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

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:04 am

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (1st view) - If I died now I'd die happy. Worth every second of the 9 year wait, not even the stomach bug/food poisoning that has plagued me since yesterday afternoon and had me upchucking like Regan MacNeil could lesson my enjoyment. Proper shiver down the spine moment when characters, locations and musical cues arrived. If this film's anything to go by the two sequels will contain just as much epic scope and emotional heft as the LOTR trilogy. It's really impossible to put into words just how much I liked this. I'm so happy right now it's stupid. Roll on next December - 5/5*


_________________
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 14, 2012 2:33 am

Will you be seeing it again soon?? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:50 pm

Not until the new year but I will be seeing it again for sure.

_________________
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 15, 2012 10:44 am

Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983), by this point, Burt Reynolds and director Hal Needham decided to do Stroker Ace (1983) instead of a third Smokey and the Bandit film. This one started off life as Smokey IS The Bandit, with Jackie Gleason playing both parts. However, after it tested horrendously, most of the film was reshot, and they coaxed Reynolds back for a cameo. It's the weakest of the lot, and they should have stopped after 2 films. Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Gleason) has retired, and has moved to Florida with his son Junior (Mike Henry), but life there is far from quiet. Then he runs into Big Enos (Pat McCormick) and Little Enos (Paul Williams), who make a wager with Justice, for him to deliver a stuffed shark from Florida to Texas. Justice accepts, but the Enos clan put loads of traps in his way to ensure he fails. They even call upon Cledus "Snowman" Snow (Jerry Reed) to pose as The Bandit, to try and distract Justice. But, Justice and his son are determined to succeed, and things get even more out of hand when Snowman steals the stuffed shark, leading in a big chase. It's more of the same from last time, and it makes you wonder how bad the one they filmed first time around had to be for them to come up with this?? Even Gleason, who falls in with nudists looked tired by that point, and it's no surprise that this sank without trace at the box-office. 1/5



The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), nearly a decade after The Lord of the Rings trilogy hit our screens, it was inevitable that The Hobbit would have to be adapted. But despite an arduous journey to the big screen, such as studio wrangling, losing the original director and industrial action in New Zealand. Peter Jackson has made a brilliant and lighter prequel trilogy. It's a great piece of entertainment. Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is asked by wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to partake in "an adventure" with a band of 13 dwarves Dwalin (Graham McTavish), Balin (Ken Stott), Kíli (Aidan Turner), Fíli (Dean O'Gorman), Dori (Mark Hadlow), Nori (Jed Brophy), Ori (Adam Brown), Óin (John Callen), Glóin (Peter Hambleton), Bofur (James Nesbitt), Bifur (William Kircher), Bombur (Stephen Hunter)led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). The journey entails travelling to the Lonely Mountain to retake the kingdom from dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch). Bilbo joins them, and he proves to be quite useful, but they encounter a lot of danger along the way. It's a brilliant piece of entertainment, with some brilliant special effects and some good performances too, with Freeman showing a heroic if fussy side as Bilbo, and it's good to have a lot of the cast back, including Andy Serkis as Gollum. The next two films have a lot to live up to!! 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:21 am

Black Jack (1979), after making Kes (1969), Ken Loach had struggled to get funding to make feature films, often resorting to doing TV plays and documentaries for the BBC and ITV, but he found funding for this adaptation of Leon Garfield's 1968 children's novel. It's a bit of a departure for Loach, a historical family adventure, but it still has his realist touches all over it, and it's an engaging and underrated film. In Yorkshire in 1750, French thief Black Jack (Jean Franval) is seemingly hung before a huge crowd of people in York, but he survived the hanging with a flute in his throat, and young apprentice Tolly (Stephen Hirst) ends up tagging along with him. They make money at first by leaving obstructions for coaches, and getting a reward for moving the obstructions. But, on one coach they meet disturbed young girl Belle Carter (Louise Cooper) who has been sent away by her parents (William Moore and Doreen Mantle), because they're unable to look after her anymore. Black Jack and Tolly come up with a plan to blackmail the parents, otherwise they'll tell the authorities what's happened. It's a good adventure, and Loach gets the best from his mostly unknown cast, despite a narration by Brian Glover and some cameos from who would become the Time Bandits. But it was a last shout from Loach before his near downfall in the 1980's. 4/5



Talk Radio (1988), between making Wall Street (1987) and Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Oliver Stone made this drama, adapted from the play by Eric Bogosian and Tad Savinar, which in turn was adapted from the book Talked to Death: The Life and Murder of Alan Berg by Stephen Singular. It's an underrated film by Stone, but it has a brilliant lead performance and it shows the dangers of fame and members of the public. In Dallas, Texas. Jewish radio personality Barry Champlain (Bogosain) hosts a provocative and controversial phone-in radio show, Barry has a knack for talking down to radio listeners and having quite extreme liberal views. Despite misgivings, his boss Dan (Alec Baldwin), announces that Barry's show is to go nationwide across America. It's the moment Barry has been waiting for, but the good news couldn't have come at a worst time. Because Barry has been sent death threats and even suspect packages in the post. His rise to fame starts to alienate him from his friends, family and work colleagues, and it drives Barry to insanity. It's a dark chamber piece, and Stone dials it back a tad for this film, but it has a raw, powerful energy. Playwright Bogosain puts in a brilliantly obnoxious performance, and it shows that in the loneliness of a radio studio, it's true what they say, it's lonely at the top. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:30 am

