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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   Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:34 pm

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), from Laika, the animation studio behind Coraline (2009), ParaNorman (2012) and The Boxtrolls (2014), comes a more emotionally driven fantasy adventure. It might also be their most mature and darkest film to date, not relying on grotesqueness that adorned their 3 previous films. The result is a beautiful and colourful film, with some truly stunning animation. Set in ancient Japan, it tells the story of Kubo (Art Parkinson), a young boy who lives in a cave on top of a mountain with his ill mother (Charlize Theron). Kubo tells stories in the village using pieces of paper he brings to life with his Shamisen. Kubo has to be back before dark, otherwise his evil grandfather, the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) and his daughters (Rooney Mara) will come to take Kubo's eye, having taken one when he was born. One day, Kubo stays out after dark, his mother magically sends Kubo away to a frozen land to find his father's armour. He's joined on his quest by a Monkey (Theron again) and a samurai Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), both of whom seem to have some connection to Kubo, but it's not long before the Moon King finds out where he is. The directorial debut of Laika's lead animator Travis Knight, this is a beautiful and very engaging film. Plus, it's a very mature film which manages to get away with being a family film, thanks to getting the tone right. It might be dark, but there's still fun to be had throughout. 4/5



The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (2016), directed by Ron Howard, this documentary tells the story of the greatest band of them all, but a part of their history that not many know about. Their life on the road between 1962 and 1966, and one of the key points of this film is that much of it is made up from unseen photos and home movies made by the fans who went to see them. Interspersed with new interviews of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and also archive interviews by John Lennon and George Harrison, this shows the Beatles on the road, how they coped with the sudden rise to fame, and becoming cultural icons everyone looked up to at the time, there's interviews with fans who went to the concerts, such as Whoopi Goldberg and Sigourney Weaver, as well as fans like Eddie Izzard, Richard Curtis and Elvis Costello. On top of the touring between 62 and 66, they released 7 albums, made 2 films and made countless appearances on TV. But, as their music improves and becomes more complex and creative, touring starts to become more like a chore, and inevitably, the wheels come off after the nadir of the 1966 tour, after negative experiences in the Philippines and America. This is an insightful and brilliant documentary, it shows some brilliant unseen footage, and there's some great stories too. Plus, there's an icing on the cake if you see the film in cinemas, they've included a new version of their 1965 Shea Stadium concert. Sheer heaven. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:23 pm

Hell or High Water (2016), directed by David Mackenzie, (Young Adam (2003), Hallam Foe (2007) and Starred Up (2013)), and written by Taylor Sheridan, (Sicario (2015)), this is a dark heist thriller set in a Texas lost in time and ravaged by recession. It's a sparse but violent film, but it's an excellent film, buoyed by a brilliant script, very confident direction and top notch performances all round. In West Texas, two brothers, Toby Howard (Chris Pine) and his ex-con Tanner (Ben Foster), carry out a series of early morning bank robberies on two branches of the Texas Midlands Bank. They're able to get away from the police and dispose of the getaway cars by burying them. The robberies capture the attention of two Texas Rangers, Marcus Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and Alberto Parker (Gil Birmingham) investigate. It turns out Toby and Tanner are trying to raise enough money from the robberies to prevent foreclosure on their ranch, as they've discovered oil on the property too. But Marcus, who is nearing retirement, is determined to put a stop to their crime spree, and deducts that they're only stealing a certain amount of money and it's not long before it goes wrong. This is a dark but extremely engaging thriller, it's brilliantly made and shows the real America, there's nothing glossy or glamourous about the world it depicts here. It keeps violent, fanciful gunplay to a minimum and focuses on it's characters and it's story. 5/5



Bridget Jones's Baby (2016), the third film in the Bridget Jones franchise, 12 years after Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2014). Instead of adaptating Helen Fielding's third Bridget Jones book, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy (2013), Fielding helped to come up with a entirely new story altogether. They even brought back Sharon Maguire, who directed the first film, to do this film. Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) is now 43, and divorced from Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). She has a successful career as a TV producer, and on a weekend out with news anchor Miranda (Sarah Solemani) at an Ed Sheeran concert, she meets American Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey), who ends up in bed with Bridget. A few days later, Bridget is at a christening, where she see's Mark again, and they end up in bed together. Inevitably, Bridget ends up becoming pregnant, and she doesn't know who the father is. She has ends up getting in touch with Jack, who falls for Bridget when she tells her the news. Plus, Mark's current marriage has also fell apart, and he goes back to Bridget when he learns the news about Bridget's pregnancy, but she still can't come around to come clean with either Mark or Jack. It's a very funny film, and it's good to see Bridget back, and it makes up for the lacklustre second instalment, and enough time has passed too, and it makes for an otherwise welcome return, and it has some amusements of embarrassing comedy. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Oct 20, 2016 11:37 pm

The Girl Can't Help It (1956), Directed by former animation director Frank Tashlin (maybe the Brad Bird/Andrew Stanton of his day), he created a good timepiece of the 1950's, when rock music was topping the charts and a whole new generation was on it's way in, and he responded to this new craze with this light, bubbly and amusing comedy, which has a great soundtrack to it's name. It's got a simple straight-forward plot, which has struggling agent Tom Miller (Tom Ewell), being hired by gangster Marty 'Fats' Murdoch (Edmond O'Brien), whom he knew years earlier, to make a star out of his girlfriend Jerri Jordan (Jayne Mansfield), trouble is, she can't sing and she's more interested in being a housewife, but Murdoch and Miller won't give in, and even Murdoch has written a song that Jerri could put her one big talent to. Director Tashlin used to do cartoons for Warner Bros. and there's parts of this that feel like a live-action cartoon, but it's good witty dialogue and it's well shot, but the main highlights are the musical performances from acts of the day like Little Richard, Eddie Fontaine, Julie London, Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps and Fats Domino, that punctuate the film and look beautiful in Cinemascope and Deluxe. A product of it's time, proud of it, and it'll never date. 4/5



