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 What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:17 pm

The Tommy Steele Story (1957), the directorial debut of documentary filmmaker and TV director Gerard Bryant, (who'd made some episodes of The Adventures of Robin Hood). This is a film which does what it says on the tin, it tells the story of the rise to fame of British rocker Tommy Steele, who was massive in the UK at the time, it's unique in that Steele was playing himself, which is very rarely done. It has Steele recalling his early life to reporters, and how he learnt to play the guitar, which he did in hospital recovering from a back injury after a judo lesson. Once he recovers, Tommy gets a job as a porter on a ship, where he becomes better on the guitar, and when he's dismissed from the life at sea. Back in London, he gets a regular spot at a coffee bar. It's from here that Tommy is offered a recording contract, even though his parents (Hilda Fenemore and Charles Lamb) aren't sure about this at all, they weren't happy at him busking in a coffee bar to begin with. His rise to fame is quick and fast, and the press are quick to dub him the English Elvis, but Tommy never forgets his roots, and he's more down to earth than Elvis. It's a likeable enough film, and Steel proves to be a likable presence, and it was the first British rock film with producers here wanting to capitalise on the success of The Girl Can't Help It (1956), it must be the only other film other than Private Parts (1997), where it's subject is the star of their own life. 3/5



Tommy the Toreador (1959), after the success of The Tommy Steele Story (1957), Tommy Steele was in big demand for feature films, he'd just finished The Duke Wore Jeans (1958), and he was offered another, Tommy the Toreador, which would be filmed mostly in Spain. It's a likeable musical comic caper which benefits from having a massive cast of who's who of talent in it. Tommy Tomkins (Steele) is a sailor who loves travelling the world, even if he is a bit hapless at his job, and he gets into trouble with the captain (Noel Purcell). While on shore leave in Spain, Tommy gets into trouble, and he ends up with singer Amanda (Janet Munro) and her shady manager Martin (Eric Sykes), Tommy gets into trouble, misses his ship and ends up penniless with Amanda on top a truck being driven by Cadena (Sid James) and Paco (Bernard Cribbins), who are transporting a truck containing a bull. One thing leads to another, and Tommy ends up as a matador to pay his way, and becomes more popular than local matador Parilla (Virgilio Teixeira). It's an enjoyable film, with some good musical moments, and loads of cameos including Kenneth Williams, Charles Gray and Warren Mitchell. It spawned a few hit songs, and Steele has a likable screen presence and he sparks off the cast really well. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:56 pm

The Secret Life of Pets (2016), directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me (2010) and The Lorax (2012)), and produced by Chris Meledandri for Illumination Entertainment. This film was an original idea that producer Meledandri had come up with in the mid-1990's, but Toy Story (1995) happened and was a bit too similar, so Meledandri held on the idea until now, and it's a likeable, inventive caper. The film shows what pets really get up to when their human owners aren't at home. One such pet is terrier Max (Louis C.K.) who lives with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper), and life for them is perfect, until Katie brings home Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a large, shaggy mongrel who is very excitable and uncouth. Max isn't happy about this new arrival, and goes out of way to try and get rid of him, but both Max and Duke find themselves from home on the streets of New York, and then caught by Animal Control. But, they're rescued by insane rabbit Snowball (Kevin Hart), who leads "The Flushed Pets", a cult of abandoned pets. Max and Duke just want to get home, but soon they get on Snowball's bad side. It's a daft animated caper, but it shows there's more to Illumination than just the Minions, (if you don't count the animated short before the main feature). Yes, it might have similarities to Toy Story, but there's a lot to like about this film. Snowball steals the film. Wink 3.5/5



Ghostbusters (2016), after loads of false starts and procrastination, Ghostbusters gets an all-female reboot courtesy of Paul Feig (Bridesmaids (2011), The Heat (2013) and Spy (2015)). The reboot attracted a lot of unfair controversy, mainly for it's all female cast. But, the good news is that it's not a complete disaster, and there are some laughs to be had, but it had some big shoes to fill. Years after co-authoring a book on the paranormal, Dr. Erin Gilbert (Kristin Wiig) is horrified to find the book has been reissued by co-author Dr. Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy). Erin goes to give Abby a piece of her mind, as the book is now an embarrassment to Erin, but Abby and her eccentric engineer Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) prove to Erin that ghosts are real, encountering a real ghost at a museum. Meanwhile, subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) encounters a ghost on the subway, and calls in Erin, Abby and Jillian to investigate. Soon after, the 4 form a paranormal office with idiotic Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth) as a receptionist. Rebooting Ghostbusters was always going to be a nightmare to get right, but director Feig made a good stab at it, being respectful to the original films, but updating the attitude. It didn't deserve the online hate, and it's actually enjoyable and entertaining. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:37 am

