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 » 03 May 2018, 05:09

Markgway wrote:
02 May 2018, 23:12
Just checked. No Hulu in the UK. If it's a pay service, I wouldn't bother anyways, as I'd never pay to stream anything.
Why not?
Markgway wrote:
02 May 2018, 23:12
Is it this film here?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slowg6hJ5mE
Yes, however, that seems to be cut by 10 minutes. It's missing all the character introductions (the hero walking on empty streets, youngsters stealing a car, the leader of the bad guys at home) from the beginning. That's probably the only difference since the bar scene starts at 15 min in the Hulu version, and 5 min in the Youtube version.

The Hulu version runs 93 minutes in total, the YouTube version is 83 min.

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The picture quality difference is also so big that I might want to see if you can find the Hulu version somewhere (it still looks like a VHS era master, but notably better than the version in Youtube)...

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

Unread post by Markgway » 03 May 2018, 13:17

OK. I watched the You tube version (I figured if it was any good I could try to track down the extended cut).

So...

Siege (1982-Canada) *½
Imagine 'Assault on Precinct 13' directed by Michael Winner at his laziest and you're half way toward pegging this grubby, inept exploitation picture. Actually, it's similar to 1987's 'Enemy Territory' (a slightly better example of the genre).
I knew straight away not to expect much when the screen crawl reads 'a major urban city' only for the viewer to be informed five seconds later that we're in Halifax (Nova Scotia). :D
The BBFC passed this under it original title in 1983 at 80:29 (with 0:48 of cuts).
At an 'uncut' 81:17 that's even shorter that the edited US version ('Self Defense').

P.S. Streaming is a waste of money. You don't own anything. I'd only pay for something I can hold in my hand (other than my dick). ;)

P.P.S. Trivia: The main bad guy here was also the gunman in Police Academy.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 03 May 2018, 13:53

Markgway wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:17
Siege (1982-Canada) *½
I was kind of expecting that :lol:
Markgway wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:17
P.S. Streaming is a waste of money. You don't own anything. I'd only pay for something I can hold in my hand (other than my dick). ;)
Does that mean you never rented anything? You don't own rental discs either. And never saw a film in cinema? You neither own nor can hold them in your hand...
Markgway wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:17
P.P.S. Trivia: The main bad guy here was also the gunman in Police Academy.
Didn't realize that.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 04 May 2018, 00:02

HungFist wrote:
03 May 2018, 13:53
Does that mean you never rented anything? You don't own rental discs either.
Yeah, but I could hold the tapes and discs in my hand.
And never saw a film in cinema?
I can't download a cinema, can I? :D
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 04 May 2018, 10:19

Slight spoilers ahead

Ash vs. Evil Dead: Season 3 (USA, 2018) [Hulu] - 3.5/5
Just as enjoyable as the first two season, and perhaps the most even of them. Season 1 started with some of the worst episodes in the show, with absolutely appalling CGI shit splatter (thank God Sam Raimi didn't direct any others), but recovered once they dropped the excessive CGI and went old school. Season 2 had my favourite episodes and absolutely thrilling practical effects galore but also that God awful asylum episode . Season 3 doesn't really have such highlights but there's no bad episodes either. Bruce Campbell great as usual and even the bad sounding idea of introducing his daughter whom he didn't know he had works well (evil clone Ash massacres all her friends with chainsaw, hah!). Some may dislike the closing episode which is kind of like Ash vs. Godzilla but better than the recent Godzilla films. The CGI used there did not bother me and the whole episode kicked ass.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 05 May 2018, 06:16

Black Panther (2018-USA) **½
The African backdrop, culture, and political message mark out this superhero bonanza as somewhat of a stretch for Marvel Comics' films, but the strengths (colourful characters, sense of humour) and weaknesses (predictable plotting, chaotic action sequences, excessive use of - often poor - CGI) of the Marvel Universe remain the same. A more than acceptable 135 mins of entertainment, but hardly the cinematic game changer the hype would lead one to expect.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Guro Taku » 05 May 2018, 14:37

Downrange (USA, 2017) DCP 3/5
Ryuhei Kitamura's new English language film is very much a single-location flick with no story other than kids get trapped in the middle of nowhere and have to try to outwit a deranged shooter. The car crash is the first thing that happens, then there's a few minutes for character development and then it's nonstop carnage. Lot's of gnarly practical affects and Kitamura brings his trademark camerawork. Not something I need to buy and rewatch a lot but well worth checking out.

It Comes At Night (USA, 2017) DCP 3.5/5
Apparently this was marketed as a monster flick in the US, which led to a massive backlash. That's understandable because this is a bleak as hell 70ies style paranoid thriller where the characters holing up in the middle of the woods after a apocalyptic disease-outbreak are more dangerous for each other than any outside threat could ever be. Extremely well directed and the sound design is impressive as well.

