HomeFAQSearchMemberlistUsergroupsRegisterLog in
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 
Rechercher Advanced Search
Latest topics

Share | 
 

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

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 14 ... 24  Next
AuthorMessage
Gimli The Avenger
Admin
Admin


Posts : 26739
Join date : 2008-07-23
Location : Middle Earth

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:11 am

Transcendence (1st view) - It's all a bit silly and takes itself far too seriously but I liked 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!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:16 pm

The Outsiders (1983), after the critical and commercial battering he got for One From The Heart (1982), Francis Ford Coppola needed a hit quickly to claw back some of the money he lost and owed. He was sent a letter by pupils from Lone Star Elementary School in Fresno, California, asking if he would do an adaptation of S.E. Hinton's 1967 youth novel, The Outsiders. Coppola saw potential, and it gave him a much needed hit. Set in 1965, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Greasers are a rough gang, consisting of Ponyboy Curtis (C. Thomas Howell) and his two older brothers, Sodapop (Rob Lowe) and Darrel (Patrick Swayze), as well as Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio), Dallas Winston (Matt Dillon), Two-Bit Matthews (Emilio Estevez), and Steve Randle (Tom Cruise). They get into scrapes with the Socs, who consist of Bob Sheldon (Leif Garrett) and Randy Adderson (Darren Dalton). When one of their scrapes ends in murder, there's a chance that Johnny could go to jail, his only hope is running away, and along with Ponyboy, they head for Texas, but tensions are high, and the Socs want a rumble. It's a well made youth film, showing it wasn't all flower power in the 1960's, but Coppola gets the best out of the young cast, who became known as the Brat Pack, and some of them went on to greater things. Coppola wasn't finished with Hinton's work just yet, he filmed Hinton's 1975 book Rumble Fish back to back with this. 4/5



Her (2013), written and directed by Spike Jonze, his first film since the wonderfully enchanting family fantasy Where The Wild Things Are (2009), here he creates a romantic comedy-drama, which when you feel away the layers from, turns out to be a futuristic science-fiction film, and it's a parable on our relationships with computers and modern technology, but it's got heart as well as brains, with a wry sense of humour too. Set in 2025, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) works for a company that writes heartfelt passionate letters by people who can't or won't write. Theodore himself is a lonely yet soulful man who is struggling to get over a breakup he had with childhood sweetheart  Catherine (Rooney Mara), he has had brief relationships with Amelia (Olivia Wilde), which didn't last, and Amy (Amy Adams) when he was in college. When Theodore buys a talking operating system with artificial intelligence, he calls it Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), and she's always there when Theodore needs comfort and support, and they become close, even though Samantha isn't real... It's a very ambient and thoughtful film with a gentle score by Arcade Fire about the complexity of relationships, it's always good to see Jonze make films as he has a unique view on the world. He gets a brilliant lead performance from Phoenix, and he and Johansson spark off each other wonderfully, even though you can't see Johansson. 5/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:05 pm

Body Double (1984), after the success of Scarface (1983), Brian De Palma's next film would see him back doing another full-blown homage to his hero Alfred Hitchcock. While his previous films like Obsession (1976), Dressed to Kill (1980) and Blow Out (1981) had knowing nods and winks to Hitchcock's style of directing, this was his most explicit and personal tribute to date. While the story is a bit ropey, the way it's made is brilliant. Jobbing actor Jake Scully (Craig Wasson) lost a role as a vampire in a corny horror film due to suffering from claustrophobia, and he's homeless as his girlfriend has been cheating on him. He meets actor Sam Bouchard (Gregg Henry), who feels sorry for him, and the two strike up a friendship. Sam asks Jake to watch a house in the Hollywood hills for a friend who's out of town. Jake agrees, and while there, he finds himself spying on a neighbour Gloria Revelle (Deborah Shelton) through a telescope. However, he witnesses Gloria getting killed by a disfigured Indian, and is under suspicion. Jake goes undercover with porn actress Holly Body (Melanie Griffith) to catch the killer. It's a very silly film, mixing together the best bits of Rear Window (1954) and Vertigo (1957) to make the ultimate tale of obsession and voyeurism. However, De Palma has fun with the set up's and the suspense, and there are some good set pieces, like the rendition of Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax on the set of a porn film. 3.5/5



Good Bye, Lenin! (2003), co-written and directed by Wolfgang Becker, (Schmetterlinge (1988) and Das Leben ist eine Baustelle (1997), produced by Stefan Arndt (Amour (2012) and Cloud Atlas (2012)). This is a charming German comedy-drama about the fall of Communism in East Germany in the late 1980's, and it's also a comment on capitalism and it's one which makes you think about commercialism as well. In October 1989, Alex Kerner (Daniel Brühl), his sister Ariane (Maria Simon) and his mother, Christiane (Katrin Saß), live in a small apartment in East Berline. Christiane is a staunch supporter of communism, and a member of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. When Alex is arrested during an anti-government march, Christiane witnesses this and she has a massive heart attack. As a result, she's in a coma for 8 months, and she misses the fall of communism and the reunification of Germany. The doctors warn Alex that the shock of the news may kill her, so Alex tries to recreate East Germany for the benefit of this mother, all in their apartment. It's a very peculiar idea, but it works, and while the scheme of our central characters might be insane, there is some method to the madness. Some of the recreations done in the film are quite funny, and so are the excuses. It's a true one off, but it puts forwards a better case for communism than capitalism. 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:38 pm

They Live (1988), directed by John Carpenter, whose career in the 1980's consisted of cult classics like Escape from New York (1981), The Thing (1982) and Big Trouble in Little China (1986). Here, he adapted Ray Nelson's 1963 short story 'Eight O'Clock in the Morning' to great effect. It's a very cheesy film with it's tongue firmly in it's cheek, but as a science fiction action film, it's a product of it's time, but it's great fun to watch. Unemployed drifter John Nada (Roddy Piper) finds himself in Los Angeles, and he gets work on a construction site, where he becomes friends with fellow construction worker Frank Armitage (Keith David). At a soup kitchen, a blind preacher (Raymond St. Jacques) warns of a danger coming, wanting people to wake up. Nada goes to the preacher's church, and finds a box filled with sunglasses. When Nada puts them on, the world is in black and white, and billboards and print media are full of subliminal messages telling people to conform to society. However, with the sunglasses on, Nada can also see wealthy people as humanoid aliens, who find out that Nada can see them. It's a very silly film, and this is the one with the 5 minute fight between Piper and David, all over a pair of sunglasses. It's great fun to watch, and a second viewing is in order after you watch it, as there's loads of little details you might have missed first time around. But, Carpenter has fun with this action satire. 4/5