The River Wild (1994), directed by Curtis Hanson, then hot off making The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), he chose this action-adventure-thriller, which owes a debt of gratitude to Deliverance (1972). It was a change of pace for it's star, who was known for most prestigious dramas, this was a chance to prove she could kick ass in a dangerous situation, and she was backed up by a good cast and suspenseful directing. Married couple Gail (Meryl Streep) and Tom (David Strathairn) are having troubles in their marriage, Tom is too attached to work, and can never make time for his family. Gail decides to get away from it by taking their son Roarke (Joseph Mazzello) on a rafting holiday down the Salmon River in Idaho, yet Tom is able to join them at the last minute, but he doesn't show much enthusiasm in the holiday. However on the river, they meet fellow rafters Wade (Kevin Bacon) and Terry (John C. Reilly), who appear to be friendly, but Gail and Tom discover a dark truth about the pair, and they also face dangerous rapids on the Salmon River to top all that off. The river action is well filmed, even if shooting it all was reported to be a neverending nightmare. But, Hanson gets the best from his cast, he handles the action and action well. It's a different side to Streep, and Bacon showed a nasty side with this one, but one that's compelling. 4/5



Heist (2001), written and directed by David Mamet, this is a smart, clever and exciting robbery thriller which manages to pull the rug out from under it's viewer more than once. While the film doesn't add anything new to this well worn genre, it's fun to see what Mamet is able to do with it. It's got a brilliant cast, all sparring off one another, and just when you thought you've seen one twist, there's another one to come. Joe Moore (Gene Hackman) leads a gang of professional thieves, which also consist of Bobby Blane (Delroy Lindo), Don "Pinky" Pincus (Ricky Jay) and Joe's wife Fran (Rebecca Pidgeon), after one heist leaves Joe exposed, he decides to retire, but he is convinced by his scheming middleman Mickey Bergman (Danny DeVito) to take on one last job, which involves robbing a Swiss plane of it's cargo of gold bullion. Bergman also insists that his nephew Jimmy Silk (Sam Rockwell) is part of the team. Joe reluctantly agrees, even though he doesn't trust Joe, but the heist seemingly goes off without a hitch, bit it decends into a web of treble-crossing and deception. You don't know if they're going to get away with it, or who will win in the end, but it is a clever and tricky thriller that is surprising and exciting. Mamet directs it well, and he puts some good dialogue into the proceedings as well, and it's a good tight ensemble. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:06 am

Slade in Flame (1975), Slade were a huge band in the early 1970's, and they were offered the chance to make a film by Goodtimes Enterprises, which was co-owned by David Puttnam. They nearly did a Quatermass Experiment spoof called The Quite A Mess Experiment. But they opted for something a bit more gritty and realistic, they wanted to show what the music industry was really like. It alienated fans then, but it's amazing to watch. It begins in the 1960's, where two rival bands, one led by Jack Daniels (Alan Lake) and the other called The Undertakers, led by Stoker (Noddy Holder), get into quarrels. But, the two bands merge, with Charlie (Don Powell), Barry (Dave Hill) and Paul (Jim Lea) joining Stoker's new band called Flame, which is managed by the scheming Ron Harding (Johnny Shannon), who seems to take them for mugs, so Flame go with Robert Seymour (Tom Conti), a marketing man who has big plans for Flame. They do make it big, but they get involved in a shootout at a pirate radio station, and Harding pesters them violently, wanting a cut of their earnings. Directed by Richard Loncraine (The Missionary (1982), Richard III (1995)), this is the side of the music industry that record companies would rather you didn't know about, but Slade were brave and ballsy enough to expose it on screen at the time. You won't forget this one in a hurry, and it's a good companion piece with That'll Be The Day (1973). 4/5



Savage Grace (2007), directed by Tom Kalin (Swoon (1992)), this is an independent film shot in Spain, which tells the tragic and unusual story of Antony Baekeland, it's a story so unbelievable, you can't believe it really happened. The film in itself does skim over a few things, and the climax seems to happen a bit to quickly, but it does have some brilliant performances even if it is a very cold, uncomfortable film. Antony Baekeland (Eddie Redmayne) was born to Barbara Daly Baekeland (Julianne Moore) and Brooks Baekeland (Stephen Dillane), Brooks is the heir to the Bakelite plastics fortune, and he boasts of how Bakelite successfully weathered the storm of the Great Depression. Anthony was born in New York, but he moved to Paris in the late 1950's and then onto Majorca and the Spanish-resort of Cadaques, in the mid 1960's. It was there where Anthony came out as a homosexual, much to the disapproval of Barbara, who tries to fix him by ordering prostitutes for him to have sex with, but this doesn't work, and it turns creepier after some time. Even if you think you have a dysfunctional family, you can be assured that they're NOTHING compared to the Baekeland family, Moore is brilliant as is Redmayne, who make his name with this film, plus Kalin was able to have Barcelona double for New York, London, Majorca and Paris, which is a great achievement. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:28 pm