Satan's Slaves (INO/COR, 2017) DCP 3/5
Remake of an Indonesian horror film from 1982 that I have never seen, so I can't compare the two. The approach to scares seems to be very influenced by the American Conjuring and Insidious films, just with a lot of added local color, which for me is always the most interesting aspect of watching international genre fare. Very effective for the first 2/3rds of its runtime but kind of ran out of steam once all the cards were on the table in regards to the central mystery.

Good Manners (BRA/F, 2017) DCP 2/5
A very strong first half sees a woman get hired as a live-in nanny with a pregnant woman. Turns out the bun she's got in her oven isn't exactly human, which results in lesbian sex and nocturnal cat-munching and culminates in the gory birth of cinematic history's most adorable (practical) werewolf baby. Probably a 4/5 at that point but wait! What do you mean there's another fucking hour where the baby is now a rebellious grade schooler who transforms into a shitty CGI werewolf and eats other kids whenever his surrogate mom can't chain him up at full moon? Why did they have to combine a rock-solid first film with a shitty sequel to form this 135 minute disappointment?

Revenge (F, 2017) DCP 3.5/5
Here's a feminist rape-revenge flick that also doubles as a very welcome late addition to the New French Extremity. Many a rape-revenge film of the past has tried to justify its leering and eroticised rape scene(s) by having the men pay for it later. Well, they still pay for it here but you don't get to gawk at the rape scene first as most of it is kept off-screen. The heroine is left for dead and pulls a phoenix-from-the-ashes act on the trio of male scum. Coralie Fargeat makes sure you get how disgusting these guys are by zooming on them noisily chewing candy, drowning spiders in their piss and hilariously comnparing one actor's bug-eyed expressions to shots of an iguana. Everybody here sheds about 500 gallons of blood until rape culture has been shot and hacked into tiny gory pieces.

Housewife (TRK/F, 2017) DCP 4/5
English language debut by Turkish director Can Evrenol who, like with his first film Baskin (2015), once again doesn't care too much about trivialities like logic or an easy to follow plot. While Baskin took its sweet time to get to the surreal carnage of its finale, things start out strong in Housewife and escalate to a truly apocalyptic final scene. The fact that Housewife was shot in English with a Turkish cast and crew and at one point you can hear a Muslim call for prayer only adds to the sense of a story playing out outside of clearly definable time and place.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 06 May 2018, 18:29

Mortal Kombat (1995-USA-Thailand) **½
Imaginative game-to-film adaptation overcomes a thin script with impressive production design and plenty action (the best of it choreographed by star Robin Shou). Christopher Lambert treats the material with knowing irreverence. Soundtrack is spot on (even though it's not something I'd choose to listen to separately).
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 07 May 2018, 06:55

Game Night (2018-USA) **½
Quite funny comic thriller that overplays its hand.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 07 May 2018, 09:25

Markgway wrote:
06 May 2018, 18:29
Mortal Kombat (1995-USA-Thailand) **½
Imaginative game-to-film adaptation overcomes a thin script with impressive production design and plenty action (the best of it choreographed by star Robin Shou). Christopher Lambert treats the material with knowing irreverence. Soundtrack is spot on (even though it's not something I'd choose to listen to separately).
Agreed. It's not exactly a good film, but the production design and atmosphere are quite succesful.

In the late 90s when I was still a kid I had never seen a martial arts movie, but I had heard something about Bruce Lee. All of his films were called "Dragon" something, and they sounded a little bit scary (my impression of a dragon was a scary monster, and I knew that Enter had been banned for 25 years). I imagined a Chinese guy on a mysterious, smoggy island fighting scary opponents in a cave full of deadly traps... Mortal Kombat actually turned out to be closer to that impression than Lee or any other Hong Kong films.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 08 May 2018, 04:11

Star Wars, Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017-USA) ***
Epic continuation of the iconic sci-fi saga is the strongest episode dramatically, and unlike many of its ilk carries thematic weight. Marvel may be flavour of the month, but this accomplished piece of cinema beats any of its formula output by the proverbial mile. However, this last Jedi has proven extremely, somewhat inexplicably divisive. The 'hate' seems to fall mainly on two fronts: 1. A perceived feminist agenda, an argument I remain unconvinced by; and 2. A perceived bastardisation of Luke's character. Well, Luke hasn't been seen since Return of the Jedi, where he was the young, frankly bland hero. Now, he's older, cynical and conflicted. But I didn't find that to be a bad thing. For me the arc works. But then, I'm not - and never have been - an obsessive fanboy who takes shit personally. So, as always, it's a matter of opinion. But I'm looking more forward to Episode IX now than I was Episode VIII.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by saltysam » 08 May 2018, 20:46

i probably need to try and watch the Star Wars films- i have them all except the latest but i've never watched any past The Phantom Menace. As i'm currently going through a mass collection purge,trying to watch movies before getting rid i might try and watch these over a few weeks. Then get rid.