A Most Wanted Man (2014), directed by Anton Corbijn (Control (2007) and The American (2010)), and adapted from John le Carré's 2008 novel of the same name by Andrew Bovell, (Strictly Ballroom (1992) and Edge of Darkness (2010)). This taut thriller is very up to date, focusing on espionage in high places and the double dealing that goes on with international politics. It's a slow burning film, but well worth watching. In Hamburg, Chechnyan refugee Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) enters the country illegally through the docks. Local espionage agent Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) with help from his team consisting of Erna Frey (Nina Hoss) and Max (Daniel Brühl) have been gathering evidence on Muslim philanthropist Dr. Abdullah (Homayoun Ershadi), and his links to terrorist cells. Karpov gets in touch with immigration Annabel Richter (Rachel McAdams), who puts him in contact with banker Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe), who did business with Karpov's father. Bachmann decides to use Karpov to help ensnare Abdullah and other terrorists. It's a down and dirty film, done with an almost documentary like feel, but it's a different kind of war film, while you have wars going on in the Middle East, most of the more complex work is done in the cities to the West, money work. The film has an added poignancy, as it's one of Hoffman's final films, he's brilliant in it. 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:52 pm

The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Wes Anderson goes to India. Even with a change of continent, he's lost non of his quirkiness, or even alot of his regulars. What follows is what we've come to expect from Anderson, yes, it's another quirky comedy drama, but it is also one of his most visually stunning films to date, bringing out the best in his cast and the local colour of rural India. The film follows the Whitman Brothers, Peter (Adrien Brody), Francis (Owen Wilson) and Jack (Jason Schwartzman), a dysfunctional American family who haven't seen one another in a year since the death of their father, who was knocked over by a cab in New York. They meet up on a train in India, and they all suffer from some kind of depression or other. Peter has a pregnant wife back in America and is afraid of the commitment of becoming a father, Francis tried to kill himself in a motorbike crash and Jack is away from his girlfriend (Natalie Portman) and is trying to fill the void. Then they try and find their equally estranged mother Patricia (Anjelica Huston), who has become a nun in the Himalayas. It's a very whimsical film, and although it has a dark undertone running throughout, it is quite uplifting in a strange way, it's humour isn't laugh out loud, but it's funny in a weird way, and it suits the film, the soundtrack from old Merchant Ivory films makes the film great. Brody, Wilson and Schwarzman make excellent brothers, and Anderson keeps the mood up, despite quick dives into the melancholy. The soundtrack is wonderful, and look out for director Barbet Schroeder along with Kumar Pallana and Bill Murray. 4/5



The Boxtrolls (2014), from animation studio Laika (Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012)), this creepy animation is based on the 2005 book Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow. It's very grotesque animation, but it's grotesque in a good way. You need animation like this to counterbalance the cuteness of Disney's work, as this is something Disney would never dare attempt. It's dark, but very well made and fun to watch. Set in Cheesebridge, a group of trolls go out at night stealing stuff and returning to their sewer home, while trying to avoid being captured by Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) and his henchmen, Mr. Trout (Nick Frost), Mr. Pickles (Richard Ayoade) and Mr. Gristle (Tracy Morgan). One Boxtroll, Fish (Dee Bradley Baker) cares for a human called Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), and Eggs goes out on their raids. One night, he's spotted by Winnie Portley-Rind (Elle Fanning), who befriends Eggs, but her wealthy father (Jared Harris) isn't interested. Snatcher has been capturing Boxtrolls, and it's soon up to Eggs and Winnie to save them all. Laika relish with weird and grotesque stories, and they've hit the jackpot with choosing this one. It's quite sinister in places, and it has some brilliantly imagined characters, and there's some very gross sequences in it, but we need more films like this, to remind people that animated films done have to be nice and cutesy. 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:36 am

The Raid (2011), directed by Gareth Evans (Merantau (2009)), this is a gripping and tense action film that harks back to the Asian action films from the 1980's and 90's. Evans was supposed to have made a prison film called Berandal after Merantau, but funding collapsed, so he set his sights on something smaller and contained, and what a good choice he made, you would think there wouldn't be anything more to add to the tired old action genre, but Evans proves everyone wrong. In Jakarta, Indonesia, there's an impenetrable tower block in one of the slums, ruled with an iron fist by crime lord Tama Riyadi (Ray Sahetapy), who is producing drugs on the premises. However, an elite SWAT team, led by Sergeant Jaka (Joe Taslim), is assigned to take down Tama, and to raid and secure the block, they're helped out by Lieutenant Wahyu (Pierre Gruno), so it should be a piece of cake. It isn't. No sooner than they start going up the stairs to the top where Tama resides, the 20-Man SWAT team walk into a trap, and are ambushed by Tama's men, most of them are gunned down, but rookie cop Rama (Iko Uwais) proves to be more dangerous and strong than Tama's team imagined. Even if you may have seen a plot like this before, don't worry, you haven't seen anything like this, it's fast and furious and so tense and exciting. Evans knows how to create tension and suspense, even if the camera does move a bit fast, it's still very entertaining. The good news is that Evans will be doing Berandal as his next film, and he's tinkered with it to make it a sequel to this film. On the basis of this, he should do the next Bond film!! 4/5



The Raid 2 (2014), after the global success of The Raid (2011), writer/director Gareth Evans returned to do a sequel. Evans wanted to do a prison gang film called Berandal, however after the success of The Raid, Evans adapted his planned Berandal project to become the sequel to The Raid, keeping the prison plot as a brilliant centrepiece to this epic and exhausting action epic, the violence is over the top and operatic. Starting almost immediately after The Raid ended, Rama (Iko Uwais) is put before Jakarta's anti-corruption task force chief Bunawar (Cok Simbara), who asks Rama to join a secret anti-corruption task force to expose police corruption involving Police commissioner Reza (Roy Marten) and his dealings with self-made gangster Bejo (Alex Abbad) and Jakarta crime lord Bangun (Tio Pakusadewo). To get close to Bangun and Bejo, Rama goes to jail, and there he befriends Uco (Arifin Putra), Bangun's son. When they're released, Uco invites Rama into the inner-circle of his father's crime syndicate, and soon Rama finds himself taking on the whole mob. It's not as good as the first film, it's longer and there's a little bit too much going on and it's hard to understand what's going on most of the time. But, the film succeeds with the action sequences, and there's plenty of them. There's a third one on the way, but in the case of this film, maybe for the third one, less is more? 3.5/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Gimli The Avenger
Admin
Admin


Posts : 26739
Join date : 2008-07-23
Location : Middle Earth

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:25 am

Willow Creek (1st view) - Found footage film in which Bigfoot nerd Jim drags his sceptical girlfriend Kelly into the woods to visit the location in which the famous footage of Bigfoot (it's real, damnit!) was shot in 1967. What helps make this better than most found footage films is that you actually want the characters to survive the film. There's much to enjoy, whether it be the bizarre final few seconds, a sublime 18 minute take in which the pair are in their tent listening to creepy noises outside or a real-life local song about Bigfoot - 4/5*





Semi-Pro (1st view) - Typically naff Will Ferrell comedy - 2/5*




Bangkok Dangerous (1st view) - Not Nic Cage's worst film, but one that makes me wish he'd pick better films to star in - 3/5*






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


Frakkin toasters!

