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 Markgway » 28 Aug 2016, 03:47

Savage Islands (1983-New Zealand-USA) **½
Acceptable escapist fare casts a charismatic Tommy Lee Jones as a dashing, swashbuckling pirate; imagine an 80s version of Cutthroat Island.
Re-titled' Nate and Hayes' for the US, where it bombed.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 28 Aug 2016, 06:03

Deal of the Century (1983-USA) **½
Still relevant satire on the arms industry, cops out a bit with pat conclusion.
Chevy Chase reigns in his shtick under William Friedkin's direction.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 28 Aug 2016, 15:49

The Getaway (USA, 1972) [DCP] - 4/5
A very good crime film takes its time with its characters - something that may require patience, but pays off an hour later. Great characters, great villains, good story and superb action scenes. The film only suffers from a few bits (guard's gun left on the floor during robbery) and segments (train, dump truck) that only serve to add a new twist to the storyline at the expense believability (some of these probably played better in 1972 than today).

This is the second time during the past few years that a Steve McQueen film screens on my birthday. Last time it was The Great Escape. Can't complain, other than these being DCP screenings.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 29 Aug 2016, 01:36

The Wolf Man (1941-USA) **½
Passable B-movie treatment, typical of 40s Universal product.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 29 Aug 2016, 04:53

D.C. Cab (1983-USA) **
Raucous comedy, pretty dumb; written and directed by Joel Schumaker.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 30 Aug 2016, 03:05

The Phantom of the Opera (1943-USA) ***
A pleasant surprise; I enjoyed this more than most of the acclaimed monster movies.
The horror is very limited, but the opera (not usually my bag) served its purpose and the cast was very good.

Clue (1985-USA-UK) ***
Still good fun.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 30 Aug 2016, 05:52

Cross Country (1982-Canada) **½
Sleazy, gritty thriller you've probably never heard of...
Fairly absorbing, noirish plotting.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 31 Aug 2016, 05:57

Betrayed (1988-USA) **½
Absorbing, but overlong thriller in which undercover FBI agent Debra Winger investigates a white supremacy movement. Joe Eszterhaus' script strains credibility throughout.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Masterofoneinchpunch » 01 Sep 2016, 22:17

The Whole Town’s Talking (1935: John Ford)

I have been reading a wonderful biography on John Ford by Scott Eyman (whose biography on John Wayne is quite good) so I thought it would behoove me to see a John Ford film I had not seen before. This is one of his lesser known talkies, possibly because this almost screwball comedy does not quite fit in the Fordian themes that he is well known for. He directed this for Columbia on loan from Fox (like Jackie Chan was on loan from Lo Wei for seasonal when he acted in Drunken Master) and this is a comedy (though Ford did like comedy) so many film critics/biographers (including the one mentioned above) lump this film in as a throwaway Ford film and relegate it to a lesser tier in his oeuvre – with some exceptions like Leonard Maltin who has an introduction on the Columbia DVD release.

The plot is quite simple for this screwball comedy with a milquetoast clerk Jones (Edward G. Robinson) who happens to have a Doppleganger in the murderous Mannion (of course also played by Edward G. Robinson) who happened to have escaped prison. The police pick up the wrong man whose fingerprints end up saving him, but they give him a signed pass which he has to present to police. When the gangster gets ahold of this news we know what he is going to do with that. Jones happens to be in love with a coworker played by the uniquely voiced Jean Arthur in a strong type of role she would be famous for especially with Frank Capra. Will somehow the gangster get between the two?

Jean Arthur was quite popular for around a ten year period, she was even billed above John Wayne in A Lady Takes a Chance in 1943 (another underrated film.) Some film historians like Leonard Maltin point to this film for helping her increase her fame, though she had been second billed in a decent amount of films (like she is here under Edward G. Robinson) and had been acting since 1923 so she was certainly known by the public at this time. Of course, Robinson is the star. He is playing off his ganger persona like he would do in such films A Slight Case of Murder and Brother Orchid. Always interesting seeing him play against type, which I am sure he wanted to do more of just like James Cagney who was not always happy about the typecasting. He is a good actor, maybe a little too meek here, but effective and helps work the comedy bits.

The special effects are quite good and rare for seeing in a John Ford film (not unknown since he did use them in several silent movies like Hangman's House). Some of the seamless split-screens are sagacious* and just as good as in Big Business (1988) many years later. The use of rear-projection is well done especially in a scene where Jones is talking to Mannion and you see him through a mirror in the background. But it is also interesting to see same person different character performances: usually it is twins like Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers and of course Jean-Claude Van Damme in Double Impact which inspired Jackie Chan to do it. But occasionally you can create your own like in Multiplicity. It is almost its own subgenre.

