it's probabily the most bonkers film ever made, it's also the biggest load of incoherent twaddle ever made, BUT I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! Very Happy It's visually beautiful, but it shows Russell at his very best with the mad imagery and over the top performances, including a 19th Century swordfighting duel done to a Texas hoedown, a Chaplin influenced flashback, an example of Liszt's 'Genius' and a grand piano that shoots flames, a Frankenstein Nazi, a church organ space ship and lots of sex & nudity. But, it has some moments in it which beggar belief. Plus, it has a score by Rick Wakeman of Yes, and this is what we've come to love from Ken Russell. 5/5



Trouble With The Curve (2012), after Gran Torino (2008), many thought that was it, and that Clint Eastwood would never appear on cinema screens again, but he's found reason to return to the big screen in this sentimental drama which should appeal to sports fans and non-sports fans alike. It's the directorial debut of Robert Lorenz, Eastwood's producing partner who had been wanting to direct a film for ages, and Eastwood gave him this, and he does good. In Atlanta, baseball scout Gus Lobell (Eastwood) has always had an eye of talent, but now in his 80's, his sight seems to be failing him, and his boss Vince (Robert Patrick) is looking to number crunching expert Phillip Sanderson (Matthew Lillard) to chose the next great player, but Gus convinces them to go out on the road one last time. Gus' friend Pete (John Goodman) contacts Gus' daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) to tag along with him on this trip into North Carolina. On the road, they meet Johnny (Justin Timberlake), a former player Gus once scouted, and who is now a scout himself. It's a silly drama, but it proves that Eastwood still has it. It's not perfect, but it's no disaster either, it's focused and to the point, and you don't have to know about baseball to enjoy it. It's an anti-Moneyball, which praised number crunching, this shows that you have to see talent up front to know if you're making the right choice. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:29 pm

The Opposite of Sex (1998), written and directed by Don Roos (who did the screenplays for Single White Female (1992) and Diabolique (1996)), this grew out of another film Roos was working on that was ultimately abandoned, a frustrated Roos let it all out into this angry but hilarious black comedy, which showed a couple of actors playing against type. It's good fun as well with a good plot and some hilarious dialogue. Dede Truitt (Christina Ricci) hails from Louisiana, and runs away to Indiana to live with her gay half-brother Bill (Martin Donovan), who lives with his boyfriend Matt (Ivan Sergei). Bill is grieving over his late boyfriend Tom (Colin Ferguson), and Tom's sister Lucia (Lisa Kudrow) still visits. However Dede infuriates everyone by having a sexual affair with Matt, and becoming pregnant, Bill's life is in tatters, and then Matt's ex-boyfriend Jason Bock (Johnny Galecki) turns up to cause trouble and ruin Bill's reputation as a teacher. Then Dede steals Tom's ashes, holding them to ransom, while she and Matt runaway to Canada to have their baby, but Bill finds them. It's a clever comedy which also manages to be quite touching as well. Ricci is brilliant as the tartish Dede, who wrecks havoc on her loved ones. We all have teenage angst when we're growing up, but not like this!! It's a shame Roos hasn't been able to grow on the success of this film. 4/5



On The Road (2012), it's taken over half a century to get Jack Kerouac's novel to the screen, with directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Joel Schumacher and Gus Van Sant all attached to direct it, but it fell to Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)), to bring it to the big screen. It's good, but it deserved to be better, and it has a brilliant ensemble cast, but it feels a tad TOO faithful to the book, and Salles has taken it too seriously. In 1947, Sal Paradise (Sam Riley), a young aspiring writer who lives in Queens, New York, has his life is changed when he meets Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) who comes from San Francisco, and his girlfriend Marylou (Kristen Stewart), who comes from Denver. He travels to Denver to hang out with them. A year later, they come his way again, travelling from New York to New Orleans to meet Old Bull Lee (Viggo Mortensen), then onwards to San Francisco where Dean is having trouble with his estranged wife Camille (Kirsten Dunst). But Sal is taken in by his travels, and he's looking to go on one more trip. It shows the old fashioned side to America, and how people used to travel, but it's a very frank, honest adaptation with no real fireworks. But it's well filmed and edited with good performances, with Riley and Hedlund being the standouts, with good support from Tom Sturridge, Amy Adams, Terrence Howard and Steve Buscemi. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:08 pm

I'll watch Lisztomania one day!