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

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Gimli The Avenger
Admin
Admin


Posts : 26739
Join date : 2008-07-23
Location : Middle Earth

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:25 pm

I, Frankenstein (1st view) - I can't help but both like and admire any film that uses the premise of Frankenstein's monster teaming up with gargoyles to battles demons and then creates a product that's lunk-headed and seriously dire 3/5*


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


Frakkin toasters!

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

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:54 pm

Lord of War (2005), written, produced and directed by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca (1997), Simone (2002) and In Time (2011)), this crime drama is ever so partially inspired by an amalgamation of true stories, where the lives of real life arms dealers were combined to make the main character in this film. While the film might seem a little far fetched, there are people like this out there in the world, and they don't take sides, as it's their job. It begins in Ukrainian-American Yuri Orlov (Nicolas Cage) is introduced to the dangerous yet tempting world of gunrunning after seeing a mob hit. He goes into business with his brother Vitaly (Jared Leto), and their first deal comes when they sell guns to all sides in the 1982 Lebanon War. Yuri goes solo after Vitaly becomes addicted to drugs in Colombia, and Yuri hits the jackpot when the Soviet Union falls in 1991, and he ends up buying loads of tanks and guns illegally through his uncle General Dmitri Orlov (Eugene Lazarev) to African dictator André Baptiste Sr. (Eamonn Walker). By this point, Yuri is being investigated by Interpol agent Jack Valentine (Ethan Hawke). It's a well made film, and it does raise some serious points about this industry, and it's a morality tale questioning whether it's right or wrong. Cage turns in a good performance, his Yuri doesn't seem to regret his choice in life, as it's stated at one point in the film, it's a "necessary evil", which gives the film a scary edge. 4/5



The Grey (2011). written and directed by Joe Carnahan, (Narc (2002) Smokin' Aces (2007) and The A-Team (2010)), adapted from Ian MacKenzie Jeffers' short story Ghost Walker and produced by Ridley Scott. On the surface, this film might seem like another excuse for it's star to kick ass again, but there's something more deeper and thoughtful about this action drama than first impressions let off about it. In Alaska, John Ottway (Liam Neeson) works for an oil drilling company in a remote part, and he kills wolves that threaten the team, he's in a bit of a depressive funk and even tries to kill himself, which he doesn't go through with. While on leave, he and a few other men, including Lewenden (James Badge Dale), Diaz (Frank Grillo), Talget (Dermot Mulroney) and Hendrick (Dallas Roberts) are on a plane which is caught in a blizzard, and crashes. While the men try to survive in this impossible and wild terrain, a pack of wolves, who seem relentless to attack the men. But Ottway convinces the survivors to stand up to them and fight back against the odds. It's a well made action-adventure, filmed in some very haunting and sparse snowy locations in British Columbia, Canada. Neeson even puts in a thoughtful and brooding performance, and it shows the dangerous of this inhospitable terrain against impossible odds. It may look cheesy, but it's tough and shocking. 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:34 pm

Theatre of Blood (1973), starring the great Vincent Price, and an all star British cast, and directed by Douglas Hickox, (Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1970), Brannigan (1975) and Zulu Dawn (1979)), this is a very cheesy and entertaining British horror film with a brilliant splash of humour throughout courtesy of it's star who was game for anything. It has blood, it has gore, it has a great cast and best of all, it's absolutely hilarious. It has Shakespearian actor Edward Lionheart (Price) plotting revenge on a critics circle who denied him an award. His plan involves killing in ways from Shakespeare plays. It begins when George Maxwell (Michael Hordern) is killed in a scene reminiscent of Julius Caesar, and the murders continue, from Hector Snipe (Dennis Price) meeting a sticky end by way of Hector in Troilus and Cressida and Harold Sprout (Arthur Lowe) is beheaded in a scene from the Bard's Cymbeline. Inspector Boot (Milo O'Shea) wants to put a stop to these murders, but the elusive Lionheart, with help from his daughter Edwina (Diana Rigg) are masters of disguise, and always one stop ahead of the law, and they've saved the worst fate for Peregrine Devlin (Ian Hendry). It's a very good film, and seeing Price dressing up in costumes with funny accents just adds to the fun, he's hamming it up the hilt and he loves it. Plus, the cast is rounded out by Eric Sykes, Robert Morley, Jack Hawkins and Diana Dors!! Very Happy 4.5/5



The Verdict (1982), directed by Sidney Lumet, (12 Angry Men (1957), Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and Network (1976)), based on the 1980 novel by Barry Reed, adapted here by David Mamet (The Untouchables (1987) and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)), this courtroom drama is a powerhouse example of sterling acting, featuring a wonderful cast and blessed with a great script. It still stands up today as a powerful drama. Set in Boston, lawyer Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) was once a top graduate of Boston College Law School and worked for a top legal firm in Boston. Now, he's down on his luck, an alcoholic and is what you'd call an ambulance chaser. His former colleague and old friend Mickey (Jack Warden) gives him a medical malpractice case out of sympathy. It seems like an open and shut case, with a quick settlement expected and a source of income for Galvin. But the more Galvin looks into it, he unearths a web of lies and skulduggery with a woman in a coma. He's put up against the hospital's top lawyer  Ed Concannon (James Mason) as well. It's very well made with good dialogue and some familiar faces in the cast including Charlotte Rampling and Milo O'Shea, but Newman gives an assured and world weary performance as the has-been lawyer. It was tipped as a top Oscar contender, but it was put up against Gandhi (1982). Oh, well... 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:30 pm

Mad City (1997), directed by Costa-Gavras, (Z (1969)), Missing (1982) and Betrayed (1988)), this hostage drama looks compelling on the surface, but in actual fact, it's a mash-up of Ace in the Hole (1951) and Dog Day Afternoon (1975), but with non of the compelling bite. It's supposed to be a dark look at the obsessive nature of the media and how rolling news grips people when not much happens. But it isn't as good as it should be. Fading news reporter Max Brackett (Dustin Hoffman) is struggling to get his stories on the air, and there's a feeling that he's on the way out. While covering a story about financial difficulties a local museum is facing, things take a turn when recently sacked security guard Sam Baily (John Travolta) turns up and takes everyone inside, including manager Mrs. Banks (Blythe Danner) and a group of schoolchildren. Brackett is hiding in the mens room, and is able to cover the story from there. By the time Baily finds Brackett, the story has already gathered much attention and the media swarm on the museum, and Brackett grooms Baily into handling the situation. It should have been a dark, biting satire on the corruption of news media, but the tone is all over the place and it doesn't know what it wants to be. Which is a sad shame as the story had potential, and when you've got a film which has the nerve to waste Alan Alda's cameo, you know something is very wrong indeed. 2.5/5