The Legend of Tarzan (2016), directed by David Yates, (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)), this marks the first live-action Tarzan film since Tarzan and the Lost City (1998), this one is made up of various bits and pieces of Edgar Rice Burroughs' works, and the result is a hotch-potch of ideas, but on a visual level, it works, despite the shortcomings. Belgium is on the verge of bankruptcy trying to build a railway through the Congo. The King of Belgium sends envoy Léon Rom (Christoph Waltz) to find diamonds to fund the railways. But Rom is ambushed by tribal Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou), who offers him diamonds in exchange for Tarzan. Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) lives in England as Lord Greystoke, now married to Jane Porter (Margot Robbie). But, Greystoke is convinced to return to Africa by American envoy George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson), who believes the Belgians are putting the Congolese population into slavery. Tarzan and Jane go along, Rom lies in waiting... It could have been a great film, but a lot of it is derivative and it's all been seen before. It doesn't help that it takes it's sweet time in getting going, and that Jackson is essentially playing the same character he played in The Hateful Eight (2015). 3/5



The BFG (2016), Roald Dahl's classic 1982 book is given the big screen treatment courtesy of Steven Spielberg, and it was adapted by the late Melissa Mathison (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)), it's a film which captures the spirit of Dahl's original book, but it does tone down some of the darker details. But, other than that, it's a wonderfully enchanting and entertaining film to behold. In London, orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is awake at 3am when she spots a giant, who takes her from the orphanage and takes her to Giant Country. The giant introduces himself as The Big Friendly Giant (Mark Rylance), who captures dreams, but he also gets bullied by larger giants including the Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) and Bloodbottler (Bill Hader), plus the giants snatch children and eat them. Sophie encourages The BFG to stand up to the giants bullying him, and the giants become suspicious that The BFG is hiding a human. So, Sophie and The BFG come up with a plan to put a stop to the giant's reign of evil once and for all, by forging a nightmare to give to the Queen (Penelope Wilton), so she'll believe giants are real, and offer assistance and aid to The BFG and Sophie. It's a lovely fairy-tale, with some brilliant special effects on display, and some great mangled wordplay along the way. Spielberg has great fun bringing the material to life, and he was the perfect man for the job, and it's a magical adventure that does Dahl proud. 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:14 am

Sextette (1978), directed by Ken Hughes (Casino Royale (1967), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and Cromwell (1970)), and based on a 1961 play by Mae West. She'd wanted to do it as a film for 15 years, but money could never be found, when it was, West was 84 years old, but the show still went on, and the finished result has to be seen to be believed. It's a spectacular and grisly car crash of a film. In a hotel in London, American movie star Marlo Manners (Mae West) has just married her 6th husband Sir Michael Barrington (Timothy Dalton). But their wedding night is constantly hampered by interruptions from Marlo's manager Dan Turner (Dom DeLuise). Plus, by absolute coincidence, also at the hotel are 3 of Marlo's ex-husbands, including Russian diplomat Alexei Andreyev Karansky (Tony Curtis), film director Laslo Karolny (Ringo Starr), gangster Vance Norton (George Hamilton), the latter of whom was thought to have been killed. Also at the hotel are the entire athletic team from the U.S. All of them want to have sex with Marlo!! Meanwhile, Marlo has lost a tape featuring her memoirs, and she's searching for it and so's Turner, as the revelations on the tape could cause scandal. The true definition of a film so bad it's good, West is far too old to be wanting sex with any of the younger men here, who also include Keith Moon and Alice Cooper!! Honestly, it's staggering to imagine this film was really made, but while it's dreadful, it's great fun too. 3/5



Star Trek Beyond (2016), the third Star Trek film in the current reboot series, and with J.J. Abrams indisposed doing Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), the job of directing was given to Justin Lin (Fast & Furious (2009) and Fast Five (2011)), working from a screenplay by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung. This is a great, old-fashioned adventure that makes up for the shortcomings of Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)). It has the crew of the USS Enterprise, now 3 years into their 5 year mission into the deepest parts of space, coming to the distant Starbase Yorktown, to refuel and recover. Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) has started to tire of his position, and has applied for Vice Admiral, while Spock (Zachary Quinto) has received some bad news. The Enterprise is soon back in action on a rescue mission to find a crew lost on Altamid, a distant planet. But the Enterprise are ambushed, and their leader Krall (Idris Elba) is looking for the Abronath, a weapon in Kirk's possession. Meanwhile, the crew are stranded and have to survive. It's a good old fashioned adventure which harks back to the sort of structure one of the episodes from the 1960's TV series would have, only with a knowing, modern attitude and some good, original set pieces, it's tight, focused and to the point and respectful to the franchise. 4/5


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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:24 am

I miseed both Tarzan and Ghostbusters at the cinema Sad


Tomboy (1st view) - French drama about a young girl who is mistaken for a boy by her new friends - 3/5*




Gloria (1st view) - Chilean drama about a middle-aged woman who is looking for a new romantic relationshiop - 3/5*