The Hustler (3rd view) - I'm never sure which pf Paul Newman's performances I like the most, but his turn here is cerytainly in the top three. He's th standout in a film filled with great acting - 4/5




Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (2nd view) - Much like Paul Newman, Albert Finney hardly ever gives a bad performance and he's superb in this - 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 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:10 pm

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

What's happened to the thread! About 60 pages have vanished!

_________________
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 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:33 am

Galaxy Quest (10th view) - So much fun. It's a choice between Rickman and Shalhoub for who gives the best performance and they're responsible for the two best lines in the film. A really good aparady and a great comedy in its own right - 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 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:56 pm

Gimli The Avenger wrote:
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

What's happened to the thread! About 60 pages have vanished!



Calm down dear!! It's all here!!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:46 pm

Thank god!


What happened?

_________________
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 3 - The Search for Spock   Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:01 pm

When it gets to so many pages, a new thread starts.
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:09 pm

I just thought it had deleted the first 60 odd pages and I just missed the fact that we now had three threads of this type. Phew!

_________________
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 3 - The Search for Spock   Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:58 am

Scroll down, you'll see the others. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:51 pm

Breakdown (1997), written and directed by Jonathan Mostow (U-571 (2000), Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) and Surrogates (2009)), this is a taut thriller which is original and exciting. It was based on an experience Mostow and his wife encountered while driving through Las Vegas, though not as bad as what occurs to the characters in the film. It's got a tight mood about it, with a touch of Hitchcock about it. Driving through New Mexico, photographer Jeff Taylor (Kurt Russell) and his wife Amy (Kathleen Quinlan) are driving cross-country from Boston to San Diego, where Jeff is starting a new job. Their car breaks down in the middle of the desert, but they find help from passing trucker Red (J.T. Walsh) who offers to go and get help, Amy goes along with him to a diner down the road to call for help. Jeff however is able to get his car started, and goes to the diner, where no-one saw Amy or Red come or go, Jeff goes down the road, and finds Red, who claims he's never seen Jeff in his life, and doesn't know what he's on about. Nothing seems right, but something slips. It's a good thriller, and there's some good performances in it, the film has a touch of Polanski's Frantic (1988) about it too, and it's well filmed with a good score by the late Basil Poledouris. But, it's a shame that Mostow hasn't been able to do anything of equal greatness. 4/5



The Untouchables (1987), directed by Brian De Palma, written by David Mamet, adapted from the 1957 novel by Eliot Ness, which in turn was made into a TV series that ran from 1959 to 1962. This is an exciting and entertaining thriller with an amazing cast. While the film did take some liberties with what really happened, that's irrelevant, De Palma creates a stunning piece of screen entertainment that will never age. In 1930, Al Capone (Robert De Niro) has control of Chicago, bring in liqour and alcohol from Canada during the Prohibition. Bureau of Prohibition agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) comes to Chicago to bring down Capone, but he finds it difficult because of corrupt policemen, but Ness finds one honest cop, Jim Malone (Sean Connery) to work with, he convinces Ness to get a team from the police academy, who haven't been influenced by Capone, and they go with George Smith (Andy García) and accountant Oscar Wallace (Charles Martin Smith). They declare war on Capone's empire, but Capone fights back and makes it personal. It's a great piece of entertainment, and it's brilliantly filmed and has an unusual yet fitting score by Ennio Morricone. It's got some brilliant performances, and Mamet's script has some brilliant dialogue, and it's cast act it out superbly. It's a great crime thriller. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:48 pm

Transsiberian (2008), directed and co-written by Brad Anderson (Session 9 (2001) and The Machinist (2004)), this is a taut thriller which has a touch of Hitchcock about it, (especially with trains), but it has a good cast, and while it has Euro-pudding written all over it, it's bouyed well by a good international cast, and it builds a good sense of fear and suspense, and it's well filmed and frozen landscapes have never looked so scary. It begins in China, where American couple Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer) catch the train from China to Russia after spending time working in a Christian mission in China. On the train, they meet Spaniard Carlos (Eduardo Noriega) and his American girlfriend Abby (Kate Mara). Jessie see's something odd about Carlos, and after stopping for sight seeing, Roy misses the train, leaving her alone with the couple. But, after an incident at a remote abandoned church, Jessie is reunited with Roy, but they're joined on the train by Russian narcotics agent Ilya Grinko (Ben Kingsley), who has a lot of questions for Roy and Jessie. It's a good thriller, and it gets a lot of use from it's locations, (all done in Lithuania). It's got a good cast, with Harrelson showing a sensitive side, and Kingsley being a mysterious dark horse. With all the wide open spaces around them, the film is unbelievably claustrophobic, and that works in it's favour. 4/5