The Sorcerers (1967), Written and directed by Michael Reeves, whose only other credit before his untimely death in 1969 was Witchfinder General (1968), this is a very surreal and bleak horror thriller that has a brilliant lead performance as well as some odd visuals and a splash of Swinging London about it. The film proves to be quite effective and it get's under your skin as well. Pioneering hypnotist Professor Marcus Montserrat (Boris Karloff) is wanting to try out a new psychic invention he's worked on with his wife Estelle (Catherine Lacey). He finds a naive but willing volunteer in Mike Roscoe (Ian Ogilvy), who is looking for something different, and he finds it in this technique. Marcus and Estelle are able to control him telepathically, and they feel what Mike feels the sensations and thrills he goes through. But Estelle selfishly decides to use Mike for her own personal gain, including stealing a mink scarf and going off joyriding on a motorbike. This erratic behaviour worries Mike's girlfriend Nicole (Elizabeth Ercy) and friend Alan (Victor Henry), but things take a darker turn when Estelle ties Marcus up and takes control of Mike, leading to murders. It's almost like the Scanners of it's day, but it does have some surreal sights, like Karloff in a Wimpy Bar, but he and Lacey give brilliant performances, as does Ogilvy, who is always reliable. It's a good cult horror film, and it's a good timepiece of the 1960's. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:15 am

Wonderful Life (1964), directed by Sidney J. Furie, (The Young Ones (1961), The Ipcress File (1965) and Iron Eagle (1986)), this was Cliff Richard's 5th film, and it came at a time when his star status was on the slide after The Beatles held pop music to ransom and changed the world. As a result, this came across as a hotch-potch of ideas, with no central glue to hold the whole thing together. It starts on a cruise ship, and it has Cliff, along with the Shadows (Hank Marvin, John Rostill, Bruce Welch and Brian Bennett), and ships stewards Jerry (Melvin Hayes) and Edward (Richard O'Sullivan), accidentally sinking the ship and ending up in a raft and they find land on Gran Canaria, where they look for a way to get home. They end up coming across a film set for a rather dull sword and sandals period film. Cliff and his mates end up getting work on the films production, but the production isn't going well, so they help out, inserting song and dance numbers into the film. The films leading lady Jenny Taylor (Susan Hampshire) is timid and not confident at all, but Cliff and the lads help her get through the production, and producer Lloyd Davis (Walter Slezak) finds out. It's a mixed bag, because it doesn't know what it wants to be, and there's so many musical numbers and fantasy sequences, you get the impression it started out as one film, but it soon became something else. Plus, A Hard Day's Night (1964) stole it's thunder as well. 2/5



The Nice Guys (2016), written and directed by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon (1987), The Last Boy Scout (1991) and The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)), Black wrote this clever buddy-cop action film back in 2001, even trying to do it as a TV series at one point before giving up. It shows there's still life in the buddy cop action film, this one adds elements of noir and a lot of comedy. It also benefits from having a really inspired and hilarious pairing to lead the film. Los Angeles, 1977. Private Eye Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is looking for missing porn star Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio) and another missing girl called Amelia Kutner (Margaret Qualley). Only, Amelia isn't missing, she doesn't want to be found. Amelia hires enforcer Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) into ensuring Holland stays away, which Jackson does. But, Jackson and Holland end up having to team up to find Amelia. They're both aided by Holland's 13 year old daughter Holly (Angourie Rice), even though Holland isn't happy about that. Thrown into the mix is a porn film entitled called 'How Do You Like My Car, Big Boy?' which Misty starred in, but the film was allegedly destroyed in a fire, but one copy is doing the rounds. It's a very good film, with some brilliant set pieces, crackerjack dialogue and some very good performances. This proves there's life in the old buddy cop movie, and as Black gave us Lethal Weapon, it makes sense that he should revive it, and he succeeds with this film. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:17 pm

Really wanted to see Hell or High Water bu it showed just once at my local cinema.

_________________
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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 Oct 24, 2016 2:25 am

Yeah, we had to go to Workington to see it. Criminal. Sad
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:18 pm

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (1st view) - Apart from one moment in which a really bad actor has to give an anguished declaration of love and it comes across as if he's just plain bored, I loved just about everything to do with this - 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 Nov 04, 2016 2:08 pm

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (1st view) - Liked it a lot, Better that the first one - 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 Nov 08, 2016 1:48 pm

Inferno (1st view) - Mark Kermode called this film intergalactically stupid. He might as well have said "Gimli, get down to the cinema now!" - 4/5*





Wolfcop (1st view) - Gory and fun 80's-style horror - 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 Nov 23, 2016 11:38 pm

