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 post by HungFist » 15 Mar 2018, 16:30

Death Warrant (USA, 1990) [VoD] - 3/5
Undercover policeman goes to prison to find out who is murdering inmates. Dumb Van Damme vehicle lacks in originality, but not in entertainment. Very passable b-action.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 16 Mar 2018, 00:47

Death Warrant and Wrong Bet were the films where Van Damme proved he had some actual acting ability.

He must've spent 1990 taking acting lessons. :p
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 17 Mar 2018, 06:31

Resurrection (1999-USA-Canada) **½
Grieving detective Christopher Lambert pursues a religious-bent serial killer.
It would be easy (and unfair) to dismiss this dark, gruesome chiller as yet another Se7en clone,
if it weren't for superior writing and acting (from Robert Joy and Leland Orser, especially).

Murphy's Law (1986-USA-Israel) **½
Bronson does what Bronson's good at after he's framed for murder by vengeful psycho.
Plot and villain are good, but slick thriller is marred by sub-par dialogue, most obviously for Kathleen Willhoite's potty mouthed crook
(her obnoxious character almost sinks the entire project).
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Guro Taku » 18 Mar 2018, 11:51

Ghostland aka Incident in a Ghost Land (2018) DCP 2/5
Latest film from Pascal Laugier, whose Martyrs (2008) had an interesting premise but not enough of interest to say for a full feature film. This new film is equally flawed. It starts with a close-up of a portrait of H.P. Lovecraft and even features the famous writer in a dream sequence but there is nothing even remotely Lovecraftian about the story itself. What we get is two girls getting raped and tortured in what one of them early in the film, by way of a wholly incongrous quip, refers to as "Rob Zombie's house". The torturing comes at the hands of a hulking inbred crotch-sniffing brute and his transvestite handler who drive around in a giant Ice Cream Murder Truck. I suspect the film wanted to say something about how we try to escape atrocity/trauma through fantasy/creativity (one of the girls has ambitions to become a horror writer) but it ended up a schizophrenic mess. The fact that Laugier remains a visually gifted director and some cool set designs save the film from utter failure.

Before the film itself we were shown a music video, also directed by Pascal Laugier, which was better than the feature film by a long shot:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azugzK76Ihk

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

Unread post by Markgway » 19 Mar 2018, 03:24

Paddington 2 (2017-UK-France-USA) ***
That rarity: a true family film with great wit and a heart of gold.
Kids and adults will love Paddington - the character and the film.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 19 Mar 2018, 07:06

Guro Taku wrote:Ghostland aka Incident in a Ghost Land (2018) DCP 2/5
Latest film from Pascal Laugier, whose Martyrs (2008) had an interesting premise but not enough of interest to say for a full feature film. This new film is equally flawed. It starts with a close-up of a portrait of H.P. Lovecraft and even features the famous writer in a dream sequence but there is nothing even remotely Lovecraftian about the story itself. What we get is two girls getting raped and tortured in what one of them early in the film, by way of a wholly incongrous quip, refers to as "Rob Zombie's house". The torturing comes at the hands of a hulking inbred crotch-sniffing brute and his transvestite handler who drive around in a giant Ice Cream Murder Truck. I suspect the film wanted to say something about how we try to escape atrocity/trauma through fantasy/creativity (one of the girls has ambitions to become a horror writer) but it ended up a schizophrenic mess. The fact that Laugier remains a visually gifted director and some cool set designs save the film from utter failure.
I remember seeing Martys at the Helsinki Int. Film Fest back in 2008, a few months before it opened theatrically on Christmas!

I also recall Mark and Shing's debate where Mark was arguing everyone who enjoyed the film must be a psycho :lol:

Haven't seen anything by Laugier since then.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 19 Mar 2018, 22:52

HungFist wrote:[
I also recall Mark and Shing's debate where Mark was arguing everyone who enjoyed the film must be a psycho :lol:
I don't think I said that, did I?

It's true, I don't understand what enjoyment anyone could get out of torture porn, especially such a misogynistic example, but I can't imagine I called anyone 'psycho'.