The BFG (1st view) - Doesn't happen often with Speilberg films but parts of this I just wanted to end so more entertaining bits of the film would come along. Main culprit was the scene in the Queen's bedroom, it felt like it lasted for about half of the film. I have no real memory of the book so have no idea at all how either the tone or the story are similar but it falls flat at times. For the most part though I liked it. Maybe it goes without saying but the music, effects, cinemotography were all ace, as you'd probably expect. Rylance was top notch and I liked the kid too. It's a lesser Speilberg (rough guess I'd say maybe 22 on his list) but the best big-screen outing for Dahl - 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 4: There And Back Again   Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:07 pm

In The Heart Of The Sea (1st view) - I do like a good seafaring yarn. Now many would say that this is not a good seafaring yarn but I disagree. I might be biased though, because I reckon all films could be made better with sailing ships, storms and shipwrecks - 4/5*





Blades Of Glory (3rd view) - I really shouldn't like this, hater of Will Ferrel that I am but every time I see it it gets better and better. It helps that Jenna Fischer's in it, but all the support cast are great - 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 4: There And Back Again   Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:54 pm

Lots of extra time at the cinema due to Odeon introducing limitless. Most recent

The Secret Life Of Pets - meh 2/5

Ghostbusters - I'm not as attached to the original as some people and I liked this a lot. Includes what I'm sure will be the funniest scene of the year. 4/5

The BFG - haven't read the book for years but seemed like a faithful adaption. 3/5

Star Trek Beyond - Entertaining. 4/5

Finding Dory - I thought it was very funny, some good new characters 4/5

Jason Bourne - As expected, excellent action scenes and loads of tension 4/5

Suicide Squad - Some very good stuff (soundtrack and Harley Quinn) and some stupid plot stuff that makes no sense 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:16 am

Welcome back, SIlver!

_________________
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   Mon Aug 15, 2016 2:35 am

Star Trek: Beyond (1st view) - The main cast are all good in their roles but a poor villain despite Elba;'s best effort. Sofia Boutella was great. A fun blockbuster but the weakest of the new Trek films. - 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 4: There And Back Again   Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:36 pm

Seems like ages since I last saw a film!

Jason Bourne (1st view) - The weakest Bourne film, and I'm including the non-Bourne Bourne film in that as well - 4/5*





Suicide Squad (1st view) - I liked this, partly because it is crap, partly because I also liked Man Of Steel and Batman v Superman so the chances of my liking this are about the same as those who hated those other two films hating this also. Margot Robbie stole the show - 4/5*




Vacation (1st view) - A few laughs to be had but it mainly made me wish I was watching Christmas Vacation instead - 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 4: There And Back Again   Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:56 am

Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1st view) - Drama abolut the titular Dr, a master criminal who uses mind control, hypnosis and disguises. It's 4 and a half hours long.  Shocked - 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 4: There And Back Again   Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:12 pm

Captain Clegg (1962), from Hammer Films, then basking in the success of their Dracula and Frankenstein films, moved towards adapting Russell Thorndike's Doctor Syn books, although Doctor Syn became Parson Blyss for the film. Directed by Peter Graham Scott, (The Big Day (1960) and Bitter Harvest (1963)), it's a Hammer that works well with a good plot and cast, a horror film dressed as an adventure film. In 18th-century England, the Royal Crown sends Royal Navy Captain Collier (Patrick Allen) to a small English coastal town to investigate "Marsh Phantoms", a group of riders dressed as skeletons riding around causing terror. Collier believes it might be a cover-up for smuggling activities, but he can't find any evidence of contraband. Plus, he believes the local Parson Blyss (Peter Cushing) might have something to hide, the locals including undertaker Jeremiah Mipps (Michael Ripper), innkeeper Mr. Rash (Martin Benson) and local lothario Harry Cobtree (Oliver Reed), all seem to have secrets and they try and get Collier and his men off their backs. Plus, Collier finds out that Parson Blyss came to the town around the same time as notorious smuggler Captain Clegg supposedly died. It's well made, and the acting and script are of surprisingly good quality, considering Hammer never really spent much money on their films. It might have been marketed as a horror film, but it shows Hammer could do other genres with confidence. 4/5



Suicide Squad (2016), written and directed by David Ayer (End of Watch (2012), Sabotage (2014) and Fury (2014)), this was based on a series of DC comics which had supervillains, it had been in development since 2009, and Ayer saw it as a supervillain Dirty Dozen. It's a hotch-potch of ideas, it's not a bad film, but you get the idea that there's a longer, more coherent cut out there. After the events of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, intelligence operative Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) decides to assemble a team made up of disposable assets to be used in high risk missions, under the command of Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). They are elite hitman Deadshot (Will Smith), former psychiatrist Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), pyrokinetic ex-gangster El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), opportunistic thief Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney) and genetic mutation Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). Their first mission involves Flag's girlfriend Dr. June Moone (Cara Delevingne) possessed by a spirit known as Enchantress. Also on the scene is Harley's old flame the Joker (Jared Leto) comes on the scene while all this is going on, in order to try and get Harley back with him. There's so much going on in this film, it's almost impossible to keep track of what's going on, it's got good intentions, but it could have been better with a tighter, more focused script, and maybe it could have done without the Joker, as his presence is surplus to requirements. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:39 am

