What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Film Reviews and Release Comparisons
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby grim_tales » 28 Jun 2017, 17:59

Bonnie & Clyde (1967): 4/5

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby Markgway » 28 Jun 2017, 19:55

Larry Crowne (2011-USA) **½
Jobless Tom Hanks (also co-writer and director) decides to go to college to improve his mid-life prospects.
Meets grouchy professor Julia Roberts and... you know the rest.
Pleasant and likeable film coasts on breezy charm, but is pretty insubstantial.
Newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw (as a young, free-spirited student) stands out in the supporting cast.
Bradavon: As probably the only guy on this forum who has snogged another man (3 times in fact), it didn't do a lot for me but I didn't hate it either. Who doesn't like a snog?

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby Markgway » 29 Jun 2017, 07:09

Fast-Walking (1981-USA) ***
Very cynical black comedy with the always-great James Woods as a corrupt prison guard drawn into a plot to assassinate a black militant transfer.
Bradavon: As probably the only guy on this forum who has snogged another man (3 times in fact), it didn't do a lot for me but I didn't hate it either. Who doesn't like a snog?

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby grim_tales » 29 Jun 2017, 16:59

The Fly (1986): 4/5

Creepy sci-fi horror contains a good cast and some genuine shocks. Good special effects for the time.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby grim_tales » 01 Jul 2017, 23:10

Cobra (Stallone): 3.5/5

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby grim_tales » 02 Jul 2017, 22:57

Assassins (1995): 3.5/5

Entertaining action-adventure/thriller with Stallone and Antonio Banderas as rival assassins (Stallone is the veteran wanting out, Banderas is the rookie), who seem to play a game of cat and mouse with each other. Julianne Moore plays a computer hacker with a stolen disc.
Banderas is actually kind of annoying here, but there are some great set pieces.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby saltysam » 03 Jul 2017, 20:26

someone's watching that cheap Stallone box set ;)

Death Line 3/5

Odd but entertaining early 70's british horror, with an strange turn by Donald Pleasance as the copper on the case. Cannibals lurk in the London underground.Let down a little by a weak ending and a bland lead in David Ladd.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby grim_tales » 04 Jul 2017, 00:03

Tango and Cash: 4/5

Action buddy-comedy is a lot of fun. Kurt Russell and Stallone are two heroic, yet mismatched cops who get framed for murder and stage a daring escape from a tough prison. There are some great set pieces like the scene where the pair drive an amoured truck in a labyrinth, and one scene near the beginning was surely inspired by Police Story.

A young Teri Hatcher is very pretty in it :)

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby grim_tales » 04 Jul 2017, 23:17

The Specialist: 3.5/5

Entertaining thriller (though sometimes a bit cheesy), it's the kind of action movie that isn't made any more these days with an indestructable main character. I didnt get the feeling there was any real danger to be honest.
The idea of Stallone as a romantic lead is laughable - still Sharon Stone is nice to look at, she was so sexy in her prime :)
James Woods as the asshole agent trying to track Stallone down is another good thing about the movie.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby Markgway » 05 Jul 2017, 12:56

A Thousand Words (2009-USA) **
A fast-talking literary agent is reduced to a thousand more words (spoken or written) when his fate becomes connected to a spiritual tree(!)
What happened to Eddie Murphy? It took three years for this mawkish, barely funny vehicle to get a US theatrical release... whereupon it flopped.
Bradavon: As probably the only guy on this forum who has snogged another man (3 times in fact), it didn't do a lot for me but I didn't hate it either. Who doesn't like a snog?

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby grim_tales » 05 Jul 2017, 22:57

Demolition Man: 3/5

A cop, John Spartan (Stallone) is wrongfully accused of murder, cryogenically frozen in the 90's and wakes up almost 40 years later in a "perfect" (dystopian) future where almost everything normal (alcohol, violence, swearing, sex, kissing...) is forbidden and the only restaurant available is Taco Bell. Everything is orderly.
Things are largely played for laughs with Wesley Snipes' bonkers cartoonish villain and a few amusing exchanges between Sandra Bullock and Stallone when she tries to get the hang of modern slang/idioms, she even predicts Arnie becoming President (which he didn't quite manage, but close enough).
She says she has a fondness for 'the late 20th century' (in one scene there's a Lethal Weapon 3 poster) and even makes fun of Stallone's movie style.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby HungFist » 08 Jul 2017, 10:12