Don't Lose Your Head (1966), The 13th Carry On film, and the first one of two not to have Carry On in it's title, (due to the series moving from Anglo-Amalgamated to Rank), but it had lost non of it's cheekiness or innuendos. This was one of the best of the period, and one of the best of the Historical Carry On films. A spoof of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel, this is set in France and England during the dark days of French Revolution in 1789, where aristocrats faced the guillotine. But, two English noblemen, Sir Rodney Ffing (Sid James) and Lord Darcy Pue (Jim Dale) have been saving aristrocrats from the guillotine, and giving them sanctuary in England, such as Duke de Pommefrites (Charles Hawtrey). Ffing does it under the guise of The Black Fingernail, which infuriates Revolutionary leader Citizen Camembert (Kenneth Williams) and his assistant Citizen Bidet (Peter Butterworth), who take revenge by kidnapping the Fingernail's true love Jacqueline (Dany Robin), and Camembert lures the Fingernail into a trap using his mistress Desiree (Joan Sims), but not everything goes to plan. This is a very funny Carry On film, with double entendres at the plenty with witty dialogue and some rude suggestive stuff throughout, and a well done swashbuckling finale at the end. The cast give it their best, and it prove to be one of the better made Carry On's. 4/5



Hard Target (1993), the first American film by John Woo, who had made his name back in China and Hong Kong with films like A Better Tomorrow (1986), Once a Thief (1991) and Hard Boiled (1992). This was produced by Sam Raimi, who saw this as a perfect Hollywood debut for Woo, it's not a perfect action film, but the action is well staged by Woo with all his usual touches, and Van Damme kicks ass as always. In New Orleans, homeless war veteran Douglas Binder (Chuck Pfarrer) is murdered by a band of killers, targeting him in a hunt, led by Emil Fouchon (Lance Henriksen). Binder's daughter Natasha (Yancy Butler) has come to New Orleans looking for her father, but she ends up meeting Cajun merchant seaman Chance Boudreaux (Jean-Claude Van Damme), who saves her from getting attacked. They discover Douglas had been working for a man called Randal (Eliott Keener), who had been giving homeless people over for Fouchon to hunt. When Randal ends up dead, Boudereaux ends up being next on Fouchon's hunt list, and he and Natasha end up on the run. It's a very silly action film, but Woo manages to keep the action up and stages it well, Woo had trouble with the MPAA, who weren't used to Woo's ultra-violent brand of action cinema. Van Damme is his usual self, and Woo manages to get a good performance from him. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:12 pm

Till Death Us Do Part (1969), the BBC TV series of Till Death Us Do Part was one of the top rated sitcoms of the 1960's, even though you'd never get away with what it's main character says these days. While on a brief hiatus from the series, creator Johnny Speight was given the offer to do a feature film version, which is part prequel. Even if you wouldn't get away with it these days, it's brilliantly filmed. It begins in 1939, when Britain is about to go to war with Germany, bigoted dockyard worker Alf Garnett (Warren Mitchell) thinks it's a load of fuss over nothing, and he assures his wife Else (Dandy Nichols), that it'll be over in a few weeks. It isn't, and they give birth to a daughter Rita during the war. 20 years later, and still living in their East End suburb of London, during the Swinging Sixties, Rita (Una Stubbs) is going out with Mike (Antony Booth), who Alf detests, calling him a randy scouse git and picking on him all because he supports the Labour Party. But, after Rita and Mike marry, Alf soon warms to Mike, and they end up going to see the 1966 World Cup Final together. Despite the fact that Alf Garnett is a bigot, there's something eerily relevant to what he's ranting about. For a film made on the cheap, it's beautifully shot, and it captures wartime England and the Swinging Sixties well. Look out for cameos from Bill Maynard, Geoffrey Hughes and Brian Blessed!! 3.5/5



The Matador (2005), written and directed by Richard Shepherd, (Mercy (1995), Oxygen (1999) and Mexico City (2000)), this is an amusing and twisty black comedy, which showed a previously comic side to it's leading man who had just left the James Bond series after much speculation, and it might actually be his best work. It's got some clever dialogue and good performances as well, it's a bit of an overlooked film too. Salesman Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) has gone to Mexico City to land a contract that might just save his career, in the hotel bar one night, he meets the mysterious Julian Noble (Pierce Brosnan). An awkward friendship begins, it's revealed that Julian is a professional assassin, and he travels the world accepting hits from his contact Mr. Randy (Philip Baker Hall). But, Julian has hit the rocks and is going through a mid-life crisis and has hit the bottle. But, he finds something in Danny that cheers him up, even though Danny is left uncomfortable by Julian. Things take a turn though when 6 months later, after being unable to do a hit, Julian arrives at the house of Danny and his wife Bean (Hope Davis). It's a funny film, and the sight of Brosnan in a cheerleaders outfit is a sight to behold, he and Kinnear spark brilliantly off one another, and it has an interesting premise sparking from an unlikely pairing. But it's funny and effective. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:36 pm

Priceless (2006), written and directed by Pierre Salvadori (After You... (2003) and Beautiful Lies (2010)), this is an amusing French romantic comedy inspired by classic romance films like City Lights (1931) and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). It's a comedy of misunderstandings, a farce if you will, but one which is old fashioned at heart, like those old fashioned European travelogue capers, light, fluffy, bubbly and fun. On the French Riviera, Jean (Gad Elmaleh) is a waiter at a posh hotel, who meets gold digger Irčne (Audrey Tautou) in a hotel suite. Irčne mistakes Jean to be a wealthy man, and they spend the night together, a year passes and Jean and Irčne's paths cross again, this time Irčne is engaged to Jacques (Vernon Dobtcheff), Jean and Irčne rekindle, Jacques leaves Irčne when he finds out, but Jean finds out that Irčne's lifestyle comes at a price, a hefty one which leaves him penniless. However, Jean meets wealthy widow Madeleine (Marie-Christine Adam), and Irčne teaches Jean how to master the art of gold digging and get away with it. It's a silly film with some good laughs along the way, Elmaleh and Tautou spark well off one another, and it's a fluffy film which could have been made 40-50 years ago and still worked. The film has a lot of bling on display, yet it has heart and charm too. 3/5



Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010), after making it big with Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). Edgar Wright heads off to Hollywood for this adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's Canadian Manga series. It's a faithful comic book adaptation, and it's also a video game film, but not in the normal sense. It proves that Wright is one of the best directors working today. Set in Toronto, it has slacker Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) who is bass player in a band called Sex Bob-Omb, and he's dating high-school girl Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), but then Scott meets the girl of his dreams, quite literally. Ramona V. Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and eventually talks Ramona into dating him. However, there's one big problem, and it's not having to dump Knives for Ramona. Nope, Scott has to defeat Ramona's 7 Evil Ex Boyfriends, who include action star Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), vegan rocker Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh) and the mysterious Gideon Gordon Graves (Jason Schwartzman). It's a very well made film with an original look. It's true to the source material, and it's a love letter to punch-'em-up video games of old. The cast are brilliant, and this should help Wright make it big, this is a great, exciting and very funny romance. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:38 pm

The Royal Tenenbaums (2nd view) - Excellent cast, and one of the few times Bill Murray isnl;t annoying. Great film - 4/5





The King Of Comedy (2nd view) - One of Scorcese's best. Oh, for the days when De Niro was this good - 4/5




The Expendables (1st view) - This could have been so much fun - 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 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:57 pm

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), adapted from Milan Kundera's 1984 bestseller, and directed by Phillip Kaufman (Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and The Right Stuff (1983)), this is a dark romantic drama set during one of the most turbulent periods in Czechoslovakia's history. It looks nice and it has a good cast, but it is a rather cold and hollow film, but the scenes depicting the Easter Rising are great to watch. It begins in 1968, when womanising doctor Tomas (Daniel Day-Lewis) who cheats on his artist girlfriend Sabina (Lena Olin), leaves Prague to work briefly in a small spa town to help with an operation. While there, he meets waitress Tereza (Juliette Binoche), who follows Tomas back to Prague. The Easter Rising happens, and Tomas, Sabina and Tereza leave and find refuge in Geneva, Switzerland. While there, Sabina falls for university professor Franz (Derek de Lint), but she doesn't find much happiness, and neither do Tomas and Tereza. Who both go back to Prague, but the Soviet regeme has made it impossible for them to get their old jobs back. It's got lovely performances, and Kaufman has a good visual eye, but it's overlong and it doesn't quite know what it wants to say about what happened during the Easter Rising. It has romance, but it has an odd and unusual way of depicting it. It could have been more. 3/5



Rise of the Guardians (2012), based upon William Joyce's The Guardians of Childhood book series, which have been published since 2011, and produced by Guillermo Del Toro. This was originally pitched as a live action film even before Joyce's books were published. But seeing as that looked logistically impossible, they made it an animated film. It's beautifully done with a great deal of imagination on display. Jack Frost (Chris Pine) came to be hundreds of years ago, but he can't remember how. But he brings winter and snow to delighted children around the world. But Jack finds himself taken to the North Pole, where he's put before the mute Sandman, Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) and the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), because Jack is to be initiated as a member of the Guardians, even if no-one tends to believe in Jack. Plus, Jack's hot-headed attitude riles up the others. But, when Pitch Black the Boogeyman (Jude Law) appears, threatening to turn childhood dreams and happiness with fear, the Guardians have to fight him. It's well made, and the art direction and design are incredible, and it's a great adventure with many fantastical elements abound. It's got a gentle if sometimes surreal wit about it's bones, but it's a pleasantly surprising and entertaining film that'll become a favourite. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:19 pm

Bad Santa (2003), a different kind of Christmas film. This one is NOT for the family to watch. In fact, it's one for the grown-ups. Who said Christmas films have to be for the family?? Directed by Ghost World's Terry Zwigoff and based on an idea by the Coen Brothers. This is a contender for one of the best Christmas films ever made, and it's also one of the funniest too. It follows drunken, boorish criminal Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton), who posed as a shopping mall Santa with his partner in crime elf Marcus (Tony Cox). While posing as Santa and his elf, they plan to rob the mall, which they do on Christmas Eve. Until one year, when Stokes becomes involved with (Brett Kelly), an overweight boy who believes Stokes really is Santa. Plus, there's trouble when Stokes' foul-mouth gets him into trouble with Mall manager Bob Chipeska (John Ritter) and Mall inspector Gin (Bernie Mac), but can Stokes change his ways?? It's a dirty, rude film but with a heart of gold, it has some brilliant gags, dialogue and scenes along the way. It's different from all the rest which is what makes it stand out. Thornton makes a brilliant down and dirty, but likeable crook, but it's the scenes with Cox and Kelly that stand out. Throw away all the other Christmas films, Bad Santa tops them all!! Very Happy 4.5/5