Streets of Fire (1984), written and directed by Walter Hill, then enjoying the successes of 48 Hrs. (1982), it gave him the clout to make whatever he liked. He created this as a companion piece to The Warriors (1979), wearing it's comic book influences on it's sleeve. It was also inspired by Hill's love of films he grew up with in the 1950's, with gang culture and rock n' roll being the main source of influence. Set in a hyper-realised 50's America, Ellen Aim (Diane Lane), lead singer of Ellen Aim and The Attackers, is kidnapped by The Bombers, a biker gang led by Raven Shaddock (Willem Dafoe). Witnessing this is Reva Cody (Deborah Van Valkenburgh), who hires her brother Tom (Michael Paré), an ex soldier and Ellen's ex-boyfriend, to get her back. With help from tough mechanic McCoy (Amy Madigan) and Ellen's manager and boyfriend Billy Fish (Rick Moranis), they come up with a plan to infiltrate the Bomber's club, where Tom manages to get Ellen back, and get her to safety. However, Raven swears revenge on Tom, and plans revenge on him, but Tom is having non of it, having risked his own life to save Ellen, he plans to bring Raven and the Bombers down once and for all. It's a very stylish film, with some good action sequences throughout, it might look clichéd, but that's the point. It was a very personal film for director Hill, and you can see why it's become a big cult success, for it's 50's influence, it screams of 80's youth cinema. 3.5/5



Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016), Tim Burton rides again, this time adapting Ransom Riggs' cult 2011, which Burton has been attached to direct since it was published, adapted here by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass (2010) and The Woman in Black (2012)), it's perfect material for Burton, however it's not as gothic as it could have been. Less Sleepy Hollow and more Big Fish. 16 year old Jake Portman (Asa Butterfield) has been told stories by his grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp) about his time at Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children at Cairnholm, Wales, and the inhabitants of the house. However, when Abe is killed, a grief-stricken Jake convinces his father Franklin (Chris O'Dowd) to travel to Cairnholm to see the house for himself. When he gets there, Jake finds the house was bombed in World War 2, but Jacob soon meets Emma Bloom (Ella Purnell), who can float and control air, who takes him to a time loop where Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) and the other children have been living in since 1943. However, they've been threatened by the presence of the Wight's, led by Mr. Barron (Samuel L. Jackson) looking to murder the Peculiar children for their power. The book was a different kind of young adult novel, and it makes for a different kind of film, it starts of well, and has a good cast and it looks brilliant on screen, however it completely loses it in the third act when it goes to Blackpool, which wasn't in the book. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:32 am

Deepwater Horizon (2016), directed by Peter Berg, (Friday Night Lights (2004), The Kingdom (2007) and Lone Survivor (2013)), this true life disaster film had been in development since the disaster happened for real. Originally, J. C. Chandor (All is Lost (2013) was attached to direct, but quit after creative disagreements, Berg joined and still managed to make it look good and make it suspenseful too. In April 2010, engineers Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) and his superior, Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell), travel out to the Deepwater Horizon, an oilrig based off the coast of Southern Louisiana, it's run by private contractor Transocean on behalf of BP. Williams and Harnell are surprised to learn that the most of the safety team, who usually pour concrete into the base of the well to keep it stable, have been sent home early without having conducted safety tests. BP liaison Donald Vidrine (John Malkovich) claims everything is alright and no tests are needed, but when Harrell convinces Vidrine a test is needed, he reluctantly agrees. The test goes well, but the foundation gives well, triggering a blowout, which leads to a chain reaction, eventually igniting the well. It takes it's sweet time in getting going, but it's well made, and has a good cast of characters in it, but it's the building up that helps the audience to get emotionally involved in the characters and story, something which a lot of disaster films usually fail to do. 3.5/5



Konga (1961), after the success of Horrors of the Black Museum (1959), British film studio Anglo-Amalgamated planned another film with it's star Michael Gough, to be co-produced with American International Pictures. Directed by John Lemont, (And Women Shall Weep (1960) and The Frightened City (1961)), this is a cheesy B-movie horror, done on the cheap, and proud of the fact. After being lost in Africa for a year, presumed dead, British botanist Dr. Charles Decker (Michael Gough) returns to England claiming to have found a way to help growth in humans and animals. With him, Decker has brought a baby chimpanzee called Konga, whom Decker plans to test on. He makes a serum from plants he brought back from Africa. Konga grows and grows to giant size, but Decker has trouble with his peers, including Dean Foster (Austin Trevor), who has doubts that Decker's theories are right, and colleague Professor Tagore (George Pastell), who also scorns Decker's theories. Decker goes insane, and sends Konga out to kill them. This doesn't sit well with Decker's assistant and lover Margaret (Margo Johns), especially when Decker eyes up student Sandra Banks (Claire Gordon) as his new assistant. It's a daft B-Movie horror, with some very questionable effects and ropey acting, but it had a life long beyond a film, as it was adapted into a comic by Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko in 1960, while the film was still in production. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:41 am

Donald McKinney wrote:
however it completely loses it in the third act when it goes to Blackpool, which wasn't in the book. 3.5/5


But it has that bonkers fight on the pier!

_________________
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 Nov 27, 2016 12:49 am

The Sentinel (2nd view) - Quite forgettable - 3/5*




Non-Stop (2nd view) - Sill and nonsenscial and exactly the kind of film I love - 4/5*




Momentum (1st view) - Good - 4/5*




13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (1st view) - The closest Michael Bay will get to making an indie film. Nice change of pace from those robot fighting films he's been so keen of of late but it feels like a wannabe Black Hawk Down - 4/5*




The Last Command (2st view) - Great silent film - 4/5*




Into Great Silence (1st view) - Overly long documentary about monks - 3/5*




Arrival (1st view) - Apart from when it got all wishy-washy and lovey-dovey near the end, excellent. Adams was superb - 4/5*




The Jungle Book (1st view) - Not entirely sure how this is the 4th biggest earner of the year and it would have been vastly improved had Shere Kahn eaten Mowgli in the first three minutes but good fun all the same - 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 Dec 01, 2016 12:16 am

Gimli The Avenger wrote:
Donald McKinney wrote:
however it completely loses it in the third act when it goes to Blackpool, which wasn't in the book. 3.5/5


But it has that bonkers fight on the pier!

