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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chazgower01
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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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chazgower01
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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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chazgower01
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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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Last edited by chazgower01 on 16 Jul 2019, 00:18, edited 1 time in total.

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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 » Yesterday, 08:38

The Hit List (2010) **
Thriller has potential, but can't escape its DTV trappings.
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