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

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:24 pm

I just happened to be in Leeds when it was on.
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:52 pm

Mindhorn (2016), the directorial debut of theatre director and actor Sean Foley, whose play The Play What I Wrote won awards and acclaim. This crime-comedy spoof was written by Julian Barratt and Simon Farnaby, and it has a lot of targets in sight. First are old shows like Bergerac and The Six Million Dollar Man, the other is the profession of acting as a whole. The result has more than a touch of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013) about it, but there are some laughs to be had throughout, even if it does come across as a bit uneven and wobbly. During the late 80's and early 90's, actor Richard Thorncroft (Barratt) was renowned for the TV series Mindhorn, where he played Detective Bruce Mindhorn, who had a cybernetic eye which could determine whether people were telling the truth. 25 years after the show ended, Thorncroft is washed up, and is now doing voiceovers for ads. Meanwhile, on the Isle of Man, where the show was made, there's been a series of murders committed and escaped convinct Paul Melly (Russell Tovey) is wanted for it, only he's demanding to speak to Detective Mindhorn. So, the police ask Thorncroft to help them, Thorncroft agrees, but when he returns to the Isle of Man, he finds he's less than welcome after making disparaging remarks about the place 25 years previously, plus his former co-star Peter Eastman (Steve Coogan) is riding high in the spin-off series from Mindhorn, and Thorncroft's female co-star Patricia Deville (Essie Davis) is now living with Thorncroft's stunt double Clive Parnevik (Farnaby). Meanwhile, Thorncroft finds a video tape with incriminating evidence on it. It's a daft comedy which makes the most of the Isle of Man, which acts as a character in the film, and it satirises the cult of old detective TV shows, but melding Bergerac and The Six Million Dollar Man together sounds like a weird way to go, but Barratt has fun in the lead role, and there's also a few fun cameos to be found in the film too. 3/5



Miss Sloane (2016), directed by John Madden (Mrs Brown (1997), Shakespeare in Love (1998) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)), this is a taut, suspenseful political thriller set in cutthroat world of lobbyists in Washington. Perhaps due to the political nature of the subject, and how close to home it was. This struggled to find financing in Hollywood, but thanks to the determination of it's director and star, they found money to make it in France. It's a good thriller, cold and steely, like it's protagonist, but still compelling nonetheless. Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is one of the most powerful and feared lobbyists in Washington, she's able to use stealthlike tactics and maneuvers to win support of various subjects in Washington. She works for lobbying firm Cole Kravitz & Waterman, but after a conflict of interest regarding lobbying against a bill on gun checks, she's lured by Rodolfo Schmidt (Mark Strong), the head of rival lobbying firm Peterson Wyatt, to join his firm, and support said bill. Sloane leaves Cole Kravitz & Waterman for pastures new at Peterson Wyatt, taking most of the lobbying team from her old job with her. Sloane selects Esme Manucharian (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) to be in charge of the firms media appearances, and Sloane finds out that Esme was a victim of a high school shooting. While Sloane promises not to make this public, she soon breaks this promise and lets it out on live TV. This ends up having devastating consequences for all concerned after a near miss gun attack and revelations about Sloane's tactics and practices have her hauled before a congressional hearing. While this does require a lot of patience, it's well worth sticking with, mainly for Chastain's powerhouse performance, which she plays with icy demeanour and determination. A lot of Washington based political thrillers are hard sells, as everyone gets enough politics as it is, but when it's as explosive as this is, then it's well worth seeing. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:39 pm

Carnal Knowledge (1971), directed by Mike Nichols and written by written by Jules Feiffer. This came about when Nichols was sent the script by Feiffer as a potential play, but Nichols convinced Feiffer to rework it as a film, believing it would work better that way. Plus, Nichols was wanting to make a smaller, simpler film after the nightmarish production of Catch-22 (1970), and it makes for a frank, focused and stark character piece. Set over 25 years from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. It follows two college roommates, the loud and aggressive Jonathan Fuerst (Jack Nicholson) and the quiet, thoughtful Sandy (Art Garfunkel). It follows their experiences with women. In college, Sandy dates Susan (Candice Bergen), but she's reluctant to get physical, but she does with Jonathan behind Sandy's back. Jump forwards a few years, and Susan and Sandy are married, while Jonathan is now dating Bobbie (Ann-Margret), and it's a physical relationship, but he finds it no more satisfying than having a more intellectual relationship. Meanwhile, Sandy and Susan split, and Sandy starts dating Cindy (Cynthia O'Neal) and then Jennifer (Carol Kane), but after Bobbie tries to commit suicide, Jonathan ends up losing his sex drive. It's a film which asks a lot of serious questions about sex, and people attitudes to sex, but it answers them in a thoughtful, intimate way without having to be gratuitous. It's graced with some good performances and focused cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno. 4/5



Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge (2017), here we go again. 6 years after On Stranger Tides, Captain Jack Sparrow and his team are back, this time helmed by Norwegian directing duo Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, (Kon-Tiki (2012)), this was initially set to have been a more intimate, cheaper film, but fate had other ideas, it's cost millions and over 2 years to film, it's the same old same old all over again. After a British Navy Ship is attacked by the undead Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem) and his undead crew, he kills all the crew but spares the life of Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites) when Salazar discovers Henry is looking for Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Jack is struggling with looting and the like, he loses his crew, but he ends up crossing paths with Henry and local girl Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), who has been accused of witchcraft. Henry needs Jack to help him find the Trident of Poseidon so that the curse on his father Will (Orlando Bloom) can be broken, and Carina knows the way, but Salazer is soon hot on their tails, and it's not long before Jack and Co. find themselves up against Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), who unbeknownst to Jack, has actually promised Salazar that he'll find Jack. It's a daft adventure caper, and most of it's best bits happen in the first hour, like the bank robbery and the execution with the spinning guillotine. But, after this, it's time to wonder whether the franchise has finally had it's day, and maybe it's time to let it sail off into the sunset for good. 3/5


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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:47 pm