Well yes, it was good, but the rest of it didn't make sense, not to mention the fact they put a pier right outside Blackpool Tower, which there isn't. Razz

Pineapple Express (2008), After the success of Superbad (2007), Seth Rogen and his co-writer Evan Goldberg worked with producer Judd Apatow on this hilarious little comedy, it's a buddy movie at heart, about two stoners sticking together in difficult circumstances, (the film was inspired by the plight of Brad Pitt's Floyd in True Romance (1993)), but Apatow, Rogen and Goldberg find much to laugh at here, even though there's alot of drug references throughout this film. It has Dale Denton (Rogen) who is a process server who serves out legal subpoenas. He is about to serve one out to drug lord Ted Jones (Gary Cole), but he then witnesses Jones and bent policewoman Carol Brazier (Rosie Perez) murdering an Asian drug dealer. He flees, and finds refuge with his weed dealer Saul Silver (James Franco). They find themselves on the run, and even Saul's dealer Red (Danny McBride) finds himself in trouble with Jones' gang. It's a very enjoyable and very funny film, with some good dialogue, and a brilliant performance from Franco, and some good supporting cameos, including Kevin Corrigan and Craig Robinson as Jones' henchmen. So, for once, this is a film which makes drug taking and dealing look like fun!! 4/5



The Magnificent Seven (2016), a remake of a remake. The original 1960 Magnificent Seven was essentially a remake of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (1954). The original spawned a few sequels and years later was remade as a TV series. Now, there's a proper film remake, brought to the screen by director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day (2001)), it's actually a decentish remake. Set in 1879, nasty industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) kills some of the locals in the mining town of Rose Creek. Widowed Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett) whose husband was murdered by Bogue's men, looks for help, and finds it in bounty hunter Sam Chisholm (Denzel Washington), who declines the offer until he learns how bad Bogue is. He rounds up 6 other men, gambler Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), shooter Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), knife-wielding Billy Rocks (Lee Byung-hun), skilled tracker Jack Horne (Vincent D'Onofrio), Comanche warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier) and notorious Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), to take down Bogue and his men. They only have a few days to get ready before Bogue returns with re-enforcements. It's not a bad film actually, they've kept the general outline, but just updated the tone and attitude, and there is some good shootout sequences throughout, and there is a good diverse cast too. But, it's been done twice before, did it need to be done again? 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:53 am

Inferno (2016), after the success of The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels & Demons (2009), it was inevitable that another of Dan Brown's books would be adapted, The Lost Symbol was nearly adapted, but script problems put the kibosh on that, so director Ron Howard settled on Inferno instead, which had a better plot. It makes for a good film, but it's still problematic and all over the place too. Harvard Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in a hospital in Florence, Italy, with a head concussion with no memory of how he got there and visions of a burning Earth. Then assassin Vayentha (Ana Ularu) breaks into the hospital and tries to kill Langdon, who escapes with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), and they hide at her apartment. They find on Langdon a picture of Sandro Botticelli's Map of Hell, which was planted by transhuman scientist Bertrand Zobrist (Ben Foster), who has planned to set of a virus to wipe out much of the world's population. Using Dante's death mask as a clue, Langdon and Brooks set off from Florence to Venice then Istanbul to try and put a stop to Zobrist's plan, while also trying to stay one step ahead of the police. It's an OK film, with some good set pieces, but you'd have thought that Howard would have learnt from the mistakes of the previous 2 films, and rectified any mistakes. However, it's all over the place and bonkers. As a result, it doesn't look like The Lost Symbol will happen. 3/5



Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016), directed by Edward Zwick, (Glory (1989) and Legends of the Fall (1994)), this is the sequel to Jack Reacher (2012), which was a small hit upon release, and a sequel was inevitable. Paramount have planned a tent-pole series of Jack Reacher films, however, this is a straight up action film which is more or less the same as the first film, but it's still good. Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) has just taken down a human-trafficking ring, and he's on his way to visit Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders), with whom he's kept a correspondence with. When Reacher arrives in Washington, he finds that Turner has been arrested for alleged espionage. Reacher learns from Turner's attorney Colonel Bob Moorcroft (Robert Catrini), that Turner is involved in the murders of two soldiers in Afghanistan, Reacher believes Turner has been set up, and Moorcroft ends up being murdered, and Reacher is framed for it. He's sent to the same military prison Turner is being held at, and he's able to escape and helps get Turner out as well. Reacher and Turner try to determine who is behind all of this, and who had Moorcroft murdered as well. It's a film which tries to be suspenseful and exciting, but it's a rerun of the first film, but there's some good action sequences throughout, although Zwick does well and Cruise holds his own in the action sequences, there's nothing very original about the film. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:08 pm

