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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyFri Nov 13, 2015 8:49 pm

Escape to Victory (1981), directed by John Huston, who made so many great and classic films like The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), The African Queen (1951) and The Man Who Would Be King (1975)). As the 1980's came around, Huston let his hair down and made this all-star prisoner-of-war film which happened to be about football. It was a loose and very cheesy remake of Zoltán Fábri's 1962 Hungarian film Two Half Times in Hell. Set during World War 2, a group of British soldiers in a POW camp play football to pass the time, they're coached by English Captain John Colby (Michael Caine), who played for West Ham United before the war. He agrees to let his team play against a match against a German team, which is a Nazi propaganda stunt. Colby selects his team, he also reluctantly chooses US Army Captain Robert Hatch (Sylvester Stallone) join the team. A plan is devised to use the match as a way to escape, and Hatch manages to escape, and get through to the French Resistance, who agree to help with the escape. It's a very silly film, but it's won a cult following, mainly among football fans as it features professional footballers like Pele and Bobby Moore, as well as most of Ipswich Town's players. Razz It's a very cheesy film, but it's enjoyable but a tad overlong. 3/5

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The Martian (2015), directed by Ridley Scott, whose career has been up and down in the past few years, from good entertaining films like American Gangster (2007) and Robin Hood (2010), to boring, overblown guff like The Counsellor (2013) and Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014). However, in adapting Andy Weir's 2011 novel The Martian. Scott has made one of his very best films, The Martian is engaging, entertaining, exciting and enjoyable throughout. Set sometime in the 2030's, the crew of Ares III, led by Commander Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain), lead a manned mission to Mars. But after 31 days on the surface, a massive storm forces the crew to escape the planet, but fellow astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is left behind, presumed dead. But he isn't, he's somehow survived, Watney, using his wits, prowess, and knowledge as a botanist, plans to grow potato crops to survive. Meanwhile, at NASA, chief director Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels) leads a team to plan a rescue mission. It's a very well made film, and Scott has well and truly redeemed himself with this film, which tried to make itself scientifically accurate as well. It also benefits from a likable lead performance from Damon, and a great 70's Disco soundtrack too. 5/5

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyFri Nov 13, 2015 9:26 pm

Blood and Black Lace (1964), directed by Mario Bava, (Black Sunday (1960) and Black Sabbath (1963)), this dark thriller was a change from the gothic horror that Bava had perfected. This was set in a then modern day Rome, and it was one of the earliest of the giallo films to come from Italy, a sub-genre that hit it's stride in the 1970's when Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci came to prominence. It's a very colourful and darkly atmospheric film to watch. Set in Rome, a model has been murdered in a brutal way by a mysterious figure wearing a white mask. Police Inspector Sylvester (Thomas Reiner) is assigned to investigate, he interviews Max Marian (Cameron Mitchell), who ran the fashion house the model worked for. Also interviewed is Max's lover Countess Cristina Como (Eva Bartok), who recently became a widow. Sylvester finds out the fashion house is embroiled in corruption, blackmail and drug use, and the diary of the murdered model may hold a clue, Sylvester has to find the diary before the murderer strikes again. Released in Italy under the title of Six Women for the Murderer, this is a very dark and very moody film, but it's use of lighting and colour is unbelievable, it's almost day-glo and liquid, and that adds to the films mood and tone. It's not perfect, but it's beautiful to look at. 3.5/5

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The History Boys (2006), After the success of The Madness of King George (1994), director Nicolas Hytner and writer Alan Bennett teamed up again for a play called The History Boys for the National Theatre in 2004, and before long, a film version was made. It's a very funny with Bennett's deadpan humour on display, with a good cast who play believable characters. It's set in a grammar school in Sheffield, Yorkshire in 1983, where 8 friends Akthar (Sacha Dhawan), Crowther (Samuel Anderson) Dakin (Dominic Cooper), Lockwood (Andrew Knott), Posner (Samuel Barnett), Rudge (Russell Tovey), Scripps (Jamie Parker) and Timms (James Corden) get the highest marks in the school. To get into Oxford or Cambridge, they need to take a seventh-term entrance exam in History, they're taught by Hector (Richard Griffiths) and Mrs. Lintott (Frances de la Tour). When new teacher Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore) comes to assist, he encourages the boys to take a different spin on events, instead of focusing on historical truth in known subjects to look for objective truth. It's an amusing and well acted film with some very good performances from the 8 boys themselves, some have gone on to greater things. Griffiths and de la Tour are wonderful as always and it's a good little comedy-drama. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptySun Nov 15, 2015 1:16 am

Runaway Train (3rd view) - Excellent thriller in which two escaped convicts and a female railword worker find themselves aboard a driverless train as it iockets through the Alaskan wilderness - 4/5

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


Frakkin toasters!

