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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   Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:03 am

The Birdcage (1996), adapted from the hit French play La Cage aux Folles by Jean Poiret, which was made into a 1978 French comedy by Édouard Molinaro. This American remake directed by Mike Nichols and adapted by Nichols' old comedy partner Elaine May, this is a very funny comedy which has some good farcical moments throughout. It has a brilliant cast throughout with some very sharp dialogue and comic set-ups. Set in South Beach, Florida. Armand Goldman (Robin Williams) runs a drag club called The Birdcage, his domestic partner Albert (Nathan Lane) is the headliner at the club called 'Starina'. Armand's son Val (Dan Flutterman) is engaged to be married to Barbara Keeley (Calista Flockhart), whose father Senator Kevin Keeley (Gene Hackman) is a staunch Republican. After a political scandal, Kevin and his wife Louise (Dianne Wiest) need to get away, so they go to meet Val and his parents and have dinner, but when Val's mother Katherine (Christine Baranski) gets stuck in traffic. Albert comes up with a plan to ensure the dinner goes off without a hitch. It's an extremely silly film, but it manages to be a funny comedy, and it made a name out of Lane, who was a big star on Broadway until then. After his scene stealing role here, where he stole the film from Williams and everyone else, he was in big demand, and it's a positive picture of the gay culture in Florida. 4/5



Don Jon (2013), written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this is a very confident and provocative directorial debut about modern relationships. Gordon-Levitt came up with the idea for the film in 2008, but he returned to the idea, wanting to make a low-budget comedy after making 50/50 (2011). It's a really good film, done on a shoestring budget, the only downside is that the title character is an arsehole. Jon Martello (Gordon-Levitt) is a modern day Don Juan, hence his nickname Don Jon. He's a womaniser, but he's also close to his family, his friends, he takes pride in his apartment, keeps fit and goes to church. However, he is addicted to internet pornography. After getting into a relationship with Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson), he loves having sex with her, but he is still addicted to pornography. Then Barbara finds out about the porn, and she forces Jon to make a choice in life. It's either her or the porn, and she tries taking over his life. Jon is at a lose end, but he finds solace in Esther (Julianne Moore) who needs comfort. It's a good comedy-drama and a different kind of romance film, but despite Gordon-Levitt showing much confidence as actor, writer and director on the film, it's a shame his character is very unlikable, and the fact he would rather wank over internet porn than have a relationship sums up what a loner he is. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:53 pm

Wonderwall (1968), directed by Joe Massot, (Led Zeppelin: The Song Remains the Same (1976) and Space Riders (1988)), adapted from a story by Gérard Brach (Repulsion (1965), Cul-de-sac (1966) and Tess (1979)). This is a very trippy drama which does benefit from some very out-there set design by Dutch design collective The Fool, (who also appear in the film), and most famously, the Indian themed score by George Harrison. Oscar Collins (Jack MacGowran) is an odd, eccentric professor who keeps to himself, and just gets on with his scientific research with his assistant Perkins (Richard Wattis), he is usually pestered by his landlady Mrs. Peurofoy (Irene Handl) because he's a bit of a recluse. However, when a pop photographer (Iain Quarrier) and his girlfriend/model Penny Lane (Jane Birkin), move into the flat next door. Oscar discovers he can see her through a hole in the wall separating his flat from their flat. As he looks through the hole in the wall, he looks in on their photo shoots, and he becomes more drawn and obsessed by Penny and has surreal fantasies. In the hands of anyone else, they could have been a dark thriller, but it isn't here. It's a trippy film, and while it looks dated, some of the psychedelic sequences are well done and the George Harrison score is sublime. It never got a wide release, and the film, along with the soundtrack, was unavailable for years. Shame really. 3/5