Doctor Strange (2016), based on the 1963 Marvel comic created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and brought to the screen by director by Scott Derrickson, (The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) and Sinister (2012)), this is Marvel's riskiest film to date, indeed it's taken 30 years to bring to the screen, with directors like Wes Craven and Alex Cox attached, but this take is stunning to look at and good fun. When acclaimed neurosurgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) loses the use of his hands after a car accident, he tries to explore experimental surgeries to help him recover, which don't work. When Strange encounters paraplegic Jonathan Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt), who can walk again. Pangborn directs him to  Kamar-Taj in Nepal, it's leader the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) is reluctant to help, but seeing Strange is desperate, accepts, and shows Strange their powers, which involve moving the astral plane and other dimensions. As Strange is able to learn new powers, with help from Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Wong (Benedict Wong) and becomes an expert, meanwhile everything Kamar-Taj holds sacred is threatened by rogue master Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen). It's Marvel's most daring film yet, and it works, it's heavily influenced by Inception (2010), but in a good way, and it has a good cast to it's name. It manages to balance being a psychedelic art film and an entertaining superhero blockbuster. 4/5



[b]The Man With Two Brains (1983), directed by Carl Reiner (The Jerk (1979) and Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)), this was the second film Reiner did with Steve Martin, and they both wrote the script. It was a riskier film than the carefree lunacy of The Jerk or the homage to film noirs of Dead Men... It's a spoof of mad scientist sci-fi films, with some of the best character names you'll ever hear. Pioneering surgeon Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (Steve Martin), is renowned for the "cranial screw-top" brain surgery. After running over gold digging femme fatal Dolores Benedict (Kathleen Turner). They fall for each other and marry, but tensions appear in the marriage when Dolores always claims to be too ill to have sex. So, Hfuhuruhurr takes Dolores on holiday to Vienna, where Hfuhuruhurr meets mad scientist Dr. Alfred Necessiter (David Warner), who has found a way to preserve brains in jars, and Hfuhuruhurr finds himself communicating telepathically with the brain of Anne Uumellmahaye (Sissy Spacek). Hfuhuruhurr falls in love with Anne, and Dolores finds out and tries to destroy Anne's brain after Hfuhuruhurr steals the brain from Doctor Necessiter's laboratory. It's an extremely silly film, but it does have some good laughs throughout, and it was made when Martin was at his best, and it showcases his abilities as a writer as well. It makes no sense, but it's all a bit of cheery, silly fun, which is what you sometimes need. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:11 pm

Fargo (1996), from The Coen Brothers, who prior to this had taken on Hollywood with their big budget screwball comedy The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), which had sadly flopped. The Coen's returned to their native Minnesota to make this crime thriller with a delicious vein of black comedy running throughout. It was the Coen's back with a vengeance, and it put them in good stead for the future. In Minnesota in 1987, car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H, Macy), is in financial trouble. He's embezzled money from the dealership to cover his own mess and he's struggling to keep on top of it all. As a last resort, he hires two criminals, Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) and Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife Jean (Kristin Rudrüd), and for her father Wade Gustafson (Harve Presnell), to pay the hefty ransom, so Jerry can pay off his debts. At first, all goes to plan, Jean is kidnapped and then Carl kills a state trooper and two motorists outside Brainerd. Almost immediately, Police Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), is on the case, and despite a weird wicked web, it's not long before she puts two and two together and works it all out. At the time, there had been nothing like this, so it was a breath of fresh air, from the compelling story to the crackerjack dialogue, and the off-kilter characters. Indeed, it's the weird, offbeat nature of the film that give it it's edge. It's still an important film 20 years later. 5/5



Contraband (2012), directed by Baltasar Kormákur, (2 Guns (2013) and Everest (2015)), and written by Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners (2013)), this crime thriller is a remake of the 2008 Icelandic film Reykjavík-Rotterdam which director Kormákur starred in. It's a by the numbers thriller, not helped by the fact they've tried to cram too much plot in when it could have been made simpler. In New Orleans, ex-smuggler Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) now leads a peaceful life with his wife Kate (Kate Beckinsale) and his two sons, but he soon finds himself being drawn back to his old ways to help Kate's brother Kate's brother Andy (Caleb Landry Jones), who lost a shipment of drugs, and Andy's boss Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), threatens to kill Andy's family, if he doesn't pay him $700,000, the value of the lost drugs. Chris comes up with a plan, teaming up with old smuggling partner Sebastian Abney (Ben Foster), they plan a run to Panama to buy fake US dollars from crime lord Gonzalo (Diego Luna), using a container ship captained by Captain Camp (J. K. Simmons). With little time in Panama to get the counterfeit money, Chris learns that Sebastian has a secret agenda. It could have been a good film, but the makers tried to cover up it's clichéd shortcomings by making it complex, in an attempt to try and make it different from other heist films. It doesn't work sadly, even though there's some good performances throughout. 2.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:30 pm

The Boss (2016), co-written and directed by Ben Falcone, this was his second film after making Tammy (2014) with his wife and co-writer Melissa McCarthy. Even though Tammy had had a critical drubbing, it did well enough to see Falcone and McCarthy get this amusing but naughty comedy made, which was based on a character McCarthy created years earlier for the comedy troupe Groundlings. Michelle Darnell (McCarthy) is a millionaire industry titan, who worked her way from nothing. However, she's sent down for insider trading after denouncing and humiliating former lover Renault (Peter Dinklage). Now broke and with no home, she ends up staying with her former assistant Claire Rawlings (Kristen Bell) and her daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson). Determined to rebuild her empire from scratch again, Michelle decides to start a cookie empire, after taking Rachel to a girl scouts meeting, and take on the Scout's at their own game. Her business, Darnell's Darlings becomes a big success, but Darnell has her detractors, not least her mentor Ida Marquette (Kathy Bates) and Renault, the latter of whom still wants to see her crash and burn for what he did to her. It's a daft comedy, held together by McCarthy and Bell playing off one another brilliantly, but the gags are all hit and miss, and the humour veers from slapstick to bad taste throughout. It could and should have stuck with one or the other, but it's funny while it lasts. 3/5