The Big Country (1958), directed by William Wyler (Mrs. Miniver (1942), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and Roman Holiday (1953)), written by acclaimed novelist Robert Wilder and partially inspired from the serialised 1957 novel Ambush at Blanco Canyon by Donald Hamilton. This is an epic western which tells a simple story, but spread over a massive canvas. It might drag in places, but it has a brilliant cast to boot. When sea captain James McKay (Gregory Peck) travels out to the American West to join his fiancée Patricia (Carroll Baker) on her family ranch owned by her father Major Henry Terrill (Charles Bickford), he's hoping for a quiet life. But he's thrown into a feud between the Terrill family and Rufus Hannassey (Burl Ives), whose family have suffered because of poor resources and lack of water, the latter of which comes from Big Muddy, a ranch owned by Patricia's friend Julie Maragon (Jean Simmons). Once McKay is thrown into the argument. McKay with help from Terrill's foreman, Steve Leech (Charlton Heston) want to settle the feud, once and for all. It could have done with about half an hour shaved off the running time, but this has such beautiful cinematography by Franz F. Planer, and that epic theme by Jerome Moross. It has a brilliant cast in it, even though Peck feuded with Wyler, but Wyler needn't have worried, he was about to unleash Ben-Hur (1959). 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:31 pm

Magic In the Moonlight (2014), written and directed by Woody Allen, who as he approaches he's 80's, shows no sign of slowing down in his old age. For his latest work, he's made a light and fluffy romantic comedy, done with a gentle touch and touching on the theme of magic and the supernatural, which Woody has done in films before. It might not be one of his best films, but he brings the best out in the actors and the locations. Set in 1928, magician Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth) is approached by old friend and fellow illusionist Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney). Howard asks Stanley to come to the south of France to look into whether American Sophie Baker (Emma Stone) is a real clairvoyant or whether she's merely a fraud. Stanley is known for debunking fake mediums, but when he meets Sophie, she does genuinely seem to be the real thing, but Howard is not sold, until Sophie meets Stanley's Aunt Vanessa (Eileen Atkins), and reveals her past that she couldn't possibly have known. Stanley seems to be sold that Sophie is genuine and falls for her, even though she's engaged. It's very well made, and the period settings gives it a lovely atmosphere, and it's a slight film, with a gentle sense of humour, but it has some lovely old fashioned dialogue. While it might not convert anyone new to Woody Allen's world, it's a harmless enough film, but it's just gentle and warm fluff, and that's all. 3.5/5



Smashed (2012), written and directed by James Ponsoldt, (Off the Black (2006), The Spectacular Now (2013) and The End of the Tour (2014)), this low budget drama was filmed in 19 days on a shoe-string budget of $500,000. On page, this could have been a depressing and preachy look at how drink makes demons of us all, but there's something human about the film, and it actually finds humour in it's darkness. Elementary teacher Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is married to Charlie (Aaron Paul), but she has an alcohol problem, and she has frequently come to work either hungover or still drunk. When she vomits in class, School principal Mrs. Barnes (Megan Mullally) worries for her wellbeing, but Kate lies and says she's pregnant. Her co-worker Dave (Nick Offerman) finds out about Kate's drinking habit, she makes him promise not tell, Dave reluctantly agrees, but only if she goes to AA meetings. There, she meets Jenny (Octavia Spencer), who shows her there's more to life than drink, but Kate has a lot of baggage in life making her drink. Despite being made for nearly next to nothing, it has the appearance of an Oscar contender, as the performances by Winstead and Paul are stunning, and they capture what it's truly like to be drunk. While it looks fun, it takes a serious toll on people. This is a realistic and down to earth look at how people deal with it. 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:59 pm

Maps to the Stars (2014), David Cronenberg returns, his recently have taken on different aspects of the human psyche, from the birth of psychoanalysis with A Dangerous Method (2011) to isolation in a modern world in Cosmopolis (2012). Now, Cronenberg takes on Hollywood his way, from a script by Bruce Wagner (Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989) and Wild Palms (1993)). It's a shocking but incredible film to watch. The mysterious Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) arrives in Los Angeles, and starts a good rapport with limo driver Jerome (Robert Pattinson), turns out Agatha has spent years in rehab after trying to kill her brother Benjie (Evan Bird), who is now a successful if troubled actor. Agatha's parents Stafford (John Cusack) and Cristina (Olivia Williams), don't want Agatha near them. In the meantime, Agatha gets a job with actress Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore), who is heavily lobbying for a role in a remake of a film her mother made years before. Meanwhile, Agatha meets Benjie again, and reveals some family secrets about their mother and father. It's perfect material for Cronenberg, the characters in the film are all damaged people with their fair share of emotional baggage. It's a dark indictment on the price of fame and the things people will do to get famous and stay famous. Hollywood though Cronenberg's eyes looks like an absolutely disgusting place to work and live, but it makes for brilliant viewing. 5/5



Kidulthood (2006), directed by Menhaj Huda (Tube Tales (1999) and Everywhere and Nowhere (2011)), and written by Noel Clarke (4.3.2.1 (2010), Fast Girls (2012) and Storage 24 (2012)), this inner-city drama sums up teen life within west London. It could be another load of cliched old cobblers, but it's actually well made with a good plot and it's a fast film which moves along quickly and doesn't outstay it's welcome. It begins when bullied teenager Katie (Rebecca Martin) hangs herself. The students of the school are given a day off for mourning, but instead, most of them plan a party. Including Trevor (Aml Ameen) and his best friends Jay (Adam Deacon), and Moony (Femi Oyeniran) spend most of the day stealing stuff and trying to chat up women, but they get into trouble with local bully Sam (Clarke), especially when Jay has sex with Sam's girlfriend Claire (Madeleine Fairley). Meanwhile, Trevor's girlfriend Alisa (Red Madrell) finds out she's pregnant, and she's worried what she'll tell Trevor, but her friend Becky (Jaime Winstone) has her drink to forget. It's an indictment on inner-city life, and the grown-ups in the film are portrayed as clueless, out of touch idiots. While it does fall into many of the pitfalls and cliches a lot of youth culture films like this do, at least it handles matters like this in a realistic and serious manner, Clarke followed it up with Adulthood (2008). 3.5/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:53 am

The Toxic Avenger (1984), produced and directed by Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman, whose company Troma Entertainment made very low budget B-Movies with often very dubious subject matters. This was their biggest success, and it was their first 'horror' film, (if you can call it that), after many sex comedies before that. While it might not be in the best of taste, you can see it's established a cult fanbase over the years. Set in Tromaville, New Jersey. Janitor Melvin Ferd III (Mark Torgl) works at the Tromaville Health Club, and he's constantly bullied by Bozo (Gary Schneider), Slug (Robert Prichard), Wanda (Jennifer Babtist) and Julie (Cindy Manion). They humiliate him one day, and Melvin falls into a vat of toxic waste, which causes his body to change, and he mutates into a hideous creature who happens to have superhuman strength and abilities. He decides to use these powers to keep Tromaville safe from criminals, and he decides to get even with Bozo, Slug, Wanda and Julie, who partake in violent hit and runs, and take photos of the victims for sexual pleasure. You can accuse Troma's films of being in poor taste or cheaply made, but you can't accuse them of not being entertaining or boring, and this is certainly a compelling and at times, laugh out loud funny superhero film. The acting is horrendous but that gives it it's charm. This spawned several sequels and a Saturday Morning cartoon!! 4/5