I feel this is an underrated comedy from the well-known director. Worth watching if you are a fan of screwball comedies, especially from Preston Sturges and may be of interest if you are a John Ford fan – just do not expect a normal John Ford film.

* One of the greatest use of split-screens is in Buster Keaton’s The Playhouse. At one point he plays nine characters at the same time.

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

Unread post by saltysam » 02 Sep 2016, 21:07

Killer's Moon
3 Escaped lunatics terrorise nubile schoolgirls in an isolated hotel. There were some truly terrible british movies made in the 70's and this is one of them.Absolute bobbins,hard to believe it's shortly getting a UK BD release.

Roadgames
Trucker Stacy Keach gets involved in a game of cat and mouse with a serial killer who's offing women in remote areas of Oz. Jamie Lee Curtis is along for the ride. Ok,not as good as i remembered.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 03 Sep 2016, 10:13

saltysam wrote: Roadgames
Trucker Stacy Keach gets involved in a game of cat and mouse with a serial killer who's offing women in remote areas of Oz. Jamie Lee Curtis is along for the ride. Ok,not as good as i remembered.
Funny, that's exactly how I felt.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 04 Sep 2016, 13:38

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954-USA) **½
The last of the Universal Monsters and the one I was least looking forward to; turns out, it's not that bad.
Would've benefited greatly from colour photography.

Dick Tracy (1990-USA) **½
I see what Warren Beatty was trying to do here, and he gets awfully close, but sadly misses the target.
Colourful visuals and production design are ace, but Al Pacino is at his LOUDEST and HAMMIEST -- and that's saying something.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 05 Sep 2016, 21:09

Call Girl (2012-Sweden) **½
Moderately interesting, if sluggish drama about political corruption and (child) prostitution in the 70s; inherent sleaziness makes this hard to take.

Bronco Billy (1980-USA) **½
Harmless, passable fare; one of Clint Eastwood's less memorable movies.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 06 Sep 2016, 19:04

The Return of the Pink Panther (1974-UK-USA) ***
Welcome return for Clouseau and co. Ideal to brighten up a dull day. Sellers is THE ONLY Inspector and Herbert Lom is hilariously mad.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Masterofoneinchpunch » 07 Sep 2016, 17:17

Markgway wrote:The Return of the Pink Panther (1974-UK-USA) ***
Welcome return for Clouseau and co. Ideal to brighten up a dull day. Sellers is THE ONLY Inspector and Herbert Lom is hilariously mad.
Always have enjoyed this film. I think I like it even more now than I did in the past. I've seen it at least 10 times, which is nowhere near the amount I have seen of The Pink Panther Strikes Again one of my favorite films. Sellers has such a strange up and down career but it is good to see him back in that role.

I'm also in agreement that Sellers is THE ONLY inspector. Such an iconic role that it is hard to see anyone else in it, especially Alan Arkin :D or even someone playing his kid.

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

Unread post by saltysam » 08 Sep 2016, 19:08

Kickboxer:Vengeance 2/5
Remake of the iconic Van Damme movie is disappointing and rather shoddily put together,no real surprise given it's apparent production problems (2 directors ,cash flow issues etc) Van Damme is pretty good in the Master role (however he's rather bizarrely been dubbed ) and wrestler Dave Batistusta is a presence as Tong Po. Alain Moussi is capable but bland in the Kurt Sloane role and why give Gina Carano a role and not have her fight?
The Shallows 3/5
Decent shark thriller has a bikini clad Blake Lively stranded on a small rock being circled by a great white who wants her for lunch.
Legend Of Tarzan 3/5
Yet another reboot of of the jungle hero,this turned out to be better than i expected,a solid adventure film.Samuel l.Jackson is restrained by his usual standards but Christophe Waltz chews the scenery (again)
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Masterofoneinchpunch » 09 Sep 2016, 22:54

Souls for Sale (1923: Rupert Hughes) Silent

There are many reasons we watch movies. I work off lists and recommendations (of course I do love movies) and I consider myself having a decent knowledge of silent. I first had heard of this when Roger Ebert* made this one of his Great Movies – a list he was continuously working on until his death to document what he considered great in cinema. But I have also been working on seeing all of Charlie Chaplin’s appearances in silent where here he is shown directing A Woman of Paris (since he is behind the scenes this is like counting watching 36 Crazy Fists with behind the scenes footage of Jackie Chan; funny enough both of them are smoking). I thought it was about time to watch another silent, and I had bought the MOD R0 DVD of it.

There are many ways to get to Hollywood and appear in moving pictures. Mem (Eleanor Boardman) marries a Lothario type figure in Owen Scudder (Lew Cody), has second thoughts about it and escapes from him by prematurely leaving the train they are on. ** She wonders around in the desert, lacking water and almost perishing to death (she really did not think this out) until she is saved by a sheik. Well not really a sheik nor a mirage but an actor (Tom Holby playing a Rudolph Valentino imitation) who is in the middle of the film. He ends up falling for her, but so does the director (Richard Dix) as well. She also decides to try to get into pictures as well though her acting skills and especially her comedy would make Dean Shek look like Peter Sellers. Who will she fall for and will she be a success? Will here marriage prevent her for falling in love?