Cue Hung finding a quote where I say just that. :P

Black Water (2018-Canada) **½
CIA agent Van Damme, framed for the theft of military secrets, is held captive on a black site submarine.
Finds an ally in fellow detainee Dolph Lundgren, a German agent.
Above average for a DTV action picture, bit like a B-grade Under Siege.
The weakest aspect is the action (physical combat doesn't come across and the CGI muzzle flashes and blood are a negative).
JCVD is the lead, Dolph's more like a guest star.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 20 Mar 2018, 04:59

Markgway wrote: Cue Hung finding a quote where I say just that. :P
My memory could be playing tricks on me, but I think that's more or less what you were suggesting ;)

Shing's impression:
Shingster wrote:quite frankly your repeated suggestions that they are by default sickos for enjoying the film is far more offensive than anything Pascal Laugier has put into the film itself!
ok, sickos, not psychos :lol:

In your defense
Markgway wrote:I think that's overstating the matter quite a bit. But nice try. I wouldn't describe these people as 'sickos'. But there has to be something within one's psyche that makes them receptive to enjoying acts of sadism so unnatural to our intrinsic humanity.
You did make your opinion of the film's fanbase quite clear, though :lol:
Markgway wrote:It exists purely to give a cheap thrill to the kind of perverts who think Hostel is "fun" and watching young women be mutilated and brutalised constitutes "a good time".
The conversation is too long and refers discussions outside of that thread (maybe this?) for me to look for better examples... Perhaps there are none. Anyway, that was a long time ago. I just brought it up as a fun memory :cool:

We don't really have heated arguments here anymore. I guess we've grown up. Nowadays BD.com is where all the immature people go. Wait, we're there too. Hmmmm... :lol:

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

Unread post by HungFist » 20 Mar 2018, 14:21

Anita (Sweden, 1973) [DVD] - 2/5
16 year old nymphomaniac (Christina Lindberg) develops a bad reputation after sleeping with every guy in town! Thinly written sexploitation could use tighter editing and more outrageous scenarios, but there are a few points of interest, such as showing nymphomania as a sickness that brings zero pleasure to the person herself, and rather decent performances by both Lindberg and young Stellan Skarsgård as a musician and psychology student who tries help her.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 21 Mar 2018, 06:07

Big Eyes (2014-USA-Canada) **½
Slight, but enjoyable drama about a struggling artist who takes credit for his wife's work.
Atypical material for Tim Burton, nicely acted.

Carnage Park (2016-USA) **
A deranged sniper hunts a young woman taken hostage from a bank robbery.
Half Tarantino-wannabe, half desert horror.
The film-making is competent, but there's not much fun to be had in this derivative, gruesome tale.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 23 Mar 2018, 15:38

Atomic Blonde (USA, 2017) [BD] - 4/5
Very stylish if superficial action thriller set in Berlin just before the wall came down. It's a fascinating backdrop that could've been utilized to a greater extent to create something truly great; now what we get is a cool soundtrack, extremely stylish neon visuals, occasional insightful moments (James McAvoy's brilliant end monologue) and badass action choreography that utilizes no quick cuts and is filmed and edited to perfect clarity. There's a (fake) long shot that initially made me go "not these again" but by the 4th minute I was jumping on my bed from excitement. Theron, not afraid to have her face beaten to pulp, is cool as ice, makes Jason Bourne look like a choir boy in comparison.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 27 Mar 2018, 18:15

*Possible spoilers*


Detroit (2017-USA) **½
A timely revisit to the racial tensions (and explosive violence) of 1967 in light of the on-going Black Lives Matter movement.
Katheryn Bigelow is a strong director, and captures brutal intensity as well as any filmmaker, but Mark Boal's script appears to fudge context and dodge the issues. The decision to focus (almost) exclusively on the incident at the Algiers, where racist cops abuse and murder innocent blacks, could be construed as letting the all black rioters, looters, and snipers off the hook (43 dead, 342 injured, 1,400 buildings destroyed). Racism and police brutality is appalling no doubt, but would this terrible event have happened without the riots, without the provocation? The longer the film goes on, the more entrenched that singular point of view becomes. Why for example don't any of the 'suspects' immediately state that the first 'victim' was the one doing the shooting and that he used a starter pistol? With no other gun on the premises could the incident have ended there? It's a hole that's impossible to ignore. The acting is top notch, with Will Poulter especially memorable as the lead cop. Bigelow captures the place and feel nicely, and no doubt this is a gripping picture, but it's askew storytelling left me with the impression of something off.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 29 Mar 2018, 14:58

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017-USA) **½
Drug smuggler Vince Vaughan (like you've never seen him before) batters the shit out of all and sundry to protect his unborn child from inside prison walls. It takes quite a while for this brutal picture to get Vaughan behind bars. Do we need such a long setup? Maybe? But if the 132 min run time doesn't dissuade you, this is a pretty engrossing yarn, until the director goes overboard with violence. Apparently, it's meant to be neo-grindhouse. I say, aim higher next time.

