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

Posted: 23 Dec 2019, 10:10
by HungFist
grim_tales wrote:
23 Dec 2019, 03:32
How did the film look, Hung?
Fine (for a DCP).

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

Posted: 23 Dec 2019, 19:32
by Markgway
Star Wars, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) **½
Epic, mega-watt entertainment throws in everything but the kitchen sink in the name of a good time, but this blatant attempt to atone for The Last Jedi (still, IMHO, the best of the Star Wars sequels) will likely irritate as many fanboys as it pleases. Explosions, effects, cartoon characters galore, but J.J. Abrams struggles to imbue the saga finale with the same kind of bold storytelling and depth of character and theme that Rian Johnson managed. It's good fun, but no more than that. Daisy Ridley has developed into a real star here and it's nice to see a charming Billy Dee Williams back on screen.

T2: Trainspotting (2017) ***
A sequel no one was expecting, but actually turned out quite well. There are countless call backs and nostalgia bait, but a new found maturity dominates proceedings, and this story is about the inevitability of loss (of youth, of friends and loved ones) and longing for same, rather than druggie capers. Ewan McGregor is solid, other key performances are pretty broad in comparison. Only toward the end does it fizzle out, as if Danny Boyle and writer John Hodge couldn't nail a satisfying conclusion.

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

Posted: 24 Dec 2019, 09:34
by HungFist
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (USA, 2019) [Flight] – 1.5/5
Dull, overlong superhero film with Johnson and Statham battling a flying super villain. I guess they tried to get a piece of the Marvel / DC cake. Even the action scenes are boring, minus a slightly inventive vehicle bit near the end. Some nice laughs from Johnson and Statham picking fun of each other is the only positive. Also, the film mostly does away with the elements that seem to have made the series so popular: the car porn and the multicultural family / friendship bonding soap opera.

Angel Has Fallen (USA, 2019) [Flight] – 3/5
A smaller, slightly less outrageous but still entertaining entry in the Fallen series which has got to be the most bone-headed, honest 80s / 90s esque action franchise out there today. They’re fun despite the shitty CGI, and better than Stallone’s “wink-wink, we’re making fun of ourselves” Expendables series.

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

Posted: 25 Dec 2019, 11:28
by Markgway
Bumblebee (2019) **½
The only Transformers film I've seen. Amiable entertainment, nothing exceptional; but at least is has heart and is more than giant robots smashing each other up. Hailee Steinfeld carries the picture.

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

Posted: 26 Dec 2019, 10:40
by HungFist
TNT Jackson (USA / Philippines, 1974) [VoD] – 2.5/5
A Cirio H. Santiago kung fu / blaxploitation mash-up with plentiful nudity. Set in, but obviously not always filmed in, Hong Kong. It’s C-grade stuff with Jeannie Bell pretending she can do kung fu, but you kind of forgive her when she does it topless! Has some clumsy charm, and is better paced and has a more charismatic lead than Santiago’s inept Fly Me (the “Stewardesses vs. the world's most incompetent kung fu killers” film) from a year earlier.

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

Posted: 26 Dec 2019, 10:48
by Markgway
Domino (2019) **
Brian DePalma's trademark stylistic flourishes don't belong in this ugly Islamic terrorism-themed thriller.
He should stick to Hitchcock tributes and more fanciful material.

Marshland (2014) **½
Spanish detectives investigate the murder of two teenage girls.
Has a good feel, with political undertones (it's set not long after Franco), but is a bit too ponderous for its own good.

Downsizing (2017) **½
Whimsical fantasy has Matt Damon shrink to 5" tall, ostensibly to save the planet, but as much to revitalise his meaningless suburban existence.
Amusing, if overlong satire takes a very firm stance on climate change.

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

Posted: 27 Dec 2019, 09:05
by Markgway
Little (2019) **½
The polar opposite of BIG, as here a female adult turns back into her 13-year old self.
Formula comedy, utterly predictable, but amiable and innocuous.

