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

Posted: 19 Feb 2017, 03:36
by HungFist
Markgway wrote:
HungFist wrote: Codename: Silencer (USA, 1995) [DVD] - 2.5/5
boom mics often visible
Those caps are most likely open matte.
You may be right since there is a fair bit of vertical space in the frame. And horizontally it seem ok most of the time. However, there are times when the frame looks horizontally too tight.

Here the main attraction is mainly outside the frame:
https://sketchesofcinema.files.wordpres ... 02/bo6.jpg

Likewise:
https://sketchesofcinema.files.wordpres ... 2/bo31.jpg

and here the hero immediately steps out of the frame after getting out from the car:
https://sketchesofcinema.files.wordpres ... 02/bo4.jpg

So, which ever it is, they did pretty lousy job

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

Posted: 19 Feb 2017, 07:17
by Markgway
Bad Words (2013-USA) **
Jason Batman stars in and directs this sour, caustic tale of a foul-mouthed, anti-social 40-year-old who enters a children's spelling bee. Uncomfortably lewd throughout until mawkish ending.

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

Posted: 20 Feb 2017, 12:54
by Markgway
The Returned (2013-Canada-Spain) ***
A virus which turns humans into zombies is contained only by a serum that's running on low supply.
Smart drama eschews the usual genre expectations and gore in favour of something more thought-provoking and, dare I say it, believable.
In a rare turn of events, the BBFC gave this one an '18', whereas I would've given it a '15'.

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

Posted: 20 Feb 2017, 17:35
by HungFist
The Clan - Tale of the Frogs (Finland, 1984) [DVD] - 3/5
Finnish crime film about a family of crooks, refreshingly different American gangster films. The criminals here are neither geniuses nor epic failures, but rather walking everyday tragedies. Three generations of drunks and thieves, stealing anything from chicken to a few hundred bucks worth of cash, and spending most of their time in prison doing 1-5 year stints. The youngest one, however, is trying to lead honest life. Theatrical acting, typical to Finnish films of the era, undoes some of the realism, unfortunately. The storyline could also be more original. Beautiful locations and nature are well utilized, however.

+ Sonny Chiba Special: Part 47 (part 1/2)

Sushi Girl (USA, 2012) [DVD] - 3/5
Five criminals get together several years after a failed diamond gig. Their aim is to find out who took the diamonds, the prime suspect being the new guy who got caught by the cops and was just released from prison. A needlessly nasty, Reservoir Dogs meets Torture Porn variation is nevertheless an effective crime film with an underlying (very) black comedy aspect. It's well enough written to keep you attention till the very end, although it may not eventually make as much sense as it should. There are several good performances as well, with Mark Hamill being a standout as a disgustingly sadistic and (intentionally) irritating psychopath. The title refers to the wonderful Japanese tradition of using a naked woman as a human sushi plate, with the men's meal placed on her body by chef Sonny Chiba, who instructs the lady prior to the clients' arrival “don’t move a muscle, whatever you see.” It's adds a rather interesting element to the film. Chiba himself only has a couple of minutes of screen time.

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

Posted: 22 Feb 2017, 14:42
by Markgway
Burying the Ex (2014-USA) **
Minor Joe Dante black comedy.
Although it does give me an excuse to post a pic of lovely co-star Alexandra Daddario.

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

Posted: 24 Feb 2017, 13:34
by Markgway
The Loft (2013-Belgium-USA) **½
Mystery thriller in which five married men discover a female corpse in their shared bachelor pad.
Pretty engrossing, but not top tier.

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

Posted: 26 Feb 2017, 04:12
by HungFist
The Nice Guys (USA, 2016) [DCP] - 3.5/5
Gosling for guys.

La La Land (USA, 2016) [DCP] - 3.5/5
Gosling for girls.

La La Land won me over with the ending: Chazelle does Whiplash again and it's amazing. But I still can't get into the "whole street starts singing for no reason" musical scenes. It's like a martial arts movie where everyone suddenly starts kung fu fighting with strangers for no reason. Now, Gosling and Stone singing and dancing is different: that makes enough sense in a movie universe since they are a musician and an actress in love with a musician.)

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

Posted: 26 Feb 2017, 12:59
by Markgway
The Monuments Men (2014-USA-Germany) **½
A band of soldiers rescue precious artworks from the Nazi regime.
Compelling story... not quite so compelling film.
George Clooney's old-fashioned romp is amiable enough, but I couldn't help feeling an opportunity was missed.

Just Before I Go (2013-USA) ***
A 40-year-old returns home to straighten things out before committing suicide.
Quietly impressive directorial debut for Courteney Cox, neatly balances black comedy and drama.
Even Seann William Scott haters may be won over by his well-judged work here, and the pretty Olivia Thirlby is a star in the making.

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

Posted: 01 Mar 2017, 18:03
by Markgway
Stage Fright (2013-Canada) *½
Friday the 13th meets Glee... and it's worse than it sounds.
Spoofish horror is nowhere near funny enough and all the music is painful on the ears.
The film's one LOL involves the word 'bukake'.

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

Posted: 02 Mar 2017, 13:08
by Markgway
Lessons in Love (2014-USA) **½
Predictable romantic-comedy pushed up a notch by good work from Piece Brosnan, who, like a fine wine, seems to get better with age.