Kiss the Girls (1997-USA) **
Morgan Freeman is detective Dr. Alex Cross in this muddled, pedestrian serial killer thriller.
Notable for Ashley Judd's breakthrough performance, as a victim who fights back, otherwise forgettable.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by grim_tales » 29 Mar 2018, 23:41

The Prestige (2006): 4/5

Atmospheric mystery involving rival magicians in the late 19th century/early 20th century, the performances are good, especially Hugh Jackman and Michael Caine, some of the twists were good though multiple use of people having twins feels rather cheap - I didnt spot that Angier and Bowden pretended to be 2 other people though
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by grim_tales » 30 Mar 2018, 23:28

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975): 4/5

Excellent drama movie, very darkly comic in places and disturbing in others especially the electric shock treatment and when Billy kills himself.
Why did the Chief kill McMurphy at the end? I thought he wanted to escape with him?

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

Unread post by Markgway » 31 Mar 2018, 12:12

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017-USA) **½ (*** if you don't mind pervasive CGI)
I don't think anyone was clamouring for a sequel to Jumanji, but 20 years later here it is, and it's rather enjoyable.
The CGI action stuff isn't to my taste, but I kinda expected that.
The characters/actors and humour made it work for me.

Shallow Grave (1994-UK) ***
Ice cold thriller with a darkly comic outlook.
Danny Boyle's debut holds up quite nicely.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 01 Apr 2018, 04:27

Cherry Falls (1999-USA) **
Flips the sex = death teen slasher trope on its head by having the teens who don't bonk be the ones who get stabbed.
Otherwise, this is bland and undistinguished fodder.
Final girl Brittany Murphy is appealing, but all the characters (hers included) behave in an unnatural way.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by grim_tales » 01 Apr 2018, 18:13

101 Dalmatians (1961): 3/5

Middle tier Disney, the film suffers from limited, rough looking animation and too simplistic a story stretched out over 75 minutes. Nice jazzy score though, and I liked some of the jokes/references at the expense of TV of the time.

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

Unread post by saltysam » 01 Apr 2018, 19:57

The Commuter 2/5
Liam Neeson's latest by the numbers actioner plays like a DTV thriller at times. Decent cast, (Patrick Wilson, an under used Sam Neil) An hour after watching it you'll have forgotten most of it.

Cell 1.5/5
John Cusack & Samuel L. Jackson reteam for another Stephen King adaption. People on their cell phones are turned into raging killers, Cusack & Jackson spend their time escaping the hordes. Pretty bad with little to recommend, still it was only a £1 from poundland.
working class blu-ray fan

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

Unread post by Markgway » 02 Apr 2018, 01:13

saltysam wrote:
01 Apr 2018, 19:57
The Commuter 2/5
Liam Neeson's latest by the numbers actioner plays like a DTV thriller at times. Decent cast, (Patrick Wilson, an under used Sam Neil) An hour after watching it you'll have forgotten most of it.
Not expecting much, but I'll give it a go soon.
Cell 1.5/5
John Cusack & Samuel L. Jackson reteam for another Stephen King adaption. People on their cell phones are turned into raging killers, Cusack & Jackson spend their time escaping the hordes. Pretty bad with little to recommend, still it was only a £1 from poundland.
You wasted a pound. :D
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 04 Apr 2018, 20:55

Free Fire (2016-UK) **
A South African arms dealer, IRA bag men, and their American facilitators get trapped in a warehouse where they shoot at each other. A lot.
Mildly amusing at first, but soon grows tiresome. Little wit, a surfeit of shouting and swearing, chaotic gun violence.

Police Academy 2 (1985-USA) **
The one that bridged the gap between the R-rated original and the kid-friendly PG sequels.
Silly and loud, but there's a handful of laughs to be had.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 06 Apr 2018, 08:45

Clear and Present Danger (1994-USA) ***

Long, but absorbing political-action thriller; probably the best of the Jack Ryan movies.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 10 Apr 2018, 15:18

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2015-UK-USA) ***
Valiant attempt to rescue Jane Austen from the torpor of high school English.
Lily James is a beautiful Eliza Bennet, who just happens to be able to kick undead ass.
Classy trash, and quite good fun.
Not really gory as such, but a strong PG-13.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 14 Apr 2018, 22:43

Short Circuit (1986-USA) **½
Enjoyable family tale (with fashionable anti-military bent) of living robot's (splendidly voiced by Tim Blaney) bid for freedom.
The humans play their part, too; when I was a kid I actually thought Fisher Stevens was Indian! :p
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by grim_tales » 17 Apr 2018, 22:37

Red Sparrow (2018): 3.5/5

Intriguing mystery/spy thriller is a good watch but can get confusing at times. Ocassionally it's also a bit nasty.

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