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

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

Unread post by Masterofoneinchpunch » 31 Jan 2017, 22:42

Markgway wrote:Hmm... **** films are very rare.

I think the last one I watched was either Groundhog Day or Rear Window.
Both films I think very highly of and have seen multiple times each.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 01 Feb 2017, 09:54

10 Cloverfield Lane (2015-USA) **½
Smart, creepy, and well-acted thriller... but the title ruins the suspense somewhat.
Nice to see the underused John Goodman back in a leading role.

Dad's Army (2015) **
Big screen upgrade for chronic TV sitcom is innocuous, but a tad on the puny side, with too few laughs.
The cast tries its best.

Sisters (2015-USA) **
Passable, raucous party comedy relies too often on profanity and lazy drug jokes for laughs.

I am Wrath (2016-USA) *½
Poor revenge thriller; John Travolta must've needed the cash.
Director Chuck Russell's first film in 14 years... he needn't have bothered.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 02 Feb 2017, 07:06

Terminator: Genysis (2015-USA) **½
Entertaining, but overstuffed attempt to continue a once superb franchise. The script tries to tie previous plots strands together, whilst adding new twists, but it's not entirely successful, and eventually the project collapses under the weight of bombastic special effects - something the James Cameron entries avoided.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 03 Feb 2017, 10:45

Unfriended (2015-USA) **½
Holy social media nightmare! Actually, trim psychological thriller isn't too bad, once you get passed the jargon (if you're under 24, this won't be a problem). Gets a bit hysterical toward the end, but as novelty items go, it's worth a look.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 05 Feb 2017, 01:48

Get Hard (2015-USA) **½
More laughs than I expected from this foul-mouthed comedy (and a surfeit of rape jokes for those who revel in bad taste).
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 05 Feb 2017, 11:27

Money Monster (2016-USA) **
Jodie Foster's liberal media-finance thriller grabs your attention, but struggles with credibility throughout.
George Clooney puts in a strong turn, however, as a self-absorbed showbiz ham.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 05 Feb 2017, 11:37

Stonehearst Asylum (2014-USA) **½
Quite good gothic chiller; interesting and well-cast... though perhaps with more twists than truly necessary.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 05 Feb 2017, 15:22

The Neon Demon (USA, 2016) [DCP] - 3.5/5
Refn's return to L.A. - a horror film about fashion and supermodels. Surprisingly restrained in the violence department after the ultra-brutal Only God Forgives, but not without shocks. Beautiful to look at, thematically fascinating at first, but ultimately somewhat empty due to zero character depth. The ending is perfect.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 05 Feb 2017, 15:59

Cell (2014-USA) *½
Cheap-looking horror, based on a Stephen King novel, sat on the shelf for over two years, and after viewing it's easy to see why. The first third actually displays promise, but from there it's a slow downhill ride toward a senseless conclusion.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 09 Feb 2017, 08:58

The Man from Hong Kong (Australia / Hong Kong, 1975) [DVD] - 3.5/5
Is Wang Yu the only Asian hero ever to get all the white girls in a (half) Western movie? He probably is. Anyway, the film is enjoyable but uneven. The opening is strong, the middle third drags, the last 30 minutes is pure awesomeness, including a totally badass 10 minute car chase. Cinematography, editing and score are often excellent, and the fights are surprisingly brutal.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 09 Feb 2017, 17:27

The Joker (2014-USA-Canada) **½
Dark, cynical psychological thriller is suspenseful and delivered with a certain flair, but just doesn't know when to quit.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 11 Feb 2017, 23:25

Mean Girls (2004-USA-Canada) **½
Fairly sharp high school comedy written by Tina Fey.