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

Posted: 31 Dec 2019, 13:37
by HungFist
Deathstalker (USA / Argentina, 1983) [VoD] – 2.5/5
Watchable barbarian junk, weighed down by incomprehensible plot, cheap as shit production values and a completely charisma free mullet Rick Hill (where do they find these guys, gym?) as the hero. But it does have: a pig faced monster eating a pig head, naked lady 1, naked lady 2, naked lady 3 and so on, also severed head 1, severed head 2 etc., mud wrestling, and… you get the gist.

Deathstalker II (USA / Argentina, 1987) [VoD] – 1.5/5
Holy shit! Where did the cast for this one come from, a porn movie? Rick Hill’s mullet deserved an acting Oscar compared to everyone in this one. John Terlesky (who?) is the new Deathstalker (“is that first name or last name?”), Monique Gabrielle plays not one but two roles (I don’t know in which one she sucked worse) and there’s the pig faced monster eating pig head again (stock footage, actually). And my God, villain John La Zar (from Beneath the Valley of the Dolls) gives the worst piece of shit performance in the entire movie. The whole film is a joke, and it only makes it worse the filmmakers are aware of it. Half star from one good zombie scene and Gabrielle’s face and body.

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

Posted: 02 Jan 2020, 20:34
by Ivan Drago
The Killing Machine (2010)

Not a remake of the Sonny Chiba classic, but a predictable time-waster starring (and directed by) super-hunk Dolph Lundgren as a former KGB assassin. Relies heavily on choppy slow-motion which wears out its welcome quickly and makes the film feel rather old hat. Fellow Swede and former Frankenstein monster Bo Svenson also turns up and unlike Dolph does a credible Russian accent.

5/10

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

Posted: 04 Jan 2020, 14:38
by HungFist
The Warrior and the Sorceress (USA / Argentina, 1984) [VoD] – 2.5/5
Wandering warrior David Carradine plays Yojimbo with two rival gangs a tiny town. Carradine is a better actor and swordsman than most sword and sorcery or barbarian heroes; it’s just a shame the storyline is completely void of originality and invention. And the creatures are puppets that look too much like bloody puppets. Kudos from Maria Socas spending the entire movie topless (there’s also a four breasted stripper if two ain’t enough for you), but the film really rests on Carradine’s shoulders. The final duel, where he mixes swordplay and kung fu, is pretty good.

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

Posted: 05 Jan 2020, 13:02
by HungFist
She (Italy, 1984) - 3/5
A goddess (Sandahl Bergman from Conan the Barbarian) walks into a cave full of boxes. Evil swordsmen jump out of the boxes and try to kill her, for no reason. Then a robot jumps out of a box and tries to kill her, for no reason. Then the robot's head explodes. This is one of the less bizarre, video game like challenges SHE encounters. But SHE is not really the main character because the story is about a guy looking for his sister, but HE ends up having much less screen time than SHE, although SHE no storyline of her own! Go figure. And you have to wait till the end credits to learn some of the main characters’ names! A completely nonsensical post-apocalyptic barbarian adventure, based on a book from which it reportedly borrows nothing. Not great cinema, but entertaining insanity, partly because it’s so nuts it’s 100% impossible to predict what the fuck will happen next.

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

Posted: 05 Jan 2020, 23:26
by Markgway
Batman Returns (1992) ***
How Tim Burton got away with turning this Warner franchise into a perverted, twisted nightmare I'll never know.

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

Posted: 06 Jan 2020, 06:51
by Ivan Drago
Markgway wrote:
05 Jan 2020, 23:26
Batman Returns (1992) ***
How Tim Burton got away with turning this Warner franchise into a perverted, twisted nightmare I'll never know.
First one made tons of money. Same reason Joel Schumacher got carte blanche with Batman and Robin.

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

Posted: 06 Jan 2020, 14:48
by Markgway
Ivan Drago wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 06:51
Markgway wrote:
05 Jan 2020, 23:26
Batman Returns (1992) ***
How Tim Burton got away with turning this Warner franchise into a perverted, twisted nightmare I'll never know.
First one made tons of money. Same reason Joel Schumacher got carte blanche with Batman and Robin.
Yeah, it was more of a rhetorical question. ;)

Joel Shoemaker's outings were gaudy and family friendly.

