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

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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 Sep 2019, 00:07

Don't Hang Up (2016) **½
Obnoxious teens who make cruel prank calls have the tables turned on them by mysterious psycho.
Competent chiller has you rooting for the killer (though some innocents get slaughtered along the way).
Not always credible, but the genre has a lot worse to offer.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 10 Sep 2019, 19:10

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (USA, 2019) [DCP] – 4.5/5
Breezy ride through 1969 L.A. is best Tarantino since Kill Bill Vol. 2. The Bruce Lee scene is funny as hell, and also refreshing because finally there is a movie that doesn’t have its tongue up Lee’s arse but instead dares to poke some fun of him. It’s somewhat understandable that fans have been offended, yet ridiculous that Lee’s been made into a God that can’t be made any fun of without people losing their temper like some religious nuts or extreme right wingers with their religious or national myths. And the controversy is even more ridiculous in the film’s context, which cannot be discussed further without major spoilers, although admittedly some viewers seem to be ignoring this context entirely.

Blade Runner: Final Cut (USA, 1982/2007) [IMAX / Digital] - 5/5
Finally Blade Runner on the big screen! A 35mm projection of the director’s cut is a life goal that I may never achieve, so this digital IMAX served as an acceptable compromise for now. One of the 10 best films ever made!

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

Unread post by Markgway » 10 Sep 2019, 22:02

HungFist wrote:
10 Sep 2019, 19:10
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (USA, 2019) [DCP] – 4.5/5
Breezy ride through 1969 L.A. is best Tarantino since Kill Bill Vol. 2. The Bruce Lee scene is funny as hell, and also refreshing because finally there is a movie that doesn’t have its tongue up Lee’s arse but instead dares to poke some fun of him. It’s somewhat understandable that fans have been offended, yet ridiculous that Lee’s been made into a God that can’t be made any fun of without people losing their temper like some religious nuts or extreme right wingers with their religious or national myths. And the controversy is even more ridiculous in the film’s context, which cannot be discussed further without major spoilers, although admittedly some viewers seem to be ignoring this context entirely.
The problem many had with the Bruce Lee scene - which I honestly think went over Tarantino's head - is that it represents the sort of crap Bruce Lee had to put up with for real. Lee battled prejudice in a time when he couldn't get his own ideas onto the screen because he was the wrong race. Lee was fed up of seeing Chinese people as fodder for white heroes to beat up on - a stereotype this movie crudely re-enforces all these years later. Did they really need to belittle Bruce Lee's character and struggle just to make Brad Pitt look cool? A savvy (and more sensitive) writer would have been able to pay tribute to Lee and make his lead look cool. Tarantino IS a great writer. He is NOT beyond reproach as his fans seem to think.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 11 Sep 2019, 13:56

Marshall (2017) **½
Over-confident black lawyer (from the NAACP) guides novice Jewish lawyer in defence of black chauffeur accused of raping a wealthy WASP.
Not the biopic of Thurgood Marshall the title suggests; instead the filmmakers chose to concentrate on a single case from the 1940s, and one that's not among his most significant (he's not the actual trial lawyer here). As a courtroom drama, this is all highly watchable, but you can help feeling the main man has been short-changed somewhat, and that a much better film could have been made of both subject and story. Chadwick Boseman (who looks nothing like the real Marshall) has many good moments, though his pompous nature keeps the viewer at arm's length. More sympathetic is Josh Gad's Sam Friedman, the official defence lawyer. If you have an interest in period pieces, civil rights, or plain old courtroom theatrics, this is worth a look... it's just not great.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 11 Sep 2019, 14:07

That's Not Me (2017) ***
Sharp, low key Aussie comedy in which a struggling actress struggles to accept her twin sister's own acting success.
Star, co-writer, and co-producer Alice Foulcher deserves a lot of credit for her work here.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 11 Sep 2019, 16:13