Hook (1991), during the 1980's, Steven Spielberg toyed with doing a new version of J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, but he left the project in 1985, it was given to Nick Castle (The Last Starfighter (1984)) who reworked it so that Peter Pan had left Neverland and grew up. Then Castle left the project, and Spielberg returned, this time with an all star cast. The result is Spielberg's oddest film, and downright peculiar indeed. Peter Banning (Robin Williams) is a corporate lawyer who with his wife Moira (Caroline Goodall) and children Jack (Charlie Korsmo) and Maggie (Amber Scott) travel to London to see Moira's grandmother Wendy Darling (Maggie Smith), who helped Peter find a family as an orphan years ago. While at a function, the children are kidnapped, and Wendy tells Peter that he's Peter Pan, which his disbelieves. That is until Tinker Bell (Julia Roberts) appears, and takes him to Neverland. There, his children are being held by Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) and Smee (Bob Hoskins), and Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys need Peter to remember who he really is. It should have been a good film, but the tone is all over the place, and Spielberg doesn't feel confident with the Neverland scenes at all. You can see that he left the film for a reason, and it ends up looking like a big budget pantomime with everyone overacting. It's a shame, as it could have worked with another director. 2.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:23 pm

Zombieland (2009), who'd have ever have guessed it?? That a little low-budget comedy horror like this, done by first time director Ruben Fleischer, (30 Minutes or Less (2011) and Gangster Squad (2013)), would turn out to be one of the best films of 2009, it's got heart, it's got good characters and it's laugh out loud hilarious and creepy in all the right places, it would be fair to call this film an American Shaun of the Dead. America and much of the world has been overrun with zombies for a few weeks, and survivors are starting to be few and far between, but it focuses on two survivors, the highly neurotic Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and gun-toting bad-ass Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), who meet on the road in Texas heading east, but when they're held up by two young girls, Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), they soon find themselves heading west towards Los Angeles, in particular, Pacific Playland, where Wichita and Little Rock believe there are no zombies, but they soon rely on one another to survive, as for Tallahassee, he's on a never ending search for Twinkies. Even if it is a zombie film, it has some very funny moments, in particular one certain celebrity cameo which is well worth seeing the film alone for, and the cameo absolutely steal the film!! It's a great buddy road movie, and it doesn't outstay it's welcome, very likeable and enjoyable. It's one which could benefit from a sequel. 4.5/5



Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), directed by Barry Levinson (Diner (1982) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)), and written by Mitch Markowitz (Crazy People (1990)), this war comedy-drama originally started out life as a sitcom, but the TV networks weren't in the mood for what was pitched as M*A*S*H on the radio, so it was reworked as a film, and the result was a very good film where it's star well and truly steals the film. Set in 1965, when the Vietnam war is gaining momentum, Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) arrives in Saigon to work as a DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Service.Second Lieutenant Steven Hauk (Bruno Kirby) and Sergeant Major Phillip Dickerson (J.T. Walsh) who operate the station, have strict guidelines which they want Cronauer to adhere to. However, he doesn't, he plays rock and roll records, does edgy comedy on the station, which infuriates Hauk and Dickerson, but Cronauer's show is very popular. However, when he falls for Vietnamese girl Trinh (Chintara Sukapatana), it soon puts his life and job in danger. The real Cronauer was nothing like what Williams portrays on the screen, this was mainly an excuse for him to put Williams and his gift for improvisational comedy on display, the result is a winning combination. This made Williams a star, and an extremely bankable name, and Levinson went from this to do Rain Man (1988)). 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:19 am

Lone Survivor(1st view) - After making the best Michael Bay film that Michael Bay never made, Peter Berg goes for something a bit more low-key, The prolonged gunfight that takes up much of the second half of the film is excellent, but the four main characeters are all incredibly bland and forgettable - 4/5*




Barb Wire (1st view) - For some reason I've never seen this in full. In fact I think I've only seen about 10 minutes of it. I can see why it has a reputation for being crap (which always means there wqas a good chance I'd like it) but I honestly can't say it's worse than many established action/sci fi films from the same time - 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   Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:19 am

The Plague (1st view) - Every child on the planet under the age of nine falls into a coma at exactly the same time. 10 years later, they all wake up and start attacking the living. James van der Beek and Ivana Milicevic are the estranged couple trying to battle the teen killers. Could have been much better - 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   Mon Sep 08, 2014 4:38 am

