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

Post by HungFist »

For Your Eyes Only (UK, 1981) [BD] – 4/5
This one has almost no storyline, but it’s so stacked full of insane action sequences you’ll forgive it. The ski and the car chases rank among the best ever filmed. Bill Conti’s score delivers big time, and there’s an excellent piece of supporting casting with Topol (less so with blond airhead Lynn-Holly Johnson). The more serious tone is welcome as well. Oh, and there are not one but two nipple slips!
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by Markgway »

HungFist wrote: 08 May 2021, 09:51 For Your Eyes Only (UK, 1981) [BD] – 4/5
This one has almost no storyline, but it’s so stacked full of insane action sequences you’ll forgive it. The ski and the car chases rank among the best ever filmed. Bill Conti’s score delivers big time, and there’s an excellent piece of supporting casting with Topol (less so with blond airhead Lynn-Holly Johnson). The more serious tone is welcome as well. Oh, and there are not one but two nipple slips!
Yeah, Miss Moneypenny was really risque in this one. ;)

Oh, and Conti's disco score sucks donkey balls, IMO (nice theme song and gun barrel, though).
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Markgway wrote: 10 May 2021, 12:37 Oh, and Conti's disco score sucks donkey balls, IMO (nice theme song and gun barrel, though).
Well I must like donkey balls then :mad:
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by grim_tales »

I Am Alfred Hitchcock (Sky Documentary): 4/5

Interesting profile of the director, looking at the movies and briefly the TV show 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by Markgway »

HungFist wrote: 10 May 2021, 13:02 Well I must like donkey balls then :mad:
A Fin living in Japan.

I'm adding nothing...

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

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Octopussy (UK, 1983) [VoD] – 3/5
A popular entry, but never been among my favourites. Opening and closing aside the action is forgettable, and the casting nothing special, even if Louis Jourdan’s acting is good. But it’s still an entertaining-enough film to just about deserve a 3 star rating. This film suffered the slightest form of censorship in the cold war era Finland: the line “the hero of the Soviet Union” was left unsubtitled.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by EvaUnit02 »

Hacksaw Ridge (2016) - 5/5
An utterly remarkable film. Mel Gibson is one helluva of a filmmaker. Definitely a must see.

Fury (2014) - 4/5
Well done film, letting us WW2 from a perspective that I'd encountered before - a tank crew. David Ayer can be a very hit or miss filmmaker, but he definitely hit with this one. There was a mission in Call of Duty WW2 (2017) that I could tell was directly ripped from this film. You want a showcase film for your home surround sound system, this is definitely one to true out.

The Outpost (2020) - 4/5
A low budget film, but it rarely feels like one. The filmmakers did a really good using of steadycam to portray the frenetic urgency of the action scenes (and also to hide their budget). The first hour of the film is used to get the audience to spend time with a large ensemble of characters. When there are deaths they do feel meaningful as a result.

13 Hours (2016) - 3.5/5
Probably the best the thing that I've ever seen from Michael Bay. He actually made a film with some substance for once. Unlike Pearl Harbour, this "based on a true story" film doesn't have stupid shit like a shoehorned love stories. The film does a good job of illustrating that private military contractors have largely thankless jobs. Again, there missions in a recent Call of Duty game (Modern Warfare 2019) that I could tell were directly ripped from here.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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A View to a Kill (UK, 1985) [VoD] – 3/5
Moore's last Bond: good but very uneven. There’s a solid second half once we get past the horse breeding nonsense. Lots of good action even if it’s a stunt double mug-shot galore (Moore is barely present in most action scenes). Walken and Jones make good villains, and there’s Dolph doing 30 seconds as a KGB man. Tanya Roberts in turn is completely useless, doesn't even manage a nipple slip. A tad under-rated overall.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by Killer Meteor »

I love AVTAK. The score is especially good.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by Shingster »

Having been a JCVD fan back in the late 80s/early 90s who essentially tapped out of his work after The Quest (didn't enjoy that film first time round and I was off to Uni around about that point and I had more important things to be concentrating on outside of the odd film at the cinema for a few years), I've been feeling the urge to check out what I missed out on first time, but started from scratch and working my way through. So far I would probably rate these later JCVD films when the weels fell off accordingly:

The Quest: 5/10 (not as deathly boring as I remembered, but still highly flawed)
Double Team: 3/10 (completely fucking incoherent nonsense! :D)
Knock Off: A VERY generous 6/10 I think! (not too bad really, it's essentially a late 90s HK action film with JCVD in a more comical Jackie Chan-esque role, and he does OK in it. plot is an absolute mess, but then that was Tsui Hark's bread and butter around this time period).