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

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyWed Nov 18, 2015 10:09 am

Ex Machina (1st view) - Very good film with three great performances - 4/5*

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 330px-Ex-machina-uk-poster

_________________
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 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyMon Nov 23, 2015 1:07 am

Casino Royale (4th view), Quantum Of Solace (3rd view), Skyfall (3rd view)

Getting these rewatched before I see Spectre. Casino Royale remains my favourite Bond film, with the possible exception of From Russia With Love. It does an awful lot so right, and has the best title sequence and Bond girl from the entire series. Kinda wish that Vesper hadn't died and all subsequent films were just her and Bond swanning around the world looking incredibly pretty. Quantum is heavily flawed but remains more entertaining than about 60% of the rest of the films in the franchise. Skyfall is probbaly the best of the three, I just like Casino that bit more. Barden, Fiennes and Harris are all great additions and rarely has any film scene looked more beautiful than when Skyfall is ablaze. "He's keen to get home" is funniest bit from all 23 films - 4/5 each

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


Frakkin toasters!

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

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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Gimli The Avenger
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyTue Nov 24, 2015 8:42 am

Spectre (1st view) - Great opening titles, mind-blowingly terrible song. Belucci I don't like and she was useless in a useless role, Seydoux fared much better, probably second only to Eva Green's Vesper in Bond Girl stakes. Liked the retconning to make the 4 Craig films related, though it is obvious that's never what they intended. Waltz was fun but his Blofeld acted like an idiot, his ego got in the way so much that nothing in this film even hinted that he could live up to "the author of all your pain" boast. Liked M and Q doing a bit more than they tend to in Bond films. The opening sequence was utterkly fantastic, the long shot that started the film especially. Better than Quantum, not quite so good as Skyfall and Casino but still probably top 5 Bond - 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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Gimli The Avenger
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyFri Nov 27, 2015 1:59 am

Cop Car (1st view) - Two young boys on the run from home come across an abandoned police car and decide to take it for a spin. Unfortunately for them it isn't actually abanonded. The Sheriff who owns it is currently off burying a body in the woods and there's an unconscious man tied up in the book. Kevin Bacon's on good form as the crooked Sheriff and the two kids are slighty less annoying than most - 4/5*

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 Cop_Car_poster




_________________
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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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyFri Nov 27, 2015 4:42 pm

Spectre (2015), James Bond rides again. For 007's 24th adventure, it brought back Sam Mendes as director after giving Bond a boost of adrenaline with Skyfall (2012). Spectre is a more traditional Bond adventure, and it reintroduces an old organisation from the Bond films of old, having been long unavailable for years due to legal rights. It's fun, enjoyable and very exciting. James Bond (Daniel Craig) goes renegade, even though he's been suspended from active duty by M (Ralph Fiennes) after blowing up part of Mexico City. But, there was a reason, Bond prevented a terrorist bombing, but he retrieved a ring, which takes him to a shadowy meeting in Rome, which is headed by a blast from Bond's past, Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), who was the son of Bond's adoptive father. Meanwhile, M is at loggerheads with Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), who is planning to replace MI6 with a Joint Intelligence Service, while Bond ends up with Dr. Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), who knows about the secret organisation. It's a very good film, and it makes a cheeky nod and a wink to the tone and structure of previous Bond adventures, (mainly the Moore and Brosnan films), but it has some brilliant action sequences, and the opening sequence is a masterstroke, and maybe the best Bond opening of them all. In all, a good adventure. 4/5