What's Up, Doc? (1972), directed by Peter Bogdanovich, who at the time was reveling from the success of The Last Picture Show (1971), as a result, he was offered to come and make a film for Warner Bros. Bogdanovich, who likes to homage the techniques and genres of bygone cinema, intended to make a screwball comedy in the same mold as Bringing Up Baby (1938) and His Girl Friday (1940). The result is a hilarious little farce which is still good to watch today. In San Francisco, the film focuses on the mix-ups caused by four identical plaid overnight bags, one is owned by Howard Bannister, Ph.D. (Ryan O'Neal) and contains igneous rocks, he's come with his overbearing fiance Eunice Burns (Madeline Kahn), another belongs to Mrs. Van Hoskins (Mabel Albertson), containing his jewels, another belongs to the mysterious Mr. Smith (Michael Murphy), and it contains top secret documents and the last belongs to kooky Judy Maxwell (Barbra Streisand), containing her clothes, and wherever she goes trouble happens. When Mr. Jones (Philip Roth) tries to get Mr. Smith's bag, but he ends up in trouble too. It's a very funny film, with Streisand and O'Neal handling the comedy really well, and the screwball comedy setting works brilliantly in the gaudy 1970's, and it has a hilarious chase sequence as well which is unbelievable, you won't get one like this made today. 4/5



A Street Cat Named Bob (2016), directed by Roger Spottiswoode (Turner & Hooch (1989), Air America (1990) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)), and adapted from James Bowen's 2010 memoir of the same name, which sprung even more books in the interim. Most of Hollywood descended on getting the rights to the book, but it was kept as a gentle low-budget drama, which was the right way to go. James Bowen (Luke Treadaway) is a homeless drug addict, who wants to get clean and make his way in life, he's a busker as well, making what he can from shrapnel thrown his way. His support worker Val (Joanne Froggatt), is sympathetic and wants to help James, and gives him a flat to live in, even though it's on a run down estate. One night, he thinks a burglar has got in, and he finds a ginger cat. The cat stays the night and James tries to find it's owner, when he can't he takes the cat in and names him Bob. He and Bob's lives intertwine, and in taking care of Bob, it helps James become a better person, and in taking Bob on his busking, and it draws in the punters as well earning them some money, and Bob helps James ask neighbour Betty (Ruta Gedmintas) on a date. It's tone might be a little jarring, moving from heavy drugs drama to light hearted caper with Bob's little escapades. But, the fact this is all true, (or mostly true with the film adaptation), but it makes for a very likable little film, with the real Bob playing himself in the film. Razz 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:02 pm

The Last Impresario (2013), the directorial debut of actress Gracie Otto, who had directed a few short films prior to this. This documentary came about after a chance encounter at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, which she met theatre impresario and film producer Michael White, whose arrival got people's attention. That gave Otto the spark for this documentary, and it tells the story of the most famous man you've never heard of. Michael White was born in Glasgow, but he got his education in Switzerland and France, and he went into the theatre in London's West End, establishing himself as a producer who takes risks, and most of those risky productions turned out to be big hits, including the likes of Oh! Calcutta!, The Rocky Horror Show and A Chorus Line. White also made close friends with the likes of Jack Nicholson, Mick Jagger and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. In the 1970's, he moved into film production, producing the likes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Jabberwocky (1977) and Polyester (1981). White also produced The Comic Strip Presents for TV as well. But the film also touches on his bankruptcy after being swindled out of millions, and the heart attack that followed, which led to him having to sell of his possessions. It's an incredible life of a man who took risks, and make courageous choices that other showmen wouldn't do. It's a shame White's career dwindled out under sad circumstances, as we need another Michael White to come back and blow the cobwebs off showbusiness. 4/5



Wonder Woman (2017), this is the one DC project that's been around for decades, after many false starts and years in development hell, William Moulton Marston's creation finally comes to the big screen courtesy of director Patty Jenkins (Monster (2003)), after being introduced on screen in last years Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Diana Prince gets her own film, and it's worth the wait. Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) was born and raised on the island of Themyscira, home to the Amazon race of warrior women led by Diana's mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen). Diana wants to fight, but Hippolyta forbids it, but Diana's aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright) teaches her in secret. When their peaceful lives are shattered when World War 1 American pilot Captain Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crashes just off the coast, Diana saves him, but he's followed by a German cruiser. The Amazon's fight them off. Diana goes with Trevor to London to help with his mission regarding a gas that will kill millions being developed by General Erich Ludendorff (Danny Huston) and chemist Isabel Maru (Elena Anaya), they get a team together and head to the Front. It's a brilliant comic book adventure, and they've finally got a DC film right after Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad alienated viewers, mainly because this is a film that knows how to have fun, and it's buoyed by a very good story and cast. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:21 am

Gumshoe (1971), the directorial debut of Stephen Frears, who at that time was directing for the BBC, and had been an assistant director on If.... (1968), it's producer Michael Medwin was impressed by Frears, and gave him a film to direct written by actor Neville Smith, Frears accepted. The result is a spoof of pulpy detective novels and old fashioned film noirs, and it's got a good cast to it's name as well. Set in Liverpool, it has bingo-caller and occasional club comedian Eddie Ginley (Albert Finney), who is a fantasist and dreams of being a private detective, so he puts out an advert in the Liverpool Echo, advertising his services. He's such a fan of detective stories and old novels of the sort, that he put out the advert as a birthday present to himself. Imagine Eddie's surprise when he gets a call for what appears to be an actual piece of detective work! He gets a package from a large man called De Fries (George Silver) containing a gun, a photograoh and a large sum of money, and it's not long before he's dragged into a seedy world of crime, drugs and politics, and he learns his seedy brother William (Frank Finlay), who ran off with Eddie's girlfriend Ellen (Billie Whitelaw), and soon it's not long before Eddie's life is in grave danger. It's a low budget comedy-drama, cut from similar cloth to what Bill Forsyth would be doing a decade later, but it's a slight affair, but it shows off Liverpool as it was in the early 1970's. It should have set Frears' career off then, but he didn't direct a feature film again until The Hit (1984). 3.5/5



Gold (2016), directed by Stephen Gaghan (Abandon (2002)and Syriana (2005)), and written by Patrick Massett and John Zinman, (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) and TV's Friday Night Lights. This crime adventure was inspired by the true life 1993 Bre-X mining scandal. However, for legal reasons, names have been changed and a few story details were jiggled around too, but it still makes for a compelling tale. In 1988, Kenny Wells (Matthew McConaughey) runs a struggling prospecting company called Washoe, which is nearly broke and they're running the business out of the local bar where Kenny's girlfriend Kay (Bryce Dallas Howard) works. A vision comes to Kenny in a dream of a gold mine in deepest Indonesia, he flies out there and meets geologist Michael Acosta (Édgar Ramirez), who is struggling too but agrees to help Kenny. After putting everything he has into the mine, weeks go by and it looks like it's been all for nothing and Kenny comes down with malaria. But, they strike gold and more people invest in the gold mine, and the company moves to new premises. But Kay believes that there's something about this deal that isn't right, but Kenny scorns her concerns. But, when Wall Street become involved, it gets complicated. It's a good drama, buoyed with a strong lead performance by McConaughey, his third film to focus on a gold hunt, but it makes for a complex tale of corruption, betrayal and obsession. The story might be a bit all over the place and beefed up a bit for film, but it works, sort of. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Jul 01, 2017 12:59 am