One thing that truly shocked me about watching Double Team and Knock Off is that Tsui brought Sammo in as special Action Director for these films, yet the fight scenes are a complete fucking mess, with edit after edit after edit, and barely more than two moves shown in a single shot. You can tell Sammo directed these fights because the usual tinkering with shutter speed and whatnot is going on to create that blurry slow-mo effect he became obsessed with after working with WKW in the early 90s, and I know that Sammo had basically tapped out as a filmmaker in the late 90s, creating a string of seriously underwhelming action sequences across the few films he worked on, but damn: What the fuck happened here? It's like sammo shot proper HK action scenes featuring JCVD for the first time since No Retreat, No Surrender... and then someone came along and just went "nope, we're not showing JCVD doing this style of action!" and edited out about 90% of the actual fighting.

Both Double Team and Knock Off are effected by this, so what gives? Has the behind the scenes info ever made its way out there? Was JCVD dissatisfied by the HK style action (presumably with a very liberal use of very obvious stunt doubles) and demanded final cut on the fight scenes? I've never seen anything like this before, even Miramaxe knew that the one thing you don't mess about with in a HK film is the action! :icon_suspect:
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by Markgway »

All I know is that JCVD's fight with Jeff Wolfe was mostly removed from the finale of Knock Off.

I would be surprised if anyone other than Tsui Hark had final cut here.

And it's no coincidence that it's around this time that Tsui's career went down the shitter (off hand, Seven Swords is the only good picture he's made since).

I would rank The Quest higher than the Tsui films if only because it at least looks like the work of a professional.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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I give Knock Off over The Quest simply because it's 90mins long and zips by and at least it's nice to see JCVD doing something completely different, and IMO he acquits himself well in a more comedic role. The Quest just has disastrous pacing issues and a story that feels ridiculously truncated when they realised they were never gonna get the budget required to make a full on epic adventure film. Both films are ultimately compromised in some form.

I would argue Sammo's career was also going down the shitter at this time alongside Hark's, but to gut the action sequenes in this manner? Would two seasoned veterans of the HK action system be that mental? I guess if you had to choose one saboteur out of those two the smart money is on Hark, but I don't know man, these were Hollywood co-productions and Van Damme had a history of fiddling with the choreography and editing of his own action scenes (or at least taking credit for that alongside Frank Dux when HK guys like John Cheung did the lion's share of the work) and being a little recalcitrant to changing up his iconic action moveset around the time leading into his work with Tsui. There's a recent interview with Steven Lambert who claims to be the true fight co-ordinator on The Quest and he talks about how difficult it was for him to get VD to adopt different fighting styles.

I guess the safest assumption is that perhaps the Hollywood studios leaned on Hark to tighten up both films and focus on the action maybe? Either way, if I was Sammo I would be pretty pissed off at how those fight scenes ended up because they're some of the most anemic of JCVD's entire career, and it's not like he ever did do that complex or extended fight scenes to begin with!

It's just really sad IMO because JCVD was probably the one US martial arts megastar who was in that Bootmaster category that guys like Sammo would make look a million bucks just seven years prior. Could you imagine if the Sammo who made Pedicab Driver worked with Van Damme and was given free rein back in the late 80s after he'd done Bloodsport and Kickboxer? Could have given us something pretty special!
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by EvaUnit02 »

Army of the Dead - 2/5
The writing was awful and full of holes. Eg a small side character who drives the 3rd act completely disappears. A highly irritating supporting character makes infinitely stupid decisions just to save this one woman, but she literally vanishes. The biggest sin for me was how largely boring it is. They keep talking and talking with nothing happening.

The film's main story idea is pretty much identical to Peninsula (Train to Busan 2). Peninsula wasn't great either (huge let down compared to the very good first film), but it's far, far better than this turgid bore.