Mean Girls 2 (2010-USA) **
Unimaginative made-for-TV retread.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 12 Feb 2017, 14:03

The Oxford Murders (2007-Spain-UK-France) *½
Impenetrably arch mystery centred around maths and philosophy; there's a reason why no one has done this before.
Lead actress Leonor Watling has magnificent breasts, however.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 13 Feb 2017, 20:46

Surveillance (2008-USA-Germany-Canada) *½
Twisted, relentlessly unpleasant psycho thriller, in which two FBI agents investigate some roadside carnage, is cleverly constituted, but too sick to derive any entertainment from.

Girlhouse (2014-Canada) **
For a good while this sexy psycho thriller, in which a clean cut girl moves into a house for webcam girls, and becomes the object of desire for a fat stalker, is a cut above the DTV norm... until it goes overboard with sadistic, protracted scenes of violence against women. Pity.

Twilight Zone - The Movie (1983-USA) **½
Unsurprisingly uneven attempt at recreating memorable episodes from the classic 60s TV show; the best of which is George Miller's closer Nightmare at 20,000 ft. Spielberg's episode is recognisably whimsical and sentimental, Joe Dante's the weakest, whilst John Landis' rejigged anti-racism opener is notable for all the wrong reasons.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Ivan Drago » 14 Feb 2017, 00:49

HungFist wrote:The Man from Hong Kong (Australia / Hong Kong, 1975) [DVD] - 3.5/5
Is Wang Yu the only Asian hero ever to get all the white girls in a (half) Western movie?
Jackie is going steady with Kristine DeBell in The Big Brawl.
bradavon wrote:
but I guess you're more intelligence than me.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 14 Feb 2017, 03:10

Ivan Drago wrote:
HungFist wrote:The Man from Hong Kong (Australia / Hong Kong, 1975) [DVD] - 3.5/5
Is Wang Yu the only Asian hero ever to get all the white girls in a (half) Western movie?
Jackie is going steady with Kristine DeBell in The Big Brawl.
I had forgotten about that. Been probably 15 years since I saw the film

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

Unread post by Markgway » 14 Feb 2017, 16:17

Die Hard 2 (1990-USA) ***
Breathless, action-packed sequel.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 15 Feb 2017, 17:18

A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014-USA) **½
Lavish western parody is smart and funny in parts, but marred by a lazy over-reliance on contemporary profanity (which isn't even funny to begin with). Charlize Theron gives a performance much better than the film really deserves.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 15 Feb 2017, 17:39

Working Girl (1988-USA) ***
Charming feel-good comedy-drama with first-rate stars.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by grim_tales » 15 Feb 2017, 22:26

The Lego Batman Movie: 3.5/5

Fun movie with plenty of laughs and in-jokes, with a plethora of characters :D It even has some heart.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 16 Feb 2017, 07:42

The Den (2013-USA) **
Don't chat on webcams, OK!?! They're really nasty places, filled with terribly sick people.
Cyber-horror is similar in style to, but more elaborate than Unfriended.
It's genuinely intriguing for a while, but heaps on the usual sadism, and provides a conclusion (if you can call it that) which raises a million questions.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 17 Feb 2017, 06:56

Silence (USA, 2016) [DCP] - 4/5
Martin Scorsese may never be able to reach the level of his masterpieces again, but with movie like this coming out I'm not complaining. Heavy but impressive film, with wonderful performances by everyone, especially Issei Ogata. Shinya Tsukamoto, Tadanobu Asano, Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson and Yôsuke Kubozuka (I was wondering when did this guy learn to act until I realized I had confused him with his idiot brother Shunsuke Kubozuka) are all very good.

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 44

Iron Eagle III: Aces (USA, 1992) [DVD] - 3.5/5
The first of the three American films Sonny Chiba made in the early/mid 90s. The underrated action adventure was helmed by Bond director John Glen in much the same a fashion as his Roger Moore films. Louis Gossett Jr. makes a likeable hero as an air force pilot who discovers a drug smuggling plot by the Raiders of the Lost Ark villain Paul Freeman. He gathers a team of 4 pilots, including Japanese kamikaze Chiba, to take down the bad guys. Since it's a personal rescue/revenge mission, they have to rely on whatever equipment they can get their hands into, in this case WWII era planes. It's a remarkably dumb, but very enjoyable film with some bravura action, stunt and comedy moments. Chiba is often left with nothing to do in the early scenes, but he becomes a major character towards the end. Busty bodybuilding champion Rachel McLish is there as well to please the eye, and kick some ass as female Rambo.