Army Of Shadows (2nd view) - Excellent, uncompromising film about the French Resistance in WWII - 4/5*




The 5th Wave (1st view) - I love alien invasion films but the ETs in this don't half go about taking over the world in a weird way. First they cut all the power before they wipe out coastal towns by causing earthquakes that lead to tsunamis. Then they modify bird flu so that it can't be cured. Next up, they impersonate humans. Finally, they train children to be soldiers and tell them that they need to kill other children because they're actually aliens in disguise. Seems longwinded to me - 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 4: There And Back Again   Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:22 pm

Ben-Hur (1st view) - A lot less labourious than Chuck Heston's version - 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 4: There And Back Again   Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:18 pm

Night on Earth (1991), written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, who'd by then had made a name for himself with his indie films Stranger Than Paradise (1984), Down by Law (1986) and Mystery Train (1989). Here, Jarmusch expanded his scope internationally, and put together a script in 8 days set in 5 cities. It's a good set of vignettes, with a colourful cast and an amusing deadpan attitude. Set over one night, we begin in Los Angeles with tomboy cabby Corky (Winona Ryder) taking Hollywood executive Victoria Snelling (Gena Rowlands) to her hotel. Victoria see's talent in Corky, but she wants to be a mechanic. In New York, East German Helmut Grokenberger (Armin Mueller-Stahl) has trouble trying to take YoYo (Giancarlo Esposito) to Brooklyn, because Helmut can't speak English. In Paris, a taxi (Isaach De Bankolé) gets into trouble while driving blind passenger (Béatrice Dalle), but they bond on the subjects of life and death. In Rome, cabbie Gino (Roberto Benigni) picks up a priest (Paolo Bonacelli), who dies in the back of Gino's cab. In Helsinki, a trio of drunks (Kari Väänänen, Sakari Kuosmanen, and Tomi Salmela) and cabbie Mika (Matti Pellonpää) compare tragic stories. It's Jarmusch's take on Taxi Driver, but in a very amusing and engaging way. Jarmusch used it as an excuse to work with actors he'd admired for years. It works, and while some segments work better than others, it's a good little ensemble. 3.5/5



Midnight Special (2016), written and directed by Jeff Nichols, (Take Shelter (2011) and Mud (2012)), this is an earth bound science fiction film with a difference, it looks like a kidnapping film at first, but appearances can be deceptive, and it's a lot more than that. It's an engaging character piece, which is low-fi and built on character development, but it requires patience to understand. Set in rural Texas, it has Roy Tomlin (Michael Shannon) and Lucas (Joel Edgerton) abducting 8 year old Alton (Jaeden Lieberher) from a cult led by Calvin Meyer (Sam Shepard). Meanwhile, Paul Sevier (Adam Driver) goes to the cult regarding Alton's disappearance, and how encrypted satellite codes found their way into Calvin's sermons. It turns out Alton has telepathic abilities, and shoots beams of light out of his eyes. It also transpires that Alton is Roy's son, taken by the cult because of his abilities. Roy and Lucas take Alton to his mother Sarah (Kirsten Dunst), who is overjoyed to be reunited with her son. But, the FBI catch up with them, and take Alton in to custody, but it's not long before Roy, Sarah and Lucas go to try and take Alton back. But, Alton has a destiny awaiting for him in Florida. It's an unusual film, but it's an original take on earth bound sci-fi. It's a bit like an indie version of Close Encounters, and there is a touch of Spielberg about it. But, while it's tone might be hard for people to get a handle on, it's a well made and well acted film. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:38 am

Jason Bourne (2016), the fifth film in the Bourne series, the fourth starring Matt Damon. Set 9 years after The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), 4 after the spin-off The Bourne Legacy (2012), this brings back Damon and director Paul Greengrass. This belated instalment tries to say something about the intelligence agency post-Snowden, but it ends up being more of the same, but the action is well done. Jason Bourne (Damon) now in isolation. Meanwhile, former CIA operative Nicky Parsons (Julia Stiles) works for hackers in Iceland, and finds information regarding Bourne's past and recruitment, and tracks him down in Athens to reveal this information. Meanwhile, the CIA are on their tail, led by Heather Lee (Alicia Vikander), the head of the CIA's cyber ops division, and CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones). Bourne heads to Berlin to decrypt the CIA files, then goes to London to confront CIA analyst Malcolm Smith (Bill Camp) who have connections to his past. Bourne goes to Las Vegas to confront Dewey, who has more answers about Bourne's past, but Lee has been ensuring Bourne escapes being captured, but Bourne also has wits and cunning too. It's not a complete disaster, but most of it has been done before in the previous films, as if Ultimatum wasn't enough of a final instalment, it almost feels not only as if this was done for the money, but to tie up any lose ends. It could have been better. 3/5



Tale of Tales (2015), co-written and directed by Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah (2008) and Reality (2012)), and produced by Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor (1987) and Sexy Beast (2000)), this insane fantasy film for adults based on a collection of tales by Neapolitan poet and courtier Giambattista Basile entitled Pentamerone. It's a completely baffling and insane film, visually stunning though. Set in the kingdom of Darkwood, it tells 3 stories. The Queen has the King and Queen of Longtrellis (John C. Reilly and Salma Hayek) wanting a child, but unable to conceive. But, the Queen soon gives birth to a son after eating the heart of a sea dragon slayed by her husband. She has a son Elias (Christian Lees) who bears a similarity to cook's son Jonah (Jonah Lees). In Highmountain, the king (Toby Jones) who gives his daughter Violet (Bebe Cave) to Ogre (Guillaume Delaunay). Meanwhile in the kingdom of Stronghold, it's king (Vincent Cassell) is a womaniser, who becomes seduced by two elderly sisters, Imma (Shirley Henderson) and Dora (Hayley Carmichael), when the King finds out Dora is old, she uses a spell to shed her skin and become younger. It's a very unusual film, and it will require patience, but visually, it's absolutely beautiful. It proves that fairy tales don't have to be for children, it's a very adult film, but it has a good cast, and it has some insane imagery you won't see in any film this year or any year soon. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:09 pm

Finding Dory (2016), 13 years after Finding Nemo (2003), Disney and Pixar return under the sea once again. This had been in development since 2005, with dozens of different story ideas juggled around. It wasn't until 2012 that writer/director Andrew Stanton settled on a good direction, making it both a a sequel and spin-off in one. It's a very good film, and it's a more emotionally engaging film. A year has passed after the events of Finding Nemo, and (Hayden Rolence) with his father, Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) now live together, with Dory helping out, but her short term memory loss is a slight hindrance, plus Dory has been having flashbacks to when she was young, and remembers that she lost her parents. This takes Dory, Marlin and Nemo to the Californian coast, where Dory ends up being captured by staff members of the Marine Life Institute, and taken to quarantine. Dory ends up with grouchy octopus Hank (Ed O'Neill), to help find her parents, while Marlin and Nemo come up with a plan to get into the institute to find Dory, thanks to sea lions Fluke and Rudder (Idris Elba and Dominic West), while Dory won't give in to find her parents. It's a well made film, and it's more emotional without having to rely on maukish sentimentality, and it has some well staged and imaginative set pieces, and it shows that Disney/Pixar's sequels can still be enjoyable to watch providing they have a good story. 4/5



Pete's Dragon (2016), written and directed by David Lowery. (Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013)), this is a remake of the 1977 Disney musical, but this is less remake and more total reimagining, almost a totally original story with no connections to the original other than the title and very basic concept. It's a lovely family adventure which harks back to the Disney adventures of the 1970's. In 1983, Pete (Oakes Fegley) is an 11 year old boy who has lived in the forest for the past 6 years after his parents were killed in a car crash, he's been protected by a giant green dragon he calls Elliot. When Pete is discovered, he's taken to the local hospital, while forest ranger Grace Meacham (Bryce Dallas Howard) tries to find out where Pete came from, while her father (Robert Redford), claims there's a dragon in the woods, which Grace scoffs at. Meanwhile, local hunter Gavin (Karl Urban) go into the forest to find out more about how Pete survived, and confront Elliot. Meanwhile, Pete escapes from the hospital in an attempt to get back to the forest and reunited with Elliot, but Elliot has been captured, it's up to Grace and Pete to try and save Elliot and get him back home. It's a good old fashioned adventure fable, the sort you don't get anymore, and it's great to see Disney making little films like this, it might be a remake (or reimagining), but it's an entertaining and likable film, with some good performances and it has a good heart. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Sep 24, 2016 4:29 pm

Valentino (1977), After the success and excess of Tommy (1975) and Lisztomania (1975), Ken Russell (almost) went to Hollywood with this trashy, tabloid screen biopic, and it nearly killed his career in the process. Ken had a bad time whilst shooting it, he and alot of critics may hate it, but time has been kind to this screen biopic. It's not Ken's best film, but it's perfect material for him. Done with a structure like Citizen Kane, it starts off at a New York funeral home where silent screen star Rudolph Valentino, (Rudolf Nureyev), lies in state, the women of his life, including movie executive June Mathis (Felicity Kendal), his first wife Jean Acker (Carol Kane), Russian actress Alla Nazimova (Leslie Caron) and his second wife Natacha Rambova (Michelle Phillips) reveal to reporters what they remember about Valentino, and his life and times, how Valentino became famous in the first place, how he started out as a gigolo and his move to Hollywood to avoid east coast gangsters. How he got into trouble with the law over his marriage and run-ins with studio executives. Oh, and his sexual exploits, and there's lots of them. True, the film takes alot of artistic liberties with Valentino's life, (alot of the stuff in the film never actually happened), what Ken did for his composer biopics, he does here for a legend of the silent screen. Nureyev may be wobbly as an actor but boy, but at least he does well in the dancing bits. 4/5



Crimes of Passion (1984), Ken Russell had finally gone to America with Altered States (1980), despite it's success, he found it hard to get another film made and after directing opera in Europe and Australia, he was offered this lurid sex thriller written by Barry Sandler (The Mirror Crack'd (1980)), it does show the direction Ken would have taken had he stayed in Hollywood, but he soon got bored with it and came home, the film has some good moments though. In Los Angeles, Joanna Crane (Kathleen Turner) is an employee for a successful fashion design company, but when it's suspected that Joanna has been selling design patterns to his competitors, electronics whiz Bobby Grady (John Laughlin) is asked to keep an eye on Joanna to see whether she's really doing it, but Joanna moonlights as prostitute China Blue, in a blonde wig with make-up and a glittery blue dress, Grady discovers Joanna's double life, but he promises to keep it secret. But, Joanna as China Blue is in trouble from the obsessive Reverend Peter Shayne (Anthony Perkins), who gives sermons in the street and watches prostitutes while doing drugs and shaming them later. It's a complex thriller with a lot of Ken's usual touches, a wedding video (where composer Rick Wakeman cameos) is a particular, peculiar highlight. It does feel a bit overlong, but Ken manages to get good performances from all concerned, if Ken had stuck with this, he might have just made it big in Hollywood. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:00 pm

Minions (2015), after the success of both Despicable Me (2010) and Despicable Me 2 (2013), director Pierre Coffin and producer Chris Meledandri decided to do a spin-off featuring the Minions, the yellow pint-sized helpers of Supervillain Gru. It's a prequel which would focus on where they came from, and what they did before they worked for Gru. It's a wonderfully dotty and silly film, with some good jokes, and while the plot is all over the place, it doesn't seem to matter, so are the Minions. Minions have been on Earth since the dawn of time, and they've always looked for an evil master to serve, by 1968, any masters they had are gone, so three Minions. Kevin, Stuart and Bob (all voiced by Coffin) go looking for a master, and they end up in New York, and they hitchhike with Walter and Allison Janney (Michael Keaton and Allison Janney) to Villain-Con in Orlando, where they end up working for evil villainess Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), who wants the Minions to steal the Crown Jewels from Queen Elizabeth II (Jennifer Saunders), but the Minions mess it up. Razz Sometimes, you need a bit of silliness like this in a world of serious films, and it gives Disney/Pixar a fair run for their money too, as this is proper crowd-pleasing entertainment, and you can't help but laugh at the Minions and their slapstick antics. Razz 4/5



War Dogs (2016), written and directed by Todd Phillips, and based on a Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson, which was subsequently made into a book called Arms and the Dudes. This comedy-drama shows Phillips wanting to make a more serious film, and it could very well have ended up being that, but you get a feeling he chickened out and decided to make it a black comic romp. In 2005, Miami massage therapist David Packouz (Miles Teller) reunites with his best friend from school Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill), who had since moved to Los Angeles. He's made a niche business selling arms to the US government because of the War on Terror. It's touch and go at first, but after one near miss in Iraq where they get an order to Baghdad. They soon start turning a massive profit, and they come across a massive deal, involving arming the Afgham army with 100 million rounds of AK-47 ammunition. Efraim and David take the order, and it all goes wrong, they find a warehouse in Albania of ex-Soviet stock, but as it's all Chinese, it makes them illegal. Efraim leaves David in Albania to sort it out, and it's around this time that David starts to wonder whether Efriam is still his friend, or whether money has corrupted him. It's a good film, but it doesn't know whether it wants to be a serious film about companies who supply our armies, or a comedy about two druggies who got lucky. It tries to be both, with varying results, though to be fair, it should have been a more serious film. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:47 pm

Point Break (1st view) - You've got to admire a film that recasts Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves with two actors who are worse. That takes some skill - 3/5*




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Frakkin toasters!

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

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:04 pm

A Private Function (1984), written by Alan Bennett (The Madness of King George (1994) and The Lady in the Van (2015)), and directed by Malcolm Mowbray, (Out Cold (1989) and Don't Tell Her It's Me (1990)) and produced by Handmade Films, this is an amusing and entertaining comedy, which managed to be droll and bizarre in equal measure. There's a touch of autobiography in Bennett's writing, but he has fun with the concept, even though it took him three years to get it written. Set in 1947 in a town in North Yorkshire, World War 2 finished 2 years ago, but rationing is still ongoing and people are sick of it. Some local businessmen including Dr Charles Swaby (Denholm Elliot) and Henry Allardyce (Richard Griffiths), plan to hold a party to celebrate the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip, and come up with a plan to illegally raise a pig for the occasion, with butcher Douglas J. Nuttal (Pete Postlethwaite) in on the act. Enter chiropodist Gilbert Chilvers (Michael Palin) who has had run-ins with Swaby, he's encouraged by his wife Joyce (Maggie Smith) to steal the pig to get back at Swaby and the businessmen. Gilbert and Joyce keep the pig in the house, which discover the hard way how filthy pigs really are. Meanwhile, meat inspector Morris Wormold (Bill Paterson) is on the prowl. It's a funny comedy, and it had a good cast of characters in it, and it manages to have some good comedic moments in it mostly involving the pig. Palin turns in a very good turn as the hen-pecked but loving husband, showing what a good actor he is. Plus, the film the 2011 West End musical Betty Blue Eyes. 4/5



Simone (2002), written and directed by Andrew Niccol, (Gattaca (1997), The Truman Show (1998) and Lord of War (2005)), this science fiction satire was mostly ignored on release, maybe because it's concept was a bit ahead of it's time. When the film was planned, Niccol and the makers nearly had their leading lady be completely computer generated, after seeing Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001). Unfortunately, that wasn't going to work, just as well, it saved them money. Viktor Taransky (Al Pacino) was once a top director, but is now out of favour and struggling to get films made. His latest one is in trouble when it's star Nicola Anders (Winona Ryder), quits the film. The studio want to shut the film down and fire Taransky, but he inherits a groundbreaking piece of computer software from old acquaintance called Hank Aleno (Elias Koteas), a computer-generated woman whom he calls Simone (Rachel Roberts), short for Simulation One. He uses Simone to replace Anders in the film, and Simone becomes a massive success. Then audiences demand her to appear, even though Taransky tries to make it seem like she's reclusive. It works, sort of, but it becomes a massive rod for Taransky's back, as she wins 2 Oscars, and her fame goes to Taransky's head, driving him mad. It's a good concept, but it's not without it's plotholes, and it's an easy film to poke holes in, (very easily), but it's a good idea for a film, and Pacino has fun in the lead role. It could be seen as a companion piece to The Truman Show (1998), that was about a real person in a fake world, this is vice versa, it works on and off, but it's a good concept. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:01 pm

Goosebumps (1st view) - A silly, enjoyable fantasy/horror romp - 4/5*





Night On Earth (1st view) - 5 stories that each take place in taxi cabs at the same time on one night in 5 different cities - Los Angels, New York, Paris, Rome and Helsinki. The two American tales work best but they are all good 4/5*





Metropolis (2nd view) - I can't deny that the imagery is amazing and the music rocks but, my God, this film is a chore to watch. I had hoped that in the 11 years since I last saw it, and with the additiuon of new footage, it would have improved. It hasn't - 2/5





Ghostbusters (4th view) - I've long said that the only decent things about this film were the song, Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Still, happy to try it out again as it;ls been about 15 years since I last saw it and I can also add Rick Moranis to the list of things that are good about Ghostbusters, but the film still sucks. I imagine the lego sets are more fun - 2/5*




The Divergent Series: Allegiant (1st view) - If the series has ended prematurely thanks to this film it's not hard to tell why. Absolutely bugger all happens - 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 4: There And Back Again   Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:37 am

Light Up The Sky! (1960), directed by Lewis Gilbert (Alfie (1966), You Only Live Twice (1967) and Educating Rita (1983)), and written by Vernon Harris (The Admirable Crichton (1957) and Carve Her Name with Pride (1958)), and adapted from a play by Robert Storey. This is an enjoyable war comedy with a good ensemble cast to boot. While director Gilbert made many serious war films, this was a lighter look at war, and it's a small, focused driven character piece, harking back to it's theatrical roots. It focuses on a small but inept searchlight crew somewhere in the English countryside. They're led by Lt. Ogleby (Ian Carmichael), who is well-meaning but a bumbler. The ragtag group of misfits include wheeler dealer spiv Syd McGaffey (Benny Hill) and his brother Eric (Tommy Steele), the cook Roland Kenyon (Harry Locke), who wants to be transferred, the hut is rounded out by the likes of Lance Corporal Tomlinson (Victor Maddern), Ted Green (Sydney Tafler) and Leslie Smith (Johnny Briggs), with occasional visits from van driver Harry (Dick Emery). Life in the hut is uneventful, with Syd off pilfering milk and eggs from locals farms, and his brother Eric away womanising local women, which gets him into trouble. When action comes, it hits home hard, especially when they hear about what's happening overseas. Indeed, Leslie goes AWOL when he gets wind that his missus is with another, but Lt. Ogleby heads off to Sheffield to sort it out and get him back. It's a light affair, but there are moments of tragedy which do jar with some of the more comedic moments. However, it does show what a good actor Benny Hill is, it's nearly a straight part, but he handles it well, and it's a pity he didn't do more parts like this. This is the film that Carry On England (1976) could and should have been. 3/5



Sausage Party (2016), produced and written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who wrote some funny films such as Superbad (2007), Pineapple Express (2008) and The Interview (2014). Here, they make an animated film, a spoof of Disney and Pixar's output, but it's filled with swearing, sex references and violence, but it's a hilarious film, and it manages to prove that there's still an audience about for adult animated films, and Rogen and Goldberg relish the universe they create, Set in a supermarket, sausage Frank (Rogen) wants to live with hot dog bun girlfriend, Brenda (Kristen Wiig), and they're chosen with other food, and they're looking forwards to going to the "Great Beyond", where they're sent home with shoppers. But, Frank and Brenda end up outside the trolley, and miss going to the Great Beyond, but they soon hear about what goes on in the Great Beyond. Other sausages, Carl (Jonah Hill) and Barry (Michael Cera) learn that the hard way in gruesome fashion. Meanwhile, Frank and Brenda end up with a lavash named Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz), Jewish bagel Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) and Lesbian Teresa Taco (Salma Hayek). Frank learns the truth about what happens to food, and goes to extraordinary lengths to tell other food about what really happens to them in the Great Beyond, all Brenda wants to do is get back to her shelf, plus there's an angry Douche (Nick Kroll) coming after Frank and Brenda. This is an incredibly funny film, there's so many slight gags, stupid and clever in equal measure. It was a massive gamble to get made, but it's succeeded, and you can't believe they got away with half the stuff they put in the film!! But, it makes a refreshing and original change from the usual safe family cartoons that's everywhere. 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:17 pm

The Warriors (1979), directed by Walter Hill, (The Long Riders (1980), Southern Comfort (1981), 48 Hrs. (1982)) and adapted from Sol Yurick's 1965 novel of the same name, this had been in development since the late 1960's, and producer Lawrence Gordon offered it to director Hill having had a good working relationship together making Hard Times (1975) and The Driver (1978). The film is a raw, rough action thriller, but it has some very well choreographed action sequences throughout. Set in New York City, it focuses on different groups of gangs, including The Warriors, The Rogues, the Lizzies, the Baseball Furies, the Turnbull ACs, the Orphans and the Gramercy Riffs, the latter of whom are the biggest gang in New York. Their leader Cyrus (Roger Hill) calls them together offering a citywide truce amongst the gangs and an alliance between them all as they outnumber the police 5 to 1. But, Cyrus is assassinated by Luther (David Patrick Kelly), the leader of the Rogues, and they frame The Warriors for it, who go on the run. The Warriors are led by Cleon (Dorsey Wright), with War Chief Swan (Michael Beck), and members Ajax (James Remar), Vermin (Terry Michos), Cochise (David Harris) and Rembrandt (Marcelino Sánchez). They end up trying to get back to their home turf of Coney Island, by any means necessary, by subway and on the streets too. Also on their tails are the Gramercy Riffs and the Rogues, and other gangs as well. It's a very atmospheric film, all done at night, and Hill gets some good performances from the then young and unknown cast, much of whom would go on to other great films, and despite the film being critically attacked at the time, it would become a small hit, with a cult status that lasts to this day, and it made Hill briefly bankable. 3.5/5



Café Society (2016), written and directed by Woody Allen, his 48th film, and also one of his most expensive and most beautiful looking films in a long time. The was an attempt by Allen to do a novel on screen, and it does share similarities with The Great Gatsby, where a fish out of water finds himself at lavish parties and mingling with the famous and wealthy. But, as ever with Allen, there is a dark, neurotic undercurrent, but it also has a spirited, colourful ensmeble cast as well. Set in the 1930's, New Yorker Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) comes to Los Angeles to work in Hollywood for his uncle Phil (Steve Carell), who is a successful Hollywood agent. Bobby initially works in the mailroom, but is given some high profile jobs to do through Phil's secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart), whom Bobby immediately falls for, even though she's seeing another man, who happens to be Phil, even though he's married. Phil however can't divorce his wife, so Vonnie dates Bobby for a short time, before Phil tries to win her back. Bobby finds out and dumps Vonnie when she goes with Phil. Bobby returns to New York to run a nightclub with his gangster brother, Ben (Corey Stoll), whose criminal activities soon catch up with him. Meanwhile, Bobby marries divorcée Veronica Hayes (Blake Lively), after meeting together at the nightclub, they soon marry and have children together, meanwhile, Phil and Vonnie travel to New York, and Bobby meets Vonnie again at the nightclub. The film has a secret weapon, and it's the gorgeous, colourful cinematography by Vittorio Storaro, which enhances the film and gives it a classy quality. As for the story, it's what you've come to expect from Woody Allen, crackerjack dialogue and Eisenberg is a natural speaking Allen's dialogue, it's one of Allen's better later ones. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:41 pm

The Magnificent Seven (1st view) - It's been a while since I saw the original but I think this is better. Certainly better than Seven Samurai. Not as good a s A Bug's Life though - 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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