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

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:41 am

Celebration Day (2012). this was the most famous concert of the 21st Century, it was the headline act of the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert which took place at the O2 Arena on December 10th 2007. No-one thought it would ever happen, but Led Zeppelin got back together one last time. This concert got the Guinness World Record for the "Highest Demand for Tickets for One Music Concert" as 20 million requests for tickets were rendered online. It's a good concert, and with 3 original members plus the son of the late drummer, they do a good set and they prove they still have it. The concert has Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham's son Jason performing a set of 14 songs with 2 encores. They include hits such as Good Times Bad Times, Ramble On, Black Dog, Trampled Under Foot, Stairway to Heaven, No Quarter, Since I've Been Loving You, Dazed and Confused, The Song Remains the Same and Kashmir. The encore consists off Whole Lotta Love and Rock and Roll. It's a 2 hour set which manages to be entertaining and compelling all at the same time. The footage is fast cut, with some shots lasting less than a second, and it's intercut with footage from the mobile phones and cameras of the fans in the audience, with all the graininess but nostalgia of Super 8mm footage. The sound is great, even if the concert's audio has been made available on bootleg for years before. But it manages to be entertaining, even if it doesn't show much of the audiences reaction. 4/5



All About Eve (1950), written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Julius Caesar (1953), Guys and Dolls (1955), Cleopatra (1963) and Sleuth (1972)), this is a powerful and brilliantly written drama about the lure and corruption of fame. Based on The Wisdom of Eve, a 1946 short story by Mary Orr, this makes for great cinema from a small source, and it's got a good cast to boot, one of whom shows a scary transformation. It begins when mousy and shy Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) gets to meet her favourite actress, Margo Channing (Bette Davis) backstage on Broadway. Eve idolises Margo, and Eve has aspirations of one day making it big on the stage. Eve was introduced to Margo by Karen Richards (Celeste Holm), whose husband is playwright Lloyd Richards (Hugh Marlowe). Eve is able to become Margo's understudy, and even starts staying with Margo. Eve's star starts to rise, and Margo comes to resent Eve but theatre critic Addison DeWitt (George Sanders) learns the truth about Eve, but Eve is unphased, and even usurps Margo's theatre role. It's a good look at the price of fame, and the lengths some people go to in order to find fame. Baxter is terrifying, going from mousy fan to vampish, spoilt superstar. It's a great performance, and she holds her own against seasoned pros like Davis and Sanders, (the latter won an Oscar for his turn). It's also famous for having a cameo from a young and then unknown Marilyn Monroe. 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:03 am

I hope Celebration Day is better than the Song Remains The Same. I really didn't like that.

_________________
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 Oct 22, 2012 11:07 am

The Taking Of Pelham 123 (2nd view) - It loses a lot of what was memorable in the original film, adds some unnecessary subplots, contains some of the most annoying editing in the history of the universe and John Travolta would have been better had he played it cool and calculating instead of just a loose cannon, but I still had a good time watching this. Maybe that's due to Denzel Washington, who I'd happily watch reading the ingredients from a crisp packet. The Walter Matthau film is better though - 4/5




Flashbacks Of A Fool (1st view) - Daniel Craig stars as a wahsed-up actor who reminisces about his youth following the death of an old friend. The moden sequence are good but the bulk of the film, the flashbacks from the title, are a dreary bore - 2/5*







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


Frakkin toasters!

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

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:26 pm

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), the 7th Dracula sequel to be done by Hammer, and after Scars of Dracula (1970) had stalled at the box-office, Hammer literally went for broke with this contemporary setting, instead of having it set in old Europe, they moved it to Swinging London, after much of the swinging had stopped. It was a big hit at the time, but it hasn't aged very well, and it's star looked bored to death too. It begins with Dracula (Christopher Lee) being killed by Lawrence Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) in 1872, and Van Helsing dies while killing Dracula, but Dracula's ashes and ring are taken, and buried near where Van Helsing has been laid to rest. Flash forwards 100 years, and Lorrimer Van Helsing (Cushing again), continues studying the occult like his ancestor did. Lorrimer's granddaughter Jessica Van Helsing (Stephanie Beacham), gets involved with occult worshipers led by Johnny Alucard (Christopher Neame), whose ancestor was a follower of Dracula. However, during a ritual, they bring Dracula back to life, and the murders begin all over again. It's a very silly film, it might have been cool and trendy back then, but now it just looks embarrassing. Lee didn't want to do any more Dracula's at the time, but Hammer always kept coaxing him back somehow. Hammer were struggling badly at the time, and they needed a hit, and this helped them, and they were able to find money to do another sequel, which started production almost immediately after this opened. 2/5



The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973), the 8th Hammer Dracula to be made, and coming off the success of Dracula A.D. 1972, they got most of the same characters back, and the film is an improvement over the previous Dracula film. It started production with the dreadful working title of Dracula is Dead and Well and Living in London, however Hammer saw common sense and changed the title to something more in keeping. Set a year or so after Dracula (Christopher Lee) stalked London, Scotland Yard's Inspector Murray (Michael Coles) is helping to investigate the death of secret agent Hanson (Maurice O'Connell), who had been taken prisoner at a country house, which is home to satanic rituals which are performed by Chin Yang (Barbara Yu Ling), and they involved members of the British Government. Murray calls upon the services of Lorrimer Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) and his granddaughter Jessica (Joanna Lumley), and the cult leads Van Helsing to the offices of D.D. Denham, who never goes out during the day, and hasn't been seen in public. It's a film which manages to be a horror film, a spy thriller and even a touch of sci-fi in there. It has more density and a better plot than the previous Hammer Dracula. It's a very silly film, but it's enough to hold your attention. Lee put his foot down with this one and said no more Dracula films ever, so Hammer ended the franchise, save of their Hong Kong horror The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (1974). 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:31 pm

