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

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

Unread post by Markgway » 10 Jul 2019, 21:20

The Unknown Girl (2016) *½
Achingly slow French mystery. Conclusion just sort of happens and then it ends.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 11 Jul 2019, 14:38

Matador (1986, Spain) Criterion Channel 3.5/5
Director Pedro Almodovar likes to filter his ideas through a unique sense of vision, humor, and style. His theme has softened over the years, but in his early days he certainly put his flair on a host of controversial topics. Matador is a movie about the relationship between sex and violence, and though not as well-defined as some of his later work, it’s still a movie worth seeing for the performances, the story, the direction, and especially the ending. 

There’s a serial killer on the loose and when Angel (a young Antonio Banderas) rapes the girlfriend (Eva Cobo) of his Bullfighter teacher (Nacho Martinez), he turns himself in for the crime and admits to killing four people. 

His lawyer María (Assumpta Serna), who we see kill one of the men in the opening montage; has a strange relationship with that Bullfighting teacher, who in the same opening montage we see masturbating to ultra gore video footage. And there’s the police detective (Eusebio Poncela) who slowly begins to see not everything is as it seems. 

It all, of course, pulls together - a very non-traditional whodunit and how they did it, spiked with Almodovar’s special visual flair, middle finger to social norms and smart dialogue. 

But the key is his ability to venture further into normally cliched territory, and taking those weird turns and making them fit within the context of the story. He only falters here when Banderas’ Angel, a product of his mother’s Catholic Guilt conditioning, regresses into predictability in the last act of the movie. 

It’s a great performance by Banderas, who does most of his best work in the films he’s made with Almodovar, but that last act for his character seems shallow compared to the complexity we see of all the main characters throughout. And especially that amazing ending...

Recommended. 

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

Unread post by Markgway » 11 Jul 2019, 17:32

Darkman (1990) **
Sam Raimi's mainstream debut is a corny, cartoonish revenge saga that wraps up a hammy Liam Neeson in bandages.
Style over substance then, but the director's trademark tricks are over the top, and the green screen terrible.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 12 Jul 2019, 10:45

Mr. Destiny (1990) **
Whimsical fantasy - a modern riff on It's a Wonderful Life - is uneven, but comes good at the end.
Only James Belushi fans may be that patient with it though.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 12 Jul 2019, 14:59

Markgway wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 10:45
Mr. Destiny (1990) **
Whimsical fantasy - a modern riff on It's a Wonderful Life - is uneven, but comes good at the end.
Only James Belushi fans may be that patient with it though.

Darkman (1990) **
Sam Raimi's mainstream debut is a corny, cartoonish revenge saga that wraps up a hammy Liam Neeson in bandages.
Style over substance then, but the director's trademark tricks are over the top, and the green screen terrible.
Wow... I remember seeing both of these in the theater back in the day...

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

Unread post by chazgower01 » 12 Jul 2019, 15:01

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988, Spain) Criterion Channel 4.5/5
For the first half hour of this movie, director Pedro Almodovar introduces us to his cast, and sets the stage for one of those smart, funny comedies, that are full of hilarious coincidences. And within this first half hour, I noticed something that would forever endear him to me: A director who perfectly frames every shot.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the dialogue. (Do NOT watch the dubbed version on DVD). Despite the language barrier, I GET the humor - its timing is exceptional. The co-incidences, if they happened in a SERIOUS movie would be eye rolling, but work perfectly here. The physical comedy is well done. No moment is wasted and much of it comes back to play a part later on, fitting together like a perfectly put together puzzle.

But the look of every frame of this movie is by a consummate visual storyteller, who doesn’t just make movies - he makes great films. I’m not sure if he was able to continue this throughout his entire career (I haven’t seen everything), but for THIS movie, he’s made something that works on technically perfect aesthetic level, while still making a movie that’s funny and has well put together story.

Carmen Maura plays the mistress of a man who leaves her, and in the midst of her grief, she finds clues that lead to many discoveries about why… and somehow those things end up fitting into other things going on around her.

That’s about as simplified as I can make the plot, but let me just say that once her friend Candela (María Barranco) shows up at Pepa’s apartment (where much of the movie takes place) about the same time as Antonio Banderas (in an early pre-USA role) with his girlfriend - the movie becomes a lot of fun and starts a roller coaster ride to the finish.

Maura as Pepa is on edge the whole movie without ever quite falling off while her friend Candela literally tries to:



Pepa: You could’ve killed yourself!

Candela: That was the idea. I’m desperate!

Pepa: So am I, but I don’t go jumping off of balconies!

Candela: I didn’t know where to go. I couldn’t face my folks. It’s bad enough that I became a model.



Both are Almodovar regular’s, though I believe this would be Maura’s last movie with him (Actually they had a falling out and wouldn’t work together again for 18 years!). Add in a colorful but helpful cab driver, a Shiite terrorist plot, and a deadly gazpacho, and this movie has always been of the highest recommendation for me.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 13 Jul 2019, 06:45

The Evil That Men Do (1983) **½
Pretty decent Bronson vehicle, gruesome in places.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 14 Jul 2019, 11:57

Sibling Rivalry (1990) **
Black comedy farce never quite catches fire.

The Lonely Guy (1984) **½
Contains some of the zaniness that marks Steve Martin's funniest movies,
though it loses momentum quite often.