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The Virgin Soldiers (1969), based upon the 1966 comic novel by Leslie Thomas, which was based on Thomas' own experiences in the National Service out in Singapore. The book was an instant bestseller and a film version was soon greenlit. Adapted by John McGrath (Billion Dollar Brain (1967)) and John Hopkins (Thunderball (1965)), and directed by John Dexter (
I Want What I Want (1972)), it's a bawdy, dated yet well made film. Set out in Singapore in 1950, it follows a group of cadets known in camp as The Virgin Soldiers. They include Brigg (Hywel Bennett), Lantry (Geoffrey Hughes), Villiers (Wayne Sleep) and Tasker (Don Hawkins). Their exploits out in Singapore include Brigg trying to win the heart of Phillipa Raskin (Lynn Redgrave), who is the daughter of the camp's Regimental Sergeant Major Raskin (Nigel Patrick). However, Phillipa has also won the affections of Sergeant Driscoll (Nigel Davenport), who has a tortured past. Meanwhile, Brigg has a passing relationship with local prostitute Juicy Lucy (Tsai Chin). It's a good film, but it's a bit of a template for what was to come with the sex comedies of the 1970's, although this one was a little tamer than what was to eventually come from those films. A sequel followed, Stand Up Virgin Soldiers (1977), which was quickly forgotten. 3/5

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyFri Nov 27, 2015 6:02 pm

A Chorus of Disapproval (1988), Alan Ayckbourn's farce about an amateur operatic society putting on a production of The Beggar's Opera proved to be an instant hit in theatres when it premiered in 1984. 4 years later, Michael Winner made it into a film, (alarm bells ringing), and all of Ayckbourn's good work is instantly undone in a mere 92 minutes of celluloid. It shows how inept Winner is as director, it's cheaply made, the performances are hammy and all over the shop. Widower Guy Jones (Jeremy Irons) comes to Scarborough for a new job. To pass his spare time, he joins a local amateur operatic society that is putting on The Beggar's Opera, led by the enigmatic and short tempered Dafydd Ap Llewellyn (Anthony Hopkins). Due to Llewellyn's temper and quest for perfection, many of the male actors walk out, and Guy finds himself rising through the ranks of the cast, and he's a good performer too, and a good operatic singer. Guy ends up having liaisons with Llewellyn's wife Hannah (Prunella Scales) and actress Linda Washbrook (Patsy Kensit). It's shocking how many great actors wandered into this as a favour for Winner, maybe they all lost a bet with him. Irons sounds like a butch Alan Bennett, while Hopkins is an old Welsh ham, (no change there then), but it's like watching a gory car accident in graphic detail. 1/5

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[b]The Angry Silence (1960), directed by Guy Green (SOS Pacific (1959) and 55 Days at Peking (1963)), produced by Bryan Forbes and Richard Attenborough, and written by Forbes. This is a gritty and powerful drama about the dark side of union action, and the consequences of getting on the union's bad side. It's a very thought provoking film, and it does ask a lot of questions about the power unions have over us all, but it's very well made. Set somewhere in the Midlands, it tells the story of working class factory worker Tom Curtis (Attenborough), who has always stayed out of trouble and confrontation. When the factory where he works has an unofficial strike organised by Travers (Alfred Burke). Curtis breaks the picket line, and continues to work at the factory. Much to the anger of the union and other workers, who threaten him with violence to join the strike, Tom still refuses. So, they all give Tom the silent treatment, ignoring him completely, making him a social outcast. It's a film which does point a finger at the dirty tricks the unions play on those who just want to work. It does raise some good points about the role unions play in employment, and it shows that they can be a force to be reckoned with. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyFri Nov 27, 2015 6:55 pm

The Theory of Everything (2014), directed by James Marsh (The King (2005), Man on Wire (2008) and Shadow Dancer (2012), and adapted from Jane Hawking's memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, and adapted by Anthony McCarten (Death of a Superhero (2011)), this biopic had been in development for well over a decade and screenwriter McCarten took years to convince Hawking that it would work as a film, and it does, exceptionally well. It tells the life of Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne), an astrophysics student at Cambridge University who in 1963 met Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones), and they began a relationship. Stephen is working on a theory on black holes and the origins of the universe. But while working on the theory, Stephen starts experiencing muscle problems, and he's diagnosed with motor neuron disease, and Stephen is given 2 years to live. Jane chooses to stay by Stephen's side, in the face of defeat, but she and Stephen end up marrying, and Stephen's theory gets him a doctorate. He and Jane even have children, and even when Stephen continues his theories, but it puts a strain on his and Jane's delicate marriage. It's a well made film, and it's while it proves to be an uplifting and triumphant story of defying the odds and never giving up, which Stephen Hawking continues to do to this day. Plus it's a thoughtful film, as it gives time to the theories Hawking spent time proving, and Redmayne gives a powerful and believeable performance as Hawking. 4/5