The Accountant (2016), directed by Gavin O'Connor (Pride and Glory (2008), Warrior (2011) and Jane Got a Gun (2016)), and written by Bill Dubuque (The Judge (2014)), this action thriller puts an original spin on the genre, and shock of shocks, it's lead actor manages to put in a good performance. The last few years have been kind to him, but the plot of the film itself is very convulated. Autistic public accountant Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) leads a double life, on the one hand, he's a small town accountant helping people with financial issues, on the other hand, he's helping dangerous criminal organizations that are experiencing internal embezzlement by using creative accounting to stay off the laws backs. But, when Wolff audits state-of-the-art robotics corporation Living Robotics, ran by Lamar Blackburn (John Lithgow), and Wolff notices various discrepancies in the company. It's not long before his life in danger, and assassins target Living Robotics employee Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), who also knows too much, but thanks to Wolff's tough upbringing, he's also a professional assassin, and he's able to stay one step ahead of the assassins and the law. It's a very convulated film, and you get the impression there was a longer edit, but they cut it down heavily under pressure, but it's long enough as it is. Affleck's performances aside, it tries to cram too much into the film, and it suffers as a result. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:23 pm

Arrival (2016), directed by Denis Villeneuve, (Prisoners (2013) and Sicario (2015)), written by Eric Heisserer (A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) and The Thing (2011)), and based on the 1998 short story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. This is a very intelligent sci-fi film cut from similar cloth to Contact (1997), but this is a very deceptive film, and it pulls the rug from under your feet at the end. When twelve alien spaceships appear over various places around the world, they leave people confused, bewildered and fearful over what the aliens want. U.S. Army Colonel Weber (Forest Whittaker) turns to linguistic expert Louise Banks (Amy Adams) to join a team alongside physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to find out why they've come. Louise is initially reluctant, but she agrees. They go to one site in North America where one of the ships are, Louise and Ian go on board and make contact with the aliens, which are multi-limbed and communicate in a series of complicated circular symbols. As Louise tries to decipher this incomprehensible language, she starts to get visions in her head, while at the same time other nations are becoming wary of the aliens intent. While it's not the masterpiece a lot of critics are claiming it to be, it does ask a lot of questions, and it leaves it for the views to work it out. It has some brilliant performances throughout, Adams especially, but it's final twist is worth admission alone. 4/5





Bad Santa 2 (2016), directed by Mark Waters, (Freaky Friday (2003), Mean Girls (2004) and Just Like Heaven (2005)), this belated sequel to the original Bad Santa (2003) comes 13 years after the original, and you could argue that the original didn't need a sequel, as it was one dirty and admittedly funny joke that only worked once, doing it again feels like cashing in, despite some laughs. Willie T. Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) has fallen on hard times, his redemption didn't pan out and he's drunk and suicidal again. Thurman Merman (Brett Kelly) visits him with a message from Willie's old partner in crime Marcus (Tony Cox), remorseful for betraying Willie, and wanting to get back together for a new crime job, hitting a charity in Chicago. Willie refuses, but reluctantly goes along, until he finds the real mastermind behind this new plot is his mother Sunny (Kathy Bates), whom he hates. With nowhere else to go, Willie goes along with it, posing as Santa once again, and he soon befriends charity founder Diane (Christina Hendricks), who takes pity on Willie. Meanwhile Thurman comes to Chicago, while Marcus plots the robbery, but Sunny has an agenda all of her own. This sequel had been in development for years, but all it does is make you think how much better the original was, it didn't need a sequel, some of this is a rehash of the original, but it's worth it for Bates's spirited performance, but they really shouldn't have bothered. 2.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:07 am

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (2016), directed by Ron Howard, this documentary tells the story of the greatest band of them all, but a part of their history that not many know about. Their life on the road between 1962 and 1966, and one of the key points of this film is that much of it is made up from unseen photos and home movies made by the fans who went to see them. Interspersed with new interviews of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and also archive interviews by John Lennon and George Harrison, this shows the Beatles on the road, how they coped with the sudden rise to fame, and becoming cultural icons everyone looked up to at the time, there's interviews with fans who went to the concerts, such as Whoopi Goldberg and Sigourney Weaver, as well as fans like Eddie Izzard, Richard Curtis and Elvis Costello. On top of the touring between 62 and 66, they released 7 albums, made 2 films and made countless appearances on TV. But, as their music improves and becomes more complex and creative, touring starts to become more like a chore, and inevitably, the wheels come off after the nadir of the 1966 tour, after negative experiences in the Philippines and America. This is an insightful and brilliant documentary, it shows some brilliant unseen footage, and there's some great stories too. But, that's biased coming from a Beatles fan, but for newcomers to the Fab Four, they'd possibly find it insightful and astonishing in equal measure. Sheer heaven. 5/5



Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), after the Harry Potter franchise ended in 2011, pressure was on to make more and do spin-off's, author J.K. Rowling was already on it. Inspired by Rowling's 2001 book of the same name, this expands the wizarding universe established in Harry Potter, and takes it to another place and another time. It works well and it's good entertainment. In 1926, British wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives by boat to New York City heading for Arizona, but he instantly gets into trouble by getting his magical suitcase mixed up with a similar suitcase belonging to cannery worker Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler). Newt is brought in to the Magical Congress of the United States of America by witch Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), for being an unregistered wizard in America. Meanwhile, several creatures escape from Newt's suitcase and cause havoc in New York. While Newt, Tina and Jacob go on a mission to find the missing creatures, meanwhile, there's a dark force threatening New York, and MACUSA's chief director Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) is on a mission to put a stop to the carnage. While it's a brave decision to make this with only a rudimentary source to go on, it works, sort of. While it's great to see the wizarding world again, Rowling and director David Yates try and cram too much into this first instalment, but it's fun while it lasts. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:23 am

Allied (2016), directed by Robert Zemeckis, this was made hot on the heels of The Walk (2015), and it's an unashamedly old fashioned war thriller written by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things (2002) and Eastern Promises (2007), it gives Zemeckis a chance to focus on performance and storytelling, rather than relying on special effects. It makes for a refreshing change to most other war films you get. In 1942, Royal Canadian Air Force intelligence officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) is parachuted into French Morocco, where he meets French Resistance fighter Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard). The plan is for them to pose as a couple, and then to assassinate German ambassador Hobar (August Diehl). In the run up to the assassination, Max and Marianne fall for each other, and after the mission is complete. Max arranges for Marianne to come to England. They marry, settle down in Hampstead and have a daughter. All seems well, until Max is told by a Special Operations Executive (Simon McBurney) and Frank Heslop (Jared Harris) that Marianne might be a German Spy. Max refuses to believe it, and goes to extreme measures to prove otherwise, but doubt sets in. It's the sort of thing you'd get on a Sunday teatime on BBC1, but it looks good on screen, and it's about time we had an alternative to war films which are action and violence all the way through, and it's refreshing to see Zemeckis focus on action and story more here. 4/5



Sully (2016). directed by Clint Eastwood, and adapted from Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow. This is a dramatic retelling of the Miracle on the Hudson in January 2009. While the actual event only took a few minutes to unfold, the fact Eastwood has managed to make a compelling and engaging film out of it is quite an achievement. On January 15th 2009, pilots Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) and First Officer Jeffrey Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) take off from LaGuardia Airport in New York heading for North Carolina. 3 minutes into the flight, they hit a flock of birds, and both engines are taken out. Faced with the prospect of not being able to turn back to the airport, Sully comes to the decision to land the plane, which has 155 passengers on board, on the Hudson river. He manages to do so, saving everyone on board. Sully gets hailed by the press and public as a hero, buy soon Sully begins to suffer PTSD and begins to doubt himself over whether he made the right decision. Even the National Transportation Safety Board claim he could have made it back to the airport safely, Sully disagrees. It's a good film, but it would have worked better as a documentary, as a story, there's very little place for it to go after the event, except for the investigation. At a brisk 96 minutes, it shows that there wasn't anywhere for the film to go. But, it's good while it lasts. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:52 am

Moana (2016), from directors Ron Clements and John Musker (The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin (1992) and The Princess and the Frog (2009)), this was born out a brainstorm by Clements and Musker after a planned adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Mort collapsed. So, they tackled Polynesian mythology with this charming and colourful adventure that shows Disney still have the power to entertain and enthral. Set on the small Polynesian island of Motunui, heir to the chief Moana Waialiki (Auli'i Cravalho), wants to explore the ocean, but her father Chief Tui (Temuera Morrison) forbids her to go, claiming everything they need is on the island. But, when fish become scarce and coconuts start to go rotten, Moana takes her ailing grandmothers Tala Waialiki (Rachel House) advice, and to go anyways, especially as her ancestors were explorers, Tala tells Moana to find demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson) who can restore the heart of Te Fiti, which will revive life on the surrounding Islands. So Moana sets off by boat with oblivious pet chicken Heihei, they find Maui, but he refuses to help, and he's powerless without his magical hook, so they go off to find that as well, and they bond along the way. It's an amusing buddy buddy pairing, with some good set pieces, and it's a better education on Polynesian culture than say, South Pacific (1953). It's actually one of the most visually striking films Disney have released in a while, it's beautiful to look at 4/5



Office Christmas Party (2016), directed by Josh Gordon & Will Speck (Blades of Glory (2007) and The Switch (2010)), this rowdy ensemble comedy had been in development since 2010, based on an idea that producer Guymon Casady had pitched to directors Gordon and Speck, the script took a lot of work before they got it right. Some of the gags work and some don't, that's how it rolls. Chicago based internet provider Zenotek is under pressure, the company hasn't met it's targets which worries it's Chief Technical Officer Josh Parker (Jason Bateman), but the branch manager Clay Vanstone (T. J. Miller) is more interested in setting up the annual office Christmas party, but Clay's sister and Zenotek's intermediate CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) flies in telling them she will lay off 40% of the staff, cut bonuses and that the Christmas party is cancelled. Once she's gone, they ignore her and facing the prospect it might be the last one, Clay sets up the mother of all Christmas parties for the staff. Plus, Josh and tech head Tracey Hughes (Olivia Munn) try to use the party to get financial giant Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) on side, but it doesn't go to plan. It's a very silly film with numerous set pieces, a big ensemble cast, and a lot of big set pieces both in and outside of the party. But, with the big ensemble cast and multiple plots, it's hard to keep track of what's going on and who's doing what. But, it's still amusing. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:04 pm