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

Posted: 02 Mar 2017, 18:00
by Markgway
St. Vincent (2014-USA) ***
Good drama-comedy with a perfect role for Bill Murray (as a belligerent old drunk).

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014-USA) **½
Curious follow-up to RISE plays like a serious drama for at least half of its run time before giving in to blockbuster spectacular.
Fine, but in better hands this could've been really something.

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

Posted: 03 Mar 2017, 14:54
by Markgway
Florence Foster Jenkins (2016-UK-France) *½
Hugely disappointing drama-comedy about "the world's worst singer" hits only one note throughout -- and it's flat.
Bitterly lacking in wit, insight, or emotional engagement (do we ever truly care about any of these characters?)

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

Posted: 04 Mar 2017, 16:05
by Markgway
American Gigolo (1980-USA) **½
Mildly absorbing drama-thriller; not overly satisfying, but worth a look (especially for Richard Gere fans).

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

Posted: 05 Mar 2017, 16:06
by Markgway
Focus (2014-USA) **½
Slick star vehicle (of dubious morality) is pretty engaging but didn't pan out the way I'd hoped.

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

Posted: 06 Mar 2017, 10:49
by Markgway
Cop Car (2015-USA) **
Two annoying, noisy, incredibly stupid little shits steal a cop car... and corrupt sheriff Kevin Bacon wants it back.
Has its moments, but the kids really put me off... and the ambiguous ending isn't likely to please anyone.

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

Posted: 06 Mar 2017, 13:02
by HungFist
The Emerald Forest (USA, 1985) [DVD] - 4/5
I was 7 years old when I first saw this on TV with my father. It took me more than 20 years to track it down, partly because I didn't know what the movie was called until someone recognized it from my description. I could still quite clearly remember several key scenes (the opening, the river chase, the wall etc.). Although guilty of some naivety and clearly made by a "white man", it's a good meaning, often breath taking and unforgettable adventure, shot in amazing locations in the jungle. Films like this are, and have always been, rare.

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

Posted: 07 Mar 2017, 16:35
by Markgway
Imperium (2016-USA) **½
Reasonable thriller in which Daniel Radcliffe (doing his best to shake off Harry Potter) plays an FBI nerd gone undercover as a white supremacist skinhead. Credibility is shaky at times, and the early throwaway equation to Islamic terrorism a mistake, but beyond that there's a compelling story to be told.

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

Posted: 08 Mar 2017, 06:48
by Markgway
Blind (2013-Norway-The Netherlands) ***
Unusual, but arresting drama, in which a blind woman imprints her (largely sexual) anxieties onto fictionalised characters.

Life of Crime (2013-USA) **½
Not bad crime kidnap caper at first looks like a less funny remake of Ruthless People, before it emerges a prequel to Jackie Brown (Rum Punch).
Set in 1978, when Elmore Leonard's novel was originally published. Cast is headed by Jennifer Aniston who proves that, given the material, she's more than just a sitcom/romcom star.

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

Posted: 09 Mar 2017, 13:16
by Markgway
Every Secret Thing (2014-USA) **½
Haunting drama about two teenage girls implicated in the disappearance of a missing toddler.
Upsetting, cynical, chilling... but sorely lacking in credibility throughout.
Since when do convicted child-child murderers go back to their old lives without constant threat of vigilante justice?
Surely identities would be changed, relocation put in place as matter of routine?

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

Posted: 10 Mar 2017, 07:37
by Markgway
Barely Lethal (2014-USA) **½
Candy floss fantasy in which a teenage assassin (Hailee Steinfeld, appealing) drops off the grid to live a normal suburban life.
Likeable nonsense.

Knock Knock (2014-USA-Chile) **
Mediocre, sometimes dopey psychological horror in which two sexy girls get porked by then torment poor old family man Keanu Reeves.
Nasty, but mercifully lacking in graphic content; restrained by Eli Roth's low standards.

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

Posted: 11 Mar 2017, 06:39
by Markgway
Irrational Man (2015-USA) ***
Interesting, character-driven Woody Allen drama about a depressive college lecturer who tries to get away with murder; if you liked Match Point and Crimes and Misdemeanours, give this one a go. Emma Stone impressed me a lot here.

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

Posted: 12 Mar 2017, 10:55
by Markgway
Ant-Man (2015-USA) **½
Who knew ants were so cool? The whole enterprise will be comfortably familiar to Marvel fans, but the unusual central conceit scores it a few brownie points.

Scouts Guide to the Apocalypse (2015-USA) **½
You could do worse than spend time with this R-rated, teen-oriented horror-comedy; a fair amount of splatter and a couple of laugh-out-loud funny gross gags.

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

Posted: 16 Mar 2017, 12:34
by Markgway
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015-USA) **½
There's crash, bang, wallop to spare in this loud megamovie, but Marvel fans should be satisfied.
I do recall some sniffy reviews, but it seems like more of the same to me...

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

Posted: 16 Mar 2017, 23:00
by grim_tales
I, Robot (2004): 3.5/5 (maybe 4/5)

Entertaining sci-fi actioner, even sometimes thought provoking :) Will Smith's performance is good.

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

Posted: 17 Mar 2017, 19:45
by Markgway
As Above, So Below (2014-USA) **½
Not a fan of found footage horrors; this one interests for a while... but succumbs to repetition and nondescript conclusion.