The Tailor of Panama (2001), directed by John Boorman (Deliverance (1972), Excalibur (1981) and Hope and Glory (1987)), and adapted from John le Carré's 1996 spy novel, which he adapted with Boorman and Andrew Davies. This is an entertaining and twisty spy caper which has a good cast, and has a bit of a satirical touch about it's proceedings. The main draw is seeing it's two leads spar off each other brilliantly. MI6 agent Andy Osnard (Pierce Brosnan) is sent to Panama to investigate whether Panama is being run as a stable country, or whether corruption is still rife since the reign of General Noriega. Osnard is in trouble with MI6, and he believes this mission will get him back on good terms with them, Osnard's contact is tailor Harry Pendel (Geoffrey Rush), who makes suits for most of Panama's elite, including the President. Harry is having money troubles, as most of his clients simply don't pay him, and Pendel has a secret that he's kept private from his wife Louisa (Jamie Lee Curtis), but that Osnard knows about, but Osnard uses Pendle to see if anything suspicious is happening. It's a good thriller, with some good performances, even if it does drag in the middle and get a bit confusing. Brosnan shows a less glamourous to the spy world than he had done as James Bond. Oh, and look out for Daniel Radcliffe in his film debut as Pendel's son. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:39 pm

Machuca (1st view) - Chilean drama about two friends set shorty before the military coup of 1973. Very good - 4/5*





Four Christmases (1st view) - Why, Robert Duvall? Why? Sad




Shadow Of A Doubt (2nd view) - Almost Hitchcock's best. Maybe only 3 or 4 that better it. It's long been a favourite of mine despite only seeing it once about 15 years ago - 5/5


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:35 pm

The Muppet Christmas Carol (40th+ view) - Is there a better way to start Christmas Day? Even if I am currently a blubbering mess Very Happy

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are a few teeny flaws. The removal of When Love Is Gonebeing one of them. In fairness, I'm not even a huge fan of the song, but the film isn't complete without it, and at least two of the characters react to the song, and their reactions seem out of place. Pointless. Another reason to love VHS.

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

Does nostalgia play a part in my love for this film? Perhaps, but only to a point. I did indeed see it 20 years ago at the cinema with my dad and my sister, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't like it. However, it's only in the last decade or so that I started to truly love it, and emotional aspects have hit home.

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






Odd Man Out (2nd view) - James Mason is fantastic but the film falters a bit whenever he's off screen. Still, great film - 4/5


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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:56 am

For All Mankind (2nd view) - Three reasons I wish I was born about 30 years earlier. First, so I could be a hippie in 60's America. Second, there was better music back then. Third, and most importantly, so I could have seen the moon landings as they happened. No matter how many times I see footage from the Apollo 11 mission, it never becomes any less impressive or awe-inspiring, and it was probably the last time people came together in unison for something that wasn't miserable or depressing. This documentary combines footage from numerous Apollo missions but is edited and presented as one single mission. As such, a lot is shown out of context but this is less concerned with presenting the facts, instead showing unseen, spectacular footage, and allowing the astronauts in their voiceovers to reminisce. There's some brilliant stuff here, including a collection of clips that wouldn't be out of place on a blooper reel with the all-to-happy astronauts tripping and stumbling over. Their sense of humour and elation comes across as well, and it is quite amazing to think that 40 years again there were men laughing and joking on the moon. It's a superb documentary about a truly incredible achievement - 5/5



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Behold! We are the Nine,
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:51 pm

Rising Sun (1993), directed by Phillip Kaufman, (The Right Stuff (1983), The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988) and Henry & June (1990)), and based upon Michael Crichton's 1992 best-seller, which was optioned for the screen even before it was published. This is an enjoyable thriller with some good thrills, and a good cast. It does drag a bit towards the end, and even the ending is a bit of a downer, but it's good up to then. In Los Angeles, in a building of a major Japanese conglomerate, escort Cheryl Lynn Austin (Tatjana Patitz) is found brutally murdered in a sexual attack. Police Detective Web Smith (Wesley Snipes) and former police captain John Connor (Sean Connery) are sent to investigate. Connor is an expert on Japanese affairs, and his expertise comes to good use in this case. But it's a complex one as it looks like Eddie Sakamura (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), son of the chairman is identified by the security cameras as the killer, but he isn't. As Connor and Smith dig deeper, they find that Eddie has been used to cover the identity of the real killer, who was erased from the video. It's a good thriller, and Connery gives a good performance too, and he plays off well against Snipes, who holds his own. It does lose it's way towards the end, but it's a good, atmospheric thriller with appearances from Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi. 3.5/5



Waterworld (1995), the most hyped and notorious film of 1995, reuniting Kevin Costner and director Kevin Reynolds after the success of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991). They were given carte blanche with this high concept film which had a great central idea. But, it was bogged down by the production from hell, going horrendously overbudget too. This is a shame, because it's not as bad as what the press made out. Set in 2500, the polar ice caps have melted, the earth is covered in water. Those who survived live at sea on artificially made islands, a drifter known as The Mariner (Costner), who travels between floating islands trading whatever he finds. On one such island, he gets caught in a battle with pirates known as Smokers, led by the Deacon (Dennis Hopper). The Mariner ends up with orphan Enola (Tina Majorino) and her guardian Helen (Jeanne Tripplehorn) on board his boat, but it turns out Enola has something the Deacon wants, the knowledge of the whereabouts of Dryland, which the Mariner denounces as a myth, but the Deacon doesn't think so. It's a good film, but it saw Costner's downfall along with The Postman (1997). It is better than what critics have made out. Something like this could have been for a fraction of it's budget, but it just reportedly went out of control when it could have been controlled. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:10 pm

Iron Man (2008), another Marvel comics superhero comes to the big-screen, after a while in development. Marvel wanted control over their films, and got it with this one. Directed by Jon Favreau (Elf (2003) and Zathura (2005)), this is a brilliantly entertaining superhero film, and it is bouyed by an inspired lead who is great fun to watch, it's exciting and hilarious in parts as well, and it introduced a great character to cinema. This has weapons manufacturer and playboy businessman Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) being captured in Afghanistan, but he soon finds himself escaping, thanks to the creation of a high-tech metal suit he created while building a weapon for the enemy. When he finally gets home, he tinkers some more with it some more, much to the concern of his PA Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and friend Jim Rhodes (Terrence Howard), but Stark's second in command Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) see's Stark's obsession with building this suit as an opportunity to him to take over the company, but Stark isn't going to give in without a fight, quite literally as well. This very good action hero piece, it's got some very good action in it, and it's got a very good cast indeed. While it does whizz by too fast in many places, director Favreau keeps the pace and excitement up throughout the film. In all, a good start to the Iron Man franchise and what was to come. 4.5/5



On The Town (1949), directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, this was their directorial debut after enjoying success with MGM, Kelly going through the ranks from dancer to actor, and Donen as choreographer. MGM gave them a shot with this one, but Kelly and Donen wanted to film as much of it on location in New York as possible. MGM were against it, but let them, it would work. and it's a light and bubbly travellogue of New York. It begins at 6am, when sailors Gabey (Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra) and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) are on shore leave in New York, but they only have 24 hours to enjoy it. Gabey falls in love with a picture of "Miss Turnstyles", who is actually aspiring actress Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen). Meanwhile, Ozzie falls for anthropologist Claire Huddesen (Ann Miller) and Chip falls for tough-talking taxi driver Brunhilde Esterhazy (Betty Garrett), who helped Gabey track down Ivy. Meanwhile, they end up in trouble when they accidentally destroy the skeleton of a dinosaur at the Museum of Anthropological History, and they end up on the run from the police. It's a very entertaining and funny film, with some amazing dance sequences and some imaginative staging, it was ahead of it's time and it was a huge hit. MGM asked Kelly and Donen to make another film immediately, they did Singin' In The Rain (1951), the rest is history. 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:45 pm

Life of Pi (2012), Yann Martel's 2001 novel had been in development for nearly 10 years, being passed on by directors like M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who couldn't figure out how to make it work. It looked unfilmable, until Ang Lee decided to have a go at it, it would take him 3 years of production to get it to the screen, but it works, and it looks absolutely stunning and it's visually beautiful. In Montreal, a writer (Rafe Spall) talks to Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan), after hearing about Pi from a man in Pondicherry, India. Pi tells his life story as a 16 year old, (Suraj Sharma) about how his family ran a zoo, but then they decided to move to Canada to sell their animals. They travel on the Japanese freighter named the Tsimtsum, and 4 days into their voyage across the Pacific, they hit a storm, Pi is the only survivor and he finds himself on a lifeboat with a Zebra, a Hyena, an Orangutan and a Bengal tiger called Richard Parker. Pi has to learn to survive on the raft with Richard Parker, not knowing how long he'll be at sea for or whether he'll be rescued. It's a magnificent adventure, where you get to feel the emotions of a tiger as well as our hero. Lee has made this seemingly unfilmable story work and it looks amazing, the 3D works as well, making it the one of the few films which has to be seen in 3D, as it enhances the story. 5/5



In Bruges (2008), a black comedy from writer/director Martin McDonagh, who won an Oscar for his short film Six Shooter (2004). He returned with this pitch black comedy-thriller, which focuses on tourist mannerisms and the nature of soul-searching, in a foreign, otherworldly town. It's a comedy of no-manners and very strong language, but there's something oddly touching and uplifting about this film. This has hitmen Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) who after a hit gone wrong, being told by their foul-mouthed boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes), to stay in the historical Belgian city of Bruges and await further instructions, Ken is very hopeful about the city, but Ray couldn't give a toss about the picturesque, fairytale-style beauty of Bruges, he didn't even know where it was originally. Soon, they become used to the local customs and sights of the city, even making friends with local drug dealer Chloë (Clémence Poésy) and American dwarf actor Jimmy (Jordan Prentice). But it's not very quiet for long, especially when Harry calls Ken, and demands he puts a hit out on Ray after what happened, Ken has a very tough decision to make. This is a very good film, it balances it's dark moments out with some very funny moments. It's got some funny dialogue and good performances, plus Bruges looks lovely, it almost feels a tad Coenesque in places, but McDonagh is most certainly a director to keep an eye on. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:53 pm

Villain (1971), directed by Michael Tuchner (The Likely Lads (1976) and Wilt (1989)), and adapted from the novel The Burden of Proof by James Barlow, in which the screenplay was done by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. This is a dark and brutal gangster film with a brilliant cast to boot. By the 1970's, the gangster genre could now have more violence in them, and this one doesn't let up on the brutality of this world. In London, vicious gangster Vic Dakin (Richard Burton) plans an ambitious and dangerous robbery of a van carrying the wages for the employees of a plastics factory. But, Dakin is facing problems when he's forced to work with the firm of rival gangster Frank Fletcher (T.P. McKenna), who brings in car salesman Edgar Lowis (Joss Ackland) to do the job. However, Inspector Bob Matthews (Nigel Davenport) is on his tail, and Matthews discovers that Dakin has ties with MP Gerald Draycott (Donald Sinden), and it's revealed Dakin is also involved with small time wheeler dealer Wolfe Lissner (Ian McShane), with whom, Dakin gets quite intimate with. It's a violent film, and the heist itself is shown to be brutal and bloody, quite shocking for then. Dakin was inspired by Ronnie Biggs, and there are parallels between the lives of Biggs and Dakin. But Burton shows an uncompromisingly brutal side which he relishes in. 4.5/5