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), after the flop of 1941 (1979), it looked like Steven Spielberg's career was in the toilet. Nope, he'd been developing a little action-adventure film produced and created by his best friend George Lucas. It would put Spielberg back on top and become one of the most successful films ever, and it also gave the world a new action hero, and one of the most popular film franchises ever. Set in 1936, it has travelling archaeology professor Henry 'Indiana' Jones (Harrison Ford) being assigned by the government to look for the Ark of Covenant, which contains the remains of the stone tablets of The Ten Commandments. Indiana is sent to Nepal, where he meets old flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen), who has an artifact crucial to finding the Ark, and they travel on to where out in the desert the Nazi's are also looking for the Ark. It's a race against time, as Indy's biggest rival Dr. René Belloq (Paul Freeman) is in league with the Nazi's, also looking for the Ark. It's a great piece of entertainment, with enough action, adventure and imagination to keep you glued for a couple of hours, Ford makes Indy his own, world weary but always on his toes. Spielberg has rarely been better than this. He was back on top, and more was to come!! 5/5



The Mummy (2017), directed by Alex Kurtzman, (People Like Us (2012)), and written by David Koepp (Jurassic Park (1993) and Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects (1995)), this well-meaning attempt at Universal to start their Dark Universe, bringing the old monsters back for a new generation. However, this take on The Mummy comes across as being cack-handed and very derivative too. In Iraq, soldier-of-fortune Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his partner Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) discover the lost tomb of Ahmanet, after an airstrike on insurgents reveals it's location. Nick and Chris team up with archaeologist Jennifer Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) and Colonel Greenway (Courtney B. Vance) to retrieve the sarcophagus. They place it on a cargo plane for England, but are attacked by a plague of crows which causes the plane to go down, Halsey parachutes out, and everyone is killed, expect Nick who wakes up in a morgue in Oxford. Ahmanet's mummy (Sofia Boutella) escapes from the sarcophagus and comes back to life, while Nick is visited by Dr. Henry Jekyll (Russell Crowe), leader of the Prodigium, who explains to Nick what's really going on, the purpose of the Prodigium, and why Nick is still alive after the plane crash. It's a daft blockbuster, but it looks like it's been overthought and the result is underwhelming, and it's been done before and it's been done better as well, even Cruise seems out of place in this. Meanwhile, Brendan Fraser, wherever he is, is probably laughing himself hoarse. 2/5



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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:46 am

I blinked and missed Mindhorn at the cinemas near me.


Pirates 5, I don't think anyone liked it quite as much as me Very Happy

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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 Jul 24, 2017 1:33 pm

Really need to start posting again about films I watch, so my last few...


Hell Or High Water (1st view) - The fifth of this year's best picture nominess I've seen and quite easily the best (the others are Hacksaw Ridge, Hidden Figures, Arrival and La La Land). One of the most melancholy films I've seen in an age, it also manages to have it's biggest laugh and it's most depressing moment occur simultaneously, which is some feat - 4/5*





Spiderman: Homecoming (1st view) - Nestling around the halfway mark of the MCU films, this is easily the best Spiderman film and features the best Spiderman. Wasn't too keen on Holland when I first saw him in Civil War but he''s grown on me since and his ace here. As is, perhaps worringly, often the case now with MCU films, the villain is rather pants despite Keaton being good in the role but the rest of the film works just fine with two corking action scenes, a great comic relief sidekick, some pleasing cameos and plenty of nods to the MCU as a whole (more than any other film so far I think). Also, that final stinger is the best from the franchise so far. And once again my mind hurts with a film franchise and its continuity. 5 years is not 8 - 4/5*





Train To Busan (1st view) - Got a bit too maudlin for me near the end but this was largely excellent. Genuinely thrilling set pieces, good characters and unlike most zombie scenarios in which you'd have to be a total plonker to get eaten, the zombies here are an actual threat - 4/5*





Transformers: The Last Knight (1st view) - An unholy, god-awful mess of a film. Overlong, an incoherent and nonsensical plot, Anythony Hopkins picking up the easiest paycheck of his career and an astoundingly odd turn from Stanley Tucci as a drunken Merlin. And I bloody loved it! - 4/5*



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


Frakkin toasters!

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

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:07 pm

The Black Hole (1979), directed by Gary Nelson, (Freaky Friday (1976) and Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (1986)), this film came to Disney a few years before as a spec script entitled Space Probe-One. Disney sat on it, then Star Wars (1977) opened, and Disney quickly greenlit it wanting to ride on the coattails of Star Wars' success. It's actually a good space opera even if it is a bit on the slow side. Set in 2130 A.D. An Earth exploratory ship, the USS Palomino, discovers a black hole with a lost ship, the USS Cygnus, missing for 20 years, nearing the black hole. The crew of the Palomino include Captain Dan Holland (Robert Forster) his First Officer Lieutenant Charlie Pizer (Joseph Bottoms), journalist Harry Booth, (Ernest Borgnine) and scientist and ESP-sensitive Dr. Kate McCrae (Yvette Mimieux), Dr. Alex Durant (Anthony Perkins) and a robot known as V.I.N.CENT. (voiced by Roddy McDowall). They board the ship and meet it's captain Dr. Hans Reinhardt (Maximilian Schell). McCrae's father had been one of the crew members, but is now dead. At first, Reinhardt is very welcoming to the crew, but it turns out he has no desire to be rescued, he wants to go through the black hole. Even though Holland and his crew try and reason with Reinhardt, his mind is made up, he's obsessed by what might lie on the other side of the black hole, and he's taken the crew of the Palomino prisoner, and they'll be going along as well, whether they want to or not. It's a good sci-fi film, and more engaging than the likes of John Carter or Jupiter Ascending. It has a touch of Silent Running about it's bones as well, even though it's effects are more primitive than Star Wars, it manages to do well with what it's got. 4/5