BTW, this isn't a sequel to Snyder's earlier Land of the Dead remake. People who tell you otherwise are liars. The zombie outbreak (in defiance of all logical common sense) is isolated to one city.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by EvaUnit02 »

Shingster wrote: 20 May 2021, 23:11 Having been a JCVD fan back in the late 80s/early 90s who essentially tapped out of his work after The Quest (didn't enjoy that film first time round and I was off to Uni around about that point and I had more important things to be concentrating on outside of the odd film at the cinema for a few years), I've been feeling the urge to check out what I missed out on first time, but started from scratch and working my way through. So far I would probably rate these later JCVD films when the weels fell off accordingly:
In related news, Kino Lorber is releasing Hard Target onto 4k BD. They seem to have gone to a lot a trouble to do their restoration. As a fan of cult action cinema I certainly appreciate it.

https://twitter.com/KLStudioClassic/sta ... 5432733697

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

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Christ, Kino's PR folk are as dicky as ever.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Yeah it sounds promising, but damn, could KinoLorber sound any more like a bunch of arrogant twats on social media? They need to sack or discipline their PR person ASAP because they clearly don't know the first thing about interfacing with fans. "We're not going to dirty up our beautiful discs by including VHS quality material", well you've never been shy about including sub par material in the past have you KL, even when the very presentation of the main feature is the sub par part! :D
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by Killer Meteor »

I suspect the PR person is probably someone high up in the company. No way they're paying someone solely to be like that!
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by Markgway »

I stopped posting in the Kino thread on Bluray.com because the Insider is a belligerent dick.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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No wonder they teamed up with Code Red!
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by grim_tales »

I held off buying the French disc thinking the workprint would be on KL's disc. Even though it's VHS quality it still might be interesting to see.
No need for KL to respond like that.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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The Living Daylights (UK, 1987) [VoD] – 3.5/5
Solid cold war Bond with decent action and an excellent theme song. Dalton is not half bad, and Jeroen Krabbe is a lot of fun. There’s even slight nudity in the film! The only problem: the film is too bloody long at 131 min, and feels like two different movies patched together (and even if we were to accept that, there are still surplus scenes that shouldn’t have made the final cut).
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

Post by EvaUnit02 »

The Unholy (2021) - 2.5/5
Perfectly serviceable supernatural horror film. Not scary in the slightest, just a few jump scares. Entirely forgettable.

Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) - 3/5
Solidly plotted action thriller. Taylor Sheridan continues to be a very dependable writer. Doesn't outstay its welcome, 90mins is the perfect length considering the film's concept of a bunch of people stuck in the bush during a forest fire.

Locked Down (2021) - 1.5/5
Bored married couple stuck in COVID-19 lockdown heist a gem from famous London shopping mall, Harrods. Chiwetel Ejiofor's charisma alone carries the entire film on its back. Pretty damn dull, don't waste your time. The film banks heavily on the gimmick of having famous Hollywood actors like Ben Stiller and Ben Kingsley doing Zoom call cameos. This film is going to age terribly; they should've based it on a fictionalised pandemic rather than the actual COVID-19.

Cruella (2021) - 3/5
I found this quite entertaining, surprisingly. Disney continues upon their course of having Mary Sue heroines, after Star Wars sequel trilogy's Rey, Captain Marvel and live-action Mulan. Eg She hotwires a car and then tells her "henchmen"/thief friends that she's never driven before. She succeeds at thwarting male security guards who're probably at least three times her weight by bonking and tripping them up with a cane. Unlike past live-action Disney Mary Sues, Cruella is actually quite charismatic, so she's likeable in that regard.

How does Disney attempt to humanise the woman who later in life tries to steal and skin puppies? They have dalmatians kill her mother. It's ludicrous but true, as if it were an idea that somebody would write for a parody comedy sketch.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Licence to Kill (UK, 1989) [BD] – 3.5/5
Bond goes splatter. The most violent film in the series, with cruelty that feels mismatched in the series. It’s is a captivating, effective action picture all the same. Lots of interesting names in the cast: Robert Davi, Benicio Del Toro, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa... plus Desmond Llewelyn getting his biggest role in the series.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Goldeneye (UK, 1995) [VoD] – 4/5
The last great Bond film for quite some time to come. This one captures the “just past the cold war” better than almost any other action film. Brosnan is excellent as Bond, and the character well written as a dangerous, seductive and tragic relic of a bygone era.
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Re: What general film/series have you just seen.. marks out of 5

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Spiral (2021) - 3/5
Surprisingly decent. It's a Saw series spin-off, but focuses on characters and story rather than the torture porn set-pieces. I found it fairly easy to guess who the killer was, but not their motivations. Chris Rock was pretty good as the lead, IMO.

The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) - 2.25/5
Everything in terms of filmmaking technical craft, writing and acting were all fine. However I was thoroughly unengaged, I stopped watching at the 3rd act and didn't return to the film until half a day later. There's nothing scary here, it just relies on loud sounds and quick editing. I'd rather just rewatch the original Exorcist if I was in the specific mood for a demon possession film.
Last edited by EvaUnit02 on 07 Jun 2021, 01:17, edited 1 time in total.
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