Seven Psychopaths (2012), written and directed by Martin McDonagh (In Bruges (2008)), this is a darkly funny comedy thriller which shares DNA with the films of Tarantino and the Coen's. Yet, you can't help but wonder how much of it is actually semi-autobiographical, and whether writer/director McDonagh was struggling to come up with something original after the success of In Bruges, it makes for an entertaining film though. In Los Angeles, Irish writer Marty (Colin Farrell) is blocked, he has a title for his next film, which he's called Seven Psychopaths, but he needs a spark of inspiration to get the project going. His actor friend Billy (Sam Rockwell) has loads of ideas for the film, which Marty finds entertaining. Billy is also a dog thief, working with Hans (Christopher Walken), where they kidnap dogs and bring them back to collect a reward. However, when they kidnap a dog belonging to Charlie (Woody Harrelson), who is violent and psychotic. Hans and Billy end up hiding at Marty's house, which is just what he needs when he's trying to concentrate. It's a very silly film, but also one that's dark and very clever too. It has very sharp dialogue and some brilliant lead performances, with a good ensemble including Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Pitt, Olga Kurylenko and Harry Dean Stanton.

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:18 pm

Steel Magnolias (1989), directed by Herbert Ross (Play It Again, Sam (1972), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and The Goodbye Girl (1977)), this was adapted from Robert Harling's 1987 play, (Harling did the screenplay here), it's an emotional and warm comedy-drama with a great female ensemble at it's core, it manages to get every emotion out, and there's laughter and tears within a minute, but it's well written and well acted. Set in Chinquapin in Louisiana, this begins when graduate Annelle Dupuy (Daryl Hannah) goes to work at a beauty salon belonging to Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton). Truvy's friend M'Lynn Eatenton (Sally Field) and her daughter Shelby (Julia Roberts) are regulars, Shelby is getting married to Jackson (Dylan McDermott). But they all support one another, and also in their inner circle are widows Ouiser Boudreaux (Shirley MacLaine) and Clairee Belcher (Olympia Dukakis). As Shelby and Jackson have a child, but then a tragedy shakes the emotions of this tight-knit community of friends to it's very core, but nothing will separate them, life's too short. It's an emotional but well made comedy-drama, Ross gets the best from his cast and it really is a good advertisement for southern hospitality. It's an 80's film through and through, but it hasn't aged a day, it's well made and also has support from the likes of Sam Shepard and Tom Skerritt. 4/5



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

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:25 pm

The Expendables (2010), Sylvester Stallone brings together an old school action film, with a big action cast to it's name, combining his old friends, wrestlers and a certain Govenor of California. It's good to see an action film like this in cinemas again, it isn't perfect, but it makes a refreshing change to all the watered down action films we've been getting for the past 2 decades. The Expendables are a group of mercanaries who do violent, near impossible jobs other people would shy off. They're led by Barney Ross (Sly), and his team include knife expert Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), martial arts expert Yin Yang (Jet Li), heavy weapons handler Hale Caesar (Terry Crews), demolitionist Toll Road (Randy Couture) and maverick sniper Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren). Their mission co-ordinator Tool (Mickey Rourke) gives them a job comissioned by the mysterious Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), to overthrow dictator, General Garza (David Zayas) on the South American island of Vilena, Garza is being controlled by ex-CIA agent James Munroe (Eric Roberts) for money. It seems impossible, but The Expendables never lose!! It's a very good film, and it gives the audience what they want. The action is very well staged, and the cast are enjoyable and there's much fun to be had along the way. A sequel to this is inevitable, and no-one is ever too old for action, Sly has proven that!! Very Happy 4/5