All About Steve (1st view) - Crossword creator Mary Horowitz (Sandra Bullock) is set up on a blind date with Steve Miller (Bradley Cooper) a local news cameraman, After a disasterous first date and not realising she's been brushed off, she follows Steve across the country as he records the news. It's a terrible, terrible film but I couldn't help but find it oddly enjoyable - 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   Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:30 pm

In The Loop (2009), based upon the TV series The Thick of It, created by Armando Iannucci, who co-wrote and directed this film. The series satirised the inner-workings of the British government, for the film version, Iannucci and his team set their targets higher, and took on the dangerous world of Anglo-American politics, especially in the light of the War on Terror. It's a savage film, but there are good laughs to be had. There's unrest in the Middle East, and when new Minister for International Development Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) says on Radio 4 that war in the Middle East is "unforeseeable", Foster finds himself being read the riot act by spin doctor Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi). However, Foster's comments make waves over in Washington, where US Assistant Secretary of State for Diplomacy Karen Clarke (Mimi Kennedy) and General George Miller (James Gandolfini) believe they could use Foster as a meat puppet to oppose the war, as America doesn't have enough troops. So Foster, his aide Toby Wright (Chris Addison) and Tucker head to America. Politics have changed a lot since the days of being satirised on Yes, Minister. Now, it's a cutthroat world, full of backstabbing and trivia and games being played out. It's a TV to film adaptation which works well, as the scope is widened and the targets are now on both sides of the Atlantic. It has some hilarious dialogue as well. 4/5



Moon (2009), directed by David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, (AKA Zowie Bowie), this is a thoughtful, low budget low-tech sci-fi film which feels like it came out of the 1970's, it borrows from old films of that era including Silent Running, Alien and Outland, but it's alot more intellectual, and it has one brilliant lead performance. Set in the future, energy on Earth is running out, but a source of Helium 3 has been found on the moon. It has Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), an employee for Lunar Industries who has been working on the moon for 3 years, all alone with only a computer robot called GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey). With 2 weeks to go before the end of his contract, he's starting to hallucinate. After an accident with one of the moon's harvesters, he awakens some time later in an infirmary, but after recovering, he soon finds the harvester that crashed, and he's still within the pod. The two Sam's stuggle to come to terms with what has happened, and believe either one of them must be a clone, but they find out more. It's a brilliant debut for director Jones, (expect great things to come!!) It's a thought-provoking and really engaging human drama about identity. Rockwell is a tremendous actor, and he does well in handing more than one role. It's quite poignant as well, and the low-tech look gives it a realistic mood. Who needs CGI when you have this?? 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:56 am

Lucy (2014), written and directed by Luc Besson, who went from directing brilliant films such as Leon (1994) and The Fifth Element (1997), to becoming a powerhouse producer in his native France, and with his company EuropaCorp, has released many films with overwhelming international appeal. Besson, inspired by Inception (2010), kept this idea for himself to direct, and it's a clever action thriller which has fun along the way. Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is a drug mule working in Taipei, Taiwan. She's captured by crime kingpin and drug lord Mr. Jang (Choi Min-sik), who has Lucy captured and a bag full of a synthetic drug known as CPH4 is sown up in her belly. However, after being beaten up, the bag bursts, and the drug gets into her bloodstream, and she develops mental and physical abilities, and is able to use telepathy and telekinesis to escape. She calls upon the help of Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman), whose research on brain power could help save her from death. She flies to Paris for Norman to help her, but Lucy needs more CPH4 to maintain her mental capacity. Besson has a very fertile imagination, and he has great fun with the action sequences on display here, and it does make for entertaining viewing. But, while there might be holes with it's scientific logic, that doesn't seem to matter. This is the French take on a Hollywood action film, intelligent but with explosions. 4/5