Markgway wrote:
10 Sep 2019, 22:02
HungFist wrote:
10 Sep 2019, 19:10
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (USA, 2019) [DCP] – 4.5/5
Breezy ride through 1969 L.A. is best Tarantino since Kill Bill Vol. 2. The Bruce Lee scene is funny as hell, and also refreshing because finally there is a movie that doesn’t have its tongue up Lee’s arse but instead dares to poke some fun of him. It’s somewhat understandable that fans have been offended, yet ridiculous that Lee’s been made into a God that can’t be made any fun of without people losing their temper like some religious nuts or extreme right wingers with their religious or national myths. And the controversy is even more ridiculous in the film’s context, which cannot be discussed further without major spoilers, although admittedly some viewers seem to be ignoring this context entirely.
The problem many had with the Bruce Lee scene - which I honestly think went over Tarantino's head - is that it represents the sort of crap Bruce Lee had to put up with for real. Lee battled prejudice in a time when he couldn't get his own ideas onto the screen because he was the wrong race. Lee was fed up of seeing Chinese people as fodder for white heroes to beat up on - a stereotype this movie crudely re-enforces all these years later. Did they really need to belittle Bruce Lee's character and struggle just to make Brad Pitt look cool? A savvy (and more sensitive) writer would have been able to pay tribute to Lee and make his lead look cool. Tarantino IS a great writer. He is NOT beyond reproach as his fans seem to think.
That's a fair point if we make this a racial question (and I guess many people subconsciously view it that way). But I think Tarantino wasn't seeing Lee as a Chinese-American, but as the greatest fighter of all time, so the idea that Pitt's character could make the greatest fighter of all time miss one kick was highly amusing.

I think the context (no, I'm not talking about the scene being interpreted as Pitt's daydream, which I don't think it was) enforces my argument, but like I said, I really can't say anything about that without going into spoiler territory.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 11 Sep 2019, 23:18

Blood Money (2017) **
Three "friends" (two male, one female) discover four bags of stolen cash in the wilderness, thief John Cusack wants them back.
Familiar thriller squanders early promise.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 12 Sep 2019, 17:32

Slender Man (2018) **
Not as bad as the measly 7% score on Rotten Tomatoes would suggest... but this unoriginal teen spook story still doesn't go anywhere.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 13 Sep 2019, 09:43

Markgway wrote:
28 Aug 2019, 09:39
chazgower01 wrote:
27 Aug 2019, 02:04
and having a young English cast all in the early hungry part of their career (including a sexy Kelly Macdonald) certainly helps.
Really? :roll:
Ok, technically I REALLY should've said Scottish, but Scotland IS a part of the UK (even though I think they're more of Irish descent...), and Jonny Lee Miller at least was born in England proper...

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

Unread post by Markgway » 14 Sep 2019, 00:30

chazgower01 wrote:
13 Sep 2019, 09:43
Ok, technically I REALLY should've said Scottish, but Scotland IS a part of the UK (even though I think they're more of Irish descent...), and Jonny Lee Miller at least was born in England proper...
Why are you defending your mistake? ONE of the main cast is English. The rest are Scottish. If you'd said British, that would have been fine. But you didn't, you said English. And that was wrong. Plain and simple. Own it. And Irish... what? Probably best not to comment on something you know nothing about.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by chazgower01 » 14 Sep 2019, 02:23

Markgway wrote:
14 Sep 2019, 00:30
chazgower01 wrote:
13 Sep 2019, 09:43
Ok, technically I REALLY should've said Scottish, but Scotland IS a part of the UK (even though I think they're more of Irish descent...), and Jonny Lee Miller at least was born in England proper...
Why are you defending your mistake? ONE of the main cast is English. The rest are Scottish. If you'd said British, that would have been fine. But you didn't, you said English. And that was wrong. Plain and simple. Own it. And Irish... what? Probably best not to comment on something you know nothing about.
I said "Ok, technically I REALLY should've said Scottish", and I emphasized REALLY, and the rest was just having a play with it. Didn't realize you were taking it so seriously.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 14 Sep 2019, 03:39

The Last Supper (1995) ***½
Razor sharp satire-black comedy with an excellent cast.
One of the best indie films of the decade.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 15 Sep 2019, 15:43

Pimped (2018) **½
A schizophrenic woman (not really a spoiler since its made pretty obvious) is raped, but finds herself temporarily allied to one of her attackers - a smarmy yuppie. Dark, nasty psychological thriller from Australia. Its well-made and well-acted, especially by lead Ella Scott Lynch, but the script is on the thin side - the short (79m) running time makes this feel a bit like an expanded short film. Ignore the silly title and '15' certificate - this bloody and brutal film is well deserving of an '18'.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 16 Sep 2019, 04:30

Constantine (2005) *½
Exorcist with lung cancer Keanu Reeves battles demons from hell. Laughably overwrought adaptation of graphic novel.
Noirsh pretensions, cheesy visual effects. At least it's never dull.