Frost/Nixon (2008), Ron Howard takes on Peter Morgan's play depicting the 1977 interviews between a disgraced former President, conducted by a savvy TV journalist. The translation to the big screen might not have worked, but it works. By God, it works to a gripping and exciting extent, it's all down to a brilliant script and an amazing cast at it's heart. Shortly after President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) resigned in 1974, TV journalist David Frost (Michael Sheen) learnt how many people watched him leave the Presidency, and wishes to interview him. He funds the whole enterprise out of his own pocket, and has help from his research team John Birt (Matthew Macfadyen), Bob Zelnick (Oliver Platt) and James Reston Jr. (Sam Rockwell), even if they are critical at first of Frost's interviewing methods. Even Nixon and his aides refuse to show Frost any mercy, and try to dint his confidence during the tapings. But he isn't beaten yet. It's a very focused piece, where it's best moments come from the verbal sparring in the interviews themselves, the building up to it, (the preperation and the funding of the venture), builds us up for one of the best battles in TV history. Brilliantly recreated by the original cast of Langella and Sheen, who play their parts convincingly, (especially Sheen.) This thoroughly deserved to win more awards, particually Oscars... 5/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:20 am

The Funhouse (1981), directed by Tobe Hooper, (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Salem's Lot (1979) and Lifeforce (1985)). This creepy horror film was offered to Hooper by Universal Pictures, Hooper was riding the crest of a wave of successful films, done on a low budget but making money and getting noticed. While it owes a big debt of gratitude to horror films of old, it still has some genuine scares to hand thoughout. It begins when teenager Amy Harper (Elizabeth Berridge) and her new boyfriend Buzz (Cooper Huckabee), along with her best friend Liz (Largo Woodruff) and her irresponsible boyfriend Richie (Miles Chapin) end up going to a travelling carnival, which has a lot of grotesque and weird attractions, including a strip show, a freak show with deformed animals and a fortune teller. But things take a sinister turn when they go on a haunted house ride known as The Funhouse. Which is genuinely scary. The ride stops inside and the carnival closes for the night, inside they witness a weird deformed monster murder a woman, and the teenagers find themselves locked in the ride. While it is a gruesom film with some nasty scares, it's quite tame compared to other horror films doing the rounds at that time, and this inexplicably ended up on the Video Nasty List over here, which shows how out of touch our government was. But, Hooper relishes in the grotesque, and he was about to make Poltergeist (1982). 4/5



Gone Girl (2014), directed by David Fincher, who after making The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011), has struggled to get the sequels to Tattoo made, got shafted by Disney over a planned version of 20,000 Leagues Beneath The Sea, but had success on TV with House of Cards. But when Gillian Flynn's 2012 mystery novel landed on his desk, he found his next film, and it's a great film, summing up the hardships of marriage. On July 5th 2012, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) returns home to find his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) has gone missing, and judging by the scene in the living room, there was a violent struggle. There is an immediate media frenzy where the press are quick to pick up on Nick's unusual behaviour, and his every move ends up being watched. His twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon) stands up for him, but it puts a strain on them. Plus, it comes out that all was not happy in Nick and Amy's marriage, and it turns out she's left clues around their house and town, which piques the interest of everyone, but there's something Nick or the police don't know... It's great to have Fincher back making films, and he's picked a source material that's ideal in his hands, he gets the best out of Affleck, who seems to be finally finding his feet. It's a film with a lot of twists and surprises. It's a hard film to review too, as there's spoilers galore. Go and see it, you'll get the hype once you do. 4.5/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:24 am

Killing Them Softly (2012), directed by Andrew Dominik, (Chopper (2000) and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)), this is based on the 1974 novel Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins. This is a slow-burning thriller updated to when the Recession hit everyone, but it has the feel and look of a 70's thriller, it's a slow-burner and requires a bit of patience but it pays off in the end. Set in New Orleans in the fall of 2008, when Obama was running for the White House, two small time thieves Frankie (Scoot McNairy) and Russell (Ben Mendelsohn) rob a high-stakes gangster controlled poker game for gangster Dillon (Sam Sheperd). Gangster Markie Trattman (Ray Liotta) is the prime suspect, as he organised a similiar hold up a few years before, but mob enforcer Jackie Cogan (Brad Pitt) is hired to investigate by a mob driver (Richard Jenkins). Cogan brings New York mobster Mickey (James Gandolfini) to help, but he's useless. So Cogan has to do it all himself. It's a short film, but it feels long, but not that it makes it a bad film, but the trailers gave away all the action scenes that happen in this film. It's an old fashioned action thriller with some brilliant scenes, like a slo-mo shoot out in a car in the rain, and a drug-addled scene where the camera zones in and out. Pitt is amazing though, showing a quiet hardass attitude. 4/5



Jack Reacher (2012), based upon One Shot, the 9th book in Lee Child's series of Jack Reacher novels, and adapted and directed here by Christopher McQuarrie, (The Usual Suspects (1995), The Way of the Gun (2000)), this is a powerful and suspenseful action thriller, with a great lead performance by someone who doesn't have the physical presence of the Jack Reacher portrayed in Child's books, but he does well. In Pittsburgh, James Barr (Joseph Sikora) finds himself being arrested for the murders of 5 innocent people from the vantage point of a carpark overlooking the river. Barr asks Detective Emerson (David Oyelowo) and District Attorney Alex Rodin (Richard Jenkins) to get Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) a former military policeman now drifter. Reacher arrives, but only so he could end Barr's life, as Reacher knew Barr did something bad in Iraq years ago. Reacher believes Barr did the killings, but Rodin's daughter counsellor Helen Rodin (Rosamund Pike) is defending Barr, and she see's that something isn't right, and urges reacher to investigate, which he does in his own way. It's a thriller which shares DNA with Killing Them Softly (2012), but this one is faster with more action. Cruise shows brutality with a ingenious edge at survival. It has good support from Robert Duvall, Jai Courtney and mad director Werner Herzog as the mysterious baddie, who deserved more screentime. 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:57 pm