John Wick: Chapter 2 (USA, 2017) [DCP] - 2.5/5
Disappointing sequel loses the charm of the original. This is a rehash of the assassin universe created for the first film. Gone is the amusing "they killed my dog" plot, replaced by a much less amusing "contract on Wick's head" plot. There are hundreds of charisma-free assassins after Wick, most of them appearing so briefly you don't always even know who just got killed. Which leads us to the second problem. While they've nailed the action choreography, the editing, cinematography and lighting are a problem. The long shootout in the catacombs is so dark it's hard to see what's going on. To make matters worse, although the editing is not too fast, the editor keeps cutting to random angles. This means that after each cut you have to spend a moment figuring out where the camera is now and from which direction the bad guys are coming rather than focusing on the action. Lame score and yet another mirror hall finale don't help either. Thankfully the movie is at least fast paced, never boring, and comes with some small delights, including a certain Italian gentleman in a small role.

As usual, I had to wait half a year for this to open here.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby HungFist » 09 Jul 2017, 04:14

The Hound of the Baskervilles (USA, 1939) - 3/5
Enjoyable, but very straight forward film adaptation sometimes visualizes the storyline to the point of making it feel "dumbed down". Basil Rathbone makes an excellent Sherlock Holmes, Nigel Bruce is a clumsy Watson. Richard Greene (as Henry Baskerville) was apparently cast mainly to attract the ladies, and has a corresponding amount of character depth.

The Hound of the Baskervilles (UK, 1959) - 3.5/5
This Hammer version is better than the 1939 version for a number of reasons. First of all, the film has more character depth and shades of dark. This is especially evident in the character of Henry Baskerville, played by Christopher Lee, who is now a slightly arrogant man suffering from a minor heart condition. The character of Watson is also given a far more honourable portrayal. While not strictly a horror film, this also comes with evident Hammer horror influences. Some of the changes and new scenes are excellent, adding new surprises to the familiar storyline while still remaining faithful enough to its spirit.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby saltysam » 09 Jul 2017, 15:28

For A Few Dollars More 4.5/5
Almost perfect follow up to AFOD, the plus 2hr running time flies by. Eastwood & Van Cleef go up against Indio, played with relish by Gian Maria Volonte, returning from the first film. Superb Morricone score. The cheap german blu is excellent value.

Trespass 3/5
Decent early 90's Walter Hill actioner. Bill Paxton & Bill Sadler are two firefighters handed a map by a dying old man which shows the location of a fortune in stolen treasure. Naturally they go looking for it, which turns out to be an isolated, long abandoned factory used by drug kingpin Ice T & his minions.Nice release by Shout! of this undervalued thriller.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby HungFist » 11 Jul 2017, 08:50

Sherlock Holmes (USA, 2009) [VoD] - 1.5/5
Flashy, horribly overlong (130 min) modern Holmes is exactly what you'd expect from "Guy Ritchie doing a big budget Hollywood action film". Although it pretends to be a mystery, is mainly plays out like a supernatural superhero action film with irritating fast editing, loads of CGI and a superhuman giant of a henchman that Holmes keeps fighting throughout the film. The annoying screenplay creates a new storyline that builds on elements that Doyle (no doubt deliberately) only briefly featured in his stories ("hey, let's make Irene a major character who kicks ass and fights bad guys! Cool, right?). There are some positives, however. The Victorian London looks generally good and Robert Downey Jr. is not too bad as a darker, socially withdrawn Holmes. Jude Law's Watson on the other hand is utterly uninteresting without any personality, positive or negative.

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby Markgway » 11 Jul 2017, 20:59

Foxcatcher (2014-USA) **
I knew nothing about this true story going in... and I still feel like I know very little.
A shallow piece of Oscar bait with heavy dramatic pretensions (and tinkly piano score to let you know it's, like, real important).

The Most Dangerous Game (1932-USA) **
The first, but far from best example of the man-hunting sub-genre, brought to you by the future makers of King Kong.
Considered socking in 1932; it can be seen now as silly, excessively camp, and studio-bound (the island consists of about two patches of fake jungle).
"Hero" Joel McCrea suffers a shipwreck and the death of his friends with all the upset of someone who's lost one of their socks, whilst a scantly-clad Fay Wray swoons. Robert Armstrong manages the most irritating drunk act of the decade. Leslie Banks (as Ruskie villain Zarof) cuts a thick slice of ham.
The anti-hunting (of wildlife) message is appreciated though...
Bradavon: As probably the only guy on this forum who has snogged another man (3 times in fact), it didn't do a lot for me but I didn't hate it either. Who doesn't like a snog?