De Palma (2015), produced and directed by Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale (2005), Margot at the Wedding (2007) and Greenberg (2010)) and Jake Paltrow (The Good Night (2007) and Young Ones (2014)), this documentary focuses on the career of one of the most prolific and exciting directors of the last 50 years, Brian De Palma, and this gives a great look at his films, told by the man himself. Brian De Palma tells us of his life, his upbringing and his influences on his films including Hitchcock. He started with short films thoughout the early to mid 1960's before branching out into full length films like Murder à la Mod (1968), Greetings (1968) and Hi, Mom! (1970), the latter two starring a young Robert De Niro. He got his foot in the door of Hollywood with Get to Know Your Rabbit (1972), Sisters (1973) and Phantom of the Paradise (1974). De Palma finally hit the big time when he was offered the chance to direct Carrie (1976), which would lead to The Fury (1978), Dressed to Kill (1980), Blow Out (1981), Scarface (1983), Body Double (1984), The Untouchables (1987) and Mission: Impossible (1996). The documentary also focuses on his little-known films like Home Movies (1980), Wise Guys (1986) and Redaction (2007). De Palma also tells of his disillusionment with the Hollywood system after making Mission to Mars (2000), where he was a last minute replacement, and why he's been avoiding the studio system ever since. It tells a good story of a long and colourful career, while De Palma might be accused of misogyny in some of his work, one thing is clear, no-one has more passion than he does when it comes to actually making films, and he still has a few more films up his sleeve. 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:45 pm

Bloody Mama (1970), produced and directed by Roger Corman, this crime exploitation film was based on the life of Kate Barker, who along with her family was part of a violent crime spree in the American mid-west in the 1930's. Corman's version was shot fast and cheap on location in Arkansas, and it's a spirited and graphically violent caper film, but Corman has a good cast to work with here.  Kate 'Ma' Barker (Shelley Winters) had a troubled upbringing where she was beaten by her brothers and father, but what didn't kill her made her stronger, and by the 1930's, she has 4 sons, Arthur (Clint Kimbrough), Herman (Don Stroud), Fred (Robert Walden) and Lloyd (Robert De Niro). After she leaves her husband George (Alex Nicol), Ma decides to make her fortune by robbing banks, with her sons carrying out the crime. After Fred and Herman are jailed for a robbery gone awry, Ma recruits experienced gunman Kevin (Bruce Dern) to help get them out of jail, and continue their crime spree. But the lawmen are closing in, and Ma is living on borrowed time. Corman states Bloody Mama to have been his finest film, and it has some good moments of action. Think of this one as a Grindhouse version of Public Enemies, and you're just about there. It's worth seeing De Niro as Ma's heroin addicted younger son, a role he lost 30 pounds in weight for, but Winters is amazing. 4/5



Slade in Flame (1975), Slade were a huge band in the early 1970's, and they were offered the chance to make a film by Goodtimes Enterprises, which was co-owned by David Puttnam. They nearly did a Quatermass Experiment spoof called The Quite A Mess Experiment. But they opted for something a bit more gritty and realistic, they wanted to show what the music industry was really like. It alienated fans then, but it's amazing to watch. It begins in the 1960's, where two rival bands, one led by Jack Daniels (Alan Lake) and the other called The Undertakers, led by Stoker (Noddy Holder), get into quarrels. But, the two bands merge, with Charlie (Don Powell), Barry (Dave Hill) and Paul (Jim Lea) joining Stoker's new band called Flame, which is managed by the scheming Ron Harding (Johnny Shannon), who seems to take them for mugs, so Flame go with Robert Seymour (Tom Conti), a marketing man who has big plans for Flame. They do make it big, but they get involved in a shootout at a pirate radio station, and Harding pesters them violently, wanting a cut of their earnings. Directed by Richard Loncraine (The Missionary (1982), Richard III (1995)), this is the side of the music industry that record companies would rather you didn't know about, but Slade were brave and ballsy enough to expose it on screen at the time. You won't forget this one in a hurry, and it's a good companion piece with That'll Be The Day (1973). 4/5


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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:11 pm

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), written and directed by William Friedkin, whose career had been in a slump since the controversy of Cruising (1980), he was given a manuscript of Gerald Petievich's 1984 novel of the same name, and instantly Friedkin saw potential, a chance to get back to the tone and structure of The French Connection (1971), the result is a very stylish and exciting film. Richard Chance (William Petersen) and Jimmy Hart (Michael Greene) are two United States Secret Service agents investigating a case of money counterfeiting within Los Angeles, being committed by Rick Masters (Willem Dafoe). Hart tries to take down Masters on his own, but ends up being killed by Masters. Chance, along with new partner John Vukovich (John Pankow), that he'll take down Masters whatever it takes, even if it means having to break the law. They encounter Masters, posing as bankers and ask Masters to print $1 million in fake bills. Master reluctantly agrees, but wants $30,000 up front as a fee. Following a tip from informant Ruth Lanier (Darlanne Fluegel), Chance and Vukovich decide to rob a criminal, but it goes horribly wrong when it turns out said criminal was an undercover FBI agent. It's a film that drips 1980's, from the sun-snogged cinematography to the soundtrack by Wang Chung. But, it briefly put Friedkin back in the public consciousness and it showed he could still put together a good, suspenseful thriller. 4/5



Swiss Army Man (2016), the directorial debuts of music video directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, this film is one of the most baffling, shocking, jawdropping, weirdest and most hilarious films in years. It comes across as the sort of film Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry would come up with after a night of heavy drinking, but you've NEVER seen anything as outright bonkers or original as this! Hank (Paul Dano) is marooned on a desert island and about to hang himself, now having resigned to the fact he'll never get home, until a corpse called Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) washes up on the beach, a corpse with a neverending case of flatulence, so much so that Hank is able to ride Manny like a jetski off the island. They end up on a mainland shore but still miles from civilisation, so they make camp in a cave, and during the time, Manny starts coming to life and has conversations with Hank about life. To find civilisation, Hank uses erections Manny gets as a guide to find civilisation, and Hank ends up building sets and props from bits of plants and rubbish they find, so he teaches Manny how to enjoy life, and the joys of dating and going out, while at the same time having to find a way back home. All of the above really happens in the film, it's not made up. Anyone with a vivid and fertile imagination like that is going to go far, and it's fair to say we haven't seen the last of directors Scheinert and Kwan yet, it's such an insanely bonkers film, but it's likeable and very original too. 5/5


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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:46 pm