The Night Before (2015), directed by Jonathan Levine (50/50 (2011) and Warm Bodies (2013)), this is a very silly Christmas comedy produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who since Superbad (2007), have been revelling in the field of stoner comedies and other comedy caper films, this one is their take on Christmas films, it's a hotch potch of ideas and scenarios, but it has the odd laugh. Since Ethan Miller (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) lost his parents before Christmas in 2001, his best friends Isaac Greenberg (Seth Rogen) and Chris Roberts (Anthony Mackie), have made a vow to spend every Christmas Eve with each other, and that's something they've done. However, this Christmas, Chris is on the verge of becoming a famous football player and Isaac is now married with a child, commitments are starting to get in the way of this tradition, so they decide to make 2015's Christmas Eve a last hurrah. But, it all starts to unravel, as they look for a secret Christmas party known as the Nutcracker Ball, they end up high on drugs, getting into trouble with drug dealers and thieves, and generally making exhibitions of themselves along the way to the party. Compared to other comedies cut from similar cloth, it has it's faults, but it plays up the usual Christmas movie clichés, but the cast have a good camaraderie between them, and they're the glue that manage to hold this messy, scrappy but amusing film together. 3/5



The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), perhaps the biggest gamble in the history of cinema. Peter Jackson, a New Zealand director, who'd only made low budget horror films, and one moving drama, wanted to turn J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings into 2 films, New Line Cinema suggested 3 films. The rest as they say is history, and this is where the epic story begins. On the 111th birthday of Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) he heads out on one last adventure, leaving his house to nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood), including a ring. Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) learns that the ring was created by dark lord Sauron. Frodo, along with friends Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin), Pippin Took (Billy Boyd) and Merry Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan) goes to Rivendell, where it's decided to form a fellowship with Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Boromir (Sean Bean), Gimli (John Rhys Davies) and Legolas (Orlando Bloom), to take the ring to Mount Doom, and destroy it in the fires there, to cease Sauron's evil influence. But, it's a dangerous journey where they're followed by Ringwraiths, Orcs and the evil control of Saruman (Christopher Lee), who is in league with Sauron. It's an exhilarating and epic adventure, and 15 years on, it's still very enjoyable, and very epic. The characters are still compelling, as is the story, and the best thing was there was still two more films to come, where the story would get even better. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:52 pm

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), ever since Disney bought Lucasfilm and the Star Wars properties, they'd announced spin-offs and solo films based and inspired by the Star Wars saga. This is the first of those films, directed by Gareth Edwards (Monsters (2010) and Godzilla (2014)), this spin-off puts the saga in good stead for the future, despite a few teething troubles, it manages to do well. Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) has been living underground since her mother was killed, and her father Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) was taken by Imperial weapons developer Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) into complete a new weapon for the Empire. Jyn is freed from a prison by rebels Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), and taken to Clone War veteran Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), who raised Jyn after her father was taken away. The Rebels, have in their possession, a message from Galen, where he details a weak spot in the weapon, the Death Star. Oh, but the information regarding the whereabouts of the weakspot are locked away in a high-security Imperial data bank on the planet Scarif. Jyn, Cassian and Co. head out to get it. It's a good heist film at heart, which incidentally takes place between Episodes III and IV, and it shows Star Wars can soar beyond the core storyline featuring the usual characters, even if some manage to appear in this film here and there, but it works. 4/5



Nightmare (1964), from Hammer Films, who when not making Dracula, Frankenstein and Mummy films, ran a niche line of making psychological thrillers, such as this one. Written by Jimmy Sangster (The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958) and Fear in the Night (1972) and directed by Freddie Francis (Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965) and The Skull (1965)), this is a creepy one. Student Jenny (Jennie Linden) is studying at a posh boarding school, but is sent home after she has a recurring nightmare from a childhood memory where her mother killed her father. The school's headmistress Mary Lewis (Brenda Bruce) is concerned for Jenny's wellbeing, but Jenny's guardian Henry Baxter (David Knight) assures Mary she has nothing to worry about, but once back at home, Jenny becomes more paranoid and unhinged, she keeps having visions of a woman with a scar across her face. Even the presence of Baxter's fiancé Grace Maddox (Moira Redmond) does little to improve the mood, and after another violent outburst at Jenny's birthday, Jenny is quickly committed to an asylum, but were the visions all in her head or were they actually real? It's a dark thriller, which has a very noirish feel and quality to it, shot in a stark, brooding black and white. But, it's original in it's execution, and it manages to pull the carpet out from under the viewers feet more than once, it's a very deceptive film, and a very good one. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:47 pm

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



Passengers (2016), directed by Morten Tyldum, (Headhunters (2011) and The Imitation Game (2014)), and written by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus (2012) and Doctor Strange (2016)), Spaihts' script had been doing the rounds of Hollywood since 2007, being passed from studio to studio with different directors and leads attached. This is better than most critics say, despite some shortcomings. Sometime in the future, the starship Avalon is transporting over 5,000 colonists, all in suspended hibernation, to the planet Homestead II, a journey that takes 120 years. En route, the Avalon hits an asteroid field, which breaches the main shield of the ship, causing a malfunction which leads to passenger and mechanical engineer Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), waking up 90 years too early. Jim soon realises there's no way to go back into hibernation. After a year on his own, only with android bartender Arthur (Michael Sheen) for company. Jim contemplates suicide, until a series of events leads to him meeting another passenger, author Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence), who has also woken up too early. They now have to come to terms with their situation, and the ship is malfunctioning. It's a good film, and you can see the intentions of the filmmakers, however, it does have a moral conundrum at it's heart, a terrible decision which is the crux of the whole story. It's this decision that's divided audiences, but it's still well worth watching. 3.5/5

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