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby Markgway » 15 Jul 2017, 06:58

Mea Culpa (2012-France) ***
Fast-paced, involving action thriller doesn't outstay its welcome.
Bradavon: As probably the only guy on this forum who has snogged another man (3 times in fact), it didn't do a lot for me but I didn't hate it either. Who doesn't like a snog?

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby HungFist » 16 Jul 2017, 05:26

Arrival (USA, 2016) [DCP] - 4.5/5
Two linguists trying to learn an alien language to communicate with them. Villeneuve's cinematic expression (politics, emotions, music) isn't always that subtle, but the film is so interesting and original that it doesn't matter. It's a small miracle that this was even made - a sci-fi movie without action scenes in 2016!

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby saltysam » 18 Jul 2017, 20:14

Going In Style (2017) 2/5
An identkit example of how to make a bland, by the numbers gentle "comedy" vehicle starring 3 ageing stars. Very inoffensive but i'm not sure who the target audience is here. Michael Caine,Morgan Freeman & Alan Arkin play three friends who's pensions are taken from them by a bank who don't care. They come up with a plan to rob the bank and get what they are entitled to. Most surprising thing in this to me is Ann-Margret and how she looks, at 76 she'd still get it believe you me :)
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby Markgway » 19 Jul 2017, 00:59

Speaking of women who've aged very well... Lee Purcell is 70(!)

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And that's a recent photo.
Bradavon: As probably the only guy on this forum who has snogged another man (3 times in fact), it didn't do a lot for me but I didn't hate it either. Who doesn't like a snog?

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby HungFist » 22 Jul 2017, 14:40

Neil Blomkamp's Oats Studios Short Films

Rakka (Canada, 2017) [Youtube] - 3/5
Humanity has been enslaved by an Alien race. Sigourney Weaver leads the resistance. Gory action / sci-fi / horror short is a sort of mixture of Alien, Terminator and District 9. Good but ultimately not that special.

Firebase (Canada, 2017) [Youtube] - 2.5/5
A supernatural force is slaughtering US soldiers in Vietnam. Semi-entertaining action short is basically Predator meets Cannibal Holocaust, but looks and feels a bit cheap, and does not excel with acting either. One would expect more from Blomkamp. Special effects are superb, though.

Zygote (Canada, 2017) [Youtube] - 4.5/5
While some of Blomkamp's recent work has made people conclude perhaps it was for the best that his Alien project did not come true, Zygote proves otherwise. This looks and feels almost 100% Alien (+ a bit of The Thing) and beats the hell out of any official and unofficial Alien films from the past few decades. In fact, this seems to be based on Blomkamp's buried Alien project as the two main characters are quite easy to recognize as new versions of "Hicks" and "Newt". Yes, I do want a feature length Alien film by the Blomkamp who did this, and I want it now!

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby grim_tales » 23 Jul 2017, 00:18

Markgway wrote:Speaking of women who've aged very well... Lee Purcell is 70(!)

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And that's a recent photo.


:o Bloody hell!
She looks great, also at least 30 years younger. (Not heard of her before).

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby Markgway » 23 Jul 2017, 11:45

Escape from Alcatraz (1979-USA) ***
Solid, deliberately paced thriller; the last of the Eastwood/Siegel joint ventures.

The Drop (2014-USA) ***
Engrossing thriller, good leads, peters out a bit at the end; James Gandolfini's final film.
Bradavon: As probably the only guy on this forum who has snogged another man (3 times in fact), it didn't do a lot for me but I didn't hate it either. Who doesn't like a snog?

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby Markgway » 29 Jul 2017, 00:29

A Separation (2011-Iran-France) ***½
Absorbing family drama that's extremely well written and acted.
The culture may be alien to westerners, but the filmmakers do a good job of conveying their (religious-led) customs, without necessarily approving of them. You don't have to agree with their way of life to understand it's here-effective portrayal on screen.
My only gripe... no one ever seems to acknowledge that the male lead is innocent of the charges brought against him -- he didn't throw the pregnant lady downstairs, yet his wife colludes against him, and there seems to be no legal repercussions against the couple who made false accusations...
Bradavon: As probably the only guy on this forum who has snogged another man (3 times in fact), it didn't do a lot for me but I didn't hate it either. Who doesn't like a snog?

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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread postby Markgway » 29 Jul 2017, 16:09

The Slayer (1981-USA) **½
Surprisingly competent low budget horror is refreshingly more about suspense than gore, but despite it's trim running time feels a little sluggish.
Bradavon: As probably the only guy on this forum who has snogged another man (3 times in fact), it didn't do a lot for me but I didn't hate it either. Who doesn't like a snog?

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