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Italian director Sergio Leone directed 5 Westerns in his time, and this one was his best. It's an engaging tale of greed, betrayal and trust set amongst the backdrop of the American Civil War. It's a much more epic film than A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For A Few Dollars More (1965), but it's a true epic, with a gothic exterior, brutal violence, pitch black humour and great performances. It has two men, Blondie (The Good, played with a cool exterior by Clint Eastwood), and Tuco, (The Ugly, played by Eli Wallach, stealing every scene he's in), who have an uneasy friendship/rivalry as they play off towns in a bounty hunting scam. But, they soon learn of a stash of gold buried in a Civil War graveyard from a dying man, captured in a Civil War Prison, they come across Angel Eyes, (The Bad, played with a mean ruthlessness by Lee Van Cleef), who was looking for the dead man, but he wants a piece of the buried gold too. This is probabily the greatest Western ever made, (Sam Peckinpah wouldn't have had his wave of cinematic violence without it), it's beautifully shot, with more than a few unconventional flourishes here and there, but it also retains a black sense of humour in it's brilliant dialogue. It's worth watching for Eli Wallach's double-crossing rat Tuco, he's so sneaky, but you can't help but like him, (why didn't he get an Oscar??) Clint is restrained, but shows a world-weary tenacity come the finale and battle sequences. The best Spaghetti Western ever made, with one of the best music themes to it's name by Ennio Morricone. It's times like these you wish you had someone like Leone still alive to make films like this. 5/5



North Sea Hijack (1979), directed by Andrew V. McLaglen (Chisum (1970), The Wild Geese (1978) and The Sea Wolves (1980)), and adapted by Jack Davies from his own novel Esther, Ruth and Jennifer, which published just before the film came out. The film was a chance for it's star to try out a different kind of role from what he was doing elsewhere at the time. It's an odd film, but it has a very good cast to boot. Rufus Excalibur ffolkes (Roger Moore) is an eccentric, cat loving, misogynistic counter terrorism consultant, running exercises around his estate in Scotland. When a Norwegian supply ship called Esther is hijacked by a load of terrorists, led by Lou Kramer (Anthony Perkins) and Harold Shulman (Michael Parks), who got onto Esther posing a journalists. They attach limpet mines to the legs of oil production platform Jennifer and it's oil drilling rig, Ruth. Kramer demands a ransom of $25 million, and ffolkes is asked by the Prime Minister (Faith Brook), to put a stop to Kramer's plan. He and Admiral Brindsen (James Mason) head out stop the hijack. It's dated a little bit, but it's worth it for Moore's spirited performance, and it was a world away from what he was doing at the time as James Bond or even before that as Simon Templar. Moore did a few films like this around the time, and while they might be products of their time, they're still good fun. 3.5/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:30 pm

Perrier's Bounty (2009), directed by Ian Fitzgibbon (Spin the Bottle (2004) and A Film with Me in It (2008)) and written by Mark O'Rowe (Intermission (2003) and Boy A (2007)), this Irish black comedy-thriller is as black as they come, although writer O'Rowe describes the film as "cartoon naturalism". Indeed, there is a lot of violence here, but it's very over the top, sort of like what you used to get in old cartoons. It's still good. In Dublin, waster Michael McCrea (Cillian Murphy) owes money to Dublin crime lord Darren Perrier (Brendan Gleeson), and Perrier has sent two thugs Ivan (Michael McElhatton) and Orlando (Don Wycherley) to remind him of the debt he owes. With only a matter of hours to find the money, Michael does a burglary for The Mutt (Liam Cunningham), but nothing goes as planned, he ends up with his father Jim McCrea (Jim Broadbent), who is dying from cancer and wanting to reconcile with his estranged son. Plus, his neighbour Brenda (Jodie Whittaker) ends up with them after a murder goes wrong, and they end up being hunted by Perrier and his gang of thugs. It's a very silly film, but it's a got a good cast, and it is a bit hard to follow in places, as there's a lot of characters and a bit too much going on. It's almost like everything has been thrown into the pot and this is the result. But it does have some good cameos, and it touches on the subjects of mortality and avoiding death. 3.5/5



Monsters (2010), the directorial debut of of writer/director Gareth Edwards, who had got his start in film though visual effects, he got the chance to make this after winning a contest for Sci-Fi-London in 2008. This creature feature was made for a meagre £500,000, it was shot in Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and the USA, with a skeleton crew and no permission to film. But they still made it look very professional. After a NASA space probe, which has done deep space exploration crash lands in Mexico, it's a matter of time before Northern Mexico gets taken over by extraterrestrial life forms. As a result, the whole of Northern Mexico is quarantined, a massive wall is erected on the U.S Border to keep them out. American photojournalist Andrew Kaulder (Scoot McNairy) is assigned to find Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able), who is the daughter of his employer. After finding her in Mexico, they find getting out of the country is almost impossible. Their passports are stolen, and they have no money, so they go through the quarantined zone... It's your usual monster fare, and it doesn't really add anything new to the genre either, but you can't believe that Edwards and his team got the film done for so cheap, as it looks like it cost a bit of money, but it turns out to be the perfect definition of a guerilla film. It's easy to see why Edwards got the job of doing Godzilla (2014). 3.5/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:05 pm

Lone Star (1996), from John Sayles, who did the scripts for Joe Dante's Piranha (1978) and The Howling (1981), comes this dark, all-star crime thriller set in a Texas border town. Which is effectively a modern day western. In fact, with it's tone and structure, it predates No Country for Old Men (2007) by a decade, but despite all the critical acclaim, hardly anyone went to see this one, although it broke even financially. The film is a study of interracial tensions in Rio County, Texas. When the human remains of sheriff Charlie Wade (Kris Kristofferson) are found, current sheriff Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper) pieces together a complex case of how and why Wade was murdered. Over 30 years earlier, Deeds was a hardened, bigotted sheriff who was feared by many in his juristiction. There's also alot of speculation that Sam's father, Buddy Deeds (Matthew McConaughey) had murdered him, but there's evidence to suggest otherwise. Sam also finds himself rekindling himself with former flame Pilar Cruz (Elizabeth Peña), who is father forbade from seeing, but Sam could never figure out why. It's a moody and suspenseful piece, but it's well written and it shows that Sayles is a bit of an underrated talent, and that he should be making more films but this makes for a good murder mystery. The film also has a brilliant supporting cast too including Joe Morton, Clifton James, Gordon Tootoosis and Frances McDormand. 4.5/5



Fury (2014), written and directed by David Ayer (Street Kings (2008), End of Watch (2012) and Sabotage (2014)), this is a very tough and down and dirty war film which focuses on the carnage and emotional suffering war can have on troops who have spent longer than they should have on the front lines. While it might not be a perfect film, or one you can watch easily, it's one you can admire for it's toughness. Set in April 1945, with the Allied troops now in Nazi Germany, Hitler is throwing everything he has in a last bid at glory. Sergeant Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank, with his crew Boyd "Bible" Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Grady "Coon-Ass" Travis (Jon Bernthal) and Trini "Gordo" Garcia (Michael Peña). They've just lost their assistant driver, so young typist Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) is assigned, and he's thrown head first into the violent world, and Wardaddy and his team aren't exactly friendly, and when the other platoon of tanks are wiped out by the Nazi's, Wardaddy and his team won't give in so easily against the Nazi's. This is the anti-Inglourious Basterds. While that was a glossy revenge story, this shows what war really does to soldiers, the psychological trauma, the lingering suffering of both sides, and the gung-ho slaughter that the veteran troops believe is right. But this has some believable and tough performances. 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:40 pm