Worth watching especially if you are a silent movie fan. There are so many cameos from Chaplin to Eric von Stroheim where he is shown directing Greed (which the studio would cut to pieces) and countless others while having references to filmmaking, other actors and everything that goes along with studio work. It has some playfulness making fun of selling yourself to try to get a part, the amount of work that one really has to do to be an actor, an oblique reference to the Roscoe Arbuckle scandal and some other satirical bits. It still has a mostly positive aspect to Hollywood and even with its title it is not cynical. It has a fast pace and the ending is quite good with a circus on fire, an extraordinarily dangerous fan (which surprisingly would be used like the propeller in Raiders of the Lost Ark just not as bloody.)

* Roger Eberts’ review which is worth reading. I was surprised that he made this one of his great movies. It is a good film though I would think that several others like Show People (which also has a cameo from Chaplin) or The Big Parade should have made it to his list before this one. He is correct though in his review, no other major list that I know of has this film on it. Even a top 300 silent movie list does not have it.

** His response is almost a nonchalant “who cares” that the intertitle even makes reference to it (there are some nice sarcastic intertitles here.) Her foreboding feeling was quite right as it turns out he is a serial killer who takes out insurance on the new wife and then kills them. I like how the film takes its time with this aspect and when he is apprehended you almost feel like rooting for him to get away – though technically I was not even sure if they had the right person until you see he does not protest his arrest. Though it is probably one of the more heinous aspects if you think about it to allow him to get away so easily. Technically the antagonist is a serial killer making me wonder how many older silent films feature that type of character. Alfred Hitchcock would make a great one in 1927 in The Lodger.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 09 Sep 2016, 23:24

Evasive Action (1998-USA) *½
What do you get if you cross Con Air and Under Siege 2? You get Evasive Action!
Knowingly, shamelessly derivative action cheapie has an interesting B-cast, but skimps on genuine stuntwork.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 11 Sep 2016, 06:16

Code of Honor (2015-USA) **
FBI agent Craig Sheffer (where has he been?) hunts down ex-special ops vigilante Steven Seagal (who may or may not be a villain depending on your point of view).
Marginally better than some of Seagal's DTV output, though the man in black now barely moves during his action sequences.
Contains the goriest (CGI) headshots I can recall in a '15' rated picture.
James Russo collects his bad guy paycheck; hot Swedish actress Helena Mattsson plays a stripper (who alas we never actually see stripping) and needs to be in better movies.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 13 Sep 2016, 00:56

Backstreet Justice (1993-USA) **
Crocodile Dundee's Linda Kozlowski is a flame-haired P.I tracking down a serial killer who may be a cop.
Standard DTV fodder.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 16 Sep 2016, 06:55

A Hijacking (2012-Denmark) **½
Bleak piracy drama; well-made, but not something you'd watch more than once.

Broken Arrow (1996-USA) ***
I prefer this to Face/Off. Sue me. :p
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by moonleek » 17 Sep 2016, 02:56

3 stars for Broken Arrow??? It's a 2 1/2 at best! :P :P ;)

The Hateful Eight- not as good as Django Unchained but still a great movie. It has a good music score, but I find it funny that Morricone won his first Oscar for this movie, and it's not even one of his best scores. If I did a top 50 Morricone list I doubt Hateful Eight would make it. Hell it's probably not even in his top 100. It feels like they gave him more of a lifetime achievement award, or maybe it's just that the competing music scores weren't anything special.

Bone Tomahawk- great low budget western. Like Hateful Eight there's not much action. It's the characters that make it a great movie.

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

Unread post by moonleek » 17 Sep 2016, 10:03

Stuck on You- I remember when this movie came out I thought wow, what a stupid idea for a movie. I hated it before I even watched it. But I spotted it at the used store for a buck and figured I should give it a watch. I do love those Farrely brothers. It's a good movie. Funny and cute. Yeah that's right I said cute.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 18 Sep 2016, 07:37

Collateral Damage (2001-USA) ***
The critics were tough on this post 9-11, but I found it to be professional and entertaining; delivers what you want from an Arnold action movie.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by moonleek » 18 Sep 2016, 19:14

John Wick- definitely a man's movie. Not a great movie or anything, but action wise it's top notch. I don't think Keanu Reeves will ever win me over as being a truly badass dude like John Wick is supposed to be, so I thought it was a nice touch that when he fights a guy who really is a great fighter Daniel Bernhardt, Keanu loses the fight.

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