Soylent Green (1973), directed by Richard Fleischer (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Fantastic Voyage (1966) and Fantastic Voyage (1966)), and loosely based on Harry Harrison's 1966 science fiction novel Make Room! Make Room! This sci-fi thriller offers a realistic depiction of the future, a depiction that could actually come true if the world isn't careful and mindful of the environment. It's the year 2022, and the world is at breaking point because of overcrowding, over-population, pollution and global warming, the population of New York City is at 40 million, 20 million crammed into squallid accommodation in Manhattan. New York City Police Department detective Frank Thorn (Charlton Heston) lives with his good friend and former analyst Sol Roth (Edward G. Robinson), who remembers life before things went bad. Thorn is investigating the murder of William R. Simonson (Joseph Cotton), and finds that Simonson was on the board of the Soylent Corporation, who specialise in making synthetic food rations that people crave. Thorn also questions Simonson's companion Shirl (Leigh Taylor-Young) and bodyguard Tab Fielding (Chuck Connors) and makes a horrific discovery about Soylent. It's a warning from the past, about how food and other materials will become scarce if society is not careful. Compared to other future dystopias portrayed in films, it's tame compared to what could have been, but it's still something to think about. 4/5



Baby Driver (2017), Edgar Wright returns, and after being dropped from directing Marvel's Ant-Man (2015), Wright decided to make a more personal film, one he'd had in mind since 1994, and one whose genesis took place in a music video Wright did for Blue Royale in 2003. Now, Wright was ready to unleash his pet project, and it's a brilliant, high energy action thriller with a great soundtrack. Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver working for Doc (Kevin Spacey), committing robberies all over Atlanta, Baby was in a car crash as a child which left him with tinnitus, which he blocks out by listening to music, and it's the music that helps him with the getaways, always being able to outwit the police. Baby once stole one of Doc's cars, and is repaying him by being Doc's getaway driver, while the crooks doing the robberies range from Buddy (Jon Hamm) and his girlfriend Darling (Eiza González) to unhinged violent criminal Bats (Jamie Foxx). After one robbery, Baby meets waitress Debra (Lily James) in a diner, and the two fall in love. Now Baby wants to get out of doing jobs for Doc, and after what he thinks was the last job, Doc comes calling once more, but Baby is reluctant. It's so stylishly done and put together, with how the songs match the beat and editing of the film is done with such expert finesse, While the main plot might not be original, the way it's told certainly is, and in a summer of sequels and comic book films, Wright blasts them all away with this. 5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:37 am

Despicable Me 3 (2017), after the double whammy of the first two films and the spin-off Minions (2015), it was inevitable there'd be another film with Gru and the gang, with regular directors Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda back as well. However, despite all good intentions, this ends up being the weakest of the 3 Despicable Me films, even though it has some genuinely inventive moments. Gru (Steve Carell) and wife Lucy (Kristen Wiig) now work as agents for the Anti-Villain League, and they're trying to take down former child-actor turned super villain Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker). After failing to capture Bratt, Gru and Lucy find themselves being fired from the Anti-Villain League, while trying to decide where to go next, Gru finds out he has a long lost brother, Dru (Carell again), who really wants to get in touch with Gru. Gru and the family are taken to Dru's mansion in the kingdom of Freedonia, and are all impressed by Dru's wealth. Dru wants to become a bad guy, as it runs in the family ancestry, but Gru refuses to help, as he's put he's put that life behind him. But, when Bratt steals a very large diamond, Gru see's an opportunity to redeem himself once again. There's too much going on in this film, and it could have done with being more focused, even the Minions feel like they've been shoehorned in out of necessity rather than choice. The best moments are when Bratt are on screen, but maybe it's time to give Gru and the Minions a break. 3/5



Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), directed by Jon Watts, (Clown (2014) and Cop Car (2015)), this is the second reboot of Marvel's Spider-Man, after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) underperformed. Marvel took charge, and worked with Sony to ensure Spider-Man would be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after being introduced in Captain America: Civil War (2016), now here we are. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) was approached by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to help in the Civil War, now back in New York, Parker uses the advanced suit Stark gave him to help fight crime in the neighbourhood. After encountering robbers with advanced weapons, he decides to investigate further, and it leads him to Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), whose salvage company encountered alien technology after the Battle of New York. But, Peter has to juggle school life, the academic decathlon and an upcoming homecoming prom. Parker decides to follow Toomes and finds out he's planning to steal advanced weapons from Stark Industries, but he gets into trouble, and even Stark believes Parker doesn't have what it takes, but Parker is determined to prove him wrong. It's a fun film, and there's some good set pieces in this film, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is maybe where Spider-Man belongs, and it makes up for the last couple of films. It might have been fairer if they'd waited to reboot it until now, it's certainly the best one since the early Raimi ones. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:19 am

The Uncanny (1977), directed by Denis Héroux, (There's Always a Way to Find a Way (1973) and Strikebreaker (1974), and co-produced by Amicus Production, this portmanteaux horror film is a UK-Canada co-production with a good roster of actors to it's name, even though it was shot quick because of Canadian tax laws, but it doesn't show cats in a very flattering light. Author Wilbur Gray (Peter Cushing) goes to the house of his publisher Frank Richards (Ray Milland) to discuss his latest work, and how cats are supernatural beings who are evil, and Gray proceeds to tell 3 stories of cats and their evil. The first one is in London in 1912, and tells the story of Miss Malkin (Joan Greenwood), who plans to leave her entire fortune to her cats, not everyone is happy, maid Janet (Susan Penhaligon) and Malkin's nephew Michael (Simon Williams) plan to steal the will, but the cats have other plans. The second tale is in Quebec in 1975, and it's about orphaned Lucy (Katrina Holden) and her cousin fights evil cousin Angela (Chloe Franks), while in the third tale, in Hollywood in 1936, horror actor Valentine De'ath (Donald Pleasence) kills his wife on set so he can romance actress Edina Hamilton (Samantha Eggar). The cat of De'ath's wife has other plans. It's a effective little horror film, and there's some good fun to be had throughout the film, and even though it was done very quickly and on the cheap, (obviously in some cases), it still works. This was meant to kick off more Amicus films in Canada, sadly the film flopped, it never happened. 3.5/5