The Cruel Sea (1953), produced by Ealing Studios, and directewd by Charles Frend (Scott of the Antarctic (1948), this is a naval drama that shows men doing what they do, they don't question why they do it, they're just doing their job. It's kinda like The Hurt Locker of it's day. With a mighty cast, it's a good depiction of how the Royal Navy operated during World War 2, and it's realistic as well, and it makes for compelling viewing. It begins in 1939, as the Battle of the Atlantic is heating up, and Lieutenant Commander George Ericson (Jack Hawkins) is sent to the mouth of the River Clyde to take command of HMS Compass Rose. Officers Lockhart (Donald Sinden) and Ferreby (John Stratton) are inexperienced at this, while First Lieutenant, James Bennett (Stanley Baker) is an abusive bully. They go on their first voyage out, and they're thrown in at the deep end in the middle of a battlefield of German U-Boats and British fighters. It's bad weather that ironically gives the HMS Compass Rose it's advantage, but a tragic error of judgement by Ericson tests the crew's loyalty. It's a good war film, mixing in real footage shot during the war, with studio based storm sequences and footage the crew shot at sea. Hawkins makes a brilliant lead, and he was good at roles like this, and it put him in good stead for what was to come with The Bridge on the River Kwai. With war films now, it always takes sides, not this one, as stated, this is just about men doing their job. 4/5



Looper (2012), written and directed by Rian Johnson, (Brick (2005) and The Brothers Bloom (2008)), this is a high concept sci-fi film, but done on quite a low budget. It's an original twist on the old sci-fi time-travel film, and it has two very good leads playing the same part, and it's a testament to their performances that make you believe they are the same person, and it's got some good ideas too. Set in 2044, time travel hasn't been invented, but it will have by 2074, but in the future it's outlawed, but it's being used by gangsters to send people they want killed back to 2044 and executed by Loopers. Joe Simmons (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one such Looper, who works for Abe (Jeff Daniels), who was sent back to 2044 to run this operation. However, things go wrong when Joe's older self (Bruce Willis) is sent back to be executed. Old Joe escapes, and the younger Joe has to make sure he doesn't murder the man responsible for sending old Joe back. It sends him to a farm run by Sara (Emily Blunt) and her young son Cid (Pierce Gagnon). It's a brilliant idea, and it keeps it's visual effects to a minimum when it can, this is a world that hasn't changed that much from now, and maybe that's the point. The film is focused and tight, and maybe it spends a little too much time on the farm, but again, maybe that's the point. Gorden-Levitt shows brilliant confidence leading the film, and he plays well against Willis as well. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:22 pm

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992), directed by Roger Spottiswoode (Turner & Hooch (1989), Air America (1990) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)), this was during the period it's start decided to try his hand at comedy, Oscar (1991) was his first attempt, and this was his second. Critics then and now hate it with a vengeance, and it appears on Worst Films Ever lists, but it's not that bad, it has guilty pleasure written all over it. Los Angeles Police Sergeant Joe Bomowski (Sylvester Stallone) is happy with his life, and he has an on-off relationship with Lt. Gwen Harper (JoBeth Williams). However, Joe is getting a visit from his mother Tutti (Estelle Getty) who lives in Newark, New Jersey. She's constantly embarrassing Joe in front of complete strangers, and cleaning his gun and interfering with his relationship with Gwen. But, she becomes something of an asset when she witnesses a shooting in downtown LA, and that she isn't all embarrassing at all. It's a very silly film, and we all have a mother like the one portrayed in this film. Sly and Getty play well of each other and it makes for good family viewing too. It's not meant to be taken seriously, but Sly still thinks it's the worst film he's ever done. 3/5



Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), 18 years after the original, and despite the death of John Belushi since then, Dan Aykroyd and John Landis decided the time was right to do another Blues Brothers film, and there was demand from fans for another film. So, they did it. It's certainly not as good as the first film, but it's a sort of guilty pleasure, and it's worth it for the musicians and music, and there is some good comedy throughout. It has Elwood Blues (Aykroyd) being released from jail, and learning Jake has passed on. But, he learns he has a half-brother with Cabel "Cab" Chamberlain (Joe Morton), who just happens to be commander of the Illinois State Police, Elwood wants to get the band back together, he's also got bartender Mighty Mack (John Goodman) and 10-year old orphan named Buster (J. Evan Bonifant) also in the band, and with the band back together, they get a gig at a Battle of the Bands contest at the home of voodoo practitioner Queen Moussette (Erykah Badu). It has it's moments with a lot of cartoonish police car action and slapstick comedy, alot of it doesn't gel, but the Battle of the Bands at the end with Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, B.B. King, Isaac Hayes, Dr. John, Lou Rawls, Jimmie Vaughan and Bo Diddley is well worth sitting through the film for. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:53 am

Raw Deal (1986), directed by John Irvin (Hamburger Hill (1987), Widow's Peak (1994) and Shiner (2000)), this is a very silly action film made at the peak of it's star powers. Despite some well staged action sequences, it's not aged very well, and it's definitely a product of it's time. When a mob informant who has information on Chicago mobster Luigi Patrovita (Sam Wanamaker) and the FBI bodyguards protecting him at a remote safe house are ambushed and killed in a violent bloodbath, one of the agents killed is Blair Shannon (Steve Holt), son of FBI Chief Harry Shannon (Darren McGavin), who vows revenge. However, he's too old to go out on a personal vendetta, so he calls upon former FBI agent and small town Sheriff Mark Kaminsky (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to take down Patrovita and his men. Under the alias of felon Joseph P. Brenner, Kaminsky is able to work his way into Patrovita's empire, and work his way up the ladder, Yojimbo style to get to Patrovita. It's got a good plot, with the odd flash of action every now and again, but a lot of it is dull, and you can't believe someone like Arnie would be a sheriff. But, as always, he's good in the action scenes. But it has one or two climactic bits, but on the whole, it fails. 2/5



Scenes of a Sexual Nature (2006), the feature debut of TV director Ed Blum, (The Bill and Take the Mike), this ensemble piece was done for a meagre £260,000. Which director Blum joked was "less than Love Actually 's catering budget". Most of the cast did their scenes for next to nothing, because they were excited about the project, and it shows. It's a slight piece, some bits work better than others, but it's enjoyable. Set on a sunny day on Hampstead Heath, it has Jamie (Andrew Lincoln) and Molly (Holly Aird) sunbathing, talking about life, but Jamie is distracted by French girl Sophie (Eglantine Rembauville). Older couple Iris (Eileen Atkins) and Eddie (Benjamin Whitrow) meet on a park bench and talk about life. Disturbed woman Anna (Sophie Okonedo) is pestered by nuisance Noel (Tom Hardy). Gay couple Billy (Ewan McGregor) and Brian (Douglas Hodge) talk about gay relations, while separated man and wife Peter Brian Maxwell (Adrian Lester) and Sara Louise Williams (Catherine Tate) rekindle their love. There's something charming about it all, and it does make for an entertaining collection of interconnecting short films. The cast, also including Mark Strong, Polly Walker, Gina McKee and Hugh Bonneville, all give good, gently funny performances. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:27 am

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011), directed by Lynne Ramsey (Ratcatcher (1999) and Morvern Callar (2002)), and based on Lionel Shriver's 2003 bestseller. This is an eerie and disturbing thriller which has all the traits and conventions of a horror film, but it has two brilliant performances in it, and it explores the possibility that are children born bad or is it the way they're brought up that makes them that way? Eva Khatchadourian (Tilda Swinton) has become an outcast in her community after her son Kevin (Ezra Miller) did something absolutely evil and appalling, her house is splattered with red paint, she's abused in public by people caught up with what Kevin did. Eva looks back at her life, asking if it was something she did wrong, Kevin was always a different child, he refused to be toilet trained and he cried a lot as a baby and wouldn't speak, but he always seemed to bond better with his father Franklin (John C. Reilly), and he says Kevin's behaviour is all part of growing up, but Eve isn't too sure. This is frightening, but it's shot with a dreamlike precision, and Ramsey gets the best from her performers. Swinton is always good, and Miller, after this and The Perks of Being A Wallflower, will go on to greater things, but this is not a film for everyone. 4/5



Wuthering Heights (2011), directed by Andrea Arnold (Red Road (2006) and Fish Tank (2009)), this is a bleak and stark retelling of Emily Brontë's 1847 novel. This adaptation keeps it focused, cutting out the novels second half, but it works and it's quite compelling, even if it does add explicit language to the proceedings, it's hard to believe that they would have said words like that in 19th Century Yorkshire, but the concept of a coloured Heathcliff works. It begins on the Earnshaw estate on the Yorkshire Moors, where Heathcliffe (Solomon Glave) an orphan found on the streets is taken in by Mr. Earnshaw (Paul Hilton). Heathcliff becomes friends with Earnshaw's daughter Cathy (Shannon Beer), but Heathcliff is abused by Cathy’s older brother Hindley (Lee Shaw), and this drives a wedge between Heathcliffe and Cathy. Years pass, and the older Heathcliff (James Howson) returns to claim back Cathy (Kaya Scodelario), but Hindley comes between them again. It's a more edgier adaptation of the book, and even though it's set in the past, it's modern attitude has varying results, but it captures the setting perfectly. This adaptation has an almost naturalistic, documentary style focus to it. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:18 pm

Sorcerer (1977), William Friedkin had a double whammy with The French Connection (1971) and The Exorcist (1973), here he was going for a triple whammy by remaking Henri-Georges Clouzot's The Wages of Fear (1953). Clearly Friedkin needed his head checked, he lost it mentally making this film, forcing Universal and Paramount to spend $22.5 million into making it, and filming it for over a year. It flopped, but it's not the disaster everyone made it out to be. It deserves a reappraisal pronto!! It follows 4 men. New Jersey gangster Jackie Scanlon (Roy Schieder), French investment banker Victor Manzon (Bruno Cremer), Israeli terrorist Kassem (Amidou) and mysterious assassin Nilo (Francisco Rabal), all hiding out in a remote South American village for crimes they've commited. When a nearby oil well explodes, 4 men are needed to drive very highly volatile cases of nitro glycerine over 200 miles over rough terrain to the fire, the stakes are enormous, but they have nothing to lose. It's a very suspenseful, taut film with some good moments on it. It's very violent, gritty, dirty and down to earth. It was never gonna be as good as Wages of Fear, but Friedkin had a good stab at it and makes it his own. It's well shot and the score by Tangerine Dream is perfect. 4/5



The Deep Blue Sea (2011), directed by Terence Davies (Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988), The Long Day Closes (1992) and The House of Mirth (2000)), this adaptation of the 1952 play by Terence Rattigan is slow, dreamlike and meditative. But, it captures the era well and it's shot with a cool yet professional precision. Davies has often been acclaimed as one of the best directors of recent British cinema, even if he's only directed 6 feature films. Set in "around 1950", this film tells the story of Hester Collyer (Rachel Weisz), the younger wife of High Court judge Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale), their marriage is an unhappy one, but Hester finds solace in RAF pilot Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), who fought during World War II. Hester and Freddie begin a passionate affair, but it's marred by Freddie's memories of the war. However, she has to make a decision whether to stay with Sir William, a life of luxury, or start afresh with Freddie in cold new surroundings. It's a slow burning film set on a select few locations, but it's a play on film essentially, and Davies stays close to Rattigan. It has all the hallmarks of a soap opera, but it's got better performances than any soap will have, and it's cinematography is flowing. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:08 am

Metropolitan (1st view) - Whit Stillman's comedy about a group of wealthy socialites at Christmas in New York. Fans of Woody Allen might like it a lot - 4/5






Jaws (9th view) - One of the greatest things in history - 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   Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:28 am

Lockout (1st view) - Better than I expected. It's still pretty bad but never takes itself seriously which helps a lot - 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   Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:07 pm

Castaway (1986), directed by Nicolas Roeg, this is based on an amazing true story based on a travel memoir by Lucy Irvine, Roeg had two sides of the story to chose from, that of Irvine's and her companion Gerald Kingsland, Roeg went with Irvine's account. It is a bit sensationalist for it's day, but Roeg adds his usual touches of sex and beautiful cinematography. Despite the odd misgiving, it works. Sort of. Gerald Kingsland (Oliver Reed) advertises in Time Out magazine for a female companion to spend a year with him on a desert island. Young typist Lucy Irving (Amanda Donohoe) applies to the position on a whim, and after meeting with Kingsland, he chooses her. Kingsland has selected the island Tuin, between New Guinea and Australia. As the location where they'll be spending a year. They go and set up camp on the island, and try to carry on life there. But, it's clear that paradise is not all it's cracked up to be, and Kingsland succumbs to madness, and it's Irvine who has to pick up the pieces and keep going. It's a naturalistic work, not Roeg's best, and it does drag in places. But Reed and Donohoe give very good performances, it was produced by Cannon Films, and it's amazing the best film they've produced in a sea of stinkers. 3.5/5



Enter The Dragon (1973), HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! This is the film that the late Bruce Lee is most remembered for, the one that made him a superstar. Pity he didn't live to see what a global success it became, however time has not been all that kind to this film, and it takes it's sweet time getting going. In Hong Kong, Shaolin martial artist Lee (Bruce Lee) is approached by British agent named Braithwaite (Geoffrey Weeks) to infiltrate an island where a martial arts competition is taking place, organised by Han (Shih Kien). It turns out Han is wanted for drug trafficking and prostitution, however, the island is only partially in their jurisdiction, so they can't investigate thoroughly. Lee agrees to take part, and finds himself competing with American playboy Roper (John Saxon) and African-American activist Williams (Jim Kelly). Lee learns that Han's bodyguard O'Hara (Robert Wall) had been involved in the death of his sister Su Lin (Angela Mao). So, as well as doing the mission for Braithwaite, it also becomes something of a personal vendetta for Lee. It does have some good moments of action, but despite critical plaudits, it's not best kung-fu film to have come from the era, and it's marred by bad acting and some bad dubbing. But, it works despite that. Lee does handle the action scenes well, but apart from that, he doesn't have much to do. A film which promises alot, but doesn't deliver it all. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:34 pm

Taken (2008), produced and co-written by Luc Besson, and directed by Pierre Morel (District 13 (2004) and From Paris With Love (2010)), this is a hardass action picture which harks back to action films of the 1980's, but it's well made and it has a good strong lead, kicking ass and taking down baddies. It's silly, cheesy fun and it's also tight, focuses and to the point. Former CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) wants to be closer to his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), who has just turned 17, but her mother Lenore (Famke Janssen) is scornful of this. Kim is going off to Paris with her best friend Amanda (Famke Janssen), Bryan lets her, but he wants to make sure she's safe, and keeps tabs on her. In Paris, they meet Peter (Nicolas Giraud), who is friendly, a bit too friendly... No sooner than Kim and Amanda are in Paris, they're kidnapped by Albanian's to be sold into prostitution. But not before Kim called Bryan to tell him what was happening, and he springs into action, and tries to find whoever is responsible. It's very silly, but Neeson as Mills is clever and uses his wits and prowess to get the information he needs. The action is well staged too, around the streets and apartments of Paris, this is the kind of action film we need now, hard-ass and great fun. 4/5



Skyfall (2012), Bond 23, and the 007 franchise came perilously close to ending when MGM went bankrupt, but MGM found money, and they got to make this, with Sam Mendes at the helm too, the first Oscar winning director to do a Bond. The delayed production gave them chance to make the script the best ever, get the best performances from all concerned, and get top talent in front and behind the camera. It's one of the best Bonds of them all. James Bond (Daniel Craig) is seemingly killed while trying to retrieve a computer hard-drive from assassin Patrice (Ola Rapace). The hard-drive contains the information and identities of NATO agents deep undercover, M (Judi Dench) finds herself under pressure from government officer Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), and after MI6 is attacked, Bond reappears. M assigns Bond with finding whoever did this, it takes Bond to Shanghai and Macau, where he meets Sévérine (Bérénice Marlohe), who takes Bond to Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), who was behind the attack, but Silva has a past... It's a brilliant piece of entertainment, it's a Bond unlike all the others, but it's also old fashioned in it's direction and acting. Craig is brilliant as Bond, and here he gets to have a bit more fun than his first two outings. It's emotionally charged, and it's the best looking Bond of them all, with real danger and threat too. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:01 pm

Taken 2 (2012), it had to happen, there was no way he could get away with taking on the Albanian's, and they wouldn't forgive and forget. So, here's the sequel, co-written and produced by Luc Besson, and directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3 (2008) and Colombiana (2011)), this is more of the same, but it's still good, even if they have toned down most of the action to appeal to the widest audience possible, it's still great fun to watch, and seeing Neeson kicking ass is always good. After what happened in Taken, the bodies of all the Albanian's killed in Paris are returned to be buried in Tropojë, Albania. Gang leader Murad (Rade Šerbedžija) vows revenge on Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson). Mills is doing some security work in Istanbul, and his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and her mother Lenore (Famke Janssen) are over on holiday. However, the Albanian's are in town, and they go about kidnapping all of them, but Kim is able to escape. After being kidnapped, Mills is also able to escape, and once again, he has to take on the Albanians, with help from Kim, as they look for Lenore. It's very silly, and it's also great fun, with chases on the rooftops and streets of Istanbul, it's tight and contained once again, with some good intelligent action as well. It'll be interesting to see where Taken 3 goes from here. 3/5



The Beast In The Cellar (1970), produced by Tigon British Film Productions, and directed by James Kelley, (from TV's Bootsie and Snudge and Our Man at St. Mark's), this is a very schlocky horror that is quite slow moving and takes it's sweet time in getting going. It promises a lot, but most of it's suspense doesn't begin until it's nearly too late. Which is a shame, considering it has a good cast and all. At an Army base in Lancashire, there have been killings of soldiers by what appears to be an animal, Sgt. Young (John Kelland) brings in Superintendent Paddick (T.P. McKenna) to investigate. At a house on the edge of the army base perimeter live two elderly sisters Ellie (Beryl Reid) and Joyce Ballantyne (Flora Robson), who live quiet lives, and keep to themselves. Ellie is always nostalgic for the good old days of their childhood, but Joyce is domineering, claiming their childhood wasn't as good as she remembers it. They're visited with groceries by Corporal Alan Marlow (John Hamill), but the sisters have a dark secret... It's a very silly and grainy horror film, the only good thing going for it are the performances, but something like this is screaming to be gorier and nastier, but it isn't, it's suggestive but that's it. Oh, and look out for Chris Chittell (Eric Pollard off Emmerdale.) 2/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Oct 29, 2012 6:30 pm

Carry On Jack (1963), the 8th Carry On film, and this one was a little different, as only three of the Carry On regulars appear, with one or two making their Carry On debuts. But despite this, it's a very funny film, and it was round about now that the Carry On films were taking shape, and starting to settle into it's smutty ways. There was no going back to it's more innocent beginnings after this one, plus it was quite lavish for a Carry On. Set during the golden age of the Royal Navy in the Early 19th Century, newly commissioned Midshipman Albert Poop-Decker (Bernard Cribbins) is to join the crew of the frigate Venus at Plymouth, however while at Dirty Dick's Tavern, he's knocked out by maid Sally (Juliet Mills), who steals his uniform and goes on the Venus hoping to find her boyfriend. Poop-Decker is taken aboard by a press gang, and he's put under Mr Angel (Percy Herbert) and First Officer Jonathan Howett (Donald Houston), who are sick of the way cowardly Captain Fearless (Kenneth Williams) runs the ship, so they plan to get rid of him. This was the first of Carry On's historical films, like Cleo, Up The Khyber and Henry), they got off to a good start with this one. Cribbins should have done more, as he was a perfect fit for these films, while Williams is his usual self, and it makes fun of old nautical traditions. 3.5/5



Stalag 17 (1953), written, produced and directed by Billy Wilder, adapted from Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski's Broadway play of the same name, this is a blackly comedic prisoner of war drama, with some brilliant performances and some crackerjack dialogue typical of Wilder. It's a good, tight ensemble and it's a different kind of POW film, instead of being dark and gloomy, it's engaging, entertaining and exciting. Set in Stalag 17, somewhere near the Danube River, the camp holds Poles, Czechs, Russian females and in the American compound, 640 Sergeants. In Barracks Four, there is J.J. Sefton (William Holden), Harry Shapiro (Harvey Lembeck), Stanislas "Animal" Kasava (Robert Strauss), Joey (Robinson Stone) and Price (Peter Graves). Morale in Barracks Four is down after Manfredi (Michael Moore) and Johnson (Peter Baldwin) were shot dead trying to escape. The camp is ruled with an iron yet fair fist by Colonel Von Scherbach (Otto Preminger). After Barracks Four are punished, suspicion grows amongst the men that one of them is working for the Nazi's. This is a clever and thrilling film, and it's one of the best POW films ever made, with good, tight direction and writing by Wilder, who gets the best from his cast, (Holden won an Oscar for this), and it's got moments of inspired comedic dialogue through the drama of surviving in the camp. 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:11 am

Glad you liked the Taken films, and 5 stars for Bond steve


The A-Team (3rd view) - I wasn't too keen on this when I first saw it at the cinema, but it's grown on same an awful lot. The tank sequence is one of my favourite action scenes from the last 10 years - 4/5




Zombibi (1st view) - Dutch zombie comedy, very enjoyable - 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 Nov 01, 2012 5:10 am

Frankenweenie (1st view) - Lots of fun. The animation was terrific. I want that dog - 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 Nov 01, 2012 7:42 pm

The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), directed and produced by Norman Jewison, who had just come off the huge Oscar-winning success of In The Heat Of The Night (1967), he wanted something a little lighter for his next film, and opted for this crime caper with a touch of romance about it. While it's a good idea for a film, it suffers from a weak script and more time seems to have been spent on the films technicalities. Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) is a rich playboy who is bored, he has everything but that's not enough, he plays polo and golf, flies a glider and drives a dune buggy, but he wants more, and he comes up with the idea for the perfect crime. He hires 5 men who he's never met and never will, to rob a bank in Boston, and dump the money in a bin in a cemetery, and Crown will pick the money up, and deposit it in a bank in Geneva. However, Crown soon comes face to face with insurance investigator Vicki Anderson (Faye Dunaway), who is investigating the crime, and Anderson suspects Crown of the heist, but he's a match for her. It should have been a film raging with chemistry and style, but the only high this film gets is a chess match and that's it. It's a bit of a let down, and it spends more time with the split screens and cinematography. The only plusses that came from this film were that Hal Ashby did the editing and Walter Hill was the second unit director. 2/5



Birth (2004), directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast (2000)), this was an original idea Glazer had, which he saw as a fairy tale early on, but after developing the script with French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) and Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)), it became a dark and unsettling drama, but it has some good performances, with a story that questions the beliefs of re-incarnation. Anna (Nicole Kidman) and Sean (Michael Desautels) are a happily married couple, but then Sean collapses and dies while out jogging, 10 years later, Anna has accepted a proposal to marry Joseph (Danny Huston), and at a party celebrating the birthday of Anna's mother Eleanor (Lauren Bacall), they see a boy (Cameron Bright), who they thought was a guest at the party, who is claiming to be the reincarnation of Sean. At first, Anna doesn't believe him, but "Sean" gives enough evidence to convince Anna otherwise. But Joseph begins to suspect that this isn't as straight forward as it looks. It has a European feel about it, and it's well filmed with some good performances, but it gets a bit confused towards the end. But, this is a ghost story without touching upon the supernatural. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:19 pm

Hotel Transylvania (2012), the feature debut of Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars), this is the third horror themed animation to come out this year, and this one is played mostly for daft laughs, with a cast consisting of the friends and collaborators of it's star, it's a film which manages to be fun, with some brilliant imaginative details along the way, but there's too much going on to take it all in. Dracula (Adam Sandler) has built Hotel Transylvania, a five-star resort where the world's monsters can be safe from human civilization. His regular guest include Frankenstein's Monster (Kevin James), Wayne and Wanda Werewolf (Steve Buscemi and Molly Shannon) and Murray the Mummy (Cee Lo Green). However, things take a turn when twentysomething backpacker Jonathan (Andy Samberg) comes into the hotel. Horrified, Dracula disguises him as a Johnny-stein. Razz But, things get more complicated when Jonathan falls for Dracula's teenage daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez). It's a very silly and childish film, but Tartakovsky has great fun with the visual look of the film and it's very detailed, making fun of all kinds of monster myths. But, it's a little bright and loud for it's own good. 3/5



Doctor Dolittle (1967), based upon the books by Hugh Lofting, this is a family musical where the nightmarish production was even more entertaining than what went on in the film itself. It was an attempt by Fox to cash-in on the success of The Sound of Music (1965), this and the following year's Star! (1968) would nearly bankrupt Fox. It was badly reviewed then, and it's not improved now, it's overblown and dull, and sums up all that was wrong with Hollywood at the time. In the English seaside hamlet of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh, Doctor John Dolittle (Rex Harrison) specialises in helping animals with various ailments, and he's able to talk to them. The film follows his exploits like getting into trouble with the law, selling a rare two-headed Pushmi-pullyu to circus owner Albert Blossom (Richard Attenborough), then travelling with Emma Fairfax (Samantha Eggar), Matthew Mugg (Anthony Newley) and Tommy Stubbins (William Dix) to the legendary Sea-Star Island. It's overlong and it's too complex for kids to follow, and knowing what happened during production overshadowed it, Harrison's ferocious drinking, the animals misbehaving, and trouble filming in Castle Combe and St. Lucia with rebellious locals. The songs are OK, but hardly memorable. Thank god the likes of Easy Rider came along. 2/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:00 pm

Urban Cowboy (1980), written and directed by James Bridges (The Paper Chase (1973), September 30, 1955 (1977) and The China Syndrome (1979)), this was made when country music had an unexpected boom in the American charts. It also gave it's star the chance to do something new, and show he wasn't just a teen idol. He needed a hit after Moment by Moment (1978) was a massive flop, and it was one of his last successes before Pulp Fiction. It has Buford Uling Davis 'Bud' (John Travolta) moving from the small town of Spur, Texas to Pasadena, Texas, which is just outside Houston. Bud has taken a job in an oil refinery in the hope of getting more money. For the time being, Bud is living with his Uncle Bob (Barry Corbin), who introduces him to the Honky Tonk side of life, including the local bar Gilley's. It's here Bud meets Sissy (Debra Winger), and they start a relationship. Bud also takes part in mechanical bull riding competitions, competing against tough arch-rival Wes (Scott Glenn), who is abusive, and wants Sissy to himself. It's a bit overlong, but it has it's moments, including some good music by the Charlie Daniels Band and Bonnie Raitt, and it shows a tough but honest side to American life, one which is still going strong now. 3.5/5



Blown Away (1994), directed by Stephen Hopkins (The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), Lost in Space (1998) and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004)), this is a silly action thriller with two great actors in the lead, but they're somehow badly miscast. It's a good idea for a film with a good location, but it could have been a lot better, but it managed to find an audience in cinemas at the time, and the action sequences aren't bad either. In Boston, Lt. Jimmy Dove (Jeff Bridges) works for the bomb disposal technician for the Boston Police Department bomb squad, and he always keeps his cool in a crisis. However, he finds himself up against a new threat, Irish terrorist Ryan Gaerity (Tommy Lee Jones), who escaped from a prison in Northern Ireland. Gaerity has a personal vendetta against Dove, and it's revealed Dove has a secret past, one he and his uncle Max (Lloyd Bridges) knows about. But, the bombings become more frequent, and it gets a bit close to home, with Gaerity threatening Dove's wife Kate (Suzy Amis). It promises a lot, but it's let down by some dodgy Irish accents, (Tommy Lee Jones hams it up to high heaven, this was a warning of things to come in Batman Forever), considering Liam Neeson and Stephen Rea were considered for the leads, this was something of a missed opportunity. 2.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:13 pm

Dolores Claiborne (1995), based upon Stephen King's 1992 novel, which was a best seller that year, and brought to the screen by the reliable Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) and Ray (2004)), this is a chilling psychological drama that has shows a decent into madness and Hitchcockian trickery from clever shots right down to Danny Elfman's score. Set in a remote part of Maine, it begins when Dolores Claiborne (Kathy Bates) seemingly murders her ill, elderly employer Vera Donovan (Judy Parfitt), and local Detective John Mackey (Christopher Plummer) thinks he can get a case against Dolores. As it transpires, 20 years prior, Dolores' husband Joe St. George (David Strathairn), who was drunken and abusive, seemingly died falling down a well, but the circumstances of his death are open to questioning. Mackey worked on the case back then, and he knew something was up. Now, with Donovan dead, Dolores' estranged daughter Selina (Jennifer Jason Leigh) comes back to town to support her mother, as everyone in town believes she murdered her husband and Donovan. But, Selina finds out that nothing is really what it seems. It's a twisting-turning thriller that has Bates giving a strong-willed performance with clever dialogue, with Leigh playing well against her, it's just the ending that seems a bit of an anti-climax, even if it follows the book faithfully, it's a King book which has a touch of Different Seasons about it, but it's worth it for Bates. 4/5



The Sea Inside (2004), written, produced and directed by Alejandro Amenábar (Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Others (2001)), this is a moving drama which is cut from similar cloth to My Left Foot (1989) and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007), it could have been a depressing and tragic film, but there's something uplifting about it, and it has a mystical and tender quality about it, with a brilliant lead performance as well. The Sea Inside tells the true story of Ramón Sampedro (Javiet Bardem), a Galician ship mechanic who suffered a near-fatal diving accident in 1968, which left him quadriplegic. For the next 29 years, he would lead a campaign against the Spanish government for the right to end his life. But the film also tells the story of his relationship with two women, Julia (Belén Rueda), a lawyer suffering from Cadasil syndrome who helps Ramón with his legal campaign, and Rosa (Lola Dueñas), who tries to convince Ramón that life is worth living, but Ramón teaches those who meet him the qualities of life. It's a touching and moving film, one that doesn't give way to cloying sentimentality, it has moments of fantasy in Ramón's dreams, it has some brilliant cinematography and Bardem is brilliant as Ramón. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:59 am