The Snowman (2017) **
Alcoholic detective (is there any other kind?) investigates serial killer who likes to build snowmen with his victims' heads (sometimes).
Hollywood take on Scandi-noir is consistently intriguing, but incoherent and hard to follow. The denouement/reveal is especially weak.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by HungFist » 17 Sep 2019, 18:54

Cut-Throats Nine (Spain/Italy, 1972) [VoD] - 4/5
Nihilist survival western with a sergeant and his daughter left alone with 7 chained killers in the middle of snowy mountains after they've been attacked by robbers. Brutal, unique and captivating if not quite masterclass in execution, unmistakably 70s. A grindhouse cousin to Il grande silenzio.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 20 Sep 2019, 23:33

Geostorm (2017) **½
Critically slammed, but I found it fairly entertaining, and certainly no worse than most other effects-laden doomsday blockbusters.

Weird Science (1985) **
Not one of John Hughes better efforts.

Nine to Five (1980) **½
Frothy black comedy takes ages to get going, but picks up in the second half.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Guro Taku » 22 Sep 2019, 14:38

Film Festival Dispatch - Part 1

The Lodge (UK, 2019) [DCP] – 2/5
Slow burn thriller about a dysfunctional family holing up in the titular building and things falling appart. Are the kids just fucking with their father's new flame, who just so happens to be the only survivor of a suicide sect, or is she seriously unhinged and dangerous? Why not both? Nothing offensively bad her but also nothing that hasn't been done a thousand times already. An early scene that sees an unrecognizable Alicia Silverstone blow her brains out is the film's highlight.

3 From Hell (USA, 2019) [DCP] – 3.5/5
Fuck you, motherfucker, I kind of liked it! Granted, I went in with very low expectations, fully expecting Rob Zombie to shit all over his best film, and that may have helped. The script even sort of a acknowledges the ridiculousness of bringing those three back after the hail of bullets that perforated them at the end of the previous film but then shamelessly has them survive anyway. There's also some odd recycling going on here, with another violent home invasion, another scene of Baby fucking with a horny dude at a vending machine, another night spent in a sleazy brothel... All that having been said, I still mostly dug the film. It was nice to see Rob Zombie have a semblance of a budget again after the low budget affair of 31. It was also nice to spend another two hours with these assholes. Mind, Sid Haig is only in a single scene (for real life health reasons, unfortunately) and was replaced by Richard Brake as another previously unseen Firefly psycho. He doesn't get that much to do here so his performance can't rival his turn in 31. 3 From Hell is mostly the Bill Moseley show. Predictably, there was some press about the MPAA repeatedly refusing classification of the film and it eventually getting released unrated. I have a strong feeling this had nothing to do with any of the violence, which isn't that graphic, and more with the copious amount of fat Mexican hooker nudity in the last third of the film. Zombie goes full Peckinpah with his third act, which makes it all the more absurd that he uses CGI instead of squibs for the final gunfight. I know it's cheapter. I know it's quicker. I also know it will never look remotely convincing.

Bliss (USA, 2019) [DCP] – 4.5/5
I really didn't think much at all of Joe Begos' two previous films Almost Human (2013) and The Mind's Eye (2015), so him knocking it out of the park with Bliss was a real surprise. Starting with a warning for those suffering from photosensitive epilepsy and an introduction that promised us the theater's sound system had been turned up all the way, Bliss plays like a supercharged, neon-drenched cross between Abel Ferrara's Driller Killer and The Addiction, set to an almost nonstop punk rock soundtrack and absolutely dripping in all kinds of body fluids. I stumbled out of the theater unsure if I wanted to take a shower or get high.

Body at Brighton Rock (USA, 2019) [DCP] - 3.5/5
Roxanne Benjamin's debut feature sees a indoorsy girl work at a nature preserve, switching with a horny coworker and getting way in over her head when she first gets lost, then finds a corpse in the woods and is tasked with staying with it until the authorities arrive. Karina Fontes is great as a very unusual leading lady, seeing how she's not a perfect action heroine but rather dizzy and really has to struggle to make it through one hell of a night.

Nekrotronic (Australia, 2018) [DCP] - 3/5
Two dudes pumping sewage are drawn into a fight for the fate of the world when a demon (Monica Bellucci) tries to use a Pokemon Go-like game to take over cyberspace and the world. This is some silly, silly stuff but definitely entertaining with the right crowd and the right amount of blood alcohol.

Porno (USA, 2019) [DCP] – 3/5
The most graphically exploded testicles you will ever see in a movie! A group of teenagers working at a Christian movie theater get permission to screen a film of their choice as a reward for the workweek. Not happy with either Encino Man or A League of Their Own (which places the film in 1992, I guess) they instead screen a roll of film they dicover in a hidden basement, which just so happens to include the cinematic summoning of a succubus. Sexual repressions and secret perversions come to light, A LOT of testicles explode and there's a real love for analog theater equipment on display here, with loving shots of the workings of projectors and cans of film. I'm not really a fan of horror comedies but this one worked for me.