Full Metal Jacket (1987), 7 years after The Shining (1980), Stanley Kubrick returned, and this time, he'd made a Vietnam War film, sadly it came out around the same time as Platoon (1986) and Hamburger Hill (1987), which dinted it's box-office. But, it's still one of the best Vietnam war films ever made, and despite what some people say, the second half of the film in Vietnam is just as powerful as the explosive first part. In Parris Island in North Carolina in 1967, a group of privates including Joker (Matthew Modine), Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio) and Cowboy (Arliss Howard) are placed under the command of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey), who is brutal and draconian. He particually picks on the bumbling Pyle, who can't seem to anything right, but just as it looks like Pyle is starting to show improvement, he goes psycho. A few months later, Joker is in Vietnam and writing for Stars and Stripes magazine, and he is sent from Da Nang up to Hue just in time for the Tet Offensive, and there he's reunited with Cowboy and he meets the gung-ho Animal Mother (Adam Baldwin). Kubrick would famously not travel outside the UK, so his Vietnam ranges from Sussex and Norfolk to the Docklands or London, and it's bloody convincing too. He gets the best out of his cast, and he handles the action scenes well, with the climactic battle being bloody and quite suspenseful. 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:57 pm

Picnic At Hanging Rock (2nd view) - I've said for long while now that this is my least favourite Peter Weire film. I did think a rewatcy might change my opinion, It didn't - 2/5





The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (1st view) - Too many characters means that only Judi Dench and Tom Wilkinson stand out, but the whole thing's very enjoyable - 4/5*





The Lorax (1st view) - Very preachy with its message about environmentalism, but this is a pleasing enough 80 minutes - 3/5*


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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:39 pm

Sisters (1973), written and directed by Brian De Palma, who at the time had just come off Get to Know Your Rabbit (1972), which he'd had been removed from. He went for something he'd been working on for a while, and he found backing from producer Edward R. Pressman, who had just produced Terrence Malick's Badlands (1973). This would help get De Palma the films he wanted to make made, and this is a creepy chiller. In Staten Island, New York. French Canadian model Danielle Breton (Margot Kidder) is working on a TV show, and she falls for co-star Philip Woode (Lisle Wilson), she takes him back to her place, but she's tormented by her twin sister Dominique, who is never seen. Danielle and Dominique were siamese twins, who were separated a year before, but when Dominique seemingly murders Philip, it's witnessed by neighbour Grace Collier (Jennifer Salt), who is an investigative journalist. She tries convincing the police of what she saw, but they don't believe her, so she hires private investigator Joseph Larch (Charles Durning) to investigate further. It's a creepy film, but the big plot reveal comes in a bit too soon, and maybe could have waited until the end. Kidder is creepily effective, and it has some clever camerawork (with split screen) and a breathtaking, eerie score by Bernard Herrmann, which gives it that Hitchcockian edge. 4/5



The Last Detail (1973), directed by Hal Ashby, who with Harold and Maude (1971), Coming Home (1978) and Being There (1979), showed a dark, cynical and sometimes funny side to America. Here, fresh off the success of Harold and Maude, he took on this adaptation of Daryl Ponicsan's 1970 novel, here adapted by Robert Towne, and Ashby got the biggest box-office draw of the time to be in it. It's a winning combination, with smart dialogue and great performances. In Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. Navy officers Billy "Badass" Buddusky (Jack Nicholson) and Richard "Mule" Mulhall (Otis Young) are assigned the task of escorting young sailor Larry Meadows (Randy Quaid) to Portsmouth Naval Prison in New Hampshire. Meadows has been sentenced to 8 years hard labour for stealing $40 from a charity collection tin. However, Meadows doesn't need to be at Portsmouth for 7 days, and Badass and Mule feel sorry for Meadows, so they take him across the east coast from Philadelphia to Washington and then New York for one last good time before he's locked away. It's an amusing little film, dark but with good performances from Nicholson, Young and Quaid, who make a good trio. It has clever dialogue, with Nicholson showing a caring and sympathetic side. It helped put Quaid on the map and helped Ashby build his reputation as one of the most exciting directors of the 1970's. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:01 pm