The Expendables 3 (2014), 2 films were never going to be enough. Sylvester Stallone reunites the lads for one more bout of violence, (albeit tamed down here for a wider audience), and an even bigger cast than last time around. Sly has brought in Patrick Hughes (Red Hill (2010)) to direct it, and there's a sense this could be the last one, but you never know, this one has the best baddie of the lot, and a formidable foe. Barney Ross (Sly), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Toll Road (Randy Couture), Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) and Gunner Jensen (Dolph Lundgren) are in Somalia on a job, having freed Expendable Doctor Death (Wesley Snipes) from jail. However, they come up against Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), one of the founders of the Expendables who went rogue. After a near fatal battle, Ross disbands the Expendables, and sets up a new team consisting of John Smilee (Kellan Lutz), nightclub bouncer Luna (Ronda Rousey), computer expert Thorn (Glen Powell) and weapons expert Mars (Victor Ortiz), but Stonebanks has unfinished business with Ross. It's a very silly film, and while you could continue with the franchise, you kinda get the impression with this one that they should wrap it up here. If they carry on it'll go further down the path of self-parody, (which is what it is), but the cast all seem to be having fun making it, and the action is well filmed though. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:15 am

Good Will Hunting (1997), directed by Gus Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho (1991), To Die For (1995) and Milk (2008)), this drama started out being written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as a thriller set in Boston, but after getting feedback from friends and mentors, they scaled the story back considerably, to make it a more human story, one with heart and brilliant dialogue to boot. It's got some stunning performances too. Will Hunting (Damon) is a janitor who works at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he's from South Boston and never had much of an education, but he happens to be a genius, a self-taught one too. But instead of doing something with his life, he spends much of his free time drinking with his friends Chuckie (Affleck), Billy (Cole Hauser), and Morgan (Casey Affleck). When Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård) discovers Will's gift, he decides to help him. After getting Will out of jail after a fight, the condition is Will do maths with Lambeau, and be counselled by Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), who is determined to help Will and his demons. It's a great little character piece with some colourful characters, and it's also a love letter to Damon and Affleck's native Boston too. They rightfully won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for their script, while the story might be predictable, it's the characters that drive the story along, and it's very sharp and observant. 4/5



Toys (1992), directed by Barry Levinson, who after the Oscar win for Rain Man (1988), got the opportunity to make whatever he wanted, one of them was Avalon (1990), and the other was this visually stunning comedic fantasy. Levinson had wanted to make back in the early 1980's as his directorial debut, but no-one would fund it. The result is the sort of film that Hollywood would NEVER dare make now. Kenneth Zevo (Donald O'Connor), founder of Zevo Toys is dying, but he is unsure whether his son Leslie (Robin Williams) is responsible and mature enough to run the company, so he leaves it to his brother Lt. General Leland Zevo (Michael Gambon). Leland is reluctant, but he accepts the ownership although he has no interest in any of the toys being made. He decides to make war toys, which upsets Leslie, as Zevo Toys have never made war toys, but Leland goes ahead, requesting space for his plans. Leslie becomes suspicious by Leland's demand for space and the extra security, so he decides to investigate for himself. Toys is one of the most underrated films of the 1990's, and people didn't know what to make of it when it first came out. While the film gives Williams perfect opportunities to ad-lib whenever possible, it has some absolutely staggering sets by Ferdinando Scarfiotti, which is well worth watching the film for. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:43 am

Sin City (3rd view) - Very enjoyable and visually astounding. Mickey Rourke gave his first good performance in, well, ever in this - 4/5




Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (1st view) - Also enjoyable and also visually astounding. Josh Brolin (who does a better than Clive Owen), Eva Green and Joseph Gordon Levitt are all fine additions to the cast, but overall the film doesn't gel as well as the first, and it's almost impossible to try and and place the stories from both films into one timeline. Actually I think it is impossible - 4/5*





The Quiet Ones (1st view) -
Reasonably decent, largely thanks to Jared Harris - 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   Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:45 pm

Dog Day Afternoon (1975), directed by Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men (1957), Serpico (1973) and Murder on the Orient Express (1974)), and based on an article by P. F. Kluge and Thomas Moore called The Boys in the Bank. This is based on a true story of a bank robbery that happened in Brooklyn in 1972, it might not look like much on paper, but it sums up the mood of America at the time, when the ideals of the 1960's came to nothing. On the afternoon of August 22nd 1972, small time crook Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino), his friend Salvatore "Sal" Naturale (John Cazale) go into the First Brooklyn Savings Bank, with guns with the intention of robbing the bank, but it doesn't go to plan as Sonny hoped. There's only $1,100 in the safe, and when Sonny burns the banks register goes wrong when the smoke is seen, and the police is called for. Police Detective Sergeant Eugene Moretti (Charles Durning) leads the police, who surround the bank. By the point, Sonny and Sal's actions have attracted a crowd, most of whom now seem to be cheering on the actions of Sonny and Sal. It's a well made film, done on a low budget, but the performances by Pacino and Cazale are the glue that hold the film together, Pacino is like a firework, whereas Cazale has a calm energy, admirably underplayed. It's the hopelessness of Nixon's America put under the microscope when a big event happens. It's very compelling. 4.5/5