Chato's Land (1971) **½
Quite good western with half-breed Charles Bronson playing second fiddle to the racist posse hunting him down.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 20 Jul 2019, 23:42

Conduct Unbecoming (1975) **½
A young cavalryman is court-martialed for the assault of a war widow in 19th century India.
A bit stiff and theatrical, but good enough in places to be worth a look.
Distinguished cast.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Guro Taku » 21 Jul 2019, 10:35

The Hole in the Ground (Ireland/Belgium/Finland, 2019) [BD] - 2,5/5
Changeling-themed horror flick from first-time director Lee Cronin is occasionally atmospheric and effective but fails to do anything remotely original or interesting with the creepy kid concept.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 22 Jul 2019, 08:38

The Hit List (2010) **
Thriller has potential, but can't escape its DTV trappings.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 24 Jul 2019, 20:53

Salvador (1985) ***
Powerful political drama is Oliver Stone's comfort zone, and if you can get thru an off-putting opening act, this is essential viewing for his admirers.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 27 Jul 2019, 14:49

Frankenstein Unbound (1990) *½
Hilariously bad attempt to modernise the monster legend.
What was Roger Corman thinking?
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 29 Jul 2019, 01:32

Switch (1991) **
Male chauvinist is murdered, reincarnated as a feisty woman.
Blake Edwards farce isn't terribly funny, but is just odd enough to keep one watching.
Surprisingly poignant conclusion suggests a better movie.
Ellen Barkin fans may rate this one higher.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 30 Jul 2019, 08:43

Company Business (1990) **
Post-cold war spy thriller has the right ingredients, but the tone is uneven, the plot messy, and the ending rushed.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by grim_tales » 30 Jul 2019, 23:04

The Current War (2017): 3.5/5

Tells the story of the battle of late 19th century inventors to be the first to show and produce working electricity on a big scale in the United States (Edison v Tesla). An interesting film with good performances especially the main characters (Benedict Cumberbatch plays Edison)

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

Unread post by Markgway » 31 Jul 2019, 04:46

Necessary Roughness (1991) **½
Amiable sports comedy with good cast, some laughs, and loads of predictability.
Pretty much ignored in the UK, but turned into a TV series in the US.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 02 Aug 2019, 03:31

Another 48 Hrs. (1990) **½
A sequel that slavishly copies the original, but still manages to entertain.
Works better as an action movie than a comedy.

She's Funny That Way (2015) **½
Woody Allen-esque farce from Peter Bogdanovich.
Runs out of steam, but is really good for about an hour.
Imogen Poots is a delight as a Brooklyn call girl.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 02 Aug 2019, 05:34

Other People's Money (1991) **½
Danny DeVito is on target as 'Larry the Liquidator', but Norman Jewison's comedy-drama lacks punch.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by saltysam » 02 Aug 2019, 20:15

Boxcar Bertha 1.5/5
Boring early Scorsese movie is a Bonnie & Clyde wannabe starring a bland David Carradine and Barbara Hershey as the title character .Notable for Barbara in her prime topless scenes but little else to remember this one by.

Tales From The Crypt:Demon Knight 2.5/5
Silly but fun horror has a group trapped overnight in a hotel while Billy Zane and his army of demons try to get in,their mission to get an ancient amulet from William Sadler.

Shutter Island 2/5
A good movie for around 90 minutes then it pretty much falls apart for the final act.Has some atmosphere and Di Caprio gives a good performance but this is lower tier Scorsese.

Weird Science 1.5/5
Blind bought this new Arrow release. I think i smirked twice, far from the classic comedy i had heard about. Couldn't stand the two leads though Kelly Le Brock looked hot. Luckily for me,this releases popularity means i shouldn't take too much of a hit moving it on.
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 » 03 Aug 2019, 15:14

I haven't seen Weird Science since I was a teenager. Was thinking about picking it up with Sixteen Candles as soon as they hit the next Arrow sale. Better lower my expectations (which actually aren't that high).
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 04 Aug 2019, 04:59

Inglourious Basterds (2009) **½
Very uneven epic from Quentin Tarantino is 70% of a really good movie; an old-fashioned WW2 spy thriller executed with intelligence and flair.
Unfortunately, the remaining 30% is pretty poor; an explicitly bloody boy's own adventure that concentrates on Brad Pitt and Eli Roth (both terrible) and reveals the worst of the directors film-making excesses and misjudgements.

Silent Rage (1982) **
Ever wondered what it would be like if Chuck Norris took on Michael Myers? Wonder no more.
Atypical Norris vehicle, filmed at the height of the slasher genre, never lives up to its pulp promise.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 07 Aug 2019, 03:36

Dead Again (1991) ***
Stylish noir-mystery from Kenneth Brannagh.

What About Bob? (1991) ***
Funny comedy with Bill Murray and (an hilarious) Richard Dreyfuss.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 09 Aug 2019, 01:41

Murder at 1600 (1997) **½
Wesley Snipes is a cigar-chomping DC cop, Diane Lane is the Secret Service's most attractive agent in this enjoyable, if convoluted mystery thriller.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 09 Aug 2019, 17:24

The Old Man & the Gun (USA, 2018) [DCP] – 3.5/5
Unapologetically nostalgic, but it works. I’ve probably never smiled this much while watching a movie.

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