Quadrophenia (1979), based upon The Who's 1973 album of the same name, this isn't a musical like Tommy (1975) was, it's something quite different. It uses the story told throughout the album to make a youth film, and a very good one at that. It's littered with lots of familiar faces and it uses songs from the Quadrophenia album, and other by the The Who and other artists to tell the story, it's a great timepiece too. Set in 1964, it tells the story of Jimmy Cooper (Phil Daniels), a mod who works in as a post room boy in an advertising firm. His parents (Michael Elphick and Kate Williams) don't understand what he's rebelling against, and they don't like him staying out all hours with his friends Dave (Mark Wingett), Chalky (Philip Davis) and Spider (Gary Shail). One Bank Holiday, Jimmy and his Mod friends clash with Rockers down in Brighton, which ends up in a massive riot, which ends up with Jimmy in jail, and it leaves him severely depressed as well. Then, his parents kick him out, he quits his job in disgust, and heads back to Brighton to recapture the spirit of that weekend. It's a very simple story, but even though it was done on a very low budget, it makes for a good film with a who's who of British film and TV of that time. Director Franc Roddam (who later came up with the ideas for Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Masterchef), captures the spirit of Cool Britannia at that time, with the anthems of The Who, like The Kid's Are Alright and Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere made it seem like the youth then could do anything. 4.5/5



Metro Manila (2013), written and directed by Sean Ellis, (Cashback (2004) and The Broken (2008)), this crime drama set in the Philippines was funded entirely with British money. While that might seem like a bit of a folly, it actually works, and it helps that it's actually a very compelling story to watch. But it's a refreshing chance to see a side of the world and a country that you don't normally see on cinema screens. It tells the story of a rural farmer Oscar Ramirez (Jake Macapagal), who works in the rice fields to the north of the Philippines who takes his wife Mai (Althea Vega), and his two children Angel (Erin Panlilio) and Baby (Iasha Aceio) to a new life in the urban metropolis of Manila, in search of money and a better life. But, they find life in the big city a hard thing, and it looks set to overwhelm them. But Oscar gets lucky, and he gets a job with a armored truck company, and senior officer Douglas Ong (John Arcilla) teaches Oscar the tricks of the trade. But when Douglas plans something illegal, he cuts Oscar in, which will have serious consequences. While this sort of film has been done elsewhere, and in some cases, slightly better. This does show the grittiness and corruption of inner city life in Manila, and whether most of it is an accurate depiction of Manila or not remains to be seen, it does make for a good thriller, and it picks up splendidly in a gripping third act. 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:09 am

In Cold Blood (1967), written and directed by Richard Brooks (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Elmer Gantry (1960) and Wrong Is Right (1982)), and adapted from the 1966 true crime novel by Truman Capote, this dark thriller is shot in a sparse, stark and cold black and white, which absolutely suits the mood of the film. It's extremely heavy going and honest for it's day, and it's amazing a film like this was allowed back in 1967. In November 1959, Perry Smith (Robert Blake) and Dick Hickock (Scott Wilson) come up with a plan to rob the home of Herbert Clutter (John McLiam) in Holcomb, Kansas, who is apparantly loaded with money. However, the robbery goes wrong, with Clutter and his wife and two children ending up being murdered in the process. Smith and Hickock go on the run, first to Las Vegas, then they head south and cross the border into Mexico. They're able to stay one step ahead of the law, led by Kansas FBI Chief Alvin Dewey (John Forsythe), who is determined to bring Smith and Hickock to justice, and it's not long before their money starts to run out. It was a murder that shocked America at the time, and it was a matter of time before it would become a film. It makes a good film too with some very good performances to boot, and it almost has a a New Wave feel with it's black and white photography, and it showcases what a good director Brooks was, and his work is in need of another look. 4/5



Bugsy (1991), directed by Barry Levinson, who followed up the Oscar success of Rain Man (1988) with his very personal passion project Avalon (1990), he had another little passion project in mind, but when he was offered this crime drama written by James Toback (The Gambler (1974) and Two Girls and a Guy (1998)), Levinson saw instant potential, and it makes for an epic gangster drama, quite beautifully made. It tells the life and times of Jewish gangster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (Warren Beatty), who worked for the New York mob before he headed out to Hollywood, where he fell in love with aspiring starlet Virginia Hill (Annette Bening), even though Bugsy was already married to Esta (Wendy Phillips) and had 2 daughters. While out in Los Angeles, Bugsy works as representative for his associates Meyer Lansky (Ben Kingsley) and Charlie Luciano (Bill Graham), doing jobs with notorious mobster Mickey Cohen (Harvey Keitel), mostly robbing betting joints. But Bugsy has a vision of a betting joint all of his own, over in Las Vegas, where it's legal. It's a morality tale about the absolute corruption of absolute power and how greed, love and money makes monsters of us all. Beatty gives a likable turn as the notorious Bugsy, who had a great vision, but never lived to see it snowball into a behemoth. As for Levinson, he was about to unleash a behemoth of his own. Toys (1992). 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:59 am

Monster's Ball (2001), directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland (2004), Quantum of Solace (2008) and World War Z (2013)) and produced by Lee Daniels (Precious (2009) and The Butler (2013)). This is a very powerful romantic drama about racial tensions in the deep south of modern America. It has some very emotional and powerful performances throughout the film, and it became a big awards favourite when it was released. Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton) works for the Georgia State Prison, as does his son, who has never had a close relationship with his father, while Hank is struggling to connect with his senile and racist father Buck (Peter Boyle). Hank oversees the execution of convicted murderer Lawrence Musgrove (Sean Combs), whose wife Leticia (Halle Berry) has been struggling to raise their son Tyrell (Coronji Calhoun). After the execution of Lawrence, both Hank and Leticia experience their own personal family tragedies, and they are brought together, and begin a sexual affair, even though Leticia has no idea Hank oversaw the execution of her husband. Made for a meagre $4 million, it would gross 11 times that amount on release, and Berry got an Oscar for her tough and emotional performance. It also helped put Forster on the map as a talent to watch out for as well, but it does make a serious point about repressed emotion and racial prejudice, parts of it are quite shocking too. 4/5



A Separation (2011), written, produced and directed by Asghar Farhadi (The Beautiful City (2004), About Elly (2009) and The Past (2013)), this drama from Iran is a powerful film filled with good performances and touching upon important issues like family loyalty and the effects that separation can do to a family. It's a very intimate film, done with an almost documentary style feel, which suits the dark mood. It begins in Tehran, where married couple Nader (Peyman Moaadi) and Simin (Leila Hatami), who have been married for 14 years, suddenly decide to separate, even though they have an 11 year old daughter Termeh (Sarina Farhadi), and Nader's father (Ali-Asghar Shahbazi) is living in the apartment, he's extremely frail and is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. With their divorce application rejected, Simin moves over, and Nader hires carer Razieh (Sareh Bayat) to look after his father while he's at work. But she soon finds the job of looking after Nader's father very difficult, so she brings in her moody husband Hodjat (Shahab Hosseini) to help. It's a very powerful film about the difficulties one family have to face when they split, although this one is set in Iran, where customs and laws there are very different to customs in the west. Iran gets a lot of bad press for it's politics, but it's cinema is quite beautiful, and it should be given more of a look in on the basis of this. 4/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Donald McKinney
Admin
Admin
avatar