Dead Snow (2009), from Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola (Kill Buljo (2007)), this zombie splatter film has it's tongue firmly in it's cheek, and it was inspired by the Nazi occupation of Norway during World War 2, as well as a piece of old Scandinavian folklore about the Draugr, a group of the undead protecting it's treasures. It's a very silly film, and while it adds nothing particularly new to the genre, it is fun to watch. It follows a group of students as they head to the region of Øksfjord in Northern Norway. The students consist of Hanna (Charlotte Frogner), Roy (Stig Frode Henriksen), Sara (Ane Dahl Torp), Chris (Jenny Skavlan), Martin (Vegar Hoel), Erlend (Jeppe Laursen), Liv (Evy Kasseth Røsten), Vegard (Lasse Valdal) and Ronald (Jerid Myers), as they go to spend Easter break at a cabin belonging to Sara. After much drinking and partying, their hedonistic break is interrupted when a mysterious hiker (Bjørn Sundquist) turns up, and tells them about the dark history of the region. Something which comes to haunt them when strange figures turn up... It's clear that this has been inspired by the likes of The Evil Dead (1982) and Braindead (1992), but it manages to find fun with the zombie movie cliches. While it's reception in Norway was a little frosty, (pardon the pun), it did well internationally, and it enabled Wirkola to make Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013). 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:14 pm

The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), written by T.E.B. Clarke and directed by Charles Crichton, (The Titfield Thunderbolt (1953), The Battle of the Sexes (1959) and A Fish Called Wanda (1988)), this is a hilarious crime comedy with a good double act at heart, with some brilliant set pieces and a good plot. Henry Holland (Alec Guinness) is a bank clerk who has been in charge of the deliveries of gold bullion, and he always panics when it looks like someone is following the van that the gold bullion travels in. Bored in his job, he wishes to retire, and it's when he meets fellow lodger Alfred Pendlebury (Stanley Holloway), who runs a foundry that makes novelty souvenirs, such as models of the Eiffel Tower. Holland comes up with a plan to stage a robbery, melt the gold bullion down and make them into models of the Eiffel Tower, and ship them to Paris where they'll sell them on the black market. They recruit two crooks, Lackery Wood (Sid James) and Shorty Fisher (Alfie Bass) to help them with the robbery, which goes well at first, but as soon as it ends up in Paris, their best laid plans seem to go awry, especially when the model towers are accidentally sold to schoolgirls from England. It's a great idea for a film, with a seemingly perfect crime, Guinness and Holloway make a good pairing as the banker and foundry forger who see the plan through, there's some good moments in this, from the chase down the stairs of the Eiffel Tower to the final chase. They certainly don't make them like they used to. 5/5



American Movie (1999), directed by Chris Smith (The Yes Men (2003), The Pool (2007) and Collapse (2009), this documentary came about after Smith met aspiring independent filmmaker Mark Borchardt, who had aspirations to make an epic horror film in his native Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. This shows just how difficult it is to make a film, and how it's a lot more than just pointing a camera at something and calling action. This tells the story of how small time filmmaker Mark Borchardt made Coven (1997), a 36 minute black and white horror film. Originally, Borchardt had wanted to make a horror epic called Northwestern, but that one proves to be too ambitious. So, using the same money they'd raised for Northwestern, Borchardt decides to make Coven, with help from his senile 82 year old uncle Bill. However, production proves to be difficult with various mishaps and setbacks happening. Mark, a chronic alcoholic, takes to the bottle when shooting gets stressful, but his friend and collaborator Mike Schank, who beat alcoholism, is determined to see Coven through. It's a true underdog story, and it shows that if you fight hard enough, you can get what you want to make made. But, it's a sad fact that independent films are the hardest films to get made in the cutthroat world of filmmaking. But, the fact that Borchardt fought against the odds to get Coven made is inspiring. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:55 pm

Owning Mahowny (2003), directed by Richard Kwietniowski, (Love and Death on Long Island (1997)), this true life drama was based on the 1987 book Stung: The Incredible Obsession of Brian Molony by Gary Stephen Ross. Which told of one man's addiction and how he was lucky at first not to get caught, but it soon caught up with him. Which this film is ever so loosely based on that, it's well made despite being made on a shoestring. It begins in 1980, when Dan Mahowny (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a small time bank employee in Toronto is made Assistant Branch Manager of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. While his peers look upon him as a trusted man, in reality, Mahowny has a massive gambling addiction, and he owes money to bookie Frank Perlin (Maury Chaykin). Mahowny comes up with a plan, stealing from the bank under fake accounts to go to Atlantic City, where he's always greeted by casino boss Victor Foss (John Hurt), but this lifestyle alienates him from his wife Belinda (Minnie Driver). After an audit, it all starts to come out, and the Toronto police investigate further. It's a well made film, and you can't go wrong with Hoffman, as he plays the nerdish but conniving gambler. It's an old fashioned film where one man thinks he can get away with crime, but knowing he won't get away with it forever. The film plays on what we wish we could get away with if we could, but knowing we can't in reality. 4/5



Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014), nearly a decade after Sin City (2005) exploded into cinema screens with it's ultra-noir graphics. Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez spent ages trying to get the sequel made, it took nearly a decade no thanks to wranglings with Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who Rodriguez briefly fell out with. It's good to see this dark world back, but the novelty has worn off after being away so long. The film tells 3 stories set in the murky underworld of Basin City. In Just Another Saturday Night, Marv (Mickey Rourke) tells how he took on a group of Frat Boys. In The Long Bad Night, cocky young gambler Johnny (Joseph Gordon Levitt) takes on the corrupt Senator Roarke (Powers Boothe) in a high stakes poker game. In A Dame To Kill For, Private Detective Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) crosses paths with former lover Ava Lord (Eva Green), and in Nancy's Last Dance, dancer Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba), haunted by the ghost of Hartigan (Bruce Willis), wants revenge against Senator Roarke, and she turns to Marv to help her out. Despite what the low box-office suggests, this is a very stylish and well made film, it even has some good performances to it's name. But, because of the legal snarls, it's been left too long and Miller and Rodriguez should have struck while the iron was hot at the time and made it back in 2006, shame really. 3.5.5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:19 pm

Frankenhooker (1990), written and directed by Frank Henenlotter (Basket Case (1982) and Brain Damage (1988)), this black comedy horror is inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, but you get the impression that Shelley would never have dreamt that her book would have inspired something like this. It has to be seen to be believed, and there's stuff in this that'll have you absolutely howling with laughter, it's absolutely hilarious!! When Elizabeth Shelley (Patty Mullen) is accidentally killed by a remote controlled lawnmower at a birthday barbeque, her fiancee Jeffrey Franken (James Lorinz) is devastated, but he's also an amateur scientist, and he comes up with a plan to bring Elizabeth back to life, he salvaged her head and a few other parts from the accident, and decides to kill prostitutes to fill in the missing pieces. He kills them in a massive orgy using some industrial strength "super meth". He uses the parts to put her back together, and it seemingly works, but the reassembled Elizabeth doesn't want Jeffrey, she wants to have sex with stranger for money, or she'll kill them!! You cannot believe a film like this got made, but thank god it did!! It's refreshing to see a comedy-horror with it's tongue firmly in it's cheek, and it's a shame that Henenlotter hasn't made more films, as he has a true talent. This is a prime example of a film so bad it's absolutely brilliant!! 5/5



Twelve Monkeys (1995), after The Fisher King (1991), Terry Gilliam struggled to find an ideal follow-up. He nearly made an adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities, and he also developed The Defective Detective. But then he was offered this project inspired by Chris Marker's short film La Jetée (1962), and here, Gilliam creates the most complex film of his career, but also one of his best. As well as being inventive, it has heart. Set in the year 2035, after a virus wiped out 5 billion people, the Earth's population has retreated underground, in a bid to restore humanity, prisoner James Cole (...(read more) Bruce Willis) is sent by a team of scientists back in time to find clues regarding the virus, but he finds himself going back between World War 1, 1990 and 1996, all the while he finds himself with Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe), who tries to convince Cole he's a paranoid schizophrenic, and Cole also finds himself with insane virus expert's son Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt), leader of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, who the team of scientists believe are responsible for the virus outbreak. It's a film which requires your full attention, but by the end of the film, it all makes perfect sense. Gilliam has created a sort of thinking-man's Terminator. The film is a visual triumph, the futuristic scenes of 2035 are pure Gilliam, as is the slums of 1996 Philadelphia. He brings the best out of his actors, especially Willis and Pitt who have never been as good as this since!! Very Happy 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:26 am

I must seek out Frankenhooker!



Grudge Match (1st view) - A film that's pretty terrible and yet I still liked it a lot, Not even in a "so bad it's good" kind of way, I just liked it while acknowledging its awfulness - 4/5*



_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
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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 Sep 15, 2014 2:57 am

7 Seconds (1st view) - Wesley Snipes leads a gang of professional thieves in Bucharest but when one of them betrrays the group, Snipes goes on the run with both the police and the mob after him. Tamzin Outhwaite is the NATO officer who thinks he might be innocent. Crap - 2/5*


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


Frakkin toasters!

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

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:20 am

Toys (2nd view) - It's been so long since I first saw this I can't even remember when I did see it. Mid-90s I think. It's a very odd film but with a quirky sense of charm to it. Reminds me quite a but of The 5000 Fingers Of Dr T - 4/5




El Baño del Papa/The Pope's Toilet (1st view) - In anticipation of the Pope making a visit to to the small town of Melo in Uruguay, a local smuggler builds a public toilet in the hopes of becoming rich by charging visitors for its use. Well worth a watch - 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   Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:40 am

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2nd view) - Hardly a classic but enjoyable enough - 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   Sun Sep 21, 2014 3:01 am

Replicant (1st view) - The clone of a serial killer is used by a retired detective to help track down the murderer. It's as silly as it sounds. I always wonder why people think it's a good idea to have Jean Claude van Damme in dual roles when he has enough trouble turning in one good performance - 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   Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:45 am

Pompeii (1st view) - Naff in the story, acting and script departments, but a winner for anyone who wants to watch a mashup of Gladiator and Dante's Peak. I'm not sure if Keifer Sutherland intentionally tried to sound like Jeremy Irons but he does and seems to be having a good time doing so - 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   Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:04 pm

The Accused (1988), directed by Jonathan Caplan (Truck Turner (1974), Bad Girls (1994) and Brokedown Palace (1999)) and written by Tom Topor (Nuts (1987)). This dark drama was based on true events that happened in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1983. It was one of the first Hollywood films to tackle the subject of rape in a direct and serious manner, and the legal nightmare that can usually follow in some select cases. When working class girl Sarah Tobias (Jodie Foster) is gang raped in a bar while onlookers cheered it on, it soon heads to court. However, assistant district attorney Kathryn Murphy (Kelly McGillis) is assigned to her case, and instantly, she and Sarah finds herself at loggerheads, not helped when Kathryn's boss District Attorney Paul Rudolph (Carmen Argenziano) wants a plea bargain, where those accused will only serve a short jail term. Sarah is furious, as he side of the story is unlikely to be heard, however the only person who can verify Sarah's side of the story is Kenneth Joyce (Bernie Coulson), who witnessed the rape, and did nothing to stop it. It is a thought provoking film, and it's central rape is almost unwatchable, but it's worth it for it's two central performances from McGillis and Foster, (the latter won a Best Actress Oscar), and it's a powerful and compelling character piece, and it shows the difficulties that cases like this have. 4/5