Tim Burton's were not Burger King tie-in material.

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

Posted: 06 Jan 2020, 14:50
by Markgway
Father Figures (2018) **
Twin brothers Owen Wilson and Ed Helms (eh?) go on a search for their father long thought dead.
Weak road trip comedy drama never comes close to hitting the target.

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

Posted: 07 Jan 2020, 16:12
by Markgway
A Kind of Murder (2015) **
Architect Patrick Wilson becomes fascinated with wife killer Eddie Marsen,
then his own neurotic wife commits suicide - or does she?
Muddled period thriller plays like a TV movie with a few f-words.
Based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith;
there's probably a decent film to be made here, but this isn't it.

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

Posted: 08 Jan 2020, 23:12
by Markgway
Dragged Across Concrete (2018) ***
Long, but engrossing crime thriller in which two suspended cops stumble onto an armed gold robbery.
It's always great to see Mel Gibson in roles like this, and he delivers his hard-boiled dialogue with aplomb.
I did have two issues with the film, however:
1. The director's continued reliance on shock tactics: Jennifer Carpenter is introduced as an anxious mother, suggesting a character who will play an important role, only for her to have her face blown off, upon which she's instantly forgotten - she's served her purpose as a victim, who cares about the consequences, right? 2. One of the robbers gets away with the gold. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer a crime doesn't pay message. This is entertainment, not a documentary. We don't need to be reminded that the world is a series of shitty endings.

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

Posted: 09 Jan 2020, 05:20
by Markgway
Greta (2018) **½
Psycho chiller is just gripping enough for one to forgive its silliness.

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

Posted: 09 Jan 2020, 22:05
by Markgway
Mary Poppins Returns (2018) ***
As good a sequel as they could have done.

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

Posted: 09 Jan 2020, 22:43
by Ivan Drago
Markgway wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 14:48
Ivan Drago wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 06:51
Markgway wrote:
05 Jan 2020, 23:26
Batman Returns (1992) ***
How Tim Burton got away with turning this Warner franchise into a perverted, twisted nightmare I'll never know.
First one made tons of money. Same reason Joel Schumacher got carte blanche with Batman and Robin.
Yeah, it was more of a rhetorical question. ;)

Joel Shoemaker's outings were gaudy and family friendly.

Tim Burton's were not Burger King tie-in material.
The toyline from Kenner was lazy - tons of Batmans, one Robin (who isn't even in the film), none of the circus gang, and the Penguin was just a repainted mid-80s figure.

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

Posted: 10 Jan 2020, 08:14
by Markgway
Unforgiven (1992) ***
Clint's multiple Oscar-winner lays bare the myths of the old west.

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

Posted: 10 Jan 2020, 16:09
by HungFist
Wheels of Fire (Philippines, 1985) [VoD] – 3/5
A surprisingly good Mad Max derivative with one-impression hero Gary Watkins chasing wasteland bandits who kidnapped his sister (’82 playmate Lynda Wiesmeier). The action is non-stop with occasional bits of originality, Wiesmeier frequently loses her top, and the acting isn’t that bad either (villain Joe Mari Avellana makes pretty solid b-film crook). And perhaps most importantly, the post-apocalyptic desert is lively enough with heroes, villains and strange societies to keep this a notch above the cheaper post apocalypse pictures. Director Cirio H. Santiago certainly has done worse films.

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

Posted: 10 Jan 2020, 22:50
by grim_tales
Knives Out (USA, 2019): 4.25/5

Entertaining murder mystery, really enjoyed this :)

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

Posted: 14 Jan 2020, 01:41
by Markgway
Rambo: First Blood, Part II (1985) **½
Cartoon sequel drops (most of) the first film's pretensions and serves effectively as a formula blow-shit-up action picture.

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

Posted: 16 Jan 2020, 08:41
by Markgway
First Blood (1982) **½
Strong first act, runs out of ideas after that.
Stallone and Dennehy are great, Crenna not so.