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

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

Postby gunnar » Sun Apr 18, 2021 9:38 pm

Marjoe (1972) - 8/10 - Marjoe Gortner's parents were deeply involved in Evangelical ministry and revivals. They arranged for him to be ordained as a minister at the age of four after noticing his skill at mimicry. They coached him through giving sermons, performing marriages, and more. They made a ton of money and he didn't see any of it. He fell into the hippie lifestyle in the 1960s, but the need for money led him back into doing revivals, though he tried to quit. This documentary gives a behind the scenes look at the business and he exposes some of the tricks of the trade. I thought it was very interesting.

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

Postby Reza » Thu Apr 15, 2021 10:11 am

Le cave se rebiffe / The Counterfeiters (Gilles Grangier, 1961) 7/10

Tongue in cheek caper film involves a plan to counterfeit the Dutch florin. "The Old Man" (Jean Gabin), once the king of counterfeiters, lives a rich retired life in South America. He is summoned by a gang of petty crooks headed by his one-time crony (Bernard Blier) who once ran a huge gaudy brothel now shut down by the police. The plan works like clockwork although the old man has to stay two steps ahead of the gang as some of them are not trustworthy. A witty screenplay (by Micel Audiard) and a very funny denouement make this a fun watch. Gabin is in his usual element and is surrounded by a fantastic supporting cast led by the very funny Blier as a sad-faced lecher, the quick-witted and imperious Françoise Rosay as an old contact and sexy Martine Carol as the annoying wife of the young counterfeiter. Fast paced film was the eighth collaboration between Gabin and director Grangier.

Love That Brute (Alexander Hall, 1950) 7/10

Tough gangster (Paul Douglas) falls for the charms of a prim governess (Jean Peters) and tries to woo her pretending to be a businessman. Charming comedy is helped along by a great supporting cast - Keenan Wynn as a bumbling henchman, Peter Price as a foul-mouthed kid, Cesar Romero as a rival gangster, Arthur Treacher as a gun-toting butler and Joan Davis as a sassy broad who poses as a housekeeper. The underrated Douglas, despite a lack of chemistry with Peters, still manages to standout playing gruff with a heart of gold.

L'assassinat du Père Noël / The Assassination of Santa Claus (Christian-Jaque, 1941) 9/10

The first film that was produced in France after the Nazis invaded the country and the Vichy government came to power. Director Christian-Jaque was denounced as a collaborator as the film was sanctioned by the Nazis but the perceptive screenplay, by Charles Spaak who adapted the novel by Pierre Vèry, is remarkably deceptive. The story's almost fairy-tale setting has various characters constantly shifting allegiances between good and evil. Just like resistance fighters faking alignments to stay one step ahead of the Nazis the charcters here too cannot be pinned down - something which escaped the Nazi censors much to the relief of the film's director. A snow-bound little village, high up in the Alps, is the setting for a whodunnit. "Santa Claus" is found murdered and the villagers assume it is the twinkle-eyed old globe maker (Harry Baur) who annually dresses up for the children and constantly regales them with outlandish stories that has them mesmerized. However, the dead man is a stranger and the villagers realise that the murderer is trapped in the village because of the snow. There are other eccentric characters around - a woman dressed in black who aimlessly wanders searching for her cat, the "free-thinking" school teacher (Robert Le Vigan) who lectures the children on either succeeding in life through hard work or via the "imbecility of others" (a broad hint at people supporting the rise of fascism), the old man's overly-romantic daughter (Renée Faure) being pursued by the teacher but who falls in love with the recently returned Baron (Roland Rouleau) who may or may not be suffering from leprosy. The mystery is seen from the points of view of the children as well as the adults who are confused and in the chaos start questioning one another which symbolically mirrors the tense atmosphere in France under the Nazis. Harry Baur, who provides his character with subtle jewish traits - which also escaped the Nazi censors - was denounced as a jew by collaborators and was arrested by the Nazis when his wife was accused of espionage. Baur, then at the peak of his career as one of France's most acclaimed actors, was quickly arrested, moved to Germany where he was tortured, imprisoned, then sent to a concentration camp from which he was released in 1943 but sadly found dead under mysterious circumstances a few days later. This film is a testament to his genius and a remarkable legacy to the people who survived the Nazi menace.

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

Postby gunnar » Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:35 pm

One Potato, Two Potato (1964) - 7.5/10 - Barbara Barrie stars as Julie, a divorced woman raising her young daughter on her own after the father abandoned the family. She meets a man at work named Frank (Bernie Hamilton) and the two become friends and later fall in love and marry. There are obstacles since Frank is black, but they overcome them and form a happy family, living with Frank's parents. Julie's former husband returns to town and seeks custody when he finds that his daughter is being raised in an interracial household. The movie is a fairly stark look at the situation at the time, but is also a pretty well made and acted movie. Barrie and Hamilton each did an excellent job and the little girl was good in her small role, too.

The Angry Silence (1960) - 8/10 - An agitator works with the shop steward at a factory to create an unauthorized strike. A minority of workers don't agree with the manufactured reasons and cross the picket line. Most bow to pressure (broken windows, fires, etc.) from their coworkers and join the strike. One man with two kids and a pregnant wife stubbornly continues to go to work, even in the face of escalating harassment and things eventually come to a head. This isn't a strident anti-union film as one might expect. I thought it was pretty good.

Lies My Father Told Me (1975) - 7.5/10 - David is a small Jewish boy growing up in 1920s Montreal. His grandfather takes him in his cart drawn horse to collect rags, clothes, and bottles which is how he makes his living. His grandfather also tells him plenty of stories. David's father is a schemer with numerous plans and inventions to make money that never pan out. While David's father isn't a very good parent, David's pregnant mother is loving and caring. I thought that this was a very nice film.

The Four Days of Naples (1962) - 8.5/10 - In September 1943, many of the German forces have found their way to Naples as the Allied forces have advanced. The Germans start to round up all of the men in town in order to deport them for forced labor and the citizens of Naples revolt. They bring out cached weapons and fight the Germans in the streets and throughout the city. I thought this dramatization was very well done.

Freud (1962) - 6/10 - This is an earnest, but sometimes dull look at around five years of Sigmund Freud's career starting in 1885. During this time, he learns and starts to utilize hypnosis, particularly in the treatment of patients with hysteria. He achieves some success, though doesn't necessarily win over his colleagues. He also gets married during this time and develops his theories of the unconscious and child development. It wasn't a bad film, but not a great one either.

This finishes off the Original Screenplay category for me. I'll probably take a break for a while and only watch the occasional full length movie while I catch up on some reading and watch television shows and short subjects.

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

Postby gunnar » Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:15 pm

Toute une vie (And Now My Love) (1974) - 7/10 - The film starts in France during WWI with a silent film section including title cards and takes place over the next 60 years. Sarah and Simon are the main protagonists in the 1960s and 1970s, but we also get to see how Sarah's parents and grandparents met in the earlier sections of the film. The film is interesting and the same actress plays Sarah, her mother, and her grandmother. Sarah's father and grandfather are also played by the same actor. It was a bit long and I lost interest a bit on occasion, but overall is a decent film.

Bloodbrothers (1978) - 5/10 - Richard Gere stars as the eldest son in a dysfunctional Italian family in New York. His father wants him to work construction, but he'd rather do something else. The younger son has stopped eating due to the anxiety brought on within the family. I didn't hate the movie, but everything seemed to be way over the top and Gere seemed (and was) too old to be the eldest son.

The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) - 6/10 - A cocaine addicted Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) is lured to Vienna by Doctor Watson (Robert Duvall) so that he can be treated by Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin). Duvall is an odd choice for Watson and I don't think he was a very good fit here. I didn't like Williamson's Holmes at first, though it started to grow on me once he met Freud. I thought Arkin was very good as Freud, though. I enjoyed the tennis scene and the train chase and think the good outweighs the bad in this film, though there are many flaws.

I've now seen all of the nominees in the Adapted Screenplay category, except for two that are lost (The Patriot and Wonder of Women) and two that are in film archives (Sal of Singapore and The Cop). I have five left in the Original Screenplay category that I plan to watch later tonight and tomorrow.

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

Postby gunnar » Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:25 pm

Holy Matrimony (1943) - 8.5/10 - Priam Faril (Monty Woolley) is a famous artist who dislikes society and thus stays hidden away from it in remote areas to paint with only his long time valet for company. He receives a summons in 1905 that he can't refuse and travels back to London, but his valet dies unexpectedly. Through a case of mistaken identity, Faril assumes his butler's identity in order to stay out of the spotlight. A number of complications arise over time, including the woman (Gracie Fields) that his valet had been writing with for some time with the intent to marry. This is a very funny and entertaining film. Woolley is very good here and Fields holds her own as well.

Betrayal (1983) - 5.5/10 - Emma (Patricia Hodge) has been having an affair with her husband's (Ben Kingsley) best friend (Jeremy Irons) for many years. They even rented a flat so that they could be together. We follow the development of the relationship in reverse chronology back to its beginning. I thought the movie was serviceable, but dull.

The North Star (1943) - 6/10 - In 1941, the people in a Ukrainian village are happy and going about their daily lives with plans for the future. Then the Nazis invade and take over the village, bringing their brutality with them. Many of the men in the village have hidden away from their homes waiting for guns to come so that they can fight back. I enjoyed the movie, though some parts seemed to be out of the propaganda playbook and took away from the film.

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

Postby gunnar » Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:03 pm

Marie-Louise (1944) - 8/10 - This Swiss film starts in France early during WWII. A French family has their home destroyed during a bombing and later we see how the people of Rouen react when the air raid siren goes off. Marie-Louise is a young girl taking care of her younger brother and living with her mother. She is one of a number of French children sent to Switzerland for three months to get them away from the war. Marie-Louise ends up with a wealthy family who takes very good care of her, but it takes some time for the trauma of war to start to wear off. The film itself can be seen as propaganda trying to urge the Swiss to do more for their suffering neighbors since Switzerland remained neutral during the conflict, but was afraid of angering the Germans. However, the acting and directing are very good and the movie itself is also very well done. This is still a hard film to come by, but fortunately there is a nice restored print out there to replace the really worn (and cut) copy that has circulated. There are also English subtitles available, though I had to do some editing to make them sync up with the film.

Salty O'Rourke (1945) - 7/10 - Salty O'Rourke (Alan Ladd) is a gambler saddled with a $20,000 debt from his former partner. He's got 30 days to make it good or else. He has an idea about purchasing a talented, but willful horse and using a talented, but disgraced jockey to win his dough on the race track. A little romance comes into the picture in the form of a young schoolteacher (Gail Russell). It's an entertaining enough film with good bits of dialogue thrown in now and then.

Street of Chance (1930) - 5/10 - William Powell stars as a popular and successful gambler with a reputation of honest with no patience for those who try to cheat him. He decides to give up gambling in order to reconcile with his wife (Kay Francis), but the arrival of his brother in town throws his plans into disarray when his brother announces plans to become a big time gambler himself. The movie was somewhat entertaining, though events seemed pretty contrived and the film hasn't aged particularly well.

Tall, Dark and Handsome (1941) - 7/10 - Cesar Romero stars as a charismatic gangster with a reputation for knocking off rivals. He falls for a woman (Virginia Gilmore) he sees at a department store and ends up telling her that he's a widower and hires her to take care of his kids. The problem is that he was never married and doesn't have any kids. This romantic comedy is fairly entertaining. It's not laugh out loud funny, but the performances are decent.

Lady and Gent (1932) - 7.5/10 - Slag Bailey (George Bancroft) is an old prizefighter who meets his match in young up and comer Buzz Kinney (John Wayne in a small role). When his manager is killed in a robbery, Slag and his girlfriend Puff (Wynne Gibson), a night club hostess, leave town. Their lives are changed when they find out that Slag's manager had a son and they decide to raise him. This turned out to be a nice, heartwarming tale with Gibson bringing the beauty and brains and Bancroft bringing the brawn. They make a great couple and there is plenty of humor in their relationship and elsewhere.

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

Postby gunnar » Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:43 pm

What Next, Corporal Hargrove? (1945) - 5.5/10 - This sequel takes place in France with Hargrove and his buddies part of a gun battery. Hargrove is actually fairly competent here, though he gets caught up in the schemes of his friend, Mulvehill. The movie is kind of predictable and mildly funny, but I still enjoyed it. It's not as good as the first film, though.

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

Postby Reza » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:00 am

Apache (Robert Aldrich, 1954) 5/10

Solid if at times rather perfunctory Western with a glaring oddity which needs to be overcome in order to enjoy the film. Burt Lancaster has piercing baby blue eyes and he plays the title role. After Geronimo surrenders the last Apache warrior (Burt Lancaster in severe brown face makeup) is captured and scheduled for transport to Florida. He escapes from the train far away from his homeland in Arizona and treks the long way back. On the way he experiences the boistrous white man's life in crowded St. Louis and comes across a Cherokee warrior now comfortably ensconsed in a house living side-by-side and similar to the white man. The Apache is advised to do the same and accept the changes brought about by the white man's ferocious need to subdue all the Indian tribes. Gradually he comes around to that way of thinking and with a squaw (Jean Peters also browned up) sets up a farm on the hills and grows crops. Then he is betrayed to the posse led by John McIntyre and Charles Bronson which results in an ending imposed on Aldrich by the studio. Lancaster dominates the film (he was also the film's producer) through sheer physical presence while the screenplay goes through the usual clichés about the white man versus the Indians.

La grande vadrouille / Don't Look Now... We're Being Shot At! (Gérard Oury, 1966) 7/10

This comedy broke boxoffice records in France as the most successful film ever until it was finally dethroned 31 years later by "Titanic". Fitfully amusing farce is set during the Nazi Occupation of France. A RAF bomber goes off course and finds itself over Paris, is shot down and the pilot (Terry Thomas) and his crew of two manage to bail out with parachutes. With the Germans hot on their trail they try to find their way across the border with the help of two bumbling frenchmen - a hapless house painter (Bourvil) and an excitable conductor (Louis de Funes) at the Paris Opera. The genius of the film is in its casting of two of French cinema's most beloved comic actors and pairing them with Britain's equally famous twit. The idiotic situations - a fracas at the Opera involving flat-footed Germans, a comic mixup at the Turkish baths to the tune of "Tea for Two", a quick getaway through the Paris sewers, assorted auto and train dashes and the old chestnut of characters finding themselves asleep in the wrong bedroom next to the wrong partner on a double bed - are all played for laughs. Claude Renoir shoots the wide open countryside in stunning colour while the three stars shamelessly mug throughout. Fast paced film is a cross between an Ealing comedy and a Monty Python farce.

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

Postby gunnar » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:31 pm

The Public Enemy (1931) - 6.5/10 - Cagney gives a pretty good turn in this pre-code gangster film. The beginning of the film with the younger versions of the characters was good. The rest of the film wasn't bad, though I thought it was a bit inconsistent in terms of the acting and pace.

News of the World (2020) - 7.5/10 - Tom Hanks stars as Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd, a former soldier in Texas five years after the end of the Civil War. He makes his living by traveling from town to town reading the news to locals from various newspapers from around the country. While between towns, he comes across a 10 year old girl (Helena Zengel) who had been living with the Kiowa since her parents death six years earlier, but was now an orphan again. He takes up the task of trying to get her to her remaining relatives. This is a very nice western and Hanks plays his role with his usual ability and is very good, though Zengel easily holds her own and does a great job in her role. She already won awards for one of her previous films in Germany and I wouldn't be surprised to see her in many other roles in Hollywood in the future.

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

Postby gunnar » Tue Apr 06, 2021 10:15 pm

Da 5 Bloods (2020) - 7/10 - Four African American Vietnam vets return to Vietnam to search for the remains of their fallen comrade. While there, they also plan to search for the gold that they lost in a mudslide around the time of his death. I don't think that the movie is really anything special and it was somewhat generic in a lot of ways, but I still enjoyed watching it.

Hillbilly Elegy (2020) - 6/10 - A Yale law student and former Marine has to return home suddenly when he gets a call from his sister. The story features his trip home and a lot of flashbacks to his youth and his dysfunctional relationship with his crazy, drug addicted mother. Amy Adams plays the mother and I don't think that she was very good, kind of overdoing the crazy, annoying behavior. Glenn Close plays the grandmother and she wasn't bad, though I don't think her performance was worthy of an Oscar nomination. They did seem to get her look down based on the home movies at the end. The people who played the adult version (Gabriel Basso) and teen version (Owen Asztalos) of the main character were both pretty solid and did a nice job. I also thought that Freida Pinto was good as the girlfriend. This wasn't a very good movie, but I don't think it was as bad as some of the reviews have made it out to be.

Pieces of a Woman (2020) - 6.5/10 - The movie starts with a 20+ minute home birth sequence where something goes wrong and then the characters pretty much spend the rest of the movie dealing (or not dealing) with their grief and other problems. I didn't really enjoy the movie much, but I do think that Vanessa Kirby gave a very good performance and I liked the ending of the film. The problems that I had were the middle of the film where there were issues presented, but not really resolved. The use of long, slow scenes was effective, but kind of overdone. Ellen Burstyn has received some praise for her performance, but I didn't think that her character was very believable and the performance was overrated. Shia LaBeouf was the husband and he was okay at times, especially in the beginning, but less so later. It's worth watching for Kirby's performance, but not much else.

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

Postby gunnar » Mon Apr 05, 2021 9:37 pm

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020) - 7/10 - Blues singer Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) is pretty hard to deal with in this story that takes place at a recording session in Chicago in 1927. As forceful as her character is, though, I think trumpet player Levee (Chadwick Boseman) is the real lead in this story. Davis and Boseman (and the rest of the cast) do a nice job here and I enjoyed the film, but it definitely does show its roots as a play and in this instance I think that detracts from the movie as a whole. It's still a decent film, though.

The White Tiger (2021) - 8/10 - Balram is a low caste Indian from a small village in the north. He had to quit school and work at a young age and the whole village is under the thumb of the rich family that lives in the area. He gets an opportunity to become a driver for that family and his views on his place in society slowly change. The movie is fairly dark and cynical, though with humor, and is narrated by Balram in flashback. I didn't totally buy the ending, but overall I liked the movie and think it is pretty good.

The Life Ahead (2020) - 7.5/10 - Sophia Loren stars as Madame Rosa, an elderly Holocaust survivor and former prostitute who looks after children for money to pay bills. She takes in a Senegalese boy named Momo who has a number of rough edges and aspires to be a drug dealer. The two don't exactly hit it off at first. I haven't seen the 1970s Academy Award winner based on the same story to compare, but I think that this is a pretty good film and the performances by Loren, the boy who played Momo, and the rest of the cast (and the music which was what gained it a nomination) were good as well.

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

Postby gunnar » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:28 pm

The Midnight Sky (2020) - 4/10 - Some unexplained disaster has happened on Earth that is making the entire planet uninhabitable. Dr. Augustine Lofthouse (George Clooney) is perhaps the only survivor, situated at an Arctic observatory, but his days are numbered. There is a mission returning from one of Jupiter's moons that is unaware of the disaster and he tries to contact them. He also discovers a silent little girl at the observatory who may have been left behind when the others evacuated. The visual effects aren't bad, but I had many of the same problems with this that I had with Time - the story moves at a lethargic pace, it isn't very interesting, and the music makes it even worse. It could have been a decent movie, but everything is just so dull.

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

Postby Reza » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:31 am

Trois jours à vivre / Three Days to Live (Gilles Grangier, 1957) 8/10

A struggling stage actor (Daniel Gélin), desperate for bigger roles, inadvertently witnesses the killing of a gangster on the street outside the theater. The media publicises him when he claims he can identify the killer and the theater manager uses the publicity to give him the lead role in the dark and complex French drama "Lorenzaccio" by Alfred de Musset. The play deals with playacting, deceit and various facets of courage and cowardice. Under court pressure the actor wrongfully but intentionally identifies the wrong man (Lino Ventura) as the killer who is convicted to prison for 20 years. Drunk on the adulation received by his colleagues for being a brave hero which in turn resulted in him getting prominent parts on stage he continues with the ruse. Later the prisoner escapes, calls the actor and threatens to kill him after three days. His life begins to mirror the play he is acting in as fear begins ruling his life. Gélin is superb as the sensitive young man who suddenly finds that his inflated ego could soon find him at death's door. Jeanne Moreau, as his sympathetic girlfriend, brings a sense of calm into his increasingly chaotic and hysterical life while Lino Ventura, in one of his early film appearances, adds quiet authoritative menace.

The View From Pompey's Head / Secret Interlude (Phillip Dunne, 1955) 7/10

Old fashioned soap opera set in the South with overheated passions by way of yet another beautiful British actress (Dana Wynter) playing a southern belle. One would imagine Hollywood could at least get the casting right with homegrown talent (Joanne Woodward and Faye Dunaway were yet to make their film debuts) but for some strange reason they always turned to British imports (Vivien Leigh, Jessica Tandy and later Elizabeth Taylor) for the quintessential part of the southern belle. An attorney (Richard Egan) returns to his southern hometown in South Carolina where he is reunited after ten years with the woman who was passionately in love with him but now married to a local businessman (Cameron Mitchell). He is briefly in town to meet with the formidable wife (Marjorie Rambeau) of a prominent writer (Sidney Blackmer) after she has sued the estate of her husband's deceased former manager (and close Friend) for embezzlement. He not only rekindles a romance but also once again encounters racial and class prejudices which had made him move away to New York. Well acted film was an attempt by Fox studios to groom rugged Richard Egan into a romantic star on the same lines as Rock Hudson at Universal. He never quite made it although he was an affable presence in a number of films. Wynter is stunningly beautiful dressed to her teeth in glamourous outfits by Charles LeMaire. Elmer Bernstein provides a romantic symphonic score while Joseph MacDonald provides the lush cinematography capturing the lovers in carefully placed shadows and light. The film is stolen by the silent screen beauty Marjorie Rambeau as the crusty old woman still living in archaic times trying to maintain a facade that reeks of prejudice. She was deservedly cited by the National Board of Review for her riveting performance.

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

Postby gunnar » Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:30 pm

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020) - 8.5/10 - This documentary traces the movement to eliminate discrimination against the disabled and to provide accessibility to them to Camp Jened in New York. This was a summer camp teens and young adults with disabilities and was located not too far from Woodstock. In the early 1970s, campers and counselors created a place where the disabled could try different things and expand their horizons. The film uses footage taken at that camp along with footage from tv coverage from protests in the 1970s-1990s involving many people from Camp Jened as well as interviews with some of the same people today. I think it is very well put together and makes for an educational and entertaining film.

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020) - 6/10 - Lars (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit (Rachel McAdams) are from a small town in Iceland and have dreamed of winning the Eurovision Song Contest since watching Abba win in the 1970s. They are part of a group called Fire Saga, but aren't really that good. They get the opportunity to perform in Eurovision representing Iceland and things don't go exactly as they hoped. I went in with low expectations and while the movie is kind of goofy and could do to be cut in length a bit, I ended up enjoying it. It's not a great film, but it was generally fun.

Over the Moon (2020) - 7/10 - Fei Fei's family have a popular shop where they make mooncakes. When Fei Fei's father looks to remarry, Fei Fei is worried that her father is forgetting his love for his late wife so she builds a rocket to go seek help from the mythical moon goddess. The story is more about her overcoming the grief that still lingers over the death of her mother. This is a pretty decent animated musical. I'd place it fourth among the nominees for animated feature, but I liked it.

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

Postby Reza » Sat Apr 03, 2021 10:34 am

The Company Men (John Wells, 2010) 8/10

What is immediately jarring about this film, a decade on, is the lack of diversity amongst the cast. We are in a totally white world which today would have played very differently up on screen. Nevertheless the entire ensemble cast are at the top of their game in a plot which personally resonates deeply having been close to situations that the characters go through. During a recession a shipbuilding corporation is forced to downsize at the behest of the owner (Craig T. Nelson). His CFO and close friend (Tommy Lee Jones) questions his strategy of laying off workers in order to build an extravagant new corporate headquarter. Amongst the ones fired are a young hotshot (Ben Affleck), who's high-flying lifestyle - huge mansion, his country club membership and a Porsche - come crashing down with his only means for survival being a manual labour job working for his blue-collar brother-in-law (Kevin Costner). In contrast is the Senior Manager (Chris Cooper) who spent 30 years rising the ladder who suddenly finds himself with no job and kids still at university. When the CFO implores the HR manager (Maria Bello) - also his mistress - to rehire him immediately, she not only refuses but fires him too. The film takes a frank and scary look at the fierce and cruel job market which is especially not kind to people of a certain age. While the almost fairytale-like ending seems false the sharply written screenplay scores points in its depiction of a ruthless corporate culture. Jones and Costner, amongst a uniformly fantastic cast, are especially memorable. Roger Deakins' sharp lighting and the outstanding production design also compliment this very fine film.

Hi, Nellie! (Mervyn LeRoy, 1934) 8/10

Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's hit Broadway play, "The Front Page", and it's Oscar nominated screen adaptation set off a similar chain of films set in newspaper offices at all the major studios. Tough editors, tired and weary office workers, rapid-fire streetwise dialogue and sharp-tongued females (in or out of the office and usually the main character's downtrodden squeeze or exasperated colleague) became part of the scenario. Star Muni, just before he became the studio's highly distinguised (and boring) property playing "Louis Pasteur" and "Emile Zola", has great fun with his part and runs with it. Tough editor (Paul Muni) is demoted by the newspaper publisher for refusing to follow up on news involving a crook. He is forced to write for the lonely hearts column, a position he had forced on his ex-girlfriend (Glenda Farrell) as punishment for missing a scoop. He goes onto a drunken binge before snapping out of it and not only turning the column into a major hit but also latches on to a major story involving gangsters. Muni is fast, loose and very funny and all his scenes opposite Farrell crackle with sexual tension. Playing assorted characters at the office are a hilarious bunch of character actors - Berton Churchill, Ned Sparks, Donald Meek and Douglas Dumbrille. The finalé takes place in a gangster's nightclub where the bar is placed in the middle of the room on a merry-go-round - totally absurd but spectacular. Pity Muni did not attempt more comedy because despite his Oscar and four other nominations (for his "distinguished" roles) he is all but forgotten today.

Par un beau matin d'été / Crime on a Summer Morning (Jacques Deray, 1965) 8/10

The french always came up with exciting thrillers often based on pulp novels, and here Deray adapts "One Bright Summer Morning" by James Hadley Chase. A brother (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and sister (Sophie Daumier) duo are small-time con artists luring dirty old men and putting them into sexually compromising positions and blackmailing them for money. When they are hired by a seasoned crook (Akim Tamiroff) to pick up the daughter (Geraldine Chaplin) of a rich American billionaire (Adolfo Celi) the duo soon find themselves in over their head despite their success with the kidnapping. Holed up at the countryside home of a prominent painter (Gabrielle Ferzetti) emotions begin to boil over as sex, jealousy and jangled nerves lead to treachery and murder. The film begins almost in a comedic mode but the mood soon turns very serious. Crisp cinematography, stunning Spanish locations, the delightfully laconic Belmondo, a sexy Daumier - there is a strong undercurrent of incest running through their relationship - and a young Chaplin in her film debut are just some of the memorable parts of this film. Deray, who was fascinated by American film noir, creates all the right moves here later going onto a fantastic career making action films and thrillers.


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