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The Lady in the Van (2015), director Nicholas Hytner and writer Alan Bennett reunite once again after The Madness of King George (1994) and The History Boys (2006). This time, they're making an unbelievable true story which happened to Bennett. First, it was made into memoir, then it became a theatrical production in 1999, then a Radio 4 adaptation followed in 2009. Now the film, which is a warm, touching, poignant and funny little story. It begins in 1970, when writer Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) moves into a new house on Gloucester Crescent in Camden Town, London. It's a nice, respectable community, but there's an eccentric old lady called Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), who is living in a van in the area, but is always being moved on by the council. Bennett comes up with a solution, he proposes that Miss Shepherd park her van in his driveway for a short time until she sorts herself out. Miss Shepherd ends up living in the van on his driveway for 15 years. All the while, Bennett goes about with his life, and wonders where Miss Shepherd came from. It's an excellent little character piece that makes a case for having eccentrics in our society. While most of the film was made up, (Bennett even says so during the film), it makes for an entertaining little film with a brilliant little cast led by the incomparable Maggie Smith. 5/5

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Steve Jobs (2015), directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin, this biopic was partially based on Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography of the same name. It was intended to reunite Sorkin and David Fincher after The Social Network (2010). However, Fincher moved on, Boyle joined, the film switched studios in the midst of much publicised controversy. To say it's a biopic is a bit misleading actually, it's a chamber piece, and it's beautifully filmed and performed too. The film has a 3 act structure. It first starts in January 1984, just before the launch of the Apple Macintosh, and the struggle Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) is having with the technology and backstage with his ex-girlfriend Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterston). In 1988, just before the launch of the NeXT Computer, Jobs argues with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen) and Apple John Sculley (Jeff Daniels). Then in 1998, with the launch of the iMac, Jobs has had a spat with his daughter Lisa (Perla Haney-Jardine), and his long time executive Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet) helps mend it. It's a good character piece, and it shows Boyle can be a great director of actors as well as a great visual director, it's got brilliant dialogue by Sorkin, and it's an unusual structure that works brilliantly. 4/5

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Blades of Glory (2007), directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck (The Switch (2010)), this is an incredibly silly comedy cut from similar cloth to Kingpin (1996), but it also shares DNA with other Will Ferrell comedies like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006). But, it is a bit of spoof at heart, sending up the conventions of sports films and the cliches. As silly as it is, it's still very funny. It follows two rival ice skaters, Chazz Michael Michaels (Will Ferrell) and Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder). Both competing in men's singles. While Chazz is raunchy and a maverick, Jimmy is more restrained and clean. After coming joint first, they break into a fight on the winner's podium, and end up both being banned from men's singles for life. 3 and a half years later, Jimmy's stalker Hector (Nick Swardson), finds a loophole meaning Jimmy could compete in pair skating. His old coach Robert (Craig T. Nelson) agrees to help, but the only partner they can find is Chazz, and they reluctantly become a team, with astonishing results. This is a laugh out loud comedy with some unbelievably daft routines and some funny jokes and dialogue too. It's not often films like this work, but it both sends up and honours the sport of ice skating in equal measure. It's good fun to watch. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptySat Nov 28, 2015 9:16 am

Paddington (1st view) - Rather lovely. It's taken me a while to see it mainly because the trailer was terrible, made the film look almost as bad as the Yogi Bear film. Best bit was Bonneville's response to the rather roundabout sightseeing montage of London - 4/5*

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 330px-PaddingtonPOSTER

_________________
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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Peregrin Took
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyTue Dec 01, 2015 3:20 am