Three Days Of The Condor 3/5
Talky but effective Robert Reford CIA conspiracy thriller.
All The President's Men 3/5
True tale of two investigative Washington Post reporters (Redford & Hoffman) exposing the 70's Nixon Watergate break in. Well made but not one i'd revisit.
From Hell 2/5
Johnny Depp is an unconvincing victorian detective on the trail of Jack The Ripper. Long and rather boring,though the victorian sets are atmospheric.
Sharky's Machine 2.5/5
Burt Reynolds is an ace cop busted down to the vice squad where he gets wind of a scandal involving congressman Earl Holliman and a prostitute,Rachel Ward,who is/was an awful wooden actress. Henry Silva plays a coke fuelled assassin as only Henry Silva can.look out for Dan Inosanto here as a baddie.
The Killing 4/5
Excellent early Kubrick,a world away from his later offerings. A twisty noir thriller about a group of crooks led by Sterling Haydn,who plan to rob the local racetrack.
The Long Good Friday 4/5
Great british gangster film has aged very well, Bob Hoskins IS Harold Shand.The Arrow blu ray is a stunning restoration.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 09 May 2018, 01:48

I watched a film last night and I can't remember what it was.

It'll come back to me...

EDIT: I remember now, it was...

The Hurricane Heist (2018-USA) **½
Surprisingly watchable mash-up of Twister and Hard Rain; good visual effects for a glorified B movie.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 09 May 2018, 05:09

Markgway wrote:
09 May 2018, 01:48
I watched a film last night and I can't remember what it was.

It'll come back to me...
Getting old, huh?

Olympus Has Fallen (USA, 2013) [Hulu] - 3/5
Dumb, occasionally incomprehensible but fun action thriller. The hero keeps putting himself in a disadvantage by feeding the enemy with information for no reason at all (why the hell did he let them know that he had found and saved the kid?). Also, who the hell did the CGI for this film? Most 1990s video games had better graphics. We get CGI planes, CGI helicopters, even the bloody cars are CGI. All that being said, the gunplay action inside the White House easily delivers the thrills and Butler makes a good, 80s style hero.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 09 May 2018, 10:29

Goat (2016-USA) **½
Bleak drama about fraternity hazing rituals never delivers a knockout dramatic punch.
Not without interest, and convincingly played, but I couldn't identify with any of these characters.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 10 May 2018, 10:18

Red Sparrow (2018-USA) ***
Entertaining adult-oriented new-cold war thriller casts a sexy Jennifer Lawrence as the title's reluctant, double-crossing Russia spy.
Credibility is dented early on when Jen recovers from a broken leg almost immediately; going from crutches to high heels within the space of about five minutes. Some strong moments of torture, violence, and sexuality might startle Jen's Hunger Games fans; hardened sorts won't blink.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 11 May 2018, 18:23

The American (USA, 2010) [Hulu] - 4.5/5
Quiet, lonely hitman (Clooney) retreats to a small Italian town by the mountains and starts working on a new assignment. Atmospheric, beautifully filmed and impressively low key film which reminded me of the most meditative of Italian action films and westerns, as well as Charles Bronson and Jean Pierre Melville, although I cannot pinpoint any specific reference movie. A stunningly good film.

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

Unread post by saltysam » 11 May 2018, 19:27

Maniac Cop 2 2.5/5
Sequel is a slight upgrade on the not bad original,Robert Davi takes the lead role here as the titular detective on the case

Maniac Cop 3 2/4
Bill Lustig took his name of the director's credit for this one,so we have another Alan Smithee film. Surprisingly though the least of the series it's not actually too bad. Robert Davi returns here.

Black Panther 2/5
overlong and underwhelming Marvel blockbuster. The best character here is the bald guardian Okoye, give her a spin off!
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 » 12 May 2018, 04:34

saltysam wrote:
11 May 2018, 19:27
Maniac Cop 3 2/4
Bill Lustig took his name of the director's credit for this one,so we have another Alan Smithee film. Surprisingly though the least of the series it's not actually too bad. Robert Davi returns here.
Worth watching for the spectacular ambulance chase finale with an old school stuntman-on-fire gag they wouldn't dream of attempting now.
Black Panther 2/5
overlong and underwhelming Marvel blockbuster. The best character here is the bald guardian Okoye, give her a spin off!
Sorry. You're not allowed that opinion. It's racist. Try again.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 13 May 2018, 15:58

The Thing (USA, 2011) [Hulu] - 2.5/5
Unnecessary, but entirely watchable prequel focusing on Norwegian camp. Great locations, nice to see actual Norwegian (well, Danish too) cast as Norwegians, and there's a wonderful tie up with the original film at the end. They also came up with a clever new "creature identification method". That being said, although professionally made, the chilling atmosphere of Carpenter's film is nowhere to be found, showing the creature in full CGI assisted detail at every single encounter doesn't make the film better, and all characters except for "Lars" (the bearded guy chasing the dog at the beginning of Carpenter's film) are forgettable, especially Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the compulsory added American lead. There are a few other Americans in the film as well, none of whom should be there (It's a film about Norwegians. It should star Americans, right? No?).