Disturbing Behaviour (1998), written by Scott Rosenberg (Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995), Con Air (1997) and High Fidelity (2000)) and directed by David Nutter (TV's 21 Jump Street, Entourage and The X Files), this science fiction thriller is a sly cross between The Stepford Wives (1974) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978). Not all of it works, but it does have it's moments throughout. Set in the idyllic coastal town of Cradle Bay in Washington. High School Major Steve Clark (James Marsden) and his family have just move to the town, and he instantly makes friends with Gavin Strick (Nick Stahl), U.V. (Chad E. Donella), and Rachel Wagner (Katie Holmes), all outcasts at the local high school. The popular kids are in a group known as the Blue Ribbons, who are all taking part in a special programme ran by Dr. Caldicott (Bruce Greenwood). Steve is skeptical of this, even more so when Gavin ends up joining the Blue Ribbons, and his attitude changes for the worse too. However, Steve meets janitor Dorian (William Sadler) who spills the beans. It's better than it's reputation makes out, but stuff like this has all been seen before elsewhere, and in some cases, done better. However, it does play the normal people against deadly invaders quite well in places, but the tone of the film is all over the place, and it can't settle down for one single tone throughout. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:18 am

Lucy (1st view) - Highly entertaining and enjoyably crazy. Johansson as Lucy is, by some distance, my favourite of her performances - 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   Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:29 am

When The Wind Blows (1986), after the success of The Snowman (1982), director Jimmy Murakami and producer John Coates reunited with author Raymond Briggs to do something completely different. Adapted by Briggs from his own 1982 graphic novel, this dark animation had it's fingers on the pulse of the mood of the world at the time, with impending doom about to happen. It's amazing that this was allowed to be made then. In the English countryside, elderly couple Jim and Hilda Bloggs (John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft) live a quiet life, but Jim has been keeping an eye on the newspapers, increasingly worried about the impending nuclear war between the west and the Soviet Union. He prepares the house accordingly using government pamphlets as a guide, while Hilda does her day jobs around the house. Then Jim hears the news that a missile has been launched, and Jim and Hilda hide in a makeshift shelter Jim made. A distant blast occurs, and Jim and Hilda survive. However, it soon becomes apparent that no-one is coming to rescue them, and they're succumbing to radiation sickness. While Japan had Grave of the Fireflies (1988), we had this. A very English way of coping with a horrible disaster. It's well made, with the animation done around some very elaborate model shots of the house. It's the true definition of a one-off, you won't see anything like this again, it's just so bleak and upsetting. 4/5



Half Nelson (2006), written and directed by Ryan Fleck, (Sugar (2008) It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010) Mississippi Grind (2014)), and co-written and produced by Fleck's collaborator Anna Boden. This drama was made for a meagre $700,000, and it's a powerful yet quietly emotional film which is a showcase for it's lead, whose star was on the rise since The Notebook (2004), this showed he has acting chops too. Set in Brooklyn, middle school teacher Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling) has a very unconventional style of teaching, and he doesn't stick to the school's curriculum. While he seems to display confidence and control in the classroom, when he isn't teaching, Dan is frequently abusing drugs, mainly cocaine. However, when student Drey (Shareeka Epps). Drey doesn't say anything about it, she has troubles of her own at home, her mother Karen (Karen Chilton) is always at work, her brother Mike (Collins Pennie) is in jail for selling drugs to local dealer Frank (Anthony Mackie). However, Dan and Drey start a friendship, helping each other's problems. It's a well acted drama, and it's worth it for the performances from Gosling (who got an Oscar nomination), Epps and Mackie. It's not afraid to tackle a subject like this head on, but it does it with a sensitive touch, What could have been melodramatic and heavy handed proves to be sensitive and moving. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:49 am

When The Wind Blows is superb.

_________________
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 28, 2014 3:40 am

Certain Prey (1st view) - Tv Movie with Mark Harmon as a oíôdfa5 [b:dfa5]The Outsiders (1983)[/b:dfa5], after the critical and commercial battering he got for One From The Heart (1982), Francis Ford Coppola needed a hit quickly to claw back some of the money he lost and owed. He was sent a letter by

_________________
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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