Posts : 24216
Join date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:50 am

Croupier (1998), directed by Mike Hodges (Get Carter (1971) and Flash Gordon (1980)), and written by Paul Mayersberg (The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) and Eureka (1983)), this crime drama had a troubled release, opening to no fanfare at all in the UK in 1999, it was released in America in 2000, where the critics absolutely loved it, and it got a re-release here in 2001, where people saw what the fuss was about. It follows aspiring writer Jack Manfred (Clive Owen), who is struggling to find inspiration for his next book. But, following a recommendation from his father (Nicholas Ball), Jack gets a job at a casino ran by David Reynolds (Alexander Morton), working as a croupier. It's against his better judgement as he used to gamble a lot in his home country of South Africa. However, he knows he can't get close to the customers or the staff. The job takes over his life, and puts a strain on his relationship with girlfriend Marion (Gina McKee). Then Jack breaks a big rule, he finds himself getting close to gambler Jani de Villiers (Alex Kingston), who has a dark side. It's a very good crime film, and it's about the temptation that the world of gambling has to offer. It's a very twisty film as well, but it's cleverly scripted, and it does show the realistic side to gambling, all the tricks of the trade as well as the do's and don't that the job of a croupier entails. It's well worth a look. 4/5



I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (2003), after the eventually success of Croupier (1998), when it finally found it's audience. Director Mike Hodges and star Clive Owen reunited for this dark and brooding thriller, written by British TV writer Trevor Preston (The Tyrant King, The Sweeney and Fox). It harks back to the themes and motives of revenge and family that Hodges had explored in Get Carter (1971), but it's nowhere near as good. Will Graham (Owen) was once a powerful gangster, but he's turned his back on all of that, and he lives in a van in the middle of a forest. However, when he hears that his brother Davey Graham (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) has committed suicide. He comes home, but what Will doesn't know is that Davey was abused at the hands of psychotic car dealer Boad (Malcolm McDowell), Will plans a very elaborate revenge. He gets his old friend Mickster (Jamie Forman) to help find out the best way to find who drove Davey to suicide. Will's reappearance causes local crime lord Frank Turner (Ken Stott) to try and put a stop to Will's crusade for vengeance. It's a good film, but it could have been a lot better and a lot of themes on display here have been done elsewhere and done better as well, which is a shame considering the brilliant cast that Hodges has put together for this film. It just feels like he's playing it a bit too safe and he should be taking bigger risks. 3/5

Back to top Go down
View user profile
Gimli The Avenger
Admin
Admin


Posts : 26739
Join date : 2008-07-23
Location : Middle Earth

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:42 am



Gone Girl (1st view) - Probably Fincher's best since Seven. Well, maybe apart from Dragon Tattoo. Funnier than I expected and great performances by all, especially Carrie Coon - 4/5*





The Asphyx (2nd view) -
First saw this with my Dad sometime in the 90s and it's a film that stuck we me ever since so it makes me wonder why it's taken me 20 years to watch it again. Ace British horror film - 4/5





Hoffman (1st view) - Never really been a fan of Sellers but he was great in this as man who blackmails a young female colleague into spending the week with him after discovering her boyfriend has been stealing from the company - 4/5*



Death By Hanging (1st view) - Japanese film about a man whi survives execution but loses his memoty., The prison staff and guards them try and remind him about who is in order so they can try and kill him again. Got a bit weird as it went on and that made it slightly less interesting overall but still excellent - 4/5*




A Lonely Place To Die (1st view) - What looks like a wilderness horror film takes an unexpected turn about 30 minutes in and it then becomes a chase thriller. Felt a bit 70s-ish - 4/5*




Raise The Red Lantern (1st view) - Lovely to look at - 4/5*




Kairo (1st view) - Some really creepy moments in this. One of the better Japanese horror films from the turn of the century - 4/5*




Mama (1st view) - Largely effective horror/fairy tale. Some weird leaps of logic and a mishmash of a script don't help, but there's a fine atmosphere and some clever scares. Plus Jessica Chastain is a great. And lovely - 4/5*




Lizzie Borden Took An Ax (1st view) - TV movie that stars Christina Ricci as the Sunday School teacher who may or may not have killer her folks - 3/5*





Fury (1st view) - Brad Pitt stars as Staff Sergeant Don "Wardaddy Collier, a battle-hardened tank commander who's led his crew through North Africa, France, Belgium and on into Germany. We first meet him after the group has had their first casualty, and none are too happy when he's replaced by Logan Lerman's Private Norman Ellison, especially as he's a typist who's never seen combat. As they trundle across the fields of Germany in their Sherman tank, the Fury of the title, they embark on rescue missions, destroy a few anti-tank outposts, get embroiled in a one-on-one fight with a more powerful Tiger I tank until damage forces the tank to remain static as is defends a crossroads from a column of SS infantry.

The action scenes are all quite brief and all quite brutal, there's a grimy claustrophobic feeling to be had whenever scenes take place within the actual tank and there's plenty of startling imagery, plus Steven Price, fresh from a Gravity Oscar win, provides us with a suitably epic and hellish score. We also get the world's most awkward dinner table scene and plenty of maniacal gurning from Jon Bernthal and bibical pontificating from Shia LaBeouf. It's here that the film is let down, the moments of quiet are frequent and all too often hamstrung by cliche, poor scripting and some dodgy acting. It's hard to care for at least 3/5 of the tank's inhabitants, so emotional investment is at a minimum. Which is a shame, because when Fury works it works wonderfully - 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!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Gimli The Avenger
Admin
Admin


Posts : 26739
Join date : 2008-07-23
Location : Middle Earth

PostSubject: Re: What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again   Sun Nov 02, 2014 4:59 am

Johnny English Reborn (1st view) - I hope Oliver Parker does a better job with Dad's Army. Still, Dominic West looked like he was having fun, it's always good to see Gillian Anderson in a film and Rosamund Pike's line of "Oh Johnny" might be the single sexiest utterance in film history - 3/5*


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


Frakkin toasters!

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

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




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

Back to top Go down
 
What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 4 of 24Go to page : Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 14 ... 24  Next
 Similar topics
-
» What I've Just Watched Part 4: There And Back Again
» What I've Just Watched: Part 3 - The Search for Spock
» How many times have you watched Mai HiME?
» what is (or was) your least favorite part of high school?
» Feeler for Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham F/S or part out

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Pages Of Power 4 :: Entertainment :: Film-
Jump to: