Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:12 am

The Turning (2020) Floria Sigismondi 1/10
Perfect Nanny (2019) Lucie Borleteau 7/10
The Mad Fox (1962) Tomu Uchida 7/10
Litigante (2019) Franco Lolli 6/10
23 Walks (2020) Paul Morrison 4/10
Resistance (2020) Jonathan Jakubowicz 2/10

Repeat viewings

Daisies (1966) Vera Chytilova 7/10
The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978) Ermanno Olmi 8/10
Murder, He Says (1945) George Marshall 7/10
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Celine Sciamma 9/10
Motorpsycho (1965) Russ Meyer 6/10
Mahanagar (The Big City) (1963) Satyajit Ray 10/10
Up! (1976) Russ Meyer 6/10
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) Nagisa Oshima 7/10
Poor Cow (1967) Ken Loach 7/10
A Man For All Seasons (1966) Fred Zinnemann 7/10
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Sabin » Wed Jul 29, 2020 7:07 pm

Buffalooed (Tanya Wexler) - 4.5/10

I'm being Santa Claus with this review because I REALLY think the script deserved a little better. Or maybe just the idea. I'd bet any amount of money this pitch started as "What if Wolf of Wall Street but a lady and debt collectors?" But the world of debt collectors is rather unexplored territory and I'm a fan of late-stage capitalism hustle films. Just better than this one. Brian Sacca's script is a professional machine in good and bad ways. It is Blake Snyder to its core, always working double and triple-time to ramp up the stakes, set up everything, pay everything off, and keep moving that nobody comes across as more than one-dimensional. And the threats feel very cartoonish. That said, I really think this script could've been made into a better film if the director didn't over-direct every scene and if someone besides Zoey Deutsch was cast in the lead role. Wexler cranks every scene up to a ten and favors broad caricatures over human interaction, while Deutsch just isn't quite up to the challenges of carrying a feature like this. Peg is a funny character but she never tries to find anything human. But the script just covers so much ground that there are worse ways to spend a Friday night.

Also, Buffalo never really comes into view as a location and the final minutes are a total wash. Again: I'm just a sucker for films about broke manic hustlers.
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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:45 am

Black Horse Canyon (Jesse Hibbs, 1954) 5/10

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:44 am

Train of Events (Basil Dearden, 1949) 6/10
Last edited by Reza on Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:44 am

The Outpost (Rod Lurie, 2020) 9/10

Riveting combat film pits a small group of U.S. soldiers against hundreds of Talibans during a pitched battle in North-Eastern Afghanistan. "The Battle of Kamdesh" turned out to be the bloodiest engagement of the Afghan War in 2009 and the American soldiers who fought became the most decorated units of that 19-year conflict. Boxed in at the bottom of three steep mountains, just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was an American army outpost built originally to engage the locals in community development projects. The outpost was under constant sniper threat so when the officials decided to close it down, the Talibans went on a rampage in a coordinated attack. Gripping film shows the young soldiers going about their daily routine with gallow humour, comraderie and interacting with local Afghan elders during the first hour of the film while occasionally warding off sniper attacks. The second hour puts the audience feet first into a pitched battle with bullets zipping fast and furious as the body count rises. A mostly unknown cast is led by a few familiar faces - Orlando Bloom and a bunch of star kids with famous surnames, Scott Eastwood, Milo Gibson, James Jagger, Will Attenborough, Scott Alda Coffey - playing the brave soldiers fighting for their lives. The extremely realistic combat scenes are a marvel of choreography, sharp editing, long camera takes (following one character in battle, then another) and exceptional sound design. The battle is very much in the same vein as in "Zulu" and during "Custer's Last Stand", with soldiers making a brave stand against impossible odds. Intense film is easily one of the year's best and must be seen on the biggest screen available during this Covid menace.

La signora senza camelie/ The Lady Without Camelias (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953) 8/10

Fascinating look at the Italian film industry during the 1950s. The screenplay takes us on a no holds barred view through the corridors of Cinecitta, the famous film studio in Rome, in this tale of a young girl (Lucia Bosè) who is plucked from being a sales girl and made into a star when her film is a hit. Antonioni, in his second film and working again with Bosè (he had initially offered the part to Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren), paints an unflattering portrait of the harsh realities of the film industry and what it was like for women working in that medium. With her second film she is expected to perform more risqué scenes by her director (Gino Cervi) with an eye towards the boxoffice, which she does, but then gets waylaid into marriage with a producer (Andrea Checchi) who decides he doesn't like his wife being a sex symbol. So begins the starlet's fall - her subsequent film based on pure Joan of Arc (a nod to Rossellini & Bergman) flops, she is estranged from her controlling husband, has an affair with a diplomat (Ivan Desny) who is insincere and only wants to chalk her up as yet another notch on his sexcapade list and finally going back to the kind of cinema she started with in order to help her bankrupt husband. The film's final scene among extras as she smiles through tears becomes her greatest acting performance realizing the futility and unhappiness of her life but pretending all is well. Antonioni's obsession with using architecture as a metaphor for bleakness is seen here so early in his career - the huge fake studio sets Bosè is photographed against and later seen dwarfed in the interior of her house, a nouveau riche monstrosity, that her husband has built. Through this melodrama the director paints a scathing picture about suffering, loss and cruelty.

Le mani sulla città / Hands Over the City (Francesco Rosi, 1963) 8/10

Rosi's scathing view of political corruption through illegal land deals still remains a topical subject in many parts of the world. The screenplay takes a semi documentary approach about a corrupt land developer (a dubbed but perfectly cast Rod Steiger) who uses his clout to purchase farm land on the outskirts of Naples at a throwaway price in order to construct apartment blocks. When part of an adjoining building collapses due to construction going on next door, the fallout for the tragedy becomes an obsession for the builder to somehow escape and put the blame elsewhere. Most of the film revolves around government bureaucracy - also in his pocket - shifting the onus of the blame around. Superbly photographed film is any eye-opening depiction about corruption and nepotism during post war reconstruction.

Hangman's Knot (Roy Huggins, 1952) 6/10

Underrated post Civil War-era western with an excellent cast. A Confederate officer (Randolph Scott) and his officers tasked with stealing a gold shipment from Union soldiers suceed. They are unaware that the war is over so stealing the gold has made them outlaws in the eyes of the law. They are pursued by a posse and find themselves at their mercy while holed up at an isolated way station. The motley group inside consists of a Yankee woman (Donna Reed), a psychotic gunslinger (Lee Marvin), a pacifist (Claude Jarman Jr.), a gambler (Richard Denning) and a grieving mother (Jeanette Nolan). All the characters have various issues and in conflict with one another. Despite the claustrophobic setting the film still manages a number of action set pieces.

Unleashed (Louis Leterrier, 2005) 6/10

The film is stolen by the two veteran actors in the cast - Bob Hoskins as a cockney mobster with more lives than a cat and Morgan Freeman as a blind piano tuner with a kind heart and a sassy tongue. A man (Jet Li), raised as a vicious killing machine, is used by his vicious master (Bob Hoskins) to beat, maim and kill during illegal no-holds-barred brawls to earn money. He is treated like a dog with a metal collar around his neck. Savagery and sentimentality, a decidedly odd concoction via the pen of Luc Besson, results in a film where martial arts star Jet Li gets to "act". We do get the obligatory scenes of mayhem where Li takes on 30 men and beats them to a pulp via carefully choreographed fight sequences. However, a chance encounter with a blind man (Morgan Freeman) and piano music snaps his mind taking him towards a direction that causes the mobster's shit to hit the fan. Running away he takes shelter with the blind man and his daughter and discovers his own origin and the fate of his mother. A final confrontation remains as he has to settle scores with the mad beast who raised him. Action packed film packs a punch but the fun is in seeing the hilarious Hoskins having a ball with his role as he gets to be way over the top with deliciously funny lines. Freeman, for whom the role was written, is a contrasting foil and the gentle voice of reason that helps to tame the rabid dog in Jet Li.

The Great Waltz (Julien Duvivier, 1938) 8/10

Lavish MGM musical is a completely over-the-top, highly fictionalised screen biography of composer Johann Strauss. The screenplay focuses on the love triangle between Strauss (Fernand Gravet), his saintly, long-suffering wife (Luise Rainer) and the diva opera star (Miliza Korjus who was nominated for an Oscar) who makes him famous while singing to his music. The two ladies are in sharp contrast to each other and hilariously so. Rainer, fresh after winning two back-to-back Oscars - her first win was for a celebrated scene in "The Great Ziegfeld" where she talks to her womanizing husband on the phone pretending to be jolly while fighting back tears. She repeats that moment here as she confronts her husband and his mistress with a big smile on her face as she encourages him to go on tour with the diva following which she dramatically collapses in tears. Korjus, who was sort of like the European version of Mae West, plays her part with a perpetual smirk on her face as she twists the composer to her bidding. The scenes where Strauss composes his famous music is pure camp - while riding with his mistress in a horse drawn buggy through the Vienna Woods the sounds of the horses, the carriage and the birds (and with help from the coachman) make him dream up the famous waltz "Tales From the Vienna Woods" and a visit to the Danube river conjures up his memorable "Blue Danube" waltz. Sumptuous production, with deliriously shot waltz sequences, won an Oscar for Joseph Ruttenberg's swirling cinematography and a nomination for editing. Oscar Hammerstein II provided the lyrics to Strauss' music which Korjus sings. This was her only film as an actress as rumour had it that reigning opera queen at MGM, Jeanette MacDonald, made it perfectly clear to the bosses that there was no room for her at the studio while she was in residence.

The Outriders (Roy Rowland, 1950) 4/10

Despite the interesting cast this is a shockingly mediocre western from the MGM stable. Confederate soldiers (Joel McCrea, Barry Sullivan, James Whitmore) escape from a Union prison and latch onto a wagon train run by an aristocratic Mexican (Ramon Novarro). They have their eyes on the gold shipment being carried and on a young widow (Arlene Dahl). Plodding pace is somewhat redeemed by a great sequence during a perilous river crossing.

Les liens de sang / Blood Relatives (Claude Chabrol, 1978) 3/10

Dull thriller shot in Montreal by Chabrol in English. A young girl is savagely murdered in the presence of her cousin who is also attacked but manages to escape. When interrogated by the detective (Donald Sutherland) on the case she describes in detail the attack along with the description of the killer. A few days later she changes her story and accuses her own brother of being the murderer. The plot veers off into bizzare tangents involving the girl's sordid family - a dubbed Stéphane Audran plays the alcoholic mother - which involves incest discovered through a diary which the detective reads as flashbacks reveal the life of the dead girl. Based on one of Ed McBain's "87th Precinct" detective novels the film is shot in a flat television style and only during the end there is suspense when Chabrol goes for the jugular recreating the murder sequence shown only in darkness at the start. Sutherland sleep walks through the film while Donald Pleasence has one inexplicable scene as a child molester. David Hemmings also pops up as a randy old man with the hots for the young teenager. Skip this boring film.

Cheyenne (Raoul Walsh, 1947) 6/10

Fast-moving Western with an interesting cast, surprisingly risqué dialogue, sly charm and a noirish screenplay dripping with cynicism. A gambler (Dennis Morgan) is blackmailed by a detective (Barton MacLane) to go in search of a stagecoach robber who is known as the "poet". He decides to impersonate the "poet" and runs into a prim lady (Jane Wyman) with a number of tricks up her sleeve, a dance-hall girl (Janis Paige), a group of disgruntled robbers led by their leader - the Sundance Kid (Arthur Kennedy), a cowardly lawman (Alan Hale) and a smooth-talking bank officer (Bruce Bennett). Morgan and Wyman create sparks with their sexually charged banter which was quite unusual for a film set in this particular genre. Walsh stages an impressive ambush sequence between Morgan and Kennedy's gang creating suspense through sharp editing and framing. Max Steiner's bombastic score is out of place as it completely overwhelms the many action packed chase sequences.

I Believe in You (Basil Dearden, 1952) 6/10

One of Dearden's early social film is almost like a documentary about teenage delinquents and the social officers required to monitor their lives. The film is a fascinating look at the unglamourous side of Britain, still reeling after the War, as the upper-middle-class British Probation Service tries to solve the problems of the lower class Britons often without having ever set foot in the East End. The story revolves around a retired civil servant's (Cecil Parker) attempt at social work as he gets involved in the lives of three teenagers - a sensitive boy (Harry Fowler) abused by his father, a young vicious thug (Laurence Harvey) and a wild party-girl (Joan Collins) who gets involved with both boys. Celia Johnson (nominated for a Bafta award) is the no-nonsense career social worker. The screenplay emphasises Britain's class division where accent, clothes and speech determined one's future. The main leads are well supported by many familiar character actors, a number of whom would go on to become famous names in leading roles - Sidney James, Katie Johnson, Brenda de Banzie. Both Harvey and Collins (only 19 in her film debut) make a strong impression.

The End of the Affair (Edward Dmytryk, 1955) 5/10

The first screen adaptation of Graham Greene's novel comes off rather prim, typical of the films in Hollywood during the conservative 1950s. The story concentrates more on the inner conflict of the characters instead of lust and sex which the 1999 British remake unashamedly explored. The plot hinges on an unbelieving woman's sudden realization that God may exist after a shattering event makes her pray for her lover's life. The love affair between a self-centered, jealous American writer (Van Johnson) and the bored and occasionally promiscuous wife (Deborah Kerr) of a civil servant (Peter Cushing) plays out with the two leads displaying no passion - Johnson seems like a spoilt wilful boy while Kerr acts too arch and stagy. Cushing and John Mills - as the detective hired to follow the wayward wife - are more interesting than the two main characters. The story's bleak and maudlin Catholic guilt angle bogs the plot down. This version is faithful to the book's ending which was dramatically changed by Neil Jordan in his adaptation of the remake. That ending was criticised by many critics but I think it works because both Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore play out their affair at such a melodramatic fever pitch that the changes to the book's ending works perfectly. Guilt, Catholic or otherwise, seems more forceful when played to the gallery instead of quietly whining about it with hands folded praying to God for forgiveness which is how Kerr plays her scenes in complete contrast to Moore. In any case I could never imagine the lady-like Kerr as an adulterous wife and this is despite her roll in the surf with Burt Lancaster in "From Here to Eternity". Glad the remake got Graham Greene's story right.

The End of the Affair (Neil Jordan, 1999) 8/10

Exquisite adaptation of Graham Greene's novel is set in London during and after the Second World War. A story about obsession, jealousy and Catholic guilt revolving around a love triangle between a civil servant (Stephen Rea), his bored and lonely wife (Julianne Moore) and the writer (Ralph Fiennes) with whom she falls passionately in love. Fiennes and Moore create sexual sparks as their affair takes on a melodramatic turn during one split-second event that forever changes their lives. Moore gives a luminous performance as a woman at war with herself, torn between loyalty to God and desire for her lover. Fiennes basically repeats his role from "The English Patient", brooding, steely-eyed and in lust for another man's wife. Moore was nominated for an Oscar as was Roger Pratt's cinematography which perfectly captures a grim, rainy and depressing London along with delicately lit interiors which makes the three stars seem ethereal. Special mention to Ian Hart who plays a private detective who uses his profession to nervously nurture his interest in voyeurism.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:50 am

Family Romance, LLC (2019) Werner Herzog 4/10
The King of Staten Island (2020) Judd Apatow 6/10
Notre Dame (2019) Valerie Donzelli 4/10
The Mystery of Henri Pick (2019) Remi Bezancon 7/10
Little Joe (2019) Jessica Hausner 7/10
Baxter, Vera Baxter (1975) Marguerite Duras 5/10
The Personal History of David Copperfield (2019) Armando Iannucci 6/10
Babyteeth (2020) Shannon Murphy 5/10
The Burnt Orange Heresy (2020) Giuseppe Capotondi 4/10
Only You (2019) Harry Wootliff 5/10
The Old Guard (2020) Gina Prince-Bythewood 1/10
The Portuguese Woman (2019) Rita Azevedo Gomes 5/10
The Invincibles (1994) Dominik Graf 6/10
Happy Birthday (2019) Cedric Kahn 7/10

Repeat viewings

Lust, Caution (2007) Ang Lee 7/10
Good Morning... and Goodbye! (1967) Russ Meyer 6/10
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jul 19, 2020 1:19 am

OscarGuy wrote:Here's a question, since you've seen The Hunt.

What I've heard is it makes both conservatives and liberals look bad. Can you give me an idea if it actually takes sides or makes both sides look like total asshats?


Makes them both look like asshats, though in some respects the liberals come off looking worse but that is only because they tend to be held up to a higher standard and their motive for their 'game' would I think be considered unacceptable by most fair minded people. It doesn't actually take any sides with the conservatives or liberals per say. The only character that actually does have audience sympathy is Crystal played by Betty Gilpin who is tagged as a deplorable but there is a lot more to that story.

Don't know what Amy Madigan a well known Hollywood liberal is doing in this largely distasteful film. :oops: She can't be that hard up for cash surely.
"I want cement covering every blade of grass in this nation! Don't we taxpayers have a voice anymore?" Peggy Gravel (Mink Stole) in John Waters' Desperate Living (1977)

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sun Jul 19, 2020 12:57 am

Dark Purpose / L'intrigo (George Marshall & Vittorio Sala, 1964) 5/10

This film can't decide if its one of those typical European travelogues so fashionable during the 1960s (American stars in Salerno) or a gothic melodrama with Hitchcockian overtones of "Rebecca", "Suspicion" and also "Jane Eyre" or a bizzare giallo. A sardonic art appraiser (George Sanders doing his usual sarcastic shtick) and his young protégé (Shirley Jones) arrive in Salerno to evaluate the art collection belonging to a count (Rossano Brazzi). Whenever Brazzi was cast by Hollywood it signalled romance for the American leading lady in the film. Well that's exactly what happens but the screenplay suddenly veers off into mystery territory with the appearance of a violent amnesiac woman who is first identified as Brazzi's disturbed daughter who later claims she is his wife. Secret rooms, a vicious dog and murder become the order of the day at the sea-side villa. Is the charming Brazzi a cad as he is also involved with a gallery owner (Micheline Presle)? An erratic obscure little film which holds interest because of the stars although its a pity Sanders disappears half way through. And a bigger pity that Italy doesn't get a proper look-in despite a few cliff top views of the Mediterranean and a couple of scenes in a square with most of the film shot in the studio.

Blue Sky (Tony Richardson, 1994) 8/10

Jessica Lange's overtly sexual performance is the highlight of Richardson's intimate little drama set during the early 1960s at an army base in Alabama. Loved by her husband (Tommy Lee Jones), a US army engineer assigned to the base after a long series of transfers due to the irrational behaviour of his bipolar wife, he causes a stir with his superior officers when he speaks against nuclear testing and the dangers involved with escaped radiation and possible harm to two cowboys who happened to be in the vicinity. The situation is further aggravated by his wife's emotional unstability and sexual affair with a senior officer (Powers Booth) - their dance at the officer's club, in full view of everyone, is like foreplay with Lange going full throttle as if in a sexual frenzy. This little film had a troubled history. It sat in a bank vault for three years when the studio went bankrupt. It was finally released three years after Richardson had died. The film's dramatic premise involves a coverup by the government when an underground nuclear test releases radioactivity into the atmosphere. This is built around intense domestic upheavel which the couple have managed to ride out through the years as both have a strong bond for each other. She is promiscuous - imagining herself to be a combination of Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot - but remains loyal to her husband while he in a strange way enjoys the fact that other men are attracted to her. Both Jones and Lange beautifully play off each other as a couple and as doting parents to two teenage girls who seem remarkably well brought up considering the odd interplay between the two adults. The intelligent screenplay - which sort of wavers off into melodrama towards the end - vividly brings to life a time and place in America with its underlying fear of an attack by Cuba. The entire cast is memorable including Carrie Snodgress as Booth's disgusted wife, Chris O'Donnell as his son and Amy Locane as Lange's angry elder daughter. Lange managed to win her second Oscar not only for her vividly audacious performance but also because her competition that year was pretty dismal. This, however, remains one of her most memorable screen roles.

A Month By the Lake (John Irvin, 1995) 5/10

This elegant film has two great things going for it - the stunning location of Lake Como in Italy and the tall, lithe presence of a radiant Vanessa Redgrave. Unfortunately the story, based on the book by H.E. Bates, is rather silly despite the sumptuous trappings the film is surrounded by in its 1930s setting - wonderful production and costume design, a score by Nicola Piovani and gorgeous cinematography by Pasqualino De Santis capturing the town and the lake in all its glory. A spinster (Vanessa Redgrave), a regular visitor at a resort hotel on Lake Como, finds herself to be the only British guest. When she runs into a well-to-do retired Major (Edward Fox) - a bachelor - she slyly throws herself at him without any subtlety. He is at first charmed by her but later gets annoyed when she beats him at a game of tennis. She finds sudden competion in a much younger American woman (Uma Thurman), working as a nanny for an Italian family, who also pursues him out of boredom. The story has the two women playing cat-and-mouse not only with each other but also with the old man who actually thinks the younger woman is interested in him. Thurman looks bored throughout, is badly miscast and gives a bad performance. Redgrave, also pursued by a much younger Italian, is delightful as the lonely old woman with a constant smile and a helping hand wanting desperately to settle down. Her scenes with Fox, as the stiff and very proper but rather dull military man, are charmingly played by the two pros although its all really much ado about nothing. Silly fluff.

La chienne / The Bitch (Jean Renoir, 1931) 10/10

A meek cashier (Michel Simon), constantly mocked by colleagues at work and henpecked at home by his shrewish wife (Magdeleine Bérubet), saves a young woman (Janie Marèse) who is being beaten on the street by a drunk man (Georges Flamant). Sick of his wife, who constantly mocks his hobby of painting, he sets up the woman in an apartment which he decorates with his paintings. Unknown to him she is a prostitute and in love with the drunk man who is her pimp. Their plan to swindle him of his paintings results in a comedy of errors - with seriously dark undertones - which includes the return of his wife's former husband who was assumed to be dead, blackmail, murder and a life-affirming conclusion with an ironic twist. Renoir's second sound film, adapted from a pulp novel by Georges de La Fouchardière, makes innovative use of sound, deep focus cinematography (with the camera in constant motion) and outdoor locations. Bleak and tragic elements are counter-balanced by life's humourous moments in Renoir's savage satire of the bourgeois. The film was banned in America for its frank portrayal of the relationship between a prostitute and her pimp and finally released in 1975. Hollywood remade the film in 1945 - Fritz Lang's "Scarlet Street" - but due to strict censorship the character played by Joan Bennett was not openly referred to as a prostitute and the meek cashier played by Edward G. Robinson meets a totally different end as puritanically dictated by censorship. An interesting bit of off-screen trivia about the Renoir film - star Simon fell in love with his leading lady Marése who in turn fancied Flamant (who in reality was not an actor but a petty criminal the director had chosen to play the part of the pimp). Renoir encouraged his film's leading lady to have an affair with Flamant in order to get the right reactions from Simon while the film was in production. Tragically Marése was killed in a car crash while being driven by Flamant to the film's premiere. Simon was devastated, fainted at the funeral and threatened Renoir with a gun for allowing the actress to frolic with a criminal. The following year both star and director would go on to collaborate on another masterpiece in their next film "Boudu sauvé des eaux".

Romancing the Stone (Robert Zemeckis, 1984) 8/10

Schmaltzy romance novelist (Kathlenn Turner), of the Mills and Boon variety, finds real-life adventure when her kidnapped sister in Colombia needs help. Sharply written screenplay still holds up after all these years with the director taking his action cue from Spielberg's "Raiders" and getting his mousey heroine to find pluck with and without the help of a knight-in-shining-armour (Michael Douglas). Funny action-packed film rests on the incredible chemistry between the two attractive stars, the comic genius of Danny De Vito as a sleazy scumbag and all the expected clichés which strangely still manage to resonate. Despite Turner's sizzling debut in "Body Heat", three years earlier, this is the film that was her start at an incredible run in the movies during the decade.

Greyhound (Aaron Schneider, 2020). 8/10

Old fashioned WWII film highlights the Battle of the Atlantic as convoys of merchant and passenger ships (carrying troops headed for the war-front in Europe) try to avoid the relentless attacks by German U-boats. Although the convoy is protected by military aircrafts most of the way the actual danger lies in the Mid-Atlantic gap area known as "The Black Pit" where the only protection for the convoy is the assigned military vessel escort alone. Based on the 1955 novel "The Good Shepherd" by C. S. Forester, the screenplay (written by star Tom Hanks) focuses on a battleship accompanying the convoy with a senior US Navy Commander (Tom Hanks) on his first war-time assignment. Riveting film uses the claustrophobic environment of the ship's bowels and the upper deck from where the Commander and his crew map out their counter attacks as the U-boats fire torpedos. Overdone CGI effects take over shots of the raging open sea as the film highlights various dramatic sequences - deadly U-boats going in for the kill as they sink merchant ships, a dramatic moment where the battle ship narrowly escapes colliding with one of the very ships it is trying to save from on-coming torpedos and an open battle with a surfaced U-boat. Hanks is very good as the deeply religious man with an estranged wife back home - Elisabeth Shue appears in brief flashbacks - who, despite being "all-at-sea" in his first-time assignment, ferociously responds to every obstacle the war throws his way. The film's exceptional sound design deserves an Oscar.

The Bitter Waters (John Brahm, 1956) 8/10

Short film from television's golden age in a series with episodes by different prominent Hollywood directors. John Brahm directs this adapatation of Henry James' "Louisa Pallant". A confirmed bachelor (George Sanders) on holiday in Europe with his nephew (Robert Vaughn), runs into an old flame (Constance Cummings) who years before dumped him for a richer man. When the nephew falls in love with her daughter certain bitter truths are revealed about the young girl by the regretful mother. Elegantly performed by both Sanders and Cummings with the screenplay capturing flaws in the upper class which was a running theme in all of James' writings.

The First Texan (Byron Haskin, 1956) 5/10

Historical film, made on the cheap, is a by-the-numbers look at Sam Houston (Joel McCrea) who played a major role in getting Texas it's independence from Mexico. The screenplay charts his arrival in San Antonio after resigning as governor of Tennessee and setting up a law practice. He stays away from politics but is asked by President Andrew Jackson to help Texans in their fight against Mexico. After the fall of the Alamo the decisive Battle of San Jacinto wins Texas its place as an independent republic with Houston its first President. The film tacks on a fake love affair with a local Texan (Felicia Farr) although Houston was married but separated from his wife who refused to give him a divorce. He later lived for a number of years and married a Cherokee woman and only when his divorce was granted did he marry a third time at age 47 with a 21-year old woman from Alabama who not only gave him 8 children but also convinced him to be baptized at age 61. Hollywood needs to make a proper film on this man's colourful life.

Sign of the Pagan (Douglas Sirk, 1954) 4/10

Sword and sandal hokum has Jeff Chandler in the lead as a Roman centurion being upstaged by Jack Palance as Attila the Hun. Epic film is strikingly photographed in cinemascope by Russell Metty but Sirk brings nothing new to the genre while the shoddy production design clearly signals the film's low budget. The Roman emperor of the East (Constantinople) wants to break away from Rome and hatches a plan with Attila to help him while allowing the Hun to proceed towards Rome. Meanwhile Chandler tries to stop them in between romancing the Hun's nubile sister (Rita Gam) and a Roman princess (the ballerina Ludmila Tcherina). The Hun's savage demeanor is subdued towards the end when superstition and the "power" of the Christian God puts fear in his soul rendering Palance into a piece of quivering flesh.

The Walking Dead (Michael Curtiz, 1936) 8/10

Stylish horror film with more than a passing resemblance to the star's most famous role in Frankenstein (1932). A gentle, mild-mannered man - an ex-con (Boris Karloff) - is framed for the murder of a judge by racketeers and is sentenced to death by the electric chair. Two medical student witnesses, who know he was innocent, are too late to save him and the man is executed. The students' eccentric teacher, a scientist (Edmund Gwenn), manages to raise him from the dead in his laboratory. Waking up with amnesia he has a strange supernatural aura which makes him recognise the racketeers who framed him and he decides to kill them along with his oily defence attorney (Ricardo Cortez) who is also secretly part of the gang. Curtiz directs this taut programmer like a noir and the chilling and eerie mood is sustained throughout by Hal Mohr's shadowy cinematography as he uses oddly tilted camera angles to create mood. A minor classic with one of Karloff's best roles.

The Shadow of the Cat (John Gilling, 1961) 7/10

Goofy, unusual but very effective horror film from Hammer studios. Tabitha, a cat, is witness to the murder of her rich mistress (Catherine Lacey) by her butler at the instructions of her husband (André Morell). The cat also witnesses the two, along with the cook (Freda Jackson), bury the dead body on the vast grounds of the gothic mansion. The plot takes on a macabre turn when the cat starts stalking the murderers. There is a missing will and when the dead woman's favourite niece (Barbara Shelley) arrives to look after her petrified Uncle she is astonished to see that the occupants of the house are hell-bent on killing the cat. When other greedy relatives arrive the cat, one by one, leads various family members and the staff to their deaths. Despite an avoidance of blood this horror film benefits from the presence of lovely Barbara Shelley - a Hammer regular - and its striking visuals and suspenseful plot. A forgotten little gem.

The Secret Partner (Basil Dearden, 1961) 5/10

In between Dearden's
controversial social-problem films came this derivative suspense thriller with a twist ending. A wealthy shipping company executive (Stewart Granger) is in the midst of various problems. He is being blackmailed by a seedy dentist (Norman Bird), is framed for a robbery at his office and his elegant wife (Haya Harareet) has left him. He goes on the run to prove his innocence while being pursued by a dogged cop (Bernard Lee) who is on the verge of retirement. The plot smells of deja vu and is full of potholes. Harareet, in her first film after "Ben-Hur", is wasted in a minor role but Lee is memorable as the chain smoking cop. The film's use of unusual locations - the London docks - gives it a bit of a fresh feel.

Out of the Clouds (Basil Dearden, 1950) 6/10

Fascinating look at the workings of Heathrow Airport in London during the 1950s - shot at the actual location and on fairly accurate sets built at Ealing studios. A predecessor to Arthur Hailey's "Airport", the film follows various characters - passengers, ground and air crew - seen on board different flights or in transit at the airport lounge. Elements of documentary mixed with soap opera is the way the screenplay moves using British actors on contract with Ealing studios playing the diverse characters - a pilot (James Robertson Justice) landing a plane in fog, an old rich lady (Marie Lohr) traveling with her prim companion (Esma Cannon), a love triangle between a gambler/smuggler pilot (Anthony Steel), a stewardess (Eunic Gayson) and a senior ground officer (Robert Beatty) and a young jewish couple who meet and fall in love in the transit lounge. Also popping up in brief parts are various British character actors - Sidney James, Isabel Dean, Bernard Lee and Megs Jenkins. The film, shot with full co-operation of the Ministry of Transport, is clearly a marketing project making the world of commercial air travel as attractive as possible. Great pain is taken into showing the airport staff as relentlessly helpful and constantly going beyond the call of duty to help customers along with a tutorial about immigration procedures, customs, visas and how delayed flights are handled. The film moves at a swift pace, is well acted and enjoyable in an antiquated way.

The Halfway House (Basil Dearden & Alberto Cavalcanti, 1944) 6/10

Unusual fantasy attempted by Ealing Studios during the war. A group of diverse characters, going through various traumas in their personal lives, arrive at an isolated Welsh country inn. The inn had been destroyed by Nazi bombs a year before, killing both the owner (Mervyn Johns) and his daughter (Glynis Johns), yet the guests are led to believe that the mysterious inn has been reconstructed and are welcomed by the same owner and his daughter. As the days go by all the guests start seeing their lives changing in subtle ways for the better. A superb cast of character actors - Françoise Rosay, Esmond Knight, Guy Middleton and child actor Sally Ann Howes - accurately reflect the attitudes, values and behaviours of middle-class wartime England.

They Came to a City (Basil Dearden, 1944) 4/10

Static excessively talky version of J. B. Priestley's play was an unusual undertaking by Ealing studios during the 1940s. The whole concept is un-cinematic and comes off strictly like a stage play with the actors mouthing pages of dialogue while standing on a bare set resembling a castle rampart. Nine British characters, representing different strata of society, arrive at a strange structure and look down at a city enveloped in thick mist which represents Utopia. After visiting the place they all have a two-fold reaction with some finding peace and contentment (the ones who previously led difficult lifes) while others reject it outright (the upper class find it's not a place that allows them their personal privilege while an aggressive businessman is appalled that the city provides no means for competition or the accumulation of wealth). The whole concept of the film remains up in the air as we never get to see Utopia and only get to hear vague descriptions by the characters. A fine cast of character actors - John Clements, Googie Withers, Raymond Huntley, Mabel Terry-Lewis - give it a solid go but its all rather tedious.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby OscarGuy » Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:37 pm

Here's a question, since you've seen The Hunt.

What I've heard is it makes both conservatives and liberals look bad. Can you give me an idea if it actually takes sides or makes both sides look like total asshats?
Wesley Lovell
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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:54 am

The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960) Terence Fisher 4/10
JT LeRoy (2019) Justin Kelly 3/10
Shooting the Mafia (2019) Kim Longinotto 5/10
My Days of Glory (2020) Antoine de Bary 6/10
Oh Mercy! (2019) Arnaud Desplechin 6/10
The Sailor From Gibraltar (1967) Tony Richardson 4/10
Where'd You Go Bernadette (2019) Richard Linklater 5/10
La Belle Epoque (2019) Nicolas Bedos 6/10
The Hunt (2020) Craig Zobel 1/10
Greed (2020) Michael Winterbottom 2/10
Sandra (1965) Luchino Visconti 7/10
Crime and Punishment (1935) Pierre Chenal 4/10

Repeat viewings

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) Sergio Leone 9/10
Mondo Topless (1966) Russ Meyer 7/10
Toni Erdmann (2016) Maren Ade 9/10
Come and See (1985) Elem Klimov 8/10
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Jonathan Demme 10/10
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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:18 am

Love Sarah (2020) Eliza Schroeder 6/10
System Crasher (2019) Nora Fingscheidt 4/10
Wild Mouse (2017) Josef Hader 7/10
A Degree of Murder (1967) Volker Schlondorff 5/10
Shirley (2020) Josephine Decker 5/10
Lazy Susan (2020) Nick Peet 5/10
The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) Terence Fisher 4/10

Repeat viewings

Crimes of the Heart (1986) Bruce Beresford 10/10
Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979) Russ Meyer 7/10
An Angel at My Table (1990) Jane Campion 7/10
Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers (1968) Russ Meyer 5/10
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) Tay Garnett 8/10
Vixen (1968) Russ Meyer 10/10
Victim (1961) Basil Dearden 8/10
Britannia Hospital (1982) Lindsay Anderson 5/10
A Place For Annie (1994) John Gray 8/10
Force 10 From Navarone (1978) Guy Hamilton 6/10
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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:50 am

Reza wrote:Violets Are Blue... (Jack Fisk, 1986) 4/10

A famous photographer (Sissy Spacek) returns on vacation to her family home on the Maryland coast. She runs into her former boyfriend (Kevin Kline), now married, and soon they rekindle their affair. When years before she left town to pursue her dreams he stayed back to run the local newspaper. Lonely and envious of his family she manages to get him a lucrative job at the magazine she works for. Will he leave his suspicious wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and adoring son for her or will he realise what he is about to lose? Tedious soap opera has the two stars frolicking on the beach in between bouts of guilt. The entire premise is dreary as nothing much really happens and once again Bedelia is wasted in an underwritten part in the "nice" wife role. One wishes she had at least thrown an apocalyptic fit when she discovers the affair but even that confrontation is a weak moment. Fisk directs his wife Spacek who is radiant throughout. In comparison Kline seems to be holding back during all the moments of passion as if he was embarrased doing nude scenes with the director's wife. Ralf D. Bode's cinematography of the stunning location is a major plus. A misfire despite the three attractive stars.



Violets Are Blue is one strange film. Just as well they didn't give poor Bonnie a scene to throw a tantrum in because as it was she was painted as 'the other woman' & 'the villain' of the piece and she was Kevin Kline's wife???

Also, the film was written by the mother of Maggie G. & Jake G., Naomi Foner. Running on Empty and A Dangerous Woman remain her best cinematic efforts. She received an Oscar nomination for the former.
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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Reza » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:38 am

The Texans (James P. Hogan, 1938) 7/10

Rousing western set in the South right after the Civil War. A feisty young woman (Joan Bennett) smuggles guns for her ex-Confederate boyfriend (Robert Cummings) who wants revenge on the North. Another ex-Confederate soldier (Randolph Scott) wants peace and suggests to the girl that her cattle should be taken up North to be sold as a gesture of peace and to also make money. She resists but is forced to agree when Yankees arrive to charge huge taxes on the cattle. The rest of the film depicts the exciting but dangerous cattle drive through the Rio Grande and Indian territory with the love triangle at its center. Pretty Bennett is miscast but makes a go of it as Scott carries the film on his shoulders. Walter Brennan adds comic relief as he did years later on another cattle drive in Hawks' "Red River". May Robson is delightfully over-the-top as Bennett's old garrulous grandma. The busy screenplay even throws in the Ku Klux Klan. This was one of the films instrumental in making westerns, which had largely been relegated to B-status, fashionable again with studios casting A-list stars.

Hamilton (Thomas Kail, 2020) 6/10

A filmed version of the Broadway musical that won 11 Tony awards. The original cast appears in this "film" version about Alexander Hamilton (Lin Manuel Miranda who wrote the music, lyrics and book) who became aide-de-camp to George Washington during the Revolutionary War in 1776 and later Secretary of the Treasury. The story charts his life, marriage and the various trials in his political life after John Adams becomes the President. American history is presented through music drawing heavily from hip hop, R&B, pop, soul and traditional
style show tunes. The musical also casts non-white actors as the
Founding Fathers and other historical figures giving it a modern "up-to-date" feeling. Spectacular production provides the feel of a theatrical experience with the added bonus of the camera zooming in on close-ups although I found the densely populated story rather dry and hard to follow.

Bullitt (Peter Yates, 1968) 8/10

Classic film with Steve McQueen in one of his iconic parts as tough but cool San Francisco cop - Frank Bullitt - trying to find who killed a witness in his protective custody while stealthily manoeuvring his investigation through a web of double crosses. The film's memorable set piece is the car chase (McQueen in a Ford Mustang chasing the bad guys in a Dodge Charger) through the streets of the city which inspired many directors, including William Friedkin ("The French Connection) and John Woo ("Hard Boiled"). The film's memorable supporting cast play vividly drawn characters - Robert Vaughn as an oily and ambitious politician, Simon Oakland as Bullit's boss and lovely Jacqueline Bisset, at the start of her career, as his chic girlfriend. William Fraker's camera makes San Francisco seem fresh and alive as Lalo Schifrin's jazzy score plays on the soundtrack. The film won an Oscar for its taut editing and a nomination for its sound design - the almost 11-minute car chase is shot without music with only the natural sound of screeching tyres heard. McQueen's "casual" attire in the film - blue turtle neck sweater, a brown tweed jacket with elbow patches and brown suede shoes - received a boost in popularity adding greatly to the actor's personality. Despite his name in the film McQueen doesn't use a gun until the end of the film in one of the actor's most memorable screen moments - which is a screen shot of the star holding his gun.

This Can't Be Love (Anthony Harvey, 1994) 6/10

Charming fluff has Hepburn reuniting with director Harvey after two previous films - "The Lion in Winter" & "Grace Quigley" - and it was her last leading role. Irascible actress (Katharine Hepburn), once a huge star, now lives a retired life with a housekeeper and a chauffeur (Jason Bateman) to keep her company. When her former husband (Anthony Quinn) - they were secretly married for five days during the 1940s - suddenly appears all hell breaks loose. Their once tempestuous relationship carries into the present as he tries to rekindle lost feelings while she wants him to get lost. Silly premise coasts along on the charm of the two stars. The screenplay puts in details from Hepburn's own life while Quinn resurrects his own braggart persona from past movies including a scene where he jumps onto a table and swashbuckles. Will they get back together or will they part forever after she discovers he has an ulterior motive for their reunion? Hepburn is her usual feisty self despite being unsteady on her feet and suffering from skin cancer during the shoot.

Adventure in Manhattan (Edward Ludwig, 1936) 6/10

Smart-ass reporter (Joel McCrea), who can predict crimes, tangles with a daffy actress (Jean Arthur) and a jewel thief (Reginald Owen) in this rather slow moving screwball comedy. The story takes odd detours to get to its climax but scores points whenever McCrea and the gorgeous raspy-voiced Arthur are on screen. McCrea, an underrated actor who spent most of his career as a western star, was equally at ease in sophisticated comedies which mainly came during his first decade as a star. The star couple create sparks along with an amusing Thomas Mitchell as the exasperated newspaper editor. Not top notch screwball but has many amusing bits.

Force of Nature (Michael Polish, 2020) 4/10

This is "Die Hard" set in an apartment complex in Puerto Rico during a category five hurricane. A group of people - an ex-cop (Emile Hirsch), a rookie (Stephanie Cayo), a doctor (Kate Bosworth) and her gravely ill father (Mel Gibson) - find themselves trapped inside a building as a violent gang of thieves try to loot stolen Nazi paintings stored by an old man. Also in this melange is a wounded black man who hides a "pet" that likes to eat 100 lbs of meat. The over cooked plot sounds more fun than it really is as shootouts take place in the dark. Gibson, as an ex-cop on dialyses, makes every moment of his short time on screen count as he cusses non-stop, determined to go out in a blaze of glory instead of being put in a hospital. Potboiler moves at a fast pace but there is nothing here that we haven't seen many, many times in far better films.

Violets Are Blue... (Jack Fisk, 1986) 4/10

A famous photographer (Sissy Spacek) returns on vacation to her family home on the Maryland coast. She runs into her former boyfriend (Kevin Kline), now married, and soon they rekindle their affair. When years before she left town to pursue her dreams he stayed back to run the local newspaper. Lonely and envious of his family she manages to get him a lucrative job at the magazine she works for. Will he leave his suspicious wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and adoring son for her or will he realise what he is about to lose? Tedious soap opera has the two stars frolicking on the beach in between bouts of guilt. The entire premise is dreary as nothing much really happens and once again Bedelia is wasted in an underwritten part in the "nice" wife role. One wishes she had at least thrown an apocalyptic fit when she discovers the affair but even that confrontation is a weak moment. Fisk directs his wife Spacek who is radiant throughout. In comparison Kline seems to be holding back during all the moments of passion as if he was embarrased doing nude scenes with the director's wife. Ralf D. Bode's cinematography of the stunning location is a major plus. A misfire despite the three attractive stars.

Doc (Frank Perry, 1971) 6/10

Revisionist western is a far cry from the romanticized view of Marshall Wyatt Earp and his pal 'Doc' Holliday in John Ford's "My Darling Clementine". Shot in Spain this gritty saga of the legendary gunfight at the OK Corral gets down and dirty as the West really was even if this version of the story also remains a myth as were all the other versions that came courtesy of Hollywood. Doc Holliday (Stacy Keach), dying of tuberculosis, hooks up with hard-nosed whore Katie Elder (Faye Dunaway) and both go in search of his friend Wyatt Earp (Harris Yulin) who is standing for election as Tombstone's sheriff. They face resistance from a gang of crooked cowboys which eventually leads to the famous shootout. The screenplay hints at an unexplored "history" between the two friends but doesn't follow through despite the two glancing, touching and caring for each other - there is no love lost between Earp and Katie as they find themselves "sharing" Doc's affections. Women were either virtuous wives or hard-bitten whores in the Old West while the actual "romance" was between the male protagonists as they got their kicks shooting and killing - a special code of conduct that did not include women. Starkly shot film is well acted by the three leads - Dunaway is not afraid to look absolutely filthy with grime all over her face, neck and clothes - while the final gunfight is over in the blink of an eye which apparently was how it was unlike the long drawn battle as shown in other versions.

The Mind Benders (Basil Dearden, 1963) 8/10

The screenplay takes on mind-control experiments - exposing humans to extremely low temperatures and imersing humans into isolation water tanks - which were familiar to some of the special activities of America’s intelligence agencies at the time who also specialized in using drugs like LSD on human beings. When an old professor suddenly commits suicide under bizzare circumstances, a MI5 agent (John Clements) suspects that he may have been leaking secrets to the Russians. His partner (Dirk Bogarde) sets out to prove that the old man was not a traitor but was brainwashed via an experiment, including mental torture, inside an isolation tank of water which rendered his mind to be altered. To prove his theory he agrees to be immersed into the tank allowing interrogators to brainwash him into thinking his beloved wife (Mary Ure) is a tramp. The experiment apparently does not work as he comes out unchanged but a few days later there are scary implications of a conversion not unlike Dr Jekyll into Mr Hyde. Will he go from loving his wife to distaste, then hatred and possibly onto violence merely through suggestion induced by sensory deprivation? Based on a book by James Kennaway these theories so popular at the time were later discarded after similar experiments done on astronauts proved inconclusive on many. The catalyst that brings the man out of his deranged condition rests on a childbirth sequence shown in detail unseen before on screen in such vivid detail and which brought the film an X rating. Both Bogarde and the underrated Ure give superb performances. The film's science-fiction elements here are a precursor to Ken Russell's over-the-top, mind-bending horrific sequences in "Altered States", almost twenty years later. This is yet another one in a series of highly sensational and hard-hitting films made by the team of director Basil Dearden and writer-producer Michael Relph

The Third Visitor (Maurice Elvey, 1951) 4/10

Tiresome and extremely talky murder mystery with a twist ending. Low budget film has a rambling plot - a man of dubious reputation is bludgeoned to death after being visited by assorted individuals who wanted him dead. The cops fiddle around with the case as two couples lie about their movements or knowledge about the dead man. Sonia Dresdel, dripping sarcasm, stands out amongst the cast as a woman who knows more than she has divulged about the case.

This England (David MacDonald, 1941) 6/10

Extremely rare and unashamedly patriotic, this propaganda film was typical of many that were made during WWII. This one features a small village in England during the WWII threat of a Nazi invasion and sees it through four different periods - the Norman invasion, the Spanish Armada, the Napoleonic era and WWII - showing how the working classes and peasants united against all foreign threat. The screenplay focuses on the determination and fortitude of the British as the stories are related by an inhabitant (John Clements) to a visiting American journalist (Constance Cummings). The film's title comes from a speech by John of Gaunt in the play Richard II by William Shakespeare.

Une aussi longue absence / The Long Absence (Henri Colpi, 1961) 8/10

Haunting memory piece about lost love and the horrors of war won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival sharing the top prize with Luis Buñuel's "Viridiana". Deliberately paced film, with a dream-like manner, illustrates how memories can often leave deeper scars than the actual event from which they were derived. Life then becomes an endurance test with only those memories to keep you going. A middle-aged cafe owner (Alida Valli) comes across a wandering tramp (Georges Wilson) and believes he is her husband who was thought dead and missing 16-years before during the war. She discovers he has amnesia and tries her best to revive his memory. The premise may be simplistic but the film explores deeper issues of loss, hope and heartbreak which need to be faced as life goes on. The film and Wilson were both nominated for Bafta awards.

Christine (Pierre Gaspard-Huit, 1958) 8/10

"Liebelei", Arthur Schnitzler 's 1894 play, was made into a film in 1933 by Max Ophüls with Magda Schneider. Her daughter, already a star of German cinema, stars in this remake making her french film debut opposite an upcoming young french actor who would become the "love of her life". Old fashioned romantic film about star crossed lovers - not unlike "Romeo and Juliet" - "almost" echoes the two stars' affair, subsequent engagement, break-up and tragic end (for one of them). During the waning years of the Austro-Hungarian Empire a young Captain (Alain Delon) is involved in an affair with the wife (Micheline Presle) of a Baron (Jean Galland). While she is happy with their on-going complicated relationship he wants to end it. By chance he meets a musician's daughter (Romy Schneider) while out with a fellow soldier and best friend (Jean-Claude Brialy). The young couple hit it off and are soon in love. Matters escalate when he breaks off his affair, the Baron discovers the deceit and challenges him to a duel. Tragic, sentimental romance relys totally on the magnetic chemistry between the two stars who make a lovely couple on screen. Schneider was dubbed as she could not speak french but it does not distract from her charming performance. Delon holds his own opposite both leading ladies - tender and shy opposite Schneider and edgy but familiar with Presle who was always a memorably presence in all her films.

Signore & signori / The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (Pietro Germi, 1966) 10/10

Pietro Germi continues his lacerating but hilarious look at the sexual mores of Italian men although in truth that behaviour is pretty much universal the world over. After broaching the subject in his two previous films - "Divorzio all'italiana" & "Sedotta e abbandonata" - he comes up with three short stories in this frantic farce all set in the city of Treviso. The wicked screenplay goes for the jugular making fun of Italian attitudes toward marriage, divorce, chastity and even love. Germi takes full delight in exposing the hypocricy of the law, the police, the church, the family and the state. Everyone is a target and nothing sacred. The entire cast is game and work at full throttle with many appearing as background characters in all three episodes. The first story is about a doctor treating a patient who says he is impotent but things aren't quite how they seem which the doctor discovers during the savage twist at the end. In the second episode a bank clerk, married to a nagging wife, falls head over heels in love with a sexy cashier (Virna Lisi) at a cafe. Instead of playing it safe with an affair on the quiet he dumps his wife and kids and proclaims to all about his new-found love. Friends, family, the Church, the police, in fact the whole town is outraged. In the third episode a nubile young peasant goes from shop to shop prostituting herself with the owners of the establishments in exchange for clothes, shoes and other goods. All the men are "decent" citizens of the town. When the girl's father sues all the men in court for taking advantage of his minor daughter they are all aghast and have to find a way to get out of the bind. Sharply written sex farce touches on topics that would never be allowed on screen in today's "politically correct" era although the majority of films from Europe then played around with controversial subjects often camouflaged under the guise of farce. Germi was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival sharing the top honour with Claude Lelouch's romantic drama "Un homme et une femme".

Miracolo a Milano / Miracle in Milan (Vittorio De Sica, 1951) 9/10

De Sica's charming fantasy is set amongst the inhabitants of a shanty town on a large empty plot of land outside Milan. The film's protagonist is an angelic young orphan found by an old woman in a cabbage patch and raised by her. After she dies and he spends time in an orphanage, Totò (Francesco Golisano),
comes out into the world and finds shelter amongst the homeless who live in cardboard boxes and cement pipes. In time he organises them into a small happy shanty town. When oil is discovered on the land the owner arrives to evict the people. Just as matters turn bleak his mother's ghost arrives and gives him a pigeon which grants everyone a wish turning everyone into a capitalist when they demand fur coats and money. Quirky film was quite ahead of its time with its final moments of fantasy which resemble a number of films by Spielberg. De Sica manages to keep the mood joyful despite the bleakness in everyone's life and which he perpetuates through the ever-smiling character of the orphan. The film and young Golisano were both deservedly nominated for the Bafta award and De Sica was awarded the Grand Prix prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:38 am

Wasp Network (2020) Olivier Assayas 2/10
Darkroom (2020) Rosa von Praunheim 4/10
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) David Dobkin 4/10
Disclosure (2020) Sam Feder 5/10
Distant Journey (1950) Alfred Radok 7/10
Harriet (2019) Kasi Lemmons 4/10
The Taverna (2020) Alkinos Tsilimidos 6/10

Repeat viewings

Farewell My Concubine (1993) Kaige Chen 8/10 (Director's cut i.e. the version shown at Cannes not Harvey's cut)
High Anxiety (1977) Mel Brooks 9/10
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) Jon Avnet 10/10
Mudhoney (1965) Russ Meyer 7/10
The Bride Wore Black (1968) Francois Truffaut 10/10
A Private Matter (1992) Joan Micklin Silver 9/10
Mississippi Mermaid (1969) Francois Truffaut 8/10
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Re: Last Seen Movie - The Latest Movie You Have Seen; ratings

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:26 pm

Reza wrote:
Murder By Contract (Irving Lerner, 1958) 9/10

Stylishly directed B-film was one of Scorsese's favorites. Shot in just seven days this low budget entry packs a wallop despite the derivative plot. A cool-headed, emotionless man (Vince Edwards) is stuck in a low paid job. Wanting to buy a house he decides to make a quick buck as a contract killer for hire. His first few hits are easy but finds himself in a quandry when asked to kill a woman who is about to testify against a Mob boss. The film, using a simple guitar melody on the soundtrack and brightly lit exterior and interior shots by Lucien Ballard, methodically goes about charting the moves of the hitman - interacting with two inept partners, failed attempts to kill the woman and a crucial meeting with a hooker. Vaughn is superb as the intelligent man with a conscience who dislikes guns and women ("they are unpredictable and keep moving"). The violence is all off-screen and the screenplay instead concentrates on the killer's psychology and how he goes about his job in a very precise but nonchalant manner. Cult film is a must-see.

I watched this from TCM's Noir Alley this week. The host noted, like you, that Scorsese has specifically mentioned the film as a big influence, but I couldn't help feeling Tarantino was the one owing a greater debt to it. Hit men procrastinating, dialogue scenes about everything but the actual killings -- it seemed a real template for Travolta/Jackson in Pulp Fiction.

Very interesting film. Vince Edwards was never much of an actor, but is right for this. The actress playing the protected witness is pretty godawful, but the rest of the cast -- especially Herschel Bernardi -- is solid for such a B-picture.


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