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

Unread post by HungFist » 16 May 2018, 06:20

Decided to familiarize myself with WiP films... lets see if anything good comes out of this...

The Big Doll House (USA / Philippines, 1971) - 2/5
A relatively standard WiP film, misses its potential by being shot in the Philippines yet taking place almost entirely within four walls. The action packed climax and supporting star Pam Grier provide some fun, though. Producer & director duo Roger Corman & Jack Hill did better with the follow up The Big Bird Cage (1972), which wisely set most of its action outdoors, and Pam Grier went on to star in an even better film Black Mama White Mama (1973) which was helmed by Philippine director Eddie Romero (producer here). Sometimes referred as "rough" for containing a handful of torture and violent scenes, this is mild stuff compared to Japanese films of the era, unfortunately so also technically and artistically. The genre may be to blame partially: there's just not that much mediocre filmmakers can do with a closed setting like prison.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 17 May 2018, 03:41

Women in Cages (USA / Philippines, 1971) [DVD] - 3/5
The second and best film in Roger Corman's WiP "trilogy". Pam Grier co-stars not as prisoner but sadistic lesbian head prison guard with a discipline dungeon designed for aesthetically pleasing torture, giving the film a Teruo Ishii kind of swing. The film was actually called "Female Torture Demon Pam" (no kidding) when it premiered on video in Japan. The actual heroine however is Jennifer Gan, a surprisingly cute red head Jane Fonda lookalike who is so fish out of the water (both the character and the actress) that it becomes more amusing than irritating. You forgive her for being more concerned keeping her boobs covered than protecting her life, though her naiveté is frustrating. The look and feel of the film are far more Asian than American, perhaps due to Philippine director Geraldo de Leon who has a better visual eye (and a welcome lack of sense of humour) than Jack Hill. The action is clumsy, but the film is such a charmingly cute exploitation product that a bit of clumsiness (almost) works to its benefit.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 18 May 2018, 04:28

Revenge (2017-France) **½
Sexy party girl turns the tables on rapists who leave her for dead in the desert. Extremely bloody parody of exploitation movies is suspenseful, but overlong, and very low on credibility, which is only an issue until you realise the film is a parody, then it sort of makes sense. Feminist angle (the film was written and directed by a woman) makes a change, as does the welcome lack of sexual violence detail.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 18 May 2018, 06:03

For reference, my old review from last year
HungFist wrote:
26 May 2017, 17:33
The Big Bird Cage (USA / Philippines, 1972) [DVD] - 2.5/5
Philippines set WiP film with a tongue in the cheek tone; part 3 in Roger Corman's "trilogy". Entirely watchable and rather entertaining, but once the film is over you're not left with much. As exploitation it's quite tame, and obviously lacks the kind of energy and state of art visuals you'd find in the best Japanese exploitation films of the era. That being said, it's well enough made and features nice outdoor locations and a colourful cast. Pam Grier is great, unfortunately just about the only female in the film who keeps her clothes on (somewhat). The script features one clever twist: the male guards are all gay so the women can't seduce them!
Sweet Sugar (USA, 1972) [DVD] - 2.5/5
Sloppy women on a (sugar-cane) labour camp film plays out like a Russ Meyer tit flick with constant cleavage (star Phyllis Davis) for the first third, nudie scenes (naked swimming, doctor's examination etc.) for the second and machine gun action for the third. Laughable dialogue and performances provide some fun and the film keeps rolling towards its action climax at a passable pace. Also included is a mad doctor (Angus Duncan) who conducts human experiments and throws "primitive cats" at prisoners - a genuine Dr. Evil character. I generally detest the misguided notion of "so bad it's good" (films like Women in Cages certainly don't fit the bill as they're just plain good) but this movie perhaps has a bit of that in it.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 19 May 2018, 08:19

Black Mama, White Mama (USA / Philippines, 1973) - 3/5
Though not a Roger Corman production, this is essentially a superior version of The Big Bird Cage (1972) with similar cast and story (two female inmates chained to each other on the run, one of them affiliated with a revolutionary movement) but with more action and nudity and a slightly better flow except for the Sid Haig parts. As its predecessor, the film benefits from exotic filming locations (The Philippines), spicy Pam Grier (showing skin a bit more generously that last time) and the fact that it doesn't waste too much time in the prison. Eddie Romero helms. Light but fun.

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