Mirror Mirror (1st view) - The least of the three Snow White tales I've seen this year - 3/5*



The Ides Of March (1st view) - A great cast and some great performances m,ake it easier to look past some of the ridiculous plot points - 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   Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:00 pm

Hard Eight (1996), the directorial debut of Paul Thomas Anderson, this was an extension of his short film Cigarettes & Coffee (1993). It's a crime thriller focuses around the world of gambling, and the dangers that world exudes. It's a good character piece, with some regulars that Anderson would cast again in his future films, as well as a few other faces who were on the cusp of stardom at the time. Sixtysomething gambler Sydney (Philip Baker Hall) meets drifter John (John C. Reilly), hanging around outside a diner. Sidney offers to buy John a coffee, John agrees, he needs money to pay for his mothers funeral. Sydney takes John under his wing, takes him to Las Vegas, and they win enough money to pay for the funeral. 2 years later, they're living in Reno, and John has become a professional gambler, winning money for him and Sydney, but when John falls for waitress Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow), John takes his eyes of the prize. It's a good character piece with some good performances, and it's tight, focuses and suspenseful. It has cameos from Samuel L. Jackson as bodyguard Jimmy and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a rival gambler. After getting critical acclaim at festivals in 1996, it prompted New Line Cinema to offer Anderson the chance to make Boogie Nights (1997), Anderson has never looked back since. 3.5/5



Things We Lost In The Fire (2007), directed by Susanne Bier (Open Hearts (2002) and Brothers (2004)), produced by Sam Mendes and written by Allan Loeb (21 (2008) and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)), this is a moving and heavy going drama which owes a lot to Crash (2005). It has two powerful lead performances, but it does drag a bit in the middle and it could have done with being tighter. Audrey Burke (Halle Berry) was happily married to Brian (David Duchovny) for 11 years, and they had two children Harper (Alexis Llewellyn) and Dory (Micah Berry). However, Audrey gets tragic news from the police that Brian was killed trying to break up a fight, she's left distraught and grieving, unsure where to go with her life next. But she finds unexpected solace in heroin addict Jerry Sunborne (Benicio del Toro) who had been friends with Brian since childhood. Jerry moves in with Audrey and the kids, living in the garage, but he's finding it hard to stay off drugs. It's a sad and moving film, brilliantly filmed by Clint Eastwood's usual DP Tom Stern. It's got brilliant performances by Berry and del Toro, but Bier's decision to shoot it like a Dogme 95 film is a bit jarring, but it's got good intentions. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:22 pm

Apocalypse Now (1979), After the double whammy and Oscar success of the first two Godfather films, Francis Ford Coppola now had the power to make whatever film he wanted to. He chose this loose adaptation of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, only relocated within the madness and horror of the Vietnam War. It is Coppola's masterpiece, a film of such grand ambition and scope that it shows how the pointlessness of war can bring out the darkness in man. It has near-burnt out Special Ops Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) who is sent on a mission to Cambodia to find Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando) who has gone renegade and insane. Willard is sent on a patrol boat up river with a crew including commander QMC George "Chief" Phillips (Albert Hall), GM3 Lance B. Johnson (Sam Bottoms), GM3 Tyrone Miller (Laurence Fishburne) a.k.a. "Mr. Clean", and EN3 Jay "Chef" Hicks (Frederic Forrest). Along the way they see a Playboy USO show, surfing enthusiast Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore (Robert Duvall) and then onto Kurtz's compound... It's a film about one man's decent into hell and back, and he'll never be the same again, Sheen has never been better, Brando adds mistique to the proceedings and Coppola's epic vision is awe-inspiring. Despite the nightmarish production, it stands as the best war film ever made, look out for Harrison Ford and Dennis Hopper's appearances too. You won't forget this in a hurry. 5/5



Freejack (1992), written by Ronald Shusett (Alien (1979) and Total Recall (1990)), and based upon Immortality, Inc. written in 1959 by Robert Sheckley and directed by Geoff Murphy (Young Guns II (1990) and Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)), this is a sci-fi film which has a brilliant concept which is wasted by miscasting, a clunky script that bore no resemblance to the source material and clunky special effects, even for it's day. Race-car driver Alex Furlong (Emilio Estevez) is seemingly killed in a spectacular crash in 1991, but just moments before his death, his body was zapped into the year 2009 by a group of 'Bonejackers', who lift bodies from the past so people in the future close to death, can live longer in new bodies. But Alex comes around, and escapes the Bonejackers, led by Victor Vacendak (Mick Jagger). Alex is struggling to understand what's happened, and goes in search of his fiancee Julie Redlund (Rene Russo) and agent Brad (David Johansen) who seemingly saw him die. But, Vacendak is in pursuit, under orders from tycoon Ian McCandless (Anthony Hopkins). It's a brilliant concept, maybe the closest thing to a Looper the 90's had, but it comes out all wrong, you don't know what accent Jagger is doing, and Hopkins is hamming it up to 11, and the special effects seem to have come from a computer screensaver. 1.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock   Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:11 am

Martha Marcy May Marlene (1st view) - John Hawkes is as good as ever but I found myself generally not caring what happened to anyone - 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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