Carry On Behind (1975). The 26th Carry On film, made as the series was about to plunge into their sad nadir. It is effectively a remake of Carry On Camping (1969) only tinkered with to cash in on the craze of caravan holidays that was going on at the time. But, it's still a very funny effort, and it's also the last hurrah for the Carry On's, as it was all sadly downhill from here with Carry On England (1976), what a shame. It has Professor Roland Crump (Kenneth Williams) taking the Russian Professor Anna Vooshka (Elke Sommer) to an archaeological dig taking place near a caravan site, owned by Major Leep (Kenneth Connor), who later ends up "feeling a complete arse". Razz Also on the camp site are butcher Fred Ramsden (Windsor Davies) and electrician Ernie Bragg (Jack Douglas) looking for a bit of crumpet while the wifes away. Razz Plus, there's husband and wife Arthur and Linda Upmore (Bernard Bresslaw and Patsy Rowlands), the latter's mother Daphne Barnes (Joan Sims) has come along as well. Even for one of the later Carry On films, it does have some very good double entendres in it, and even if the strain was starting to show at this time, although caravaning holidays are seen as something uncool now, it's a good timepiece of how people spent their holidays in the 1970's. If only we could have those days back. Razz 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:36 am

Is Life of Pi only out in 3D?

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:10 pm

No, there's also 2D screenings too.

The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), this is what sprung Hammer to prominence, they bought the rights to do this big screen adaptation of the 1953 serial broadcast on the BBC. It shocked viewers, but when Hammer got the rights they wanted to show more than what the BBC version would allow. It's still effective all these years later, and it was the template for the Hammer Horrors that were to come. A manned rocket, which was developed by Professor Bernard Quatermass (Brian Donlevy), crashes in the English countryside, the only survivor is Victor Carroon (Richard Wordsworth), who is shellshocked and battered. He's taken to hospital, but it's not long before he undergoes a horrific transformation, murdering some of the hospital staff and escaping into London. Quatermass and Inspector Lomax (Jack Warner) go on a hunt to find Carroon before he does more damage. But not before they discover what happened on the rocket, where the other two crew members seemingly vanished. But, Carroon's transformation doesn't stop and he transforms into something hideous. It's a brilliantly suspenseful chiller, and a forerunner of what was to come with The Fly (1986). Director Val Guest does well with the material, and he seemed able to turn his hand to anything, and he gets good performances from his cast here. Hammer wanted more, and they got it. 4/5



Quatermass 2 (1957), after the success of The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), Hammer ordered the production of a sequel almost immediately. How could they follow up to the original, which despite controversy had been a big box-office smash?? Hammer got back director Val Guest, who had just done The Abominable Snowman (1957) for Hammer. This is a sequel that manages to be as suspenseful and exciting as the original. This time, Professor Quatermass (Brian Donlevy) is trying to drum up financial support which would see the moon being populated, but he's been intrigued by the strange blips showing up on the radar in his lab. It takes him to a remote country town, which is almost barren and destroyed, and a nearby factory, which has been holding secrets. With help from Inspector Lomax (John Longden) and reporter Jimmy Hall (Sid James), they discover the factory has been producing synthetic food, or have they?? There's a lot of ammonia gas around which seem to be getting pumped into large domes which the factory staff don't want them to see. It's a good sci-fi/horror with some good imagination on display, and the factory where a lot of the action takes place at is a Shell refinery near Canvey Island in Essex. It's a good other-worldly location and it works wonders on film, it's a shame we had to wait 10 years for the next one.

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:51 pm

Nothing But The Night (1973), directed by Peter Sadsy (Countess Dracula (1971) and Hands of the Ripper (1971)), this uncomfortable chiller based upon John Blackburn's novel was optioned by Christopher Lee as a potential vehicle for Hammer, they refused it, so he took it to Rank, who were more than happy to produce it. Hammer's loss was Rank's gain, and this is a precursor to what Lee did in The Wicker Man. Three trustees of the Van Traylen fund, which has a children's home on the Scottish island of Bala, have all died in suspicious circumstances, they look like suicide, but they aren't. They all have a young girl in common, Mary Valley (Gwyneth Strong), who is in hospital traumatised by something, and her mother Anna Harb (Diana Dors) is abusive. Police Colonel Bingham (Lee) teams up with hospital supervisor Sir Mark Ashley (Peter Cushing) to find out what's going on. The murders continue, even with Mary in hospital. So Bingham and Ashley travel to Bala to the children's home to see if they can get to the bottom of it, and it gets more sinister. It's a slow burner, but it builds up to a shocking and unforgettable finale that no-one would get away with in films these days. But, it builds up brilliantly, and it's well made and it's got good support from Keith Barron, Fulton Mackay and Michael Gambon in his first film role. 4/5



Carry On Girls (1973), the 25th Carry On film in the long running series, and for this one, they pushed the boat out with the sex references and the risque humour, but staying on the right side of family friendly, but only just. It's actually one of the funniest films in a series which at the time was sinking into a sad decline, it's just a shame that neither Kenneth Williams nor Charles Hawtrey could make this one. This one is set in the seaside town of Fircombe, where tourism is dwindling, no thanks to the bad weather the resort is having. Local councilor Sid Fiddler (Sid James) has an idea, a beauty contest which would be likely to boost tourism. The town's mayor Frederick Bumble (Kenneth Connor) is all for the idea, but they face stiff opposition from the prudish Augusta Prodworthy (June Whitfield), a women's liberationist. But, Fiddler goes ahead with the plans, with the girls staying at the Palace Hotel, ran by Connie Philpotts (Joan Sims), who isn't for the idea either. Prodworthy will try anything to put a stop to the contest going ahead, but Fiddler won't go down without a fight. For reference, this is the one where Bernard Bresslaw dresses in drag, and there's a cameo from Robin Askwith as a cheeky photographer. Razz But, it's still good fun, with Sid James coming out with alot of the best double-entendres of the films and indeed the series. Razz 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:41 am

Silent Running (1972), the directorial debut of special effects whiz Douglas Trumbull, (2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)), this is an amazingly sparse and beautifully moving science fiction film. It cost only $1 million to make and was shot in 32 days, and Trumbull claimed this was his answer to 2001, it manages to be an awe-inspiring adventure with a gentle edge and 3 robots who steal the film. In the future, plant life on Earth has become extinct, and spaceships with glass ecodomes carry what remains in order to preserve and hopefully restore Earth. The forests on board the spaceship Valley Forge are maintained by botanist Freeman Lowell (Bruce Dern), who spends most of his time in the ecodomes, while getting teased by crew members John Keenan (Cliff Potts), Marty Barker (Ron Rifkin) and Andy Wolf (Jesse Vint). However, when an order comes from command headquarters to jettison the ecodomes and destroy them with nuclear charges, something snaps inside Lowell, already taunted to breaking point, and he rebels. It's an amazing film, with Bruce Dern giving a brilliant performance, his character may have done something wrong, but you understand his intentions and side with him. It's also an indictment of what could happen to the world if we don't protect the environment, but it isn't preachy. It's a moving and engaging. 5/5



Jack Reacher (2012), based upon One Shot, the 9th book in Lee Child's series of Jack Reacher novels, and adapted and directed here by Christopher McQuarrie, (The Usual Suspects (1995), The Way of the Gun (2000)), this is a powerful and suspenseful action thriller, with a great lead performance by someone who doesn't have the physical presence of the Jack Reacher portrayed in Child's books, but he does well. In Pittsburgh, James Barr (Joseph Sikora) finds himself being arrested for the murders of 5 innocent people from the vantage point of a carpark overlooking the river. Barr asks Detective Emerson (David Oyelowo) and District Attorney Alex Rodin (Richard Jenkins) to get Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) a former military policeman now drifter. Reacher arrives, but only so he could end Barr's life, as Reacher knew Barr did something bad in Iraq years ago. Reacher believes Barr did the killings, but Rodin's daughter counsellor Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike) is defending Barr, and she see's that something isn't right, and urges reacher to investigate, which he does in his own way. It's a thriller which shares DNA with Killing Them Softly (2012), but this one is faster with more action. Cruise shows brutality with a ingenious edge at survival. It has good support from Robert Duvall, Jai Courtney and mad director Werner Herzog as the mysterious baddie, who deserved more screentime. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:07 am

The Sound of Music (1965), It was only a matter of time before the 1959 stage musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, based on the life of the Von Trapp family came to the big screen. After a few years in development, being passed from director to director, Robert Wise, then hot off making West Side Story (1961), took it on. It's a happy and joyous musical, despite the dark time frame which it's set during. Set in Salzberg, Austria in 1938, Nun turned Governess Maria (Julie Andrews), is assigned to look after the Von Trapp children for their strict, widowed father Captain Georg Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), the children Liesl (Charmian Carr), Friedrich (Nicholas Hammond), Louisa (Heather Menzies), Kurt (Duane Chase), Brigitta (Angela Cartwright), Marta (Debbie Turner) and Gretl (Kym Karath) are unruly and have scared away other governesses but Maria believes she can behave themselves with the help of a little music and etiquette. They soon warm to her and she introduces them to simple pleasures such as singing and even melts the icy heart of their father, who takes to Maria. It's easy see why so many people love it. It's such an innocent tale of finding joy and happiness, set in a time of changing politics and strict traditions. The songs are still amazing and it's beautifully filmed as well, it's true when they say they don't make them like this anymore. 4.5/5



Catch Me If You Can (2002), Steven Spielberg made a break from big blockbuster films with dark overtones like A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) and Minority Report (2002) to make this this light and bubbly comedy-drama, about America's youngest con-man, and it's all true, (well some of it is.) The result turns out to be Spielberg's most pleasurable film in years, enjoyable, witty and refreshing. In 1964, 16 year old Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio), runs away from home when his parents Frank Sr. (Christopher Walken) and Paula (Nathalie Baye) divorce, to survive, he passed himself off as an airline pilot, a doctor and a lawyer, and making money with fake cheques all across America, and eventually the rest of the world. However, he soon has FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks), on his tail, and it soon becomes a game of cat and mouse between the two, while Abagnale has a close call, how long can he get away with it?? It's good to see Spielberg attempt something as light as this, it's opening credits set the tone perfectly, and he gives DiCaprio probabily the best role of his career, and it captures the era of 1960's America, when everything was colourful and perfectly innocent. Some of it may come across as unbelievable for the purposes of artistic licence, but it's still enjoyable nontheless. 5/5

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

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