I felt the same as you, and it wasn't until my Godson turned up with a copy and demanded that we watch it together that I got to finally see it. Delightful, and one I'll happily watch again.
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Bridge Of Spies (1st view) - A cold war thriller with both a lightness of touch and enough tension to make it fall someone between Spielberg's more escapist fare and his serious dramas. Hanks is on top form, one of his best performances, and Mark Rylance is superb. Quite a gorgeous film to look at, both in terms cinematography and production design. Odd seeing a Spielberg film without a John Williams score but Thomas Newman delivers another winner just a few weeks after Spectre. Overall, very good indeed - 4/5*

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Graduation Day (1st view) - Lame slasher film - 2/5*

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 330px-Graduation_Day_DVD_Cover

_________________
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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Gimli The Avenger
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyFri Dec 11, 2015 9:45 am

Carol (1st view) - Thirteen years after making Far From Heaven, one of the best films made about forbidden love, he returns with the similarly themed and ever better Carol. I'd be amazed if I see two better female performances this year than Blanchett and Mara. I'm struggling to think of two I prefer from this decade. The film itself is sublime. Right now, I'd be happy to see Carol walk away with about seven oscars - 5/5*

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 Carol_%28film%29_POSTER

_________________
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.


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He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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The Good Dinosaur (1st view) - It's certainly down the lower end of the Pixar filmography. In fact I think I like only Cars 2 and Toy Story 2 less. Saying that, it doesn't deserve some of the reviews it's been in getting, nor should it be the flop it looks like it will be - 4/5*

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 The_Good_Dinosaur_poster


The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (1st view) - It was like watching two trees act. Treebeard gave a better performance - 3/5*

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 The_Man_from_U.N.C.L.E._poster


_________________
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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A Christmas Story (25th+ view) - Not seen this since 2007 but I could remember this almost word for word. Almost certainly the best proper Christmassy, christmas film (that doesn't contain singing vegetables). It's heartwaming and hilarious. Apparently Jack Nicholson was wanted for the role of Mr. Parker. So, so glad it went to Darren McGavin instead, he's fantastic - 5/5

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 A_Christmas_Story_film_poster


White House Down (3rd view) - A suspect that many people in the mood for an action film two days before Christmas would opt for Die Hard. I went for Die Hard in the White House. It's great fun - 4/5

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 White_House_Down_poster_with_billing_block

_________________
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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The Muppet Christmas Carol (40th+ view) - It's not Christmas until I see this and I didnlt get the chance until about 8.40 on Christmas morning, I usually manage it on Christmas Eve. Remains superb - 5/5

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 Muppet_christmas_carol


Frozen (3rd view) - Love it. Remember seeing it at the cinema and thoroughly expecting Let It Go to be the point in which Elsa turns into a villian. Also, as good as that song is, Love Is An Open Door is better - 5/5

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 Frozen_%282013_film%29_poster


Snowpiercer (1st view) - A radical attempt to prevent global warmings leads to a catastrophic ice age and the last human survivors are all on board atrain that runs on globe-spanning tracks. After 17 years, the impoverished passengers in the end carraige try and make their way to the front of the train.
Didn't know what to expect from this but it turned out to be something fantastic. I'm not sure if all of it makes sense bit it sure is entertaining and easily Bong Joon-Ho's best film. Only problem was the Blu Ray I have is from the Netherlands and only comes with Dutch subs, so any untranslated dialogue remains a mystery to me - 4/5*

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 Snowpiercer_poster

_________________
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 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyThu Dec 31, 2015 8:22 pm

The Gunman (2015), directed by Pierre Morel (Taken (2008) and From Paris with Love (2010)), this action thriller is based on the 1981 novel The Prone Gunman by Jean-Patrick Manchette, adapted here by it's star Sean Penn, Pete Travis (Dredd (2012) and Don Macpherson (The Avengers (1998)). While there are good intentions abound, there's nothing new or original about this film, it's just another excuse to have some middle aged actors frolicking about in an action film set in European locales. Jim Terrier (Sean Penn) is an ex-special forces soldier who has since become a black-ops mercenary, and is part of a team dispatched to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006. After Jim assassinates the Minister of Mining, he retires from mercenary work. 8 years later, Jim returns to the DRC to build wells, but he's mugged by a gang, which turns out to have been planned. It takes Jim to London and Madrid, where he meets Cox (Mark Rylance), Stanley (Ray Winstone) and Felix (Javier Bardem), and Jim suspects it was one of the three that had him targeted for assassination. It could have been a good film, but it's all been done before, and it could have been approved with Liam Neeson in the lead role, and that's saying something. Maybe it's time to give action films for the over 50's a break for now. 2/5