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Immortal Combat (USA, 1994) - 3/5
Roddy Piper and Sonny Chiba are two cops follow a seemingly supernatural serial killer to a small island, where some sort of crazy villains are developing immortal fighters. This is a B-movie in and out, with plenty of below the par acting and nonsensical writing. At the same time it's lots of fun with Chiba being great in the fight scenes, which are better than the film's straight-to-video roots would have you expect. Not only does get to do hand-to-hand fighting and swordplay, he also goes full on ninja mode towards the end. Sadly, he's absent most of the film's middle third. Roddy Piper, who is the main star, is less impressive. Limited production values don't stick out too much as the film uses its locations quite well. Interestingly enough, the film resembles Mortal Kombat (1995) quite a bit.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 17 Feb 2017, 19:34

Sea of Love (1989-USA) ***
Sexy thriller marked Pacino's comeback after a few years in the wilderness.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 18 Feb 2017, 10:42

Lost in Translation (USA, 2003) [BD] - 4.5/5
I was curious if this would still hold up after having lived in Japan for years. Yes, it does. The characters are excellent and the humour is spot; I have lived through many of these situations. I normally dislike American films that are shot in a foreign country with a fully American main cast (e.g. Tokyo Drift. What's the bloody point?), but here it makes sense since alienation is the whole point. On the negative side, the score, which everyone raved about upon the film's release, didn't do much to me anymore.

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 45

The Bushido Blade (USA, 1981) - 1.5/5
This historical epic about Commodore Perry's men attempting to retrieve a stolen sword in Japan is one of the worst films Sonny Chiba ever appeared in. Japanese characters are portrayed as sneaky backwards barbarians with a laughable concept of honour - even though the film was directed by Toho veteran Tsugunobu Kotani. Talk about orientalism. In all fairness it must be said that the American characters also come out as ignorant morons, but it is impossible to say whether this was intentional or not. If there is something positive about the film, it's the big name cast featuring Toshiro Mifune, Bin Amatsu, Tetsuro Tamba, Laura Gemser and Sonny Chiba. None of them make much of an impression, but at least Chiba is given a couple of passable action moments. Richard Boone makes his final film appearance in the film, and he looks like he hated every second of it. It is really no wonder the film never hit the Japanese theatres, and even avoided Japanese video release until 1990.

Codename: Silencer (USA, 1995) [DVD] - 2.5/5
A pair of American cops (Robert Davi & Steve Bauer) are targeted by a crazy Asian assassin (Sonny Chiba). Very much a product of the 90s, when a premise such as this could still pass for a movie plot. While no one would make the mistake of calling it a good film, it's got enough things of interest to warrant a viewing if you're a Chiba fan. Direction is shabby, the score piss poor, boom mics often visible, and action ranges from slightly impressive to laughable, but the film always remains moderately entertaining in a very trashy way. Co-produced by Toei Video, Chiba is given a good role and frequently steals the show. The female cast is as follow: the bust (Brigitte Nielsen), the ass (Cindy Ambuehl), the nudity (random strippers).

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

Unread post by Markgway » 19 Feb 2017, 00:17

HungFist wrote: Codename: Silencer (USA, 1995) [DVD] - 2.5/5
boom mics often visible
Those caps are most likely open matte.

Friend Request (2016-Germany-South Africa) **
Cyber-horror looks to be an 'Elm Street' for the Facebook generation but runs out of logic and ideas.

Defendor (2009-Canada-USA-UK) **½
Oddball thriller about a mentally-challenged man (Woody Harrelson, very good) who masquerades as a crime-fighting superhero.
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