Pet Sematary (USA, 1989) [35mm] - 3.5/5
I'll always have a special connection to this film thanks to how much the Zelda scenes traumatized me as a kid, so I couldn't pass up the chance to attend a 35mm screenig on Stephen King's brithday. I think the film holds up well visually and is still effective in the gross-out department. Where it drops the ball is in the acting department, with really only Fred Gwynne and Miko Hughes delivering good performances.

Ravenous (USA, 1999) [35mm] - 5/5
Lots of talks about what a great year for cinema 1999 was fail to acknowledge Antonia Bird's mindblowing period cannibalism satire/love story/comedy. The film is anchored by great turns by Guy Pearce and Robert Carlyle and wonderful supporting roles by Jeffrey Jones and David Arquette (who likes to get high with the Natives) but also boasts breathtaking scenery thanks to location shooting in Slovakia, great sets, great practical effects and an all-timer score by Damon Albarn and Michael Nyman. I've been kicking myself for missing this in theaters (it was a box office bomb and disappeared very quickly) ever since I discovered it on VHS and I'm very pleased with myself that I was able to finally see it as it was intended.

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

Unread post by HungFist » 22 Sep 2019, 15:30

Ad Astra (USA, 2019) [DCP] - 3.5/5
I can't remember the last time I've been so torn about a movie. This is 75% beautiful, haunting, poetic, best space cinema in decades. And 25% Michael Bay action, as believable as Armageddon. What on earth were they thinking?
Guro Taku wrote:
22 Sep 2019, 14:38
3 From Hell (USA, 2019) [DCP] – 3.5/5
Suck to hear about the CGI, but I'm of course gonna see this anyway. Probably won't play in Sapporo, but no problem, I'm always visiting Tokyo when a new Rob Zombie film opens. It's some kind of strange fate (same with Akira's 35mm screenings).
Guro Taku wrote:
22 Sep 2019, 14:38
Ravenous (USA, 1999) [35mm] - 5/5
Thanks for the reminder. I've been meaning to see this forever.

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

Unread post by Guro Taku » 22 Sep 2019, 15:35

HungFist wrote:
22 Sep 2019, 15:30
Ad Astra (USA, 2019) [DCP] - 3.5/5
I can't remember the last time I've been so torn about a movie. This is 75% beautiful, haunting, poetic, best space cinema in decades. And 25% Michael Bay action, as believable as Armageddon. What on earth were they thinking?
It was a very troubled production, with a lot of reshoots after test screenings yielded unsatisfying results for the studio. Apparently the director walked away and disowns the film in its current state. Just take a look at the shooting script and compare it to what you saw, especially the ending:

https://www.docdroid.net/0l1OqCb/ad-astra.pdf

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

Unread post by HungFist » 22 Sep 2019, 17:14

Guro Taku wrote:
22 Sep 2019, 15:35
HungFist wrote:
22 Sep 2019, 15:30
Ad Astra (USA, 2019) [DCP] - 3.5/5
I can't remember the last time I've been so torn about a movie. This is 75% beautiful, haunting, poetic, best space cinema in decades. And 25% Michael Bay action, as believable as Armageddon. What on earth were they thinking?
It was a very troubled production, with a lot of reshoots after test screenings yielded unsatisfying results for the studio. Apparently the director walked away and disowns the film in its current state. Just take a look at the shooting script and compare it to what you saw, especially the ending:

https://www.docdroid.net/0l1OqCb/ad-astra.pdf
Thanks. I had not heard of such. That would certainly make sense.

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

Unread post by Markgway » 23 Sep 2019, 03:46

A pair of creaky Universal horrors starring the Boris/Bela combo.

The Black Cat (1934) **
Nonsensical plot, overripe acting. More an artefact than an entertainment.

The Raven (1935) **½
Slightly more entertaining... but just as senseless.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 23 Sep 2019, 08:38

The Midnight Man (2016) *½
Hopeless horror in which dopey teens are tortured by titular ghoul.
Robert Englund co-stars.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 26 Sep 2019, 09:32

The Girl in the Spider's Web (2017) **½
Slick, but routine thriller, loses the leads, grit and punch of its predecessor (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).
Never less than watchable, but interest and energy wane after a promising first act.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 26 Sep 2019, 13:01

Blue Iguana (2018) **½
Quirky London-set crime caper with an American star (Sam Rockwell).
Colourful profanity, overboard violence, passes the time.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Unread post by Markgway » 29 Sep 2019, 12:26

Road Hard (2015) **½
Has-been stand-up comic Adam Carolla reevaluates his life.
Not bad comedy-drama.
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