Ghosts of Mississippi (1996), directed by Rob Reiner, this film came about through research producer Frederick Zollo had done for Mississippi Burning (1988), the case depicted in this film was reopened, and after the verdict, Zollo went about putting a film together, and Reiner was brought in as director, he'd turned down Mississippi Burning, and he wasn't going to make the same mistake twice. It's a good potboiler with some good performances. In 1963, Medgar Evers (James Pickens, Jr.) was shot dead outside his house, white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith (James Woods) was suspected of murdered, and tried twice, however, both verdicts resulted in hung juries. In 1989, Assistant District Attorney Bobby DeLaughter (Alec Baldwin) and Evers' widow Myrlie (Whoopi Goldberg) decide to try and bring De La Beckwith to trail again, even though most of the evidence from the original trial has vanished and most of the original witnesses have either moved away or died. But, DeLaughter won't give in, and reopening this old case reopens a lot of old wounds for some. It's a powerful drama, quite underrated as well. Woods nearly steals the film in very good and convincing old man make-up, while Goldberg shows a good, powerful side she's seldom explored on film. Although not as shocking as Mississippi Burning, it shows that racism has no place in this world. 4/5



Mercury Rising (1998), directed by Harold Becker (The Onion Field (1979), Sea of Love (1989) and City Hall (1996)), and adapted from Ryne Douglas Pearson's 1996 novel Simple Simon. This is a mindless but sometimes enjoyable action thriller that once again pits an underdog against a corrupt government agency. But, it also highlights autism, which is seldom portrayed in film, and this is a good portrayal. When 9 year old autistic boy Simon Lynch (Miko Hughes) cracks a code, little does he know the code was created by the National Security Agency, and it's a code called Mercury, protecting the identities of secret agents around the world. The agency's chief Lt. Colonel Nick Kudrow (Alec Baldwin) wants Simon assassinated, believing he knows too much, only for his parents to be killed. FBI Agent Art Jeffries (Bruce Willis) is assigned to protect Simon, but has trouble connecting with Simon because of his autism, but Art soon learns why Simon's parents were killed, and the Agency won't stop tracking them down, trying to silence Simon. It doesn't paint a very flattering picture of government agencies who decide to kill people all because they know too much, but Hughes' depiction of autism is accurate, which came from months of research. Willis is his usual, mugging self while Baldwin is underused as the baddie. Shame. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:21 pm

Smokey and the Bandit (1977), One of an eventual trilogy, and one of many films it's star Burt Reynolds would make with Hal Needham, (including Hooper (1978), The Cannonball Run (1981) and Stroker Ace (1983)). This became the second highest grossing film of 1977, behind some silly sci-fi saga, but this is better. It begins with Texas dealers Big Enos Burdette (Pat McCormick) and his son, Little Enos (Paul Williams), wanting someone to bring a big shipment of Coors beer all the way from Texas to their theme park in Georgia. They find legendary truck driver Bo "Bandit" Darville (Reynolds), who agrees to do it, he finds help with fellow trucker Cledus "Snowman" Snow (Jerry Reed) who will drive the truck, and Bandit will keep attention off the truck with a back Pontiac Trans Am. They travel to Texarkana, Texas where 400 cases of Coors is waiting, and they set off home. However, they run foul of the law, after Bandit picks up runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field), and they soon have Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleeson) on the Bandit's tail, as his son was to have married Cassie. But, with a fast car, the Bandit wants the shipment to get back to Georgia, and he won't give in. It's a very likeable film with some very funny moments, and even Reynolds is a likeable presence, (many people forget how big he was in the 1970's). There should be more car chase and race films like this now, this set the high water mark for them all. 4/5



Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), it had to happen, after Smokey and the Bandit became the second highest grossing film in 1977, Universal ordered a sequel, although it came a year or two later than they would have liked, due to it's director and stars' commitments to other films. It's not as good as the first film, but it does have a good finale out in the middle of the desert, but it's good to see the cast back together. This time, Big Enos Burdett (Pat McCormick) is campaigning to become Governor of Texas, and he needs a crate delivered from Miami. He calls upon the services of The Bandit (Burt Reynolds), who has become an alcoholic, and split from Carrie (Sally Field), but the Bandit's partner Cledus (Jerry Reed) convinces him to take on one last job. So, down to Miami they go, and they find their cargo to be an elephant called Charlotte, and they end up with Italian gynaecologist Dr. Frederico Carlucci (Dom DeLuise) with them, but Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleeson) is back on their tail again, and he's calling in his family to help catch the Bandit. It's a very silly film, even more silly as it's an excuse for Reynolds and DeLuise to spar off each other, (see the outtakes at the end for proof), but director Hal Needham keeps the mood up, and the action is always work the watch, but don't expect anything more. 3/5

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