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Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? (1967), produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, (Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)), this was quite a groundbreaking and controversial film for its day. It tackled the then quite taboo subject of interracial marriage, which despite changes in the law and social attitude in the 1960's, there were still some prejudiced people around then, and this film addresses it. Nearly 50 years on, it feels a tad dated now. Joanna Drayton (Katharine Houghton) comes home early from her holiday in Hawaii with her new boyfriend John Wayde Prentice Jr. (Sidney Poitier), a widowed black doctor. Joanna takes John to the family home in San Francisco, to meet her parents. Newspaper publisher Matt Drayton (Spencer Tracy) and wife Christina (Katharine Hepburn) are surprised and put out by Joanna's announcement that she plans to marry John, even though they're liberals who believe in racial equality. Joanna wanted them to have dinner together, but this brusque attitude looks set to put a damper on the evening. It was a brave film for it's day, but despite tackling such a subject in 1967, it still feels just a little bit too safe and old fashioned even for then. It has a good cast and is well made, but it needed a bit more bite to it. 3.5/5

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Pride (2014), directed by Matthew Warchus (Simpatico (1999)), and the writing debut of actor Stephen Beresford. This is an unusual but moving and upbeat true story of an activist moment and a local mining community that came together in the darkest days of the 1980's miners strike. It makes for an inspiring film, and it has a colourful group of characters about it, and it touches on people's prejudices and differences and how people with different orientations can still come together for a proper and just cause. It begins in 1984, when 20 year old closet homosexual Joe (George MacKay) comes to London from Bromley for his first Gay Pride March. It's while he's there he is taken under the wing of local gay activists Jonathan (Dominic West) and his Welsh partner (Paddy Considine). After learning that Thatcher's government are threatening mining communities as well as the gay community. Fellow gay activist thinks they should show solidarity, and they end up in the Welsh village of Onllwyn in the Dulais Valley. At first they find indifference and a cold attitude. But, local villagers including Cliff (Bill Nighy) and Hefina (Imelda Staunton), help support them. It's a pleasant enough film, but it does show the prejudices that were going on in the 1980's, and how out of date and out of touch our government were with people in the real world. It has a good cast, and it shows real community spirit at work. 4/5

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 Pride-Poster

The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson (2015), directed by Julien Temple, (The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1979), Absolute Beginners (1986) and The Filth and the Fury (2000)). This moving and ultimately brilliant documentary could be seen as a companion piece and even sequel to Temple's own Oil City Confidential (2009), which documented the early career of Canvey Island pub rock band Dr. Feelgood. This focuses on guitarist Wilko Johnson, and how he faced death, and it made him love life even more. It's a masterpiece. In January 2013, guitarist Wilko Johnson was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. Most people would acquiesce to defeat. Not Wilko, it made him love life even more, and he wanted to spend his last few months on a high, and he didn't want to have chemotherapy. He went to Japan, and played a few concerts, and returning to the UK, he embarked on a farewell tour. Despite the predictions by doctors that he'd be dead in a few months, he lived another year, and managed to record an album with Roger Daltrey. By 2014, many wondered how he was still alive, with his tumour now showing, so he got a second opinion... It's a amazing documentary, with Temple using the films A Matter of Life and Death (1946) and The Seventh Seal (1957) as spiritual guides. Johnson is such a likable character and it's an enjoyable, moving and life-affirming film that makes you appreciate life. Best film of 2015. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 EmptyTue Jan 05, 2016 9:40 am

Kicking off 2016 with...


Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2nd view) - The second best in the series and the best action spy film of 2015 by far. Nice that there's a sense of continuity with more characters returning and past events mentioned, a trend I hope that continues. Actually, with the return of Rebecca Ferguson for the 6th film it looks like it will continue - 4/5

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 Mission_Impossible_Rogue_Nation_poster



Jurassic World (1st view) - With plenty of little nods to the original, easily the best in the franchise since the first. Looking forward to sequels - 4/5

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 Jurassic_World_poster



A Good Day To Die Hard (2nd view) - So yeah, it's the weakest one so far, Willis looks bored, the editing to get the 12a release is obvious, the villains lack all traces of charisma, McClane is now Superman and it's pretty much Die Hard in name only. The action becomes so OTT at times it's almost best viewed as a comedy. I liked it more at the cinema - 3/5*

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 A_Good_Day_to_Die_Hard




_________________
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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Black Mass (2015), directed by Scott Cooper, (Crazy Heart (2009) and Out of the Furnace (2013)), and based on the 2001 book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill. This true life crime drama documents the rise to power of one of the most notorious and dangerous gangsters in the second half of the 20th Century. It has a brilliant cast to it's name, captures the era well, including a great lead performance which is compelling and near-terrifying to watch. It begins in 1975, James "Whitey" Bulger (Johnny Depp), is leader of the Irish-American Winter Hill Gang in South Boston, and is looking to muscle in on the turf of the Angiulo Brothers. Whitey's old childhood friend John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) is now an FBI Agent, and is looking to bring down the Angiulo brothers, and wants to use Whitey as an informant to bring about info on the Angiulo's. Whitey thinks it's a bad idea at first, but goes along with Connolly promises Whitey's other activies will be ignored. This gives Whitey complete carte blanche, difficult as his brother William (Benedict Cumberbatch) is in the State Senate. It's a good film, very dark and while Bulger was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's Costello in The Departed (2006), what the real Bulger got up to is shocking, and Depp plays him with relish and menace, and it's a return to form for Depp after a few years of flops. 4/5

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Bridge of Spies (2015), Steven Spielberg returns, after the critical success of Lincoln (2012), Spielberg takes on another true life tale, although this one is a slightly forgotten piece of history, it's a very important piece of history, one piece of history that has helped aid co-operation between countries. The idea of playwright Matt Charman, and rewritten by Joel and Ethan Coen, it's an engaging and ever so slightly offbeat character drama. Spielberg turns a tense piece of history into something strangely enjoyable. In 1957, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) is arrested in Brooklyn for being a Soviet Spy. Entitled to a fair trial, he is represented by insurance lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), who is able to spare Abel from being executed. Meanwhile, CIA pilot Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) is shot down over Soviet Russia after taking photos from above, and is arrested. A message from Abel's 'family' gets to Donovan, proposing a swap. Abel for Powers. Donovan goes to Berlin to negotiate the swap, but when he hears of American student Frederic Pryor (Will Rogers) being wrongfully arrested for being a spy, Donovan also wants Pryor released too. It's a good story, and it shows that Spielberg is a good director of actors, as well as being a master storyteller, and it captures the tense atmosphere of the period really well too. Hanks is blown off the screen by the quiet friendliness of Mark Rylance. You can see why he's been cast as The BFG. 4.5/5

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Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (2014), directed by Mark Hartley, (Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008)), and produced by Brett Ratner. This amusing and sometimes hilarious documentary tells the story of the most prolific film studio of the 1980's. However, they were far from the best, but God, they made some of the maddest films ever made. This documentary should act as a cautionary tale about how not to run a studio. You won't get films like Cannon made ever again. It tells the story of two Israeli cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, who had made a big splash in Israel in the 1970's. Now, they had Hollywood in their sights, and they bought a small studio called Cannon Films in 1979, and became a massive success story. They mostly specialised in action B-pictures, their films were of varying quality, mostly bad, due to being made to a budget, not to a standard. However, they were massively successful, at one point releasing 43 films in one year, but it all went wrong. After dabbling with bigger budgets with Masters of the Universe and Superman IV, Cannon Films went into financial freefall. It's a highly entertaining film, featuing bears being thrown into space, wild dance musicals and much violent action. Cannon were a film studio like no other. Hartley shows much love for Cannon and it's output, and it's shows in this heartfelt and hilarious documentary. 4.5/5

What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again - Page 15 Fid15179