War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield (2008), Let Me In (2010) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)), this is the third and final in the Planet of the Apes prequel trilogy, and it's the sparsest and most darkest of the 3, and it owes more than a debt of gratitude to Apocalypse Now (1979) in it's tone and structure, but it's still exciting and well made. 2 years after the events of Dawn, the apes led be Caesar (Andy Serkis) are now living in the woods of the North Western United States, and they're being targeted by an rogue paramilitary group known as Alpha-Omega, led by the renegade Colonel McCullough (Woody Harrelson), who is obsessed with bringing down Caesar and the apes, so that the human race has a chance of survival. Caesar wants the apes and humans to live in peaceful co-existence, as long as the humans leave them alone. When McCullough and his men storm the ape's camp, killing Caesars wife and son, Caesar swears revenge. While the apes head off looking for a new home in the desert, Caesar along with orang-utan Maurice (Karin Konoval) and Caesar's adviser Luca (Michael Adamthwaite), and lieutenant Rocket (Terry Notary), set off to the Colonels compound to extract bloody revenge. If this going to be the final film in the Planet of the Apes prequels, it's definitely gone out on a high note, it's got some brilliant acting, even from the mo-cap apes. It has a great structure and director Reeves keeps the action and the suspense up, you can see why he's been nabbed to do the new Batman film. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:47 pm

War For The Planet Of The Apes (1st view) - Damn you Matt Reeves for making me cry in the cinema. Not just the best of the trilogy, but the best Apes film of them all and also one of the best trilogy closers of all time. Andy Serkis has always been good as Caeser but is truly superb here, as are most of the rest of the cast, even the kid - 5/5*






Dunkirk (1st view) - Impressive and very good but I can't help but feel a little dit disappointed by it - 4/5*





Horrible Bosses (1st view) = Pffft - 2/5*






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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   Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:42 pm

Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011), directed by Alex Stapleton, (Raising an Olympian (2012) and TakePart Live (2014)), this documentary looks at the life and career of one of Hollywood's true mavericks, Roger Corman, who was behind some of the cheapest yet entertaining films of the last 50 years. Corman started his film career at 20th Century Fox in the mail room before heading up to story reader. It was from there he was bitten by the bug for making films on low budgets, Corman's career flourished when he got a deal at American International Pictures, a deal that lasted for 15 years. Corman would make westerns, teenage and horror films, the latter would include a series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations starring Vincent Price. Corman also made the likes of The Wild Angels (1966), The Trip (1967) and Bloody Mama (1970). However, as the 1970's dawned, Corman sensed a change in the way film was being made and financed, he stood down from directing and formed his own company, New World Pictures to make and distribute low budget films, and it didn't matter what genre they were. It worked, and New World Pictures were raking it in. Corman is still producing films now, although they're mostly creature films on the Syfy Channel. It's a very insightful film about an incredible man whose savvy and confidence got him places in Hollywood, with contributions from friends, collaborators and fans including Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, Joe Dante, Peter Bogdanovich and Quentin Tarantino. Entertaining and insightful in equal measure. 4/5



The Wild Angels (1966), directed by Roger Corman, who had come off a load of Edgar Allen Poe adaptations, and he'd had a deal at Columbia which went nowhere. He wanted to do something different, and American International offered him this low budget biker film, Corman cheerfully accepted it, and made it for $360,000, it would be come a small hit, and kicked off a whole slew of biker films. Set in California, it follows a biker group, the Angels led by Heavenly Blue (Peter Fonda) as they head out to Mecca, California to retrieve a motorbike belonging to Joe 'Loser' Kearns (Bruce Dern). As soon as they arrive in Mecca, they fall foul of the local police, especially when Loser steals a police motorbike, which cumulates in a high speed chase, where Loser gets shot in the back. Loser gets laid up in hospital under police guard, so Blues sets up a plan to get him out, with a little help from Mike (Nancy Sinatra) posing as a grieving relative. But, even that goes awry, as without proper medical care, Loser goes into shock and dies. With the police snooping around for Loser and the gang, the Angels forge a death certificate, and arrange for his funeral to be held in Loser’s rural hometown, but even then, the funeral descends into a wild, promiscuous party with sex and drugs. It's quite a sleazy film, but it was a product of it's time and it came from the drugs fuelled counterculture that was emerging in film at the time. Not all of the film works, but under Corman's confident direction, he managed to make it an atmospheric film, with a good cast too. 3/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:11 pm

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956), directed by Fred F. Sears (Rock Around the Clock (1956) and The Werewolf (1956)), this is a fun, cheesy sci-fi film featuring some elaborate special effects work by Ray Harryhausen, one of many films he and producer Charles H. Schneer made together. It's the usual sort of sci-fi film you'd get from the 1950's, but it's quite well made for it's day and it's had an influential legacy. While on their way to work at a space research facility, Scientist Dr. Russell Marvin (Hugh Marlowe) and his new bride Carol (Joan Taylor) notice a flying saucer passing overhead. With no proof of it happening other than a tape recording of what the ship sounds like, Marvin is hesitant to tell other about it, he'd rather research the sounds first. Carol's father General Hanley (Morris Ankrum) is in charge of 12 satellites being launched into orbit, but 11 of them have been destroyed by unknown forces. When an alien ship lands at the research base, the army there open fire, believing them to be a threat, but the aliens wipe out everyone there, they capture General Hanley, while Marin and Carol hide in a bunker. Marvin finds out the sounds on the tape were a message, and they wanted to speak to Marvin urgently and personally. Without this film, there would be no Mars Attacks! (1996), indeed it's hard to watch it without it coming to mind, but this has some quite groundbreaking model work for it's day, and it's still good to watch even now, and there was more to come from Harryhausen. 4/5



Dunkirk (2017), after deep space exploration and worm holes in Interstellar (2014), where does director Christopher Nolan go from there? The answer is simple, Nolan must come back down to earth, and nothing says down to earth like a war film, in this case the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940, but this being Nolan, it's not an ordinary war film, it's a suspense film, and a brilliant one too. The film follows 3 timelines, the first, The Mole, follows a group of ground soldiers in Dunkirk, including Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) and Alex (Harry Styles), and their struggle for survival, as any ship they try to board ends up being torpedoed. The Sea follows one of the many civilian boats from England that saved soldiers, including the Moonstone, captained by Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) and their friend George (Barry Keoghan), as they head for France. They rescue a shellshocked soldier (Cillian Murphy) from the sea, but he panics which has devastating consequences. Then there's The Air, which follows Spitfire pilots Farrier (Tom Hardy) and Collins (Jack Lowden), and their attempts to protect the civilian boats from the enemy ships and planes that are approaching. It's done in an original way, splitting the timelines up into different lengths and intertwining them. It's a short film for Nolan, but it's more focused and to the point, and beautifully photographed by Hoyte van Hoytema in 70mm and the result is a gripping, exciting and well made war film. 4.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:28 pm

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953), directed by Roy Rowland (Killer McCoy (1947) and Hit The Deck (1955)), this musical fantasy was written by Dr. Seuss, his only foray into live action films during his lifetime, it should have been a hit, but it alienated audiences at the time, but there's nothing like it, and it's definitely a product of it's time. Young Bart Collins (Tommy Rettig) lives with his widowed mother Heloise (Mary Healy), but he hates having to have piano lessons from Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried), who is strict and unfair. Bart falls asleep, and wakes up to find himself at the Terwilliker Institute, where Dr. Terwilliker is a tyrannical dictator who has built a vast piano that requires Bart and 499 other boys to play the piano. Bart escapes, and goes to plumber August Zabladowski (Peter Lind Hayes), and they attempt to rescue Heloise, who has been held prisoner by Dr. Terwilliker. After Bart convinces August that Dr. Terwilliker is doing this for evil, Bart and August come up with a plan to put a stop to the massive concert Dr. Terwilliker has planned. It's a weird oddity, but well designed. After a test screening went badly, songs were cut, and scenes were reshot, much to Seuss' horror. But, time has been kinder to it, and it's become a big cult hit in the intervening years, but it's a true definition of a one-off. 4/5



Leon the Pig Farmer (1992), produced and directed by Vadim Jean and Gary Sinyor (Stiff Upper Lips (1998)), this independent comedy was made for a meagre £160,000, and the cast and crew did it for nothing, only getting paid after it was released, with props donated. The result is an amusing and offbeat comedy with a Jewish twist. London estate agent Leon Geller (Mark Frankel) is a devout Jew, and he quits his job as an estate agent when he realises he can't lie to clients. He gets a job as a caterer, and ends up delivering to a artificial insemination clinic, where he ends up donating. Later on, it's revealed that Leon's father Sidney (David de Keyser) also donated, and in an even bigger shock, it's revealed that due to a mix-up, Leon's father ISN'T Sidney, but Brian Chadwick (Brian Glover), a Yorkshire pig farmer! Leon decides to travel out to visit the father he never knew, meeting Brian, his wife Yvonne (Connie Booth) and his half-brother Keith (Sean Pertwee). Leon even tries his hand at pig farming, but he proves to be useless at that as well. It's a shaggy dog story which in other hands, might have been done as a melodrama, but it works as a comedy, even if it does ramble on a little bit and could have done with tightening up. But, it does have a good who's who cast to it's name. 3.5/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:20 pm

Times Square (1980), directed by Allan Moyle, (The Rubber Gun (1977) and Pump Up The Volume (1990)), and produced by Robert Stigwood. Moyle and screenwriter Jacob Brackman came up with the story, whose basis came from a diary Moyle found in a second hand couch, which contained drawings and writings of a disturbed woman. Stigwood was intrigued and he stumped up the $6 million budget, this film is a product of it's time, gritty but with a good soundtrack. In New York, Nicky Marotta (Robin Johnson) and Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado) are two teenage girls who meet in the New York Neurological Hospital, both suffering from mental illnesses. Pamela is suffering from depression and is neglected by her father David Pearl (Peter Coffield), a commissioner wanting to "clean up Times Square". Nicky on the other hand is a rough street kid, who is in the hospital after an altercation with the police. Nicky and Pamela share a room for the night, and even though these two have nothing in common, but run away to form an underground punk band, while their progress is being followed by radio DJ Johnny LaGuardia (Tim Curry). There's not much of a story, but it shows what New York was like back then, not all glitz and glamour, and it was a tough city and the film doesn't shy away from showing the gritty streets, and Stigwood wanted it to be an 80's Saturday Night Fever, it didn't quite work in his favour. 3/5



Clue (1985), based on the Parker Brothers board game, and directed by Jonathan Lynn, (Nuns on the Run (1990) and My Cousin Vinny (1992)), and the script was done by Lynn and John Landis, the latter was going to direct, but passed it on. The result is one of the very few instances of a game translating to film, and managing to work, it's cleverly done and put together. In 1954 New England, six strangers are invited to a party at a secluded New England mansion known as Hill House, where it's butler Wadsworth (Tim Curry) waits for the guests. They include Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Mrs. Peacock (Eileen Brennan), Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren), Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull), Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn) and Mr. Green (Michael McKean). All of the guests have aliases, which is revealed when a seventh guest arrives, Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving), who blackmails all of the guests. After a series of events leads to the guests and Mr. Boddy to be left alone in a room, there's a sudden power cut, and Mr. Boddy ends up dead on the floor, but no-one knows who killed Mr. Boddy. Thus, the stage is set for deduction and lies. It's a daft comedic murder-mystery, but it's great fun, and there's some fun set pieces throughout. It is very silly, but one novelty they had on it's original release was that they had alternative endings shipped everywhere, which has never been done in films since. 4/5

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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:11 pm

Day for Night (1973), written and directed by François Truffaut, whose career had gone into something of a slump since the mid-60's, but this would be a comeback of sorts for Truffaut, and it would win awards, garner critical acclaim from countless critics, and it showed a no-holds barred look at how films are really made and giving away the tricks of the trade in the process.  The film follows the production of Je Vous Présente Paméla (Meet Pamela), a derivative melodrama being made by director Ferrand (Truffaut), the cast includes aging screen legends Alexandre (Jean-Pierre Aumont) and Séverine (Valentina Cortese), as well as young stars Alphonse (Jean-Pierre Léaud) and English actress Julie Baker (Jacqueline Bisset). The film follows the production of the film in stages, and the stars and crew going through relationships and other affairs. Alphonse's fiancée leaves him for the film's stuntman, so Alphonse goes off on a doomed one night stand with Julie, and Alphonse goes and tells Julie's husband Dr. Nelson (David Markham) about the affair, but a bigger tragedy is about to strike the already beleaguered production. It's a film which sets out to deconstruct the myth of film, tearing it apart bit by bit, but it was this frankness that helps the film. The offset drama ends up being more compelling than the film they're trying to make, but it did well enough to put Truffaut back on top. 4/5



Dreams (1990), written and directed by Akira Kurosawa, who had something of an 80's comeback with Ran (1985), but when he chose to make a film based on his dreams, but no-one in Japan would finance it. So, Kurosawa turned to Steven Spielberg for help, he loved the script and got Warner Bros. to finance it. The result is a colourful, episodic, beautiful and hypnotic art film. The film is split into different episodes, from Kurosawa as a boy witnessing a foxes wedding, a peach orchard in full, musical bloom. A discharged Japanese company commander face to face with the ghosts of his fallen comrades, a young Kurosawa meets Vincent van Gogh (Martin Scorsese) painting in a field. Then there's a nightmarish montage where Mount Fuji erupts after a nuclear reactor near the mountain blows up, leaving people trying to survive, then there's an aftermath where people have horns and dandelions the size of trees grow, but no-one can die, which prolongs their agony further. In the final vignette, a young Kurosawa visits a peaceful, stream-laden village with multiple waterwheels where a celebratory funeral takes place. It's a very vivid and imaginative film, but far removed from the historical epics and dramas Kurosawa is known for, but this is Kurosawa's most personal film, as it came from his imagination, and it might split opinions, but it's certainly original, and films like this are few and far between. 4/5


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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:45 pm

I love 5000 Fingers of Dr T!