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015), directed by Francis Lawrence, (I Am Legend (2007), Water for Elephants (2011) and the previous two Hunger Games films), this is the fourth and final film in the Hunger Games series. It carries on from Mockingjay - Part 1, which was released last year. While it is a very good film, and it has some very imaginative action sequences, was there really any need to split the final book in Suzanne Collins's series into two films. It could have easily told it in one film. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is recovering after her brainwashed boyfriend Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), even though the rebel forces are trying to cure him. Katniss leads a team on the Capital, including Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), and Cressida (Natalie Dormer). The city has been heavily booby trapped, with President Snow (Donald Sutherland) heavily guarded in his palace in the capital. While they navigate the dangerous streets of the Capital, Katniss learns some dark secrets about Rebel leader President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), and how the rebellion might not be what it all seems. While Mockingjay - Part 2 offers a satisfactory conclusion, sort of, to the Hunger Games franchise, we shouldn't have had to have wait for a year for it. But, there are some good performances throughout the film, and it's also Philip Seymour Hoffman's final film performance. 4/5

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The Little Mermaid (1989), now remembered that saved Disney, and began a new Golden Age of Animated films. An animated version of Hans Christian Andersen's 1837 fairy tale had been planned by Walt Disney as early as the 1930's, but trying to figure out a family friendly way of doing the story had always been a stumbling block, as it's a very dark story. Writer/directors Ron Clements and John Musker (The Great Mouse Detective (1986)), found an approach that was fun, enchanting, moving and very beautiful to watch. In the underwater city of Atlantica, ruled by the powerful King Triton (Kenneth Mars), his 16 year old daughter Ariel (Jodi Benson) is bored with underwater life and with being a mermaid, and wants to explore life on the surface, and collects human artifacts. King Triton finds out, destroys Ariel's collection and forbids her to go to the surface. Frustrated, Ariel goes to Ursula the sea witch (Pat Carroll), who offers to give Ariel legs for three days in exchange for her voice. Ariel signs up to the deal, and ends up on the surface, where she meets Eric (Christopher Daniel Barnes), they end up falling in love, with Ursula doesn't want... It's a fun and enjoyable animated film, and it helped bring Disney's Animation, which had been in the doldrums since The Jungle Book (1967) finally kicking and screaming into the 1990's. It was followed by Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Aladdin (1992), the rest is history. 4/5

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The Good Dinosaur (2015), from Disney/Pixar, hot off the heels of the success of Inside Out (2015), they released this animated adventure, which had been in development since 2009. It had had a troubled production when it's original writer/director Bob Peterson was removed from the film due to creative differences. Pixar animator Peter Sohn, who had developed the story with Peterson, took over. While it is a pleasant enough adventure which looks beautiful and moving. It doesn't feel original, it's been done before elsewhere with better stories, which is a sad shame. Set in an alternate Earth where the dinosaurs where never made extinct 65 million years ago, it focuses on a family of Apatosaurus named Henry (Jeffrey Wright) and Ida (Frances McDormand), who live on a farming community with their children Libby (Maleah Padilla), Buck (Marcus Scribner) and Arlo (Raymond Ochoa). Arlo is very accident prone and timid. When a feral caveboy (Jack Bright) is is caught stealing their crops, Arlo ends up falling into a river and ends up downsteam miles away from home with the caveboy, who he calls Spot, and Arlo has to find his way home, and Spot helps him too. It's a good film, but when you identify moments and scenes from The Land Before Time (1988), Dinosaur (2000) and the Ice Age films, you know something has gone wrong, Pixar are in danger of descending into Cars territory with this film, better luck next time. 3.5/5

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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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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), George Lucas' blockbuster franchise returns, after the disappointing prequels that Lucas oversaw, he sold his company and the franchise to Disney, and J.J. Abrams took the helm, having impressed everyone with his take on the Star Trek films. Abrams brings the tired old franchise kicking and screaming into the millennium, injecting new blood, but giving it a retro heart, which is what was missing from the heartless, cold prequels. It's a great film adventure that's exciting to watch. Set about 30 years after Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last Jedi, has vanished, and from the ashes of the evil Empire, the First Order has risen, led by the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). A droid called BB-8 escape from the First Order, and they end up on the planet Jakku with rouge Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley), who manage to escape the First Order on a battered old Millennium Falcon, which is captured by a larger ship captained by Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew). Turns out BB-8 has a map which shows the location of where Luke Skywalker is... It's a great adventure, and hearing John Williams' score and seeing old friends again does get you tingling. This washes away the bad memories of the lacklustre prequels, Abrams has succeeded and it leaves you wanting more, and Episode VIII can't come soon enough. 4.5/5

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