_________________
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 29, 2017 1:33 am

The Void (1st view) - Not entirely sure what this batshittery was all about but I liked it - 4/5*





Our Kind Of Traitor (1st view) - Bit dreary - 3/5*





Sully (1st view) - Not great but I did like it a lot - 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 Oct 02, 2017 4:51 pm

Les Patterson Saves the World (1987), it was bound to happen. Barry Humphries, 15 years after the Barry McKenzie films, tried to bring his creations Sir Les Patterson and Dame Edna Everage to the big screen again. Directed by George T. Miller (Andre (1994) and Zeus and Roxanne (1997)), the result is a cavalcade of bad taste jokes which comes across as more childish than funny. After Australian diplomat Sir Les Patterson (Humphries) disgraces himself at the United Nations and causing a diplomatic incident, he's banished to work as the Australian diplomat to the Gulf State Abu Niveah, (the nation he disgraced at the UN), ran by Colonel Richard Godowni (Thaao Penghlis). While there, Patterson meets biochemical scientist Dr. Charles Herpes (Henri Szeps), who has developed a virus for the KGB which Herpes is planning to distribute to the Pentagon through toilet seats. Seeing this as a chance to redeem himself, Patterson teams up with Dame Edna Everage (Humphries again), who's undercover investigating Herpes, to put a stop to this diabolical plan, but Patterson is usually to drunk to understand what's going on. Humphries subsequently disowned this film, which sums up how bad it is, not to mention it was a nightmare to get funded and made, it does have a couple of good segments, like a finale in a revolving restaurant, but it could and should have been much more better than this. 1.5/5



Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017), written and directed by Luc Besson, and adapted from Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières' cult comic strip Valérian and Laureline. This is the one project Besson has wanted to do his whole career, and it shows as a labour of love. It follows all the usual sci-fi space opera clichés, but Besson made the film he wanted to make. Set in the 28th century, the International Space Station has evolved to become Alpha, a city consisting of thousand of different alien species and lifestyles all living together and learning of one another. Major Valerian (Dane DeHaan) has a vivid dream of an alien planet being destroyed, something he tells his partner and love interest Sergeant Laureline (Cara Delevingne), who scorns it. After one mission collecting a converter, Valerian and Laureline return to Alpha, where they're debriefed by Commander Filitt (Clive Owen), and asked to protect him during a summit. However, the alien species that Valerian saw in his dream attack the summit and kidnap Filitt. Valerian and Laureline give chase and what they discover challenges their allegiance and ideals. It's a daft bit of sci-fi cheese, but it's what Besson wanted to do, he hinted at this sort of thing in The Fifth Element (1997), but now the gloves are off and he's finally unleashed a vivid and visually creative sci-fi vision. It's not for everyone's tastes, but it looks good. 4/5


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PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:25 pm

Atomic Blonde (2017), directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2 (2018)) and based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart's 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City. The comic book got the attention of it's star Charlize Theron shortly before publication, Theron bought the option and subsequently spent the next years trying to get it made. The final result is very stylish and has a very good cast, but it's not very original in terms of story. Set in Berlin in 1989, just prior to the Berlin Wall falling, a wristwatch containing The List, which is a list containing the names of every active field agent in the Soviet Union, goes missing. MI6 spy Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is sent to Berlin to try and retrieve the list, her contact is David Percival (James McAvoy), an eccentric field agent who smuggles contraband between East and West Germany, who is too much of a loose cannon to be of any help. Lorraine also meets French agent Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella), with whom Lorraine has a brief lesbian fling with. Lorraine and David eventually find the list in the hands of a Stasi defector known as Spyglass (Eddie Marsan), and they try to get Spyglass out of East Berlin without being detected, but with tensions and protests growing, that turns out to be more difficult than expected. There's quite a bit going on in this film, so you have to pay attention to keep track of who's playing who, otherwise you're going to be left quite confused. But, the film is buoyed by a good cast, also including John Goodman and Toby Jones, but despite a stylish look, it could have been so much better. 3/5



Free Fire (2016), co-written and directed by Ben Wheatley, hot off his adaptation of High Rise (2015), and with his star on the rise as a director, he wanted to make an old-fashioned, traditional action film like in the old days with no CGI or flashy effects, and keep it mostly confined to one setting. While there's more than a hint of Reservoir Dogs (1992) about this film, it's still an entertaining film to watch, and it has a very good cast to it's name. It's taut, tight and focused, and it has some brilliant dialogue and is filled with colourful characters. Boston 1978, and there's a meeting at a warehouse with IRA members Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) with go-between Justine (Brie Larson) and her representative Ord (Armie Hammer), also with small time crooks Stevo (Sam Riley) and Bernie (Enzo Cilenti). They go in and meet flamboyant arms dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley), and his associates Harry (Jack Reynor), Martin (Babou Ceesay) and Gordon (Noah Taylor). Things get up to a bad start when it turns out Vernon supplied the wrong weapons, but Chris and Frank agree to have them, knowing there's no alternative available. But, it goes from bad to catastrophic when Harry recognises Stevo, as they two were involved in an altercation the night before, extending from Stevo having assaulted Harry's cousin. A fight breaks out which is only barely contained, but it's not long before the guns are out and bullets are fired, and now two groups are firing at each other in this derelict warehouse, and there's a case of money from the deal in the middle of it all, and both parties want it. But, there's also a third party spying on all this in the warehouse. It's a very good thriller, and it makes for a refreshing change from all the big budget action films you get all the time these days, Wheatley has fun with the concept and setting, while it's a very gritty, dirty film, it has an unmistakably old school feel to it, and it has some good moments in it, (Copley steals the film), and it shows that Wheatley is the one to watch. 4/5

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